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New bike for when i get off my LAMS

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Ken A, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. Hi all.

    I am after some recommendations on a new bike for when i get off my LAMS.

    I am after a sports touring bike, it has to be comfortable, and i am going to be riding on highways daily. I have a budget of approx 28k and have been considering the Kawasaki 1400gtr.

    When i buy a bike it has to be new as it will be part of a fringe benefit at work, so no 2nd hands.

    Any thought would be appreciated.
  2. i should have added that i obviously want a bike that is nice to ride and is of course fun. :)
  3. #3 Womble, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    Hello, I considered a GTR1400 and had a few rides on a couple a while back.

    I can't recommend it as it felt heavy, slow to turn and the front end would waggle when accelerating hard (I rode three different bikes). The linked brakes made the bike dive too much as well (I've never had linked brakes do that and it wasn't confidence inspiring).

    I settled on a BMW K1300R - if you want something less sporting and more touring the BMW K1600GT is rated highly in all the reviews I've seen. HeliHeli and TWEETTWEET may wish to add their impressions as they both own K1600GTs.

    If you want Japanese I'd recommend looking at either the 'Busa or VFR1200.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. 28k !!! We're more used to folk with a budget of a tenth of that, okay maybe a fifth.
    If there's any advice I can offer is to make a list of features you might want. Stuff like shaft drive, ABS, engine maps, centre stand, weather protection, luggage options etc etc etc.
    Also look at parts availability, servicing intervals and how convenient to your home / workplace.
    Fuel range, reliability reputation, dealer reputation and on and on.
    Decide what's essential, what would be kind of nice and what you don't care about.
    Ride the ones that fit and buy the one you like.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Vfr1200 looks like a comfy bike,but I have no idea how it rides.
  6. My short ride on the GTR1400 a couple of years back was in line with Wombles account, heavy front end, too much front brake bias with the rear brake use causing dive.

    Your $28k will buy one and leave plenty of change, but it will fall a little short of buying a K1600GT. Expect the K16GT to be very near $35k, and best of luck getting much of a discount from there. Buying Euro bikes, I have always found it much harder to get a discount over buying Jap bikes. BMW don't import poverty pack models of their flagships into Aus, they come with all the fruit ex-factory with the only option being low seat or high.
    The K16GT is a heavy bike on paper, it weighs 320kg wet, but once you are mobile, even slow enough to just put your feet up, it loses 100kg. The designers have done an outstanding job of keeping the weight down low and balanced. One of the greatest things about the K16GT is that it fools almost everyone, including it's new owners. It looks like a full dress old mans couch that would be happy wallowing along on the freeway while keeping it's rider comfortable and protected from the elements.
    The reality, is a little different.......

    ** Weight: 320kg wet, but feels 100kg lighter the minute your feet are up.

    ** Engine: 160BHP and more torque (170nm with 70% available from 1500rpm) than almost any bike on the road. This thing is a cruise missile.
    It is the smoothest engine in a bike you have ever seen, I guarantee it. BMW inline 6 cylinder engines are legendary, and this one is no different. Economy is excellent at between 4.7-5.8L/100km regardless of how you ride it for a range of almost 500km on a tank (24L). This engine has a stock note like an angry M3.

    ** Comfort: Roomy, the screen (adjustable of course) and fairing protects you very very well and the things like heated grips, heated seat and little wings that can direct ram air at the rider on hot days make this as comfy as your favourite lounge. On wet days, as long as I'm moving, I don't need to pull out the wet gear until it's really raining.

    ** Equipment: This bike has more features than any other bike on the road - period! The most comprehensive dash on any bike ever, bluetooth for the tunes, GPS, phone and there is an iPod dock/USB port, 2x 12v sockets etc, 3 engine maps with the "Dynamic" mode being exactly that, this thing will power wheelie if you turn traction control off, 9 electronic suspension settings which dramatically change the handling dynamics, heated seat/grips(5 settings for each), electric screen, ABS (BMW are the masters of motorcycle ABS), dynamic traction control, electronic cruise control(once you have had it you will never go back, especially if freeway running), central locking for panniers and little gloveboxes lockable from the bars or remote fob (they DO NOT LEAK), awesome trip computer with every measure you could ever need.

    ** Lighting: The best stock light of any bike ever made. BMW pioneered the adaptive headlight, it works on 2 gyros that detect angle of bank, pitch and speed and the headlight dynamically points in the direction of your turns, no more riding into the dark spot when cornering, and it works exceptionally well. The high beam light up those long outback roads almost like no stock lights you have ever seen.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the big K16GT, it is a benchmark motorcycle that BMW have done very very well. Every time I ride it, I feel it just gets better and better. It is fast, scary fast, comfortable, stable, well equipped and a true Wolf in Sheeps clothing. Cliche' I know, but once you ride one or try to chase someone riding one, you will see exactly what I mean, it surprises many many people.
    If you are close to Sydney, you are welcome to meet up with me and take a look for yourself.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. my husband iClintiClint has a VFR1200 and he really likes it - has done a track day on it and also gone away for a few days camping with all his gear on it - from a pillion perspective it is really comfy and great to be on - but again test ride the bikes you like and one of them will 'speak' to you in seductive whispers to take her home ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. If you're riding daily then I assume it's a commuter as well? Is there a lot of traffic plus filtering? How do these big brutes handle that sort of thing (no offense intended, just wondering)?
  9. If commuting on the big sports tourers that have hard bags, commuting in the likes of Sydney will be a pain in heavy traffic.

    The great thing about a K16GT is the bags come off in 1 second and make the bike half its width.
    You can use the excellent BMW too box for huge watertight storage that won't affect your ability to ride in traffic.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. TWEET has summed up much of the K16GT, although there are currently deals to be had before the end of March to clear 2014 compliance plated stock: but certainly not down to $28k. I've just ordered my third K16GT, the 2015 has more stuff added, e.g. keyless access, hill start, but no quick shift yet. The weight of the K16GT is nearer 300kg than implied, and I have Remus CF exhausts (5kg saving) and ride with a 20lt tail bag without panniers, so I'm down another 15-20kg on spec. All helps, but the spec 0-100kph of 3.2 seconds and a top speed up in the 260kph region (I've had 264 with a smidge left) is such that there isn't much to improve upon! $36k including ORC, however.

    I had a loan R1200RT wasser boxer which goes like stink and is very chuckable, but again I'm not sure you'll meet your $28k as it normally sells in the low $30k region.

    Have a good think about new: look at a dealer ex-demo which will knock off quite a few $k's.

    Or the R1200GS which is the most popular BMW by sales, and will just come in at your $28k. Many, many of our club members do enormous long tours, commuting trips and find the GS to have impeccable handling with superior comfort.

    I've been rounded up by a friend on his GS (on my left on a sweeping right hander!) plus the new wasser boxer has given it stunning acceleration. Worth considering?
  11. The VFR1200 is a pretty good balance between sports and tourer, leaning slightly more towards sport (depending on who you talk to). At 270kg 175bhp/130nm it's no slouch and while sitting stationary the bike feels much lighter still. Compact V4 engine with every thing tucked low and central is how Honda achieved the light feeling.

    Combined ABS and traction control are about it for the electronics with an option for DCT (flappy paddle tranny). Simple dash with digital speed, analogue taco, clock, air temp. and basic trip computer.

    Integrated luggage which removes with the turn of a key.

    1/4 mile times are up there with your typical litre super sports along with competitive 0-100 and 0-200 times.

    12,000km service intervals with nothing major required until 36,000km (valve inspection) and the shaft drive means you don't have to do much more than put fuel in it.

    Highway cruising you can expect 300+ km to reserve but twist the throttle with any aggression and I've gotten as little as 180km

    In its stock form shorties tend to complain the bars are a bit of a reach and old men complain the pegs are too high, but like I said it leans more towards sport. With your budget though you will have plenty left over to make any ergonomics mods you like.

    If you can fit all you need for work in a 33litre top box you could leave the hard panniers at home and you'll have no issue filtering through traffic.

    Extremely reliable, easy and fun to ride, comfortable for both the rider and pillion. Very well balanced and inspires nothing but confidence.

    The suspension is basic but more than adequate for anyone not trying to shave fractions of seconds off lap times. I've found the suspension to have enough adjustment for a firm sporty ride, to a soft touring ride or somewhere in between.

    There is a reasonable amount of aftermarket bits and bobs around to personalise the bike to your liking.

    I've riden the VFR for spirited fangs, city commutes and long tours and found it performed well in all scenarios with the only short coming being perhaps leaving you looking for a petrol station if fanging it on a longer tour.



  12. FYI quoted $34k for R1200RT at last motorcycle show. It's my tattslotto bike!
  13. Watching this thread with much interest as plotting the non-lams bike for Nov 26 2015...
    what are you stepping up from pls Ken AKen A ??
    I was budgeting $20k and have slowly been talked into putting Wasabi up for adoption (sob) so with a trade maybe a bit more $.
    Looking at a everything but have a list of potential babies...the bike whisperer and I will go a shopping so he can act as my terminator for crook bikes and deals...
    I was looking at an intermediate size ~800 ish and see how that goes for me.
    A big factor is how much the bike can be lowered and don't want too heavy either...
    it'll be like goldilocks and the three bears I think!
  14. Firstly thanks for the advice and information.

    I live in Tasmania so the issue around Syd type traffic is not a concern for me.

    i like the look of the k16gt, i might have to see if i can throw some of my own money in to make the difference with the fringe benefits.... if not ill keep looking at cheaper options.

    I currently own a Suzuki gs500f. which has been good for fuel consumption but its not that comfortable for long rides every day, by Friday coming home i am starting to feel it. on a slow week i will travel 1500ks in a week. Its probably not a lot of travel for the main land, but its heaps for Tassie.

    again thanks so much for all the info i really do appreciate the thoughts.
  15. Bit left of field but another one to consider. Ducati diavel strada? Heck of a lot cheaper than the Beemer. Probably not AS comfy and definitely not as feature packed or versatile, but is bad ass! Not sure exact retail, I think probably somewhere around 26k? Maybe slightly more. Apparently handles really really well for what it is, not short on power or awesome sound either!
  16. If it were me I'd give everything mentioned above, plus a few, good test rides. Not just the obligatory 20 minute 'round the block', but a real good hour on familiar roads. Try to ride each bike on the same roads.

    As well as the obvious (I'm surprised no one mentioned the FJR).

    Also think about some of the full dress tourers from HD, Victory etc and don't discount some of the 'Adventure Tourers' either.

    You could also save a crap load of money salary sacrifice and look at the FZ1S, GSX1200FA (fully faired Bandit) or Tiger Sport.

    (I have a 1200 Bandit and it's fine for long days in the saddle, even 2 up. Although you do have to add luggage (I just use a ventura bag and maybe a tank bag).
  17. The problem with some of the nakeds is that they don't offer as much protection from the elements as the faired tourers. Have to consider how important that is to you...
  18. Ninja 1000 is what I would buy
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. I have the baby ninj 300...why would you get the ninj 1000 over say a GSX, VFR, FJR...
    Why not even a duc panigale 1199 r??
  20. This is true. As it the height of the screen.

    I test rode the R1200RT a few years ago and no matter where I set the screen I just couldn't get the right feel. I felt like I was sitting in dead air or my helmet was being buffeted to much for comfort.

    Similarly I rode the new Vstrom 1000 a few months ago and the screen was perfect at speed but I found that around town I wasn't getting any air flow.