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Second bike - What to get?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Julles, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. DR650

    0 vote(s)
  2. KLR650

    1 vote(s)
  3. V-strom

    4 vote(s)
  4. Stick with the GS for the moment

    0 vote(s)
  1. Hello everyone,

    I really hope to get some answers on this. I don't have a buddy or anyone for that matter with who I can talk about this.

    I'm living in Australia and got my motorcycle licence which is restricted for 3 years (starting Aug 2015).

    I purchased a GS500 which I am commuting on, 30km each way, every day. It's a great bike, love it, sufficient power for anything anyone would ever need on the streets.

    I'm 184cm tall (6 foot) and I'm struggling on the GS on longer rides.
    After 3 hours on the GS my but has enough.
    It's also somewhat vibey in the pegs and my feet hate it if I'm going on the highway at 110 km/h for more than 1 hour (sitting at 6k rpm).

    What I realised
    I never went off road or similar but I do like adventures in my life and I think I will want to go at least on dirt road, near the main highways if not more. I want to camp as well.

    My first trip will be (hopefully) to Uluru and back. This is the route. It involves manly pavement although I would like to go off bitumen but I don't know where or with whom.

    Opinions needed

    DR (second choice)
    - I'm 184 cm (6 foot), would this bike be to small for me ?
    - I'm in Australia, i'm afraid of the gearbox blowing up on me somewhere in the middle of nowhere
    - Have the option of going off-road when time comes (if it does)
    - Needs lots of mods to be comfortable on long touring on bitumen
    - I don't really suffer if you come off at low speeds.

    KLR (third choise)
    - Tall, I sit comfortably on the bike, I can barely flatfoot
    - Heavy, slightly less than the DR for off-road purposes
    - Lots of problems, easily fixable tough
    - Some breakable plastics on it not sure how expensive it is if you break/scratch the plastics.

    V-Strom (restricted power, model DL650AUE) (first choice)
    - Smooth on the pavement and on the long run
    - Most expensive (very few second hand, almost non existent on the market). Can't afford at the moment.
    - Not sure how expensive it is if you break/scratch the plastics.

    Budget: AUD $6000

    I could wait till next winter and ride my GS and do the trips as it is and wait for a DL to come along ...

  2. These are all sweet choices. Ive never actually riden any of these bikes. Had a friend with a klr650 which went alright. However from what i can assume, you like doing a lot of adventure riding + communting. Have you ever considered looking at a naked or bike with fairings? You might be able to pick up a nice 650 for relatively cheap then spending the money left on kitting it out to suit the needs of an adventure bike. I know personally with a street triple 660 it might not be the best adventurer but im sure by adding a couple of paniers and a nice windscreen it would do great.
    I guess im just saying explore more than the typical adventurer bike.

    Im sure this isnt very useful as it doesnt exactly answer your question you put forward. But i mean if i was to get a second bike id look at something thats completely unconventional and make it work in a cool and stylish way i guess.

    Hope this helps even if its a tiny bit
  3. Thank you for your quick reply. However, I plan to sell my current GS500 on which I hope to get around $5k.

    My wife asked if I could wait till march - april next year and get a V-Strom (L legal). Donno if I agree as that most likely means to get a new one, which as appealing as it is, I'd rather spend less on a second hand and get extras from the difference.

    The thing is, I do mind the wind at 100Km/h. With the DR, I could throw in a windscreen which I heard are doing the job pretty good.
  4. Yeah if u plan on selling your gs then it might be more worth getting something to last you longer and do everyrhing you want.
    The best place to get a good idea of these bikes is google, youtube, reviews.
    Ive heard good things about the dr and as i said i had a go but not for long or for its intended purpose.
    Im no more help really but yeah youtube is probably your best bet or jist motorbike mags and reviews online
  5. I think your wife is a very smart woman!
  6. Hi Jules,

    Welcome to NR.

    My situation mirrors yours. I'm 196cm, 80kg and have owned my GS500f since Feb. Great bike, done sport touring alone and 2-up and a bit off road.
    It's not the right tool for this due to unavailability of suitable rubber, short, stiff suspension and poor ground clearance. I'll probably get a V-Strom XT next year. I like the look of the wire wheels and the fact they're still tubeless. Best of both worlds and BMW seems to agree. I've ridden a 2012 model and it's a great all-rounder.
    With a skid plate, crash bars and decent tyres, it can go further than some people realise. Weight comes into play on soft surfaces, but that's a trade-off for great stability on the highways.

    I've ridden a KLR and the ergos are great, but it's just too rough for me. The DR is even worse. Very cramped rider triangle. I have my doubts about reliability on the baby Beemers, so not even looking at them.

    That leaves the Triumphs and Suzukis. I hope to ride a Tiger XC soon, but unless it blows me away, a V-Strom will win the day.

    All the best in your search, mate.
  7. I've been lucky enough to ride them all on and off-road and my pick for the route you are suggesting would be the V-strom. Great engine, easy to ride and comfy. Make sure its serviced before you head off and you shouldn't have any issue with it other than maybe some new rubber.

    If you want to keep the GS, you could try some rubber pads on the footpegs to help eliminate some vibration and look at getting a more comfy seat or even a airhawk.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. The Tiger XC is a awesome pice of kit with some decent riding modes, I have no doubt you'll be blown away.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. The DR & KLR I rode around the block. Not enough to give me a good idea of how's going to be on a real tour.

    With the V-Strom I went on a 20 min ride, including the freeway. I loved the fact that engine feels smooth and it's a comfy bike. The windscreen issue can be dealt with with some aftermarket mods. Oh and I love the spoked version !

    Now, I get back to the problem of the budget. A new V-Strom (LAMS) with all the added extras (skid plate, guards, rack, etc) will get the bike to at least $10.000. For that amount I could have a new KLR fully loaded, and finance at least 2 trips from Melbourne to Uluru and back.

    I decided to drop the DR from the equation. Might just be to cramped for me.

    Decisions, decisions, decision :)
  10. you also might want to add the Kawasaki versys into the equation

    whatever way you go, it looks like you're on the right track by doing your research and most importantly test ride as many as you can and don't be rushed.
  11. If the Dl650 is out of your price range, what about the honda CB500X? It's a little smaller, but worth a ride if you can't find a second hand LAMS DL650.