When I bought the Honda the choice was made based on price, reliability, ability to ride two-up, and be somewhat sporty on the weekends. Somewhat sporty is a fucking stretch with a stock 550 Honda but you get the idea. The poor thing needs some TLC and I do like her. I don't love this bike, however. It's practical and you can still get parts blah, blah, blah. She needs a paint job and the top end has to come apart again to fix a neglected cam chain issue. The carbs could use a good synching. I'll get to all this in good time but in the mean time, I'd like to just go for a ride. I'm a firm believer in multiple motorcycles. You have a new bike that you can just push the button and go and then the moldy oldy with all the character and oil leaks in the corner. I currently own three bikes; the 550 Honda, the Sprint, and an XR70. Smidsy left a comment about the Puta de Oro down there about how that does nothing for him. I get that, but I tend to enjoy motorcycles within their particular context. By this I mean, the gold chopper is a neat looking bike that would be fun to blast around town on and air out the armpits. A bar-hopper if you will. I don't do much bar hopping these days, but I digress. I would certainly not have that as my only bike. I'd like something that will go, stop, turn, and not pound my kidneys to mush. Smidsy's comment got me thinking about what scoot I'd actually drop some hard-earned cash on if I was to do so. Awhile back, after being at the new bike show I mentioned what I would buy if I had a bushel basket full of c-notes. Like all 30 something working stiffs, I do not have a huge pile of cash laying around. My point here is cost would be a big factor in buying a new bike. I decided to take a look around at the options available from the big four. They all have something in the 600cc-ish range for a bit more than a thousand bucks per 100cc. Sort of the modern equivalent of my POS Honda. Honda has the 599 which looks just like the 919, and it comes in a stunning array of one color. Grey. (Yes, I spell grey with an E. If you don't like it write your own damn blog). Kawasaki has the new critically acclaimed 650 Ninja. It's a 650 parallel twin with the ugliest damn splash of red on the frame and fork legs. I've seen the bikes up close and if I bought one of these I'd have to paint the frame and polish the fork legs before it ever made it out of the garage. Sort of reminds me of the BSA's with the grey frame that the dealers would paint black so they could actually sell them. The sportiest of the four is the FZ6 from Yamaha. I like this one a lot. It has nice looks, reasonably priced and if it's anything like it's big brothers I'll bet it goes like stink. Going like stink notwithstanding, it's not really one of my purchase criteria (but it helps). Rounding out the four is Suzuki with the SV650. They have a SV650S which is a little sportier and looks a lot like the Yamaha. Call me old-fashioned but I'll save the 500 bucks and go with the round headlight and taller bars, thank you. This one also comes in a beautiful, wait did I say beautiful? Its a horrendous teal green color. It looks like the color of your moms bedazzled sweatshirt. Imagine this bike wearing high-waisted, acid-washed, elastic waistband jeans. With pleats. Don't get me wrong, I actually like this bike a lot and the color is really not that bad. Ok, it's that bad. It also comes in red. The Suzuki is a V-twin and I would imagine it's not unlike Lucky's VX800 with a different style and a little smaller. BMW has a 650 single for a little more money but I don't think I could own it knowing that I could not have the R1200S. I came up with these bikes by doing a cursory search and chose the models based on price and looks. I have not ridden any of these, but the more I think about it the more I really want a new bike. Which one would I buy, you might ask? The Suzuki. I think mainly because of the price ($5,949 MSRP) and it kind of resembles by old SRX6 if you go with the round headlight. I'd guess the Yam would be a close second and then Honda. That red Testors model paint that they spilled on the forks just looks too bad to consider buying the Kawasaki. Talking the wife into the purchase of a new bike might be a tough one. If I sold both my Hondas I could make a pretty good dent in the purchase price of the 'Zuk and I'd still have the Sprint to tinker with.
One interesting aside, blogger's spellcheck prompts you to replace Kawasaki with sausage.