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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Small bike (<400cc) 49 21.30%
Medium (e.g. 400 - 800cc) 155 67.39%
Big (litre class) 26 11.30%
Voters: 230. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27th November 2018, 19:16   #46
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

The statement 'one size does not fit all' stands absolutely true when it comes to motorcycling and its intended purpose.
I love extended touring. In fact I think its the best part of taking out a bike.
Now I believe , there is a bike for every purpose. And if you are not riding the correct bike it can be one of the most uncomfortable experience you will ever endure.
I ll try to elucidate.
My fat gixxer is a pain to take to the local market to get a packet of milk or candy or just general city ride. It is too heavy and bulbous to manage. Not to mention it gets unbearably hot at every traffic signal. However, my simple 350 cc 2 stroke does the same job wonderfully well. I am sure these new breed of 300/400 cc bikes should also be great for in city use. Nimble, adequate power with the ability to squeeze through gaps.
On the highway my 2 stroke is just plain boring and slow but the Fat gixxer is the most fun one can have on 2 wheels. Fast , stable and intimidating. In-fact , any faired/naked liter class pocket rocket is super fun on good well paved highway roads. Here , those 300/400 cc bikes are just barely adequate but no fun.

Similarly on hilly/broken road the Fat gixxer is just exhaustive and tiring but my 800 cc adventure tourer seems like a walk in a park and puts a big smile on my face. I dont need to worry about potholes,slush,mud etc etc. Even a 80 - 100 bhp middle weight naked is super fun on the twisties. They are light with enough power to go lean and WOT. In-fact a duke 390 is so much fun on the hills it is un real. And that's no super bike.

So, what I am trying to say is when it comes to touring a Duke 390 can be as much fun as the mighty busa as long as you know where you are touring.
Having said that, a big capacity super bike is far more comfortable, safe, and fun to ride within the 80 to 120 kmph bracket than any 100/200/300 cc commuter. The notion that because its a super bike so the rider has to go WOT on every ride whether small or long is completely wrong. You can still enjoy a wonderfully sublime ride doing just 90 KMPH on a 600 pound 185 Hp old girl and come back with a huge smile on your face.

Last edited by bigron : 27th November 2018 at 19:29.
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Old 27th November 2018, 19:27   #47
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by killjoy View Post
Why not the VStrom 650?
Actually it too. The value proposition though does go down further if one does not really go off road vs the versys which is more a tourer. But yes it too.
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Old 27th November 2018, 20:02   #48
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

A lot is being said about the 'no electronics' part. Implementation and quality varies by manufacturer.

The R15 has been with us a for some time now, and does decent numbers. So there should be a reasonable population on the road. How often do we hear of 'electronics failure' on the R15?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Were the two riders of the same calibre? If I ride a R1 and you ride a R15 you will definitely reach a lot earlier than me!
Doubt it. Sheel is married now!
(But Sheel is not like you and me. He sold off his CBR250R because he was bored by its reliability!)

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 27th November 2018 at 20:17.
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Old 27th November 2018, 20:10   #49
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
A lot is being said about the 'no electronics' part. Implementation and quality varies by manufacturer.

The R15 has been with us a for some time now, and does decent numbers. So there should be a reasonable population on the road. How often do we hear of 'electronics failure' on the R15?

Regards
Sutripta
I think issues with electronics \ EFI has been largely an issue with certain Indian manufacturers whose EFI systems were buggy. But otherwise EFI should last long without much maintenance \ tuning \ adjustments to the EFI system, and lets not forget it starts on the first squeeze.
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Old 27th November 2018, 20:19   #50
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

My Humble 2 cents:
As few have said, there is no definite better option. Depends on a few things, like for me:
1) I am a short guy, so I find bigger bikes intimidating.
2) Where will you ride also matters, for example if I would travel a lot on long straight highways like Rajasthan, a bigger bike will have more advantages. Personally I prefer hills. Most hills in India have narrow roads where the additional oomph of a big bike will not be very useful. A lighter bike will be less demanding to ride and can end up being more fun too in some situations.
3) Personally I would prefer a smaller bike, but not a slow bike especially since to reach any hills station around Delhi, you need to cover 250 KMs of straight highways in any direction. Duke 390 always comes up as a top contender for my 2nd bike whenever I think about it. Really looking forwards to the Standard 790 adventure too.

Rachit
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Old 27th November 2018, 20:43   #51
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Without questioning OP's intent of starting the thread, I feel the thread is lately turning into a sort of demonstration on what smaller capacity bikes with (relatively) lesser complexity can stretch to in the hands of a capable rider. Endurance runs(max distance covered in one day on a Bajaj CT100), easier to repair, etc. are all good but completely miss the point of rider fatigue.

In fact when people set out to demo a particular point (say by sitting through an Iron Butt/GQ run) , the mind kind of submits to the physical beating the body takes, all in the interests of making some good numbers for bragging rights.If I am to cover 850 odd kms in a day on a highway like the GQ and I had a choice between a CT 100 or a Tiger, what would ease of riding dictate?Sure, there'll be someone who's taken a Luna to Ladakh too.

Last edited by octane1002 : 27th November 2018 at 20:51.
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Old 27th November 2018, 21:41   #52
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

^^^
Ladakh - Scooters, Auto Rickshaws, Pedal Rickshaws - all have been documented!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 27th November 2018, 23:21   #53
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Ladakh - Scooters, Auto Rickshaws, Pedal Rickshaws - all have been documented!

Regards
Sutripta
Also Hayabusa, Red Bull F1 - you name it and it has seen Ladakh.
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Old 27th November 2018, 23:57   #54
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Well, I apologize if my posts may have come off as bragging or showing off mine or my motorcycles endurance, but fact remains that the readings I've posted are not from any specific endurance run, these are my usual numbers as evident from my very few travelogues that I take the effort to pen down as a good number of them including my multi-state experience with the GQ would most likely not be published anywhere because I lack the motivation to do so.

The reason they exist is simply to show the less informed enthusiast that a motorcycle is not as flimsy as one expects it to be, irrespective of displacement class, all motorcycles are built to handle way more than what anyone be it myself, Dilip Bam or Devjeet Saha can throw at them.

As for pace, there are riders who maintain way better pace than me and those who do way worse, but in the end that is of least importance as we're not competing for any titles here.

As for the reason to promote small displacement motorcycles is because I've experienced them to offer more value than their bigger siblings, though having not ridden extended routes on superbikes or rather any routes on them! I have done so on multiple occasions on commuters and indigenous flagships alike, even ritually to an extent and what I've experienced is that a 120~200%+ bump in performance be it as far as displacement, power or torque goes doesn't go well with perceived logic and partly defeats my intended purpose.

As for the CT100B, in spite of owning bigger/better machines, the CT100B has stuck as a favorite because it is quintessentially bare-bone, doesn't even come with a decompressor or TPS for that matter which is a lot to say in this age when even 'Classics' come with the aforementioned features as minimum and a lot more.

I can go on and on about the benefits of the lack of such modernities as I've done several times before but that would just fall on deaf ears, simply because we do not have riders here who ride such motorcycles anymore and hence are oblivious to such facts, same goes for maintenance preferences.

As Sheel has pointed out in the case of the saddlesore run done on the R15 and R1, some things are not quite obvious on paper until you put rubber down on the road, and until those skeptical have done so I believe no further debate would widen their perspective until they've experimented themselves, as for me I've done my own experimentation over the years and still do so to perfect myself.

For those interested, here's a basic setup I have hooked up to my motorcycles;

DIY: CycloComputer on a Motorcycle!

Keep it Simple,
A.P.
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Old 28th November 2018, 00:19   #55
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quick clarification.

Sheel was quoting the Iron Butt (an event which I have already detailed in my previous post for the fear of that very post being misquoted in the context of this thread).I believe his intent was to enlighten people or rather break the notion that more Cc = lesser time. That said, no one in their right minds would choose either the R1 or R15 for consistent 1000 kms 'touring' solely due to their seating positions. Quoting his post in isolation to demonstrate that a smaller engine took less time and correlating it for touring will again be misleading.

Some of your earlier posts have multiple references to timings and that is what gave out that notion.Sure I can understand the fascination with bare bones 100cc machinery and DIY, but there really is more to touring than just saving an hour on a 100 cc bike and uncomplicated electronics. Vibrations;Mental fatigue in planning overtakes in a serpentine queue of slow moving traffic in narrow AH/SHs; Engine overheating on uninterrupted riding ; long braking distance; inadequate braking; etc. are deal breakers on a bike meant for touring and for good reasons.Hope this clarifies.

Last edited by octane1002 : 28th November 2018 at 00:36.
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Old 28th November 2018, 09:41   #56
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

The poll results would yield no substantial information or rather plainly mirror market leniency, it would've been better if there was any means of capturing purpose specific information pertaining to the voter at hand as such information would be worthy of an enthusiasts time.

Quick variables that come to mind are, road type, usual distance range per day etc.
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Old 28th November 2018, 10:03   #57
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Were the two riders of the same calibre? If I ride a R1 and you ride a R15 you will definitely reach a lot earlier than me!
That is something which I don't recall as it had happened in 2008 IIRC.

Depends BP, if I/you or any one else is on ADV or a street bike, there won't be much fatigue issues if you are used to ride long and hard but on a crouched sportsbike, very few riders can remain fresh in a dusk to dawn kind of rides.

For those rides, my money would be on a V-650/Tiger/and similar genre of bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
A lot is being said about the 'no electronics' part. Implementation and quality varies by manufacturer.
That is a Yamaha. We also had a P-220 FI and a RTR 160 FI and both FI units were scrapped because of issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Doubt it. Sheel is married now!
(But Sheel is not like you and me. He sold off his CBR250R because he was bored by its reliability!)
I still ride and may ride out on this Sunday as well, for at least 500 kms, out of those 500, approx 300 or more kms would be on hills.

CBR's story is different than what was portrayed by these good for nothing websites. Mechanics over here didn't know how to adjust valves and I was not a fan of its heavy handle, it was a bliss on open highways, but come corners and my limited skills couldn't exploit its shitty handling. Michelins did some wonder but it still lacked the *feel* when I was in a corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Mod Note: As requested by BHPians, a public poll has been added!
Please add medium capacity bikes in list.

One under 400
400 - 800
over 800.

Last edited by Sheel : 28th November 2018 at 10:04.
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Old 28th November 2018, 10:09   #58
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Do one these endurance runs on bigger bike and I am sure you'll be able to do more with less strain on body, otherwise how me a 47 plus year guy can do a 1250 KM ride in single day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Well, I apologize if my posts may have come off as bragging or showing off mine or my motorcycles endurance,
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Old 28th November 2018, 10:41   #59
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
That is something which I don't recall as it had happened in 2008 IIRC.
I'm not sure if you are talking about this but if it is, here's the article penned by the rider himself, Ajay Ananth ->

ajayananth.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/saddlesore-1000-on-an-yamaha-r1-in-india/

The reason the R15 was faster than the R1 was due to better "late" braking and way lesser fuel stops. Nevertheless, a good read for the ongoing discussion.
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Old 28th November 2018, 10:56   #60
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

I suppose it depends on what kind of touring you want to do.

Here in India we have a mix of roads, you'll get 4 and 6-lane highways from your home city to the nearest big city that's close to the destination you ultimately want to ride to. Endless boring tar, trucks and state buses that sweep past you and push the bike around, enough petrol pumps, good hotels with enclosed parking. So for that stretch of the journey, the more powerful, bigger bike will be a boon.

Then you get into the smaller roads, the broken roads, the narrow stretches that lead to sparkling backwaters, those straight single tracks between emerald fields with a cow tied across the road, the wandering back streets between crumbling havelis in Rajasthan, that shady lane which serves as overnight parking for that single lodge at a small town. Here, a lighter bike that doesn't attract attention will be a blessing.

Personally, a nondescript looking 300-400cc with an Impulse-type body that doesn't require me to sell my kidney to afford, and which a roadside mech can patch up if required would be my India tourer of choice.

Doesn't exist yet of course!

Whatever the bike, being fit goes a long way towards being able to tour on a bike easily. The fitter you are, the better you'll be able to handle long hours of riding and the day after a long ride.

Last edited by am1m : 28th November 2018 at 11:03.
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