Motorcycles I Have Ridden Part VII

#359 – 407

Dave Preston:                                           Motorcycles Ridden Log

As of January 1st of 2009:                     8 owned –  350  tested = 358 total

#359             Triumph Legend 900                                       (Josepha)

  • Forgot to note the mileage
  • Ergonomically designed for Josepha –  Rich’s seat too far forward, windshield too low
  • Right mirror vibrates  (Bent Bike) left one does not  (Triumph)
  • Nice little analog clock on handlebars
  • Only 5 speeds
  • Fabulous sound from new Triumph accessory pipes
  • Lustrous candy green paint
  • A terrific bike that can do anything

#360             2009 Harley-Davidson Road King  Rental #21   #642350

  • Pewter Pearl paint is classy
  • 3 miles!
  • Seat seems wider and more padded- good for long comfort but not as easy to get feet down at stops, etc.
  • White walls, driving lights, saddlebags, self-canceling signals, AND cruise control – take that, Japanese competition!
  • Rode it again in July with 11,000 miles – shifting much improved

#361             2009 Kawasaki Versys               (parking lot)

  • Cool bike in a great color –  loud green
  • High seat height could be a problem
  • The Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles – do it all for little

#362             2008 0r 2009 Kawasaki 500 Vulcan  (parking lot)

  • Candy maroon
  • Issues with runability – choke on lots of revs, choke off nuthin
  • Very old school ergos
  • Really all anyone needs if looks and style are not an issue

#363             2008 Kawasaki Concours 14  (parking lot)

  • Dark silver
  • VERY nice seating position
  • Huge saddlebags
  • Good mirrors and a nice side stand tab – details that count
  • Dumb key fob and do I need tire monitors, but…
  • I want one!

#364, 365, 366     2009 Honda CRF 230L (three from lower to upper building)

  • Street legal small and inoffensive dirt bike
  • 230cc air cooled single
  • Light and agile, choke and side stand
  • Probably all I would need for quite some time
  • Rear shock too soft for my bulk
  • Not to be confused with CRF 250R – water cooled 250cc with twin exhausts  (loud) and a lot of power, brakes, and suspension. Kick start
  • CRF 250X is a trail bike with the big engine, spark arrestor, but no lights or starter.
  • I think I will stay bland for now!

#367             2009 Honda CRF 450 R                                            $7,895

  • OMG!  Absolute power, and no weight
  • WAY too much for a beginner
  • I would enjoy playing on perhaps a 250R, but this is just far too much for a beginner.
  • No electric start, no side stand, no neutral light, no instruments – pure racing technology
  • Shows just how far dirt technology has come in the past few decades.  Awesome is the only word.

#368             2008 Honda 1800 VTX

  • Handlebar does not seem as grossly wide as the one I rode a few years ago
  • Much smoother than a comparable Harley – too smooth in fact
  • Big and bold, but perhaps too big for functional use in most situations
  • Exhaust note not the thrill it was a few years ago
  • Does what it does perfectly – who wants a bike to do that?
  • Various versions of fenders – but none exciting enough for me to keep straight

#369             2009 Harley-Davidson Softtail Deluxe       Rental breakin

  • Black and chrome with whitewalls and chrome spokes – lovely
  • Driving lights, but no cruise control on this one
  • Small chrome luggage rack is attractive and functional
  • Backrest for the passenger
  • Modest power, low and short seat
  • Only one front disc, and you can tell
  • Surprisingly comfy for a bike that is too small for me

#370             2008 Kawasaki KRF 750 SideX Side  in Red

  • Side by side 2X2 or 4WD with a full roll cage
  • Easy to learn to operate
  • Shakes and judders
  • Needs about three times as much power to be fun
  • Probably very practical if used as intended on a farm, etc.
  • Has a trailer hitch
  • Red color does not really work well for a utilitarian vehicle

# 371            2009 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Rental Break-In

  • Dark metallic charcoal color is subdued and very nice
  • Amazing instrument cluster –  what are all these for? Air pressure in rear shocks, oil pressure, fuel level, electrics, etc.
  • DUMB design – keyless fob but you need the key to put in fuel
  • Handles better than last year?  Can’t tell m’self
  • Chopped and tinted windshield works very well!
  • Hard saddlebags – but I think I am learning how they work!
  • A radio has no place on a motorcycle – period.
  • Miss the running lights of the Road King, but still
  • VERY comfortable

#372             2009 Harley-Davidson FLSTC  (Soft Tail Classic) rental break-in

  • Pewter Pearl
  • Saddlebags with fake conches and fringe do not inspire
  • Windshield is a  good idea
  • Black and BROWN leather strap décor down tank is unfortunate
  • BUT – raised rear seat makes a rider backrest – VERY comfy
  • Large floorboards are not really forward controls.
  • Fairly high handlebars with the seat combine for really the most comfy seating position I think I have experienced.
  • Can ride in the rain or dark with visor up- windshield is perfect

#373   2009 Harley-Davidson Road King  #63991  rental

  • Candy apple red with pewter panels and gold accents – wow!
  • What’s that noise?  Brakes?  Misaligned drive belt?
  • Immediately better handling over Softail is noticed
  • White walls work on this bike
  • Favorite saddlebags are large and easy to use
  • Backrest and crash bars as fitted to all rentals make for a nice package
  • Love the driving lights

#374   2008 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic

  • 13,079 miles
  • Incredible candy apple red paint
  • All the mod cons you could want
  • Why did it feel so comfortable and controllable?
  • I have always hated these –  did it change or have I?

#375   2009 Hyosung Comet 250ccf MSF training bike

  • Four stroke V-twin engine
  • Seat to pegs dimension a little short
  • Brakes adequate
  • Handling OK
  • Power weak
  • Excellent training bike, but too small too weak and perhaps too flimsy for long term ownership

#376   20098 Piaggio MP3 250

  • Most unusual bike I will ride this year?
  • Seat to pegs dimension a little short
  • Emergency brake (!) handle comes out of “dash”
  • Keyless entry to underseat storage – VAST storage
  • Flashing yellow “brake NOT locked light is weird”
  • Yellow light beams steady when locked – releases immediately
  • Center stand but no sidestand.
  • Handling is “different,” as you might expect. First owner never got used to it and traded it for a more standard scooter.
  • Great brakes in the wet – twice the contact patch. Fun to play Noriuki Haga – last of the late brakers!
  • Panic stop in the rain was a no-brainer with two front wheels
  • The two front wheels jostle up an down as you ride, giving it an odd rocking sensation, which is why the owner traded it in
  • 120 on the speedo – oh – it’s in KPH!

#377   Yamaha Road Star XV 19 CTW Stratoliner #001029                    $12,999

  • Low miles – under 1000 when I started
  • Ultra posh cruiser – tall windshield, leatherette bags, chrome, chrome, and more chrome
  • Long low and heavy
  • Tricked out white tail lights
  • Custom? Seat in two tone maroon and black
  • Maroon, black, and chrome, chrome, chrome
  • Really like the wheels – silver and nicely done
  • Details abound and bespeak a lot of thought
  • Teardrop folding floorboards – although they did not scrape
  • Starter sounds like it is working a Boeing Stratoliner plane!
  • Relaxing to ride

#388   2009 Harley-Davidson Road King  (rental #22)

  • Lovely turquoise and green
  • Backrest, cruise control, bags, windshield, driving lights
  • Very 50’s in look – horizontal color break on tank helps this
  • Lovely motorcycle

#389   2007 Victory Vegas  #000776          $11,999

  • 1564 miles – how do people do that?  Sell before the 1st oil change
  • Lovely blue and white with silver pin stripes – somewhat of a Foose paint job
  • 6 speeds, including overdrive – transmission
  • Victory optional windshield with ghost etched flames
  • Great sound accelerating – quiet at a steady speed.
  • Front tire low – or chopperesque geometry?
  • 100hp  engine – good power once warmed up
  • Carbs – who knew?
  • No rear seat, no luggage – but could be added
  • Harder clutch pull, but better brake feel than a Harley
  • Foot pegs rubbers shot in 1500 miles?
  • $11,999 is a lot, or not, for what this can do?

#390             2008 Yamaha FJR 1300 #005915   $11,599

  • Gloss black and 500 miles!
  • Incredible value
  • Saturn booster engine – great brakes
  • Electric windshield very effective
  • Movable side panels for heat flow control
  • Adjustable seat and suspension
  • Bags OK to use
  • Curiously uninvolving – much like a GSX-R 1000
  • 6 speed trans would be expected, although the 5 it has are 3 more than it needs
  • Immediate clutch caused me to stall once
  • Comfy for the long haul
  • Almost bought it!

#391   2007 Ducati GT 1000       #005975                                     $8,399

  • First Ducati (ever) I would consider owning!
  • Comfiest seat on any Ducati ever, and maybe on any bike
  • Termignoni pipes – yes!
  • Bar end mirrors and almost drag bar
  • Red is the only color
  • Bikini fairing 1/5 the size of a Speed Triple
  • No ability to carry a tank bag (fiberglass) OR tail bag (no hooks, etc)?
  • Great power – even great brakes
  • A little cramped, actually – meant for short legs
  • Every ride – short or long – would be an experience
  • Contrast to the FJR
  • Not as great a ride as my Speed Triple

#392   2009 Harley-Davidson Road King          #655544                 rental

  • All black – with white walls – a tuxedo of a motorcycle
  • Black paint seems to show wear too easily for 2010 miles
  • Rode to Renton and back the first day of rain in 30 days –  very relaxing and confidence inspiring.

#393   2009 Triumph Thunderbird  demo

  • Blue and white – awesome appearance
  • Lots of torque – and the engine is very “friendly” in character
  • Impressive roll-on power, and a terrific burble in the stock pipes on decel
  • Belt drive good for 60,000 miles
  • Comfortable seat and ergos
  •  Lots of available accessories
  • Tasteful amount of chrome
  • I REALLY want one!  Pretty much the first cruiser I could see owning

#394   2009 Triumph Street Triple R  demo

  • Flat grey not my thing – nor the orange
  • Arrow pipe sounds awesome
  • Quick revving and lots of power –  inadvertent wheelie
  • Makes my Speed Triple feel like a bus!
  • Seat peg to seat length a bit tight
  • Accessory seat and adjustable suspension are probably worth the extra dosh
  • Brilliant design

#395   2009 Black Bonneville demo

  • Black with nice gold logos
  • Seems a bit dull by comparison with the others
  • Shifter does not work well with my boots
  • Engine sounds choked by stock exhaust – probably is
  • Excellent mirrors
  • Actually very good choice for leading demo rides!

#396   2009 Tiger demo

  • Wow – this is really orange!
  • First one I have ridden with brake pedal I can use
  • Infinitely comfy – wants to be ridden for days
  • Magic engine – character, power, sound – it’s all good

#397   2009 Bonneville T100 demo

  • Green with cream stripes
  • Different handlebars and grips
  • Desperately needs pipes
  • Just a lovely all around motorcycle

#398   2009  Bonneville SE

  • Almost painfully pretty
  • Spoked mag wheels
  • Also needs pipes
  • Same handlebars as black bonne
  • Actually a bit of a let down after lusting over it for months!

#399   2010 Triumph Thunderbird demo

  • Black
  • Shorty pipes – louder but not necessarily better

#400   2009 Triumph Bonneville Scrambler demo

  • Matte dark green
  • Arrow pipe makes all the difference
  • Crossbar pad and headlight grill for style
  • VERY nimble
  • Such fun it was hard to bring it back!

#401   2009 Triumph Rocket III Tourer demo

  • Blue, light blue, white, and chrome
  • Narrower rear tire for better handling
  • Saddlebags and backrest and windshield
  • Love the backrest when I can remember to relax and use it.
  • Just too much mass for my taste
  • Highway pegs on crashbars will not stay folded up

#402   2009 Triumph Rocket III Demo

  • Maroon, with Jardine pipes
  • Really cool maroon flyscreen
  • The sound – OMG the sound!
  • All engine, all the time!

#403   2009 Triumph Bonneville America demo

  • Blue, light blue, gold pinstripes
  • TOA pipes? Think so?
  • Beach bars
  • Pleasant, but…

#404   2009 Triumph Speedmaster demo

  • Accessory mirrors could not be adjusted to my liking
  • Black
  • Pipes, I think
  • Once again, as in every Speedmaster I have ridden, way better than it has any right to be

#405   2008 Harley-Davidson FLSTC  (Soft Tail Classic)  #060562           $16, 495

  • 7600 miles
  • Maroon and red
  • Windshield, whitewalls and driving lights and bags and a backrest
  • No cruise control or crash bars other extras.
  • Saddlebags with chrome studs on bags and seat
  • Trans does not shift all that well – still stiff after 7500 miles?
  • Really not my cup of tea – hurts my back as well
  • Footboards do not fold up very well!

#406   2009 Kawasaki Versys               #033080                 $6,599

  • 1087 miles – what is up with that?
  • Favorite green color
  • Accessory small tail trunk (Givi?) and Kawi seat – lower
  • Accessory (Kawasaki?)  adjustable wind flip on windshield
  • Nice mechanical character – does not need a pipe
  • Very friendly personality
  • Too LOW geared?  Never get down to 1st!
  • Fuel gauge and light
  • Relaxing and comfortable to ride
  • Great brakes
  • A fantastic design – passed the ten year test

#407             Harley-Davidson FLHRC  (Road King)  #654045   $13,799

  • Nice shade of medium candy blue
  • Windshield and bags as de riguer for Road Kings
  • Highway pegs on the crash bars
  • 15k miles
  • Vance and Hines pipes are ALMOST too loud – but awesome!



About david

I am a 73 year old motorsports nut who lives in Snohomish, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Rocket 3 (2020) and a 2016 Ford Focus ST. What else would you like to know?
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