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Old 09-30-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
Benduro OP
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ADDING a street bike to a dual sport thumper!

So, I've been riding my one lunger a lot. 12000 miles this year, which, considering I'm away at work on an oilfield for a month at a time, 5 times a year...
Anyhow, my DR 650 is set up like a dirtbike, and I ride it like one. Upside down showas, 35+ lbs lighter than stock. And I live in a river canyon and have really progressed as a rider to where the DR just isn't enough bike for me when it gets to slab time. Recently, I made a run from my town (El Portal, in the canyon just down the river from Yosemite Valley) to Casper Wy to see an old buddy of mine. The route I took was 1100 miles there and 1700 miles back, which I accomplished in 4.5 days of riding(combined). Which was mostly lying on the tank, left hand on my fork tube, elbows in, chin on tank bag, 80-85 mph as much as I could. The whole time I was thinking about an xb12x or wee strom. Anything.
Well, on a regional forum I'm on, there's a beautiful Super Chicken and a hot-ass Bandit.
Both are very good deals and are a hell of a lot of moto for the money we're talking about.
The concept of a v-twin appeals to me for the flat torque curve throughout it's range. However, the few times I've ridden my buddies' inline fours (raven edition R1, Honda Fireblade), I sure have liked the quick revving and suck-your-eyeballs-back acceleration. The Bandit is a lot more visually pleasing to me, being kind of a classicly styled, retro sport-standard. But the engine looks so wide. Which may just be a visual effect of it being a naked. And I'd probably put a mini headlight cowl ala Buell on it. I've never had a faired bike, and being in the wind isn't a deal killer at all to me.
The VTR's engine is a thing of beauty to me, but half fairings are the ugliest thing in the world to me. I know I'd appreciate it in the wind, but I'd also like to be aesthetically drawn to the bike I choose, though that's not a big enough deal to me to be a deal-breaker. These are both rider's bikes and that's what I'll be doing.
At this moment, I'm leaning towards the Bandit, just because all I've ever owned are 'zooks and I think their motors are superb.
But that may be reason enough to try a Honda. I know people love them. And I know they can be super-reliable, which is high on my list of criteria.

What can those of you who've ridden these or similar bikes, tell me that I may be overlooking, as far as criterion to help me compare the two?
Both are horrible on fuel (32ish mpg) and have relatively small tanks for that fuel economy. Luggage options for both? I'll be using the bike for longer multi-day trips, and canyon blasting.
My girlfriend lives in Sonora, two hours away on one of the best motorcycle roads in the world, Hwy 49 between Mariposa and Sonora which I access by riding the awesome Merced River canyon! And she works as an ICU RN, so she is sometimes working for 3-4 days in a row, so I'd be blasting up the 1 and 101, hwy 36, etc to see family in Or and Wa, then zooming back.
Bottom line is either of these bikes would be worlds better than my poor flogged DR!
Thanks in advance, guys. Feel free to JM it up, but I really am looking forward to hearing some stuff I never would have thought of from the most diverse in knowledge, experience, and personalities...group that I've ever experienced.
Thanks.
The VTR with dual Jardine cans.




The Bandit.


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Old 10-01-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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Awesome. 140 views and not a single reply. Maybe I'll move it to the basement, where at least I'll get heckled.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
tkent02
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CAn't go wrong with a Bandit.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:55 AM   #4
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Yeah, they've always appealed to me. Which do you think is higher in the insurance bracket?
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:38 AM   #5
James Adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoTsuga View Post
Yeah, they've always appealed to me. Which do you think is higher in the insurance bracket?
Call an insurance agent and find out for sure. I'm sure it varies based on state and insurance company.


But I'd pick the Bandit without a second thought.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #6
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I had a 1200 Naked Bandit when I lived in the Bay Area. It was an awesome bike. I redid the suspension which is the only weak point of the bike if you are going to ride it hard. It was jetted and had a Remus carbon fiber pipe that sounded awesome. It was all day comfortable and had tons of power, even two-up. Mine was an older carbed version (2001) and it is one bike I wish I never sold. I miss that bike.

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Old 10-01-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EastSideSM View Post
I had a 1200 Naked Bandit when I lived in the Bay Area. It was an awesome bike. I redid the suspension which is the only weak point of the bike if you are going to ride it hard. It was jetted and had a Remus carbon fiber pipe that sounded awesome. It was all day comfortable and had tons of power, even two-up. Mine was an older carbed version (2001) and it is one bike I wish I never sold. I miss that bike.

EastSide, this one is also an '01. Dealing with four carbs scares the shit out of me! I've never even had to deal with two on one bike!
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
EastSideSM
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EastSide, this one is also an '01. Dealing with four carbs scares the shit out of me! I've never even had to deal with two on one bike!
I understand it is a little intimidating, but it really isn't hard once you do it. Personally no matter which route you go I would get an actual service manual and join a Bandit/Suzuki specific forum. I understand the "scare factor" though. The only way to get over it is to do it. Just read up on whatever it is you are going to do, take your time, take pics etc of things you are unfamiliar with so you have a reference of what things are supposed to look like etc.

Or find a good shop (easier said than done sometimes) and have them get it right and do things that you are comfortable with to start out and work your way up form there. If the carbs are balanced properly, re-jetting isn't very hard. It is just a matter of unscrewing things and putting them back together. If it is running good, don't mess with it.

With that pipe and the way my bike was jetted I got pretty horrible mpg but it was worth it because the bike was a monster, but was a total sleeper. The thing had such a steady torque you could pull power wheelies easily in the first 3 gears. The only bad thing was that it ate rear tires.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
iyaoyas98
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Superchicken for me. It has a lot more soul than any Honda should.

I miss mine terribly.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #10
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Thanks, guys.
The pics I posted are the actual bikes for sale that I'm considering. The Superhawk has 30k on the clock but has been well maintained. $2200
The Bandit has lower miles and I can get it for roughly the same. I think they are both solid deals.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
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Don't forget that there is middle ground between the vtwin and the i4. You can always go for the Triumph Street triple and get the best of both worlds. I loved my daytona. The size was perfect, the weight was perfect, the handling was amazing. Even when my buddy and I would go hit up the canyons he would always want to give up his s1000rr to go have a blast on the small triple - which I surely didn't mind the mind boggling speed of the rr.

When I went to trade my daytona in, it was for a street triple. Hands down the best lightweight "sport bike" ever made. Had the dealer not been a complete dbag I would be on a Street triple now.

But I went for the dual sport and don't regret it at all. As soon as the money is available I'll put a street triple in the garage.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #12
Benduro OP
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The street triple is high on my list for sure. If I wanted to get rid of one of my bikes, then I could justify the money I'd have to loosen up to get one. But since I'm keeping my other bikes, and both of these are just a hair over two grand, picking either one wouldn't kill my ski money.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
Tim McKittrick
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Originally Posted by PseudoTsuga View Post
Thanks, guys.
The pics I posted are the actual bikes for sale that I'm considering. The Superhawk has 30k on the clock but has been well maintained. $2200
The Bandit has lower miles and I can get it for roughly the same. I think they are both solid deals.
Of the two I would go for the Suzuki- it'll get better fuel mileage, better range, has a more familiar seating position to what you are used to, and is a hell for stout platform. With just the minimum maintenance those engines will see you through 100K miles without an issue, and there is a lot more power lurking within if you want it.

The Honda is a fantastic machine in it's own right, but the example you have looks to have been repainted and the pipes are misaligned, suggesting it has met the ground once or twice. It is a better choice if you intend to spend most of your time apex strafing but the Suzuki will be friendlier for longer jaunts.

They both have carbs so you will have to learn about those in any case- the Suzuki just has twice as many. The Suzuki has easily adjusted valves so maintenance may be a little simpler, although there are twice as many valves to adjust. Were I making the choice, my largest concerns would be damage and maintenance history. Either would be gangs of fun, and both are known reliable steeds.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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The honda is cool, but for the sheer simplicity of parts and maintenance the Suzuki would be my pick. Having a race/ mechanic background, Suzuki was pretty smart with a lot of parts interchangeability between models. The honda is a good bike for sure! But parts are more model specific. Just my input...good deals both ways !
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #15
EastSideSM
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Two-up the Bandit wins hands down. The Super Hawk is a cool v-twin, but for the riding you describe, the Bandit is the more comfortable choice. In the end though it is the one which you will enjoy the most, practicality is not the most important reason for most of us who ride. Good luck!!
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