Best AT for Big and Tall Rider

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by tallmike, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. tallmike

    tallmike n00b

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    Hey there, new to the site. I'm looking for suggestions on which AT to purchase, so I'll give you some info to help understand my situation.

    BACKGROUND
    Plan on using the bike mainly for commuting purposes (may do some AT with it in the future). I live in Southern California and commute 70 miles each way, which is 99% highway. I'm 6'6'', 300 lbs, pretty much 50/50 torso/legs. I used to ride a GSX-R 750 about 6 years ago, but haven't ridden street since. Still an avid off-road rider. I'm taking another MSF course next week to re-familiarize my self again first, then will go out and test ride some bikes. I've got about $13K to spend on the bike (already purchased my gear).

    BIKES
    I desire to buy new. I'm contemplating either a BMW F800GS, Triumph Tiger 800XC, or Yamaha Super Tenere. I'm not afraid of maintenance (have experience and used to work at a bike shop), but from everything I've read so far the Yamaha requires the least amount of maintenance. I found a new 2012 ST at my local dealer for $11,500 and I can get an additional discount on it for being prior military. I've also heard great things about the BMW (which also gives a discount for military), and great things about the 800XC. I've read about the shaft driven ST vs chain driven with the others, but not sure that alone makes the decision for me. MPG, comfort (I may also have my wife ride on the back occasionally), holding its value, and potential for maintenance issues are important to me.

    SUGGESTIONS
    What do you suggest based upon my needs/wants and my size? I plan on test riding all three, just looking for additional input. Thanks!
    #1
  2. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    Tenere. Biased as I am an owner. Spent the weekend on a Triumph 800XC. For your size I would pass on that one.
    Also got to ride the GS800. Better ergos than the Triumph, less motor.
    #2
  3. dejr2000

    dejr2000 Been here awhile

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    Haven't ridden either 800 but came from a 990 Adventure and now on a Tenere. At 6'6" 260 myself, the Tenere is about as close to perfect out of the box ergo wise for me as it gets. Only ergo changes I've made were bar risers to ease riding standing up.
    #3
  4. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    Choice C: The Super Tenere, especially for our size. 300lbs? Definitely...
    #4
  5. tallmike

    tallmike n00b

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    How would you compare the ergo's of the 800GS to the ST?

    How is the seat on the ST? Anything besides the bar risers that you feel may need adjustment?

    So would the 800's not fit my size?


    Thanks to all for your inputs thus far. Looks like the ST is a def test ride and possible purchase
    #5
  6. BryanCO

    BryanCO CO Rider

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    All three are great choices. I test rode each of them and bought the 800XC. Test ride them and let us know what you think.
    #6
  7. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Are small and cramped for my 6 foot frame so would be a killer for you. The Super Tenere gives me 6 inches of front seat to move back and forth on. Much better bike for highway too.
    #7
  8. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    Similar just scaled down some. I actually liked the GS more than I thought I would.
    Lighter feeling and I was comfortable leg room wise. Way too soft suspension.
    I'm 220 lbs 5' 11'' and it bottomed all over on a short off road stint. No preload
    adjustment. Motor seemed a little strained at 80mph cruising speed. The soft
    suspension was plush on the highway.

    The Triumph had a fun motor with another 2,000 rpm to redline. Strong for
    a 800. The pegs felt way too high compared to the GS and the S10.
    Didn't have the mid range pull like the twins, but made up in top end if
    you like that. My knees hurt after about 50 miles. I enjoyed the bike and
    put it more in a class like my FZ1. I didn't get to go off road with it and
    between the ergos and revvy engine probably would not have liked it in
    the dirt as much.

    From what you are saying on your size and intended use the 800 stuff
    might be too small and you would be looking around again soon.:dunno
    #8
  9. Wayward Sun

    Wayward Sun Adventurer

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    I don't agree about the Triumph 800 xc. I've only taken one out for a test ride, but I liked the way the bike felt. It felt better (IMO) then the BMW 1200 gs. I'm about your size too and I didn't mind the 800 xc. I am looking for a new machine too, and LOVE the Tenere, but might wait until I can get a better look at the KTM 1190 later this year. I might get grilled here for that comment, but I'm still undecided and that KTM Looks bitchin!
    #9
  10. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    I admit I was sniffing around over in the orange section and the early reports make it
    sound awfully nice. If people are jumping ship on the Multistradas for one you have
    to wonder if there isn't a pretty good reason.

    A big reason I stuck with the Yamaha was for a shaft and near perfect reliability record.
    I realize the KTM has a strong advantage off road. Right or wrong I don't trust it the same.
    #10
  11. Wayward Sun

    Wayward Sun Adventurer

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    I should add that the reason I didn't buy an 800 was because I was afraid it might not be enough bike for me. That is why I would choose the Tenere over the Triumph. Now if everyone would stop realeasing new bikes, I could decide which one to get!
    #11
  12. BryanCO

    BryanCO CO Rider

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    Like I said above, all three are great bikes. But there is a lot if bs here... I came off of a gen 1 Multistrada. Toured, 1000 mile days, twisties, everything on that bike. Had it for six years. Both 800s have similar performance to my Multi and, for me, checked off all of the boxes. I also strongly preferred the ~100 lbs less weight (according to motorcycle-USA.com's buyers guide) of either 800. Ergos on the 800s may be a bit tighter than the bigger bikes but they can be adjusted somewhat. And, geez, you were riding a GSX-R 750.... Awesome bike, btw. Looks like the 1190 is going after the current Multi. I've ridden the current Multi a few times and would select it (or the 1190) over any of the other 1200's. Your preferences may be different.
    #12
  13. Whorepedo

    Whorepedo Been here awhile

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    Amen brother. After owning a 950 and a 12GS I was very happy when Yamaha released the Tenere. Finally put my mind at ease about breaking down and even if I did there's a Yam dealership in nearly every town.
    #13
  14. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    If I were as tall as you, I'd test ride the SuperTenere and the BMW r1200gs adv. you will physically fit an 800 but you won't be as comfortable. Yamaha Stratoliner would be a candidate if you want a cruiser, as its a monster of a bike in size. I sold my Strat to a soldier your size.
    #14
  15. Big Jon

    Big Jon Been here awhile

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    Having been transformed into a Triumph man this is hard for me to say, but of the bikes you mentioned, I believe the only right fit for you would be the ST. I would look long & hard @ the new 1190 KTM also, but I've not seen one yet in person so I'm not too sure how it would fit you. I do believe the Tiger Explorer would be a fantastic fit for you also, but you'll have to pony up with @ least anothe $4K to make it work well for you.

    Like it's been stated here many times before. TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE... If it puts a big grin on your face that you can't seem to wipe off, buy it. :D
    #15
  16. Big Tall Bastard

    Big Tall Bastard Voice of Reason

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    I'm 6'6" and 250 without gear and rode an 07 990 ADV for 4 years. I added Dirt in Blood's 2" risers to the bars as it brings the bars up but not back. I added adjustable pegs to get them down slightly and I could stand and ride very comfortably.

    The only thing I didn't changed but would have if I had kept the bike is the seat. It was comfortable but it had a slight step in it that hits us tall guys in the back of the ass and limits movement a bit. Some of the bikes come without the step in the seat and you would be fine or have a custom slightly taller seat built and you would be money!

    I'm nit picking as I did several 600 mile day on the bike the way I had it set up.
    If your riding plans will be more dirt oriented don't discount Big Orange as an option. They ride like dirtbikes (500lbs dirtbikes) but can still handle the freeway slog.
    #16
  17. advD

    advD Been here awhile

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    I am 6' 6" and 275. I've had my Tenere for over a year and it's the best bike I've ever had.

    I added a corbin seat, Vstream windscreen and bar risers.

    GREAT bike for guys our size. I like it much better than the 2007 BMW R1200GSA I had.
    #17
  18. tallmike

    tallmike n00b

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    I find it amazing how many of you are talking about the ST and giving it such good recommendations. I made a couple stops today during my lunch break and checked out a few different bikes. Looked at the KTM 990 SMT (knees were in the tank), checked out a Ducati Multistrada (great bike, but $20K, really?). Left that dealer and went to a BMW dealer. Checked out the F800GS, fit on it pretty good, my knees weren't in the tank and it felt comfortable. I think it would be good to remove the rubber from the pegs. I then sat on a R1200GS. It fit me really good as well, but I didn't like the opposed engine sticking out both sides (that looks like a major repair cost waiting to happen).

    I've seen the ST in person, but to be honest, I think it looks more conservative than the BMW and I really do like the "beak" look on the Beemer. I'll take them both for test rides though, because at the end of the day it's all about practicality and comfort. I'm taking an MSF course this Thurs/Friday to familiarize myself with street riding (been a few years). Not that I couldn't do it, just want to make sure I'm fully prepared before I do some test rides and really open up these bikes. More to follow!
    #18
  19. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    It deserves it. Doesn't lead the pack in anything. Just does what it does very well and owners
    have complete confidence in it. You can spend more, get a faster 1/4 mile, better off road performance,
    a little lighter bike or prestige if that's what you're into. At the end of the day the Yamaha will be sitting
    there ready to ride again and again and again.:D
    #19
  20. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    Interesting website here that gives a rough-cut visual simulation of rider fit on bikes that one selects for comparison. Even though I'm way shorter and smaller than you I ride a Suzuki DL1000 VStrom. With an aftermarket seat it's the most comfortable bike that I've owned, but had the Yamaha been available in 2008 I'd probably be on that instead.
    #20