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tbrown 10-21-2005 10:24 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

I've ridden two of them out in the twisties now and my answer would be no. The engines are very strong. I love the sound of them. There is torque everywhere. The problems, for me, are ground clearance, soft suspension, weight and turning radius....and maybe the remains of that Winnebego School of Design influence that still lingers.

It's a great touring bike, but it's definitely still a touring bike. It touches down easily in turns and will touch down HARD in turns if you don't plan everything perfectly. Pretty easy to go wide with them if you're pushing hard. I do love 'em, but not enogh to give up my RT for one.

With the RT, I find myself waiting behind them even with really good riders at the helm. Acceleration isn't the whole story here.


anrajala 10-21-2005 10:26 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Nice bike for sure but the mystery remains how on earth did Ulysses with its ancient worster derived V-2 with a third less of power beat FJR 15-10 in sportiness.

- cruiz-euro

motordog1 10-21-2005 10:28 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I will gladly continue riding my 04 FJR even inlight of its last palce performance on the poor excuse of an unbiased comparsion test. It escapes me how a bike with far superior engine performance, handling on par or exceeding the others and ergos that every other publication including yours prior to this test have described as comfortable would be relagated to last place.

The savy consumer should pay little attention to this test due to it's extreme subjectivity and minimal evaluation. The desicion to make this a two up test and for such a short duration did not allow for a fair comparison. Passenger considerations are very important but a couple of back to back 700 mile plus days solo would be much more appropriate. Nothing was mentioned of the ST1300's engine heat problem that is at least as significant as the easily corrected FJR heat issue. Additionly, no mention of hte RT's significant vibration in its upper rev range or its tendency to roast your feet. Try riding one of these in stop and go traffic in Phoenix in the summer.

A friend with an 03 with nearly 85,000 miles just dyno tested his at 130 hp and 93 ft lbs on an engine that has recieved nothing but normal maitence.

ValkBandit 10-21-2005 10:31 AM

Re: and now, back in the real world...
"I know that BMW has a bullet-proof reputatiion but for me, I cannot justify their prices compared to Japanese, English and Italian alternatives."

if only it were true. i own a bmw ... a K1200LT ... and it is far from bullet-proof. it's a great bike, mind you, but if reliability is your main concern you'd probably be better off with a honda.

stoneman 10-21-2005 10:34 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
TB -- You're right about the poor comparison -- point given. I ride an R1150GS and don't put on huge miles so I can live with the maint. intervals, however, I am going to start doing more of the work myself. Re: brake service, my dealer charges $275 to change the fluid and whines about how difficult it is. Is this in line with what you are charged? Also, BMW calls for annual change of brake fluid, my dealer says every two years, and their mechanic says not until it starts changing color -- which is mileage and age dependent. What do you think?


tbrown 10-21-2005 10:36 AM

Re: A little moisture got you skeered?
There's a lot to be said for the GS. I rode one in the French Alps two years ago with Edelweiss and was completely smitten by the chassis as well as the engine. My friend bought one this spring. He's since put an Aeroflow windscreen with the lower cowl thing on it and really likes it on the highway now.

The weather protection issue really starts to come up when the weather gets colder. One of my annual rides starts from Chicago on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We head to Deal's Gap area for a long weekend. We're like the only fools out there. We've been through snow gusts on the interstate in KY and had to tiptoe across a quarter mile of solid ice at walking speed with our feet out in NC one year.

On the last day, heading North to Chicago on the second of December, temps have been as low as 10F (Terre Haute, IN, 7AM). You can't have too much plastic on your bike for that trip!


Blake_1 10-21-2005 10:38 AM

Sometimes there is good justification for groupies.
Pretty sure there is plenty of very valid justification that Mr. Buell has amassed a significant following of groupies. Betcha didn't know that He plays a mean jazz guitar?

Heck, I'm one of his groupies and not ashamed to admit it. Taking note of some of the 2006 sport bike models having underslung mufflers, it seems Buell may have groupies at Japan Inc as well.

How do you drop 5 to 8 LBs from the unsprung mass of a front wheel/brake system?

Answer, invent the Buell ZTL perimeter brake and zero torsional load carrying wheel. Real serious innovation for the real world. As an engineering professional myself, I have the utmost appreciation for what the folks at Buell Motorcycle Company have accomplished.

And how cool is it that I can ride my Buell to Laguna Seca or Daytona and watch the race with the very man whose name is on my motorcycle?

A Buell groupie? Damn straight!

If you aren't, and you are a sportbike or naked sporting bike enthusiast, methinks you must harbor some negative vibes. (pun intened) :)

Thanks MO for another great review!

Holy_Kaw 10-21-2005 10:43 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I was thinking the SV650 with some soft bags would have been kicking some butt! Great job as usual Guys and Gals.

Blake_1 10-21-2005 10:44 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Agreed. You'd think they could get the price down to $19,995. LOL!

Seriously though, you do sometimes get what you pay for in this world.

Personally I prefer naked to plastic wrapped,so lucky for me I can spend the extra thousands on accessories, like a nice big bore kit and performance upgrade to kick the big bellering Buell V-Twin up where it belongs, putting down an honest 100+ RWHP and sounding like it too. :)

anrajala 10-21-2005 10:44 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I totally agree with you Matchman. For me, the emphasis in "motorbike" is in "motor". In sport tourer comparo, does the performance matter? Not according to this article.

- cruiz-euro

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