“What size of bike do you want?”
Easy question, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of opinions on what size of bike you will eventually need, but I am not a subscriber of “growing into a motorcycle”. An unconscious flick of the wrist on a bike that is too big for you (either in weight or power) can really change your day and might diminish your love of the machine. Conversely, getting too small of a bike gets boring and costly fast. In the days of rising fuel prices, it is also a consideration as to fuel costs; smaller bikes use less fuel until you start hammering on the throttle because it doesn’t have enough power.
“New vs Used?
This is a really interesting question because both are viable ideas. There are many good, used machines with character and modifications already done. Conversely, a new bike comes with a warranty (for what it is worth) and a chance to break in the bike the way you want it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a garage to work on an older bike and would rather ride than wrench at this stage of the game. Normally there would also be a significant price incentive, but for small bikes during a time of supply shortages, that is not proving to be as significant as expected.
“So, what did you get?”
Nothing yet. I am still researching what is available with all of the supply shortages, coming announcements, and understanding on what I want. I know I want a small bike; under 500 cc at least, and likely under 300cc for power and economy. Between getting back into camping last year and watching too much of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman driving around the world, I want a bike that can go most anywhere, but less interest on the major highway side of things. What my research is suggesting though, is that the smaller offerings in the adventure category are … complicated.
Before looking at adventure bikes, I had started looking at the Honda Navi and Grom for just a get-around bike that is small, fun, and easily fits in my parking spot with my car. That leads me to my other considerations; I live in an apartment and don’t have a garage. That means that space is also a consideration and anything electric is out of the question because I don’t have an easy way to charge. It also means that I don’t want anything too expensive and flashy because it will live in a parking lot with a number of curious children.
“So, what is the score thus far?”
|Honda Navi||Super cheap, has built in storage, and great for in city getting about||Disk brakes that are repeatedly brought up as a concern, inability to stay at 80+ kph, automatic transmission.|
|Honda Grom||Fun little bike with massive customizing community behind it||A little small and almost as much as larger bikes|
|KTM 200 Duke||Generally the leading contender||Not the greatest reputation for longevity – but “reputations”|
|BMW G 310 R||Smaller version of what Ewan and Charlie took around the world||No local dealerships and the representation I did approach wouldn’t talk to me|
|VERSYS-X 300 ABS||Generally good reviews as a road bike and is versatile||Even more expensive than BMW?!? Reviews talk of poor, low torque for off-road|