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I've been riding my '08 V for a while, and it's worked well for me for four years now. I'm thinking - if I were to replace my V - I would want my bike to do the following things better:

Have a taut suspension for riding the twisties, yet plush enough (less jarring) for long distance sport touring.

Have enough wind protection to stop most of the wind noise on my helmet, yet allow enough airflow for those 90 degree plus summer afternoons of riding.

"Lean forward" ergonomics just a touch more than the bolt-upright V seating.

Be light enough handling the occasional gravel road.

Good gas milage / range would be a plus.

Hard bag capable. No passenger. Would accept a 2007 or newer model.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a possible replacement?
 

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Me and my mate were doing the rounds today as we were both off work. We visited Kawasaki, KTM, BMW, Triumph, Yamaha and Suzuki. Of all the bikes I looked at, I narrowed it down to three machines. The KTM SMT, the BMW F800GS and the Triumph Tiger 800XC. Price was taken into consideration with the KTM costing £9500, the GS at £9560 and the Tiger at £8500. I felt that the BMW was too expensive and placed it third. The KTM and Tiger were harder to split, so it came down to being sensible (and keeping my license) and the Tiger won.
 

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BMW F800R. Put a decent windshield on it for touring, take it off for local use. Get it with the package of stuff that's nice to have: heated grips, tire pressure monitor, on board computer, CENTER STAND. Comes with ABS. Several hard bag options available. Outstanding fuel mileage. And blah, blah, blah.
 

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GSX1250FA
VFR1200 maybe?
Ninja 1000
Triumph Sprint GT. Not selling well, there are killer deals to be had on these.

None ideal for gravel however.
 

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Other than long range, my Ninja 650R did all that. I put in softer springs and Ricor Intiminators to get the front suspension working. And had 3 hard bags for touring.

I'm sure the Versys would do it too, if you dialed in your suspension (in the back that seems to mean "replaced"), changed the windscreen, installed lower bars and luggage racks. If I were to replace the Versys screen, I'd probably go Calsci, but Givi sounds good as well.

Tonight I got to over 205 miles on my tank of gas before my fuel light was on steadily. Not many of the bikes I looked at when I was last bike shopping have the range of the Versys. Or the comfort.

The stock front end is superior to what was on my EX650, and that was fine once I dialed it in. As best I can tell the rear shock on either bike needs to be replaced to have good suspension in back though.
 

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Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom...

I've been riding my '08 V for a while, and it's worked well for me for four years now. I'm thinking - if I were to replace my V - I would want my bike to do the following things better:

Have a taut suspension for riding the twisties, yet plush enough (less jarring) for long distance sport touring.

Have enough wind protection to stop most of the wind noise on my helmet, yet allow enough airflow for those 90 degree plus summer afternoons of riding.

"Lean forward" ergonomics just a touch more than the bolt-upright V seating.

Be light enough handling the occasional gravel road.

Good gas milage / range would be a plus.

Hard bag capable. No passenger. Would accept a 2007 or newer model.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a possible replacement?
If you have enjoyed the Versys, you might like the Wee Strom...I really loved my 2005 and will someday own the new 2012 model...the v-twin motor is fantastic and it handles great...really fun and cheap to own...:goodidea:
 

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Weight. While the V is certainly a very agile motorcyle...as a middle-weight bike it is affected by wind much more than heavier touring machines.
 

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I am 5'8 and my Ninja 1000 gives me a 16 degree forward lean angle so that is about as much forward as i would go. Have had the Ninja on heavy gravel not the best but will get you there, 19 litre fuel tank but if you open up the throttle she sucks it out, it can fit good side panniers, suspension and brakes are real good.

The V1000 may be your best bet, go across the boarder into Canada and bring one back.
 

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CB1000r, FZ1, Z1000(?)... a sporting standard would give you the riding position you're after. givi screens may be available. street triple might be even better for strictly solo, but not sure about luggage or screen options.

VFR800 has all that you seek, but i found it to be a little heavy for anything beyond gravel roads, like the ninja 1k, maybe.

any bike can handle a gravel road if you're not in a hurry.
 
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