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Old 11-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
FishrCutB8 OP
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One Bike to Rule Them All?

I started riding this Summer and got a 2003 Suzuki SV 1000, which has been a fantastic bike. Zippy through the twisties, fantastic acceleration, great as a commuter to work. It looks great, sounds great (Twin Brothers exhaust) and runs great.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut.....Here's the thing. Or rather, the things.


While I was riding, I started noticing these other roads. They're dirt. And, I'm curious about what might be up there. I live in Central PA and there are a lot of dirt trails and fire roads and the like. The thing about the SV is that it's really not up to the task.


Annnnnnnnnnd...


I gave my 14 year-old daughter a ride on the back. And she loved it. And then I gave my wife a ride on the back and she loved it. Except for the bent-over riding position. Even with risers, they are leaning over onto me, which is uncomfortable for them and also puts a lot of pressure on the wrists, especially downhill and when stopping.


Sooooooooooooo...


I've started lurking on this forum and reading a lot, which has led me to wonder, as I think about my next bike, is there one bike that would meet all of my needs? Here is what I am thinking:
- reliable: I am a newbie and I don't want to spend time/money in the shop. I like the SV because the engine is largely bulletproof.
- offroad capable: I'm not going over rock gardens, but it really would be nice to explore those trails, rather than driving past them
- two-up power: the wife and I combined are about 360 pounds and she is 5' 10 (I am 6'). I don't think I will be two-up more than a day or two at a time (though Mrs. Fish continues to surprise me) and more B&b/hotel than camping...
- affordable: I am loving the new Tiger 800 XC but the price is way out of my league. I am thinking $7-8k at the top end
- soul: I'm not sure how you measure it, but if you've been on a bike that has one...


I have put the Buell Ulysses on my list. I was thinking the V/Wee-strom as well, though its soul doesn't speak to me. What other bikes should I have on my list? Recommendations? Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
vicvegas
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Have you looked at Kawasaki KLR's? Brand new they run around 6 grand.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
_cy_
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R80 G/S does it all .. but you'd need a bit extra ump for two up. although several couples have ridden a G/S RTW. Horizons Unlimited founders Susan and Grant Johnson rode their R80G/S several times RTW.

R100GS is better suited to two up, but gains another 50lb. but compared to other choices listed looks light.

G/S was the first of the dual sports so claims the title most soul ... and most desired!

_cy_ screwed with this post 11-22-2012 at 08:23 PM
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
xlcc
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the DR650

it seems one bike will never do,so I have two.Actually I have four.But my sportster that I converted rates high in my books but I also have a DR650 which is light and good all around that I would suggest you take out for a test blast if you want something simple fun and pretty cheap with almost endless possibilities to modify or hop up to your personal prefference.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
Buzzbomber
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Try an easy dirt road on the SV before you do anything else. You may be surprised. I have a WR250R and an SV650, and I have done a fair amount of potholed gravel/dirt roads two-up on both(my wife is a good sport). Honestly, the SV does fine on anything you'd drive a car on, the only advantage the WR has on smooth-ish dirt is that it gets smoother the faster you go (to a point). Once it gets rocky, the SV gets tedious and I turn around, while on the WR, I crack the throttle harder and let the suspension work.

However, I understand the new bike bug, so have fun choosing!
BTDT - I have found that one streety and one dirty bike works for me right now.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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7-8g: you can get very nice ducati 1100 multistrada, even the s with ohlins, for that price used with low miles. bulletproof aircooled mill with plaenty of power and comfort for 2. plenty of soul in the Ltwin.

super tenere is a bit pricey but fits everything youve said, is a bit heavy. however the weight isnt as noticable as youd think.

wee stroms are bulletproof. not for me, but others love them.

would not recomend the ulysses. poorly designed bike.

dr/klr not good two up.

if you ride dirt roads any bike with decent travel and clearance will do. anything more than that get a street legal dirtbike and have some real fun with the proper tool.

the 1100s for 7-8g would be the best bike for the money for what you describe. valves every 7500 i believe and theyre not that tough. very good motor
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
sailah
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KTM 950 would be a solid choice. Mine was very reliable, but did require attention. It has soul aplenty. If you like the sound of the SV with cans you'll also love the 950.

Most of the problems have been sorted by now.

I get nervous when people say they want bulletproof. I understand the sentiment, who wants to work on their bike all the time? Well, I do actually, but that's another story But here's the deal. If you want no maintenance, that makes me feel like you won't look after the bike and those are the people I find have the most problems when they least want them, ie on trips.

bikes like the 950, that require attention, force you to get on your knees every so often and have a look. Which makes you a more aware bike owner in terms of maintenance so you won't have problems on the road.

Other than that, I have a couple friends with the DL1000, one with cans and it sounds nice, but certainly not soul.

Having soul and low maintenance is like meeting a supermodel out a dive bar, probably not happening, and if it does, please let us all know how it turns out. And the name of the bar thank you
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
FishrCutB8 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post

I get nervous when people say they want bulletproof. I understand the sentiment, who wants to work on their bike all the time? Well, I do actually, but that's another story But here's the deal. If you want no maintenance, that makes me feel like you won't look after the bike and those are the people I find have the most problems when they least want them, ie on trips.

Having soul and low maintenance is like meeting a supermodel out a dive bar, probably not happening, and if it does, please let us all know how it turns out. And the name of the bar thank you
Maybe I should be more specific. I don't mind wrenching, but I don't want my bike laid up in a shop for months on end, or nickel and diming me. I am just learning, but I like working on things.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
FishrCutB8 OP
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I have to say, this place is so AWESOME! I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and responses thus far. Thank you.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
Aj Mick
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Get a pair

Like the odd other I reckon you could be better going for a couple of bikes. Let the old Shelia, and the kid (once licenced, but she's not to young to start learning. I started riding when I was eleven) ride their own. The two up malarky is ok for a bit, but I prefer riding solo. Go on your own when you want. Ride in pairs when you want company.

Why not go for something like a Honda CBR250R and a CRF250L. OK only a quarter litre, but they would cover your bases (on and off road) on relatively lightweights that are fun to ride. They are highway capable, and byway in their element.

The pair could be had not much more than a just one bigger machine; less than something exotic. At 70 mpg, and generally cheap to run, they would cost not much more to own than than a single big bike.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:26 PM   #11
FishrCutB8 OP
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Here's the thing about BMWs, and it could be sacrilegious to say it, especially here: I don't trust them. First, the cost of repair on these ,a hinges seems higher compared to other bikes. True or not, I don't know, but that has been my overriding perception.

Second, I have a buddy who had problems with his servo unit on the ABS. His bike locked up and down he went. Not cool. Even less cool is that this has been a documented problem with BMW ABS and they don't seem to be terribly interested in recalling the bikes. They'd rather, it seems, have owners come in and spend the $2k to get the thing fixed.


Like I said, brand me a heretic and burn me at the ADV stake, but I just can't get past that perception...
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:48 AM   #12
Ragin Rabbi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishrCutB8 View Post
Here's the thing about BMWs, and it could be sacrilegious to say it, especially here: I don't trust them. First, the cost of repair on these ,a hinges seems higher compared to other bikes. True or not, I don't know, but that has been my overriding perception.

Second, I have a buddy who had problems with his servo unit on the ABS. His bike locked up and down he went. Not cool. Even less cool is that this has been a documented problem with BMW ABS and they don't seem to be terribly interested in recalling the bikes. They'd rather, it seems, have owners come in and spend the $2k to get the thing fixed.


Like I said, brand me a heretic and burn me at the ADV stake, but I just can't get past that perception...
I will admit I have only had mine for one year and 9,780 miles. Not a lot. To date I have had zero issues (other than cupping the front Anakee 2 AGAIN!!!).

I believe the 1150 is a different animal than the 1200. I will concede the ABS issue. But you can remove it if you want, and the whole process looks to take a weekend of careful work by a novice. Me? I'm keeping it. I have a second servo in case.

No, not defending the brand. Well maybe.

I have read the stories, they are there. But the ride and capability have outweighed the possible downsides. For now.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
2tallnwide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishrCutB8 View Post
Here's the thing about BMWs, and it could be sacrilegious to say it, especially here: I don't trust them. First, the cost of repair on these ,a hinges seems higher compared to other bikes. True or not, I don't know, but that has been my overriding perception.
It's no problem to run them down here, or their owners. I had no idea I was a rich, pompous, brand loyal, stuck up, Starbucks loving, asshat that had no idea how to spend my own money properly until I said something nice about my '05 GS here...



Quote:
Originally Posted by FishrCutB8 View Post
Second, I have a buddy who had problems with his servo unit on the ABS. His bike locked up and down he went. Not cool. Even less cool is that this has been a documented problem with BMW ABS and they don't seem to be terribly interested in recalling the bikes. They'd rather, it seems, have owners come in and spend the $2k to get the thing fixed.
I opted for the non ABS model in '05, looks like I made the best decision in that regard. Although I have no personal experience one way or the other, only things I have read here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishrCutB8 View Post
Like I said, brand me a heretic and burn me at the ADV stake, but I just can't get past that perception...
Heck, that's your opinion, if someone else doesn't agree, or like it, then it's their problem.

If you really want to wad some panties, and have a defender parade, it's as easy as typing POS, & HD in the same sentence..

Just glad I bought my GS in '05 BEFORE joining this forum.....
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizz View Post
7-8g: you can get very nice ducati 1100 multistrada, even the s with ohlins, for that price used with low miles. bulletproof aircooled mill with plaenty of power and comfort for 2. plenty of soul in the Ltwin.

super tenere is a bit pricey but fits everything youve said, is a bit heavy. however the weight isnt as noticable as youd think.

wee stroms are bulletproof. not for me, but others love them.

would not recomend the ulysses. poorly designed bike.

dr/klr not good two up.

if you ride dirt roads any bike with decent travel and clearance will do. anything more than that get a street legal dirtbike and have some real fun with the proper tool.

the 1100s for 7-8g would be the best bike for the money for what you describe. valves every 7500 i believe and theyre not that tough. very good motor
Bloody good call on the Ducati MS... Has my vole too.



Greg
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The NEW "Long Term" WaspWorks S10 detail & evolution thread:
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizz View Post
7-8g: you can get very nice ducati 1100 multistrada, even the s with ohlins, for that price used with low miles. bulletproof aircooled mill with plaenty of power and comfort for 2. plenty of soul in the Ltwin.

the 1100s for 7-8g would be the best bike for the money for what you describe. valves every 7500 i believe and theyre not that tough. very good motor
One of the greatest riding motorcycles Ducati ever produced. It's only real negative is when it comes time to remove the seat.

Fabulous choice given the op's needs/wants.
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