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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, y'all. Okay, here's my quandry: At the ripe old age of 50 I became a newbie and bought a 2004 VLX600. While I was writing the check, some random customer came up to me and said something like: "You'll be back in 6 months to get something more powerful." Well, it's been two months, and I'm already thinking he might be right. I absolutely love my 600: It's light and nimble. However, all my buds ride bigger bikes: V-rods, HD Softails, etc. I've followed them and have had no problems keeping up, although they are certainly quicker off the line. We plan to do some overnight trips in the mountains.
I'm now considering the 1100 Sabre, but I'm wondering why: It's over 150 lbs heavier, so I figure it's less maneurverable and may be less nimble in the mountains. On the other hand, I don't want to be "under-powered." In terms of power-to-weight ratio (and also taking into account my experience), should I even be thinking about moving up to the 1100, or is there not enough difference to consider it? Thanks!!!
 

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You're buds onthe Harleys are still going to beat the stock 1100 Sabre like a red headed step child, but the Sabre will serve you better on longer trips IMHO.
 

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Give it a couple more months or better 10k riding miles. ....you are newbie, and it's starting to feel comfortable to you.....the worst and most dangerous time IMHO.

Confidence is up, skill level is still very low.......

Also giving it more time will alert you to addtional features you may find desirable in a bigger bike- you will have a better idea what will suit you for the long run.

Your 600 may not get off the line as fast, may rev harder at highway speeds but it will do the job of getting you to the next level.
 

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600 / 1100

I agree that you should wait to move up. Your 600 will do the job just fine. Your friends may beat you off the line but your 600 will be there at the end.
I travel with a rider with a 99 VLX and she is usually up front.
 

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oops
I was not paying attention. These guy are right...get your skills on this bike way before upgrading...

you'll be better for it when you do move up
 

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Ha I beat you by a month! :D

I had my VLX 600 for a month before I upgraded to the 1100 Sabre and haven't regretted it.

The Sabre IMO is far easier (for me) to ride because it's less of a cruiser style bike, it takes turns better and just plain more confortable. I just needed more power than the VLX could ever give and the Sabre was a wonderful option at the time and rides more smoothly than the VLX.

I personally don't think the VLX makes a good starter bike but it's all a personal choice. I would recommend that you try ALL types and models of bikes before settling on the next size up. I rode Yamaha 1100 V-Star and was close to getting that bike before settling on the Sabre. Remember, just because the bike is heavier it doesn't mean that it's harder to manuever.

I would also recommend you practice with cones which will help increase your control your bike with confidence.

Good Luck!

 

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Its all about cornering IMO... I have buds with sportbikes who leave me in the dust on straight lines... but when it comes to corners, they're still not comfortable at them and slow way down... I would stick with your 600 for just a bit longer and get into the cornering a lot more. Once you master that, i would move up. It all depends what riding you do. If you are just a highway rider, and don;t really like pushing it on the turns, then maybe itt is better to upgrade now.... but if you're in it for the long haul, get VERY comfy with your 600 then move up... GOOD LUCK !
 

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I only have 2 years riding on you. I started with an 1100 and last summer graduated up. I don't see what the big deal is one way or another. Size doesn't matter that much. Heed cbjr256's advice, you have to remind yourself every day that you don't know everything about riding and that your are one mistake away from ending the happy time. That being said, if you feel ready for a Sabre, go for it, it's a fine bike. If not, stay where you are. Don't worry about keeping up with an experienced group. It is up to the experienced riders to keep the group together.

Have a good trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, you guys are just flat awesome! This is exactly the kind of thoughtful advice I was hoping to get, from experienced guys as well as fellow newbies. I think the consensus is exactly right...I don't need to rush into anything at this point, especially since the ink is still wet on my MSF safety course completion letter. I think I'll develop my skills, gain more expience, get comfortable in the curves, try not to be jealous of the Harley snobs, and enjoy a bike that I basically love, even though it's relatively small. Maybe after a few longer trips I'll feel differently, but then I'll look at all makes and models. I'm encouraged to hear that there are some 600 riders who have made long trips and managed to keep up just fine with few problems.

Thanks again!
 

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+1 on what the others have said. Also, the Sabre is about to be discontinued as is the Spirit 1100. Ride the VLX for a while and wait and see what comes out next year.
 

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From my experience, the Spirit 1100 (very similar to Sabre) actually does better in the mountains than a Harley Road King. When you are ready to upgrade, I think a Sabre would handle the mountains just fine.

Happy Trails!

sanoke
 

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Size sure does matter

Sorry guys but size does matter. It depends on the size of the rider. Having owned both, the 1100 is nowhere near as easy to ride as the VLX. If you are average stature the VLX will work just fine and the 1100 will be too much for you. If you are a big guy, the 1100 is no problem. I just sold our VLX to a co-worker. I rode it in this morning and smiled all the way. It is an enjoyable bike to ride and a veritable featherweight compared to my 1600.
We rode it often 2-up at elevations over 7000' in the mts of Arizona without a problem. After 24,000 miles my wife has move up. Keeping the bike to really get proficient was the best move she ever made. Going bigger and riding over your head isn't a wise idea. When it is time for you to upgrade you will not have to ask the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, deeppurple52! I was wondering how the size of the rider might factor into things: I'm 5' 11" but weigh only 165. I have chicken-like legs, which is partly why the 600 had such appeal for me: With it's low, low seat and it's light weight, I can balance it easily and have never (yet, at least) even come close to laying it down.

Didn't know the Sabre and Spirit were being discontinued. Anyone know why? (Lemme guess...it has something to do with money or profit margins or something like that).
 

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Actually, at your age, your neck is still kind of strong. A 600 VLX will snap it back on a hard throttle really easily. An 1100 will REALLY snap it back. Why do you want to tax the body with an 1100 when a 600 will make you smile every time...?

Coach
 

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Discussion Starter #16
True enough about the neck...it's just that I wonder if there's some kind of "shame" in the motorcycle world for riding a smaller bike (like, should I be embarrassed)? I know that the small bikes of today were considered top-of-the-line full-power cruisers in the '70s, so I should be perfectly content with a 600.
 

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drshap said:
True enough about the neck...it's just that I wonder if there's some kind of "shame" in the motorcycle world for riding a smaller bike (like, should I be embarrassed)? I know that the small bikes of today were considered top-of-the-line full-power cruisers in the '70s, so I should be perfectly content with a 600.
Oh there is certainly the shame factor. Folks who do not ride or have bought into hype of large displacement engines often will look in disdain at sub 1000cc bikes. What rides and fits best to each rider should be the only real factors.
 

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Re: Size sure does matter

deeppurple52 said:
Sorry guys but size does matter. It depends on the size of the rider. Having owned both, the 1100 is nowhere near as easy to ride as the VLX. If you are average stature the VLX will work just fine and the 1100 will be too much for you. If you are a big guy, the 1100 is no problem. I just sold our VLX to a co-worker. I rode it in this morning and smiled all the way. It is an enjoyable bike to ride and a veritable featherweight compared to my 1600.
We rode it often 2-up at elevations over 7000' in the mts of Arizona without a problem. After 24,000 miles my wife has move up. Keeping the bike to really get proficient was the best move she ever made. Going bigger and riding over your head isn't a wise idea. When it is time for you to upgrade you will not have to ask the question.
Weeeeellllllllll, I dunno. I'm 5'7 215 and I thought the VLX was much harder to manuever and the Sabre a dream. The forward controls were too far out for my short legs and the handle bar config was awkward for me. The Sabre rides more like a standard and is easier to turn at slow turns and corners regardless of the weight.

Also, there are a lot of Wing riders that may disagree that weight matters.

However, the comments you read here is only our opinion.

DSRHAP, do what you feel is right and take our opinions as just that, opinions.

Only YOU can decide what to ride!

 

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We had a similar discussion at work the other day. We are spoiled with cheap gas yet we bitch when it goes up. Our cars and especially trucks are getting bigger (and more powerful). A 1300cc bike is now considered a middle weight. Where is it gonna end?
 

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750cc is more than enough for me, and if you really think about it, for most people. Yeah, sure, lots will disagree with me... so be it.

I don't need to do 0-100 in 13 seconds, I don't need to go twice the speed limit, I don't need to race from stoplight to stoplight, and I don't need to play catch up with a bunch of "wild hogs" that figure bigger is always better. I don't need to impress anyone. I need a bike that can accelerate fast enough, that can cruise at highway speeds plus a little bit, that can haul my ass and my gear; a bike that is pretty good on gas, comfortable , uniquely mine and meets all the requirements that I have for a motorcycle.

Those are my requirements, your mileage may vary. You've got more real world experience than I, and I don't doubt for a minute that you know what it is that you really want. Whatever it is, go for it.
 
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