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Middle weight sport tourer (I think)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Bugjuice88, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Hi guys, currently in two minds weather to sell my k9 gixxer 750 for something more conservative. Can you guys help me make my mind up?

    Im shortish at 5'5" and have a 29inch inseam and ~ 70kgs. Solidly planted on the gixxer but can't flat foot unless there is a pillion. After a good hour or so it kinda gets a bit tiring. Its given that the mrs isn't real comfy on the back.

    Im looking at a mid weight sport tourer (i think)... I have been sort of keen on a BMW F800ST. Something to do some longer trips and take the mrs + some luggage. I dont really want something too big if im gonna take pillion + luggage 80% of the time. So I kinda ruled out the VFR800 and Sprint ST.

    Budget is $13000ish depending on the bike. Its a weekend bike, that Im keen for some 200km + days in the saddle, maybe a few weekenders.

    I just can't bring myself to sell the gixxer. I can't be sure whether the BMW is gonna have enough excitement factor. It has been suggested by someone I ride with to look at a Speed Triple or Street Triple or Sprint ST. Any Suggestions?

    Oh and I live in country NSW so its at least 30 minute ride to find a semi twisty road... hence the gixxer not as fun as it could be. And i dont want to trek a few hours across the country to waste time looking at a bike thats not for me.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Not a sport tourer but.
    DR650. Not great in stock form but it is one of the best bases for a touring bike.
    Buying a used DR650 and setting it up for touring will cost you far less money than buying an out-of-the-box sports tourer. There are even a few really good deals that come up from time to time for DR650's that have already been set up. Here is an excellent example in Sydney: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Suzuki-d...2878523?pt=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item20bb647d3b
  3. No offense but I dont think a DR650 is really the type of bike for me. Kinda not into the adventure touring sort of thing. And i dont think that will have the x factor either.
  4. fair enough, most people are like you. me, I never did understand the sports bike craze.
  5. What about a tiger 1050 (last model). a lot more road base than the current one and you'll be able to get a good run-out deal
  6. If you're worried that the BMW F800ST is a bit too tame for you have you thought about the 800cc Yamaha FZ8S (or Fazer 8 as it's called in some markets).

    It's got an upright sports/touring riding position, a comfortable seating position, protective frame mounted half fairing and good pillion seat combined with a motor that's got more more power (and more torque) than the F800ST.

    A short blurb about them.


    The Yamaha Australia page about them.

  7. VFR800.
    An 07 08 can be had for $9,000 is immaculate condition.
    It will run forever. Low maintenance. Very comfy while still being well set up for when you want to play hard. Yet it is a doddle to ride around at legal speeds. 400km days are no worries.
    Takes two with ease. And has factory panniers and top box.
    With a set of pipes they really do sound great. They are iconic and easy to sell. Parts are readily available. You will have four or five grand left over.
    They look sporty but really they are not. Less than 100hp at the rear wheel stock. Funny Vtec power delivery. Very under sprung front and rear. Nice for pottering but no where near enough for hard work.
    Short range for a real tourer. Bars are odd. Too raked and too narrow for mine. You will spend a lot of that loose change on pipes and some springs in the front and an Ohlins 605 for the rear.

    Triumph Sprint.
    Looks and goes well. Sounds ok. Kind of a love or hate sort of thing.
    Build quality and parts are a worry.

    Bite me. The 800 is a girly bike. You will always be the little brother to the 12.
  8. This. You have to like the style, but it's almost a given you will like the riding experience.
    BMW have got the true (middleweight) sports-tourer segment to themselves at the moment so if the F800ST doesn't ring your bell you have to go bigger, or go naked. STreet and FZ8 are your options.
    The questions will be over pillion ability and wind protection. Street Triple is not bad but not great on these.
  9. Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS...

    May cause you some price stress but if a decent second hand one with 5k on the clock was around you would probably get away with around 14k...

    Just re-read your post, if the vfr800 is too large the Kwaka ain't gunna fit the bill...
  10. How does a 780cc inline 4 have more torque than a 800cc parallel twin with a lower bore/stroke ratio? I've ridden the latter and it ain't shy on torque.

    Low maintenance but high servicing costs according to the quotes I've seen on this forum. The cost of a 24,000 km major with valve clearances put me right off the VFR800 (I gather you're the type of bloke to DIY but most aren't). That and the weight of the thing. And the needless complexity.

    Everybody thinks parallel twins are girly bikes. Yet they can embarrass the sh!t out of a inline 4 in the tight stuff! And using their torque to rocket off the line and blast out of corners is a genuine hoot!

    Having said that, I'm not interested in forking over the price premium for a BMW badge attached to a Rotax powered bike.
  11. Not exactly Middle Weight but what about THIS
  12. Tiger 1050 is a nice bike. Pity i stopped growing at 165cms. Probly a bit top heavy for me with a bit of luggage and a pillion.

    I never considered a FZ8 ill check one out. Might be a bit on the high side though.

    Street Triple would be an awesome ride, but for longer distance with luggage and a pillion it might be a bit small.

    VFR800 like i said they are kinda a bit big for me, but ill hafta actually ride one not just sit on one.
  13. What about of Cruisers? There are plenty of models that fit your budget and they are low as well. Excellent for both daily commute and/or long weekend rides.
  14. My Viffer is for sale... :angel:

    Major service at 48000k cost me $410...$480 with fairing on........ "Zero adjustment was required, same at 24000k. Thats right I didnt get them inspected at 24000k CAUSE THEY DONT NEED DOING..!" And how often do you think your going to complete 24000k to warrant the next major service..

    A very big melbourne dealer quoted me $1000 and 2 days to complete the service..... Freestyle Honda Frankston did the job in 1 day, free day bike and less than half the price... Dont let dealers feed you shit !

    Minor service if done at the shop is $220

    To undo a sump plug, remove and replace an oil filter and clean a k&n air filter isn't rocket science.

    Everyone is scared of the major service (oooh boogie boogie)
    • Like Like x 1
  15. That's bloody cheap, I spend more servicing the 250. I've seen figures ~ $800 for all the fluids and valve adjustments for the VFR800.

    Zero adjustment after 48,000 km? You must do a fair amount of highway miles! :)
  16. oopse posted twice.. I blame my dumb internet.... Please delete
  17. 257kgs is a big bike! Maybe if I had a few more years riding under my belt. I dont really know if it would be in my price range either.

    I dunno, cruisers just dont tickle my fancy... Yeah they are fun to ride but the riding position is not really my thing.
  18. The FZ8S makes 85 NM torque @ 8000 rpm and 105ps peak power in Oz spec.

    The F800 makes 83 NM torque @ 5600 rpm and 85ps peak power in Oz spec.

    The F800 does make more torque lower down in the rev range but that's not the same thing as 'more torque' although it is what some people (who misuse the term) mean when they say a bike is 'torquey'.

    Put the 2 bikes in a drag race and the FZ8S would (other things being equal) win. that doesn't make the F800ST a bad bike, it's not... but it's not as fast as the FZ8S either.
  19. Dug up my previous rant:

    Ok I thought it was about time I posted a review of my recentlyish acquired 08 Triumph Sprint ST. Some of you will fall asleep, all others - enjoy.

    The background

    Like most of us, long before I was off my restrictions I began the long and complex decision making process about my next bike. I had been learning on a 2007 Kawasaki ZZR250 which had been (and continues to be) a fantastic bike for the daily commute and city run about. It is not so fantastic however for the weekend highway run, tour around the country side, or week long road trips. It is even less fantastic when you want to do some or all of the above by 2up. In fact 2up on the baby kwacka was not fun at all. Period.

    The mission

    As you can probably tell, my criteria was as follows:
    - Must like highways and long trips
    - Must like holding lots of luggage
    - Must be comfortable
    - Must like pillions
    - Must be able to travel a decent amount of Kms on a tank of juice

    As life isn't all about tours around Australia (if only!), and I like to eat my cake as well, I also had a secondary wish list of criteria:
    - Should also like twisties
    - Should also be fun when I want it to be
    - Should also be aesthetically pleasing

    As you can see, I did not base my research around the number of horses, CC's, or engine type. That really wasn't a consideration as long as the right bike ticked as many boxes as possible. There were also a couple of additional restrictions - must not be super large, and I didn't really want to pay more than 20k (I was looking to buy new).

    The competition

    Based on my criteria I quite quickly eliminated all things super sport and naked (realising that some of these bikes are quite versatile but I was ruthless in my approach), and before long (ok after much scrutiny and geeky specification studies inclusive of spreadsheet comparisons) narrowed it down to a top 3:
    - Honda VFR800
    - Triumph Sprint ST
    - BMW F800ST

    For the record I also considered bikes like the Kawasaki Z750, Suzuki VStroms, Suzuki GSX650F, Honda NT700V, but all quite didn't make the cut.

    The weekend following the day my restrictions were lifted, I had a test ride booked for the Beamer. The guys told me to take it out for about an hour, so who was I to argue - I was happy with that. I was happy with the bike as well. Coming straight off the 250 it felt like a rocket, was comfortable, and I felt at home on it immediately. It did everything I asked of it very well, felt light and nimble, and was genuinely pleasant. If I had to be picky, the gear box felt a little clunky, the two-sided indicator switch was annoying (I'm sure this would not take long to get used to), and there appeared to be a slight delay and snatch when rolling back on the throttle. The only thing I didn't like was the noise escaping out of the rather large silver pipe on the left side of the bike. The exhaust was ugly, and the noise it made was even uglier. If I had to use two words to describe it it would be 'angry lawnmower'. After about an hour of mounting the 800st, I returned it to talk extras and money. I realised one thing soon after I got off it - I wasn't busting to get back on it. It did everything I wanted it to, had plenty of power, was comfortable etc etc but it didn't really make me overly excited. It felt perhaps a little too refined. Another review I have since read describes the bike as "a jack of all trades but a master of none." which I can relate to. It was good, but lacked that something special.

    Back in the showroom, it was quickly becoming apparent that the 15k base price was quickly turning into a minimum 20k ticket when we started talking Onboard computer (without it you might as well stick a wrist watch onto the dash as it would do more) and luggage - which for panniers/top box was up over 2k! Along with alarm options (though it does come with Immoboliser standard) and after market exhaust (I don't think I could live with a lawnmower) my wallet was getting lighter by the minute. After getting a written price (valid for 30 days which I was impressed about) I decided to do a back to back comparison, and headed off to the Triumph Dealer to hunt down a Sprint ST. I must comment on the positive experience I had with BMW Southbank, as the sales guy was nothing but a pleasure to deal with. Professional, detailed, interested in my needs, and not pushy. To tell you the truth I felt bad for not buying a bike off them I was so impressed - I really wanted to and would not hesitate to purchase something off them in the future (which I might well do).

    I was fortunate enough to be able to get a test ride on the spot. The moment I got on, the sprint seemed to have more presence than the beamer, in both spirit and physical size - it felt larger at a stand still. When it fired up, I was looking for the sewing machine on steroids strapped to the bike somewhere - I hadn't really heard a triple up close before and man was it different, but sounded awesome. Within the first 5 minutes of the ride, I must say I was sold. The riding position felt sportier than the bmw's very upright position, but not too sporty that it broke my wrists or back. The power was insane, but delivery totally predictable and controllable. Once moving, it was nimble and genearlly easy to manouver. I must say that I have long legs and can flat foot it, and at 6 foot it felt just right. I am not so sure how it would feel for those much shorter, but I didn't have to worry about that! The dash was easy to read with a combination of analog/digital readouts, and the seat was very comfortable. The more I rode the more I wanted to keep going and the more I loved the sound of it. I got back and didn't want to get off, and felt like a little boy in a lolly shop full of ever lasting gob stoppers.

    I didn't seal the deal on the spot, because I forced myself to walk and sleep on it over the rest of the weekend, as I wanted to take a logical rather than emotional decision. I also wanted alarm (no immoboliser standard) and top box. It is excellent that the colour coded panniers come standard. Oh and crash protectors just in case. So I slept on it, and all things considered, I walked back in on Monday and signed my life away on a new Triumph

    Oh...and the Honda VFR800? I actually forgot all about this after getting on the Triumph...well almost. I went against my logical judgment of test driving all 3 bikes and went with my emotions. I had sat on the VFR several times and it didn't quite feel right - almost top heavy. I shouldn't really judge as I didn't test it on the road to see if my opinion changed so I won't say anymore on it.

    3500 kms in

    So am I happy with the Trumpy several months on? Most definitely. I have used it for commuting a bit (though I have kept the baby Z for this purpose), day trips, 2up, and a week long tour of Tasmania last week to really stretch its legs - this was a real test as the riding conditions were absolutely terrible. The bike didn't skip a beat and I was very impressed with how it handled the terrible weather - and the slippery roads!

    A brief description of a few aspects:

    The Gear Box

    Not the slickest beast in the jungle. First to third can be quite clunky, and compared with Japanese gear boxes not to the same standard. It doesn't do anything bad like miss gears or fall out of gear, just don't expect sports bike like gear changes. It is improving as I travel more kms so time will tell.

    The Finish

    I must say I am a little disappointed in the overall finish of certain parts of the bike. The metal housing near where the key goes has scuffed and does not polish out easily, the LCD screen seems to have slight darkish patches (if I am being really picky), and the front windscreen has scratched quite easily - and I am rather anal when it comes to maintenance and cleaning the bike. The front screen is not so much an issue as I intend to replace it with a tinted one/flip up but I would still expect better for the money.

    Other than that Fairing/plastic work seems of good quality as does paint finish.

    The Extras

    I opted for the authentic Triumph hard top box and mounting bracket. By itself it has a very decent amount of storags space (don't think about putting two helmets in it though - the shape doesn't accomodate this), and combined with the two pannier boxes holds a substantial amount of stuff should you require it to. For the Tassie trip I had all luggage loaded up and the bike travelled perfectly. The luggage also proved to be watertight - trust me this was tested throughout the week.

    The alarm & immoboliser is also Triumph and has not let me down yet - has included shock sensor etc which can be turned off easily via the remote (good for ferry rides like the spirit).

    Partners in crime

    Riding with a pillion is great. The bike has more than enough power to cope with 2up and could do it (and has) all day long. I sometimes have trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground with someone on the back when really powering on the throttle, but I'm sure this is a reflection of me still getting used to the shift in centre of gravity than the bikes fault.

    The riding experience

    I look forward to every time I start the engine. I enjoy every single ride I have. I don't like getting off it at the end of each trip. The power delivery continues to amaze me. I cannot rate the triple engine enough - I simply love it, and the sound it makes. The engine does run quite warm, and in summer stuck in traffic you might get a slight tan, but I don't use it for commuting so it is not an issue for me. I understand my model has better heat protection (ie they have diverted it out the side somewhere) than some of the earlier models.The bike handles very well and more so the more I ride and get used to it. The suspension may be a little soft for some hard core sportsters, but for a sports tourer, I say it is on the mark.

    Would I recommend it? what do you think
  20. Yamaha Australia's website doesn't seem to make any power/torque claims for the FZ8S. BMW Australia's website claims 85 hp @ 8000 rpm and 86 Nm @ 5800 rpm for the F800ST.

    See here for an American review of the FZ8 versus the F800R (which is rated by BMW Australia at 87 hp @ 8000 rpm and 86 Nm @ 6000 rpm). The F800R has a clear torque advantage over the FZ8 until 7600 rpm which is just before the FZ8 hits peak torque at 8200 rpm.