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'soft roader' bikes???

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by dangerous_daveo, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Hi all, putting this up for discussion just for interest sakes.

    But is anyone else seeing all these 'cross over' or 'soft roader' bikes, similar to the likes of Rav4s, VW Tigwuns etc. All with their varying degree of relevance. That V4 Xcross thingo that honda has just brought out is a good example. 2x different tiger 800s as well?

    So what do people think of these style bikes? I haven't ridden any of them, so my opinion isn't worth bugger all. I'm just interested to see what others think, and what the point of them is.

    The Xcross thing really got me, as its ugly as sin, and really can't go off road more than any other bike can. But the riding position is allegedly good. So why not make it look good, but with the same riding posy? Unless you are trying to sell something that it isn't. Ie, soft roader.

    Obviously they aren't like your Rav4 style vehicle, which don't go off road, and just block vision for people in cars, and bikes. They are still a bike, so they can't instill the same hatred a typical soft roader 'driver' should receive.
  2. i'm glad its just not me that is seeing this. i think they are a wank. what purpose do they serve? you cant go fast on the bitumen, you cant go fast off the bitumen, they cost lots of money and aren't nice to look at. they are too heavy and some lack good fuel range.

    i personally think honda has lost their way. the crossrunner is a fail, that Xcross is a joke, the vfr didnt sell and the build quality and finish of their bikes is going downhill. both of their enduro crf-x models are badly dated and under-performing and havent had a proper update on their cbr models for a while. if honda don't bring out some 'good' new bikes soon then things will be getting very ugly.

    i suppose sports bikes have fallen out of flavour for the average road rider, hard to use them properly on the roads, too hard edged. and the 'adventure' scene has become more mainstream so people want a bike to just cruise around on that aren't really any good at anything. many 'adventure' riders are a bit older, so they either don't want to push on the dirt or bitumen or they just lack the skills to do so.

    these new bikes are just a grab for easy money without really developing a good bike.

    if you had any sense when looking at these new soft roader bikes and wanted something like it that actually was good you'd get a ktm 990 adventure or sm/t.
  3. Not everyone wants to go fast.

    Oh and you won't like the new Versys 1000
  4. you're right, i dont like that at all. why the **** do they make such junk.

    i spose they have to cater for people that don't know how to ride a bike.

    what are these bikes actually good at?
  5. Given the choice I'd take a BMW R1200GS over a KTM990 any day, sure the orange beast is better off road but the Beemer is better on road.

    It's a true 50/50 bike where as the KTM has at least a 60/40 dirt bias.

    As for the soft roaders Honda (and not only Honda) have been heading that way for a while and it's nothing to do with Australia, it's mostly a result of what the Euro riders (buyers!) are buying and that market is very different from here and so is the usage most ADV bikes see.

    Realistically for Australian rules and regulations a DR650 makes more sense as than just about any other dual purpose bike but for many they simply aren't trendy enough :)
  6. They are ok at everything. They are good at comfort.
  7. my old man bought a dl650 vstrom after riding gsx750 and other sports bikes for years, he said it was the easiest most comfortable riding position. he rides to work everyday and hes in his 60's so when he retires soon he'll take it out in the country and off road a bit more
  8. the x-cross came about because that is what people wanted,
    the elderly loved the motor of the vfr, but wanted it in a user-friendly up-right bike that they could do touring on. its not meant to be an adventure bike (offroad) just a nice bike to ride for long distance, that is an easy position for retirees to ride comfortably. never meant for anyone without a pension card. these bikes arent soft-roaders. its just the ergonomics are similar to what adventure riders require/want.

    its like saying a sport-tourer is a softroader of a sport bike, sure they look simmilar. but they are set-up for different purposes

    and from what ive heard the elderly love it.
  9. The Honda's are massive jokes, other "soft roaders" I see as road bikes with decent ergos and perhaps some chance of surviving a minor drop.

    I want to take a modern retro and make a scrambler out of it though, so what do I know? W800 with longer legs, a skid plate and knobbies anybody? :D
  10. I know a bloke who could give most sportsbike riders a hiding through the hills on these bikes you are referring to, and yes, he is what you might refer to as old.
  11. look some of the bikes are better than others, but the hondas are just laughable.

    but i guess i'm not elderly like the people who want these things, and the old blokes usually have plenty of cash to throw around.

    the day that i cant ride a sporty bike anymore is the day that i stop riding.
  12. I'm riding a Z750, which you could consider to fall into the category of sports tourers (leaning a bit more towards sports I guess). I like the more upright position the bike gives you, but I can enjoy a nice twisty bit of road on it.

    I had back problems before and therefore don't like the crouching position on a super sports bike.

    Not so sure about the crosses between road and dirt though. At the end, they're being bought by people who don't usually take them off road anyway. So what's the point?
  13. so, whats your point? i know one too ;)

    these bikes are made to look like they can go offroad, which they can't do.

    i suppose i'm definitely not the target market for one of these 'bikes' as if i wanted to be comfortable on the roads then i would take a car.
  14. I happen to think they look great -especially the Versys. I view them as comfortable, fun bikes.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. #15 BiG DaN91, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    depends what sort of off-roading your planning on doing i guess

    theres some stuff that you wouldnt want to be on a sportsbike with but you dont really need a full dirtbike

    this video is pretty cool
    • Like Like x 1
  16. #16 JimmyD, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    vtrom isn't a super bad bike but they need work to be able to perform properly off road. the suspension eats dick as a stock bike but with some proper tuning you can get them to work quite well for what they are. i spent a few weeks working and testing the suspension on one recently, theres a few tricks to them but the difference from stock to the modded bike is pretty big.

    they are more 'dirt' bike than the honda offerings though.
  17. i once took my rav 4 off road.

    I lost some strange plastic stuff from underneath. Didn't protect the car very well, if that was it's job.

    Lesson learnt - commit to the kind of vehicle you want.
  18. long way round is pretty much why these bikes exist. the number of 1200GS Adventures i see with scottish flag stickers is immense.
  19. If you want a bike for the dirt buy a KTM
    Cause if it ain't orange it's a lemon!
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Nice upright riding position, cavernous ground clearance and, usually, a torquey motor make 'em more of a hoot than a semi-load of owls. Oh yes, and long travel suspension.

    Sure, they're not serious dirt bikes, but nature strips, central reservations, small roundabouts etc. all become part of the road. Not that I'd know this first-hand of course :twisted:.