Dream bikes

Continuing on with Red’s questions….

What would your dream bike/bikes look like?

Oooh, good question.  Let’s see, in no particular order…

Engine:  I like engines with personality.   Thumpers are my favorites, closely followed by V-twins.  I’ve never really been a fan of the clockwork-whirring inline 4s…they seem too sterile and boring, I guess.   I like to know that the engine is there and is working and chugging (note: This is probably why I wind up with bikes with thirteen thousand types of mechanical problems….).

So, give me a nice big thumper any day of the week.  (Disclosure: I’ve never ridden a triple and have been told many times that they have personality as well.  So I’m open to suggestion, Triumph!).

Mmmm, big thumper:


Displacement/horsepower/torque:  Honestly, power has never been a biggie for me.  I ride like a grandma and would WAY rather ride a slow bike “fast” (cough, relatively) than a fast bike slow.  I’ve ridden liter bikes and they just aren’t for me, though some of that might be because the physical dimensions on liter bikes tend towards the hulking Germanic instead of the hobbit.   Bottom line:  if the bike can go on the freeway, it’s good enough for me.  Ergonomics are way more interesting to me than displacement for things like long distance touring and riding enjoyment.

If I can happily ride the XT225 to Seattle, you know I’m not a size queen:

Fuel system:  I don’t really have a carb/FI preference for performance reasons.  I’ve owned far more carbureted bikes than FI bikes and have never had an issue.  That said, perhaps my “dream bike” should be FI because otherwise I spend a disproportionate amount of time disassembling my carburetors for really no good reason at all, and I should probably stop doing that.

Hello, my pretties….let me take you apart and mess with your float bowls….

Dimensions:  So this is where everything falls apart in a big crater of smoke and fire.   Not terribly surprisingly, I would like to ride a motorcycle that fits me.  Ha ha ha, it is to laugh.  OK, so this is the dream bike and not the reality bike, so we’ll say that my dream bike has ergonomics that lets me reach the ground with the balls of both feet at once (!) at the same time that I can reach the handlebars (!) while leaning forward only slightly (!).  It will also be lightweight (!) and have relatively narrow handlebars (!) so that my arms don’t feel like I’m riding an ape hanger.

Actually, all snark aside, Kawasaki makes surprisingly ergonomic bikes for hobbits; both the Z750S and Ninjette fit me very well.  I did wind up lowering the Z, and both bikes had/have bar risers, but they were very close to perfect after those minor modifications.

Doofy pic that I took for my chiropractor, but you can see the decent ergos!


Aesthetics:  I’ve always been more drawn to the naked/quarter-fairing look than the full-fairing.  The Ninjette is the first fully-faired bike I’ve owned in 12 years and it feels like way too much plastic for me.  I dunno.  It’s growing on me (largely because the rest of the bike is pretty much ideal) but if it had a quarter fairing, I’d be rolling it into the living room instead of leaving it in the garage.

I’m also way attracted to dualsports.  Even if I kind of suck off-road, the adventure look appeals to me (good job, marketing departments!).  I would much rather my bikes be rugged-looking than shiny; even my streetbikes.   I want a bike that looks like I can take it on a gravel road or pull a U-turn in the grass or take it camping out in the middle of nowhere or just not worry about dropping it.   It’s why I’m begrudgingly OK with the unfortunate full fairing of the Ninjette; the older models like mine still look kind of clunky and badass.

Totally sexy:

Still pretty sexy:

Would not kick out of bed for eating crackers:

So, what have we learned?

My dream bike is apparently:

  •  A thumper or, worst case, twin
  •  Fuel injected
  •  Small to mid-range displacement
  •  Rugged/dualsporty

Hrm….maybe a G650GS is worth a look in 2013?


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5 Responses to Dream bikes

  1. Red says:

    Hmm… I’m surprised that you didn’t mention your SV at all. So you don’t care about power/acceleration/torque? While just about everything about the XT makes me grin like an idiot, the lack of power really cuts into it.

    I thought your dream bike would be something out there that you lust for, not the bikes you already own. It roughly matches my thoughts though. There is absolutely no bike out there that makes me drool, partly of course due to the ergonomics you mentioned. It’s a sucky thing.

    • carolyn says:

      Re: the SVS — it’s a good point. The SVS was an awesome bike for me in the sense that it was my first long distance riding bike, etc, but aside from the awesome engine (V-twin!) there was really nothing about it that was good for me. 😉 I wound up in physical therapy more times than I can count because of its ergos. 🙁 To be fair, the pic of the carburetors is of the SVS!

      Yeah, my intent when I first started doing the entry was a bike that’s out there…but when I started going through stuff I actually practically like about motorcycles, I realized that I had those attributes spread across the bikes I’ve owned in the past. Plus, that let me put pictures in the post. 😉

      Like you said, there really isn’t a bike out there that makes me drool. There are parts of different bikes — I like the idea of the Ninja 650R and the looks of the F800GS and etc…but there isn’t one bike that ties everything together for me. Honestly, the closest thing right now is either the Ninjette I already have or the l0w-chassis G650GS.

      • Kim says:

        Reminds me, when you’re back to riding we need a ride swap day. I think the naked SV ergos would be more comfortable for you than the SVS was. Other than needing to adjust the brake lever still, they’re amazingly low-stress IMO. Ironically the thing I don’t like about it so much is the V-twin character (vs. an inline 4).

        I’m probably going to end up looking at the FZ6R in the next year or two, especially if Tim gets his way on some longer rides (although honestly freeway riding with just the little Givi windscreen on the SV has not been that bad). We’ll see.

  2. Red says:

    Also – don’t buy a BMW!!! :'(

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