Touring on Naked Bikes

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Graemsay, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Graemsay

    Graemsay Been here awhile

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    Most of my riding experience has been on naked bikes, and for relatively short distances in (generally) good weather.

    Unfaired bikes strike me as having a few advantages: They're cheaper to buy and insure (the illustrative quote I got for a K1300R was two thirds of that of a K1300S), the (lack of) aerodynamics keep speeds in check, they're generally 10 - 20 kg lighter, and often look cooler. :D

    My brother rides a Speed Triple, and his love affair with nakeds is weakening after crossing the Pennines on it in inclement weather. Plus he found distance to be tiring on it.

    So I was wondering what the general opinion is. The Triple isn't exactly the most comfortable bike, so that won't help. Nor does it have any wind protection. (Do those small screens help?)

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Some people have crossed the Altnatic ocean in row boats.. so what-ever floats your boat. I've done 1500 mile ride on Street TRIPLE, and had a blast. I've done another 1000 miles on a Speed TRIPLE, and had just as much fun.
    #2
  3. vander

    vander full-time dreamer

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    Where's the problem if you're travelling on a bike you like? Doing 2 nice things at a time.

    I "enjoyed" 14 days of rains and snowfalls in a 17 days tour to the Balcans with my naked bike.
    #3
  4. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    Yes, a small screen helps. I had a Slipstreamer Spitfire screen on a DR, and found it actually more comfortable, wind-wise, than that abomination of a fairing on the V-Strom. Which itself is still better than not having one, as it keeps the wind pressure off your chest and neck at least.

    I think a naked bike with soft luggage and a smaller, removable windscreen would be a fine way to travel.
    #4
  5. inline4

    inline4 Long timer

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    I have naked bikes & bought a fairing for one.....
    If I wuz to travel any long distance I would much prefer the one with the fairing.
    #5
  6. Constipated Face

    Constipated Face Been here awhile

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    You just have to set it up right. rhys' ride:

    Ok, it's half-faired, but you could get a screen for a 'true' naked.
    #6
  7. Crow

    Crow Corvid

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    I had five middle weight naked bikes before my Super Blackbird - I much prefer the greater power and protection of this faired motorcycle for the type of riding I now mostly do, which is higher speed and longer distance. A common type of riding in the Western US, with long deserts, high plains and great mountains. Given the mountains and canyons, the motorcycle still needs to "handle", though! This one does.
    #7
  8. DRZ400SK4

    DRZ400SK4 Long timer

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    I guess the quarter-fairing on my FZ1 doesn't really qualify it as completely naked, but it's close, and it sure is a great bike for touring...

    :thumb

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    #8
  9. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I've toured all over the country on a TL100S, 919 and Bandit - all naked or half-naked. I don't get why anyone would want a fully faired bike - I find them hot, turbulent and a bit boring.

    I don't even agree that a small screen necessarily helps - you only need to reduce wind pressure on chest etc if the ergonomics of the bike are all wrong for the speeds you ride. If the bike is setup correctly gravity and wind pressure have a way of canceling eachother out.
    #9
  10. Crow

    Crow Corvid

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    Fly screens make a difference, and the aerodynamics of half-faired and fully-faired bikes are closer than one would think because it's very difficult to clean up the airflow on the bottom half of a motorcycle. Plus, much of that airflow on a fully-faired bike is channeled to feed the radiator, rather than to reduce drag. In one example, a CBR600 without a fairing had 17% more drag than with its fairing. Source: "The Science of Speed", UK's Bike Magazine, June 2008.
    #10
  11. OnlyVees

    OnlyVees Moto-journalist

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    The best sport-touring bike I've owned to date was my 03 Tuono. It fit me well, and being from Italy, was geared to the moon- which is nice at 75mph.

    And the power...

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    #11
  12. NakedRider

    NakedRider NakedRider

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    I went from California to Ohio and back on an Goldwing back in the 70's. This was when they were a naked bike.

    I don't care much for big windshields. Part of the thrill of motorcycle riding is feeling the wind.

    To me riding with a windshield is like having sex with a rubber. I'm not saying it still isn't fun. It just doesn't feel as good.:rofl
    #12
  13. xshanex

    xshanex Been here awhile

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    how much of your riding is going to realistically be long distance touring?

    this site is filled with people that seem to buy a lot of their bikes based on their trips which might only account for 2 weeks out of the year or 10% of their mileage for the year :lol3

    I'd rather have my speed triple which is an absolute blast to ride and suck it up for the long distance stuff than compromise and have something more "economical or sensible or multi-use"
    #13
  14. Z0RR0

    Z0RR0 Been here awhile

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    Can't tour on a naked? Says who?

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    I will concede it's not the most comfy, and after 1100km the last few hundred highway clicks were a PITA. But it's my only bike, I commute on it, I go out for fun day trips and longer road trips. Does it all, and the mini windhsield actually works well.
    #14
  15. johno

    johno Long timer

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    I am on my 2nd BMW R1150R, and used to do 450klm trips on the 1st one with no issues.
    With a fly screen, or the one I have now has a taller screen, I am more than happy. As stated, it also keeps your speeds down, so no money loss:D

    I would rather have a bike that fits me comfortably, rather than great weather protection, and so so comfort.
    #15
  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Naked or faired doesn't seem to be the main points that determine my comfort.

    As an example...A tankbag on my Radian 600 got most of the windblast off my chest. The seat is fine for smaller people, the fuel range is about the same as bladder range when hydrating in summer, the vibes are silky smooth, but the peg position is a bit cramped for long days.

    My needs for comfortable touring:

    - Clean wind to helmet and no blast on the chest.
    - Comfortable vibes.
    - Appropriate fuel range for your preferences.
    - Comfortable seat.
    - Comfortable peg and bar positions, especially if they allow you to move around a bit.
    - Enough legs, grunt, and suspension for the routes ridden.
    - Enough payload capacity/room.
    #16
  17. johno

    johno Long timer

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    Kommando, you are spot on. But you may have to change some things to make it fit better. I doubt anyone will find a standard bike that suits as it comes.

    I usually fit bar risers for shoulder issues, maybe lower the pegs, airhawk or different seat.

    Then I find I have the best bike for my riding style.
    #17
  18. Qingdao

    Qingdao Adventurer

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    I have ridden all over the country on a non fairing GS 850. Wind never bothered me.

    I did it with droped down bars and stock bars...Almost fell asleep, cause I was so confy, when I had the bars fliped upside down. lol
    #18
  19. KSJEEPER

    KSJEEPER Long timer

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    I did quite a few long trips on naked bikes (well, tiny fairings such as a 1984 CB700S, etc) back in 'the day'... Now that I'm older, I get tired enough after an 800 mile day, don't need to battle the wind too. But to each his own ; the worst day on a bike beats the best day in a corporate cube :evil
    #19
  20. racer 07

    racer 07 Lock & Load

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    Just rode 5,250 miles through 13 states in 11 days on a XR1200 Harley. No windshield. I'm 62yo and have a bad back. Every day was a blast. The bike just happens to fit me just right. In the 80's I had a 1986 Goldwing and 500 mile days would kill me. Racer07
    #20