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staff 10-20-2005 07:36 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
The FJR, last? Madness! A last-place vote for the ST1300? The VFR800 -- every journalist's favorite bike, much to the chagrin of every reader -- didn't win?

JohnnyB will surely disapprove -- the reprisal is coming, I can feel it, and it's gonna me vitrolic, for sure.


And, don't any of you MOFOs even _think_ about complaining the Concours wasn't included!

longride 10-20-2005 07:52 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I rode the Ulysses around a bit when I was there, and it was a really cool bike. It was really tall, and I could see where that would be problem for the inseam challenged among us. Pretty much a go-anywhere bike. It would be on my list for sure

dldean 10-20-2005 07:57 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Good stuff!

But how is the handlebar vibration of the R1200Rt compared to the R1200GS?

Maybe you need a new test of the adventure tourers?

cowcomp 10-20-2005 07:59 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Re: the R12RT

Most people won't waste the money on the factory stereo - word in the owners world "it sucks!" I went without the ESA, too. That would save a bunch of money. Heated seats are GREAT. The windshield works better than any other bike I've ridden. If you read the owner's manual you could find out where to turn off the heated passenger seat.... :) I had an 05 FJR, sold it (to a guy that's a little shorter than me - he loves it), and got the Beemer. I looove it - I do the evening "find an excuse for a ride" thing often. The SO and I have gone for a couple of 250 mile Sunday afternoon cruises here in SoCal, it's the bomb!

nitrofly 10-20-2005 08:00 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Wot no Aprilia Futura?!

Tomas_P 10-20-2005 08:02 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I'm not surprised the big Beem got the nod... after all the years of development it should. Probly easily worth the money, too.

I am surprised that the FJR fared so poorly. But it has been significantly upgraded for 2006, has it not? Heat managment issues have been addressed, or so they claim...

I am gratified (but not surprised) the Uly did so well in such lofty company as these indisputably world-class machines, and in its first year on the market. Remember-- these are motorcycles, boys, not appliances, and character really DOES count. Bravo Buell!

sshorkey 10-20-2005 08:11 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
What in the world?

The Buell doesn't even belong in this lineup and the Interceptor is more sport than tourer. If your gonna add those two you might as well put in the K1200GT, R1200GS, and the R1200ST just to name a few.

If your gonna make a comparison, make it with the same kind of machines for Petes sake.

Again someone leaves out the Concours. Granted the Concours may end up being 3rd or 4th but at least it belongs in this lineup, and at half the cost.

Tomas_P 10-20-2005 08:13 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Oh, and before I forget... 'tis a nicely written, entertaining article. Thank you, MO staffers!

raudis4 10-20-2005 08:13 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
No surprise here. Just sold my 98 RT and am picking up my new 06 tomorrow at Long Beach BMW. Can't wait!

tokoloshgolem 10-20-2005 08:30 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
No Aprilia Futura, Ducati ST4 ABS, Triumph Sprint ST ABS or Yamaha FZ-1. Not to mention others like the Kawasaki ZX-14, Suzuki Hayabusa or (even) H-D V-Rod. Sports tourers? Please. Where's the Sport. Who says luggage must be hard cases. Who chose these contestants? Someone with too many nerve endings in their posterior?

Somnus 10-20-2005 08:30 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
The VFR acquitted itself given the criteria. The "With my money ..." results were consistent, suggesting that the testers saw some overall utility from the bike, if not for sport touring specifically. From the comments, and my personal experience, it's quite comfortable for long-limbed riders who stay on the twisties as much as possible -- I've done 12+ hour days on my '96.

A shootout with the Triumph ST, Aprilia Futura and BMW GS would be interesting.

bk6a 10-20-2005 09:10 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I'm not sure why the Triumph ST wasn't in this test. It is after all a sport touring bike, no?

sportbikebandit 10-20-2005 09:21 PM

Rigged !
Just kidding. As somone who has owned an Accura, Honda, Toyota I understand Sean's anti-appliance attitude. The Accura was my best car but I got bored of it. My favorite cars were a Camaro with a V-8 and Mazda RX-7. Both had oil burning issues and spent some time in the shop but I never got bored of them. It easy to see the Buell as the American Muscle Car in this lineup thus the funess vote. The BMW looks nice except from the front but they are sure popular here in Seattle along with they Yamaha and VFR. Glad Fonzie was in the voting, he added needed crediability. :) Gabe seems to back to his bold virtuous self after his obvious alcohol induced opinion given in the 600 Value shot out. The rest of you are Erik Buell groupies.

Excellent funny review, great pictures and keep up the good work. Thanks

aaydogan 10-20-2005 09:37 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
As the proud owner of 2005 Suzuki DL-1000 with a full set of hard bags and an awesome Corbin seat, I was surprised to see a miniature bike like VFR included but not the V-Strom 1000. A realize that the DL-1000 is a bit of a compromise bike but so is this category.

mlemartien 10-20-2005 09:53 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
What is the Interceptor 800 doing in this shootout??? And if so, where are the Triumph 1050 Sprint ST, Ducati ST3, etc.? I guess I'm missing the point!

eojmo 10-20-2005 10:07 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
That Buell Ulysses looks like a good sound bike with charactor. Who needs all those comfort zone extras anyway.Keep things simple and enjoy the ride.If you want appliances, enjoy them in the comfort of your home or hotel when you reach your destination.

MeatHook 10-20-2005 10:56 PM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
All that, for only $20,720???

Please, stop it. You're only encouraging them.

Sliver 10-21-2005 01:09 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Every time a manufacturer introduces a new model or refines a pervious model motorcycle, there are hordes that want to know the differences and advantages of each model. You made a great comparison in your report but the touring aspect could better be tested on some longer rides. Touring is more than a day ride. Put on a couple of 1000 mile days and then give us your choices.

GS1100GK 10-21-2005 01:48 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I agree about the Concours it should have been in there as a measuring stick if nothing else, but they also left out my beloved ZZR1200. Granted, the ZZR1200 is being phased out for the do-it-all ZX14 (still cannot understand where one bike can take the place of the ZZR1200, ZX12R, and ZRX1200), but still. Probably for the better. Every motorcycle magazine slams the bike (they do not like the accessorie luggage, and seating position) even though it is the fastest Sport Tourer around and has all day comfort. Proudly, I own the Rodney Dangerfield of Motorcycles since it get's no respect, at least until I twist the throttle and will leave them all behind!

mikehe 10-21-2005 02:37 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I find it a little hard to believe that the FJR 1300 finished two places ahead of the ST 1300 during last years shootout, and this year finished three places behind the ST 1300. No manufacturing changes in either bike during the two years. Will the true FJR (or ST) please stand up!

fizzchem 10-21-2005 02:54 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
No Sprint?

ST955BRG 10-21-2005 02:57 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
It is a shame you couldn't get hold of the new Triumph Sprint 2005 1024cc or even a Sprint rs or st 955cc. Always thought they rated as the essence of a sports tourer The bike that all other sports tourers are judged against,

Loved the test of the also-rans anyway


mildness 10-21-2005 03:20 AM

EXACTLY the Shootout I was hoping for
Thanks guys.

whipp 10-21-2005 03:54 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
I own an FJR and A R1200RT....The test was a touring test with passengers....RT wins.......Sport touring, one up with friendly comp between riders the FJ wins......

Thanks for the shootout.......

dnlwthrn 10-21-2005 03:57 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Where's the SPORT??

Maybe you should have called this the "Two-up, LuxoBarge, sportTOURING shootout...

Like others have said, you forgot the ST3/ST4s, the Triumph Sprint, and the Aprilia Futura (do they still make these?).

and yes, YOU'RE INSANE!

maladg 10-21-2005 04:33 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Now THAT is what I'm talkin' about!

I've been agonizing about which ST goes into my garage next. After spending a ton of time reading every word on Warchilds FJR Tech site and burrowing thru too many posting on the board he administers...the conclusion was, NO! Too snuggley with the wife on back, too. We have better places to schnuggle anyway.

I've had the XB12X on the brain, but the heat issues! Did anyone see MCN's write up? Heck fire - they put exhaust wrap on the back pipe. RayTek'd the frame at - what was it - 140 or so degrees? And needing a fan on the back cyl. Hmmm, I like to put lots of miles on. Sounds like potential premature shop time to me.

The Interceptor: YES! If I were 5'6" and 150 lbs. And my wife was a hobbit.

The ST13: as a current long time ST11 (and BMW R100RT - late monolever) owner, now we are talking. Not much aftermarket support though. And heavy! And a bit top heavy at that. Reliable as a tax collector. Hmmm. Tough choice coming.

The BMW R12RT. What more can I say. BMW of ATL will do test rides as will Blue Moon. Got a test ride coming as soon as I can find some time.

Fine article and great insights. Darn good catch on the FJR which is a great bike. The dominant bike media has danced around these drawbacks for too darn long.

Another great catch this article made: Adventure Tourers are rapidly becoming the Sport Tourer of choice - or at least a mighty big niche. Looking forward to your next effort. Hopefully the Adventure bikes will be shod with pure street rubber, too.

Thanks. Timely article. Anybody want to buy a 98 ST11? All maint records. Not much farkeling - pretty stock except for Metz tires, shock, forksprings & Heli's. Spare Sargent seat available!

Now should I get the Beemer and do that again or get the new gen ST13? Deja Vu all over again! Hint: back in 93 I was torn between the bike I could not afford when I was in my 20's (R100RT) and the ST11. So I got both! Though it took 5 yrs to snag "the fat lady" - my ST11.

Hmmmm. But then again the R12GS is 100 lbs lighter than the RT. Excuse me while I go back to chasing my tail.

maladg 10-21-2005 04:36 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
CW tested a tasty red 05 in current issue. I hear availability is very limited. Carrrying capacity is only about 380 lbs.

I've looked very hard at your choices, too. Excellent SPORT-tourers. Did you notice MO used passengers? I did 'cause I've got one 75% of the time. Bet you don't.

hogrider80 10-21-2005 05:18 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Bought a R12RT back in May, and the only looking back I've done is at other riders in my mirrors. I've ridden it 1700 miles through the Southwest (105degF at times!). Two up and fully loaded with gear (w/ large topcase), and the thing still did 130mph on the back roads of Utah!. Oops, didn't say that out loud, did I?

Just got back from a 1200 mile Yosemite trip. My buddy and I rode Sonora and Ebbett's passes, and we did a lot of riding at 70mph+, and quite a bit at 90 (dang, I didn't say that out loud, did I?!?). The RT was incredible.

Stable. Comfortable. Fast. Smooth (an order of magnitude moreso now that I've got 5500 miles+ on the clock!). The ESA is not a gimmick. I love it. Forget the radio. Got an iWay500c nav with 10GB of MP3 space. Worked flawlessly.

Other buddies that drove the bike simply couldn't believe how easy it was to go fast on all roads/conditions. They had ear-to-ear grins when the rest of us finally caught up.

Replaced two things: 1) seat; 2) windshield. The aftermarket is a good thing.

My Harley and VFR are fun for their intended use, but the RT overall has 'em licked. Now when it's time for a ride, I pick the RT every time. I LOVE this bike!

Redd_Dawgg 10-21-2005 05:18 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Worthless test.

triumph900 10-21-2005 05:21 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Where's the Sprint ST??

ddlewis 10-21-2005 05:26 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Great writeup. Except I have an XS650 w/ bags, why didn't you include one of those. j/k ;)

I think that Ulysses is the shiznit. Could be a smart move for Buell, that is capitalizing on what looks like the dawning of the Adventure-sport-tour revolution.. XB12X, GS, 950Adv, Tiger, Vstrom, Multistrada, Caponord playing the role of sport tourers would be a cool shootout. I'm pretty sure that's what 99% of their owners (KTM excluded) use them for.

Also their are two big dogs conspicuously missing from the above list of participants. How long do you reckon before Honda and Yamaha throw their Varadero and TDM hats (back) into the ring?

eldiii 10-21-2005 05:31 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
HO Hum............a Beemer, two Honda's, a Yamaha, and a Harly Clone; gimee a break! Yes they are Sport Tourers but the most vanalla bikes on the market. With the exception of the XB-12X Ulysses, the fact that the likes of Aprilla, Ducati, and Triumph were absent from the line up; bikes equally suited to this comparison with much more character, function, performance and even lower pricing lead me to suspect that MO is taking it's readership down a narrow path. The article though insightful on bland, "me to" motorcycles leave much to be desired for those passionate about touring.

If you make it far down without tuning me out I'll mention that your initial premises of touring is correct and the technical merits of the article are will taken and valid. However, bike magazines are judged by the bikes contained with-in. The article left me under whelmed based on the selection of bikes. Please do better next time.


shalbleib 10-21-2005 05:39 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
i don't usually ***** about the reviews. as a matter of fact, this is a first, but it just didn't really seem to decidely answer anything. it seemed like everyone had a different opinion for the most part. and i'm not going to be a whiny FJR owner, but how does a bike that has always beat the ST1300, lose to it this time around with little explanation, and to top it off come in last place, to a buell nonetheless? to be honest, my biggest beef, is the selection. i mean a lot of people use these comparos as buyers guides. for that reason, if you're going to include dual sports, then where's the multi, the 1200GS (which would surely STOMP the buell), the strom, or the ktm??? and why no sprint?! what about the st3?! i could go on and on. if you can't test 18 bikes at once because you don't have the riders and passengers (HUGE kudos to including passengers - i'd just take my s2r everywhere if it weren't for taking flack from a female companion) then announce that you're going to do a 3 part, wide range, sport tourer comparo and cover all of the bikes that could potentially win the battle. i just think it would be much more helpful to the readers/customers.

scott halbleib

NEDucati 10-21-2005 05:49 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Great article. But as others have said, the Aprilia Futura, Ducati ST3/ST4 and Triumph Sprint ST 1050i were conspicuously missing.

I've owned a 2003 Honda ST1300 and a 2002 Honda VFR800-VTEC and they are both fantastic bikes - one is simply bigger than the other - the ST1300 is perfect two-up and the VFR is perfect as a solo sport-tourer.

maladg 10-21-2005 05:57 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
And from what I hear: NO HEAT ISSUES!!!!

jeffs 10-21-2005 06:01 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
You guys kinda let me down with the passengers.

I've been waiting for this writeup ever since you first mentioned doing it - specifically to hear the passenger feedback. Then... it's not really included. Ideally, the passengers would have had a blurb in which to voice their feelings about each bike. I see the "passenger schlepping" points, but it seems like they're points assigned by the rider, not passenger -- which isn't what I'm after.

Oh well....


As most people, I'm not thrilled at the inclusion of the Ulysses. I mean, why stop there... why not a Vstrom or a Multistrada? A Sprint would have been nice to see though.

I do wonder about the "with my money" voting. Are you REALLY voting with your own money, or just choosing the one that you'd like to have given to you... Would Gabe really spend his own $20K on the RT


Here's another random idea... How about a "bikes for tall people" roundup. Bikes like the Vstrom and the Ulysses never fare very well in tests because your shorter testers hate them. Yea, the article would only be useful to a fraction of your readership, but it would still be a good read. Ulysses, V-strom 1000/650, KTM Adventure 950, and whatever else fits.

maladg 10-21-2005 06:05 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Couple of points:

1. The article stated in one of the first 2 or 3 paragraphs that MO wanted to take a NEW look at what constitutes a proper Sport Tourer...not their exact words but probably close enough.

2. They brought PASSENGERS. Not a whiney FJR owner my a$$... I love the FJR EXCEPT for the heat issues -yes I've ridden on hot days...have two friends with 05's....and the passenger digs are just too danged tight for me and my sweetie.

3. the website you provided the dead link to is Firefox unfriendly.

So there! Thats my snippy comments for the day.

matchman 10-21-2005 06:06 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Time to put the "sport" back in sport touring, you guys came off sounding just like the stereo-type middle aged touring riders you diss'd. I kept thinking that of that guy at the Daytona Bike Week who drives around in the motorized Lazy-Boy recliner. Where is the Ducati ST3/4, the Multistrada, the Triumph Sprint or the Aprilia Futura? Maybe a better definition of the category is in order before you start picking bikes to ride perhaps Aggresive Sport Touring, Adventure Sport Touring, Sedate Sport Touring, Touring...etc.

maladg 10-21-2005 06:08 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
My wife is smallish. The MultiStrada pass. seat is a one cheek job at best. Have you even sat on one? - the back that is.???

My wife did. She howled. My heart was broken. I had dreams of an unplugged, rechipped MultiStrada S with the ubersuspenders. but it was not to be.

ofreen 10-21-2005 06:15 AM

Re: 2005 Sport Touring Shootout
Well, I know I am a cheap b*stard, but the winner costs $20,720? Does everybody else think that is reasonable? Is the BMW so much better than the others that that price is justified? $12,498 for the Interceptor? My '90 CBR1000F with Givis is still looking pretty good.

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