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Old 02-02-2014, 08:10 AM   #1
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ADV bikes vs ST bikes on the road

So I'm curious what the advantages and disadvantanges there are between a long travel bike vs a short travel bike on paved roads. If one isn't planning on riding dirt, and still looking for a really nice handing bike, is there any reason at all to look at bikes like the MTS1200?
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:23 AM   #3
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I knew I wanted a bike for street use that performed better than my XR 650 on the street, but not as well as the ZX-14 or my GSXR 600 track bike. The ZX has been on trips as far as 600 miles in one day and it is a little harsh for that kind of travel. The 600 is way to harsh for long travel as is the 650. My decision to buy the KTM-1190R is a great compromise for me. It handles great and is very precise on the pavement and so far it has only worried me a little on loose gravel. The longest trip so far as only been 220 miles but it seemed to be comfortable. The wide bars are a little bit uncomfortable but not to bad. I am going to Moto GP in Austin on it in April.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:50 AM   #4
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There is of course a gradient. A multistrada is far closer to a sport-tourer than a trail bike.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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More suspension can always be put to good use. I love the ability to ride rough roads and not get a sore back or those kidney pounders that I feel even on my big plush Harley. The worse suspension lives on my Duc which sometimes feels like there is none at all. I haven't been able to do more than about 250 miles in a day with that one.

If I had just one bike, it would be a long travel adventure bike. The road choices are better, nasty paved goat trails don't kill you, dirt roads don't make you shy away when you back get's twitchy and the right bike will also handle the curves at hyperlegal speeds as well as any sportbike/sport tourer. Can you go faster with something purpose built? of course but it's tough when you want to do it 1000 or 4000 miles away.

I still prefer the little bikes for commuting, especially lane splitting.

The one downside for me is that I might be tall but I have short legs... I could lower the bike a bit but I like the commanding view (like being in an SUV). I can touch one toe down without shifting or 1 flat foot if I slide a bit off the saddle. It took about a week to get used to it... now it's only an issue on sideways grades or offroad.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Do taller bikes still (might as well keep refering to the MTS) still have that magical turn in like sportbikes? I had a DZR400SM (rather tall) that had that feeling, but it was a supermoto so I'm not sure if that counts.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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ADV bikes vs ST bikes on the road

There was an article somewhere a couple years ago about a test between sport tourers, and the camera/chase bike was a R1200GS. By the end of the weekend, all the riders involved in the test agreed that he best sport tourer they had ridden was.....the GS.

I think the point is, unless you are planning on traveling at high warp speeds on the interstate for days on end, an adventure type bike has a more comfortable seating position, better suspension, handles just as good or better in the twisties, and can explore those gravel and dirt side roads without the fear of scratching the $hit out of your fairings if you drop it in the gravel at 2 mph.

EDIT:

Found that article, there's a link. Pretty good read.

http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/2010AugGS.pdf
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
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The amount of travel is less important than the quality and setup of the suspension.

My FZ6 was beating me up on rough, frost-heaved northern roads. Progresive fork springs and oil solved most of it. Proper adjustable cartridge forks rather than damper rods would be even better.

Simply having a lot of travel and softer spring rates isn't necessarily an improvement unless they are well damped, and the sag is set properly front and rear. It may feel less jarring on the straight sections with the cruise set, but if you get into some really good paved twisties and find out you're on a pogo stick, all is lost.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
There was an article somewhere a couple years ago about a test between sport tourers, and the camera/chase bike was a R1200GS. By the end of the weekend, all the riders involved in the test agreed that he best sport tourer they had ridden was.....the GS.
I remember that article well. I'd never even considered an "adventure style" motorcycle prior to reading it. Pretty compelling article...
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Colorado_Rider View Post
So I'm curious what the advantages and disadvantanges there are between a long travel bike vs a short travel bike on paved roads. ...
Get both.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #11
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As long as you always stay on paved roads an adventure style bike is useless. There's everything out there from sporty to comfy and all in all it's just better. Only if you are very tall and/or have long legs, the adv style bike might come handy on Pved roads, but still in general the suspension will be too soft.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
As long as you always stay on paved roads an adventure style bike is useless. There's everything out there from sporty to comfy and all in all it's just better. Only if you are very tall and/or have long legs, the adv style bike might come handy on Pved roads, but still in general the suspension will be too soft.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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So for example, Stock multistrada vs Ninja 1000 w/upgraded suspension of equal quality (hypothetical I know) No advantage for the Multi? Even on shit roads?
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
As long as you always stay on paved roads an adventure style bike is useless. There's everything out there from sporty to comfy and all in all it's just better. Only if you are very tall and/or have long legs, the adv style bike might come handy on Pved roads, but still in general the suspension will be too soft.
I do believe that Germany takes better care of their roads than the US does. We have many that would be nicer if they were gravel or graded dirt.

I've been on many that abused friends on Goldwings and Harleys that I found perfectly fine on the GS. I'd hardly call my suspension soft but I'm also not running stock...
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:29 AM   #15
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The side roads in Denver are pretty rough...my wife's destroyed suspension in her car can be explained by that.

I'm 6'4" and thankfully have an interest in off-road riding anyway, otherwise I'd be suckin trying to fit onto an average sport bike. I rented a Honda CB250 for a day in Thailand, also has some pretty rough roads, and I looked pretty goofy in addition to it not handling the bumps very well.

I'm looking into the new KTM 390 Duke for a light, quick around town bike. Has the suspension travel to handle rougher roads compared to a sport bike and the seating position and height best suits me.
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