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Old 03-18-2018, 03:08 PM   #1
Rumbo Sur
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Used,Sport Touring, middle weight recomendations?

Looking for something not too monstrous to replace my wonderful Ducati Hyperstrada. Love that Duc in many ways but can't trust it ... and can't afford to fix it if it breaks again. Such a shame, it's a GREAT riding, light weight sport touring machine. If only ....

I've looked at and ridden several of the current ADV bikes with the 19" front, and liked some a lot. Owned a DL1000 years ago. Ridden lots of BMW GS's, Guzzi's, big Kawasaki's.

Budget is an issue, so thinking used ... and so is seat height. (inseam challenged!)

I've considered Tiger 800's but find them TOP heavy and heavy overall for an 800cc bike. Love the engine feel, handling is good. But new-ish, lo mile ones are quite expensive. Worth it with NO PLANS for off road?

(my previous bike was a Triumph 1050, which simply did not handle well, even with Ohlins and re-valved front end)

I'm interested in the KTM 1090 but can't afford new and no used ones around yet. Also, the KTM 1090 is too tall ... but I hear of cool mods to lower it 2 inches!! How long can I wait for a used one?

So far, BMW's are out for me. Too expensive to buy and to maintain ... and possibly the least reliable. Lots of little irritating things seem to crop up. Modern ones seem quite dealer dependent. Thoughts?

Of the Japanese offerings ... well I owned a FJ-09 ... for a week! Hated it. Ridden big Concours 14. Feels too big, ponderous to me.
But to be fair, the used FJ-09 I bought had been butchered and set up all wrong. Horrible suspension and wind screen. Rough feeling with very "off" handling. This in stark contrast to the NEW Demo I rode briefly ... which I loved.

I've ridden older FJ1300 and hated that one as well. The Tenere' is, for me, too tall and too heavy. The Africa Twin could do but very expensive.

I don't really need the off road ability as I have a DR650 Suzuki nicely set up for long distance ADV off road travel.

SO ...A road only bike is OK ... looking at the whole range of Sport Touring machines.

I rode the Aprilia Capo Nord years ago, the latest one looks interesting. Anyone ridden one?

Two friends bought brand new Versys 1000's and love them so far. The bike is just a hair too tall for me ... and quite heavy, but reports claim it's not a heavy riding bike and my two GS12 owning buddies swear by the Versys handling.

One short magazine tester simply brought fork tubes up an inch in triples of the Versys 1000 ... problem solved for that 5'6" rider. So ... who knows? I sat on one ages ago ... can't recall anything about it, but may try it again. Anyone here own one? Or thinking of buying a big Versys?

Used Versys 1000's are around as low as $8000. Hard to find many negatives on this Kawasaki. It's no KTM 1090 ... but could be about $7K less expensive depending how things work out.

What Sport Touring bikes do you guys like? And what would you buy now if in the market for something new (or used!)?
Cheers!

Last edited by Rumbo Sur; 03-18-2018 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:02 PM   #2
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I have a Versys 1000 and a 1200 Caponord and two 650 Versys. There are many things I like about the Caponord, but I like the 1000 Versys better overall even though I generally prefer twins over 4's. They weigh about the same.

What I don't see on your list is the 650 Versys. I've written extensively about mine here on BARF. I'm a big fan, and have something approaching 100K miles combined on the two of them.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:42 PM   #3
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The Honda Africa Twin continues to get positive reviews. Still punches way above its weight, and has the reliability of Honda. Buying used wouldn't be a terrible choice.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Go back to the DL1000. You know the bike. A lot of bang for the buck, large support community and tons of aftermarket stuff to spend your money on.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response Kurt!
You are a gold mine of information. Spent last hour reading your well written thread. Loved it all! So cool you did the EU thing.

I did something similar a few years back. Bought near new Tiger 885 Girlie in UK, (2001) rode it all round, including Morocco. Left in France, did two more trips then sold it off. After 15K miles touring I lost 800 UKP on the sale.

Love your in depth reports on your Versys 650's ... so cool! Man, what a bike.
I'll have to try one out. They fit me far better than the 1000 .... BUT ....

But somehow I crave that Fuck You power you (or someone?) referred to regards Versys 1000. Remember, I owned a Tiger 1050 (which left old 955i Tigers for dead). Also want something for LONGER rides and sometimes 2 up.
What do you think?

Also currently have the beautiful 821cc Testastretta lll Hyperstrada. Talk about good handling! Mine has Andreani cartridges and a fettled Sachs shock. Brilliant. But it blew up once ... don't trust it on long tours ... otherwise I'd keep it. It's also very cramped quarters. (seating area)
Will sell it off or trade in for new bike. KTM will be on the block as well.

Could use MORE ROOM and COMFORT ... and as you confirm good handling and comfort on the Versys 1000, I'm encouraged. All the reviews agree. How is it riding steep downhill switch backs on wet roads? Scary or confident?

I wonder if the 1000 might get easier to manhandle on technical roads once you've had more time on it? I find I need time to learn how to ride a big bike
on our bumpy, tight twisty Marin County back roads. Takes me a while to get confident and trust it.

Ducati trust was easy, nearly right away, same with KTM 690 Duke. I did very well on my two DL1000's (after a year learning them!), but could never come to trust the Tiger 1050 pushing it on a tight, twisty road. Somehow the Vstrom just rocked and I clicked with it. Never on the Tiger 1050.

But how many years can you have the same bike? Nothing ever goes wrong and once basic upgrades are done, you're done. Now what?
I just got TIRED of my Vstrom, want something different ... anything!
(first one was 2002 (Suzuki press fleet bike) then an '05) Sold ALL in '06)

I don't mind upgrading suspension on Versys 1000 and I'm hoping I can lower it just a bit to fit my short legs. I love in line fours (owned many sport bikes years ago). How tall is it?

Thanks again for your feed back. What Kawi dealer do you like?

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Originally Posted by flying_hun View Post
I have a Versys 1000 and a 1200 Caponord and two 650 Versys. There are many things I like about the Caponord, but I like the 1000 Versys better overall even though I generally prefer twins over 4's. They weigh about the same.

What I don't see on your list is the 650 Versys. I've written extensively about mine here on BARF. I'm a big fan, and have something approaching 100K miles combined on the two of them.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:50 PM   #6
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Go back to the DL1000. You know the bike. A lot of bang for the buck, large support community and tons of aftermarket stuff to spend your money on.
If you read my post above (last paragraph or so) you'll see my Vstrom history.
Suffice to say ... it's extensive. Love the bike but want something different.

Vstrom in Baja ... 2002. 90K miles (NO commuting miles) on this one, including rides to Canada, Copper Canyon and Baja ... and lots more.

Last edited by Rumbo Sur; 03-18-2018 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:59 PM   #7
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The Honda Africa Twin continues to get positive reviews. Still punches way above its weight, and has the reliability of Honda. Buying used wouldn't be a terrible choice.
Thanks Steve, I have yet to ride the big AT, but have sat on one a couple times. It actually fits me ... and is really not too tall. (a rare thing for me)

But some riders I trust are now less than enthusiastic about their AT's .... many going on the block. One friend ditched his AT after just ONE short ride on the KTM 1090. He took a loss on the AT ... but is all EAR TO EAR grins with the KTM.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:43 PM   #8
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Why no love for the VFR? For me it was a great sport tourer, handled curves and highway miles well. Luggage options are nice and bikes can be found quite affordable. 5th gens have a huge following and I know that people hate the 6 gens bc of the valve checks but they sure do purr.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:19 PM   #9
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Hey Shannon,
I notice you're on a nice comfy BMW R1200! .... not a VFR!

20 years ago I would have been OK with a VFR. In fact, I owned a yellow 2000 VFR. Fiddled with bar risers but the thing would still cripple me doing a long day ... and at the track (I did 2 track days) ... any 600 would easily out perform the VFR in all situations.

It was great in it's day and great on smooth, fast sweepers. One of the best.
As I'm sure you know, the Mags gave it BEST Sport tourer many times in a row. For years, nothing came close. But things do change. Last one I rode was the cool looking one with power bump at like 5K rpm. What was that called? I liked much better than my 2000. Most hated it. They are so cheap now ... but watch out for service costs. BIG time $$$$ for valve adjustments ... or just ignore that and hope for the best ... as many do.

But NO, My body won't easily bend to that shape anymore. One of my track days was a Triumph press intro where I rode my own bike (VFR) and got on a bunch of different new model Triumphs. This in 2003 or '04?

I did far better at Streets of Willow on the Speed Triple than my VFR. So much easier to ride fast on, (for me), more relaxed and more FUN!

Speaking of old school, I'd much prefer my old Tiger 1050 over a VFR, or even a nice 1250 Bandit properly set up ... or your BMW as long as you pay the annual maintenance!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:01 AM   #10
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Hey Shannon,
I notice you're on a nice comfy BMW R1200! .... not a VFR!

20 years ago I would have been OK with a VFR. In fact, I owned a yellow 2000 VFR. Fiddled with bar risers but the thing would still cripple me doing a long day ... and at the track (I did 2 track days) ... any 600 would easily out perform the VFR in all situations.

It was great in it's day and great on smooth, fast sweepers. One of the best.
As I'm sure you know, the Mags gave it BEST Sport tourer many times in a row. For years, nothing came close. But things do change. Last one I rode was the cool looking one with power bump at like 5K rpm. What was that called? I liked much better than my 2000. Most hated it. They are so cheap now ... but watch out for service costs. BIG time $$$$ for valve adjustments ... or just ignore that and hope for the best ... as many do.

But NO, My body won't easily bend to that shape anymore. One of my track days was a Triumph press intro where I rode my own bike (VFR) and got on a bunch of different new model Triumphs. This in 2003 or '04?

I did far better at Streets of Willow on the Speed Triple than my VFR. So much easier to ride fast on, (for me), more relaxed and more FUN!

Speaking of old school, I'd much prefer my old Tiger 1050 over a VFR, or even a nice 1250 Bandit properly set up ... or your BMW as long as you pay the annual maintenance!
Patrick,
You are correct, I sold my VFR for the R1200R. I wanted to experience the boxer engine and found a great used bike for a good price. Couldnít pass that up! Luckily I have friends willing to teach me maintenance. However, if I canít do it, it is the price I am willing to pay for the bike that I have found to be most comfortable. I can ride my r12r for 7 hours and still want to ride it the next day.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:14 AM   #11
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Thanks Steve, I have yet to ride the big AT, but have sat on one a couple times. It actually fits me ... and is really not too tall. (a rare thing for me)

But some riders I trust are now less than enthusiastic about their AT's .... many going on the block. One friend ditched his AT after just ONE short ride on the KTM 1090. He took a loss on the AT ... but is all EAR TO EAR grins with the KTM.

Well, remember the Honda is down on outright grunt, but that alone doesn't make it a bad bike.

Latest quick review from MCN.


https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...enture-sports/
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:32 PM   #12
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Well, remember the Honda is down on outright grunt, but that alone doesn't make it a bad bike.

Latest quick review from MCN.


https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...enture-sports/
A great bike for sure ... but I'm not sure I want a BIG Adventure bike. Off road the Honda bests all but the KTM 1090 ... but still 100 lbs. heavier than my old DR650.

I'm really too old and weak to manhandle something like the AT off road. I struggle with my DR650 and only decent technique from 30 years off road experience saves me.

So for sport touring, I'm thinking more ON ROAD oriented. So many good bikes to choose from. So far ... Versys 1000 leads the pack. (for me!)
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:10 AM   #13
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...or even a nice 1250 Bandit properly set up...
I'll vouch for this. If you're looking at a V1000, compare and contrast with the Bandit/GSXF1250A. The Bandit isn't tech-sexy (understressed engine, simple steel frame, not exactly light, no TC, simple ABS [if equipped]) but it's pretty versatile. There are low-mile specimens for bargain prices out there, and the Holeshot catalog can help you spend the savings.

The OEM seat even has a "low" position that really seems it (to me).
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:11 AM   #14
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The Bandit could be a fun choice. Similarly, how about an FZ1?
Ninja 1000? I know a couple fellow riders on SBR who enjoy them immensely. Some had a factory luggage option too.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:48 PM   #15
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(my previous bike was a Triumph 1050, which simply did not handle well, even with Ohlins and re-valved front end)
Tiger 1050? The only way I can imagine it not handling well is if sag was way off (or rear was lowered) and steering angles were slack. The one I demoed felt like it handled great to me anyway.

Like Kurt, the budget, not too tall (compared to some of the others mentioned anyway) candidate that comes to mind for me is the Versys 650. Best bike I've had for all day day after day comfort.

I've considered a Versys 1000 before but rejected it when I still owned an FZ1 (one I4 at a time is plenty for me). I'd probably consider it more seriously today. I'd probably prefer the better brakes and suspension of the Versys 1000 over the 650, and it's hard to go wrong with a little more power, but overall I prefer twins, and I'd prefer the lightness of the 650 as well.

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Of the Japanese offerings ... well I owned a FJ-09 ... for a week! Hated it. Ridden big Concours 14. Feels too big, ponderous to me.
But to be fair, the used FJ-09 I bought had been butchered and set up all wrong. Horrible suspension and wind screen. Rough feeling with very "off" handling. This in stark contrast to the NEW Demo I rode briefly ... which I loved.
Would you consider an unmolested FJ09?

On paper it beats the Versys 650 is many ways. Its range doesn't meet my needs, but if it did, I would have considered one.
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