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Old 08-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #16
Dark Helmet
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: You'll know when I know...
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Well, as you can tell, many opinions here and all of them are right in one fashion or another, you just have to think about what is right for you.

My bias is towards comfort and flexibility. All the bikes mentioned will do the things you want to do, but I wouldn't buy a bike for just this one trip. If this is the kind of travel you want to do long term (long distance trips, maybe including rough roads) than look for a bike that fits the bill long term.

As I said, I look for comfort and flexibility and the GS's do both. Haven't ridden an 800, but have had an 1100 GS and a 1200GSA and I have done long trips on both and was exceptionally comfortable even on high mileage days (being defined ~ 650-750 miles). Also, I love the way they handle the twisties (have a place in the north GA mountains) and also do a lot of fireroads/jeep trails. To me its hard to find that kind of flexibility in another bike. By the way, I am 5'8" and many would say the bike is too big for me, but I have never regretted buying it and I put a lot of miles on it.

I also have to say that the GSA, while big, doesn't give much away to the smaller GS. On the road I can't think of a more comfortable bike, and on gravel/dirt, the extra suspension makes it that much more fun. I really like having the 8.7 gallon tank for long trips.

But if you don't do dirt and don't ride twisties much, and aren't going to be doing a lot of long haul rides, this bike probably isn't for you.

Think about the long term use and then decide. You'll make the right choice, and if you don't, sell it and buy another one.

Oh, I also have been buying used bikes and I think you can find some nice deals if you are patient and study up a little bit. I bought my last two from inmates here and have been very pleased.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:19 PM   #17
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Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Back to the Island, Sidney, BC
Oddometer: 4,236
Originally Posted by TurkeyChicken View Post
I'm just wondering if I'd want something larger than a 650cc engine. I love my 650 now, but having a little extra HP would be nice for passing semi's on the interstate and stuff.
I thought the same thing. I seriously considered the DL1000 and ended up with the DL650. It'll do what you need. I've put over 21,000 km (13,000 mi) on mine in 10 months and it runs like a watch. I use it for everything - long distance touring, groceries, logging roads, commuting, interstate - I love it.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:46 PM   #18
500,000 miles so far
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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I agree with the previous inmates who encourage you to keep your current bike. It will go everywhere you want to go. You don't need a dual sport bike to go to Canada or Alaska. Even if you wanted to ride the haul road, a street bike with good tires will do the job. There have been lots of Harley's, Gold Wings, FJR's, ST1300's, and even sportier bikes like VFR's and Ninja's make it to Deadhorse.

But, if you are looking for an excuse to buy a new bigger bike, well hell son, that trip is as good an excuse as any. Vstrom, BMW, KTM, FJR, ST... lots of good bikes out there... And a used one that's a couple of years old will save you a ton of money.

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