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post #1 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 12:23 pm Thread Starter
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Well, maybe not the last one

Hi All,

Previously, I stated that I had written my last post due to the fact I'm getting rid of my RT. You can read about the whys in my earlier post called "My Tale of Woe". However, the bottom line is that I trust the members of this board far more than I trust other reviewers of motorcycles in the general public.

So, I find myself in search of a new ride. To be honest, I liked everything about my '07 RT, but after 3 breakdowns and strandings in 13,000 miles, I just have lost confidence in it. Anyway, I have read and looked at a ton of bikes and I can't find anything out there that does everything I want well. Some do this well and some do that well, but I'm having a hard time finding one that does everything well.

The most important things to me are, no heat on legs (It, absolutely, drives me nuts), stable at high speeds, no helmet buffeting, and reliable. I tend to go on long trips and, usually, find myself in pretty sparsely populated regions.

Bikes that I have had, but traded them in for one reason or another are, Suzuki 650 V Strom (Very good bike, but I wanted something bigger for long trips), Honda ST1300 (Heat was unbearable and very unstable), and an '05 LT (Couldn't get passed the tank slapping motion on decel with hands off. Nothing I did could get rid of it).

So, here is my short list of bikes that I'm considering, even though I have issues with each one. Harley Road Glide. It's just a bike that I have always liked and it is set up for longer trips. However, heat on legs has me worried as does the helmet buffeting. Also, very expensive. Yamaha FJR 1300. Seems, at this point, to be the best choice. However, I have heard, from their board, one rider complaining of tank slapping motion on decel, the same as on my LT and I don't want to go back to that. The pluses are that they seemed to have licked the heat problem, reliability seems great, and everyone says it handles great. The price I can get one for is exceptional. However, I worry about high speed stability and helmet buffeting. The Victory Cross Country sounds kind of interesting, but, also very expensive.

So, if anyone has any good ideas of other bikes, please let me know. Also, if anyone has any first hand experience with the Yamaha FJR, please respond to my concerns regarding that model.

At this point, I really have no clue which way I should go and I plain can't afford to make a mistake in whatever I choose.

Thanks to all,

Roy
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post #2 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 12:50 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Another one to look at is the Concours14.


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post #3 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 1:01 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal
Hi All,


Bikes that I have had, ... '05 LT (Couldn't get passed the tank slapping motion on decel with hands off. Nothing I did could get rid of it).


Roy
Find an LT that doesn't do this. My '99 doesn't.

HTH,
Jer

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post #4 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 1:59 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Quote:
Originally Posted by jers99lt
Find an LT that doesn't do this. My '99 doesn't.

HTH,
Jer
Agreed -- I never experienced this with 4 LT's, spanning both sides of the steering geometry change in '05 -- '00, '02, '05, '06.

Every bike you mentioned fails to meet at least one of your criteria. You have the same problem I had when searching for a new bike -- turned out after much searching that only the RT or the LT had everything I wanted.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 2:17 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Quote:
Originally Posted by jers99lt
Find an LT that doesn't do this. My '99 doesn't.
Jer
That should be an easy one to fix since there are very few easy to diagnose reasons:
  1. Tire Balance
  2. Tire run-out
  3. Bend wheel
  4. Really bad steering damper
My 99 does it consistently right before I replace the front tire due to uneven wear.

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post #6 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 3:11 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Sympathies - I looked at a lot of these same machines before buying the RT. There does always seem to be something that isn't quite "right". Oh, except for the RT

My impressions were that the Concours 14 and ST 1300 are mighty large and heavy for sport tourers - they are both sort of top heavy and the Concours doesn't seem to rotate in corners all that well. If an H-D turns well, I don't know what model it is.....haven't tried them all, so there may be one I have ridden a Road Glide for a full day and in the corners it reminded me of a '51 Chevy pickup I had once - like sitting on top of the truck and trying to coax it to lean and turn corners - not fun.

The FJR 1300 came the closest to something I considered. If you are RT and LT adverse, that one might be worth a shot. Then you can tell US how it compares. The price is certainly attractive.

One could consider your RT a lemon and try another one - the best vehicles still have a lemon now and then, and sometimes the worst vehicles can be absolutely reliable (I once owned a Renault, and there are plenty of old Fiats still around) .


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post #7 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 6:29 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbodave
If an H-D turns well, I don't know what model it is.....haven't tried them all, so there may be one I have ridden a Road Glide for a full day and in the corners it reminded me of a '51 Chevy pickup I had once - like sitting on top of the truck and trying to coax it to lean and turn corners - not fun.
As much as I join in with the poking fun at the Hardley-Ablesons, I'm quite interested in taking a test ride on the new FL's -- I read a short cycle mag review of the new chassis and the basic message was "looks exactly the same as last years's, but man! what a difference in handling!" I doubt the cornering clearance is any better, but it sounds like you can at least pitch it over and hit the floorboards faster, and with more confidence!

Mark Neblett
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post #8 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 6:38 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

If my RT goes a Victory Vision will replace it.
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post #9 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 6:54 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Not trying to be a smart-ass here but, when is decelerating with your hands off the bars necessary?

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post #10 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 7:00 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Check your local Victory dealer. Most of them allow test rides of any model. I rented a Vision for a day, just to try it out.

It's a shame the BMW fufills all of your needs (handling, heat, buffeting, etc) except for the most important one - reliability.

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post #11 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 7:31 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I've had two RT's, an LT and a GS. Was looking for something lighter and quicker and a non BMW for a change even though I didn't have any of the catastrophic failures. Just time for something different. All bikes are a compromise in some area, I don't think you can really have it all. So for now I am riding a Triumph Tiger 1050.

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post #12 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 7:36 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

a good recourse for FJR is at http://www.fjrforum.com/ good luck on your search
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post #13 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 9:31 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

here's a wild idea, don't take both hands off the handle bars. If you are doing some kind of stability test, then you have other problems but like a previous poster pointed out, why is this necessary? While there may be numerous reasons to dislike the LT, I can't see that this one is valid.

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post #14 of 27 Old Sep 16th, 2009, 10:18 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Keep the RT. The bugs are all out of it now! If your warranty is still in effect, purchase an aftermarket warranty. If it's not, look around for a company that will write one. Peace of mind.

As far as the tank slapper with hands off handlebars, if you just HAVE to do a "Look, Ma. No hands!" wave or whatever, set the cruise. It won't decelerate, so there won't be any tank slap. TA-DAH!!!

With all the straight roads coming back from CCR, I just had to try letting go, keeping my hands hovering over the bars. Since the cruise was on, it didn't decelerate and tracked just a straight as could be. Not being a daredevil like I was as a kid on a bicycle, I see no need to let go for more than a couple seconds. Moving at speed, too many things can happen too quickly. Like the old song says, "Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel", er...handlebars! Roll, baby, roll!

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post #15 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 3:56 am Thread Starter
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Thanks for the replies. I'm hoping everyone took my post as it was intended, just looking for honest opinions of other bikes, and in no way am I bashing BMW, in any way. One thing I wanted to clear up. I do not ride with my hands off the bars. When I had my LT, I happened to notice the handlebar slap, completely, by accident (No pun intended). Problem was that years ago, I had a Honda that went into a violent tank slap, at speed, and I got busted up pretty bad. Once you've had it happen to you, it just gets in your head that it's going to happen again because it's just a weird, totally random event. Those of you that have been through a violent tank slap at high speed will know what I'm talking about.

You guys are correct, hands on bars, no problems. Except I knew as soon as I took my hands off, it would be there. And it drove me nuts. Believe me, I (And my dealer) tried everything to get rid of it. I researched and did the all the things mentioned in this thread and about a hundred other things. It just never went away. And I know it was just mental. I knew, logically, that it didn't really matter, as I don't, typically, ride with my hands off and I've, to this day, never heard of an LT going into a true tank slap at high speed.

The rub is I ride motorcycles, purely, for fun. I don't use mine to commute or for anything other than pure recreation. And if there is something that makes me uncomfortable, however psychosomatic it might be, then the bike has to go.

I just wanted you guys to understand my decision regarding my LT.

Roy
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post #16 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 5:45 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Lets see, you did not like the 07 RT, nor the LT, nor the Honda ST, nor the V-storm. Then you want an opinion. LOL!!!

Sounds like maybe you need to ride in a car.........

We have a fleet of 07s since 07, used everyday in all types of weather in all types of duty. Zero problems.

I have a 08 RT with zero problems. I have 99 LT that took me to Alaska and back with zero problems and has 60K on the speedo.

Do not know what your asking here?? Confused??

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post #17 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 8:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Well, all I was asking was for honest opinions from people whose opinions I value, on other non BMW bikes. That's all. In my original post, I said that I liked the V Strom, I just felt it a little too small for long distance touring. As far as my '07 RT goes, it has left me stranded three times in 13,000 miles. Not my imagination or opinion, fact. Last week, it stranded me twice. Once, when a seal in the drive failed, causing it to lose it's final drive fluid. And then, once that was repaired (Quick fix as the dealer didn't have the necessary parts), three days later, a main seal went causing the transmission to eat itself. Again, not my imagination or opinion, just facts. When the last seal went which caused my transmission to self destruct, I was in the far left hand lane of an interstate, doing about 75 MPH, with a car, directly, behind me, and passing a truck on my right. Had the ground up transmission locked the rear wheel, I would have been a speed bump for the vehicle behind me. Fortunately, that did not happen, but I was left with a bike with no power, in the far left hand lane, in heavy traffic, which I had to get all the way to the right and into the breakdown lane. Trust me, it was not my idea of fun.

All of that being said, I, also, mentioned that I like everything about my RT. It's the reliability factor which has caused me not to trust this bike. And I believe I have pretty good reasons why. I am not, nor have I ever dissed BMW. I think they make the most innovative and interesting bikes on the market. If I didn't think so, I would not have bought two. That being said, I think they have some serious reliability issues and I think that has been proven with my, personal, experiences, as well as the experiences of many other riders that I have read about.

Okay, with that out of the way, if I can't ask the people of this board for a grown up discussion of different bikes (Which was all I was asking), then what's the point ?

Roy
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post #18 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 9:03 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Last time I was over at the Cycle Salvage, Which is also a Yamaha/Star dealer,

They had some pretty nice Star cruisers all set up for touring.

I know Lindy's little Virago is dead reliable...As were the three of four I've owned over the years.

John

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post #19 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 9:10 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I know a bunch of guys who ride Yamaha FJRs on very long distance rides. They put on a lot of miles each year. They have had an assortment of issues over time, but the overall reliability seems pretty good to me, especially considering the extra stress they are under. Their owners like them. The recommendation to check out the FJR Forum is a good one.

Have you considered a Gold Wing? According to what I read, they handle better than you might expect, despite their size and weight.

I really want to like the big twins - Harleys, Victorys, and the Japanese equivalents. Sadly, each time I ride one, I remember why I don't like them. I hate the shaking while stopped at traffic signals, and they run like slugs compared with my KGT. In a year or two, I will forget all that and try again.
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post #20 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 9:31 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Royal, I know what you are asking. I hate to see you have trouble like you did with your RT. The LT, I don't know. I have never had that problem but in the back of my mind I think about the final drive when I am gone from the house.
One of my local ridding buddies had a LT and was so worried after reading this board about rear drive problems that he traded it in on a 09 RT. He has only had it about 6 months and had the LT for over a year and both were flawless bikes. He came from a Gold Wind and a Road King before that one. He liked both of them but then again, he heard about problems.
I understand that you didn't hear about breakdowns, you had them. That scares ME. It all goes in the back of my mind for any trip I go on. I wish you luck on which ever bike you pick.

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post #21 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 9:34 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I'll repeat the notion I expressed that the FJR sounds like your next "best bet". I can say that it feels very good, and since they fixed the heat problem (I had a K100RT that too toasty - not desirable) I haven't seen anything about them that sounds problematic. To ride, it feels smaller than the Japanese competitors.

I am wondering if the V-Strom felt small in dimension, or in power? - given yours was a 650 and not a 1000. I don't have direct V-Strom experience, but from what I have read it is a good platform that can be improved to be a better machine. People seem to change out shocks, add fork braces, perhaps change gearing a bit.

Ever considered an Italian? I suppose with reliability a focus, maybe not Still, I am intrigued by the Norge and I will someday own a Ducati - probably as a second bike.


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post #22 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 4:04 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Go back to Suzuki.
This time get the DL 1000 V Strom.
It is kick ass
Do a few upgrades
Ride with a grin on your face with total confidence.

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post #23 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 4:33 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I was just pulling your chain. I have had issues with my all the bikes I owned, cars and trucks. Man made stuff, going to break. Get what makes you happy.

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post #24 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 4:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Thanks for the clarification, Motorman. It is appreciated and I apologize for my short fuse. Work because of our wonderful economy has been extremely stressful. I ride to reduce my stress levels and now, with my bike unrideable for a while, my frustration has gotten a little out of hand. I should have just taken it out on my wife....er, I mean, the gym.

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post #25 of 27 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 5:09 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
I know a bunch of guys who ride Yamaha FJRs on very long distance rides. They put on a lot of miles each year. They have had an assortment of issues over time, but the overall reliability seems pretty good to me, especially considering the extra stress they are under. Their owners like them. The recommendation to check out the FJR Forum is a good one.

Have you considered a Gold Wing? According to what I read, they handle better than you might expect, despite their size and weight.

I really want to like the big twins - Harleys, Victorys, and the Japanese equivalents. Sadly, each time I ride one, I remember why I don't like them. I hate the shaking while stopped at traffic signals, and they run like slugs compared with my KGT. In a year or two, I will forget all that and try again.

I've got to agree, you should try a Goldwing. I just sold a 2005, wanted to try something different. I put 50,000 worry free miles on the bike. It was a great bike, extremely reliable and the handling was a blast. Many consider them only appropriate for the super slab. I disagree of the many trips I took, 80% of the miles were on back roads, preferably curvey ones. It was truly a joy to ride. If you decide to go this route, make sure it's an 1800.

No big deal if you didn't like the BMWs you've tried. Keep looking you find something.

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post #26 of 27 Old Sep 21st, 2009, 10:58 am
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I must second or third the Vstrom vote. If you don;t like the BMW for whatever reason and the Wee Strom is too small? IS that a power issue or chassis/ergo issue? The 650 is same chassis as 1000, correct? I know the motor on the 1000 Strom has plenty of power. I had one and would love to be able to get another, fully "dressed". I love my LT, but I wold hate to be stranded by it. I would hate to have to deal with that and the wife at the same time, if it broke while we were out on it. I never questioned the strom.

Good luck deciding.
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post #27 of 27 Old Sep 21st, 2009, 4:25 pm
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Re: Well, maybe not the last one

I think you should try the Victory Vision. It is a good touring bike, it handles well, you will get some heat on the legs but they do make some lowers to help move are by. Also with the taller windscreen you will find the head buffet acceptable.

I would at least take one for a ride. See what you think. If you think the HD would work then try one of these.

The FJ1300 is a nice machine and I think you would like it as well.

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