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Discussion Starter #1
Loved touring solo on my CBR250R, but seriously considering getting a second bike, somewhere in the 650 range, for longer, two up tours. At the moment I am looking at the 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (touring) and the Kawasaki Versys 650.

From what I can make out the Versys seems a livelier bike, but for two up and smoothness (which GF will probably appreciate as well) the Wee-Strom seems more likely.

Any thoughts/experience/input welcome
 

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I'm in lust with the BMW 800ST.
I don't think it has much more hp than the 650s but it has good torque and a nice power band.
 

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If I were in your position, and were looking for a mid sized, sporty touring bike I would consider a Yamaha FZ8. Quick, powerful inline 4 engine, comfortable, and inexpensive.
I have a FZ1, (1000cc) and have done countless 600+ miles days in the saddle.
I have almost 30,000 miles on it, with zero problems.
 

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I like my SV650n, but I might go a bit bigger (like FZ8 or ST Honda) if I was planning any amount of 2-up touring.

I almost bought a Strom, but decided it was a bit too large/heavy for my needs. I personally don't like the styling of the revamped 2012 model.


Jay
 

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I forgot to list my reasons for the F800ST suggestion.

460 lbs wet & ready to ride. (not including accessories & luggage)

50 mpg ridden hard. close to 60mpg ridden easy on highways.

Belt drive. No messy lubes needed like on a chain but does need to be adjusted every now & then like a chain.

On board computer option gives a wealth of information (including gear indicator for you guys that love that device)

Gas tank is under the seat for better center of gravity and easy gas fills (don't have to remove a tankbag)

Bike is very nimble, easy to ride. 85 hp at the crank is more than plenty for all day two up riding.

For shorter riders, there are two lower seats (low and really low) available plus lowered suspension from the factory.

Easy to perform normal maintenance such as oil changes.


Downsides are cost if ever it needs parts. BMW-need I say more?
There's a joke about BMW, there are only two things you need to have in the tool kit in case of a break down. A cell phone and a credit card :)

Tank only holds four gallons so range is roughly about that of the CBR250R depending on how it's ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Metalstorm - to be honest I share your lust for the BMWs, though I would probably go more to the GS800 for my needs (lots of bad roads here). But budget is a very serious consideration, and here in Indonesia we pay something insane ike 80% duty on imported bikes (not assembled here) plus there is registeration tax which can be very hefty. That brings the beamers into the 45K USD range :(

The Versys seems to get good press for being able to handle bad roads (though not really a off road adventure star like the GS800), and apparently the V-Strom is able to handle bad roads without too much trouble and looks more comfortable for two up.
 

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But budget is a very serious consideration, and here in Indonesia we pay something insane ike 80% duty on imported bikes (not assembled here) plus there is registeration tax which can be very hefty. That brings the beamers into the 45K USD range :(
Yikes! That most definitely takes BMW off the table :)
I thought they reamed us here. Apparently they don't even use lube in your part of the world. Ouch! :D

About the V-Strom. I've heard lots of good and lots of bad about them in regards to how they look but I can't honestly say I've ever heard anything bad about the bike itself.

The Triumph Tiger 800s are nice but they might present the same problem as the BMWs. And because they're a new model, deals on a used one are probably non existent.

If any dealers (all makes) have demo bikes you should go & ride as many different bikes as you can. That's always the best and most fun way to figure these thngs out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just test rode a friend's Kawasaki er6n (which is not that budget breaking here, around 12k USD on the road) and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Plenty of low rpm torque for in-traffic riding, pretty nimble. BUt was abit surprised at how hard as..d it was - my little cbr is a much smoother handler. But that cld be just the coz owner (occasional weekend rider who doesn't really care enough to even look at manual)hasn't changed anything from the factory settings. I suspect the standard settings are for highway conditions, and roads here are bad. I've heard the faired version (sometimes called the er6f or Ninja 650) is smoother ride at speed but basically same sitting position. Anyone know?
 

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cbr250.
 

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Just test rode a friend's Kawasaki er6n (which is not that budget breaking here, around 12k USD on the road) and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Plenty of low rpm torque for in-traffic riding, pretty nimble. BUt was abit surprised at how hard as..d it was - my little cbr is a much smoother handler. But that cld be just the coz owner (occasional weekend rider who doesn't really care enough to even look at manual)hasn't changed anything from the factory settings. I suspect the standard settings are for highway conditions, and roads here are bad. I've heard the faired version (sometimes called the er6f or Ninja 650) is smoother ride at speed but basically same sitting position. Anyone know?
The ER6 has more suspension travel and adjustable preload and rebound damping front and rear. You might be able to turn the stiffness down some The Ninja650 has 1 inch less travel and only basic rear preload. The CBR250R is very soft in the front compared to other bikes. Nice for solo commuting. Maybe not as great on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The ER6 has more suspension travel and adjustable preload and rebound damping front and rear. You might be able to turn the stiffness down some The Ninja650 has 1 inch less travel and only basic rear preload. The CBR250R is very soft in the front compared to other bikes. Nice for solo commuting. Maybe not as great on the track.
Ah, so with the NInja what you get in terms of comfort from wind with the fairing is made up for in loss of preload options? Otherwise I thought it was pretty much the same bike 'inside' the fairing?

In any case it really does make one appreciate the cbr250 more for what it delivers, less horsepower or not.
 

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I'm in lust with the BMW 800ST.
I don't think it has much more hp than the 650s but it has good torque and a nice power band.

CAPS LOCK CAUSE I AM IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT WITH THE ABOVE STATEMENT ! !

This Honda was my first bike but the bike I was looking at before my wife told me she was pregnant was the BMW F800ST. Great bike, BMW motors I have heard have great reliability. You don't find many used ones because once you have one you don't want to give it up. A great mid-range CC bike for two up riding. I think my second choice if I wanted to up the price tag a little would have to be the newer Ducati 1200 Multistrada. I think it has electronic suspension nice feature. Beautiful bike to look at IMO, I think something like a Goldwing or some of the larger touring bikes is just plain crazy. May as well drive a car for the gas mileage and better stereo and more storage. ;)
 

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CAPS LOCK CAUSE I AM IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT WITH THE ABOVE STATEMENT ! !

This Honda was my first bike but the bike I was looking at before my wife told me she was pregnant was the BMW F800ST. Great bike, BMW motors I have heard have great reliability. You don't find many used ones because once you have one you don't want to give it up. A great mid-range CC bike for two up riding. I think my second choice if I wanted to up the price tag a little would have to be the newer Ducati 1200 Multistrada. I think it has electronic suspension nice feature. Beautiful bike to look at IMO, I think something like a Goldwing or some of the larger touring bikes is just plain crazy. May as well drive a car for the gas mileage and better stereo and more storage. ;)
Just stay away from the 06 & 07 F800ST.
They had serious teething pains like bad rear wheel bearing and piston slap. Remedied for the most part on 08 and later models. Everyone I've met with an 09 & later (rl and online) have been very happy with it. ABS is the same as it is for all bikes. You either love it or hate it. The ABS debates on the ST boards are endless times infinity :D

Multistrada is way cool but definitely for on road unless you're ok offroading with a 20K-25K bike. The electronics are cool but if they catch any glitches it could be one of those 'ripping the hair out of your skull' moments. (Still cool though :))

In two or three months Triumph shall unleash the GS killer. The Explorer 1200.
It can't compete with the GS Adventure unless they make an XC version but the one coming out has the regular non Adventure GS in its cross hairs.
135 hp at the crank. 89 lbs of torque. Ride by wire. Cruise control. Traction control. Switchable ABS. Shaft drive. Adjustable windscreen (not electric). 950 watt trick alternator. Little on the heavy side at 570 pounds wet & ready to ride without accessories or luggage. 19" front, 17" rear, cast wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
well Ducati has unfortunately (because I am in deep lust) a branch here in my hometown, d..n them. But my lust is tempered by 1) price (as crazy as the BMWs here in Indonesia) 2) one of my best friends has one in Malaysia and says the clutch was really a pain in traffic, he even had it modified with a STM clutch pump but was still a clunker 3) apparently italian electrics are not as good as their design flair - he spent $700 replacing the entire instrument cluster..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ah well, went and did the deed yesterday - plonked down the down payment for a late 2011 model Kawasaki ER6n (am throwing in another $250 for a custom paint job, ferrari red). Should be here in a month...
 

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I have ridden both and prefer the 650 Vstrom. It is more roomy, handles better imho, has a better cruising range, and is very reliable. I have not ridden the new 2012. That new Honda 700sx looks like a decent ride.....if it isn't stupidly expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have ridden both and prefer the 650 Vstrom. It is more roomy, handles better imho, has a better cruising range, and is very reliable. I have not ridden the new 2012. That new Honda 700sx looks like a decent ride.....if it isn't stupidly expensive.
Yeah I was pretty interested in the V-strom but as it is not produced in an Asean country to import it means huge taxes. I got the Er6n for around US$12000 which for Indonesia is a steal coz it'sproduced in Thailand, hence no heavy import tax. Most middleweight to bigger bikes here start around $20-25K.

I liked the bike after riding on it (and just sitting on it too LOL). Will do something about the suspension and maybe brakes later, but it seems like a good all rounder that can tour well too.
 

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Never ridden an ER6N but we do get that model in Canada. Although I did not particularly like the Versey's, the engine was a peach.....smooth with a lot of torque everywhere.
I know that this has been mentioned before, but I will bring it up again. Please put your country in your profile. It really is relevant when discussing bikes that are very country specific these days. :)
Regards.
 
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