2-up Beasts?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by elementalg20, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Melcher, Iowa
    Looking for input on 2up capability of a few of the slightly older beasts, 1st gen caponord, 955i Tigers, and maybe the v-stroms. I like the TDM's but I'd like something with EFI. I plan to avoid bmw's in the future so despite my admiration of the GS's I don't see one in my future. Anything I'm missing that'd be a practical 2up beast, say available under $6k(cheaper the better, not ready to buy cheaper does =sooner though)

    Also of note, I'm 5'10" 195lbs, 32" inseam, wifey is about 5'6" and roughly 160lbs. We are both 30yrs old. Not likely to carry a ton of gear(no camping) but do intend to have a full set of bags.

    Crazy as the difference is, I'm weighing my options between a beast, and a touring cruiser of some sort. I actually like the road glides, and electra's(as eye candy, sit test is nice too), but I've not ridden any of the cruisers and am not going to spend the money these bring. Something like a rocket iii would be entertaining though and I've seen them setup for touring fairly reasonably, royal star ventures are cheap but carb'd, if I could swing it I'd even consider a used GL1800.
    #1
  2. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,851
    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    Buell Ulysses? You can get a good 2006 for around $4 - $5k with bags. Nice engine, great suspension, lots of character. Never owned one but they are on my list of bikes to own.
    #2
  3. MXG

    MXG Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Camrose,Ab
    V-Strom 1000. Best bang for buck. The Buell had too much "character', sold it as soon as I could.
    #3
  4. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Melcher, Iowa
    The Uly is a cool bike, but I think some of it's flaws, as I percieve them are just a little to large for me to deal with. They are supposed to be very good 2up though.
    #4
  5. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,851
    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    Yes, the Buell is definitely the anti-Strom! Definitely polar opposites.:rofl

    If you get a Strom, go for the 1000, the 650 is too gutless for two up on the hwy.
    #5
  6. sperz1

    sperz1 UnStudly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,054
    Location:
    Pensacola, Fl
    That really depends on what type of riding you like to do. I love my Uly, but the thought of a long 2 up trip (600+ miles) terrifies me. The suspension is a little soft IMO for that.
    #6
  7. NONAME13

    NONAME13 NONAME13

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    99 NORTH
    The strom is the only way to go other than tiger 955i for affordable fun.The wee was good and very smooth personally it did not feel gutless to me even after selling my HP2 great bike though. The big Vee I have now is great two up and wife approved except the engine sounds like a bag of rocks compared to the wee. Bang for the buck there are plenty of Vees for sale cheap often well farkled.The wee however is cheaper to insure and easy to sell with lower milage. I'm smitten with the Vee and can't sell it because its pretty freaking sweet and the wife loves it, great bike awesome two up pretty close to a VFR minus two cylinders. As for a two up cant go wrong with either buy a Beemer and your partner will ride next to the tow truck driver or leave you for maxing your credit on repairs and services .
    #7
  8. Ockrocket

    Ockrocket Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,502
    Location:
    Windsor NSW [near enough]
    #8
  9. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,477
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Some years ago, German magazine Motorrad had a big pillion comfort comparo. In their top-10, if I still remember right, were four big trailie bikes: Caponord1000, Varadero1000, Vstrom650&1000.

    (And DL650, while naturally won't match the 1000-1200cc options, does two-up highway / long-distance touring better than any other 650cc motorcycle.)
    #9
  10. hdxbones

    hdxbones Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    CT
    FWIW, my wife prefers the pillion on my Roadglide. You won't find any HD touring bikes in the $6K range though. You can find plenty of Ulysses though. I say don't dismiss them so easily, with luggage they can do it all, highway to fire roads, solo or 2-up.
    #10
  11. tweeder

    tweeder Farkle Queen

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    You folks sound very similar to my wife and I, except my wife is 5' and 125 pounds. I have a 2007 DL650, and have a total of about $6k into the bike-front suspension, Ohlins rear shock (amazing), skid plate, engine guards, soft luggage, exhaust, etc. We are very happy with the bike, and I happily row through the gears a little more when riding two up versus what the extra power of the DL1000 would allow me to do.

    With the combined mass of you two, I would recommend at least a re-spring of the stock DL shock, if not a RaceTech rear ($500). Makes a big difference when hustling through the corners loaded up.

    It has been flawless and cheap to maintain, and doesn't feel like an appliance to me. I have ridden a 1200GS for a week with the wife, and while it was a great bike, I couldn't justify the price for our situation.
    #11
  12. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff Man of Mystery

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,075
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    My K4 Wee-strom got high marks on comfort from all pillions (even on some longer trips). One of them mentioned that she preferred it to the Concourse 1400.

    For those trips the wee was set-up with panniers and a top box containing our clothes/sleeping bags for the trip. Loaded up like that it was no rocket, but it handled everything without strain.

    I have a first generation FZ1 (with some suspension work) now that handles really well with a pillion. They seem to find it comfy, but there might be less room if I had panniers on it.
    #12
  13. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,654
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    My wife & I found the Vee to be an excellent 2 up bike, very good passenger ergos and a roomy seat. It has plenty of torque for the extra weight, passing at will is not a problem, even loaded at higher elevation.

    We now ride a Stelvio and it's about the same in regards to 2 up riding if you relocate the luggage. In the stock location it's very high and forward which can limit passenger room and complicate boarding. With the luggage relocated it's excellent for 2 up riding.
    #13
  14. ERD

    ERD Custom Rider

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    386
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    If you get the Ulysses, look for the XT model as it has lower and stiffer springs compared to the X. It also comes standard with 3 hard bags. It cost about the same as a regular X model, and has more cruiser friendly features (road fenders, taller windshield. etc).
    #14
  15. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,445
    Location:
    Summerville, SC
    The Uly's suspension is fully adjustable so you can make it as "un-soft" as you want. Neither this guy nor his wife are particularly hefty. I've done 500+ mile days, and my wife and I (who total a bit more than the OP) have done 350+ mile days without a problem.
    #15
  16. oldoval

    oldoval Frank Orator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    786
    Location:
    Cedar City, UT
    I see a lot of votes for the DL1000 so I'm going to go ahead and go against the grain here. I had an '06 V-Strom for about a year and 10,000 miles that I bought specifically for two up riding. I fucking hated that bike. Crap aerodynamics...... tried different screens, Madstad brackets, nothing fixed the horrible buffeting and noise for me. Crap suspension......on smooth pavement it was OK, but felt cheap over anything with texture. Two-up at walking speeds (like in traffic), the bike wobbled like a drunken sailor. It seriously felt like a '60s chopper. We weren't overloaded either, I'm 185 and the wife is 115. I did like how the bike handled at speed though, it was the only bike I've had that would scrape the passenger pegs. Oh and the seat is pretty comfy. Engine always felt rough and unrefined like it belonged in a superbike......oh wait, that's where they got the engine.

    I'm not sure why this bike gets so much praise. Maybe because it's cheap?

    I posted a similar review on another forum back when the bike was new and received some pretty hateful feedback. So for the record.....experienced rider, lots of two-up, etc, etc.

    For two-up I suggest looking at bikes with quality suspension. Adding a bunch of weight to something with spaghetti suspension is a bad combo.

    Early Honda STs, FJRs, etc, can be had cheap and they handle a passenger like they are invisible.
    #16
  17. MXG

    MXG Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Camrose,Ab
    It isn't that the Strom is a really great motorcycle, it's that it does pretty much everything you want for a reasonable price. Are there better bikes? Absolutely, but not at that price range or with the reliability. Spend some dough on a new shock of some sort,stiffer fork springs and ride it.
    #17
  18. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Melcher, Iowa
    I actually test rode a vstrom and thought it was very awkward at slower maneuvers. At the time i chalked it up to the larger front wheel and just being a different bike than my own. Was the only bike I've experienced that on to that degree. Thought it was just me.

    Anyone done 2up on a multi 10/1100? Always found them appealing. I want a bije my wife will ride on and not hate but reality is she would only be along for rides 300 miles away or less.
    #18
  19. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,851
    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    If you reject a Buell for unreliability, you probably won't like an old Ducati.

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
    #19
  20. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Melcher, Iowa
    I don't really think of the uly as unreliable. It's got a few faults depending on year, with electrical connectors, wheel bearings etc. I'm fairly familiar with the bike. But from what I understand, the trans is a bit clunky, I've looked a few over and the "riders view" from the seat seems strange, stuff looks cheap(gauges, levers, etc). None of these things by themselves are deal breakers but they add up. If I found one parked in my garage I wouldn't cry in my milk about it, just not certain it's the bike for me.

    Duc reliability....yeah I'm not sure on that one either. I'd like to think if you found one with new belts and the valves done, consumables in check, and the recalled tank issue sorted out that it'd be a reliable bike. Many say the 2v 1000/1100's are nearly bullet proof and fully capable of 100k miles or more. I'm sure some have had different experiences. I do have a friend with an S4r(04) and besides crazy priced valve checks the only thing that has failed was a starter.

    I was killing time in our classifieds and there is a nice versys 650, and a nice multi 1000 in there, along with a couple of tigers. I simply asked myself if I had to get on one and ride it right now what one would I want....and now that damn duc has been in my head all day. Granted I usually find a new lust every couple of days while window shopping god only knows what I'll end up with being I likely won't buy anything now until after the first of the year some time in all reality.
    #20