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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Where Did You End Up? – MD Reader Responses, Part 3

Here is the final installment of our reader responses to the “Where did you end up” question posed in our article dated July 13, 2005. You will see part one of our reader responses here, and part two here. In total, we received over 550 responses. Thanks again to our readers for taking the time to provide this interesting information.

  • I’m certainly getting near the end part at 67. I always like to experience different bikes and over the last ten years I’ve had an R1, 998, Hayabusa, SV650, ZZR1200, and Kawasaki W650. I don’t ride fast but I like bikes that have that certain potential.

    Looking forward I don’t have any urge left for the fast bikes. Lower displacement, light weight, and upright ergonomics are starting to creep on to my spec sheet. The SV650 seem like a bike that can be easily ridden into the golden years. I like the SV so much that I’m going to trade it for a DL 650 which is little more comfortable but retains all the good features of the SV.

  • Not sure i meet your criteria for a “mature” rider… i’ve been riding for 20 years. I’ve rented a wide variety of bikes, including the Aprilia Futura, BMW R1100S, BMW R1150RS, and Honda VFR800. But the only bike i’ve ever owned is the bike i fell in love with as a teenager and bought with the money i’d saved after three summers of working for $4.25 an hour… a 1985 Kawasaki Ninja 600. I bought it new for a bit over $3000, and it’s every bit as fun today as it was then. My riding style and protective gear have changed, but my bike hasn’t. I guess you could say i ended up right where i started!

  • I went from sportbike, in my teen years, to cruiser in my late 30’s, followed by another sportbike, ended up with a dual-sport, (early 40’s)

    p.s. I miss the sportbikes, but, i’m very happy with my KLX400.

  • I have had 14 motorcycles in my life, I am now almost 46 yr.’s old, and I have a Suzuki 1200 Bandit. It has what I most want in a bike that most of my previous bikes did not: comfort (roomy, sit-up riding position, wide seat, footpegs in perfect position), low-end torque (as opposed to a peaky powertrain), you can see the engine, you can work on the engine (valve adjustment), it has a windshield, decent gas mileage (43-44 for me) a touch of attitude. That said, I would love to get a V-Strom, and probably will as my next bike. (but I’ll keep my old Bandit) I have 34k on this one and commute to work year round (50 mile round trip) I live in Chandler, Arizona. I rode it today and yesterday when it hit 114* F. Did I mention the reliability of my bike? It has never been into the shop for anything except routine main. or elective work. I hope I answered your question.

  • Hi. I’ve been riding since I was 13, and I’m 45 now. I’ve mostly had standards or dual-purpose bikes and three more sporting bikes.
    A couple of years ago, I noticed that my sport-touring Suzuki was not fun to ride for very long despite various aftermarket fix-it attempts.
    So now I have three 2003 motorcycles–a ZRX1200, a naked SV650, and an EX250. After finally changing the gearing on the EX250 from 14/45 to 15/42 and also commuting on the thing about 85 miles a day, I have come to love the little thing. It is really fairly smooth at an honest 65mph (indicated is a bit over 70 mph). The riding position doesn’t produce any aches, even on four hour rides. The gas mileage is now a consistent 70 mpg at 65 mph. Tires and chains last a long time. Even on rough roads, the bike is very confidence inspiring at lean angles that seem foolhardy on the ZRX or SV. The thing has a VERY wide riding powerband and that makes riding fun. On the SV or ZRX (or any bike from recent years that I’vw owned), I never needed to apply much throttle or rev very high around town. On such bikes, it is usually a matter of shifting two gears at a time and just loafing along. On the little EX, I can give it some throttle and let it rev from 3 or 4K up to over 6K and it actually takes a little time to do it. And all the while, it makes neat motorcycle sounds. Clean fun, comfort, economy, and never really worrying about the police mean I would not be too upset if circumstances made me get rid of the ZRX and SV. And Kawasaki practically gives these things away.

  • Born 1951
    1999 ’92 CB250
    2000 ’00 ST1100
    2002 ’02 CB750
    2004 ’99 CBR1100XX
    2005 ’01 NSS250
    Not sure if I’ll ever find the perfect bike.

  • A constantly churning garage full of bikes is the risk, if not the hallmark of a mature rider.

  • Been riding since 1982, I have owned 7 bikes. I tend to keep bikes longer than most. I currently own a 1999 BMW F650 that I used for travel and Dual-sport, and 2002 BMW R1150R.
    I love the versatility of the F650, and I like the handling of the
    R-bike on the backroads. I find I put more miles on the F650, though.
    I am thinking of getting down to one bike, but I do not think anyone makes it. My dream bike will have long travel suspension, 750 to 850cc, 2 cylinders, less than 425 lbs.,
    6 gal. of fuel, and the most important great road handling and useable off road, too.
    I am a service manager at a Harley dealer and still just can not understand the cruiser craze. I have put quite a few miles on a Buell XB9 City-Cross actually pretty fun, comfortable, amazing handling, but no room for your gear much less a mature passenger.

  • In 1988, in Panama City Beach, Florida, I bought a moped off of a guy for 50 bucks. The one thing that I thought was cool that it got well over 100MPG. It literally cost nothing to run. I thought “Why drive a big, gas guzzling car when two wheels get it done just fine?” With that, my goal throughout my whole life of riding was to use a bike like a car, not some showpiece I take out on the weekend for pleasure. I sold the moped when I transfered to Virginia a few years later

    My next bike – It was South Carolina, 1991. I was a
    23 year old member of the United States Navy. A guy was selling a 1977 full dress Yamaha XS-750. I had ridden a dirt bike or two and, of course, the moped, but never a street bike This machine was my first real streetbike. But the bike was tired, it needed work, and was comparitively large. I thought the power was ridiculous. The bike could run 100MPH and never break a sweat. I always thought “What the hell do I need this much engine for?” Furthermore, the bike guzzled gas and, as stated before, was an absolute pig. I think it had to weigh at least 600 pounds.

    Because of the “tiredness” of the bike, I sold it for what I had in it and bought another used bike, a 1979 Honda CM400A Hondamatic. Now this bike was cool. It had an automatic 2 speed trans, no clutch, and was light and fun to ride. The top speed was 85 and it would work to get up there but that was just fine with me. But the bike was torture after about 50 miles.
    The seat sucked and the layout was just a little “small” for me. But the bike is still with me, but it’s shoved in a shed in the back yard.

    My next bike was a full dress 1979 CX500, complete with the Windjammer and matching bags. It even had a luggage rack and the leg lowers on the Windjammer. I loved it. It would run the interstate and get over 50MPG. I had folks tell me it was slow, but it would run faster than most of the cars I owned and I enjoyed it. But it still suffered from what I thought were drawbacks, too much power and weight and because of this and the standard trans, it was comparitively difficult to ride.

    Now let me straighten this out before I go on. I can take a 600cc sportbike and ride like a fool. I can
    take a 1500 cruiser out and keep up with anyone. I have been to the MSF beginner and advanced courses and have over 40,000 miles under my belt. But I don’t drive a Porche to work, and I don’t take it on vacation. I don’t drive a Hummer either. I think practicality takes priority when you are using the machine as a commuter. To this day I still think 5 or
    6 gears, a clutch, 500 pounds, and having to balance a large amount of gas between my legs is a complete pain in the arse. I can do it, but I always wondered why I should have to.

    Which brings me to the machine that was about 80% perfect for what I wanted. It took one ride for me to see that a Honda Helix was the absolute sh*t. 70MPH top speed, 65MPG, storage, wind protection, and something that none of the other bikes had, COMFORT!!!
    Now a Helix will get a guy laughed at in some circles, but all I wanted was something to get me to work so I could park the truck in the summer. Screw anyone who laughs, I am putting tens of thousands of miles a year so SCREW YOU!! (Sorry, I am really getting into this!!)

    Back to my journey to find the perfect machine. I said the Helix was 80%. The other 20% came with my current machine, a 2004 Burgman 400. Now this is the Honda CB750 of our time. Touring, commuting, zig-zag around town, Interstate 80MPH running or economical
    60+MPG backroads, comfort, convenience, ease of operation, NO CHAIN, and storage absolutely everywhere.

    I commute to work 50 miles round trip, taking lunch and other crap and for this the Burgman 400 is perfect. I wish it were as comfortable as the Helix, but I have leared we sometimes cannot have it all.
    But overall, it is the perfect machine for me. It will run any speed I want, even interstates, gets over 60MPG, was cheap to buy, cheap to insure, and cheap to maintain while returning a grin everytime. I am not real sure I remember how to shift or if I even wanna find out.

    I hope you like my tale of finding my version of two wheeled nirvana.

  • OK, been riding since 1961. Owned maybe 30 bikes. Current rides:
    ’01 Ducati 748R (some street riding, trackdays) ’00 Ducati Monster 900S i. e. (long rides in the twisties, did trackdays until I bought the 748) ’90 Suzuki VX800 (City bike, and long trips both)

  • 1990 and 1992 Suzuki VX800.

  • 1993 Suzuki VX 800. It’s a really good all around bike. The VX was some of the last UJM’s ,just
    as the market seemed to split into Cruisers, or Croch Rockets. Neither of which I like. If you
    ever have a VX, and get rid of it, you’ll always be sorry you did.

  • I’m 66yrs old and have had 9 bikes since starting to ride
    at age 63.I’ve owned them all except dirt bikes.I am riding
    a kawasaki drifter 800 at the time.My wife hopes this is the

  • bmw 1200gs

  • I will be 58 years old in a few days. I’ve been riding for 42 years. I’ve owned at least 17 motorcycles
    that included sport bikes, dual sports, a cruiser, sport tourers and a couple of full dressers.

    My current ride is a 2003 Suzuki Burgman 650. I bought it in September of 2003, and today I
    rolled past the 17,000 mile mark on the odometer. I love riding this super scooter. The electronically
    controlled cvt transmission works beautifully, it handles well, and it has the most convenient storage
    of any bike I’ve owned. I sold my 2003 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 this year. Nice bike, but I just wasn’t
    riding it much since I bought the big scooter.

    I’ve added a larger windscreen, a Givi E52 top box, Ikon shocks, Remus exhaust, and I run Pirelli
    tires. It has been fun optimizing it for my tastes, but the basic platform is quite sound. My use ranges
    from 500 mile touring days, to grocery store runs, to spirited rides through the twisties. I have had no
    reliability issues with it. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.

  • I have been riding bikes for over 50 years (first bike 1953 Allstate 125
    Puch) and my current stable is 05 Triumph Sprint ST. (the ultimate sport turing bike, 700mi + days are a piece of cake even at my age) and a Kawasaki W-650 (my cruising time machine, they always ask, what year is it?). I have always preferred sport bikes.

  • At 50 years old, after riding for 32 years, and averaging 12,000 miles per year, I ride a V-Strom 1000 for commuting and road trips, and a KLR 650 for fun and for dual-sport trips.

  • I’ve been riding since 1969 and had many of the typical bikes of the era, 350 Honda, Yamaha R5, Honda 750, Yamaha 650, Kaw KZ1000. Later I worked my way up to what I thought were the ultimate bikes, tourers. I started with an R75, then a Suzuki Cavalcade, Harley Electra Glide and a Goldwing.

    Then a funny thing happened. I got bored with the dressers, excellent machines though they are.
    So i went back more towards, basics, a Sporster, a Ducati 900 SS, a Honda Magna were a few.
    Unfortunately those bikes also had drawbacks when it came to distance riding.
    Where I finally wound up is a mix. I’ve found that there are so many areas of motorcycles I enjoy that one bike isn’t going to do it, so a small fleet seems to be the way to go and it tends to rotate some from time to time.
    Currently I’ve settled on a 2001 HD FXD, 2005 XL1200R, 2005 650 VStrom, 2003 SV1000, 2002 DRZ400e and 1967 Honda CL77.
    In a few months I turn 50 and I’m wrestling with what bike I might acquire about that time. Front runners include a Ducati ST3, R1200GS, GL1800 or perhaps a HD tour bike. At some point I hope that I will still be up for a front line sport bike as this is something I’ve never really had.
    I guess I don’t believe in finding a bike and thinking “this is it, I’ve arrived at THE bike.” Times change, tastes change and that is, in my mind, a wonderful

  • I have been a hard core tour rider since 1977. I have been riding a BMW 1997 BMW f650 for the last 106,000 miles and find it to be the perfect bike for me. It will cruise at 75 all day long or do a mountain pass in the dirt. I can ride back to back 500 mile days forever on my thumper. I don’t know it just works so much better than people that have not tried it would think.

  • I have ridden for about 43 years and have had everything from a 50cc Japanese tidler to my present ride, a Suzuki Bandit 1200S.

    The list includes = a. 50cc Yamaguichi (how many remember those??)
    50cc Minarelli
    Aeromachi 350
    Ducati 450 (had 2 of those)
    BSA Thunderbolt
    Yamaha XS650
    Suzuki GS850
    Suzuki VX800
    Honda Shadow Spirit 750
    Kawasaki Concours
    Suzuki Bandit 1200S

    I find the sport oriented riding position more comfortable for me as compared to the cruiser style position. Will this be my last bike?? Probably not since I don’t intend to quit riding till …..???

  • Having done the motocross stuff years ago and not want to have my parts vibrated off as I have gotten old I have always lean towards something that would be more comfortable.

    But then I thought that a dual sport would be good, ground clearance and racing down country roads.

    So, after a couple of years of no bike I went to my local Suzuki dealer to buy a Vstrom 650. I had used my head, for a change, and researched it out as well as having advised son #2 to buy one but things went very wrong!

    The dealer had a used Burgman 650 sitting outside the door and as I walked in it called to me and I stopped and looked. I tried the Vstrom but that lardy arsed seat kept calling me so I ended up doing a deal on a new 04 Burgman 650.

    It will most likely be the last bike I buy and it ain’t perfect but it sure is fun! I love it when I tell people that I ride a scooter, they laugh and I say “Get your money up!” and then they want to see my scooter, they stop laughing and I haven’t made any money yet!

  • I have been riding for almost 30 years. I have a 2003 SV1000S now, with some modifications to make it more comfortable. I have had nakeds, standards, dual sports and supersports, inline 4s and twins. As for the SV, I like the more street oriented suspension, the good night lighting, the pleasant throb of the twin on the freeway, the way the twin doesnt seem to spin up like the inline 4 and threaten to high side, but still has plenty of thrust in the twisties. I like that there are not 6 bikes just like mine at every stop or corner. I like the sound of the big twin and the near supersport handling. In the end there are always things I really like about the bike I have. When the things I want to fix about it are not fixable, or I just have to have the new technology I start looking at the new ones, but for now I am really happy with the SV. It is one of the best do it all bikes I have ever had.

  • 919

  • I don’t think there is an ultimate bike. I started riding in 1973 on a Honda CB350. Lost 15 years when my children were young. (ex wife’s idea) I have owned over 25 motorcycles and liked them all. It’s riding period that is the ultimate to me. Currently I ride a GL1800 and a Valkyrie with a supercharger. (My new wife likes them both)

  • I am 51, have been riding for 35 years. I own 3 bikes, a ’99 ZRX 1100, an ’88 KLR 650 and a ’96 XR400. I think I have street, dual sport and trail riding covered.

  • well… I hope I haven’t “ended up” anywhere just yet.

    over my years of riding I’ve ranged from cruisers, both metric and american, middle weight dual sports, adventure touring machines, sport bikes, dirt bikes, old bikes, new bikes and so on.

    so far the trip has taken me from my first bike, a 76 KZ400 that was a hand-me-down from my brother-in-law to my first brand new bike purchase of a
    86 Honda 700cc Magna.

    Went from there to a HD FXR, Triumph Speed Triple, TT600, 3 different Tigers.

    03 Kawasakit Z1000 all tricked out with 636 suspension. Ducati M900 Monster, 89 Honda CB1 (should have kept that one)

    There are some others along the way to include some ‘projects’ but the _current_ street ride is a Victory Kingpin

    On the dirt side of the fun the bikes include Honda CR500, CR250, XR350, XR500, DRZ400E dual sported, Husqvarna, TE570, KDX220, TTR125L (all tricked
    out) couple of KTMs with a 200MXC still in the garage sitting next to an 05 Husqvarna TE510 converted to full motard spec for track days, 2002 Husaberg FX470e, and a couple others.

    I certainly hope I’m not done and ‘ending up’ anywhere yet.

    I’ve enjoyed the short run bar hopping poker runs, progressed to some 25k mile years, done a lot of trail riding, some track days at the local road course, and the latest love is dualsport adventures.

    I’ll be 40 next week, I ran my first ever harescramble a few days ago and had a BLAST.

    I’m not done by any stretch… maybe I’ll figure out where I’ll end up in another 30 years or so.

  • i started riding at the age of 11 , i am currently 43. i started with a 100cc hodaka powered steen minicycle. on dirt i have owned the following,1984,1985 kx 125s, 1987,1988, 1990, 1996, 2000, kx 250s. i was thinking i was getting to old for motocross,my son was starting to catch me on his kx 85. then i purchased a 2004 crf 450 , my motocross career has been rejuvinated, and now my son is just keeping up with me on his yz 125. i know it is just a matter of time before he leaves me in the dust. on the street i started out on a 1979 yamaha daytona special that was modified by spec 2, what a machine, wish i still had that bike. then i got a 1985 ninja 600 that made the daytona feel like a dinosaur. next i had a ninja 750 1987 a very nice bike, but then the boys were born and the bikes went on the back burner, then last year i got the idea i would ride to work to beat the los angeles traffic. i bought a used 750 honda vfr , this is really the perfect bike for me, it has the sweetest engine and a great seat and riding position.

  • Worked as a motorcycle mechanic from 1974 till 1989, started teaching and still twist wrenches for a dealer selling the 4 Japanese brands.
    Raced motocross a long time ago, Bultaco 350 Pursang, CR250, KX250. Rode SL350, XR250, H2, 750F, 550Seca, RZ350, 920 chain-drive Virago, KZ1000A, just retired 550GPz, my 21 year old son is riding my 19 year old SRX600.
    Get to ride all the new bikes at work, hate cruisers, sportbikes have become way to fast, SV650 or 650V-Strom look neat, but not neat enough to buy. Wish Yamaha would bring XT X to this country, might be last bike I ever buy.

  • I am a 46 year old male and have been riding for 27 years.I have been thru the Japanese sport bikes, the Goldwing, the Ducati and the rebuild of classic Kawasakis.
    I was looking for something different and did not care for the “Bold New Graphics” most brands offered. I chose a 2003 Buell XB9S and have loved riding it for the last 11K miles. This bike just disappears underneath you and it is close to flying. There was some trepidation about reliability but I have not had any problems. I found the site and have factory & enthusiast support for any questions concerning any topic.

  • I have a 650 Burgman Suzuki this is a great bike. Enough power for touring and long rides great for riding in town also. I ride everyday I can to work on it. I drive my car on the weekends now if I have to. I take the Burgman to the market and can get 6 bags of groceries under the seat storage. This is the best!

  • If you are a “mature” rider, where did you end up? Send us an email with your experience and your final decision about the ultimate bike for you.

    Been riding almost 30 years, Have owned over 50 bikes, currently on a KTM 950 Adventure and think I’ll keep this one a while. It does it all, one sweet machine!

  • VMAX. back to basics, no plastic body work so you can
    see the bike, shaft drive for no maintenance and ergos
    you can live with. now, if yamaha would only give it a
    makeover. if not, the bmw k1200r is looking good.

  • I am presently 53 yrs of age and have owned a motorcycle since 1966. Street bikes all-Yamahas BSA Kawasakis and now a 2000 Honda Valkyrie. Riding this bike I have completely lost the urge to ride anything else.

  • After 40+ years in the saddle not sure where I’m going (right now I ride a Suzuki DL650) but can tell you for sure where I’m not going
    1. no more bent over not even ZRX or 919(had one) must be upright
    2. feet must be flat knees bent 90 degrees not under my ass not in front like on a lazy boy
    3. speed means nothing torque means everything
    4. must have some way of carrying things(Givi trunk on the DL)
    5. wind sucks must have good windshield(Givi on DL650)
    6. can not weigh as much as my wifes Civic ,400-500 lbs ok so Gold Wings out
    7. chains also suck 14,000 miles on DL chain shot changeing it tomorrow have had many shaft bike but all on BMW’s no more of them(don’t get me started on them) for right now the DL is working fine
    9.if all the ass holes quite riding Harleys I might buy another one of them in the furture but not now…….
    10. what I’d like to see is a 3/4 scale Gold wing. or a ST800aka ST1300 but not bent over at all.

  • I’ve been riding street bikes for 30 plus years and have bought about the same number of motorcycles. My favorites have been my Honda CB500, my Yamaha SR500 and my Kawasaki ZRX1200R. But one thing is certain there is no perfect bike and yet I enjoy them all. I currently own a Kymco Super 9, a Burgman 400 and the ZRX and they all are fun machines in their own way. It’s not what you ride, it’s that you ride.

  • 1977 Started on dirt bikes

    1992 First street bike was a 1976 Honda CB550

    1994 Next a 1962 Harley Davidson FL

    2003 Next a 2000 CBR929RR

    2004 A second CBR929RR, a 2001

    Now a 2005 CBR1000RR

    Really dig the sportbikes more so than the heavies. I still own the 1976 Honda.

  • I’ve been riding for 40 years. I don’t think you end up with just one
    bike, at least 4 or 5 is the norm among my friends. There are just
    too many different traits that a motorcycle needs to have. I own motorcycles. Sportbikes and standards, new and classic, but I do not have any “Tourers” or “Cruisers”. Biggest reason is that if I’ve learned anything it’s that when a motorcycle exceeds 500lbs. dry weight it no longer feels and acts like a motorcycle to me. Yes, you do not feel the weight in a straight line once moving, but I can’t feel the weight of my car when it’s moving in a straight line either. However it is still there as the first few spirited corners will tell you. If I had to make a choice of any single bike of mine that give me most of what I want it would come down to a choice between two; the Ducati 750GT and the Suzuki VX 800. Different bikes with different strengths and weaknesses, but for handling, comfort, decent usable power and ease of living with they are both great. Both choices a little unusual, the Ducati 750GT, because of how it works and makes me feel, and the Suzuki VX800 since it is a wonderful bike, once the cheap suspension is upgraded, a shaft drive v-twin naked standard that should still be in production if the company had anyone who understood what they had made.
    Both are real motorcycles not pretenders to wannabe lifestyles. Both work best when riding not when parked. Isn’t that the whole point?

  • Firstly my background….

    Started work in motorcycle industry 1972
    Started racing motocross (scrambles) 1974
    Switched from motocross to roadracing (Superbikes) 1986
    Raced at the Isle of Man TT in 1990
    Rode for race team in Dallas, Texas ‘00/’01

    Raced at Daytona ’00 & ’01 (CCS)
    Finished 19th, 21st & 22nd in Phillip Island World Superbike rounds in ’96 & ‘97
    Currently National Service Manager for the Australian Benelli & Sachs importer
    Have owned over 100 road, trail & motocross machines
    I am 45 years old
    Current bikes…. Honda CR125 ’01 and GSXR1000 K5

  • Aged 47 with 30 plus years experience.A garage full of sportbikes;1983 VF 750 F,1985/6 RG500 Gamma,1999 YZF-R1.And I think I need to obtain
    a Suzuki SV 1000S for my “ultimate ride”.
    That is about as “lame” as I can conceive for now.
    I must admit that the road going “Super Motards” such as the KTM 625 SMC are very appealing though.

  • I am 45 years old. I am divorced with 2 kids. I was in the Marine Corps for 20 years. I bought a brand new 2002 VFR. If I ever go different I will get a BMW K1200 S. I rode one.

  • My first ride was on a Vespa at the age of 8 with my Uncle sitting behind me giving me advice in Italian. Not understanding a word he said I just kept on going and have never stopped loving and riding motorcycles. With the many years of riding comes some aches and pains that nature bestows on most of us and as a result my choices over the past decade have leaned more towards comfort. Unfortunately, comfort did not always come with a grin factor. Today I ride a 2004 Ducati Multistrada. I broke in the cheek pads on my new helmet in record time as I am always smiling when I ride. Believe it or not the ergo’s on the bike fit me just fine. Maybe the fun factor is suppressing the aches? Either way, I ended up on a Multistrada and I love it. It is the perfect “mature” Ducati in the stable.

  • under 500 lbs wet, 2-up riding, comfort, straight up posture, automatic trans, wind protection, 650-850cc4 cylinder, final shaft drive, low center of gravity, low seat 30 in, saddle bags, top case.

  • I’m not sure about finding the perfect bike. For me, my limited vertical keeps me from the Stroms, FJR’s, or FZ-1’s I would probably own. Right now I’m planning to go from a middleweight touring bike to a lighter, narrower bike like the Kawasaki Z750, mostly since I’m approaching 64 years old.

  • Hello, I’ve been riding motorcycles since 1966, I’ve owned over 30 bikes so far. My current rides are an ’03 Sherco 270 Trials, an ’02 Kawasaki ZZR 1200 with bags, and because my trials buddies are too decrepit and gave up two wheels for four, I ride with them on an ’04 Honda 400AT quad.

  • I started with a ’72 Honda CL100. Moved on later to a ’77 TS185. Then to an ’81 TS185. After that, I leaned towards MX, and bought a new ’82 RM250. From there, an ’86 RM250, still into MX riding. In ’91 I bought a new DR350S, and enjoyed the dual sport riding for almost ten years on that bike. In ’00 I bought a YZ426 thinking I would ride MX again. Sold it in less than a year. In early ’02, I bought an XR650R and dual sported it. Great bike, very powerful, but terrible gas mileage. Sold it in March of ’05 and bought a new ’05 DR650SE to get back into the dual sport riding. Love the DR, ride it all the time. But now, I find myself enjoying the street so much, I am planning on getting a new V-strom. I have a friend who has a DL1000, and I got a chance to ride it. I liked it a lot, extremely fun to ride, very potent. The V-strom 1000 seems to be the culmination of my 30+ years of riding. To me, it seems to be the perfect combination of power, handling, comfort, and versatility for the occasional dirt road or trail.

  • I am a mature rider, 56, and have been riding since I was 15 and living in England. My favorite and current bike is a 2001 Valkyrie Interstate.

    However, the beauty of motorcycling is that until you can no longer ride, your “final” decision doesn’t have to be any one bike. I think I’ll reserve my decision for my last day……………….I’ll get back to you.

  • Not possible for one bike to satisfy all needs, just not possible. I currently have a Honda Valkyrie and a 600 Ninja, and I feel totally satisfied after every ride because I have the perfect bike for my mood.

  • I’m 45, been riding for 36 years all on the street (yes, even that young – grew up in Tennessee when the police were more concerned with catching crooks than being “law enforcement” officers). I’ve owned more than 30 bikes, mostly sport bikes. I now only own two – a 1999 BMW1100RT and a 2000 Yamaha YZF600R. The differences are obvious and their usage is predictable. I recently sold my 2002 ZX-12R – it wasn’t being ridden. I have no desire to go fast on the street and I am content with the bikes I own. I still go to the races (Laguna Seca MotoGP was wonderful) and love to read the magazines about the newest/latest/greatest (British bike magazines are superior in that regard), but as for owing one of the newest hardcore sport bikes? What’s the point – they would be wasted on me.

  • At 45 I don’t know how mature I am, but I have had many bikes over the years.
    As of now I am down to one and it does everything I need from commuting to backroad barnstorming to touring–I love it!
    2004 Aprilia Tuono R.

  • I bought a 63 triumph bonneville when I was 20, oh how I wish I would have kept that one.
    The bonney was stock except for mikuni’s, and came with the original amals. I purchased
    the beauty from the original owner, the bike had 800 miles on it, original straight tread rubber
    the works. Oh I forgot to mention “63” was the year I was born and I paid one dollar per mile
    $800 bucks, it hurts just thinking about it.
    The list.
    2- “79” HDs
    1- “68” pan-shovel HD
    1- “95” buell st2 The buell changed everything for me, now I wanted more performance, better brakes, some wind protection, reliability- see next bike.
    1-“96” ZX11 “WOW”
    1 -“99” klr 650
    1- “96” K1100 RS
    1- “01” ZRX 1200………Awesome bike!
    1- “01” klr 650 back again and loved it.
    1- “00” R1150 GS see all of the above- put in blender and frappe for 2 mins. THE BIKE.
    Where did I end up?
    “04” R1150GS and “04” DRZ 400E
    This journey has been expensive, but worth every cent. I no longer lust after new bikes, but more time to ride. Although that K1200R with the blacked out frame and wheels is sweeeeet!

  • ive been riding bikes for years
    progressed from minibikes to crossers, then in my 20s to road bikes thru 250s but only up to 600cc sports, then i started losing my license every couple years (australias tough speeding laws and points system)
    so now in my mid 30s i have gone back to the dirt bike influence
    ive a ktm 640 in hard enduro form, and i use it daily for trips to work or down the trails
    its a lovely bike, and i wont be as likely to get the red mist and venture into jail zone in a matter of seconds, mind you it does encourage wheelies
    great on fuel
    bit hard on tyres and needs lots of love and care and servicing;
    and vibey on the highway

    one day (when i can afford it) i wouldnt mind getting a bmw 1200gs or similar to munch the long distance road trips, as a second vehicle (i never thought id say that – if you asked me about a beemer 5 years ago id have laughed and said something like ‘never buy something so boring’ – but since the intro of bmw motorad into the bike side of their buisiness things seem to be changing, and maybe im just getting old!)
    anyhow thats my current bike situ
    keep up the good work with the daily

  • I ended up with 2 bikes:
    1999 Honda Valkyrie
    1994 Kawasaki KLX 650
    These are the best 2 bikes I have ever owned.
    PS. I also have a 1925 Harley Davidson JD…….

  • I am 47 and have been riding since my first minibike at age 11. I have “ended up” on dual sports. Currently ride a DL1000 V-Strom on the street, a KLR650 for backroads and light duty trails and a street legal KTM 450exc for the rough stuff. This is the ultimate set of bikes for me. If I could own only one bike though, I think it would be the KTM 950 Adventure. The KTM 950 has enough of all three of the above bikes good characteristics to make it a true jack of all trades. Though it most practically replaces the V-strom and the KLR. Way to heavy and bulky to do what that 450exc can do, but the ParisDakar proves it is very capable in the right very brave hands.

  • I am 52, have been riding for 40 years and have owned over 30 bikes of all kinds. My current main bike is a Suzuki DL650. It replaced a R1100GS that replaced a FZ1 that replaced a VFR800 that replaced a Harley FXRS-SP that replaced a Suzuki GS1100E. My dirt bike for the last five years has been a KTM 250EXC.

    For the last 15 years or so I have tried to find a bike I enjoyed riding for commuting, for afternoon rides and for sport-touring. The old Suzuki did a great job but it had a lot of miles on it and I wanted something newer. I tried a Harley because several of my friends rode them but it just didn’t handle or stop well enough and it was not all that comfortable. I really liked the VFR but it was not comfortable enough for touring (it put my hands to sleep on long rides even with Heli-bars). Bought the FZ1 in 2001 and rode it for three years and 20,000 miles. The FZ1 (with a few modifications) was a wonderful all-around street bike but it was just too damn fast, I found myself doing truly stupid things on it on a regular basis. Bought a used R1100GS last year to try out that style of bike. I liked the ergonomics and handling a lot and learned that 70 horsepower is enough power for the real world. Unfortunately the bike was just too top heavy when not moving. I Replaced the BMW this spring with a new DL650 and think I am on to something. It is comfortable, handles well, is light and has a great little motor. So far it has proven to be a good daily commuter and I am confident that with a few modifications it will be a good sport-touring bike as well. I will find out soon enough as I am taking it on a five day 1800 mile trip in a couple of weeks.

  • Hi, I’m writing from Brasil and have been riding since a kid, 29 now. I haven’t had that many bikes, but the ones I did were very special. Today I have two machines representing different ride styles.

    One is a ’99 Cagiva Planet. I don’t really consider it a bike, it is much more like a big miniature. The 30hp 125cc 2-stroke has a narrow powerband, very high rpms, low mileage, hard suspension setup. Like a racing toy with style. At 124kg this bike is perfect to buzz around cars in tight traffic, and the 6-speed will let you go on short trips like the downhill twisties that take me to the beaches. On the way back there is the uphill, 200km round trip. It is like a roller coaster ride therapy.

    But when distance grows and/or Mrs. is coming too, I look to the 4-stroke V-twin ’94 Suzuki VX 800. It has a low speed engine full of torque throughout the rpm band, softer suspensions, and dynamic behavior that can be called a tour-sport bike, also with lots of style. At first it looks like a Bandit, but the engine stands out and resembles a cruiser. It can go from 0-60 in 4 seconds and reaccelerates faster than 750cc sport bikes. I won’t corner with my knees on the ground, but it will scrap the footpegs. The shaft-drive completes the package. Large tank and great mileage scream for long trips. This handling combined with the torquey engine makes one of the best bike concepts I’ve seen. Not to mention mechanical simplicity, it is all DIY.

    I don’t see how I could have both worlds on a single bike. Everytime I think of selling one of them I get afraid of missing it terribly, and I don’t feel there is any other bike to step up to. Buzzing 2-stroke or pumping 4-stroke? Both.

  • First bike GSX250, Second: VTR1000, Third: ZZR600, Forth SV650
    Next bike will be a scooter: V-Max? G-Strider? (A 650 version under 180 Kgs please Mr Suzuki!)
    Need weather protection, suit friendly and girlfriend friendly.
    As with everyone, I require usability, want performance and need safety and convenience.
    CVT and modern tech is almost at the point where we can almost have it all. Bring it on!

  • I am 54 years old and started riding at 12. I’ve had 30 bikes, and ended up with bmw. I have a 94 R1100RS and a 96 R1100RT with the RS being my favorite.

  • I am 73 years young and have been riding a long long time. And a lot of the times with good luck too I might add. My guess is somewhere around 40 years. At this time I am riding a 1994 FXRP. That would be a retired Hardly Davidson police bike. I have had it since 95 and I have 83, 000 miles and it does just fine for me. Have a great day and keep the shiny side up.

  • I probably don’t qualify for the mature rider status (13 years experience), so I’ll include information about my dad…

    Dad- 58 years old, 35 years riding experience.
    Current bike: 2000 Honda ST1100
    Previous bikes: 1984 Honda VF750F Interceptor, CB750, 305 Superhawk.
    Final Ride: Most likely the ST1100 he currently owns, but he’s always admired BMW sport tourers.

    Me- 34 years old, 13 years riding experience.
    Current bike: 1998 Kawasaki ZX-9R.
    Previous bikes: 1987 CBR600F Hurricane, 1984 Yamaha RZ350, 1979 Yamaha YZ400.
    Final Bike: Probably something like a ZX-12R, Hayabusa, or sport tourer
    lighter than Dad’s ST1100…

  • Burgman 650

  • I guess being 62 make me mature? Ha . . . Sport Touring. I currently have a ST-1100 Honda.

  • A girlfriend got me riding motorcycles at age 30.

    My first bike was a 1980 Suzuki GS550L . . I bought it in October of 1980 and spent the winter of 1980 in Norfolk, NE. Call me cheap, but I wanted to get my money’s worth out of that bike – my guideline for riding was a 6am forecast – if they forecast a high of over 30 degrees and dry pavement, then I rode to work. Yeah, I learned about frostbite!

    I traded it in May of 1981 for a GS850G and lived for each new issue of Rider magazine. My first “trip” was from Norfolk, NE to Lafayette, IN – my parents thought I was worried about gas prices and offered to pay the difference in gas if I’d drive the car. I rode the bike. Made that trip twice. Learned how to ride in gravel, sand, water and everything else on the bike.

    In 1983 I sold the GS850 and bought a Suzuki GS1100E . . A red rocket! Was living in Findlay, OH and the girl that started the passion was living in Kalamazoo, MI. Made that trip several times but think she realized that I loved motorcycles more than her.

    In 1986 I hit my sport bike cycle with a 1985 Yamaha FJ100. Made lots of trips and rode it everywhere – Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, West Virginal, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. Wore out the transmission.

    In 1990 I bought a Kawasaki ZX11. . . Well, two of them. Had the first one 3 weeks and someone else decided they wanted it too – lost it at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Enjoyed (SARCASM!!!) my first experience with an insurance adjustor in the process of settling that claim and buying ZX11 number 2. Rode ZX11 #2 about as many places as the FJ1100.

    In 1991 I purchased a “totaled” 1987 Yamaha FZR1000. Put it back together, got it ‘road ready’ and used it as a back-up and spare bike for visitors to ride. First encounter with a race bike disguised by turn-signals and a license plate bracket. No trips longer than 150 miles on it . . Blast to ride on the right roads tho! Sold the FZR to my brother who was tired of trying to ‘keep up’ while riding a GPZ550.

    Moved to Georgia in 1992 and slowed down on the long trips, but trailered the ZX11 back up to OH several years for an annual ride with friends – usually for Mid-Ohio’s Superbike Weekend but also went to California Superbike School there along with trips to West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Lots of 150-250 mile days on the weekends but very few trips around ‘home’. Mostly just ‘cycle -therapy’ rides after work and on weekends.

    In 1999 I added a 1998 Honda VTR1000 (Superhawk). Blast to ride – especially for my ‘cycle-therapy’ rides. No trips on it.

    In 2001 it looked like my motorcycling days were ending – I was developing neurological problems affecting my legs, feet and balance. Sold both bikes . . . The Honda I knew had to go – to easy to wheelie and knew I’d be getting in trouble with it. I still had a fear/respect for the Kaw plus, it was more like an old friend once I sat on it, even with the motor skills problems I was still somewhat comfortable on it. Figured it needed to go tho.

    Later in 2001 I saw my first Yamaha FZ1 . . Realized there was trouble ahead when I saw all of the simple things that I wanted to do to it if I had one. The motor skills problems were identified and under control in 2002 so I bought a 2002 Yamaha FZ1. It will be my last bike . .

    It’s not as comfortable for me as the ZX11, but it’s got the maneuverability of the Superhawk, more useable low-end power than the ZX11 and the trip comfort of the ZX11. . . .

    The neurological problems are going to get worse . . However, having the bike in the garage to ride occasionally has proven to be very strong motivation for maintaining the exercise routine to slow the disease’s progress. Working on it – doing all those things that I wanted to do the first time I saw it – is great mental therapy too.

    Yes, it’s been Ivanized -if you’re familiar with the FZ1 Owners Association you’ll understand that takes it from 120 rear wheel horsepower to ~130 . . 133 in my case and cleans up the power curve very nicely . . It’s got all the grin power of the Superhawk with darned near the same pull of the ZX11 when it’s in heat!. I’ve lowered it to help my reach, replaced the Gawd-awful license plate fender, etc and done some other cosmetic things to illustrate it’s kinship to the R1 but it’s rideable for an old man (55) for longer periods and can hold it’s own in most street riding encounters . . .

    Don’t see another bike in my future.

  • I started on dirt bikes. Latest and only motorcycle is an Aprilia Futura. Its comfortable, good at everything a bike should be good at and distinctive enough to stand out in the crowd.

  • 1st bike: 1967 Triumph Tiger 500cc
    2nd: 1970 Yamaha R-5
    3rd: 1979 Suzuki GS425
    current: 1990 Suzuki VX-800 far & away the best bike I’ve ever owned comfortable riding position increasingly important, torque increasingly valued, sheer acceleration not as critical, ease of maintenance important

  • I’ve loged about 16 years of street riding. To include various Honda’s and Yamaha’s during that trial period. What I have ended up with as the “True” do it all motorcycle is the VFR800. It really is the do it all bike, with enough steam to hang with the racer boy wanabee’s, or set sail on a 3+ day cruise. I frequently think I would like a new bike while sitting in front of the MD website drooling at all the new hardware. Or thumbing through the latest Rag and dreaming about the latest power to weight ratio’s! But once Im out on my trusty VFR hitting the twisties etc. those dreams vanish and I am pleased as punch with where I ended up….

  • 38 years of experience, currently riding about 12,500 miles per year while living in the NE US (IOW’s despite winter layoff)… the bike:
    Aprilia Futura. It has the best combination to date of ergos, hard bags, style, power, handling, passenger accommodations, seat and reliability.
    Any bike I choose MUST have factory hard bags.

    I’m currently looking at a BMW K1200S, but will keep riding the Futura until BMW fixes some things I don’t like.

  • Hi there, Have just over 40 years of riding experience. Have ridden British, German, Eastern Bloc, Japanese and American bikes. Everything from standards, sport/sport tourer, cafe and cruiser, plus sidecar. I still have 4 bikes, but my ultimate ride is my ’98 Honda Valkyrie. Its the bike that does it all. Handles beautifully, smooth and powerful, comfortable for all day riding. I commute with it, tour with it and sometimes just cruise the strip with it.
    With simple maintenance I can expect 300k out of this bike. Its my lifelong “keeper”.

  • Aprilia falco streetfighter.

  • As a 46 year old (mature for sure) motorcylicst with 31 years of riding experience, I have owned
    many different styles of motorcycles. Here is a list of motorcycles I have owned and the years that
    I have owned the:

    OWNED FROM 1975 TO 1979
    1973 Hodaka Combat Wombat

    Purchased this bike used when I was 15 years old, I rode the wheels off of this bike many, many times.
    Riding on dirt taught me how to use the throttle and brakes to control the steering.

    OWNED FROM 1977 TO 1985
    1972 Kawasaki Mach II 350

    This was my first street bike and I quickly learned that the front brake was most important.

    OWNED FROM 1985 TO 1996
    1985 Honda NightHawk 700S

    Purchased new in 1985. This was a great all-around bike.

    OWNED FROM 1986 TO 1996
    1986 Kawasaki ZX600

    Purchased new in 1986 to fulfill my need for speed. Taught me how to use my body position
    as an advantage when cornering.

    OWNED FROM 1997 TO 1998
    1997 Honda Shadow 1100 ACE

    Purchased new in 1997. Was smitten with the retro cruiser look. Disappointing power and

    OWNED FROM 1998 TO 2005
    1998 Honda ST1100

    Purchased new in 1998. By far, the best motorcycle I have owned. Used as a daily commuter
    and for long motorcycle tours. Sold it with 63k miles and it looked and ran like new.

    OWNER FROM 2001 TO 2001
    2001 Honda CBR 600 F4i

    Purchased new in 2001, purchased this bike for track day use only. Great power and handling.
    Unfortunate incident at the track totaled this bike.

    OWNER FROM 2004 TO 2004
    2000 Honda Valkyrie

    Purchased used in 2004, this was my second attempt at cruisers. More power this time but I
    could not tolerate the lack of handling and brakes.

    2004 Yamaha FZ1

    Purchased new in 2004. A great all-around motorcycle. Excellent power, handling and brakes.
    Good ergonomics allows you to keep on riding.

    2000 KTM 520SX

    Purchased used in 2002. An excellent big-single dirt bike used mainly for single track riding.

    1998 Yamaha TZ250

    Purchased used in 2001, this ultimate track bike replaced my ill-fated CBR600. The TZ250 is
    by far the best handling motorcycle I have ever ridden. Used for track days and local races.

    I look foward to reading how others have evolved to their current rides.

  • Mature Rider? I am 46 years old. First ride was a Honda 160 Dream with custom paint when I was 14. Bought a Honda CB650C the year after High School graduation. Had that bike for a number of years. As a Police officer was trained on and rode a Kawasaki Kz1000 Police bike for a couple of years at work. In 1986 I jumped to a Gold Wing Interstate. Kids came along and for a couple of years the Wing gathered dust. Sold the Wing and had no ride for three years. Jump to the year 2001. I had a brief fascination with a V twin. I purchased a new Yamaha V Star 1000 Custom. Nice bike just not big enough for me (I am 6’2 at 250 lbs.). Wandered in to a Honda Dealership and saw a 2001 Valkyrie Standard. Had to have it and did. I have slowly added chrome and accessories. I have the Hondaline windshield, LeatherLyke bags, Ultimate Seat. This is the bike for me. It has all the power, size and features I need. I am not a “poser” and tend to run a whole tank of gas out when I ride. Local short stops are not my riding style. The power cruiser is what I need.

  • I have been riding for 40 years and I have still not found that “just right” motorcycle.
    I own a ZRX1200R now, but it is not THAT just right bike either.
    Previous mounts include all manner of sport bikes. TL, GSXR, FZ, RZ, GS, CB, Goldwing, XL on/off road, etc.
    Maybe I will arrive at a single fave some day.
    Not there yet!

  • Flash and style don’t mean nearly as much as they once did. Functionality is king. I’m riding a used 1987 BMW K100. It was once an LT, but most of the body work is gone. It works well as a commuter bike and for being a tourist with my wife around my state.

  • Guys: After searching for years for the perfect machine, I decided that the key to the present is found in the past. Therefore, I’m shedding all
    those accumulated pretenses and getting naked! Call it a Z1000.

  • Hands down…my BMW R1200CMA. I started on a thrid hand Vespa when I was about 14.Had a Cushman. Yamaha 250 Enduro, Honda Elsinore, a few misc. other bikes. My last bike was a ’98 Triumph Sprint Exec. before I bought the R1200. Still have a highly modified Suzuki SV650.
    Although I love the R1200RT I don’t feel it is as versatile as the R1200. e.g.a quick run to the store for whatever as well as touring.
    Reliability is excellent, it’s comfortable for one or two up, it handles the twisties better than the Triumph. (I remain a Triumph fan and may buy a Bonneville TT100 in the future). Fit and finish are first class…and BMW has discontinued the model.
    And last but not least, there isn’t a million of these bikes on the road. I feel they are a rolling work of art (as seen in the Guggenheim exhibit) and are truly unique.

  • I guess I would qualify as a “mature” rider. I’m 57 and have been riding motorcycles for 44 years. I started with dirt bikes and then did some off road and flat track racing. Over the years, I made the move from dirt only to dual sport, then to street bikes. After spending a lot of time riding the Colorado back roads, I took up road racing.

    Demands on my time, and the realization that crashing hurts more when you are 40+ years old led me to sell my race bikes and go back to street riding.

    Currently, I own two bikes, both of which are slightly out of the mainstream, but fit my riding style quite well. I own a Honda CBR 1100-XX that I use for long distance combat style sport touring. For everything else, I ride a Suzuki TL-1000 R. I like the Honda because it’s low key, smooth, quiet and fast. The Suzuki is just the opposite, It’s a loud flashy V-Twin.

  • I went from touring bikes in the middle 1980’s to open class (ZX1200R) and sports bikes (GSXR 1000). I still have tourng bikes but perfer shorter rides less then 250 miles a day. I have been ridng since 1969.

  • I’m 57 years old and a re-entry rider for the past 12 years. My
    first bike in 1993 was a Suzuki Intuder on which I put 34K over 5
    years. In 1999 I bought a ’90 Suzuki VX800 with 2400 on the clock.
    It now has 48k+ on it and has run flawlessly. I just put 700 miles
    on it over the 4th of July weekend. Those of us who ride VXs call it
    “the sportbike for the adult in you.” It is comfortable, reliable,
    fast enough and, with proper modification, a great handler. I also
    have an ’01 BMW R1150GS that I’ve put 21,000 on since buying it 2
    years ago

  • 28 years of riding on a myriad of machinery here and in Japan while serving in the US Navy….I still keep coming back to the Honda V-Four. Love the Interceptor!

  • After almost 35 years riding, starting at age 7, I am firmly in the BMW camp. After riding a lot for a long time safety and comfort mean more than style and speed — however BMWs newer models don’t sacrifice style or speed. I don’t know if I’ll always buy BMW, but I would probably never buy a bike without:

    fuel injection
    ABS brakes
    neutral riding position
    optional hard bags

    After riding with these luxuries, I can never go back.

    On a seperate note, I’m sad that so few bikes are available with ABS brakes in 2005. ABS simply works and could prevent many accidents if available on more models. Any bike over 500 lbs should definately have it.

  • I’ve been riding for about 40 years. I’ve owned about 100 or so motorcycles (still own about 12) and have ridden many more.

    The evolution of my personal preference boils down to engine configuration — specifically, V-Twins. I’ve owned two stroke singles, twins, triples and fours, and four stroke singles, twins, triples, fours and sixes.

    My current favorite is a Ducati Monster, though I also own a turbocharged Buell S1 that I like a lot. Engine configuration is no guaranty — I’ve owned a big Harley and spent some time on board an RC 51 — didn’t much care for either of them. Riding position matters, but I’ve enjoyed (and continue to
    enjoy) everything from repli-racers to super-motard styled bikes.

    I like the big trailies but am not tall enough to be comfortable on them.

    Probably the closest to a “do it all” bike I’ve ever owned was a KLR 650 — still miss that one!

    Looking forward to seeing if Yamaha will bring in the MT-01 — but wish it didn’t weigh so much.

    Also looking forward to reading the results of your survey!

  • I’ve been riding since 1970. My list of bikes is as follows:

    – BSA Bantam 125
    o A 2-stroke runabout which I fell off a lot
    – BSA C11 250
    o An old four stroke which broke down a lot
    – Suzuki GT250
    o Bought new – very good until a car pulled out in front of me…. Fortunately I bounced, but the bike didn’t and was off the road for 20 weeks waiting for front suspension parts
    – Yamaha RD350LC
    o Fast for its day. The first bike that I didn’t fall off of!
    – Norton Commando 850 Mk2a
    o The fast rubber in those days only lasted 3000 miles, even though the bike had just 58 bhp. The gearbox blew up after I sold it.

    THEN I GOT MARRIED – the long and slippery slope downhill….
    – BMW R80RT
    o Used for long commutes, reliable – scraped the rocker covers every now and then
    – Honda CB550
    o Used for longer commutes, I could never get the valve clearances right
    – Yamaha XS1100
    o Everything in excess, power that the chassis couldn’t handle, weight……
    – Kawasaki KX125
    o I became a bike driving instructor – the pupils rode this, and I rode a
    – Honda CB185
    o Well… it WAS cheap….

    THEN THE CHILDREN LEFT HOME – time to climb that slope again
    – Honda VFR750
    o The first bike where my wife regularly rode pillion. She found that her feet went numb after a while due to vibration in the rear footpegs so it had to go
    – Suzuki RF900
    o Great bike – easy to maintain, but after a while it wasn’t fast enough for me as I was getting the need for (more) speed. The wife loved it….
    – Yamaha FZR1000 with Dynojet/K&N/Sebring exhaust – 139 rear wheel BHP
    o Fast, but the wife didn’t want to get on it – she found it too hairy and scary. I had my only accident since the GT250, caused by hay on the road….
    – Suzuki RF900 (again)
    o Eventually a later RF900 arrived – wife happy, I could live with it, but I kept smiling as I had a CUNNING PLAN….

    – but after 9 months SHE needed more speed, so she got the RF900 and I got……
    o In comparison with its litre-class competitors of the same age, this bike has torque all the time, power when I want it AND NO PILLION SEAT! For my weight the handling is great on stock settings and Michelin Pilot Powers keep everything anchored and pointing in the right direction all the time. Would I trade it in? Well maybe, but only for a later model Gixxer1000.

  • As a long time rider ( 35+ years), I see a Goldwing 1800 as my only option right now.
    I can ride the wife or not, tour the country side with extra clothes and a cooler.
    I can listen to the radio on the boring parts of the roads and talk to other bikers on the
    ride. I’m 45 years young.

    As I’m still competing in off-road competition street riding can be very boring.
    We ride thru the woods faster than most ppl cruise around on the straight aways.
    I say if you went farther than a half mile without a curve your on the wrong road.

    With the Goldwing I’m ready to ride when my sportbikes buddies are getting blood back
    into there hands and legs. With my cruiser buddies, it’s there butt thats sore from
    sitting legs first. My “trailies” buddies go slower then I do on the rough pavement.
    They talk a good game about dirt roads but never go near them.

    If there was no 1800 Goldwing I would ride a ST1300. I would not ride a 1500 Goldwing.
    I does not handle good to me. Many other bikes I’ve owned never gave me a feeling
    I get from the wing. ( wind protection, torque,hp, smooth suspension, acurate steering,
    tunes, comfort)

  • I’m 48 years old and have been riding since I was a teen. I had the usual 10 year hiatus and got back to riding in 1998.

    I started out as a teen on dirt bikes and also had a BMW R90/6 in my 20s.
    I returned to riding in 1998 on a used Honda XR650L but was not altogether happy since I discovered that are no trails within comfortable riding distance of Seattle. In 1999 I bought a Hayabusa. Wow! That same year I did a CLASS school and became a track junkie. Eventually I traded the Busa for a new 02 RC51 and also sold the XR650L. I put a lot of well spent money into suspension and other upgrades for the RC51 and was very happy with the bike.
    Then I was hit by a car and escaped without serious injury(Thanks Aerostich,Shoei,Held, and Daytona boots!), but the bike was totaled including holed engine cases. I bought it back from insurance, installed a replacement engine, and rebuilt the rest of the bike for track only. After being hit I vowed not to ride on the street anymore. That lasted about 4 months. Then I decided to find an economical versatile bike for weekend riding. I ended up with a used 03 DL1000 V-Strom. After 6 months I am very happy with the Strom. It’s ideal for long rides but still more than capable for dirt roads as well as being a decent bike(with BT-020s) though the curves. I got the bike for $6500 with a full set of Givi bags, centerstand, Powercommander, and stiffer fork springs. After the usual set of windscreens I settled on an MP Cycledesigns screen. I guess the V-Strom is a logical choice for a “mature” rider. Still I do miss having a sport bike on the street. My RC51 is a GREAT bike and still loads of fun on the track. The “pace” on the street on my Strom is quite a bit off what the same pace would be on my RC. That may be a plus though since something like the Strom keeps me out of trouble more than a pure sport bike.

  • Most of my friends / riding partners and I have gone from sport bikes or sport touring bikes to “adventure touring” bikes (that is a better name than “tall trailies”. Tigers, GS’s, VStroms, and even a Multistrada are the bikes of choice. We ride in the mountains of NC, GA and TN and these bikes are fast, comfortable, great handling and carry all our stuff.

    I own a 2001 Tiger and in 4 years and have ridden more miles than I did on my VFR. The perfect bike for me has not been built, but I hope the Adventure Touring segment will continue to grow and the manufacturers will put R & D into them.

    Keep up the good work.

  • The (My) Ultimate Bike ended being a 2000 Honda Valkyrie Interstate (I/S). I have owned and ridden everything from old trail bikes in the 70s up to and including Honda Goldwings (this means I’ve owned Honda(2), Yamaha(4), Kawasaki(2), Harley(1), BSA (1), Triumph(1)). Comfort, performance, reliability and just down right good looking is the Valkyrie. I participate on the VRCC BBS and there are many who just don’t understand why Honda let the old Valkyrie out to pasture and started creating the Rune. The Rune was a major achievement,a truly customized motorcycle to be produce in mass as they did but they left a lot of folks in the cold (If only Joe Boyd was still here). It a shame I won’t be able to upgrade. And Honda isn’t willing to listen. Its all about the bottom line and returning investment dollars to share holders (greed). Bot! tom line is I anticipate the Valkyrie will be the last bike I will purchase. There are many riders with Valkyries which have more than 100K miles on them and several have broken the 200K mile barrier. There’s alot to be said about the Valkyrie…Poor Honda, they’re missing the boat…They is a real following for this machines…I don’t understand the fascination with the V-Twins (I also own a Harley Softail that I’m trying to sell)…must be for folks who only ride locally, very few long distance trips…If you haven’t ridden a Valkyrie, go ride one…You’ll never regret it…

  • Well, to start with, I have been riding on the street for over thirty five years and have owned many motorcycles. I think the last count is somewhere around thirty or so. And during the Dot Com boom, I was able to aquire pretty much anything I wanted. I have had fourteen new morocycles since ’93 in my quest to find exactly the right morotcycle for all the riding I do. And now at age forty nine, I find that one bike is just not sufficient forr all riding. While there have been many bikes that I was very happy with, none combined the handling of a sport bike with the comfort of a touring bike. The versatility of a DP bike with long range weather protection. Or the power of a super sport with long range luggage capacity.
    You simply need more than one bike. I have three at this time, a Gixxer 1000 and TL1000 for the sport and track time activities from both the inline four and v-twin perspective, and an FJR1300 for the commuter and road trip duties. I can see adding a something like an FZ1000 for a more zippy commute tool as well as a more comfotable street weapon with a few mods.
    In any case, because of more specialization in motorcycle models, the UJM is pretty much a thing of the past, though there are some indications that manufacturers are re-entering the more universal motorcycle mindset in an attempt to reach a broader audience.

  • A BMW boxer engine is hard to dispute. Which flavor and configuration just depends on what part of the world you feel like conquering that day. Rock solid, great torque and soul driving from within. What more can I say!!

  • Hi, Neil here from Boston. 44. Computer Engineer. Started riding at age 13 in the dirt. Here are the bike I’ve owned

    1974 – Kami 80 – two stroke dirtbike similar to Hodaka
    1976 – Yamaha TY250 trials
    1999 – ’82 Honda CB650 – 3000 miles ridden
    2000 – ’96 Honda VFR 750 – 15,000 miles
    2002 – 2000 Kawasaki ZR-7 – 3000 miles
    2003 – Honda Nighthawk 750 – 10,000 miles
    2005 – 2000 Buell M2 – 700 miles
    2005 – Yamaha FZ1 – presently have 3000 miles since April

    The FZ1 has fully adjustible suspension, a great motor, a comfy riding position, everything works well, nice for longer rides, and fits into a budget that includes family, mortgage, car, a dab of credit and 60K/yr income. I like the FZ. Would get a Duc Multistrada if I had money to burn.

  • I’m 43 years old and have been riding since I was 8. My current bike is a Yamaha Road Star Warrior…a great bike but I’m not sure about being the ultimate bike. Since I am a multipurpose kid of dude, ultimately I’d like to get a KTM adventure.

  • Well, define “mature”. I’ve been riding street since 1986.

    1) 1987 Yamaha Radian traded to:

    2) 1994 Honda GL1500SE sold in 1997

    3) 2000 Triumph Sprint RS and I race a 1996 Honda RS125

    Settle? Can’t say that I will ever settle. Motorcycling is in the blood. I’d like a Goldwing again someday, but I’d also like a liter sport bike with plenty of HP. I also love the track and track days. So unless my body won’t handle it anymore I’d have to say I’ll settle for three bikes

    1) Goldwing for casual touring

    2) Sport bike for fun and track days

    3) Dirt to play with my kids.

  • Back in 1969 I started riding motorcycles and have been at it ever since. Over the years I have owned and ridden bikes by:Honda, JAWA, MZ, Ducati, Harley Davidson, BMW, and Suzuki. My BMW K12LTc is getting to be a bit much to handle in the garage and parking lot. The “voting age” BMW R80RT could use better brakes. The Buell S3T is simply too unreliable. The BMW 650 single is almost too tall, though I enjoy it immensely. The bike I ride the most is the Suzuki Burgman 650. I like the ease of mounting and dismounting, the engine smoothness, the locking storage, the guarantee that I will always be in the right gear when exiting a corner, and the brakes. This might turn out to be my “last bike” since I can’t come up with one that I would like better and until I do, I will stay with my Burgman 650.

  • am a 43-year old male who has been riding for 22 years. Over the years, I have had three Japanese bikes, four Triumphs, four BMWs, and three Harleys. I am presently on my 14th motorcycle, a 2005 HD Road King FLHRI.

  • I don’t know if at forty-three I qualify as a “mature rider”. But I have ridden for thirty-seven of those years so perhaps I got a head start.

    What I have settled on is a CR250 for my short range off-road work. And a KTM 525 EXC for my general non-racing off-road unit for its longer range and electric start.

    I took up Observed Trials a couple of years ago (Gas Gas TXT280PRO) for the great venues, excellent events, and wonderful people.

    For a street bike I built a XR650R Supermoto in Y2K. I’m a dirt biker first and foremost and even a pretty wonderful sport bike seemed so big and bulky after riding such smaller and lighter bikes. The big thumper replaced a string of Yamaha, Ducati, KTM, and Husqvarna sportbikes and dual purpose rigs. Rather than having a sportbike and dual sport to store and maintain a supermoto makes my life a whole lot easier.

    I have recently married. So the wife, who refuses to ride a street bike and only just started riding dirt, requested a two up rig. I gave her free reign to pick out a bike. She chose a Ducati Multistrada. I find it to be a pretty good choice, it has dirt bike ergos for the most part and responds well to off-road techniques while providing a sportbike-like platform.

    Living in Minnesota it’s nice to have a bike that isn’t totally allergic to gravel roads. The Multistrada is fairly competent on gravel roads for a bike that’s so “heavy”.

  • R1200gs after owning the 1100, and 1150gs. Backed up with a KLR 650 for the waaaaay out back. Now 48 riding since 14. 15 bikes owned.

  • I started riding motorcycles at age 11(1975!). I started on dirtbikes, ala:Suzuki TM100. I rode dirtbikes through my teens, and started dabbling in small displacement streetbikes(Yamaha Exciter), and an enduro or two. After High School, I entered the Armed Forces, and started going all streetbike. First came Standards, then Cruisers.

    Here’s the ‘list’:
    1. ’74 Suzuki TM100 (stolen!)
    2. ’76 Yamaha 175 Enduro (sold)
    3. ’76 Yamaha Exciter (crashed/sold)
    4. ’78 Suzuki GS400C (sold)
    5. ’86 Suzuki Intruder 700 (crashed/sold) 6. ’84 Honda Shadow 700 (sold) 7. ’82 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza (sold – damnit!) 8. ’80 Honda CBX (will always have!) 9. ’74 Kawasaki S2 triple (sold) 10. ’85 Yamaha XT600 (sold) 11. ’91 Ducati 907ie (traded buddy/still ride) 12. ’85 Honda Sabre 750 (traded for CBX parts!) 13. ’98 Buell S1W (crashed/traded) 14. ’96 Buell S1 (Sold!) 15. ’82 Honda CBX (sold to friend) 16. ’94 Yamaha GTS1000 (Rare!) 17. ’02 Triumph Daytona CE (Nice!) 18. ’75 Honda CB400F (Man needs a hobby!) 19. ’03 Triumph Tiger (Daily Commuter)

    So, it seems I went Dirt – Standart Street – Cruisers – Imports – Sportbikes – Standard – Big Traillie?

    I’m now 41 yrs young. I love the comfort and long legs of the Tiger(IronButts, Mexico trips, etc), but still enjoy floggging the crap outta’ the Daytona on track days. I also still enjoy working on, and riding, the old ‘classic’ standards. Currently, there are 5 bikes in the garage – I guess one is NOT enough?

  • I’ve ridden for almost 20 years, most of it year round. I have, at minimum, 150,000 miles on two wheels. I roadraced for six years, before buying a house and running out of money. I WILL be back! I ride in the dirt on occasion and do a hare scrambles every now and then.

    Where I ended up? I’ve owned over a dozen motorcycles of various sizes and configurations including singles, twins, and inline fours, most bought on a shoe-string budget. Recently I purchased the second motorcycle about which I’m truly, thoroughly excited. My “new”
    bike is a 2003 Buell XB9R. I intend to tour, commute, and do trackdays on the bike. I hope to eventually rig hard luggage to it to expand the versatility of the machine. A Penske shock is on the way.

    The other bike: 1988 Honda Hawk! I’ve had two, one racebike and one streetbike. I still think it’s the greatest, underpowered, weak-cranked motorcycle ever!

  • Back in 1998 I baught a vfr800, I now work in a motorcycle shop so I ride lots of differant bikes. I also have a rc51 for the “fast” stuff.A klr, and Honda transalp are also in my stable.I still think my vfr800 is the best for all around riding.

  • I haven’t ended yet, but started riding 40 years ago at 12 on a home-built 5HP minibike, Trail90, 76’Honda360T in university, 84’Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans, 75’Yamaha XT500, & for last 7 years—a Japanese-only 1998 CB400F SuperSport to commute daily to work in Singapore. When I grow up, I’d like a Japanese 600 supersport.

  • I’m a soon-to-be 50-year old motorcyclist with a history of having owned 16 bikes at last count. I’ve been actively riding since 1979 with over 125k accident-free miles of riding. Included in all those years (and miles) are a couple of track days and attendance at the California Superbike School. My past rides have run the gamut from my first-ever motorcycle, a new ‘78 GS-750, ’78 Yamaha XS-Eleven, ’83 GPz 750 (kept for 9 years), first-generation ZX6R, FJ1200, ZX-10 Ninja and my last look at a full-on sporting machine, an early-run first-year Suzuki TL-1000S. Early production run fuel injection mapping issues kept the TL running erratically at low-speed throttle settings coupled with explosive front-wheel hoisting full-throttle, head-shaking, eye-popping acceleration. The TL brought me to the realization that my days of brutal acceleration coupled with the “monkey copulating with a coconut” riding position days were numbered. In a moment of weakness I even swapped out the TL for a hot-off-the-press 1500 Intruder to test the waters of Cruiserdom. As someone else once put so eloquently, the “bay shrimp in search of a bed of lettuce” riding position left me just as cold as the opposite sporting crouch. That, coupled with sparks flying off the floorboards and a severe lack of motivation from the Engine Room left me still in search of that ideal ride.

    Which brings me to the current moment and my settling in with the best all-around experience after all these years. A 2002 Kawasaki ZRX1200. Comfortable saddle, conventional handlebars, modern (albeit retro-looking) suspenders and plenty of urge from the boiler downstairs. I just finished a round-trip from northwest Washington to the MotoGP in Monterey, CA. I’ve made a few relatively minor modifications to create a comfortable and quick mile-eater that has even made a few track days. No, it isn’t a full-goose sportbike, but will hang right in there when the urge strikes and I can arrive with a big grin and my senses intact. .

  • I’ve been riding for about 30 years and ended up with three bikes that I put anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 miles a year on. My most used bike is a 2003 Yamaha FZ1. My sport bike is a 95 Ducati 900SS/SP. Then there is the 99 DR650 that I use for dual sporting activities. When I say “ended up with”, that is a bit of a misnomer. There are always new and interesting bikes coming along and I wind up changing out at least one of them a year. The FZ1 is one of the better all around bikes I’ve owned though.

  • I enjoy your site very much, and check several times weekly to see what’s happening.
    My bike progression: 1978 Suzuki GS 550L, 1983 Kawi. GPz550, 1984 Kawi GPz 1100, 2000 ZX-6R, 2003 ZX-9R, now – 2004 GSX-R 1000. That took about 11 years.

    I wanted to keep up with the continuing chassis improvements, and also engine tech. Of course, there were certainly some baby steps involved building skills over the years. The GSX-R has an outstanding chassis (I’ve not felt a better front-end, and I’ve ridden many bikes), and the engine is refined, smooth running at all rpms, and very, very powerful. Previous bikes were all missing something – were too heavy, or I couldn’t get the chassis set up as I preferred, or down on power… The big Suzuki has it all as far as I’m concerned – and I’ll be keeping it for a long, long time.
    Thank you for listening!

  • 39 yeras old
    over 30 years riding
    current bike: KTM 950 Adventure 2004

  • I started riding in 1968. dirt, street, racing , all types of riding. I have ridden everything from GSXR1100 to 90 cc Hondas. My street ride today is a
    1976 KZ 900 which I got in 1976. Over the years I have done a lot of up-dates and Its still a good bike. Still has respectable performance and still gets a lot of looks.

  • I’m 63, 42 yrs. riding, and I’ve ended up on an ’02 BMW R1150RT, and a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter. The BMW is a good balance of sport and touring for me. I like the torque of a twin too. The scooter is real fun and relaxing to ride around streets and neighborhoods, and for exploring back roads at a slow pace. When I ride the scooter, people actually look at me and some wave too. I’m the same guy on a motorcycle, but people will avoid eye contact. Kind of funny, huh?

  • Hi!

    I’m a Norwegian,aged 50,and been riding for 35 years.

    I feel lucky to have experienced the early Japanese period,growing up on Kawaskai 500 Mach III and CB 750’s.Big fun!

    Does the ultimate bike exist?

    I don’t think so,because we are too different in what we want from our bike.

    Growing older,I find seating/riding posision more and more important,

    The same goes for quality suspention that can handle a fully loaded bike on bumpy roads which abound over here.

    I feel that most of the newest and hottest bikes are simply too much a bike for the average rider.

    I’ve ridden the Hayabusa,and although it was a fantastic experience,it is “over the edge”.

    It’s beyond doubt that the average bike never has been as good as they are now,but most of them does not tempt me anymore.

    There is something called “enough”.

    My current bike:a BMW R 1100 RS.

    It’s I simple bike that covers the essential of motorcycle enjoyment,and it will last a long time!

  • Started in the dirt on a Honda Trail 70 in 1975 now I ride a 2005 Ducati 999S

  • I’ve owned ‘em all; sportbikes, cruisers, dual sports, dirt bikes, and tours. I currently favor Ducati’s. To me, they are the ultimate. As a Harley owner loves the sound of his machine, so do I, except mine is much faster. Ducati has heart and soul in their machines unlike the production Japanese.
    I wrote my Top Ten Issues about motorcycling in general, thought you might like the read.

  • I’m not sure I would classify as mature but at least at the age of 43 and at the top of my chosen career I can afford to do things that I couldn’t when I was a younger rider. I’ve been riding for over 30 years since my first motorcycle was at the age of 9.

    To me, there is no one motorcycle that is at the end of the trail that I settle for. I have a Goldwing for when my girlfriend and I go camping or on long trips. There is my ST1100 for riding in the mountains on the weekends by myself or on long solo trips. Then, when I decide to go nuts, I jump on the “Busa” when I want to feel the G forces pulling my face apart. Of course, don’t forget the older bikes in my stable that take me back to my younger years. It gives me a variety of bikes to choose from when commuting to work each day. The best part is if one of my bikes needs work I always have a backup. So, to help justify the cost of the bikes I drive a cheapo car. Of course I only drive the car when I have to 🙂

    So, since variety is the spice of life so is having more than one motorcycle. Since no one motorcycle is perfect for every situation or ride, I’ve found that its necessary to have a least enough bikes to fit all the situations I like to be in.

  • I’d be willing to bet that the majority of respondents to this question currently own more than one bike. I have been licensed to ride motorcycles since I was 14. I had a precursor of what could be called a minibike when I was 10. Not that I ever lost interest in motorcycles, but the lack of money, a garage, the practicality of four wheels over two, and a child detoured my active involvement for a number of years during various stages of my life. My first motorcycle of consequence was a 1969 Triumph TR6R that I bought just before going to Vietnam. I kept that motorcycle for the four years of my military service. My next motorcycles were Hondas out of necessity as they were my employer. Besides street bike loaners from Honda, I owned a 1873 XL250, a 1974 SL125 (my wife’s), and a 1974 ATC90. Also through that five year period I owned a CB400F, a CB500F, and a CB550F. I also owned a modified XL410 and a TL125. When I returned to the Midwest for a career change, I purchased a MR50 (my daughter’s), an XR500, an XR80 (my daughter’s) a 1986 XR250R and a 1981 CB750F. I didn’t buy another bike until the mid 1990’s when I bought 2 pristine 1980 CBX’s, a pristine 1981 CB900F, and a pristine 1976 CB400F (my daughter’s). My first new bike in ten years was a 1997 VTR1000, finally a 1000cc v-twin from Honda. That was later followed by a 5,000 mile 1990 RC30 and a new 2000 RC51. Fortunately my wife of 37 years enjoys the sport, although she now only rides as a passenger. At one point in 2000, she informed me that she was no longer going to ride on the back of any of the sport bikes. The CBX was, relatively speaking, comfortable but no distance tourer. I was hoping for the ST1300 to be released in 2001, but to no avail. Reluctantly, reluctantly, reluctantly, I considered the newly released 2001 GL1800 Gold Wing, a bike I had previously sworn that I would never own. To make a long story short, we love it. I still have a majority of the above bikes (plus one more 1988 VTR750R, a 1979 CBX, both with “0” miles, and a 2004 CRF250X), but I can honestly say that the Ultimate Bike for Marty and me at this point in our life is the GL1800. The engineers made this bike with me in mind. It’s quick and handles surprisingly well for a bike of its size. Most importantly, for whatever the ride, whether it be a 12 mile commute with my briefcase or a 1,200 mile trip to Sturgis towing a Unigo trailer, I (or we) ride in comfort. Marty and I don’t typify the classic Gold Wing couple. We’re GL1800 riders.

    PS ……………………….and I’m still not through in purchasing the art and thrill of other motorcycles!

  • I raced AMA pro MX in the 70’s, AMA Pro Superbike in the early 80’s, BOTT in the mid 80’s on an XR1000. I ran an occasional club roadrace in the 90’s on an RZ350. I came back to racing in 2002 after years of just trail riding on a 2-stroke KTM 500 or street riding on a 1980 GS1100 or my RZ. I won the Superbikers2 Sport Motard Championship in 2002 on a Husaberg FE400e and won again in 2003 on a KTM520 EXC. Great fun for a 50 plus rider to beat the younger crowd. Today I teach MSF dirt bike schools for fun along with doing some occasional trail riding.

    So, where am I now? I just bought a used 1999 Triumph 1200 Trophy to do the touring I missed out of during many years of racing. Two years ago I built up a 1980 Suzuki GS750 (816cc) for Heavyweight Superbike with AHRMA and won the AMA Vintage Days National at Mid-Ohio last year. I trail ride my 2002 KTM520 EXC for fun now.

    The ultimate bikes for me? I love the Triumph 1200 for Sport Touring. The KTM520 provides the rush I crave in the dirt. But now I need a slightly more street worthy dual-sport than the EXC that I can use for adventure touring. So……………. How is that updated 4-stroke single replacement for the KTM LC4 engine coming along?

    Oh, and for pure touring, an H-D FLHT with the sidecar my wife wants. Probably a retirement present from me to her.

    Let’s also not forget a KTM450 motard bike. The competitive juices still flow strongly, and I have new leathers waiting to be used.

  • I am a 28 year old motorcyclist, been riding dirt and 4 wheelers since 3 years old and i have been riding street bikes since i was 15, so i have 13 years of street bikes experience. I also raced for about 8 years , winning 3 regional CCS championships and a National championship.

    The motorcycle i just bought this summer is pretty much the best do it all bike i ever owned and doubt i will come across a more complete street bike.
    That bike is my 2001 Yamaha FZ1, i can ride all day in comfort, fallow all-out sport bikes in twisties, go on weekend trips with my wife. I think this is where i have ended up, i dont see the need to change bikes in the near future.

    PS: i still have a 2004 gsxr 600 that i use for track days and some sunday morning rides, is that cheating?

  • DRZ400E for the off-road and dual sport plus a KDX200. 3 NT650 Hawks for street. Looking for a decent two up bike for longer rides. Maybe Bandit, GS1100G or Triumph Speed Triple. I am 60 and also have an RT180, RM80 Z50 and XR100 for the grandkids and their cousins.

  • Suzuki V-Strom

  • I’ve been riding for 34 of my 38 years. I started out on an old Suzuki 90, then a Yamaha 60cc JT1, followed by an Honda XR75 just like my hero of those days, Jeff Ward. After 4 years on the Poweroll kitted 96cc XR, I moved up to a Suzuki RM80. Rode this for 3 years and then there was a new interest in trials riding, so I got a Yamaha TY175 and then a Montesa Cota 123, then 349 and a 242. In 1985 I started riding Canadian National trials, and won the Canadian Trials Championship aboard Beta’s in 1989, 1990 and 1991. I was 7th and 6th respectively in the USA in 1989 and 1990.

    Amongst all of the Trials riding, I got the street bike bug, owning a 1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport from 1987-1989. I then bought a 1990 Ducati Paso 906 in 1992 and 7 more year went by! After the Paso came an 888 SPO. The problem with the Ducati’s is that once you learn to ride them well, you’re always going waaay too fast for the street…and then there is the obsessive accessorizing cost!

    With the arrival of the KTM 950 Adventure, and a test ride of same, it buried my Ducati sport bike lust completely…but I couldn’t afford one. I errantly tried another Ducati, this time an ST4 so I’d slow down but it was a big disappointment as it wasn’t really good at anything in particular. I traded it off for a 2005 KTM 450 EXC (1/2 of a 950…so I could afford it!!) and went back to the dirt for some Hare Scrambles racing. “Now I’m having serious fun again!”…As the 450 is a little much for our tight race courses, my moto lust is currently split between a KTM 300XC-W and the current 950 Adventure S.

    Bottom line: I’ll continue to lust the 950 Adventure until one sits in my garage. My first 950 ride left me thinking it was the Ducati 999 of the dual sport world. The bike is so cool, so versatile, so durable, and so damn much fun that I can’t see needing anything else for the street. For me, the engine is brilliant and the bike is purposeful in a way that makes all other bikes (in it’s class) seem watered down. A perfect world will see the 300 XC-W alongside it in the garage.

  • I’m 56 years old and have been riding since age 15.
    I wound up with a 2004 Honda GL1800. Great bike!
    But I’ve been looking longingly at the V-Strom and the Ducati Multistrada…………I think there may be a “comfort bike” in my garage soon!

  • Well, after decades of Sport, Sport Tourers, and Touring bikes (ranging from a 305cc Honda Scrambler to a 1500cc Six), my latest is a KTM 640LC4 Super-Motard bike. I cannot guarantee this is my final bike, but something similar will be bought as you will read below.

    Super Retard is what my pals call me when I wick up a little inside line pass on a current 600cc Supersport Mount, such as a Yamaha R6 or what have you.

    This little bike is more fun and addictive.

    I would buy a 1000cc Twin version of this same bike but it would have to be under 330 pounds and have an Ohlins or equivalent suspension, a better fairing and beefy rubber.

    Anyone out there at 52 years old and finding this sort of thing as much as a blast as I am having?

    Good web site. A daily visit.

  • Started out on a Honda CL-350 in 1970 and over the years have moved through the Japanese lines and each new bike with increasing displacement. Had a brief exposure to a Honda VT1100C – not my type of bike and sold it soon after purchase. Mainly have owned standards, some sport bikes, and touring machines.

    I did have fun on enduro and motocross bikes in my youth but street bikes are my mainstay. Like a lot of folk I looked for one bike to do it all – and any one bike can do most anything a rider has a mind to make it do but a degree of affluence has led me to the following: K1200LT for touring, R1150GS Adventure as a daily commuter and for trips to Alaska, the Yukon and the SW where dirt roads are sought out, and a Suzuki SV1000S to satisfy my inner hooligan.

    Japanese machines are great in my view, and I’ve owned near about 20 different models, but they are not as durable over the long haul as the BMW bikes have been for me. My overall favorite bike is the R1150GS Adventure. It is a strong fundamental bike, has 300+ mile range, and handles off-piste conditions very well. It reminds me of the old Timex watch commercials: “takes a beating and keeps on ticking”.

    As I get older and less physically capable of managing heavy bikes (I’m 58 till September) and as my wanderlust diminishes, I’ll move to smaller machines. I like the trend in scooters like the Suzuki Burgman but I’m not ready for that any time soon. The Adventure gets left in my will for someone – the only way I’ll part with it.

    Hope that adds some value to your quest.

  • I’ve been riding for 52 years, since I was 14; so I guess I qualify as “mature” – although I don’t plan to ever grow up. My rides have been, roughly in chronological order though of course there’s a lot of overlap (ones I still have are marked * ):

    1953 Harley 165
    1952 BSA B33
    1955 BSA Road Rocket (A10)
    1963? Norton 400 twin
    1968 Kawasaki F21 (motocrosser)
    1970 Rickman Montessa
    1969 Kawasaki 120 Enduro
    1953 BSA Goldstar*
    1960 Honda 305 Superhawk
    1978 Maico 400
    1974 Sachs 125E*
    1979 Laverda 1000S (triple)
    1984 Honda CR480
    1986 Suzuki GSXR750
    1991 Yamaha WR250*
    1987 Suzuki GSXR750*
    1995 Aprilia RS250 (street licensed)*

    I guess my favorite bike is the ’87 GSXR – which I bought for $2500 to replace the ’86 which I comprehensively crashed. I commute on it and on the Aprilia.
    The Aprilia (which I rode to Laguna, 800mi round trip, this year) is wonderful fun in the twisties, but it requires a lot of concentration to stay in the power band and it has zero two-up capability. I’ve modified the GXSR toward
    sport-touring: raised the bars 3″, put on a tail trunk, lowered the passenger pegs, Katana mirrors, radar detectors front and rear, modified the tank to remove the air box and gain an extra gallon of gas, 1200 Bandit carburetors with K&Ns, Kerker slip-on, tank cover and Chase-Harper tank bag, 310mm front disks from a GSXR750RR. It’s not real fast by current standards (145mph on the speedo), but it’s fast enough and good handling enough for the canyons and it’s tolerable on a freeway drone.

  • I am 42 and an ex-road and Supermoto racer. I have previously ridden sport bikes on the street, but have grown toward standards. My current ride is a 1982 Yamaha 550 Vision. I chose this partly because of limited family funds, but it has been a very good, if somewhat underpowered, bike. I would really like an SV1000, non fared version someday. I prefer the “sit up” riding position, similar to my dirt bike. I did install a small fairing on the Vision because the freeway wind blast pushed me back too much. This used to be a good thing on sport bikes, but makes the otherwise comfortable position on the standards a problem at 60mph+.

  • I ended up at an 05 Yamaha FJR1300. That’s after trying,
    Moto Guzzi Centauro,FZ-1 Yamaha, K1200LT BMW,K1200RT,R1100GS,K1100LT,K1,Yamaha V-max,
    R100, 2 Gold Wings,a Suzuki Water Buffalo,Kawasaki Z-1,
    H-3 Kawasaki,YDS-3C Big Bear Street Scrambler, and a Triumph Bonneville. The really tough question is, of all of them, which one would I want back instead of my present ride. For me it would probably be the 1100GS.

  • I am not sure about how mature is always defined (my wife thinks I act like I am still 16). But after 13 years of riding (several before that illegally) I have arrived at a sport standard. A Yamaha FZ1, I’ve had it now for 4 years and that is the longest I have kept a bike. I haven’t gotten bored with it and it does everything I want it to do well. The sit up riding position is good for long days (878 miles in 14 hours is my tops) the handling to take the twisties, the power to scare me silly. A standard with a little bit of wind protection like the FZ1 and a 120+ HP engine is just about perfect.

  • Been riding and or racing bikes since I was fifteen. I am forty-seven now, Just bought a Fat Boy. Now thats a bike!

  • I am 65 years old and bought my first bike in April 1958. Since then I have ridden on and off road. Now I mostly ride onroad on day rides and multi-day tours.
    I average 10K+ miles per year and am a conservative rider.

    My bike of choice is a 1991 Suzuki VX800. I bought it used for $3500 in January 1996 in mint condition with 4200 miles on it. 62K+ miles is currently on the

    Suzuki sold the VX800 from 1990 to 1993 in the US. It was a poor seller when new. Clean, low mileage examples can be had for less than $2,000 today if you can find one.

    The VX800 is a shaft-drive, standard motorcycle that is easily modified to suit the owner’s needs. It has the low-revving, high torque VS800 Intruder engine that provides high gear roll-ons from 60-80 that rival much larger bikes. Wet weight with a full tank of gas
    is 520 pounds.

    With upgraded Progressive suspension front and rear, modern sport-touring radials, and Givi racks and hard bags, it is a competent sport-touring bike whose forte is two lane highways. Being a naked bike, it provides little protection from wind blast at 80+ mph, so I don’t spend much time droning on freeways.

    Over the last 9+ years, the VX has averaged 47 mpg with a low of 42 and a high of 53 mpg. Tank range is usually 200+ miles, and shaft drive means no fooling around with a messy chain every night in a campground or motel parking lot.

    Used parts are hard to come by, and new oem parts are not cheap. But the VX has proven to be a safe, reliable, easy to maintain, fun bike for an old guy like me.

    I have other bikes in the garage, but the VX will be my keeper bike for as long as I am able to ride.

  • I have 35 yrs dirt and street, currenty own 2001 yamaha FZ1
    and 2003 BMW 1150RT, both have over 40,000 each.
    BMW is my 2 up ride but I am trying to talk the wife into a
    new BMW 1200GS.
    Also I do not think you ever ARRIVE, just evolve depending
    on you situation, but I will never be a cruiser guy!

  • I’m 31, and have been riding for 23 years now. Raised in the dirt, then making the transition to the street side, I have found that two very affordable and surprisingly fun motorcycles have made a permenant home in my garage. The ever durable Kawasaki KLR650 is such a sweet ride for the price. I have the rare colored 93′ model (BLUE/WHITE/GREEN) and the thing just keeps on going with 45K miles on it. I can ride off road with my trail buddies, slice through traffic with the greatest of ease, and give the boys in the mountians FITS in the twisties as that thumper will out carve any R1 or Ducati out there! (and I dont have even have SM wheels on it…yet) Can you say “corner speed?” And be prepared to grind the toes on your boots too..but hey, thats not really so bad, is it?

    For the full day rides, I bring out my trusty Honda VTR1000 SuperHawk. A friend of mine told me I’d like it, but it just didnt appeal to me without the lower fairings on it. Now that I own one, I’m spoiled. With its sexy styling, around 100hp, and gobbs of tourqe at the twist of the wrist, my girlfriend and I can spend all day in the mountains and theres plenty of power on tap..for both of us, all the time. Not to mention the big 1000cc V-twins just sound plain bitchin with a set of pipes on them, and you can still pick up used SuperHawks for cheap!

    So there you have it. Two favorites of this old mx racer are the KLR650 and VTR1000. Two very affordable and oh so fun rides. Did I mention that SuperHawks loves to wheelie?

  • I have been riding for nearly 30 years and currently have 2 bikes.
    These are my 7-8th street bikes.
    A 1987 Honda Elite for commuting. Great MPG, weather protection and very reliable.
    And a 1988 Honda Hurricane. I have owned this bike for the past 12 years and have never bought a newer bike because quite frankly this bike exceeds my riding abilities and anything else would just go to waste.

  • I ended up on a DL1000 V-Strom. It’s not perfect but it is much better suited to me than most anything out there. The 600 sportbikes are too small and uncomfortable for my 6’3″ 52 year old body. Same with the other sportbikes. Why did Suzuki do away with the SV1000N? I would have bought a SV1000N, if they were still available. I like the Triumph Speed Triple, maybe I should look at one of those but the nearest dealer is 85 miles away.

  • My first answer is you can’t just have one. Three seems to be a good number if you still work full time.

    However, there is one bike I bought that I could never sell because it would mean some kind of compromise or a significant loss in the value department.

    2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R

  • I’m 46 – started riding off road when I was 8. Rode Six Days Trials qualifiers @ 14, trials for fun, and MX when I moved to Texas. Ridden street bikes (legally) since 15, and have had everything from a grey-mkt 1982 RD350LC, CBR900RR, Hawk GT647, YZF-600, and many others.
    Just sold my beloved 2003 BMW R1150R Roadster (handles/stops like a dream, slow as molasses). Currently, riding my 2002 KTM Duke II’s tires off as a city bike and efficient way to get around, waiting for the KTM SuperDuke or 950 Supermoto to arrive on our shores. I could wax on & on, but here’s the deal: the “standard” motorcycle makes the most sense, does everything well, and doesn’t go out of fashion (like sport bikes soon will, like choppers/H-Ds/and gigantic power cruisers that handle like vans & stop like trains). The NEW “standard” motorcycle is for the guy who has ridden all of it – street, dirt, maybe raced a little (or a lot), and has ridden everything he/she could get aboard.
    The KTM 950 Supermoto embodies what everyone wants & needs in the perfect motorcycle, whether they know it or not. It’s comfortable, light for it’s power/displacement, which leads us to quick & handles/stops very well, and is a barrel of monkeys to ride. Fun. You want to tour? Put bags on it, & go. You want to carve? Look out sportbike squids! You want to cruise? It’s comfy & does 2 up reasonably well. You sit up, you have wide bars, LOADS of torque, and velcro binders. You want to go dirt roads? It’s a Supermoto bike – go for it!
    If you want off road? Buy the 950 Adventure or get a real off-road bike for those rides.
    Torque & light weight make for nimble, quick bikes. The SuperDuke or 950 SM will do just about anything you can, and probably BETTER than you can. The BMW R1200GS is VERY close, but still underpowered & too heavy to toss around. They have had the right idea for ages, though. If it had 110hp & weighed 385…..

  • VFR800, plus a decidedly non-mature KTM Duke. Clinging to my distant youth.

  • I have owned 38 motorcycles over a 35 year period. I usually have not less than 2 motorcycles and never more than 4 at any given time.
    I believe that with minor exception the FJR1300 that I currently own is the ultimate motorcycle. It is an ’04 with ABS. This bike starts quickly runs cleanly right from the start, is smooth and fast, has as much power as I need, gets 40 mpg, is comfortable, easy to service, and really has been the best overall bike.
    I do plan to purchase a BMW 1200GS soon but not as a replacement bike but as a bike to do on and off road touring with. That way I can actually do some of the dirt road short cuts that I see when touring around.
    Thanks for allowing my input.


  • I’m 50. I’ve been riding for 35 years. Does that qualify me as a “mature rider”? I started with a used ’66 Honda CB-160, then moved to a used ’72 Honda XL-250. There was a used Honda SL-125, a new ’78 Honda CX-500, an ’82 Honda 750 Sabre and a ’00 Triumph Sprint ST (loved that bike dearly!) I’d still have the Triumph but a bit more seat real estate was required so my wife could accompany me in comfort. So I ended up with an ’05 Yamaha FJR 1300. With only 2000 mile on the clock, we’re still getting to know each other. Definitely a wonderful bike but I haven’t discovered it’s soul, yet. I’ve got an agreement with the current owner of my Triumph. I’ve got first chance when he decides to sell.

  • I’m an older rider, my level of maturity is arguable. I’ve been a GS type rider since before there was a GS. As for “ending up” it’s not over yet, but until every road is paved I’ll be riding something that doesn’t have to turn around when the pavement ends.

  • I am over sixty-five and heading into retirement. I have had many bikes in the past forty-five years. I had a Suzuki Titan two stroke in the sixties and seventies and traveled all over the US and the bike and my fixability always got home. The bike I liked most was a Norton 850 Commando that I put an interstate tank and seat on and used for two up touring and just fast riding. Used Mobil 1 from the start and never had anything but minor problems in five years not counting my wife’s complaints about the seat. I sold the Norton and bought a 1978 Suzuki GS1000E she had no complaints about the Suzuki. I put a Vetter Windjammer and Sampsonite tri bar saddle bags and top case. Again Mobil 1 and no problems.
    I am without a wife but I still ride. I have a 2003 Ducati Monster 1000Sie DS with a Riffle superbike fairing, a centerstand, and the Ducati hard saddle bags and top case. I put a Seargent seat on it and LSL Street bike bars and a bar riser and three inch longer clutch and brake lines and a lowering link so I could feel more in control at a stoplight. I also put a 43 tooth rear sprocket on and now my Monster gets better than 50 mpg and I can go 150 miles before gas stops if I can go that far on my 65 year old bladder. The bike is as fun as the Norton, Titan, and GS1000 rolled into one. I do wish the pegs were lower and more forward but I think I can get that changed and stop looking at the Multistrada 1000s Ds. Those pegs are in the right place. By the way the Monster is Senna gery with red wheels and handle bars grips and hand guards. Plus a set of Fiamm freeway blaster horns that will wake the dead or at least a cell phone using cage driver.
    After 1500 miles the Mobil 1 went in (15W-50) and the bike is easy to start and runs great. I also have Two Brothers carbon fiber mufflers. So I have a low 400 pound touring bike that in all likely hood will last me till I can,t swing a leg over her and ride any more.
    It’s a fun bike that I don’t expect to see unless I drive into a mirror.

  • After riding dirt and street for thirty-some years, I’ve found true street happiness on a Kawasaki ZRX1100 “naked” bike.
    It’s conventional riding position and big, torquey 4 cylinder are the perfect combo for my daily commuting needs
    & weekend sport tours. Currently, there is no other street bike available that could take its place – save for a newer ZRX.

    In the dirt, I’ve found happiness on a DRZ400E w/ electric start. It’s heavier than my old RM250, but the ease
    & convenience of the magic button make up for it.

    Thanks for asking my opinion – I try to visit your site every day!

  • Howard age 42, 23 years riding street bikes , 3 years road racing 1986-88, 30 years riding dirt bikes , 4 years racing motocross.

    Here is where I started and where I went Dirt Bikes: 1973 Honda SL 70 ( I will never forget you )
    1975 Suzuki RM 125 (raced)
    1980 Suzuki RM 250 (raced)
    1984 Suzuki RM 250 (raced)
    1989 Kawasaki KX 500 (great bike)
    2004 KTM 525 MXC ( best of the best )

    Street Bikes: 1982 GPz550
    1984 GPz750 (raced)
    1987 Ninja 250 (raced )
    1988 Ninja 600r ( worst bike I owned )
    1989 GSX 1100 Katana ( it filled the shoes and did a good job )
    1999 CBR 600 ( track days bike )
    2002 BMW R1150R – In addition to owning these fine bikes, I have rode a few others. Such as 05′ GSXR1000, VFR 800, VTR1000, V Strom, ZRX 1200r
    HD softail , 883 sportster, Electra glides, XR 650r, CRF 450, CR 250, YZF450, GSXR750, 916&996 Duc, Motoguzzi 1100, Shadow
    1100, bla bla bla bla bla. I’ve accumulated over 170,000mi. on all the bikes I’ve owned.

    After all that I feel that BMW has hit the nail on the head with its Boxer Twin motors. It’s not a race bike , but I’m not racing. I’m riding on
    the street. This bike with its low end torque, soul twisting rumble motor and a suspension that works on almost anything we come
    across. It plain handles the canyons and 500mi. days with no problems and the ease of maintenance makes working on this bike so
    much fun. ( note that none of my bikes see the dealer after they been bought ) The R1150R a real street bike for the real world.
    The GS 1200 looks like a good choice to. Although I don’t do enough dirt excursions. That where the KTM come in.

  • My “final” bike may be in the works if the rumors of an updated VFR are true. I have owned 15 bikes from the FJR400 to the ST1100 and Volusia 800 and none of them compare in sound, comfort and quality for me. My wife was a happy passenger with the Corbin Gun Fighter seat installed. I owned 2 of the 1999 model after having a 1990 about 7 years ago and loved them to pieces (60,000 km). I tried the new Vtec model and did not like the motor and the way it reacted at 7,000 RPM.

  • Mature Rider? Oooofff!

    I have been riding motorcycles for 40 years. My first ‘car’ was a basket case 350 Honda that I rebuilt into the Bay Area’s ugliest chopper in 1973.

    Since then I have had over a hundred motorcycles. I have never been without a motorcycle since I was 16 (I’m 47 now). I ride the street and I still race dirt on occasionally with the International Olditmers Motocross.

    I think that even more so now, than when I was younger, I am simply in love with motorcycles. You probably cannot come up with a motorcycle that I would not like to ride, even if just around the parking lot.

    I can’t say which is the ‘best’ or what my ‘ultimate’ is. I presently own and ride a 2005 Harley FXSTI. But before I purchased it I seriously looked at a ‘wing and a Suzuki 1200 Bandit (both of which I have owned in the past). And I would love to have a crotch rocket in the garage for an occasional late night spree of lawlessness.

    What about you?

  • Saw your request for experienced rider’s “Ultimate” bike. I don’t know if I qualify, little over 20 yrs. riding street bikes and experience with just about as many bikes. Most in mid size cruisers and sport bikes.

    Well, I’m 43 now, a little broken down from injuries over the years, and the “Macho” has just been plum worn off. That said, I recently purchased a 05, Suzuki, 650 Burgman and I have to admit, when I wear this one out I’ll get another.

    VERY comfortable for the wife and I. All the power I need to get down the highway. I can ride it hard, or let the bike do all the work, and WOW the luggage space this thing has. I have added a tail trunk, a larger “Touring”
    windshield and will probably put on a larger rider’s backrest. Set up like this, we can go on all day rides, light touring, commuting or anything else that strikes our fancy. The only thing this “Scooter” won’t do is off road (Very bad idea).

    I know these things haven’t caught on in the U.S. so far, but if the builders do a better job of trying to reach new markets, I think they could really catch on.

  • I am 48 years old and have a 2002 CBR1100XX. It is by far the best bike I have ever owned.
    I have arrived, indeed.

  • I’m age 49, been riding 36 years, and have owned 32 bikes. I ended up with a KTM-300EXC and a Yamaha FJR1300. The KTM is a torquey, quiet, comfortable woods bike; capable of all-day rides. Slow or fast doesn’t matter. It’s a better bike than I am rider.

    The FJR is a torquey, quiet, comfortable, street bike; capable of all-day rides. Slow or fast doesn’t matter. It’s a better bike than I am rider.

    He’s my list:

    Suzuki TC120, GT-250, GS-750

    Honda, XR-50, SL-125, SL-250, 250 Ellsinore, CB-750-K1, K-3, CBR600, 305 Superhawk, Superhawk 1000, CRF-450

    Rickman-Honda CB-750

    Yamaha TD-2B, RD-400, IT-465, FJR-1300

    Kawasaki Ninja-600, Concours, ZRX-1100, KDX-200, KX-250 1988, 1999, and 2001

    Husky 250XC, 400WR, 430WR

    Penton 250 Hare Scrambler

    Triumph Trident

    KTM-250EXC, 300EXC

    Here’s my Wish List – (this week’s wish list) KTM-200EXC, KTM Adventure, Victory Kingpin

  • Not sure yet,11 bikes…Some Japanese,two British,one Cheq,one aermacchi,etc…hard to say……no Ducs,one American…and the beat goes on…….!!

  • Suzuki Burgman 650. Allows me to stretch out and change position on the fly, so my arthritis doesn’t stop me riding. Looks great, plenty of storage space, ample power for me and my pillion, will travel comfortably at legal highway speeds with enough oomph left for safe passing. I also looked at the adventure tourers but for all round use and value the Burgman trumped everything.
    Demographically, I’m 45 years old, emergency physician, have been riding for 30 years and the Burgman is my 20th bike.

  • First, I must say that I truly enjoy your insight and clear, straight-up reporting on all things in the motorcycle world. Please keep up the good work!

    I’m a 54 year old, midwest (suburb of Chicago) rider with 38 years of riding experience. I have owned over 20 motorcycles, ranging from 60’s Honda’s, AMF Harleys (oops!), BMW’s, Norton’s, Triumph’s, various dirt-only playbikes (Penton, Husqvarna, Maico), Benelli and starting in 1984, several Honda sportbikes and a Ducati 900 SS SP.

    I have truly enjoyed all (well, most anyway) of these bikes. There seemed to be sound reasoning behind each purchase, but I really think that I simply enjoyed the variety of riding experiences.

    Anyway, I currently ride (same bike for the past 5 years) a 1998 Honda VFR 800 Interceptor. It’s a well-known fact, that the VFR does almost everything well, and it has been virtually trouble-free (jinx?). I take several 3 day, 1000 mile trips on it per year, and the frequent 1/2 day ride on Sunday mornings.

    I did own a 1990 Honda VFR 750 for many years, and I thought that was the ultimate bike, and swore that I’d keep it forever. Then my riding buddy bought a 1998 VFR, and when I spent a few hours on it, I realized that Honda had incorporated improvements that were impossible to ignore. I sold the 90′ and have had the 98′ since.

    If I had the luxury of owning more than one bike, the VFR may or may not remain in the garage. But, since I can only justify one bike these days (read divorce, college tuition/limited funds), the VFR will remain my ride of choice. I never tire of riding it, and to those who say that the VFR is devoid or character, I say ride one for a day, and tell me that!

    I could go on, but you did ask a simple question, and I’ve already “rambled” enough.

  • im 42 been riding for 30 years. i like my cbr 929 better then the zrx1200r i had.
    i have no use for cruisers. tried them but not my cup of tea.

  • You hit it right on the nose…after street riding some 30 years on 7 different machines, I have ended up on a 2002 Suzuki V-Strom. At age 49 I’m having the time of my life!!

  • I’ve been riding for 30 yrs, 44 yrs. old. I’ve owned 11 bikes, a mix of 50% street & 50% dual purpose. I currently own an 03′ V-Strom, but I still have my 86′ 750 VFR Interceptor & a stored XL-500. The V-Strom an ultimate bike? No. It’s a great bike though & I don’t think I could’ve bought another bike that’s currently available that would do all the things I ask of it & be so competent on so many levels. I just wish Honda made it.

  • After roadracing, woods riding dirtbikes, and riding mostly sportbikes on the street I have arrived at the 650 V Strom.
    after adding a , gps,centerstand, skidplate,windscreen,handguards and a set of Jesse bags I am ready to go almost anywhere I want to go.
    I have a KTM LC4 for serious off road trails but, the Strom does the rest.
    If there is a better bike for the money than the Wee Strom I don’t know what it would be.

  • After riding for 20+ years….

    Started out on an old Honda CB350…
    Went through Moto Morinis (350 and 500), Triumph Bonneville (750), a Harley Sportster, Yamaha FZR400,
    Aprilia RS50, and Honda CBR600F3…

    …and now am very happy with my 1993 CBR600RR. It’s even comfy enough for 300+ mile rides
    with all my H-D riding buddies from work. A nice machine. Does it all and looks cool too.

  • From an early hoard to a Honda VT1100 then to current bike:
    ’98 Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion, Gold valve front, Showa valving rear, custom seat, custom screen and 45 L Givi top box
    Big heavy old style bike, 2 valve motor, average 18 Km to the Litre
    Might buy a new FZ1 for my next birthday (61) but at the moment can’t bring myself to part with the XJ.

  • I am currently 54 years old and have ridden off and on since I was 15. After 3 years on my first bike, a Honda Super 90, which I used for commuting and dirt riding, I got a Honda CB 350 for commuting to college and then added a Yamaha CT 175 as a playbike and wheelie-practice device. I sold those when I transferred schools and bought an Ossa Pioneer (enduro) on a whim and ended up doing long trips in Baja for the next 2 Xmas holiday school breaks. I sold that after seeing my friend wreck his back on the second trip. I drifted away from biking for about 10 years, moving around, until I could not resist a Yamaha RD 400, which I loved. After a couple of years with that, I drifted away again for another 12 years. I started dabbling again with dirt bikes but my next serious bike relationship was with a 2000 SV 650, on which I roamed the SoCal canyon roads. I kept that for 3 years but got back off road with a Honda XR 400, which I will very likely keep for the rest of my riding career. I also now have a trials bike, something I fancied doing since my teens but only now got around to trying, and I love it. I have had a dozen bikes over the years and the two I have now among my favorites. I would also love to have an adventure touring bike, either a BMW 1200 GS or a KTM Adventurer. That would be my ultimate bike but I would need more leisure time than I have now to do justice to it.

  • After BMW R75/5s R90S and Honda CB750K models I moved on to Ducati ST4s, etc,etc; But for the most versitile all around motorcycle…. the do it all (damn near) unbreakable, no Maint. King I’ve landed with the GL1800 a true do everything bike…. no dated latest rage styling, no silly gizmos, every part actually contributes to enhancing the riders enjoyment of riding…. and you ride sitting up just like a grown up person…. even at 125+MPH

  • Late 60’s and early 70’s
    Bultaco’s and Ossa motocross/race bikes
    Mid 70’s first street bike, 650 Yamaha, later chopped
    A number of Yamaha and Kawasaki streetbikes followed.
    Mid 80’s went to a 1000 Moto Guzzi, 160K on it until 1991
    Gold Wing (yuck)
    Two bikes since the pig wing have been Kawasaki Concours. 70K on the first one,
    got 50K on this one.
    Currently looking at a new Gold Wing or BMW LT, wife wants to do more riding with me, and I am ready to try to find both comfort and performance.

  • Though I face the word “mature” with trepidation for all that it connotes, I must admit to having ridden motorcycles for over 30 years. I started out in my teens with dirt bikes, then graduated to touring Europe for 7 months on a 1972 Triumph 650, then across our own continent and back on a 1973 BMW R75/5 “Toaster.” I enjoyed many a fine tour on that old BMW.

    But my current motorcycle, the 2004 BMW R1200C Montauk, outshines them all. It is a mechanical marvel, handles like a dream, and just loves to run both the twisties and the slab. The Montauk’s wide front architecture provides stability and smoothness that outstrips everything else I’ve ridden. The saddle provides rider comfort throughout days of long riding. After all, the ride is the thing, but the destinations do call. With the Montauk, a rain suit in the bags, a toothbrush and a credit card, I’m Good to Go.

  • I’ve been riding for about 30 years now and have owned 14 bikes (finances and wives slowed down my purchases).. At 6’1″ and with relatively bad knees right out of high school, I never really got into pure sports bikes. I’ve also never delved in to the money pit known as Harley Davidson. I’ve owned 5 honda’s, three Kawaski’s, 1 Suzuki, 1 Yamaha, an older Beemer GS, a Ducati, and a couple of dirt bikes when I was a kid (Husky and Hodaka).

    Most of these bikes have been standards (that includes the early “customs” from Yamaha and Suzuki) or sport touring bikes like the Honda Pacific Coast. I picked up an ’89 Honda Transalp in 1992 and I was home. Ergonomically, it’s perfect and has enough power to embarrass yourself anytime you want. I sampled a BMW GS series in the mid-nineties and it was fine but not a great improvement so I sold it. I also had a 1000cc power cruiser (Eliminator) and the pacific coast during this period, but when I got married and had to get a house all the bikes went but the Transalp.

    I still have my Transalp, but am looking again. The V-Strom looks like a great value in both engine sizes (a LITTLE more power would be nice;-) The new BMW’s all look great but wow, what a price tag!!! The new Trimuphs have more power and sophistication, but not much more usability than I have with my 12 year old Transalp.

    Guess that’s where I ended up!

  • age 48, DL650 and 1991 Suzuki VX800. Previously had
    1998 Honda Shadow ACE, 1996 Road King, assorted CB’s.
    I now like middleweight bikes better.

  • I am not sure if it exists anymore.

    I started off on a Suzuki 1979 GS-425E. Nice little bike.

    1982 Yamaha XJ-650RJ Seca. It had shaft drive, a GIANT halogen headlight, narrow bars, and a slightly forward angled sitting position. With a windshield, highway pegs, luggage rack w/ adjustable backrest, it was extremely comfortable. I put 50K miles on it before I sold it in 1996. Of ALL my street bikes, this was the absolute most comfortable bike I owned.

    1979 Honda 750F SS. Basket case bike, it NEVER ran right >> bad carbs. I ended up flying over the hood of a car that pulled out directly in front of me.

    1984 Kawasaki 900 Ninja. For cruising near the beach, w/ a thonged gf in back, they are fine. As commuters, forget it. Too much wind, and laying on the tank. What is the point?

    1995 Honda 750 Nighthawk. The only gripes I have about this bike (other than a very weak engine), is the stepped seat, and very few accessories available for it. The stepped seat doesn’t allow me to get OPTIONAL seating positions. I rode this bike from Minnesota to New Hampshire. After that trip, I needed to see a chiropractor for 6 weeks…REALLY!
    I did just order some highway pegs. I wanted the full, round style of crash bars, but no one offers them for this model. I have considered adding foam to my seat to make it flat. This would make my Rifle Fairing’s windshield too short…

    So my ultimate bike was imported for one year, 23 years ago!

  • When I got back into riding after a lengthy interval, I started on an 82 GS 650E, the typical “street bike” of the 60’s and 70’s. I moved to a 96 RF 900R in 2000. About 4 times the horsepower, handling in a totally different league than the GS. Loved the sport tourer mode.
    But I couldn’t bring myself to sell the GS. So I kept it and it became my winter bike. I’ll ride in weather down to 20F if there isn’t snow or ice on the road. Most years, I manage to ride 11 of 12 months (I’m in Canada).
    When my wife decided to take up riding pillion, it was with the proviso that she wanted something comfortable. So we bought a Royal Star Venture, a full tricked out tourer. CD player, CB radio and 800 lbs of iron. Again, it’s a huge departure from the other two bikes. And yes, I still have them.
    So, in sumary, I have not reached my ultimate machine. Each of my bikes is the ultimate in some way and I’m not willing to draw lines around where I’m at.

  • After starting on dirt bikes when I was ten, I progressed through a Hodaka Super Rat, Bultaco Lobito and Yamaha 250 Enduro, until in 1981 I got my first street bike, a Honda CX 500C. The street bike progression then included a Honda CB650C, an 83 750 Interceptor, a few years off, followed by a GSF1200S, a VTR1000, and my two current bikes a 98 CBR1100XX and an 03 RC51. So, in a nutshell, in 32 years of riding I have gone from dirt to trail to sport to naked bike to sport to supersport and race replica.
    I’m not getting older – I’m getting faster.

  • At 62 years old, a bit over 40 years active riding, racing both dirt and pavement ( about 8 or so off due to Marines and injuries ) and about 25 or so bikes. ’00 KLR 650 ’02 R1150GSA.
    Andy in S. Louisiana < now a back road traveler. Pave , dirt, it don’t matter.

  • Almost 40 years and still swinging a leg over. The two bikes in the stable are a 73 BMW R75/5 for sentimental reasons and a Honda ST1100 for the almost every day and trips. A far cry from the Triumph 200 modified enduro of the first days. Do I need another bike in my furure, not untill the 1100 gives up which based on my experience may never happen.

  • In the beginning was a brand new 1970 Norton Commando. Today it’s a ZRX1100 with 74K on the clock. I have ended up where I began and remained… an unadorned roadster with neutral seating position and mid-range rich engine. Each of the dozen-or-so intervening steeds, no matter the number of cylinders, fit that same description. Could I afford it, a Kenny Dreer Norton would complete the circle.

  • im 58 after 40 yeras and 40-60 motorcycle it a 650 burgman no doubt the mossssstttt fun

  • First, a better title would be “Where am I now”, since I doubt that this is my last bike.
    Anyway, I am 47 and have been rinding for aproximately 23 years.
    My first bike was an old Kawasaki cruiser style bike which I had for about a year. Then I stepped up to a CB1100F (Too big too soon.) and stayed with large displacement UJM’s and sport bikes since. However for the last few years I have become increasingly irritated by the riding position of these bikes. After my TL s died from electrical issues I got a Z1000 from Kawasaki. That bike had just about the perfect riding position, with the exception of a lack of wind protection at freeway and higher speeds. Unfortunately that bike met with an untimely demise. So in it’s replacement I got a used Ducati ST4. The reach to the bars is still too far for a short shit like me, however I am in the process of changing that. I really like the overall package of the ST, especially the lockable hard bags. I would like a little more power and I am concerned about reliability.
    So what would be perfect for an older rider like me? The yet to be released KTM duke with easily removable and reattachable windscreen and hard bags for traveling.

  • I started my two wheel odyssey on my brother’s Honda Hawk Hondamatic. When he graduated to a Honda CX500 Custom, I learned to “clutch”. Two years later, he picked up a Harley-Davidson Sportster. I learned to dislike the Vibra-Twin that day. When big bro moved out, I dove into my own wheels. First I bought a Honda Helix. My mom was pissed I wanted a motorcycle, so I thought a
    scooter would pacify her. It didn’t and I was asked to move out.
    Once I was on my own, I went for it. I traded the Helix for a 1989
    Honda Pacific Coast. This thing was hot. It was big and comfy.
    When I got married and the wife got pregnant (uh oh) the PC was no longer PC. So I sold it and got divorced three years later. On my own again and wanting a bike again, I considered a sportbike. I was a little intimidated, so I took the advice of a column I read in a
    moto mag and got a 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250 (should’ve got the 500).
    Rode that for a couple of years, got re-married, had some more kids (uh oh), and loved it. A couple years later I traded the Ninja for a
    1998 Yamaha YZF 600. Wowie!! I am now a sportbike guy. Speed, handling and comfort. This bike was awesome. Great for commuting, a decent tourer and great fun on the canyon roads in Colorado. Then I got laid off. Funds were tight, so I sold it. My wife thought I was crazy(???). A year or so later things got better. My wife suggested I get another bike (yes, I love this woman). Se heard me ranting and raving about the Suzuki SV650. The second generation bike had just come out. I bought a 2003 naked SV. This is my every bike. I mostly commute with it. With 3 little girls it’s hard to get a long weekend in. I occasionally troop down to the Nachez Trace or tool down to Barber Motorsports Park. It’s a hoot to ride. I can tinker with little mods like body work or wind screens. I can hide away a few bucks to put a pipe on. It’s a work in progress until I get a little older. I have my eye on a Goldwing.

  • Over 30 years riding experience.
    “Back in the day” I built two choppers form bare frame out. A K Model Harley and a Norton 750.
    I have owned British bikes, a CX 500 Honda and a Gold Wing, two Suzuki Bandits, a VW trike, and a Kawasaki Eliminator that I really loved.
    I am 54 years old now and I ride a lightly modified Suzuki Bandit 600 on the street. I find the Bandit a capable machine even when riding with friends on sport bikes and it is certainly comfortable enough for medium range touring.
    And I race WERA Vintage 5 class on a 1986 Yamaha FZ 600. I just beagn racing this year and it is something I plan to keep doing.
    I will, sometime in the near future, add some kind of cruiser just to have something to use when I want to have a passenger along.
    Of course all this will change when I win the lottery and can afford the turbo Hyabusa that I dream of riding.

  • My ultimate bike would be a bike that would have touring bike comfort with a high level of sport bike capabilities. I own a ST 1300 Honda that is a very capable bike in both the touring and sport disiplines but a step up in the comfort and sporting would make me even more happy. 100 less lbs. and more ground clearance would make me even more happy. I ‘m 48 years old so I quess that makes me a mature rider. Keep up the good work.

  • Been riding for some 20 years now, all on sportbikes. This topic is interesting to me because I am always pondering my “next bike”. I would consider moving from sportbikes to a slightly more laidback approach, but I’m still into the same type of riding – aiming mainly for twisties and the thrill of the performance. Over the years I’ve become a better rider and take fewer chances.

    In a new bike, I’ve considered VFR’s and FJR’s and FZ1’s and Z1000’s and SV1000’s and the like, but I can’t get away from the fact that full-on sportbikes are sharper and leaner and have improved technology. It seems like the manufacturers aren’t willing to put the same cutting-edge effort into the more “laid back” bikes, and they end up being overweight, under-spec’d, and less appealing to me.

    Hopefully that trend ends soon. Until then, I’m on a GSX-R750, and will stay with the sporties for now. When I see radially-mounted calipers, titanium exhaust, light weight and low COG’s, and so on on a bike with more VFR-like ergos, I’ll make the jump.

  • Started with a BMW R25 in 1970, went to several BMW’s in the 70’s en 80’s. After 15 years of abstention I now drive a RC51 or, as it is known in Europe, a VTR1000SP-2.
    I live in Holland and I am 52 years of age.

  • As a 60 y/o rider ( mature is arguable) that has been at it for a long time, I have a Honda Transalp now that work very well for what we do. Three of us just returned form the great Moto GP race at Laguna Seca. We took the bikes so we could spend a few days ridding on roads like the Wentworth Springs road on the way back. The other bikes where a Ducati MultiStrada and a Yamaha R1 with my old Transalp . We all had a ball. I think Honda missed out by not offering the large dual sports in the US other then ’89 and ’90. I would love to find a newer T/A or Africa Twin for my next bike. There are a large number of people (mature) that are looking for a ride that is comfortable and fun to ride on all kinds of roads. Adventure is what it’s all about. My next bike will have that.

  • I thought I should chime in on this one, as I have been riding (streetbikes) for over 25 years – I’m 41 now.I have ridden mostly standard (UJM’s) the whole time, except for a recent Honda Valkrye – which I found to be extremely painful to ride. It baffles me what some of these cruiser guys go through!
    I made the switch to a sport-touring mount about a year ago – Kawasaki ZZR1200 – with the GIVI saddlebags, etc and have not looked back. It’s definitely the best bike I have ever ridden – comfort, power, and the hard luggage is excellent.
    Now if I could only convert my riding buddy to trade in his sportster for something that’s actually ‘sporty’ 😉

  • yes I am one of those with a “trailie”, i.e. a BMW R1100GS. If it ever quits on me, I’ll probably bet another BMW or a Ducati Multistrada.
    There are many rather rough roads in the region where I live, and a cruiser or a sport bike simply can’t handle the ruts or washboard or rocks. If I had faith in the reliability, I would go with my old Triumph T100 (read “Jupiter’s Travels” to find out what they can do), except that that machine won’t cope with 75+ mph out on the Interstates.

  • I began riding motorcycles (50cc Kriedler) in Germany during the fall of 1971. And I crashed the bike down a flight of stairs. Summer of 1972 I bought a 125cc Bennelli and crashed within hours of purchasing it. Later that summer I bought a new Honda CB350K and did not crash it until my birthday in November. Fixed it and rode all of 1973 and most of 1974. Late in September I bought a Triumph 650 that was a wreck and I proceeded to turn that monstrosity into a chopper, but that is a long story in itself. In the early summer of 1975 I bought a 1966 BSA 650 Lightning, then later a Norton Commando, then another BSA, and another Norton Atlas, a HD sportster and a Triumph 750 Bonneville, (and on, and on).

    Since 1975 until 2005 I’ve owned and ridden countless machines but the two favorites are my 1982 Honda CB750F (highly modified) and the greatest motorcycle I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning, riding, modifying and bragging about. That is my 2000 Honda Valkyrie Interstate. Bar none the finest power to weight ratio of its type, best handling, and even smoother than my Gold Wing.

    Yes, I am a thoroughly addicted enthusiast; I currently have 10 of the finest examples of motorcycles from the past 40 years. I really would like another Valkyrie to add to my collection. And no, I’m a serious rider that averages approx. 15K per season.

  • a 1983 Honda CB 1000 C

  • After 20+ years of riding I have boiled it down to the following: 996S, CRF450 & a SDG mini. As soon as I add a BMW GS I am done…..I think…..well its what I am telling the wife.

  • 46 years old, 30 years road-riding experience. Been riding a 1998 VFR800 since purchasing it new in ’98. Bike just turned 56,000 miles on my return trip from Laguna Seca (two-up). This is the perfect all-around bike!

  • after 25 yrs of ride Hondas, then 12 yrs no bike, am now 55 yrs old, and ride a suzuki 1500 intruder; LOVE IT

  • Started 1963 with Honda CA95 Benly 150cc.
    1966-1964 Norton Atlas 750cc
    1967-1959 XLCH Harley
    1968-’68 CB350
    1973-Yamaha CT2-175cc
    1973-Yamaha CT3-175cc
    1974-’73 Yamaha TX500
    1976-’71 BMW 75/5
    1979-’76 BMW 90/6
    1988-’84 BMW R100RT
    1993-’77 Yamaha XT500
    1999-’93 Yamaha TDM 850
    2000-’96 Suzuki DR650
    2002-’89 BMW R100RT
    2003-’03 Kawa KLR650
    2004-’04 Yamaha XT225

    At 63 years, Leaning toward lighter, dual purpose bikes such as KLR. Still have R100RT, great bike for open road.

  • I myself am not “mature” *just ask my wife* actually I am only 32, however I’ve been riding 20 years.

    1. Yamaha DT100G Enduro, great bike to learn on, crashed many times, still runs. Taught me a lot.

    2. Kawasaki H2, borrowed for 1 summer, lucky I didn’t kill my self or crash it, still pristine 3500 miles.

    3. Honda CB750 ’73, my first owned big bike, taught me a lot again.

    4. Kawasaki Concours ’00, awesome do it all bike, 34,000 miles in 4 years
    with a 6 month season. ND. Haven’t learned somuch on how to ride a bike since the Yamaha. Schools, trackdays, iron butts.

    5. Kawasaki ZX12R ’03, wow what can I say, thee bike for me for now, if it could be ridden more than 500/mi/day in stock form it would be perfect.

    At my age its not my final by any stretch, I think its great the leaps and bounds cycling has made and is making, even if my zx12r is being surpassed by smaller bikes, its great for all of us.

    The day I quit riding is the day I’m dead, there’s nothing else like it.

    I feel priveledged to have owned some of the more significant bikes of the last 35 years. Manufacturers, keep making strides, I’ll keep buying.

    If I could have 1 wish, it would be that each rider would buy the bike that they should own for their own needs, skill levels, desires, not buying into the marketing hype, not following the herd mentality, and not buying a bike to fit in to a particular group. First and formost, GET SOME TRAINING!!!

  • Great question…..I have about thirty five years of riding experience, am 51 years old, and as of today, I can’t seem to end up on any one bike. I currently keep a variety of bikes for different riding…I am on my second BMW K1200LT…obviously handles the tour duty…just rode from chicago to wyoming and back last week. I do ride the bimmer regularly around town in the IL suburbs. More often than not, I take my 05 FJR1300 for day rides..great ST machine, as you know. On a whim ( with restrictions looming) I bought a Hayabusa five years ago for grins….won’t ever sell it….great high speed GT…….a really capable bike now that I have heli bars/ST screen on it. Just sold a Mille R track bike…great hardware, but a liter bike would surly be my demise if I kept riding it. I still have an HD Road King Classic, keep thinking I should sell it, til I go for a short cruise and watch some 11 year old with their nose pressed against the mini vans glass…then I think about how I used to see the big HDs when I was a kid ( the ones with “car tires”). Seems like I will always own a HD. Finally, have had dual sports recently, a small one for my 19 year-old son..learning..and just sold my DRZ400..big mistake,,,,am looking for another one. I havn’t tried the big Trailies much, but been looking at V Stroms lately…will probably try it out pretty soo…can’t make up my mind on the 650 or 1000.

    So there you have it……..I just can’t settle yet, but if I could only have one…and I am still capable of running out of ground clearence…would probably be the Bimmer or the FJR…..leaning towards the Bimmer, cause there are a few states left I haven’t ridden to. Keep up the good work on MC Daily…I check it every week for updates.

  • Aprilia CapoNord, 03
    13.7k trouble free and happy miles
    Red Cappy, there is NO substitue.

    After all those miles throught the mountains and back roads of PA, MD, VA, WV, NC, TN, mostly 2 up, scratching the peg feelers when caring the moutain twisties, with speed and comfort for a 6′-2 240# guy with a tall wife, 160#, plus gear and luggage, the question is “if not the Capo, what else out there?”

    Yes, I have modded the suspension, adding the Hyperpro front and rear springs, added handguards and have the factory sidecases and the rear case.
    I have tried the new R1200GS, great bike, great suspension, but…. I will be keeping my Cappy. I am planning to try the 16T front sprocket, same as on the Rally Raid model, my Capo peers say that is it.
    The new K1200R became an alternative, I need to test drive it. Gorgeous bike, it may be my next bike, if I enjoy riding it and see if can beat what the Capo does so well. I have my doubts due to the wind preotection, but I will try.

  • Hey guys, great website etc – I read it all the time. I’m not sure if I qualify as a “mature” rider but I thought I’d drop you my feedback. I’ve been racing motocross since I was about 7 years old and in that time have had about 20 bikes – a mix of on and off roaders. I stayed with motocross until I was about 17 and could get my bike license, then had a few different bikes as my only form of transport for a few years (RGV250, CBR600, TRX850, ZX-7R, R1) which all saw the track pretty frequently.

    When I turned about 21 I got sick of going to mates’ funerals and doing ridiculous (read: illegal) things on the road. The answer ? Get back into Motocross! There are no speed-limits, no cops harassing you, dirt on the exit of a corner doesn’t bother you and fun starts a whole lot lower in the speed range. I’m now 24 and absolutely love club racing – I’m not going to be the next Chad Reed, but damn I’m having fun out there! I’m a whole lot fitter for it all too J So I reckon my KX250 is the ultimate bike – there aren’t any expensive fairings to replace when I drop it either.

  • Since you ask, I guess I qualify as a “mature” motorcyclist, maybe too mature, I’ve been riding for over 40 years, and for most of them have made my living as a motorcycle mechanic. I’ve been around since a Triumph Bonneville was considered the ultimate thing on two wheels. I’ve owned and loved many Japanese and British motorcycles (except for my ’67 Norton Atlas), never cared for H-D’s in the bad ol’ days and still don’t, all hype, mechanically inferior. Never could justify the cost of a BMW or Ducati when the Japs made as good or better bikes for half the price.

    As a dealership level mechanic, I’ve ridden, and repaired, just about everything the Japs have made in the last 40 years, and owned my share of them, from the CB750K1, every version of Gold Wing, early and late model dual sports, crotch rockets and wannabee’s. There was a day when I thought I had to have the hottest, damnedest thing on two wheels, I’ve ridden to the west coast half a dozen times, road raced my ’79 CB750F until I nearly killed myself at Nelson Ledges, and enjoyed crashing through the woods on overweight XR’s.

    My taste in motorcycles has always tended toward the basics, it’s the mechanic in me, trying to do simple repairs to modern plastic motorcycles is maddening sometimes. Almost no late model motorcycle turns my crank, most are too heavy, too narrow focused, too uncomfortable or too complicated. I only own two bikes that I ride now, my daily rider is an ’84 Nighthawk S fitted with an easily removed Windjammer and detachable luggage, my commuter-sport tourer-backroad roustabout. I bought it new because it had shaft drive, after the chain on my CB1100F went sour in spite of my best efforts. I wasn’t in love with it at first but it has proven to be an incredibly reliable and versatile bike, and suits me better than anything else made in the last 20 years. My other bike couldn’t be much more basic, a fully restored ’68 Triumph Bonneville that I found in a garage with 20 years dust on it. Restoring it was fun, a step back in time to my foolish youth, but each time I take it out I’m amazed at how competent it is, performance wise it is the equivalent to most of today’s smaller cruisers, and in looks and sound it is in a class by itself.

    If you are expecting a response to your question lauding one of the new classes of bikes that you never seem to find fault with, sorry to disappoint. Motorcycles haven’t gotten substantially better in the last 20 years, just ridiculously faster, more expensive and more difficult for the average motorcyclist to live with without someone like me to check his tire pressure for him (I say that because over 90% of the tires that cross my bench are underinflated). I’ll be curious to see how the rest of the old farts feel about what has happened to motorcycling.

  • I am 45 years old and have been an active motorcyclist for 22 years. I currently own a ’95 BMW R1100GS, ’02 Aprilia Capo Nord, and most recently an ’05 Honda CRF450X. Before kids I toured extensively and usually preferred back roads, which often turn into bad roads, hence the adventure tourer bias. I have ridden off road in the past, but I plan on making the Honda road legal and tearing up the real bad back roads in central Michigan. Given enough money I would have performance play bikes, but they cost too much to insure even for a 40 sumthin. Two bikes I am interested in are the KTM 950 Adventure (which I have ridden – the only adventure bike that feels like a big dirt bike), and the new BMW K1200R which I haven’t rode.

  • As a mature rider (over 35 years since my first bike, a couple of dozen bikes since then) I think I am qualified to respond to your question. There is a world of great bikes out there today but these days I am having more fun than I’ve had for many years on my 2001 V11 Sport Moto Guzzi. I bought it two and a half years and 12K miles ago as a “leftover” and am very glad I did. Between the end of the 90’s and the start of the new century I was getting so bored I even though about giving up on riding.

    I guess the modern word to describe the bike would be a naked. I just think of it a bike that makes maintenance, running errands, touring, sport riding and pretty much every thing but racing or off roading a great time. It doesn’t hurt that I still enjoy looking at it. I think I feel some of the draws to my bike that Harley riders feel to theirs but I am not drawn to Harleys. Pretty much the same for Ducatis, I’ve owned one but never really clicked with the bike. It has been said that a Guzzi is the middle ground between a Harley and a Ducati, that might be the best way to explain my feelings about the Guzzi.

    Most people wouldn’t have been happy with what I bought just after Thanksgiving 2003.Older Guzzis have a very well deserved reputation for being unrefined and poorly built. Most would have sold the bike and put it up to experience. I enjoyed the good parts enough to finish the factories work and found a jewel underneath well worth the work and money it has taken to polish. I would recommend a good look at the Breva 1100 (due in the US in
    September) for people looking for an easy to maintain, great all around bike without the work it took to make my V11 such a pleasure.

    A somewhat related side note: I did 170 miles yesterday with a bunch of friends, the roads ranged from interstate to “lane and a half” roads in the mountains to the southern part of the Big Sur section of Highway 1. My bike was a joy for every mile. Everybody on the ride was “mature”, a “what was your first bike?” conversation over lunch included a CB160, a CL175 and my Trail 90 (how important was Honda to people who started riding in the sixties and seventies?). The bikes were an ST4S Ducati, an FZ1, a pair of 650 Suzukis, a Triumph Daytona and my Guzzi. The other people seemed to be having just as much fun on our ride. With all the choices out there and all the miles we have ridden everybody seems to have found the right bike, or bikes, for them.

  • Been riding since 1975. I covered 60,000+ miles in the last seven years and will have to say that my 2002 Suzuki Bandit 1200S is the most versatile motorcycle on the planet. It is fast, comfortable, good-looking, 100% reliable, cheap to insure and easy to maintain (carbs and screw/locknut valve adjusters). I’ve owned many bikes and must say that a “mature” rider values speed, comfort, range and mpg. The Bandit motor has a lot of character and “mechanical presence” to keep you entertained (especially with a pipe)! The FZ-1 offers the same package with less low-end grunt and less character overall. I had the opportunity to ride both before purchase and the Bandit was just more fun. That’s something that will keep this 46 year old entertained for a long time.

  • After fifteen bikes ( we will disregard the Cushman years.) I presently ride an ’98 Harley Ultra Glide, a’01 Harley FXDX and an ’99 KLR 650 which is pretty much used as a commuter ride. . My 61 year old knees pretty much dictate relaxed knee angles so this sets my preferences for standards, cruisers, dual purpose and tourers.

  • Congratulations on your “Great Question”———-The likes of which “Energises me Sufficiently, to respond”.
    Should firstly point out that I am a Motorcycle & A T V -Dealer, since 1967.—————-Marques like> Triumph, Norton, Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW,-CZ, MotoGuzzi,-& POLARIS-ATV’ S, have I “retailed” inland NSW-AUSTRALIA. { Have worked upon & road tested since ’55.
    Dirt roads ,were the “Norm”, for so many years in what is Agricultural Red Soil Plains Country, & Yes, “Kangaroos+Foxes+Wallabies+Snakes+Echidna’s+Birds,of flight+Rabbits+Hair’s+& “Wandering Motorists”needed to be “Factored into “The Art of Riding a Motorcycle”by the not so faint hearted in the Community.
    Worth a mention here too , was a preponderance for Road Grader drivers, (back then in’55 onwards to “Sealed Road Times,’65)—to “Haul from the Verges any thing & move it on up to the Crown of the Road”,incl Rocks+Brambles+Rubbish.
    Punctures +Accidents were expected by most, ( they weren’t—–disappointed on that score}——————–Ambient temperatures were towards the “extremes in Winter & Summer”, with Severe Dust Storms & Floods, all of which “must be negotiated”, by the :intrepid young rider keen to pursue a Trade in a larger regional centre{In my case “Automotive Engineering”.
    A humble “first” Motorcycle was the B S A -125cc “Bantam”-air cooled 2 cycle machine of “questionable power output in’ ’55 “.
    Only once did it manage, in two years ownership to indicate 48 Miles Per Hour, with owner “laying under the paintwork” & pointing fronts of each shoe inwards,(& that was on a slight down gradient)!-
    In its favour though, when “floodwaters were a raging at a crossing up to “chest height”, I was able to lean against the force of the water current & holding firmly each handlebar end, as they “sprouted from the floodwaters “, shuffled with care to reach the other side, whereupon “inverted the machine”,cranking it over 40 odd times to “clear the crankcase”, & set about wiping the contact breaker points dry, with a rag, which I had drawn from neck for that purpose, to the “shock of car owners etc that were “trapped”that little engine “sputtered into life”, thus allowing further progress forward some 24 Miles ahead , which required more such “crossings”to reach home within 3 hours!—-From that episode one could say-KISS!–{ To Manufacturers,-“Keep It Simple Stupid!}
    A 1952 Norton”Dominator”-S7–500 cc Parallel Twin, obtained at reasonable price S H -was able , with skill , to traverse the “Notorious Roads”{ Bear in mind that Volkswagens were “cracking their Frame Heads”, here & South Africa at the time!
    With its 21 inch Front wheel + Roadholder Front Forks+Greaseable Rear “Plunger Springs”&”Healthy exhaust Note” {Wild life had plenty of time to be out of the way}
    With its sturdy “Burman” 4 speed gearbox & oil pressure gauge mounted at surface level within Fuel tank, this Motorcycle gave good fuel economy & a fair turn of speed for its time,with “trainline like handling”, but on two occasions the “Frame Downtube “Fractured”,which resulted in a “Search for a Cure”;which was found in a “Triangle Steel Plate , Welded” up under headstem .
    New 1958 Triumph “Thunderbird”, in 1959 showed great promise , but “Quality Control” let it down badly!
    At just 30 Miles, registered on “Speedo”-a small brass screw, used to secure “butterfly”within the S U Carburettor, having not been “locked at Factory”, “released-& jammed open an exhaust valve.
    The Lucas “Multicontrol headlight switch was also designed to “cut in “extra Alternator charging Coils, which it did to its detriment all too frequently.,———-Serious levels of Vibration, eminating from the Engine, began to take its toll on Rider & Machine,whenever high speed inland journeys were engaged in.{ Numbness in hands, with Fuel Tank seams & front Mudguard “opening up!!!
    Oil leaks, were a constant “Challenge to effectively repair”& no wonder when “Felt Wraps had been Factory Fitted to front forks, with “Bushings lasting 2500Miles until replaced!
    A curious looking plunger attached to “Timing Chest”, protruded when engine was running , indicated that “YES”you do have “Oil Pressure”,—-Tough if one whilst riding looks down to “check”, & run into a tree!!!—————-( A small rubber tube had to be replaced quite frequently on that oil pressure indicator,less right boot be contaminated with oil!!!————-Good points were 1/-Rapid,reliable starting–2/-Manageable weight at 385 Lbs—3/- Excellent Fuel Economy 4/-Smart looking in Gold & Black.
    New -BMW -R69s-,in 1969, with its “Earls Pattern Front Fork System”, ironed out the “Pot holes in roadway, but the added weight
    —was a burden on a descending left corner at Cargo loose dirt road & only that this rider had in earlier years engaged in short circuit racing was this machine able to be “Held Down”, pivoting on lts cyl head & “Pig Rooting” around that corner, with following Rider “Cartwheeling his BMW -R500-Twin & being Hospitalised.
    The R69s-required reboring at 9000Miles!–which was disappointing coupled with new silencer , due to “baffles breaking up:
    Rather pleased to see it go!-{ That may seem harsh to many BMW -owners, but that is my experience with that Machine}
    1975-kawasaki W3A-RS–650ccTwin–{ 53 BHP- at 5,500-RPM- has now just had its 30th Birthday!!!—{This, therefore has earned my “Respect”, having withstood collosal punishment over those years, most often with “Two Up”+ Luggage too,including Tent.
    Sifting through what I have included here I can see that it is the ” KISS”-principal, that has me with what some may see as a Japanese built B S A -“Road-Rocket”-, which is to misunderstand the astonishing internal differences in design,—-{The crankshaft , an item at the “HEART” of any engine is “Massive”out of the KAWASAKI W3-A-RS-}
    A manageable Motorcycle, with a “THROATY EXHAUST NOTE, SOUNDING LIKE ANGRY “BULL ELEPHANT ABOVE 3.000RPM!!——————Most recent journey to Canberra to attend Ulysses Annual General Meeting this machine returned 83M P G, -With winds pushing it along, & on return trip , into the wind 57MPG!—— Straightforward pushrod OHV -66mm x 72.6 mm -up to 112 MPH ,, cruise , laden all day long at 140 K/mh& any of the earlier versions I sold new I E–1972-W1S-A-their owners wont part with them!!!—————————So we can look over its Tech Data, & find it wanting {No Electric Start,—D C -Generator – not sophisticated rear suspension,—but to ride one of these Rare Machines, gives one an “ELATION”,unlike Numerous other Motorcycles!————————– (There “resides within these machines the feeling that one is as close as one wishes to be near an “UNTAMED ANIMAL”.——–The End.

  • my current bike, that i have been riding for 4 years and have put 50,000 miles on, is………. honda magna 1996.

  • I am a mature rider of the first order: I am 46-yrs old, am married, have a son, a mortage and most all of the other realities of a mature person.

    I started out on old Yamaha & Bultaco mini/dirt bikes. My first “real” street bike was a Honda VF500 Interceptor. Oooh yah, it was the essense of cool. Then I lost touch and was seduced by a VF700C Magna… candy apple red! A 1200 H-D Sportster; a XL 100. I managed two 1993 CBR900RR’s – the first one had a bad experience with a 4X4 on a mountain road. A ’98 RR.

    One of the best three bikes I’ve owned had to be a ’96 VFR750F. I logged about 15,000 miles/annum on that bike. Another “best” bike was my ’02 YZF-R1. I also averaged about 15,000 miles/annum. I had a ’00 R1 prior to that.

    Nexted was my flirtation with a Latin beauty, a ’00 996S. I couldn’t afford the mechanic due to the fact that I rack up a lot of miles on a bike.

    Which brings me to my current “best” ever bike: ’05 CBR 1000RR. I just finished 1,920 miles with a buddy on a ’04 RR going to the US GP, via Lassen Nat’l Pk, Hwys 9, 35, 49, 70, 89 & 1. We still can’t wipe the grins off. The first day we rode for 13 hours!

    Which brings me to my conffession: I never-ever can leave a bike stock… any bike. So, my – our, since my buddy did the same modifications to his bike, secret was 1) a double bubble windscreen; 2)Sargent seat (a must have); 3) a Throttlemeister (another must have); 4) fully adjustable rearsets; also he did Helibars, whilst I am wired for sound… or heat in my case. We each ulilized a hydration system – our mutual choice being Camel Back.

    I still average about 15,000 miles per year, I expect no change in the near future.

    This bike is a perfect fit for me… it is reliable. Not just because it’s a Honda, but rather it’s reliable because it carries out my instructions exactly as I dictate. Never ad-libbing. It doesn’t get tied up in notts over rough pavement. It doesn’t shake its head defiantly when I wind on the throttle coming out of first gear corners. It comes back into line with a little rear-brake when my right hand is over zelous at 45-degrees. I commute on this trusty steed. I throw saddle bags/tail pack and go away for a weekend sorte.

    There are faster/quicker/lighter bikes out on the market, but my infidelity with the Camp of the Tuning Fork taught me that the spirited flighty affair can spit you off/ bite you back… hard. Ducatis & R1’s and their ilk are demanding, unforgiving lovers. The 1000RR is trust-worthy, honest & calming… it doesn’t tell lies. White or any other colour. So, that is why after a truly long & winding road my “best bike of them all” is the Honda CBR 1000RR.

  • At age 52, after 30 years of riding, I ended up on an Aprilia Tuono. I went through Japanese superbikes, sport bikes, and standards. I learned I really liked the high performance, handling, and chassis of sport bikes, but also saw how ill suited they are for nornal street duty. And the trend toward decreased usability seem to be getting worse (i.e., 100 mph 1st gears?). All the bikes had some shortcomings, and as my body became less tolerant of severe riding positions, choices were looking pretty slim. Where could I get a USABLE performance bike that was comfortable? The answer was either the Aprilia Tuono or the Triumph Speed Triple, both with fine chassis and drivetrains, and without the neutering approach the Japanese used. Both can go faster than any person has a right to on the street. The Tuono’s rowdy attitude and wind protection sold me, and I am pleased as can be. I love this thing!

  • I started riding bikes back in 1984 1st bike was a GPZ 550 from there I purchased a KZ1000 then after that I bought a 86′ ZX600r in 1987 and from there on I was hooked on sport bikes. I crashed the bike about four years later then it wasn’t until 1998 that I started riding again. I purchased a 92′ ZX7 after that in 99′ I purchased a 99′ ZX9r and then in 04 I purchased the 1st ZX10r in the Tampabay area. I raced in the CCS Formula USA Super Sport class for 4 years until I broke my neck in a race at Robeling Road race way last year in June. I have fully recovered and still continue to ride to day.

    I don’t know if I plan to ride any other type of bike other than a sport bike right now I have ridden cruisers and some sport tours but my love is for the true sport bike it’s hard to get away from the rush of power that these new sports bike give and the handling they offer. I have added up to $6000 in up grades on my 04 ZX10r and probably will add another 3 to 5k. If I had to chose to ride another type it would more than likely be a custom chopper/cruiser I like to separate my self from the norm that explains why I put so much in to my bike to day. Hope this helps to add to your survey and by the way I am 40 years old and I enjoy reading your website.

  • I was interested in motorcycles as a kid, and when I was overseas in the service. I went on to medical school, and saw many severe motorcycle injuries as an intern in a big Navy hospital. With that and working in an emergency room in mind, I kept myself off cycles until age 42, when I finally gave in to the urge. I’ve been loving it since.

    My first bike was a 650 BMW, followed quickly by a 92 VFR. I found the greatest motorcycle roads I could to learn on that bike. I developed a lust for Ducatis. I gave in to that with one of the first 916’s to enter the country. I put 17,000 miles on that bike riding to the best of my abilities through the countryside and going to a couple of track schools, and track days with ReDuc at Pocono. Then I wandered to a 650 Honda Hawk. Great fun, with less body torture than the 916. The 916 went. I was thinking strongly of Honda F4, and as I went in the dealership, I saw an R1. The outcome was fated. I left with the R1.

    Unfortunately, I found that to get the same stimulation on the R1, with its limits, I was going, far, far faster. Coming to my senses, I let the R1 go. Then I picked up a GB 500, a Honda look alike for a British café racer, with a sleeved down 650 dirt bike engine. Also, great fun. Less than 30 horsepower, and I managed to run down a then current 911 on a very twisty road.

    From there, I took up trail riding, with first an xr 100, then a KTM 200 exc. Throttle control was paramount on the latter, and with tracks often 4 inches wide, and paths through trees that were closer than the cut down ends of the handlebars, bike control, balance and timing provided great fun and exercise.

    Unfortunately, a wrist injury put the end to that. A few years later, having aged a bit, I decided to try the more sedate life. A BMW R1150. Larger size lended itself to going more slowly and sanely on the back roads, as well as to comfort.

    It was a bit too sane, however, and one ride on an FJR 1300 convinced me. That’s where I am now. Modifying the FJR with a wilbers shock, re-doing the forks, and returning once again to the habits of my mis-spent middle age.

    More to come, I’m sure. I still have the Gb 500, and have a 650 engine to put into it.

  • After 40 years of riding motorized two wheelers I just sold my 2000 CBR929 ( a great bike, but, 55yr old wrists are 55 yr old wrists) and bought a Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom. I don’t know if it is the perfect bike, but when you consider price, value and versatility it comes close. My only criticism of the V-Strom is the windshield. Did anybody at Suzuki actually ride the bike before they put it on the market? The buffeting at anything over 30 MPH is ridiculous, and heaven help you if you get stuck in some “dirty” air behind traffic. The taller screen from Suzuki offered only marginal improvement. I have now bought a new screen from Cee Bailyes that looks to be much better. Overall, I’m glad I made the switch. That’s not to say that there isn’t the possibility of a GW or a K bike in the garage down the road a ways.

  • I’m 45 and have been riding since I was 18. I currently ride a 98’ BMW K1200RS but am seriously looking at the new Triumph Sprint ST (I guess I should also revisit the FJR1300 too). I’m driven towards functional bikes that can still carve it up a bit. (Not too much as it might be too tempting)
    I would welcome your thoughts on these two bikes. Feel free to add some bikes too.

  • I have been riding bikes since i was 4 years old. I lost count on how many I have had. I mean that I have that great addiction. i have raced on and off road most of my life. i have logged a least 300K on the street and travel in Southwest & Mexico all the time Adventure riding.
    I am now 43 and own a Motorcycle service shop in Tucson, AZ after the last fews of racing Aprilia Mille I started Motarrd racing and damm it’s fun stuff, I feel 21 again.
    Well more to the point

    My main ride these days is a KTM 950 Adventure which does it all pretty darn good even with 50/50 tires on it. in the deep single track or on a sporty mountain road or blasting down the hi-way.

    One bike can do it all but I still have 3………….
    Great stuff MD.

  • When I was younger it was all about speed and technology. I remember explaining to my wife why I had to have a bigger and faster bike when the new ones came out.
    It is like evolution I told her.

    Then for reasons of being too busy to ride (read as kids and working too hard) I laid off bikes for 10 years. Got back into it 5 years ago. What turned me on now? Big Adventure Tourers. Upright sit all day comfort. Able to explore the path less traveled.

    Only wish we had more choices in the US. Come on Honda, bring us the Transalp. I am also eyeing a big land yacht like a K-LT or Gold wing. Ask me 20 years ago if I would ever want one of those I would screamed NO! I must be getting old. I turned 43 today!

  • With 20 years of riding experience and 6 different bikes under my belt, without a doubt, the ultimate machine for me is my ’04 Yamaha R1. Nothing rips as hard through the canyons or through my heart as it does. Nothing.

  • I’m 39, been riding since I was 10, and have owned about a dozen bikes, from ’76 on. I’ve had ‘dual sports’, ‘standards’, ‘cruisers’ (including a Harley), ‘touring bikes’, ‘adventure touring’, and sport bikes.
    Currently, I ride a DR-Z400 kicker that I converted to street legal when I’m on the road, and I’m in my second year of roadracing a 600 Ninja.

  • I am a mid fifties male rider , riding off and on since early twenties. Started out with 160 Honda SS and am now back again, after other british bikes, to another ’73 Norton interstate. However, I have ridden two desireable bikes , an ST1100 and my brothers ST1300, and I will say that the last bike I will buy and ride will be an ST1300, probably by next spring. That to me is the ultimate bike.

  • I’ve ridden continuously since my Bridgestone 90 in 1966. I’ve likely owned 24-30 bikes. Had a cafe racer in the late 60’s, did the HD thing for 17 years and have ended up with a beautiful 96 BMW R1100RS and am riding far more than ever.

  • I have 35 years of street riding experience. First bike was a CB350; went through a 500 Triumph and two BSA rocket 3s before finding my true love, a
    1974 Ducati 750GT. Now I ride a Honda Superhawk996 and an Aprilia Futura.

  • Hi M/C Daily….
    First off, I enjoy checking out your site, well, daily… 🙂

    The “Where did you end up” question brings up a great topic and I fit into that “riding for decades” category… I will try to keep this to a synopsis and therefore short but hang on…

    I started out like most on small stuff, scooters, small trail bikes and went to small street bikes and then on to larger street motorcycles. I settled in with Triumphs for many years, Pre-Unit 500s and 650s, later some 750cc stuff but I prefer (still do) the pre-70 models… In the 70’s I lusted after the Moto Guzzis that I would see out and about and in ’82 bought my first Guzzi, an ’80 1000 SP and the rest, as they say, is history.
    Over the years we have had twelve Guzzis of various models, we still have six of them. These models run from the Sport Tourer of the early 80’s, the SP to the ’89 LeMans V to ’97 Sporti 1100 and the Touring models of the mid 90’s. Recently the Dual Sport thing got a hold on me, my buddies are all riding them… !! So I have obtained a Quota ES for those Adventure rides…
    Sprinkled in with these Guzzis have been 550 Hondas, Honda Hawk GTs (gave one to my daughter) VFRs and of course Yamaha ITs, YZs and Honda XRs to keep things interesting off road…!!

    My wife and I try to get a good tour in every Summer, this past Spring into Summer was a nice little blast through the South East, W. Va, KY, Tenn, ‘Bama and back up the BRP and Virginia, Pa, Delaware Water Gap and on back to Maine again.. last Summer was the Black Hills of South Dakota by way of Canada and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan…. these two trips were on the ’04 Moto Guzzi EV Touring V11. We frequent Canada for shorter rides also as we are close to that border.

    So to sum it up I really cannot point to one do-it-all motorcycle however, I have “Ended up With” Guzzis… and I always will. I enjoy very much the handling qualities of Guzzis, from the ’84 SP to the Sporti, new one and everything in between. The Quota may be the “Do it all” rig big but I’ll need a few more thousand miles before I can tell you. I put on about 15-18K each year in this abbreviated North East climate, many of those are two up with Sue. Our entire Family rides, Daughter and Son and their spouses and we have a two year old Grandson that is a wheel nut already..:)

    Thanks for the opportunity to chat about motorcycles, clearly one of my favorite topics… 🙂 Rob & Sue Mid Coast Maine

    Our current rides are:

    ’04 Moto Guzzi – EV Touring
    ’00 Moto Guzzi – V11 Bassa
    ’00 Moto Guzzi – Quota ES
    ’97 Moto Guzzi – 1100 Sporti
    ’84 Moto Guzzi – SP 1000
    ’76 Moto Guzzi – 850-T3 Special

    ’67 Triumph TR6

    ’90 Honda 650 Hawk GT (Track Only)
    ’85 Yamaha RZ 350
    ’88 Honda XR 200 R
    ’70 Dalesman 125 Trials


    an ’80 Honda NC 50 Express…!!

  • Saw your article on mature riders and thought I’d respond. Throughout the years, I’ve had several types of bikes – standards, sport-tueres, and sport bikes. I currently own a CBR1000RR, but only because I live in Colorado and the altitude has seriously challenged the power of Interceptor-class bikes. My ideal bike would be a 400-430lb Interceptor, same or even slightly more relaxed-ergos, with 125-135 horses at the rear wheel. A V4 or V5 with gear-driven cams, to return to the original sound of the VFR, would be welcome as well. Most of my riding consists of 1-2 hour stints after work and short weekend rides. I end up on back-country roads and enjoy the wind protection and handling of a sport-turing bike – though I still like to feel the elements. So as of yet – my ideal bike is not available, and I will continue to ride the 1000RR until something catches my eye. What I like about the 1000RR is it’s linear power, composure, and quality for this class of bike. What it doesn’t have that I’d greatly enjoy are more relaxed ergos and some of the niceities of a sport turer- metal tank, center stand, fuel gauge – and the capacity to take my wife for rides with some level of comfort.

  • am 51 years old and started riding in my dad’s pastures at age 11 on a 1964 Yamaha 80. I worked in a Kawasaki shop during high school when the official marketing phrase was “KAWASAK IT TO ME BABY”.

    List of bikes:

    1964 Yamaha 80

    1969 Harley Davidson Sprint 350

    Kawasaki 250 Sidewinder-shop racer

    Kawasaki A-1R 250 Factory roadracer-shop racer

    BSA Goldstar-shop racer

    Kawasaki 175 trailbike

    Kawasaki 500 Triple

    Suzuki 360 triple

    Montessa 250 on a Rickman Matise (sp?) frame

    Bultaco Sherpa Trials bike

    Maico 250

    Maico 440

    XR 650

    Honda Ascot 500 single

    Yamaha Virago

    1968 Harley Davidson FLH

    Ducati Monster 600

    Ducati 748

    KTM 300 EXC

    Kawasaki KLR 650

    Honda CRF 230

    I currently have the KLR for checking out the dirt roads around Las Vegas, the 230 for riding with my 6 and 8 year old kids when they are on their dirt bike and quad (it is quiet enough for me to teach them how to ride with the motors going) and I don’t have the heart to sell the 68 FLH after all the work I put into it as well as the memories it gave my wife and I. I am still looking for the perfect bike. Unfortunately the diversity of interests makes it an elusive target.

  • I am 38 and an avid dirt and street rider. I’ve owned many street bikes and every time I’m ready to purchase a new ride the adult, and the child inside me disagree. The adult tells me to get the bike that does all things well, comfort, handling, performance and styling. There are many models that fit this bill.

    Why is the child in me undefeated on the showroom floor, I guess it’s because “all things well” isn’t as intoxicating as a focused, purpose built bike, that does a few things great. Bikes are expensive investments and excitement has to be part of the package, for me at least. I would never say the bikes I’ve chosen are perfect, far from it actually.

    If all bikes covered all aspects of a riders needs motorcycling would be a pretty lame hobby. Everything well usually equals boring. If variety is the spice of life, I believe that includes motorcycles.
    There has never been a time that I didn’t envy another riders bike for whatever purpose it exploited, especially the ones mine did not. I guess thats what keeps my addiction to bikes alive.

    Heres to never finding that perfect bike.

  • Always ridden cruisers after learning to ride in the 60’s. Like the sound and the look but I guess I’m going thru a mid life crisis and want to be a hooligan again.
    My back won’t take a full on sportsbike riding position so I checked out a number of uprights (naked UJM’s).
    Nearly talked myself into a Suzuki SV1000 when Honda came out with a great deal on their Hornet 919. Just what I was looking for. Good looks, enough power for me and an incredible price – $A11,990 drive away instead of around $A15,000. Sold my VTX 1800 privately within a couple of days and walked away with a 919. I really love this bike. I’ll still probably end up buying a sports tourer too though (her indoors permitting).

  • Well been riding on and off most of my life but the last flue year been trading bikes and scooter a lot. After trading in my 2005 Vulcan 750 and selling of my Aprilia
    Scarebo 500 I have settled on the Burgman AN650K5, I do a lot of riding and it has the comfort and can accommodate me and my partner well, and is a lot of fun to ride solo.

  • do not think it is the “end”, but here are what I have now. I am 64. You name it , I have had it. From a 600 Norton in 1960 to a GTS1000 last year. 60 or 70 bikes. As I age, lighter is better. So I am back to my 1981 BMW 800GS and a 1993 Husaberg 501FE. Both have electric start, are light, and if I drop one of them, all that is required is to pick it up and continue the ride. No worries, no repairs, just fun.

  • I am not mature yet (51 years old) but, have some riding experience(60+ bikes), I have evolved to a KTM300EXC as the bike of choice.No traffic laws,cars pulling in front of me,inspections,or traffic jams are fouling up my rides lately. That is why I now ride mostly in the dirt. When I ride on the road I usually choose a full size cruiser like the Road Star.

  • After starting with dirt bikes in the late 60s, including trying my hand @ moto-x, hare and hound & desert racing. I moved to small “enduro” type street legal bikes due to increasing land closures. I had RD350s, Nortons and later large displacement (back then) street and sportbikes. About 10 years ago I bought an ST1100. Increasing family & job commitments limited my time and I had to choose one bike to keep. That was the ST. Turns out that this is the ideal, if I can only have one bike, option for me. It’s just sporty enough to be fun in the twisties, comfortable enough and with good luggage capacity for touring, and just practical enough to be an excellent commuter. It also got good fuel mileage (45-50 MPG) and with 7.4 gallons of fuel on board had great range. In addition the bike had proven very reliable & durable. Maintenance costs are very low and the tip over guards are a godsend!

    I put 150,000 miles on that bike and was so impressed that I recently upgraded to the new ST1300!

  • Age: 57
    Experience: 38 years riding
    35 years racing
    61 bikes owned one time or another (mostly dirt)
    15 years in m/c industry (5 as a Honda Rep)
    8 bikes currently owned

    What do I ride the most?
    ’02 Honda VFR 800 w/ABS –and European-only dark blue bodywork and Traxxion front fork mods with Ohlins rear shock. Stock engine.

  • I started my riding career on a Yamaha 125 dirt bike back in the 70’s.
    I learned alot on that bike and I could hang with anyone on the trails. I moved on to better machine’s but what I learned on that old Yamaha served me well over the years.

    My first street bike was a Honda Nighthawk S. The bikini faired 700cc model. I bought it from a guy that moved up to the 84 Honda V45 Interceptor. That Nighthawk was magic. It took me back and forth to school and I had lot’s of date’s on that bike. Everyone seemed to like it. I still wish I had kept it. I sold it to help my girlfriend ( now wife ) buy her first car..a Pontiac Fiero..the absolute worst car we ever owned ( that’s another story ). I wasn’t bikeless for long as my future Mother in Law got tired of me whining about not having a bike. She came home one day with a bike magazine with all the new model’s in it for 1985..and I fell in love with the Kawasaki 900 Eliminator. A few day’s later she bought it for me..what can I say..I have a great Mother In Law. I rode that bike for a long time and eventually sold it. I moved up to the Kawasaki ZX-11..1991 model,Black and Magenta in color and stinking fast. I had the only one in town for a long time. I sold it and moved on to the other hyper bike’s. GSXR’s, FZR’s, 2 V-Max’s..the list is long. I also had the Bandit 1200 when it came out in 97. Loved it from day one..very fast and comfortable too. Sold the Bandit when I saw pic’s of the 98 Yamaha R1..I worked at a Yamaha-Suzuki dealer and I got the first Blue 98 R1..that bike changed all the performance rule’s. Big time fast with handling like it was laser guided. Sold the R1 after the new wore off and everybody and their brother had one. I wanted something more comfy than the R1 but I also wanted speed..enter the 99 Honda CBR 1100XX..loved that bike and rode it MANY miles. I also bought the Hayabusa and while it was faster than the Blackbird I found myself drawn to ride the Blackbird more. I sold both the Hayabusa and Blackbird and bought a 2001 GSX-R 1000. Loved that bike and it carried me many trouble free miles. Sold that bike and bought another Bandit 1200..quickly sold it when it started using oil like crazy. Bought a Yamaha I really liked that bike. Speed and comfort and I thought I had found the perfect bike. Then I saw the Kawasaki Z1000. Even more nimble than the FZ-1 and it looked WAAAAYYY more cool. Rode that a few month’s and bought a Honda VTX 1800 C. That affair lasted about a tired of that very quick. I am a sportbike guy at heart and I like a bike that is comfortable to ride long distance. Walked in the Honda dealership and there sat a Metallic Black 2003 CBR 1100 XX. It was love all over again. I still have that bike and it has performed flawlessly. I can ride all day with no discomfort and it will hit hyperspeed at the slightest prodding. It is a great bike. I will not part with this one. I just wish it would have gotten more coverage and respect for what it is. The Hayabusa and ZX-12 are faster in all out top speed but in real world riding the Honda Blackbird has them both beaten by mile’s. I love my Blackbird and I wont make the mistake of selling this one. It’s the ” one ” as far as I’m concerned.

  • The Only Bike For Me (us)

    The bike magazines and most motorcycle companies would like you to believe the sport of motorcycling is always changing technically, thus needing a new cycle every couple of years. Our (wife & I) bike is a little different.

    I sold (when I was single)1978 1000cc Guzzi G5 and bought a new 1984 FXRT, a true (1) one -up SPORT TOURING machine. And it became a (2) the DAILY DRIVER, to do the back & forth to work grind. I claim it has not missed a rain here in Illinois and only a few snows since it was new. I was in heaven; it was the first year for the Evo and the motorcycling community didn’t know what was to follow..

    It was red w/ gold stripes and stickered for $6800.00. The plan was to ride the bike and not wrench on it at all. Three years later and 60k miles, I said that was enough. A change was imminent. The changes related to engine performance mods.

    That was the beginning, in the following years, the bike would respond to meet the changing riding styles. I got married, it became a (3) two-up SPORT TOURER. With the engine mods (common engine mods included; cam, carb, head mods, header & ignition) it became a (4) Performance SPORT TOURER.

    Later a tour pack, tank bag and a modified gas tank (5.5 gal capacity) it became a (5) long distance TOURER. Adding a trailer hitch, it became the (6) CAMPING TOURER. The bike went through a weight loss program at one time (bags removed, fairing removed, brakes & suspension upgraded) it became a (7) SPORT BIKE (not quite a VR1000, never the less a sport bike). In its trim days, riding with a friend having a 94 GS, it became a (8) DUAL-SPORT sort-of bike. By now the year was 1995, the bike has been painted 4xs with everything from flames to a clean single color. It is now black, like in Sturgis. It has been in almost every state (including Alaska and all the Provinces and it has 152k miles.

    It is time to retire the bike and perform a real engine and chassis rebuild, now that Buells are affordable. We are going to get a Buell (sport tourer). But, we have a son. The RT becomes a (9) HACK. The hack has been designed to be removable in just minutes for those reminiscent rides with the wife from days gone by, but mostly it is the (10) FAMILY WAGON with 178k miles and still waiting for the engine and chassis rebuild.

    Why would you need another bike?

  • I’ve been riding for 3 decades and enjoyed each and every one of my mounts, (Elite 250, GS 250, GS400, Kawaka 450, Virago 1100, Honda 750 Nighthawk “S”, ), but none so much as my current pride and joy. I’m 54 and commute 25 miles each way every day 6-7 months of the year, go for a spirited ride most Sundays and try for 1 or 2 three day road trips per year. In 2002 it was time for ‘the bike to end all bikes” so reading, talking and generally becoming obsessed with the NEXT one started and continued till I got my 02 ZRX1200R in Feb of 03. Your review of it played a part in the decision btw.

    What I love, the ergos – perfect for my 5 – 9 frame
    the power – how could you not, outguns everything at the lights and on the freeways
    The agility – not perfect but perfect enough for my needs
    the bike – I wanted it then, I’ve got it now

    What I don’t love, the chain – hate em, but what are you gonna do if you want this bike?
    I’d like a centre stand for the the chain maintenance but it would add more weight and even I can’t figure how they’d put it on.

    Thanks for the opportunity to spout off.

  • I’m 39 years old, and finally ended up w/ 2 bikes which I love and hope to hang onto for a while after being a compulsive bike-trader since entering the hobby in summer ’98.

    Here’s my ownership history:


    ’98 Superhawk

    ’99 ZX9R fast and comfortable, just a bit lacking in character and sex appeal

    ’99 R6 best track bike I’ve ever owned, even moreso than my dedicated race/track bikes!

    ’00 R1 (ironically switched to slow down from the R6, which didn’t like cruising the streets at a moderate pace)

    ’01 SV650S (decided I needed to slow down even more)

    ’02 RC51 – sold it and totally abandoned street riding for the dirt (for about a year)

    ’03 Tuono – best overall street bike I’ve owned/ridden by a mile. I rarely ride it (still preferring dirt), but I know I’d regret selling it. As long as I’m going to keep a street bike around, it doesn’t get any better than this! It’s super comfortable, performs great (yet doesn’t mind crusing at a relaxed pace), maxes out on the fun factor, has loads of character, and is perfectly reliable.


    ’00 DRZ400E – my entrée into dirt, w/ the intention of using it to cross-train/build skills for roadracing

    ’00 YZ426 – worst bike I ever owned – heavy, hard to start, tiring, PITA to maintain…I sold it after a few months

    ’03 CRF450R – had to buy one after riding a buddy’s, it was fun but tiring

    ’04 CRF250R – orig. bought as an addition to the stable, but once the bike and my riding style was dialed in for it, I had no more desire to ride the 450, and it was sold shortly thereafter. I won my hare scramble class last year w/ it despite being outpowered by the entire field – it’s handling made up for it.

    ’05 YZ250 – also bought as an addition, mainly intended to try a 2 stroke for MX. After the CRF250 became inconsistent w/ dead engine starts, I placed it into hare scramble service late last year. It was a difficult transition to 2 strokes, but it’s an awesome tool now – near 450 level power, w/ a lighter feel than the CRF250, and it starts first kick plus requires much less maintenance.


    Old (’89) Hawk – bought w/ 2 endurance teammates, it was dog slow but taught me a lot about preserving speed through the corners

    ’99 CBR600F4 – nice having a cheap bike that I could toss down the track w/o worrying about it, so that’s exactly what I did! It was fun, but suffered in comparison to my prior R6, mostly due to relative lack of cornering clearance (even w/ rearsets) and less overrev.

  • Interesting poll. I’m 39 years old, and have had a motorcycle license for 23 years. I’ve owned many motorcycles over the years, and my “…end up with…” ride is a 2002 Kawasaki ZRX1200R.

    This is almost the perfect bike for me. I commute on it most days for approximately 250 miles per week. I ride it for pleasure on weekends, with a few longer trips here and there. To my “old school” eye, it looks like a million bucks, (color: red) and lots of horsepower, torque and personality. The bikini faring works unbelievably well, (as they always did) but you still have that gorgeous engine out there in the breeze that doesn’t look like some plumbed lump of an appliance!

    It can run all day at 90 mph with no sweat. I can fly it up my back roads (Santa Cruz County, Northern California), or use that big torque to just loaf around. With the wide range of ergonomics, I can sit on the tank and lean in for super motard, (good clearance) or kick back and stretch way out (good comfort with 6’2″/250lbs+ me onboard). Wheelie or not, your choice! Good mileage to go with all that power, and a nice big tank. No problem with a passenger, (they’re comfy too) and/or slap some luggage and a tank bag on too.

    Purchased new at reasonable price, not expensive to live with (I do eat up some tires though. After several brands, have been very happy with the Avon AV series.)

    Having said all that, my want to have (aside from one from each category!) is a FJR1300. But I’m still keeping the Z-Rex!

  • F.O.G. (Fast Old Guys)

    I have been riding for over 30 years. The bikes I have owned run from a stock 1977 CB550K to 1983 CX650E, 1986 VF500F etc. I currently ride a 2003 ZX-12R. I sport tour this baby on 2400 mile+ long weekend jaunts and I love it. It may not be my last bike as I demo rode a BMW K1200S this past weekend. Not a bad rig. I am 52 years old. My good riding buddy, Russ Major, has had years more riding experience and now rides a 2002 GSXR750. He is 61!! No Burgmans for these old farts!!

  • 44 and have ridden seriously (owned my own bike) since I was about 21.

    My first bike was a 175 XL Honda

    2nd was a ’69 T500 Suzuki Titan

    3rd was an ’81 CB650C Honda

    4th ’79 CBX Honda

    5th another ’79 CBX Honda purchased 1988 (still own it).

    6th ’88 Honda Hurricane purchased 1997 (still own it).

    Looking feebly for a CB1100XX Blackbird.

  • After years of V-twins and the a stint on a Bandit 1200s, Concours and finally the best of them all FJR1300. Can’t say enough about it. Great all around bike. Needs more horsepower.

  • Been riding and racing for over 30 years ( Dirt, Desert, Road race) I purchased a 2003 Suzuki DL1000 Vstrom – after 10 years with an ST1100 and a KLR650 – the big Vstrom felt like the KLR but had the smoothness and more torque than the ST – I love it, it’s narrow, it’s light ( compared to the ST) fitted with BT020s & braided lines it can chase and catch Tuono’s – I do adventure touring with it I can ride two up with ease – I’m entered in my 4th “BabyButt 1000” – 1000miles in 24hrs. Our club ( Red Hot Riders) – is a good mix of VFRs, FJRs, some Beemers and lately Vstroms ( both sizes) – If you want to see what the “mature” rider is riding , come join us this September 17th and 18th in San Diego (
    Still have a 2001 SV650S for canyon carving/track days, and a 1983 IT490 for the “Classic Class” out in the dez.
    Thanks for asking!

  • I am a 48 year old rider from Harrisburg, PA and have been riding for the past 12 years. I have had 15 bikes in that time and currently own three of them: a silver/black 2001 Honda CBR600F4i, a red 2002 Honda VFR800 VTEC and a black 2001 Triumph Speed Triple. You see, I can’t decide between a sportbike, a sport-tourer or a naked bike, I love all three styles but none of them to the exclusion of any of the others.

    My next bike is likely to be either a silver Triumph Sprint ST (very similar to the VFR) or a black Benelli TnT 1130 (very similar to the Speed Triple). These two bikes the most exciting new bikes to me right now.

  • After 30 years of riding everything from BMW’s to Harleys, this 57 year old man thinks that sport-tourers are the ultimate motorcycle if a person is to own just one (or, as in my case, two). Sport-tourers combine the benefits of the big luxo-tourers (comfort, protection from the elements, and luggage capacity) with the benefits of sportbikes (relatively light weight, sporty acceleration, and great handling). I currently own a 2004 Yamaha FJR1300 and a 2003 Honda VFR800FI Interceptor.
    Both are wonderful, and wonderfully flexible, motorcycles!

  • The nice thing about being mature (if 36 and living with a motorcycle in my livingroom is mature) is that typically you have a bit more disposable income, so more than one bike becomes a possibility. I have a KTM 950 Adventure for street riding, a Ducati for the track, a second KTM for the dirt and I keep a BMW in Italy for riding in the Alps with my wife. One trip to the factory and I am thinking about a second Ducati these days.

    I had a GS (loved it), and now ride a 2004 KTM 950 Adventure (less weight, more power) and think they are the bikes you ride when you have ridden everything else because they are fast enough, comfortable, handle well, cover distance over most terrain easily and have some character.

  • I am 65 yrs old and have been riding since I was 13. I think the bike(s) you have reflect the area you live in and the riding available. I live in Colorado and have 12 motorcycles to fit the different motorcycle riding days and events. . The two most used are the Yamaha TDM850 for on-off road riding which obviously there is a lot of ( a great bike by the way ) and a Kawasaki ZRX1200 for overall comfortable ergonomics and great power for passing whatever needs to be passed in the mountains. You don’t want to stay behind a pickup/camper trailer doing 45mph when it is obviously a sweet 80mph sweeper kind of day. Also, I like the idea of soft-saddlebags .. ready to go at any moment. That is probably a left over from my early days. ;-)))

    I would like to see articles on sport bikes that have been modified for better ergonomics so that older dudes like me can used them for long distance touring. I am looking into doing that very thing to a late model 1000 come this winter and would love to see how others have attacked the problem of long distance comfort.

  • 36 years of riding and I have run the gambit. I currently own a KTM LC4 640, and am in the process of purchasing a Suzuki VSTROM 1000.

  • Hello, I’ve been riding 30 years now(man that’s scary) Anyway, I ride everything. But after decades of only being able to afford Asian bikes I now have three bikes that I always wanted.

    1998 Harley CR1000 Replica, the real ones are dinosaurs so I had to make my own. This is my muscle car or bad attitude bike.

    1984 BMW R80GS Has to be one of the greatest motorcycles ever. It handles the twisties like nothing else and then the logging roads at 60mph.

    2000 KTM 250 MXC I race amateur veteran motocross and ride and the dunes and hit the high desert on this gem.

  • Starting in the early 80’s I’ve had a couple of standards, a Harley Sportster and a Ducati SS. My current bike (and the one I’ve put the most miles on) is a 2000 Triumph Sprint RS. It has the right combination of decent ergos for my 46-year-old body and nimble handling for the kind of riding I like to do, which is mostly day rides out on curvy country roads. The 955i motor is really, really sweet, too; it’s smooth, has great midrange response with a good top-end, but not so powerful as to get me into (too much) trouble. Every time I consider getting a new bike I come to the conclusion that there’s nothing else significantly better available yet. When the time comes to retire the RS the only contenders might be the newer 1050 Sprint ST or perhaps a Ducati Multistrada 1000.
    Looking forward to reading your follow-up article on this subject.

  • Great question, because if the OEMs could figure this out they’d make a killing.

    The answer for me is always next year’s rumored bike.

    Every year, I think some OEM is going to come out with my dream bike, but so far I have been disappointed every time. I want a bike that is big enough for 2 people and luggage, looks great and has an emotional appeal, is powerful and fast, comfortable, and handles well. As emotionally satisfying as a Ducati, Moto Guzzi or Harley, but totally modern tech like ABS, maybe belt drive, and POWER! Now I know as soon as you and yours readers see that description they’re going to start suggesting bikes they think fit the criteria. But there’s always at least 1 area where the bike disappoints me, especially if I’m going to be paying big bucks for a new one.

    When I first read about the Kawasaki “power cruiser” (don’t even get me started on that misnomer!) I thought that would be just the ticket. Then the Mean Streak hit the showrooms, and it obviously didn’t qualify in the power department. You could pretty much say the same thing for every so-called “power cruiser” that followed. RoadStar Warrior – too slow; Honda VTX too heavy & too slow; where is Suzuki’s entry in this niche?

    Finally I gave up on the large twin aesthetic, and started considering sportier bikes.

    Ducati? Wish THEY would make a power cruiser!

    Moto Guzzi – Lots of potential there. The Griso looks intriguing, then I see they’ve backed off the 4 valve engine to go with the old 2 valve. And someone tell them they MUST change the name if they bring it to America. Another near miss.

    BMW? They DID make a nice cruiser with great modern tech and cool heritage appeal, but underpowered. I hoped they’d step up in the power department but they abandoned the market altogether! Argh!

    Harley? Don’t make me laugh! I know some of you will point to the V-Rod as meeting my criteria, and I must admit I was tempted, but has all the baggage of Harley – the boutique they call a dealership, the circus ringmasters they call dealers, the fact that this bike is at least $3,000 overpriced compared to comparable models from others, I could go on and on but that’s another letter.

    Honda? Gold Wing is great but a little large for an everyday ride, and falls just a little short on the emotional/ aesthetic side. Suggestion Honda – make a new line of retro UJM. 750 and 1200 cc, air cooled, not Nighthawk or Hornet styling but semi-retro like the old CB line, but with aluminum frame, fuel injection, bargain 750 with chain drive and up market 1200 with belt or shaft, a line of a zillion accessories from clip -ons, bikini fairing, single seat/cowl to bags & full fairing. People will say they tried already & failed with the CB1, NightHawk 750 and Hornet, but all had poor styling and were overpriced at least in the U.S.

    Other Japanese? Seems like every year they promise more tech & power & handling in cruisers, but never really deliver. At least not yet. The sport/ touring side (Kaw ZZR/FJR1300) is too sterile for me. One possibility – a totally redesigned Yamaha V-Max for the 21st century. Longer, lower, lighter, better handling… every year a rumor, every year the same old 1984 bike comes back for another go around.

    Triumph? These are the guys I think are coming closest, but still no sale for me. The Rocket III, as others before it, looked like it might be the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow when it was only a rumor, but final execution is way too heavy and way too ugly. A bigger, faster Bonneville with a little more tech (Fuel injection & ABS) might be just the ticket…

    Which brings me to my current “next year” bike – the newly rumored twin taken from 2/3 of the Rocket & styled like a Bonneville. Lets see… big ass, 2 cylinder, water cooled, counterbalanced, fuel injected, 4 valve/cylinder engine – check… Cool semi-retro styling – check… big & comfortable enough for a large guy like me & a lady friend- check… but will it have some cojones or will that engine be emasculated to protect the sales of big brother? Will it really look cool like a Bonneville or will they blow it like they did with the Rocket? And while I’m ranting, am I the only guy out here who thinks anything that costs more than, oh, say $12,000 or so should come with ABS at least as an option, no matter what market niche it’s in?

    In the meantime I’ll just ride another year on whatever old UJM I can find a good deal on, and just deal with the carbs and the chain and old tech suspension for another season. I’ll wager you get a lot of replies from people who say their ultimate is 2 or 3 bikes… that’s whole ‘nother direction from the one of the 1 perfect bike I’m taking.

  • You have asked for input from ‘mature’ riders as to where we have ended up in our search for the ultimate ride. Here’s my input:

    Honda ST1100.

    I have two, both 91s. The first currently has 162,000 miles and I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a cross country trip as soon as some serious cosmetic work is completed.

    The second has only 45,000, the last 12,600 added during the past six weeks on just such a cross country trip. I purchased this bike last fall as a ‘total’ and spent part of the winter returning it to a fully functional condition. It performed well on this trip, averaging ~45 MPG.

    I avoided interstates as much as possible, choosing instead to ride the good roads. I traversed many of our favorite roads and surprised some full sport bikes while doing so. Road in 22 different states, mostly east of the Mississippi. There are ~3 million miles of roads in the US, and two thirds are east of the Mississippi.

    The ST-1100 has long legs and a long range. Also, it handles the twisty bits much better than its size would indicate. It’s great for getting to the good stuff and just as great once ya get there. Who could ask for more? It also does okay on decent dirt roads, but sucks in the sand! Don’t ask me how I know.

    I arrived here after many years of experience and many other bikes, including 3 Gold Wings. I’ve ridden Harleys too many miles, ridden dirt bikes and raced Moto-X not nearly enough miles, and have settled on the ST1100 as the perfect bike for me. Of course, I haven’t ridden an ST1300 yet.

  • Name : Meletis

    Country: Greece

    Age: 35

    Years on bikes: 20

    New bike: R1200GS

  • 53 years “old”, married, kids.

    My first ride was on the back of a friend’s Vespa when I was 13- that sold me on two-wheel power!

    My first street vehicle was a Honda 305 Dream- UGLY and slow, but absolutely bullet-proof, and the only bike in the high-school parking lot with electric start- very cool!

    Sold that to go to university, and when I graduated I rewarded myself with a new 1996 Kawasaki KZ900. Fabulous motor, scary suspension! Head shakin’ demon, but what a hoot to ride!

    Sold that when I got a job in Europe. I was travelling on business all the time, but I did get a chance to take out a Suzuki GS1000 on the Autobahn ( no speed limit at the time)- another eye-opener.

    Came home, got married, had kids, big mortgage so no toy money etcetc but kept reading the cycle mags.

    When the CBR 1100 Super Blackbird was introduced, I knew that sooner or later that would be the bike to get me back on two wheels.

    In 2001 I did the deal, and the night before I picked it up, sat my wife down and said ” I have something to tell you…” . In retrospect, a great strategy; she was relieved, as she first thought I was going to say I had a girlfriend!

    Because of all the demands on my time, I use the Bird mostly for commuting but even the 30 mile ride to work is a great way to start a workday, and on the way home there are a couple of spots along the way to either get over or get fast- snaps me out of office-mode like nothing else.

    The Bird is everything it’s cracked up to be- awesome power with very smooth delivery, great balance of handling and comfort, great brakes, and absolutely reliable.

    A colleague and I recently trailered ( hey, we’re “mature riders” which means we need to conserve energy for the good stuff!) our rides from Toronto to Waynesboro, Virginia in June, and got to ride Skyline Drive one day, and down the Blue Ridge the next day. Aside from a near head-on with a black bear ( not to mention several deer across the road incidents), it was one of, if not the, best rides I’ve ever had.

    There is no perfect bike, but the Bird gets close to it for me. My daughters and I are now kicking around the idea of getting a dirt bike or two for weekend fun, but Mom is pushing for ATVs…

    Keep up the great work, your website is in my Top Five Favourites and gets a visit almost daily!

  • I am 50 and have been riding, off and on, since I was 15. My first bike was a little Kawasaki 90cc 2-stroke street bike (model designation long forgotten alas). My current ride is a 2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R, which I absolutely love. It has all the best qualities of the utilitarian UJMs of my youth combined with enough performance to keep me awake in the saddle. I’ve looked at other bikes over the last few years, some of which were faster, lighter, and (presumably) better handling, but none of which checked all the right boxes to oust the ZRX from my garage. If I had my free choice of an ultimate assortment of bikes for my modest-sized garage, with money no object, I would have:
    the ZRX1200R for relaxed hooning around town, tackling the Angeles Crest Highway, and the odd all-day sport ride; a BMW R1200RT for getting to far away destinations with extreme comfort and with enough sporting ability to satisfy along the way; and a Ducati 749R for track days, exclusivity, and that special Ducati V-twin experience. If space allowed, to top things off I would add an MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini, since it honors one of the great designers and seems to be a top performer in the bargain. Alternate choices would be the latest Triumph Sprint ST in place of the BMW (less comfort but more sport), a Kawasaki ZX-6RR in place of the 749R (less exclusive but possibly better at the track), and a Ducati 999R in place of the MV (almost as exclusive and with better dealer support).

  • How come some of these kids call themselves mature riders, Ive been riding since 52 just about got a half million miles up an don’t call myself mature even though I look it,still like to chase sports bikes.
    Found my perfect bike six years ago a Triumph RS with touring bars, its lightish,comfortable just done 450 miles for a coffee on miner roads 50mph av..speed limits 60 here in england never missed a beat in 35000 miles,can get 60mpg keeping corner speeds up and leaving it in top.what more can you want ,no luggage just put flask and sandwiches in my tank bag and go.

  • Started riding street bikes in 1979 with a 1978 XS650 Special. (not including all the motocross/enduro’s)

    Today, 30 bikes later with an average of 16,000 kms/year, I still ride and currently own the followings:

    – 2004 GoldWing

    – 2004 CBR1000RR

    – 2003 VFR800

    Previous bikes:

    – 1978 Yamaha XS650 Special (1 year)

    – 1978 Yamaha XS1100 (1 year)

    – 1981 Suzuki GS650E (1 year)

    – 1982 Yamaha Seca 750 (1 year)

    – 1983 Suzuki GS750E (1 year)

    – 1984 Honda Interceptor 750 (1 year) ***

    – 1985 Honda Interceptor 1000 (1 year)

    – 1985 Yamaha FJ1100 (1 year) ***

    – 1985 Suzuki Intruder 750 (1 year)

    – 1984 Yamaha Venture 1200 (1 year)

    – 1987 Kawasaki Concours (3 years)

    – 1990 Honda VFR750 (2 years) ***

    – 1983 GS1100E (1 year)

    – 1982 Honda GoldWing 1100 (1 year)

    – 1991 Suzuki DR350S (1 year)

    – 1991 Yamaha FZR1000 (3 years) ***

    – 1985 Honda Interceptor 750 (1 year)

    – 1984 Suzuki GS1150ES (1 year)

    – 1996 Kawasaki ZX-11 (2 years)

    – 1998 Honda Shadow ACE Tourer 1100 (3 years)

    – 1998 Honda VTR1000 (2 years)

    – 2000 Yamaha R1 (2 years) ***

    – 2001 Honda CBR929RR (1 year)

    – 2001 Honda ST1100 (3 years)

    – 2003 Yamaha YZF600R (1 year)

    – 2003 Honda CBR1100XX (1 year) ***

    – 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6 (1 year)

    – 2003 Honda VFR800 (current) ***

    – 2004 Honda CBR1000RR (current) ***

    – 2004 Honda GL1800A (current)

    My preferred bikes over the years ***

  • I may not be mature yet at 36, riding on the street for 15yrs., but in that time I’ve owned 11 street bikes, every one of them bought brand new and obviously some kept longer than others. Longest kept 4yrs. (98 Suzuki 1200 Bandit), shortest 2 days (05 Honda CBR600rr). During this time I’ve tried everything. After pushing cruisers to standards chasing friends on sportbikes I finally decided to quit half-assing and got a real sportbike (02 Kawasaki ZX6r). Quickly found that not only could I keep up, but could ride faster than many. Now what? Try something different of course! How about an 03 Honda Silverwing!!!!!!! Yeah I got made fun of a bit on my Lizzie McGuire scooter, but usually from the same people who were afraid to ride with me for fear of being shamed by a SCOOTER! Anyway got the itch to go fast again, hence the CBR600, but after one commute (100mi. rd. trip) decided lack of comfort wasn’t worth the price of speed and opted for more sensible Kawasaki Z1000. Nice fun/fast/agile bike but miss the comfort/storage/wind protection/gas mileage/insurance rate! of the Silverwing. It may not be as fast in the twisties, but 80mph. cruising down the freeway to work is 80mph. no matter what bike you’re on! Knowing your stuff is secure under the seat and when you get home not having to lift the rear and clean/adjust/lubricate the chain is nice too! Plus tires lasted forever and were cheap to replace. Best of all the $93yr. full coverage ins.!!!! I may END UP there again.

  • Great question, I’m glad to see you received a lot of response.

    I may be too late to get my opinion published, but I hope you will read it anyway.

    I am 46 years old, have ridden motorcycles for 38 years, and have owned 35-40 motorcycles, some for only a few months and one (a 1980 Suzuki GS1000G) for 17 years.

    I agree that a “mature” motorcyclist “knows” there is no one ultimate motorcycle, too many variables in riding styles, terrain, weather, trip length, ergonomics, etc.

    I currently own three, a 2001 Suzuki SV 650, a 1999 Suzuki DR 650, and a 2005 Sherco 2.9 trials bike.

    The SV is a great road bike, comfortable, affordable, well supported by the aftermarket, versatile and FUN, qualities that are often overlooked or unappreciated (at least until they are experienced, as my Grandmother used to say “If you never have it, you will never miss it!). As many of your readers have noted, if you ride on the road and have not tried an SV, you are depriving yourself.

    The DR is good for everything (within limits) and is easy to maintain. Both spark plugs can be changed without removing anything other than the plugs themselves! The single cylinder provides a bit of old time character without the headaches, and the bike has modern suspension and brakes. Living 20 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and within 50 miles of lots of gravel roads and two national forests, I often feel sorry for the sportbike riders who only own sportbikes.

    But the bike that I spend 80% of my time on is the Sherco. I encourage your readers (especially your mature readers) to try out a trials bike. What a blast! I love to demonstrate, and then get motorcyclists on the bike who have decades of experience, and ask them to do a few slow figure 8’s on smooth, level ground.

    Within a few seconds the smile breaks out on their face, followed shortly thereafter by the statement “I thought I knew how to control a motorcycle!” After 2 or 3 minutes, they can not believe what a great workout they are getting by attempting this simple challenge!

    I hope that Motorcycledaily will spend more time and effort on trials bikes in the future. With the “graying of America” it is a market segment bound to grow.

    Once you are past the “hormone induced speed crazed years,” the simple, low speed, safe challenges of trials riding is very appealing. I am continually surprised that the sense of “instantaneous feedback” is so amazingly satisfying and gratifying. One of my friends bought a trials bike and after his wife watched him ride around the yard for 30 minutes his wife said to him “I can’t believe you like that thing, you aren’t going fast and you aren’t going anywhere!”

    In terms of competition riding, there is no cheaper form of motorcycling, and the ratio of hours of riding to the hours of preparation/transport/maintenance is far superior to enduros, motocross, or track days. Very little land is needed, a typical section may be 30′ x 60′, the bikes are quieter than a weedeater, and do not tear up the ground.

    Additionally, if you have even a small backyard you can playride at home, and you don’t need to find a 2 or 3 hour block of time to enjoy riding. I often tell my wife I am going out to play on the trials bike for 20 or 30 minutes, and I get a great workout in the process.

    Most of the people in our club are in their forties and fifties, several in their sixties, and two in their seventies. Many of our better riders are in their late fifties, and one of our septuagenarians rides better than 80% of our club members!

    Please check it out and tell the Motorcyledaily world what you find. You could start with our club website at

    Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work!

  • Kinda late, but here goes. 30 years of riding put me on an R12RT for two up, an R12GS for me and my camping crap, a VFR for riding like a nut in West Marin, an R11RS for pleasant baiting of sport bikes on Hwy. 1 and an R100CS for a nice vintage style ride on a Sunday afternoon. If I had to choose one do it all bike, it would be either the GS or the RS.

  • I’m not too late – as I’ve really enjoyed reading the “Where did you end up” stories:

    I’m 59 and have been riding since my teens. As bikes now are more specialized than ever, there can’t be one perfect bike as everyone has different needs, desires and biases. It’s great that we now, aside from displacement sizes, have the choice between naked (used to be just standard) bikes, street sport bikes, replical racer sport bikes, dual sport, adventure tourers, touring, sport touring, cruisers, choppers, trials, enduros, MX, and playbikes. This choice leads to tough decisions as, unless you know someone, you won’t be able to just go to a dealer and try a bike your are wondering about for the afternoon. Resources on bike information is limited to magazines (biased), friends (biased), and articles on the internet (also biased).

    My first ride was a ‘64 Vespa Scooter. Taught me the basics and was really bad in the dirt.

    Got hooked trying a 250 CZ and bought one of these European motocrossers. It was heavy and would foul plugs and vibrate all the bolts off unless they were loctited and checked at every ride. But when it went, it was fun.

    I got tire of working on the CZ and bought a 125 Zundapp enduro with its rubber mounted engine could ride the trails and enter the enduros. Also gave 250 motocrossers fits as a 125 should not go so fast (for the time). It was also reliable although the engine was peaky and the brakes disappeared whenever I crossed a stream.

    Trials competition became my focus, Yamaha 175 / 250, Bultaco Sherpa 325, Montesa 348, SWM 280, Yamaha 350. I progressed to Expert and won some Provincial high point awards. I stopped competing too many years ago but have ridden the latest 4-stroke Montesa as well as other modern trials bikes. They are so much better now.

    Other bikes: ‘76 Honda 550/4 – Good bike but not exciting. ‘80 Honda XL500, motocrossed it (old-times MX), trail rides, commuting, toured eastern Canada. This bike did everything and have many fond memories. (I was once passed by a gaggle of GoldWings – the road then went to gravel due to construction and I flew by them all. . . . I once needed to get off the interstate so I just rode up the grass embankment to the secondary road.)

    1978 RM250 Suzuki. Light weight, good handling, good power. MX was fun – but I found it too intense. I liked trail riding, trials, enduros more.

    Yamaha TT225 which I rode in my return to enduros. It was fun to be the underdog and win on a playbike. Since then I love the KDX220R. (Likely because it’s seat height is a little lower to suit my 5′-7″ and the engine makes power down low for tighter trails.)

    YSR 50 when racing on GoKart tracks was popular in the late 80’s. Great fun but too much cheating for it to last.

    ‘85 RZ350 to go through my sportbike craze. Pipes and jetting plus other mods made it quick enough to surprise others. It was nasty, noisy and unrefined, wheelie prone, etc. and therefore a lot of fun. Touring on it was tiring though, it didn’t like two up and my wife doesn’t like being left behind.

    I paused for almost 10 years. Eventually sold all my bikes due to work and racing mountain bikes.

    In trying to decide on what bike to buy in getting back into motorcycles, I tried the sport tourers but found them too heavy and not exciting. Cruisers – can’t ride as they give me lower back pain and they just don’t perform. They’re heavy, don’t accelerate, corner, or stop. I can’t understand anyone buying one except they look cool standing still with all the chrome gleaming. A good sport cruiser – something like the Buell City XB9 SX, which I liked (it’s not really a cruiser), but definitely is a one up for short rides. I tried a GoldWing for the heck of it, but it reminded me too much of a car. I really liked the VFR750/800 but wanted something more touring with a windshield that deflected the wind over my head as well as the ability to carry a passenger. Loved a modified Suzuki DRZ400 that I borrowed, but it was not street/two up capable enough.

    Decided on a V-Strom DL650 despite the tall seat height. But then I found a used ‘98 BMW F650GS with 6,000k and bought it in memory of my XL500 which did everything. The bike came with a Corbin seat, side bags, top case, tank bag, Aeroflow windshield, at a price I couldn’t refuse. This bike is too heavy and lightly sprung for serious off-road, but dirt trails, dirt roads, paved roads, any roads, the bike is terrific. You have to really try to touch a peg down and at those cornering speeds, most other bikes are having fits. It also feels very relaxed at cruising speeds. My only complaint is that it won’t wheelie with just a roll-on of the gas. Despite this I expect to have it awhile as it fits my present perceived needs.

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