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Old 08-19-2009, 03:07 PM   #46
RonkoRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphish
MRbreeze - This thread appears to have become either a BMW bashing, or cheering section, depending on ones disposition to the brand
Nicely said!

After three years on this board, I've almost every similar this bike-compared-to- that-bike thread. Your not going to go wrong with any of the choices. To me, the deciding factor is the local dealer. As a BMW LT owner, I can tell you the BMW makes a great bike but their dealer network SUCKS!!!!!!!! I have 5 payments left on the LT and I would love for Santa to bring me a new ride for Xmas but, like the OP, I'm torn.

Based on what I've read on this board, for a dual sport tourer, your looking at a GS or a Tiger as the more popular choices. The Wee and Vee bikes are like the Chevy's of the group- good and reliable but bland.

In my mind, even though I have a great local mechanic, I would like a strong dealer network as a back up. Which dealer network is better- BMW or Triumph?

Based on that criteria alone, Buell is the choice for a strong and powerful machine.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:31 PM   #47
mrbreeze OP
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well I thought I said it already, but I don't mind saying it again - most of my riding is commuting. It's 56 miles one way to my office (shortest route). I like to have bags to store my gear in, or carry work home... whatever.

After commuting, it is just some weekend riding with friends to carve a few corners, usually. Then there are one or two trips a year, usually involving camping, so I need room for the gear. Occasionally I get to take a really long trip (went to Maine last year). And I occasionally ride with some of my cruiser buddies, who go really slow - so it's nice if the bike is a pleasure to ride slow as well as fast.

Someone said I needed a road bike. That's probably true, i just don't see any out there (in the US) that interest me. I wish the Honda CB1000F was available here.

I rode Suzukis for years, and I could tell a bashing story on them. All manufacturers have their problems. I could tell some Honda stories too. Anyway, after the last Zuzuki, I had a Kawasaki Concours C10 for about 8 years. Great bike, but when I finally replaced it, I decided I wanted something smaller, so I bought an FZ6. I was blown away by how much better the suspension and brakes were on this bike, than on the bikes I was used to. A used BMW replaced the FZ6, and it also has much better brakes. Good suspension and brakes are worth what they cost.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #48
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If you dont plan to do dirt, then I would go ride a Tiger. I was in the same dilemma a few months back and thats all it took (had ruled out the GS as I was looking for more road bike than dirt since the DRZ is still hanging around the garage).

It can still handle easy dirt roads (just be careful, lots of power and crappy tread on the stock tires makes alot of pucker moments as I found out on my CO trip this year). But the engine will just keep going, its got lots of power avaiable at almost all rpms. It handles like a dream once you get the suspension where you want it. (fully loaded with luggage in the sidebags and strapped to the back you can still touch the pegs down at 65mph going around sharp corners, dont ask how I know that).

I didnt get to test ride the V-strom or Wee-Strom as the dealers basically said that they wouldnt let me if they werent 99% sure I was going to buy one, so I cant comment on those either, but I am still just giddy every time I jump on Suzy.

Gas mileage I can get anywhere from 55 mpg cruising on trips to 35 mpg if I decide that I need to keep the front tire from getting too much wear out of a stop light, its all in how you ride it, but standard commuting comes out between 45 and 50 mpg usually.

Ok, I feel like I said my piece. Keep in mind thats my point of view though, having never actually ridden a DL or GS.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #49
Bushwhacker
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Mr. Breeze,

I currently ride an F800GS.

But my three bikes prior to that were a 955 Tiger, a 1000DS Multistrada and a Tiger 1050.

I am also a member of two different cruiser clubs and was President of one of those clubs for a year while I had the 955 Tiger.

Based on your comments about your riding I would have to recommend either the Tiger 1050 or the Multistrada.

Both bikes are a dream to ride. The Tiger triple engine is a bit smoother than the Multi Twin but both are smooth and excellent bikes at speed and both are excellent canyon carvers.

When I bought my Tiger 1050 ABS was a requirement so the Multi was out of the picture,

If ABS is not important to you I strongly recommend you ride both the Tiger 1050 and the Multistrada. I think you will be impressed with both.

With ABS not in the picture the choice between these two bikes would have been very difficult for me.

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:51 AM   #50
Crusty
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Buy A 2010 Uly. Then, your only problem will be how to get that silly grin off your face each time you ride it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:33 AM   #51
llamapacker
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Love the Tiger, but like others have said if you don't solve the wind/turbulence problem it will be no fun. I landed on the Madstad which saved my bike for being put on the market.

Love the power, breaks up the boredom on the road trips, like to zip around sometimes. Great handling in the twisties and even had a blast on the track.

Just returned from trip to Maine, via canada, 4973 miles. I ordered the Corbin, otherwise great trip and wish I was still on the road.

P.S. Bought mine used from PO, saved a bunch. Think Houston has a used one with about 12,000 miles and ABS, could be bushwhackers.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:58 AM   #52
mrbreeze OP
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I am really surprised more people haven't stepped up for the V-Strom. The local Suzuki has one on sale for 8500, new. I may go look at it this weekend.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #53
Gregarious
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F800GS & VStrom feedback

Mr. Breeze,

My broken record comment: you gotta ride 'em. They're all good bikes.

I put 2 years on a VStrom 650 and was able to put a 900 mile weekend on an F800GS recently.

My bottom line opinion: the F800GS is everything I wanted the VStrom 650 to be. It is purpose built to be a bit more dirt oriented based on wheels, suspension, geometry, and rider ergos. It just costs twice as much. From a practical and economic point of view the VStrom is 80-90% of the F800 at probably 50-60% of the price.

I loved the VStrom for what it was designed to do. It was an absolutely amazing and practical commuter and touring bike. Inexpensive and very reliable. If I was on a tighter budget and wanted a great bike to tour the country & commute Id take the 650 again without a second thought.
That said, Ill probably end up on an F800GS in the next year if I can sell two other bikes.

As for seats, wind protection, etc. Each person is uniquely different. On any bike I ride over 400 miles I always find myself upgrading from stock seats.

I dont have any experience on the Tiger or Uly, but Im sure theyre both more fun or competent on the street than either the VStrom or F800GS based on their design focus.

Good luck selecting (and good luck filtering the various brand-bashing/blind fanaticism).
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:19 PM   #54
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A DL is a capable machine. I prefer the 1000 because it's a bit more robust & has more capacity/performance for xcountry travel. The 650 is a bit more flickable and probably fine for your 56 mi commute. If it's the 650 you're interested in you may also want to consider the Versy. Different ergonomics & suspension than the vstrom - but about same wt, HP etc.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:57 PM   #55
Gustavo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze
I am really surprised more people haven't stepped up for the V-Strom.
Some of us have been enjoying the V-Strom for 7 years now. We don't often feel the need to justify our purchases to everybody else...


Read my trip reports (linked below) to get an idea of what a V-Strom will do if you don't want to search this board.

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:58 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphish
If it's the 650 you're interested in you may also want to consider the Versy.
The Versy?
A bunch of my friends met up for a bbq recently where we all switched bikes around. How motocycle magazines even thought to compare the Versy to the strom, F800gs or the F650gs I have no clue. There is no comparison, other than they both sit up right and are motorcycles. That's all I'll give you. If you want to throw that into the mixture then how about the 650gsxf, bandit, or honda's belated nighthawk 750 and the zillion other "standard" seating bikes?
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:51 PM   #57
Kidder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphish
A DL is a capable machine. I prefer the 1000 because it's a bit more robust & has more capacity/performance for xcountry travel. The 650 is a bit more flickable and probably fine for your 56 mi commute. If it's the 650 you're interested in you may also want to consider the Versy. Different ergonomics & suspension than the vstrom - but about same wt, HP etc.
Not to derail this thread even more but....what do you mean by the 1k being more "robust and has more capacity"? I definitely understand the performance part of it. I've had both.

Also, for xcountry travel, I'd think the 650 would have an advantage due to its longer range/better gas mileage.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:41 PM   #58
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Code - I thought we were providing options? A co-worker of mine sold his DL650 & bought a Versy. I don't know that would have been my choice...but some folks prefer them for their own reasons. Ride what ya like. I prefer to ride the Uly over my other 3. Just personal preference - not a censure of other machines - whatever they be. Kidder - By 'robust' I meant heavier - I think about 50# or so ? As far as xcountry capability, either will go well over 200 mi before needing fuel - I don't ride that far without stopping to stretch anyway, unless there's a real compelling reason. I did like the power of the 1000 over the 650. I live in a part of the world that ain't flat - and alot of passing of slow semi's going over winding mountains. It's the euphamism about "no such thing as too much horesepower" in those conditions. Thats why the Uly is so great for this kind of riding - cornering and acceleration...and F/S roads that lead to trout.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #59
Maniac28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex

An adventure bike means different things to different people. For me it means the bike has to be capable of extended and varied use in the dirt, have a range of 200 miles, and have a reasonable dealer network to get parts and perhaps repair in many different locations. Not many brands fill those simple requirements - KTM and BMW are about it.
Really? Last I checked there are more Japanese dealers than KTM or BMW. Parts are more available, the bikes are easier to fix, and more reliable (as a general rule). They also cost a whole lot less.

KLR650 - 220 mile range, stock tank, cruises 75 all day
DR650 - 200 miles range, aftermarket tank
DL650 - near 300 mile range, 55-60 mpg, as capable offroad as 1200GS, less than half the price
XR650R - 200 miles with big tank, tons of power, more offroad capable than most can ever handle
TE610 - same as above, plus six speeds

All these bikes are capable of comfortable interstate travel at 70 mph (with the exception of the XR650 which would be not very much fun). They would leave any GS or KTM 950/990 in the dust offroad.

Bikes like GS, Tiger, and even vstrom, are really streetbikes with a bit more susp. travel. I would not want to ride them offroad if I didn't have to. I have ridden my KLR all over death valley and never fallen once, barely even dabbed, actually. I know people don't like to hear it but it's easier to ride offroad than even the KTM 950, which is always lauded as a great offroad bike. I've owned one, and found it a maintenance and reliability nightmare. It did not deliver on it's promise, for me, at least. 150 mile range doesn't cut it, and $1200 for an aftermarket tank is downright silly.

I don't worry about being stranded on my KLR out in the boondocks, couldn't say the same if I was on a european bike. I rode the 800GS when it first came out, I wanted to like it, and I did, but it felt like another "pretender" bike. Great on the street, but maybe not durable enough offroad. Now that I see posts of bent shock bolts, crappy suspension, poor throttle response, recalls, etc, and then I consider the bike costs $14,000, I am glad I didn't buy one. It has potential to be a great bike, but BMW just haven't gotten it quite right in my opinion. If they ever do, I'll buy one.

I know in my head what I see as the perfect adventure bike (at least, for me) and no one makes it. Yet.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:10 AM   #60
The Griz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty
Buy A 2010 Uly. Then, your only problem will be how to get that silly grin off your face each time you ride it.
Just beware of the vibration. I test rode a friends Uly the other day. The thing just about shook the shit out of me at all rpms.
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