I’ll just tell you upfront, long story short: I’ve been given a new opportunity to be gifted a new motorcycle, virtually any bike new or used under 9k, whatever I want. I need your help to find that bike.

I’ve already written a good bit about what kind of bike I think would be good for the type of riding style I enjoy, particularly why I think cruisers are boring (at least the somewhat underpowered, overly long VStar 950 I have) and more generalized thoughts about riding regarding the state of riding in general. TL;DR: I think I’m just more into casual, standard-ish bikes like the good old Honda CB500, the base model Civic of motorcycles, or the Suzuki SV650, the, uhhh, base model Suzuki Kiasashi of what the heck am I saying, nobody knows how a Suzuki Kiasashi drives.

On the other hand....*sigh*...as much as I hate hipster culture, I have to admit I’m in love with the classic standard-universal look. I also love naked bikes - or at least the concept of naked bikes. The problem is most of the naked bikes in this price range honestly look half-assed to me, and the really gorgeous naked bikes I love can be had for the price of a brand-new S63 AMG, you can ride this instead!

Illustrative example of what a proper naked bike I will never be able to afford looks like.

But yeah, that said, I’m very seriously taking a look at the FZ-09 and even the FZ-07 (like I said I’m not big into outright knock-down power). I suppose the Ducati Scrambler is not only comfortably within the budget but more ideal to what I’m looking for, provided I can find a dealer and it won’t drain finances every time it goes to the shop. I’d really like to take a look at the Indian Scout, except even in 60 form it’s at the outer edge of the budget. I’m also seriously taking a look at the Vulcan S and even the VStar Bolt.

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But I’m also thinking about maybe even seriously downsizing. I know people told me the Yamaha SR400 is a turd but it’s still an intriguing bike, at least I’d like to test-ride it. And for some reason even the tiny little Tu250x looks interesting, even though I’ve logged quintuple digits on riding miles. I’d really, really like to take a look at a Royal Enfield 500 but 1.) where the heck am I going to find a dealer? and 2.) most of my riding is done at 60-70MPH so I’m worried about the comfort of that single cylinder (likewise the Tu250x and SR400).