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Buying an adventure bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Harryboy, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Hi,
    I have been away from bikes for 10 years and want to get back into it via and adventure bike. To be used as a weekend ride 95% of the time will be on road. Any opinions on the following bikes? Suzuki v-strom, Kawasaki Klr 650, bmw f650gs. I am in Brisbane and I need to have it on road for under 5k. I must also take into account serving costs and parts costs and availability. Thanks for any advice

  2. The V-Strom will fit the bill, mate. Nothing wrong with the older ones, which should be within your budget (pre 2012). The seats a bit lower and the fuel injection is a bit more basic, but otherwise, top notch bikes.

    The other 2 are more 70% road 30% dirt oriented.
  3. The 650 V-Strom is the better bike though, that engine just can't be murdered. The 1000 has a few issues with things like an aluminium driven gear that chatters, stator magnets falling off, ECUs that need remapping etc.

    You don't state your budget, but the Triumph Tiger might be worth a look too, they are not a bad bike. The 1200 explorer had a few early quality issues, but the 1050 and 800 seem to be great bikes.
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  4. What sort of riding should be the first question asked. Road, Trail, Both, how often?
  5. #5 Harryboy, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2015
    The tiger is out of my price range, I need to be on road for under 5k

    I think I will be 95% road, but really like the option of being able to do some light off road once I get back into the swing of fhings
  6. For 95% road riding, damn near any bike (even sports bikes) will fit the bill.
    It all depends how rough that 5% off road will be.

    DRZ400 get stolen often enough that you should be able to pick one up fairly cheap "second hand".

    Other options
    Any upright riding position bike
    Any light bike
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  8. Thanks for your input guys, I think I've ruled out the Klr, and my head is saying go the v-strom but my heart wants a beemer. What sort of mileage would be enough to put you guys off buying second hand? I'm interested in an f650 gs Dakar, 2007 with 76000km, new chain and sprockets. Looks in good order and comes with rwc, I'm just a bit concerned that with that number of kms problems will start arising sooner rather than later, any thoughts?
  9. I'm somewhat in the same boat.
    I ended up buying gs500 and will keep it for the forseable future.
    Will change it if v-strom gets a facelift or something. It's ugly as :)
  10. 76000km should be no worries provided it's been maintained & serviced along the way. Bearings, fork oil etc. might be small jobs that need doing or checking that they've been done. The rock solid Rotax engine is why I bought my Husky Terra. These things are built to do plenty of work.
    Check the info at f650gs.crossroadz.com.au It looks like that year wasn't too bad for fork failure. If it's done 76k then you can say it's forks are probably ok.
  11. Don't have any particular knowledge of the f650GS, but I would say for 95% road use, anything that you like and suits your budget will do fine. My bike, though nominally adventure-styled, is basically road (with road tyres), and I do plenty of gravel and sand, obscure rocky tracks into national parks etc with little hassle. If I were a better rider, with a more off-road capable bike, I'd do it faster, that's all.

    Edit: one hint if you use road tyres. Buy a tiny compressor and carry it so you can drop pressures for extended unsealed sections. Makes the experience much more comfortable.
  12. Would a Honda CB500X be an alternative? For the road/off road balance you plan it would seem ideal and at a good price. Further down the track there seems to be a good upgrade path to allow more off road ability.
  13. Would do the job, but probably beyond the OPs budget as the earliest model is 2013.

    HarryboyHarryboy I remember reading somewhere on the advrider forums that the f650gs was good for a very long life. You might want to search there for further advice.
  14. I have a 2012 Versys 650L , great bike with comfortable upright riding position, ABS, longer forks and 19L tank. If you want more power try the Versys 1000.
    Ive decided to go 'retro' naked with a 2004 Honda CB1300 with plenty of torque and great build quality.
  15. Its probably getting a bit late now, but I would lean away from the klr unless you were looking at lots of off-road.

    Is the BMW a single or twin? The 2007 model can refer to either the single thumper or the parallel twin, as far as I can tell. I would look to a twin as a preference, as they are smoother on the road when touring. I assume you are touring on this bike.

    Vstroms are known for their reliability and longevity. There are some 650's out there that have done more than 200,000 kms with just usual maintenance. Mine is up to 40,000 and is barely run in. The BMW's are similar, provided they have been looked after. BMW's have other issues with electronics, particularly they key switch from what I have heard.

    Have a look at them, try them for size. They are fairly top heavy compared to a sports bike or cruiser, so may feel a little awkward if you haven't ridden one before.
  16. Thanks for your help everyone, I ended up buying the Dakar and am really happy with my choice. The owner was an older German guy selling it before he went home, he had meticulous records of everything that had been done to the bike and it is in fantastic shape. Can't wait to spend a fair bit of time on it in the coming months and get back into it, it's been too long between bikes!
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