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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%
Voters: 238. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th November 2018, 13:11   #106
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
To me - Image!
Lamby> Priya > Chetak >Select > Kinetic > Activa .......
Not even the Honda X ADV? I'll take it.
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Old 30th November 2018, 13:18   #107
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Have done quite a few long distance(If around 500 KM's a day can be considered long distance) runs on Scooters.

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Have also attended an interstate G2G on my Wego where among the 150+ participants I was the only one on a CVT, covered about 750+ KM's to and fro.


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The upside is that it's fun, the downside is that it's dangerous and that is something when coming from me who finds riding a 100cc motorcycle more suitable than my 220cc motorcycle.

You cannot jump over obstacles, you need to be at the top of your game because even for a second if you think of letting loose you're as good as dead, because at speed even an insignificant undulation on the road can send you flying if your front wheel encounters it at an angle.

You need to be promt with the brakes, you'd have to unlearn a few things first thing being it's the opposite when it comes to gripping the handle. You would have to control your temptation to go faster than the rest on winding roads because a scooter is pretty fast on the corners due to its lower CG but even a small rock is enough to send you sideways.

All that being said, the distance to empty range is pathetic, so a jerrycan is a must!

Cheers,
A.P.
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Old 30th November 2018, 13:39   #108
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
You cannot jump over obstacles, you need to be at the top of your game because even for a second if you think of letting loose you're as good as dead, because at speed even an insignificant undulation on the road can send you flying if your front wheel encounters it at an angle.

You need to be promt with the brakes, you'd have to unlearn a few things first thing being it's the opposite when it comes to gripping the handle. You would have to control your temptation to go faster than the rest on winding roads because a scooter is pretty fast on the corners due to its lower CG but even a small rock is enough to send you sideways.

All that being said, the distance to empty range is pathetic, so a jerrycan is a must!

Cheers,
A.P.
You make an adventure out of every trip, Good for you and ride safe. The more you talk about your trips , the more i`m convinced that this is a dangerous idea to take small bikes or scooters on long trips - on the upside I think you are a daredevil - Happy to meet you!

Question , ever considered trying this on Aprilia Sr150? What is your opinion on this moto-scooterish scooter?
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:06   #109
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Here's a great video where all the big, small, and the middleweight's have fun together. Do watch right through the end for some good laughs:

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Old 30th November 2018, 15:20   #110
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
You make an adventure out of every trip, Good for you and ride safe. The more you talk about your trips , the more i`m convinced that this is a dangerous idea to take small bikes or scooters on long trips - on the upside I think you are a daredevil - Happy to meet you!
Happy to meet you too.

Fact is if I'd known it takes more mental strain to tour on scooters I would not have opted for one, due to most motorcycle reviewers being absolutely oblivious to what a motorcycle is all about they tend to merely focus on the highlights and spec sheet rather than staying true to the purpose of a review, the end result is you i.e the customer learn as you go.

While on a ride to Wayanad a car simply decided to get off the shoulder at speed without any prior indication and since it was one of the best highways in Kerala I was also at speed, I braked hard and avoided the car to the best of my abilities though we made contact I was still rubber side down, that is until the front wheel at an angle due to my countersteering encountered an aggressive speed breaker on the service road which I'd swerved onto, the result was quick.

I went flying over the handlebar onto the ground whereas the scooter went sideways into a paddy field on the side of the highway, though not obvious at the time the scooter eventually was declared a TL due to the chassis sustaining a crack.

Now I know there's no point cross examining a mishap but from my experience with motorcycles, irrespective of whether you encounter an obstacle at an angle or not at speed the front wheel doesn't go under on a regular motorcycle, worst case you get a wobble that settles down on its own if you know better to not grab on the handlebars too tight.

On the other hand there are scooter enthusiasts who do cross country riding on scooters without a care in the world, which though I applaud unfortunately is not for me as I lack the mental abilities to keep a scooter rubber side down in a worst case scenario as understood from my own experience.

Quote:
Question , ever considered trying this on Aprilia Sr150? What is your opinion on this moto-scooterish scooter?
Ignoring the after sales support and spare distribution concerns that I've seen with Aprilia ownership's down south, I'd say as that it is more a motorcycle than any other scooter as it single-handedly takes care of two of the major concerns of riding a scooter.

1. The bigger front wheel ensures that even if you encounter an obstacle at an angle at speed it won't send you over handle bar, which is the biggest deterrent of touring on scooters otherwise.

2. The braking is leagues ahead of anything seen before on a scooter, I've tried the updated variants of other scooters with front Disc but nothing comes close to what Aprilia offers, when you transition from a motorcycle to a scooter then for the first couple of hundred km's you'd be locking up the wheels one way or the other until you get in tune to manage without engine braking, but on the Aprilia you can go hard on the brakes just as you would go on a motorcycle and the scooter comes to a halt without any drama.
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Old 1st December 2018, 00:05   #111
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
... 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.

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.

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,

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....

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.

...
I have been following this thread for a while now. Now that it has run its course, let us set aside the views presented and talk about what really matters - the tonal undercurrent of the conversation.

Your touring posts are always wonderful. Quite enjoyable actually. But, their niceness notwithstanding, there is an unmistakable tonality to your narratives wherein after some perfunctory polite comments about fellow machines, a perceptibly dim view is taken of other people's motorcycle choices. Certainly, your write-ups are generously sprinkled with incidences and anecdotes about how you beat the pants out of guys on bigger bikes; supposedly due to your wisdom in choosing a smaller machine and also allegedly due to your superior riding skills!!

So, let me ask you. Why the sanctimony? Why does it matter so much to you to indirectly belittle others’ choices? And please don't bother with responses about educating people about the capabilities of smaller bikes. You'd be preaching to the choir there. We all know the capabilities of most vehicles. Indeed, like many people have said, even Lunas have made it to Leh. So, that cannot be your social cause so to speak. So, why do you persist with this line of discussion?

For my part in this conversation, I am not going to bother with talking points such as power, comfort, or fatigue. Because none of that matters here. Because those aspects would not speak to the real point of this conversation, which essentially is your entrenched view that you have made carefully considered choices in machines that are appropriate for our road conditions, while others seemingly haven't applied their minds when they purchased bigger and more expensive machines. Think about this for one second. Do you really think that everyone else here isn't thoughtful about their purchases? I mean, here on this forum especially?!! Or do you think that everyone else is in a hurry to dispense of their hard-earned money on whimsical purchases?

Let's take a step back for a second and unpack this. Your constant chide is that on a tour one must have a machine that can be easily worked on and that one must keep moving at all costs. Good. Great. But, an easy bike to work on and to keep moving at all costs are YOUR core value systems. They may not other people's. Others may value other things, such as the pride and joy of owning their dream bike, and / or touring on a more comfortable bike, and / or the camaraderie of other bikers who have bought similar bikes. Certainly, the list of values is endless.

I can tell you one thing for sure. Very few people (in fact, probably no one) buys a motorcycle after weighing factors like the average speeds they will maintain, or how much ground they will cover per day on a tour. Automotive purchases are all about how one feels about the vehicle. Still, I am willing to admit that utilitarian concerns could play a role in the acquisition of 4 wheels, or even commuter items and city get-arounds like scooters. But, they play less of a role in motorcycle purchases. There may be the odd guy or girl who starts his/her bike search after first deciding to tour. But, most of us first buy the bike we like and then decide to tour (or not tour) on it. In fact, even during our purchases of smaller machines in the past (say in college), it is our emotions that ruled the roost.

For the record, I do not have a 600 CC bike now and nor do I have any plans to buy one in the near future. I have made 2 motorcycle purchases; neither of which was based on factors like average speed / miles per day while touring, or even simpler considerations like fuel efficiency. I bought the bikes I liked after taking into account all things at my disposal - be it costs, road conditions, time, and the pleasure of owning a bike. After the purchase, I have made modifications to suit my needs as my usage patterns changed over time. Most importantly, I have not one regret about my choice in bikes. I have never felt that my life would have been better if I had a smaller bike (or a bigger bike for that matter). Most importantly, I don't expect my choice to work for others, and nor am I going to try to convince them of the merits of my thinking.

Also, for the record, this claim that machines with more electronics are a sure-fire recipe for disaster is completely erroneous in this day and age. Like others have pointed out, features like FI, ABS, and auto trannys (in cars) have been around for decades now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
..Sure, a monkey on a trampoline will also catch just as many eyeballs if not more. But ask that monkey if he's having fun. And ask him if he cares about what the world thinks of him.....
Nice humour. But, the assumption here is that others are laughing at the monkey (and that the monkey doesn't care). The reality is that no one is laughing at anyone. Everyone is so wrapped up in the circumstances of their own lives to the point where they don't care to laugh at someone else's ride. Also, everything is relative. Setting aside the discussion about bigger vs. smaller bikes; to people who don't share our passion the sheer fact of riding a motorcycle all day for pleasure may look and sound idiotic. So, in a manner of speaking, we are all jumping on our own trampolines to the amusement of others. Just saying.

Last edited by mohansrides : 1st December 2018 at 00:23.
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Old 1st December 2018, 00:55   #112
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
Would like to throw in this question.
Would nobody prefer Maxi scooters for touring if it is meant through decently paved roads or is it only me who has been lusting for these over the years.

Comfy seating position, CVT transmission, Visor to protect against wind blast, ample pillion space, ample stowage areas and tonnes of creature comforts. What is not to love about these?

PS: The question at the end was rhetorical. Please do not tell me Mileage, Ground clearance etc. I think those are pretty obvious.
Going by the logic being told in this tread - we all should sell everything we have and just buy TVS XL 100 or Bajaj CT100B to tour :-) Rest everything is too heavy / too powerful / too complex
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:48   #113
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post

The reality is that no one is laughing at anyone. Everyone is so wrapped up in the circumstances of their own lives to the point where they don't care to laugh at someone else's ride. Also, everything is relative. Setting aside the discussion about bigger vs. smaller bikes; to people who don't share our passion the sheer fact of riding a motorcycle all day for pleasure may look and sound idiotic. So, in a manner of speaking, we are all jumping on our own trampolines to the amusement of others. Just saying.
I forgot to give context here. Attention is also one of the criteria some of us consider while buying a bike. My Navi, in that sense, offers the best value in terms of eyeballs-to-price ratio. I find it very, very beautiful while people who see me riding the Navi find it hilarious. It's the cheapest ride in my garage and I love it more than anything. Even my son prefers riding on the Navi over the other 3 2-wheelers we have. That's why I hope to keep it around for a long time even though the Impulse and Gixxer may be replaced with more powerful options.

Onlookers start out laughing at me but end up laughing with me. I had a squeeze horn too on the Navi, which I used in tight traffic and very often, people gave me way after being overwhelmed by its cuteness. Those who think it's a toy get a chance to validate their theory by riding it. And I haven't seen anyone getting off the Navi without a huge smile.

So, even though I know I'm riding a monkey bike, to me, the only thing that matters is riding and having fun. I'm also glad that I'm bringing smiles to their faces. The only difference is that I don't judge someone based on what they're riding the way I'm often judged. I only judge them when I seem them wearing minimal safety gear on their big-bike.

Unfortunately, the motorcycling community is not as inclusive as one might imagine. Most big bike buyers end up using their bikes only for hobnobbing. I'd love to ride with passionate riders, but among big bike owners, that number is extremely small.
------------------------
As far as AP's opinions are concerned, I see them stemming from experience. I don't see him asking people to buy small bikes. The way I see it, he's just showing benefits of owning a simple, light bike. I happen to share that opinion as I value value, which is easier to find in smaller bikes. Just like AP, I'd also like to avoid getting stranded by the roadside. And, I'm sure fellow riders would also like to avoid such a situation. So, I'm trying to gain some knowledge and hands-on experience fixing as much as I can. With a complex machine, the tools and knowledge required to fix something would not be easy to come by.

Confession time: While I enjoyed covering 1000km on the Navi in 2 days, I've decided to limit the Navi's rides to 8-10 hours total during a trip. It'll still go on off-road sessions and weekend breakfast rides beside being used for commutes and grocery runs. Cross country runs will happen on the Impulse while the Gixxer will be allowed to go on 2-3 day runs with limited daily running hours.

This was the first time I had taken the Navi on a road trip only to better understand what the two of us can accomplish together and where we fall short as a team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
Going by the logic being told in this tread - we all should sell everything we have and just buy TVS XL 100 or Bajaj CT100B to tour :-) Rest everything is too heavy / too powerful / too complex
Nope. I'm sorry if my words conveyed that message.

You buy what makes sense for you. With this thread, I'm just trying to convey that small vehicles are way too underrated. That you can go on a tour with whatever you have. With whatever you can afford. And with whatever you feel comfortable riding.

Big bikes are good at several things.

If

1. big bike rider lacks experience/determination
2. the small bike rider has plenty of both
3. the tour is at least a few thousand kilometers
4. the terrain includes some hills, traffic, rough patches

then

there's a good chance that the small bike will be able to keep up without too many problems.

There are too many variables here. I think, if you take any one out, then the odds will start stacking in favor of the big bike.

If the rider thinks, he/she is so skilled that the chances of dropping the bike, then the weight should not be a big hindrance.
If the rider thinks, the bike is as reliable as he/she wants/needs it to be, then, by all means, get a big bike.
If flash, social stature matter to you, then a cheap bike won't give you that at all. (Not that I needed to say that out loud. It's a fact)

Last edited by MaheshY1 : 1st December 2018 at 02:08.
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:40   #114
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

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Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
Having owned bikes from all the three categories here, i would like to chip in my opinion!
.
.
.
I will illustrate my point with the experience of a ride that we did in February this year with all the big bikes (my 14 R, 2 multistrada 1200s, 1 tiger 1200, 1 goldwing, 1 ninja 1000, 1 bmw gtl). We started from Pune at 6 am and we were at Rann of Kutch at 9 pm including all the required food, fuel and comfort breaks. Total 1100 km in a days riding through all kinds of roads including fast highways, congested cities, small B roads, etc.! Now can you imagine doing that on a small bike? Medium capacity bike would have certainly kept up with us but i am sure it wont provide as much thrills whenever the opportunities open up. We did 2500 km trip Pune- Rann- Gir- Pune in 5 days and on the last day when we reached pune from baroda in the afternoon, i was back in the gym in the evening like any other normal day! Such is the staggering performance and comfort provided by the big bikes! And i would like to add up here that the Jap big bikes are extremely reliable; i never had any unscheduled visit to the workshop in my 20k km ownership of my bike till now which is supposed to be a hyper sports tourer!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post

20k on the 14R? WOW! It's really nice to hear that some people are actually using their big bikes.
I would like to state that each one of the big bikes that i have mentioned here has been doing 8k km or more every year and some are doing 20k km per year, some have odometers at 50-60k km now. I agree that most of the supersports are bought for posing and attention, but a lot of ADV tourers and sports tourers are bought for the purpose they are designed for.

Some of the bikes that i have mentioned have done trips like Pune-Bhutan-Pune, Pune-Ladakh -Pune and many more! Just because some people are more focussed on enjoying their big machines and/or staying discrete (without posting on forums) while doing that doesnt mean they dont exist!

And i am absolutely sure that just like most of the experts here,
1. Each one of us have done extensive research before buying big machines of our choices with our hard earned money
2. Each one of us will stick to big bikes when the time comes for upgrade/replacement, except when the requirement is a specialised offroader. Myself is waiting for Multistrada V4 which is expected next year.

I would like to end this post with a picture in the spirit of motorcycle riding which was taken during our Rann trip...
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Last edited by 46TheDoctor : 1st December 2018 at 11:47.
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:48   #115
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
Going by the logic being told in this tread - we all should sell everything we have and just buy TVS XL 100 or Bajaj CT100B to tour :-) Rest everything is too heavy / too powerful / too complex
This observation is spot on and I'm genuinely surprised by all the noise around using scooters and low power commuters for touring. The fact that they can be used for touring is undisputed. There are enough and more people doing that as such vehicles are frugal and affordable. However to argue that they are better than more purpose built touring bikes is plain ludicrous.

Imagine an argument where touring bike owners insisted that their bikes are perfect for commuting inside congested cities and through traffic jams. We would all find that logic unacceptable. The same applies here.

To quote a famous cognitive bias called Maslow's hammer: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail". Also made famous by Jeremy Clarkson
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Old 1st December 2018, 21:51   #116
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

I have voted for Small.

I had a 2008 TVS Apache 160 RTR which I sold off in 2017 and have bought a 2017 Yamaha R15 V2(used) in March 2018. I have used both the bikes for touring. The per day max on Apache was 600 kms and on R15 800 kms. When going on long rides I used to get around 35 kmpl on the Apache while the R15 has been placating me with 45+kmpl while holding 90kmph.

Sometimes it feels humiliating to be smoked on road, but experience helps in overcoming the urge to go on an ego driven upgrade spree.

Today I feel that this is what I could afford comfortably and am satisfied with that while feeling blessed.

But when time comes to change the bike and If I am able to afford it this comfortably then my next bike will be Yamaha XV1900A and I will be holding the same 90-100kmph a little more comfortably.
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Old 1st December 2018, 22:43   #117
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
...If flash, social stature matter to you, then a cheap bike won't give you that at all. (Not that I needed to say that out loud. It's a fact)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
... I agree that most of the supersports are bought for posing and attention.....
My point is that even if someone has bought his or her bike for posing / attention / social stature, who is anyone else to tell that person that they are wrong? It's their money. They are free to make decisions that align with their own value systems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by COMMUTER View Post
I have voted for Small.

...But when time comes to change the bike and If I am able to afford it this comfortably then my next bike will be Yamaha XV1900A and I will be holding the same 90-100kmph a little more comfortably.
I think that the poll is about what sort of machine you would prefer for touring, and not about what you ride currently. So, going by your statement, your vote should go for the big litre class bikes
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Old 1st December 2018, 23:32   #118
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
1. The bigger front wheel ensures that even if you encounter an obstacle at an angle at speed it won't send you over handle bar, which is the biggest deterrent of touring on scooters otherwise.
A bit blown out of proportion?

As a member said above - with the right tyre pressure - a 12 inch front tyred scooter can take on any obstacle that a motorcycle with a 21 inch front tyre can handle.

When trail riding is easy, potholes shouldn't be an issue in comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
With the right pressure in my Navi's Ceat Gripp tires, I can do any trail that you can do on a stock Tiger/Africa/GS/wotnot.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st December 2018 at 23:34.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 00:45   #119
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

Since I am coming back to biking after a Rip van Winklesque break of 20 years, I was planning to just watch and read the posts since the last bike I owned / the bike I still own was / is a TVS Suzuki AX100R.

But I cannot help feeling that there are 2 threads going on which should probably be separated.

a) Yes, touring is not just possible, but can be even great on the vehicle you have / The bike in your garage is all you need. Get out there and do it.

b) If there are no budgetary constraints, which in your opinion, is the best tourer?

and if one were nitpicky, even 1 other thread,

c) Since there are no pure rides in India but all have some combo of tarmac roads, potholed roads, dirt roads, hills, driving through narrow roads in small towns, which is the best bike for such multi-modal conditions?
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:32   #120
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Default Re: Big vs Small Touring Bikes

My god this thread is really pretty hot.


I used to use smaller bikes(Splendor and TB 350) during my younger days. It was mainly for day to day commuting only.


Now I use bike only for touring. Once you are on the other side of 40, you realise safety aids is the best bet. I would like to go for a bike with maximum safety features. At present use a 800 cc class machine.


My few cents to the discussion. I've voted for a litre class bike.

1. Brakes, brakes & brakes. Normally the bikes at the higher end of spectrum have very good brakes, which makes stopping pretty easy. Just try riding a 1000XR or 1260S to high speeds and then brake. You will find how comfortably it sheds speeds without any drama, god bless the brembo system.

2. Other safety aids like TCS, Cornering ABS etc. is found only in the bigger bikes.

3. Features like Cruise control really helps during touring.

Also would like to mention that touring essentially doesn't mean you travel at a constant speed of say 120. So stopping or slowing from such speeds require really very good brakes. All other safety aids that these litre class, bigger bikes provide would be an additional protection guarantee.

Please note these above points are mentioned from TOURING purpose only as mentioned by OP.

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd December 2018 at 07:33. Reason: Please avoid any mention of illegal speeds on the forum
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