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Old 23rd November 2013, 15:53   #16
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Always buy the best bike in the budget you have. All these arguments of aiming lower and using the left over money to do it up, for fuel etc. never really works in the real world. Money is money. If you do not spend it on one thing, you will find something else to spend it on. It will not remain idle waiting for you to come around to triggering the alternate spend option you have mentally rationaled to yourself.

With this in mind, with a budget of 2 lacs, looking at a new bike, I think your answer is obvious.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 18:50   #17
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

For Himalayas what you need is good torque
below 1lac
Zma(most apt)
P220
RTR180

My vote goes to zma. Just get the tubeless tyres.

Below 2lacs
KTMs, CBR250s and REs you will need to carry jerry cans, min 5 liters
10 liters for KTM390, RE500, RE350

I feel zma is the best <1lac bike. comfy , reliable, good low end torque.
I rode zma this year there. We had RTR160 and R15 too.
R15 struggled the most, but doable, due to poor low end torque.
But FI engine helps a lot esp in ladakh region.

above 2 lacs i'd say CBR250r is better bet over KTM390 (just 10-11 liters usable), because of it's larger tank.
other than range, KTM390 scores better.

Test ride KTMs and RTR coz I feel CBR250 and zma will be too tall for you (no offense).

Last edited by motionfreak : 23rd November 2013 at 18:52.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 18:57   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riteshritesh View Post
1 question. What happens after the Himalayan Tour? If your Bike is going to lie idle, my suggestion is to fulfill your dream on the Yamaha that you own, or get hold of some adventure tourism company that would let you hire bikes, etc.,complete the tour and get back to your routine, without spending top money on a new purchase.
A wise question and a sound advise. But the heart wants what the heart wants !!! However, I will explore restoring the Rx and trying it and also perhaps a rental from Karolbagh (I hear its famous for renting Bullets) but one cant be carefree on a rental bike. I guess, your advise applies to many on this forum, I haven't gone that deeper in the question... all that after the test rides and other considerations. Perhaps in a couple of months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Always buy the best bike in the budget you have. All these arguments of aiming lower and using the left over money to do it up, for fuel etc. never really works in the real world. Money is money. If you do not spend it on one thing, you will find something else to spend it on. It will not remain idle waiting for you to come around to triggering the alternate spend option you have mentally rationaled to yourself.

With this in mind, with a budget of 2 lacs, looking at a new bike, I think your answer is obvious.
+1 ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by motionfreak View Post
For Himalayas what you need is good torque
below 1lac
Zma(most apt)
P220
RTR180

My vote goes to zma. Just get the tubeless tyres.

Below 2lacs
KTMs, CBR250s and REs you will need to carry jerry cans, min 5 liters
10 liters for KTM390, RE500, RE350

I feel zma is the best <1lac bike. comfy , reliable, good low end torque.
I rode zma this year there. We had RTR160 and R15 too.
R15 struggled the most, but doable, due to poor low end torque.
But FI engine helps a lot esp in ladakh region.

above 2 lacs i'd say CBR250r is better bet over KTM390 (just 10-11 liters usable), because of it's larger tank.
other than range, KTM390 scores better.

Test ride KTMs and RTR coz I feel CBR250 and zma will be too tall for you (no offense).
None taken. Reading Sheel's post (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-review-7.html) it looks like CBR 250R is out of the race for me anyway. So, test rides of the KTM, Apache and TBTS then ...

On a whacky note, how about the new Vespa (that should be fun in itself)

Last edited by benbsb29 : 23rd November 2013 at 21:05. Reason: Merging back-to-back posts. Plz use the Edit button if posting within 30 mins of previous post. Thanks.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 20:38   #19
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaboooooom View Post

I am 5'6" and prefer smaller but powerful bikes. Here are my requirements -
Just some deductive logic.

Quote:
1. Not a tall or big bike.
This rules out TBTS. (Personally I will not put my money on RE bikes until they improve their quality and reliability. No offense to owners.)

I'm wondering if you considered the Avenger 220 at all! It is quite a decent and comfortable bike IMO for a combination of city riding and occasional highway rides - especially for shortish guys.

Quote:
2. Some good ground clearance, although I am not sure if it really matters that much for a bike as for a car.
Not an issue in most bikes currently available.

Quote:
3. "Powerful, nimble, agile"; although I am not a racer and I am not looking for the highest bhp, or fastest top speed. The real world performance should be satisfying (not paper specs or few seconds peak in the real world, but maximum satisfaction for most part of a bike ride/trip).

4. Fuel economy and pricing is not that much of a concern, if I am really convinced, I can go upto Rs. 2L.

5. I enjoy initial and quick bursts of power but I am not a racer, I don't want constant top speed dangerous thrill, I am looking for comfortable ride, availability of power when and if I need it, great handling, confidence to explore the unmarked roads.
Although you get all this in most of your shortlisted bikes, being a 390 owner I feel you don't get the most comfortable of rides on the 390. It's on the harder and bouncier side, handles very well on good roads and doesn't quite like bad roads. Plus it is strictly for you - forget a pillion.

The Apache is a great package. But do note it runs on a carburetor - which means you may have to fiddle around with the AFR if you are at a higher altitude and the bike is running lean.

Quote:
6. If it is all of that, I would perhaps also use it in tandem with the car for the daily 40 km round trip to work (from South Delhi to Central Delhi) on fair days. This might grow depending on the bike.
Honestly, the 390, although can be looked at as an all rounder, can never be an Apache/Avenger/Karizma in the city. It hates to be ridden slow, the clutch is too hard for bumper to bumper traffic and whatever people say - it does heat up much more than many other bigger bikes and this is the reality. Note that you can manage all of these if you feel they are insignificant for you and you choose to live with them - like I have done.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 20:56   #20
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Thanks Added_Flavour, very interesting name... Now I am thinking about food... South Indian delights with all those interesting chutneys, the Mexican-indian dishes, Good old north indian food with interesting experiments ... yum yum .... Er, I digress. Back to the point of discussion here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Just some deductive logic.

This rules out TBTS. (Personally I will not put my money on RE bikes until they improve their quality and reliability. No offense to owners.)

I'm wondering if you considered the Avenger 220 at all! It is quite a decent and comfortable bike IMO for a combination of city riding and occasional highway rides - especially for shortish guys.
Yes, I have heard about the niggles with the Bullets too but there is also this, in you face kind of massive following and then you do see mostly those in the hills. So hard to ignore it (although I want to, no offence here).

I have also tried to consider the Avenger but somehow, every time I look at it, I cant digest the overall package. Way too much laid back, looks like a poor attempt at imitating the Western style riding. Frankly, it looks weird to me .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Although you get all this in most of your shortlisted bikes, being a 390 owner I feel you don't get the most comfortable of rides on the 390. It's on the harder and bouncier side, handles very well on good roads and doesn't quite like bad roads. Plus it is strictly for you - forget a pillion.

The Apache is a great package. But do note it runs on a carburetor - which means you may have to fiddle around with the AFR if you are at a higher altitude and the bike is running lean.

Honestly, the 390, although can be looked at as an all rounder, can never be an Apache/Avenger/Karizma in the city. It hates to be ridden slow, the clutch is too hard for bumper to bumper traffic and whatever people say - it does heat up much more than many other bigger bikes and this is the reality. Note that you can manage all of these if you feel they are insignificant for you and you choose to live with them - like I have done.
Looks like Apache is the way to go. I have always liked it too. The name, the stance, the values of the bike (small wheelbase, power oriented) but the KTM also seems such a lovely package, although frankly, I don't like much showy things and don't like its orange and flamboyant design but its a small factor. Its just enticing, so I guess, the test rides of these two is going to say a lot. Er... that was the first reply to my post from Amit (KTM or Apache).

Is there anything else I am missing in the Indian market??
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Old 24th November 2013, 00:22   #21
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Since you've been away from two wheels for quite a while, I'd suggest you actually ride some of the bikes that have been suggested before you turn them down merely on the basis of their looks/appeal.

Personally, I wouldn't trust an RE to take me to and back from Leh. Sure, it has successfully been done by many but reliability is its biggest weakness and that factor is critical out there at altitude.

The Duke has everything going for it except ground clearance, endurance and perhaps smooth cruising on the highways.

You don't like Pulsars and I don't either so we'll dispense with them.

The Apache is a great package, but no IMO something I'd like to get Leh'd on. It is buzzy and the riding stance isn't tourer-friendly.

That leaves the CBR, RX and the ZMA/R.

I won't comment on the CBR since I haven't ridden one.

That leaves us with the RX and the Karizmas. The Karizma has everything you would want; a good fuel capacity, decent ground clearance, great touring stance, highway-speed smoothness plus the ability to offroad when needed. It's torquey nature will please.

The RX is bulletproof, it simply will not let you down if the basics are taken care of (basic maintenance/lubrication/electricals).

My choices would be made from the Karizma and the Yamaha RX. If you're buying a bike simply to ride to the mountains, just equip your RX and you should be all set. If you want a relaxed, smooth cruise coupled with extra range, get a Karizma.
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Old 24th November 2013, 20:57   #22
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
The Apache is a great package. But do note it runs on a carburetor - which means you may have to fiddle around with the AFR if you are at a higher altitude and the bike is running lean.
I have taken the Apache RTR180 to Leh and beyond and there was never a need felt to fiddle with the Carburettor due to high altitude or cold climate.
With ZMA yes there is a need felt to play with the carburettor. I think it all depends upon carburettor settings which the individual bike has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaboooooom View Post
Looks like Apache is the way to go. I have always liked it too. The name, the stance, the values of the bike (small wheelbase, power oriented) but the KTM also seems such a lovely package, although frankly, I don't like much showy things and don't like its orange and flamboyant design but its a small factor. Its just enticing, so I guess, the test rides of these two is going to say a lot. Er... that was the first reply to my post from Amit (KTM or Apache).

Is there anything else I am missing in the Indian market??
If I had 2 lakhs I did go for KTM 390, again because we dont go to Ladakh daily. Ladakh ride is hardly 5% of bikes usage. Rest 95% of the time is also a important factor for the bike selection. KTM 390 is now available in black minus the orange wheels so it looks sober comparitively.

For RTR180 I did suggest two modifications for Ladakh or even for touring.
1) Change the tyres the first day itself. Go for CEAT Vertigo sport for rear if you want to take it to Leh. Never make a mistake of going with stock tyres. I did it and it was a big pain in the Jawahar tunnel, was dancing like a snake. For normal road usage MRF Vyde will be good enough.

2) Change the handlebar to a non-clipon one to relax your bent forward position. This change is only required for Leh trip otherwise even the bentforward position is Ok for good roads.
I never faced any back pain because of the bent forward position infact I like it on smooth roads. But it causes the weight of your body to be transferred through your arms to the wrists. I had a swollen thumb and wrist during my Leh trip. Thanks to me gripping the handlebar tight due to fear of heights which I have and other thanks to the poor grip provided by the OEM tyres in Wet conditions over hard rocks or roads. Otherwise the tyres were Ok.

Touring with a pillion in a DUKE is a strict NO and in Apache is only possible if you change your handle bar.

If you are really intrested in touring I did go for a ZMA. Its long stroke engine has proven itself time and again that its the best reliable tourer available in India as of now. I am not talking of high end bikes here. A modified ZMA minus the plastics makes a terrific and relaxed tourer indeed.ZMA as all honda bikes are boring to ride. They are super smooth low NVH engines therefore good for touring. It beat RTR180 hands down in touring.

But in the feel and braking RTR180 beats it hands down. The performance is addictive and its a real good street bike. Always opt for the ABS version for safety.

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 24th November 2013 at 21:08. Reason: Additional points added.
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Old 25th November 2013, 11:10   #23
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

On the Duke 390, you will most definitely need to figure out a way to carry around 10 liters of fuel with you to be safe (that's essentially one extra spare tankful).

Other than that, the suspension from what I hear is not as Euro hard and bouncy anymore as on the test bikes (at position "0" no less). The tubeless tyres are a huge peace of mind factor (where breathing becomes difficult, a puncture is not an experience you want if you can help it), though one needs to be careful while bashing the bike over rocks due to its alloys.

The ground clearance is not really a factor (in fact its quite good, and really good if you remove the fiber belly pan and replace with a body hugging metal bash plate) and the exhaust with its water wading ability is a huge plus.

With all of the above, in 2 lacs, short of wanting to carry 20 kilos of luggage (which the 390 can actually do better than any Bullet) and a pillion (would be a pain on a Duke), where the Thunderbird 500 would be the better choice, I don't think there is a better bike than the Duke 390 in India currently.

Last edited by ebonho : 25th November 2013 at 11:12.
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Old 25th November 2013, 15:18   #24
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Since you mentioned the mountains - considered the Impulse? Might not be powerful enough but if you have the time, you can plonk down the Karizma engine in it. I haven't done it but am considering doing just that.

And IMHO, the CBR is not a bike for those kinda terrains. Sure, you can complete the circuit but from my perspective, it really won't be fun. But I know even RK_Sans has done the mountains on the CBR but won't it be fun using a bike meant to ride those terrains?

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 25th November 2013, 15:27   #25
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Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Since you mentioned the mountains - considered the Impulse? Might not be powerful enough but if you have the time, you can plonk down the Karizma engine in it. I haven't done it but am considering doing just that.
Good suggestion Naveen!! I had missed out the Impulse from the list. Good GC, dual purpose tyres, seating position suited to ride on bad/uneven roads.

What is the tank capacity by the way?

PS: Once you manage to swap the engine please keep us updated. And your ownership review is still pending of the impulse.
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Old 26th November 2013, 21:48   #26
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

My Opinion:
I have been living and touring around Delhi and the foothills of Himalayas with my Fazer. Believe me, Its outright fun to ride Fazer around the hairpins, it just hugs the road and makes you feel comfortable.

Before you decide on Apache RTR, Please check out the Fazer. It lacks the punch of RTR but it is just so comfortable that you would love touring on it.


Oh Yes! In case you got 2 lacs to spare, go for the Duke 390.
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Old 26th November 2013, 23:07   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
Since you've been away from two wheels for quite a while, I'd suggest you actually ride some of the bikes that have been suggested before you turn them down merely on the basis of their looks/appeal.

Personally, I wouldn't trust an RE to take me to and back from Leh. Sure, it has successfully been done by many but reliability is its biggest weakness and that factor is critical out there at altitude.

The Duke has everything going for it except ground clearance, endurance and perhaps smooth cruising on the highways.

You don't like Pulsars and I don't either so we'll dispense with them.

The Apache is a great package, but no IMO something I'd like to get Leh'd on. It is buzzy and the riding stance isn't tourer-friendly.

That leaves the CBR, RX and the ZMA/R.

I won't comment on the CBR since I haven't ridden one.

That leaves us with the RX and the Karizmas. The Karizma has everything you would want; a good fuel capacity, decent ground clearance, great touring stance, highway-speed smoothness plus the ability to offroad when needed. It's torquey nature will please.

The RX is bulletproof, it simply will not let you down if the basics are taken care of (basic maintenance/lubrication/electricals).

My choices would be made from the Karizma and the Yamaha RX. If you're buying a bike simply to ride to the mountains, just equip your RX and you should be all set. If you want a relaxed, smooth cruise coupled with extra range, get a Karizma.
Thank you airfoil. Just looking at the pics I find Karizma R more akin to my taste than the ZMR. Therefore, adding it to the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
I have taken the Apache RTR180 to Leh and beyond and there was never a need felt to fiddle with the Carburettor due to high altitude or cold climate.
With ZMA yes there is a need felt to play with the carburettor. I think it all depends upon carburettor settings which the individual bike has.



If I had 2 lakhs I did go for KTM 390, again because we dont go to Ladakh daily. Ladakh ride is hardly 5% of bikes usage. Rest 95% of the time is also a important factor for the bike selection. KTM 390 is now available in black minus the orange wheels so it looks sober comparitively.

For RTR180 I did suggest two modifications for Ladakh or even for touring.
1) Change the tyres the first day itself. Go for CEAT Vertigo sport for rear if you want to take it to Leh. Never make a mistake of going with stock tyres. I did it and it was a big pain in the Jawahar tunnel, was dancing like a snake. For normal road usage MRF Vyde will be good enough.

2) Change the handlebar to a non-clipon one to relax your bent forward position. This change is only required for Leh trip otherwise even the bentforward position is Ok for good roads.
I never faced any back pain because of the bent forward position infact I like it on smooth roads. But it causes the weight of your body to be transferred through your arms to the wrists. I had a swollen thumb and wrist during my Leh trip. Thanks to me gripping the handlebar tight due to fear of heights which I have and other thanks to the poor grip provided by the OEM tyres in Wet conditions over hard rocks or roads. Otherwise the tyres were Ok.

Touring with a pillion in a DUKE is a strict NO and in Apache is only possible if you change your handle bar.

If you are really intrested in touring I did go for a ZMA. Its long stroke engine has proven itself time and again that its the best reliable tourer available in India as of now. I am not talking of high end bikes here. A modified ZMA minus the plastics makes a terrific and relaxed tourer indeed.ZMA as all honda bikes are boring to ride. They are super smooth low NVH engines therefore good for touring. It beat RTR180 hands down in touring.

But in the feel and braking RTR180 beats it hands down. The performance is addictive and its a real good street bike. Always opt for the ABS version for safety.
Thanks Amit, your mods for the RTR180 are duly noted. In fact, I will consider getting a more comfortable/better handle for whichever bike I finalise if there is an option for it. For the RTR I also really loved this silncer mod -

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
On the Duke 390, you will most definitely need to figure out a way to carry around 10 liters of fuel with you to be safe (that's essentially one extra spare tankful).

Other than that, the suspension from what I hear is not as Euro hard and bouncy anymore as on the test bikes (at position "0" no less). The tubeless tyres are a huge peace of mind factor (where breathing becomes difficult, a puncture is not an experience you want if you can help it), though one needs to be careful while bashing the bike over rocks due to its alloys.

The ground clearance is not really a factor (in fact its quite good, and really good if you remove the fiber belly pan and replace with a body hugging metal bash plate) and the exhaust with its water wading ability is a huge plus.

With all of the above, in 2 lacs, short of wanting to carry 20 kilos of luggage (which the 390 can actually do better than any Bullet) and a pillion (would be a pain on a Duke), where the Thunderbird 500 would be the better choice, I don't think there is a better bike than the Duke 390 in India currently.
Thanks ebono. None the less, every review seems to say that the Duke ride quality is somewhat harsh. I am going to give a couple of links to express where all I might want to take the bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Since you mentioned the mountains - considered the Impulse? Might not be powerful enough but if you have the time, you can plonk down the Karizma engine in it. I haven't done it but am considering doing just that.

And IMHO, the CBR is not a bike for those kinda terrains. Sure, you can complete the circuit but from my perspective, it really won't be fun. But I know even RK_Sans has done the mountains on the CBR but won't it be fun using a bike meant to ride those terrains?

Just my 2 cents...
Thanks Naveen. I did not consider the Impulse because its quite tall for me and doesnt all the powerful/raunchy as its advertised. It was my very first impulse (pun intended) but then I realized, thats not it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejith.pish View Post
My Opinion:
I have been living and touring around Delhi and the foothills of Himalayas with my Fazer. Believe me, Its outright fun to ride Fazer around the hairpins, it just hugs the road and makes you feel comfortable.

Before you decide on Apache RTR, Please check out the Fazer. It lacks the punch of RTR but it is just so comfortable that you would love touring on it.


Oh Yes! In case you got 2 lacs to spare, go for the Duke 390.
Thanks Sreejith. I will check it out. Test rides begin in second half of December.

Okay, I thought I would update the list a little bit here -

The new List (not a preference order) -
1. Thunderbird 500.
2. KTM Duke 390.
3. KTM Duke 200 (New Entry).
4. Hero Karizma R (New Entry).
5. Royal Enfield Continental GT (New Entry, way too soon to consider?).
6. Apache RTR 180.

Other -

1. Honda CBR 250R (Should this go out?).
2. Rx 135 Restored (Lets just talk new bikes for now, this is not going anywhere ... ever!).

Also, since a picture speaks a thousand words, these two posts sum it up pretty good where all I might want to take the bike, or lets say, where I really want the bike to shine. I don't really much care about how it behaves on metro city tarmac because there you can live with almost anything.

http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/trav...kwar-t33604-2/

Reading and watching all the Duke 390 reviews, I really feel it is going to give me bad shoulder aches on those kinda tracks and thats what I really want to minimize (not compromising on the raunchy/torquy-ness ofcourse).
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Old 27th November 2013, 14:28   #28
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

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Originally Posted by Kaboooooom View Post
Thanks ebono. None the less, every review seems to say that the Duke ride quality is somewhat harsh. I am going to give a couple of links to express where all I might want to take the bike.
Depends on what you mean by "harsh" really. The ride is stiff. Stiffer than the 200. And I like it that way. Because it handles really good and feels more planted than the 200. On bad roads, on both of them, you should be getting out of the saddle. You want a plush and soft ride, you are going to have to sacrifice razor sharp handling and high speed behavior on cornering. You cannot have both.
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Old 27th November 2013, 15:55   #29
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Default Re: A Premium Bike for the Himalayas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Depends on what you mean by "harsh" really. The ride is stiff. Stiffer than the 200. And I like it that way. Because it handles really good and feels more planted than the 200.
have ridden both the 200 & 390, and felt very comfortable flicking it around with ease, and 390 feels more planted and gives the confidence in having a good ride. Though the seating/riding position i felt quite uncomfortable mostly because of my 'Bulk' on a long ride. Guess personal choice that i prefer a more relaxed riding position.

I feel the TBTS500 is a good choice, and will be better in all your requirements.

Cheers!!
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Old 27th November 2013, 18:29   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Depends on what you mean by "harsh" really. The ride is stiff. Stiffer than the 200. And I like it that way. Because it handles really good and feels more planted than the 200. On bad roads, on both of them, you should be getting out of the saddle. You want a plush and soft ride, you are going to have to sacrifice razor sharp handling and high speed behavior on cornering. You cannot have both.
Thanks ebonho. My concern was about prolonged bad roads I guess. A test ride would not tell me and what I would feel after a 3-4 day ride. Okay tell me this, not considering other things which bike can be ridden for longer duration among the Duke, Karizma, Apace, Thunderbird 500. Which bike will tire out the rider first to last (on the kind of terrains in the link in my previous post)?
I guess ultimately I am looking for the right balance between comfort and flickability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The BULK View Post
have ridden both the 200 & 390, and felt very comfortable flicking it around with ease, and 390 feels more planted and gives the confidence in having a good ride. Though the seating/riding position i felt quite uncomfortable mostly because of my 'Bulk' on a long ride. Guess personal choice that i prefer a more relaxed riding position.

I feel the TBTS500 is a good choice, and will be better in all your requirements.

Cheers!!
The BULK
Thanks Bulk . Test rides begin mid December. I am going to post my findings then.
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