Need advice on my first adventure bike...

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by buddy13, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. buddy13

    buddy13 Adventurer

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    Hope this is the right forum...if not, apologies and hope the mods can relocate it.

    I am a 33 year (just yesterday!) old mechanical engineer from Malta. A small rock...ehmm island..in the EU [​IMG]

    I am new to adventure motorcycling but have been riding motorbikes for many years.

    My current rides are a 125cc Peugeot Tweet scooter as my daily beater and an '09 CBR 1000RR for more spiritied/fun rides [​IMG]

    I am looking at trading in my Fireblade for an adventure bike on which to tour Europe (in a piece meal approach) in these coming years! Hope I can get your precious input to my many questions and dilemmas over the next months.

    I have 'toured' Sicily on my '09 Fireblade on a few occasions, most recently with my better half as pillion. I don't think it's the right bike for the job...

    Apart from that, I feel I have outgrown the crazy fast, ready to kill you at any time, hunched over sportbike craze.

    I am now looking for a decent adventure bike. I plan to keep the bike for a long time so it must be worth its salt.

    I plan to ride 70/30 Road/Offroad. Nothing extreme, just the odd bit of country roads & sandy coast lines,but don't want an unpaved/rough road to stop me. I will be riding with a pillion and carrying a good 30kg in luggage for a 3-5 day trip.

    We are slim and medium tall so we do not need a big bike. Anything over 800cc would certainly be overkill. Riding most of the time off highways at a relaxed pace.

    Bike must have budget maintenance costs and I dont want to be fearful of tipping over its side on a gravel road so I'm keeping an eye on purchase cost.

    For the last months, I have been meticulously reading reviews and trying to decide on which bike would best suit my needs. I have come with the below shortlist.

    - Suzuki DL650 V-strom 2017 - anything before that looks too fugly. Sorry!
    - BMW F700 GS 2013/2014 - I like this bike. But I like the F800 GS fairing/looks better [​IMG]
    - BMW F800 GS 2009/2011 - I probably wont afford anything newer than this year of build. I dont need a 21 inch wheel, but I like the look of this better than the 700! I aklso like the adjustable suspension and high seat does not bother me.
    - Yamaha Tracer 700 2016 - If I were to ride road only, this would be my bike of choice ( I think). Is it hopeless offroad? Is it too small?
    - Triumph Tiger 80 XC 2014 - I like this bike, but for some reason it looks bigger and probably too heavy offroad? Parallel twin better down low?
    - Yamaha Tenere XT660X 2010-2012 - This would be a bike to trash and forget about dings and scratches. But is it too buzzy to drive on a highway at 90 mph? What about pillion comfort?

    I have considered other like the KTMs, Duc's and Kwaks, NC750X...but I have dismissed them for reasons I cant be bothered to write about here, its besides the point.

    As you see I cant seem to decide [​IMG][​IMG] ...what are your thoughts on these bikes? I would like to hear your first hand opinions! Muchos gracias comrades [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    Welcome.

    I don't have enough seat time any of those to make any sort of personal recommendation. Someone who does will be here before the days out.
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  3. de Vaca

    de Vaca Been here awhile

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    Welcome, and happy birthday! This might be better suited for the Beast section. Using your criteria, I would go with the V Strom. Bulletproof reliability, long lasting and very capable.
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  4. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Welcome to the forum.

    What da Vaca said - look here: http://advrider.com/index.php?forums/beasts.94/

    You can't go wrong with the V-Strom 650, though some find it too appliance-like.

    If Yamaha releases a Tenere using the FZ / MT-07 parallel twin, that is the one I would want.
    #4
  5. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    Get any bike you like. Any motorcycle that will go fast enough and carry a passenger and some gear will do just fine. You are describing off pavement, not off road. There is a misconception, fostered by people selling motorcycles, that you need a motorcycle with the appropriate marketing label to do a certain kind of riding. No bike will be stopped by a little dirt or gravel road.

    Get whatever bike suits the 70% best and the 30% will work out just fine. Adventure bike? You don't need no stinkin' adventure bike.







    #5
  6. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Buddy 13 in the list you posted above i have ridden three of that list, and here are my thoughts on these bikes based on what you are requiring.
    XT66o tenere rode a 2010 for three days in scotland on and off road i liked it felt it was a comfortable bike competent on gravel tracks and i think my only reservations on it is you want to travel two up, not sure it will be ideal for this, i like smaller bikes and a slower pace but i think two up it could be irksome.
    BMW800GS good and comfortable good performance handled well enough but BMW and me just do not gel, but i will say if your percentages had been 50 50 or more off road i would have said the GS, but even 55% onroad i would not acept it over the Triumph 800tiger XCx its just perfect for what you want to do, its more refined than the BMW on the road and just a better bike for all round and still well competent off road, has enough power to cope with two up. If it were me i would go with the Triumph no question about it.
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  7. nk14zp

    nk14zp Been here awhile

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    CT90.
    #7
  8. kawafunky

    kawafunky on another trip around the sun

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    I'd say reconsider a kawi Versys 650 which I have lots of miles on. It is sporty and more comfy than you might think and sparrowhawk is pretty much right about riding gravel/dirt in a non-aggressive way (Tracer might be even better, but I've not ridden one)). The tiger, F800, or Vstrom would all suit your needs I'm sure, but really the Versys is better when you get to those twisty mountain passes.
    #8
  9. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    Just my opinion spending your money Since new to it, keep it simple. Keep it low cost and reliable. Vstrom as a safe comfortable pick. Versys if you are feeling a little more sporty. Though I prefer the versys, truth is the vstrom seems friendlier two up and closer to 70/30. Cheap easy entry. You will know in a year if you want more bike.
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  10. racingxtc7

    racingxtc7 Adventurer

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    I have friends with +100,000 miles on V- Strom 650s and SV650s without issue. Extremely reliable bikes.
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  11. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

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    Another vote for the VStrom 650. As pointed out this bike is bullet proof and perfectly capable and comfortable two up. I rode one with the wife as pillion for 5 years and it never disappointed us. Mine was a 2009 DL 650 Adv.
    #11
  12. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

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    KIMG0063.jpg
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  13. The lone burro

    The lone burro Adventurer

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    Guys I have a KLR 650 adventure bike. I also have a Goldwing. Goldwing is for pavement. KLR can go in the dirt. If you need any other info let me know.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #13
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  14. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    It may cost a bit more , but , the best way to know rather than think it's the bike for you is to ride one in the intended manner for about a week. I'm talking about renting . I have several times and it's always been fun and a real learning experience.
    Several of the bikes on your list make up the core of mid-sized rental fleets , so take your pick and go .
    I have ridden a V-Strom 650 in Austria and Italy for a week , a 800 Tiger in California for 4 days and an older , less exciting version of the Yamaha thumper in Costa Rica for a week , a XT 600.
    They all had their strengths , but , for me the one that felt like I could have a long term affair with is the Suzuki.
    I have ridden short term the BMW 800 and it was alright , I just prefer the 90 degree V-twin. I haven't ridden the twin Yamaha though I put 1000 miles on a Versys and another 800 on a Bonneville and parallel twins don't feel as good too me.
    I suggest a week or so in the Alps on a V-Strom . If that doesn't work for you , at least you'll have had a good time and the search can continue.
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  15. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much

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    I can't speak from experience except for the Suzuki- '12 Adv model...which was wonderful for a 5200 mi trip into Mexico.

    Wouldnt want a pillion for touring, nor is it your best choice for off asphalt.
    I personally like the look, is inexpensive, uses regular fuel, great dealer network, dependable.
    It's the best value of your choices.

    If I were 33, I'd have the Tiger given your planned use.
    Second choice would be the 700gs.

    Good luck in finding your next bike.
    #15
  16. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy n00bie

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    Alwayz liked this one...

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  17. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    After a few redneck pinstripes you stop worrying and just have fun.

    One thing to think about in choosing a bike for off pavement is how the ABS works. Some will hardly slow the bike on loose surfaces, leading to scary moments. Best would be a system that you can turn off at least the rear brake from the handlebar. Missing that you can always install a switch or pull the ABS fuse before heading into the dirt.
    #17
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  18. buddy13

    buddy13 Adventurer

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    True very true. Had an 04 Gixxer that worked on old chip oil. Suzuki make great bikes...
    The Yamaha T7 is exteremely gorgeous! Shame there will not be any on the used market at a reasonable price until the next 3-4 years...

    Very True. I have rode my Blade to places that some people think twice before riding into with their KTM. But I cannot say it was pleasant. Trying your damnest not to fall off, barely sniffing at the throttle and also shuddering bones in your body due to suspension/offroad compatibility is not my idea of fun. Neither is riding an R1 around the world. I definitely admire these people's guts, but I don't need that kind of suffering in my life!

    Am always looking more and more into the Triumph. Seems it hits most of my criteria well and it looks good in the looks department...something the Vstrom or Versys cant claim in my humble opinion. I want my bike to ride good and look good too :)...

    Thanks for the tip. A simple rocker switch on the handlebar will solve that ;)
    #18
  19. buddy13

    buddy13 Adventurer

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    A great bike. A frined of mine is touring the world on one of those as we speak.

    Try as I may I find the looks very dated & hard on my eye though. I like to wash and admire my bike every now and again :)
    #19
  20. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    OK Just Media vid i realise that, but i can tell from your Coments you know you like its looks, dont fight it man ride it > I am an old school bike looks like a bike kind of guy, so Darth vader looks do nothing for me, on any bike any brand. But i rode one of these things and i will say it impressed me power and smooth sounded ace more or less as he said in the film. I rate them, if i was in the money for one i would buy one.
    Ride one i think you will be surprised i know i was and i jumped on it thinking i was going to hate it. :lol3:lol3

    #20
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