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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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.

Mike
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
Good call. The "little" 800 tigers are nice bikes and the motor is pretty smooth. A bit nicer than say and BMW F800gs in the motor department.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
You're not the first to recommend a Tiger to me. A local dealer actually has a screaming deal on a leftover 1050 Tiger, and the newer 800s are very appealing.

Still, I'm looking for something with better wind protection that's more street-dedicated.

In my mind there's no need to make dirt-based tradeoffs in a bike that I'm only going to ride on pavement.

I do like the Triumph Trophy, but Triumph doesn't have a very strong sales or service presence here in the SW borderlands. I've been hung up for months with those kinds of issues in the past with other vehicles, and it's not an experience I'm eager to repeat.

My dad had a british racing green Spitfire back in the '70's though, so he'd probably smile down on me carrying on the family Triumph tradition on 2 wheels!
 

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Lol funny how everyone says Suzuki V-strom. I was going to say it too...lol for what you describe I think the redesigned 2014 V-strom 1000 ABS adventure would fit the bill nicely! Also KTM has a 1290 superduke R naked bike for 2014 with 180 horsepower and 106 foot pounds of torque...can't speak for reliability or practicality (probably okay but not great) but it sure would be fun lol. For a large-displacement commuter-touring bike though, my vote (like everyone else's, it would seem...) goes to the 2014 V-strom 1000 ABS adventure. I'd love to own that bike for nothing but long-distance commuting and road trips. Suzuki has always really done their homework when it comes to sporty, reliable, practical, but still fun commuter type motorcycles - Katanas, Bandits, SV's, and of course V-stroms.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well crap, I have a very bad idea in my head now.

Went to the big-box dealership today to sit on a few bikes and one blipped onto my radar that wasn't there before.

The ST1300 was as comfy and well-fitted to me as I remembered, although the Mrs. preferred the Connie 14's pillion.

The surprise was how comfortable the ZX-14R was. That was just as-is too. Add some bar risers, a taller windscreen, and some luggage and it would be every bit as touring as the Connie and far sportier for bags-off days. Even after adding those accessories it would be less expensive than a genuine sport-tourer. So, I'm doing some more research but the big Ninja has become a real contender.

The Super Tenere and Vstrom 1000 are off the list for sure though. Just too tall and top-heavy for me. I had high hopes for the Ninja 1000 too, but I was just way too cramped and folded up on that bike. It's probably fun as all get-out for carving up the twisties, but I sure wouldn't want to spend all day on it.

If nothing else the ZX-14R would be great just for the spread in my stable! Billy Goat TW and Quarter Horse ZX! Ha!
 

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The surprise was how comfortable the ZX-14R was. That was just as-is too. Add some bar risers, a taller windscreen, and some luggage and it would be every bit as touring as the Connie and far sportier for bags-off days. Even after adding those accessories it would be less expensive than a genuine sport-tourer. So, I'm doing some more research but the big Ninja has become a real contender.
I like your idea... I was actually thinking of doing similar to a Superchicken I already own. Higher handle bars bigger windscreen and a Corbin seat that allows for a passenger back rest, its a liter bike like the vstorm but not as new or fancy but it has a fuel gauge! Good luck I will be interested what you end up with for similar passenger reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I like your idea... I was actually thinking of doing similar to a Superchicken I already own. Higher handle bars bigger windscreen and a Corbin seat that allows for a passenger back rest, its a liter bike like the vstorm but not as new or fancy but it has a fuel gauge! Good luck I will be interested what you end up with for similar passenger reasons.
I did take a look at those Corbin seats with the backrest for the passenger, near as I can tell you can buy a running TW for what those seats + backrest retail for! o_O?

I have found out that the ZX-14R and the Connie 14 use the same seat pan, and that there's a local upholsterer that does MC seats starting at $40. I'm guessing the upholsterer and I could come up with something satisfying for both pilot and pillion for less than $700!

While I'm at it I ought to have that upholsterer take a crack at my TW seat too! Before this is all over I might have two 1000 mile/day comfy bikes on my hands!
 

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Hummm never crossed my mind. Do you think an Upholsterer would be able to fab in a rear seat rest like that to a stock seat pan? I'm not asking to present devil's advocacy but because modifying my Superhawk would be cheaper than buying a new bike geared for sport touring. Besides it would give me new reason to enjoy the bike all over again.
 

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Too bad you can't find a premo Honda Pacific Coast. They were a great 800 touring bike plus commuter. Everything clean, covered up, rain resistant, would conceal a helmet, and great gas mileage.
Mel
 

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Wooowee that's what that baby yacht wing is called? I remember those :D I'm by no means at the age to be old enough to complain about hunched over crotch rocket riding but it has defiantly lost its lust! I might have to keep any eye open for a well priced ugly duckling! You might be on to something Mel. ALTHOUGH, I got to snooping around and if I had the bucks the new Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V is looking pretty spiffy! It might have to be a gift to myself when I complete college in another few 100 years. :BangHead:
 

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All but one of my opinions have already been eliminated. Its sounds like you want a ripping snorting beast! Have you rode a new vmax? It is the meanest bike i have ever ridden. Unlike a inline bike MR. Maxx comes on like king kong everywhere and its a pretty comfortable bike. Other than that i would say a vstrom, versys or my favorite the tenere.
 
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