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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 6 May 2010
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Sports bike touring

How many of you do long distance touring on sports bikes? I have an FZ6 yamaha fazer just now and love it, but i want the thrill of a 750cc or maybe even 1000cc sports bike now. I bought the fazer as my first big bike and toured through France, Italy and the Alps etc on it, 2up no problem. But im single now and a sports bike just seems to be calling to me.

Are they as painful as people make out? My longest tour wouldnt be any more than 3000 miles in 2 weeks with no more than 400-450 miles in any one day. Home to dover for a ferry is 450miles as i would prob do that in a single trip this time. Im slim build and 5ft 9ish btw

Cheers, Dave
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  #2  
Old 6 May 2010
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I did 2 weeks around europe last year on a 1998 CBR600f with all the luggage camping etc. something like 4-5000 miles.

no problems at all.
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  #3  
Old 6 May 2010
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I toured on sport bikes for 10 or 15 years. I eventually gave it up, opting for more room and comfort. But I'm old and feeble. If you're in your 20's/30's, should not be a problem. I did thousand mile days at that age, and we'd out run the cops then too! (a really dumb thing to do)

Most here on HUBB are RTW oriented and always have at least some off road in mind. But if you're staying within Western Europe on paved roads, nearly any bike will work. You're biggest problem will be speeding fines. The French no longer have a sense of humor regards Brit sports bike hooligans. Riding a 150 HP/170 MPH sports bike presents many temptations. Use your best judgement.

At this point I have a 1050 Tiger. Near sports bike power, decent handling, great brakes and packs up nicely for a two week trip. I can do 10 hour riding days no problem, not exhausted at end of day.

But truth be told I have more fun touring on my 37 HP DR650. This cheap as chips, go anywhere, nearly maintenance free bike works well for our roads/trails, deserts, mountains. No tickets on it yet. (touch wood! )
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  #4  
Old 6 May 2010
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I've done calais - barcelona in one hit on zx6's (a few times on different bikes), no problem. I've also done spain/italy on the zx9. holland/france on the vfr400r.

I'd say kawasaki's (zx6/7/9) are comfortable, as well as having raucous engines. cbr6's and fireblades are fine too. R6/1 not so comfortable, but not really a problem. gixer's, anything pre 2005 would be fine.

in fact, any sports bike pre 2005 would fine. 2005 onwards had some weird euro spec regarding emissions, and the bikes got stupidly light-weight and uncomfortable (or I got old!), to compensate for the CAT. they also stopped doing the underseat bungee-pegs, which is a sure sign of nowhere to put your touring sarnies.

so no, they are not uncomfortable if you don't find them uncomfortable. you will almost certainly feel a bit sore after half an hour if you have only ridden your sit-up-and-beg fazer. but the path to enlightenment is not a short one, so persevere.

pick up something second hand, and a few years old. slip the credit card and toothbrush under the seat, and go. it's only uncomfortable if you think it is, but remember that the good-grins you get are a trade off for some discomfort.


PS. if my sports bike made anything in the region of the same power as a Tiger 1050 I'd be disappointed and swapping it....
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  #5  
Old 6 May 2010
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A ZX9R does also look tempting, a 2000 model, seems big enough to have decent comfort. I agree on the pre 2005 thing. My mate has a 2008 R6 and holy hell its small. I swear its the same size as my aprilia rs125 i had lol teeeny tiny
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Old 6 May 2010
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I had a '98 zx9. superb machine. very good engine too, lasts forever. very comfortable for a 'sports bike', and boy oh boy is it quick.

I know many people who tour less far on GS', XT's, etc,etc. it's all about you, not your ride. and whatever you have , just ride it. don't fall for all this nonsense about 'the best bike'. you just need something that makes you grin.

sports bike maintenance is as easy as any other bike really. just regular oil changes, and you most likely have stuff to do internally every 16,000 miles.
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  #7  
Old 6 May 2010
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Hi Dougie,
I've toured for the last 5 years on a ZZr 1100, altho not a pure "sports bike" I find it a good all rounder. It is a good motorway mile muncher and just as happy on the back roads. Carry's weight well. Dosent like loose surfaces.

Our trips are usually between 3000 and 4500 miles and I feel it's fairly comfie

Rory
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Old 6 May 2010
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ahh, yes, the ZZR. ZX9 will be quicker up the Alps, a 600 even quicker/more fun. I assure you...

I think, largely, the OP should just buy whatever fast bike suits. In terms of feel and price. and then just ride off to the extremity of any particular direction. enjoy it, they're all pretty f-ing good.
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Old 7 May 2010
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This would be perfect for you. I have to say I have a vested interest as it is mine! Complete with some luggage capacity. Catch a cheap flight to Stansted Airport from Glasgow or Edinburgh, I pick you up from the airport and you can ride home. All the extra bits and bobs I can drop off when I am up at St Andrews working on The Open in a month or so. Simples!
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  #10  
Old 7 May 2010
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Horses for courses

Aye Dougie, It's a case of horses for courses,
The old "ZZr" fair eats up the miles (and rear pads and tyres), but on the tight twisties it would take a braver man than me use all the power. Thats whare the sports bikes have the advantage.

My bro went to Prauge on a Fireblade (1000rr), he said it handled like a bucket of crap when it had luggage on it. He rides a Blackbird now.

Rory
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  #11  
Old 8 May 2010
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Can't see a problem if you know the bike. I once helped plan a trip for a guy at work, maps, info on how to find hotels, book the ferry etc. The weekend riding clown then set off on a Ducati 9-something with soft compound, part used semi-slicks. He basically rode UK to lake Garda on the motorway so a Ducati dealer could have his bike for three days to fit new rubber for the trip home and adjust the chain . His missus hated the pillion seat and collection of rucksacks he had so much she flew home.

Do the planning and get some prcatice in the UK and you can go anywhere on anything.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 8 May 2010
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I have a 2001 fuel-injected Fireblade I am looking to sell as I want a different style of bike for a much longer trip planned with a few guys on here.

Bike is very unique colour scheme and in good order. Been over Europe with it with no problems, and have Kreiga soft luggage available as well which sits on it great. I want £2750 (no offers).

Can be seen here - http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b4.../blade002a.jpg

Makes a great sports tourer and a fun 'Sunday' bike as well.
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  #13  
Old 9 May 2010
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Again the early zx6/ zx9 , great sports bike for touring , did scotland and spain on mine plenty of space on it for some lugage or pillion ,

And i did have an rf600 for a trip abroad a few years ago ,was going to use it for that trip to spain and sell it when i got back , ended up keeping it for 5 years and 4 trips to europe , so that wasn,t a bad bike .
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  #14  
Old 9 May 2010
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All round Europe 1982 to 19200 on Suzuki GT550 (2 stroke) & then Kawasaki GT750 no problems.
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  #15  
Old 11 May 2010
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I once did a trip to the Czech grand prix in Brno on a Honda RC30 . Bike was fine, only challenge was the fact that I carried 95% of my luggage in a rucksack which turned out to an extremely uncomfortable mistake. My advice would be, if you are to carry a rucksack don't pack too much into it.
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