Sunday, November 06, 2005

Motorcycles everywhere!

And the winner for most patient girlfriend is.....Wendy (mine).......the crowd goes wild as the commentator remarks on the designer dress as she walks to the stage to collect her prize.

Why would I start a biker blog with this?

Well, the sun is out, roads are being cleared and traffic seems to be settling down, bringing out the bikers one by one. Ask Wendy, I've pointed out everyone with the comment of 'They got to take their bike out', 'Wow look at that someone else enjoying a ride' and 'Look at that lucky (.....) riding his bike!'

Not once did she react, complain or get fed-up with the remarks, pouting or sighs. Okay she did ask me to stop sighing as I watched a Sportster sit to the right of me at a light, but she did it with a giggle. Maybe because it was a Sportster.

But this is good. Since I resigned myself that I wouldn't be seeing the saddle this weekend, this can all be viewed as a build-up for the next one where weather permitting, the open road is mine! I've already mentioned to my riding buddy I might take off Thursday for a quick 250 mile ride and it looks like he might go. Can you see the stars aligning.

Those who can, do...those that can't, read
Like many riders out there, if I can't be on a bike it's great to read about them and this week was as a good time as any to be away from the bike with new models from known names like Harley Davidson and Suzuki as well as a new bike manufacturer, Hyosung.

Harley Davidson
Where as all the other companies are bringing out bigger models to compete in the cruiser segment Harley seems to be playing at the other end of the field. The Street Bob was brought out earlier this year and beckoned back to the stripped down bikes of yesteryear. They've followed suit with a new version of the much loved and certainly teased Sportster.

I'm sure that the Low-Seat 2006 Sportster 1200L having a seat height of 26.25 inches tailored towards shorter riders has abolutely nothing to do with the growing number of women entering the world of riding. A quick look at the full specs on the bike and you can see that the handlebar bend moves the grips and inch closer to the seat, the suspension has been lowered and the Low has mid-mount footpegs, so shorter legs won't have to stretch to reach them as they do on the Custom. The pricing isn't customized or shorter, coming in around the same price point as Sportsters before it, $9400 to just uner $11,000.

Here are the pictures!

I first mentioned Suzuki's M109 model in Bikers Diaires on October 11th, and I knew something was up by the numerous people that came to the original post from internet search engines as they were obviously trying to get more info on this motorcycle.

The 'M' in the model number designates it as a musclebike, but it's an amazing looking machine combining sleek lines of a Sports Bike with the look of a cruiser. From the tubular handlebar mounts on risers with a chrome instrument housing (which includes a clock, fuel gauge, and digital tachometer) mounted on the handlebar above the small headlight fairing to the analog speedometer sitting on the wide, curving 5.0 gallon fuel tank. It's low for a cruiser with the saddle height at 27.6 inches off the road, and there is a cowl to cover the passenger saddle section.

Here's the pic's and the spec's;

Because there have been so many people brought here looking for information on this puppy, here are the specs:

Black, blue, or silver

Liquid-cooled 54-degree V-twinValve train
Two intake, two exhaust valves per cylinder

Displacement, bore x stroke
1783cc, 112.0 x 90.5mm

Compression Ratio

EFI, two 56mm throttle bodies

5 speeds

Final drive

Seat height
27.6 in.

Dry weight
694 lb.

Fuel capacity
5.0 gallons

67.5 in.

Overall Length
96.8 in.

Front tire
130/70R18 Dunlop tubeless radial

Rear tire
240/40R18 Dunlop tubeless radial

Front brake
2, four-piston calipers, 12.2-in. discs

Rear brake
two-piston caliper, 10.8-in. disc

Front suspension
Inverted, 46mm stanchions, 5.1 in. travel

Rear suspension
Single damper, 4.7 in. travel, preload adjustable

How much????????? Only a Suggested base price of $12,339.

And who is this Hyosung?
Hyosung Motors and Machinery, Inc. is Korea's largest motorcycle manufacturer, building 200,000 motorcycles a year. The company has been building small motorcycles since 1979, when it started producing 80s and 125s under license from Suzuki. It introduced a 50cc moped of its own design in 1987, and started building bigger bikes (100cc) of its own design in 1996. It's first 650, the Comet, was announced in 2003. It also supplies components to Korea's burgeoning automobile industry.

If you happened to be shopping for motorcycles under 250cc you might've come across this brand under the name of AlphaSports GV250 cruiser. Now the Korean manufacturer has set-up an American affiliate under their own name and are planning on making an entry into the cruiser market with 647cc v-twin bike seemingly inspired by Harley's V-Rod.

The motorcycle, named GV650 Avitar has many interesting features such as a two-into-one exhaust, inverted fork, adjustable forward footpeg location, pullback handlebar, long 66.9-inch wheelbase, and drawn-out 95.6-inch overall length making it definitely sound like a cruiser. A LCD instrument panel includes a digital speedometer and the taillight is a LED type.

Most interesting is what the company has to say on their website promoting the bike, ' Hyosung GV650's V-Twin DOHC 8 valve engine produces extreme power for you. It breaks through the hardest tasks smoothly and easy. GV650's supreme suspension and wide tires make the roughest road flat for you. Strong and generous enough to embrace the merciless world and harsh pavement, named GV650!'

Here are some pictures for you.

The Specs








465 LBS

How much? A suggested retail price of $6199.....


What does all this mean?
With Harley Davidson taking their bikes back to basics, Kawasaki, Suzuki and more so Victory streamlining their models with the windswept teardrop look, what is the future for the cruiser?

This isn't taking into account the very vintage look of the ever emerging from the flames Indian motorcycle since who knows how successful they'll be. And when they do have production, how'll the bikes compare to Kawasaki's Drifter series which looks very similar?

This brings us to cost. Since we mentioned them last, Kawasaki starts at around $7000 and moves on into the $13,000 range, with Suzuki being similarly priced. Yamaha has a broader range both in price and styling with the least inexpensive cruiser starting off at $3500 and their larger cruiser not only stretching to $16,000 but also in styling with one toe in the curved teardrop look, but the other firmly in the feel of the classic cruiser.

Harley Davidsons V-Rod still has mixed opinions, mostly among Harley riders themselves. The price has only ever had one opinion which is damned expensive, leading to the joke that HD actually stands for High Dollar! But it seems people will pay anything from just under $10,000 for the Sportster model to prices in the mid twenties for the larger cruising bikes. Victory follows suit with their prices not starting quite as low as Harley, but certainly matching pricing at the upper end.

Obviously, these are all MSRP listed prices and don't include any frills or add-ons that can quickly add up, but still there seems to be an awful lot of style coming our way at a very affordable price.

Between the emerging motorcycles coming onto the market and the growing number of people that are making up that same market, our riding family is going to get bigger, louder and lot prettier with something for everyone.

We only have to work out how to own one of all of them!

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