Hello All- FNG in research mode

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by FacePalm, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. FacePalm

    FacePalm D'oh!!!

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    Hey All,

    First post, figure I'd make it here. New to adventure Riding, been riding Harleys for 15 years. Dont currently own a motorcycle, but have been looking at either a new Tiger, Tenere, CrossTourer or the like.

    I'm planning to pick something up next spring and am in learning/ research mode right now. I REALLY enjoy getting out on the road & going places. Harleys were good for this but mine never really handled well in the dirt.

    What really got me hooked on this stuff was "The Long Way Round" book & vids. Need it.

    So anyway, looking forward to meeting you all and getting out on the road. Any & All info/ Wisdom is appreciated.

    -Face
    :freaky

    P.s. Several years ago I bumped into a gentleman named 'Toby' in the Ojai area of Southern California, riding his adventure bike around town. He was involved with the local ADV club & gave me some good info. Just curious if anyone on the forum knows of him. Really nice guy.
    #1
  2. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Hi Facepalm, Welcome to the asylum. Being a HD guy, how about a Buell Ulysses? I recently got one and am loving it. Cheaper than a Sportster with the HP (or more) than a big twin.
    #2
  3. FacePalm

    FacePalm D'oh!!!

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    Hmmm, never heard of it. I think I'll do some research:D
    Thanks!
    #3
  4. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    Tiger will be the "sportier" of the bunch. Will tend to go where IT wants to go off road bit has good suspension travel that will allow it to soak up real crap. Great motor. Fast Chassis. Good sports tourer that can soak up rough stuff. Don't forget the 800XC.

    X Tourer will feel more stable on the gravel, will go where YOU want it to go on the gravel and has a great motor for touring. Very good choice for mild off road and touring as well. Will have to slow down a bit for large bumps. May have an auto option where you live. (adds 10Kg of weight). Sweet motor. Built like a Honda.

    Tenere will feel good on road and great off road, but will not be as sweet on the tarmac and will get you further down a crap road without you shitting yourself. More economical and the engine will feel more cruiser than the others (without the vibes on light throttle). Trades power for fuel economy. Very tough bike. Very easy off road (for a 1200cc bike). Motor most suitable for off road use and low traction conditions. Will take deeper water crossings. Easiest to maintain. No exposed radiator. Low COG. Works best from slow to 150Km/h.

    Then there is Charlies first choice - KTM

    Everyone will disagree. :lol3
    #4
  5. FacePalm

    FacePalm D'oh!!!

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    Wow, thanks for the great info. I think the Tiger is by far the best looking bike. Kinda worried about quality versus the others tho. Price is also an issue, especially since I'll need some bags & crash bars up front. My beancounter wife is all over this so I gotta be, um, frugal.

    This will be a 90% road bike but that will prolly change as I gain experience. My only off-road time comes from mountain biking.

    I will also be using this bike to practice for a spot riding a department motor, so low-speed crash protection is a must as it will prolly be dropped a few hundred times on the tarmac.
    :D

    #5
  6. flyfishbc

    flyfishbc Adventurer

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    welcome; i have the 800 xc and absolutely love it. no regrets. handles awesome on and off road. great power and looks sweet.
    #6
  7. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    These things can be found cheap. Here's my 2009. It cost me $5700 with 1500 miles and included an expensive set of Givi bags. It may look like a Sportster engine but this thing goes like my FJR1300. 103 HP. All day comfortable but we use it for a lot of 2 up seasonal road riding too.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. jphish

    jphish Been here awhile

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    The Buell Uly X is good choice for price / value / fun. Just get an 08' or newer. I've never had a machine that cornered better, easier to work on, or more fun to ride. A much better cool weather bike - mine at least, did NOT like HOT ambient temps. (also... be aware, they don't make 'em anymore - too bad! But parts still seem available) Another fine option is Girlie Tiger. I have both an '06 (last year of girlie) & newer '11 XC. The Girlie would probably be in your price range ($5-6K for later model 05 / 06 & low miles) Its a fine machine for the $ - and every bit as capable as 99% of riders. Great for touring / camping / fishing / adventure trips. Good dirt road bike - but a bit beasty for most single track - but some guys still do it successfully - not me. It has that sweet 955 triple motor - very reliable (with possible exception of a few with stator issues) & like the Uly, plenty of performance to get you in trouble! The XC would be a great choice - but 2x the $. And in my book - not twice as good as my girlie. Good luck in your quest...
    #8
  9. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Second hand DL 650, preferably cheap because it has minor panel damage from previous spills.

    Sorry, returning rider, if you do go off road, you'll probably drop it anyway :)

    Quite a bit cheaper to buy and own than the other suggestions, spend some of the $$$ saved on purchase on a set of decent off-road tires and put some effort into finding time to actually ride on gravel roads - it's skill and experience that matters riding these big bikes off road - they are all heavy unwieldy beats (but still fun :lol3).

    The DL will go faster on dirt roads than your nerves will handle, and will go everywhere the other "big fat pigs" will go but will cause you less grief overall doing it. Sell it in a year when you know whether you want something more dirt or more road orientated.

    Pete
    #9
  10. thisflatearth

    thisflatearth 2 wheel has been

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    I love my Uly and plan on keeping it (because the market is almost flooded with great units no one wants to buy) but I would argue against for just the simple fact that Erik Buell is a Genius Idiot :lol3

    Its all cool in concept but in design the bike is eh

    Again I love it - but get something else
    #10
  11. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Face, you mention "new", so does it have to be new? If you are looking used there are several more choices available. But, new or used, the V-Strom 650 is probably the best chioce for your stated purpose and goals.

    I've had several different adventure type bikes and currently own a Tiger 800, but I can't think of a better overall choice than the wee strom.

    Personally, I would avoid the Uly like the plague. If they work, they are brilliant, but they are very problematic bikes and not at all designed for off road use. Canyon carving and hooliganism, yes. Long distance touring with dirt thrown in, no. Combine this with a poor record of reliability and harder and harder parts sourcing because the company went out of business makes it a poor choice, IMO.

    :freaky
    #11
  12. panhead_dan

    panhead_dan motorcycle addict

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    425 lbs, 103 hp, 90 ft/lbs torque, no valve adjustments EVER, no chain maint or final drive maint EVER, 50 mpg, inexpensive parts, handles like it's on rails, bags available (if not included), fully dirt road ready as well as hard packed single track, makes a very cool sound from the exhaust and never whines like most of the others in it's class.
    Once sorted, an extremely reliable bike that will induce a condition known as "permagrin" :D that takes days to wear off.:evil

    Buell Ulyses.

    Whats not to like?:wink:
    #12
  13. thisflatearth

    thisflatearth 2 wheel has been

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    Panhead totally agree and thats why I bought and will be keeping mine, but in hindsight, still love it and will gladly let anyone in my general area come and wing it around a parking lot or trade bikes for a day.

    I just went through this with a buddy who was looking at the street Buells and although they are great fun bikes and he liked riding the Uly except when he had to put his foot down :lol3 he ended up buying a Honda 919 to keep getting parts simpler. Even though for the money he couldve got something that didnt need so much body work but we will just hope he doesnt read this thread :eek1
    #13
  14. FacePalm

    FacePalm D'oh!!!

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    Ah, the whole 'outa-business' thing kinda puts the binders on a Buell.

    Doesnt have to be new according to my wife. They Do look REALLY cool and shiny sitting on the showroom floor:D

    A co-worker is selling a 2000 Tiger, which I test rode & enjoyed. Parts are a concern with that one. Another just picked up an '06 V-Strom & went for a 4 day up the coast to 'Frisco. He really likes it.

    I do prefer the shaft drive/ ABS/ TC of the newer/ bigger models. I also really like cruising at speed (70-80 mph) without vibes/ pushing the engine.

    The only bikes I've ever owned were Harley Big-Twins (1300+ cc), so I'm kinda partial to good power/ torque.

    I guess I need to do some test riding:evil
    #14
  15. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    I understand that but while Buell is out of business, the parent company is not, and they are still making parts. Further, Erik Buell has formed another company and certain performance parts for the Uly are available from him. I bought an 08 with 8K miles on it for $5800 and as you can see here there are lots of similar deals. I wouldn't write it off immediately, ESPECIALLY since you've indicated a lust for torque.

    If you're going to buy a new bike, there are lots of options. Hell, I look at the Triumph Tiger 1200s, 800s, and the Moto Guzzi Stelvio and all of them make me want to whip it out. My wallet, that is. But, given that you're wanting to stick your toe in the water here, even if you don't get a Uly I would still get a used bike.

    One advantage to a new bike is you'll be able to find a dealer to let you test ride. A used bike, probably not. On the other hand, a used bike is already depreciated.

    Anyway, the traditional answer here or on any other forum is "get what I got".

    Gobs of objective info on the Uly here: http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/142838/142838.html?1350145802

    Good luck.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. William42

    William42 Long timer

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    As others have said take a look at the V Stroms, DL650 or DL1000.
    #16
  17. Vincenthdfan

    Vincenthdfan Been here awhile

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    What he said!

    Im a long time Harley Road King rider and have owned more dirt bikes and Japanese street bikes than I can remember. That also includes dual sport big bore thumper Hondas.

    I have always been curious about the whole BMW Adventurer thing, but damn...the cost of entry has just been to much of a gamble to me if I didnt like it.

    Then I spotted a Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 used on Craigslist.

    I thought, wow...that thing looks like it could be made into a pretty good Adventure bike.

    So....I started looking at them on websites. Holy crap! These things have a cult following and a HUGE aftermarket industry supporting them as well.

    I called the guy in the ad, went and took a test ride and was immediately hooked.

    The bike has a huge, torquey V-Twin, which being a Harley guy I greatly enjoyed.

    Very refined feeling and best of all FUN!

    The bike was very, very inexpensive...Ive been adding aftermarket stuff ever since I bought it.

    Take a look at this bike, you'll enjoy it. :clap
    #17
  18. FacePalm

    FacePalm D'oh!!!

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    Thanks for all the great info guys!

    Just found a 2012 Tenere on craigslist for $12.5k w/panniers, 2k miles. Awfully tempting.

    Also saw a 2009 Tiger ABS, tho that seems like a 99% road bike.

    Thoughts?
    #18
  19. Ham

    Ham Been here awhile

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    You are in the envious postion of needing to go out and test ride some great iron. Just don't test a Stelvio....you won't bring it back and a lot of guys with lights on top of their cars will be looking for you:)
    #19
  20. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    The Tiger is a road bike, much like the aforementioned Uly. It is basically the same bike, except 2 versus 3 cylinders. The ST, well..................:evil
    #20