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Old 02-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #16
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: usually the garage
Oddometer: 604
I hate to say it but the bike that would probably best suit your needs isn't imported into the US as far as I know - the TDM900 Yamaha. You could look at the TDM850 which is older and a good bike. Good motor, good pillion comfort and a nice ride. There's a thread on here about them and asking in there might turn up a very good one at an affordable price. They more or less last forever, so mileage isn't a problem.

By the way, I'd love a Burgman, but I'd have to ride it at night... I've only had a couple of bikes under 500cc in my life and one of them was a 250cc Honda scooter a guy up the road was throwing out. I picked it up, spent about $50 fixing it and rode it round town for a couple of years. One of the most fun bikes I've owned. A mate had a Yamaha T-Max 500 along with his normal bikes and traded it in on a Kawasaki 1700 Voyager; talking to him last week he said that even after two years with the Voyager he still preferred the T-Max for 2 up highway riding, and he's not a 'scooter person'. Used Burgmans are incredibly expensive here, so I'm saved from becoming a social outcast.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:09 PM   #17
elementalg20 OP
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Location: Melcher, Iowa
Oddometer: 809
I've kept my eye open for a good deal on a TDM850, usually when one turns up it's way too far from home, or simply more money than I feel it's worth.

I've got to go over some important money stuff with the misses, but I think I've found my bike. It's a little more than I should be spending, but it's imo very much worth it. Already has 3 piece hard luggage and one very comfortable looking aftermarket seat(day long maybe?). It's a 2000 R1100RT. I won't know for sure until the end of the week, owner says if I give him my word he'll hold it for me until I can come get in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck!
2007 Victory Vegas Premium....finally I'm back on the road with another steed.

Gone...1998 Triumph Trophy 1200 2000 KTM Adventure 640, 1994 BMW R1100RS, 2002 BMW K1200RS,1999 VFR800, 1996 VFR750, 1985 Maxim X, 198x 250LTD
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:29 AM   #18
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: MA
Oddometer: 14
Maybe it is worth digging deeper into the other options you proposed. I rode an ST1100 for a couple of years,
and while it was not an exciting bike it was a fantastic commuter/weekender. Maintenance was very simple,
it had tons of power, smooth as heck, and would not bat an eye at going 2-up at highway speeds in comfort.
Couple that with the plethora of good aftermarket seats and windscreens and it might just fit the bill.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:36 AM   #19
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Minnyhappiness
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The boxer RT will be a hell of a lot lighter than the ST1100.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:59 PM   #20
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: So Cal
Oddometer: 733
Own Both

I have the good fortune to own both!

The Wee is the smart choice if you want a do everything, comfortable to ride, easy on the pocket book bike.

The Bandit is a ticket getter rocket ship that will make a man out of you.

The choice is yours

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:55 PM   #21
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Oddometer: 1,281
I had a Bandit 1200S. It was a good bike. And Dale Walker, Holeshot Engineering, gets an honest 121hp at the wheel with just a jetkit and a pipe. Very respectable. You might also consider a ZRX1200, my brother had one at the same time as my Bandit, and that ZRX would flat stomp my Bandit in any kind of a roll on, 80 lb ft of torque will do that for you, and my Bandit had a jet kit and pipe on it, although it wasn't Dale Walkers stuff. I found out later about his parts. He is the Bandit guy.

Never had a Wee Strom. I sort of like big bike stomp. I'd buy another Bandit though, a very strong, basic bike. And they are getting pretty cheap.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:33 PM   #22
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 27
Here's a 'local' Iowa opinion: buy the DL650. I've had four Harley's (last two were '06 and '09 'Glides), a Buell Ulysses, and several four cylinder Hondas and Suzukis, and a Yamaha Virago. My two primary bikes now are a C10 Concours and the DL650A. For passenger comfort my wife has found the DL and C10 more to her liking than any of my prior bikes (of which there have been lots...). I must admit the Concours is fun, fast(er), better wind protection but, it is more risky to my license and it has carbs...which I came to despise after having to remove my old CB900 carbs several times.

The V-Strom just works well for everything I want and need it to do, at least after adding luggage, rox risers, sargent seat, madstad, cee bailey windshield, and a fork brace . It's fast enough, light weight, reliable, my wife likes it, and did I say inexpensive to buy and easy on gas? I'm extremely happy with the Strom.

I haven't had a Bandit but I've come to appreciate more comfort (for me and my wife) and wind protection than it would offer.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #23
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Great White North, EH!
Oddometer: 212
I've had both (Not a 1200 but a 1250) and I like the Bandit better. It is heavier, but the Strom carries its weight much higher. Also, I found the Strom seemed slower in turn in- longer wheel base maybe. Lastly, the Bandit is not as badly affected by strong prairie winds. This last was is a biggie for me. Both returned about 50mpg (Imperial, eh!).
Current ride: 2009 Bandit 1250SEA

Previous rides: 2009 V-Strom 650SEA; 2004 Kawasaki Ninja 500ex
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:46 AM   #24
happy times!!
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Back on VanIsle. In Compton.
Oddometer: 9,424
I bought a Bandit 1200 in 1996 and kept it for 5 years or so. I ended up running some Pirelli MT60 (??) tires for it and swapped out the rear shock, spacers in the fork springs etc. Dirt bike handlebars and one more tooth on the countershaft to soften that low gear snappiness. It did help. I rode that bike on the forestry trunk roads in Alberta, it seemed to like gravel. The bike was fun and i think I used to get about 300 kms per tank.
"...once the honey was gone he wandered off, farting and too soon satisfied."

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:40 AM   #25
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Oddometer: 976
Well, I just have to post here

Haven't owned a Strom, but the Bandit is a blast. I know the op has made his mind up, but these bikes are two different bikes. The Strom is a nice comfortable bike. The bandit is a sport bike made more comfortable and with budget parts. I put a hole shot header exhaust, 5 degree timing advance, jetted the carbs, gsxr 1100 intake cam, modified the air box, 1 tooth down on the front sprocket, and then stripped all the weight I could off of it. Damn. Bone stock it did the eighth mile in 7.1 at 105mph, and it was much faster after the mods.

Did San Diego to Santa Barbara on it and it sucked, but twist the throttle on it and holy shit. I have since got into dual sporting and have considered selling it, but everytime I ride it I change my mind.

I don't want to attack the Strom, but from briefly riding one the biggest difference to me was that the Strom could eat miles in any conditions and the bandit has soul. I'm amazed I haven't lost my life or license on it
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #26
Joe 40 ouncer
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: North Slope of the Flint Hills
Oddometer: 15,440
You won't go wrong with either. That said, you're buying used, and if you buy right (and why wouldn't you?) either one will get you your money back if you change your mind in 3 or 6 or 18 months. I've had 3 Stroms, now on a KLR, for no good reason other than I thought it would be fun to own one (and it cheap). But if I did any two-up at all, I'd have stayed with the Strom.

I love me some Bandits, though, and look at them every time I buy something. Like a freight train that has its own rails.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:20 AM   #27
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Joined: May 2002
Location: NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
Oddometer: 5,653
Used Bandit 1200s are the best bang for your buck, used Wee or VStroms are usually over-priced.

Tons of performance mods available for the carb'd Bandit, and they are easy to work on. EFI on the Wee/VStrom, not so easy to mod.

Maintenance wise, Bandit engine/carbs are rock solid, time tested combination since the late 70's. EFI may give the feeling of trouble-free, but in reality who knows after another decade.

Dual 17" wheels on Bandits allow lots of options for tires, 19x17" tires on the Wee/VStrom llimit your choices.
Mankind is doomed & Physics do not lie
Chances favor the prepared mind.
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