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Which sports tourer?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Pjcliffo, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Which Sports tourer, I am currently loving my street triple but am hoping to do more touring and less city riding. I still want sports but better touring. Am thinking about the 2014/5 ninja 1000 that have performance plus great panniers and 3 position screen as well as abs and traction. What else is suitable but not big and heavy. Cheers

  2. Don't bother, the ninja 1000 is the best of them.
  3. Being the VFR loving madman that I am, I hate to say it, but you're right.
  4. I would have the Tiger 1050 Sport on the list.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. I haven't been keeping up with the latest bikes, but the 1250 Bandit was always good value.
  6. #6 jstava, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    I've got one of them. 2007 GSF1250S. (non-ABS) It's less "sporting" than some of the bikes mentioned. Around 230 kg dry. Probably more touring oriented too, but all has to be added. It's forte lies in the smooth torque from 2000k revs or even less, and the availability of aftermarket bits for it. - long model run, overlapping the 1200 in many instances. There are a lot of them out there. It will not break the bank to replace bits that break and they are easy to find.

    It responds well to a bit of tuning. It's not hard to get 120 hp out of it with the right pipes and air filter, some tweaks to the throttle bodies & oxygen sensor and a remap. No fiddling with the engine internals required. Mine is stock. No need. 98bhp is plenty.

    People with a more sporting orientation often go the route with the engine and fit an Ohlins rear shocker or similar and "see someone" to stiffen up the front a bit, usually ending up with some cartridge arrangement with all the adjust abilities for both ends. I've not found the suspension deficient. For me, its a decent all rounder - commutes just fine, plenty of poke. I've got no issues with it.

    Known vulnerabilities and weaknesses? There are a couple. The lighting is not that great, but replacing the standard H7 globes with 110 or 120 (% not watts) helps a lot. Some owners have had a fuel delivery problem related to the design of a filter element inside the tank. There is a very small, very fine filter screen which readily blocks if the fuel used is dirty. This is a problem also afflicting similar (fuel injected )Kawasakis. There is an aftermarket fix available (in both Suzuki and Kawasaki camps) which is far cheaper, and superior to the stock item replacement. I've not had any such problems. It's a mission doing the valves (cam and bucket), even to inspect. Workshop manual required. Read expensive if you are going to have a dealer do it. (but you will have 2 "major services" in 48,000 kays inclusive of the 48k one. Depending on how you are going to use the bike, if you get one bare, you might need to add quite a bit to it, starting with radiator protection.

    Mine is not fussy about fuel and discussing fuel about this bike is like the "oil debate." Mine seems to run the same on 91 as 95, but I THINK I get slightly better fuel economy with 95. It usually varies between 19 and 21 kph or so. (23 on one occasion, 18 on another) It's pretty consistent. 98 is not worth the extra money for me.

    I've had 20,000 + completely trouble free kays. I simply ride the bike and provide basic services. Mine has Oxford heated grips, a taller screen, a 1 inch riser on the bars, throttle lock, Megacycle can (the stocker is WAY heavy and TOO quiet), Givi panniers, a Ventura Rack and bag, radiator guard, Renntech crash bars, a Pro-oiler, and a Corbin seat which I fit only for touring. I like the stocker for day to day use, but it is too soft for touring. This, in my view is a well sorted tourer. Comfortable and quick enough, with never a need to downshift to overtake out on the road with over 90% of the available torque right with you from 3k revs in stock form. (3.5 rpm is 100kph.) This engine is in no way "peaky" and there is no big "final rush" when the engine finds it. Max torque is around 6. Translate to a safer bike under acceleration.

    You don't see many of these for sale second hand. I think that says something. The ones that are for sale are not an expensive buy. These are a bit of a "Holden Kingswood" of their class, built to a price, and there is nothing really outstanding about them apart from the engine. It's a pearler. I'll have this for a long time.

    So there is an "old farts perspective". I test rode one once for a couple of hours and honestly didn't like it, but was looking, with an open mind and no brand loyalty whatsoever. Later on, this one came up with enough accessories and goodies to take nearly all the work out of "making it mine" and the deal was very attractive. I just bought it, with no test ride. So glad I did. I really don't enjoy all the fiddling around one can do with bikes. I have always owned motorcycles to ride them. This one was just too easy.

    pjcliffo, I don't know if this is for you. It seems like you are more interested in the sporting, and this is more the touring, but my (not so) short diatribe has fairly represented the bike if its for consideration.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. For more "sports" than "touring", but also an awesome long-distance bike, I think the VFR1200 is fantastic and totally under-rated by the market. Gives litre sports bikes a big fright on the track but will also do a lap of Oz with ease. ABS standard, newer models with plusher seat and slightly larger tank, 2014 model with traction control too. Design, build, and finish outstanding. But as always, it depends how much you want to spend.
  8. Oh yeh, in addition to above, many are put off by perceived size and weight, but I say, ride one and see. Outstanding out of the box.
  9. I'm in the market for something in this catagory. Sold my GS500 and ready to make the step up. The VFR1200F does sound like a good one but nothing second hand about. Are there any cons to the shaft drive with these? I also like the look of the Triumph Sprint 1050GT.
  10. Weight, I think that's it
  11. Thanks for the info gives me lots to think about and test ride. I am test riding a ninja 1000 tomorrow.
  12. Finding second hand models could be a problem even tho they've been around since 2010. Everybody I know is hanging onto theirs. Shaft drive is excellent and un-noticeable unless you like riding at under 2,000 rpm, then you'll notice some backlash-related clunking. So, don't do that. On/off throttle in corners for example (including track days), it's flawless.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Tested the ninja 1000 for 2 hrs on a variety of roads. Good bike overall but lots of wind noise and disturbed air at freeway speeds, worse than my street triple! I tried all 3 screen positions. Lots of tingling vibration through the seat above 7000 rpm. Good in the twisties but the street triple is better, so no real advantage in buying it.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  14. Good to hear the verdict. Have you tried a Speed Triple? Keep in mind that it won't be quite as flickable as the Steet Triple.
  15. Speed triple I think is too similar. Need removable panniers and good screen. What to try next?
  16. I'm thinking the Sprint GT the more I look into it. I wish I could afford a K1300GT though.
  17. Sprint GT is a lot of bike for the money. Good looks too. It's longer, lower (and heavier) than the Tiger Sport, so there's two good options from Triumph in the travel-friendly 1050 triple segment.
  18. Unsure of your budget, but if you're looking at used...

    K1200S (or 1300S)... it's a big bike (round 250kg w/ fuel I think). However it's sporty, has a cracking engine, and is comfortable for long distance riding (riding position similar to the VFRs, has selectable suspension settings for more comforts when you want it).

    The K1200GT (or 1300) is much more upright, much heavier., and detuned from the 1200S (~120hp for the GT vs 170hp for the S). The 1300's are a bit closer, but the GT is still a good 50kg heavier.

    $10k will get you into a 1200S, $15k will get you into a 1300.

    Sprint ST/GT also a good option, especially if you're budget conscious.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. I was recently faced with the same prospect. What to trade up to from the Bandit 1250S.
    I looked at several different steeds with one proviso. It had to be a physically larger machine similar to the B1250 because, well I'm 6 foot and broad and in the high 90kg kitted out.

    • On paper the Ninja 1000 looks a no brainer until you add the touring extras and overlook the "unfinished areas of the fairings" Its also slightly porky for where in the range it makes power
    • The Trumpy GT is also worth considering but under braked and conventional forks and porky kitted out for 125hp
    • Runout deals on the VFR800 were sensational but hard to find in Vic and I dont like the cheaper looking new VFR800
    • 6 weeks ago I picked up my new VFR1200F with panniers and centre stand for a ride away price of 16k with trade in. That value is hard to beat. Its looks are subjective but honestly its the best bike I've owned. 270kg 170hp shaft drive sensational brakes bloody good stock suspension 5lt/100 1000km/day seat far more sporting than the figures suggest and plenty of options to add later.
    5000km in 6 weeks suggest I like riding this bike. Happy to answer any questions, Happy to tell anyone which dealer in Melb to NOT buy from!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. Considered the smaller brother to the VFR1200, the VFR800? Has screen + luggage, and a little cheaper and lighter.