Ok. So last fall I purchased my first bike, a 2007 Ninja 500. I was really into the Versys before this, but chose the Ninja because I couldn't find a decently priced (read cheap) Versys at the time and I was concerned about the seat height of the V since I have a 30" inseam at 5'8. Figured I'd get a bit of experience on a bike I could flat foot first.
After riding the Ninja for about 1200 miles, I'm ready for something different. Mind you, I like the Ninja, it has plenty of power, but I really don't care for the riding position. Even though it's considered somewhat standard, I'm more leaned over that I'd like to be, and after about an hour or so, I get pain in the thumb of my throttle hand. I think this is because of the lean and having weight on my hand while riding.
Anyways, I've been looking at V's again and stopped in my local dealer today to see if they had any in stock I could sit on. They had a beautiful white 2013 in stock. When I sat on the bike the position felt great. Perfectly upright seating. I was able to get the balls of both feet on the ground. Though I would prefer to flat foot both sides I feel it's still fine. The lowering kit from Speedy is available if I really want it lowered, or a low seat maybe.
Anyways, I do have a few questions:
First, I've never purchased a new bike and I'm not sure really what is negotiable and what's not. When purchasing cars I can do tons of research and find what a fair OTD price is. When discussing with the salesman today I mentioned that I was looking to buy in early summer around June or so. He said that the price could change depending on incentives and that the financial guy is reluctant to give OTD pricing if I'm not in the market soon. Thought I didn't like this behavior, I humored the guy for a bit more info. IF I were to buy today, the sticker price is $7499($500 cash back incentive) + $600 Freight, $400 doc, and $200 title or taxes, I can't remember. To me, $1200 additional seems high for this, though the salesman said this is just want they typically call standard and could work on these numbers to make a deal.
What is fair to pay for a new V? I'm typically more of a "I'll give you $7500 cash OTD + tax and tag kind of guy. I know it can't hurt to ask, and when it's time to buy I will definitely start working for a deal, the worst they can say is no. I'm just curious as to others experiences.
Used bikes are still an option and this particular dealer which has many locations around the Southeast, has a 2011 V at a different location with 2600 miles for $5500 + $400 doc and about $200 tax. Should I even be paying a doc fee for a used bike? Seems like a BS charge to me.
Next is: I told myself that my next bike would have ABS as a feature. I've even highly considered the new Honda 500s that are coming out this Summer since they have ABS. I still may consider one of these bikes potentially. This dealer did have a 13 V-Strom 650 Adventure ABS in stock for $8699 sticker. I think this bike is ugly as hell, but it does have ABS and upright seating. This seems to be a pretty good deal too.
In your opinion, how big of a deal is ABS? Studies suggest that it's a very beneficial feature. What are some of the pros and cons of ABS? Is there ever a time that ABS would be a disadvantage?
I plan on riding mostly street, just getting out for a few hours on the weekends to ride around backroads mostly, but do hope to take an overnight trip in the future if the opportunity arises. I would also like to be able to ride along the occasional dirt road or even national forest roads occasionally. Will the V be a good choice for this type of riding. In it's stock form?
I wish I could test ride the V but I don't have any friends with one and the dealer only has new ones at this location. I doubt they'd send me off on a test ride. Probably no chance of a Kawasaki Demo Day in Mobile, Alabama anytime soon.
Anyways, that should get us started. What do you think?