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Old 10-21-2005, 06:20 AM   #41
EvoVII
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

Nice test. Since the present definition of sport touring is so broad, there could have been maybe twenty different bikes tested and still someone would have felt a bike or two should have been included that wasn't. Sport touring is, I guess, in the eye of the beholder, or at least the butt of the rider.



For me, it's riding that's as sporty as it can get while still allowing me to survive long days and distances. I live in Iowa and the nearest decent roads are six hours away in the Ozarks. The Dragon in Tennessee is eight hundred miles and fourteen hours distant. If I'm semi-functional after the trip, I'm willing to tolerate the discomfort as long as I have a sportbike to ride at my destination. Just got back from the Dragon last night. The only part of my body that still worked was my mouth which was grinning ear-to-ear.



My '02 ZX9 R let's me live on the trip and takes me to heaven when I get there. Don't think I could stand the long distance discomfort on a razor edged pure sport bike and wouldn't consider riding anything less edgy on the twisties.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:29 AM   #42
Easyenough
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

The two-up testing was a great decision. Even if I do more than half my touring alone, being able to bring a girl along and have her enjoy the second 200 miles means I'll be happy when I get off the bike too. So thanks for tips on that. Like an earlier commentator though, I would love to hear what all the ladies thought - in their own words.



For the own money challenge, I'm a little bit skeptical. Need to go a 1000 miles with hard luggage and have a good time? It will cost half as much (list $9000) to ride a Sazook DL-1000 V-STROM with a couple add ons than some of these tug boats (fuel consumption and maintenance would be interesting to add in). I'd like to hear why it was ruled out (Enduro-touring label and ugliness aside). Not good enough manners?
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:33 AM   #43
bboule
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

Give us some details on how the bikes were tested. The article does not read like a sport-touring article. It reads like a "magazine 2-up day ride with chase van" article.



Take a week tour with all of them and leave the passenger, chase van, and photographers at home. Then you can evaluate the sport side of the equation more realistically.



What the heck is up with the comment about putting the helmet in the saddlebag? While all these bikes can swallow a helmet in the saddle bag, none of them have enough room to do so on a sport-touring trip, because the bags are full of all the things you have to carry when you don't have a chase van. Food, water, raingear, clothes, extra gear, extra visors, etc..



I have a VFR and it's totally in the right place in this comparison. I would never take it on a multi day tour with a passenger. Guys who have a passenger who will actually partake in real "sport" riding are one in a million, so to me this category is about 1-up riding. The article was mostly about passengers, the FJR should be ahead of the VFR and XB12X. If it was actually about sport-touring the VFR and XB12X should have been up at the top of the ratings.



If you actually are taking a real 2-up tour for a week or more I can't see why any of these bikes have a prayer at competing with a gold wing, Electra glide, or the monster BMW. You need more space and luggage for 2 people for a real tour.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:33 AM   #44
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Default You do have a great bike...

And we tested it in last year's ST shootout. http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mccompa...Sport_Tourers/



Like the VFR, though, it suffered because of comfort issues...but it's all realative! Enjoy.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:35 AM   #45
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

It sure is. We just posted an article from Yossef's European desk on a Milan-Barcelona-MIlan run, and we couldn't get a Sprint in time, so we couldn't include it. Next year!
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:44 AM   #46
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Default Sir, Yes Sir!

We always strive to do better, and we appreciate your feedback. We wish we could review every single bike at once, but logistics always present a problem, and test bikes aren't just there for the taking; we have to compete with other magazines, etc.



Rest assured, we will spend plenty of time debating which bikes to acquire for next year's ST shootout! Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:46 AM   #47
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

As a former FJR owner, I will chime in and say that the FJR got a bit of a raw deal. But I'd be wrong. Yes, it's a great handling bike, after I installed the Wilbers shock and fork springs. Yes, the seat was great after I put on a Corbin. Yes, the windshield works wonderfully, after I installed a Laminar Lip. The grips were toasty warm, after I installed grip heaters. My battery tender, GPS, and heated vest all had places to plug in after I installed two powerlet outlets. So, the FJR is an awesome bike, with a bit of tweaking. But, my 36" inseam did get folded up a bit causing me to enjoy a breakfast of Advil and a Red Bull each morning of a long ride. The wife (who is tall at 5'8") could not last more than 25 miles or so without stopping for a stretch. Of course, all is forgiven when you crank the throttle on that big 1300cc mill. Holy Cow! What a motor!



After my last trip on the FJR, I could barely straighten my basketball hobbled knees for two days. I knew, as much as I loved my FJR, that it had to go. I loved it's torque, I loved it's handling (even though it was a bit heavy in the tight stuff and ran out of ground clearance even after raising the rear a half inch). I wanted something more sporty, but it had to give my 36" inseam more room, and be decently light, and fit nice sticky 17" rubber.



Cool! I'll go buy a Multistrada S. I love my Monster, the Multi would be a great stable mate. That is until you're shelling out $400 a pop every 6000 miles for a valve adjustment. Not exactly kosher for a sport touring bike that will get lots of miles racked up on it.



Humm...what's the Buell XB12X thing? Immediately after plopping my butt on the 35" tall seat (and still hovering a inch over the bike when standing), my knees said, "BUY THIS BIKE!!" (didn't even know they could speak...but I've been hearing voices for years!). I took it on a test ride. "Ah! Torque!! I love it!", I said to myself. My 6'5" frame and 36" inseam had FINALLY found a "sportbike" that fit. Screw the offroad capability mumbo jumbo. If I wanna go off road, I'll buy another KLR or a DR.



I plopped a deposit down on one. $9995 for the bike. Can't beat that. Don't need the bags, never used them on my FJR much. Yeah, I know, it's a "Harley" motor and it's going to blow up 10 times in the first 5000 miles and leak oil all over my garage, yadda, yadda, yadda. If it does, it does. I'll take my chances to be able to walk without pain after a ride.



The XBX isn't really a sport touring bike in the perfect sense, but I give you guys kudos for having the huevos to include it in the test. Thinking outside the box is what motorcyclists are good at. Just take a gander at the looks you get when you're riding around in the rain or the cold. Car drivers think we're nuts, but they just don't get it. Same with the Buell. Lot's of folks will think I'm nuts for selling an FJR for a Buell, but they don't understand.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:48 AM   #48
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

I really can't comment on the bikes in position 2 through 5 as I haven't ridden any of them, only read countless road tests.



I've been riding sportsbikes for the last 30 years, with my two most recent being a Ducati 996 and Yamaha R1, which I still own.



I'm elated that the BMW R1200RT won as I added one to my stable about 6 weeks ago.



Last weekend, I did a ride from NJ to the Marlinton WV area to ride with my Ducati buddies. I took the R1200RT for the 1300 miles of riding over three days. We do this area of the country beacuse it has some excellent twisty roads ranging from 20mph mountain switchbacks to 120mph sweeping turns.



I found the R1200RT absolutely fantastic for all types of corners and perfect for the straighter sections, crusing along between 70 and 90mph. I did not miss being on my R1 at all.



I do a lot of track days and street riding had become boring on my sportbikes to the point where I had little desire to ride them out on normal roads.



The R1200RT has rekindled the love of motorcycling I used to have. Now 3000 miles later, in six weeks of casual riding, I can see why you voted the BMW R1200RT Number One.



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Old 10-21-2005, 06:58 AM   #49
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Default Chase Van?

The MO van is one of the most horrible things ever to be in, on or around, and has never chased anybody on any of our tests. We were totally on our own. We never use a chase vehicle on road tests.



You can indeed lock you helmet and other gear at the end of a day's ride, since you take your stuff out of the saddlebag to go into the hotel, right? Then you stow your helmet. Also, a lot of people use these bikes for day rides and commuting, too.



We've been talking for some time about MO doing more extended rides for touring/ST bike tests. Maybe we'll be able to do that next year.



Thanks for your feedback!



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Old 10-21-2005, 07:19 AM   #50
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Default Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout

nice work, fellas. but one complaint: no one gives a rat's a$$ what manufacturers claim their bikes weigh. throw the damned thing on a scale and tell us ed zachary.



i've read a bunch of different versions of how much the ulysses weighs. it sure would be nice to get the straight scoop.



it ain't rocket science.



oh, and by the way ... did you succeed in unsticking the ulysses' throttle cable? or is it a design flaw? that kinda thing seems pretty lame, and casts doubt on buell's claim of modern reliability and quality control.
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