Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 24 May 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Smile Which Bike for Europe?

I'm in London and looking to buy a bike now that summer has (supposedly) arrived, the problem is choosing which one! Something suitable for sport-touring & general riding, friendly for a pillion, not expensive to buy, insure, or look after, fun to ride, not for the dirt, not for commuting, not for going round the world, not (another) thumper.

Every bike I've checked out has something about it that confuses the choice - the new CBF1000 seemed perfect but just doesn't excite, looks-wise; the SV650S is fun, cheap & sexy but supposedly uncomfortable for a pillion; the old FZ6 Fazer was a top all-rounder but reportedly has poor build quality that's no good for a second-hand bike; the new Fazer has no mid-range; the KTM 950 is rather expensive...

What would be your shortlist? If you're doing weekend rides & longer tours with your girlfriend, blasts for fun with & without your mates, and you like your bike - put in your two cents!

Cheers,
James
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24 May 2006
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,027
What sort of budget do you have? Remember to get a quote for insurance prior to buying as having a London postcode can make insurance expensive to say the least.

If you fancy a BMW, give me a call even if you just want a test ride to make your mind up (01865-319070).

http://www.oxfordbmwbikes.co.uk/

Steve
__________________
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24 May 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Budget

My budget is around £6,000 - could higher but this is what's in my bank a/c at the moment and I don't want to mess around with financing. The BMW F800S / ST is on my maybe list - is it too new to get a testride?

Cheers,
James
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24 May 2006
Wheelie's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 457
In general I would take the "sport" out of "sport touring" so that you are left with just a touring bike. The reason is that a sport touring is neither a fun crotch rocket, nor a touring bike. Very often, the handle bars are placed so low and far front that you will lean a lot on them, making your wrist hurt after only a short perio of riding. Theses bikes really only beomes comfortable at speeds of an exess of 140 km/h, where you can rest your chest on the wind... but then the wind noice and wind chill wears you out.

The sports tourings are also often poorly constructed in terms of carrying both a pillion and luggage well balanced, which often makes itself evident when the pillion sits up straight, leaning against the rear top box, which will make the front of the bike drift some what, especially when accelerating... or even worse, make you wheelie if you really push it. On the other hand, if the pillion rests on your back, you won't make it through five sets of red lights before you are begging to have someone come and chop your wrists off. The Fazer however have a more straight up sitting position with the handlebars raised. I bought the CBR 600 F (the new engine) and allways regretted not buying the fazer (it looked a bit to unusual when it first came out and I was worried about the fazers resale value).

Although I have sworn my next bike will be a one cylindered offroader, this would not be my reccomendation for a bike which will, exept for the very rear occasion, only ride on nicely paved European roads (unless your thing is to go out of your way to find dirt roads).

In my opinion, a sports touring with a 600cc engine is fine for a couple going on a weekend trip, and maybe even a week or two. It is a great daily rider which you cruise arround town on, too and from work, and which you can take out for the occasional short trip every now and then. But, if you plan to buy a bike for the sole purpose of travelling, and a lot of two up, then buy something else. I will never ever again own a sports touring, ever! Riding sport tourings arround at 260 km/h is fun, as is doing 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds (CBR), but not travelling two up for any significant signifiacant distance or speed.

Go for a thorough bread touring or a cruiser.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25 May 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Lightbulb Insurance

Wow, Steve, you were right about insurance. An international license, no NCB, no garage, six months-only in the UK meant I couldn't get a quote for full coverage, only third-party. And it ain't cheap:

£900 for an 2002 FZ1000 Fazer
£538 for a 2001 VFR
£500 for a 2004 FZ6 Fazer

A pre-VTEC VFR looks like probably the best value of the bikes that have what I'm after.

Cheers,
James
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25 May 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Settling into PE, RSA
Posts: 318
Yamaha XJ900S Diversion

I have one and it has taken me and the missus across Europe. Full givi luggage, comfortable pillion position. Have had it for 2 years now and done 30,000 with no problems at all.

Cheap to run and very cheap insurance AND it a shafty so no messy chains

And as far as I recall someone has taken one across Africa...

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/new...ionOffroad.jpg
__________________
If there's a will there's a way so I will anyway!
http://www.buyaikhaya.blogspot.com

Last edited by Bossies; 25 May 2006 at 12:42.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25 May 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Staffordshire. uk
Posts: 776
Give a TDM 900 a test. £6000 or less new.

I'm getting 60 MPG / 200 miles range, even loaded up with camping gear.

It's the most comfortable bike I've ridden. And the valve clearance is at 24k !

MPH / KMH altered at the press of a button is a bonus.

It's a bit lumpy at low revs and the 18" front wheel limits tyre choise

but otherwise it's a good tool.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25 May 2006
jkrijt's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 546
Yamaha XJ900S Diversion

A collegue of me has a Yamaha XJ900S Diversion and he has now 100.000 km on it with nothing but normal maintenance. Just replaced some small thinks like stearinghead bearings and a few other small things.
He is very happy with it. I did a test drive on a XJ900S too and it is very smooth and comfortable.
I like my F650GS more but I can recommend the Diversion for long on-road trips.
__________________
Jan Krijtenburg

The bikes I ride are a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25 May 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Thumbs up Decision Made!

Thanks for the input, guys. A 2000 VFR appeared on the autotrader ads this morning, and having checked it out after work I've bought it. £3,000 and very low miles it seems a great deal and one that wouldn't wait - can't wait to start riding her

Cheers,
JC
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 May 2006
jkrijt's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 546
vfr

Good luck with your new bike.

CU on the road somewhere.
__________________
Jan Krijtenburg

The bikes I ride are a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying/selling bike between foreigners on foreign soil Gertmans Trip Paperwork 2 21 Feb 2006 23:19
Clearing bike into Buenos Aires by ship nikb Trip Paperwork 0 16 Nov 2005 05:44
First Bike recommendations joelcannon Which Bike? 1 14 Jul 2003 01:02
Dirt road riding techniques - your input please. gmarch Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 4 23 Dec 2002 19:53
Bike Week Philippines John Joe Southern Asia 0 21 Jul 2002 13:47

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:35.