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Old 02-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
neller0414 OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Oxford, MI
Oddometer: 13
Not to be trite...but what bike?

Okay so I'm a somewhat younger sportbike rider looking to enter the world of adventure riding. By adventure riding, I mean riding across the country and carving up every curvy road I can find, and then if I see a cool looking dirt road or easy trail maybe head off that way. Literally speaking, maybe 5% of my time will be off road, if that. I want hard luggage, a comfortable ride that I can go all day on, and a big ass smile across my face through the whole thing. Not to be shallow, but let's be honest - riding a motorcycle is cool. I would like a bike that isn't guys all know what I'm saying, I like a bike that is functional but doesn't look like a dirtbike having a 3-way with a goldwing and a kangaroo. I'm not one of those guys that thinks something is cool because it is a crazy awkward contraption that people go "what the f*** was that thing?!?" as you whizz by in your 1-pc Aerostitch DOT Yellow suit (no offense - mad props to you guys). I have noticed that a lot of bikes in this category are, by sportbiker terms, I may just have to deal with it or go back and get a VFR or something "sporty-cool", but that bike may not be too happy with me if I get it dirty, and He himself would look down on me for dropping a bike like that on it's side on a muddy 2-track. I still want to be able to ride with my buddies on their R6's, GSXR's, and CBR's and not stick out like a fat pigmy in a Playboy lineup. Also, not that I need it because I've already taken the ultimate plunge, but it is always nice to pull up at a gas station or somewhere and instead of having some older gentleman come up to you and say "hey is that BMW the 1150 or the 1200? Hey and do you have ABS?", I prefer having the 20 yr old blonde chick come up to me and say "hottttttt bike, can I go for a ride?" (if my ol' lady reads this, just joking hun!). Is that possible with an adventure bike? To be honest, a lot of these bikes' looks have been growing on me, and I know deep down in my heart that it's all about the ride, but I'm still in that "look cool" phase of my life and I'm having trouble leaving it behind...I'll admit it.

Along with that criteria, I need something relatively cheap. Under $5k is the ticket, maybe reaching up to $6k is possible for the right bike. I would be paying cash for something because, at still under 25, full insurance prices on bikes are stupid, as I learned with my R1. Also with a new baby, poopy diapers are using up a lot of my paycheck! I'm just hoping that I get a good enough tax return to be able to do this. It's not all up to me though, because since we had the baby suddenly the stay-at-home mom tells me what I am able to do with the money I earn...go figure, the baby gets it all.

Now I don't need the fastest thing in the world...but I don't want a slug. Something mildly light (under 500lb dry) but a good power/weight ratio. It has to handle like a sportbike when I want it to, be comfortable enough to ride (3) 10-hour days in a row, and go wherever I tell it to (within reason). I have owned many different 600's and a few liters, and to be honest I have just as much fun on a 600 as a literbike, if not more fun. I understand the value of a lighter bike with more HP than I will ever honestly use on the street, but there is something to be said about having that power on demand when you want to roll on that throttle. However, I want it to be about the ride, not how fast it can go. I don't have any desire to be doing triple digit speeds anymore unless it's on the race track.

Now please realize that I have NEVER ridden any of these bikes, only sat on most of them. I am pretty easily pleased while sitting on any bike, it's after that first 4 hours of riding when I realize if a bike is made for my size or not, so it's kind of hard to just guess what will be comfortable down the road. So I am asking your opinion, with the understanding that it is totally subjective. Just FYI I am about 5'10" 210lbs (don't gasp, it's all muscle ).

My front runner is a Buell Ulysses. I have always loved the Buell style, and coming out of engineering school makes me a sucker for nifty machines, and a Buell motorcycle is definitely a nifty machine. I love how it feels when I sit on it, I love the look of it, I love the accessories, but I don't like the prices. Even an 06 with no luggage is still $6k-7k, and I would prefer the lower 07 seat, the newer engine electronics and other upgrades, and the full accessories, which seems to be in the $8k-9k range which is not an option.

I have also considered V-strom (or a wee wee strom)...I would like a 1000, but I just have been reading a lot of reviews and it seems that the 650 is more fun (and I am trying to be somewhat conscious of MPG). Plus I am a firm believer in that engine, have a lot of friends with SV's and nothing but good things have come from those bad boys. Now this bike's looks have not grown on me yet, but my gosh can you get a good bike for cheap when you're buying a strom. It seems like I can get whatever I want under $5k, and 06 or newer.

Beyond that, I like the new Tiger but it's not in my price range. I'm not gonna lie, that ugly bike thing I was talking about applies to the previous generation Tiger...just can't get over the uglyness of it. Have a friend that rides an 03 though and he loves it, but the looks are nothing I want a part of.

The Versys looks nice, but again out of my price range. Plus I don't care if it took MOTY, it's pretty damn ugly in an endearing way.

I also like the BMW 650GS and the 800GS (to my understanding, a previous 650 is an actual 650 but the new ones are a de-tuned 800?), but I don't know much about them and they seem a little more off-road oriented than what I'm looking for.

It seems tough to find something that meets my criteria, but with your help maybe you can open my eyes to something I never thought of, or give me your 2 cents, or tell me to f*** off because you just read this whole thing and wasted 5 minutes of your life, and for that I apologize.

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Old 02-13-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
diabolical schemer
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Idaho
Oddometer: 230

lurk for a while.

do some searches - and lurk some more.

i think i may be one - if not the only response you may have - no offense.

lurking and research is inVALUABLE.

OR - buy a strom. youll be pleasantly surprised.
'05 DL650XX, '86 XR600RX, '01 XR100X, '81 XS650S (project), '78 XS650X, '82 XS650XX, '82 KZ1000PX, '01 CR250RXX, '78 YZ80X, '03 Vulcan 1600X, '74 Honda Elsinore 50XX
X = Sold
XX = Dead
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
neller0414 OP
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Location: Oxford, MI
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Oh I will lurk...that is what I am doing with this post. I am one of those people that researches the hell out of anything I buy. I just google everything I can about each, but the Uly and the Strom's are really the only ones I have dug deep into b/c they both seem the most feasible options...I just want people to try and open my eyes a little more.

Thank you for your response. I hear the stroms do surprise...anybody want to let me take yours for a spin?
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
neller0414 OP
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so i guess the new style tiger came out in 07? maybe i can find one decently priced...for some reason i thought it was 08. hmmm.....the new model is awesome looking, thank god they changed it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
neller0414 OP
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eh actually 07 tigers look pretty pricey still...
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
Hookers, my lad.
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You may get it delivered in the form of a shake or some interperative dance routine that involves nakedness, pizza and a stuffed raccoon..." -DCrider
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:50 PM   #7
Beastly Adventurer
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you dont say where you are located,why not keep it in the family,Yamaha tdm 850/900
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:04 AM   #8
Livin' the dream
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Big Strom. You'll love it.
'07 DL1000 V-Strom
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:54 AM   #9
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: East West Virginia
Oddometer: 18,011
Try some

Do yourself a favor. Make friends with some nearby adventure riders, and try a bunch of different bikes. This category (adv) is significantly broader than sportbikes, and what works for your kind of riding may not be what works for someone else. Also, if you haven't done much of this kind of riding, you may very well discover that you get hooked on something you don't even know much about now. Seriously, beg a bunch of rides on different adventure bikes, and then buy.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #10
neller0414 OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Oxford, MI
Oddometer: 13
Originally Posted by advNZer?
you dont say where you are located,why not keep it in the family,Yamaha tdm 850/900
Michigan! Hmm, don't even know what a tdm is, but it sounds like I've heard it before...
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:10 AM   #11
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
Oddometer: 6,300
You will not get a hot chick to come up and want a ride on an adventure bike.
They are like chick repellent.

Unless you happen to find the one in a million who like them
(I was lucky enough to and now she even owns a couple herself)

As for looks. Even for most sportbike riders turned adventure riders
adv bikes are just about as ugly as they come. Save for weird bikes like the Pacific Coast, Or the Bimota Mantra.

I'd be shocked if Buells are in your price range now. That means a pretty healthy level of deprecation has happened. And there prolly is a reason for it.

The DL1000/DL650 is a good choice I prefer the less expensive better selling wee. but I never ride with a passenger. It hauls my 200 pound frame around pretty good.

If you're thinking of heading off into the dirt and your a newbie in the dirt
then the lighter 650 dirtbikes are a better bike for that.
Trouble is they suck on the road for more then an hour or so.

I lean toward Japan inc with my favorites being the XR650L then the KLR650
(The older more dirt ready bike)

Both of these bikes you can easily pick up for 2,500 bucks
On vacation for a spell
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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There is one bike that fits most of your criteria. KTM 950. Just out of your price range at the moment, though there have been a few on here in the $6000-7000 range. I had to buy my wife one so she would stop riding mine
I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.
-- Winnie the Pooh
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:38 AM   #13
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Location: Central Coast, Cal
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I agree with Squish. However, I disagree with Duece. The KTM is a dirt bike on steroids and not for an inexperienced dirt rider type. It is adequate on the road, but not a 5%er, like you outlined. Also, the KTM is problematic with some of them being reliable, but other being VERRY unreliable and all of them maintennance whores.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Juvenal
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #14
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Location: Tha biggest Cagiva fan in Canada, Toronto
Oddometer: 26
My username says it already.

Find yourself a 2000 Cagiva Gran Canyon.

Ducati 900 Vtwin fuel injected power, very comfy for long rides, luggage available, great looking sexy bike, and you will keep up pretty well in the twisties.

Very decent off road performer

Good attention grabber wherever you go, because it is a pretty rare, yet beautiful bike.

Priced around $5k or less. It meets every need you described in your initial post.

Seeing that you are more of a road guy, a Multistrada could be a good choice too.

read here:

This one below is a must read, very well written report, and it sums the bike up pretty well.

Used Multistradas are in your price range, either 620 or 1000. Off course there is only one bike that sounds like a Ducati with Carbon Termignonis on.

Cagiva900gc screwed with this post 02-14-2009 at 09:28 AM
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #15
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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neller0414 -

I was in your shoes 25 years ago and bought a 600 single. I rode it all over the western half of the US plus enjoyed the local twisties. You're still a young guy and shouldn't need the creature comforts of a big twin (or even a wee twin). Sure they are nice and I am hankering for one now, but for what you want, I'd really recommend a DR650 or XR650L. With aftermarket plastic tanks they can go anywhere, IMO they look cool once you get rid of all the factory graphics, and they will hang with the sport bikes on most roads. Plus they're cheap to buy and to run.

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