Can't make up my mind... BMW, Honda, KTM or...?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by N-Duro, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. N-Duro

    N-Duro Canada/Germany

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada -> Düsseldorf Germany soon
    First off I am new to the forum and bikeless. I live in Alberta, Canada, had a Yammi WR250 which I used for trail riding which was road legal but sucked big time on the Highway.
    I will be moving to Germany soon and I am looking for a bike that I can use comfy for long trips. Autobahn, Alps, some dirt roads. And for commuting. Like with everything, I am on a budget. Looked online for Adventure bikes and can't make up my mind. I don't want anything too big and heavy as I liked how light the Yamaha was when I got stuck and had to pick her up.

    Right in my price range
    Honda Transalp XL700V
    BMW G650GS
    Honda NC 700x
    Suzuki V-Strom 650


    Little bit higher up there
    KTM 990 Adventure
    BMW G800GS

    Any recommendations? My favorites in the list are the BMW and the Transalp, just going by looks and HP.
    #1
  2. Kennon

    Kennon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Oxford, NT Hong Kong, Moscow
    the v-strom has the most power but its very heavy the NC700x is a good bike but its very lacklustre having a engine derived from a car good for mpg though,

    the trans-alp and GS 650 are both very capable the BMW being better offroad being a lighter bike but both lack power as well I would suggest the BMW F800GS they are abit pricey but when bought used they normally come fully loaded with kit just for touring duties.
    #2
  3. zig06

    zig06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    194
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    I wouldn't bother looking until I got there. A bike that may be awesome for you and where you are right now might suck big time out there. Your best bet is to save as much $$ as you can. Then once you figure out your ultimate ride, you can buy it "now", get all the gear so you can look the part and then it'll be adventure time! :freaky
    #3
  4. kristof-lars

    kristof-lars Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    ventron lorraine france
    kinda in the same situation based what im looking at the bmw f800 would be my choice but since ill be restricted where im going (australia) ill have to settle for a gs 650.
    #4
  5. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,763
    Location:
    Beautiful Revelstoke BC
    I'd factor in dealer support before making the decision.
    #5
  6. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    624
    Location:
    Washington USA
    I believe the F800 would cost more at the pump to fill up with the higher octane rating of the bikes you mentioned.
    #6
  7. craigincali

    craigincali Just hanging around

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,180
    Location:
    A town called Hell
    IMO the Honda should not be on anyones list !...... See signature :freaky
    #7
  8. Bowser

    Bowser Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    181
    Location:
    London

    Given that you are currently in Canada I wouldnt bother about what your dealer is like, as the distances you are currently used to for one dealer you will find a dozen or more within the same distance for just about any make, Duss is right in the middle of the Rhineland and bike dealerships are not in short supply.
    If you have not been in Europe before then the autobahanns are going to be an eye opener!! Having lived in Germany and visited friends in the US and Canada the difference between freeway riding/driving and autobahann is a real shock. People drive VERY fast on the German system, a lot faster than you are used to, a bike that is happy keeping up will be much more fun, there is nothing worse than pottering about at low speed with vehicles going past at 140+ kph well actualy 200+ for a lot of them.
    There is very little off roading in Germany, a bit of green lane but not what YOU would call off road trail riding, lots of very nice roads for riding on especially in places like the Eifle, Hartz mountains, Alps and Black forest, but you will be doing high speed runs to get you there, so somthing comfortable is a must.

    There are lots of secondhand bikes about so finding what you want wont be difficult, but I would nail it down before you go and if you want any aftermarket parts then take them with you as stuff such as Corbin/Renzacco seats work out very expensive when you have to ship them, same goes for things like panniers, now I dont like Jessie's but if thats your thing they are over £1000 here so have a good think and if your deciding on a bike and the bit you may want take my advice and buy them now and bring them with you!!!
    Other things I have had shipped over that work out much cheaper if you buy them over there, HDB handguards and switches, burns moto USB waterproof socket, Black Dog spotlight brackets, (havent got one yet but Rekluse Clutch).

    As for advice on what bike well its a personal thing but remember you dont need to worry about how far you are from a gas station when your over here.
    My personal taste is the 990 KTM, I did a couple of thousand mile trip round Black Forest and Rhine earlier this year and it was faultless, I like it as a compromise between green lane ability, touring, and comfort, I do have a renzaco seat but its the only extra I really NEEDED all the rest were want not need. It does the autobahnns no problem we went everywhere at about 130-140kph (odd trip up to 200) then did all the bendy bits in the forest and very sure footed at more modest speeds. But its your money and depends if the bike fits.
    I find all the others you mention bar the transalp a bit small and cramped for me. but they are all competent, I wouldnt want to have the BM but thats just because I really hate the CANBUS electrical system.

    Dont know that my advice is any good but there it is you asked for it.
    #8
  9. Kennon

    Kennon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Oxford, NT Hong Kong, Moscow
    in regards to Octane the levels in Europe are mostly the same especially in western europe in the UK its 2 grades roughly 95 octane and then 97-99 octane

    I've heard of 120 octane being available in France Switzerland border but most bikes are spec'd to the lower octane level a F800GS won't require 99 octane it might run better on it but still will be wasteful not being suited tot eh fuel properly
    #9
  10. mbrick

    mbrick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    West coast red sticker territory
    If you wait until you get there I think you will find prices and what is available to be different than NA. More KTM's for sure.

    Then get a list of prices and revisit your list above.
    #10