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Old 09-30-2010, 07:53 AM   #1
Gila Monster OP
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950 Adventure vs. Adventure S

I'm in the market for a 950 adventure and wondering if there is a significant difference in performance between the Adventure and the Adventure S models. I understand that the S has about an inch or so more suspension travel and taller seat height but I'm not sure what else might be different and how these differences affect performance either on or off road.

The taller seat height on the S should not be much of a problem for me as far as just getting my feet on the ground since I'm about 6'4".

I have read that the S feels less stable just because of the higher C of G. I guess the simplest way to ask my question is to say that with all other things being equal which would you pick and why?

Thanks, Chris
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
mousitsas
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A high CG is advantageous to stability, not detrimental. However, the S has softer suspension which might give the impression of inferior stability.
All in all, aside of looks, if you want more fun on road than off, you get the short version and vice versa. If you get the tall bike though and dont like it, it is more than certain that you will find a member here to exchange suspension with, since the tall ones seem to be more sought after.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #3
T O Double D
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The S suspension is night and day better both on road and off, but especialy off. Plus it has much better ground clearance. If you want to go fast get the S, if you're looking for a touring bike get the standard, although at your height you'll look funny on such a low bike.

Best to take them for a test ride and see which feels right to you.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:48 AM   #4
charlie264
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If you like the ADV try the SE.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:06 AM   #5
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I have a 32" inseam and preferred the Old S (the tallest S) specs. If you're 6'4" it's a no brainer to go with the S imo.

I consider the SE to be better than the adventure but that's a different discussion I suppose.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
cdub122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousitsas
A high CG is advantageous to stability, not detrimental.

Nope..
if that were the case, why would they go to all the trouble of forming the tanks like they are, putting the battery at the bottom, having a dry sump, etc. They went to great lengths to lower the center of gravity on these bikes. The benefits are more suspension travel and greater ground clearance, both great things, but there is a sacrifice in general stability because of the higher center of gravity.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
mousitsas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdub122
Nope..
if that were the case, why would they go to all the trouble of forming the tanks like they are, putting the battery at the bottom, having a dry sump, etc. They went to great lengths to lower the center of gravity on these bikes. The benefits are more suspension travel and greater ground clearance, both great things, but there is a sacrifice in general stability because of the higher center of gravity.
Nope...
They did so to make the weight more manageable and enhance the maneuverability. The lower the weight is, the less it seems to be. Next time you try to balance a mope with your finger, try to do it from the brush end and report back. There is a low of physics according to which the less the stability is, the higher the maneuverability will be (and vice versa).
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:12 AM   #8
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The only real other difference is in the 990s where the S lacks ABS (but you're not looking for a 990).

Given your inseam, I'd look for a nice used 2004 which was the tallest S available. It shrunk in 05/06 and didn't go back to full height till the 07 990S.

I'm seeing 04 bikes around $5k now. Just make sure all TSBs have been done and you'll be fine on it. Plus you can get the Go graphics bike.

When I got my 06 (regular) it had been raised to 04S levels but it was too tall for my 29" inseam. 34" .... luxury as they say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuru
I'm in the market for a 950 adventure and wondering if there is a significant difference in performance between the Adventure and the Adventure S models. I understand that the S has about an inch or so more suspension travel and taller seat height but I'm not sure what else might be different and how these differences affect performance either on or off road.

The taller seat height on the S should not be much of a problem for me as far as just getting my feet on the ground since I'm about 6'4".

I have read that the S feels less stable just because of the higher C of G. I guess the simplest way to ask my question is to say that with all other things being equal which would you pick and why?

Thanks, Chris
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:40 AM   #9
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Interesting replies. Keep em coming. Thanks.

I like the looks of the S better but that is probably just because I am coming off dirt bikes not street bikes. What really matters to me is function.

I hope to get a ride on an adventure soon. I have a couple of buddies with them but I have deliberately NOT gone for a ride because I knew it would end up costing me a lot of money.

I have to admit that I really like the blue and orange color scheme on the S but I've never seen the regular adventure in those colors.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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I've only been seriously shopping for a few weeks and I'm wondering how frequently these show up. I'm sure I could be happy with a regular adventure so I'm wondering if it is worth holding out for an S.

There is a 2005.5 950 s for sale here on ADVrider that has been made "full height S" suspension which I assume means the 2004 height. It is $7800 which is a long way from $5000. I contacted the seller (Yardstick) because he is not too far from me but he seems pretty firm on the price right now.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #11
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$5000 would be a steal. I may pick up a spare for that price :)

As far as S or non S. I've seen Adventure riders that wanted to get an S, but I've never seen an S rider who wanted to get a non S.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:10 PM   #12
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Couldn't agree more

If you're coming off of dirt bikes (have you owned a ktm?) and are tall enough to ride one, then the S is a no brainer in my opinion.

That being said....those guys riding almost all pavement (I don't know any) might feel the ABS is a feature worth having.

Me...I like to leave skid marks, don't need the ABS.

I do know though that sometimes when the iron's hot and you've got dollars in your pocket, that it can be hard to wait for the "perfect" bike.

Good luck with your search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINNDIAN

As far as S or non S. I've seen Adventure riders that wanted to get an S, but I've never seen an S rider who wanted to get a non S.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:08 PM   #13
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I currently ride a 2008 KTM 250 xcw and a 2005 450 mxc. One of those will have to go to offset the cost of the 950 but I really like both of them so it will be a hard decision. I mostly ride technical st so the 250 gets the most exercise but the 450 is more of an all around bike.

I have definitely made the decision to get a 950 and right now it is about getting the right bike for the right price but as you say the iron is hot and being patient isn't one of my virtues. Being cash poor helps that a little though.

What does it take and how much does it cost to upgrade the Adventure to the S suspension?
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:22 AM   #14
snarley
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I currently own a 990S Adv, and ride it places blokes on 400s would be struggling. If your a skilled rider it's amazing the places it will go. That xtra suspension is also good for jumps !

Would have to be the best bike i've ever owned, oh and the blue dakar graphics look great too.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:47 AM   #15
The Mariner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmtnracing
If you're coming off of dirt bikes (have you owned a ktm?) and are tall enough to ride one, then the S is a no brainer in my opinion.

That being said....those guys riding almost all pavement (I don't know any) might feel the ABS is a feature worth having.

Me...I like to leave skid marks, don't need the ABS.

I do know though that sometimes when the iron's hot and you've got dollars in your pocket, that it can be hard to wait for the "perfect" bike.
People way more experienced than me have said that the suspension travel on the standard ADV is more than enough for it's intended use. It's also easier to handle daily and around town because of it's lower seat height.

The ABS system is just another thing to think about considering maintenance, and if you have ridden bikes in the past without it you won't be missing it. The control unit takes space under the seat, or so I was told and there is minor weight increase.

These thoughts of the owner of a brand new R. Finally a bike tall enough to see over the traffic properly. Also the first bike for me to make me straighten my ankles or having to lean it when stopping

My advice is to go with the carburated S if you are in the market for a used one. Many people don't like the snatchy operation of the EFI(which is pretty unnoticeable with the ADV compared to other's with LC8) and carburettors you can do with little experience on your own.
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