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Ma Honda has seen fit to market a bio-fuel scoot for sale in Brazil, that sport-scooter DN-01 thing, and a factory O.C.C. wannabe chopper. Why can't they stay with the competition on the higher-volume stuff ?? I've been a pretty loyal Honda guy for years, even my pressure-washer and log-splitter are Honda powered, but my (short) Wife's bike had to bea Kawasaki.

The only small standardBig Redoffers anymore, is the anemic Rebel 250. The next standard-ish bike in the line is a V-twin, which we don't want. So, she's on a Vulcan 500. If/when she's ready to move up, I don't know what we will do - they are all V-twins.

I'm looking at 650cc dual purpose machines more and more these days, for some reason. Honda does have one of those, andthe XR650is almost 100 pounds lighter than the Kaw and has a lot more suspension travel - sounds good so far, huh ??

One of the reasons for having less mass is - it's still an air-cooled SOHC !! in 2009 !!The XRalso only holds 2.8 gallons of gas, to the DOHC, water-pumper KLR650s 6.1 gallons, and costs half a grand MORE than the greenie.

It's a shame, but if I go for a dual sport, I'll have to walk right past Big Red again. This was never an issue when old man Soichiro was alive. I think a lot of things changed on August 5th, 1991. Aside from keeping the heavy-tourer market pretty-well outclassed, the old "Follow the Leader"slogan doesn't seem to apply much, anymore. . . . . . . . sad. :(
 

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Having owned a KLR650 It is a nice ride but its is no trail rider..Dirt roads yes..Freeway no..We still have a Honda 650R in the stable and it is a monster machine..More torque than my 1200..But I have to agree with you that Honda and the other Bike makers are way to deep on the V twins..My first road Bike was a 81 Suzi GS550 if my memory serves me right. Four cylinder bike..Nice ride..Can't find one like that any more..
 

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I'm with you there, I think if they would make a mid size standard, non cruiser in line 4cyl. a novice could ride they would have a hard time making enough of them. I believe Harley really started gaining popularity when the Japanese started to imitate them.
 

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As an owner of a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic, I have to say you can't ride a better bike. All their Vulcan models are pretty much bullet proof, as are the GoldWings. For overall comfort and dependability, the Gold Wing is number one; after that, my choice is the Vulcan for cruising and long distance riding. The 500 is a great medium size bike too!

Bernie
 

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Wingnumberone:
My buddy's wife is Filipino, she's about 4'7"... she started on a Rebel 250, he had to leave the side covers off because they stuck out enough to make it hard for her to get her feet down. We went to a rally in Maine a couple of years ago; it was funny to watch her trying to twist some more speed out of full throttle!
She needed a bigger bike, so we found a 750 Shadow Aero, and installed lowering kits front and rear, and it fit her fine...though we did end up changing the risers to pull the bars back some for her.
I know it's a twin, but it's not loud, doesn't vibrate very much, and is quite responsive and quick.
(edit) If you decide to go that way, and her height is an issue, the Aero is THE model..the Spirit is a couple of inches taller, as is the Ace. There are a few different Shadow models.
 
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