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Thread: LD Riders not wanted

  1. #21
    Site Supporter Daboo's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Jerry and Dan, I agree with much of what you both wrote. The biggest correction I would make to what Jerry wrote, is that the windshields and saddlebags won't be included again as part of the bike unless you're looking at a Goldwing or equivalent. Why? Because the dealer makes money on those accessories. Honda put a dinky windshield on the NC700X and CTX700 to list it as a feature, but most owners find it is unsatisfactory. Later, the customer will buy a new windshield and the dealership has a chance to make money on both the parts at full retail, and also the labor. That's a revenue stream the manufacturers will protect.

    Perhaps it is because I live in the Pacific North"wet" that I see much the same demographics as Jerry did. Cruiser riders tend to take group rides to the nearest biker bar, which keeps the rides to the 30 minutes he wrote about. "Young" riders seem to fall into three categories. Young and physically fit ride their bicycles to work and back, generally living close by. Some will ride small scooters and probably started with them in college. And some will be the hooligans on their zoom-splats. Few of them will ride long distances. I remember a young guy who rode along from Artist Point back home on his Ducati. He'd leave us and ride ahead for about a half hour till his wrists would give out...then rest till we caught up. I doubt he took any more long day trips after that.

    Commuters are the closest thing to LD Riders I think. They seem to fall primarily into two types of bikes. The dual-sport crowd with the Vstroms and Beemers, and the sport touring bikes. I think both sell well because they have the storage space to put your stuff into for work. The dual-sport crowd gets a good view of the traffic ahead by sitting up high and their suspensions soak up the potholes (aka craters) in the pavement. And many of those bikes get some pretty good gas mileage.

    The sport touring bikes are pretty prevalent among the year-around riders because of the weather protection and again the storage. At some point, you get tired of carrying everything on your back. A sack lunch is one thing. Add a laptop and some papers, and the weight starts adding up. Someone looking at commuting on their motorcycle will see the dual-sport and sport touring riders with their luggage and realize this is not a bad idea. It's lockable. Out of the way. And I can carry a rain suit and some extra layers for when I need it and leave my riding gear there instead of walking into the office with it. The biggest "issue" is see with most sport touring bikes, is they get worse gas mileage than the cars they are riding next to.

    Both kinds of motorcycles get you to and from work comfortably, which is important with commutes of an hour each way being fairly normal.

    Scooter/motorcycles might be a direction for the future. Scooters like the Burgman/Silverwing/Majesty models have some nice fairings to keep the cold and wet off you. There's something nice about arriving at work with dry feet. I rode my Burgman 400 for the past week and it was nice to just dump the laptop backpack into the cavernous underseat trunk it has without worrying about damaging anything...and still have lots of room left over. The seat is comfortable and the weather protection is superb. Now if you could just get a suspension that can handle potholes and freeway expansion joints better...

    The Honda Integra fits that blend of needs probably better than most bikes, especially for the commuter. It's a motorcycle with a true full fairing on the front like a scooter. You get the advantages of the motorcycle suspension and handling and the environment protection of a maxi-scooter. Gas mileage is as good as my Burgman 400 or better. The problem is even with it, there are compromises. You can't get the underseat storage...if you have a 17 inch wheel instead of a 14 inch.

    The nice thing about the "commuter" bikes, is you can use them Monday through Friday to take you to and from work comfortably...and then take them on an all day ride.

    I agree with Dan about time and money being a constraint to riding long distance on a sport touring bike. I'm more of the rider who takes off early on a Saturday morning and then puts in about 10-12 hours riding. Time for a multi-day trip is an issue for me. And I have to balance out my desire to ride, with the vacation time I have and my family. If I was single, it'd be no problem...but I'm coming up on 40 years of marriage this July. I'd kind of like to make it 41 years. So a day trip to see some of the sights we have in the state, satisfies my need and keeps the family happy.

    A problem I see with many motorcycles is the cost. With the economy the way it is, who has $18,000 plus to spend on a "toy"? For that money, I can get a car that will get the same gas mileage and do it with a lot more comfort. The motorcycle manufacturers priced themselves out of the market with the "car-sized" engines that require traction control to keep the bike from spinning out of control when the new owner is in the parking lot still. The technology is nice, but bloated for what motorcycling used to be.

    Honda has come out with the 700cc models with a low initial cost to try getting new sales. Yamaha did some of that with their new motorcycles, giving you some great bikes with a low cost. I think the other manufacturers will do much the same. Some of the hottest sellers right now in the dealerships are the 250-300 cc motorcycles. Why? Because they give you what motorcycling used to be about. Cheap fun enjoyment.

    Chris
    Ebenezer - 2011 Honda NT700V
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  2. #22
    Site Supporter junglejim's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLdr1 View Post
    Why do I have to ride more than 500 miles in a day to be a "LD" rider? Who set that "rule"?
    I agree that we don't always use the right units of measure. Long days in the saddle might be 500+ miles. But I'be spent long days that yielded maybe only 350 to 400 or so miles on some of the best roads for riding. I'd much rather average 40 mph to 50 mph on high quality roads that average 70 mph on the Interstate. I don't mind jumping to the freeway for an hour of two (or even a day or two) in order to get somewhere expeditiously or to circumvent large cities. It is practical. Crossing the plains states isn't very exciting on much of any road I've found, and I think I've tried most of them from Canada to Nebraska. But for most riding I prefer the rural two lane roads.

    I guess that translates to quality over quantity for me. I'll take my units of measure in days or hours and pleasure. But for those who want to maximize their fuel consumption and tire wear the 500 - 800 mile interstate days work well.

    I use my bike for errands and trips in the summer. Usually it was only one or two trips per year, but last year I squeezed in 4 trips due to retirement. I don't fit the stereotype either.

  3. #23
    Site Supporter Coyote Chris's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Good article in the Spokesman Review today about this very topic due to the approach of the Spokane Motorcycle show. Some titbits
    1. 68 percent of those attending will be over 40, mostly boomers, making 40-75 thousand a year, with a quarter making over 75 grand.
    2. "Realistically, there is no replacing white baby boomer men" a Forbes article says, "and this means a very rough decade ahead for Harley Davison"
    3. The number of American Men aged 40-49 is set to decline through the early 2020s
    4. Boomers are the largest, wealthiest generation in American History.
    5. Look for Harley to target younger men, non- Caucasian men and women.
    2010 NT700v, "Spanish Dancer" 2003 Kawasaki C10, "La Patrona"

  4. #24
    Site Supporter Coyote Chris's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Took the words right out of my mouth....I still love my C10 but I am still very careful in parking lots, especially when it is loaded for touring....when I got my NT, it was wonderful! But I am still careful at slow speeds....
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Tarman View Post
    The NT may be a bit top-heavy. My previous point of reference was a '99 Kawasaki Concours. The NT is positively dainty compared to the C10.

  5. #25
    Moderator Phil Tarman's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Since I bought my first bike, that old '83 Silverwing, I've used my bikes as commuters (even though my commute wasn't very long until this year). I always got better mileage on my sport-touring Concours and my sport-touring NT700V than most of the cars around me. I had room to carry books, my computer, clothes...almost anything I wanted or needed to carry.

    I have also managed to get at least one long trip in every year since the year Joanne and I got married ('99). While I had the two Concours, those rides were usually to the Concours Owners Group National Rallies. I rode to Brian Head, UT; Mountain Home, AR; Klamath Falls, OR; Missoula, MT; Montrose, CO; Prince George, BC, and Hyder, AK; Centralia, WA; Canaan Valley State Park, WV; Fontana Village, NC; Hill City, SD; Tomah, WI; and then back to Hill City, and to Spearfish on my NT. And then, there was the Epic Ride last year.

    I had four weeks of vacation each year, which is more than most people get. Joanne had two weeks for the first six years we were married, but since then she's had three. She likes to go visit her sisters in Wichita who both have health issues. We usually have spent a week of vacation time together each year, but she loves to have me get out of town. I consider myself a long distance rider, but most of my days average around 400 miles when I'm on a long trip. Sometimes I'll pop a 6-800 mile ride in, but those Iron Butt Rides aren't for traveling. They are for earning a certificated of completion for one of the IBA certificated rides.

    If I wasn't so gimpy, there would be more sport-touring bikes I'd consider, including the Triumph Trophy like Dan rides, or the FJR (especially the new ones that have a cruise control), and I might consider the Ninja 1000, even though it's got a chain.

    But I'm still pulling for someone to come out with another mid-sized sport-tourer. It feels to me as if Yamaha might be the most likely, given their copyright of the FJ900 (or was it FJR900?) (or was it both?).

    I enjoy the slab but not for day after day. I also enjoy two-lane backroads, especially in the western states and across the Great Plains. Especially Nebraska and Kansas. (Jim, I like 'em both if I'm not on I-70 or I-80.)

    This doesn't have to turn into one of those deals where we quibble about what of riders we are or try to assign higher degrees of merit to some when we compare them with others.

    If you ride, you're my sister or brother. Whether you appreciate what I choose to do and the bike I choose to do it on or not.
    Phil Tarman
    Greeley, CO
    NT700VA 2010 SN #0079 -- "Dudley" -- 86,000+ Miles
    IBA # 5811: SS1000(X2), BB1500
    2013 Four Corners Tour Finisher # 70
    Read about the "Epic Ride" at: www.ptarman1.com


  6. #26
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    If you ride, you're my sister or brother. Whether you appreciate what I choose to do and the bike I choose to do it on or not.

    This thread has gotten very interesting, and was taken waaay more serious than it was meant to be. I have been riding an average of one day a week this entire winter and it has me climbing the walls. On another more opinionated forum, during the winter months, long treads go on and on about the best oil, car tires on motorcycles, the best touring bike, the best auxiliary lights, tires, gps(s), riding gear and a host of other themes. In fun I thought I would throw out a bunch of presumptions, stereo types, and other controversial statements in jest, to show the fruitlessness of anyone trying to define motorcycle reality by their likes or dislikes. It has occur to me, however, that no one here knows me or my style of humor, so I apologize if anyone was offended. I have my own likes and dislikes on various motorcycle themes, but they are just that and I rarely ever stated them. My general feeling is reflected in "Phil's" highlighted statement. I wave at everyone on a bike/scoot when riding. Umm except during Bike Week going down I-95.
    Jerome - Philadelphia, PA
    IBA # 32785
    NT700V 2010 - Red, ~ 32,000 miles, Yamaha Majesty 43k

  7. #27
    coaster's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    You guys are really getting into it, just take what you got and go for a ride.
    Roy Cope

    All Bikes

  8. #28
    Site Supporter Daboo's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by mungojerry View Post
    ...about the best oil, car tires on motorcycles...
    Now that you've brought it up...what is the best oil???

    And can you go to the darkside on a NT?



    Chris

  9. #29
    Moderator RedLdr1's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    And can you go to the darkside on a NT?
    Who said you aren't already on the "Dark Side" on a NT?
    Wayne

  10. #30
    Rider Warren's Avatar
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    Re: LD Riders not wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Now that you've brought it up...what is the best oil???

    And can you go to the darkside on a NT?



    Chris
    The answer is none and no
    Warren
    2010 NT700V ABS Silver, #0225, "Arcee"
    1977 Yamaha XS650 (Sold)

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