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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by davidji, Nov 18, 2012.
Unless you're in BF India, why would you want one?
The bigest disapointment for me must be the VFR800. Its not a bad bike, but i think its hyped up to much.
Sounds to me like you need to buy a Speed Tripple
Right you are - the speed triple is one of my favorite bikes! I love naked bikes in general and that triple engine is simply one of the most glorious examples of the internal combustion engine ever created.
Sadly though I'm a "one bike guy" so dual-sport all the way for me. Not that I'm complaining with a 990 Adv...
I had the exact same reaction... twice.
First time I was riding my S1 Buell Lightning and a friend offered me a go on his new K1200R. We were in a rural area on a nicely undulating two-lane with decent pavement. I couldn't get off that K1200R and back on my Buell fast enough. I really didn't care for it at all.
Second time was another guy with the exact same bike, but this time we're on a really gnarly two-lane road with excellent traction, lots of elevation changes, blind corners and etc (one of Ontario's finest riding roads, imho) and I'm on my GSPD airhead. Same reaction as the first try. Couldn't get back on my old tech BMW fast enough. Interestingly, the guy with the K1200 traded the bike on a brand new R1200GSA the following week.
Only place I imagine that bike might work well would be big four+ lane expressways and the like. But that'd just land you without a license in no time flat.
FJR: Horribly uncomfortable for me. Actually never even rode it. Just sat on it and knew it was a no go.
K1600GTL: "Test rode" it for 3 weeks while my RT was in the shop. Not as good of wind protection as I would expect on a luxury tourer (worse than an RT). Left leg roasted. Build quality of a Geo Metro. High beam switch quit working after a rain storm.
BMW R1200GS. I had an 1150GS and liked it a lot. I took a test ride on a 1200 and the extra power impressed me. I made the deal and but never really caught on to the bike.
Nice bike in every way except for the ridiculously close transmission ratios. The engine had such linear power. Silly to have such a tall 1st gear and short 6th gear on an adventure bike. It's like they added stroke and completely forgot that ADV riders might like something other than a track day tranny. Made it sound too busy at highway speeds.
Had they given it better gear ratios, one might be able to get decent fuel economy out of it.
I recall it feeling a bit top heavy too. Especially compared to the S10 I test rode.
Loved the look and its beautiful Mystic Red paint. I think I loved the paint more than the ride because I had the wheels also color matched.
But, riding it was not that enjoyable to me, a killer on my hands and wrists even with bar-backs. Leg room was limited but not as much as a R1150r that I also owned.
Handling didn't impress me at first so I upgraded the suspension but I still didn't enjoy riding it, loved the look and the bags though.
My R1150r is a close second, maybe should be the first place.
Now my Dad has a K75c low seat that's a joy to ride (needs highway pegs though), it was all about the seating position and both the my "s" and that 1150 just didn't fit me.
Interesting. How big a person are you?
I made the same move. It's early days yet. The 1150 is hard to live up to. Still my favorite bike ever. But so far my only "issue" with the 12 is that it's about a half inch or so taller. Note to self: It's taller yet in "two up" mode. :eek1
Love my RT.
CBR600 F3. Amazing bike, but the motor buzz killed it for me. I never felt the bike disappear like my Hawk GT would.
91 VFR: Almost the opposite of the CBR. LOVED the motor, but felt like I was trying to straddle a hippo and I could never figure out what the front end was going to do. Ironically, the 98 VFR I bought years later was divine (best motor sound ever), but I sold it because the roads are really crap around here, and I was going to end up with way too many speeding tickets on the freeway, it was just loping along at 90.
KTM 990ADV. Test rode my boss's bike, after lusting after it for years. Whoa. The ergos were wrong, the controls (except the clutch) seemed wooden, and the motor was less exciting then my XR. It felt like sitting on top of a beautifully chiseled wedge of granite. Pretty, solid, and oddly cold.
The bike I expected to dislike but loved? 89 Transalp. For such an...interesting styling exercise, that bike just connected with me and I haven't found anything else that comes close to that yet.
I test rode it and remember having a similar reaction - close gearbox and surprisingly top-heavy. I also thought that the engine wasn't as charismatic as the triple engines in the Street and Speed triple - bit of a disappointment. Not a bad motorcycle per se - but not as exiting as I had expected.
The secret with the 990 Adv is to ride it like you stole it and not like if you borrowed it from your boss!
If you ride it slow and with any kind of hesitation you won't get the bike - it's not a tourer. Ridden like that you will start to wonder why you're not riding a BMW RT1200 instead.
You have to manhandle it - grab a fistful of throttle, brake hard and let the front forks dive, stand on the pegs, let the rear slide, fire it off towards the horizon and trust that the chassi is good enough to soak up whatever comes it's way.
The 990 Adv has the best off-road chassi in it's class - you have to really ride it and push it to understand how good it is.
Hear! Hear! I completely understand where you are coming from. My 640 is not a bike to be babied. Pussy-foot around on it, and it won't quite fight you, but it will not make either of you happy. Give it death, and it just soaks it all up with aplomb and taunts you to give it more!
I just LOVED the 950 when I rode it. Handled like a dirt bike, went like my litre-class road bike.
You may be right about the KTM. I was definitely watching my Ps & Qs as my boss was VERY clear about what would happen if anything happened to it. :eek1
I've ridden a couple of those things (950 ADV) and you couldn't give me one. Seriously.
Was all fired up to buy one a few years ago after listening to all the hooplah around here and seeing all the cool pictures... The R1150GS experience should have schooled me on "hooplah" ... Met the seller after a frantic hour long dash from home with a figurative wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket. Until I rode the thing. For 20 minutes on pavement, gravel roads and a short dirt trail. Thing I remember most was the vibration, underwhelming motor (my Buells would eat it alive) and "Playmobil" dashboard.
Nice suspension and brakes, but there's no way I'd travel on a bike that crude.
I can certainly understand someone who doesn't like the 990 Adv - it is a bit of a watershed bike. Bad fuel economy, hard to service, stock fueling on the 990 can be pretty terrible etc etc....
The 800GS is much easier to recommend and if I'm to be honest probably a better bike overall. But then there are moments on the 990 Adv when it comes together, you nail a section and it all makes sense.
I think people coming from an enduro/mx background have a much easier time appreciating the Adv than those with a road riding background. And aggressive dirt riders especially should totally get what the Adv is about.
The harder you ride it off-road the more sense the bikes makes - instead of fighting the bike you will find that you can lean on it. Ask it to do impossible things and it will just soak it up.
I've lived with the 990 Adv for quite a while and I fully admit that it isn't a perfect bike - far from it. But in my mind there is no question that it has the best off-road chassi in its class and that's what the bike is all about.
So, everybody diggin' they scoots right now?
My current bike, a 95 vulcan 800. Terribly cramped for my height (6ft), dont care for the cruiser seating position, and basically unbearably high revs and vibes past 55 mph