Thoughts on best 2up !!!! for ADV

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Sound Farm, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    Some of us just prefer more basic, simple technology. Some things, like electronic ignitions, have proven themselves and stood the test of time. Things like "smart" suspension scare me. I like to yank my shocks apart myself, and some of these new technologies do not lend themselves to the home tinkerer very well. Most newer electronics have some sort of fail-safe built in, but I hate to own anything that has features that do not work.
    Peter Egan recently wrote a column about his Ulysses, that had thrown a CEL. When he returned from riding his CB550, the CEL had miraculously cured itself. I would *hate* to experience a "self curing" CEL! This only means that it is going to happen again, probably at a worse time, and probably *not* cure itself.
    I don't want to own a bike that even *has* a CEL. Ducati's Multistrada S scares me with its complexity. The KTM's and the V-Strom's do not. Even though FI has proven itself in cars, I am still on the fence as to whether or not it actually belongs in bikes. Jets and needles are fine, as long as the carbs are accessible, and therein lies the rub.
    #41
  2. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

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    The Multi had the seat she liked most, but no question that all around, she LOVES our Tenere! Stock, the seat had a slightly forward tilt that was similar to the Beemer so I did raise the front of her seat about 3/8" and she has a plug for her heated jacket now.
    [​IMG]

    We've done 10 hour days and rutted trails and she's happy, so I feel blessed.
    #42
  3. Pacific

    Pacific Left Coast Adventurer

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    It seems inevitable that certain segments of the market will continue to "benefit" from a lot of technology. This includes the touring (including ADV touring) segments. It's okay, to a point, but when it involves consumables, like shocks, it's a worry. I believe I read somewhere that a replacement rear electronically adjustable unit on a GS runs something like 2500, installed. If it went on the road somewhere, you'd likely pay all of that. I had no troubles with mine on my 2010 GS, but when I sold the bike, I was relieved to have passed it along before any of the expensive stuff needed work.

    The manufacturers are competing with this stuff, and it's not likely to go away. Until it becomes failsafe (which it ain't yet), it will cause occasional MASSIVE headaches to unlucky riders. Triumph service intervals on the Explorer 1200 are 10k miles. Time will tell if the bike is robust enough to be worry free between services (assuming that the owner is alert and cares for the bike properly).
    #43
  4. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    To the two earlier posters considering the FJR. It is my favorite bike but my wife cannot stand more than 30 minutes on it. I've even added a custom seat and peg lowering kit for her. Still doesn't work for her. Plus she says the factory trunk vibrates into her back. In her defense, the mounting of the tourpack is too tightly spaced and it noticably shakes. She rides on the Uly without any issue and can sleep in the Ural's sidecar easily. Her favorite 2 wheeler was a GL1500. (moreso than the 1200 or 1800)
    #44
  5. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    No doubt, I agree with you quite a bit. I guess it comes down to each of us finding our own "tipping point" and making the choice to plow ahead or stay several generations behind the curve. Nothing wrong with either choice...its just a preference, I suppose.

    I'm an IT Engineer, which puts me in a situation where I deal with somewhat leading technology. This has caused me to prefer being one step behind the latest, greatest. Some people prefer bleeding edge...as in jumping feet first from the high-dive onto a 10-foot long razor blade into a pool of iodine. I'll stick with the "new" technology that's just a couple years old. :D
    #45
  6. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    All good conversation. Getting back to the original purpose of this thread, I feel like "The Best 2-Up Adventure Bike" has to satisfy more than just pilot and passenger accommodations - It has to fit the ideals of the owner in many regards, including price, performance, and expectations. That said, the bikes that seem to rise to the top of any discussion similar to this one are the S10, the V-Strom's, the Multistrada, and the new Tiger's - both the 800's and the new 1200. KTM 950-990's rarely are mentioned when comfort is involved, and I am only bringing this up because the SM-T seems to be quite different than their Adventure's, Super Enduro's, and Super Duke. I am still very much stuck between the practicality of the V-Strom's, and the magnetic draw of the SM-T. The SM-T has a 2" shorter wheel base (which I feel is quite significant), and a 1.5" taller seat height, as well as being about 100 lbs lighter than the Strom 1000. All of these things, combined, make the SM-T probably much more fun for a guy like me. I searched Youtube for "V-Strom wheelie" and the results were quite laughable. Jerky - 1st gear, 30 foot results, for the most part. The same search for the SM-T, OTOH, left me wanting a test ride.
    I know that almost any bike seat has a good chance of requiring personal fitting, and the SM-T and the MS are no exceptions. The Stroms, Tiger's, and the S10's seats may start off closer to target, though.
    #46
  7. davyjones

    davyjones Been here awhile

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    I hope to hear my wife say those very words for whatever reason. :clap
    Thanks for the reply. Always have to keep an open mind.
    #47
  8. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    I think the SM-T is checking all your boxes. Whatcha waitin' for!?!? Get out there and test ride one!! Be sure to spend a good hour on the bike. I'm sure you don't need to be told, but a good dealer will allow for a reasonable test ride.

    Ahhh....the joys of bike hunting.

    :freaky
    #48
  9. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    I doubt that anybody would allow a test ride in this season up here. The roads are full of sand and salt! I think you are right, though... I am really drawn to the SM-T. I have never bought a *new* motorcycle, much less an expensive, exotic one. The most I have ever paid for a bike was around $2,500. I did buy my wife a new quad last year, though... that was one of the best purchases I ever made. She instantly fell in love with trail riding. If I could get her on her own bike, that would change *everything*. I have a Ninja 250 that I picked up for our youngest daughter (and now, she wants a bigger bike, but that is another story..) and she looks at it every now and then, but I think that she is afraid to try it. I let my niece try it last year, and now she wants one (whatcha waiting for Pete?). Anyway, if my wife rode, we would probably be looking at 2 new bikes, but she *loves* riding in the passenger seat, and I don't mind at all... other than trying to find the *perfect* 2 up bike. Is it so hard to mix reliability, price, *fun*, and comfort? Apparently, it is. To tell the truth, the S10, the Multi, the KTM, the 'Strom, and the big Tiger do not appear to offer enough comfort for us. *None* of them do, so I start leaning back towards the *fun* aspect of the purchase, and figure that I am going to have to make some parts to drop the pegs, get some weather protection, and modify the seat on anything we end up with, and if that is the case, I might as well spring for something that can snap up a wheelie in 2nd or 3rd gear, coming out of a turn... Only the Multi and the SMT can do that, as far as I know.
    #49
  10. cb4017

    cb4017 Adventurer

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    I've also been on the hunt for an Adventure style bike that would work for 2-up touring. A while back I had a 650 Versys. The seat could have been a little better but my aging knees loved the relaxed seating position. The bike was the most fun I've had on 2 wheels in years but it wasn't going to work for 2-up touring. I want a relaxed ride with plenty of seat and leg room.

    I've had several BMWs over the years and I don't want another.

    I looked at the Super Tenere. It just didn't do anything for us.

    Also looked at the DL1000. It would work, it's not as ugly in person and the price is right. Wife is comfortable on the back.

    The bike I really want is the Versys 1000. Unfortunately not available in the US. I have a feeling that if I settle for, and buy, something else Kawasaki will decide to import the V1000.

    For now I'm going to wait until spring to decide. Maybe Kawasaki will come around by then...
    #50
  11. Pampero

    Pampero Verbose Adventurer

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    As you are concerned about the electronics (I'm not personally, so was happy to get my MTS Touring) you might consider the standard suspension on a Multistrada. It has everything the S version has except the Skyhook suspension, and my wife and I find it very comfortable, and we both have a lot of time in the hunt. It has enough electrical suds to allow you both all the accessories you want and to still plug both people in with heated clothing. The new bike's aero-management is said to be improved (I find my '12 adequate...no worse than my GS was, as is) and nothing on your list will give anything remotely like the grins a Multistrada will. Buy whatever luggage you like and it will still be a couple of thousand bucks cheaper than an "S" and the standard suspension is of very good quality.

    I still have my last generation Caponord as well (can't seem to give it up!). I sold my GS a couple of years ago and can't say I've much missed it. The Ducati is an excellent two up machine but I would also look carefully at the new Aprilia Caponord as a (potentially) less expensive alternative IF you have the ability to deal with Aprilia's somewhat sketchy dealer network. If you have a good local dealer, that is a much less significant issue. My Capo has been a very reliable bike, and I think the new one may well be better.

    My GS was a great touring bike for my kind of riding, but not nearly as much fun to ride as the MTS1200, though it remains to be seen about the new (water cooled) BMW. Since you have a bias against the BMW, there is really very little reason to talk you out of one anyway (:evil) but if you haven't already ridden the Multistrada (I think you said you hadn't) then I suspect all it would take is a ride to demonstrate just what a fabulous machine Ducati has developed in respect to catering to people who want a comfortable long distance ride across most terrain while still retaining the thrill of a truly high performance motorcycle. It's delicious, and I don't think the standard suspension is much of a detriment, and should you find it needs a bit of tweaking, it will be quite reasonable to modify to your standards.

    In respect to dirt; I was never very comfortable on my GS either, but taking the Ducati off into the bushes really isn't part of my program. I find it about equal on gravel and fire trails, and that represents the limit of my comfort level. Other people here are more skilled and daring with these big expensive bikes on dirt, but that isn't my program....long distance is. If you are really into doing serious dirt, I suspect none of the big adventure rigs possibly excepting the KTM (and even then....) are much to be admired.

    For real world two up riding (and even more, going solo) the Ducati is a thrilling solution if you are comfortable with the buy in. It's got "it" and has a cachet that makes just looking at it in the garage satisfying on the cold, wet nights we have to suffer through until spring arrives.
    #51
  12. Rick West

    Rick West Function not Farkles

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    I'm sure you are very close to being called an elitist. That is what I was called for saying pretty much what you just said about having a Multistrada. This is Beasts, tone it down a bit, ok?:lol3
    #52
  13. Pampero

    Pampero Verbose Adventurer

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    I am suitably chastened! :thumb
    #53
  14. biker4ever

    biker4ever Been here awhile

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    we lost all our bikes to a house fire this fall, so I've been shopping for the perfect bikes. We had a R1200RT, two F650GS's, WR250F, and a XT225. So far we have purchased a Triumph Tiger Explorer, Tiger 800, and a WR450F. Having the features I liked on my RT (abs, cruise control, heated grips) I decided to test ride the Explorer, after a 20 min test ride I knew this was the bike for me. Now I need to make it as comfortable for my wife as the RT was once we put on Russell Daylong seat, she hasn't been able to ride with me yet (snow in Minnesota) so we will have to see if it needs anything to keep her happy. I did get to ride it about 120 miles before the weather was to bad.:clap:clap I think I made the right choice for the bike I want to tour on, all roads are not paved even on long rides, and some of the best places to see aren't on roads at all. For me, the Tiger for many reasons is the right bike for us. Not to mention the price of the accessories which are half the price of anything for a BMW.:clap
    #54
  15. Sound Farm

    Sound Farm Art x Science

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    Great info guys thanx for all the responses. I wish I could ride some of these bikes and really feel the difference
    Currently I am starting to think I need to stick with an 800xc , f800gs, or a 950/990
    I am starting to believe the big 1200s although great for touring and two up might leave a bit to be desired when riding solo. Just to big of a bike , is my thought. And I think I would like to stick with that 21" front wheel for offroad purposes. which not to many of the 1000cc and over come with. I know I started this as the 2up question . But can I get any feedback with what I just said in mind. ?
    Is a 950/990 just as big as 1200gs and Super 10 , and Explorer 1200? OR would it be a good meet in the middle size? are the 800s just to small for any 2up riding?
    #55
  16. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    " are the 800s just to small for any 2-up riding?" - Personally, I don't think so, but I guess that the answer to that question really depends on what *kind* of riding you are talking about. Right now, the V-Strom 650 is at the top of my list because my wife and I do not intend to do a whole bunch of highway traveling together. We like to take back roads. I feel that a v-twin 650 will have more than enough power for that. My old DR650 had plenty of power, it just wasn't comfortable, or smooth enough for us.
    The other thing that I consider to be very important is: I had an 885 Triumph triple, and I found that, for my morning work commute, sometimes it was just too big to wheel out of the garage in the morning. I would end up taking our Ninja 250 instead, simply because I could get moving faster, and with much less effort. I know that sounds a bit odd, but it was true for me. I do not want a big, heavy bike, unless I am going to be on a highway for a long time.
    For me, whether in the woods, on my dirt bike, or on the road, I always want something small, light, powerful, and maneuverable, especially when I get tired or fatigued.
    We have not seen or sat on a new CB500-X yet, but if it is anything like the NC700-X, the passenger accommodations are not good enough.
    #56
  17. Sound Farm

    Sound Farm Art x Science

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    for those who know- should a 950/990 be put in the same class as a 1200GS size wize? or is it truly in between the 800s and the 1200s.?
    and
    can I get any comparo between the f800gs and the T 800XC? the triumph "looks" to be more comfortable for 2 up compared to the GS800 but thats "looks" -- chime in if you have ridden both please :)

    its starting to look like its between the 2 800s and a 990 but Im still researching.
    #57
  18. Pacific

    Pacific Left Coast Adventurer

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    The 800XC is not too small for touring. I'm 6'5", 250, and my wife is 5'3" 120. Add loaded Jesse cases and a tank bag and attgatt. We did 6k miles of secondary roads last summer. If there's any heft to you, swap out the seat. Brutal as it softens, and a bad angle with the tailbone for all-day riding. Bike was brilliant, though. Won't have the power of the 990, but it's totally competent. Can't speak to two-up off-road. Wife won't go there.

    Brakes were wooden in quick-stops at speeds. Another kind of pad may have helped. Sold the bike for a 1200 Explorer, so that should tell you something. There are better ADV bikes for 2up touring.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #58
  19. Radzz

    Radzz Adventurer

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    I´ve had a Tiger 800XC for 2 years now and often tour 2 up either with my wife (70kg) or one of my 2 daughters ( about 55kg). I weigh roughly 95kg and even with full camping pack onboard at the same time the Tiger goes well and and the passangers always seem happy enough. Most of the riding is on tarmac, but with about 10% gravel roads. Gooood bike!:D
    #59
  20. coast range rider

    coast range rider Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    I like KTM's 1190 Adventure for best 2up !!!! for ADV.
    I will report on this here as soon as KTM will sell me one here in California.
    #60