V twin vs. I4 .... kinda long

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by bdhawk, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. bdhawk


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    Mar 18, 2000
    i am planning on buying a new bike later on this month or early next month. i choose to buy new so i will know for sure how it had be handled and taken care of. having a warrenty is a big deal to me. i am torn bewteen two completely different bikes. a majority of my riding will be around town, short trips, and an occasional long trip of less than 600 miles.

    one choice is the kawasaki concours. just under 1000cc, appx. 110 hp and 59 ft# of torque. six speed transmission, shaft drive, faring. it weighs just under 600# dry. it has a highish seat height of 31+ inches.

    another one i am leaning toward is the suzuki bulevard S83. 1360 cc, appx. 72 hp and 84 ft# of torque, shaft drive.

    the connie is at it's best at a higher rpm. is seems to be working harder at the same speeds. the suzuki seems to be much more laid back and zips around at a much lower rpm, even legal highway speeds. the connie engine seems to be very busy at highway speeds.

    the connie is cheaper and comes with a bunch of bells and whistles. it has better brakes. it's rear tire seems a bit smallish. it is sorta guttless at low rpm, yet comes alive at high rpm. handling is nice, but i am not too nuts about the handlebar position, yet the instrumentation is very nice. it looks to be on the high maintenance side, and it looks like it would be hard to work on. lots of disassembly to do most anything. the connie would be far and away the best choice for 2up riding, but my 2up riding will be only about 10-20% of my riding. the seat is 'ok' for the pilot, and very nice for the passenger. the connie has an almost cult-like following over at the C.O.G., the concours owners group. i just looked at a used '86 connie, that looked to be in showroom condition. it had obviously been babied.

    the suzuki is sorta awkward at slow parking lot speeds, yet it is awesome the rest of the time. it is more expensive and all the add- ons i will need, will make it even more pricy. it is very torquey and seems to propel you effortlessly. almost no vibration. brakes are passable, but nothing to write home about. it only weighs 535# dry. the passenger seat leaves a lot to be desired, but the pilot's seat is awesome. seat height is almost just right at 29+ inches. handlebars and feel are just right. it has a nice, big rear tire. instrumentation is spartan, at best. it has few maintenance needs and looks easy to work on.

    i am leaning toward the suzuki over the connie, yet i cannot dismiss the connie as a good choice. the suzuki just feels better and i feel better about it, and on it.
    my experience with the suzuki brand (three different bikes, a 650cc, a 900cc, and a 250cc dirt bike) as been nothing but positive. i have had no personal ownership of kawasakis, but they do have a good reputation.

    anyway, do any of you guys have any insight to help me with my decision.
    you guys have been a big help in helping me this far,and i really do appreciate it. any other help will be appreciated as well.
  2. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Jan 25, 2000
    Since my Connie (COG #6654) won't be here for another week or two I can't give you an owner's perspective... yet. ATeamer has just picked up his so perhaps he will chime in here.

    Since you state that two-up time will be minimal and that in-town commuting is the primary use of the bike I'm not convinced that a sport-tourer is really what you want. Reading between the lines it seems like you want the look/feel of a cruiser like the zuke.

    Apples and oranges.

  3. norton


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    Sep 10, 2002
    East of Eden
    Yes, these 2 bikes couldn't be more different.
    Although I have owned a Connie and a cruiser ( not the Suzuki), this is my 2 cents-
    The Connie is a bike for trips. Its set up to eat long miles in a day. It is a high rever, but thats the nature of inline 4's. It may be soft down low, but gives a nice kick in the pants when you wind it up.
    Cruisers are, well, cruisers. They are for laid back, putt putting
    on the street. They can be set up for trips, but require lots of add ons that really don't do anything for their looks. What really looks crappier on a bike then a clear windshield and throw over bags.

    And this is the little secret.
    Hard core and long time riders laugh at cruiser riders if they are not on Harley's. May not be fair, or just, but thats the way it is.
  4. RBR


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    Apr 18, 2001
    You may want to check out the sport-touring motorcycles (FZ1, ZRX1200, Bandit1200 etc). They all have good bottom-end torque, plenty of HP, 2-up seating and throw on a tank or saddle bags to take a trip.
  5. alfair


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    Aug 22, 2004
    Austin, Texas
    Two totally different machines as the others have said, and I agree it sounds like you are leaning toward the cruiser. Easiest distinction between the two is probably Connie likes to be driven and the cruiser likes to be ridden. What do you want to do?

    I have a ’00 Connie that I take to work a few days a week and take the occasional 1500 mile long weekend. We’re going to Big Bend in two weeks with 10 other riders, mostly Harleys. Connies are a little buzzy but I don’t even notice it, power just comes at little higher range…but it’s there! It offers great storage and wind protection, much more of both than my friends Harleys and metric cruisers. It is a little tall and the reach is a little long when compared to cruisers. I have a friend that is about 5’9” and 250lbs and I don’t
    think he would be very comfortable on the bike.

    Riding to work and around town I would probably go with a cruiser, they just seem a little more comfy. Even riding longer bits of interstate I would probably go with the cruiser. Some of the best roads in Texas are minutes away so I have tended to stay with sport or sport touring bikes. As I get older and not riding twisties as much I’ve even contemplated going…dare I say it…cruiser!

    Sit on both…sit on them a long time, better yet ride them a long time if that’s an option (have cash in hand and explain the situation when you’re ready, sometimes you luck out and the seller doesn’t mind).

    You’ll enjoy either one. If not, nice thing about used bikes is if you don’t like it you won’t take a beating trading it.
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Oct 23, 2000
    Tejas, US
    What about going with a Standard instead? That way you'd have possibly the best of both worlds?

    If I were to ride short trips and streets as primary usage, I'd probably get me a Standard or a Cruiser instead of a Sport-tourer.