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My street bike is currently a '19 R1250GS. I bought it for traveling in a more upright comfortable position than my previous bikes. It checked all the boxes and what sold me was it was available with factory lowered suspension (else it wouldn't have worked for me - I'm 5'8").

For years I've wondered why manufacturers haven't come out with the option of the bike lowering when slowing to a stop. It would open the doors to a lot of buyers like myself to a range of bikes that are too tall to operate comfortably. So who comes out with this feature first? Harley.

My requirements?
Low seat height
Upright riding ergos
Liter++ twin (or V4)
Shaft drive
Center stand
Heated grips
The usual electronics (ABS, TC, etc)
Good wind protection
Under 600lbs


I'm at the point in life where I'll spend what I want for the "perfect for me" touring bike. I'm not sure the Panamerican is it, but I look forward to riding it. Too bad about the chain drive but I think it's going to be a very important bike for Harley.
 

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Yep, I had an SX175.

It was a nice little bike. Owned it for about 25 years and sold it for more than three times what I paid for it.

View attachment 215341
Brian, how did the little Harley do on the trails? I’m really curious because I’ve been thinking about one for just a couple of decades. They made a 250 with lights and everything. Super curious to hear your impression. Patrick
 

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I had a red sx250 back in high school.
I forget what year it was.
I bought it used a couple years old with less then 500 miles on it..
The top end was frozen solid other then that it was mint.
Paid $186 hard earned dollars for it and rebuilt the top end.
Pulled the head and had to shatter the Piston to get the jug off..
It had about 20 HP 285 pounds topped out about 70 MPH
the cheerleaders loved it because it matched their outfits...
I remember having to work on it all the time , did several top ends..
Loved that piece of crap. Rode it in 1979-81. It was stolen at Kmart in 1981..
Replaced it with a Sportster & a maico 250.
I would never pay the price they are going for today..
Lots of great memories related to that bike......
mike from NC
 
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I'll have to admit that it was essentially a garage queen that I never rode very much, and only took it on an occasional dirt path or gravel road. It actually rode more like a 4-stroke, as it had some pretty good low end grunt and no real discernible power band - just steady power delivery. The SX175 was essentially the same bike as the SX250 and I often considered upgrading the cylinder and piston for some extra oomph. Never did it because I didn't see much point in investing money into a bike that I already wasn't riding.
 

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My street bike is currently a '19 R1250GS. I bought it for traveling in a more upright comfortable position than my previous bikes. It checked all the boxes and what sold me was it was available with factory lowered suspension (else it wouldn't have worked for me - I'm 5'8").

For years I've wondered why manufacturers haven't come out with the option of the bike lowering when slowing to a stop. It would open the doors to a lot of buyers like myself to a range of bikes that are too tall to operate comfortably. So who comes out with this feature first? Harley.

My requirements?
Low seat height
Upright riding ergos
Liter++ twin (or V4)
Shaft drive
Center stand
Heated grips
The usual electronics (ABS, TC, etc)
Good wind protection
Under 600lbs


I'm at the point in life where I'll spend what I want for the "perfect for me" touring bike. I'm not sure the Panamerican is it, but I look forward to riding it. Too bad about the chain drive but I think it's going to be a very important bike for Harley.
What is wrong with a chain? Personally i would take it over a shaft every day of the week.

I agree that the automated ride height adjustment is a game changer for a lot of people. If i bought one i would probably get it but i could easily live without it. Like you i am 5'8 and i also have short 29" legs, tall bikes have never intimidated me. I currently in addition to a TW ride a 2018 Africa Twin ADV Sports and i have no issue with its 35.4" seat height.
 

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What is wrong with a chain? Personally i would take it over a shaft every day of the week.

I agree that the automated ride height adjustment is a game changer for a lot of people. If i bought one i would probably get it but i could easily live without it. Like you i am 5'8 and i also have short 29" legs, tall bikes have never intimidated me. I currently in addition to a TW ride a 2018 Africa Twin ADV Sports and i have no issue with its 35.4" seat height.
The issue with chains is maintenance on the big adventure bikes. Not only replacing them and sprockets and lubing them but also adjusting them on long rides.

It’s a pain when doing it multiple times on thousand plus mile rides. A shaft drive just needs the splines lubed after tens of thousands of miles.
 

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What is wrong with a chain? Personally i would take it over a shaft every day of the week.

I agree that the automated ride height adjustment is a game changer for a lot of people. If i bought one i would probably get it but i could easily live without it. Like you i am 5'8 and i also have short 29" legs, tall bikes have never intimidated me. I currently in addition to a TW ride a 2018 Africa Twin ADV Sports and i have no issue with its 35.4" seat height.
I don't mind a chain per se, just not on my touring bikes for the reasons Miki outlined. Been there fine that.

Congrats on being able to deal with the tall seat height. Despite years of riding and owning multiple bikes, and the TW being an invaluable tool in making me more comfortable at parking lot speeds on my big bikes, tall seat heights are not even close to being in my wheelhouse.
 

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The issue with chains is maintenance on the big adventure bikes. Not only replacing them and sprockets and lubing them but also adjusting them on long rides.

It’s a pain when doing it multiple times on thousand plus mile rides. A shaft drive just needs the splines lubed after tens of thousands of miles.
I don't mind a chain per se, just not on my touring bikes for the reasons Miki outlined. Been there fine that.
I see it totally differently after years of ownership and lots of miles with both types. Neither are maintenece free but in the case of a chain it does not need near as much maintenence as most people seem to think. As mentioned i currently own a big ADV bike and my last one which was a Multistrada 1200 was also chain drive. I did a lot of rides on that multi that were 1000 mile plus rides and never, not once did i need to adjust the chain while on a ride, nor did i ever lube it on a trip. I put over 50k on that multi and in that time replaced the chain and sprockets once and it only needed to be adjusted every 5-7k or so, lubricated monthly. On a good o ring chain like these bikes come with the lubrication really comes from the grease that is put on the pins at assembly. The spray on lubes like we all use are mainly to keep it from rusting, it does not penetrate past the o-rings anyway. My current bike, the Adrica Twin only has about 2500 miles on it. beyond spraying it once a month i have not touched the chain to adjust it yet. I have not needed to touch the one on my wifes NC 750X either in 6k miles.

You do need to do more than just lube the splines on a shaft, there is also oil that needs to be replaced at intervals and depending on the bike u joints that need care too. My Honda V65 Sabre for example had a u joint lube interval of 3k miles. Final drives can and do also fail. BMW in particular has a reputation for final drive failures on GS models as well as other bikes in thier lineup with the single sided swingarm. I have experienced said failures on previously owned bikes and when it happens you are stranded.....
 
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