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BIKES THAT ARE NOT VFR's RIDE REPORT


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Or look at a 2017 or later Ninja 1000. Lightweight, integrated bags, gobs of power and much easier on the wallet. 

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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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14 hours ago, Calculon said:

Or look at a 2017 or later Ninja 1000. Lightweight, integrated bags, gobs of power and much easier on the wallet. 

I've looked at the Ninja 1000 but haven't taken one for a test ride yet.  For some reason I'm just not drawn to it, ya know?  I test ride might change my mind.  😉 

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14 minutes ago, TimC said:

I've looked at the Ninja 1000 but haven't taken one for a test ride yet.  For some reason I'm just not drawn to it, ya know?  I test ride might change my mind.  😉 

The bike has been updated frequently since it's inception.  The last two generations are so much nicer than the previous.  I've never taken one out for a test ride either but sat on a few and they seemed to have become more neutral in ergonomics over time.  Yeah, the look is typical Japanese style origami with all the folds and hyper stylization.

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17 hours ago, Calculon said:

Or look at a 2017 or later Ninja 1000. Lightweight, integrated bags, gobs of power and much easier on the wallet. 

 

I think there are a lot of former VFR owners riding Ninja 1000s, as the N1K occupies that same mid-sized, sports-touring niche.

 

The big upsides of the N1K:

  • Notably more torque/power riding on comparable weight
  • IMU-based cornering ABS/TC (2017 and later)
  • Ride-by-wire and integrated cruise control (2020)

 

The big downsides are:

  • Somewhat buzzy inline 4
  • No center-stand
  • Insurance can be pricey
  • Not nearly as lovely as the 8th gen 

 

I would be super interested to hear from any VFR owners who have spent time on a 2017+ N1K.

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I just posted my purchase story and review of the new BMW R nineT Pure I bought this weekend.  But in addition to that, I test rode a 2016 BMW R1200R, the first time I'd ridden the the water cooled version of that bike.

 

The R1200R is, IMO, BMW's best version of the boxer twin.  The engine is smooth but still has character.  It's not light but carries its weight down low.  The tubular handlebar gives you an upright seating position and makes the bike comfortable to ride, but also makes the bike quite flickable.  The water cooled bikes have much longer service intervals than the air/oil cooled bikes.  With about 125 hp, this bike isn't lacking for power, especially for solo riding.  And most of the R1200R bikes (and RS trim bikes with the windshield and fairings) are loaded, and include ASC, ESA, TPM, quick-shifter, riding modes, trip computer, etc.  Many used ones even include the OEM hardbags and/or topbox.  The bike I rode didn't have the bags, but otherwise had all the options, including GPS prep (but not the actual Navigator unit).  It was really nice, and I'm sure would make a terrific all-arounder.  I'm a little surprised myself I didn't buy it.

 

In the end, I had my heart set on the other bike, but I'm sure I'd love the R1200R, and who knows, maybe I'll still eventually buy one.  😉 

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R12R or R12RS would be my picks from their lineup. 

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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 if they'd done a few things better.

Cons

-The transmission is awful. First year SSs suffer from a difficult to shift into 1st and 2nd problem. There's supposed to be a fix available from the dealer but I'm too busy riding...

-The throttle response is jerky

-The chain, battery, and brakes pads it comes with are cheap

-If you install bar risers it makes the horn button hit the tank every time you go full lock when maneuvering

-I have to buy a bunch of new tools because its different

-Official accessories are expensive

 

Pro

-The engine is amazing. Gets up and goes. Lots of torque

-Reasonably comfortable for sport touring

-100lbs lighter than the VFR

-The "ride modes" are somewhat useful, TC and ABS aren't instrusive

-Looks really good, people ask about it

 

IMG_20200814_112911.jpg

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8 hours ago, lazyeye said:

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 if they'd done a few things better.

Nice write-up.  That's very similar to everything I've read on this bike.  The BMW dealer in Cleveland has had a like new 2018 Supersport S on hand for months, maybe going on a year.  I was seriously interested in it, but the day I went to test ride it, the salesman told me there was an issue with the fuel sensor and a warning light.  They'd been in touch with a fellow BMW dealer in Columbus which also sells Ducatis, trying to fix it, or see if warranty would cover it if someone were to buy the bike.  I didn't even bother to test ride it.  :sad:

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3 hours ago, TimC said:

Nice write-up.  That's very similar to everything I've read on this bike.  The BMW dealer in Cleveland has had a like new 2018 Supersport S on hand for months, maybe going on a year.  I was seriously interested in it, but the day I went to test ride it, the salesman told me there was an issue with the fuel sensor and a warning light.  They'd been in touch with a fellow BMW dealer in Columbus which also sells Ducatis, trying to fix it, or see if warranty would cover it if someone were to buy the bike.  I didn't even bother to test ride it.  :sad:

Italian "Character" 😉
I test rode a 2019 S model during a demo day event and everything (besides the hot engine on my legs) that I listed as a "con" wasn't there. So its as though they worked out the kinks in their manufacturing after a few thousand built. Mine was a leftover model that was purchased in 2019. Then the owner realized he couldn't ride sport bikes anymore and sold it to me.

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40 minutes ago, lazyeye said:

Italian "Character" 😉
I test rode a 2019 S model during a demo day event and everything (besides the hot engine on my legs) that I listed as a "con" wasn't there. So its as though they worked out the kinks in their manufacturing after a few thousand built. Mine was a leftover model that was purchased in 2019. Then the owner realized he couldn't ride sport bikes anymore and sold it to me.

I was pretty serious about the test ride and possible purchase of that S up in Cleveland a couple months ago.  I thought this might be my last chance to buy and regularly ride a sexy Italian sporty bike.  Being 51 now and seriously overweight (but hoping to shake some pounds soon), it was now or never.  I guess it'll be never.  Oh well.  I can still admire them from afar and maybe drool over them in person once in a while!  😄

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I follow a Supersport page, because I‘m a previous’96 SS owner and thought it could be a possible VFR garage mate. But, they’d need to iron out every single issue and add cruise control. The current product just isn’t compelling enough for me to take a chance.

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Traded my 7th gen for a Multistrada 1200S three years ago. I received some criticism (even on VFRD!) concerning the Ducati reputation for unreliability, but almost 20K miles later it just starts and runs, very happy with it. As you mention TimC the fuel sensor is a "known issue" I was told, and the dealer fixed it even though the warranty had expired. Two minor recalls, coolant hoses and brake master cylinder.

 

Great engine, the VVT is not intrusive (I owned a 6th gen for eight years, I know intrusive, although it didn't bother me much), and modern electronics, especially engine power modes, dynamic suspension, lean-sensitive ABS, etc., really work. Did a 9 day/3000 mile trip CA-NV-AZ-CO with no issues.

 

For me, with OEM luggage it is my sport tourer. Yeah, the ADV styling is silly, but I do like the looks and anyway, its red. And 7 inches of suspension travel is great on crumby back roads!

 

 

 

 

IMG_3881.JPG

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Glad to hear you've had good experiences with your Multistrada, Stephen!  I get what you said.  My understanding is the newer Ducatis are more reliable, so the horror stories we've all heard don't necessarily apply.  Also, even though I've never loved the adventure style bikes, I did consider both a BMW F750GS and even an R1200GS, though it would have had to have been factory lowered due to my very short legs.

 

I'd have been tempted to buy that Supersport S if the BMW dealer up north had been more interested in selling it.  Instead they tried to steer me toward a couple other bikes.  I wasn't happy the nearest Duc dealer was 100-120 miles away, and I don't have a trailer if I had to haul the bike to a dealer for some issue, but I was willing to take a chance.  Like I said, oh well.

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2 hours ago, TimC said:

Glad to hear you've had good experiences with your Multistrada, Stephen!  I get what you said.  My understanding is the newer Ducatis are more reliable, so the horror stories we've all heard don't necessarily apply.  Also, even though I've never loved the adventure style bikes, I did consider both a BMW F750GS and even an R1200GS, though it would have had to have been factory lowered due to my very short legs.

 

I'd have been tempted to buy that Supersport S if the BMW dealer up north had been more interested in selling it.  Instead they tried to steer me toward a couple other bikes.  I wasn't happy the nearest Duc dealer was 100-120 miles away, and I don't have a trailer if I had to haul the bike to a dealer for some issue, but I was willing to take a chance.  Like I said, oh well.

 

Good point about Ducati dealers. Mine is only 25 minutes south of me in San Rafael, but I believe that the next dealer north is in Portland!

 

And wow, they do charge a premium! There is just this assumption that if you buy a Ducati you are filthy rich or willing to spend the rent on bike, service and accessories. Quoted me 50% more for a set of tires out the door compared to my independent guy down the street, for example. 

 

I'm sure you will be very happy with the boxer BMW. Five years ago I spent two weeks riding an R1200RT, one of the first liquid cooled boxers, and was very impressed, just a little too much on the touring side of sport touring. I looked at the BMW RS, KTM SD GT (great bike but ugly!) before getting the Ducati.

 

Always have to post a photo of course...

 

 

 

IMG_0921.JPG

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The cost of the Akrapovic exhaust for the V4 is over $5K USD and ~8hrs of labor to install it. They’re solely banking on the Ducatista ignorance. I’ll stay in my cheap seat. 

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3 hours ago, St. Stephen said:

I'm sure you will be very happy with the boxer BMW. Five years ago I spent two weeks riding an R1200RT, one of the first liquid cooled boxers, and was very impressed, just a little too much on the touring side of sport touring. I looked at the BMW RS, KTM SD GT (great bike but ugly!) before getting the Ducati.

Great minds think alike.  I test rode a newer, low miles used RT at the local dealer this summer.  It was very nice and very comfortable, but just bigger than I wanted for an everyday bike.  However I could see it would be easy to put major miles on one of them.  I'd love to add one to the garage if I ever decide to do much more touring than I do now.

 

The original KTM SuperDuke was one of my early dream bikes, and you can find them around now pretty cheap.  But from what I've read everything is expensive on a KTM.  Plus I'm sure it's not like KTM dealers have many spare parts for their road and adventure bikes just laying around.  😞 

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Threw the dirt wheels on the DRZ SM and packed it up for a 450 mile trip to Leavitt Lake form San Jose. I was gonna take the VFR1200, but the trail to the lake is a steep rutted loose rocky trail, only a few miles long, but the GS even had some trouble.

 

     Hotter than hell this weekend, but mesh gear, ice, and plenty of water made it bearable. Luckily I only have an 80 mile range, so we were stopping just before running out of water in the camel back. Went with my brother in law, on his BMW F800GS. He is fairly new to riding and does not take freeways, so we took a few back roads to get out of the bat area. Sierra Rd, Calaveras Rd (just opened after the fire), and Corral Hollow. We would have taken Mt Hamilton, but it was still closed because of the massive fire. I had no problem keeping up with him, except the few miles of freeway that were un-avoidable. The little DRZ only goes about 80 max, and even then it's winding out and starting to speed wobble. I was worried about the MX pumper carb, but it ran great even at 10,000 feet.

 

Here are some pics from the trip. 

DRZ_Loaded.jpg

Summit.jpg

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The landscape makes me think of camping on the Moon, or even Mars when the skies were red from the ash and smoke later in the day. The picture with my bro-in-law does not even do the scale justice. Those peaks are about 2,000' above the lake, not quite as impressive as Half Dome or El Cap, but pretty close! 

On_the_Moon.jpg

Scale.jpg

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C'mon man, those bikes are waaaay too clean!  

 

(great photos though)

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Stopped by the Donnell Reservoir on the way back and it was over 100 degrees at least a half hour outside of Sonora, all the way to San Jose. coming back on Corral Hollow Rd we were very spirited with throttle application through the canyon. As we entered the rural part of Livermore the was a CHP blocking the road with his lights on. We thought someone called in our shenanigans, but it turns out there was an active shooter, and the road was closed. We had to back track in the 108+ temps to 580, and go North to Patterson Pass Rd, then back up through Livermore. My Sena melted off my helmet in Livermore when it was 112, and we pulled over to fix it. The GS overheated and was puking coolant right as we started back up. Made it home in time for an ice cold beer at 6:30

 

Reminded me of the Kerneville, and Sierra rides we used to do with VFR guys 😁

 

Looking to buy a Tenere 700 or Africa Twin, to complete my addiction. Looking forward to many more trips!

Donnell.jpg

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Hahaha, some how we managed to keep them upright!

 

I was thinking about the old crew, gotta get a ride in one of these days...

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Great pix from your trip!  I used to be more willing to ride in hot temps, but age (and being out of shape) has dampened my enthusiasm for riding in temps above 90, or maybe the mid-90s.  I can't even imagine riding when it's over 100.

When I was bike shopping earlier this year I did consider a couple adventure style bikes, and specifically the BMW F750GS, which is really more street oriented.  I think if there were more public access dirt and gravel roads to ride to scenic areas in my region I'd shop for an adventure bike.

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22 hours ago, RC1237V said:

Hahaha, some how we managed to keep them upright!

 

I was thinking about the old crew, gotta get a ride in one of these days...

Yup, we need to do a Sierra overnight next year. 

 

I think our old crew's biggest issue--or at least mine!--was being too lazy to call a ride. Either Brian or Jeff would organize everything or it didn't happen. Jeff has disappeared (to Morocco all year?) and Brian has turned into a Ducati guy (what could be worse? 😉). 

 

Anyway, you make me want to buy a DR or small KTM, looks like fun!

 

 

IMG_2054.JPG

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