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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Small bike (<400cc) 48 21.15%
Medium (e.g. 400 - 800cc) 154 67.84%
Big (litre class) 25 11.01%
Voters: 227. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 7th December 2018, 08:26   #136
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajaybiz View Post
One close friend of mine liked the bike, took it for weekend ride and that was the last I have seen thr Baby GS.
Conclusion:- I'll never buy a small bike or say anything below 45 BHP at-least
Quite a interesting turnaround, specially for people like me who remember your posts before picking up the 310GS. Surely something for everyone to note - Once you get to touch and feel the other side, there's no going back.

nasirkaka is an opposite example that someone can quote against this, but again he has clearly mentioned his limitations due to which a small bike like the GS310 is perfect in his scenario compared to a big one.

Meanwhile, an interesting post from a reputed journalist -

Big vs Small Touring Bikes-screenshot_201812070819162.png
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Old 7th December 2018, 10:33   #137
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post

Meanwhile, an interesting post from a reputed journalist -

Definitely man. But how many of us really undertake serious offroad on these big bikes like the picture above? Most of us just stick to road touring.

Big vs Small Touring Bikes-img20181202wa0010.jpg


Big vs Small Touring Bikes-img20181202wa0019.jpg

Even the offroad that I went and did last weekend - honestly would not have attempted it without Nishant prodding me along. We have some serious mental blocks with our bikes which we need to get rid off...and the only way to do that is to keep doing more and more offroad.

If people abroad can do it and we just keep sharing those videos and liking it, why can't we do the same?

However, let me tell you that the GS310 with Nasirkaka astride just walked through like this was the service road in ORR LOL.

Last edited by Red Liner : 7th December 2018 at 10:39.
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Old 7th December 2018, 12:52   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post

Even the offroad that I went and did last weekend - honestly would not have attempted it without Nishant prodding me along. We have some serious mental blocks with our bikes which we need to get rid off...and the only way to do that is to keep doing more and more offroad.
However, let me tell you that the GS310 with Nasirkaka astride just walked through like this was the service road in ORR LOL.
Maybe the photos you have posted doesn't show the severity of the terrain, but just going by the pics, I go through similar roads just on my regular commute from the house to the market in Himachal. We have less dirt but bigger rocks and gravel and gradients are a lot steeper.
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Old 7th December 2018, 13:14   #139
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by rdst_1 View Post
Maybe the photos you have posted doesn't show the severity of the terrain, but just going by the pics, I go through similar roads just on my regular commute from the house to the market in Himachal. We have less dirt but bigger rocks and gravel and gradients are a lot steeper.
Having traveled and trekked around Himachal and Uttarakhand, I don't doubt you one bit. These pictures and angles are misleading as always. The gradients were much much steeper.

But what fun!
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Old 7th December 2018, 14:54   #140
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
nasirkaka is an opposite example that someone can quote against this, but again he has clearly mentioned his limitations due to which a small bike like the GS310 is perfect in his scenario compared to a big one.
Expecting one bike (currently available in India) to do it all (city, touring, offroad, track, etc) is asking for something which is simply not there. So its all about compromises. We pick one which is touring oriented, and may have to compromise when stuck in B2B traffic, and likewise. At best, its probability of compromises, and depending on out riding requirements, environment, preference, bank balance, etc we make choices. What is clear from the discussions and the poll on this thread is that when it comes to touring in our country, majority is with purpose built middle-weight bikes on the likes on V650 ,V storm 650, etc.

There are also cases where we do make wrong choices, does not mean the bike is not good. Just that our expectations and bike's purpose did not meet on most points. taking my example, i was using Versys 650 for daily commuting for 50kms in Bangalore traffic, which is my wrong choice. Versys is not ideal for these congested city roads, but loves to be in the open. Why i like the 310 gs is that its a very balanced compromise - JACK OF ALL. Does well in traffic, is super comfortable, does well off the road, does well on B and C roads, and does well on highways too. It does most of all in decent manner, which makes it very versatile. Thats what i like about it. Comparing is to a versys or a tiger on highway is not fair, just like comparing a versys or a tiger with 310 GS in congested city is not fair.

As you mentioned, a riders limitations does play a part in making choices, be it physical, financial, riding skill level, riding style inclination, etc. I choose baby GS for daily commuting and weekend breakfast rides and some trails, where comfort won over thrill of speed, and i am happy with my choice. Versys will be used for those few longer rides, if at all, or will most likely be replaced by interceptor 650, if all works out.

Quote:

Maybe the photos you have posted doesn't show the severity of the terrain, but just going by the pics, I go through similar roads just on my regular commute from the house to the market in Himachal. We have less dirt but bigger rocks and gravel and gradients are a lot steeper.
i was there too and trust me, the photos are super misleading and not even there of the tougher terrain. Redliner would agree that this was one of the most challenging trails hes done on the Versys. The weight factor is a big boon over these conditions, and i was happy to be on the baby GS and not on the versys.
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Old 7th December 2018, 15:01   #141
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Yestrday I had a chance to ride TB500 and Activa side-by-side. I went to office (below 5KM) in TB500 as I daily do but after my lunch I took Activa as it was free and to check the riding differences (after reading this thread). Here is my take on it

1. TB500 is more comfortable as I don't have to bother about small pot-holes whereas in Activa I've to brake and go over it at crawling speed
2. Starting a ride in TB500 takes more time. If I take TB500 i always use Jacket/Gloves/Balaclava where-as for Activa just the helmet. Eventhough both the helmets are full-face, the build quality differs. One is just ISI and other is SNELL/DOT rated.
3. As Activa has space for keeping Helmet you are free to walk but for bike you need to haul Jacket/gloves/helmet
4. Braking of TB500 is better @60KPH compared to Activa at the same speed.
5. People tend go give more space to TB500 (loud horn?)
6. Parking is easier in activa as its smaller and does not have any crash guards.

So for riding speed/comfort the preference is TB500
For parking in crowded place, in hurry to buy say milk etc activa is better.
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Old 7th December 2018, 16:34   #142
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
We have some serious mental blocks with our bikes which we need to get rid off...and the only way to do that is to keep doing more and more offroad.
Forget off-roading, Indians have a mental block with everything automotive, even overtaking for that matter.

Even on a 100 or 800(Car) I've never faced any issues with regards to overtaking, the rest suck at it simply because they're hesitant to rev their motors.

I recall a fellow enthusiast telling me not to rev so hard as it might blow-out the motor, I was surprised by how baseless the statement was as any petrol automotive for that matter is idiot proof and given ideal conditions you simply cannot blow-out a motor even if you tried hard at it, it's not like the NFS Drag race where if you don't shift within the said frame your engine would blow-out like that.

Not sure how things were before my time but I'm yet to own a motorcycle that failed simply due to me riding her hard.

We really need to educate ourselves and expand our boundaries not only so that we may use our machines to the best of our abilities but also so that we may learn and improve our technique in the process, which for all we know could be what helps us out of a really sticky situation someday.
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Old 8th December 2018, 06:35   #143
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

I'm still on my first motorcycle, a 155cc Gixxer which I have owned for 3 years now, with almost 64000 Kms on the odometer. This includes commuting, highways and light off roading too. I also have some (a few hundred Kms) riding experience with a friend's Ninja 300 and an amazing Sunday morning ride to Marine Drive on a Street Triple 675, that has convinced me that the ST is the greatest motorcycle ever. Now that I have put my meagre riding experience in perspective, here's my point of view:

It's probably not fair to categorise the 300ís as Ďsmallí motorcycles. IMHO, an average cruising speed of 100-120km/hr is perfect for our unpredictable road and riding conditions. And the R3, N300, Apache 310, the BMW twins & the KTM twins are capable of maintaining cruising speeds of 120km/hr easily. A case could even be made for the CBR250R here. Hence, I think a lot of votes for the 'smallí bikes in the poll are for the 300ís.

Touring on a small motorcycle is possible, but certain compromises (IMHO) are to be made if you are not a new rider. For example, the Gixxer is excellent in the city, but on the highway it sort of runs out steam after 95kmph/8000rpm. So firstly, overtaking vehicles at that speed becomes a task as I have to plan and execute it at the right moment, while on the N300 it's as easy as opening the throttle. Secondly, the N300 runs more unstressed at 100km/hr than my Gixxer which is running almost at the end of it's performance envelope to maintain said speed and hence does not leave any room to accelerate and get away from a tailgating Scorpio with tinted windows. Both these drawbacks lead to comparatively more mental fatigue on the Gixxer. While I could lower my average speed to 80 km/hr, I run the risk of being bullied by rashly driven four wheelers and frankly, cruising at 80, especially on arrow straight roads isn't exhilrating anymore. This is probably the primary reason why I'm looking to upgrade from the otherwise brilliant Gixxer.

The ideal touring bike will differ from person to person. For example, while most riders consider an upright riding position comfortable, I'm more comfortable riding a little hunched over, heels firmly dug in the heel plates, knees gripping the tank and elbows bent at almost a right angle! I would also consider the associated finances, especially the running and service/spare parts cost. Hence, an ideal touring bike (again IMHO)) should have the following characteristics:
Ability to cruise at 120km/hr in a stress free manner, with a little more performance left in the tank to accelerate away from bad drivers.

Enough agility to enjoy the corners and to swerve around stray animals/people/potholes that abound our highways. An agile bike would prove to be a good commuter too.

Exceptional braking performance with ABS.Superb engine refinement and reliability for riding happily with the throttle wide open.

Light and small (dimension wise) to not be unwieldy during daily commutes.

Lastly, a perfect touring bike would be easy on the pocket, especially with spare parts/servicing enabling the rider to undertake more tours so to speak.

The Ninja 400 and the BMW 310GS meet most of the above parameters for me, but they are priced too exorbitantly, with regards to the selling price as well as the maintenance costs. So, I'm going to do the next best thing while I wait for a friend to start a ride, speculate! Somewhere in Hamamatsu, Suzuki is secretly benchmarking the BMW/TVS 310ís and is going to come up with a Gixxer/SF 300 & a V-Strom 300. They even intend to take advantage of Maruti-Suzuki's huge network to service their motorcycles. And that would be the perfect all round bike for me! Uh, after the Street Triple that is

In conclusion, I'd like to say that we can discuss endlessly what an ideal touring bike should be, but there are a lot of other factors at play other than the motorcycles themselves. Such as skill, or the lack of it (welp!), experience or the lack of it (sigh!) and finance or the lack of it (tears). These parameters play an equally important role for most of us while choosing a motorcycle. Maybe my views will be different a couple of years from now as I gain more experience/skill/money but for me, the perfect balance at this moment is a Japanese 300cc although not really sure which one, I guess I will figure out as I go. In the meantime, I will continue to tour on what I have, until I can get what I want!
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Old 8th December 2018, 09:27   #144
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

A medium sized bike gets my vote.

Here are my thoughts on what a touring bike should offer, for India:

1. Powerful enough to cruise comfortably in the lower 100s.
2. This will improve comfort and delay rider fatigue from an engine that is screaming away at near or close to its red line, besides making passing easier etc. This knocks the small bikes out. (400cc isn't exactly small in my book especially if we're talking KTM). If we're talking RE however, then even a 500 is too small because of the lack of performance etc.
3. Be reasonably fuel efficient - this knocks the liter class out.
4. Offer a comfortable, upright riding posture.
5. Be reasonably lightweight.
6. Offer a large fuel tank for range.
7. Be capable of being ridden off-road, this means suitable suspension, wheel size, ground clearance and tyres.
8. Should offer a free-revving engine that is smooth and vibration free.

From what I know, nothing fits this description. The KTM Adventure with a slightly de-tuned and re-geared ~500cc engine would do very, very well.
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Old 8th December 2018, 10:12   #145
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Passing thought, Irrespective of displacement and power figures when it comes to clocking a better average the torque curve plays a predominant role, hence why though the ZMA sucks when compared to anything else above 200cc's on paper it still is the better motorcycle when it comes to clocking silly high averages.

The CBR250R though a bigger and better Honda than the ZMA is a breeze to clock higher speeds but demands a lot from the rider when it comes to consistently doing so as with a more linear torque curve you can't just sit back as constant input is required from the rider.

Which as we all know translates to more fatigue.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 8th December 2018 at 10:14.
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Old 8th December 2018, 11:19   #146
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
From what I know, nothing fits this description. The KTM Adventure with a slightly de-tuned and re-geared ~500cc engine would do very, very well.
Add sufficient wind protection to that list at the top. Cause doing even 80s consistently for a couple of hours is going to give you fatigue without a good enough wind screen.

Last edited by Samurai : 8th December 2018 at 14:42. Reason: avoid quoting full posts
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Old 10th December 2018, 12:59   #147
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Quote:
From what I know, nothing fits this description. The KTM Adventure with a slightly de-tuned and re-geared ~500cc engine would do very, very well.
This comes pretty close. Been shouting since a long time. Yesterday we rode to krishnagiri with a few 310 GS and R while i was on the versys. The 310s did well in keeping up with versys unless one decides to ride really fast (upwards of one forty kays, which are not very safe on our roads to begin with). Remove that overpriced part, and these bikes are pretty close to a 'jack of all' including touring IMO.
Attached Thumbnails
Big vs Small Touring Bikes-01-01.jpg  

Big vs Small Touring Bikes-01-02.jpg  


Last edited by nasirkaka : 10th December 2018 at 13:01.
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Old 10th December 2018, 13:07   #148
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by nasirkaka View Post
This comes pretty close.
But why not a Himalayan then, at a fraction of the price?

We've always complained of the highway capabilities of the Himalayan, but if a cruising speed of 95kmph (Red Liner's post in 310GS thread) is the sweet spot for the 310GS - i wonder if there's any advantage at all - that justifies spending so much.

Pricewise, 310GS + needed accessories = Himalayan + whatever accessories + Interceptor 650 + whatever accessories.
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Old 10th December 2018, 13:21   #149
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But why not a Himalayan then, at a fraction of the price?

We've always complained of the highway capabilities of the Himalayan, but if a cruising speed of 95kmph (Red Liner's post in 310GS thread) is the sweet spot for the 310GS - i wonder if there's any advantage at all - that justifies spending so much.

Pricewise, 310GS + needed accessories = Himalayan + whatever accessories + Interceptor 650 + whatever accessories.
Man, have you ridden the Himalayan? Don't even compare it in the same line with this GS. That Himalayan is just a bucket of bolts screwed together with some left over loctite they managed to find. Do read the EVAP thread done by a member on the BS4 Himalayan, where with a bit of prodding he goes on to talk about the bike and he stops short of throwing it over the cliff in Ooty where he stays.

As a sum of many parts, the GS is in a different league when compared to the Himalayan. Braking, in gear acceleration, overall quality of cycle parts, some exclusivity is always nice (good or bad )

BTW using your formula:

GS + needed accessories + Interceptor + needed accessories = Versys - any accessories!

Last edited by Red Liner : 10th December 2018 at 13:22.
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Old 10th December 2018, 13:31   #150
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
But why not a Himalayan then, at a fraction of the price?
at 25 bhp, around 180 Kgs, and an unrefined motor, it just falls a bit short. Not to mention the tube tyre which means a puncture on the highway is also be an issue. 21" rim upfront is too offroad biased, where as 19 on the gs is more like a best of both the world. I also feel GS has better suspension then my versys. Really!

Quote:
We've always complained of the highway capabilities of the Himalayan, but if a cruising speed of 95kmph (Red Liner's post in 310GS thread) is the sweet spot for the 310GS - i wonder if there's any advantage at all - that justifies spending so much.
U know Redliner and how much of nit-picker he is. After riding his versys, anything falls short on his expectations. BTW he does see some value there and was himself on the threshold of buying a GS for himself.


Quote:
Pricewise, 310GS + needed accessories = Himalayan + whatever accessories + Interceptor 650 + whatever accessories.
Like i said in my previous post, IF we were to remove the "overpriced" bit. We arent talking of best budget tourer here, so equating everything on value is not fair. With baby GS, one does get exclusivity and and that feel good factor of riding a premium brand. I would be lying if i said otherwise.
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