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Old 12-28-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
LostViking OP
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Three Bike Monte

Wasn't sure where to put this, as it asks questions about two Roadies and a Thumper. Mods move it if need be.
It is like comparing apples, oranges, and peaches. One thing for sure, they're all sweet.


I currently ride a Super Tenere. A 2014 nicely fluffed with Yamaha Factory bags and other goodies. It works well enough. But I am thinking about a bike that is a tad lower to the ground. And, well, different. The Tenere has 7,000 miles and has done nothing wrong. In fact it does a lot right. But a 5'6"" with an almost none existent inseam, I am at the point where I want to touch more of the ground. Or have a somewhat lighter bike, or some combination of both.

I have drank the "Adventure Bike Kool-Aid" for a long time. Truthfully, it is starting to wear off. Not adventure riding, just today's current marketed version of what an adventure bike has to be. I'm not going to Morocco.

The three that are currently at the top of my list are;
1. Honda CB1100
2. Triumph Tiger 800 XRX
3. Kawasaki KLR 650

My problem is two fold. One I want a new bike. Two, I may be moving from the Adirondacks of New York to the plains of eastern Wyoming (Casper). I understand New York riding, and the Northeast riding in general.

Wyoming not so much. I have ridden through it many times. But I haven't lived there. I remember a MOA rally some years ago when about 70% of the tents were destroyed by wind and storms. Not better or worse than New York just different.

If I was totally satisfied with staying on the road. I wouldn't be typing this. Just snagging the CB1100.

But I have a desire to wander down fire roads and such so I thought I would like open it up a bit. As I have said elsewhere, I had an old Seca 750 that I took many places it should have never been. Many times with gear and a girl on the back. There were no real focused categories back then. Like "Adventure Bikes" or "Super Motards" we just rode what we had. I yearn for that simpler approach more and more.

Enter the new Tiger 800 XRX. Being the Road version it is a tad lower than the XC. And having sat upon last years version. It it has a lower center of gravity than the Tenere also. Seems like an aweful well balanced piece of kit. But the closest dealer to Casper is just north of Denver. No a big deal if things go well. But a ways If you start having issues.

Finally the wild card. The KLR, the go anywhere, do anything bike. Admittedly no closer to the ground. But enough difference in weight that I doubt it would matter. Sitting on the New Edition had me on my toes, but it felt light compared to my Tenere.

1. The CB1100 - All the road bike I would ever need. Enough juice for factory grips and a jacket. Beautiful. ABS as an option. Decent range, Enough spirit to keep me from losing interest. The Belgian folks in Ride Reports have shown me it looks real nice with aluminum panniers. Smooth in line four, tubless tires, standard looks and personality. Easy maintenance. Great scoot.

2. The Tiger 800 XRX. Looking like maybe the sweet spot. The '15 model has cruise control, tubless tires, grips are an option. Plenty of extre jiuce to run things. Decent range, Looks like Triumph paired with Givi and will be offering some nice factory aluminum case options. Just looks like a nicely speced bike for what I seek.

3. The KLR 650 - it needs no introduction. It has hauled folks all over the world. Higher off the ground than the other two. But probably workable. I like the looks of the New Edition version. Grips can be done. No ABS, tubed tires. More dirt capable than the other two. Not a dirt bike, but I'm not looking for a full on dirt bike. Lower tech than the other two. But simple can be good. aftermarket support like few others. Way Cheaper.

As for me, I'm not getting any younger. At 55, I still have a lot of years on a bike left. Been riding since '71 and riding on the road since '78. But speed, competition, and other adrenaline filled activities take an ever decreasing role. I don't want to be found next season by some unsuspecting hunters. I still go everywhere I want to go, just not as fast. I actually use a Spot. So I can signal those who care about me that I am ok. I don't have or use a cell phone. So the Spot serves me well.

I just like to go places. Don't really care where, just like to go. I will ride 150 miles to get breakfast. I camp, so I'll need to stow some gear. I have ridden from coast to coast solo, and most likely will again. I need to get groceries. I use my bike almost exclusively from snow to snow. So it needs to do all the everyday stuff as well as the fun stuff.

Mostly one up, almost always alone. I need a bike that will go for coffee on Saturday to the local diner. Fetch groceries during the week, be ready for a jaunt through the twisties. Or a camping trip on the following weekend. And ocassionally take off for an extended trip ranging anywhere from 1,000 to 12,000 miles.


I know folks will chime in with ideas of other bikes. But I am really focused on these three. I have owned the Big GS, a Quota, the 800 GS, a 950, a Scrambler, the FJR, RT, ST3 and a batch of others. So if at all possible let's try and stick to these three. Because I have probably already tried the others.

I have always said my Seca 750 with heated grips and hard bags would be the "Cat's Nuts" so after reading about Seb and his wife. It reinforces that somewhat. The air cooled CB is very similar to my Seca. And I believe it would serve me well. Plus it is very pretty.

I bopped on over to the Aussie Tiger Thread. And had a look at the 800. Those guys can wring out a bike. If it has short comings they seem to find them. Overall very positive reviews. For the most part the Tiger like the KLR seems well sorted with known issues that are easily remedied.

The KLR has a well deserved reputation. I believe in the bike whole heartedly. I am just not sure it will keep me happy long term. I will most likely never travel anywhere outside the U.S. and Canada. I can find more than enough real estate in those two countries, and enough new people to meet to keep me happy for my remaining years.

So that's kind of it in a nut shell. Price while always a factor, is not 'the" factor. I want one bike at the moment. Perhaps down the road, it will get a stablemate. A KLR and a CB1100 could be the ticket. But for now, as it has been for the last five or six years, "One guy, One bike"

I usually don't ask this type of question because it can be such a can of worms and rhe threads seem to deteriorate quickly. But given the new location of Wyoming and a new bike, I thought I would risk it.

This was after leaving the MOA rally in Gillette a few years back,



Grabbing a Tag for the Catskill TOR,



11,000 mile Bucket List trip to put my wheels in the Pacific.



Chasing mud with the new TKCs,



Camping with the Tenere,



That is kind of what I do. If it helps
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:59 AM   #2
trc.rhubarb
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Remember that outside of Casper can be a long, LONG way to gas.
Make sure whatever you choose has some range on it or you will be limited in your explorations.

Only time I've run out of gas was leaving Casper and went over 260 miles on my HD before running out. Was another 20-25 miles to gas. GPS lied and said I was passing 4 stations that never existed. No cell service either... or cars... or people, buildings, etc..

Lots of unpaved roads too... groomed dirt or gravel but unpaved. I don't know these bikes you've listed beyond pictures but remember that metal fenders will get nasty dents from gravel kicked up by the tires.

Great country up there. Enjoy!
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
Grainbelt
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I have said for years that if my bike was totaled, the tiger 800 roadie / now xrx would be the replacement.

I haven't seen anything to change that opinion, though the Yamaha FJ-09 (850 triple) comes very close.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
LostViking OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
Remember that outside of Casper can be a long, LONG way to gas.
Make sure whatever you choose has some range on it or you will be limited in your explorations.

Only time I've run out of gas was leaving Casper and went over 260 miles on my HD before running out. Was another 20-25 miles to gas. GPS lied and said I was passing 4 stations that never existed. No cell service either... or cars... or people, buildings, etc..

Lots of unpaved roads too... groomed dirt or gravel but unpaved. I don't know these bikes you've listed beyond pictures but remember that metal fenders will get nasty dents from gravel kicked up by the tires.

Great country up there. Enjoy!
Rhubarb,

You speak the Truth! I actually ran out of gas in Wyoming with the Quota. I left Gillette after the Rally and was headed towards Montana. GPS and interstate signs said gas at an exit. I pulled in, there was a station there. But it was all boarded up. Not enough to get back, not enough to get to the next one. So I pressed on until it died. Thankfully, a guy and his wife stopped on a big GS and offered up some gas. That quota ate gas in a headwind.

Now, I always carry extra gas and one of those K-1 hand pumps just in case. just in case I need to help someone else or myself.

Your points are well noted, thanks for the advice.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
LostViking OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
I have said for years that if my bike was totaled, the tiger 800 roadie / now xrx would be the replacement.

I haven't seen anything to change that opinion, though the Yamaha FJ-09 (850 triple) comes very close.
I have to admit, I agree.

The Roadie looks to be a good fit for the type of riding I do. It may not fit what other folks want out of a bike. But I like what I see.

It was a strong contender in '14 the new ones are just icing on the cake!
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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Tell me about your little affair with the XR1200... Just thinking about one at the moment....
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Old 12-28-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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Only Harley I have owned and it left a good taste in my mouth for them. I bought it used with about 1,000 miles on it. Added the screen and the tank bag. Both Harley parts. Both worked really well. I put roughly another 6,000 on it. No issues what so ever. Only bike I know of that can still look sexy in front of an outhouse.



It did nothing wrong. It just got caught in my downsizing spree. You know, that day when you wake up and realize that while your friends have cigarette, alcohol, drug, or other addictions. You have a motorcycle addiction. You realize, it is running your life. You are flying to other states and riding them home faster than your wife can register them. You have to have a seperate file box just for bike paperwork.

Things I liked.
It was a Harley without out being a Harley. It handled well and I was riding a VFR a lot when I bought it. It had enough power. I thought it look cool a s hell. Buell innerds. Hydraulic lifters, no maintenance belt drive. The small explosion it made everytime I hit the start button. After many BMWs, a Sportster engine is quite enjoyable to listen to. Torque everywhere. Vibrated at idle, very smooth everywhere else. Easy on and off for both the screen and the tank bag. Buying used and selling used, almost no financial hit. And I could touch the ground.

Things I didn't like,
Small tank, limited range. Seat sucked, well after about 150 miles anyways. Stay below 100 miles and it was fine. No good passenger options, but I knew that going in. Heard about inner tanks swelling up. Never had any issues. Tje suspension was not great, but the next year they upgraded it.

Overall, I liked it a lot more than I disliked it. I even found myself staring at it today when I posted the picture and wondering if I should just look for another one and set it up better for me. An "Adventure XR" if you will.

It just got caught at a bad time in my life. Other bikes that met a similar fate were a R65, R100GS, R1150R, Triumph Steamer, the Quota, a KTM 640, and a a few others. I would buy them used, tinker on them a bit. Then put them up for sale after riding them for a while. I had a business with a lot of traffic through it, so they didn't usually last too long.

It just got to be too much for me. I truly am a one, or maybe two bike guy. I am much happier with simplicity built into my life. Not just bikes but all aspects of my life. I downsized everything, business, house,mtoys you name it. I shrank it down.
Much happier in my 960 square foot house with my one motorcycle. Than I ever was with all that crap.

I definitely would not wave you off on one. There is a good forum for them type in XR1200 Forum and it will get you there. Personally, I thought losing Eric Buell was a huge loss for Harley.

Any other questions just ask. If I can remember, I will tell you.

It was a great back road bomber.
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Old 12-28-2014, 03:39 PM   #8
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Reading your original post, it seems overwhelmingly clear/obvious to me that you've answered your own question even as you asked it: the CB1100. You said you took your Seca all kinds of places it "shouldn't" have gone; absolutely no reason why the CB can't do the same--and that seems to be your sole knock/hesitation when considering it.

FWIW, I'm right behind you in age and, while I still enjoy a spirited Sunday ride, I know exactly what you're saying when it comes to enjoying a more mellow motorcycling experience overall. As for the KLR, mine never fails to put a smile on my face--and it's set up for road duty with taller gearing and Michelin Anakees--but I'll be the first to say it's really not the machine for traversing the wide open spaces as you 've done/plan to do; it's best left for secondary roads/highways.

Get the CB and just ride the thing wherever you want to go; there's a really clean red one on my local Craigslist that doesn't seem to be moving at $6K. I'm forcing myself to not go look at it.
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Old 12-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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I live in North Dakota and own a CB1100; it's more of an occasional play bike for me as I ride a Super Tenere on long trips. My CB has no windshield at all and I've ridden it in the high winds common to the northern prairie states. Without any wind protection your knees will be forced apart by the wind to the point that you feel like you might tear a groin muscle, no kidding. It's a great bike and I love it for what it is, but be prepared to ugly it up a bit to make it tolerable in high winds.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Takes one to know one! Couple years older and same only different riding and bike history and I also try very hard to control my lifetime addiction to motorcycling.

I am not a brand snob and have such a long list of "someday I will have one of those" motorcycles that I can very much appreciate trying to decide "what now" while being in your, downsizing while still enjoying, place in life's timeline.

I am drawn to the Triumph as it does what the Tenere does for you while providing "better" ergonomics with all the gadgets you may want along with the lovely triple to amuse you. If I went for two bikes I would go after the KLR and the Honda and enjoy their differences while still being able to dabble in the others primary area of intended use. Many miles of smiles on any of them, so be comfy and a bit smitten with the girl you take home. The worse choice will still be great and there will be another one of these conversations in the future ya phooking addict!!

Cheers and Good Luck with the move!
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:00 AM   #11
parkinsonsd
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As my Dad always says, "Beware the man with one gun."

Or one motorcycle.

Be interested in your final choice.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:54 AM   #12
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alright, let's keep it to your list, an in reverse order:

KLR- 'love them, owned two, 30-40,000 miles maybe, from firetrails to I80. That said, I'm 6'2" and the thing is tall for me, 'might be very tall for you. Also, it will do distance just fine but irs not what it does best, 150 miles to the next trail yes, 1,500 miles to the other coast not so much. Next.

Tiger- 'lovely bike, midweight ADV bike but really, you've had a bunch of adventure bikes it seems, what is going to make this one so different? Next.

CB1100- this is the bike you want and a lovely thing it is. If it were a little bit bigger I'd likely have one now. Buy it, add a detachable screen and bags and go, 'plenty of power, smooth, typical Honda build quality and support levels. It's the bike you need now. If you wind up moving out west then pick up a used dual-sport, say a DR650 or 400 or whatnot. At risk of offending the full ADV world, 800cc+ euro bikes are not what you really want on western BLM roads, much less firetrails. Monkeyshit thumpers with soft plastic fenders and strap on aux tanks are, a bike that when you drop it (and you will) just gets pissed off.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #13
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It sounds to me like the bike you WANT is the the CB1100, and I think with the parameters you mentioned, it would be a great choice. You're also smart enough to carry some extra gas, and you have some Wyoming experience already. Boarded up gas stations - yeah, I passed a few of those. Thankfully the DL1000 got me to an open station just before it closed for the night.

I think the CB1100 with the aluminum panniers and top box is just freaking awesome. I may have to do some number crunching on that myself.

Back when I lived in Colorado (Ft Carson), I had a Suzuki GS650G. I rode lots of gravel with that thing. I went everywhere I wanted to go, often with a girl on the back. I never wanted anything more "dirt worthy".

I think the KLR would be a terrible choice. Too tall, and you would get bored with it quickly.

I have visited the Triumph Dealer you mentioned in Colorado. It's a nice place. they do great service. I highly recommend them. They replaced my punctured tire when the Suzuki dealer in Rawlins (or was it Caspar?) couldn't be bothered.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:47 AM   #14
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVoa...yer_detailpage

No need to stress about picking up a KLR. Any year will do, the dubious "improvements" of the New Gen bikes don't make enough difference to temp me. You gain a better front brake and stouter fork tubes , while losing an inch of ground clearance. The swoopy ,slick fairing isn't flexible and won't look so sweet when it cracks open on contact with the ground.

Low mileage first gen bikes are still around and you can find them for about the equivilent of your tax burden on the new Tiger. All aspects of the bike can then be tailored to fit you.

The bike in the video is mine. I loaned to Outland Moto for the weekend and am well pleased at how the vid came out. My goal for the bike is to keep on doing everything with it until it turns over 100,000 miles.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:44 AM   #15
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Sounds like you have experience riding around the West but it is so different than New York. Trips for breakfast will be more like 250 miles, the roads are wide open, and speed limits high. http://m.truckinginfo.com/news/18869...oming-roadways

Whatever you choose I would suggest taking wind management into consideration. Riding at 80-85 mph into a 30 mph headwind without a good windscreen is not fun. Plodding along at 65 mph when others are driving over 85 mph is just asking to be run over.
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