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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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Best bike for.....

I try to keep two bike going most of the time. Both are a compromise, one is used as a trail bike/adventure bike the other is a tourer/adventure bike. At the moment the trail bike is the new bike the tourer is ancient and I'm thinking of getting a new touring bike and older trail bike.

The new bike will almost certainly be run on TKC 80s or similar but will need to cruise happily at 90+mph two up with luggage (decent wind protection) and be capable of extended European tours (3 months or more). At the other end of the spectrum it should be capable of spending a week exploring trails in the Pyrenees. When I say new, it will probably be less than 2 years old. Purchase price is not an issue but good reliability, spares back up, dealer network and reasonably priced servicing are all important factors. Also, I don't want to have to fit loads of aftermarket stuff to make it fit for purpose.

For the sake of this discussion I have no predjudice against any particular marque, so which bike best fits the above spec.?

Last edited by Magnon; 29 Jun 2010 at 05:05.
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  #2  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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Get hold of a copy of what bike magazine or similar, make a list of all the dual sport bikes and go ride any or all that catch your eye - the only way you'll know for sure is to ride for yourself.

My personal recommendation = KTM 950/990 ADVENTURE. It ticks all your riding requirements.
It comes from the factory ready to ride trails and is FUN.

Servicing/parts aint cheap, but probably not expensive compared to any other modern trailie.

Reliability: Not renowned for it, but most things that can go wrong have been so well documented on ADVrider that you can work out when to do pre-emptive maintainence beore things fail on you.

Go for one with a few thousand miles on it that has had all the factory recalls/updates done under warranty (there were lots). If checking one out, phone a nice KTM dealer, give them the Reg number and with some persusasion they'll give you a detailed history of the bike.

I had dismissed the KTM when I was choosing 'which bike' because I got scared of the reputation for poor reliability, but I went for a test ride on a whim and loved it. You could have a go on one and see for yourself.....
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  #3  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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I'd get the new Yamaha XTZ1200 Tenere - sounds right up your street.
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  #4  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the replies.

The KTM is top of the list but have been put off by reports of poor reliability, cost of parts and very thin (competent) dealer network in places. Also passenger comfort may be an issue but we've yet to test ride one two up. The major plus is that it uses good quality brakes and suspension and the fueling seems to be sorted now. I currently have a 690E which is OK.

The 1200 Tenere looks good but, as ever, I would be concerned that a lot of the original components would start to clap out at a fairly early stage. Need to go and test ride one.

I didn't say in the first post, but one of the main reasons for the new bike is that I'm hoping to have the time to put a lot of miles on it over the next couple of years so I don't want something that is always needing sevicing/parts.
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  #5  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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basically it boils down to if its not reliable and long living, its not worth crap isnt it?

I would also consider looking at the Suzuki V strom 650 and 1000's as well. as I understand, with decent tires, those are pretty friendly at higher speeds, and able to handle going off the beaten track. havent seen many complaints, but I never looked into suzuki much as I'm just not big on owning their stuff.
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  #6  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post

The new bike will almost certainly be run on TKC 80s or similar but will need to cruise happily at 90+mph two up with luggage (decent wind protection) and be capable of extended European tours (3 months or more).
Just where in Europe do you intend running extended trips at 90mph?
You may return with a confiscated licence as a souvenir.
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  #7  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Indeed, 1200 Tenere sounds like it might fit the bill.
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  #8  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Just where in Europe do you intend running extended trips at 90mph?
You may return with a confiscated licence as a souvenir.
I think there are still Autobahns with no speed restrictions, however, it's just a requirement doesn't mean that it will be used like that.

Suzukis are worth investigating, is there a ready to go tourer like the Tenere? I've only ever owned one, an SP400 in 1982 which didn't do much to endear me to them.

Any KTM Adventure owners in other European countries who can tell me what the dealer service is like. I don't have that much faith in my local KTM dealer.
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  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Get a new 660Z Tenere and slow down a bit...?

The 660 Tenere will do all you want [so much so that you may find you only need one bike] and be far less of a handful off-road than a big twin...

If you're having to go 90+mph, you've chosen the wrong road...











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  #10  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Suzuki v-strom 1000 GT would be an idle choice if your not to short and not off roading. Standard luggage is a bit naf but apart from that its a great bike.

Jenny (JMo) is that a train coming?
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  #11  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm not a speed freak but I was just trying to point out that 600/650s are not what I'm looking for. I currently have a KTM 690E which is fast enough on the road for me but is too small for serious two up touring and although I agree the 660 Tenere has a better seat and wind protection and better luggage carrying capacity it is not what I need. The F800GS is too cramped two up (we've tried it). The 1200GS was good but I can't imagine taking it off road. Others seem to cope well off road with the KTM adventure but I don't know what it's like two up. What about the Tiger, Stelvio, caponord, Varedero - I know virtually nothing about them but would like to hear other peoples experiences.
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  #12  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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For information, the KTM 950 gets the thumbs up from my missus for two up. The footpegs position provides a 90 degree leg bend angle, so it's just like sitting on a dining room chair. Hand rails are good too, apparently.

She was a bit uneasy with quick accelaration because she felt like she was tipping backwards off the bike (even with mild accelaration due to the upright sitting position), but with our holdall strapped to the rack she has a nice backrest and feels much safer. Our camping gear goes on the rack, so with a bit of careful packing, the sleeping bags and mats support her back and she loves it now.

We tried the xt660z tenere and it was a bit cramped 2up. I loved it for solo riding though - i got a kick out of riding it just because it felt like a nice place to see the world from. I have a real soft spot for that bike and will hopefully get one some day.

I didnt fancy the Suzuki due to looks (yes, I know, how superficial of me), but also because of that exposed front header pipe.

Tiger is very topheavy, no?
Never even considered the stelvio or capanord so no comment.
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  #13  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
What about the Tiger, Stelvio, caponord, Varedero - I know virtually nothing about them but would like to hear other peoples experiences.
That's fair comment Magnon - I'd agree the 660 Tenere isn't ideal as a two-up tourer... however, those bikes you mention above, none of them are off-road or even 'all-terrain' bikes to be honest - they are a styling exercise the equivalent of the 4-wheeled SUV...

For the use you envisage I guess you are certainly looking at a twin of some sort, but if you really want to take this new big bike off-road, then the KTM 950/990 would really be your only choice I imagine? A 1200GS would be capable too, but more of a liability I imagine (not to mention heavier)...

Like the SUV though, if you're honest with yourself - how much off-road you are going to be doing two-up and/or with luggage?

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  #14  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the information on the 2 up ability of the KTM. I am drawn to the KTM because it seems to be the only one you see used off road to any degree. also to be fair to KTM their dealer network is extensive, it's certainly better supported in France than Guzzi or Aprilia but, at my local dealer at least, I get the impression that they are only realyy set up to deal with EXCs. EXCs have virtually no warranty and I've learnt that the 2 year warranty with the 690 is pretty much worthless, although if the dealer was closer to hand I would hassle him more and possibly get some result.

I'm a long time Guzzi fan although they have made a lot of duff models, the reveiws I've read on the Stelvio are favorable but they always compare it to the 1200GS. Again, for me it's let down by the dealer network.

Forgot to mention the Multistrada which got rave reviews in the magazines
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  #15  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
I'm not a speed freak but I was just trying to point out that 600/650s are not what I'm looking for. I currently have a KTM 690E which is fast enough on the road for me but is too small for serious two up touring
I believe many would agree the DL650 is in fact a very serious two-up tourer. Has way more punch, too, than 1-cylinder bikes with same displacement, and runs nicer when loaded. Downside is its not a real off-road machine, but tougher than your average streetbike.
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