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Old 04-18-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
[insert bike model] OP
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Advice on next twin-cylinder bike

Currently on a DRZ400 with a Harley FLXSTS as a road/touring bike. Plan on keeping the DRZ and like the Harley but feel like it really limits the types of trips I can take on it.

I really like the torque of the Harley. Dislike very much not even being able to take it down paved back roads without scraping pegs, exhaust, or being catapulted into orbit when going over potholes. Also don't feel comfortable taking extended trips without being able to change a tire on the side of the road.

I want a twin-cylinder bike with good road manners that has enough ground clearance and suspension travel to do moderate off-roading (as in Jeep trails, fire roads, loose sand and mud). Needs to have the offroad capabilities of my old KLR but with more power and a frame that doesn't feel like it was made out of electrical conduit.

Prefer an air/oil-cooled motor of around 800cc
Chain drive
Spoked wheels, with 21'' front
As much distance between seat and pegs as possible.
Exhaust in the correct place (i.e., not under the frame)
Headlight mounted on bars


Intended purpose would be a trip along the lines of riding from the East coast to Prudhoe Bay.

Right now I'm looking at the following models, but have some reservations:

Triumph Scrambler
-limited suspension
-small ergonomics
-Power to weight ratio lower than comparable bikes

Ducati Scrambler
-small ergonomics

V-Strom
-Looks about as cool as a minivan
-Only comes in 650 and 1000cc variants. Never ridden one but feel the 650 would be too close to the DRZ and the 1000 would be too bulky offroad
-Water cooled and
-exhaust under frmae

F800GS
-Price is about the only issue for me on the BMW. Also water-cooled and with ABS, traction, etc. a little more complicated for my taste

R80/100GS (Airhead)
-This seems like exactly what I'm looking for, except all the ones I've seen for sale are 5 grand and have 80,000 miles on them. Not really sure if I like the idea of that horizontal opposed twin "stump catcher" powerplant and shaft drive though.

Anything I'm overlooking or ought to consider? Never ridden any of the bikes I've listed as my friends have always ridden either dirt bikes or Harleys.

[insert bike model] screwed with this post 04-19-2015 at 11:25 AM
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:54 AM   #2
woodnbow
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When my Uly is worn out I'm most likely to go with a Stelvio.. maybe Multistrada but probably Stelvio.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:28 PM   #3
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [insert bike model] View Post
Right now I'm looking at the following models, but have some reservations:

Triumph Scrambler
-same suspension travel as the Bonneville Nope. It's got another inch, as does the Thruxton
-small ergonomics
-weight may be an issue Similar weight to the F800GS and 'Strom

Ducati Scrambler
-small ergonomics

V-Strom
-Looks about as cool as a minivan
-Only comes in 650 and 1000cc variants. Never ridden one but feel the 650 would be too close to the DRZ Aprox TWICE the peak HP (and 100 lbs more) and the 1000 would be too bulky offroad
-Water cooled and no spoked wheel options. Really? How about the adventure version?

F800GS
-Price is about the only issue for me on the BMW. Also water-cooled and with ABS, traction, etc. a little more complicated for my taste

R80/100GS (Airhead)
-This seems like exactly what I'm looking for, except all the ones I've seen for sale are 5 grand and have 80,000 miles on them. Not really sure if I like the idea of that horizontal opposed twin "stump catcher" powerplant and shaft drive though.

Anything I'm overlooking or ought to consider? Never ridden any of the bikes I've listed as my friends have always ridden either dirt bikes or Harleys.
See above
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:41 PM   #4
Dr AT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [insert bike model] View Post
R80/100GS (Airhead)
-This seems like exactly what I'm looking for, except all the ones I've seen for sale are 5 grand and have 80,000 miles on them. Not really sure if I like the idea of that horizontal opposed twin "stump catcher" powerplant and shaft drive though.

Anything I'm overlooking or ought to consider? Never ridden any of the bikes I've listed as my friends have always ridden either dirt bikes or Harleys.
Have you looked at the various guzzi options?

Closest to an r80 is the ntx750 ( good luck finding one, but if you do just buy it!)
The new v7 has a scrambler kit, but it'd probably be too cramped for you, there is a picture somewhere of a v7 merged with a ktm lc4 upper chasis...if you have the mechanical skills please post details after you build it!

Quota? ( again, good luck)
Stelvio with all the unnecessary crap taken off?

Even an old california? Or pretty much any of their non sporty road models pre y2k. You get the harley cruiser thing but in a chasis that handles corners and dirt and a motor that's more than just a tractor.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:19 AM   #5
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woodnbow, how does that Uly do offroad? There's a clean one for sale on craigslist here.

Dr AT, haven't seen many Guzzis for sale new or used. There is a guy riding a Quota around here with 70,000 miles on it. V7 looks like an interesting bike and I have always liked the sideways V-twin but all reviews said they are quite small.

JustKip I must have overlooked that adventure version. Looks like the 650 is the only one available with spoked wheels and still doesn't have a 21'' front. Exhaust is also right underneath the frame.

Updating the original post now, thanks for the feedback.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:04 PM   #6
vtwin
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Had a Road King then a Weestrom, now the Uly. The Ulysses is the best of both. Light handling like the Vstrom, torque like the RK without the pork. Also, maintenance like a Harley, as in hardly. Belt drive, hydraulic lifters, no coolant to leak or maintain.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:13 PM   #7
NickW1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [insert bike model] View Post
I want a twin-cylinder bike with good road manners that has enough ground clearance and suspension travel to do moderate off-roading (as in Jeep trails, fire roads, loose sand and mud). Needs to have the offroad capabilities of my old KLR but with more power and a frame that doesn't feel like it was made out of electrical conduit.

Prefer an air/oil-cooled motor of around 800cc
Chain drive
Spoked wheels, with 21'' front
As much distance between seat and pegs as possible.
Exhaust in the correct place (i.e., not under the frame)
Headlight mounted on bars


Intended purpose would be a trip along the lines of riding from the East coast to Prudhoe Bay.
According to the requirements you listed above the bike your looking for has not been made. Of the bikes you listed the Strom 1000 and the BMW are the closest to but not matching your requirements completely. Another would be Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 or 1200 if you really needed some power and the older Aprilia Caponords and Futura's.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:22 PM   #8
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How about triples? My requirements are similar to yours, and once i save up, a Tiger 800 will likely be my next bike. The new ones have great suspension according to the reviews.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:07 PM   #9
woodnbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [insert bike model] View Post
woodnbow, how does that Uly do offroad? There's a clean one for sale on craigslist here.

Dr AT, haven't seen many Guzzis for sale new or used. There is a guy riding a Quota around here with 70,000 miles on it. V7 looks like an interesting bike and I have always liked the sideways V-twin but all reviews said they are quite small.

JustKip I must have overlooked that adventure version. Looks like the 650 is the only one available with spoked wheels and still doesn't have a 21'' front. Exhaust is also right underneath the frame.

Updating the original post now, thanks for the feedback.
It's pretty good off road, better than you would suspect. I ride mostly fire roads on it and often two up. It's really surprising how far the Uly goes on dirt.. And on the road getting there? Oh yeah, the Uly shines!!! It's a bargain in the Sport touring world.
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Old Yesterday, 01:08 PM   #10
giganova
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I think you are too much stuck on the specs (water cooled engine, exhaust under frame, belt drive, spoked wheels …). I'd suggest you go to the dealers and make some test rides, then ask for financing options which will be very different. If you intend to ride your bike for many many years and have financing options through either the dealer of the manufacturer, the price differences don't matter much in the end. A $2k difference might sound like a lot, but in the end it's only a few bucks every month stretched over a couple of years.

Also, you said your next bike needs to have the same off-road manners like your DRZ400 and then you add scramblers into your list, which are not nearly as off-road capable.

Just ride a few of them and I think you'll quickly forget about the specs and find the one that you love.
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Old Yesterday, 01:40 PM   #11
danketchpel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickW1 View Post
According to the requirements you listed above the bike your looking for has not been made.
I agree, almost nothing matches all the requirements, at least built in the last couple decades.

You didn't mention price. Personally I'd probably go for a Tiger 800XC. I believe that will make you the happiest.

A Cagiva Grand Canyon comes close but good luck finding a nice one for sale.

A few test rides are in order and a reality check on what's available that gets as close as possible.
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Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM   #12
giganova
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You should also consider if there's a good dealer in your vicinity. You don't want to be stuck with a complicated bike you can't fix yourself and the next service dealer is hundreds of miles away.
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Old Today, 09:00 AM   #13
yann L
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[insert bike model]:
Forget the scrambler, that thing look like crap build up for hypster. Sorry if you (and for those who) like it, I don't. I'm sure it's a fun bike for short ride, but for the long run, I bet its worst than the DRZ400.
Btw, I love the DRZ for dirt road and short ride (160km\100mil or less). A friend has one and we swap bike often.

I would definitly go for Tiger800 or BMW f800gs or KTM 690 or ducatti hyperstrada 821. I you consider buying used, KTM 990 is also in the list (2012 and before if i'm right).

As for the BMW, don't go for a 650 or 700. The weight is the same (by a few pounds) but you don't get as much pAwer

aaaaaaaaaaa what am I saying, my opinion is bias, I own a 800gs. I ride as much dirt than asphalt and I consider it a wonder on the dirt roads. I have no riding experience with tiger or ktm but guess they feel pretty much the same. For a long road trip, the 800gs is confortable even 2up or loaded with camping gear.
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