Touring on UJM

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Prof J, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Again, have you looked at the new Honda 500's? They're definitely not race bikes nor touring sleds, and they're totally unlike a KLR except in price.

    - Mark
    #41
  2. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Which honda 500s are you talking about? The ones I see look like fun bikes, but with no way to stack gear and luggage on the back like the old UJMs.
    #42
  3. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    This is very smart.
    Bad paint is not too bad, but rust is.



    #43
  4. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    The CB500X, CB500R, and CB500F. A lot of good luggage options are available, but you're right, they don't have the wide/broad seats and ability to fit large luggage racks like some UJM's. I brought this model up not to suggest it is a great touring bike, but to present it as a modern-day equivalent of bikes like the old CB350, CB400 Hawks, etc. that folks were lamenting about and saying you couldn't buy a cheap/simple bike today. These 500's are well-rounded and great-performing twins for KLR money.

    If you want a modern UJM, the obvious answer is a CB1100. Or a used ZRX which is water-cooled, but otherwise fits the UJM mold to a tee. You can pick up a nice ZRX for $3K and it will run rings around any 70's and 80's UJM.

    BTW, having restored both a Suzuki GS750 and a Honda CB750, I disagree with you about Suzuki having better old-bike parts support than Honda and Kawasaki. Honda is by far the best of the Japanese mfgs, and BMW is the best I've seen overall.

    - Mark
    #44
  5. TNWillie

    TNWillie Adventurer

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    Old GS Suzukis are the way to go. I rode my GS1100G from Charlotte to Chicago a few yrs back to take part in the Mother Road Rally. Rode the length of Rte 66 before heading up the Left Coast and back across. A Plexi-fairing and Eclipse bags made it the perfect tourer. And BWRinger is right about the GSResources forum. A great bunch of helpful GS fanatics, especially Willie, he's awesome. LOL
    #45
  6. 1 wheel peel

    1 wheel peel Been here awhile

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    Best statement yet.
    #46
  7. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    Not 70's or 80's but put many happy travel miles on my 94 CB1000
    #47
  8. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Touring seems to be the area where brand new bikes are needed the least. As long as it's reliable, comfortable and big enough to carry the required load, what more do you want?
    #48
  9. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Again, it all depends on what you're after. An old Suzuki GS is a fine old touring bike, but if you want to have ABS and traction control for wet roads, weather protection, power to able to cruise at 90+, ability to mount modern radial tubeless tires, well-sorted hard luggage, ability to do fire roads, well-sorted FI for high-altitudes, 300+ mile range for worry-free riding in the far west, etc. then there is no way an old GS can hold a candle to something like a new BMW GSA. If none of these are important, then yes, the new bike isn't needed. But these things are important to many riders. Personally speaking, I have zero interest in long-distance touring on a bike with tubes that I have to break down the wheel/tire and patch a tube if I have a flat - this is my "hot button". And as a safety worry-wart who will do everything in my power to avoid any further trips to ER's, ABS is a must-have on any all-weather touring bike of mine.

    - Mark
    #49
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    17 inch wheels, 4.7 inches of suspenssion travel, and 430 pounds all make it a poor choice for an all around bike.



    #50
  11. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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    Depends on what you're using it for. Besides, it's awfully hard to judge a bike by the numbers.

    Also, I have an old (1979) GS750 so maybe I'm a bit biased, but they make pretty darn good touring bikes. enough power for the highway, pretty comfortable, they handle well, and the engines are bulletproof. Sure, the 950 is "better" but it's still a lot of fun to take the old GS out. Hell, I've even done river crossings and a few jeep trails on the GS. then again, I'm one of those 'special' people that gets a kick out of taking machinery to very inappropriate locations. :freaky

    Unfortunately my garage is too small, so she is for sale... still a great bike, though.

    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    This is true. No one said it was for everyone.
    #52
  13. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Why? What wheel size, suspension travel, and weight makes the ideal "all around" bike?

    - Mark
    #53
  14. luftkoph

    luftkoph Been here awhile

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    June 1978 quit my job loaded up the 77 gs 550,and pointed her west,didn't get back until october. It's a good thing no one told me that is not a proper touring bike,I might have never gone.
    #54
  15. Prof J

    Prof J Adventurer

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    Can someone point me to a good Ride Report on a UJM? I am interested on how people would have handled road side repairs on a 30 year old bike (availability of spare parts and what not).
    #55
  16. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    Here are two of my favorites.
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831213

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=366117

    Note that most of the difficulties encountered in the second RR could have been avoided if the ride wasn't being done on such a tight budget. Any old bike needs a thorough going over before being put into regular service.
    #56
  17. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I did the same thing in the early 80's on a 1979 Triumph Bonneville, which I thought was the ultimate touring bike.

    No saddle bags, windshield, abs, traction control, gps or fuel injection.
    I had no problems in the mountains, or in the 120F desert heat, or running 100 mph for long interstate runs.

    We sure seem to be spoiled these days.



    #57
  18. cb200t

    cb200t Been here awhile

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    I have always love the small bike trip reports on here. I acquired a 1975 CB200T trainwreck, and have nearly finished restoring it. It was rusty, ugly and didn't run. But now it's not rusty, and it does run :D Seeing as how it's my only bike for at least the next 5 years, it will have to do for touring around the state of Ohio and Michigan. Ortlieb makes a set of saddle bags that don't require brackets, and they're waterproof. Since I come from a backpacking background, my base weight for 40*F and up is 8 pounds. So I have some headroom for tools, spares, food etc. I look forward to doing my first ride report. Cheers!
    #58
  19. Prof J

    Prof J Adventurer

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    Cb200T,

    Please put a pic of your bike. I really lusted after that one when I was in high school.
    #59
  20. cb200t

    cb200t Been here awhile

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    The build thread is in my signature too if you're interested. But here's where we are right now.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22708967&postcount=95

    And here's the first start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r_K52J0ML4

    I have to finish putting it back together, make a caliper mount for the hydro front brake I'm retrofitting and tune it. I'm hoping to have it finished over spring break at the end of February. I've got a deadline of finishing it and learning how to ride, because a friend and I are riding out to Indy in August to watch the MotoGP race.
    #60