Where did all the middleweight sport touring bikes go?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by FranknStein7, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Before they can come...before you can put product in the dealers' floors...you have to please the regulators. Radar cruise control is surely part of that. So is "innovation" like the Honda NC700X engine - with a 5500 redline. To meet emissions standards.

    I had, for a brief time, an NC and a Nighthawk S, side-by-side. Entirely different machines, with night-and-day character differences. And I'd be all in with the Nighthawk, but for the realities of owning a 38-year-old machine.

    Much of the negative changes are emissions related - changing the whole riding experiences. Some are from the weight required for ABS and related electronics. And of course some are good - disc brakes, improved suspensions.

    But I blame government regulators. To meet the standards, the product becomes very pedestrian. That works to NOT incentivize new potential riders.

    I had forgotten about ride-by-wire, keyless, etc. THOSE are rich man's toys for high-end BMW and related boutique bikes. If a buyer wants them, fine. That is not the main stratum and most riders cannot afford such.

    I could afford a BMW R1200GS twelve years ago. I still could afford a bike in that price range, but not a new BMW R GS, not now. And I have no need for that stuff...all that wiring, and all the wire shielded in soy-based insulation, yummy for rodents.

    Thanks, no. I'm one MORE who will not be buying that sort of machine.
    #81
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  2. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Oh I hear you! This is more of a sidebar. These are the sort of features I expect on a fully-fledged heavyweight modern tourer (like my 1250GS). I'm not expecting most of these features on my elusive middle-weight touring bike. The only electronic aid I find essential for a road bike is ABS. For a touring bike I do really like cruise control though. Everything else (electronic-wise) I can give up.
    #82
  3. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    ABS has come a long way. My $3200, 265# 150cc scooter has it on both wheels and EFI.......
    #83
  4. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    As the OP, you're entitled to a frolic and detour... :photog

    In thinking a bit more about this, Ducati just shaved 40 lbs...40 lbs!!!...off the Monster with the new 950. If they used the front end and aluminum monocoque "frame" from that bike, put on a single sided swing arm with belt drive, beefed up the rear frame to carry a pillion and the MTS luggage, used analog Ohlins, they'd have a bike like no other. The new Monster weighs 415 wet, they could build the bike I'm suggesting and probably still be under 470, with 110 hp and a good torque curve.

    Throw in an integrated Insta 360 and include service for 2 years for 20k with bags I think they'd have a line at the door, and I'll fight you to be first.

    And the thing is: this is a parts bin bike for them. Motor and frame already in use, single sided swing arm already done, belt drive too, as is the luggage. Just requires a bit of a think.
    #84
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  5. GeoAggie

    GeoAggie Adventurer Supporter

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    I hear what you're saying but personally will take as much electronics geared towards safety as possible, especially if limited weight gains. Also, you're taking a bit of an American only view. The NC sees remarkable gas mileage which has to be popular in Europe with ridiculous fuel prices. And a GS a boutique bike? Best selling bike in the world over 1,000cc, correct? A popular boutique bike indeed :lol3
    #85
  6. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Sold 59,000 of them worldwide in 2019, according to their own stats. Honda, by comparison, sold 15.1 MILLION cycles last year.

    That's like Studebaker's 30,000 cars sold in its last year, to GM's total output in 1966. Yeah...not much more than a botique model.

    Yes, they sell relatively well here. We've had a number of fast financial millionaires created, and artificially-low interest rates, these last ten years, due to money manipulation. No insult intended towards anyone in finance...but things gonna change.

    They're neither inexpensive nor fuel-efficient, nor practical as transportation...for the cost, use and repair. Take one across the border into Mexico, and you have a target on yourself. Again, sure, many have done it - with planning and precautions. A rider doesn't blend in well on such a bike.

    Who they sell for, and the farkles they offer from the factory...neither are aimed at me or most riders, new or experienced.
    #86
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  7. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    I've been complaining to myself about this exact thread lately.
    I have a Tiger 800 roadie. It's a faux ADV bike, with it's alloy wheels and 60/40 tires. It's almost a sport tourer. Good wind management, comfortable on the highway, sporty handling and a fun engine. But it's nod to ADV-ism means the weight is up high. It's a PITA to move around, despite it's sub-500lb weight. I long for something lighter...but there isn't anything that I can get that isn't a sacrifice in some way. Lighter quickly means less power, it seems, and I don't want to be shrieking along the interstate at 9000 rpm.

    I have been reading a lot of posts here and elsewhere by ADV bike owners who are grumbling that, as they age, these tippy SUV bikes are becoming too difficult to handle. I seriously wonder if there won't be a move away from them soon.
    #87
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  8. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    I'd like to point out that BMW's original GS, the R80GS, weighed 460 lbs wet. The current R1250GS weighs 550 lbs wet.

    It's not us, it's them... :lol3
    #88
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  9. Blackshirt

    Blackshirt Long timer

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    The CANBUS electrical systems on leading edge bikes are as amazing as the performance and safety features they support. There is less wiring and terminations compared to a traditional electrical system. What is more, the system may be manipulated to use existing switches for aftermarket electrical components. Just because the technology is new and poorly understood doesn’t mean that it is not a better approach.
    #89
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  10. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    This is why I’m so excited about the Tuono 660. It’s only 403 lbs wet, has an upright seating position, and a small fairing. It even has cruise control. Just extend the subframe a bit for better luggage and pillion accommodations, maybe add a remote preload adjuster on the rear shock, and you have the perfect lightweight tourer on paper.
    #90
  11. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Aprilia touring bike is like jumbo shrimp. :muutt

    New motors on some: https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/recall/aprilia-rs-660-tuono-660-engine-replacement-recall/

    And IIRC, many of the original testers commented on very poor throttle pick up. Have you ever tried to get parts for an Aprilia...quickly?

    But yes...on paper.
    #91
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  12. Blackshirt

    Blackshirt Long timer

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    Sporty touring bikes require a robust aftermarket. I tour on a BMW R12RS, but it wouldn’t be possible unless I could first make the bike right ergonomically. The worldwide BMW aftermarket makes almost anything possible. The Big Four, Triumph, and Harley are all well supported, also. Finding a perfect fit is tough, but it can be done once you identify your bike’s weaknesses and correct them.
    #92
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  13. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Exactly right. The ergo and other solutions available for most BMW models is top notch. Not cheap, but effective and usually very well made.

    That said, I do wish manufacturers would build in much more adjustability.
    #93
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  14. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    *cough* Street Triple 765 *cough*

    CAN is great, if you have the ability to code it. Otherwise for the layperson a traditional no frills analog system will outlive their ownership.
    #94
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  15. Blackshirt

    Blackshirt Long timer

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    I’m no electrical savant. My Denali accessories were coded at the factory. All I had to do is install them and then choose which suite of features I wanted to employ. I didn’t have to cut a single wire.
    #95
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  16. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Fair! I have not yet owned an Aprilia. Although worth noting the Ducati Multi V4 engine also got recalled. Definitely risky buying any new platform. If I buy a Tuono 660 I will definitely wait at least a year. Hopefully some of these issues will be ironed out.
    #96
  17. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    And if you want to install any other accessories on a CAN bike, just wire in a PDM 60 (or similar, including an old fashioned fuse block) to the battery and be done. Never touch the CAN Bus. Easy.
    #97
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  18. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Everybody needs the character building exercise of owning a Piaggio product. Once.





    :hide
    #98
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  19. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    DL 650 is a lightweight tourer and already exists.

    Only, I brought a DL 1000 because although the 650 can do it, it was uncomfortable on the highways here and that was usually the return leg option. (Tired, just want to get home). And it wasn't lack of power or speed, it had plenty of those, it also had excellent wind protection with only minor mods. The issue was weight, or rather lack of weight. It just got smacked around by truck wash, sidewinds etc. The 1000 is only 20kg heavier but a lot more stable and just laughs at wind so those 10 hour hauls to get home got a lot more pleasant. And it wasn't that the 650 was bad in winds, it was actually very good compared to even the heavy touring bikes, it was just that I wanted to be able to relax more. And the DL650 was light years ahead of the BMW F650 (single) I owned previously, that thing used to beat the crap out of me at speed the wind blast was so extreme.

    That's something you need to really watch with 'lightweight' and 'touring', it can be hard work compared to a larger bike.

    I hunted around for a long time and eliminated pretty much everything else because too heavy or because of the parts/reliability problems hinted at above.
    #99
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  20. GeoAggie

    GeoAggie Adventurer Supporter

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    Personally I really like an electric windshield on a sport-tourer even though it clearly adds weight. The first time I tried one was an early model R1100RT and it was a game changer.
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