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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am contemplating getting another bike and would appreciate everyone's inputs and perspective. I have been searching the forum and haven't found any posts that quite address my circumstances. Most posts address rider size and experience but not necessarily age which I think can also impact the choice.

Here are my particular particulars:
  • Turning 63 next month
  • Wear and tear of age, sports injuries, etc.
  • 5'-6", 140 (used to be 5'-7 馃槃)31" inseam
  • Been riding off and on for 50 years
  • Dirt bikes, enduros, 1972 Kawasaki S2 triple, 1980 GS450 Cafe, 1983 GS750ES, 1982 TZ-125, 2014 Honda CTX700
  • Some road race experience with the S2 and the TZ-125
  • Not interested in dragging my knee around a corner or hunched over a gas tank - too much neck and back disc damage
I'm looking for something light, comfy, relaxed seating position, and nimble for around town, country roads @ 55-60 max. Lack of power may keep me out of trouble! 馃槃

My CTX700 was about 500 LB. and a great bike but the pegs were so far forward it put a lot of weight on my tailbone that an Airhawk couldn't fix. The weight though was starting to be a problem when maneuvering.

My wife liked her S40 till she got her CTX700 too. I like that bike a lot. Only irritants were the vibration and lack of a trip odometer. I would prefer the look and sound of a twin though. Fuel gage would be nice but trip ODO works.

I am having a hard time not liking the V-Star 250. The 650 classic fit and rode well but has the same weight as the CTX, so not much help.

Any thoughts??? Thanks!!!
 

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2006 Stratoliner, 2014 Triumph Rocket III Touring, 1982 XS650 Heritage Special
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Hello @calaband welcome from Virginia.
the best "old man" bike I ever had was a 2006 VMAX. It only has a 1200cc engine and you won't be tempted to drag a knee due to its geometry.
You should have no problems around town on it and should have no problems reaching 55 to 60mph max by the end of your driveway.
It does weigh around the 500#+ but the weight doesn't matter once you let the clutch slip.
I hope that helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good points. Everything you said is true but it is maneuvering at gas stations, driveways, backing it up, that is getting too difficult with my combination of age/weight/strength.

I agree, once you get going, weight isn't an issue. I've driven a Gold Wing before and I was fine, but I don鈥檛 want to maneuver it on unlevel ground.

I have never dropped a bike in all my years and only went down once and that was on the race track. If that happens now though, it won't be pretty. Not interested.

Think of it this way. Me riding a 550 LB. bike now is like someone who is 63, 6', 250 LB. having a bike that weighs 1000 LB. and a 32 in seat height and no reverse gear. 馃槃
 

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2015 V Star 950, 2013 Suzuki S40
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I own a V Star 950 and a Suzuki S40, and the S40 is by far the best small bike, it's not even a comparison to the 250 bikes. Its light, nimble, easy to ride and handle, and has plenty of grunt off the line, quick over takes, and cruising down the highway. I would look no further.

Mine has a Harley Dyna exhaust, and it sounds pretty nice. Odometer is easy to add, and fuel gauge is pretty mundane. If you decide to get another S40, I recommend right away swapping the stock petcock with a Yamaha petcock, it is far more reliable and the reserve function works properly.

You might also want to look at some older 2 stroke bikes, such as the RD350.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RD350? Love the sound of a multi-cylinder 2-stroke! They handled so much better than my S2 in the corners. You could lean them over farther. Straightaway though my S2 pulled away from them...

I will think some more about the S40. I'll have to search for some sound clips of different exhausts. Love the belt drive...
 

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2015 V Star 950, 2013 Suzuki S40
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Harley Dyna is what you want, sounds great compared to the wimpy stock.
 

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2006 Stratoliner, 2014 Triumph Rocket III Touring, 1982 XS650 Heritage Special
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@calabria1922 I'll try to be helpful this time vice my normal teenager mindset.

My inseam is only an inch longer than yours and am 3 inches taller. My ergonomics may be slightly different than yours. As I reread your original post, I see that your bike experience runs the gambit of styles. The Yamaha WR250 may be your answer. It is lightweight, upright and can go anywhere you want from city slow sped to WOT off road. It is not as high as regular dirt bikes, so the suspension travel is less, but I don't think that is a concern for you.

Have you considered the 300 and 500cc Honda Rebels? I have sat on a 500 and am told if I were getting one that it would suit me better for what I want. Though the only thing to worry about on the 300 is really just less speed and power.

I have a friend in Denver who is only 5' tall. He does not own a car. His little bike is a Suzuki DR250. His DR is around 30 years old, and he bought it new. That has to attest to how good the design is. His other bike is a Ducati Multistrata that he cannot have both feet down at a stop. He leans way over to get one foot down; I don't recommend this one for you. Back to the DR, they also have the 450 and 650 if you want a tad more power.

@och give high praise for the S40 and I will also give it a boost. I almost bought an older Savage he has for his wife who has quite riding. (I went with and older XS650 on another forum for a different reason). I may still buy the Savage though as it as low miles and runs great, never dropped and can keep up with the rest of my buddies who ride.

Good luck in your search and do let us know (with pictures too) what you get.

PS. My second wife called my VMAX an "Old Man" bike when I got it. She thinks anything that is not a full race ready street bike/crotch rocket to be an old man bike. I bought her an EX500 as her first bike and she raved to her friends about having a sport bike. I didn't have the heart to tell her that is a standard with sport bike fairings. But speaking of the EX500, I think that is a great bike for what you are looking for. She was only 5'3" and handled it well. My three youngest sons rode it as their first bike to learn on as did one of their fianc茅'. The EX500 is a solid bike for city and highway with great maneuvering skills.
 

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2015 V Star 950, 2013 Suzuki S40
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Honda Rebel 500 is probably also a very good choice. I've never ridden one, but it's only 420lbs, and being a Honda it can't be not great.

If you're looking for a V-twin, there is the little know Suzuki S50, which may be a bit hard to find. It's 800cc V-twin, about 440lbs, or their older Intruder line of motorcycles.

 

Administrator - "Loose Nut" - Houston, Texas
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), 2006 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic
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You are a tad bigger and older than me, 5'5", 125 pounds and 67. The key for me is the bikes low center of gravity for low speed stability no matter the bikes weights. I would suggest going to a local place that sells used bikes and sit on them all, stand bike up and duck walk it a few feet forward and backwards. You might find a few that feel right. Then you can look around to find the best deal on your short list. If two up or longer freeway riding is in your future then you will have many options. Hopefully I've got a few more years before I have to change rides but will probably go trike as wife enjoys riding with me.
 
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I'm 5'7" 255 lbs and 71 yo. I bought a bike a couple years ago. I wanted a Harley Super Dyna Glide, too top heavy for me. I ended up with a Kawasaki 800. Only had it a few weeks and traded it for a V Star 1300. I have a 29" inseam and can sit flat footed at a light. It's a little on the heavy side but I find it to handle pretty good. I'd say try the V Star 950 or the 1300 before you make up your mind on a smaller bike.
 

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I too am going to suggest one of the Honda Rebels. The 500 or 300. However, one other idea that I myself have looked at.... A Can-Am Ryker. 3 wheeled so you don't have to worry about holding it up, yet the outside of a car feeling. I have a bad leg. As I get older and it gets worse, a 3 wheeler is my plan. It may be a good alternative for you.
 

Administrator - "Loose Nut" - Houston, Texas
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), 2006 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic
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2015 V Star 950, 2013 Suzuki S40
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^ And an adjustable seat, lol. It never made sense to me how bicycles have adjustable seats and handlebars, but motorcycles don't.
 

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May I suggest a Yamaha 950, nimble, peppy, and great road manners. Fuel injected and plenty of aftermarket parts still available, I have the Tourer model.



Here鈥檚 some pics of mine


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you everyone. You all gave me some good things to think about. I really appreciate everyone taking time out of their day to reply.

I think I am going to go test drive a V-star 250.

I have driven the the V-Star 650 and have put a few hundred miles on an S40. Hopefully I can find a shop that has both the S40 and the V-Star 250 so I can do a back to back comparison.

S40 gives me a belt drive, more simple design, slightly bigger tires, higher cruising speed, safer passing speed, more used models for sale in my area.

V-Star 250 gives me v-twin style, 55# less weight, better fuel mileage, less vibration, slightly lower seat height, MUCH better exhaust note, options for even better exhaust tone, lower MSRP for new.

Anyone have any back to back acceleration/braking performance numbers for the S40 and V-Star 250? I know the S40 is quicker, just wondering how much...

Anyone have experience as to what speed the vibration gets bad on each bike? I hear about gear changes moving the cruising speed up on the V-Star 250.

For those that have ridden both, are the foot pegs slightly farther forward on the S40? Any other observations?

Thanks!!!
 

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2015 V Star 950, 2013 Suzuki S40
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I haven't driven the 250, but my S40 is comparable acceleration wise to the 950. Honestly, its only downside is the thumper engine, but otherwise its a perfect bike for someone your size, its so easy to handle, compared to my 950 it feels like a bicycle. The vibration is not bad, it will cruise 60 all day long with no issue.

The V Star 250 has that V twin styling, but with only 250 cc it's probably going to lack the torque.

Definitely drive both of them and share your opinion.
 
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