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Comfortable tourers... for dragging the missus around

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Avoidable, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Hey Guys,

    I'm looking at buying a big tourer or sports tourer so I can take my better half on some nice over night holiday type rides, the 600 doesn't cut it in this regard :( (though I'll be keeping her too).

    I'm looking for advice about the comfort level of a some of the bigger bikes when kitted out for touring.

    Considered are the Honda blackbird, ST or VFR, BMW R11 or K12, kawa ZZR 12 or anything else thats comfortable for the pillion. I've mainly nomiated litre+ bikes assuming they'd be more comfortable since that'd be the main issue not for hooning reasons :p .

    Though its still a pipe dream at the moment, we'd be most likely puttering up and down the coast taking in scenery on long rides and I'd like the GF to be as comfortable as possible so she enjoys it and wants to repeat the adventures.

    Budget wise I'd be looking at spending 10k on the first of hopefully a few tourers assuming all goes well. I realise I might have to shell out for luggage too but this would be a separate budget unless I get lucky and find a pre kitted one.

    Any input would be great. :)
  2. youre in the same position i am. are you looking for just a straight tourer or an all rounder bike thats good for touring and round town use?

    for practicality and comfort the r1150 or r1200 is hard to beat. theyre a big investment though, if you want a recent model low km one. the fjr1300 is another option, but also at the pricey end of touring bikes.

    in the lower price bracket ive been looking at the triumph sprint, seems good on first impressions, but im yet to take one out for a spin
  3. In terms of getting the most bike for your dollar a 2nd hand Suzuki Bandit 1200 or maybe even a 1250 would be the way to go.
    Triumph 955s also seem to be quite affordable 2nd hand.
  4. If you don't mind the combined brakes or VTEC (or you get an earlier model from 98 till 02, I believe), then of course I'm going to recommend the VFR. My girlfriend has often told me she almost fell asleep on the back while being ridden around (Compliment or not... well surely it must be comfortable enough! :p )

    Depending on how tall you are you might prefer the Blackbird though, which gives a couple more inches legroom for the rider, not sure on the pillion. Although, if I were pillioning I would prefer the hand grips on the VFR. Coupled with a top box to lean against, it's almost an arm chair.

    I use mine to do everything from commuting to touring, and consider it very highly in the 'all round' stakes. A family member has a Blackbird and previously, had a 98 VFR. He only 'moved on' because he wanted more power and legroom.

    So no doubt by now people are sick to the back teeth of me going on about how great VFRs are and how much I love mine. I guess I'm like a stuck record. But it was driven home the other day when a guy on a virago pulled up and asked about it.

    How does it pull? Excellently.
    What about pillions? Stable, smooth, well balanced.
    How is it in the corners? Like my old CBR600 just with a bit more weight.
    Comfortable? Hell yeah!

    Downsides? Hmm, some people call the suspension a bit too soft. I don't weigh a lot though and when I tried the next click up on the pre-load it bolted the rear up a bit too much for me. It's very smooth. Actually, now I recall what a UK magazine (forget which, MCN I think) called the handling of it: Neutral. Is that bad for an all rounder? I don't think so.

    Alright, I'll stop now.
  5. I'll own up to being a bit of a Honda Fanboi right up front, so keep that in mind! And of course as a Honda man, I've gotta put in a good word for the blackbird.

    Supreme continent covering long-legged power, top shelf comfort and a 99-00 model (which has fuel injection but not cat converters, and IMO is the sweet spot of the range) with 20 - 30K on the clock can be had for $11K (privately).

    It's next on my upgrade list. :grin:

    I'd back Hyssy's call with the VFR except that you don't need an 'all round bike' if you are keeping the 600. You need an uber comfortable continent crosser, commuting ability be damned (Although the BB isn't BAD in this area, just not as good as the VFR, or your 600).

    When it comes to weekends away with passengers, the BB is in a league of it's own.
  6. Thanks for the opinions guys.

    I'm glad I have the option of choosing a bike based mainly on comfort since I'll be keeping the 600.

    Basically the tourer will be used solely for holidays and long rides, maybe some commuting but I doubt it.

    I've got to say that the Black Bird was the first bike that came into my head when I started thinking about touring. Nice big bore, lazy power to let you enjoy the ride in a relaxed way.

    Though Hyssy's comment about his GF almost falling asleep is pretty awesome :LOL: . I'd heard viffer's are pretty comfy.

    I'll have to keep an eye out for the Bandit's and Triumph's too. I'd love a Bandit to work out, just so I could have 2 Suzuki's in the garage :grin: .

    I'm trying to do as much research as possible. Unfortunately I think test riding tourers may not give much of an idea of what it would be like to live with one on the road over a week or so, especially for the pillion. Taking it around the block may not cut the mustard.
  7. If the Bandit doesn't work out you could always try a GSX1400 - especially if you're after big-bore, lazy power.
  8. Bandit 1250

    The Bandit wins on value :LOL:
  9. omg rofl...... i thought the thread title was "Comfortable trousers... for dragging the missus around"
    i thought it was going to be another hornee vs draggins vs shift thread
  10. Bear in mind that most slightly used BMWs will come with luggage ready attached. RTs had it as standard from the factory and most of the others will have had it fitted as an option.

    Shaft drive is nice to have too, if you're clocking up the kms.
  11. I love my Bandit with a passion, and it pillions very happily and comfortably indeed, but one of the reasons I love it is as an all-rounder. You're not looking for that but for a dedicated long-distance tourer, and in that situation and if I had the money I'd be looking very seriously at the Blackbird, the ST and the Beemers.
  12. I'd love an R1200RT, but that's in the territory of silly money. A Harley would be a brilliant touring machine too, but it's also silly money (other issues aside).
  13. '

    Haha, glad it wasn't just me who read it that way...
  14. So don't buy a new one. Plenty of ex-police R1100s and R1150s around for barely 5 figures (or less). Oddly enough (and contrary to popular belief), they're dirt cheap to run too (by litrebike standards) as long as you never go near an authorised BMW dealer and stick to the independent specialists.

    They are an accquired taste though, and not terribly powerful (K12 excepted) if you're used to Jap fours. Brilliant handling and banzai braking abilities from the telelever/paralever chassis make up for that to some extent though.
  15. From the GF perspective I can say I've been in the same position of nearly nodding off, so very comfy. Before I got my own bike, I was biatch on my partners 1st VFR, '00 I think, and its awesome on the back seat. I'm now on my own bike, and my partner is on his 2nd VFR, and I still like to pillion from time to time, no sore bum in sight, and its a lovely ride, and sounds awesome too. I ride it to work from time to time, and we sometimes swap bikes up in the hills, i think its a damn good bike...
    I cant comment on the others you are looking at as I've had no experince to do a comparison, but I can say the VFR is nice, and its fun...
  16. may I suggest a plan B.
    my wife tours on a 250 burgman scooter and I ride my 650. the scooter is easy to ride and keeps up OK for touring. it also holds a lot of stuff under the seat. I can have a squirt if we find any twisties and just go slow until she catches up in the straights. the 400 would do the job even better.
  17. Or for something completely different.... Cali?
  18. Go for a Burgie

    Here's something you may not have considered - Burgman 650.

    I own one, and also a number of larger/smaller bikes.

    The Burgman is an ideal tourer for the following reasons.

    Fantastic wind and rain protection - for both rider and passenger
    Comfortable wide seat - so comfortable my wife does fall asleep on the back FOR HOURS AT A TIME (she just leans back against the Givi E52 top box)
    Amazing carrying capacity - with 55 litres under the seat and 52 litres in the top box, I can carry 4 slabs if needed
    Nice upright riding position - no sore back or wrists from leaning over or wind blast
    Smooth gear changes - the CVT means no jerkiness for the passenger when changing up /down the gearbox
    Fantastic fuel consumption - 22km/litre two up at 130kmh on the speedo
    Amazing cornering - I overtake sports bikes and just about everything else in the twisties, the tighter it gets the more the Burgie gets away from the others - I do need to get rid of the centrestand though (although give it a couple more months and it'll disappear of its own accord).
    Excellent commuter - I ride mine 40km daily to/from work
    Ultra-reliable, mine has done almost 75k km and I did over 30k km touring on it last year (longest day was 1,200km in the saddle)
    Great to ride on hot summer days - all that engine heat is deflected away from your legs and under the bike
    Big, spacious and comfortable - the footboards allow a multitude of foot positions allowing you to stretch out and move around
    Runs fine on any road surface - covered a stretch of 1,500km of gravel in one go without incident

    Although billed as a maxi-scooter, the big Burgie is really just a motorbike with a CVT. Unlike "proper" scooters, the Burgie has a bike frame, bike suspension, motor in the usual bike position and handles like a bike.

    Ok, so she's not the fastest accelerating bike around but is more than quick enough to stay out of any cars way, overtake at up to 160kmh with ease, and surprise many bikes who are not expecting it.
  19. Re: Go for a Burgie

    He's looking for a bike his WIFE will snooze on... not one that will put HIM to sleep! :p

    Joking. :LOL:
  20. .

    AFAIK they go for much cheaper than that, on the order of 3k cheaper. Have a look at bikesales :)