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BIKES THAT ARE NOT VFR's RIDE REPORT


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On 1/31/2020 at 7:29 PM, VFROZ said:

2008 Triumph 1050 Sprint ST, only because I've ended up buying one.

It was a hard decision to trade in the 5G, but with 137,000kms on it and wanting a change, it was the only obvious choice without breaking the bank.

A fantastic chasis, same weight as the 5G, but with 123 horses and 77ft-lb of torque.

It has steeper steering geometry with shorter trail, it also places more weight on the front wheel, so it makes for faster steering and really good feed back from the front tyre.

I actually love the way it drops into a corner, it is so precise and quick, also easy to throw around, much better than my modified 5G.

Stock suspension is too soft, the back is OK sort off, but the front is way undersprung, and with progressive springs it makes sure it doesn't actually suit anything or anyone.

Who comes up with this crap?

The motor is fantastic, I haven't ridden a long stroke motor (compared to most offerings today) for a very long time. It has lots of grunt from down low and is deceptively fast.

People who say it sounds fantastic haven't ridden a 5G with open Staintune, the VFR wins hands down.

I just could not give up the single sided swingarm, a very underrated feature I think.

Sitting position is more relaxed than the VFR with better fairing protection.

Brakes are good without being outstanding, all Triumphs come with steel braided brake hoses, so might need different pads to get better bite.

Gearing is too tall, so will be changing to -1 front sprocket tomorrow.

Hard bags are a pleasure to have, and is something I was looking for on a replacement bike.

I can't stress enough how good this bike enters a corner and holds a line, I can't wait until I upgrade the suspension, wife is already pissed so might need to wait a while.

 

I've owned this bike for 3500km's now, so thought I would update my thoughts.

Even though the ST weighs the same as the VFR, it carries it's weight higher as the motor sits higher and more forward in the frame.

It's fine with me as I like more weight on the front, but I struggle riding up my steep driveway on the grass when my ute is parked there, as it spins the rear and I go up sideways no matter how hard I try to stop it, the VFR with the same tyres had no problem wet or dry.

It handles better than the VFR, but I found the VFR easier to throw around. This might change as I become one with the bike.

The suspension is soft, but now that I'm more used to it I can compensate for it.

You have to adopt a different style to the VFR to ride it fast, you need to rely on the torque and change gears less. You also need to be smoother due to the soft suspension, note that my VFR was far from stock in this department.

It is more sensitive to correct chain adjustment, the VFR I used to run loser than needed, while the ST needs to be spot on to get the smoothest ride out of it.

Fuel economy (not that I normally worry about this) is a lot better than the VFR, surprisingly so considering it's bigger displacement and available grunt.

Loaded up with the paniers and tank bag full and riding fast I still managed around 425km to the tank when being somewhat sedate, and 325km when going hard on tight roads. Tank is 20L same as the VFR.

The ST's motor is more or less useless under 3500rpm, so in comparison about the same as the VFR being useless under 4500rpm when you take in red line differences (this will depend on weather you're a lady or a man :-).

And how good is it having a normal radiator in the right place? You don't even have to look at the temp gauge, slow moving traffic, stopped, in the heat, it doesn't matter, at 103°C the fan starts and temp drops, no fuss.

Did I mention I miss the sound of the VFR?

The ST is a lot more comfortable than the VFR on long stints, but I find it harder to man handle in the parking lot let alone on the side of the road (I'm a short arse and can only put down one foot at the time while sitting on it).

I love the integrated hard bags and trip computer.

The free TuneEcu program available to all Triumphs is fantastic to use, I've even managed to change the way my speedo reads to compensate for the -1 tooth front sprocket I've installed. You can also change fuel mapping, ignition timing, rev limiter, fan on/off temp, AFR, you can also test equipment by switching everything on/off and get real time readings of everything including individual cylinder vaccum to adjust throttle boddies. How good is that? I mean it, how good is that?

Chain driven cams suck!!! Seriously (6th/8th geners will never know).

Did I mention VFR sound?, Oh I did.

How good is the rear wheel for everyone to see?

 

 

 

 

IMG_E7188.JPG

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2008 Triumph 1050 Sprint ST, only because I've ended up buying one. It was a hard decision to trade in the 5G, but with 137,000kms on it and wanting a change, it was the only obvious choice witho

So I've been riding a 2017 Ducati Supersport since my 2014 VFR has been back and forth to the shop most of the summer with a weird power loss issue. Gotta say its a good bike that could be fantastic i

2013 Triumph 675  Street Triple R What a hoot of a bike. 107HP, 51ft-lb of torque and 189kg/416lb wet. The steering is super precise, I still don't know how this bike turns, you just lo

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When I posted last time I forgot that I'd done a test ride on a BMW F800GT, I think maybe a 2014 or 2015, 2-3 summers ago.  Nice enough bike, and very similar to my VFR in terms of ergonomics and even most OEM equipment.  Sits a bit more upright, which is something that interests me in my next bike.  Overall it's a very nice bike, and being belt-driven will require a bit less maintenance.  But the parallel twin engine wasn't great.  It lacks the torque of our V4s, which I could live with, though I'm not crazy about the idea of having to wring a bike out every time I want to pass someone.  The worst part though was the bike just felt wheezy, if that makes sense.  There are some low mileage examples of this bike for sale, and while I still like it, I just remember being unimpressed with the engine.  Also, it's too close to my VFR.  When I finally replace my VFR, I'm going to want something different, not very similar to the bike I've owned since 2006.  A local dealer has a super low mileage 2016 with luggage in stock, and the price is fair, but I'm not really interested.

So, that brings me to the next one.  I test rode a still-new 2019 BMW F750GS last weekend.  It's a bike I've looked at a few times to potentially replace my VFR.  Most of the new bikes are loaded, and some are even decently affordable.  Still, I've never really liked adventure bikes.  But the F750GS is really more of a street bike with adventure bike styling.  Again, not really my cup of tea, but I do like the ergonomics, which are decidedly more relaxed than my VFR.  I was really curious about the engine.  It's basically a retuned version of the parallel twin in the F800GT I tested out a couple years ago.  I know the hp and torque numbers are better, but how would it actually perform?  I was pleasantly surprised by how quick it was.  Not to say fast, but definitely better than the bike above.  The other thing that surprised me was the wind blast in my chest.  The bike's stock flyscreen does very little to block wind.  I'd go with a bit larger screen if I bought the bike.  I was only on the bike for maybe 10-15 minutes, but it handled pretty well, feels lighter than it is, is much more flickable than my VFR, and I even managed to try to electronic cruise control and it worked great.  (This is something I'd like to have on my next bike, for those long days on straight, boring roads.)  Also, one thing you can't really tell just while sitting on the bike is how much higher up you'll feel once you're moving.  It's like the difference between riding in a normal passenger car and a small SUV.  I'm still unsure whether I'd buy this bike, but I did like it.

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14 minutes ago, TimC said:

When I posted last time I forgot that I'd done a test ride on a BMW F800GT, I think maybe a 2014 or 2015, 2-3 summers ago.

So, that brings me to the next one.  I test rode a still-new 2019 BMW F750GS last weekend.  Also, one thing you can't really tell just while sitting on the bike is how much higher up you'll feel once you're moving.  It's like the difference between riding in a normal passenger car and a small SUV.  I'm still unsure whether I'd buy this bike, but I did like it.

I rented a BMW F800GT a few years ago.  I've always liked the idea of the bike but all the reviews written were much like your experience, lackluster engine.  My experience was completely different, at the time my main ride was a Ninja 650 so that may have something to do with it.  I thought the motor was fun, had no problems letting it rip and found that it was really comfortable and stable at very high speeds (a few tests in some sparsely populated places).  The two things I found very peculiar about bike were the fuel gauge which only measures the bottom half of the tank and the ergonomics which were the exact opposite of my Ninja.  On my Ninja the bars are upright and the pegs are high and back and the F800GT the pegs are more neutral but the bars are more sporty, lower.

 

26lastday_zpspstotzgh.jpg

On the Lake Duffy Loop in British Columbia.

 

Currently I also have a Versys 650 besides my VFR.  It makes a bit less power than the BMW F750GS but the ergonomics are really similar.  I use it mainly on my long, multi-day rides and for commuting/running errands.  It's a fantastic bike, agile and efficient but it's not as much fun to ride as the Interceptor.  I don't know if it's the tallish seat, lesser power, it's really hard to say because it's such a great all around bike.  Have you looked at either the Tracer 800 GT or the Versys 1000?

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Is the gearbox any better than the 2016 bikes?

 

A box full of neutrals when the gear lever will select something .... the motor heats up really quickly in traffic in the summer 

 

The CanBus system is a f**king pain when a bulb blows out in the boonies 

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11 hours ago, Calculon said:

Have you looked at either the Tracer 800 GT or the Versys 1000?

I have looked at the Tracer, which I like a lot, but I have short legs for my height.  Any bike with a seat much higher than the Sargent on my VFR is just about a deal-breaker, especially if I have to get my right leg and foot over a rear seat even taller than mine.  Unfortunately, that keeps several bikes I like off my shopping list.  (I'm looking at you, Aprilia Tuono V4.)  I've considered a lowered bike, but I'd just rather not go that route.

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10 hours ago, TimC said:

I have looked at the Tracer, which I like a lot, but I have short legs for my height.  Any bike with a seat much higher than the Sargent on my VFR is just about a deal-breaker, especially if I have to get my right leg and foot over a rear seat even taller than mine.  Unfortunately, that keeps several bikes I like off my shopping list.  (I'm looking at you, Aprilia Tuono V4.)  I've considered a lowered bike, but I'd just rather not go that route.

I've been thinking about consolidating down to one bike, giving up my VFR and Versys and there are two bikes that keep jumping to the front.  A BMW R1200R (maybe the RS variant) or the Ninja 1000.  I can manage the height of my Versys but I think I would prefer a less tall bike too.  I have taken the R1200R and RS for extended test rides and liked both a great deal.  Thought the R was more comfortable and handled better.  I've never had the chance to test a Ninja 1000 but sat on quite a few in showrooms and the ergos seem quite okay.  I mention these because they are more similar to the VFR in regards to seat height plus they are both great all around road bikes.

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4 hours ago, Calculon said:

I've been thinking about consolidating down to one bike, giving up my VFR and Versys and there are two bikes that keep jumping to the front.  A BMW R1200R (maybe the RS variant) or the Ninja 1000.  I can manage the height of my Versys but I think I would prefer a less tall bike too.  I have taken the R1200R and RS for extended test rides and liked both a great deal.  Thought the R was more comfortable and handled better.  I've never had the chance to test a Ninja 1000 but sat on quite a few in showrooms and the ergos seem quite okay.  I mention these because they are more similar to the VFR in regards to seat height plus they are both great all around road bikes.

The BMW R1200R is one of my dream bikes.  I thought when the RS debuted it would be perfect - like an R but with more wind and weather protection.  Your quick review on the handling of both is what I've read a few times by riders and reviewers.  These days, I'd rather go with a bike that's just not as large in front of me, and the RS seems huge when I'm next to it or sitting on it.  Bigger than my VFR, really.

I almost bought a nicely equipped 2016 R12R a few months ago, and really wish I had.  It was a good deal and BMW was offering low financing then.  I'm still made at myself for not buying that bike.  As it is, I'm still shopping, but unsure I'll buy anything soon.  For one thing, the economy and uncertainty for my long-term job prospects, but for another, I can't really go out of state to buy a bike and ride it back right now, and I'm not keen on buying a used bike (even from a dealer) sight unseen.

I've looked at the Ninja 1000 a few times, and everything seems to indicate it's a great bike, but it just doesn't speak to me I guess.

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The Ninja 1000 has some nice refinements for the 2020 model, it will be hard to pass up new leftovers w/Kawi discounts next year, assuming slow market this year with coronavirus. They're on my watchlist... :lurk:

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Does anyone have any experience on the current Ducati Supersport, either the standard or "S" model?  There's a like-new "S" for sale at a nearby shop, and the price is reasonable.  Ergonomics seem somewhat similar to my stock 6th gen, but maybe 5-10% sportier, if that makes sense.  I've been looking to eventually replace my VFR with a bike with more relaxed ergonomics, but this Supersport S (in red) is just dead sexy, and I'd kind of like to own an Italian sportbike for a couple years before I'm too old and creaky to ride one.

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I've ridden one a few times. I was really close to buying one this year because they're like a VFR but lighter and with better suspension. I didn't pull the trigger because I couldn't stomach the maintenance costs at this time. 😞

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19 hours ago, lazyeye said:

I've ridden one a few times. I was really close to buying one this year because they're like a VFR but lighter and with better suspension. I didn't pull the trigger because I couldn't stomach the maintenance costs at this time. 😞

Maintenance costs concern me, as does the limited dealer network.  I live in NE Ohio, and the closest Ducati dealers are a couple hours from here.   And I don't have a trailer if I needed to haul a non-running bike.  Still, it's a newer bike, and I've heard Ducs are more reliable than they used to be.

 

The other big factor for me is insurance cost.  My VFR is pretty cheap now, about $10 per month for full coverage.  A 2018 Supersport S is more like $30 per month.  Not a deal-breaker, but more than I want to pay.

 

One other factor is the OEM luggage, which isn't ideal.  The bags aren't waterproof hardbags like the VFR's (other Ninja 1000, etc.), and the naked racks don't look very good.  But I'm sure I could live with it for a couple years, especially since I don't do as much touring as I did years ago.

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I forgot to post a test ride report about another bike here.  About a month ago I took a still-new 2019 BMW F750GS for a spin.  The test ride was only 10-15 minutes, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the bike.

 

I've looked at these a couple times before, as I like the style and the ergonomics of the bike, and they aren't too expensive (at least for a BMW).  I wasn't too keen on adventure-style bikes for years, but the looks of a few models have grown on me, including this bike.  I wasn't sure how I'd like the engine though, since it's based on the same 800cc parallel twin as the F800GT, which (as I'd written earlier) had disappointed me during a test ride a few years ago.  I was told by a salesman it was quicker now, but I had to find out for myself.  I'm happy to report it is indeed a more lively mill now.  Acceleration was pretty brisk, and it felt like there was more torque than the earlier bike.  Part of it could be weight, too, as I'm sure this adventure-styled bike weighs a bit less than its GT counterpart.  It also didn't seem as wheezy as the GT I'd ridden, which I think was a 2014 or 2015.

 

This 2019 bike was loaded with all the tech features most new Beemers have - ESA, ASC, electronic cruise control, etc.  I was curious to try the cruise control, and it works well.  This is something I've love to have for longer rides and tours.  I couldn't figure out how to get the bike into different riding modes during my short time with it, nor how to adjust the suspension.  I'm a big guy, so I'd likely be looking at least at new fork springs if I bought this bike, or just about any new or used bike for that matter.  (My VFR's suspension has been modded for my weight.)

 

The bike's handling was good, even with the standard suspension.  Because you sit more upright, there's less weight on the front wheel, which means quicker turn-in, but I would worry a little about whether there's enough weight for me to feel comfortable cornering hard on this thing.  Also, the tires are a bit skinnier, which would make me wonder about cornering grip at both ends.  I'm sure it's fine, and I don't even approach my VFR's limits most of the time, but I'd want to gingerly find out how hard the F750GS can be pushed in the corners.

 

A few things surprised me about the bike:  how quick it was, how much 'taller' it felt, and how much wind blast I felt in my chest.  Almost immediately, I could feel so much more wind hitting me in the chest than I've ever felt on my VFR.  And this was only at 40-50 mph, not freeway speeds.  The bike has a small flyscreen, but I'd replace that with something a bit taller and wider, probably in the first couple weeks I had the bike.  Because it was a warm enough day, and because it was just a test ride, the wind blast didn't bother me much, it just surprised me.  But I'd really worry about colder days.  I already wear an extra layer or two for colder rides, and that's *with* wind protection on my VFR with its stock windshield.  On a colder day, with temps below 50, I'd be hesitant to even take the bike out.

 

I was glad for the opportunity to ride the F750GS.  It's a pretty nice machine, with most of the features and amenities you'd expect for a bike in its segment, and especially for a BMW.  Also, it's still a bike I'm considering for my VFR's eventual replacement.

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This past Friday I test rode a 2018 BMW R1200RT, like new, and loaded, with just 7,000 miles on it.  The local BMW dealer has it marked down to $15,995.  I've never really wanted a touring bike, especially as my only bike and all-arounder.  But I've been riding some really long days this summer, and it would be nice to have something more comfortable for trips, but which is still capable of carving corners.  I figured I owed it to myself to check out a touring machine.  Also, it was my birthday, so this was kind of a treat to myself.

 

Likes:  Comfortable.  Good wind protection, but you can still feel some wind with the windshield in the down position.  (It's electronically adjustable, even on the fly.)  Different riding modes, including different suspension settings for single rider, rider/pillion, with, and without luggage.  This one has a radio installed, including speakers, but I didn't even turn it on.  The bike handles well.  I chucked it into a couple corners during my brief ride, and it did just what I asked.  It felt like it would hold a line nicely, and it actually felt more easily flickable than my VFR.  The bike also looks great, and it's neat the hard bags look more integrated to the bike instead of added-on (like my VFR's OEM bags do).  This one has a rear luggage rack but doesn't include a top box.

 

Dislikes:  Feels heavy just getting it off the sidestand.  Also feels heavy off the line.  I almost didn't give it enough gas a couple times.  Not being familiar with this bike, I was pretty mellow with the throttle to get it moving, and really a little too soft.  The bike will move for sure, but you do need to give it more gas than a 6th gen VFR.  The engine is good, pulls well, but just feels kind of weird to me.  But that's me.  I'm so used to my Honda's V4 anything else is going to feel strange.  The gauges are a mix of analog and digital, with the speedometer and tachometer in big, easy to read dials.  But the digital display was hard to read in regular sunlight.  I'm sure you get used to it, but I thought it was pretty tough to see.  And finally, price.  While $16K isn't bad for a very low mileage 2018 BMW tourer, it's more than I want to spend.

 

I liked this bike just okay.  I'm sure if I was riding hundreds of miles every weekend, like I have been for the last several weekends, and doing a couple big tours every season, I would love this bike.  And it's tempting just because it's both comfortable and capable.  Plus it should be terrifically reliable.  But I won't always be riding this much, and I haven't toured much the last few years.  (Hopefully that will change soon.)  My wife and our younger son have been in Florida for a couple months, helping my parents as they've had some health issues.  (You could say I should be the one down there, but her job is more easily performed telecommuting than mine, she loves beaches, and she's good at dealing with my mom and dad.  I would have gone crazy by now!)  Also, it's worth noting I'm a musician on the side, and usually very busy with rehearsals and gigs most weeks and weekends.  But everything music-related for me has been canceled due to the virus.  So with my wife out-of-town and my schedule freed up (other than during the work week), I've had tons of time to ride, and I've ridden a lot.  But that won't usually be the norm, which is why I'd be reluctant to buy this bike, even if it were $2-3K cheaper.  But it was definitely worth a try.  I can see myself buying a bike like this someday, but probably not right now.

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Switching over to a more touring oriented bike does change your bike usage. I was quite happy to ride my VFR for 1-2 hours and feel like I was using it as intended, but my more touring bikes really feel like they deserve to be used for 3+ hours at a time. That changes what you plan on doing, I now look on a full day of riding as the norm (when time allows) but that is really satisfying on the right machine. I started on a 1990 ST1100 (bought as a restoration project, not necessarily because I wanted one) but ended up riding that on a 10 day tour and lving every day of it. I replaced that with a 2009 ST1300 which is not quite as calm to ride as the ST1100 but nearly as good at the twisty stuff as a VFR and is all-day comfy with incredible tank range and locomotive stability on bumpy bends. Horses for courses I guess. 

IMG_0720.jpg

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1 hour ago, Terry said:

Switching over to a more touring oriented bike does change your bike usage. I was quite happy to ride my VFR for 1-2 hours and feel like I was using it as intended, but my more touring bikes really feel like they deserve to be used for 3+ hours at a time. That changes what you plan on doing, I now look on a full day of riding as the norm (when time allows) but that is really satisfying on the right machine. I started on a 1990 ST1100 (bought as a restoration project, not necessarily because I wanted one) but ended up riding that on a 10 day tour and lving every day of it. I replaced that with a 2009 ST1300 which is not quite as calm to ride as the ST1100 but nearly as good at the twisty stuff as a VFR and is all-day comfy with incredible tank range and locomotive stability on bumpy bends. Horses for courses I guess. 

Thanks for posting that.  Makes a lot of sense.  One nice thing about the VFR for me has been its all-arounder usefulness as a commuter, fun bike for twisties, and a capable tourer.  But as I've gotten older it's harder to do long days on the VFR.

I'm glad you brought up the Honda ST.  I might start looking for one to replace my VFR.  I've not ridden one, but for some reason I don't seem to remember them being quite as large as a BMW RT.  A nice bonus that the ST is also a V4!  🙂 

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@TimC

I'v sat on the SS but haven't taken it out, the ergos seemed very similar to the VFR, but given everything I'd opt to stay with the VFR for that style of bike.

 

I do have a 2016 Multistrada and it is generally a great bike, loads of torque and great for touring, two-up and bags. I use it for commuting, day rides and two up frequently. It's a blast to ride but I have had some issues with leaking fork seals twice at under 6K miles each time, the typical fuel sensor failure that seems to be common to Ducati and my biggest complaint is the wind buffeting. A few fixes have calmed it down but it's no where near the VFR for quiet or smoothness. I got an extended transferable warranty with mine, runs out at the end of this year, but I probably wouldn't buy a Ducati without the longest warranty you can negotiate. Despite all that, like the BMW, electronic suspension, adjustable riding modes and HP, adjustable traction control, wheelie control and ABS add some nice options. It's barely 525lbs wet weight and has about 135+ rwhp. Valve maintenance is at 18K but will run about $1500 for the major maintenance, with the variable valve timing I don't trust to do it myself even though I've always done my Hondas.

 

A few local dealers have the newer 1260 2019 touring S models for $17K or $18K with bags, better electronics and more stable handling. You can find lower mileage 1200, '15-'17, models for $11K-$12K or so. The V4 Multistrada is due out at the end of this year, I'm holding out to see how they are received and if pricing is anything short of reasonable.

 

I looked at some STs before getting the Ducati, I can see having an ST or FJR in the near future. Just some other considerations. But, the wife wanted me to have a sexy Italian bike before I got too old too. :wink:

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1 hour ago, TimC said:

Thanks for posting that.  Makes a lot of sense.  One nice thing about the VFR for me has been its all-arounder usefulness as a commuter, fun bike for twisties, and a capable tourer.  But as I've gotten older it's harder to do long days on the VFR.

I'm glad you brought up the Honda ST.  I might start looking for one to replace my VFR.  I've not ridden one, but for some reason I don't seem to remember them being quite as large as a BMW RT.  A nice bonus that the ST is also a V4!  🙂 

Trust me, she's a big old girl. I scoff at people who talk about the 800 as being top-heavy! The good thing about the 1300 is that once you are above walking speed, it actually has fantastic balance; it is heavy but the weight is carried low and central and it has docile manners. I have an adjustable length Nitron shock and have wound that out for some more ground clearance to stop the pegs and centrestand from decking so often, but that also makes it a bit taller to sit on and (more importantly) to heave back off the sidestand. I'm not tall but manage fine (5'7"). The 1300 has a very decent chassis and with modified suspension it doesn't get left behind by other bikes. And you won't need to visit your chiropractor after each ride. https://youtu.be/-Cms0bkNj7A

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I've thought about other adventure style bikes, but my problem is having short legs for my height.  I'm 5'8", but with a long torso and short legs.  Once I'm on the bike I'm generally okay, even stopping at lights, etc.  The issue is getting on the bike in the first place, specifically getting my right leg over the rear seat.  Some bikes are okay, like my VFR and many other street bikes.  But many adventure bikes, especially the Duc Multistrada, are brutal.  That's one reason I haven't looked more at that style of bike, even though a regular GS is starting to appeal to me.  Not a new one though.  Good Lord, those things are expensive!!

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8 hours ago, TimC said:

I've thought about other adventure style bikes, but my problem is having short legs for my height.  I'm 5'8", but with a long torso and short legs.  Once I'm on the bike I'm generally okay, even stopping at lights, etc.  The issue is getting on the bike in the first place, specifically getting my right leg over the rear seat.  Some bikes are okay, like my VFR and many other street bikes.  But many adventure bikes, especially the Duc Multistrada, are brutal.  That's one reason I haven't looked more at that style of bike, even though a regular GS is starting to appeal to me.  Not a new one though.  Good Lord, those things are expensive!!

For whatever it's worth if you liked the RT but thought it was a bit bulky take a look at the R or RS.  Personally I like the R just a bit more, sure it's a roadster but you add a windscreen, integrated OEM luggage and maybe some hand guards and you have a three season tourer that is light and flickable with the same great motor as the RT.

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28 minutes ago, Calculon said:

For whatever it's worth if you liked the RT but thought it was a bit bulky take a look at the R or RS.  Personally I like the R just a bit more, sure it's a roadster but you add a windscreen, integrated OEM luggage and maybe some hand guards and you have a three season tourer that is light and flickable with the same great motor as the RT.

Your suggestion is spot-on.  The R1200R has been one of my dream bikes for years.  I've also considered the RS for more wind and weather protection, but everything I've read says the R handles a little better, plus I'd like to sit a little more upright.  I almost bought a used R in January, and really should have.  It was a terrific bike, with low miles, OEM bags, new tires, and Arrow exhaust at a good price and a great finance rate.  Sadly, I let it go and I haven't seen that deal's equal again.  I very rarely regret missing out on a vehicle purchase, because there are tons of good cars and bikes out there, and I'm never buying something rare.  But this one I seriously wish I'd bought 6 months ago.  It's the one that got away.

Right now I have a deal worked out with a Cleveland area dealer on a new leftover F750GS.  The price is good, the finance rate is good, and I have some money to put down.  I'm just trying to decide if this is the bike for me.  I think it would a terrific all-arounder to replace my VFR, and I'm sure I would get many years of enjoyment out of it, but the bike just doesn't excite me.  I really like the ergonomics on this bike, and since I've test ridden one I know it's very easy to ride.  I just don't know whether to go for it now, or wait and keep shopping for something else.

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Was curious about what's out there for Honda STs right now, and while searching online last night I unbelievably found a still *new* 2012 ST1300 ABS for sale at a dealer shop in PA.  It's not uncommon to find 2-3 year old leftover bikes sitting in dealer inventories, but 8 years old?!  It's listed at $15K.  Maybe they never considered taking a decent lower offer on the bike.  Wow.

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1 hour ago, TimC said:

Was curious about what's out there for Honda STs right now, and while searching online last night I unbelievably found a still *new* 2012 ST1300 ABS for sale at a dealer shop in PA.  It's not uncommon to find 2-3 year old leftover bikes sitting in dealer inventories, but 8 years old?!  It's listed at $15K.  Maybe they never considered taking a decent lower offer on the bike.  Wow.

They will sit on that ST for a long time. I too find ST on paper a touring rig, comfort is draws me to consider as a future bike. We are not getting any younger, you know. 
However, at that price, a new style Goldwing can be found for $16K. I guess f you are looking at 700lbs bikes, why not go all the way and consider the king of touring 🤪

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Warning:  Lengthly non-VFR post ahead.  I'm shopping for a bike to replace my beloved VFR, and it's really hard.

 

Today I test rode a 2012 BMW R1200R for sale in my area.  While I rode a newer R1200RT recently, I'd not ridden an older R bike for many years.  It's always a weird sensation to twist the throttle and have the bike jerk to the right.  I'm sure I'd get used to it though.  It's also odd sitting almost straight up.  The bike is nice overall, and fit and finish is excellent.  But the R12R's engine is the star of the show.  Smooth but with some character, a good amount of torque but maybe not as much as my VFR, but it also cruises down a city street more easily.  This is a bike you don't have to shift much, kind of like our VFRs.  A couple of minor gripes:  The idle speed seemed low to me.  Like, really low.  I don't know if that's normal on a boxer twin, or if the owner just has it set low.  The transmission is clunky getting down into 1st from neutral.  Sometimes you really have to stomp on it, which is a little unsettling.  Maybe it would break in more over time and miles, as this bike still has less than 7,000 miles on it.  Also, I hate the old style BMW turn signal switchgear!  Again, I'm sure I'd get used to it, but I found myself having to look down to find the turn signal and cancel buttons.  A couple times I hit the horn instead of the button I was trying to press.

 

The bike rode great and I love the low-speed handling and maneuverability of this model.  I've looked at these before and it's been one of my dream bikes for probably a decade.  But in the last couple years I've considered whether to buy an older air/oil-cooled "camhead" (2011-2014) boxer like this one, or to buy the newer water cooled version, with USD fork, advanced electronics, etc.  I like that this bike is more analog, and while it would be nice to have all the latest rider aids with a newer bike, the more complicated they are, the more can go wrong with them.  I think that's why the older R bikes still appeal to me.

 

This particular bike is a two-owner machine, bone stock, with 6,700 miles.  The owner had the 6K service done last year.  Also, he bought the bike three years ago from the original owner, with about 3K on it, and has put about 1,000 miles per year on it himself.  Looks like original tires, with the rear nicely squared off.  The bike has four must-haves for me:  ABS, ASC, factory heated grips, and a centerstand.  But it doesn't have three of my wants:  OEM hard bags, rear luggage rack, and cylinder head covers (or bars).  I'd also like to have an aftermarket exhaust, but it's rare on these R bikes.  Also, this bike has the BMW 'comfort saddle,' which I hate.  It is comfortable, for sure, but it's also a complete "U" shape that locks you in place your entire ride.  I need to be able to move fore and aft during long rides, even if the seat isn't as cushy.  I'd replace the seat with either a different OEM model or a Sargent or Wunderlich.

 

So here's the problem.  I can get this bike for $7,000 (US).  And I think that's a fair price given its mileage and overall great condition (not perfect cosmetically, but very good and still mechanically sound).  But once I start adding what I'll need (luggage, rack, cylinder head protectors), swap out the seat, and buy a taller windscreen for trips, the overall cost will approach $10,000.  I also have to worry about whether the mods I might want to add later are going to be available.  2014 was the last year for this generation of this model.  2015 was a whole new bike, and most farkles will not cross those two generations.  For $10K I can buy a 4-5 year newer bike with similar that includes the luggage and rack, plus a better seat.  I enjoyed modding my VFR the first 4-5 years I owned it, and I'd be happy to do that with another bone stock machine, but we're talking a couple thousand dollars just to get the bike into a tour-able state.  I'm sure I'd love this bike after it was modded to my liking, and probably for many years to come.  It has all the basics I want, but needs a lot more to equal my VFR.

 

Even after a short test ride it was strange getting back on my VFR.  You don't realize how much we lean forward until you ride something where you're bolt upright.  I'm pretty sure I'll end up with an R bike at some point, but I just don't know which one or which generation.

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You might look at The FJR 1300 Yamaha . Lots of good stuff with them after 2012 and really all that is needed is maybe a seat . They have a great motor .

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On 7/7/2020 at 8:52 AM, Tiutis said:

They will sit on that ST for a long time. I too find ST on paper a touring rig, comfort is draws me to consider as a future bike. We are not getting any younger, you know. 
However, at that price, a new style Goldwing can be found for $16K. I guess f you are looking at 700lbs bikes, why not go all the way and consider the king of touring 🤪

An ST can get right down the road.  They are no slouch in the corners with a skilled pilot.  That is a lot of scratch for an 8 year old unit. 

 

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