What "Other" Bike Q - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 2:05 pm Thread Starter
 
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What "Other" Bike Q

I am hoping I will have the opportunity shortly pick up a "other" bike for
x-mas, (other then the LT and the track GXR) for solo dual sport purposes- mostly to be used to explore the miles & miles of Upper Michigan, Ontario, and Minnesota dirt roads and two tracks, not to go Dakar-ing... As much as I would like to get an HP or new GS, its not in the cards ( building a new house, sucks $$ like a shop vac....) I have about $6K , and am considering the following

1) new 650 Kawasaki KLR

2) used 1996-99 GS, and I expect in my price range, w a few miles on it.

3) newer but not new KTM 640 Exec, or similar KTM

Any other suggestions? comments/rider views on these choices? thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 2:20 pm
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If it were me I'd add to the list:
Suzuki DL650 V-Strom (used, new might stretch the budget a bit)
New '07 Suzuki DL650 ABS V-Strom, which would stretch the budget, but maybe finance part of it. The ABS and twin cylinder power would allow more safety, comfort, and easy interstate travel if necessary to get to the twin track area of your choice.

My second choice would be the Kawasaki KLR-650, but you give up a LOT (lighting, alternator size, brakes, power, engine smoothness, and overall fit and finish) You gain a larger fuel tank, if it matters.

I'd dismiss all the other choices, primarily due to the "dirt track" style seat on them, which is great for standing up, but isn't comfortable just putting around all day. The above choices are FAR more comfortable.

Ruben

2012 K1600 GTL
2007 R1200GS Adventure
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post #3 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 2:46 pm
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Go ride a KTM

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post #4 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 2:47 pm Thread Starter
 
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Is the V-strom suited for two track? looks like it would handle a dirt road Ok,
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post #5 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 4:21 pm
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You should be able to find a decent R1100GS in that price range.

David Taylor
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post #6 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 5:10 pm
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Go ride them all!

Heres a suggestion that you probably wont get from anyone else. I love my BMWs, but I have been looking for a street legal bike that is better suited for riding modest trails and rugged forest roads. After trying out all the usual fare (KLR, DR-Z, KTMs, etc...) I test rode a Husqvarna TE610E. I preferred the Husky and for me (just my opinion folks) it was a very easy decision. So if you get a chance, you might add this to the list. I recommend the 2006 model as they have some significant improvements over previous years. If you can find a dealer that still has some 2006 models, you may also be able to get a great deal. There are also some used 2006 out there if you really look. and yes, I do have a custom seat that makes it extremely comfortable. I would recommend this for any bike, however.

There is a lot of good information on the Adventure Rider website. My advice is to get all the data you can and listen to all of the opinions. In the end, however, get the one that calls to you. BTW, the bike that was most recommended to me turned out being my biggest disappointment. It vibrated so bad that I thought I was going to loose some teeth, but others would tell you it is the only one to have. Good luck and enjoy the hunt!

Reelman
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post #7 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 6:00 pm
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I would take the used GS, a year before it went over the 500lb mark.
Rock
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post #8 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 8:03 pm
 
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Unless you want to go long, ( by your description...you don't ) I would not get the GS, and I own one! Too fookin big for the two track and north woods. I grew up in Mich. so I know the kind of riding you describe.
I use the GS to replace the LT as a LD tourer that gets dirty. It is a dirt ROAD bike... not a dirt bike. I live out west and cover a lot of big landscapes. I think a KLR would be the shizzle for the woods. You could still carry a bit of gear and not spend all day picking the thing back up.

Good luck.
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post #9 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 10:34 pm
 
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Question Slight hijack, but still pertinent...I think.

I always read these threads with much interest because I know the day is coming when I'll be shopping for a dual-sport bike. But I am truly confused about one thing. Why is it that a few people always recommend the VStrom (650 or 1K), meanwhile ALL of the cycle rags always rate these bikes dead last in their comparos? My impression from these articles is that the motors are anemic, the suspension sucks, and they aren't even good for dirt roads...let alone serious off-road riding.

- Confused in Cleveland
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post #10 of 13 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 11:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I always read these threads with much interest because I know the day is coming when I'll be shopping for a dual-sport bike. But I am truly confused about one thing. Why is it that a few people always recommend the VStrom (650 or 1K), meanwhile ALL of the cycle rags always rate these bikes dead last in their comparos? My impression from these articles is that the motors are anemic, the suspension sucks, and they aren't even good for dirt roads...let alone serious off-road riding.

- Confused in Cleveland
Not to contribute to the hijack...

The V-Strom 1000 was actually #1 on my list until Saturday, since I didn't expect to ever find a GS for such a good deal in as good a shape as the one I got. A few things about the V-Strom that stuck out to me -

The motor - I had a TL1000S for a few years and that thing just plan ROCKED! The motor in the V-Strom is the same unit, just updated and tuned differently. I had never heard about anyone thinking it was weak, and I knew adding even a mild street pipe and freer breathing intake/air filter would open that thing up plenty if I needed more "oomph".

Cost - You can get onto one for around $9k brand new, and if you work a little bit probably a little less. That's pretty cheap for a well equipped 1000cc bike.

Availability of used ones - Actually, the complete lack thereof. I've searched a number of time on eBay, Cycle Trader, Craigs List, etc., and if I ever found even 1 or 2 nationwide for sale on the used market I felt lucky. Most of the time there were none. I could always find 650s, but I didn't want no dinky little bike.

Owner Loyalty - Only comparable to what I've seen in BMWs (I don't count Harley loyalty since most guys don't know why they own them, much less attempt to ride them). Every person I've talked to loves the bike, wouldn't dream of not having it, and says getting it was the best decision they had made on a bike. They are open about the issues they've had (which are few from what I can tell) but the joy they get from the bike far outweighs any problems.

Aftermarket - There's a load of stuff out there for it, so you can rig it for as heavy, light, long, short, dirt or whatever type of riding style you want to.

If this GS hadn't fallen into my lap with such an enticing deal, I am 95% sure I would have bought a new V-Strom, probably next spring.

David Taylor
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2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!



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post #11 of 13 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 8:32 am Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all for the info, lots to think about- I am considering distances, as the intent was to ride anywhere, paved, dirt or reasonable 2 track, not go true boonie riding- In early 1980s I had a Husky 500 single, enduro, w/ a head relief valve trigger next to the clutch lever- the thing had sick torque, and was a kick start...( thye make a great chain saw as well) .....
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post #12 of 13 Old Nov 18th, 2006, 9:20 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith
Unless you want to go long, ( by your description...you don't ) I would not get the GS, and I own one! Too fookin big for the two track and north woods
Thats why I said get one of the years before it turned into a fat pig. I guess it depends on the person picking it up off the ground.
(Big being a relative term)
Rock
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post #13 of 13 Old Nov 18th, 2006, 1:06 pm
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in that price range i think the v-strom is the best choice. the bike has a very avid following. you can find out more here:

http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/
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