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Old 10-06-2012, 12:13 AM   #16
_cy_
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actually read your super long review... super ten and other modern big bikes are ... well big & heavy.

discovered Elefant recently and have been fascinated at what a nice package they are. if I didn't already have a super sweeet R80G/S. I'd be sorely temped to chase a clean Elefant down.

amazing how cheap they sell for ... several very nice low mileage Elefant sold for $3,500 range.

can't help but compare R80G/S to Elefant ... if 400lb is dry, full of fuel for Elefant would be about 450lb? R80G/S is 368lb dry, 409lb with full tank. 451lb with full 9gal Paris Dakar tank.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 2tallnwide View Post
If cylinders stick out far enough past your legs to make lane splitting uncomfortable, you're doing it wrong....
Might argue that's doing it right... here in LA, if I have a spare inch on either side, we're going through!

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Originally Posted by 2tallnwide View Post

The one thing that bothered me about the Stelvio was the side case placement, much too high making getting on and off a PITA. I can't imagine riding one 2up with them on the bike either. Maybe they can be altered though. Loved the Vario top & side cases on the BMW.

Don't have enough time to ride these days to justify getting rid of the '05 Tiger I have now for another shaft drive. But it's great to have more shaft driven bikes to choose from when I am ready for another bike.
Nice thing about the Stelvio cases is that they're included in the price. In fact, the Stelvio is fully farkled - the BMW costs quite a bit more for the extras. BUT... especially hearing about the BMW ergos, I'm going to go give one a try soon. And definitely nice to have options. Why no middleweight shaft drive bikes? urgh... frustrating.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
actually read your super long review... super ten and other modern big bikes are ... well big & heavy.

discovered Elefant recently and have been fascinated at what a nice package they are. if I didn't already have a super sweeet R80G/S. I'd be sorely temped to chase a clean Elefant down.

amazing how cheap they sell for ... several very nice low mileage Elefant sold for $3,500 range.

can't help but compare R80G/S to Elefant ... if 400lb is dry, full of fuel for Elefant would be about 450lb? R80G/S is 368lb dry, 409lb with full tank. 451lb with full 9gal Paris Dakar tank.

Yes, super long. 4 bikes to review. Should have maybe done separate reviews? Sorry. Thanks for taking the time!

I love my 'fants, was just super surprised that they stack up so well to a modern bike. I really expected to be in a sleepless moral dilemma as I pondered the awesomeness of a new bike compared to my old antiquated hardware. Not so.

Weight is a tricky one. I've heard the Elefant approaches 400, but having not verified it on a scale, I don't know exactly what mine weighs. I know its got a lot of extras, so I'm being extra cautious and calling it 450 wet and fully fueled. I'd suspect it's closer to 415 or 425 tops. I'm 215 buck nekkid, so geared up with boots, helmet, pack, water --- call it 230 lbs? I don't have any problems throwing the bike around.

I'd love to get my hands on an R80G/S to test ride. I did see a very lovely GSPD at BMW ventura recently. It was a 95, so from my thinking, it'd be neat to have a contemporary to my 'fant to park in the garage. I've never been much of a brand whore, I'll ride or drive whatever works best for me - but I have found some of the Italian stuff to strike a chord with me. Something about the fit and experience. I like just about everything Triumph is making right now, too, at least from an observational viewpoint. The Scrambler has me drooling everytime I see one. Would love to get one and add a hack.

Cheers,

Cade
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #19
2tallnwide
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Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
Might argue that's doing it right... here in LA, if I have a spare inch on either side, we're going through!
I remember cutting down my handlebars when I raced enduros, then hitting the trees with my shoulders...at 6'4" 320lbs now I need even more clearance...


Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
Nice thing about the Stelvio cases is that they're included in the price. In fact, the Stelvio is fully farkled - the BMW costs quite a bit more for the extras. BUT... especially hearing about the BMW ergos, I'm going to go give one a try soon. And definitely nice to have options. Why no middleweight shaft drive bikes? urgh... frustrating.
I actually like the bigger bikes better for some reason...

The Stelvio is priced nice for what you get, and I'm sure it is a great bike to boot. It'll be interesting to see how the new water cooled boxers fare, I might be hot for one of them in a few years. It'll have to be a lot better than the Yamaha for me to go that route though, as the nearest BMW dealer is 3 hours away now.

I've got less than $5K invested in my '05 Tiger including the new Corbin seat I ordered for it, and all three OEM cases. Yeah the chain isn't as nice as a shaft to me, but no more than I currently get to ride it's not a $15K PITA either...

On the Dragon a little over a month ago....



On the GS in Dec of '08....





P.S. Thanks for the review, good read, and not too long for those of us without AADD....

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:10 AM   #20
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Just ignore the unappreciative whiners on the length thing. Who gives a rat's whether they read it, after all.

Most of the time when I read reviews of this kind, I find they're way too brief. Either not enough detail, or nothing for perspective, or both.

You've covered the detail and the perspective, in a very interesting way. Great read!

Shame you didn't get more of a run on the Stelvio. I've been reading all I can on it, and from many accounts it makes a lot of its "mere" 90 rwhp. Have had no opportunities yet to ride one. Oh, and when Cycle World put one on the dyno, it made 89.5 rwhp while the Super Ten did 92.2.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:00 AM   #21
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Great real-world review, thanks, answered a few questions for me & confirmed my own impressions too.

And yes I agree with others, ignore the whiners.
The review is too long for them to read but they have the time to post up & moan? get a grip! I really don't understand some folk.

I too will be interested in your impressions on the Beemer, no matter how long it is.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #22
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Love that GS wheelie.

Thanks, all. I'll be sure to post up as soon as I get a chance to ride one. Please be patient with me - schedule at work is pretty killer lately.

That Stelvio definitely hit the high notes... either a shorty screen or a way to adjust it forward 10 or 15 degrees, and that would take care of the biggest complaint.

Cheers!
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:16 PM   #23
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Excellent assessment of the Elefant. Running it up to 11 grand might explain the clacking valves though. Sure is fun but I try to avoid it in the interest of fewer valve adjustments. Nice write-up and just reinforces my thinking that I'll never sell mine.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #24
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Great review. Would love to get your take on the GS.

I'm on my 2nd 1150GS and am seriously considering the Stelvio as the next bike. Did you notice any vibrations on the bars on the Guzzi?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #25
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I think it was a damned fine review and if people are annoyed with the length then they're not interested in these bikes.

It was well-written and your passion was evident.

I read the post because I'm interested in the Explore v Tenere.

Thanks for spending your time on the write-up.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #26
browneye
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Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
Nice thing about the Stelvio cases is that they're included in the price. In fact, the Stelvio is fully farkled - the BMW costs quite a bit more for the extras. BUT... especially hearing about the BMW ergos, I'm going to go give one a try soon. And definitely nice to have options. Why no middleweight shaft drive bikes? urgh... frustrating.
Great review. Took all of five minutes to read. The whiners had trouble with third grade.

I rode the Tenere and GS. Tenere won it of the two for me. Did not ride the Stelvio, passed it up as an exotic. But a good friend is gaga over one so I gave it a second look after I already bought. Doing it all over again it would get much more serious consideration, especially for what you get for the money. Just looking at it I like it best of the three you rode. Explore second, tenere third.

The GS I seen best described as 'agricultural'. It just seems like old technology. The torque from the motor when you rev it, clunky shifting, dry clutch, funky suspension. And the price? Naw. The super black model, and the current 'rally/anniversary' one with the red frame, are really sharp. I just couldn't justify over twenty grand for one.

The Tenere is very v-strom like. Yeah, it's a better motorcycle, but it's just too heavy for me. The ecu detuning in the first three gears really sucks too. I would immediately bypass that with the fuse mod they do. It is SO sorted it is almost boring to ride. Did prefer it over the GS though.

When it came right down to it though they were all too big and heavy for a 55 year old guy with 40 years of riding, weighing in at 170lbs. The shaft drive wasn't a biggie for me, actually prefer the simplicity and versatility of chain drive. So the Tiger XC checked all the right boxes, about a hundred pounds less than those big ones. Very fun to ride, really good for two-up even with the wifey weighing about what I do. The Explorer has a more comfortable seat, but I just couldn't deal with the extra weight. Have since modified the pillion to better suit my passenger.

Since you seem to be hung up on a shaft drive I won't suggest testing out a Tiger 800XC. But it's the one that's getting all the kudos recently. It really is a terrific do-all motorbike.

Let us know how it goes...subscribed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:08 PM   #27
Ham
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Thinc 2

In regards to handle bar vibration. No. Occassionally they shake but not at RPMs that matter. It is kind of hard to explain. I think I know what you are worried about, that annoying fine vibration that does you in...and no...it does not do that. Consider the occassional shake sort of what Harley guys like but much more sophisticated...just reminds you that a beast is between your legs...but then again...you already know that:)
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:34 AM   #28
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Thinc2 - Like Ham said, nothing in the way of vibes that were annoying. Very smooth once running. Yes, you can feel that it's there, but it's really more of a thrum than a buzz.

Bevel - yup, I only do an 'Italian tune up" once in a while, but it sure is fun from time to time. Maybe clicking is a better word than clacking. Faint clicking when valves have just been set to tolerance, and clacking when it's time to check em again. I love that this bike is talkative.

Browneye - yeah, I'm definitely hung up on shaft drive for what I need this bike for. I'm looking for a do-it-all commuter. Low maintenance and high reliability are my highest concerns right now, but not at the expense of riding something I don't enjoy. If I didn't have the 'Fants, and off-roading was more of a need, I think the 800XC would be on the top of my test list, with the F800GS right next to it.

Might get the chance to get over to BMW and try a 1200GS this weekend... will post up asap. Cheers!
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #29
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Great write-up MC. Thanks for taking the time and for your thoughtful comments.

As you can see from my sig, I've either owned or ridden all of the bikes you are considering except for the Explorer. I need to test ride one of them just for completeness. IMO, they're all really REALLY good bikes. Picking one is like picking a SO: it's the little things that will turn you on or turn you off, unfortunately only time will tell you what those are!

One comment I will make is in regards to the Stelvio windscreen. First, the helmet you wear makes a BIG difference. With my Arai XD3, I get buffeting unless I put the screen all the way down. With my Arai Signet or Scorpion, I can put the screen about 1" from it's top adjustment point and be fine up to about 90mph. Above that, I need to drop the screen down more. I'm considering adding this to my NTX for longer trips (MRA X-creen):



For reference, I'm 6'0" w/ 33" inseam.

Last point: The '13 GS looks to be significantly changed from the previous models, so you may want to wait before making a decision until you've given that one a go. Same goes for the new KTM 1190....BIG change from the 990.

What a great time to be shopping for a new big Adv Touring bike!

-SM
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:44 AM   #30
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
weight is a tricky one. I've heard the Elefant approaches 400, but having not verified it on a scale, I don't know exactly what mine weighs. I know its got a lot of extras, so I'm being extra cautious and calling it 450 wet and fully fueled. I'd suspect it's closer to 415 or 425 tops.

I'd love to get my hands on an R80G/S to test ride. I did see a very lovely GSPD at BMW ventura recently. It was a 95, so from my thinking, it'd be neat to have a contemporary to my 'fant to park in the garage.
if you've got a lot of extra's on Elefant, it's probably pushing 475 ready to ride with a full tank.

about 475lb for R80G/S PD with 9 gal fuel, extra tools, 2x tubes, racks, etc. from what I gather G/S is about 50lb lighter than a Elefant. which has 20hp+ more than G/S.

without question Elefant is one of the most affordable Dakar winning bike that one can actually purchase. African Twins are pricey as G/S and much harder to find.
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