Next Bike Advice

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by DCardoza, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. DCardoza

    DCardoza Adventurer

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    There are tons of threads out there and the information can be overwhelming so I thought I'd start here. I'm finally selling my KLR after 3 years and am planning on upgrading fairly soon. My riding is about 80% commute, mix hwy and town. I occasionally venture off road and camp but its usually fire roads, never anything aggressive. I'm a big guy, 6'1/280 and occasionally ride 2 up with my lady, (tons of fun on a KLR by the way.) I've been looking in the 800cc range for weight, gas mileage reasons but certainly think I want under 1000cc. So far I've looked at the BMW F800GS, Tiger 800/800XC and the KTM 990 R and the Super Tenere. I like the styling of the KTM and the Super Tenere and they looked more spacious for 2 up riding but seemed like overkill for my riding style. I think the Tiger 800 is leading the pack so far but its not a done deal. Have a few questions for owners of any of the bikes.
    1. Rough average gas mileage.
    2. Cost of service maintenance. I can probably change my own oil/filter but otherwise it will have to go to the dealership
    3. Any experience riding 2 up?
    4. Experience as a commuter bike.
    Appreciate advice and opinions.
    Cheers
    Darren
    #1
  2. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    For me it was between the Tiger 800XC and the S10.

    So I'll give you the S10 stuff.

    1. Rough average gas mileage.
    4.5L/100Km (speed limits riding in country) -> 6.5L/100Km going batt shit all over the place on road or dirt roads sand low speed etc) Tank range 500Km (Max till dry) Has about 22.5Litres to use..

    2. Cost of service maintenance. I can probably change my own oil/filter but otherwise it will have to go to the dealership
    I've changed the oil. Typical Jap bike stuff. They just go. Diff is easy, Engine requires two plugs to remove. That's it.

    3. Any experience riding 2 up?
    Great. Lots of room, relaxed, the Touring mode makes it easy for the passenger. (and in really slippery conditions).
    Doesn't really notice it. Like the DL1000 in that respect. Just load and go.

    4. Experience as a commuter bike.
    Really good, unless you are a "super Motard Hero" kind of guy that has to cut into every gap. The engine works well right across the board. It's sweet spot is between 2K and 6K. That may be boring on a test ride but it's something that I really appreciate in real life and off road. My ride is really smooth at normal speeds (after about 6000Km run in). Bit of vibe about 4K but after the Strom it's a turbine. The Strom was as smooth or smoother as any other I tried as well. So it wasn't weird

    So I use it for two up, big loads to commuting, to big distance touring to dirt roads to single track. After that it's getting a bit big. Last weekend was 300Km of dirt road and some slimy sandy leaf littered single track stuff.
    #2
  3. cug

    cug --

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    I think the biggest issue you'll face in the 800cc class is the bad suspension on these bikes. Neither the Tiger nor the F800GS will like your weight if you add a passenger or luggage. The Tiger might be worse in that regard, not sure. On the KTM and the Tenere you're much less likely to wish for a suspension upgrade.

    Back to your questions though:

    But here's the stuff for the Tiger 800 (Roadie version) and the F800GS, both bikes I have owned for about the same amount of miles now (~ 4500):

    1. Rough average gas mileage.

    Tiger:

    I'm averaging 4.87L/100km (48.3mpg) in 4500 miles so far. Half of them were touring miles, the other half day trips and some commutes. I rarely commute on the bike though. Mileage goes downhill if it's a short commute.

    During the longer trips we ride on two motorcycles, my wife on her own which makes our pace much more relaxed as she's not that experienced and also plain likes to go at a more relaxed pace.

    F800GS:

    If I recall correctly, I averaged about 4.3L/100km or so (54.7 mpg). Much better mileage than the Tiger, but I'd say about the same range as the Tiger has a 5 gallon and the Beemer a 4 gallon tank.

    2. Cost of service maintenance. I can probably change my own oil/filter but otherwise it will have to go to the dealership

    Tiger:

    Hard to say. I paid somewhere around 250USD for the first service which I found was a rip off for what they did (oil change + going over the bike in general). Could have done that myself for the price of the oil and filter.

    I will do the 6k service myself and likely have a shop do the 12k (valve checks). Different dealers have different prices and some independent shops have great service and better prices. So brand doesn't really matter to me all too much.

    F800GS:

    I don't recall what I paid for the first service, likely around ~300USD. Too much. Didn't keep it long enough for the 6k service, the buffeting of that shit windshield was killing me. Couldn't ride longer than 30 minutes highway without headaches. I tried most available windshields at the time and even the Aeroflow didn't do any good. Nor did a cut down shield.


    3. Any experience riding 2 up?

    We had no trouble on either bike two up, but that has to do with several things: we are both light weight, combined weight is about 280lbs plus gear. We have not travelled two up on either bike, just day trips. On longer trips my wife's on her own bike.

    I didn't really notice my wife on either bike negatively as I tend to ride much more careful with her on the back anyways. They both have easily enough power to ride two up, but the suspension will come to its limits depending on the weight. True for both bikes.


    4. Experience as a commuter bike.

    Didn't commute much on either bike, but I know that the Tiger is really bad on mileage when you do short trips or lots of city miles. The F was better in that regard. There are also better and more stable windshields available for the Tiger as the mounting is a bit more stable there. Would get a Madstad for either for commuting.


    Random Notes, no particular order:

    • Tiger Roadie suspension is fairly bad (better than V-Strom, not as good as F800GS or R1200GS - bikes I have owned recently)
    • F800GS windshield is complete POS.
    • Build and parts quality on the Tiger is much better as on the F800GS, but not as good as the R1200GS.
    • Chains suck for a commuter.
    • Big front wheel on the F made it a bit less nice on tarmac, but not too bad. Had a "big dirt bike" kind of feel. The Tiger has more of a "upright street bike" feel.
    • Prices for OEM Parts are much cheaper for the Tiger than for the BMW - surprise ...
    • The twin engine on the F800GS sucks in my opinion. WAY too much vibration above 5k. And really ugly vibration. Every other bike I had I liked the engine more than the F (Honda V4s, Honda V2s, Triples, Boxer, Inline 4, ... - you name it, I liked it more than the parallel twin of the F).
    #3
  4. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Of these bikes is going to be light years ahead of a KLR. I have an S10 after owning a GS12 and highly recommend it compared to the others just because of the load and comfort you will require. It has the most chugability of the others too. Pulls from 2000rpm. Plenty of room to move around. Not to mention good suspension, brakes, shaft drive and handling. You can really haul ass off pavement in complete control. Only one better of the big Duallies off road is the KTM 990. The S10 is way more planted and comfortable on road though.Oh, and a biggie, RELIABILITY!
    #4
  5. craigincali

    craigincali Just hanging around

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    Look at it like this: anything you get will be better than a KLR.....
    #5
  6. Turkishexpress

    Turkishexpress Groper

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    If you're more into on-road, have you looked into Triumph Tiger 1050?
    #6
  7. Juggernot

    Juggernot Land Locked Sailor

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    I traded my Tiger 955i for a Tiger 1050. I'm 6'2" 270lbs and this thing fits like a glove. Two up with the wife is no problem. Very comfortable for the wife. The 1050 triple has loads of go. I tried the 800 roadie and XC. Nice bikes. You just have to rev them higher. I you are staying on pavement the 1050 is the way to go.
    #7
  8. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I never owned a KLR, but done a few longer trips with them in southern Africa and Central America. My current 2012 Wee-strom fits my needs almost perfectly, and it does remarkably well two-up (for a 650, that costs several thousands less than big GS's or S10's, I mean). No off-road bike, but anything remotely resembling a road is fine, and it handles well on tarmac, has great fuel economy and more than adequate range.
    #8
  9. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    1) L2 DL 650, 25-26 km/l. - better on long trips.
    2) Low service costs
    3) Is fine 2-up, not a rocket, but not an effort either.
    4) Great.

    As Pecha72 comments, provided you aren't expecting MX bikes performance it'll get you there if it looks like a road.

    > 440 km range.

    Pete
    #9
  10. DCardoza

    DCardoza Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the responses. Yes I've looked at the tiger 1050. See them all over the place used and if I go for a used bike, it will be up there. Out of my price range new though. just recently saw that Kawasaki is coming out with a 1000cc Versys so that is an intriguing option. Should clarify that 2up trips are limited to about 4-5 times a year and probably less than 500 miles. Just thought I'd like the option. Don't like what I'm hearing about short trip on the tiger 800 mpg though. Desire for a more adventure type bike is mostly aesthetic, which I suspect is mostly the case if people are honest about it. Hate the cruiser look and a lot of touring bikes look like they are meant for they are designed for 60 year lawyers (no offense)
    very true. No place to go but up.
    #10
  11. DCardoza

    DCardoza Adventurer

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    I did look at the dl 650 and 1000. I really liked the 650, but it still left me wanting a little more. Hated the 1000 in just about every way possible. Not sure why, just did.
    #11
  12. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Looks like a great machine. Light, quick, reliable but unfortunately only a 17 inch front wheel. Its greatest downfall. If it had a 19 incher they would have sold thousands of them in N.A. Kawi was asleep at the wheel on this one. Same with their 650. They'll do dirt but no fun. Got to work too hard to stay on track at speed. I would have bought one if it would have had a 19. Went for the S10 instead and couldn't be happier.
    #12