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Old 3rd July 2019, 22:36   #31
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by bigron View Post

The middle weight 650 - 850 cc category is the bare minimum that you need that will get you far while also keeping the ride enjoyable while you explore the un beaten track.
Interesting. I wonder why the folks at Dakar all race 450cc if only 650 and above is the holy grail.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 22:58   #32
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@ red liner - Good to know that your skill set is at par with the riders at the Dakar rally. You Sir, will do well with a Hero Impulse 200 also.

The 450 cc bikes you talk about are purpose built machines specially built to compete in and complete the Dakar Rally.
For example the 2019 KTM 450 has a SOHC with revised transmission used with a new engine management system and throttle body to enhance long term durability. It runs a closed cartridge cone valve suspension with brembo brakes. The electronics and the air box have been so designed to ensure weight remains as centralized as possible. Coupled with reworked linkages and shock absorbers and a new slimline tank and a custom made akra exhaust. And Oh, I ve been told they are over 35,000 USD a piece.
Lets talk about the 450 cc Yamaha. The amount of R&D that has gone into designing the 33 liter plastic fuel tank is simply phenomenal. All this just to ensure proper central weight distribution. And only the manufacturing team knows how they managed the 142 kg dry weight for a bike ready to take on the dakar.
I can talk about bikes from Gas Gas and Husqvarna but I think I ve made my point.
So , IMO your analogy of comparing a purpose built 450 cc dakar bike to a regular off the shelf bike available for the general folks to buy is a little out of context.

Last edited by manson : 4th July 2019 at 19:18. Reason: Merged posts.
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Old 4th July 2019, 09:35   #33
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Interesting. I wonder why the folks at Dakar all race 450cc if only 650 and above is the holy grail.
LOL! this is really hilarious. It is like saying why my sedan's 2.0 litre engine is slower than an F1 1.6 litre engine or why is my 500cc motorcycle slower than a 250cc Moto3 motorcycle. Reason as bigron has stated, in Rallye Dakar like F1 and MotoGP motorcycles are purpose built and have the latest cutting edge technology that makes Rallye Dakar motorcycles earn its pedigree unlike most stock motorcycles that will break into pieces if subjected to tormenting Rallye Dakar environment.

BTW did you know earlier Rallye Dakar motorcycles did have 650cc engines and even upto 850-900cc engines. It is only in recent times that the threshold engine size is limited to 450cc.
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Old 4th July 2019, 18:37   #34
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

While options are quite a few why not also look at the Scrambler 1200XC and Top of the line XE which comes fully loaded.

Highlights are as follows,
- Ohlins long travel suspension. Front and rear.
- Cornering ABS, a IMU, Traction control.
- Torque Assist clutch.
- Backlit switches
- TFT Screen.
- Something to do with Go Pro which i forget.

Haven't ridden it though. So i don't know how she feels.

I recently had the opportunity to ride the BMW GS 1250HP 2019. Mindblown!
When the motorcycle is upright and moving, it felt lighter than my GSXR. That's crazy!
Loved the torque, she pulls like a train.

If the world is coming to an end, i want to be on a GS for sure.

Cheers!!
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Old 4th July 2019, 18:59   #35
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by Odeen12 View Post
While options are quite a few why not also look at the Scrambler 1200XC and Top of the line XE which comes fully loaded.
While Triumph Scrambler is a brilliant bike - its not really meant for 2 up riding which is one of the requirements in this case.
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Old 5th July 2019, 12:18   #36
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
I'm out to buy a touring bike and am grappling with the usual dilemma every biker goes through. Which one?
Jay.... If I know you right, I have only one thing to say. Drop all the current bikes on your shortlist and simply buy the BMW R1200GS. Trust me on this. You will be satisfied with nothing else.

I say this for the following reasons.

We are thoroughly appraised of your exploits and travel schedule. The places you go to and the frequency with which you go to these places has no parallel to the travel schedules of anyone I know. I actually doubt that there are people who can match your wanderlust even in a pool as large as this forum. So, you need a bike that will take you to the remotest corners of the planet.

The GS has a large tank (the GSA has an even larger tank) and a shaft drive that is totally problem free. Plus, it has a whole host of fixtures and fittings that make it completely travel ready for 5000 km trips. Also, BMW motorrad have come a long way with their ASS. So, no issues there.

More specifically, the bikes off road capabilities are unparalleled. The Tiger is a good bike. But, it's architecture makes it top heavy. The GS's low CG makes the bike a dream on less than optimal surfaces. I experienced this first hand when I went with a bunch of GS riders and saw them throw their bikes around with hardly any effort. I also saw a GS rider doing 40 KMPH on JVLR while weaving through dense traffic. While I could barely muster the courage to do 20 KMPH in bumper to bumper traffic, this guy was leaning left and right with utmost ease despite carrying a pillion. Trust me; the GS is a bike that is made for exactly your kind of usage and riding.

Finally, with you being tall, the ergonomics of the GS are a perfect fit for you.

Cheers
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Old 5th July 2019, 14:06   #37
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Branded adhesive tape solution. On the expensive side though - around 14k for an Africa Twin.

Sample video -


I appreciate there is some solution to Spokes wheel + Tube less.

Theoretically, this may work, but in practice ,the air pressure inside the tire will make the end of spokes pierce into the tape and air might escape.

I am open to hear from experts if I am wrong. Curious to know how this works especially when Bikes go over humps/Bad roads since the air pressure is transferred onto the tape which in turn makes the spokes pierce into the tape.
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Old 5th July 2019, 15:00   #38
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

Touring in my book equals to bring a HOG and riding any of the tourers - Street glide special or Ultra Glide special.

Having ridden and owned Harley, Triumph, BMW... for the purists, only the original tourer will do. The other smaller but nimble bikes are good too... based on application.
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Old 5th July 2019, 16:07   #39
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

Dear all - I got a notice from the Admin that quoting long posts affects the reading experience of mobile users and I should quote only the relevant bits of the posts. I guess they are right and I didn't realize it.

I found almost all the entire posts here fully relevant to my need, so i cannot quote bits of them, rather dont know how to nitpick the relevant lines. As such and to comply with the forums requirements, this is to let you all know that I've read each one of your posts and have replied here in this 1 post below. I hope no one is offended by me not quoting each one of your posts in my reply.

The following bikes suggested by some members here were ignored for following reasons -
BMW 310 - Small bike. I need to upgrade not downgrade.
Bigger BMWs - was told by everyone that the cost of ownership is far higher than the others. May consider it if and when I upgrade.
Multistrada - nice bike but matches my feelings as for the BMW.
Triumph Scrambler - is a good bike but I wouldnt want to roast my thigh.


Final Deliberations -
After intense discussions with friends and folks who own and have ridden all the bikes I listed , I came to the following conclusions.

Between the AT and the Tiger Xca, my heart was set on the AT primarily because of the dct. The Tiger came in as a logical option devoid of heart.

Then again, thinking hard I wondered if I really wanted to ride a 250kg bike with another 200kgs on it (I dont weight 200kgs). Quick reply was - No. Even if I can ride 50kgs lighter, i will be happier.

So that brought me to the Versys and the Vstrom. The Vstrom was initially not even in the list and I somehow overlooked it for reasons unknown to me. However, as I researched more on it, the V Strom pipped the Versys far behind.

What I liked about the VStrom over the Versys -
Fantastic engine, good tank capacity, very good fuel efficiency even posted by some owners here on the forum and also told to me by some friends who own it. It also has a switchable TCS, larger and spoked rims with tubeless tires which make it just that wee bit better offroad and on trails. That is useful stuff not available on the Versys. It now comes with a fantastic new white shade with blue rims and a blue streak, which I feel, grows on me the more I see it.

Other variable was FE. A good long road trip on a bike is when one doesnt have to worry too much about tank range. So FE plays a big part. The folks I spoke to gave me realistic figures. 18 to 22 tops on the AT and the Tiger and 22 - 26 for the Versys and V strom.

Other bike touring thoughts -
The last time I toured on a bike was an approx 10000km solo ride in 2003 on my Pulsar 180. Between then and now, a lot has changed - the roads, the traffic, the bikes, I have changed too. Do I want to jump into big bike touring and replicate what I do on 4 wheels? Yes - but, here i feel the steps ought to be a bit slower as i adapt to a lot of new variables in one go. So my gut instinct which has been my most loyal and trusted companion, tells me to start small and take it easy. Baby steps.

Technical thoughts -
Japanese reliability pips everything else.
Less buttons, less tech and less gizmos means lesser niggles if at all, and less things to go wrong, means lesser cost of ownership and more peace of mind over the long run = happiness.

Price - I had set out with a very flexible mind and a very flexible budget, accommodating Versys (cheapest) to the Tiger(costliest), as per my budget.
The V Strom fits right in between offering the best of both worlds and saves me a fat packet too. Notional money saved can go into getting some good kit over time and spent of trips.

Then the question of need vs want came in.
Do I need a bigger bike?
Im yet to learn the ropes, will i be happy lugging the extra weight?
Will i be happier with more buttons and modes to toggle between or will I be happy and content just with a few basic safety features and good old motorcycling?
What does motorcycling happiness mean to me?
Can I strike a balance?
Should I buy a machine gun when I can do well even with a rifle?

It didn't take me long to answer all the above.
So decision came easy -
It's going to be a sexy white V Strom with blue streaks and blue rims.

Did I test ride any of the bikes?
Nope, none.
Why, What would change if I did?
After Zeroing in on the V Strom I pondered - the spec sheet is good. Seating is fairly upright. Seat is comfortable. The 650 engine is butter smooth and peppy enough for me. Suspension is also similar to the competition or should I say compliant to my needs. Not the best and definitely not what I would want but I accept this compromise.
Braking, not the best, but not bad enough to kill me.
Looks very sexy to me in white and blue streaks and its growing on me each day.
Next question -
If i didn't like it after test riding, would i buy the Versys? - No.
Would I buy the Tiger then? - machine gun ruled out.

So then it's a no brainer.
If I can believe the government, then I can definitely believe a bunch of non journo folks who have posted their honest personal videos and reviews of the bikes they own to help folks like me make a decision.

So there i go - I have successfully attempted another first in my life. 2 weeks ago I set out to buy a bike, while im still out travelling on a work trip. Spent 2 weeks deliberating over the keyboard and on the fone over a bunch of conversations. Decided on the Suzuki V Strom 650 and went for it. Not seen in flesh, not touched it, not felt, not ridden.

Bike booked - I pen this after having made a downpayment for the booking today.
Got quotes from Anzen and Dream Suzuki and Anzen had a better quote, so went with them.
Just transferred a downpayment booking amount and penned this post.

Will I be happy with my decision?
I know the answer already, but I will let it unfold here on a new ownership thread once the Strom storms in.

Thank you all for your spirited, well meaning advice and inputs. I hope the discussions here continue to help others make their decisions and bring smiles.

Cheers
Jay
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Old 5th July 2019, 17:20   #40
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

And that's how you finalize on a bike. Just go with what rocks your boat. Congrats on your booking, looking forward to your purchase( yeah I get excited everytime someone buys a bike) and review.
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Old 5th July 2019, 17:50   #41
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

Sounds good. You are going to have a fun time with her. Its a very competent all round bike and you would specially be pleased with the riding position and long distance comfort. A fact check - it is the most common weapon of choice for people undertaking the ironbutt challenge.
Have a great time with her and start an ownership thread once things settle down.
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Old 5th July 2019, 18:48   #42
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by Rathore_13 View Post
Touring in my book equals to bring a HOG and riding any of the tourers - Street glide special or Ultra Glide special.

Having ridden and owned Harley, Triumph, BMW... for the purists, only the original tourer will do. The other smaller but nimble bikes are good too... based on application.
Underpowered, bad suspension for Indian roads, Tandoori legs in traffic. Sorry but Harleyís might be half decent in American conditions but are a total misfit on our roads.
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Old 5th July 2019, 19:28   #43
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
I saw one thread on the Suzuki Vstrom. Im not quite sure what I dont like about the bike and Im not sure If there is anything I like about it either, so I kept it out of contention
Iíd recommend that you donít. I got an opportunity to ride the vee at a tight motocross track very recently and got a glimpse of what this machine can do

She has such neutral handling and poise, itís incredible. I was happily able to carry some pace through the berms, full motocross style leg out

The only place it seemed to lose a bit of composure was in deep DEEP sand, for which Iíll blame myself more than the bike TBH

The suspension, though basic; was planted and even took the impact of some of the jumps (I had started to get a bit cocky because of the confidence it gave me)

Even the equipment is impressive. Tubeless spokes, traction control and basics like abs

Try and go beyond the looks (which btw I personally love) and see the bikes capabilities too... then make a decision IMO. Itís again a personal opinion but itís a better bike than the versys

If you see any dirt / trail riding in your future, you must check out the vee. The only bits I would change are higher and fatter handlebars, cleated pegs and change the stock tyres for something like a tkc 80 or more easily available scorpion rally str

Happy hunting!
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Old 5th July 2019, 20:19   #44
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
It's going to be a sexy white V Strom with blue streaks and blue rims.
That's a terrific choice. I went through the same thought process and ended up getting the same bike in the same shade two months back. It's got everything you need for touring and the price is just right.

You have written about all the positives of the Wee. Here's the best part. It runs incredibly cool for a big bike. I commute to work every day on it and I have been through traffic jams in summer with no overheating issues. The low center of gravity makes it feel very light and flickable in traffic. So much better than the Tiger on this aspect. You can ride in shorts if you choose to

Just add a bash plate, a crash guard, a center stand and handguards and you are good to go. Congratulations !

Last edited by ranjitnair77 : 5th July 2019 at 20:23.
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Old 5th July 2019, 21:28   #45
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Default Re: Which big touring motorcycle should I buy?

If you have the budget then do consider the Versys 1000. A sweet inline four, with electronic ride modes plus cruise control. However like the Versys 650 it's mainly a long distance muncher and not a hard core offroader.
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