Tiger 800 ABS (non-xc), Super Tenere, '12+ dl650: cost taken from the equation

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ph0rk, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Assume for now that the entry point is the same for each bike (it isn't, but assume it is).

    Big questions: For someone who finds a dl650 occasionally topheavy, is the super tenere going to be too big?

    For someone who is used to rock solid reliability, is the tiger 800 going to be a letdown (downtime is the issue here).

    The degree to which either the s10 or tiger 800 are "more fun" than a 2012+ dl650 is a bonus.

    In other words, I don't want to lose reliability and I don't want to lose low-speed maneuverability.


    Random information that may (or may not) help:
    I've test ridden a superten, a tiger 800 (xc, though), and of course I've ridden the older dl650 for over 20k.

    Any of the above will be a do-it-all bike for me, and will replace an '09 wee strom abs. Commuting, 2-up touring, small grocery trips, and riding year-round. My wee makes me feel twitchy in gravel, so unsure how much of that I'll see riding one of the above. 20-30k+ trouble free miles are what I'm after (more are a bonus).

    99.99% road use (I just like the seating position). The '09 strom carries its weight a little taller than I prefer, so something that is (or feels) lower/lighter is a plus. I have no preference for chain vs shaft, well perhaps a slight preference for shaft drive but chain maintenance is no big deal.

    Any of the three will be outfitted with pelicans or givi trekkers, heated grips, and engine bars or frame sliders. Most likely, a replacement screen, too. Those costs appear to be roughly the same between the three bikes, though the s10 does come with handguards stock. The strom and tiger would get a centerstand, but ignore those differences for now. All these farkles seem readily available and cheap or easy to install.


    Are the maintenance costs widely different? The g-strom wins on fuel mileage, but mid-40's with the tiger or superten is fine - I want 200ish miles out of a tank, and all three look like they can manage that on the highway. Cost isn't going to be the deciding factor, but I am curious. I probably pay around $300 every 7k miles for my wee strom in service, so as long as we aren't talking $2k for valve intervals something roughly comparable is fine.
    #1
  2. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    The S10 does not feel "too big". It can be intimidating but you learn not to fear it. It's a big pussycat. :D

    The S10 will do everything you want really well, that's why I bought one. Off tarmac it works really well as well.

    If you are doing mostly road though the more stable setup of the S10 and the "dirt bike" motor (IE big torque from 2K - 6K) may be a bit less than desirable in the twisties than the Tiger.

    It's really up to you. I had a big long think about it for a while and ended up with the 800XC and S10 as the Grand Final contenders.

    The S10 was just more suited to me. I needed

    Occasional 2 up lots of gear. Big tick on the S10.
    Good long distance ability.
    Good (enough) economy.
    Good off the Tarmac.
    Good at normal speeds on a commute.
    Good in the twisties.

    The S10 got Good on all of them so I bought it.

    Where it will miss out on some bikes is in the Twisties. Changing direction requires a bit more gusto than bikes with faster geometry. I mean a bit more. you don't have to go to the gym to do it. That's the price you pay for a bit more stability on the marbles and off road.

    I did come off a DL1000 previously though. I remember the Wee felt like a smoother slightly lighter version with SV650 suspension, but still wanted to nap.

    I wouldn't recommend one over the other. The Tiger is reliable enough as well.
    #2
  3. cug

    cug --

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    Nicely said. You're saving me the comments here ... :lol3

    I chose the Tiger as I wanted lower weight and a Triple engine. The Super Tenere is a very nice bike, I'm just not super inclined to move the weight around by hand in the drive way, garage, occasional parking lot or hotel parking. It wouldn't be that big an issue, just wanted something lighter than before.

    Since then the "single bike policy" has been seriously watered down and today I'd certainly consider the S10 if it was the touring bike of the bikes I had. Combination like S10 + a canyon carver (like Street Triple or so) or a S10 + light dualsport (think WR250R) would be appealing.

    As a commuter and long distance tourer (especially two up) the S10 is super hard to beat for the price with the convenience, reliability, long service intervals (valves), shaft drive.

    For road fun on local day trips I'd still take the Tiger over the S10. And as I have it, it's also my long distance tourer. No problem with that either other than that I have to take care of the chain every evening.
    #3
  4. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Great responses, thanks guys. I note neither of you seriously considered the 2012 DL650 :lol3


    The ratio of commuting to touring is probably a factor, too. I like the odd 3-4 day trip on my wee and I'd like to extend that, but most days I ride 10-15 miles under 40 mph in town (parking lots, stoplights, low speed streets full of students, etc). My assumption is that the tiger would have the edge here (especially with the seat in low mode for around town), but I wouldn't be opposed to adding a factory low seat to the s10 for the same sort of task. the question is, would the tiger clearly be better for this sort of use?


    Conversely, how is the tiger on the super slab? The wee is really great there, stable and clean air up past 95 indicated. I don't need anything better than that, but I need to be able to configure either choice to be similar. (of course, I'm sure either the s10 or tiger would blow my dl650 away in terms of passing, etc).
    #4
  5. cug

    cug --

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    I don't ride that fast or that often on the freeway, but I do know that the Tiger's fuel consumptions goes up quite significantly when you go above something around 75mph. Also, you're looking at > 6k rpm in that speed zone, which doesn't mean too much as the Tiger engine is super smooth all the way up, you just need to be okay with that - for me it's just not what I like, therefore there isn't much I can say about it.

    For tours like that I'd install a Madstad windshield on the Tiger. There likely is something that the S10 freeway riders can recommend, probably something to adjust the windshield angle would be a good idea, it may or may not need a different windshield. But angle adjustment and a gap at the bottom to create a laminar flow is super important on any bike with a windshield ridden at these speeds.

    Regarding city traffic, the Tiger has a fairly long 1st gear, although I never found this to be a problem on roads. I can ride the "DMV lollipop" at walking speeds easily enough with my Roadie with some, but not too much clutch feathering. My R1200GS was a little better at that, and I guess the S10 will be too, just because of the bigger and torquier engine, and possibly lower 1st gear. Note that you could change gear ratios on the Tiger with a smaller or bigger front sprocket easily, something you couldn't do with a shaft driven bike. Though I have to say, I don't think it would be necessary on the S10 anyways.

    Both bikes are likely to be equally okay with what you describe, the high speed touring will likely be more comfortable on the S10.

    I do neither of the situations you describe all too much, I commute on the bicycle and tour 90% on secondary roads, therefore, I can only give limited impressions.

    Regarding V-Strom: we had a 2006 DL650 a few years back and while it was a great bike for the money, as long as they don't change it significantly (like: everything except the engine), I won't consider another one. And the new design is even less my taste than the old one - which means quite something.
    #5
  6. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    The S10 can lug around no problems. Very easy to balance at slow speeds. The only issue I would look at is the clutch pull feel and how tall you are. I can't remember what the Tiger was like compared to the S10. That probably means that neither got my attention meaning they there was nothing to bother about on either.

    Pick which ever one floats your boat.
    #6
  7. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    I've owned a first-gen Wee for 3-1/2 years and about 20K miles, mostly pavement but some fire road. I've considered these other bikes as well and have spent a lot of time sitting on them, though not riding, at various bike shows. Interestingly, just picking them up off the sidestand and then balancing at a standstill, the S10 always feels physically smaller and lighter than the Suzuki or Triumph. I have noticed that the Yamaha seat is always set at the lowest setting, which may help in its favor. Personally, I think the newer Wee would be a very attractive second-hand buy in a few years, but doesn't seem enough of an improvement over the first-gen to warrant a new bike purchase (ie expense).

    -dman
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  8. Superstar

    Superstar Been here awhile

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    Like many, it came down to 800XC vs S10 for me.

    The deciding factors were (in order)
    - Tubeless tires on the S10.
    - Torque at low RPMs.
    - Shaft drive.
    - Dealer network.
    #8
  9. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    800 Tiger won't be near as nice on the highway as the S10 especially 2 up. Its just a big torque monster. Don't need to shift out of 6th. Just roll it on and roll it off. Not sure how good the 800 is on gravel roads but the S10 is fantastic. As for reliability, well its a Yamaha. Enough said!
    #9
  10. cug

    cug --

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    I think you need to take your pink glasses off for a while ... :lol3
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  11. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    Just curious; what makes you think that the 800 would be less reliable than the other bikes you are considering?
    #11
  12. burmbuster

    burmbuster Long timer

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    I take it you have never ridden the T800, from your response. The 800 is better off road due to the weight, in my opinion. It's also is better in the twisties. The S10 is better two up touring for sure. The shaft drive is less maintenance but not repairable on the road side if it fails. They are both great bikes. Both are very reliable. I don't know how tall you are but I mad 5'9 and the S10 was tall for me. And it felt more top heavy in the saddle to me. If I was 6' it would not have been an issue.
    #12
  13. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Now, I'm not saying the tiger isn't as reliable as the strom, I'm just asking here.

    Apropos of nothng, I had a friend with a leaky speed four, granted that isn't the same as the 800 triple in the tigers, and I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't take care of his bike (he didn't take care of his cars).

    I looked for a tiger 800 high mileage thread but saw nothing like I had seen with the stroms (not enough time yet, of course). I haven't seen one for the teneres, either. Has anyone hit 25 or 30k miles yet?


    Anyway, not enough people are calling the tiger a boring appliance, so it must have problems right? :rofl

    I two up tour on my k9 wee with no issues (I take it easy two up anyway, maybe with more juice I wouldn't)

    I am also not at all interested in an 800xc - I have no use for a 21" front. Not a whole lot of use for spokes, either, to be honest - I hope to never be on anything more gnarly than pine mountain road in Virginia near the nc/tn/va tri-corner. (for those that know it, we missed the sign and went far, far past where the state road ended - A "road" I had no business riding on my wee, at all, especially with stock tires at 42/36 psi.)
    #13
  14. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

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    I'm at 28,200+ miles, and several much more than that I know of. Most of mine was in June/July with 10,000 miles to Alaska and back.

    As to the comment that the MPG goes up on the T800 when you get up over 75mph, holds true for the S10 also.

    I came from MTS12, and the S10 can hold it's own in the twisties with most bikes. Offroad it is superb fun.
    #14
  15. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Big negatives of the T800, it spews heat from the engine. Oz, that's an issue, elsewhere, maybe not. It also has no rear subframe, it's welded to the main part of the frame - drop it and it may be new bike time.

    S10, great bike, felt nice - problem is my DL has needed to have a lie down now and then, and I can just barely pick it up. (Steep gravel strewn slopes of course, you don't typically fall off on flat seal). I don't need more power, but more weight, no, I don't need that at all :)

    Of the two, the S10, of the three, DL.


    Pete
    #15
  16. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    I'm only 5'7" but find the Super Tenere to be incredibly light feeling whether lifting it off the side stand, wheeling it around or riding at very slow speeds through city traffic. It is extremely well balanced with a very low CoG and feels no where close to its listed weight. I also find the stock screen works fine for my height but did add handlebar risers.

    With 26,000 mile valve clearance intervals and shaft drive, it's also low maintenance.
    #16
  17. cug

    cug --

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    There are about a handful of people who think heat is an issue on any bike around. I think some of the would complain about a pedal bike, too ...

    And the frame - so far I know of one case where this has been a problem. And here are quite a few people pushing the Tigers very hard off pavement.

    Both things are way overstated in your post in my opinion.
    #17
  18. burmbuster

    burmbuster Long timer

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    I live on the Gulf Coast and it doesnt get much hotter or humid that this freakin place. I have no issues with heat from the motor. I do, however, agree with you about the sub-frame. I also dont like the way the pillion pegs are mounted. I will probably make my pillion pegs/supports removable before long.
    #18
  19. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

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    :rofl


    I have yet to experience this "heat problem" that I've seen a few non-tiger owners talk about. I've owned over 30 plus bikes and the 800 doesn't throw anymore heat off than any of the other bikes I've owned. Ride a Buell Ulysses and then get back with me on the heat issue. :lol3

    Now to the original question. I currently own a 800XC and wouldn't trade it for a S10 straight up. That's not saying I don't think the S10 is a cool bike, I actually do and if my riding style or habit was different, I would certainly be riding it. With that being said, I ride solo and feel that the Tiger 800 is the perfect bike for someone who primarily rides one up, with the occasional passenger. I'm also not a big guy (5'10" and 205lbs), more on the small side compared to a lot of the guys I've met at ADV rallies :D. 99% of my riding is on pavement, but I have occasionally hit a dirt road. The non-Xc version would've handled anything that I am willing to throw at my XC, but I prefer the XC with the spoked wheels. If I rode primarily two, or cross country all the time, I would've more than likely went with the S10.

    Having owned a DL650 in the past, I wouldn't even mention it in the same sentence as the other two bikes you are considering. While they may have improved it over the previous years, it's still a ugly and boring bike. I'm not saying it is a bad bike, they're just boring and made me want to suck start a shotgun at times. :puke1
    #19
  20. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Different strokes, I guess.

    I am having the hardest time letting go of my wee - it isn't that I love it or think it is the best bike in the universe, I just can't come up with a bike that will fill its shoes with no compromises.

    At this point, I am slightly tempted to just spring for a sargent seat and plow on for another 22k miles. Even with money out of the equation none of these bikes feels like enough of an upgrade over my k9.

    Maybe I need to "upgrade" to a KLR :rofl


    I'm liking the tiger right now but reports of front end bouncing and welded rear pegs are worrysome (not a lot, but there you are). I really wish I could test ride a tiger 800 roadie - the suspension and front hoop are just too weird on the XC.
    #20