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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ph0rk, Nov 25, 2012.
Looking forward to the photo's of the new improved wee.
I'm certainly not going to tell you which bike to buy, but I will say that I wouldn't buy the "new" DL650, since you already have a 09. What does it offer that your current one doesn't, and at what cost?
So far I haven't had any issues with my Tiger, but I haven't had it long. I do know that out of 30+ bikes, they all had their own quirks, some just take longer to come out than others. I've probably owned more Suzukis than any other brand, but have had 5 Triumphs, not counting one that I got to part out, and they've been as reliable as any of the Suzukis. I don't know what the services cost at the dealerships as I change my own fluids, and don't think that I have ever had any valves checked on any bike. My moto is if it is running good, I'm not messing with it.
Riding solo 300k's from anywhere and 'boring' (reliable) is good.
Heat on the Tiger was noticeable compared to the DL, I wear short boots on my commute and I had the test ride on the way home from work.
Not unbearable, but not something I'd welcome stuck in traffic or crawling along single track - not a killing problem, but it'd have annoyed me. If you wear full length boots all the time, possibly unnoticeable. The one piece frame would also have been annoying, I like riding dirt roads, and I know the bike will get dropped.
Not saying either bike is bad, but if you don't want or need the extra power, they really don't offer much over a DL. It comes down to relative advantages and disadvantages for the particular rider. I was actually going get get an S10, but the new (and improved enough) DL turned up before I spent the money.
Personally I want the lightest bike that'll get me where I want to go without giving me any grief doing that - so the 'boring' DL wins for me.
Better suspension setup, more agile handling (without suffering on stability), improved respond to throttle, improved wind management, smaller fuel consumption, much better stock seat than older Wee, improved ABS, and immobilizer as standard. Before I owned the 2012, I thought just like you, that there´s no real difference, but in fact it is overall a better bike, small but noticeable changes here and there, and the result feels like it´s more than the sum of its parts. Worth the higher price? Well that´s up to everyone to decide for themselves.
The "boring" part of the DL isn't the reliability. It's that it's just so awfully boring to ride. The engine is great, but has absolutely no guts for a bike that is that heavy. And all the weight is so high up you get dizzy when moving it around in the real twisties. The forks are as stable as overcooked noodles, the suspension a joke unless completely worked over, the ass way too wide for any properly narrow luggage, the plastics are held together with incredibly soft plastic "screws", the windshield and fairing aerodynamics are super bad.
Other than that it's actually a great bike, but it doesn't hold a candle to any of the other bikes mentioned. The new 2012 one is better, but still so frigging cheaply built, I don't want to own one. I have owned one for long enough to know I never want one again.
I wear sometimes hiking boots a jeans. Yeah, I can feel that there is an engine in that bike. I can feel that more because the engine is wider than the V-Twin of the Strom which brings it closer to the leg. Problem? No way. Issue? Absolutely not.
Sorry, if the DL were the only bike on earth I could own, maybe. I would have some fun with it. But the times where it would completely annoy me would be more than the fun times. I want more from a bike than the DL can deliver.
Other than that - I agree with the weight approach. Lighter is better for me.
To be fair this is a pretty common problem with the entire adventure tourer class. Slim, rugged (for commuting), waterproof luggage is a must and I'm not that impressed with any of the choices. I think plastic > aluminum for this duty and the choices are pretty much the same as they were in early 2010. Very off-center and 38" is worse than close to center at 40", for this sort of use (imho).
The 2012 wee has this problem too, of course, most every bike in this category does because of the high mount off-center exhaust. The s10 actually seems to be more trim in the rear than either the tiger or dl650, it might end up the most svelte of the bunch for daily commuting duty (weird, eh?).
tank range is another niggle in the back of my mind - I can get 200 miles out of my current bike loaded down and with that huge front sail.
I'm not saying I'm unwilling to compromise of those factors for a nicer handling and/or zippier bike, but it is hard to gauge long-term "live with it" things like that from a test ride.
I never noticed engine heat from the two tiger 800xc testrides I took.
The only bike where that is really readily available is the R1200GS. The Vario cases are actually pretty damn good for commuter use.
Or this (this is my previous bike), 32.5" width, 2x 37L cases, super solid:
That's an illusion. The Tenere and the Tiger are fairly similar. And both can be made narrower fairly easy with an aftermarket exhaust. There is not much plastic around the back of either bike.
I get easily over 200 miles with my Tiger, though I don't do city commute and it definitely is not nearly as frugal as a DL or a F class BMW.
Granted I've only ridden in temps up to 115F so maybe that's not hot enough but I see no issue with engine heat.
We've had both Stroms, I've got the Tenere and have ridden the Trumpet. The flavors are distinctly different enough that I would suggest riding each as many times as possible. If you can, go with a friend to a delaer where you can check out two at the same time. After the first several rides, one of the three WILL stand out and speak to you.
Yes, the Wee is plain Jane vanilla. There are numerous windshields available for commuters, as well as cheap to expensive luggage. Like a Toyota Corolla or Yaris, it's a great little do-all if it's not pushed hard and I'd pick between it and the Tiger for commuting and errand running. It was all my son had as his college vehicle, including lots of 2-up trips to the beach.
It's just that the 650 reaches it's limit quickly. Yes, it'll keep up with bigger at reasonable speeds and on twisty roads. But it won't be comfortable. We exchanged it for the DL1000 before our Alaska trip this summer, because it's silly to ask it to push heavy loads at high speed day after day, especially at altitude in the mountains, which would have made the trip less enjoyable for us both. Otherwise, we'd still have the Wee.
The Tiger is a fantastic balance and much nicer than the Wee in almost every way. Triumph builds great bikes and I absolutely love the engine. But you do have to pay to get more. Triumph is also very dealer specific, as to whether you will be stranded for Mr. FedEx every time you need a part of ANY type. Again, I love the engine and size, it's just that the Tiger overlaps the Tenere just enough that I can't justify to myself getting one of each.
The Super Tenere is another class from the Wee and clearly the pick if you do much 2-up, camping, lond distance, etc. At less than a crawl, you are aware that it is a bigger and heavier bike than the other two. But it just does everything you ask it to do with less stress when loaded or at speed. I normally get over 200 miles per tank, tires last forever, commute on it and have zero issues with anything short of serious dirt, where I would also not take the Tiger either. AND with 26,000 mile valve inspections, shaft maintenance being almost nonexistent, Yamaha dealers everywhere, etc, you have less to do to keep the bike happy. It has enough electric output to run aux lights and two sets of heated gear, which has become a big item for us. The clutch switch mod wakes up the engine map for a couple dollars, the traction control has saved my bacon in the rain, and the ABS is the best there is. But again, you are aware of the weight and height when just running lots of short errands or in more serious dirt.
So again, different flavors and only trying each till they lose the initial WOW factor will tell which is right for you.
I hope I didn't offend anyone by saying that I thought the DL650 was boring, as that wasn't my intention. The DL650 was my first "Adventure" bike coming off a DRZ400s. It is a great bike no doubt, one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone wanting a reliable, no nonsense bike. I also wouldn't hesitate to ride one if I had one in the garage. I loved the engine, and also had a SV650s that I rode cross country and back loaded up. Although the engine was a little more "fun" in the SV, I think it is a great engine in the DL. It was clunky offroad, and felt cheaper. I think the reason it felt cheaper was all the plastic, and the crappy bars.
I can only afford to have one bike in the garage at a time so I went with the one that "spoke" to me, which is what I would suggest anyone to do. Every bike has quirks, but most if not all can be worked out over time and with a little cash. Seats, suspension, windshields, etc... are all personal and most riders end up playing around with those things to get them right. The Triumphs that I have owned have all been as reliable as any of the Japanese bikes that I have owned. The only time I have been stranded on the side of the road, other than running out of gas, is been with a BMW and an Aprilia. If you follow the man. service intervals to a T, the Yamaha is going to be the cheapest. The Triumph and Suzuki have similar or the same intervals. I have a great Triumph dealership not far from me, the parts and accessories that are not in stock come in within a few days based on my experience. I have yet to add anything to the 800 yet so I don't know if it's the same or not.
If you can get a test ride on all the bikes, I'd go for it and let my grin pick the one for me.
"It's just that the 650 reaches it's limit quickly. Yes, it'll keep up with bigger at reasonable speeds and on twisty roads. But it won't be comfortable"
The big German Motorrad magazine seemed to disagree with you, when they published their test done on the Alps. 2012 Wee vs Tiger1200 vs Stelvio vs Crosstourer. Yes, three 1200cc bikes and one 650cc, that costs roughly half compared to others. The Tiger won, but when you read the story, they liked the Wee, even in this company. The previous 04-11 Wee had already won a similar mountain road test twice before. And rest assured those guys ride the bikes to their performance limits. Naturally it is not as powerful, but there are other really important factors to consider.
They may be right...but in august I was able to do direct comparison. When we were riding in Norway with group of friends (about 15 different bikes) we swapped bikes around to "test". Direct swap from my Tiger 800xc to DL650 was eye opener. I always liked 650 Strom. Not after that test. It felt horribly underpowered and barge-like after tiger. Go figure.
Comparing it with 1200 monsters on tight roads - bad idea...
I would be incredibly surprised if the test didn't say "for the money". If something is nearly free compared to the monster trailies, of course it's great value ...
You get what you pay for. That's true for the V-Strom, too.
I suspect a lot of this comes down to why you ride.
I ride because I like riding, not "because I like motorcycles", I do happen to like motorcycles, but I own a bike so I can have the freedom get out and go places ... not because I want to own the hottest bike on the street.
[I have a friend with one of those, in the same time he's put 20,000k's on his Tuono I've put 120,000k's on one DL and 20,000 on the next - I think I still have change left for a third DL when I wear this one out ...]
I care that the bike will get me there, pass vehicles in my way, and get me home, without causing me pain or grief in the process. Beyond that, I don't care much how about how pretty it looks doing it. If I'm riding off road, I don't care if I have to slow down for the really rough sections, I'm not competing with anyone but myself.
So most of the "advantages" of the Tiger and the S10 I really don't get any benefit from.
The DL will lose my license quickly enough as it is, and will go far faster than I'm brave enough to go, on or off road.
More power than enough is just unwanted fuel costs and reduced range, better suspension meh, I'll just slow down a little. More weight ?, I could do without that thanks.
On the other had there are the "motorcycle enthusiasts" who actually care that their suspension is better than mine, and that they have more power than they can use. Or that theirs is bigger than mine
So yeah, I'm quite happy with the "adequate" DL, even more happy that it's inexpensive enough that I can just point it up that side trail I spotted without having to worry about the drop in value if it gets a little scuffed and that it's light enough that I can pick it up solo on a steep gravel slope when I screw up. The welded frame/footpegs on the Tiger and the weight of the S10 count against them there.
That's NOT the same as purchase cost, I could have gone for an S10 and nearly did, but it does come down heavily on the "no worries" side of ownership when I take on something a bit ... risky ... I'll take on rides on a DL, that I'd have second thoughts on something twice the cost.
I'm not criticizing the other bikes, or the people who prefer them, I can understand the reasons they prefer them, and they are 'better' bikes in many ways, but the DL fits what I want from a bike better.
I also suspect Suzuki got the equation more right for the majority of riders than Triumph or Yamaha. Relative sales numbers will tell the story there.
I have owned a Tiger 800 and let it go to get the Tenere, have no experience at all with the Wee. Both are great bikes!
Here's my Cliff Notes summary.
1. The Tiger is a far better sport bike. The Tiger screams to be ridden like you stole it. The triple is intoxicating and a blast to ride the piss out of.
2. The Tenere is a better tourer. Yup mass has it's advantages on the open road over long distances. Also wind protection is much better.
3. The Tenere is better off road. After a couple of thousand miles I am no longer afraid of this beast. It's amazing where it will go, yea it's apain in the ass to pickup sometimes, but drop time is directly proportional to confidence.
If I never ventured off road I would pick the Tiger, but I tend to do ride off road along with touring so I ride the tenere and my trusty old KLR. The Tenere will go anywhere my KLR will go so the KLR gets lot's of garage time.
May I remind you guys of inmate here - I think his nickname Av_mech who put almost all of his miles on Tiger 800 offroad and never had all those talks about welded footpegs and being unsuitable or performing bad offroad?
I bet by now he got more miles on his Tiger than 90% of people in this tread including myself.
Last time I had to straighten rear footpeg holder (right side) on my friend's DL650 after removing it I found subframe slightly knocked too - neither him nor me did not know we had to declare his bike write-off because of that. He still riding it. Adventure bike is one you can fix OK, not one that you can't break.
All that does not mean that one or other better of worse on-off road. I just find arguments of better-worse subjective and arguments like "welded passenger pegs" not valid because I work on bikes myself (for hobby). Best bike is one that works for you, yourself. Ride, try, chose. Stop thinking of bike as "investment", "sensible", "economical" (unless it is castrated UJMs like NC - that one is economical sure). Bikes are waste of money by definition. Take a risk to buy one you LIKE. I am repeating what I posted before, no? Sorry.
I don't have a car and thus I don't agree. Moreover: I "like" all three, hence the thread.
And to restate what I said in the first post: I don't particularly care about offroad performance, but bikes get dropped/kicked over (with or without my help, grumble). I'd imagine a drop on pavement is pretty hard on the footpeg, hence the question. As I said, its a pretty minor concern to me, especially relative to how well the tiger does at long distance.
The breakdown, as I see it now: (assuming similar reliability for all three)
Tenere: Good tank range, low maintenance, nice power.
Tiger: Light/maneuverable, nice power, ...?
Strom: Good tank range, light/maneuverable, most fuel efficient, familiar.
Not sure which of the three has the best wind protection potential, but if anyone has experience on any of the above with aftermarket screens that would help.
You have to ride the Tiger to know how nice to Tiger Triple engine is.
Yeah, tracking down a roadie will be a pain, the local shop that has demos only has an XC and the windblast was so damned loud above 50-60 mph that's all I could pay attention to.
Also I might have made the mistake of demoing it after the speed triple and tiger 1050...
Hundreds of people dropped their Tigers and no harm. Few - kinked lower subframe part. How it is affect riding and keeping bike? No impact on anything except pride and few flakes of powdercoat. It is no MV Agusta F4 or Orange Country chopper. If you worried - cut them off, insert tube inserts and reattach them again in "removable" way. Been discussed with photos on tiger UK forum.
As for practicality etc. - sure, if you live alone and have no car you probably right. But then NC700 would be more sensible, economical and so on and any bike always bad investment. Car too - less so, but still.
Over here we do not drive XXXX cc gas guzzling monsters (even I with 4 kids and wife) so I must admit there is a bit of
"diversity" issue in looks at the question...My 7 seater car takes no more diesel per 100 than my bike petrol and requires basic oil service once in 30 000 km , hence my own reasoning
Can't comment on wind protection - rode naked bikes 50% of time, never understood need for more than average windscreen protection...actually in summer I am a bit annoyed by my "Touring screen" I got with Tiger - too little flow for me. Good side - that screen is noisy but does not create any buffeting for me.
But in my opinion stock S10 and Vstrom both offer more extensive wind protection than stock tiger.