Wow, you guys are so helpful! I never even considered insurance. I use progressive but only get comp/collision for my bike since it's not worth much. I pay $126 a year for insurance on my bike which is incredibly reasonable.
I just did a quote with Progressive entering basic information...; i'm shocked! It'd be about ~$1000+ a year for the base package. That's quite discouraging
. Out of curiosity, is that because it's marked as a Sport bike? What bikes would be more insurance friendly?
I just did a bit more research, the versys definitely has a bit higher of insurance, but maybe $25-$50 more a month compared to less sporty bikes. So, I think i'll be able to swing that.
good point with the chain maintenance. About how many miles per clean/lube is needed? Also, roughly how many miles do the chains give you before you need to replace?
I never heard of the 2014 CTX 1300 before. That's a neat bike; the style is kind of...well, unconventional, but if it works, it works. I didn't see any dealers/craigslist that are anywhere near me, but it might be another possible avenue for me. Looking at the specs, it likes fairly heavy. I've test driven a Triumph Thunderbird, and it definitely felt like too much bike for me and my wife.
Another question for any of you guys... What do you think about ABS? I'm a bit worried on cross country trips that i'll be hitting storms in the midwest and would really miss a feature like ABS. I try not to ride in the rain if I don't have to, and I have very little experience riding on wet ground. I've managed so far without it, but i've definitely been in some situations where i was sliding the back tire.
I'll toss in my two cents and suggest the Honda CTX700 as being a bike worthy of consideration. It's my spouse's current "first to go to" bike (she has more than one) and, although it's not perfect, we both like it quite a bit.
We looked at the CTX1300 but, by comparison, it's much heavier and doesn't fit either of us well. The CTX700 is a 670cc parallel twin (half of a Honda Fit engine if you believe the pundits) with a relatively low saddle, which is to say lower than the Versys but not a butt-dragger like most cruisers. And even though is sports "forward foot controls" it's surprisingly comfortable and that includes day-long rides. It isn't a pavement scorcher but, on the positive side, it manages amazingly good fuel mileage - in the upper 50 to lower 60s mpg - and it's comfortable. And because it isn't a sport bike the insurance doesn't take your breath away. Caveat inserted here: we're between 40 and 50 years older than you.
And despite the overall weight, the engine is canted forward dramatically which places the center of gravity lower to the ground. Once moving the bike feels several hundred pounds lighter than it is. We mounted the taller factory windscreen, hard cases and rear rack (to which we strap a First Gear tail trunk) and use a tank bag for quick access stuff. That offers a good amount of carrying capacity for our needs.
Ours is the partially faired model with manual gearbox and no ABS primarily because to get ABS (at least with the 2014 model) you had to accept the flappy paddle semi-automatic gearbox and it's not what she wanted.
Reviews in the motorcycle magazines have been, for the most part, quite favorable with the common observation being that Honda didn't quite know what they wanted the bike to be. Is it a cruiser or naked bike or a touring machine? As it happens, the answer is yes.
And to give you an idea of where we're coming from (at the risk of being accused of bragging) in addition to the CTX 700, this is what else we ride at present: 2008 Versys, 1993 BMW K75S, 2015 Suzuki TU250X, and 2015 Can Am Spyder RT-S.
Hope this might be of some assistance. When the dust settles, there is no perfect bike; it's a matter of what suits your needs best without breaking the bank.