Opinions on a R12R stablemate needed

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Jedl, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Jedl

    Jedl Been here awhile

    Jun 29, 2010
    New England
    So I have a 2010 R12R that I’ve had since new. Great bike, smooth, lot’s of character - overall a great bike for speeds from 50 mph to 90 mph. But these days most of my riding is back roads and running around town. Having fun on the R12R around town invariably means speeding and I can’t really afford speeding tickets on my driving record. I have enough of a colorful driving record as it is.

    So I’m looking for a bike that will be fun at slower speeds. I had a NX650 back in ’89 that I remember as a lot of fun around town but a bit twitchy at highway speeds. I liked that it had enough torque to lift the front wheel in 1st gear anytime I was too ham-fisted with the throttle. The seat was pure torture for me at the time.

    I’m in New Hampshire so back roads are relatively rough pavement, lot’s of curves, potholes and frost heaves with speed limits of 30-40 mph. I’d like to stay relatively light, a twin or a thumper. Horse power is a non-issue since I won’t be taking this thing on the highway. But decent torque numbers would be nice so I can lighten the front wheel without attracting too much attention. I would love to try a Duke 690 but the potential for electrical / mechanical problems and lack of local dealerships makes me wary. I’m wondering about a XR650L set up street motard style with a liberated motor and maybe a pumper carb. So with that as the frame of reference, what do you guys think makes sense as an around town bike?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas and comments,

  2. duxrneet

    duxrneet Been here awhile

    Jul 20, 2009
    Melbourne, AUS
    DR650 on street tires?
  3. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer

    Aug 25, 2005
    Spring Mountain Range
    Try a scooter. After doing every facet of motorcycling I started riding scooters and they are a gas. So easy to ride and use plus they bring a level of fun to the regular going that a normal motorcycle just can't touch.
  4. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

    Apr 22, 2006

    The Duke and SM/SMC690 is what first popped into my head, but I share
    your worries on reliability. There's really nothing like it out there, a
    Dorsoduro 750 comes close in "feel".

    Thinking lower budget and smaller bike, DRZ400SM was my first thought,
    not a very powerful bike but has torque. A WR250X is probably a smarter
    choice, it's just as fast (or nearly), but that thing needs clutch action for
    wheelies a lot more then the DRZ does.
  5. BigEasy

    BigEasy Fish Eyed Heathen

    Jun 23, 2007
    South of Indy in the hills
    You're going to think I'm nuts but here goes.

    I've owned an '07 R12R since new and have gone through six or eight others since I bought it, my forever bike. One of the others was a DR650 and it was good for what it sounds like you're looking for but, wait here it comes:

    I like my current Buell XB 12 STT for what you're after. I got out of the wheelie business some time ago but this thing will loft the front end easily without much provocation. They're made for shitty back roads it corners by telepathy and ignores potholes like they don't exist. The STT seat while looking like a dirt bike seat is one of the most comfortable factory seats I've ever sat on.

    Mines been dead reliable, service is a joke, as in throw some new oil and a filter at it in the spring and ride. Parts are still readily available and service is as close as the nearest HD emporium.
  6. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Nov 1, 2006
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    r1200r is such a versatile platform. I used mine (2007) for track days, gravel roads and for longer travels just threw on the bags and away you go. When I first read your post I thought of a bigger and smaller complimentary addition to the stable and on the smaller side the Katey Em 690 was first and then some of the great deals on the midsize UJM dual sport and motard type bikes. I like the Buell, but I can't think of much you couldn't do with one or the other besides being "the same only different" :D
  7. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

    Feb 14, 2006
    Buell XB9SX 'CityCross'
    Ducati Monster 750 or 900, the early steel tank years, up to '02 I think.
    Kawasaki ER-6N ('08-'09)
    First-generation SV650 ('99-... '04 I think)
    Honda CB500F ('12+)
    Suzuki GS500E ('90-'02)

    The brakes and suspension on the DR650 sorta blow.

    Depends how much you want to spend.
  8. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

    Jul 7, 2005
    Asheville NC
    A smaller dualsport/tard in the 250-350 range:
    CRF, XT, Kwaker, 'zuke, etc.

    Might be a nice choice because you get a low price and so-so suspension easy to replace with stuff valved for your heft. 30-40 zones are no problem for these bikes. Right in the sweet spot.

    I really like mid size dirty bikes for townie use when the speed zones are slow and roads suck. Slow bike fast, and all that.

    And then you'd have a fair base for a woods bike that would do all but the truly gnarly stuff. Swap some parts and go weekending with it.
  9. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

    Dec 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    +1 on the Honda CB500F ABS version, about $6300 MSRP. I've got a a fully farkled '02 R1150GS that I love, for long hauls. It is outfitted with Jesse bags, MotoFizz & Wolfman accompaniments, as well as aux lights, etc. As the 'Most Interesting Man in the World' would say, "I don't often travel far on a motorcycle, but when I do, it's on the R1150GS."

    But I've been looking for something a bit sportier, just for the weekend rides up the canyons, around town, club gatherings, something I won't be putting hard luggage on to other than maybe a tail bag for rain gear or rafraîchissement. The CB ticks all the boxes for me. Pretty reasonably priced, light weight, not too much power so I don't kill myself (though the Ducati Monster 1200 gets my heart racing). Upright seating position. Low seat height and comfortable. And ABS. Since my GS has ABS and I am used to grabbing my brakes HARD when necessary, I don't want another bike to be without ABS. Looked for Aprilia Shivers but they are not importing the ABS version this year. Aprilia Dorsoduro has ABS but is more expensive and has a 3.1 gal tank and a 34.2 in seat height, not to mention one of those hard assed moto cross seats. Yammies, Suzies, etc. The Honda, as you might expect, is just a great all rounder from what I've seen/ read on the web. Hope to test ride this weekend. Then comes the hard part: spending money. I'm such a cheap bastige. Like the looks too.


    PS. Honda makes the "Adventure" version of this bike too, the CB500X. I'm not sure what makes if different but it might suit those NH back roads better.
  10. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

    Dec 26, 2006
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Tearing up twisty, frost heaved, coastal roads this past Saturday on mine.

    Couldn't lose the grin on my face.

    It's number 2 for me.

    As you clearly have smooth and long distance surrounded, this should work great in your 'hood.

  11. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Adventurer

    May 8, 2012
    Pacifica, California
    Just my opinion, but here goes...

    Save the big outlay for a new or different bike and upgrade the suspension on the one you have.

    That and...

    Don't give in to twisting the fun lever so much!

    You'll never be safe on any bike until you do so. Written performance awards can be collected on a moped, let alone a thumper or a small twin.

    Full disclosure...

    2012 R1200R in the garage which I bought new.

    I went with Yacugar, but any shock upgrade will work.
  12. Woland

    Woland Wannabe adventurer

    May 3, 2009
    Gothenburg Sweden

    R12R works better than most bikes for city riding. And its not like its harder to break the speed limits on a smaller bike...
  13. ninepeaks9

    ninepeaks9 Been here awhile

    Jun 18, 2010
    South Riding, VA
    Kawasaki W650 "Dubya"
    Yamaha SR400
    Kawasaki Super Sherpa

    Any one of these will do. W650 & Super Sherpa have been stablemates to my '07 R12R.
  14. milo

    milo Been here awhile

    Aug 4, 2001
    Clifton Mills, Almost Heaven.
    You're wanting light weight with lots of suspension, I know what you mean about frost heaves up there! A used BMW F650/700 twin would be nice, not much heavier than a KLR 650 and about twice the hp.

    Of the Japanese big bore singles (KLR, XR650L, DR650) I've owned all three and personally prefer the DR650. It's lighter and better quality than a KLR, the KLR comes with a nice fairing though. The DR650 is smoother and runs a little better than the XR, it's seat is lower and I believe it holds a little more gas. I didn't like the emission plumbing on my XR so I had to take that off then fool with jetting it. I also didn't care for the way the side cover functioned as the air box cover. It was a PIA to get back on. The XR makes nice low end power and it's suspension may give it a slight edge riding in the woods.

    IMO the DR650 would be a nice compliment to the 1200R. It's light weight with a simple, air/oil-cooled engine that's smooth and torquey. Mine was fine stock but to get it the way I like it I added a Corbin seat, mirror extenders, slightly heavier fork springs, and a rear rack. Other than backing out the pilot screw a 1/2 turn the carb and jetting is stock, it runs well and gets good mpg. This bike is a hoot to ride on WV roads with all the patches and potholes, and for exploring those interesting little roads that turn to gravel or dirt. It's usually my go to bike for running errands because it's so light and easy to maneuver.

  15. nytrashman

    nytrashman old and in the way

    Mar 5, 2007
    westchester co. NY
    I have a 2011 F650GS twin to go along with my 2007 R1200R and am very happy with this combo.
  16. ramon

    ramon weezin' the juice!

    Sep 20, 2002
    My second bike is a BMW F800GSA and I could not be happier with it. This bike reminds me of why I got into motorcycling in the first place, it's so fun. It was purchased for the same reasons that you are looking for a second bike. But it has become my go to bike, as its so fun and easy to ride.
  17. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 300 Ft.

    Aug 16, 2005
    Carlisle Pennsylvania USA
    I'm virtually the same as nytrashman and ramon: my '09 F800GS twin with my '07 R1200R. The "F/R" riding ratio is about 75/25, but the R does have its place.

  18. Stephenmarklay

    Stephenmarklay Been here awhile

    Mar 22, 2012
    Spokane, WA
    I just picked up a 2007 R1200R to go along with my F800GS. Really great mix. Well I do have a TW200 too :D
  19. Rotoride

    Rotoride Adventurer

    Jul 16, 2011
    bikes like the super duke or the husky definately have the power to break the speed limit and get you in trouble on the roads, you might actually want to stay away from something with that much torque.

    One of my friends was a track rider that was approaching pro speeds while he raced. He bought a husky supermoto as his around town bike and he crashed that thing so many times we were worried he was going to kill himself. He ended up totalling it a few months ago when a car did a hard stop in front of him.

    I would think you might be best off with a small bike that is a hoot to ride yet has no real power, like one of the following:

    The Honda Grom sounds like it might be exactly your cup of tea. Super cheap and not fast enough to get you into trouble, yet super fun to ride.

    CBR 125 if you can cross the border and get one from canada?

    SR400 is also tons of fun and dead simple (kickstart only kinda sucks)

    TU250X is relatively fast and quite spunky for a 250, I'd buy one as a second bike if I could find one used for a good deal.

    Also, a left field option might be a Ural. It's a hack, but it might actually suit your needs. Immensely fun to ride, coolest thing on less than 4 wheels and not enough power to get you into trouble.
  20. MariusD

    MariusD Long timer

    Dec 19, 2012
    Metairie, near New Orleans
    Check out A triumph truxton/ t100 scrambler

    Or the ducati monster 821.