Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Boredsurfer, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

    Apr 8, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Is it just me, or is anyone else tired of all the mags/website guys doing ADV Bike comparos with either one of the following always happening:

    1) They include a bike (or two) with a 17" front wheel
    2) They always miss one (or two) bikes from the class

    Seems like it is deliberate almost.

    Look I get it, the manufacturers only have so many press bikes to go around, and AD dollars can be at risk if you run some bikes in the dirt BUT some mag must know we want THEM ALL ranked and compared at once on the same DAY and course/route - OFF Road and ON. All bikes, same day, same course, 19" front prerequisite.

    Anyhooo, rant off.
  2. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

    Dec 4, 2006
    Salt Lake
    I hate it when my bike loses for lack of a factory cruise control.:bluduh

    Oh wait, I forgot. I stopped giving a shit a while ago. Nevermind.:D
  3. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Oct 18, 2005
    If you want to be really bad ass, you should say only bikes with 21 inch wheels are considered "adventure". If you allow 19 inchers, 17's should also be accepted.

    A German magazine compared the two KTM Adventure models, the 1190 and the 1190R. The 1190R has the 21 inch wheel. Their conclusion. Unless you really will take the bike out on real off road rides, by the 1190 (with the 19 inch). They say: people who buy the R usually buy the wrong bike.

    KTM classifies these bikes as "travel" bikes, both of them. Not as enduro. Or adventure.

    The comparison with a 17 inch bike with a 19 is relevant for people who are in the more road oriented side of this equation. It is relevant for them. Maybe not for the bad ass that wants the 21 in bike. It is all part of the rainbow. :lol3

    Anyway, why bother? You probably already know the bike you want.
  4. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

    Dec 26, 2009
    El Mirage, AZ (Phoenix Area)
    For the rider that seldom ventures off the pavement, but wants a really comfortable good handling bike, the 17" front is not a bad choice. And now with the availability of a 17" TKC, it makes more sense. Yes I am bit biased having owned a Uly for 2 years.

    I think the popularity of these bikes is people now realize they handle nearly as good as a sport touring bike and they are super comfy on the long haul. It doesn't hurt that they look cool. So I welcome the Ducati and Aprilia and others.
  5. vivo

    vivo Adventurer

    Jan 8, 2013
    We have all read enough to know how these bikes work. It would be cool to see a BIG shoot off but why bother? In terms of actual user preferences, to some extent, it really doesn't matter. I bought a Stelvio even though I know the Triumph has a very good engine, the BMW has lots more farkles, the Tenere is better off road by some degree... but none of that matters. I wanted a Guzzi, a twin and this bike felt better between my legs than some others. For my intentions the bike I wanted was the Stelvio, not the MultiStrada. I don't need a magazine to tell me how good the Ducati engine is and how its so easy to ride fast. I'm not interested in those traits. I'm not interested in hearing the GS or Tenere is best off road until you introduce the KTM and then it stomps them. It doesn't matter to me because these BIG bikes are not the BEST bikes for off road adventures of a serious nature and I'm not planning an epic journey.

    I have to admit it's nice to be rewarded with glowing reports on a bike we ride. It sucks having to justify being on a slug in the eyes of the journalists but sometimes with these bikes it's a bit of splitting hairs, they all are good machines it just depends of what flavor you prefer. Butt t... the Magazines said the Stelvio was better than they thought it would be... hmmm what a nice back handed complement... doesn't matter. I like the Stelvio for what qualities it possesses. If I wanted more of an upright sportbike I would take the Multi, or new Capo. It depends on what is important to YOU, not someone else which is why I am confused by threads asking "Which Bike Should I Get?"
    If YOU don't know, how in the world is it someone else can define YOUR needs and desires?

  6. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

    Dec 4, 2006
    Salt Lake
    ^^^ To bad that's to long to make a sig line. Well said
  7. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    May 5, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland

    Why not quit caring so much, what they think?

    For one thing, the journos often do NOT get to use new machines for more than a few hours, especially if it´s a launch event. Cannot possibly tell everything about the bike (from an everyday user point of view) based on that very short test. And secondly, if it´s a comparo, it is their ´mission´ to rank the bikes from 1st to last, but there will still always be a certain amount of their own preferences and biases involved in this. It´s not absolute science, especially on bikes like this, that are not ranked by how fast they can lap around a circuit. For example, the engines are so different in this category: v-twin, parallel twin, triple, inline-four, v-four.... somebody prefers a v-twin, while another person just simply likes an inline-four more. They won´t be able to tell you, which one YOU will like best.

    And also remember, they always ride these things to be able to come up with a story. So they´ll often ´spice up´ things by exaggerating a bit (..and sometimes more than just a bit!)
  8. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

    Oct 11, 2009
    Blue Mnts Ozstralia
    Well said Vivo.

    All I want from a review is some indication of where the bike works well and where it may fall a bit short and as far as ADV style bikes go it means actually taking them off road using competent testers.

    I can make up my mind from there.

    And bear in mind that the latest WOW wizz bang wonder is probably 2.5% better than last years. There is a motivation to sell new stuff for the advertisers.
  9. jjdavidson

    jjdavidson Adventurer

    Jun 25, 2012
    Kainuu, Finland
    And you can pretty easily fit 19" front to Uly, too...
  10. Ham

    Ham Been here awhile

    Aug 29, 2004
    This is an interesting topic. I like to think about convertible car comparos where they spend a page on how hard or easy it is to put the roof up and rank them from taking 15 seconds to maybe 31 seconds....after you own that car and put the roof up a dozen times you got it down flat and any of them do it well. What I want to know is does it leak:)

    So. I think these kind of comparos would be more helpful if they highlighted better the character differences of the bikes. Now I know some of you are hot shit, but the fact is very few of us can or will ride any of these bikes at 10/10ths...just too dang fast and way over our heads.

    I differ about the off road usage, as I think a lot of us do the fire road thing and that really matters.

    A lot is made of 21 inch wheels, which I have on my Dakar...its awful in the sand and its awful on the highway.
    19 inch is a real nice split and my Stelvio out handles it in everything...go figure.

    So what do I like about my Stelvio, well one thing is the engine thrumb...I specifically love it. The Triumph on the other hand is a marvelous engine...and sounds and runs like a sewing machine. Some folks love all that smooth...not me. The BMW is just boring as an engine. The Yamaha is rough in the first few months...I don't want rough. So there you go, just one trait...who one as what we are picking out is what we like.

    So I think all these comparos tell us is just what those riders like. Gees just look at two how can any bike do it all?
  11. RaY YreKa

    RaY YreKa Palanquins RTW

    Mar 4, 2007
    Carried Forth
    MCN (UK) has split their tests now.

    There are many more ADV bikes these days, since they seem to have filled the sport-touring niche in a lot of markets.
  12. BobbyLee666

    BobbyLee666 Been here awhile

    Jul 7, 2009
    Northern Virginia
    I personally like reading reviews about all kinds of bikes. The magazines and reviewers have their jobs to do, and some are better than others, but no one makes you read their stuff. Don't, if it bothers you so much.
  13. whisperquiet

    whisperquiet Long timer

    Aug 24, 2007
    62298 in lovely corrupt/bankrupt Southern Illinois
    So, buy the bike YOU like and ride it--------------the end. I like my Super Tenere and my KLR650.
  14. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

    Jan 13, 2007
    a bunch of years ago when I was shopping for sport tourer, the Honda ST1100 was the favorite of all the magazines. I rode one and liked it, but thought before I bought it I would give the Concours a try. I bought the Connie and never regretted it. Buy what works for you.
  15. dceggert

    dceggert Been here awhile

    May 22, 2006
    Metro Detroit - almost like offroad riding
    I got wrapped up in the latest go around of WC R1200GS vs. Tiger Explorer and started to scratch my head when one set of reviews would say one thing and another set would say something else. I came to the realization that I am listening to these reviewers opinions.

    Now it may be that is exactly why we read these things. We are hoping to hear from someone that has actually ridden the things and has the experience to form an opinion. Unfortunately, like everything else in life, these bikes all exist in some big gray bubble where there are no real clear winners. Yet these writers try to make the comparison black and white or even some huge drama over which is better.

    Case in point - in one print magazine the new Tiger Explorer is rated as 'not off road capable.' Why? You cannot stand on it, the bars are in the wrong place, the suspension is set up wrong, the seat is too wide, the tank intrudes on your space, it has too much power...etc. The writer made it sound like it was only good as a Goldwing competitor. Then I saw a review on Youtube, same shoot out. The reviewer this time said it was comfy to stand on, it was more maneuverable, and it performed offroad flawlessly compared to the GS. What gives? Well on the second review the suspension is not ESA on the Tiger but you need to adjust it for offroad; apparently the first reviewer missed that. Also pointed out is that the bike is overpowered unless you leave traction control on (the first reviewer turned it off because he "hates" the electronics).

    Personal preference and opinion is all it has come down to. Am I paying for these excessively wide dramatized comparisons based on the reviewers stupidity and laziness? It reminds me of why I dropped Road&Track a few years ago and started reading Autoweek. There is something good about everything.

    Why is it so important then? Right here in these forums I read over and over again how the Tiger Explorer is no good for the dirt. You cannot stand up on it, it is too top heavy, it is 12 lbs more than a GS...etc, etc, etc... Parroting the same high drama conclusions of these same reviewers in the mags. Good grief!

    It reminds me of one comment made a few years ago regarding Lincoln Navigators....why do they have AWD with a setting called 'dirt' in the first place? The mags all drive them around in fields, down dirt roads, pulling boats up gravel ramps, etc. and *rate* them based on the performance against a Jeep. The comment came in the form of the above question: "Why have AWD on these at all? The only time the customer will see time offroad is when they miss the driveway!"

    In the scramble to have the latest wild drama review with a black and white conclusion (with as much stupid wit thrown in to boot) these writers cannot see the story because they are all wrapped up in the words!
  16. blues

    blues Been here awhile

    Feb 29, 2004
    Burlington VT
    I'm glad to see all the attention being paid to Adventure bikes. Competition improves the breed.
  17. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

    Feb 21, 2013
    Along the Great Lakes
    I spent my last year in college dreaming about this bike (not mine in this pic), and ended up with it shortly after graduation. The reviews were lukewarm, not "bad" but not great, and sales were just as lackluster. I loved that bike, and took it up and down the US east coast and southern Canada for many summers. I still enjoy looking at pictures of it and miss it, 30 years later. It taught me to treat reviews with a grain of salt and ride what "speaks to me". It may be a Concours, or a Stelvio or an Explorer or a KLR or...? If you enjoy riding it, that's what counts.

    Reviews can entertain, but the bike you ride should be based on what makes YOU happy.

  18. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Dec 17, 2009
    Orange County, CA
    Look at all the wannabe's that went gaga over the Icon Raiden vid. They would show up on the Tiger thread wanting to know how great this new 'dualsport' was. :lol3

    Profesional reviewers are generally experienced riders, but they can't speak for the specific needs and wants of individual riders.

    Remember when it was darn near impossible comparing the latest dirtbikes? Now we're talking vastly devergent design parameters, sizes, and capabilities, oriented to extremely differing riding styles and desires.
  19. phillipsrog

    phillipsrog Been here awhile

    Nov 22, 2010
    I love these discussions about magazine reviews. If you're reading this forum, you probably already have a bike, and thus a vested interest. You're likely to agree or disagree with any magazine based on that bias. You want your purchase validated. We all do. It's human nature.

    Writers (and magazines, or websites) have their biases too. So we can point fingers all we want, but no one in this equation is truly objective.

    Where I see the value in reviews is they give one person's (or magazine's) perspective on something the average person does not have access to, which is multiple bikes of similar designs, and they get ridden under the same or similar conditions. You can glean a lot of information from that, even if you think the writer/rider is full of shit.

    Without those reviews, we're all trying to compare brochures from the companies and trying to figure shit out our own, which is tough at best. Every bike in every brochure is the greatest machine ever invented and will make you sexier and better smelling.

    Obviously, after a half hour in the saddle your ass and brain will tell you more about a bike than a stack of magazines, but they still serve some value when you're trying to differentiate between a couple bikes, or multiple bikes.

    As others pointed out, if you don't like the reviews or magazines and they're of no value, don't buy and/or read them.

    But if nothing else, I just like reading them for entertainment value. I will probably never buy a Multistrada, but I get a little vicarious thrill when someone writes about cracking the throttle on one.
  20. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

    Jun 1, 2010
    Camarillo, CA
    That's my feeling. I want to see this class grow in sales here in the States. There have been so many cool bikes we can't buy because in the past this style didn't sell well. Now many riders are figuring out they make very good sense for a lot of riders, very few of which will ever want to ride to Bolivia etc. I like them because they are very functional in many ways.

    If the press hypes them enough, and buyers actually take them home, we'll get more offerings in the future. We still can't buy a Honda CrossTourer or Versys 1000 plus a whole bunch of other interesting bikes.

    So from my point of view, I've read way too many crotch rocket shootouts, bagger brigade runs, etc. bring on the Adventure bike reviews, comparos, how-to's it's time for this segment to become a major factor in the manufacturer's eyes for the US market.