The pillion bike?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Echo3Niner, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    That is a nicely setup BMW! Personally I find the I4 a bit bland and the power while good, isn't quite what bmw claims it seems (MCN found 128hp at the wheel - which works out to be about the same as you get with the Multi). Its also 50lbs over his weight limit, but 500lbs is going to be a hard one to hit with anything other than the multi or SMT.

    Wheelbase is good for pillion-toting - really helps the chassis remain composed with extra weight back there I find.
    #61
  2. Revan

    Revan Throttle Jockey

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    Based upon the criteria, ..... I would have to put in a vote for the Ducati Multistrata or a Tiger 1050........BUT......I would add the Buell Ulysses (the lower XT version) as a bike to consider (if you are not looking at strictly buying a new machine).

    I say that because, based upon personal experience, the Ulysses was one of THE MOST comfortable (and fun) bikes I have EVER ridden, and it is considered one of the best in pillion comfort as well......and the XT version should come standard with heated grips and side cases.

    Even though it is no speed demon, its Hp/torque numbers are decent (with a simple exhaust-ECU-airbox mod you can get around 90-100hp and 85-90ft/lbs at the rear wheel), it's under 500lbs, and its inherent design (rigid frame, short wheelbase, low/centered mass, good suspension, v-twin torque) not only gives it glassy-smooth ride, but makes it a REMARKABLY AGILE machine that will chew up any twisty road you throw at it.

    (The first time I rolled the throttle and layed in with a good countersteer on my Uly, the bike shocked the hell outta me as to how quickly/solidly it dropped into the corner and turned.)

    Also, if you want character and soul, the Buell has both in boatloads.....there is nothing else like it on the road.

    If you ever have an opportunity to test drive a Buell (even just for fun), go for it.


    ....just my humble opinion....for what it's worth.


    Revan.
    #62
  3. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    You are probably right about that!

    I have looked at the KTM's, and would consider one.

    Yes, it's on the original list (post #1)

    That is a pretty Bimmer!

    The weight and HP ratings are guidelines, mostly to denote the type of performance I'm looking for; 50 lbs. wouldn't be a deal breaker.

    Thanks for your opinion, and I agree, I have always been a fan of EB's bikes. I am looking for something new/trouble free however.
    #63
  4. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    Heading up to dealer for some maintenance work on my bike next weekend, will try the Tiger and Storm (or Thunderbird if they don't have the Storm in stock).
    #64
  5. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    You have not said that money was an issue, so, if it's not I would say that your best bet will be the new BMW 1600.

    It has the power, it has the handling, and it works for those of us with shorter lower appenditures. And I bet your wife will love it too. OK, it weighs a bit over your desired limit, but after you ride it....tell me that weight is a problem!

    Now, if money is an issue, and you don't want a German machine, and you insist on less than 550 lbs., and you want to have lots of scoot.....well, your choices are very limited.
    Have fun shopping!
    #65
  6. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    Well, sat on the Storm; she liked it, I still don't like the forward pegs or the fact it's so low it'll drag the undercarriage around anything tight.

    The Sprint GT was OK, but again reminded me of an even heavier version of my Interceptor, so I think the whole line of ST's are out now.

    The Tiger was so high as to be unwieldy, which now has me questioning the Multistrada even more. This was a Tiger 800, and was awkward getting on, made me feel like a little kid trying to get on a big kids bike... I know I'm vertically challenged, but shesh!

    I'll tell ya, after that little tour of bikes, I'm actually leaning more towards the Diavel...

    Guess we'll just have to make an appointment to go to the Ducati dealer and try both to see how they feel...
    #66
  7. pookiebear

    pookiebear Long timer

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    Corbin has a saddle with pillion backrest for the 2001-2011 Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler & T100's
    That would be my choice for a non german, non japanese bike

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    #67
  8. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

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    This doesn't look to me like a comfy pillion perch, but to each her own.

    [​IMG]


    The pic is from UK bike writer Kevin Ash's site, where he has a report on the Diavel that includes comments from a passenger.
    #68
  9. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    That Diavel is one stupid-looking bike...

    Should be in the W-T-F Picture Thread...

    :rolleyes
    #69
  10. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    That was a great article, thanks! More pillion info in it than I've seen in most. This part was troubling:

    "As for passengers themselves, finding one the right size is important. I came up trumps with Claire Warner, Diavel fan, cute, compact and a perfect fit. She found the seat itself exceptionally comfortable, very wide and supportive. “The footrests are in the right position too, if you’re 5’2”(1.57m), but for anyone much taller they’ll start to feel cramped and too high. No problem on the right side with a boot heel clashing with the exhaust heat shield.” It looks as if it might, but that wasn’t the case with Claire’s Italy-friendly size 4s anyway."

    Mainly because my wife is 5'8"+ and not as tiny as she used to be... Of course, I'm far from tiny myself...

    I did get an email back from the Duc dealer, he doesn't have any Diavel's left anyway, and doesn't expect to get anymore this model-year. He has 3 Multi's though, so we can see first hand how tall they are.

    Outside of that, I think we're going to have trouble finding something that I will like riding, and the pillion will like riding on as well...
    #70
  11. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

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    I've been keeping an eye on the market myself for a pillion bike, Echo3Niner, and under criteria similar to yours. Although I'm also interested in longer trips - a week or two - and would consider Japanese or German, in theory at least.

    Your criteria really don't leave much room. Ducati, Aprilia, Guzzi, KTM, Triumph ... have I forgotten anything?

    I've converted my Duc S4Rs Monster for pillion use, with stiffer springs, remote preload adjustment, a grab rail and a custom seat. Makes a nice two-up sports bike and cruises sweetly enough, while still very nice solo. My passenger enjoys life back there, says the big sports-tourers (K1200GT, for example) feel like riding on the bus by comparison.

    But doubling on the Monster has opened my eyes to a few things (YMMV):

    1. Short fuel range is even more annoying two-up. It is just that much more complicated starting and stopping.

    2. Would be nice to sit a little more upright, for a better connection with the passenger.

    3. Two people's stuff takes a lot more space than just mine. In uncertain weather we need two sets of waterproofs, for example.

    4. I rarely use the top-end of the rev-range when two-up. Truth be told, I don't hit the rev limiter much solo either; prefer to short-shift the Duc. But two-up, with the compromised manoeuvrability and braking, and the extra responsibility, and the extra dividend for smoothness, I find rolling on and off the throttle in taller gears the most entertaining way to get around.

    5. Easy rear spring preload adjustment is worth its weight in gold.

    6. The Monster chassis can feel a bit flexy two-up, even properly sprung. Not sure where the flex is, suspect it may just be the fork. But the extra load is significant, and not all bikes are built for it.

    Of your list, the Multistrada appeals most to me. I rode one briefly the other week, it had a heap of mid-range and felt very solid. Haven't tried it two-up yet, tho, and yes, I was a bit surprised I couldn't flat-foot it (I'm a fraction under 6').

    The latest Guzzis - 2011 Norge and, more likely, the Stelvio 8v, due in the US late this year I believe - are also on my radar. The weight worries me a bit, but strength and grunt should be there, plus big range. I'll ride one when they get to Australia. IIRC when I did sit on one it was significantly shorter than the Multi 1200, so might be more your size.

    Also worth your consideration might be the previous Multi. A bit shorter than the new one, shorter in the wheelbase, quite possibly lighter (belying Ducati's specs), arguably more sporty.

    I will be trying a VFR1200 and an R1200RT also, when the time comes. Maybe even a Harley.

    Edit: Nearly forgot the Motus. Looking on there with interest.
    #71
  12. Calamity Jesus

    Calamity Jesus n0ob

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    Owning a Bonneville and having ridden a Thunderbird (non-Storm), I would pick the Bonneville over the Thunderbird any day. My wife absolutely hated the Thunderbird.. I only hated it when I tried to take a turn at normal speeds. :puke1
    #72
  13. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    Great write up, thanks for the info. I'm buying just about everything you're selling.
    #73
  14. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    So after much discussion with the pillion, looks like we're going with the Sprint,, unless the Motus is not outrageously priced...

    The other bikes didn't do it for her, after much discussion.
    #74
  15. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Did you ride the Rocket III?
    #75
  16. Jake

    Jake crustacean

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    Did you by chance make it back to the Ducati dealer? You have been fairly consistent in this thread that you wanted something altogether different than your VFR, but have come full circle and are essentially back home where you started with the Sprint GT. Great choice, however, and one my wife and I are strongly considering. We found the Multi a better fit and more connected than the GT, as we essentially sit at the same angle on the Duc. On the GT she felt more upright with me having a forward lean. It wasn't so much as to leave her feeling overly exposed, but after years on an RT, she likes to stay close.
    #76
  17. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    Decided that except for maybe the Diavel, all cruisers have their pegs too far forward for me to feel comfortable.

    No we haven't, and we did note that the Multi's seat was only an inch higher than my Daytona's, so shouldn't be such a big deal. We still plan to go to the Duc dealer and take a look at some point; but, as she and I talked, she made some good points about the Sprint vs. the Multi, basically that they were so very close in many ways, yet the Duc was $6 grand more.

    As I said before, this purchase will be NEXT spring/summer, so we still have time. But at least we have it down to a couple bikes now... Basically it's the Sprint vs. the Multi; unless the Motus is competitively priced, then we'll look at that too.

    Thanks to everyone on this thread by the way, your input has helped us narrow down the list.
    #77
  18. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    Some of you guys really don't like your wife or gf, and really don't want her to come with.

    I have enjoyed my travels just the two of us. She has been a great riding partner. I wouldn't dream of sticking her on some little cramped bike.
    #78
  19. Echo3Niner

    Echo3Niner Adventurer

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    #79
  20. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

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    Hey thanks for the link, I'd not seen that piece. They seem to have told it as they saw it. The Kaw GTR14 came across particularly well, tho obviously aimed more at longer trips.

    The Triumph certainly seems to have a lot of your bases covered, and at a good price. I've just re-read the Kevin Ash review from around the time this one launched, and he sounded very impressed.

    [​IMG]


    (Pic above from the Ash piece, more there.)

    The Duc might not have dominated at the drag strip - with that self-servo clutch it must be a nightmare to launch - but it certainly killed 'em in 60-80mph top-gear roll-ons, tall gearing notwithstanding, acc to those Cycle World specs (bottom of linked page). That motor really kicks.

    You've not expressed any interest in the Guzzis. Do these not grab you?

    [​IMG]

    I suppose, with the weight and that 32 Litre tank, they are too much on the touring side. Guzzi character and that fuel range appeals to me, tho.
    #80