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LAMS Touring Bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Robbbieeg, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. #1 Robbbieeg, Mar 8, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2016
    Hey Guys,

    New member here. Been searching through forums for a question similiar but everything on this topic seems outdated. I'm looking at buy a touring bike as a daily/commuter with long trips planned every month or so. Currently riding a yamaha wr450f supermoto converted which is great but with all my commuting I'm ending up doing services on it every week when something breaks. So I've decided to keep this bike (as the chance of getting any resale value on all the of the extras I've put on will be horrible) and ride it weekends and for serious off-roading, but now I want to get a second bike mainly for commuting.

    What I'm looking for:

    -Ease to work on myself and find parts
    -Ability to take pillion
    -Decent power that won't feel like I've jumped back on to my sisters 125cc

    So far top of the list is a dr650 which seems to fit all criteria but I feel like it might feel sluggish compared to my wr450. If anyone has recommendations of touring bikes (preferably adventure touring with the possibility to offroad but not overally important since I have the wr450).

    Information on me:

    -Just got green p's so looking for it to last at least two years.
    -Been riding offroad for a few years and riden 20,000+km on road since I got my licence last year.
    -Commute 75km a day, mostly below 80km/h speed limits
    -Decent mechanical skills
    -Budget of $9,000

    Lower weight would be ideal but I suppose I will have to learn to handle a bigger bike some day. Seat comfort is not an issue since I sit on an enduro seat for almost 3 hours a day and am used to being uncomfortable...

    Thanks in advance.

    Mod edit: **Bike reviews/questions/suggestions DO NOT belong in General**
  2. Do still want to do a certain amount of dirt riding on the 'touring' bike or will it be for road use only? If it's for road use only I'd look at just about any of the 650cc LAMS bikes available from the Japanese manufacturers. If you're planning on doing dirt riding then maybe look at the DL650, DR650 or maybe the KLR650.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Looking for something without fairings preferably so it wouldn't take me hours to service. I've been working on dirt bikes for ages so it's all I know which was why I was leaning towards dr650, not a huge fan of the klr's though.
  4. I've just bought myself a DR650. Seems to have a decent amount of go in it and at the 80km speed it chugs along nicely (though I'm still running it in). Very light and nimble in traffic, I'm riding it as a commuter atm as well though only for about 15-20 minutes each way to and from work. One day will get it on some dirt.
  5. thanks for the reply 69sim, dr650 is looking like the best option as there are a few with under 10,000kms for pretty cheap leaving money to add some extras. Just been doing some research though and found two other adventure touring bikes the Husqvarana TR650 Terra and a rebirth of SWM with a rs650r. Both look pretty nice and less than $9k but I can't find a whole lot on reliability.
  6. And you call it the vibratinator - for a reason... How will that feel for 500km?

    What about a v strom? Better road manners for sure and can handle gravel etc.

    Or BMW gs650.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Hehe :)

    After a decent ride on Sunday (~200km) the only issue I had was that it was hot due to the weather, and the seat, whilst a plank of 2x4, was actually pretty good with the nice suspension.

    Of course it's no where near as comfortable as my DL1000 VStrom ;) And the DL650 version is a great performer as well, easy to service and lots of them about.
  8. G'day RobbieRobbie.

    Both the Suzuki DR650 and Kawasaki KLR650 have been used successfully for long range and dirt touring by lots of people the world over but I'm not sure how many have had a pillion. I know a lot of people immediately upgrade the suspension and fuel tank on the DR650.

    The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, particularly the Adventure model with spoked wheels, might be a better option if you're considering regularly taking a pillion with you.
  9. The advantage of the DL (Strom) is that it has much more torque than either the DR or KLR as well as needing very little in the way of servicing. Oil and filter doesn't require messing with the plastic and the valves rarely need adjusting (and aren't hard to check). If you're more serious about dirt riding it's not the best choice, but if you're much more road oriented with a few well maintained dirt roads it's the go of those three. KLR next for more dirt, the the DR for more serious dirt.
    The wife and I ride two up on my 650 Strom and it still overtakes better than a lot of cars without having to dance on the gear lever.
  10. +1 for the Wee-Strom.

    It's no enduro bike. She's a bit heavy and lacking ground clearance. A great rider could do some amazing off-roading on it, but that's not me, yet...
    As a versatile road bike, with a decent choice of adventure style rubber, it's a winner.
  11. Thanks guys, I'll look in to the v Strom. Been reading heaps on the new SWM rs650r though and it looks decent and for $9000 new. If I don't find a decent Dr or Strom second hand in the next week might chance my luck on the SWM and hope it holds up to the reliability they promise.
  12. You've got a wr for the dirt. At least go and test out a few road bikes. Like the mt07, er6 or street triple Lams
  13. I would recommend a V-Storm or Kawsaki Versys 650 or if your not heading off Tarmac as basejumperbasejumper suggests a more road orientated 650.

    I think you'd find the dr650 or Klr650 disappointing if you ride a Wr450. I had a KLR650 and DRZ400 for a fair while. Never enjoyed riding the KLR as it was just like the DRZ except heavier and slower. It was also significantly less capable off road and did not feel much more comfortable on road really. It's only redeeming feature was the fuel range.

    Don't get me wrong the KLR650 is a great bike I just think that if you get it (or the Dr650) you'll be disappointed which was my own experience of it.

    The Vstorm and Versys have a lot more punch and will handle the softer off road stuff ok. I sold the KLR and bought an ER6n (same motor as the Versys) which was a great bike and the clear contrast to the DRZ made me really enjoy riding both for their different characteristics.
  14. #14 Geoff3DMN, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    I had a KLR650 for several years (the current shape version) and whilst the bike never really did anything wrong it just wasn't much fun to ride and the DR650 is if anything even more bland.

    I agree with the other posters, try a VStrom or Versys or maybe even a BMW G650GS.
  15. I've been very happy with my F60GS (new equivalent is G650GS). It's smooth on the road and doesn't mind a bit of gravel. I don't work on it myself but a local bloke I now take it to thinks it's straight forward enough. I haven't ridden the competition but anecdotally it's a lot better off road that vstrom or versys. +1 has one too - done 70K kms with no reliability issues. I don't think it's needed anything new other than brakes, battery, sprockets etc. Mine has done a fair bit less but also no reliability issues. Certainly quite good for pillion - I've been in both positions quite happily.

    advertised new price is $9990 ride away which is a little higher than you said - but that includes ABS and heated grips
  16. Hi had a Versys650 during my L and Ps, very comfortable, reliable, plenty of power, ride position great (I'm 6ft) and sold 2 months ago with 11000kms for $6500
  17. Don't discount the Honda CB500X or F(same bike different suspension/aesthetic), I absolutely love mine as it's so easy to ride, with a comfortable riding position and wide bars for easy handling. For two seasons of cricket before my knee finally let go it took me with all my gear to matches, and also to football and back with all my gear and a bit of other stuff. I'm yet to tour on it as I'm married with children and can hardly afford the time away but I've never got off sore. They can be had fairly cheaply(approx 5k) on the second hand market, OEM hard luggage is expensive but the design of the passenger hand hold bars are very conducive to strapping large bags down to the passenger seat as I did with my cricket bag.
  18. That SWM rs650r is a chinese bike, so I think it fails the request for reliability. Plus it's only got a 12 litre tank. Unless you plan on only touring around the suburbs, you want a big tank. All the bikes recommended above will fit the bill. Test ride, and the buy the one you want. Oh, and make sure you don't mistake the non LAMS DL650 with the LAMS version.
  19. I'm not a huge fan of Chinese manufacturing, but have a lot of respect for Chinese investors and that is an important distinction. SWM may be Chinese backed, but they're building the bike in Italy in the old Husky factory, led by an Italian ex Husky CEO, using a motor designed by Cagiva for Husky and the bike is based on the Husky TE630. This is a long way from being a "Chinese Bike".

    I'm a little conservative, I wouldn't buy one myself but that is because I think they still have to prove that the finished product is reliable and iron out any manufacturing glitches, but I wouldn't lump this in the same category as typical cheap Chinese product.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. Cheers, I stand corrected, it goes up a notch in my view then. However reliability and spares supply is still an unknown, fuel tank size is still too small for a touring bike imo. You could get a aux tank I guess. But the other bikes are proven and have years of experienced users to ask questions from.