December 28, 2010
Filed under Rider Magazine Blog
Still full of Christmas spirit (and with monthly deadlines behind me), I’ve been thinking about my dream motorcycles. Here are my faves from the list of touring/sport-touring, cruiser, sport and dual-sport motorcycles. First off, my Dream Garage would not have all the clutter and boxes that’s currently filling it, and I’d have a garage just for motorcycles.
Touring/Sport Touring: Kawasaki Concours 14. Last August Road Test Editor Greg, his brother Paul, photographer Rich Cox and I headed out on a “Battle of the Sport Baggers” and I got to put a lot of miles on the Concours. The seat is among the most comfy of any motorcycle I’ve ridden, the windscreen does a great job keeping my helmet from bobbing around and seating is upright so there’s no pressure resting on my wrists or shoulders. I could ride all day in comfort on this bike. Plus, it has roomy saddlebags to hold lots of stuff.
Cruiser: Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail. I rode the Softail through three states back in September, and even though I didn’t put on more than 100 miles each day, the relaxed seating position gets two thumbs up. The passenger seat also offers some lumbar support and the floorboards are great because they don’t lock my feet into one outstretched position.
Sportbike: BMW S 1000 RR. Even though I’ve never actually ridden this bike and, truth be told, I haven’t even sat on one before, I’m quite enamored by the looks of it. Plus, freelancer Kevin Ash’s bubbling review of it back in our March 2010 issue made it sound like a fabulous bike. And it’s just different.
Dual-Sport: Suzuki DR-Z400…no, Kawasaki KLR 650. Hmmm. Can I pick both? It’s my blog so I’m going to say yes since I’m dreaming anyway and money isn’t a consideration. And my Dream Garage has endless space for motorcycles. I haven’t ridden the DR-Z in a while but from what I can remember it’s a lightweight bike that easily transitioned from pavement to dirt. I took a RawHyde Adventures off-road class on the KLR, and even though it’s got a tall seat, I did pretty well maneuvering around trees, doing figure 8s and riding over logs. Both are great bikes for exploring off-road.
One last bike I’d like to have back in my garage would be my 1990 Honda CBR600 that I sold when I bought my Kawasaki ZX-12. Selling it seemed reasonable at the time…my personal bike doesn’t get that many miles on the tires since I spend a lot of time on test bikes, and why pay insurance on two motorcycles when they sit around a lot? However, that CBR was a great bike! It had a more upright seating position than the CBR600s of today and was more comfortable in my opinion. Plus, it would sit neglected for long periods of time and then start right up (OK, it had to be bump started a few times), but it was a good, reliable bike.
Of course, these picks could all change by next month since there are so many great bikes out there….