The other bike

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  • #5960
    Marko
    Participant

    Hello everybody,

    after some thought I came to conclusion that it is time to give some rest to the Twin and get a second bike.

    I need a practical all-rounder for everyday riding and maybe some longer weekend trips. The requirements are 750-1000 ccm, a fairing (at least small one), not too heavy and ABS brakes. Budget is around 4-5 k€ – for a used bike obviously.

    At the moment I am looking at Yamaha TDM, Honda 1000 CBF and maybe BMW F800. I was wondering if you have any experience with any of them, your opinion would be really appreciated. Of course, I am open to other suggestions.

    Thank you! 🙂
    Cheers, Marko

    #13092
    Michael
    Participant

    Hi Marko,

    I would go for a 4-cylinder engine !
    750Fours are a shame, go for 1000ccm at least.
    Different ride, but powerful and long lasting even with “hard” riding.
    A very popular bike at reasonable low price in Germany is the Suzuki Bandit 1200. Half fairing and ABS on board.
    Kawa ZXR 1100/1200 are great but far more expensive than the Bandits.

    Best for riding without any issues are watercooled engines. Much more reliable than aircooled engines.

    Of course in Germany the BMW K-models are popular. Available in many different versions, that might be a good choice, …
    … but only if you have ever ridden one of them !
    The crankshaft is positioned along the long side of the bike, causing some tilting moments to the side.
    And they have Kardan/shaft drive which influences the driving behaviour as well.
    I can not stand that and refuse to ride any of the BMWs with “wrong orientated” crankshaft. Only exceptions are the F800 and the R1000RR, but these are not first choice for your purpose.

    I have a Honda VFR750F (RC36) as the other bike, brilliant bike (fairing, no ABS, carbs, no Kat), mostly stock, 100.000+ km on it, needs some minor revision (hydraulic clutch mechanism), new taillight and blinker glasses (mate).
    I would over it for around 1.000,- Euros 😉

    Cheers, Michael

    #13096
    Marko
    Participant

    Hi Michael,

    nice to hear from you and thanks for your input, useful as usual!

    Bandit 1250 is also on my list, the only thing that bothers me is the weight. Of course only in theory because I haven’t tried it yet. I also like to ride on twisty mountain roads and I suppose lighter bike handels better in tight curves. That’s why I was considering the TDM 900 or BMW F800 (R, S,…)

    Kawasaki ZRX is also one of my all time favourite bikes. I can only wish it had ABS brakes! There is one for sale here for I think more than fair price: http://www.avto.net/_MOTO/ad.asp?ID=10617697&show=1

    Anyway, because I am buying a used bike, it also depends on the offer on market, so I cannot limit myself to much with looking at one model only. Condition and service history are also important to me.

    Cheers,
    Marko

    #13089
    lonesome
    Spectator

    I had a test ride on an F800 and thought it was a great bike, very, very obviously way more power than the Z750, and also lighter steering, so livelier overall really.

    I also endured a Z1R for a few unhappy months and thought it was about the worst bike I’d ever ridden, with zero torque, zero (totally ZERO) front brakes and an uncomfortable ride. It was the first and only 4cyl bike I’ve ever owned and it probably gave a particularly bad impression.

    Another thought is that you could possibly get a W800 for not much more than €5K from some dealer who just wants to get it off his shelf?

    #13103
    Mikeonabike
    Participant

    I had a TDM850 as a big bike for about 9 years, went around Europe a few times and Scotland, Wales, IOM, Ireland.
    270 degree crank means cruising at 80 feels like you are ticking over compared with four cylinder bikes which always feel as if you need a higher gear.
    Fuel is around 60mpg sticking to speed limits and before anybody gets any ideas about me there is a video of me on youtube geting my knee down(search tdm knee down).
    Engine is very tourqey but snatchy below 35mph in top which spoils it.
    I would like to try the 900 one day.

    #13097
    Marko
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing your experience. As mentioned, I will try not to look for one model only but rather choose one that will be the best deal.

    As far as two cylinders vs. four are concerned, I also had bad experience with bike with four cylinders. Perhaps it was just bad luck, but my first big bike was Kawasaki GPZ600R. I was around 20 at the time and you can imagine how frustrating it was to have such a cool bike (it was at the time) and having all sort of problems with it. Few years ago I had BMW G650 XCounty (single cylinder). No problems whatsoever and even for longer rides (500 km) it was quite comfortable. So now I quite convinced that also two cylinder bike should be OK for me.

    Cheers,
    Marko

    #13087
    Kaptainkwak
    Keymaster

    Would have to be the ZRX for me Marko as I already have one. Amazing piece of machinery with a retro styling

    #13098
    Marko
    Participant

    Well, the thing is that I need to justify the purchase of another bike to my wife…:oops:
    In that case safety is a perfect argument, so ABS is a top priority. Which means that a lot of very cool bikes (including ZRX) are not an option.

    #13088
    Kaptainkwak
    Keymaster

    Personally I would not touch a bike with ABS. I have been riding over 40 years and have never needed help with my braking. If I had the choice I wouldn’t have it on my car either. I have the ability to brake on my own and find it dangerous when that control is taken away from me.

    #13090
    lonesome
    Spectator

    What Kaptain said, doubled, with bells on. As humans, we’re pretty damn good at controlling things, and way better than some poxy PC. Sometimes my back wheel locks. That’s because I mean it to, and I know how the bikes going to behave. I never lock the front because a) It’s virtually impossible in the dry, and b) because the bloody thing doesn’t work in the rain 🙂

    #13104
    Mikeonabike
    Participant

    Ride like you are invisible and always have a “PLAN”

    #13093
    Michael
    Participant

    I am an experienced driver but with an ABS, me and my bikes wouldn’t have touched the ground 3x in the past 30 years. I don’t like the additional stuff that is needed for it, but I like the additional security it brings.
    I can perfectly understand why there is the wish to have an ABS !

    Cheers, Michael

    PS: All “Touch-downs” caused by overbraked front wheels:

    (1x VF750C, wet condition, city traffic, sudden braking needed but did that on the slippery metal cover of a waste water canal in the middle of the road at approx 50 km/h)

    (1x Z750Twin, wet condition, overland traffic, overtake + sudden emergency brake necessary at approx 100 km/h, the worst one to a bike)

    (1x EL250, dry condition, first braking action after 10 years standing, rusted disk not cleaned and locking front brake at approx 30 km/h. Just 50m away from my house. The worst one to me with a still slightly damaged knee)

    #13099
    Marko
    Participant

    I agree with Michael on that. My previous bike was also equipped with ABS and I am quite sure that it helped me in at least two occasions. If the ABS is working properly, you do not even notice it is there until you really need it.

    My only crash with motorcycle was also in wet and the road was slippery, fortunately the speed was very low and it all ended with just a bruise.

    I do not care much about any other electronic accessories, but ABS is important to me.

    Cheers,
    Marko

    #13100
    Marko
    Participant

    Here it is!
    I obviously ignored most of your advices 😳  and bought a Kawasaki Versys 650 from 2011 (with ABS of course)!

    So let me try to explain myself: 
    the first reason is that unfortunately I do not have enough time to ride anyway and it doesn’t make sense to get a really big bike at this time. With this one, at least the costs for registration will be reasonable.
    Secondly, for the money I was willing to pay, this was one of the youngest bikes on the market. 1000 ccm bikes are either 10 years old or very suspicious…
    And last one, the bike has all the service history and it is in excellent condition with less than 10000 km.

    In the end, it really isn’t a bad bike. It has a very comfortable riding position, it handles well in the curves and the engine is quite lively. 

    Cheers,
    Marko

    #13094
    Michael
    Participant

    Hi Marko,

    at least it is a Kawa Twin 🙂
    I expect it is a good ride.

    … but the large topcase is a “No-Go”.
    It is the worst position to place any baggage, as it moves the center of gravity up and backwards.
    Respect the indicated max. load allowed for it.

    Let the good times roll,
    Michael

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