Three Motorcycles from Just One Marque

I’ve ruminated before on what bikes I’d have if I could only have three. I’ve written about what I’d own if I could have just one. But what if the goal was to buy three distinct motorcycles from just one manufacturer? I’ll think on this for a few days and write a more fully fleshed out essay once I’ve decided (and have more free time), but whose brand would you choose, dear reader?

If you read my blog, you know that Harley is a non-starter for me, just because there’s not enough diversity in their lineup. But who, then? Ducati? Triumph? BMW? Do I betray my love of European motorcycles and say Honda? (They’ve made a really strong showing in the past year.) If you had to be a brand loyalist, whose brand do you choose?

5 thoughts on “Three Motorcycles from Just One Marque

  1. That’s a super tough question, Eric! Part of me is tempted to say BMW, as the 2014 R1200GS, HP4, and K1600GT would be a killer trio to have. But, the downside is that they’re almost impossible to service at home anymore. They’re far too advanced electronically for that, and require special tools for regular maintenance jobs (good heavens, the S1000RR/HP4 and the K16 would be nightmares nigh unto impossible to tackle without those tools!). If money were no issue, and honest dealerships were all over the place so I could get them serviced in “emergency situations,” that’s likely what I’d go with. The R1200GS has an impeccable track record and is used the world over. The HP4 is incredibly powerful and advanced, and would be a formidable track weapon. And the K1600GT is a sophisticated, comfortable bike for those long hauls. But the electronics issue still holds me back in many ways.

    Then there’s Kawi, with the Concours 14 (second Gen, so most of the “first model teething problems” are solved), the 2005 ZX10R (tough call between the super versatile and useful Ninja1000 and the 10R, but the C14 would fill the “comfy ride” bill just fine), and the pre-FI KLR650. While the first two are EFI and would require occasional dealer visits for tuning and troubleshooting on major issues, most of the regular maintenance could still be done at home. The C14 is torquey, comfortable, and capable of cross-country rides while still being plenty sporty to keep me entertained. The ’05 ZX10R is light, incredibly fast, and drop dead sexy. It’s the original “monster liter.” And the carb’d KLR would allow me to go anywhere and do just about anything while still being able to fully service it myself in almost every way. So that’s probably what I’d go with, if I HAD to pick any three from just one marque. All three can be had at reasonable, “regular joe” prices without issue, and they’re all recognized in their categories for being able to perform at the top of the class for what they’re made to do. 🙂

  2. Like Nick, I too first thought of BMW, but even though they have a wide variety of classes, they really don’t have any small engine options. With that in mind, I have to go with Suzuki. The TU 250x is a great beginner/commuter; the V-Strom is a great adventurer; and you can get a Hayabusa if you have the need for speed.

  3. HD is now waking up to the fact the young set is where the future is, and from what I’ve read, the old buggers aren’t to happy about HD’s change in direction

  4. Triumph. Great quality and diversity.

    Picture these three bikes in your garage:
    – A 1700cc parallel twin Thunderbird equipped for touring.
    – An 865cc parallel twin Bonneville modified into a café racer, for urban riding.
    – A 675cc Street Triple or Daytona for the twisties.

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