What’s the Perfect Second Motorcycle?

The perfect second motorcycle must be a universal questions that any moto-sexual fool ponders late at night.

“Should I get that beater dual-sport on Craigslist and discover my inner explorer”?

“Oooooo maybe splurge on that big-daddy Road Glide and travel the country in recliner-like comfort”?

“Unleash the demon, grab that Dyna Low Rider and yeet myself to shaky Twin Cam heaven”?

These are the questions that run through my head while surfing CycleTrader after consuming at least one whiskey. However, what is the perfect second motorcycle to buy? Everyone’s requirements/needs will be different, but let’s go through my personal conundrum.

My current ride is Betsy, the 2012 V-Star 1300 Tourer that I’ve already logged about 12k on since buying in 2019. I consider Betsy a great medium tourer for the money and have no intention of selling her since the everyday-rideability of this bike is fantastic. Which leads me to the ascension of true motorcycle obsession by adding another bike to the stable.

Since Betsy can handle the everyday stuff well, this left me thinking about what what specific role do I want for the second ride? After much thought, I was left with a few areas that Betsy certain can’t do: long-distance trips, off-road adventures, or silly noises/big torque fun. For the sake of saving time, I then found my favorite bikes in those categories to drool over.

Considering I’m nowhere near buying the following bikes, it’s important to know that I have not test-driven any of these which could alter my choices. Disclaimer out of the way, I narrowed my selection to a Milwaukee Eight powered Harley Davidson Road Glide, Harley Davidson Low Rider/Low Rider S, or a Suzuki DRZ 400. Why these choices? It’s fairly simple actually.

For long-distance trips, the Road Glide has all the comfort (especially with upgraded suspension) and storage I would ever need. I’m still in the middle of if I like the Shark Nose or Batwing fairing better, but I’ve heard enough about the high speed advantages of the Shark Nose to lean in that direction. I did choose the M8 engine over a more affordable Twin Cam due to the smoothness the M8 provides and overall reliability/performance upgrades. That being said, the Twin Cam is precisely why I picked my next option.

Everybody has heard the term DynaBro at this point. The cult following is huge and it’s possible that club-style builds are being a bit too common now. However, this does not change the fact that I drool over a built Twin Cam sitting in a Dyna Low Rider. While I would love the M8 in a touring application, the sound of cammed TC chugging around town is V-Twin perfection and you have a million ways to customize your build. In an oddly perfect situation, I would find a higher-mileage Low Rider S and build that 110 into a fire-breathing demon. We can dream cant we?

Last on my list is the most practical, but potentially the most rewarding option: the mule that is a DRZ 400. Over the past six months I’ve had uncontrollable urges to veer off the pavement and tackle some single-track paths. I’ve heard about the challenge it is to take on off-road riding and also how freeing it can be. Not worrying about potholes, texting riders or the unavoidable Prius of doom sounds amazing. Plus, with a DRZ 400 or even the larger DR 650, I would have enough streetability to get to places outside my area and do some camping trips. As a side-note, a simple design like the DRZ is just so easy to wrench on that if a part fails, it’s no big deal. Not to mention the cost is a fraction of my other two choices.

So here I sit, on a snowy Monday morning, wrestling over a purchase that I am nowhere ready to make. The practical side of my head is all over the DRZ path, but my lusty side is pawing at the DynaBro life. My crumb of comfort is knowing that a vast majority of riders are/have had this same conundrum and hopefully made the right choice. I guess the only correct choice is finding a bag of money and buying all three right?