Middle-Weight Sport-Tourer

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by mokosai, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. mokosai

    mokosai Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    It's cold as hell (about 5F as I type this), so that makes it the perfect time to start thinking about a spring (or midwinter) bike purchase. If you're as bored as I am, read along, and offer some suggestions/advice/experience.

    Need: Bike for 1-up trips ranging from a weekend to a week. Nothing more adventurous than gravel roads. Interstate mostly avoided (but 100% avoidance is nearly impossible). I'm 5'11" with pretty long arms.

    Experience: Previous bike for this purpose was an ST1300 w/ bar risers (too heavy, too boat-like, upright seating made uncomfortable). Current bike for this purpose is a Street Triple R (too little wind protection, too twitchy, kinda short range). I can stand (some) more forward lean, but no more leg bend than the Street Triple.

    Considering the following (with perceived pros and cons; note I've never ridden any of them):

    BMW K1300S
    ===========
    +comfort for the long-armed
    +factory storage
    +electronic toys
    +good suspension
    +shaft drive (? I'm not sure if I really care enough to call this a plus)
    -way more power than I'll ever need/use (I'll never see the top half of the speedo)
    -expensive
    -pretty heavy

    Honda VFR800
    ============
    +Honda reliable (other than electrics...)
    + <500lbs wet Note: This is False
    +V4 motor
    +pretty good deal used
    -average / poor suspension
    -can it power heated liners?

    Triumph Sprint ST
    ==============
    +awesome motor
    +factory bags available (?)
    -cramped riding position

    [600cc Sport Bike] with bags (e.g. R6, CBR, GSXR, maybe even SV650 and FZ1)
    ======================
    +lightweight
    -too aggressive riding position
    -Japanese bikes tend not to fit me without ergonomic modification
    -looks awkward with hard luggage

    [Touring Land Barge] (e.g. FJR, Concours, R1200RT, etc)
    ================
    +factory luggage
    +good wind protection
    -heavy and pig-like
    -too upright seating position


    So, what am I not thinking of? Or, do you have one of the bikes above, and am I wrong about it?
    #1
  2. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    BMW 800GT seems to be about the only middle weight sport tourer not yet mentioned...

    Haven't ridden one... don't think I'd want to pay for one...

    Of course, there's always a Wee...

    NFE
    #2
  3. dwenglis

    dwenglis Been here awhile

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    vfr1200 and ktm 990 smt
    #3
  4. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    without addressing your entire post, I'll take issue with the riding position and cases on the FZ6. Givi V35s on the Givi mounts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Riding position is quite neutral, slight forward lean into the breeze.
    #4
  5. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    Who needs a stinking liter bike? (unless they have size issues -:)

    Speaking from what I've ridden and having a similar build (assuming you have a 32" inseam; yes?) me thinks the V or Wee strom would fit the bill nicely for you.

    Of all the you mentioned the VFR is probably the nicest (the motor extremely sweeet) but it's a bit cramped for long jaunts unless you lower the pegs, raise the bars and put a touring saddle on. Too, I could never get the wind noise quiet.

    The Stroms are plenty roomy. My Wee sips low amounts of fuel and is as comfy as any sport-tourer out there. It rails throught the corners with the uprated rear shock, continuous rate front springs in 15wt oil and a fork brace. Sargent saddle........and assorted other acoutraments to make this a very very competitive tourer. Mine rivals my GS.
    #5
  6. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

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    Ninja 1000 is my pick!
    #6
  7. bobobob

    bobobob IN HOC SIGNO VINCES

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    #7
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I had the privilege of a demo ride, that is one hell of a bike. :thumb
    #8
  9. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    #9
  10. Jetpilot5

    Jetpilot5 Been here awhile

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    Not sure where you got the sub 500 pound wet weight for the VFR800. Pulling wet weights from Total Motorcycle shows the VFR800 at 551 wet, the K1300S at 560 wet and the Sprint ST at 530 wet.

    I've have a K1300S and rode a 99 VFR800 for five years. The VFR was a great bike but the K13S doesn't feel any heavier and has gobs more power and a much better suspension. BMW weird, I know, but it works very well on the road. A chain wouldn't keep me from buying a bike I want but I do not miss chain maintenance. Riding position between the VFR800 and the K1300S are almost identical. I thought it was interesting that I found the VFR1200 to be a little tighter, more like the Sprint ST.

    I spent a year with an FJR1300 too. Nice bike, very capable, easy to work on and dead reliable. Too much bike for me though as I never got it out unless I was going out for the full day. Just seemed too big/heavy for a local ride.

    You might consider the Ninja 1000 too.
    #10
  11. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

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    Ducati ST3, ST4, or ST2, or MultiStrada (older 2V or newer 4V).
    Aprilia Futura.
    Moto Guzzi Norge.

    Kawasaki Ninja 1000 or Versys 1000
    Suzuki SV1000 or V-Strom 1000
    Honda VFR 1200
    Yamaha FZ-1

    Buell Ulysses

    Lots of adventure-type bikes.

    MOTUS MST :D

    PhilB
    #11
  12. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    That's exactly how my Wee is set up...

    NFE
    #12
  13. EastBoundAndDown

    EastBoundAndDown I ain't nobody, dork. Right?

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    2001-2005 fz1.
    #13
  14. EastBoundAndDown

    EastBoundAndDown I ain't nobody, dork. Right?

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    FZ6 is plenty capable too. Farily roomy ergors, I'm 6'1 32" inseam.

    The OP seems to have had a DL650 already from his signature.
    #14
  15. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    Agreed. FZ6 (and SV650) doesn't belong with those others listed. Maybe you meant R6?

    I would recommend the FZ6 for what you're looking for. fuel injected, centerstand, 26,000 mile valve checks. It's got the total package.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    By the way, is a 1k+ cc bike a "middleweight"? I was thinking middleweight bikes were like 500-800 cc?
    #16
  17. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    Works amazingly well doesn't it?:wink: If the Vee Strom was not a 650, not a 1000 but an 800, Suzuki would have had a hands down winner.
    #17
  18. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    r 1200 rt is not a heavy pig,prolly lighter than a k1300
    #18
  19. mokosai

    mokosai Been here awhile

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    I guess I confused dry weight with wet weight for the VFR. Knowing it weighs that much feels like another check mark for the K1300S.

    I had not considered the Ninja 1000... and you're right, I think I should. Now I"m off to research it!

    I see a few Wee recommendations. An 09 Wee with ABS was actually my first every motorcycle, but I just had to sell it. I spent over a year with it, setting it up exactly as I wanted, but in the end something just didn't excite me about it. It's purely subjective, but I feel like I've had more exciting dishwashers.

    I stand by the SV650 not working (N has no wind protection, S bars are too low), but you're right that the R6 belongs in that list, not the FZ6. My impression (from reading reviews) is that not much happens with the FZ6 motor until you get into the upper end of the rev range. I don't really like the idea of that, but probably need to ride one to be sure.
    #19
  20. mokosai

    mokosai Been here awhile

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    This kind of comparison is exactly what I was hoping for! Sounds like another +1 in the K1300S' column. I'm starting to lean in that direction....

    From what I've read, I'd rather have the K1300S than the VFR. Looks like I would be sitting bolt upright on the SMT.

    Multistrada, Versys, V-strom, Uly, "adventure-type bikes" are all too upright. I want something with at least 15 degrees forward lean (thanks cycle-ergos).

    SV1000; FZ1 might be too aggressive. (I know, I'm freakin' Goldilocks over here...)


    Haha, yeah, the Motus. Right after the first lotto annuity comes in.
    #20