What's my next bike gonna be?
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Thread: What's my next bike gonna be?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Tucson, AZ

    What's my next bike gonna be?

    The TW was my first, and I chose well. As far as I'm concerned, the dub has a permanent stall in my stable.

    I followed it up with a KLR 650, which has been a trusty steed and now boasts thousands more miles than the TW, but just isn't a keeper for me. I'd rather ride the TW in the dirt every time, so a second Dual Sport doesn't make a ton of sense for me. In my experience the ergos and HP of the KLR aren't great for 2-up riding either, which is a small but important percentage of my on-road riding.

    I commute by bike every day, so cargo capacity is a consideration.

    I'd also like a bike that offers a little more stability and wind protection for the highway. The KLR can handle the Interstate alright, but I find myself having a tough time handling the KLR at 80 mph+ Interstate speeds over long distances. Riding a bike to its limits can be fun for short stretches, but for miles or hours on end I have found it to be a little exhausting.

    Given the niche I'm looking to fill, I'm thinking a Sport-touring bike might just be the way to go. Adventure bikes might fit the bill too, but the seat height on the KLR with a Sargent low seat is a constant struggle and most ADV bikes are at least as tall. I'm tired of riding a bike that doesn't comfortably fit me.

    I love the BMW R1200RT, but it's a bit out of my price range and the reliability and maintenance costs are discouraging.

    I'd love to get back to team blue for my big bike, but I find the seating position on the FJR 1300 a little too aggressive to be comfortable.

    The Kawasaki Concourse 1400 is a far better fit, but to me it's just about the ugliest bike on the planet. (Sorry Connie 14 owners!)

    The closest I've found to the feel of the R1200RT is the Honda ST1300, but I've read a lot of complaints about heat on the Honda ST that makes me nervous, especially living in Southern Arizona. Not to mention the ST weighs 200Lbs more than the Beemer.

    Of course the fact is that the majority of riding I'm going to be doing is commuting and day trips, which makes me seriously consider my longstanding infatuation with the Hayabusa. There are plenty of folks out there using the 'Busa for touring, and for the day-to-day stuff the lighter weight and easier handling will probably be a big plus.

    In a perfect world I'd have a big touring bike for the highway, the TW for off-road adventures, and a sporty middleweight for a commuter, but in the meantime I'm looking for something on the bigger side that's still fun to tear up the twisties on.

    Are there any bikes I'm not looking at that I should be?

    What to do?
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  2. #2
    Senior Member PalmStateCrawler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Cayce, SC
    BMW GS 650! Its like the klr but 10x better. Comfortable for 2up and will go faster than you ever need (105mph). The G has a 31" seat height too so it is easy to straddle like the TW and the other street bikes your thinking about. The 800 is still "affordable" if you need more power.
    '13 690 Enduro R too many frickin farkles...
    '07 KLX250 farkled (wife's bike)
    '86 BW80 farkled to size
    '10 TW200 you will be missed

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stromper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Eastern Connecticut
    Actually the best commuter is a Burgman 650 but I am sure you have scooter bias

    Soon you can buy the New VSTROM 1000 a modern interpretation of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle

    Human sized and a do it all well, should be about 70 % of a GS cost

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  5. #4
    Member ruppster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    650 VStrom. I have one, it is a great commuter and cruising bike. It is much like a Honda Civic, does everything it is intended to do well, just not very exciting.
    89 TW200, 05 450EXC, 06 VStrom, 08 WR250R

  6. #5
    Senior Member stephenmarklay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Spokane, WA USA
    I get to ride a lot of bikes and for me the adventure touring type of bikes are the most fun. You most likely are going to need big bore torque to cruise at 80+ all day long however. The 1200RT can certainly do it but I am not a super fan of it around town.

    I have a 2012 VSTROM 650 and after fitting it to my liking (more dirt bike like ergos) I am very impressed with the bike. It is much improved with the 2012 update. I had a 2007 and I did not care for the wind management nor bulkiness. With the right windshield it might work for you (at 80mph). I can't say enough good things about it.

    The BMW f700GS (twin which was called the 650GS but not to be confused with the 650 single) is very similar and very nice. The 800GS is a favorite of mine for around town but on the highway I prefer my VSTROM.
    I can't imagine the G650GS would be pleasing to you at 80mph on the highway for any stretch at all. Its a thumper and while not as a bad as the old KTM 640, it will still pound away at your nerves. It is fun around town however.

    Having said that the BMW 1200GSW and the new KTM 1190 Adventure are in a different league. I have spent a fair amount of time on the new GS and it redefined what a bike can be for me. But big $ The 1190 is a bit different but also incredible. Ducati Multistrada is also a very impressive bike but I prefer the BMW.

    If you are buying new the 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 has been revamped with luggage options and a sport touring marketing campaign. This could be a very nice high speed road carver with good comfort and decent protection.

    Food for thought.
    DonBenito and littletommy like this.
    2011 TW200: Protaper Fat Bars, IMS Pegs, Cyclerack, Moose Racing Tail Bag, Cyrca Handguards, VStrom Mirrors, Jimbo Shield, Oxford Heated Grips, ProCycle 15k spring, 2x2cycles rack, seat concepts, Cyclops Adventure Sports LED conversion

    2014 BMW F800GS

    2007 BMW R1200R

  7. #6
    Senior Member Braden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Toronto, ON
    A friend of mine has an xt350 and a Goldwing for the long treks. It sounds like a great combo to me. Although I'm fine with taking my tw plenty of places for the mean time.

    Sent from my One using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    Member long distance rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Kingman, Arizona
    Why only one bike? There is no bike made that will do everything you are looking for....so, considering you already own a TW go for a big bore bike for touring. My current stable consist of a 96 TW, 89 Pacific Coast, 2009 DR650, and a 2012 DL1000. The DL is the finest general purpose bike I have ever owned, and I've owned a bunch over the years....I also have a Honda Trail 90 that turned out to be a little too small for this full figured rider.....but back to the DL1000. It will run with the best of them on the interstate as fast as you want to ride it. It will also handle a forest service road when you want to do a little dual sport riding and get it dirty. Having said all that, the DL650 is a great bike as well, just a little to "busy" at 80 on the interstate to suit me. The DL1000 on the other hand is not even starting to breath hard at interstate speeds, will climb the rockies with ease with momma on the back and do it all without a strain....the 650, not so much. Oh, one other thing....Suzuki has had some outstanding dealer incentives in recent years. I have been buying my DL using Suzuke financing at 0%, that's Zero percent financing....after a $1000 discount from the dealer on the MSRP.

    And don't get involved in the shaft vs chain conversation. With the advent of the O ring chain, chain maintenance is no longer a concern.....shaft issues, at least with BMW, remain a problem....too much HP for the current design.


  9. #8
    Senior Member Dark Sol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I agree with the chain thing. I have a 530 DID X-ring chain on my CB900 (With 105HP) and I never clean the thing, I just spray it every 500 miles.

    After 20,000 miles it really hasn't even needed a proper adjustment - just the readjusting per tire change has kept it perfectly within spec. I don't see why I won't get at least 30,000 out of this chain, as well as the sprockets.

    I don't race the bike all over the place, but I do have a little fun every once in a while. The chain has been reliable as can be!
    2008 CRF230L

    2006 CBR1000RR

    2007 CB919 - 70k Miles and still runs like new!

    * 2001 TW200 (Sold after 15k miles of fun)

  10. #9
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for all of the input guys.

    I have looked at the new wee-stroms and the F series GS bikes, but like stephenmarklay said, I don't think I'm going to be happy with anything under 1000cc for the kind of touring I'm looking to do.

    And hey Stromper it's not that I'm biased against scooters I'm just very very biased towards manual transmissions with clutches!

    I will say that I really am drawn to the shaft drives of the ST bikes I listed in my first post, but a good O or X ring chain really isn't much hassle as Dark Sol and LDR pointed out.

    I really liked the last model Ninja 1000s and it looks like the new one has some nice upgrades. I guess maybe the new Vstrom 1000 might be one for me to watch too.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  11. #10
    Senior Member Bucknutz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Lower Hudson River Valley of The Communist State of N.Y.
    The Tigers from Triumph are also very nice bikes, and if I didn't already own a Sprint St 1050, one might be in my stable. My Sprint is a beautiful looking ( IMHO ) and performing bike with great torque. But, downfalls such as poor passenger comfort, heat management caused by the underseat exhaust ,and vibrating rear view mirrors are definite shortcomings. So many good choices out there, and the Triumphs are among them.
    stephenmarklay likes this.

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