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Old 01-04-2015, 11:01 PM   #1
davidji OP
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Long range shaft or belt drive commuter?

Currently I commute on a 2nd gen Versys 650 and a 1st gen FZ1. I've been wondering if I could switch to a bike with shaft or belt drive and non-linked ABS brakes without giving up the stuff that's cool about the bikes I have.

I don't want to give up comfort, range (min 225 miles, 360km), width (max 33", 840mm), weight (not much heavier than the FZ1, definitely lighter than an FJR), reliability (what's the point of eliminating chain maintenance if the bike has a steady stream of problems, or if it leaves me stranded?). And I want tubeless radials, preferably in common 17 or 19" sizes.

It's surprising how many chain drive bikes meet my wants. And how few shaft or belt drive bikes.

I came up with exactly one bike:
Honda Deauville NT700V ABS. Seems practical if heavy. Not common, but there are some on the used market. If I'm gonna go that heavy, why not go a bit heavier to an FJR? I guess I could ride one and see...

The rare Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 is close, but I don't think US models had ABS. I don't see any at all nearby on the used market, and none anywhere in the US with ABS.

What have I missed? Is there anything else? Dealing with a chain isn't a terrible burden, and if these are the choices I'll probably continue to do so.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:38 PM   #2
turbodieseli4i6
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I commuted on a GL 1200 Goldwing for one year. The weight didn't bother me very much, but the fuel mileage did. I would have preferred my NC700X would have had a drive shaft or belt, since its primary role is commuting year-round.
The NC cured the fuel mileage problem but then I had to deal with chain maintenance. I started reading up on automatic chain oilers and stumbled across the Tutoro's automatic chain oiler and purchased one. That's about the best money I've spent for ease of maintenance. Now I'm kind of glad I have the chain because of the weight savings and not having to worry about destroying a belt on the gravel roads. If you have a bike you like or fits you. An automatic oiler may be worth checking out.
I tested the NT700 before I bought the NC, but the ergonomics was too cramped for my needs. Good luck! .
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:03 AM   #3
advNZer?
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why doesnt someone make a proper chain enclosure?
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:06 AM   #4
Jimmy the Heater
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Most belt drives are cruisers, but you didn't indicate one of those at all so I'll leave them out.

Doesn't the NT700 have Honda's linked brake system too? Wikipedia says it does FWIW. So if you can live with a linked ABS that does give you another few options. Pick your flavor of BMW 1100, 1150 or 1200. I'm not a fan after being a BMW owner, but it would seem to fit your criteria.

BMW F800 GT is a belt drive. ABS available. I personally don't care for the 800 engine but you might like it.

Honda Interceptor 1200 too big?

Guzzi had a Breva 750 for awhile, not sure if ABS was an option.

And here is one WAY outside the box. Ever think of a mega scooter? As far as I know the Burgman 650's ABS isn't linked and it doesn't have a chain.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:32 AM   #5
davidji OP
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Good point about the oiler. I have a PD oiler on the Versys. None on the FZ1 as I didn't want it to be an oily mess.

Chain enclosure with an oil bath? Pretty rare on motos. I think some pre-belt-drive FXRs had them? And some ancient bicycles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
Most belt drives are cruisers, but you didn't indicate one of those at all so I'll leave them out.

Doesn't the NT700 have Honda's linked brake system too? Wikipedia says it does FWIW. So if you can live with a linked ABS that does give you another few options. Pick your flavor of BMW 1100, 1150 or 1200. I'm not a fan after being a BMW owner, but it would seem to fit your criteria.

BMW F800 GT is a belt drive. ABS available. I personally don't care for the 800 engine but you might like it.

Honda Interceptor 1200 too big?

Guzzi had a Breva 750 for awhile, not sure if ABS was an option.

And here is one WAY outside the box. Ever think of a mega scooter? As far as I know the Burgman 650's ABS isn't linked and it doesn't have a chain.
Thanks. I knew there was a reason I'd rejected the NT700V before but couldn't find it when I was searching now: linked brakes.

I don't think the F800GT has the range, else I'd try it. I didn't enjoy the F658GS I demoed a few years ago, but if the F800GT seemed to fit, I'd try again. I know people who like that engine, and maybe it's possible for me to also.

I don't think any VFR has the range. When I bought the Versys, the VFR1200 was available new at fire sale prices and I didn't even consider it.

Hard to imagine a cruiser that meets my needs. Most are form over function. Small tanks on the smaller ones. Larger touring models are much heavier and wider than I want.

The upcoming 2016 Moto Guzzi Stone V7 II ABS sounds perfect except for the bias ply tires. The power is low too. I think it's the same 48hp restricted-license level as a lot of other bikes, but less to the rear wheel through the shaft. If it weren't for the tires though I'd want to check it out.

Looked at the burgman 650 too--not enough range.

I guess now I'm down from one to zero bikes.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:31 AM   #6
kraven
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Harley XR1200 is belt drive, but the range is lacking a bit.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:39 AM   #7
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FWIW the linked brakes on the NT 700V are linked so that the rear brake also actuates one piston of the six on the front rotors. It's pretty mild, and I don't think you could come close to locking the front tire with the rear brake alone. It's a great commuter, if a bit boring by some metrics, but it is plenty of bike for me and. Two wheels and an engine is usually fun!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:50 AM   #8
ridewv
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If you could live with a bit wider than 33" BMW's new R1200R might fit your bill? It has partially linked ABS (front to rear but not rear to front) same as GS's and it can be turned off.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:15 AM   #9
Maggot12
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I've bee asking for this for a few years now and whinning about it on this forum when we here of new models being introduced.

I had a Strom 650, and a CBF1000 before my current FJR. The FJR is an awesome bike and the best I've owned. But it's more than I need and wouldn't mind getting back to the power/weight of the CBF.

I was hoping Yamaha would have a shaft version of the new FJ-09 or a smaller Tenere.

The FJR will stay until it can be replaced by a similar optioned lighter motorcycle. Which I don't think will be soon.....

Good luck in the hunt.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:37 AM   #10
Ogre_fl
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Assuming you are OK with used, there were the BMW K1200/1300R bikes.
Not quite the behemoth something like the FJR is, closer to the Gen 1 FZ1.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidji View Post
Chain enclosure with an oil bath? Pretty rare on motos. I think some pre-belt-drive FXRs had them? And some ancient bicycles..
The 80's Yamaha 920 had an enclosed chain.

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Old 01-05-2015, 09:50 AM   #12
Lomax
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Guzzi V7, Honda CB700SC ? Both good bikes.

Marc
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:03 AM   #13
EddyB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advNZer? View Post
why doesnt someone make a proper chain enclosure?
Because nobody needs it. Well maybe 3 people on the planet earth.
It used to be common when chains were made from cheese-steel.
I know I would not want it. Over last 6000 miles I have not tightened my chain. But have removed rear wheel for a few times to do maintenance. Now how much more hassle would it be if there was an enclosure full of oil... Thanks no!

WD40 is wonderful on chain as it cleans it and lightly lubes it too. Yes I do have to lube it more often if it is raining but no more mess of cleaning a chain that was always there then I used bike specific chain oil. Even motul white chain oil was too much hassle.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:16 AM   #14
sfrider300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidji View Post

The upcoming 2016 Moto Guzzi Stone V7 II ABS sounds perfect except for the bias ply tires. The power is low too.
Does it really matter that much for a commuter?

I'm firmly in the "chain maintenance is not a big deal" camp, and I'm deep in the middle of that camp. Out on the fringes of the camp are the folks with chain oilers, happily roasting marsh mellows with clean hands while I am still manually oiling my chains every 4-500 miles.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:41 PM   #15
Scott of the Sahara
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I have the 1st gen. Moto Guzzi Norge 1200. It has shaft drive, ABS (swichable) and a 225 mile range to fuel light coming on. 6 gallons @ 47mpg on a trip. They can be purchased for a very reasonable price. Not for everyone.
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