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Touring mid range bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by johnm, May 17, 2006.

  1. I am in my late 40’s, live in Australia (Sydney), and I am looking for recommendations on late model (late 90’s - 2000+) mid-range touring bikes.

    - What are the Pros & Cons,
    - What are the common faults on the bike I should look for, and
    - Any recommended aftermarket modifications?

    John – jmusster@swiftdsl.com.au
  2. There is plenty of variety out there. My only recommendation is get an 'Adventure' bike so you can make the most of our many and varied unsealed roads.
    The good ones still kick arse on sealed roads too.
  3. Hi johnm, a few questions first;

    Define 'touring'. Do you mean real long distance work, or a longish weekend ride?

    What is your budget?

    Will you be touring alone or with a pillion?

    Will you be doing much dirt road riding?

    Do you plan to do your own maintenance?
  4. Check out the Suzuki DL650, it's very well suited to long days of touring (probably one of the most comfy bikes I've ever ridden), can do the "adventure" dirt road stuff, reliable as all hell and does reasonable wheelies (I had a crack on a rented one up in QLD):


    Ugly as a box of arseholes though.
  5. If you are looking at an all rounder for the black stuff the VFR's upto 2001 are great bikes.

    Good range, the 800's were great with the FI and they don't cost a packet to buy (98 VFR800 about $8-9k or less).

    No much goes wrong with them either, maybe the voltage regulator.

    They are awsome with a Givi setup for distance and cut the wind really well.
  6. Go ride a few, and find one that fits you. You will know the one when you do a few k’s.

    I don’t think there is a bad brand of bike out there just ones that are more suited to you than others.

    The one thing you haven’t told us is how much you want to spend?
  7. Triumph Tiger. Get the 955i version, tho'.
    Will do anything, one or two up, from gentle dirt to twisties.
    Cheaper than the competition, too. The only proviso is that you need to be tall enough to reach the ground comfortably.
  8. They also possess the stupid linked brake system. Without a doubt the dumbest contraption to ever be stuck on a bike.
  9. Triumph Sprint ST. Has won much kudos as a near perfect all-rounder and is not expensive new, making used ones a good deal.
  10. :?:

    I don't know about that, I actually found it quite good, it's obviously not going to be like seperate brakes, but the bike braked flat, nice and smooth two up or with a load. Overall I found it very predictable.

    I'd not worry about having another one at all. Heard some bad reports about this system on the Blackbird, but none on the VFR.
  11. It's great for inexperienced riders but is limiting somewhat. When you pull the 'front' brake lever it applies 70% to front and 30% pressure to rear brake. Then when you push the rear brake it gives the extra 30% to the front and 70% to the rear. Great for noobs but absofcukinglutely ridiculous for a good rider. Limits you so much.
  12. My bro in law just bought one. Haven't had a chance to ride it yet but I will on Saturday. He loves it - he came to it after testing a K1200RS (which he preferred but his pillion didn't :LOL: ).

    And they look nice too...
  13. Hmm don't think that's right, it only gives an additional 10% to the front or rear. I wouldn't say it's a bike for in experienced riders, just because of it's brakes.

    Have you ever ridden or owned one?
  14. Mate, unless you're rossi, you ain't going to be braking as good as the ABS does it.
  15. We're talking linked brakes here - not ABS. :wink:

    The problem with linked brakes is that trailing your back brake while doing a very slow u-turn becomes a problem.

    I've ridden several combinations of linked brakes and found that the best linked system is where the front brake does both front and rear and the rear only does the rear.

    And yes - unless you're very good indeed, ABS on a wet or slippery road is a lifesaver.

  16. Inexperienced Riders? Isn't it one of Honda's best selling bikes world wide?, there must be a hell of a lot of inexperienced riders around. I suppose the others must buy the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird which is apparently also for inexperienced riders, it having linked brakes and all...........
  17. I try to do a little bit of touring myself and would love to get more serious about it (when time and work allows) and had a brief however not extensive look for bikes that may or may not be suitable for a female to ride whilst long-distance cross country touring.

    At them moment i'm interested in the Ducati Multistrada. They come in two sizes 620cc and 1000cc. They are more than capable of tarmac and other surfaces (gravel/dirt/mud) and also you can easily fit them with hard panniers and rear gear box that are available through ducati. They are a decent weight, and ride position that isnt back breaking. And they are more affordable over the many other sports tourers that are available. Trust me if you are serious about touring you dont want a 250+kg bike regardless of what BMW says. (Good luck picking up a 250+kg bike without any assistance and not breaking your back). On the other hand, I still havnt looked into the ongoing maintenance and breakdown side of things so i'm still looking and narrowing my search down.

    Oh and look into panniers or luggage options, how comfortable your seat is, a bike with adjustable suspension is great, dont worry about abs on bikes as soon as you hit rougher surface it tends to play up, look into fuel range, wind resistance, repair details etc. You can also modify the bikes to suit your wants like raised handlebars, adjustable rearsets, cruise control etc So many different things to think about but you will know which bike when you come across it that fits your needs.

    Good luck with deciding which mistress will assist you on your journeys - no doubt she'll be mighty special :wink:
  18. Well I have no idea really only being new to bikes but I am about 80% certain my next bike will be the BMW F800ST. This iwll be used 90% for commutting and 10% touring/scratching.

    All write ups look pretty good, will let you know once I have had a chance to ride one.
  19. Hi Ki Ki, just a quick note of thanks for the information + the "tips" on ABS, Off-road, Panniers, etc...

    I will see what words of wisdom and recomendations will come through. Would like to touch base with you later when I have a better understanding of possible bike that will best suite me.
    John. :)
  20. Hi Incitatus, you have raised some good Q's.
    Budget: $7-$9k;
    Touring: mainly Weekend, including long-weekends;
    Riding: Alone mainly... but if opportunity presents, then pillion. Plain to join a Club to build experience get to know the bike and myself.
    Road: could be both, sealed and unsealed.

    I am looking for a safe and reliable bike. What is your opinion on the Honda NT650 and bikes of those genera?

    Looking forward to your feedback

    Cheers, John