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Two up all rounder sports/tourer - opinions please :)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Denelor, May 22, 2006.

  1. Hey Everyone (and happy birthday to Eswen),

    After much work and deliberating im still not really that close to narrowing it down to which sports tourer i will upgrade to at the end of the year, The bike has to pretty much be an all rounder able to:

    -occasional track day blast
    -possibly commute
    -and most importantly handle well 2up

    More than anything, weight restrictions are the things that concern me, (not that im a fat bastard but with me and the mrs weighing in at 160kg that doesnt leave much extra weight for luggage when touring) based on this ive ranked the 3 bikes ive narrowed it down to accordingly

    Triumph Sprint ST ('04) 217kg carrying capacity

    Honda VFR800fi (02 onwards) 195kg capacity

    Honda CBR1100XX (05/06) 185kg capacity

    Now, at the moment im really leaning towards a CBR1100 cuz you can score a great deal on them and after sitting on one, they seemed pretty roomy and everyone on here seems to rave on about their power, but are they too heavy around town?


    the VFR's pillion pegs are significantly lower, so presumably thats gonna mean more comfort for the other half, and it has extra carrying capacity as well as an optional topbox, i cant imagine the VFR's lacking in power (although im sure some of you can :wink:) no real cons about this bike except for the price :(

    and that leaves

    The sprint ST. I took out my old man's '99 ST for a quick blast today, and i couldnt help but notice the assloads of torque it possesses. Comfortable bike, and it looks like you can score a good deal on an '04 model second hand now that the new model has landed. No real cons here i guess i am just a honda man ;)

    Thats pretty much it, if anyone reckons the hornet 900 could do that job, please also include this or other bikes in your feedback



    ps. one more thing i forgot, fuel economy is something id definately also consider, with the way petrol prices are these days.. cheers
  2. The Yamaha FJR leaves the Sprint ST for dead in terms of pillion comfort, and suspension on regular roads that can get a bit rough here and there...kills the VFR in tems of power, and comes with panniers and better suspension for touring than the Blackbird...
    The FJR also has better weather protection than any of these bikes.

    It is a reasonably weighty machine, but it's big and solid...and that's what you need for two-up stability, and has sh*tloads of torgue as well as heaps of outright power.

    Non of these bikes would be ideal for the commute into the CBD, but for any other commute the FJR handles it well enough, not to be outdone by any of the others.

    If it were my choice I would consider them in this order...

    Of course...I'm prejudiced :eek: :grin:
  3. Hmm,

    Thanks for the feedback John, i guess i discounted the FJR as i figured it too tourerish for track days.. Plus there's a substantial price gap,

    However, interestingly enough its not that heavier than any of the other bikes im considering and if panniers come with it, thats at least a saving of 1 grand.. Food for thought..

  4. Have you thought of a Hayabusa, it's well comfortable according to my mate Scott. He's had one for almost four years now. He tours on it all the time.
    There is also specific soft luggage available for it.
    Saddlebags and a luggage roll that somehow straps onto the rear of the bike.

    Petrol comsumption is ok provided you don't blast along on it all the time like a guided missle.
  5. Well, to add another completely unbiased opinion to the mix, go for the Sprint! An RS is nicer but if you need a bit more comfort the ST is great.
    I commute over an hour into the CBD, ride two up on the weekends and have had one day at Phillip Island (more when I can afford it).
    All the bikes you've listed are great and you'll be happy with any of them. I'd go for the B'bird if long distance touring is a big part of your plans. I like the Triumph because its a bit different and just love that triple howl!
    Ride them all, back to back if possible and buy the one that wants to come home with you.
    Cheers. :)
  6. I almost agree with all Jim has posted except,
    I dont agree its 'that heavy its got a very low center of gravity so it feels alot lighter than what it is, which allows for "playtime" :twisted:
    And as i posted on another thread, I commute daily into the CBD from Berwick and maybe its just me being alot more comfortable in my lanespliting/filtering than most ? :? but i find im either as fast through the traffic or in some cases faster than the full on sports bikes :)

  7. The Sprint ST sounds the nicest with the VFR 2nd nicest.

    The CBR1100XX suits taller riders better and has the most power.

    The FJR is the most comfortable and has the most carrying capacity but has the least cornering clearence and the shaft drive limits rear suspension response near the limit.
  8. G'day Denelor. I can only comment on the Sprint St (I have a 2004). Great for commuting (I do around 45 mins each way), sometimes with a pillion. Great also for touring, mine has the hard panniers which hold plenty for both of us for a weekend away. As far as fuel consumption goes, I get an easy 20km/litre on the open road, two up, with luggage.

    And the '02 - '04 Sprints have around 10hp more than the '99.

  9. +10 for the sprint... but I'm biased as I have the tt and I want a 955.
  10. The main worry wth the Triumphs (and I've heard the new Sprint 1050 is really nice) is that parts etc are expensive. I've heard a couple of Triumph owners say that the price of a small bingle on a Turmpet is way OTT.

    Hornet 900 doesn't seem to fit your brief, some people like myself quite enjoy touring on naked bikes, but many find it cold, wet and violently windy. It's somfy for a pillion, but an (ahem) advanced weight on the bike tends to make it pitch around a bit when the pace comes up. That said, I've toured it 2-up (180kg) and with lots of luggage, didn't bother me but it's not built to handle those sorts of numbers.

    Which leaves the VFR and the Blackbird... Blackbirds can be picked up real cheap for some reason, whereas the VFR seems to hold its value better. Or at least, that was the case a year ago when I was looking at 'em.

    Both would do the job but I'd personally angle for the VFR; the V-four sounds wonderful when it opens up and they're a touch more nimble than the Bird, which struck me as a deeply unexciting bike despite its immense power and felt like a stretchy torture rack.
  11. No swet...don't underestimate the FJR...it can go like a scolded cat! :grin:
    Of course it won't keep up with a straight sportsbike through corners as it will scrape the pegs but I had mine at PI, and was VERY happy with it's abilities, as on the bigger sweepers where you can give it it's legs it will stay in touch with most other bikes. If your slant is toward sports riding only, then maybe another bike would be a better outright choice...but if your slant is toward brisk touring, then the FJR is the one, IMHO.
    And when you arrive, you won't be too sore. (coff)

    As far as commuting goes...and I commute everyday...I have no worries at all lane splitting (I leave the panniers at home). And I don't find myself being outdone by other bikes very often.

    It has great drive out of corners due to it's very healthy torque, and as VTRBOB said...while it's a big bike, you don't notice it too much once you are on the move.

    Not saying you should buy one...but you should definitely not discount it, mate :)
  12. I used to own a Triumph Sprint ST955. It fell over when parked (soft ground) and the left side fairing hit a rock which punctured a 3 sided hole into one fairing panel. That one fairing panel was $1495 (plus fitting and painting). I repaired the entire Bandit 1200 for $1250 after a low speed slide...

    You can draw your own conclusions from that story :wink:
  13. Can only speak for the VFR of which I commute to the Sydney CBD every day (well I did until the license was revoked :shock: ).

    No probs manouvering in any situation and being a super tourer, does not wear you out physically due to the comfort and smooth throttle control (once you master the warp drive past 7k rpm).

    The better looking IMO of all the choices although the Sprint I also like as I believe its performance is a little better with the larger CC's based on any write ups I read. Still, I chose the viffer coz I loved the test ride to which I had to conceal the grin from cheak to cheak when negotiating - I've had the VFR since July '05 and only now have I gained the confidence to use full throttle (yes i am a pussy - but on the other hand have never come off a bike) and I can say for sure that it does perform very well against even some of the sports bikes in its CC range.

    I have a Monaro and the Viffer makes it feel like driving a mule. So I gave the car to my wife and kept the bike.

    You're a better man than I if you can get on one and fang full throttle through corners in the first month after gearing up from 250cc.

    Fuel economy is consistently a little over 15l/100kms which may be more than others (not sure but confirm) due to the v4.

    Regards, Nick
  14. Forgot to mention

    Pillion pegs were definitely a pro when my decision was made ("Happy wife means happy life!"). Make sure you also get a nice set of staintune cans to replace those std pipes!! gawd there ugly!

    there was a post some time back saying '05 viffers were being sold as runouts for around $15.5k + on road...
  15. The newer model sprint's apparently have spongy rear brakes and soft paint which shows up more blemishes than it should. The lights are supposed to be a bit crap too. As for the VFR800 or the CBR1100XX, I would opt for the Blackbird as the VFR has that feature (issue) where 2 cylinders become 4 at around 6000rpm which is supposed to generate a bit of a kick. The blackbird doesn't have any of these issues, and has comfort and reliability for a large sports tourer with copious amounts of torque.
  16. I dunno if you've thought about it, but the Suzuki Bandit 1200 isn't a terrible Machine, my bro has one, and I thought it was pretty handy. Although I did get a little cramped on the back after 400km's but then again, I might be a bit taller than your missus. He's got a nice Staintune Can on his, and personally I think it sounds pretty phat :grin:. And it's a bucket load cheaper and goes like a shot cat...
  17. I was in Adelaide last weekend and got to ride my brother-in-laws recently acquired Sprint ST from Upper Sturt out to Strathalbyn. :LOL: Actually it was an unusually lengthy 2 hour trip to Strath since I took some lengthy detours as I was having too much fun :wink:

    ( I got to ride back on his extraordinarily warmed over Hayabusa beating GPz1000RX - but that's another story. I didn't think anything could be warmed up that much) :shock:

    The Sprint though was very, very nice indeed. His wife was the final decider when she bought it as she liked the pillion and found it comfortable. He commutes on it 3 days a week down into the city and finds it OK. I certainly felt that it was something on which I could put in some very long rides.

    I think the Sprint would do everything you're asking - and with that indefinable thing that Hondas often don't seem to have - character. (That should start the flames up :p )

    I'm now seriously putting it on my potential new bike list along with the new F800 BMW.

    Out of left field though - try a late model GS BMW. You'll find that on a track day you'll scare the hell off most of the "sports" bikes when you manage to get under them on the corners and they make a better two up touring bike than most - including many others of the BMW range.

    Their ability to be ridden slowly and their manouvreability make them a good commuting bike. The only drawbacks are that they are a little wide (not the motor but the mirrors) and they've held their price very well which makes them expensive.

  18. I think any of your first three would be the pick - personally I wouldn't want to drag the FJR around the track... and the styling is a bit love-it or hate-it.

    Some food for thought: I use the ZX-9R for some longer rides, 2-up, and it handles brilliantly. It certainly won't have the lounge-chair comfort of a big tourer, but it's a lot more fun to ride. A friend I recently put on the back thought it was more comfortable than the Blackbird - worth considering! I'd pick the earlier models (before 2002) so you can get the grab rails, but it's certainly a great all-round bike with a sportier slant. I probably do more 2-up on that bike than most - currently it's the only means of transport for my girlfriend and I!
  19. He kids not. From what I am seeing advertised, my R1150R is now worth around $500 more than it was when brand new in 2004! As to handling, don't underestimate what a BMW can do, 99.9% of people who know all about BMW's have never actually ridden one. The anti-dive front end maintains constant steering geometry right through a bend, and while it will not change direction as rapidly as a sportsbike, it's cornering stability can easily embarrass one once the front end is loaded up.
  20. Wow,

    Thanks again for all the feedback guys. As a 6'6 rider and after sitting on all 4 bikes, they all felt pretty roomy but the consensus here seems to be the Sprint ST.. Should be able to pick up a good one though, but I'll admit the repair cost is a worry.

    But, as i said the real concern (apart from price) is the carrying capacity. I just cant see how i could possibly tour 2 up on a blackbird when it can only handle 185kg :( which is a shame at the price theyre being run out at the moment.

    Theres no way id discount the fjr, after sitting on one today it felt just great, and with included panniers youre going to be saving a lot getting one new/2nd hand.. maybe i can just get my old man to upgrade to a fjr and pinch his Sprint ST, :wink:

    All i think is left is to test ride the VFR and see how that compares to the Sprint

    Cheers again guys