New Bike Time?

Gary in NJ

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Two bits of info. First, I didn't seek out an FZ6, it found me. I helped a friend on my son (then high-school aged) purchase his first street bike. When he went in the Navy a few years later I bought it from him because he didn't know what to do with it when they deployed him. It sat in my garage for a year before I ever rode it, and I hated it. Over the years I've made incremental changes to the bike (mostly updated the suspension and converted it to a "street-fighter") and now I like the bike. For a very low investment I have a 420 pound bike with EFI that makes 100hp - those are good specs for a 14 year old bike (18,000 miles). Everything about the bike is good, but nothing is great. Still, it's comfortable around town, on the back roads and on the highway (for short trips). I now have owned this bike about 5 years.

Second, I started riding in 1973 at the age of 10. My dad bought me a new Suzuki TS-50 Gaucho. Nine years later I bought my first street bike, a 1980 GN400. Since 1973 I've owned over 30 motorcycles (dirt & street), but those two were the only new bikes I've ever owned.

I "think" I'd like a new bike. And by new I mean off the showroom floor. Yeah, I know bikes depreciate as soon as you're 30 inches from the dealer, and I've done quite well buying low-mileage used bikes over the years. But I think I'd like to own a modern bike and by the time 2019/2020 bikes are used enough...who knows what the future brings. I don't need big horsepower. I'd like a bike with a fairing that actually works, but I'd prefer a naked over a bike with a half-assed fairing that just beats me up (that's why my FZ is now naked). Things like ABS and TC don't seem necessary...until that moment in life when you wished you had them. Having components from the factory (suspension, brakes, seat, bar, grips...) that don't need to be swapped out is VERY important. If I'm gonna buy new, I want it right.

So I've been thinking about new bikes...and I love so many of them. Just about all of the Kawasaki Z's interest me (400/650/900), I like the Honda CBR650's (F & R), the new Katana looks awesome, I really love the Yamaha FZ9/MT-09. But I keep coming back to the KTM 790 Duke as being a very exciting bike. It has the right power, weight, features, and the on-line reviews are wonderful. The MSRP is $10,500. But the local dealer always advertises them at $8,999, and right now KTM is offering $800 cash back (which basically pays the tax and dealer fees). I see that KTM has just announced the 890, but let's be honest, they're only punching it up to make up for lost performance due to the new EU emission regulations. In fact, other that the Katana, all of these bikes are in the $9,000 range.

So here's my question (and my sanity check), is a 2019/2020 modern street bike like the ones noted above really worth a $9,000 investment over my '05 FZ6 street fighter with only 18k on the odo? Most are heavier than the FZ. All (except the Z400) are within +/-20 hp of the FZ. Most are naked bikes or have minimal fairings. All can be had with electronic riding aids that my FZ doesn't have. As much as I'd like a new bike, this is the wall I hit when I try to justify the purchase. Maybe this is one of the reasons motorcycle sales are down; for us existing riders there isn't a compelling reason to buy a new bike. Sure, if my bike was worn out or otherwise not rideable, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yes, a modern street bike is great, but the FZ6 is still good.

What are your thoughts?
 
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Motogiro

Vrrroooooom!
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I think pricing on cars, bikes and accessories today are not realistic except for bankers and investors.

I drive a 98 4Runner. The starter solenoid failed. I priced a rebuilt starter as well as a solenoid rebuild kit. I ended up benching the starter, pulled the solenoid apart and silver soldered (not plumbing silver solder) the contacts and hand finished the contacts. Put it back in service and continued on with a great older vehicle. It's got a 2.7 liter 4 cylinder and though it lacks a little in power going up a steeper hill, it has brought me to my destination with purpose for 20 years. My point is a number of processes that we seem to be migrating toward in our world. One being marketing design that keeps us renewing our forever growing dept. Having credit is a great boon but, to what end? The new technologies are awesome, but again, to what end?
Other considerations are use. Is it a daily rider?
The FZ6 is such a great bike! It does do something better than many bikes, and that is it is more dynamic hence being dubbed the Swiss Army Knife of bikes. There's good aftermarket support for just about any goodies you want to add. Range? Fuggetaboutit! <<<( I can say that cus I'm originally from Jersey)

I've had my SV1000s for almost 10 years now. I still love that twin when I push it through a turn. If I was in the market for a new bike there are a few I would love to have but.....
 

Ohendo

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You can analyze the new bike purchase purely financially...and in that case it DOES NOT make sense, as your current ride has nothing wrong with it and accomplishes what you need it to do.
On the other hand, if finances allow and you can afford a new bike without sacrificing something...I say go for it, since you only live once and you can't take anything with you to the next life.
Usually you ride a motorcycle for the lifestyle and enjoyment, not just a transportation method that gets you from point A to point B. If your FZ6 no longer "sparks joy", and you can afford something shiny and new, do it!
I'd recommend adding to your stable, holding on to the FZ6, just in case you realize how truly awesome it is and fall in love all over again after riding something else for awhile.
 

gnyce

Site Supporter
You can analyze the new bike purchase purely financially...and in that case it DOES NOT make sense, as your current ride has nothing wrong with it and accomplishes what you need it to do.
On the other hand, if finances allow and you can afford a new bike without sacrificing something...I say go for it, since you only live once and you can't take anything with you to the next life.
Usually you ride a motorcycle for the lifestyle and enjoyment, not just a transportation method that gets you from point A to point B. If your FZ6 no longer "sparks joy", and you can afford something shiny and new, do it!
I'd recommend adding to your stable, holding on to the FZ6, just in case you realize how truly awesome it is and fall in love all over again after riding something else for awhile.
I think this says it very well - even though I don't know that I've figured _my_ way through this multiple-bike thing. I currently have the FZ6 and an FZR1000 (and just started a rehab of an FZR600R). I enjoy switching between them, and so far it has been working out. I do wonder sometimes about the (lack of) electronic aids... ABS, stability (a nice used BMW F800GT I was looking at has all the bells).
 

MattR302

Awesomeness, Inc.
In regards to new bike prices, well, I’d much rather have three $3000 bikes than one $9000 bike.

Regarding your new bike itch: What type of riding will you be doing? Mostly backroads? Multiple hours on the highway? Luggage requirements? All solo or any 2up riding? Any dirt roads? Track days? Sportbike or upright riding position? Do you prefer HP, torque, or MPG?

In regards to making simple ergonomic changes to make it fit you, there’s no one setup that fits anyone, and that’s part of the reason why I like buying cheaper bikes. I don’t think anyone has ever loved a stock seat on any motorcycle ever. Sitting on bikes in a showroom isnt going to be an indicator of all-day comfort. I went full custom seat on my FZ6 and it was a game-changer (Terry Adcox). And just think about it, while you’re considering new bike prices: would you rather spend $9000 on a motorcycle that hurts your ass after an hour, or spend $9400 on a motorcycle that you can ride all day? I’d keep a little extra in the budget for an aftermarket seat no matter what you buy.

Suspension is also highly individual as well, some are higher spec than others, but you’d have to decide what is good enough for you. Chances are you’d need new springs for your weight to optimize it anyway. (I’ve had friends that have bought brand new top-of-the-line $12,000 sportbikes, remove the 0-mile forks and shock, and then install $2000+ worth of upgraded suspension components)

Pick a bike you like based on type of riding, rough ergonomics, looks, engine characteristics, electronic aids, and luggage accommodations. Everything else is pretty cheap fine tuning. New handlebars are only like $50. Upgraded brake pads ~$75. Nice OEM-looking heated grips only ~$100. Windscreen ~$100. Etc.

I’ve recently done a bit of a garage makeover myself:
I had my FZ6 for about 6 years. 2 years ago I took a test ride on a very well setup Tiger 1050 and fell in love (lust?), bought it and sold the FZ6.
The Tiger was an awesome bike, like a more powerful and more refined FZ6, and the 1050 triple engine is amazing. But after a couple months, the size/weight of the Tiger felt like a chore for my 20 min backroads commute, I’m only 5’8. Plus, it was way more $ than I had ever spent on a bike, it felt too nice for me, lol.
Sold the Tiger to a friend and picked up a DR650. Having a lighter bike that I can wring out and flick on the backroads is great, but it really doesn’t have the ability to do extended highway riding.
A couple months later I stumbled upon a Honda 919 Hornet with a Corbin seat and full Givi racks for super cheap. While it’s not a bike for serious highway touring, it certainly can do a couple hours. It’s like a naked FZ6 with 50% more torque in the low-mid range. The spec sheet says it’s heavier than the FZ6, but it doesn’t feel it. (And 919’s can be found for now some very good deals)
 

agf

Go Naked- Its liberating
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ah the dilemma, I took an xsr 900 out for a test and its the bees knees for me, but I still have the FZ. It all comes down to having the ready cash. I think I'll still do the change over next year. It looks like the model gets cosmetic upgrades, so the solid platform is constant. nothing else peaks my interest and I figure its probably the last grunty bike I'm gonna need
if ya got the moulah/doulah and spending it is gonna bring joy- spoil yourself and have a bunch a fun
 

Gary in NJ

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I think I'd be doing the same type of riding that I've always been doing, twisty back road stuff.

As a dirt bike rider and former hare scramble racer I despise dual sport bikes - they suck at everything. Too heavy in the woods and too spooky on pavement. That goes for "adventure" bikes too.

I have a reoccurring fantasy about having a BMW K1600GT and taking long rides with my wife through the great small towns of western NJ and eastern PA....and then I remember that my wife hasn't gotten on a motorcycle with me since college (and knowing how I rode back then, I can't blame her).

I've owned plenty of sport bikes over the years. Been there - done that. I'm not mature enough to have that much horsepower. And today's sport bikes have a ridiculous amount of hp.

Cruisers - I owned one for a few months. I don't like riding in the birthing position.

I am a believer in the old adage "it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow". I could be happy with a Z400 (after I update the suspension, brakes, seat...) as well as a 790 Duke. Look at the three bikes I own now; FZ6, DRZ400 (street use only) and a 650 cafe racer. The FZ makes 100hp, but the DRZ is 40hp and the 650 single is around 26 hp. All of these bikes are an absolute blast to ride, and all for different reasons. Yeah, I don't need another bike, I just want one. And it seems as though lately I always want the same one. So that was the point of my original post - I don't think things have advanced enough for me to drop a lot of coin.

Regarding "why spend $9,000 on one bike when you can spend $3,000 on three"....well that's what I've been doing for the last 30+ bikes. For the last 25 years I've always had at least two bikes, and once I had 5 plus a quad.

Maybe it's time for a scooter...
 

bigborer

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"Worth it or not" is simply a function of marginal utility / your average income (and/or what $ you got stashed up). Note that I'm not mentioning "actual" utility (or whatever the English word for it is), which would = to zero (as you already own 3 bikes and likely at least one car).

I'm not judging anyone, and myself have bought more crap that I actually needed. Sometimes I still do it regardless. However over time I've started to noticed some patterns, such as new toy > happy for a while > loose interest > put toy aside > repeat forever.

This is what the entire system thrives on- fooling us into thinking that we need a **** ton of crap to feel good or whole or happy or whatever, and of course constantly renewing all the crap, while hoarding or discarding all the old crap.

Some questions I try to ask myself before buying any additional crap:

1-is there anything else that I'm trying to distract myself from, by making this purchase? no matter what issue(s) one is experiencing, sweeping it under the carpet with distractions is just buying some more time, sometimes bursting into what some call mid life crisis and/or ridiculous situations such as drained finances and years of monthly installments on jetskies

2-will it make me happy for more than 5 minutes? most time I find that the answer is... not likely

3-how will owning it impact me (do I have the storage space, do I have time for maintenance)? the more you cram the storage area(s), the harder it gets to take crap out, leading to less usage/enjoyment of crap, leading to... feeling the need to buy more crap. Also the more time spent in maintaining crap, the less time spent actually using/enjoying the crap, and/or just leaving it in a "it's not broken but it just needs X doing" for an indefinite period of time

4-do I have the time to use my current crap? if not, how will I have time to use the new crap?

5-if not, will simply knowing that I own it bring me joy? one day I promised myself that unless it's a form of investment with a % or return better than what you get from more traditional means of investment, I will never collect anything. Because I realized that spending time, energy on money simply for the purpose of hoarding crap, while being able-bodied and capable of doing misc activities... is just retarded. Not to mention that tomorrow there could be a fire or break in nullifying ALL those collecting efforts, and that after you're gone... all that collection will likely be thrown away or sold for pennies

6-is it worth spending time to research the purchase (and whatever add-ons it might require)? Or that time would be better spent... actually enjoying using some of the crap I already own?

7-am I really intending to get a product or actually fulfill a hope/dream, buying into their portrayed bull**** "dream lifestyle" from their bull**** marketing campaigns? or am I thinking that "only if I had this, then ..."? If now one barely has the time to ride, a touring bike will NOT turn him into a globe trotter. The "adventure case kit" will NOT make anyone more adventurous. The "sport bike" will NOT magically turn one into a "sport rider". Those 500g lighter Italian made rims will not make one faster than they're buddy- but maybe admitting that one isn't that skilled and taking some professional courses will. The latest iCrap will NOT make anyone more "tech savy". Any perfume will NOT make you more attractive, regardless of the lusty hot girls from the add. And so on...

8-what characteristics am I really looking for in the product? could save the hassle and mod some of my existing crap to achieve the same result?


Again, this is not to judge or bash anyone, and personally I'm still far from the state of "perfect purchase equilibrium", however the more one realizes how ridiculous all this mindless consumption (and the efforts it implies), the better it is for everyone. Some might say that it drives the economy, but that is similar to the broken glass fallacy. The only thing it drives is more and more profits for a very small %- for the rest of us it's just a zero sum game.


However simply the fact that you're questioning this purchase, and even opened this topic makes it clear that (consciously or not) you already are aware of all the above. If you truly found a new bike beneficial, you'd have gone to 1-2 dealers and started a "this is my new bike" thread instead...
 

Gary in NJ

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Bigborer,

I actually read your post several times over the last day before responding. It's a very sober and clear view. Thank you for articulating that view so clearly.

I think I will keep my low mileage FZ. I'm happy with almost all aspects of this bike, so maybe I'll invest in a new shock and maybe freshen up the paint (I've seen a Yamaha Yellow FZ6 with racing stripes online that is killer). In all honesty, that alone may bring the enjoyment I'm seeking from a "new" bike.
 

FinalImpact

2 Da Street, Knobs R Gone
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Bigborer,

I actually read your post several times over the last day before responding. It's a very sober and clear view. Thank you for articulating that view so clearly.

I think I will keep my low mileage FZ. I'm happy with almost all aspects of this bike, so maybe I'll invest in a new shock and maybe freshen up the paint (I've seen a Yamaha Yellow FZ6 with racing stripes online that is killer). In all honesty, that alone may bring the enjoyment I'm seeking from a "new" bike.
Fixing the suspension is worth every penny. The hardship I had was spending full cost on a new shock for a $3000 bike. That lead to the re-valved R1 shock that works better than I could have hoped for and the whole thing was like $100 for labor and parts.

Slighty O/T but I rode very little this past year in part to friends changing riding habbits, no group rides, very busy at work and at some level the IS-350 is so fun to drive that helps too. That said, as much as a new bike would be great, it's pretty senseless.

Although the fizzer is no R6, it's pretty flickable and behaves well so its hard to justify replacing it.
 

Red Wazp

Super Member
I prefer slightly used but at the end of the day buy what you want and then ride the piss out of it.

With any luck you'll make it to be too old to ride anymore. DO IT!
 

meadeam

Site Supporter
Late to this thread, but it has been a timely read for me. I've been knocking around the idea of buying a new bike. I've been lusting after a Tracer 900. It's basically a more powerful version of what the FZ was. I'd have to finance part of it, or find a fantastic deal on a used one. I've ultimately decided to keep the Fazer. It is plenty fast, and does everything I need it to do. My rides are 2-6 hours of mostly twisty back roads, with the occasional run home on the slab after sunset. A new bike wouldn't server those purposes any better than the FZ, and the newness would wear off long before the payments.

I have however decided to spend some money on the FZ. I'm having some cosmetic, ergo, and performance mods done. Sinking the money into a depreciating asset is not financially sound, but if I keep the bike for several more years vs. buying a new one, I'll be money ahead in that sense. I'll retire the Fazer when it is finally time, whenever that is. It's only got 5,500 miles on it now, so it will be awhile.

If my needs change, that will be another story. For instance, two-up loaded touring, or true ADV riding. I don't see that in my immediate future though. I'll likely add a track bike to the stable, but that will be an addition rather than a replacement, and will cost about the same as buying another FZ. For that matter, I could ride the FZ on the track, and may well do that, at least in the beginning.

Long live the FZ6.
 

LERecords

Member
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I have an 05 with 37K on the odometer and bought new. Its the only one I have ever really riden (few miles on an 05 sportster and few miles on a cb360). Every time I think about getting something else I take it for a ride and I forget about a new bike. Mines paid for and setup for touring the way I wanted it. Original Shocks and Forks (new oil in forks a few years back), but hard cases and a good seat. I just cant see myself ever getting tired of mine. Except for not being able to get parts or possibly having to run all new wiring, I want to see the odometer reach 100k! Good luck with yours!!
 

gnyce

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This thread took an interesting turn - it spoke to me as well. There was a good LifeHacker article that suggested 1) spend money on the things you use every day (e.g. bed mattress), and 2) spend less on 'stuff', and more on experiences. Tyler Durden said it best - "the things you own end up owning you"

The one definite place I deviate from the general precept of 'simplify' is my garage. I have a collection of tools and implements that is still growing. This bothers me sometimes, but I'm coming around to the idea of these tools are enablers of happiness. I'm most engaged when I'm building something or fixing something. Case in point - quite a bit of the holiday break so far has been spent working on a '90 fzr600. The point is not to acquire another motorcycle, but to extend the life of an existing one (and sell) - and if my tools help me carry that out, I can't see that as a bad thing. Plus which, anything I can fix means I don't have to replace with new. Plus which, I seem to be getting older bikes, not newer (besides cost, new ones have too much electronics for my taste, and I say that as someone who works in IT).

2020 - the year in which we all see clearly.
 

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
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I agree 100%, restoring, preserving or extending the life of an old object is always noble. I’ve done it many times and will always be on the lookout for my next project. I would like to own a new motorcycle someday...but just not today. When the spring riding season begins my FZ will be getting a new Ohlins shock and new rubber. I think next winter it will get fresh paint.
 
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gnyce

Site Supporter
I think next winter it will get fresh paint.
Off-topic, but speaking of new paint - I've become somewhat obsessed over powder- (rims) and ceramic-coating (headers). Very happy with what I've had done so far. I just wish I had a better design-eye, or was better with color combinations (e.g. those mix-your-own yogurt places? I'm a hot-mess, never tastes good).
 

Gary in NJ

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I put a ceramic coated exhaust on my airplane 25 years ago, and it still looks new today. I can touch those pipes in minutes of landing. It’s an outstanding process.
 

bigborer

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Re the ceramic headers- maybe my logic is flawed but if the outside is cool to touch it means that the ceramic coat acts as an insulator, maintaining hotter temperatures inside the header and exhaust ports. Maybe the actual negative effects are minimal, but regardless...
Re powder coated rims- I've seen enough cracked ones, especially after 1-2 cold winters, that I'd check 10 times to make sure the shop doing it is both experienced and with great reputation.
 

Gary in NJ

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I can’t say that I know the science behind it. I have individual EGT sensors at each cylinder about 3 inches from the flange. The pipes normally operate around 1200 to 1400 degrees. Because of the temperature extremes cracking is not uncommon. My Jet-Hot pipes are pristine. They look as they did in 1995 when the plane first flew. 25 years is a long time for an aircraft exhaust system. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go another 25.

Jet-Hot is well worth the cost.
 
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