ADDING a street bike to a dual sport thumper!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Benduro, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    So, I've been riding my one lunger a lot. 12000 miles this year, which, considering I'm away at work on an oilfield for a month at a time, 5 times a year...
    Anyhow, my DR 650 is set up like a dirtbike, and I ride it like one. Upside down showas, 35+ lbs lighter than stock. And I live in a river canyon and have really progressed as a rider to where the DR just isn't enough bike for me when it gets to slab time. Recently, I made a run from my town (El Portal, in the canyon just down the river from Yosemite Valley) to Casper Wy to see an old buddy of mine. The route I took was 1100 miles there and 1700 miles back, which I accomplished in 4.5 days of riding(combined). Which was mostly lying on the tank, left hand on my fork tube, elbows in, chin on tank bag, 80-85 mph as much as I could. The whole time I was thinking about an xb12x or wee strom. Anything.
    Well, on a regional forum I'm on, there's a beautiful Super Chicken and a hot-ass Bandit.
    Both are very good deals and are a hell of a lot of moto for the money we're talking about.
    The concept of a v-twin appeals to me for the flat torque curve throughout it's range. However, the few times I've ridden my buddies' inline fours (raven edition R1, Honda Fireblade), I sure have liked the quick revving and suck-your-eyeballs-back acceleration. The Bandit is a lot more visually pleasing to me, being kind of a classicly styled, retro sport-standard. But the engine looks so wide. Which may just be a visual effect of it being a naked. And I'd probably put a mini headlight cowl ala Buell on it. I've never had a faired bike, and being in the wind isn't a deal killer at all to me.
    The VTR's engine is a thing of beauty to me, but half fairings are the ugliest thing in the world to me. I know I'd appreciate it in the wind, but I'd also like to be aesthetically drawn to the bike I choose, though that's not a big enough deal to me to be a deal-breaker. These are both rider's bikes and that's what I'll be doing.
    At this moment, I'm leaning towards the Bandit, just because all I've ever owned are 'zooks and I think their motors are superb.
    But that may be reason enough to try a Honda. I know people love them. And I know they can be super-reliable, which is high on my list of criteria.

    What can those of you who've ridden these or similar bikes, tell me that I may be overlooking, as far as criterion to help me compare the two?
    Both are horrible on fuel (32ish mpg) and have relatively small tanks for that fuel economy. Luggage options for both? I'll be using the bike for longer multi-day trips, and canyon blasting.
    My girlfriend lives in Sonora, two hours away on one of the best motorcycle roads in the world, Hwy 49 between Mariposa and Sonora which I access by riding the awesome Merced River canyon! And she works as an ICU RN, so she is sometimes working for 3-4 days in a row, so I'd be blasting up the 1 and 101, hwy 36, etc to see family in Or and Wa, then zooming back.
    Bottom line is either of these bikes would be worlds better than my poor flogged DR!
    Thanks in advance, guys. Feel free to JM it up, but I really am looking forward to hearing some stuff I never would have thought of from the most diverse in knowledge, experience, and personalities...group that I've ever experienced.
    Thanks.
    The VTR with dual Jardine cans.
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    The Bandit.
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    #1
  2. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    Awesome. 140 views and not a single reply. Maybe I'll move it to the basement, where at least I'll get heckled.
    :cry
    #2
  3. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    CAn't go wrong with a Bandit.
    #3
  4. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    Yeah, they've always appealed to me. Which do you think is higher in the insurance bracket?
    #4
  5. James Adams

    James Adams ɹǝsn uʍop ǝpᴉsdn Administrator

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    Call an insurance agent and find out for sure. I'm sure it varies based on state and insurance company.


    But I'd pick the Bandit without a second thought.
    #5
  6. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    I had a 1200 Naked Bandit when I lived in the Bay Area. It was an awesome bike. I redid the suspension which is the only weak point of the bike if you are going to ride it hard. It was jetted and had a Remus carbon fiber pipe that sounded awesome. It was all day comfortable and had tons of power, even two-up. Mine was an older carbed version (2001) and it is one bike I wish I never sold. I miss that bike.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    EastSide, this one is also an '01. Dealing with four carbs scares the shit out of me! I've never even had to deal with two on one bike!
    #7
  8. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    I understand it is a little intimidating, but it really isn't hard once you do it. Personally no matter which route you go I would get an actual service manual and join a Bandit/Suzuki specific forum. I understand the "scare factor" though. The only way to get over it is to do it. Just read up on whatever it is you are going to do, take your time, take pics etc of things you are unfamiliar with so you have a reference of what things are supposed to look like etc.

    Or find a good shop (easier said than done sometimes) and have them get it right and do things that you are comfortable with to start out and work your way up form there. If the carbs are balanced properly, re-jetting isn't very hard. It is just a matter of unscrewing things and putting them back together. If it is running good, don't mess with it.

    With that pipe and the way my bike was jetted I got pretty horrible mpg but it was worth it because the bike was a monster, but was a total sleeper. The thing had such a steady torque you could pull power wheelies easily in the first 3 gears. The only bad thing was that it ate rear tires.
    #8
  9. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Bored Silly

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    Superchicken for me. It has a lot more soul than any Honda should.

    I miss mine terribly.
    #9
  10. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    Thanks, guys.
    The pics I posted are the actual bikes for sale that I'm considering. The Superhawk has 30k on the clock but has been well maintained. $2200
    The Bandit has lower miles and I can get it for roughly the same. I think they are both solid deals.
    #10
  11. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

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    Don't forget that there is middle ground between the vtwin and the i4. You can always go for the Triumph Street triple and get the best of both worlds. I loved my daytona. The size was perfect, the weight was perfect, the handling was amazing. Even when my buddy and I would go hit up the canyons he would always want to give up his s1000rr to go have a blast on the small triple - which I surely didn't mind the mind boggling speed of the rr.

    When I went to trade my daytona in, it was for a street triple. Hands down the best lightweight "sport bike" ever made. Had the dealer not been a complete dbag I would be on a Street triple now.

    But I went for the dual sport and don't regret it at all. As soon as the money is available I'll put a street triple in the garage.
    #11
  12. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    The street triple is high on my list for sure. If I wanted to get rid of one of my bikes, then I could justify the money I'd have to loosen up to get one. But since I'm keeping my other bikes, and both of these are just a hair over two grand, picking either one wouldn't kill my ski money.
    #12
  13. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    Of the two I would go for the Suzuki- it'll get better fuel mileage, better range, has a more familiar seating position to what you are used to, and is a hell for stout platform. With just the minimum maintenance those engines will see you through 100K miles without an issue, and there is a lot more power lurking within if you want it.

    The Honda is a fantastic machine in it's own right, but the example you have looks to have been repainted and the pipes are misaligned, suggesting it has met the ground once or twice. It is a better choice if you intend to spend most of your time apex strafing but the Suzuki will be friendlier for longer jaunts.

    They both have carbs so you will have to learn about those in any case- the Suzuki just has twice as many. The Suzuki has easily adjusted valves so maintenance may be a little simpler, although there are twice as many valves to adjust. Were I making the choice, my largest concerns would be damage and maintenance history. Either would be gangs of fun, and both are known reliable steeds.
    #13
  14. nitrouschris

    nitrouschris adventure wannabe

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    The honda is cool, but for the sheer simplicity of parts and maintenance the Suzuki would be my pick. Having a race/ mechanic background, Suzuki was pretty smart with a lot of parts interchangeability between models. The honda is a good bike for sure! But parts are more model specific. Just my input...good deals both ways !
    #14
  15. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    Two-up the Bandit wins hands down. The Super Hawk is a cool v-twin, but for the riding you describe, the Bandit is the more comfortable choice. In the end though it is the one which you will enjoy the most, practicality is not the most important reason for most of us who ride. Good luck!!
    #15
  16. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Bored Silly

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    Says the guy rocking a RC.... :lol3

    I have a Speed Triple now. I'd put it square in the middle of the Hawk and the Bandit, but with better handling / worse comfort than either.
    #16
  17. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    I recently looked at similar bikes to add a reasonable road bike to my garage at a economical price. I like Vee twins too and here's the results of my "testing". Bear in mind I'm 57, 5'9" 70 kgs and am an average rider.

    Suzuki TLS: lots of power, fat, ugly and too cramped riding position for me, needs suspension work to actually handle. I liked the power but the riding position was too extreme for me.

    Suzuki SV1000: Good power better riding position (can be a naked bike), simple suspension that needs work to get the best out of. Looks butt ugly to me. It was just another bike to me, no soul was stirred, would be a good track hack.

    Suzuki GSX1200: Great motor, dobs of torque, again needs suspension work to handle reasonably (bit of a trend here), re-jet and exhaust and it comes to life but just another bike. I liked the riding position and the reasonable weight of the thing but again no soul was stirred.

    Z1000 (06) Just for a comparison with the GSX, nowhere near as torquey, lots more like a 600 to ride (needs constant revs and gear changes) but I liked the size (smaller) and handling.... too expensive, bugger!

    Honda VTR. I really wanted to like this bike, great motor, gearbox was ok, riding position ok but it felt like a barge, heavy, slow steering and I struggled to get it to turn when I wanted it to. Reliable (cam chain tensioners?) and thirsty with a great sound but too heavy for me. I want a 600 size frame with 1000 torque.

    Honda 919 (Hornet).. dunno what you call them. 600 size upright bike with a lovely motor, handled better than the Z1000 but it needs a decent exhaust and felt a bit bland / boring. I fell asleep looking at it.

    ZRX1100, Fuck yes, but mostly cause it was like the GS1000 I used to attempt to race. Great motor, lots of attitude and fun but a bit heavy, defiantely heavier than the rest of the bikes! I was grining from ear to ear!


    I bought a Ducati 900ss (1995) and am now happily spending my days working on it rather than riding it! :D
    My decision was based on getting the right combination of riding position, small / compact bike size, light weight and good torque output and the most important bit, the bike that puts the biggest smile on my face. However, I'm not suggesting the Ducati as your solution, you have to love the things to want to own one.

    Have fun riding the bikes that appeal to you.
    #17
  18. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    Yeah, the RC is a more dedicated ride, comfort was not in the design brief. It is in the Flea Market right now!!! Bottom line is, I got in a trade with the thought that it would be fun to ride sometimes. I just don't ride it enough though, mainly because it is just too ridiculously fast and I have very little self control. It really is a hard bike to ride slow. So I finally decided to put it up for sale. The KTM is plenty fast enough for my tastes and I can behave enough (usually) on it. The RC just begs to go-go-go.

    I love Speed Triples by the way. One of my favorite bikes. When I bought my KTM I was so close to getting the 1050.
    #18
  19. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Bored Silly

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    I'm trying a 950SM on for size next. It was between that and the S3. I love twins.
    #19
  20. Benduro

    Benduro I<3CrayCrayVaJayJay

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    You guys are awesome. The Bandit it is.
    Now I just have to hope it's still there when I get home from this oilfield in 2.5 weeks!

    The 950sm is also very high on my list (want to try a super duke as well some day). Came close to buying one here, but it had a plasti-welded tank that still kind of leaked, and when you went back to the owner's previous posts in his history, he'd been basically pulling his hair out for the 6 months he had owned it, with carb issues.

    I'm pretty sure that this particular bandit is fairly sorted. I'll learn more now that I'm swayed in that direction.
    I don't know what it is, but I sure love suzukis. I think they have great engineers.
    #20