On the way home, I decided to stop in at I-90 Motorsports. This is the place where I bought my Bonneville America. I like this shop - it's pretty low key there, the sales guys are helpful even if you are not buying a bike that day, and they have a nice stock of Triumphs, Hondas, and V-Stars/Yamahas in addition to selling ATV's and personal watercraft.
Why did I stop there? I think it's always cool to look at bikes, sit on them, see how they feel. Maybe there's a bike here that I will say to myself "I should have gotten this one" instead of my Bonneville America.
In one of the recesses of my mind, I think about having a full-fledged bagger; I like the idea of a long distance cruiser, with a lot of comfort, torque, low rpms, and storage to spare. How about rolling into Sturgis on one of these, the Triumph Rocket III?
This bike is the king of displacement - 2300 cc, and fully set up for long distance cruising. The Rocket III is a beautiful bike. Could it replace my Bonneville America? Well, I got on it, and found it to be massive! I am short of leg, and while the seat height is rather low, due to the width of the 3 cylinder engine on this bike I end up on the balls of my feet when I straddle it. Because of the sheer weight of this bike I think it needs a longer-legged rider than me to keep this one stable at stops and low-speed maneuvers.
Next up was the V-Star 1300 - another very nice bike, in a trim that is ready for some long excursions on the interstate:
Unlike the Rocket III, I had less of a problem straddling the V-Star. The bike certainly has ample power, and I have heard much about the quality of the Stars. Maybe I should trade in my Triumph for this bike? Actually, though, if anything I felt a little big on this bike. I seemed to be seated right over the tank, and positioned almost over the handlebars. Also, I had a problem catching my leg on the pillion back rest - I guess I should stretch more often. In any event, this was not as comfortable as I would have hoped.
How about I get some tattoos, some well-placed piercings, change my name to Spike and join the chopper set? It could happen on this Honda Fury:
Of the three, the Fury was the most comfortable. The bike is not as wide as the others, so it was very easy for me to throw a leg over this one. Once seated, the ergonomics of this bike proved to me that Honda really thought this one through, and I have experienced first hand the legendary quality of Honda. I could be the bad boy I have always dreamed of with the Fury, so should this bad boy in waiting trade his America in? Unfortunately, while the Honda looks like the real deal, it does have a lot of plastic on it. Also, even though it's powered by a 1300cc engine, some reports show it generates just 56hp stock. That's less than my America (due to the upgraded pipes and Stage 1 treatment).
I left the shop, got on my America, and basked in the comfort of this bike as I waited for the engine to warm up a bit. My feet reach the ground comfortably, the seat has formed nicely to me, I really like the forward controls, and the handlebars offer a natural reach. For me, this bike just fits right. As I merged back onto I-90, I was reminded once again of the incredible torque band of this bike; not break neck, but enough to make me smile. It's got more than enough power for me, and plenty to spare. While that Fury or a full-dress bagger may make its way into my garage someday, I really can't see them as replacing this bike.