newbie info

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by cornercarver, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. cornercarver

    cornercarver Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
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    Pasadena, CA
    OK, I am reasonably certain some of this has probably been addressed before, but I have been reading back through the LC8 forum for a couple of hours now and haven't found clear answers.

    I just got back from a 3 week european honeymoon on an R1150GS and now both I and my wife are convinced we want an adventure bike. I am sick of paying for BMWs, so the LC8 it is. Plus, I have a tricked out Tuono I want to be rid of and Scuderia West is only a couple miles away.

    I have seen mention of older bikes vs. newer ones, but I haven't seen a description of what the differences are. Can someone fill me in, or is it basically irrelevant, since Scuderia has moved lots of 950s, so they won't have any older bikes in stock regardless?

    Which accessories are absolute requirements (like the valve cover guards on BMW oilheads). Having dropped the borrowed GS in a steep and off-camber driveway on the honeymoon, I know that crash bars would seem to be a requirement (they sure saved the GS from anything more than a scuffed saddlebag). It kind of looks like the KTM suffers from a problem every BMW I've ever ridden suffers from, and that is an utterly worthless seat, so I assume a trip to one of the Mayer brothers is in order, too, especially for the pillion. That v-shape will never pass muster with Tifanie.

    Luggage. I don't like the looks of the stock luggage much and I've seen at least one comment about instability at speeds over 80mph. Tifanie and I were able to hit 120mph (indicated - about 109 on the GPS) with a heavily loaded and 2-up GS on the way to the Le Mans GP race last month with no hint of instability (motorcycles were encouraged to ride like idiots on the way to the GP. We couldn't keep up with most of the 2-wheeled traffic, which was travelling at closer to 150mph!) and I would hope that the 950 would be just as stable on the highway. What other luggage is out there? I seem to remember seeing that Jesse has or will have bags for the LC8 available, and I've always liked the look of that luggage on GSs. Also, I assume there is some way to fit my Givi top box on the thing, yes?

    Is there anything else I should know about the bike before purchasing. I have a friend who recently bought one so I am sure Tif and I will be taking a long test ride before actually buying, but his bike is completely stock right now and he doesn't know much about the aftermarket.

    --sam
    #1
  2. turkish

    turkish Long timer

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    You'll see actual crash bars for the 950, but don't buy those. There isn't a hard mounting point for stiff bars to transfer energy to and you'll risk bending the tubular cockpit support with most of 'em. The best solution is to get carbon/kevlar tank covers. They protect the tank completely and look pretty good too.
    The stock seat does break in after a while. If you're going to be riding solo most of the time, I'd suggest you use the stock seat for a while and see how you feel about it in a month or so. With a passenger, it's probably a different story though.
    Jesse bags work great on the 950.
    The stock cans on the 950 have catalytic converters in them. That makes them incredibly heavy and stupendously hot. You can easily melt plastic on those cans after a ride. Your passenger will probably demand a fix to the heat problem after the first test ride. Almost any replacement can will do, since none of them have catalytic converters in them.

    If you spend a lot of time riding two-up on pavement, it's hard to beat a BMW for comfort and practicality. A well sorted GS would do a better job than a 950 for that kind of duty, IMO. The story would change for solo adventure touring though. In any kind of dirt, the 950 totally rocks.
    #2
  3. cornercarver

    cornercarver Long timer

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    How MUCH better. I'm not terribly enamoured of the 1150GS, mostly because I've spent a lot of time on much more powerful bikes, and I hated the way I had to prepare passes well in advance, downshift twice, and then execute a pass. The new bike will likely not have that problem, but I don't have much interest in waiting till one becomes available in Novemeber or paying $17K for a new bike.

    I've never done any adventure touring, and not even much dirtbiking although I spent years riding mountain bikes every saturday and sunday. I am actually quite intrigued by the concept. What really grabbed my attention when riding the GS in Europe was what a great city bike it is. Uturns on narrow cobbled streets, bouncing up and down curbs, the ability to look over your shoulder without banging your chinbar off your shoulder armour, etc. Combine that with a lot of fun in the twisties and I was pretty much sold. I don't much care about performance on the slab, since an unfaired bike tends to force you off the motorway due to wind and noise. I really liked how the GS made me want to get off the freeway and just amble through the countryside, even when I needed to get somewhere relatively quickly. It took any kind of urgency out of the touring and helped me relax. Is the KTM less able than the GS in the twisties? If so, how much and in what ways? I am sure it will make a great lane splitter, without those cylinder heads sticking out of the sides. As it is, I have to get through several miles of San Francisco traffic followed by 30 miles of bay area freeways in rush hour to get to work every day, so it is city performance and 2-up non-slab touring that I am most interested in.

    --sam
    #3
  4. Desmofan

    Desmofan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
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    869
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    The 950 is an awesome twisties bike, the shittier the surface the better. Oh, and it hauls ass-the sweet spin to redline reminds me of my late departed 916 and 996 :freaky

    Two up...well, it has pass pegs..someone else chime in here
    #4
  5. ewok1

    ewok1 ewok1

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
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    29
    i have a 950 with 2600 miles i might trade for your tuono if you want. it works fine for me, it just doesn't get used much. i am in idaho.
    #5