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Looking at a 1986 VT700 in great shape. Primarily a commuter but occassional joy rides-maybe two-up. I am a sr driver and speed is not my thing, comfort for me and the wife // reliability // service cost and economy are at the top.
I have read all I can find and really only have a question on the physical size of the bike in reference to the comfort with two folks ( I am 6ft--240 with a 31 inch inseam)--wife is smaller than I ( diplomatic description).
I have just sold my 2000 Venture (900 lb beast- but it did what it was intended to do)-so I am scaling down. Love the hydralic valves-shaft-water cooled-6 speed wow and in the 1980's no less.
Can't seem to find any specific road test-or articles. I believe the wheelbase is 60 inches but seat height?
Any thoughts /info is appreciated.
I am new to the sight.
Thanking all in advance--great site;)
 

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I'm willing to bet that you'll really like it as a commuter bike. I generally hover around 200 and have 2 uped with 130 +/- pound riders with absolutely no problems. It's very nimble in town traffic, peppy enough to get you out of trouble and water cooled with a fan to help the engine keep from overheating in stop and go traffic. You'll probably see around 45 MPG in town, and I exceed 50 MPG on the open road. Oh, I have a short inseam also and it is a very comfortable riding posture. I'll be replacing mine soon as I want something heavier for the open road... but I might just hang on to it for little in and around town rides.... my .02 anyway
 

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Great bike. Reliable, good power. More powerful than the modern 1100s, in fact.

Weighs in at around 540, I think.

The pillion seat is narrow and a bit stiff. Your wife may not appreciate extended rides. it's not much worse than other cruisers, so your opinions may be different.

It has a 6-speed, which I really like. It keeps the highway speed buzz from numbing your fingers.

--Justin
 

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Justin is spot on regarding the pillion seat. You might want to find someone to add a gel pad or something to make that seat a bit more comfortable. There's not a lot of cushion or give back there.....
 

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I also have the bike and ride it to and from work each day, weather permitting. My travels are on I95 for about 30 miles.
I am also 6'-2", 260lbs and a 32" seam. Now you know my measurements, will you still respect me lol.

I love the bike and am always comfortable when I ride.
 

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The Bike: 1986 VT700C, The Driver: 5'11"; 200 lbs; 31 inseam. Excellent bike in all aspects. I find on long drives, my legs would like a little more room, hence my search for highway bars and pegs. Certainly no shortage of power. My passenger concurs with previous comments on the back seat.
 

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Another 1986 VT700C owner here -- have owned this black/gold one for over seven years. I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs, so the bike is perhaps just a tad small but really not bad whatsoever -- like Tuckercat I wish the pegs and controls were a bit more forward so there was less bend in the knees (I prefer a more reclined riding position with arms/legs straighter). This was my first-ever motorcycle, and very glad I started with the 700cc size instead of the "beginner" 500 -- with my size I would've outgrown the 500 in the first year.

Aftermarket/3rd party parts for this bike are pretty tough to come by, presumably because it's so old at this point. I've found some universal risers and bought a pair, only to find that the cables aren't long enough to support even a small rise -- having custom cables made/installed seems to be the only way around this, and that's rather expensive for such an old bike.

Bottom line though, is that this is a very smooth and easygoing bike, easy to ride, nice low seat, good looks, sufficient power around town, and overall a lot of fun. I find it a bit susceptible to crosswinds on the freeway due to its lighter weight (498 lbs), so I tend to stick to city and winding country roads as opposed to interstates.

Cheers,
Supra92

 

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GAT, you wouldn't be biased, would you??? I have also ridden the RSV, and it is indeed comfy, but way heavy up top. As for the VT700c, I currently have one that has been....modified, to say the least. The only drawbacks to this little bike I have seen is that it is older, and parts are less available, and it is small-framed, so a taller person, or one with long legs will become uncomfortable on long rides. I commonly find myself hanging my feet over the pegs if I am on a longer ride. Although I have modded the backbone to add a different tank, and have a different seat, the bike is mechanically a VT700c, and has fantastic power for such a small bike. I net 50 MPG regularly, and that is good, considering the SMALL tank! Another drawback to these bikes seems to be the electrical system...if the bike has spent much time in the elements, it may develop electrical demons. All in all, great bikes for short rides, with ample power!-----Metalguy
My 1984 VT700c:
 

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GAT, you wouldn't be biased, would you??? I have also ridden the RSV, and it is indeed comfy, but way heavy up top.

You're right on every count, especially on the heavy up top part. But there is no more comfortable bike on the road than any of the big touring bikes. They are exactly what they should be; roomy, plush, and able to eat up many many miles in a single setting.

However, they are heavy and they can be a handful to run around town with. I have no problems now, but as I age I can see the day when I won't be able to ride such a heavy scoot.
 

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Believe me, I know all about comfort! My Victory Vision is there. I currently have three bikes, and have use for them all. I used to tour on an '89 VT1100c, and talk about monkey butt! Wow, a 600 mile day seemed like sitting on barbed wire with the old Shadow. Now I get off the Vision, and wanna go DO stuff. HUGE difference. -----Metalguy
 
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