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Thread: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

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    Default A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Guys - This is my first post on the forum, so let me first say a big Hi to all of you.

    This thread is to solicit opinions from you, which should help me select a new motorcycle. Thanks in advance.

    A bit about me first:
    Let's put the gory details aside right at the start-
    - I'm 40
    - I'm married with a kid
    - I am still working 9-6 to earn my living
    - I don't have a girl-friend
    - I don't earn a ton of money, and neither care too much

    Now, for the better part-
    - I'm 40 and reasonably fit (now)
    - I'm married, and my family is more or less supportive of what I want to do
    - I work 9-6 only, which leaves me with a lot of time to pursue my other interests in life, e.g birding, exploring jungles, a bit of off-roading at times, diving etc. etc.
    - Have a few lady-friends, but ...
    - I earn enough to fund most of my interests, but cannot afford to splurge

    And, a bit of history -
    - I got my first bike in 1994, and it was a Suzuki Shogun. Yes, I bought that over the de facto standard those days - the RX100, and absolutely loved riding it till 2003. In between, for about 1.5 yrs. I had exchanged my Shogun with a friend's RD350 LT, coz' he couldn't handle that machine. I made a number of long distance rides in those days, on both those machines.
    - In 2003, I bought an Enfield TB 350, and still have it. It's RC recently expired, and I don't even want to get it renewed - may just scrap the damn junk. During this time, I got married, travelled etc. etc., and the uncomfortable, unreliable, finicky and rickety nature of the Enfield made sure that I gradually forget the joys of motorcycling.

    So, WHAT NOW -
    Since the last 3 years I put in a lot of effort into regaining my health and fitness, and now I can confidently return to more consistent motorcycling, so I need a machine that - retains the Big Bike feel, good looks, refinement, City Ride-ability and is absolutely NOT AN ENFIELD.

    My expected Use Case shall involve a few city rides, but on relatively good, fast roads, and maybe weekend trips of max 100 km one-way. I don't expect to be carrying a pillion too often, and certainly don't want to encourage it either. I will CERTAINLY NOT be touring long distances.

    Psychologically, I have been open to a budget of 2.5 to 5.5 lakhs, but would want to spend as little as I can, for the maximum value that I can derive. I know it is a large range, but please understand the "value" aspect that I am looking for. I would love to limit my spend (including good quality riding gear) to about 4 lakhs, if possible.

    So, here's what I understand of my choices, and this is where I am seeking the opinion of the forum.

    Within my budget sweet spot -
    KTM 390 twins (2.8 OTR) - Pretty much the de facto choice, helped by the fact that the nearest showroom/service centre is less than 2 kms. away from my house. I feel more at home with the riding position of the RC, than the Duke, though. However, these machines don't seem to be too happy (based on my short test rides) in city conditions, plus I don't have the mindset to continuously rip the throttle.

    Dominar 400 (Doesn't matter) - Good on paper, value factor, comfortable ride (not very refined though) but just can't digest the fact that the looks of that bike will only reinforce the fact that I'm ageing and ... . Out!

    Apache RR 310 (2.6 OTR) - Fell in love with the looks of this bike - who hasn't? Would love to own the one in Red. I haven't test ridden one yet, but even current owners are advising me against it. I would have still taken a plunge with this, if it were cheaper perhaps, but it's getting uncomfortably close to the RC. Should I seriously consider this at all?

    N 300 (3.7 OTR) - I have test ridden the older edition and although I like the geometry and posture more than the RC, I am not too happy about the fact that the bike only comes to life at higher RPM's. I love this a lot for it's smooth and refined ride thouh.

    R3 - Not considering, because I just don't like that front end, although I concede that it is a lovely product. Also, it's a bit too expensive for what it offers. If only there were good discounts on this for me to take a harder look at it.

    New Benelli's - No. Horrendous parts pricing and maintainability stories. But, I know these are also machines that fit me very well, so am looking for deals in the Used market.

    CBR 250 Repsol (2.2 OTR) - Don't want to settle for a 250, and this bike stopped making sense about 2 years ago. But, I know this is a nice bike, and may actually be the one ticking most of my boxes. But, you know the way of the heart, and that thing between the legs!

    BMW 310
    twins?

    A bit of a stretch -
    N 400 (5.1 OTR) - Love the KRT colours, but it's a bit too track oriented, and then the Z650 is within striking range.

    Z650 (5.6 OTR) - Makes more sense than buying the N 400, looking at factors like performance, image and depreciation losses. But, also concerned that I will end up spending more than I WANT TO, and the fact that it isn't city friendly either.

    Also, did I mention NO CRUISERS?

    So guys, what do you think I should do? I didn't post this on TBHP, because I don't wish to be relegated to 4 wheels!

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Topic approved.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    The Duke 390 should be the ideal choice, it's a pocket rocket and will keep you entertained and comfortable.
    It's city friendly as well, a win win in my books
    roy_libran likes this.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Quote Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
    Guys - This is my first post on the forum, so let me first say a big Hi to all of you.

    This thread is to solicit opinions from you, which should help me select a new motorcycle. Thanks in advance.

    A bit about me first:
    Let's put the gory details aside right at the start-
    - I'm 40
    - I'm married with a kid
    - I am still working 9-6 to earn my living
    - I don't have a girl-friend
    - I don't earn a ton of money, and neither care too much

    Now, for the better part-
    - I'm 40 and reasonably fit (now)
    - I'm married, and my family is more or less supportive of what I want to do
    - I work 9-6 only, which leaves me with a lot of time to pursue my other interests in life, e.g birding, exploring jungles, a bit of off-roading at times, diving etc. etc.
    - Have a few lady-friends, but ...
    - I earn enough to fund most of my interests, but cannot afford to splurge

    And, a bit of history -
    - I got my first bike in 1994, and it was a Suzuki Shogun. Yes, I bought that over the de facto standard those days - the RX100, and absolutely loved riding it till 2003. In between, for about 1.5 yrs. I had exchanged my Shogun with a friend's RD350 LT, coz' he couldn't handle that machine. I made a number of long distance rides in those days, on both those machines.
    - In 2003, I bought an Enfield TB 350, and still have it. It's RC recently expired, and I don't even want to get it renewed - may just scrap the damn junk. During this time, I got married, travelled etc. etc., and the uncomfortable, unreliable, finicky and rickety nature of the Enfield made sure that I gradually forget the joys of motorcycling.

    So, WHAT NOW -
    Since the last 3 years I put in a lot of effort into regaining my health and fitness, and now I can confidently return to more consistent motorcycling, so I need a machine that - retains the Big Bike feel, good looks, refinement, City Ride-ability and is absolutely NOT AN ENFIELD.

    My expected Use Case shall involve a few city rides, but on relatively good, fast roads, and maybe weekend trips of max 100 km one-way. I don't expect to be carrying a pillion too often, and certainly don't want to encourage it either. I will CERTAINLY NOT be touring long distances.

    Psychologically, I have been open to a budget of 2.5 to 5.5 lakhs, but would want to spend as little as I can, for the maximum value that I can derive. I know it is a large range, but please understand the "value" aspect that I am looking for. I would love to limit my spend (including good quality riding gear) to about 4 lakhs, if possible.

    So, here's what I understand of my choices, and this is where I am seeking the opinion of the forum.

    Within my budget sweet spot -
    KTM 390 twins (2.8 OTR) - Pretty much the de facto choice, helped by the fact that the nearest showroom/service centre is less than 2 kms. away from my house. I feel more at home with the riding position of the RC, than the Duke, though. However, these machines don't seem to be too happy (based on my short test rides) in city conditions, plus I don't have the mindset to continuously rip the throttle.

    Dominar 400 (Doesn't matter) - Good on paper, value factor, comfortable ride (not very refined though) but just can't digest the fact that the looks of that bike will only reinforce the fact that I'm ageing and ... . Out!

    Apache RR 310 (2.6 OTR) - Fell in love with the looks of this bike - who hasn't? Would love to own the one in Red. I haven't test ridden one yet, but even current owners are advising me against it. I would have still taken a plunge with this, if it were cheaper perhaps, but it's getting uncomfortably close to the RC. Should I seriously consider this at all?

    N 300 (3.7 OTR) - I have test ridden the older edition and although I like the geometry and posture more than the RC, I am not too happy about the fact that the bike only comes to life at higher RPM's. I love this a lot for it's smooth and refined ride thouh.

    R3 - Not considering, because I just don't like that front end, although I concede that it is a lovely product. Also, it's a bit too expensive for what it offers. If only there were good discounts on this for me to take a harder look at it.

    New Benelli's - No. Horrendous parts pricing and maintainability stories. But, I know these are also machines that fit me very well, so am looking for deals in the Used market.

    CBR 250 Repsol (2.2 OTR) - Don't want to settle for a 250, and this bike stopped making sense about 2 years ago. But, I know this is a nice bike, and may actually be the one ticking most of my boxes. But, you know the way of the heart, and that thing between the legs!

    BMW 310
    twins?

    A bit of a stretch -
    N 400 (5.1 OTR) - Love the KRT colours, but it's a bit too track oriented, and then the Z650 is within striking range.

    Z650 (5.6 OTR) - Makes more sense than buying the N 400, looking at factors like performance, image and depreciation losses. But, also concerned that I will end up spending more than I WANT TO, and the fact that it isn't city friendly either.

    Also, did I mention NO CRUISERS?

    So guys, what do you think I should do? I didn't post this on TBHP, because I don't wish to be relegated to 4 wheels!
    Buy BMW gs 310, you will be able to some offroading also. It'll be an exclusive bike.
    roy_libran likes this.

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    Rusted nirvaana's Avatar
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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    You have summed it up pretty well for each of your choices. I would still not advice D390 for two reasons 1). its not quite what you want i.e. a relaxed riding experience and 2). its not much different from an RE in terms of peace of mind when it comes to reliability.

    With your requirements I would suggest bigger bike which you can keep for a long time. A N650 for that matter. You could look for a good pre-owned bike so don't have to stretch the budget much.
    roy_libran likes this.
    Contribute to the environment.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Thanks guys. Although you have now left me with lesser choices, the confusion isn't any lesser.
    Anyway, Duke i didn't like the riding stance a lot, so RC390 is on my list.
    The new entry is the BMS GS 310. But I'm worried about the costs of maintaining it, and the potential depreciation hit I might take in the future.
    The N300 and N650 - Save money, or get the real deal....

    By the way, I didn't specify this earlier, but my ownership horizon is about 3 years.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Quote Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
    Guys - This is my first post on the forum, so let me first say a big Hi to all of you.

    This thread is to solicit opinions from you, which should help me select a new motorcycle. Thanks in advance.
    So guys, what do you think I should do? I didn't post this on TBHP, because I don't wish to be relegated to 4 wheels!
    You have a pretty good CV for a riding enthusiast, coming to the rides;

    1) KTM siblings : The KTMs offer the best combination of thrill and price and I haven't come across anyone (owner/reviewer/enthusiast) criticizing them for what they primarily aim to offer. Its true that they aren't city friendly, but they aren't designed for cities in the first place. So if you can adjust with the niggles they have, they are the best bet of the lot.

    2) Apache 310 : Gorgeous machine, sensibly fast, reasonably priced and a Beamer sourced engine, pretty hard to find fault with, if you can't come in terms with the KTMs, this is it.

    3) N300 : Lot of money for two cylinders and its pretty dated.

    4) CBR : Old wine in new bottle.

    5) Beamer twins : GS only if you want to go some adventure touring else why to pay more for something.

    6) N400 and Z650 : Nothing bad about them except ownership cost, these machines can have eye watering expensive spares.
    roy_libran likes this.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead31 View Post
    You have a pretty good CV for a riding enthusiast, coming to the rides;

    1) KTM siblings :

    2) Apache 310 :

    3) N300 :

    4) CBR :

    5) Beamer twins :

    6) N400 and Z650 : .
    Hahahaha. Thanks
    I haven't finalized yet, but am drifting towards the RR310. Recently came to know that TVS has now fixed some of its niggles and no doubt this is the best looking bike in this entire set. Pretty close to what my heart wants at this point.

    I agree with your assessment of all the others. The RC390 is still in contention but not the Duke. And somewhere in my mind the new upcoming R3 is also raising a ruckus. But, in all likelihood, it might end up being the RR310, if only I find a way to improve its exhaust note.
    Cheers.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Quote Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
    Hahahaha. Thanks
    I haven't finalized yet, but am drifting towards the RR310. Recently came to know that TVS has now fixed some of its niggles and no doubt this is the best looking bike .................................................. ...But, in all likelihood, it might end up being the RR310, if only I find a way to improve its exhaust note.
    Cheers.
    R3 is a brilliant machine, but the 2019 version has just been unveiled and if R3 is the one then I would recommend waiting for the updated version to reach our shores.
    Duke never appealed to me as well, and its design, lets be kind, is different (I might sound 65 years old, but thats not something I prefer). As far as exhaust note of Apache is concerned I think you will be able to find a slip on.
    roy_libran likes this.

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    Default Re: A BIG HI and a Mid-life bike selector for a Returning Biker

    Quote Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
    Guys - This is my first post on the forum, so let me first say a big Hi to all of you.

    This thread is to solicit opinions from you, which should help me select a new motorcycle. Thanks in advance.

    So guys, what do you think I should do? I didn't post this on TBHP, because I don't wish to be relegated to 4 wheels!
    Hey Roy,

    A pretty detailed dilemma you have described out here. Most of the questions you have answered yourself. And going by the fact, that you were a Shogun rider way back in the heydays of the 2 stroke hooligans, I understand you would want a more sedate ride but not too lazy for you to put yourself out to pasture.

    To cut a long story short, I know others before me have given their inputs on your options, but I think considering your need and the budget which I feel is a reasonable one, you should atleast give the Dominar a chance by taking a Test ride. I feel it may spring up a bit of surprises. And believe me, it's not that bad a looker. Also, you can save a lot of dough which can be invested in some decent riding gear and accessories if you dont have one currently.

    I know you have said an emphatic no to the RE, but you may want to check out the forthcoming 650 twins from the RE stable considering the sweet exhaust notes and the typical street bike kind of demeanour they have been made to portray. Not to forget every Indian auto journalist who had been invited for the press junket in California for the global launch is going ga ga over the Interceptor 650 especially. And believe me, if it actually turns out to be as good as it is made out to be when it hits our infamous roads, it will tick all the boxes of your ideal ride.

    I wish you all the luck in your search for your new partner on the road. Keep this thread alive by sharing your thoughts on your buying process.

    Cheers..
    roy_libran likes this.





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