Big bike (750 and up): What to choose?..

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by gobs, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    Hi friends,

    I need some advices from "tose who know". Thus if I know pretty well "my classics" from the 60s and 70s, I know near nothing about the bikes end of 90s / early 2000s. I think with my budget (about 200 KB) I can get a japanese bike of these years WITH REGO (tabien lot)...

    What I expect to do with: commuting in and around the city (I live in CNX), touring in and out Thailand with passenger and luggages, have some (reasonable) fun for short trips here or there... Oh, yes and have some torque at low rev.

    AT THE BEGINNING, I was thinking about: Honda CB 1000/1300 or Yamaha XJR 1200 or Suzuki GSX 750/1200 or (why not?) Honda VFR 750/800... Something like that... A roadster not a racing or a custom bike!
    BUT a friend in Europe stated that a Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin should be a better choice for me in Thailand especially if I expect to go to Laos or Cambodgia, where some roads are just wide tracks, I know... Sure it's not at all a roadster! But at least maybe it's a good advice...

    So what?

    Your comments, please, should be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Gobs
     
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  3. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Hi Gobs,

    I'd reckon your mate is spot on. Africa Twins are tremendously popular in N.Thailand and for good reason - they're one of the best tools for the job around here with the mixed riding conditions. Having said that, most riders get by on a variety of bikes including those you mentioned before. Personally, I had an XJR1200 here a few years ago and found it too big and cumbersome for a lot of the roads. Another alternative would be a 650 single such as the BMW 650GS or if you are lucky, a Suzuki DR650 or similar but at the end of the day, the bike for you is the one that makes you smile the most!

    Cheers & good luck,

    Pikey.
     
  4. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    200K for a BIG bike with tabien... hmmmm...
    Have a look at Red Baron's website - that's the top end, of course, but you'll get a reliable bike and good service. But you'll have to be very lucky to get a 1000cc bike for that kind of money. Bikes in TH are relatively expensive.
    Personally I've found out the hard way that big bikes are expensive, so with a limited budget you will get an older model. Older models can be a pain in the butt since two problems occur after you've fixed one. Some people may disagree, but I rather buy a newer, lower mileage 650 than an older, high mileage 1300 when my funds are limited. My buddy is working on his 12-year-old V-Max while I ride my good-as-new 250 every weekend!
    I've had older XS 650s and like to work on them - in the US, where I take another bike to go to the Yamaha dealer, order some parts or get them right away, and if I'm stuck, the dealer's mechanics take over (and charge me an arm and a leg) - but at least I get the bike on the road in a couple of days. Here you have to find a good mechanic first, then you have to wait for parts, and you're still not sure that the bike'll break down somewhere east of Phitsa-no-luck. I've pushed a V-Max last weekend, no fun!
    Since you pass about 80% of the traffic on a hiway in TH when you're going 120 km/h, I'd recommend a smaller, newer bike 750cc and down, not up.
     
  5. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Hey pikey, I thought I was the first to reply since there was none when I started writing... funny that you're saying almost the same I did, only with less words...
     
  6. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies. But smaller bikes I have already...
    One Honda XR 250 Baja (funny) and one Honda CB1 400 (funny too!)...

    Just the idea to get a "bigger" one for travelling further, from time to time with my wife and luggages... And, right Pickey, I may agree the point not over 750 cc...

    KZ, I understand what you mean, and I had good sounds of Red Baron. But in my life I never bought a brand new bike or near new, because I'm an addict of the "classic" ones. So I was expecting to find a 10 to 12 y.o. bike (and, that would be a little new for me!..) with these 200 KB. And effectively on some boards in LOS I find big bikes around these years and for this price with rego.
    Maybe I'm from the "old school"...
    I do like to ride my bikes, but I do like to touch them too, listen them and to "put my hands in". Sure I attempt to fix or adjust before the breakdown... But, hey!, nobody is perfect! :roll:

    By other way, I went to the Yamaha show room here in CNX (friendly shop), and for a brand new FZ 600 cc they quote it about 450 KB, rego, plates and I suppose some gifts... I guess good and great bike... But, for me, these new bikes seems like some Star Treck vessels (please don't shot the pianist). Their designs (bio-sharp-edge) are too much IMHO: I just can't imagine myself riding one of these! I'm not yet used to such bikes...

    OK, I'm going to check a little more about all this...

    Cheers,
    Gobs
     
  7. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies. But smaller bikes I have already...
    One Honda XR 250 Baja (funny) and one Honda CB1 400 (funny too!)...

    Just the idea to get a "bigger" one for travelling further, from time to time with my wife and luggages... And, right Pickey, I may agree the point not over 750 cc...

    KZ, I understand what you mean, and I had good sounds of Red Baron. But in my life I never bought a brand new bike or near new, because I'm an addict of the "classic" ones. So I was expecting to find a 10 to 12 y.o. bike (and, that would be a little new for me!..) with these 200 KB. And effectively on some boards in LOS I find big bikes around these years and for this price with rego.
    Maybe I'm from the "old school"...
    I do like to ride my bikes, but I do like to touch them too, listen them and to "put my hands in". Sure I attempt to fix or adjust before the breakdown... But, hey!, nobody is perfect! :roll:

    By other way, I went to the Yamaha show room here in CNX (friendly shop), and for a brand new FZ 600 cc they quote it about 450 KB, rego, plates and I suppose some gifts... I guess good and great bike... But, for me, these new bikes seems like some Star Treck vessels (please don't shot the pianist). Their designs (bio-sharp-edge) are too much IMHO: I just can't imagine myself riding one of these! I'm not yet used to such bikes...

    OK, I'm going to check a little more about all this...

    Cheers,
    Gobs
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Suggest a Honda Africa Twin 750 or Yamaha TDM 850 / 900 if you can get one.
     
  9. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    ...if you can get one - yes, these bikes are in demand, so they're expensive. For 200K with title you'll get an older model. The TDM is a street bike good for touring, with very limited offroad capabilities. The Africa Twin filled a unique spot in the market - 750cc, reliable V-Twin with just enough power, not too big or heavy, with offroad capabilies and cool enduro looks. There hasn't been a replacement since they stopped building it; as far as I know there's the 1000cc Varadero, which is a step up, or the the 650 V-Strom, which is kind of like a small TDM, more a tourer than an Enduro - none of those bikes would ever win the Paris-Dakar race, as the AT did three times. Or is there a "new" Africa Twin out there?
     
  10. OK i have been in the market for a while....
    was riding a XR600R....Dam thing backfired on me........sprained my ankle...6 weeks of work...must be and old age thing....
    well no more kickstarts for me.......
    so of i go ........shopping..........iam a bit of an adventure rider ..
    so many choices.....rode an AT,,,,, Transalp.... and many more.....
    spots a BMW f650......go and take it for a ride....cool bike........
    parked next to it is 07 V Strom......650..road that ...hmm bm or v strom.......its a toss up between the strom and the BM...
    Come home google a few specs.......
    BMW....650FGS...... 50HP.....PARTS are expensive..allmost double the strom........
    Suzuki v strom......DL650.....63HP.... Oil Filter $22....bm $140....
    so i ended up with this.....
    <img src=""http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2118/2982879147_6acc242bb8_o.jpg
     
  11. buga ..no pic..... try again<a href=""
     
  12. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    I agree with you and recommended the V-Strom elsewhere on this website. The SV650 is a great bike, faired or not, and the travel enduro version should be the same. Google it and you'll see all the testers agree. It's a vey inderrated bike, which makes it even more attractive to me...
     
  13. cool......i have a DL650... adventure type bike........
    sv is simalar.......different gearbox.......and shorter legs........
    allways been a honda man....... and my old man allways told me ....never buy anthing thats starts with S........
    skoda,,,,,,, simca......singer........ :shock:.remember those..
    and i have bought a suzuki.....well look up the specs..iam very happy with it,,,,,,will pop up some pics soon......anyboby want some imfo on these bikes .....post it n here.......
    Regards Kev
     
  14. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    Thanks to all for your answers.

    After now 10 days, looking and talking here and there, it seems I should make a mistake by buying a (too) Big Bike in the roadster style for what I would like to do: even if I shall not go there every weeks, difficult to ride on some earth tracks in Laos or Cambodgia with a roadster.

    So now, I think I'm going for a Honda Africa Twin or Transalp.
    City jam: can do,
    Roads: can do,
    Local highways: can do,
    Passenger and luggage: can do, even if not so much HP and torque,
    Fun on the road: cannot do so much... but not vital.

    I've never been a racing pilot. More a tourist driver, who, from time to time likes to think he is a pilot even if I never scratched my knees on the tarmac.

    So, yes, you gave me some true good advices, and helped me in my choice. Thanks a lot for this to all.

    Cheers,
    Gobs

    PS: I know the BMW 650 could be a good choice too. But maybe expensive in case of need of spare parts...
     

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