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  #1  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Best bike for touring scotland

Hi all just thought I would ask the question

when I go touring around Scotland I always find myself wanting to
take it easy get off the main roads stick to the back roads and try some forrest trails and to see things that I haven't seen before .

so is a smaller bike more suited to travelling round Scotland
if riding a 1000/1200cc bike do you just ride to fast and miss allot of the lovely scenery and get allot less mpg

so if you were on a 600cc getting 70 mpg at a leisurely pace would
this be an ideal size of bike for touring Scotland

thanks for your thoughts on this

cheers

Dave

Last edited by bianchi; 20 Sep 2012 at 16:01.
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  #2  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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If you are talking about current models the Honda NC700 looks pretty good, I have not ridden one but have spoken to an owner and sat on one and it felt good, had adequate power and did about 80 mpg.
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  #3  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
If you are talking about current models the Honda NC700 looks pretty good, I have not ridden one but have spoken to an owner and sat on one and it felt good, had adequate power and did about 80 mpg.
Hi not really speaking about models of bikes just thinking is less better
maybe even just 600cc single as being a ideal bike for touring a small
country

cheers

Dave
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  #4  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Depends on your budget really, and how much 'sports' style fun you want to have...?

I've a Bandit 600 that was pretty cheap that allows me best of both...

Braemar road + Cairn O Mount are definates for your visit... Let me know if and when you're coming, and i can even help out with digs etc and show you some fun roads/tourist/anti tourist places locally
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  #5  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Reject the premise of the question that there is "an ideal size bike of bike for touring" anywhere, let alone Scotland.
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  #6  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Wildman has a point...

But to try and answer your question from a personal point of view - on a liesurely ride on little singletrack backroads my 18 bhp 350 Enfield Bullet is awesome. It was designed for just that style of riding on just that type of British backroad. It makes a great noise and cruises at 50mph - just right for that kind of road. An open face helmet completes the dreamy summer day out.

On really wee roads I actually find my XT600E too fast. You accelerate away from a corner and before you know it you are doing 60mph coming into a right angle bend!

However, some of Scotland's roads suffer from heavy traffic and the Enfield is frustratingly poor at overtaking. Its not a bike I enjoy riding on the A82, for example.

I guess if I could name the bike I would love to tour scotland on it would be something like a BSA A10. Fast enough, but nice and liesurely on little roads. But then I like old brit iron. Something more modern? Maybe a Kawa W650?

Of course, we are all different. One of the things I like about the Bullet is that when I get to the end of a long day I feel like I have acheived something!

For me touring in Scotland has lost some of its appeal (still enjoy it though). I've been most places and its just too damn easy. I bought a BSA Bantam to liven things up but actually that was a step too far. It's fun for tooling around town but too slow on country A roads.

Part of me is tempted by the dark side. I'm only a drunken night on ebay away from buying a vespa...

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #7  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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Bianchi, I know where you are coming from. I have done tours on a big bike and I always end up doing too many miles, too fast, and not enjoying the counties I pass through. I've just sold my Triumph Sprint and bought a BMW F650GS for this very reason.

For these purposes, my XT600E was a bit lacking in power and not comfy enough over a long day's riding. The GS seems like it might be the ideal compromise. I can only say for definite when I have a few touring miles under its wheels, but it's looking good so far.
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  #8  
Old 21 Sep 2012
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There is no ideal unless you picked the right six numbers and can buy a bike for each trip.

I had a 500 Bullet, it was perfect on the B-roads but unless you spent Thursday night after work changing the oil you were going nowhere Friday afternoon. My MZ's are a bit less labour intensive but at 20 years old can break.

I ran a 790 Bonneville for 8 years. It was mostly just fuel and ride but was a touch too heavy for unclassified roads. The 120 mile tank range was a PITA. The Kawasaki is better made but not that different.

I've had an XT600E, an F650 and now a Weestrom. They are a compromise and as such are a bit heavy and lacking some of the fun factor but as the least extreme solution they work time and time again. You will be home early enough on Sunday to iron the shirt for Monday.

One day when I have three weeks free, I will just buy a scooter from a pizza company, chuck stuff in the box and see how far I get, but that's not for a normal run out.

Andy
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  #9  
Old 21 Sep 2012
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I was in Scotland for a few days earlier this year.
I was on my 2002 F650GS single which the local bike enthusiast hotel owner reckoned was the perfect bike for touring Scotland.
I've no idea if he is correct or not, just passing on his comment.
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  #10  
Old 23 Sep 2012
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I have just returned from a 1400km trip over and round and about the Pyrenees ( I live in SW France so easy access) on my F 650Gs Twin (800) I bought last September. What a cracking bike for this sort of terrain, light; agile; chuckable in the twisties; sufficient power; ultra reliable, and an MPG you wouldn't believe.
3.8litre per 100km is equivalent to 74mpg. In the mountains, light and manoeuvrable is the mantra, with good bottom end grunt.

Ideal bike for touring Scotland?? Ideal bike for touring anywhere! ( IMHO)
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  #11  
Old 23 Sep 2012
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Nc700x

I'm taking my NC700X up to Scotland from Wiltshire to tour for a week, if I remember, I'll come back here and let you know how it goes!
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  #12  
Old 23 Sep 2012
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I used to think my old 600 Tenere was just about perfect,all year round,having said that I had a great time on my Africa Twin today,on some old favourite roads.Can see the attraction of a smaller bike too,I'm still on the lookout for a CD175,just for old times sake.In truth anything is fine ,it's a great place to ride.
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  #13  
Old 23 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bianchi View Post
so is a smaller bike more suited to travelling round Scotland
if riding a 1000/1200cc bike do you just ride to fast and miss allot of the lovely scenery and get allot less mpg

so if you were on a 600cc getting 70 mpg at a leisurely pace would
this be an ideal size of bike for touring Scotland
Yes, I think so; there were a couple of threads running concurrently a while ago (but in different parts of the HUBB IIRC), both about "big bikes Vs small bikes" - I found them both interesting because in one thread the big bike was as you define = around 1200cc while the small bike was around the 650cc.
For the other thread, a small bike was about 250cc and the big bike was a 650.
"Go figure" as the saying goes, but I keep one of each in my garage (250 and 650).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
For these purposes, my XT600E was a bit lacking in power and not comfy enough over a long day's riding. The GS seems like it might be the ideal compromise. I can only say for definite when I have a few touring miles under its wheels, but it's looking good so far.
BDZ, You're getting sucked into the F650GS single cyl experience! Nothing wrong with that of course.
The longest distance I did in one day on that bike was 560 miles, more or less all on the autoroutes.

To add: the F650GS single used to turn out about 75 MPG for me without any effort toward economical riding on my part.
The current 650 twin Versys achieves around 65-69 MPG when sticking to the speed limits in France (but with 10% ethanol sans plumb in the tank, this dropped to around 63 MPG; sans plumb 98 octane with no ethanol became the rule at a few Euro cents per litre more in price). but the OP mentions 70 MPG.

ps Conclusion: 70 MPG can be achieved fairly easily at less than a leisurely pace, if one wishes.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 23 Sep 2012 at 17:19. Reason: ps added
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  #14  
Old 25 Sep 2012
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I went around the islands of west Scotland on a 400 cc Burgman scooter this summer.....I coped well on the bumpy B roads and the one track roads......even got me up the so called 'road' to Kintyre lighthouse.
This bike has an automatic clutch and coped well....even on the steep 25% inclines.
The size for me was ideal and the bike reasonably comfortable,,,,,,,,,,in the distant past I went around Scotland on an old 250 BSA C11,,max speed 50 MPH......and it even made it up Shap in the days before Motorways!
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  #15  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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Having spent the last 15 years exploring Scotland on a variety of bikes from super sports to supermotos, it all depends on your destination/route. Every bike has its own merits, 1000cc supersports is a blast on the cassiemyre, a9, cairn o mount etc but the scenery is a blur. The most fun I've had is on a ratty old trailie and following my nose. No particular destination in mind, just spot a track and see where it goes
You won't regret whatever bike you choose to use, it's a stunning part of the UK. Altho a big v-twin echoing Round Glencoe is one of the most spine tingling feelings known to man
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