Sport Tourers; Where Art Thou?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Rider, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu I'm Barry F'n Gibb!!

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    You should also look at the guzzi Norge. My wife tried an 1150rt for about a month. It felt too big for her.
  2. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Indeed.

    I've been sticking with middleweights since now that I want one, the old ST2/Sprint 955/VFR segment is gone.

    I've given up on Honda, they've totally lost the plot. I can't see Ducati going back there. I hope hope hope hope hope that Triumph drops the Tiger 800 motor into a Sprint package. Though I bet they'll just let the base 800 with a 19" front 'fill' that segment. :bluduh

    The BMW F800ST gets really close but then doesn't, I wanted to like that bike on paper but riding it just didn't do much for me. :dunno
  3. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    Have you considered or test ridden a BMW F800ST? A friend owns one & while it is not to my taste it ticks every box you listed above. Extraordinary fuel economy (better than the 650 WeeStrom), as light as the WeeStrom & way lighter than the VFR800, more torque than the VFR but less top end HP, much more agile & direct handling plus better ABS brakes than the VFR or your WeeStrom, intergrated factory hard panniers & topbox, low maintanance belt-drive, 17inch wheels sized for the latest sport-touring rubber, neutral ergonomics ( VFR is sportier, WeeStrom more sit up & come to Jesus) better seat & pillion comfort than the VFR... might just be the thing you are looking for.
  4. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    I like the idea of the Beemer but I do my own work and I'm put off by the Beemers mechanical complexity. That being said if I were to buy a BMW it would be the 1200gs.
  5. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    You have uttered wisdom here, amigo! That ST 800 from BMW checks all of my boxes,.......right until I read the tag hanging off the bars. Then the loopy "dealer prep" charges, then the $500.00 belt that needs changing every 30,000, & the fact that the only dealer in the state is 100+ miles away. Great bike otherwise though! I got lucky & found a leftover GSX 650 F...the sheep in wolf's clothing. I put on my own hot grips, 12v socket, & luggage rack, & sprang for the optional center stand. All of that still didn't add up to $5300 + my 11 year old Connie. Only problem is...the GSX in classic Zookie blue & white draws the same attention from our uniformed friends as it's fiercer cousins. I've sworn off liter bikes for good. But when I burn through this Suzuki, (11,000 mi. in 14 months) I'm not sure where I'll go. There aren't many alternatives out there between 650 & 850. Maybe I'll try to civilize that GSXR 750 with new bars, lower pegs & new seat, but the insurance company won't see it quite that way, I'm sure.
  6. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    This conversation on smaller/less conventional sport tourers has got me thinking. After years of riding large sport tourers (Connie, 2 x ST1100s, ST1300 and now an R1200RT), I'm seriously considering downsizing to something smaller. I've been drawn to the larger bikes for their wx protection and luggage capacity. I'm now thinking previous generation VFR or something like that. Maybe even a 600 cc sport bike with some minor modifications (CBR F4i, FZ6, or SV650S). We'll see...
  7. ka5ysy

    ka5ysy Doug

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  8. slickwill

    slickwill Exhiled

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    I saw an FZ6 with hard bags and top box recently and thought it looked like a nice ST setup. However, I had an F4i prior to my VFR and while it was a VERY good bike the engine just didn't have the right power delivery for ST work. It was great if you were going 10/10ths with it wound up to 12.5K but relaxed pace at lower revs it fell on its face. Especially when loaded down or two-up. My VFR doesn't have quite as much peak power but the power is much more accessible and it has much better torque.
  9. Rider

    Rider Moderator Emeritus Super Moderator

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    While I do a lot of 2-up with The Lovely Missus and love the extra size and power of the FJR1300, I can definitely see the appeal of smaller and lighter sport tourers in the 800cc range.
    Hell, if I were single I know I'd have a VFR in my garage.
    While we've seen a growth in mid-size adventure tourers, I do think some companies are missing the boat by not offering sport touring bikes in the same size range.
  10. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I ran a Ninja 650R before my FZ6, both with Givi V35s and E470. Add frame sliders, GPS, wiring for heated vest, and go. Four thousand dollars of solo sport touring, available all day long on craigslist.

    The 650R did have the better day in / day out motor. But the 5gal tank and centerstand on the FZ6 is nice. I think the new FZ6R is the best of both worlds - 4cyl with actual midrange, centerstand, decent sized tank, and Givi racks mount right up. (Kawi dropped the passenger handrails in the US and that is where all the luggage makers attach mounts. :baldy).
  11. Sniff

    Sniff Adventurer

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    +1 on the VFR comments and the 'sweet spot' engine size.

    I'm looking at a Sprint as an alternative, I realize it's got more cc's and is heavier, but it somehow feels smaller than the C14/RT/etc. I had an RT and it felt too...big? Subjective, I know...

    My brother has his FZ6 set up pretty nice, but coming off a Bandit1250, I'd like something a little bigger than a 600, and with more wx protection...
  12. Rider

    Rider Moderator Emeritus Super Moderator

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    Sounds like the Sprint could be an excellent choice. :nod
  13. slickwill

    slickwill Exhiled

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    If I was shopping right now I'd definitely test ride a Sprint. I spent a day on a Speed Triple recently and LOVED the motor.
  14. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    Sprint GT vs the new VFR. While I really like the looks of the new GT, I am wondering, for those considering it, why not the new VFR? Aside from its polarizing looks and higher price tag, seems to be getting great reviews.
  15. Motard_Menace

    Motard_Menace Been here awhile

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    So far this one fits the bill for me while I hold my breath :norton waiting for Ducati to come out with a new ST......The little 800 Beemer in the Sport version ticks most of the boxes for me. Its all day comfy for weekend or light extended touring duty, light weight (relative) and has enough go go to get all the tickets you want + has some of the modern techno wizardry such as ABS, Gear Position Indicator, TPS etc. and the belt drive is a nice compromise between shafty or chain. I know some would argue the ST is a bit better at ST work however I am not a big fan of the looks on the ST and although looks are subjective it is a consideration for me when buying a motorcycle when I can only have one anyway. I currently have the MV risers on it now and a Sergeant Seat, Vario Windscreen and those have made a big difference. Since this model was only brought to the US for one season I think it gets overlooked. I know I overlooked it for years personally......

    However I have found the best solution to this problem is an unlimited budget though then I could have six motorcycles......:rofl
  16. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    :hmmmmm Don't know where that idea comes from. If you are really doing your own work on your WeeStrom then the F800ST will be less complex. The VFR800 is an order of magnitude more complex again

    Oil & filter changes.

    DL650 F800 & VFR have spin off oil filters, wet clutches with common engine & gearbox lubricant - one bolt drain/one point fill. VFR needs more plastic removed than others for access.
    All 3 bikes have paper a single paper element air filter in airbox... f800 easier access than VFR & DL650 as fuel tank does not need to be removed.

    Final drive.
    DL650. O-ring chain. Needs periodic adjustment with wheel alignment, cleaning & lubrication. Replacement of chain & sprockets every 20 to 40k Km
    VFR. O-ring chain. Needs periodic adjustment, cleaning & lubrication. SS swingarm negates need for alignment adjustment Replacement of chain & sprockets every 20 to 30k km ( heavier bike possibly more chain wear than DL650)
    F800ST. Belt drive. No periodic adjustment, cleaning & lubrication. SS swingarm negates need for alignment adjustment. Replacement of belt every 40 to 60k km. Belts about 40 to 50% more expensive than a quality chain & sprocket kit. If you own a chainbreaker & do your own chain replacement then chain cheaper. If you do not do your own chain replacement then the labour costs make chains considerably more expensive.

    Valve adjustments

    F800. Parallel Twin. Single head with 4 valves per cylinder with one inlet & one exhaust cam. Bucket over shim adjustment. Clearance checked with cams in situ. Cams removed to change shims to adjust clearance if necessary. Check every 20,000km

    DL650 V-Twin. Two heads each with two camshafts. 4 cams in total with 8 valves in total plus 2 camchains. Bucket over shim adjustment. Clearance checked with cams in situ. Cams removed to change shims to adjust clearance if necessary. More than twice as complex as F800. Check every 24,000km

    VFR800 V-Four. 2 heads each with 2 cylinders & 4 valves per cylinder. total 16 valves ( 8 vtec, 8 bucket over shim).

    Checking procedure. Remove all four camshafts, install special part locking pins in Vtec followers. Install all 4 camshafts, measure clearances (note results). If no clearances need adjusting remove all 4 camshafts, remove locking pins on vtec followers and replace all four camshafts.

    If non vtec valves need adjustment replace shims under buckets like DL650 or F800. If vtec valves need adjustment the whole bucket needs to be swapped out.. $$$. then replace cams, check that adjustment correct, remove cams to remove locking pins, replace cams once again & button it all up... Check interval 24000km.

    All 3 bikes use solid state ignition & fuel injection. However Honda use unique FI system unlike Suzuki & BMW that use common Bosch components.

    Sum up. For the true home mechanic the BMW is the most simple & cheapest. BMW dealers have a reputation for high prices however so if "I do my own work" is a flexible concept the Suzuki may match the BMW for service costs. The VFR is on another planet & most owners just ignore valve checks altogether.....
  17. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    Fab bike.. yes

    Sport tourer... no

    Full size touring bike... yes. Thats why BMW call it an "RT" not "ST"
  18. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

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    Full size touring bike...no! It's not long enough or heavy enough to match up to the real touring bikes. Size matters...and this bike is short and barely 500lbs.
  19. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    I used to kick around the idea of turning the sv650s into a sports tourer. Kinda like a bandit-lite. With a lot better mpg.
  20. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    2004 CB 919... Givi bags and trunk, SW Motec mounts, Renthal low rise bars, complete CBR 900 exhaust, GPS mount, Powered tank bag, SS brake lines,12v outlets, and shiny new paint :-)

    Since these pics I have added obnoxiously bright LED's to the back of the bags, solas tape, stomp grips, agri tubes + MSR fuel bottles,and dropped a tooth off the rear sprocket. Also took off the Givi red pinstripe and replaced it with 3M reflective orange. Next up, hand guards and rebuild the front forks. Going to have the rack for the bags welded and braced since it has a little bit of wiggle when loaded.



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