COMFORTABLE 2 UP Touring Bike On The Cheap

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Scgmc, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but since I have a Japanese bike that I think is reliable, I'll start here. Moderators if there is somewhere that is more appropriate and will get more traffic, please move this thread. Thanks.

    I'm a barely intermediate rider. I've only been riding bikes for 11 years total. Started trail riding on a '86 Honda XR250R when I was 40. Soon added a CRF230. Two years later I bought an '09 Yamaha WR250R dual sport and have owned it for 9 years. I ride it to work occasionally and on forest roads or sightseeing when truck camping. I like to take my girlfriend with me 2 up on those rides. Unfortunately, even with my Seat Concepts upgrade, she doesn't find this bike comfortable for more than 20 minutes and it gets a little squirrely in the wind with both of us on it. If there is anything I can say bad about my Yamaha, it's that the single is a little "buzzy" and the light weight does seem to be affected by wind quite a bit. For instance, I don't feel comfortable on interstates with it...but that's not my intended purpose for it. We don't travel long distance and we don't bike camp- we just daytrip a bit.

    So I don't want to get rid of my WR, but I'd like to pick up a cheap and reliable 90% street/10% dirt bike for local touring that me and my girl can both be comfortable on for riding through the mountains, back roads, and very occasional light off road. Maybe something that knocks a little more wind off us and isn't squirrely in the wind would be a bonus. This will be my 2 up bike. Being 51, I'm concerned that too powerful or too heavy of a bike would be beyond my ability- especially carrying a passenger. I'm 6'1", 210lb and she's 5'1", 130lb.

    So my question to those more experienced than me, particularly 2 up riders in the know...
    For $5,000ish, what would you recommend I buy to meet these 2 up comfort and reliability needs?
    #1
  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Wee-storm, BMW F650, older R11xxGS if you can work on it yourself and want something that big. DR650 maybe?
    #2
  3. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    The Wee-storm certainly gets mentioned in the searches I did before posting. I'm a little concerned by the posts I read on their tendency to be affected by cross winds.
    I'd love to hear more details on that since that seems to be a reliable, easy to find, and cheap bike.
    #3
  4. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    A Gen I Super Tenere ticks all your boxes. Given your size, it'd be a piece of cake to ride.
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  5. vt wingman

    vt wingman Been here awhile

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    I second that motion!
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  6. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    I've done around 50K on a 2012 weestrom 2 up. I don't have any clue about crosswinds. I overload the thing, abuse the crap out of it, and it still just keeps ticking. AND, it's still fun to ride, and cheap!
    #6
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  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Vstrom 650 with a Seat Concepts seat and a top box.
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  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    That was a gen 1 issue only and adjusting the forks up / bike down fixed that.

    Gen 2 650 - 2012+ is better in every way and in.your $
    #8
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  9. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    My re-entry bike, after 20 bikeless years with very little riding, was an '07 R1200GS. I was 50, 6'-0", 225lbs, and a little out of shape. Get the best "adventure touring" bike you can afford, and don't worry about power and weight.
    #9
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  10. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    Thanks for the replies and real world experience posts! Both the Gen 2 Tenere and Gen 2 V-Strom (650 and 1000) were on my radar prior to asking for advice. Being a Yamaha owner already Teneres (including the universally loved and positive reviewed new 700) really had my interest. Unfortunately the price of both of these have kept me at bay. The Stroms seem to be cheaper overall. As much as I would like a brand new bike - keeping to my budget of as close to $5,000 as possible, will hopefully make getting this 2nd street bike an actual reality instead of a dream.
    #10
  11. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    This sounds like good advice from someone who has been there. Are you saying that one quickly adapts to the power and weight of a bigger bike? I will say that even on my light bike I don’t find that much difference feeling the weight with my girl on the back -except at stoplights and specifically stopped on a hill. As long as its balanced I guess weight is a non-issue?
    #11
  12. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    Of course I am biased, but you probably could find a used ST close to your budget. Great two-up bike, plus is does really well on
    dirt roads too! I have taken the better half on some gravel, and 200 mile rides with ease on the ST. It is a mile muncher on the hwy.
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    You can get a Gen I S10 for this price easily. Great bang for the buck. A $250 ECU flash and it'll run better than a stock Gen II.
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  14. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    90/10 riding...51 y/o and concerned about weight especially with a passenger...

    How much more does a Super Tenere weigh than a V-strom 650? Google says 85 pounds. And the S10 is more top-heavy.

    Seems like the offroad capabilities of the S10 will be all but lost on a 90/10 rider.

    V-strom 650 all the way. They are basically the cheapest and most plentiful twin-cylinder ADV bike out there - because they are perfect for the 90/10 a lot of riders do. Not to mention the Strom/SV motors are bulletproof and have been worked on by every mechanic out there. Install Ricor Intiminators, perhaps a new shock spring (considering passenger), luggage...poof you're done. Coming from trying 2-up on a single-cylinder/dual sport, the 650 twin will seem like a rocket in all but high speed passing power. But even "high mile" V-strom 1000's can be found for under $5k - but 52k miles on a V-strom, that's nothing!
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  15. Randyincolo

    Randyincolo Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't drop below 650cc and would encourage you to go even larger. Take the girlfriend with you when shopping to find out if she likes the rear seat.

    Remember, both girlfriends and bikes come and go.
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  16. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    Taking my girl with me while test riding is definitely in the cards. No sense having another bike she doesn’t enjoy riding.

    Are you actually supposed to sell a bike?
    I haven’t figured that part out yet. :rofl
    #16
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  17. Scgmc

    Scgmc n00b

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    Thanks to all that replied. Seems that you really kind of CAN judge a bike's comfort by it's cover. The Yamaha and Suzukis recommended by most looked comfortable in my initial search.
    Focusing on the S10 and V-Strom's seats - especially the pillion- those two bikes have some of the wider and cushier looking pads out there on an ADV/dual sport.
    What I couldn't tell from pictures was whether either bike is top heavy or suspension is rated for an additional 130 lbs. :hmmmmm
    #17
  18. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    Regarding "suspension is rated for an additional 130 lbs." ... every single moto that can do 2-up would still benefit from a heavier shock spring, if nothing else, adjusting preload accordingly for the 2-up. I would not ride 2-up for anything but around the block or over to the next campsite without that heavier spring - I ride 2-up a lot and really appreciate the difference this proper setup makes even with zero other suspension changes.

    Seats you can get custom for no more than $500, don't purchase a bike based on it's seat as long as you both fit on it length-wise and the other passenger ergos work out (footpeg distance, etc.). So really your comfort is based on the ergos you can't change easily, how well the bike maneuvers under the increased load, and how the engine's torque handles the increased load. If any of those things is underwhelming, you're going to find your enjoyment is undercut by what is lacking.

    The last thing I'd recommend is bumping up your tire pressure for 2-up, depends on the bike and the tires but the rear could be as high as 45 PSI.
    #18
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  19. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    You don't have your location listed, and used bike markets vary greatly, but you should be able to find plenty of used examples that will typically have all the mods listed above already done. They may need one or two specific to you modifications, but that's about it. If you live in some place the market is small/limited, you may need to travel a little to find the right bike. Even though I live in a fairly large MC market, I have done fly-n-ride deals several times.

    If the suspension has not been recently serviced, you will need to do that. Stock suspensions are big compromises. You are not a light rider and you plan to ride mostly 2-up (and I assume with some luggage), so a new rear spring to match your intended load would be a minimum you should expect to do. If the suspension has not been serviced in a while (or ever in some cases), you probably want to do that too. The difference in ride and handling is hard to believe sometimes.

    Gustavo
    #19
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  20. willfreely

    willfreely Elderly Belligerent

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    From your description of use, you could get any Japanese or Euro sport tourer, like a Bandit 1200 or BMW R series (not a GS), add 80/20 tires and you'd be good to go under $5k. Passenger comfort and power for 2 are your primary needs it seems, as you're probably not going to dog it in the dirt with her on board. Plus, if you do, you have two people to help you get back up again. (Of course you will never hear the end of it from her but that is a different thread's material.)
    #20