Thanks for the insights and offer, Richard, I may take you up on that. I'm trying to curb my enthusiasm a bit and be a little less impulsive about these things.
Last Thursday I met up with my friend Jim C. to ride his RE 650 (2019 Continental GT with under 2K miles) for a couple of hours. He offered it for a few days, but I get nervous riding someone else's as new bike with a perfect chrome tank. We met at the Boylston Deli (recommended) for lunch sandwich, then I followed him on back roads through farm and forest, ended up at the scenic vista at the Wachusett Reservoir Dam in Clinton MA. A few impressions -- for more, there are are plenty of reviews and YTs available on line.
I found it a very pleasant and easy bike to ride. Have to say, though, it didn't stir me. I think if I owned one I'd ride it pretty briskly and basically wring out the mildly tuned, over-engineered motor. The bike felt very stable and predictable, tracked well, suspension
felt firm but comfortable. The thin-ish seat was comfortable, too, and there's a "touring" seat available, thicker I assume. (Comfort is important for this octogenarian.) Clutch and shifting are so smooth and positive that I was hardly aware that I was shifting. To me, fit and finish are quite good. It's a "basic" bike by today's standards, which suits me fine. And it looks good, does not look like an angry bird of prey. Sounds great, too, very nice exhaust note with the standard cans. The feel of the ride reminded me of my OIF BSA, the '71 A65L. The RE feels heavy to me, reviews put it at 470 pounds wet weight. As to the current models, I prefer the Interceptor 650 over the GT, the local dealer has some 2022 models reduced a bit, the price would be $5900 OTD (plus tax, title, registration fees which are paid to the state). [EDIT -- I just read the fine print on the dealer's web page: they add $595 for documentation fee. As I see it, dealers used to do the paperwork as part of their dealer margin. Now they gouge.]
And "3 year unlimited mile warranty & road side assistance with the purchase of any Twins model."
(For more oomph
, you can spend money on big bore kits and exhaust offered by S and S.)
Next step, visit the dealer and decide if the discount is worth it to buy now and let the bike sit in my garage til spring. Or wait and see what changes may come in for 2023 (rumoured suspension
upgrades). Or keep looking around. I sold three bigger bikes this year, two Guzzis and the ZRX1200. Money is known to burn holes in pockets. Or put the cash in short term CDs, getting 3% or more now, then cash out in the spring and go shopping. Or not.
Jim's bike, 2019 RE Continental GT --
The model I'm considering: 2022 RE Interceptor 650 (not fond of the black rims, though) --