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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Small bike (<400cc) 53 22.27%
Medium (e.g. 400 - 800cc) 159 66.81%
Big (litre class) 26 10.92%
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Old 26th November 2018, 10:24   #16
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
If you're facing difficulty overtaking then either the vehicle in front of you is faster than you are which defeats the purpose of an overtake.
Nice words there.

Should we also look at the places we live, to understand what each other is talking about? Since I'm from Kerala like you - I perfectly understand your points as well - and I really doubt if I could have enjoyed the Versys as much there. A Duke would have been my weapon of choice for sure - with majority of two lane, narrow winding roads dominating the state - where slotting in 5th and 6th gear would be near impossible on the big bikes.

However, being based out of Chennai and Bangalore for more than a decade now, and having used a Pulsar on these roads too - I feel the Versys (or any other big bike for that matter) brings a whole new level of bliss on such roads - and its not about top speeds- the stability, comfort and the sheer way it demolishes whatever conditions are thrown at it brings a big grin!

Same way - I've driven Chennai / Bangalore - Trivandrum in my old WagonR and current Punto. There's a bliss to the latter which is always questionable - since the WagonR effectively could do the same job as well - but that bliss is there nonetheless. Someone with an Octavia vRS might puke at this thought - because 'bliss' for him might be an all new level. Someone in the hills might puke at the vRS and prefer his decade old Jeep instead.

Afterall - our personalities and choices are shaped by the conditions we live in!
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Old 26th November 2018, 10:52   #17
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

BTW my current ride is Tiger 800 and Baby GS and both are up for sale for different reasons.
Bought baby GS considering its small and light weight but soon realise that a person tasted 800 cc cant live with 310 cc.
Selling the tiger as well as tasted the papa gs and how the KTM 1000 plus cc adv bike rides.
For me it's gonna be 1000 + cc ADV and if at all small dual purpose bikes in 400-600 cc range comes, that would be in my garage.
No where I can ride small cc bikes for fun, city commute is different ball game.
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Old 26th November 2018, 11:03   #18
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post

From my observation I find that most people are hesitant to rev their engines resulting in sloppy overtakes which are dangerous as I believe an overtake should be done with surgical precision, swift and accurate.
The effortless cruising speed for small bikes are far below the speed limit of most highways and even state roads, I'm not sure if they will get anywhere comfortably. The small air cooled engines are not designed for sustained high engine speed runs over a long distance. The oil cooled ones are better, water cooled ones are even better.

That's about the bike, let's talk about the actual issue - Fatigue.

Fatigue is a killer. An effortless , comfortable and yet nimble enough motorbike is what a long distance traveler needs. There is no need to rev it hard, squeeze the throttle a bit and you are ahead. Fatigue free motoring, a huge safety plus.

Touring bikes should be large enough for a longer wheelbase and as big and powerful engine it can handle while being compact enough to be able to manage on the winding hill roads.

Seasoned riders(without brand affiliations) will own a bike like this or wants to own one like this.

Almost all Indian bikes are bullied on highways by larger vehicles and will soon end up riding on the shoulder of the road single file, the powerful import bikes can cruise on the fast lane and they can also brake safely behind larger vehicles - this is a common observation and that's a tell.

Seasoned riders can let us know the Indian made bikes that can keep up with the big boys. I can think of KTM and Dominar, Mojo?
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Old 26th November 2018, 11:16   #19
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

I have a different take. there is not right or wrong choice/answer here it all depends on the rider, smaller bike you are riding on the motorcycle limit, while on bigger bike you are the limit. Have been riding a BIG and small bike since last 8 years ( Aquilla 650-Pulsar 220, Tiger 1200-R15, R1200GS-R15/CL500). I ride very consistently, not at high speed but for long duration even upto 4 hour non stop, this is not possibly at least for me on smaller bike, but has been very doable on both 1200/tiger & GS.



My take, you ride with motorcycle limit on smaller cc and that generally make you feel very much under control, while on bigger bikes you mostly ride under your limit, motorcycle can do much more and that make you feel nervous about you riding way under motorcycle capabilities!


I don't see this as a machine vs machine issue, its mostly the capability of rider vs machine. If you are more capable than the machine you are riding you are always going to feel better and incontrol of everything, otherwise you are going to be nervous.


-Pramod
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Old 26th November 2018, 11:20   #20
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
The effortless cruising speed for small bikes are far below the speed limit of most highways and even state roads, I'm not sure if they will get anywhere comfortably. The small air cooled engines are not designed for sustained high engine speed runs over a long distance. The oil cooled ones are better, water cooled ones are even better.
Very true
Quote:
Seasoned riders can let us know the Indian made bikes that can keep up with the big boys. I can think of KTM and Dominar, Mojo?
I am not among seasoned rider but defiantly can say none of above mentioned bikes can keep up with bigger bike's and the reason is not only the speed, it's how these bikes are doing these speed, no point running the bike at it's 80-100% potential at the risk of not having enough braking power when it's required the most and high speed stability is something only riders ridden bigger bikes can experience and explain.
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Old 26th November 2018, 19:02   #21
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

I'm confused. For this thread we are separating small/ big at 200cc?

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Sutripta
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Old 26th November 2018, 19:22   #22
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I'm confused. For this thread we are separating small/ big at 200cc?

Regards
Sutripta
Don't think we can define it - depends a lot on people and perspectives.

When I had sold my bike and was only using a scooter for years, I found a Dominar 400 / Duke 390 big. After tiptoing around on the Versys everywhere, I feel the Duke is so nimble and light.

And usage conditions too!
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Old 26th November 2018, 19:28   #23
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

^^^
As I said, for this thread.
The 200cc dividing line seems to be what the OP has in mind.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 26th November 2018, 19:29   #24
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I'm confused. For this thread we are separating small/ big at 200cc?

Regards
Sutripta
There is no such distinction. Everything is relative.

Maybe a better frame of questioning might be enduro bikes vs big touring bikes. Or dual purpose bikes that weigh under 170 kgs wet vs those that weigh above 200 kgs.

You see where we are getting at?
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Old 26th November 2018, 20:11   #25
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
As I said, for this thread.
The 200cc dividing line seems to be what the OP has in mind.

Regards
Sutripta
Possible , I think there is a lot to be gained from a 200 cc motorbike.

Most likely the bike has an oil cooled or water cooled engine, a sixth gear, better brakes etc.
That alone makes it better than a commuter bike for the job at hand.
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Old 26th November 2018, 23:20   #26
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I'm confused. For this thread we are separating small/ big at 200cc?

Regards
Sutripta
The intention was not to give off such a message.

Though in my case my preference leans towards smaller motorcycles as in motorcycles with the following attributes;

1. Manageable weight, should be lift/push/slide-able when the situation demands.
2. Bare minimum electronics, even with shot electrical's the things should be able to run.
3. Easy to work on, a busted cable should take 5 min's flat to change.
4. Rugged, should be able to take anything Indian roads and trails can throw at it.
5. Reasonable pricing, buying a motorcycle is easy, keeping it running is the hard part, especially if you intend to clock some miles on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
The effortless cruising speed for small bikes are far below the speed limit of most highways and even state roads, I'm not sure if they will get anywhere comfortably.
Not sure if we ride in the same country, but I ride a puny(by any standard) motorcycle and I'm yet to face any issues/restrictions while riding on Indian roads over a considerable distance.

Irrespective of displacement, the overall distance covered in a day or over a week still remains the same in India, if otherwise then it would've made a strong case like in the case of other countries where without being over a specific displacement class you simply would not be able to cover said miles over the same period of time.

Quote:
The small air cooled engines are not designed for sustained high engine speed runs over a long distance. The oil cooled ones are better, water cooled ones are even better.
That is just a perception, all motorcycles are designed to be idiot proof, so unless you're on a 2 Stroke, you'd be just fine wringing the throttle wide open for the whole day without a care in the world.

Here's a picture of my total distance covered in a day during our GQ run,

Big vs Small Touring Bikes-img_20180203_051627.jpg

The motorcycle in question is a Bajaj CT100B and the motorcycle had gone through similar experiences through out the course of 2 weeks before we reached home, still runs fine and is my daily driver.

Quote:
That's about the bike, let's talk about the actual issue - Fatigue.

Fatigue is a killer. An effortless , comfortable and yet nimble enough motorbike is what a long distance traveler needs. There is no need to rev it hard, squeeze the throttle a bit and you are ahead. Fatigue free motoring, a huge safety plus.
There are two types of fatigue, one is physical and the other is mental.

The more miles you haul the better you get with dealing with physical fatigue but it works the other way when it comes to mental fatigue/disconnect.

The more miles you have under the belt, the less shock value the ride at hand poses and hence without something to keep you engaged, say a buzzy motor, you'd konk off in the blink of an eye.

Interestingly this is the same reason why people start with vanilla porn and then as time goes by shift to more perverse interests as the shock value goes down over time and you'd need something with more shock value to keep you interested. The things you learn about your mind, eh?

Quote:
Touring bikes should be large enough for a longer wheelbase and as big and powerful engine it can handle while being compact enough to be able to manage on the winding hill roads.

Seasoned riders(without brand affiliations) will own a bike like this or wants to own one like this.
Quite the contrary.

Going by the theory of the weakest link giving up first a seasoned motorcyclist would shy away from the following;

1. Liquid Cooling.
2. Fuel Injection.
3. Complex electricals.

Because he/she knows that when crap hits the roof, its better to keep moving at any pace rather than at no pace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Should we also look at the places we live, to understand what each other is talking about? Since I'm from Kerala like you - I perfectly understand your points as well - and I really doubt if I could have enjoyed the Versys as much there. A Duke would have been my weapon of choice for sure - with majority of two lane, narrow winding roads dominating the state - where slotting in 5th and 6th gear would be near impossible on the big bikes.

However, being based out of Chennai and Bangalore for more than a decade now, and having used a Pulsar on these roads too - I feel the Versys (or any other big bike for that matter) brings a whole new level of bliss on such roads - and its not about top speeds- the stability, comfort and the sheer way it demolishes whatever conditions are thrown at it brings a big grin!
Indeed, growing up in Kerala did have an impact and I did have high expectations regarding what the rest of the country would be like.

But my expectations were not met which may be due to my limited experience but what I understood from that is that we simply do not have favorable conditions to sustain higher cruising speeds over an extended period of time.

The first couple of times is definitely a hoot, but sooner or later you settle down to your own pace and irrespective of the motorcycle you ride that won't change given our conditions.

Now this is with my limited experience comparing 100cc's to sub quarter liter motorcycles, because going by numbers I should expect anywhere from 100~120% increase in my statistics but so far the difference has been negligible and even counter productive when considering our own Kerala roads.

Now this comparison is not so obvious to perceptions and only shine when measuring average speeds and total running time.

Quote:
Same way - I've driven Chennai / Bangalore - Trivandrum in my old WagonR and current Punto. There's a bliss to the latter which is always questionable - since the WagonR effectively could do the same job as well - but that bliss is there nonetheless. Someone with an Octavia vRS might puke at this thought - because 'bliss' for him might be an all new level. Someone in the hills might puke at the vRS and prefer his decade old Jeep instead.
Now just consider this,

The vRS would be a killer on the expressways, the Jeep would be a killer on the hills, but would you opt for either when covering a larger span of land with a mix of both and everything in between?

I doubt it, because it would make more sense to go for an Alto which would be able to maintain better average speeds and running time, above all at a fraction of the investment.

Quote:
Afterall - our personalities and choices are shaped by the conditions we live in!
Spot on! Irrespective of scales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramods View Post
I have a different take. there is not right or wrong choice/answer here it all depends on the rider, smaller bike you are riding on the motorcycle limit, while on bigger bike you are the limit.

I don't see this as a machine vs machine issue, its mostly the capability of rider vs machine. If you are more capable than the machine you are riding you are always going to feel better and incontrol of everything, otherwise you are going to be nervous.
A very valid take indeed.

Though personally I'm yet to go hyper or super, I doubt it would improve my total range and even say if it does I doubt the difference would be quite enough to justify the sacrifices.

As in spite of the motorcycle changing, the human element i.e me, remains the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
Possible , I think there is a lot to be gained from a 200 cc motorbike.

Most likely the bike has an oil cooled or water cooled engine, a sixth gear, better brakes etc.
That alone makes it better than a commuter bike for the job at hand.
There is a lot to be gained just as there is a lot to be lost.

Better technology has its perks, but not so much considering down-time.

Now one could argue that the prospect of down-time is non-existent on an advanced motorcycle but that would be just like the teenage version of us claiming to be never involved in a wreck in spite of our aggressive riding style.

The eventual wreck, just like down-time is inevitable irrespective of how or what we ride, sooner or later you'd get to that point and when you do it helps to have something manageable.

In a video shared by Art of Motorcycles, Junaid, a trained mechanic experiences a technical difficulty with his Triumph Tiger that sets him back by over a day or two, in comparison if he was on a more trivial motorcycle he would've been back on the road within no time, as shown in a later video he fixes his Tiger on his own but the reason for the delay was that he simply couldn't do the same without the right premise for working on a complex machine.





If it weren't for his popularity I doubt he'd be back on the road as soon as he could then.

If it were me with say a KTM 200 or a Dominar 400, then I'd be hopelessly stranded and at the mercy of the RSA, which as you could see is yet to straighten its nicks as Junaid can be seen being tested to wits end by Triumph's RSA.

Same experience was faced by a fellow rider on his KTM 200 while getting leh'd, he rode all the way from Kerala and had to return via public transport, not because he wanted to but simply because he was left without any viable options.

In the light of similar experiences I've even penned a quote which I intend to make a fender sticker of, it goes like this;

"If you can't Run, Walk.
If you can't Walk, Crawl.
Just Don't Stop!"



Last edited by Gannu_1 : 27th November 2018 at 09:44. Reason: Uploading image as attachment instead of hotlinking it. Breaking page bounds. Thanks.
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Old 27th November 2018, 00:29   #27
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
The intention was not to give off such a message.

Though in my case my preference leans towards smaller motorcycles as in motorcycles with the following attributes;



I repect your perspective but - Fatigue is for real and small bikes with weak engines make it worse, same goes for cars. Else they would be driving CT100 and Alto from Newyork to Texas.

Mathematics don't lie.

The average speeds maintained by a splendor and a litre class bike are different, my math tells me that you are going to spend considerably more time on the road to cover the distance.

On highways I often see small bikes going at 80 kmph with a nice I'm frying my pistons smoke coming out of its rear end, so believe me unless it has an ecm trying to run the engine at sane speeds with an rpm limiter, you have the ability to easily kill it. Nowhere close to being idiot proof. Some owners manuals will tell you to keep engine speeds below a certain value for extended running, there is a reason for that.

On the roads, physical or mental fatigue, it's all the same. You are travelling to reach a destination or to enjoy the ride, not to feel miserable. Now fatigue kills a lot of people and a big bike certainly makes it more comfortable to travel without the misery.

All cars are running fuel injected water cooled engines, they do not break that easily. The small bikes of course go for carb to reduce costs, nothing else.
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Old 27th November 2018, 02:48   #28
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Fatigue on a smaller bike is way more than on bigger bikes. Reasons are manifold.
1. Engines run more stressed - lower FE, ringing valves etc.
2. They run harsher than bigger mills - the feels.
3. They usually howl more than bigger mills at the same engine speed (consider a Splendor vs ZMA vs N650 at 95 kmph). More noise = more tiredness.
4. One covers 500+ km like it's nothing on a proper touring bike. Seats and ergos are that good.
5. Apart from fuel costs, a big bike can do higher speeds more reliably than a smaller bike, because it simply can do those speeds without stressing itself. But the fact that a ZMR almost delivers similar FE as a 150cc carb'ed bike at 90 kmph makes the deal smoother.

Our problem is that we wish to spend the least for getting the most (of a bike or anything, but let's just stick to bikes here). That doesn't help one bit.

Lastly, if reaching some destination is just mathematics then no argument holds good. Traveling to some is more than that. Heck, buses are cheaper otherwise!

Last edited by Divya Sharan : 27th November 2018 at 02:50.
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Old 27th November 2018, 06:07   #29
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Where is the voting button? My vote would definitely go for the bigger bike due to the following reasons -
1. A bigger engine is much more relaxed when cruising
2. Can maintain better average speed without causing fatigue to the rider due to lesser vibration at higher speed
3. Bigger bike will have wider tyres with better grip and stability
4. Bigger engine will have more torque for those trips to the mountains
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Old 27th November 2018, 06:48   #30
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

When Iron Butt had started to pick up in India, 2 riders attempted it on an R15 and one on his R1, the R1 finished an hour later.

Experience all genres and pick which suits you.
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