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Sports touring for giants?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Spots, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. I never wanted to be one to post in here asking people to help find a bike, but here I am. Asking people to help me find a good bike. :)

    I'll try to be as unobtrusive as possible. ;)

    I'm trying to expand my short-list of bikes to consider for a tall rider.

    Looking for:
    * A sports-tourer or 'adventure tourer' with a bias toward road use.
    * Legroooooom. I'm 6'4 with a 34" inseam.
    * Semi-faired, preferably. But fully-faired and naked are both okay.
    * Slightly-sporty riding position. Don't want bolt-upright, touring-bike style. Definitely don't want a racing-crouch.
    * Pillion comfort not really a concern, but would still be nice to have something that can theoretically be sat upon
    * Must have aftermarket or factory luggage options for solo touring
    * Must be more fuel efficient than my supercharged sportscar when at freeway speeds (VTR1000F, I'm looking at you. Seriously, wtf?!)
    * Not a V-strom. :grin: (No offense to Strom owners)

    I learned on a VTR250, did a lot of touring and long-distance commuting with it, etc. I definitely need a bit more legroom than that for l o n g trips; cramped up legs suck. :)

    Didn't like the total lack of wind protection when touring (I ended up adding a small screen and a tank bag, and that was enough to make me content).

    Did like its bias towards city agility and tight twisties, and its 'flexibility' in different roles. And mid-range torque.

    With the above in mind, I've got a "short list" of bikes I'm considering:
    * 2007-2008 Triumph Tiger 1050: It would appear this is the 'perfect bike', cost aside.
    * 2001-2006 Triumph Tiger 955i: Not as great as the 1050 onroad, but $5000-7000 cheaper.

    * 2001-onwards BMW Dakar650GS: Bit low on power (but it certainly has "enough"), does tick all the boxes.

    * 1995-onwards Honda VFR: Riding position is good, and a V-four sounds twice as cool as a V-twin. :grin:
    * 2000-onwards Honda Blackbird: About the same legroom as my VTR250 had (ie: a bit cramped), thirsty-ish on fuel and tyres, probably not that great to use in the city, and where would I use its speed and power? srsly? I still drool over them though. It's the 'silly gigglefit passionate purchase' option.
    * 2000-onwards VTR1000F: Riding position seems good. Not keen on its fuel efficiency or tank range.

    Edit: Recommended so far:
    Suzuki Bandit 1250S: $12,000+ORC brand new for a 100hp semi-faired all-rounder?! Madness.
    Hornet 900: Seem to remember not having as much legroom as I'd like when sitting on one and making "vroom" noises. But naked's cool! And cheap. Will doublecheck.
    Honda Transalp: Seem to remember this one having less legroom than most RRs despite its size. o_O; (Edit - That's because the most recent one, the 650, is tiny. The older 600 and 700 are bigger)
    Kawasaki Versys: KLR-esque! Shall have a look!
    TDM900: It's true.. another big adventure bike. Not given much thought to these. Shall look!
    Triumph Sprint ST: Not sure why I didn't mention this one in the above list; I know I fit on them okay, certainly better than a B'bird. The ST got lost in the Tiger-lust I guess!
    Triumph 955i RS: I've seen these maybe once or twice IRL around Geelong. Looking into it, the RS definitely sounds worth a try.

    Can you think of any others worth considering for really tall bastards like myself? :) Discuss!
  2. While it may be a little more Toury that what you are after, I am a big fan of the ST1300. Got mine a few weeks ago and I am stoked with it.

    I am 6ft 3 and really comfy on the bike. Seat has 3 positions, so I set it to the tallest. Mine is the 2002 model and came with panniers and a top box so heaps of storage. My wife says it is very comfy for the pillion also.

    I wouldn't consider taking it off road though.

    Another bike I was considering at the time was the Bandit 1250s. Never rode it as none of the dealers had any aound. It is semi faired and also hits most of the requirements listed.

    Shoot me a PM if you want to chat about the ST in more detail

  3. Now i may be wrong on this, but wouldn't a bandit 1200 or 1250 fit the bill?
  4. Yeah, I was gonna kick the Bandit 1200/1250 S into the mix, but WGM beat me to it. They seem very capable for the kinds of things you're looking for.
  5. hehe, and Falcon-lord too, while I was posting.

    Take it as an omen to at least look at them, I reckon!
  6. Big problem I had at the time was the of the 3 Suzuki dealers I tried no-one had any in stock and it was going to take awhile for them to come in (6 weeks if I remember correctly).

    2WheelsAgain has one and he reckons it is fab.

  7. Thanks for the replies so far, guys. :)

    I've heard good things of the ST1300, though the riding position seemed a bit upright when I sat on a friend's one in the garage and made Jetsons-sounding V4 noises. :)

    Bandit does sound like a consideration. *chuckles* I'll look into them.

    What about on the other side of the 1.0L mark, VFR-style? I suppose there's the BMW F800S...
  8. The VFR itself is very nice indeed, and in some ways probably the most excellent sports-tourer balance... but pretty expensive. And potentially at least a bit high-tech with the potential for costly repairs, although having said that it does have Honda reliability. Not familiar enough with the Beemer to comment.
  9. The VTR *is* thirsty, but got a bigger tank in (IIRC) 2001, so toward the later end of your date range might be a better touring option.
  10. Absolutely! The hard part will be finding one to test.
    I rode to the Motor Show and back on Sat and frigged around on Sunday clocking up 750km for the weekend and returned 5.2l/100k
    The Bandit 1250 is easy to modify at the bars if required and has plenty of leg room (which is unofficially adjustable) and seat height can be raised in 10 minutes.
    Pillion comfort is exceptional as well.
  11. Budget - how much of your money can we spend :cool:

    Having test rode 25+ bikes with screens only a Goldwing has worked for me @ 6' 1" :cry:

    Shame, great bike that take you plenty of places easier than most of your other choices - but if looks are important :p

    The new Tiger gets some great reviews - not my style, but definitely much more road based than the old model - old model tallish bike but still heaps of power more Adventure.

    I take it a GS1200 is too much Adventure? The 1150 models are less than half the price, but a bit heavier.

    The 650 Dakar is not a great touring bike - but a fun dual sport.

    What about an SP1 or 2 - or too sporty for you??
  12. Do the SPs even have a pillion seat?
  13. more along the adventure tourer route, the two dl suzukis. Though you may need to put flatter bars on if you think the seating is too upright.

    Also the TDM

    and another vote for the bandit as they are a lot of bike for the money
  14. As others have said, I would have thrown Bandit 1250 in there.

    You are dreaming if you think the Blackbird is thirsty, I regularly as clockwork get 17.5km /L. That is pretty good economy from a big bore bike of this size.

    Yamaha FJR1300 might also be something you consider. The VFR800 is also a great bike.
  15. I'll snip up the quote a bit...

    *chuckles* The million-dollar que... well, not quite! In the second-hand bikes I listed above I've been thinking up to $13k. Lower's better, of course.

    Tiger 1050's an anomaly at closer to $17k. I'm sure I could make the numbers work for that bike though. ;)

    Yeah, I know, I know... *chuckles* It's like Suzuki wanted to do a study on form vs function and built a bike just to find out.

    GS1200 is just too much moneh :) (and AdvRider.com regulars seem to be having trouble with CANBUS). 1150GS has crossed my mind - a few do occasionally creep down into my imagined price bracket, but I'm not sure. :)

    Honda's SP variants of the Firestorm.. yeah. Teensy bit too sporty. :) Or is that BMW's SP bikes?

    Just saw the price for a brand-new Bandit. $12,000+ORC for that? Sweet jesus, Suzuki are insane. :shock: That's a whole lot of brand-new bike for the price.
  16. Yeah it's funny isn't it? A few years ago suzuki's were way to dear. Now you've got the Bandit about $12k, the gsx1400 similar, the SV650 at just over $10K, the DL for $10k with extras and the list goes on.
  17. AFAIK, BMW make a few HP's - but too much $$'s

    And a few months ago it included full luggage as well :cool:
  18. Oops, yeah, HP not SP. :)

    Mmh. Any other bikes in the sub-1L range? Sv650 seemed way too cramped for my legs, but there must be others?
  19. I love the look and feel of the CB1300 from Honda, I am 6'2" and it was spot on for me. I like naked bikes but the fairing on it and the little fairing pocket are the dogs balls.

    IF I was buying a road bike and not a dirt bike this would the one.
  20. Speaking as a Bandit owner I have to say that the CB1300 is somewhat better suited to riders with long arms than the Bandit is (leg length isn't the issue).

    I've heard several tall riders with long arms complain that the bars are too close on the Bandits (they suit me but I'm not tall).

    I'd prefer to say test ride, but failing that at least find someone with a Bandit who'll let you sit on it to see if you actually fit (or are cramped).

    I'd offer but you are no where near me.