Your thoughts- BMW Vs. Japanese dual sport for long hauls?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by kaspilo, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,428
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    I presently have a 2016 Africa Twin, a 2012 KTM 690R enduro, a 1998 Ducati 900SS and a 2017 Vespa. I have also recently owned a Yam WR250R I bought with 1200 miles on it and a 2004 KTM950Adv since new. I ride my Ducati the least so it is mostly a garage queen. But a very pretty one. I rode my KTM950 for 7 years and about 70k miles. Almost all of it on long trips. I'm coming up on 20k miles for the 690 and about 15k miles for the AT (most of that is coast/coast trips too).

    For me the most important thing are confidence and comfort. Neither of my KTMs inspired much confidence but I made them comfortable. One of the comfort features I adopted was quality earplugs so I didn't have to listen to that KTM motor. Seriously! Neither of my KTM motors sound like finished products. They make all kinds of metal/metal noises such as cam chain clatter and other valve gear part noise. Plus they vibrate and warn you when they are working too hard (probably not, but that is what it sounds like).

    The Honda AT works like a well-tuned watch. The motor seems perfect to me. It runs effortlessly at 90 so that you don't even know you have crept up there. The Yamaha was another vibe-free motorcycle. Its motor is solid even when running out of speed at the throttle stop while climbing some pass in the Rockies. Just downshift and the speed comes back. Happens again in 5th, just go to 4th. It is like magic. The speed comes back.

    My oldest son claims I cheaped out when I bought the Honda. I was supposed to buy a new water pumper GS like his. And he is right, that the price difference was too much to ignore for me.

    So at this point I have to say that I think the Japanese products are better consumer products, but the Euro models have enough special character that I enjoy them the most despite their imperfections. I just completed the 2018 Alcan5000 aboard my 690. I found a tech who was able to finally make that motor run properly after all these years of owning it. At 320lbs, she was a lot more enjoyable that my AT would have been. Not as smooth, but still made the challenge more fun in my mind.

    Regarding service intervals, I'm not picky about that. As an example, my KTM required an oil/filter change during the Alcan (over 6000 miles once completed). I merely replaced the old oil at 4k miles and skipped the filters. Not really a great idea but it better met the task at hand.
  2. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Dec 20, 2007
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    16,861
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    Nothing, just sitting on the deck having a stogie after eating out and an ice cream cone.

    How's the Hyousung 125 run? Sounds like fun. Kind of like your serious "snow bird" set up there with the UK and the US. That sounds pretty cool.
  3. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

    Joined:
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    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    Hyosung is a long-dormant project unfortunately. The chassis and body is almost perfect and has decent suspension, 12V lights, turn signals, etc. It has a DR125 engine in it and runs very sweetly but I need to either figure out how to route the DR carb inlet to the airbox or install a pod filter. The rear engine mounts and chain lined up perfectly but it needs front mounts fabricating. Finally, I need to work out a voltage regulator/rectifier that will allow the little AC system from the DR to charge the Hyosung battery. It would be a fun little learner or light trail bike.

    Not really a snowbird. It ain't that well planned. I travel a lot for work so and get back to UK frequently enough that it's worth leaving the ol' R80RT to use whenever I'm there. My daughter is out of college now and has no intention of living in Louisiana so I am contemplating a move. Not sure yet whether I will go somewhere else in USA, back to UK or a different country entirely. Good riding opportunities definitely factor into the decision.
    AZQKR likes this.
  4. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Delaware Ohio
    If in the US and you like the twisty tight roads, any place along the Appalachians are great. Seems there's a lot of winding roads most likely "surveyed" by all the settlers and livestock working up and down the mountains over the last three or four centuries. I've ridden a bit - so much and so little time - of east Ohio and West Virginia and can tell you there are so many roads... I'd love to live in mid West Virginia in the summer and fall, just to ride it.

    Good fortunes for the future and that 125 still sounds interesting - especially for some tight foot hill road ways.
  5. racer

    racer Long timer

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    May 5, 2004
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    Indiana
    In fifty five years of riding, the only bike that didn't get me home was a BMW. Had to rent a truck to haul it home. Just sayin.........
    AZQKR likes this.
  6. AZQKR

    AZQKR Long timer

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    May 8, 2018
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    arizona
    In 50 in years of riding, a harley is the only only one that didn't get me home, some distance from home. I had the bike towed to the nearest dealer and thumbed for 23 hours. To it's credit, the 6 volt system gave up the ghost so the bike was completely fit for 12 volt system. Got a ride in a buddys 4 seater prop and drove it home, the wallet quite a bit lighter.