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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm thinking about used bikes, that currently sell in the neighborhood of $7k. Basically a two-wheel SUV. Dirt capability is not that important, but reasonable comfort for the driver and passenger is a priority. After years of sportbike, the idea of sitting upright and higher definitely has an appeal.

Lockable waterproof hard bags stock or as an aftermarket option is also a must. The bad or top case must hold a large laptop and be secure on the bike (locked from opening and locked to the bike). Something like Givi would fit that bill.

So it seems there are a few bikes to consider. Something with multiple cylinders and around 1000cc would be ideal.

V-Strom 1000: cheapest to buy and own. Close dealer for me. Ugly and boring. Not really interested.

KTM Adventure 950: these are now in the price range. Best-looking IMO, apparently reliable based on the ones I see for sale with 30k+ miles on them. A few common areas requiring maintenance but no huge problems. Dealer is readily accessible.

Triumph Tiger (07+): Possibly the best streetbike of the bunch listed here. Triple should be smooth and powerful. Closest dealer is 200 miles away, but the Triumph I had was very reliable. Probably the most expensive of this group.

Ducati Multistrada 1000/1100: Breathtakingly ugly but very functional. I've owned a couple of Ducatis so the maintenance on an air-cooled one wouldn't bother me. Would need a seat and bags, probably pushing the price higher.

Aprilia Capanord: Very unusual bike and fairly hard to find. Not sure about bag availability. Rotax twin should be reliable. Dont know much about them.

BMW R1150GS: The 1200 is still too expensive. The 1150 is quite a bit heavier but packs most of the same features like ABS and adjustable suspension preload. Shaft drive is a definite plus. So ubiquitous it is almost cliche.

Moto Guzzi Quota/Stelvio, Benelli Tre-K, Ducati E-900, Cagiva Gran Canyon, Buell Uly, etc: Not really interested unless someone really has a good recommendation for them.

So...of the ones listed the ones that really seem like options I would like to explore are the BMW and the KTM. reading over at ADVrider (awesome site BTW) it seems the concensus is that the BMW is a better streetbike and the KTM is better off-road. But the question is how much better the BMW is, or how both compare to a regular sportbike.

Not so much interested in going fast, but highway trips will happen.

Any experiences will be appreciated.
 

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Curmudgeon
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I have a KTM 950 Adventure with 37k miles on it now, and 500 mile days on the road are easy. I'm the limiting factor in making that number bigger. Mine has 19/17 wheels in place of the 21/18 stockers, and I can ride as hard as I want in the twsties. I'm a former expert level roadracer, and while I'm a heck of a lot slower now, I can still hustle.
I love my Adventure and would take it over everything you listed!

Maintinence is no big deal. You're used to Ducatis, so these are easy in comparison.

The BMW...meh. I rode one for the first time a couple weeks ago. Granted it was a 15 minute test ride on pavement, but I got off impressed with it's comfort level and I can see why guys who pile miles ride these. But it was boring, heavy and slow. I can't imagine riding one off road. Big respect to Ewan and Charlie!

Guys who own the Capo seem to like them, but to me it's in the same Behemoth class as the GS and Stelvio.

Nothing else on the list, except maybe the Strom, deserves the "Adventure" tag. The big 'Toom is the only one you can flog!
 

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Senior Member
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Which brings up a question addressed on a forum. Here or another forum I don't recall.

When BMW's start to look good it's time to give up riding.
 

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He with the senior member
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never thought I'd hear anyone say the 950/990 is the "best looking!" (personally, I think they're fugly) Cool, fast, capable bikes, but I think they're less reliable than the Ducati.

Out of this bunch, if dirt is not a priority and passenger is....I'd be looking at the Big Strom and the Tiger.

If it was solo, I'd go the Wee-Strom, as the 650 is a much nicer bike, IMO. Lighter, more flickable with the lighter crank mass, quite responsive and playful and great ergos.

If I had the choice of any of your list irrespective of price, I'd go straight to the Stelvio, as I have a thing for Guzzis and that thing is just gorgeous and VERY comfortable and quite capable, with more character than the Strom or the BMW. The Katoom will run away from it, but who cares, really? You can only ride that thing on the street with your eyes closed., and walk up to the bike backwards, it's so ugly. :)
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
never thought I'd hear anyone say the 950/990 is the "best looking!" (personally, I think they're fugly) Cool, fast, capable bikes, but I think they're less reliable than the Ducati.

Out of this bunch, if dirt is not a priority and passenger is....I'd be looking at the Big Strom and the Tiger.

If it was solo, I'd go the Wee-Strom, as the 650 is a much nicer bike, IMO. Lighter, more flickable with the lighter crank mass, quite responsive and playful and great ergos.

If I had the choice of any of your list irrespective of price, I'd go straight to the Stelvio, as I have a thing for Guzzis and that thing is just gorgeous and VERY comfortable and quite capable, with more character than the Strom or the BMW. The Katoom will run away from it, but who cares, really? You can only ride that thing on the street with your eyes closed., and walk up to the bike backwards, it's so ugly. :)
Looks are very subjective obviously. The KTM is wierd in a cool sort of way. The GS looks like it was designed and built by a group of blind plumbers, and the Strom is just so boring.

I like the Stelvio too, but at $14k I'm not buying. I may have to ride a Tiger and see if I like it. I am friends with my local Yamaha dealer and he said he will be adding Triumph in 2011. So it may be a possibility.

I'm 6'2", and with the continued shrinkage of sportbikes and continued aging of my joints I just don't fit comfortably on many of them anymore. My old 955 Daytona fit well, but now 8 years later that bike looks HUGE compared to a literbike or 600. But I don't really want a touring bike, and the sport-touring offerings just seem so big (Concours 14, FJR1300 et al) that I'm not that intersted in them either. Some amount of wind protection means a naked bike is probably out. I like the idea of sitting high and upright with big metal or plastic bags holding things.

Maybe a CBR1100XX or FZ1 is what I should get, but the adventure bikes also seem like a good alternative.
 

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Curmudgeon
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They really are. Wind and weather and bug protection, you can carry stuff, it's OK to get them a little dirty, no more hunched over on clip-ons and rear sets, slipping the clutch grinding through traffic in agony. Even if you don't plan on doing any off-road, you can keep right on going when the pavement ends and easily get to some cool places you wouldn't think of taking a Sport Touring bike. They are also still fun on nasty, bumpy back roads that would have you turning around on some road burner. You will find yourself searching out the "light gray" lines on the map.

I really cannot see for the life of me why this class of bikes aren't a home run. They are the SUV of the bike world, and look what SUV's did to the auto market.


 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for my new desktop background chuckracer.
 

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If I had a pick it would be the BMW.
Among the bikes you listed only the Capo Nord comes close to it in terms of comfort. Two up? No problem.
Luggage? Just have your pick: genuine BMW accessory, Givi, Kappa, Hepco & Becker, plastic, aluminum... a 52L Givi top box will fit two full face L or XL helmets so no problem fitting a laptop or anything else you may need for work.
The R1150GS may lack the sophistication of the more recent R1200GS but there's a reason why it outsold all the opposition by a good margin. It's stable yet it handles well, it returns very good fuel mileage, it's good around town and around twisties and as you said the shaft drive is an added bonus.
There's only one area of concern: oil use. BMW boxers use it, but the Oilhead 1150 engine was one of heaviest user, especially if the bike was run in as if the owner was trying to balance a set of crystal glasses on his head while riding. This was no problem back in the days when BMW riders knew their tackle well but as improvements to the breeds attracted new customers, more and more bikes were run low on oil.
BMW tried everything to make owners aware of this, until in 2009 they added an oil level indicator on the onboard display.
So pick carefully! :)
 

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He with the senior member
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They really are. Wind and weather and bug protection, you can carry stuff, it's OK to get them a little dirty, no more hunched over on clip-ons and rear sets, slipping the clutch grinding through traffic in agony. Even if you don't plan on doing any off-road, you can keep right on going when the pavement ends and easily get to some cool places you wouldn't think of taking a Sport Touring bike. They are also still fun on nasty, bumpy back roads that would have you turning around on some road burner. You will find yourself searching out the "light gray" lines on the map.

I really cannot see for the life of me why this class of bikes aren't a home run. They are the SUV of the bike world, and look what SUV's did to the auto market.


Agree 100% - they make MUCH more practical, "better" street bikes than 75% of the street repli-racers out there.

But looking at this pic, I rest may case on the Katoom's looks. God, it's FUGLY!

(But opinions are like arseholes....everyone has one, right! :) :) )
 

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Curmudgeon
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LOL! :p Yeah...it is. I guess it kinda grows on you. So do some other things, so maybe that's not such great praise. They do look better in black, me thinks. :twocents

They look a LOT better from behind the bars...
 

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I'm really all about adventure bikes since 2004 when I bought a 12GS. Haven't really felt a need for a full on sportbike since TBH. Once I bought a 12GS and did a summer of riding I knew I would only get another sportbike for the track. From a safety perspective alone I was shocked by how much I wasn't seeing from the sportbike saddle. Bascially today's adventure bikes are the 70's UJM but taller.

Vstrom:

Best bang for the buck imo between this thread and the SM thread you got going too. TLR/TLS1000 motor slightly detuned but dead reliable. Plenty of forums with plenty of happy owners with big mileage. I've considered one as much as I've considered a KLR 650 - great buys but only as my second or third bike. I really like the new KLR and if you aren't set on two-up riding give it a try it will really surprise and it's looks are very good now, as adv bikes go, imo. The Vstrom would be the perfect touring bike for a big trip which won't risk reliability and impact the pocketbook too much.

KTM Adventure 950:

By far the most capable of your choices for off-road running but I see that isn't a big concern. Nice thing is they work exceptionally well on the road too; full WP suspension does that.

Triumph Tiger (07+):

You've pretty much nailed it with your thoughts on this one also I haven't heard of issues with these models.

Ducati Multistrada 1000/1100:

Dog for looks esp. from Ducati ( I like the 999 TBH) but man do they handle esp. model with Ohlins of course, not much for luggage compared to the others though.

Aprilia Capanord:

They do come with bags, try to find the Rally Riad model which is the better model imo even if just aesthetics. Cool bike, one of my riding buds had one for 3-4 yrs and never had an issue. Should be dead cheap and very reliable, detuned rotax from the RSV twin.

BMW R1150GS:

The daddy of the adventure class esp the GSA in that gun metal grey. Can't go wrong with one of these bad boys, large following and plenty of aftermarket toys. The two wheeled Jeep with all the same insane mods that Jeeps enjoy. Since offroading isn't an issue for you, you get to enjoy the excellent road performance. Heavier than KTM and 12GS but hold their values today better than KTM will imo.

Moto Guzzi Quota/Stelvio, Benelli Tre-K, Ducati E-900, Cagiva Gran Canyon, Buell Uly, etc: Not really interested unless someone really has a good recommendation for them.
Quota is cool but the new Guzzi adventure bike is a much better product and may be in your price range. Uly has good handling and luggage but dealer backup now?

So...of the ones listed the ones that really seem like options I would like to explore are the BMW and the KTM. reading over at ADVrider (awesome site BTW) it seems the concensus is that the BMW is a better streetbike and the KTM is better off-road. But the question is how much better the BMW is, or how both compare to a regular sportbike.

Not so much interested in going fast, but highway trips will happen.

Any experiences will be appreciated.
Definitely top of the pile are the BMW and KTM. Many owners of both models on ADVrider BTW so plenty of good opinions. I've ridden the 12GS, 950 ADV, and of course HP2 for yrs, swap bikes on occasion with buds. I ride with a lot of adventure riders most weekends doing offroad riding as much as possible. IMO little difference between the 950 and 12GS when doing dirt roads, etc. but if doing jeep trails and hydro lines the 950 is the way to go, or the HP2 or 950 SE both of which are considerably lighter than the 950 ADV or 12GS.

Still the focus here is on road use so imo having significantly ridden both models concerned here I would say the 950 simply because the price is so agreeable, it's lighter than the 1150 and likely will have less mileage. In favour of the 1150GS is better reliability, better dealer network and shaft drive. Both have had issues which I'm sure you have seen on advrider.

Back in 2004 I had an incredibly hard time picking between the 12GS and 950 tbh but in the end I picked the BMW. I knew BMW better, albeit never owned one, and ultimately wanted it more. I had never owned one but knew them better than KTM plus the 950 was KTM's first big bore street bike, a lot of coin to throw down on a first yr model imo.

My choice turned out to be for the best imo, the first yr model KTM's had many issues while my 12GS had none in 80,000km in the 2.5 yrs I owned it. I would still own it if someone hadn't written it off.

But on the flip side, today, I still want a 950 and I'm planning on picking up a 950 this season or next because the price is so low. In the end I don't think you can go wrong with any of the models here imo. The 950 was too high priced imo at the time. Yes it was comparable to the 12GS but KTM simply didn't have the history or the dealer backup that BMW has and still has today. Today, once all the bugs were worked out, I wouldn't have an issue owning any KTM. Plenty of tech forums on it and all bugs have been very detailed and are an easy fix today.

Something else to consider, the vstrom imo is very underrated. Yes it's butt ugly but dang reliable and guys I ride with that own it love it. For less than 5K it's a lot of bike. Another choice, well off the mark in terms of adventure bikes or SM but imo sits right in the middle where the old UJM used to be is the Bandit. The new one's make 90 ft pounds of torque... That's a spicy meatball my friend.

My original post of why I chose the 12GS over the 950 from 2004.


Why I chose the GS over the KTM - ADVrider
 

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Agree 100% - they make MUCH more practical, "better" street bikes than 75% of the street repli-racers out there.

But looking at this pic, I rest may case on the Katoom's looks. God, it's FUGLY!

(But opinions are like arseholes....everyone has one, right! :) :) )
It's funny because it's true, but it's even funnier because you own two KLRs... :cool:
 

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Speaking of KLR's have you really considered the singles? F650, KTM 640 (jack hammer but oh so cool) aforementioned KLR and the DR and XL models. Dirt cheap bikes imo and a lot of fun on and off road. You could also cut that price in 1/2 again...
 
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