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Old 01-19-2013, 09:57 AM   #1
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Adventurebike Suggestions.

Hey Guys,

Thought I could work this out myself, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

I'm 55, 6'-1"/200#, in OK shape, and have been riding dualsports and dirt bikes since I was a teenager.

I have the little bike/scooter ('75 CT90) and light weight dualsport ('10 Berg FX450) covered.

Even with these 2 wonderful machines, I find myself wanting a third bike. The kind of thing I'm wanting is: good on gravel, better on pavement. Not too fat (< 400#). Good for 2 up. Good for longer rides (300 mile days) and good for trips of up to a week. I'd like fuel injection and 6 speeds. Budget is $5k or so, less would be better.

Bikes I've looked at/considered:

KTM 950 Adv. - Seems best, but it's too big, faster than I need and more complex/expensive than I want. Still might be the best choice. I do like them and KTM's in general, I've had EXC's and a 640 Adv. in the past. 690 Enduro - Maybe, prolly do everything I ask except the "good 2 up" part also prolly outside budget. Too close to the Berg I already have?

Ducati Multistrada - The 1000's and up are too big and fast. I thought one of the 620 ones might work but they aren't really "good on gravel". I do like them (the 620). Elefant - Ticks all the boxes. I like it. Kind of an antique now. Hypermotard - I like the smaller ones. Not really sensible for my use.

Aprillia Caponord - Too big/fat/fast. Pegaso - no 6 speed, single cly., a bit dated. SVX 550 - really cool bike, not remotely sensible for my use.

Cagiva Gran Canyon - Getting closer, still a little fat. Cool bike though.

Buell Ulysses - "good on gravel"? not really. Seems like a fun bike but I'm not convinced I'd like it. A little large.

Kawasaki Versys - Probably a good choice, but doesn't wind me up.

Suzuki V Strom - Ditto

BMW GS - The big ones are way too fat. The small ones - meh. The old ones are antiques.

Triumph Tiger - Too big/fat/fast. Don't think any of the newer smaller ones are in budget.

Anything left that I missed? Any suggestions/comments on the ones above? Am I just full of crap and searching for something that doesn't exist?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRG View Post
Am I just full of crap and searching for something that doesn't exist?

Your self-imposed constraints paint you into a corner, and there are no bikes
waiting in that corner.

Either you have to spend more money than $5K or you have to give up
certain of your "wants" because the intersection of the sets of what you
want and what you can afford is empty. In other words, there are no
bikes which fit all your stated requirements, so either you do without a bike
or you relax some of the requirements so you can actually have a bike.


To me the choice is very obvious : a 650 "Wee" Strom does most of what you
want to do. Of course it won't have problems like a KTM LC8 bike will
( and I OWN an LC8 950 so I know first hand of the various issues with
LC8 bikes ) but on the other hand the Wee will get you down the road just fine
and be cheap to own and operate. The Wee is fast enough, handles well enough,
is reliable, can be bought for a price that works with your budget, and will be easy to
re-sell when the time comes. What's not to like ?

By the way, regardless of price, I wouldn't have any of the Italian bikes you mentioned,
or the Buell, or any of the BMW GS bikes. The big BMW GS in particular is one of the most
over-rated and disappointing bikes I have ever ridden. I got back on my 950 SE after
riding a 1200 GS and the first thing that came into my mind was : "Now THIS is what
a motorcycle should be like !" The BMW is a ponderous overweight sluggish thing,
and the control layout is stupid, and the brakes were over-assisted like a Cadillac
or something. All I can say is that the people who own them must not have ridden
many other bikes, either that or they don't care about how a bike feels while riding it.
The BMW is the two-wheeled equivalent of an SUV which would never ever actually do
any serious off road but pretends to be able to do so. Sure, you can take that pig off road,
but why on earth would you want to ?



.

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
Your self-imposed constraints paint you into a corner, and there are no bikes
waiting in that corner.



By the way, regardless of price, I wouldn't have any of the Italian bikes you mentioned,
or the Buell, or any of the BMW GS bikes. The big BMW GS in particular is one of the most
over-rated and disappointing bikes I have ever ridden. I got back on my 950 SE after
riding a 1200 GS and the first thing that came into my mind was : "Now THIS is what
a motorcycle should be like !" The BMW is a ponderous overweight sluggish thing,
and the control layout is stupid, and the brakes were over-assisted like a Cadillac
or something. All I can say is that the people who own them must not have ridden
many other bikes, either that or they don't care about how a bike feels while riding it.
The BMW is the two-wheeled equivalent of an SUV which would never ever actually do
any serious off road but pretends to be able to do so. Sure, you can take that pig off road,
but why on earth would you want to ?


.
I don't think he likes BMW's
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Several of the bike mentioned in my original post can be had for $5k or so.

Of those, the Ducati 620 Multstrada, the Cagiva Gran Canyon, and Buell Ulysses appeal to me most - in that order. I don't see a well cared for example of any of these being difficult or expensive to own and all 3 have enthusiast groups followings to help out the novice.

The 620 MS meets all stated desires except "good on gravel" at or under budget. It would also sill be newish. Not being too good on gravel is just my impression - how good/bad is it? Can it improved in this regard? How?

The Cagiva Gran Canyon seems to do it all w/ 2 minor negatives - it's a little big and it would necessarily be a bit older. I'm OK with both of those if it really does do all I asked well. Comments? A nice '00 can be found for $5k. There's a nice older one in the FM right now (elefant).

The Buell Ulysses - I have the least knowledge/feel for this one. I'll do some more reading, but some input on how it might do (on the stated desires) would be great. The comment above about it somewhat gravel capable sounds better than I thought it might be. It's also a bike that intrigues me and would be stepping outside my normal comfort zone, which could be a good thing.

Thanks for the help so far.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRG View Post
Several of the bike mentioned in my original post can be had for $5k or so.

Of those, the Ducati 620 Multstrada, the Cagiva Gran Canyon, and Buell Ulysses appeal to me most - in that order. I don't see a well cared for example of any of these being difficult or expensive to own and all 3 have enthusiast groups followings to help out the novice.

The 620 MS meets all stated desires except "good on gravel" at or under budget. It would also sill be newish. Not being too good on gravel is just my impression - how good/bad is it? Can it improved in this regard? How?


Thanks for the help so far.
I'm a the original owner of a 2006 Multi 1000S. Love the bike. Lots of personality. It's been super reliable (has 37k on it). Never ride two up but many do. I'm not really a fan of the 620, especially since the 1000 or even the 1000S may be purchased for 5k.

The Multi does fine on gravel. Tire selection is key.

You might check out multistrada.net for more info.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roostar View Post
I don't think he likes BMW's
Or on-road riding


Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanCO View Post
I'm a the original owner of a 2006 Multi 1000S. Love the bike. Lots of personality. It's been super reliable (has 37k on it). Never ride two up but many do. I'm not really a fan of the 620, especially since the 1000 or even the 1000S may be purchased for 5k.

The Multi does fine on gravel. Tire selection is key.
Exactly.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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Nothing great in the price range? 2 sizes of Multistrada, Buell Ulysses, Cagiva Gran Canyon, Triumph Tiger and Scrambler- some great bikes right there.

The KLR meets most wants, but doesn't "wind me up". Same for the Versys and V Strom. This is not a comment on the quality/merits of any of these. They are all very good bikes that can be had for <$5k.

Sounds like 8 or 9 great choices to me. Why would I need/want to pay more? Unless your favorite is not among those I guess, but I see almost too many choices, not too few.

BryanCO - I'm starting to zero in on the Multistrada and am pleased to hear yours has been trouble free. If you don't mind - what about the 1000's makes you prefer it over the 620's? What's your tire choice for gravel? Any other mod's/setups that add to off pavement performance? Any specific years/models to avoid or seek?

Thanks a million

Edit - Aagghh, another really cool one http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=857004
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRG View Post

BryanCO - I'm starting to zero in on the Multistrada and am pleased to hear yours has been trouble free. If you don't mind - what about the 1000's makes you prefer it over the 620's? What's your tire choice for gravel? Any other mod's/setups that add to off pavement performance? Any specific years/models to avoid or seek?
]
1000/1100 vs 620 -- extra performance; single sided swing arm; better spec on some standard parts; availablility of the S version (I have the S with the ohlins).

I ride very little gravel. I don't mind gravel, just don't use the bike that way - just bought a Tiger 800 XC for that, and have a 450X.... I've been running Michelin Pilot Road 2CTs which is a sport touring type tire. A road/trail tire would be more suitable for dirt/gravel.

I've done a lot of mods to my 1000S but they were more for ergos and sport touring - well, and some jewelry....

With respect to gen 1 Multi's, I really haven't seen a trend in terms of issues with certain years. The 1100 was the last iteration and has a wet clutch. I like the dry clutch and run an open cover -- but many don't like it for various reasons.

I rode both the Tiger and Multi today -- both great fun. I kind of put the Multi up for sale (winter here CO so interest is low) but really think I need to keep it. For me, after 6+ years, it still puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.

Good luck with your search and do check out multistrada.net as you will be able to get a bunch more info than what I was able to supply.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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I don't think he likes BMW's
Some of us love them, and haven't had to replace our GS's fuel pump/filter/water pump/vapour lock/etc etc etc.

Doesn't matter though, he's not interested.

for 5grand he'd be better off with an old airhead but the V-Strom is about the only thing he'll get worth riding. but it will handle gravel okay and you can do a 300 mile day on it. Of course the OP said this:

good on gravel, better on pavement. Not too fat (< 400#).

And we all know a V-Strom 650 is about 490 pounds wet. So there goes that idea.
Gotta admit an old airhead GS (dead simple) well maintained and high miles for 5K is a good choice.
Maybe an old Transalp?
I actually liked the Scrambler idea quite a lot.

Would anyone here recommend a 5,000 USD used KTM SE950 with 80,000 miles on it?

(has there been one made it that long?)
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Some of us love them, and haven't had to replace our GS's fuel pump/filter/water pump/vapour lock/etc etc etc.

Doesn't matter though, he's not interested.

for 5grand he'd be better off with an old airhead but the V-Strom is about the only thing he'll get worth riding. but it will handle gravel okay and you can do a 300 mile day on it. Of course the OP said this:

good on gravel, better on pavement. Not too fat (< 400#).

And we all know a V-Strom 650 is about 490 pounds wet. So there goes that idea.
Gotta admit an old airhead GS (dead simple) well maintained and high miles for 5K is a good choice.
Maybe an old Transalp?
I actually liked the Scrambler idea quite a lot.

Would anyone here recommend a 5,000 USD used KTM SE950 with 80,000 miles on it?

(has there been one made it that long?)
Myself included.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #11
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Thanks wizz.

I think the 620 Multistrada is a clear winner here. It's apparently better on gravel than I first thought and can be made better. It's very good on pavement. It's right at 400#. OK for 2 up. Good for 300mi. days and w/ bags can do week long trips. 6 speed and fuel injected - check. Very nice examples can be had for $4k. What's not to like?

Thanks to all who took the time to respond here.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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Hitting that price point, < 5$K, I'd think the Strom is the only one that meets most of your other criteria. Less than 400#'s is tough too, don't think that there are many multi cylinders that are that light.

Going to need to prioritize a little more with that list of wants.....
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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Maybe a Triumph Scrambler because u like European bikes and its got a cool factor.

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #14
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V Strom - just doesn't "do it" for me. I know they are good bikes, I just don't want one. So those are out.

Triumph Scrambler - Defiantly cool. Kind of outside the box, but worth thinking about.

I don't think I'm really asking too much and I am willing to give a little on some of the wishes. Hell, my old Transalp did most of it. So far I'm liking the Cagiva Gran Canyon - any comments on that? Otherwise, the 620 Multistrada seems good except for the gravel part. Anyone ever done a 19" front wheel conversion on a MS?

Keep it coming. Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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What's the reason for the $5K limit, poor or cheap? Either way, with the European bikes, like the Cagiva, they're cool, but getting parts for one is only going to get more difficult. If you just want a low buy-in, maybe that doesn't matter.

What kind of gravel roads are you thinking about? Smooth and graded? If so, you'd have more options with a full on street bike. Since you mentioned the Ulysses, maybe one of the older tube frame Buells? My VFR is a fuelie, and you can find those around for less than 5. Maybe an FZ6? Older Bandits are wicked cheap as well (don't think those are FI though). Sub-400#s, fuel injected and less than 5 grand isn't possible.
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