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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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  #16  
Old 11 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
An immaculate, restored probably, 100GS PD was on ebay for a long time with an asking price of just under £10K; these are yet another bike that has become over-rated (whatever that means exactly) and are heading for a collectors' garage.

(snip)

Nor, are top end power figures the full picture; for hauling weight up to a particular speed (i.e. acceleration) the torque output is much more relevant - the airheads have this in abundance, as do V twins.
I suspected as much about the P/D - great-looking bike, and rare enough to get the 'collectors' salivating. OK, strike that one

I'd agree about the power issue. My Ducati (1000cc, 92 bhp) seemed a lot more powerful than my Bandit (1200cc, 100 bhp) just because the power came in much more suddenly and the torque launched it much quicker. I'd go for modest power and good torque any day, so your point is taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
According to the specs I found the standard R100GS is 210kg with a full tank of fuel (23 litres or about 16kg) and the AT is 205kg dry. P/D version is 20kg heavier. I think the bhp figure is about the same as the AT.

I don't put much store in published weight specs. as some bikes feel light others feel like lead bricks. None of the twins on the list can really be called off road capable as they all weigh too much for ordinary riders to throw around with confidence.

Any bike will tackle gravel roads whether it has off road pretensions or not.
Thanks for the info about weights etc. Your point is proved by my experience with a Bonnie. I always felt it was a light-ish bike, but the next owner complained it was too heavy for him. When I checked, it was over 200 kg, but it carried its weight low and was quite manageable.

I'd disagree with your last comment, though. My Sprint is very capable on tarmac, but a nightmare on any loose surface - low, narrow bars and a forward riding position mean that you haven't a hope if the front decides to get away. I dropped mine (walking pace, little damage) on a piece of gravelly dirt at work. I can ride the XT across the same ground and it's loose but controllable, never a problem. I guess I am looking for a bike that's half-way between the two. I don't need full-on enduro handling, but a pure road bike is too limiting.

Thanks again, appreciated.
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  #17  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
. I don't need full-on enduro handling, but a pure road bike is too limiting.

.
I ran my Bonneville on Heidenau tyres about as knobbly as you could get in the size limit and needing tubed. The difference over what the dealers fit on gravel tracks/rough roads is the difference between dragging your feet in first gear and bimbling along in third. The same roads on the F650 or XT600E I had before would be taken in any gear you liked. Fifty miles of Norwegian detour on the road tyres is hell, on the knobblies just part of the ride and on the "humped in the middle" type bikes a bit of fun.

The odd one is the Enfield which does just seem to go where you point it regardless (and slowly).

Andy
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  #18  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post

I'd disagree with your last comment, though. My Sprint is very capable on tarmac, but a nightmare on any loose surface - low, narrow bars and a forward riding position mean that you haven't a hope if the front decides to get away. I dropped mine (walking pace, little damage) on a piece of gravelly dirt at work. I can ride the XT across the same ground and it's loose but controllable, never a problem. I guess I am looking for a bike that's half-way between the two. I don't need full-on enduro handling, but a pure road bike is too limiting.
Yes, perhaps I should have said 'any bike with high wide handlebars will tackle gravel roads......' My Le Mans is a nightmare on a loose surface.
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  #19  
Old 13 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
Yes, perhaps I should have said 'any bike with high wide handlebars will tackle gravel roads......' My Le Mans is a nightmare on a loose surface.
Spot on.
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  #20  
Old 13 Jul 2012
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For 2 up in europe I've been very happy with my TDM850 although it was a bit cumbersome on the smaller tracks in Corsica. Back home in Canada where the TDM is not available I use a weestrom set up for gravel roads with skid plate, Shinko dual sport tyres etc. It'll take me and a full size passenger in comfort from Alaska to Mexico.
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  #21  
Old 13 Jul 2012
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That's another vote for the TDM and the Wee. Forums like this are great - neither bike was really on my horizon when I started asking, but now they are firmly in the frame.

One thing - everyone says that the TDM (850 or 900) are under-rated and therefore cheap, but I have checked out the usual places and they seem to be quite pricey. I like the look of them, though.

Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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I think the newer Tenere would fit your bill and as you are already a fan of XT's you will be familar with the workings and rough layout.

The pillion seat is comfy and it will pull 70-80 mph all day with pillion and luggage whilst still giving good mpg. It really is a go anywhere do anything bike. and they look really good as well

I just happen to know of one for sale that would fit your bill

see the bikes for sale section for my 2008 Tenere lovely bike but sadly i need the money
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  #23  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
As for the Versys, Kawa are probably being very cautious about their luggage carrying capability; I would expect that luggage manufacturers, other than OEM kit, would supply a top box and panniers arrangement, so long as you don't exceed the stated all up weight limit for the bike.
In the discussgion about this bike, I was interested in it's two-up capability.
I am not sure where that thread is; it could be under the "which bike" forum rather than the "Kawa tech".
It may also be listed as a KLE650 topic/heading?
BlackDogZulu,
I saw a 650 Versys today fully fitted with Givi luggage; a top box and two panniers - so it can be done!
I am still not sure about that subframe when used with full boxes and a pillion passenger - the Ducati-like trellis framing looks very spindly.
i.e. the subframe tubing is very thin compared with similar designs by other manufacturers, such as the Ducatis or the Yam TRX.
On the other hand, those frames are carrying the weight of their engines.
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  #24  
Old 19 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by stuxtttr View Post
I think the newer Tenere would fit your bill and as you are already a fan of XT's you will be familar with the workings and rough layout.
Great sales pitch! I'm tempted. You have a PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
BlackDogZulu,
I saw a 650 Versys today fully fitted with Givi luggage; a top box and two panniers - so it can be done!
I have found a couple of places that sell the full 3-box kit for the Versys, but Kawasaki will only sell you either/or. A friend has just bought an ER6f, and the build on that seems very light, so maybe K are just being cautious. I don't anticipate high speed rough trails with passenger and luggage, so I'm not too concerned - most riding will be on roads, and any off-road forays will probably be unladen. I think I probably need to email Kawasaki and get a definitive answer.

Thank you for your comments.
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  #25  
Old 19 Jul 2012
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We rented a V-Strom 650 in South Africa and I also think that it ticks all your boxes. The saddle is wide and comfy for the pillion and rider (my wife weighs 50 kgs as well, no complains). Only downside: maybe too low and bent knees for you? I'm 1,76 and put both feet really flat on the ground, but that also helps to handle it.

I'm no off-road rider, but took some gravel roads and felt it very well, just slowly, but never felt unsafe/slipping.

Nice bike and needless to say more than enough for highways (2 up and loaded). I have an XT600 and also love "to stop to smell the flowers" (liked the sentence, nice image) , but it's not the best bike 2up or on highways.

Happy travels, sounds like a very nice experience to travel with your daughter,

Esteban
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  #26  
Old 20 Jul 2012
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The V-Strom is looking like a big possibility. Right size, right power, right comfort ... The seat height is 32.5", which is only 1" less than my XT, and 2" more than the Bonnie that was way too low. Could be an issue - I will have to find one to test. Thanks for the warning.

It was great touring with my daughter, and even better when she said she wanted to do it again. I don't want her to be so uncomfortable that she is put off it for life If it was just me, I would have the Tenere like a shot, but I need her to enjoy it too.
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  #27  
Old 20 Jul 2012
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There are different seats for the Vstrom that raise or lower the height and you can swap the 1000 for the 650 seat to get different heights as well .
Plus raising or lowering links so you should be able to get whatever seat height you want .
Tyres make a huge difference to the way the Vstrom handles , road tyres are great for the road ONLY .
TKC s, Heidenaus or Mitas are necessary for any gravel or off road .
The fuel injection system is rather like an on/off power switch at low speed , which means that on a slippery surface with road biased tyres you will be on your arse before you know it . This is a lot less likely to happen with any of the semi knobblies .

I have a 1000 and although it's Vtwin it probably won't be like your Ducati as the power doesn't come in until you are past 3500 rpm [ redline is 9500 rpm]. I imagine the 650 is more revvy. I get about 55mpg out of the 1000 , the 650 can get 75 mpg ,or so I am told .

My daughter reckons the Vstrom is a roomy and comfortable bike to ride pillion .Which is handy because that's the reason I bought it .

Once you've set the bike up to suit you with regard to screen position , handlebars and seat you will do 1000km days and still feel fresh - if that's what you want to do .

For a 90% on : 10% off road bike it's fine .

I also think that the TDM is a very underrated bike ,the only problem might be tyre availability for the odd sized front wheel .

Hope this helps , shopping for a bike is always good fun .
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  #28  
Old 20 Jul 2012
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Thanks, Dodger, very helpful. Sounds ideal for my needs.

I've had good experienced with Distanzias and Siracs for mainly road use, so I will probably go for something like those and change for something knobblier if the nature of the trip warrants it.

Cheers.
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  #29  
Old 22 Jul 2012
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Hi all
I was in similar dilema:what "serious" bike to put next to my TT600R in garage.Even for price not to have car/van!(well ,my best half has one).
After loong scientific research it was obviously:must be so called big enduro.I think that for 90% on tarmac few kilos more/less is not so important,especially if you are long legged.So here is the list:
new/used:1200 GS,1200Super Tenere ,Varadero,V strom,TDM900..
used:GS,TDM 850,AT,XTZ 750 Super tenere.
BUT money talks,1k euro or 20k euro and all between!
Since money was/is an issue,we have reduced group:
TDM,V-Strom,XTZ
I have ended up with xtz (AT is way overprized) for 1000+500 uer.
For the guy with xt/TT is GREAT bike:
dirty cheap (1k-2k uer)
two up
easy maintain,parts easy available
70-80 mph all day long (6-7 l/100 km= ?mpg)
once on the ground you wont get bankrupt
After few years I can't stop smiling each time I start my old S10.
GL
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  #30  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Another vote for the TDM. I've had an XT600, Transalp and now the TDM. The TDM is by far the better tourer. I find it a very economical, grunty, smooth & relaxed ride on long distance tours.
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