T Nation

What Kind of Motorcycle?


gonna get a bike, have been riding a nighthawk 250, would like something with a little more kick, thinking 650-750...

Like the looks of sport bikes, but dont like the uncomfortable position, maybe a sport tourer??? problem is i aint rich, looking for something reasonbly priced...

friends who ride suggested for the above mix a bmw, but they arent cheap of abundent used in my area. any help would be appreciated.


these are some options:

suzuki sv650/sv650s: 645cc v-twin

yamaha fz6: 599cc i-4


There are lots of great Japanese sport-touring bikes. BMW makes really nice bikes, but yes they're spendy.

It sounds like you want a used bike. A Kawasaki ZZR 600, Z750, older ZX6 or ZX7. Or a Suzuki Bandit 600, SV650, etc. All great bikes. There are a bunch of Bandits around with a ton of spare parts. It's worth checking into.


dude. do the right thing. by a '69-72 triumph bonnie. fairly cheap. look great with a bolt on rigid rear section with 4 inch stretch, stock rake. do the right thing here buddy, come on. seriously, do it.


Need4speed mentioned some good options. Go with a used japanese standard sport if comfort and price are an issue. the honda 599, Yamaha fz6, suzuki sv650 are all great options and can be picked up fairly cheap. If you want one of the best all around bikes ever produced, look for a late 80's or early 90's Yamah fj 1100 or 1200. You can pick them up for a couple grand and they are still an excellent sport touring bike.


look into a Buell XB9S or XB12S. street-fighter styling, more upright seating position (higher bars, longer footpegs)


I have a Ducati Monster 900 and love it, BUT can understand that some people find it less comfortable. I'd recommend it to anybody, but at the same time, I'd recommend for many a Honda Interceptor, a wonderfully built bike, it just freaking rocks. Great power, comfortable seating, sporty looks, and you don't quite look like some idiot on a damn gixxer (in memphis, apparently that is the bike of choice.) Everybody thinks they have a " 'busa " - Freakin obnoxious.

That said, if I didn't ride a Ducati, i'd get on a Honda in an instant, they will last forever, practically indestructible. They also don't look like what everybody else in the world seems to have (yamaha or suzuki) and the price is absolutely right.


If you could get into the BMW crowd, I'd go out of my way to do it, the riding clubs are abundant and it always seems like they are the most hardcore group. Rain/Snow/Cold/Hot, those guys ride.

Me? Warm and sunny. or Hot and Sunny.

December-February riding? Dream on, but those guys do it, and in groups, it is impressive. And the bikes look gorgeous.

For $800 bucks you can get yourself into their standard bicycle. As in, the one that you pedal.


Yamaha V-max, or HD Sportster or HD VROD. All sporty, comfortable and have power.


first of all when you post put down the right info, u need to specify ur size, and build, and price range.

i've been riding for a little over 10 years, had dirt bikes and street bikes. both are great, what ever you do think 1st level of confort, if ur not confortable its a pain in the ass no matter hwo much fun it is. thats why i asked about size and build, theres no thing dumber then watching a 5'5" 250 lbs fatso riding a CBR down the freeway, he's wider then a freaking car.

post ur price range and location and i can help.


If you want a cheap twin you cant go wrong with old XS 650 yamaha or KZ 750 Kawasaki twin.Good cheap 4 cyl.XS 11 yamaha,fun to ride and when jetted right have the roll on torque of a harley,My buddy had over 200,000 miles on his when he sold it ,and it ran fine.


I've been riding a Kawasaki Vulcan 750. Comfortable. Powerful enough for a novice. It was my first bike. By the way, I'm thinking of selling it this fall. Where do you live?


I have an 86 Honda Magna 700 that I just friggin love; very smooth very quick off the line but I wouldn't take it on a long ass haul.

I had a 2000 BMW 1100RT that I took from Ohio through Sturgis and into Wyoming. If you're gonna take a longgggg trip you can't beat it but I wouldn't buy one for just riding around the state. It was also a different ride than I was used to. Pulled a little to one side because of the engine mounting. I'm not dissing it by any means, I went 4200 on that sucker in 10 days up over the continental divide and was as comfortable as hell!

Point is look and look and research and test-ride and get what YOU like. You'll love pretty much anything with more power =).


Triumph Speed Triple...great 'naked bike' It is a similar design to the ducati monster...fast, fun to ride, more upright and tons of power.


It appears that there are some great suggestions of bike. I assume that 90% of them would be out of the price range you would like to be in.

I started on a Honda nighthawk 650sc. It was a great bike. I purchased it for 450 put 200 in to it and rode it for 2 years with no problems. The 650 motor had plenty of power and the riding position was comfortable. I still have it in my garage. I can't bear to part with it.

I then went in to a 98 Yamaha yzf600r. Another great bike, had the power (after some mods), sport bike styling and performance but a more comfortable ride. My ass was not above my elbows on it. I rode with guys on R6's, CBRs and GSXRs. I never had problems keeping up. A good used one will run about 3000.

I did eventually trade it in on a 96 Kawasaki 800 classic. I love the Kawasaki. It is very comfortable to ride. I commute 50mi. a day on it and love every minute. You can get in to one for about 3500.00.

I understand being on a budget. The wife would only let me get a bike if I could pay cash for it. That is why I started with the Honda.

No matter what you ride, the only important thing is that you are riding.

Keep the rubber side down



What will you use it for? If you're gonna use it as a commuter, a standard is still the best way to go. For the occassional weekend rides, a sport fourer or a sport is alright. My favorite bikes would be a HOnda CBR fireblade Kawasaki ZX 7 A Yamaha Fazer and a HOnda VFR. The Honda Project big one is also one nice muscle bike.