Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So you want to buy a motorcycle?

Hypothetically speaking, let's say you want to buy a bike. I'm not going to write a buyers guide or anything so we'll also assume you know what you want and what you need and what your limits are. It seems as though your choices are: Big assed Harley, super quick Sportbike. O.K. perhaps it's not that cut and dried. Lets say a bike around 1000cc is not the choice for you. Insurance is too high, the bikes are heavy, the power, while exciting, is unnecessary. That narrows it down to the 600cc-ish range. There are a few bikes in the 750-800cc range. Not really a few, more like two. Race bred sportbikes- yeah, they're cool and everything but do you need clip-ons and rearsets to commute? I dunno, maybe it's my lack of owning newer stuff. I've never owned a new bike. The newest thing I ever owned was a DR650 dual-sport that was a.....93? I think. It was a clapped out beater. Having little to no experience with newer bikes maybe I'm just out of the loop. Before I get too far ahead of myself, lets go way back in time. I remember it as if it were two and a half weeks ago. My wife gave me my Father's day present early (two weeks early). She couldn't stands it no more. She had been saving up to either buy me a bike or give me a really good head start on a bike. She handed me a check for some amount that is pretty damn generous for a
only-working-two-days-a-week-and-the-rest-of-the-time-is-a-stay-at-home-mom. I was speechless and that's saying something coming from me. Alright now, the search was on. But what to buy? Don't need a liter bike. Not a cruiser guy. Well, that narrows the field considerably. Roughly a year ago I was waxing Quixotic about buying a new bike and I was seduced by the Suzuki SV650. The 06' model in red. I did some reading and everyone likes it. It's one of those bikes, not unlike the SRX6 Yamaha, that people will tell you years from now "I had one of those, great bike, I should have never sold it". I was sort of leaning toward the V-Strom 650 (DL650) for awhile which the adventure bike version of the SV. It would have been the practical choice, with greater protection from the elements, more upright position, and could go just about anywhere. When Mrs. Surly went all sugar mama on my ass, I also started thinking about Triumphs. I have two friends with new Thruxton Bonnevilles. The one guy rides around on his with his gay dog sticking out of his jacket on his way to ballroom dance lessons. (That comment is just for the folks who know him, he's really a helluva guy :P ) Again, I digress. Where I live there are no dealers close that sell Triumphs. Aside from the initial purchase and a couple of services I probably wouldn't need a dealer close by but... So I can't easily run out and buy a Thruxton without driving 70 miles. (Thanx to Lucky for the advice) I can throw a rock in any direction and hit a Japanese bike dealership. That narrows it down. I stopped in at the Honda dealer and inquire about a 599. "Dropped em from the lineup for 07, sold the one 06 I had last week". They sell like friggin hotcakes in Europe and can't get rid of em in the States. They're damned expensive anyhow and the promise of 100hp to 400lbs seems a bit daunting (that's better than a Ferrari F40, or so I'm told). I've read the Yam FZ6 is a winner if a little buzzy and you kind of need to rev the pee out of it. Back to Suzuki. Hmmm... I stopped in at the local Suzuki dealer in the spring to inquire about riding a V-Strom. "Sure, I'll take your name and call you" yeah right. Two months later, I ask "What gives?". "Oh sorry, we had a hard time selling the one we had last year so we cancelled our order for this years" You know that thing you do where you cough into your hand while saying "bullshit"? Do that now. I got a similar load at another dealership. Now I have a pile of cash and the greenlight from the little Mrs. and nobody want's to sell me the bike I want. I go back to the Suzuki dealer and realize that my bike's been there all along. There's an SV1000s in blue, (real blue, not that ugly Grandmas track suit teal) and a red SV650S. Well enough of the pontificating, I bought the fucker. Ironically, it's a red 06 just like the one in my blog post from march of 06. With the exception of mine is the S model. In the parlance of an SV owner its a "pointy S". The models before 03 were much more curvy, the later models are quite angular. Then there is the difference between the S model and the Naked model. Hence "pointy S". If I had a choice on the showroom floor I'd have gone with the naked version. Apparently I do need clip-ons and rearsets to commute. The models do differ a bit aside from the fairing. The S has higher pegs, lower bars, and different trail. There might be other things. It's a V-twin so it's torquey. I need to keep it under 5500rpm for 600 miles and they say it really builds power after 6 grand. Relax Mom, I'm not going racing. I saved a bit of the cash for a few ancillary goodies so I'll be adding a bit of farkle here and there. Mostly I need some new gloves and maybe some pants to go with my jacket. As for how I like the bike, I've only ridden it twice. I'll report here and there to let ya'll know. I think I'll love it. I'm sort of getting melancholy for the old Honda though. She's really running good. Transferred the insurance, though. That's all for now. Oh incidentally this bike is sooooo much like my Dad's 1991 Ducati 750 sport. Except it's, you know, a Suzuki.

No comments: