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Captain_1 10-04-2002 11:11 AM

Re: R1100S
Italian manufacturers have made great strides in quality over the past few years without losing the essential character of the machine. Conversely, I find the latest offerings from Japan Inc. to be too plastic, but they are value priced relative to euro brands.

Regarding the comparo, the BMW 1100S is a wonderful machine, but totally different "in feel" from a goose despite the similar engine layout. In short, my 1100S has advanced engineering, excellent build quality and instills confidence under all riding conditions no matter what the speed. My goose has soul.

SlowBear 10-04-2002 11:48 AM

Re: New KTM LC8?
An other crack at explaining...

First, you have to divide these bikes into two categories:

Category one is bike like the R1150GS and the Suzuki V-Strom. They are never intended to really go off road. They are comfortable, easy to ride bikes that will handle a dirt or gravel road and work incredibly well on twisty, narrow back roads. They will never match a super sport bike's time on a race track but in the real word they do very well. A 110 x 19 front tire puts about the same amount of rubber on the road as a 120 x 17 but the long, narrow foot print provides a very stable, reassuring feel. Add the high, wide bars and you get a bike that is easy on bad backs (the long distance to the pegs is easy on bad knees as well) and can still be made to turn quickly because of the increased leverage. Also, the "Adventure Tourer" name and styling makes them much more palatable than an old, boring "Standard" which is what they really are.

The second category are bike like the old (R80 and R100) GS BMWs, KLR650s and the KTMs. These bikes are identified by 21 inch front wheels and much less weight. Even the very porky (relative to the group) post '90 R100GS was close 500 pounds ready to ride after removing some of the non-essential but government required junk. While not dirt bikes they will take a rider (and a tent, food, sleeping gear and such) in relative comfort to a distant dirt road and then further down that road and a single track trail off that road than people who haven't tried them would believe. You will not be doing any triple jumps or flying over whoops but a successful stream crossing on bike this size can be pretty rewarding. I can report that an R100GS heavily loaded with camping gear and a large rider will indicate about 90 MPH across a dry lake bed and provide a large thrill to the rider.

And yes, just like every type of bike a fair number of adventure tourers are purchased by posers who will never use anywhere near the full potential of the bike. BMW's new R1150 Adventurer is pretty much a Range Rover with two wheels and is, I believe, aimed directly at these people. The bigger bags and extra fuel are nice but knobbies on a six hundred + pound bike? Pretty much the same thing as guy standing next to a 996SPS with no wear on the tires within an inch of the edge of the tread or the "biker" on his $30K Harley who has never ridden more than 25 miles from his four thousand square foot, tri-level executive home in the gated community and couldn't find the sparkplugs without help.

I'm hoping the new KTM will set new standards in the second category, we'll see.

Woody650 10-04-2002 11:56 AM

Re: Overlooked brands
I have a V11 Sport, the Rosso Mandello version, and absolutely love it. It vibrated a lot the first thousand miles or so, but it has really smoothed out and I imagine will continue to do so as the engine accumulates miles. It did used to make my hands numb, but not at all any more.

Also, keep in mind that "a lot" of vibration was in comparison to an inline 4. I spent a little time on a friend's BMW R1100S. The BMW vibrated more in the seat than my Guzzi, and not a whole lot less through the bars. And, I found the BMW was really a pain to turn, like it was resisting countersteering input.

The V11 Sport isn't the fastest bike out there, but it makes decent torque, is super stable and the exhaust note is Italian baritone at it's best.

Huss 10-04-2002 01:48 PM

Re: Overlooked brands
The bike I rode was a 2002 LeMans, so this is about as refined as they get...

chariton 10-05-2002 03:26 AM

Re: Foreign Roads?
I know. But I 'm from a small island in the eastern mediterranean (Cyprus) so I am allitle biasedtowards places a little closer to home...

Anyway it all depends on what you want to do with your bike.

Grappelli 10-05-2002 06:35 AM

Re: Foreign Roads?
Great riding in the US, (Just back from Oregon) Fantastic trails all over the place. Funnily enough, I then went to Cycprus, where I got back from yesterday evening.. fantastic too.. Plenty of off road riding, great food, LOTSA WATER and TRAFFIC COPS.


Grappelli 10-05-2002 06:40 AM

Re: New KTM LC8?
Err... have to disagree about the r1150GS. I've just been burning through lake beds and up ungraded trails on mine for two weeks in Oregon and California. Ok, so when you dump it, it's heavy, but it bounces very well. And it gets you there. Of course you have to not mind that you;re doing this to a $14k+ bike....... No way I'd have been able to do what I did on a tourer. Would have been good work on a trails bike too, although I have to admit it was always dry.....

Grappelli 10-05-2002 06:42 AM

Re: New KTM LC8?
Oh.. and yes, the KTM might have been a better choice for the off road section. It's going to be interesting to find out how they are trawling through 500mile tarmac sections to get there though....

DurangoKid 10-05-2002 08:15 AM

This V-Twin thing is a fad
I don't think it's going to last. KTM is making a big mistake by investing in this obvious fad.

theinnkeeper 10-05-2002 04:12 PM

Re: This V-Twin thing is a fad
how is it a fad? did V-Twins just show up yesterday? As far as I know v-twins have been around forever, i think that kills the whole dictionary meaning of fad.

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