I see the Adventure scene now clearly split three ways:
Machines: GS, X-Tourer, Stelvio, eXplorer, Tenere
Attributes: Chunky, pillion-friendly, touring road-orientated, comfortable, low-maintenance, big-bore, shaft-drive
Machines: MTS12, Versys 1000, 990SMT, Tiger 800
Attributes: Decent ptw, well handling, sporting road-orientated, fairly comfortable, large engines, chain-drive
Machines: Tiger 800 XC, F800GS, KLR650
Attributes: Agile, genuine off-road in dry-weather on gravel / fire-roads ability, mid-size engines, chain-drive
It's a pretty good segmentation of the Adventure bikes. Where would you put the KTM Adventure (less than 225 kg fully fueled) though?
It would fit in your third category, except for the engine size.
It's a pretty good segmentation of the Adventure bikes. Where would you put the KTM Adventure (less than 225 kg fully fueled) though?
It would fit in your third category, except for the engine size.[/quote]
I own one of these and it, in my opinion, is a very heavy beast indeed. This manifests itself early on in the piece with getting it on or off the stand, pushing it out of the garage etc, then later on gravel when the front slides wide in the deep stuff at the side of the road.
On Tarmac of course, even 2 up with luggage the BALANCE of the bike (which is a very important element and not mentioned too much thus far) is extremely good and the mass of the bike is not noticed very much. Try picking the bugger up after and off and you will notice however.
BMW are optimistic on their weight claims. The French mag MotoStation compared with the SuperTen and put them on the scales:
"Wet Weight, verified by Moto-Station
Now, we weigh our own motorcycles. Here are our numbers compared with the values ”‹”‹builders.
BMW R1200GS: 254.6 kg fully fueled, AV 121.2 kg / AR 133.4 kg (229 kg announced without options)
Yamaha XT1200Z: 274.8 kg fully fueled, AV 131.4 kg / AR 143.4 kg (261 kg announced with suitcases) "
Honda's "curb" weights are dead accurate, and in fact may be slightly generous. They list the curb weight of the VFR1200F at "591lbs full of fuel and fluids, ready to ride" I recently read a comparison featuring the VFR where they showed 587lbs on their scale.
Regarding ***! Are we counting the ! As a letter?
If not, you can only mean "hat"
Anyone know who actually coined the term "tall rounders". ?
Stroke of semi genius if you ask me.
What is my R1200R? A "short rounder" ?
No wonder they don't sell too well! Chortle.
The above discussion just highlights how confusing the issue surrounding weight classification is. Especially in the tall rounder category, as there are invariably numerous options available. Panniers etc. (are they still referred to as panniers?).
So, is kerb (curb) weight the bike with oil, coolant (where applicable) and brake fluids, but no fuel?
Jcsh, we alluded to the "balance" when we mentioned several times Honda's efforts at mass centralization. I even joked that their solution to reach such good mass centralization was to stick a 20kg lump of lead at the center of their bikes... :-)
The Adventure might be heavy to pick up because its center of gravity probably sits higher (long suspensions). Still, it's 225 kg fully fueled and even less for the R version. Did you try to pick up an R1200GS Adventure? :-)
Phobe, this is what I always said, an R1200GS with all the options, fuel and the 3 cases will be closer to 260 kg than to the 229 kg quoted! Your data from moto-station shows that: they weighed an R1200GS with the usual options and the 2 side cases. Bingo! 254 kg. Add the top case and we are close to the 260 kg mark.
That being said, 254 kg is still 20 kg less than the Yam or Honda's quoted weight. I'm pretty sure the honda's quoted weight does not include the side cases and may be some extras, so the 1200 GS will be close to 30 kg lighter.
Also, BMW are not lying, if you were to buy a base R1200GS with no options and no accessories, I'm pretty sure you could weigh it and find that it actually weighs 229 kg, or 234 kg, as this seems to be the new wet weight for 2012 as now quoted on their website. Not sure where the 5 kg difference comes. May be some options are now included in the base model?
Pittsy, "hat" is exactly what I meant! :-P
"Short rounder" is pretty funny!
Kerb weight, which is the weight quoted by KTM for example, is the weight of a fully functional bike (so with all fluids, battery, etc...) but no fuel. I know, it's weird to call a bike "fully functional" if it does not have any fuel! :-)
But still that's a weight that you can refer to. It shows how light or heavy the manufacturer made the bike without the skewing effect of a fuel tank of gas (that would penalize bikes with big tanks and favor bikes with a ridiculously small tank).
Kerb weight, kerb weigh with 5 liters of gas or even full weight (if you know tank capacity) they all work. Dry weights are useless.
Kerb weights would seem to me to be the most fair way to make a straight comparison then.
Dry weights would tend to be unfair towards air cooled bikes, I think.
Wet weights would mislead in a straight comparison because each bike could have different fuel tank sizes, spoiling a straight comparison. (as Vroum has pointed out)
Manufacturers should state all three. Tests or reports would be better for passing all 3 figures on to the reader. That would be informative as we could see where the weight comes from, if you see what I mean. Eg coolant, fuel etc.
Also, anyone in the know, or to whom it means a lot, could judge fairly.
The new Honda engine leans heavily on car engine technology and uses car parts.
Am I right in saying that the /5, /6 and /7. Series BMW boxers used pistons, shells, camchain/tensioner and maybe other components from a BMW car of the period?
Also, anyone in the know, or to whom it means a lot, could judge fairly.
Only 1 standard is needed: Curb weight, including all fluids and full tank of fuel, ready to ride... Like Honda has been using for a few years.
If the tank capacity is also stated it is easy for spec jockeys to see which ones are carrying a bit more fuel weight.
For me, your comment highlights the problem. Confusion!
You say kerb weight is with full fuel tank. Vroum reckons that kerb weight is all other fluids but no fuel. I'm not saying who is right or wrong. I certainly don't know. I'm not trying to start an argument. Just the fact that there is obviously confusion.
Personally, my bike choice wouldn't hinge too heavily (!) on weight, though i'm always keen to know. But if we are comparing figures we need to be sure we compare fairly.
Where would one look for clarification on industry standards? SAE handbook maybe?
I guess we're trapped in semantics then... to me, curb weight means as it sits on the curb, full of fuel and fluids.
There's no point in any "dry weight" stat being offered, as nobody seems to know which items are being left out to consider a motorcycle "dry". It's a totally useless figure.
I've heard that even tires are sometimes not included in dry weights.
Had a quick look.
SAE site looks like it will have information on the subject but it will cost to acquire the document.
There is further confusion on Wikipedia. They have sections on dry weight and wet weight but there seems to be no motorcycle industry standard on what exactly qualifies!
What phobe has said about Honda, curb weight and what that includes is confirmed. But it seems maybe only Honda see it that way. BMW list wet weight but that won' t include a FULL fuel tank, but they do state what percentage of fuel is included.
You would think that what constitutes dry weight should at least level the playing field, but I'm not convinced!
The plot thickens.
Just as well we're an easy going lot!
And motorcycles tend to have a surplus of power.
We like that.
KTM 900 Adv is a bit of a crossover nowadays. Either a heavy dual-sport or chain driven adv-tourer. I think more latter camp, but it does have genuine off-roader kudo's so take your pick really.
I part-exchanged my Tiger 1050 for an R1200GS; neither with panniers/top-case I might add. The BMW instantly felt heavier, yet Triumph claim their bike is 30 kilo heavier than BMW claim. Go figure? Perhaps the RG-LC will make an SMT look heavy? ;-D
The eXplorer is the same wet weight as the Tiger 1050 according to Triumph's own figures, which in turn is only 7 kilo lighter than the Tenere. Interestingly the Tiger 800's both have slightly better hp and lb/ft ptw ratio than the Tiger 1050. That's progress I guess.
I first coined the phrase tall-rounder on web forums and then people like BIKE magazine and MCN started regularly using it, but more as a cheeky term than a proper genre defining category. Who knows, maybe Adv-Tour and Adv-Sport will catch on to the widely used (in the US at least) Dual-Sport segments?
Anyway, back to the NC700X please...
So many people complain about the NC700X's power but would it be enough for my riding? I bought my Honda Gold Wing new in 1989 and it now has 418000 km. Since my wife doesn't ride anymore and my knees hurt, I'm looking to downsize. My GL1500 weighs 400 kilos and makes about 73 kW. The NC700X weighs about 228 kilos and makes 38 kW. So the power to weight ratio of these two bikes would be 0.183 and 0.167. I don't think that's much of a difference. Another big complaint is that the rev limiter kicks in too early. Well, my Gold Wing red-lines at 5,500 so I don't think I would mind. We Americans tend to like putt-putting at low RPMs anyway.
My bike is my daily commuter as well as a long distance tourer. The removable saddlebags and trunk add 103 liters to the tank-trunk so the bike would have about 2/3 of the luggage space of my Wing. Not only is that good enough, the saddlebags (sorry, panniers) look fairly narrow. I hate panniers that stick out too far as on the Wee-Strom.
Nobody in the bike community seems to care about the gas mileage. That's weird because I want bragging rights and 24.8 km/l ought to shut up that smug Prius owner. Besides, it's performance that I can use, unlike a mega-powerful engine. Moreover, my Wing only gets 17.1 km/l so a trip cross-country would cost 1/3 less than my Gold Wing. That means more nights in motels instead of camping.
Bottom line: The NC700X seems like a good fit for me and I look forward to test-riding one. I mean if it even comes to the USA. Lots of American Honda dealers dislike "small" bikes.
Have you had a look at jag's post regarding thrust curves, in the technical section? A set of these for the new Honda would fit into what you are saying, but they would go further.
If you do a lot of 2 up riding with luggage one very important factor to bear in mind is that when comparing power to weight ratios, when you add in rider, pillion and luggage, the percentage difference between the two bikes will narrow quite a lot.
The other thing is the new honda's lack of outright power theoretically should start to show itself as the speed increases. There is no substitute for power to overcome drag, except streamlining. Kevin has done an article on drag, although I can't remember if it was in an MCN tech watch article.
50 bhp will probably get you to about 110mph with the fairing. Looking at the torque curve in Kevin's test article, the new bike produces the same torque at 4000 rpm as the cbf600 does at 8000 rpm! But the max power on the new bike is produced where the cbf600 is doing just short of 7000 rpm. So, as both bikes have similar fairings, you would think the top speed of the nc700 should be whatever the cbf600 does at 7000 rpm. Although that would be about 90 to 100 which sounds low!
The bike should feel and sound quite nice as the crank pins are arranged to fire like a 90 degree v twin. In a lot of respects like a TDM I would imagine.
bdimon "I bought my Honda Gold Wing new in 1989 and it now has 418000 km" - wow! That's some mileage! I was reading yesterday about a guy who has a CrossTourer on order. He currently rides a Varadero with around 272,000 trouble-free miles on the clock. It's hearing things like that which is making me think about potentially returning to Honda with an order of a CrossTourer myself.
The NC700X could prove a good choice, but my dealer tells me Honda will not be bringing it into the US for 2012. Which seems a shame.
If you want a light, frugal, comfortable and hassle free (belt drive) touring machine then I would say look at BMW's F800ST, which is a really nice ride at typical US speeds.
If luggage space and low seats/centre of gravity are important then why not consider a maxi-scooter? Bikes like the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive sell well in the US. Honda are bringing out a replacement for the SilverWing, Yamaha a replacement for the TMax and BMW are introducing their own big-bore scooters for 2012 too.
pittsy is right to say that ptw ratio, thrust curves and aerodynamics all play their part. The easiest of these to self quantify is combine power to weight figures for both torque (punch) and hp (repeatability). However, especially as you ride two-up, it's important to allow for rider(s) weight too.
For instance. The KTM 990 SMT is significantly lighter than a Triumph eXplorer 1200 and X-Tourer 1200. A spec sheet eye-grabbing 50 kilo no less. And we do know that this will affect all aspects of performance. This also helps it have a better PTW ratio against those bikes and this is a strong enough argument in itself for many a would-be purchaser. However, that's when the machine isn't been ridden, so it's largely an irrelevance at this point in the conversation.
So what is relevant? Well I would offer working out the combined ptw's including the rider and pillion in question. For instance, if we sit two large guys on the bike (I've used 100 kg, 220 lbs, 15st.10 for simplicity) we can see that the not particularly powerful or torque-laden SMT has suddenly gone from numero uno to last place!
Semantics aside of rider and pillion weight in question, what it clearly highlights is that the stop-gap, if you like, is significantly shortened when we ignore weight, combine ptw, and even more so when in the real world we account for an operative of the motorcycle, plus a pillion if we regularly ride two up.
As Kevin has previously mentioned, best not to get too hung up on claimed weights (BMW RGS 223 kg wet, my arse! :-D) and go and ride the things. We are much more likely to be put off by a fairing bashing our knees or a screen that turns our heads into a punch bag than we are being slightly behind in the spec-sheet pub bragging rights.
Combined PTW - Machines Only:
Marque Machine Fuelled hp h ptw lb.ft t ptw Combined
KTM SMT 212 114 0.54 73 0.35 0.88
Triumph eXplorer 260 130 0.52 89 0.34 0.86
Honda X-Tourer 275 127 0.46 92 0.33 0.80
Combined PTW - Machines, Rider & Pillion:
Marque Machine Fuelled Two-up hp h ptw lb.ft t ptw Combined
Triumph eXplorer 260 460 135 0.29 89 0.19 0.49
Honda X-Tourer 275 475 127 0.27 92 0.19 0.46
KTM SMT 212 412 114 0.28 73 0.18 0.45
Just an aside but I was talking to someone at the recent classic motorcycle show who had a BMW r100 on the stand, which had done 300,000 miles! I was interested because I've recently bought one as a "project" and was wondering if the 84,000 miles on clock was a problem. Guess not! I'm presently modifying the bike's power to weight ratio, and I'm not tuning the engine!
Back to the nc700..
CS - Very interesting analysis. Looks like the lighter bike will be affected most when fully loaded.
Not sure if this point has been previously made but the torque curve's 2,000-4,000 rpm (or thereabouts) strength should also be of importance since this is where most of our riding takes place.
These are all factors which explain why I'd like to see more rolling performance data: in 3rd, 4th gear etc from various speeds.. It provides a good understanding of a bikes's strengths and weaknesses and how it fits to ones riding.
One of the advantages of scooter/auto (variable speed) transmissions is that they are set-up to maximize the engine's sweet spot thus making them feel stronger.
It's not the lightest bike that is affected most... it is the less powerful and the one with the less torque (it is a 1000 cc compared to 2 1200 cc). It just happens to be the lightest (which is normal since it is a smaller bike).
If you do the same analysis with between the X-Tourer and the Multistrada 1200 (234 kg, 150 hp, 88 lb.ft) you will see that the X-Tourer remains last in PTW and TTW...
Or you could the same analysis between the X-Tourer and another X-Tourer that NCR would have gotten their hands on and made 50 kg lighter. The lighter one would remain first in PTW and TTW whatever the load on it.
What is missing from this analysis is gearing. Just taking crankshaft peak torque and hp in 6th at full throttle has virtually no relevance in the real world. Hence the need for the "thrust curves" in each gear to get a more accurate idea. But then again, you would also need thrust curves at partial throttle openings, since you are rarely at full throttle, especially in the twisties.
And speaking of twisties, you're better off handling wise with 50 kg less weight than with a 0.01 better PTW ratio.
Captain Scarlet: "It's hearing things like that which is making me think about potentially returning to Honda with an order of a CrossTourer myself." Honda makes good bikes and most bikes will last if you maintain them well.
Captain Scarlet: "My dealer tells me Honda will not be bringing it into the US for 2012." I'm not surprised that Honda would hesitate to bring the NC700X to the USA because the NT700V (Deauville) did not sell well here. On the other hand, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 has always sold well here and their new "Adventure" model is coming to the states. The panniers on that Wee-Strom make it a lot wider than my Gold Wing. That width bugs me.
I like the BMW F800ST but, like all Beemers, they are expensive to buy and maintain. That's what the Beemer riders tell me. The used ones are tempting though. The press really loves the Triumph Tiger 800; I wonder what the cost of ownership is?
A low seat is not important to me. Indeed I feel cramped if I'm too low to the ground. Luggage space is important as is a "normal" sit-up straight riding position. No cruisers or sport bikes for me, thanks. Power is not important because I'm a solo rider now and don't expect that to change. Maxi-scooters? Gee, I don't know if my ego can accept a step-through frame.
I'm also a slow rider. I have not had a speeding ticket since 1987 which is an accomplishment in the United States of low speed limits and speed traps. Call me boring but the last time I went over 140 kph was in Montana in the mid 1990s. That was legal because they experimented with no set limits. It didn't last long thanks to a disagreement of what was "reasonable and prudent." The highest speed limit in the USA is 75 mph (120 kph). Although that feels really slow in Texas or Nevada, I keep my speed under 130 kph to avoid tickets.
As far as the fun factor, I'll keep an open mind until I get a chance to ride the NC700X. If it feels good, I won't care about the numbers.
i like this bike. forget the helmet space ... that hole is gonna be use as a reserve tank... bet i can squeeze a 5 liter container in it. so at 70mpg with 19l .that's a good range before looking for petrol
Pittsy, I had a friend who was a despatch rider who took three used R100RT's to just under 200,000 miles each before eventually progressing onto the K100RT. They proved pretty reliable for him, so circa 80k is nothing to worry about.
GT, gearing and aerodynamics (riders as well as bikes) are factors aside of raw numbers. I think it was BIKE magazine said that the Tiger 800 and R1200GS in 80 to 100 mph roll-on's were consistently the same, whereby going by the ptw ratios you'd have your money on the BMW based on the manufacturers claims for both weight and power. Numbers are no substitute for the actual riding as I've mentioned. KTM's SMT data-logged performance might be sullied with my lard sat on top of it, but what the numbers won't tell anyone is that for me personally the SMT has one of, if not the very best, ride quality on real-roads that I've ever experienced before. Our world is now controlled by computers and if we're not careful we're capable of thinking like them too. Well spreadsheets don't ride bikes, so perhaps we (myself included) place too much emphasis on the hard numbers and not enough on gut feelings and fun factor.
Vroum, I think I probably kicked off the thrust curve importance debate, but you highlight the key differentiator and that is throttle opening, because whilst easy to hold 100% throttle on a dyno, we know that back in the real world most rider believe they are using on average about 75% throttle at all times, whereas the reality is nearer 25-30%. PTW ratios that account for road-ready spec with actual riders on board, thrust curves when at genuine average partial throttle openings would certainly given us a far clearer picture in terms of static performance analysis. But again the key word there is static, because as mentioned aerodynamics of both rider and machine will affect 'actual' performance when outside the sterile controlled atmosphere of a dyno room, but it's probably as close as we could get? Hhhmm, maybe we can find out the coefficient drag factor of each machine too? You'll be warmed to know that the slim SMT can expect to have a good showing in this respect too! But then again, which is worse aerodynamically speaking, a deflective barn door of a fairing or a fly screen on a lithe machine with a great big lumpy big rider on board? All I know is, it takes a cleverer man than I to work all these dependencies out into a cohesive formula within a scaleable model. But I bet Honda has a little man in a broom cupboard somewhere who can. Perhaps they let him out for a day or so at Christmas time? ;-D
bdimon, US dealers don't know whether the CrossTourer is coming into the States yet, because the importer themselves has not confirmed either way. But the longer the delay in not confirming it is, the more it's looking likely that it won't. That will be a massive faux pas on their behalf, as the Tenere isn't selling, the GS is being replaced, leaving Triumph to have the right product at the right time again, just in time to clear up a large percentage of the sales. As relatively light bikes, that are easy to ride, comfortable, practical, affordable to buy, run and service, the Tiger 800 is just superb. I loved my two long test rides on it and after riding at least 150 different bikes over the years it surprised me just how much I liked it. And to quote RIC following his test ride, I think he said "It's almost too good". I would strongly recommend a test ride before parting with your cash for any other machine. If you're over 6ft then you may prefer the taller Tiger XC. I'm actually about 6ft 2". I prefer the road version for sporty riding and the XC for touring.
Thanks for that.
I fully agree that there is virtually no substitute for being out there riding the thing instead of talking numbers. But I have to admit to being fascinated by all that kind of thing. It's great to have access to like minded people to mull these things over with.
Don't know what the weather is doing in your neck o the woods but it's snowing here. Chuffing freezing. Roll on spring!
I like the look of the NC700X along with it's specs - but not the gross kerb mass of the bike - too heavy.
Honda Australia apparently believe every day is a good track day (road racing) and will not be bringing the NC700X to Australia.
I don't get it, they try to blow smoke up your arse over the non handling "chopper" models but won't bring a model in that has the potential to be a steady seller for a long period.
pittsy, that's the the coolest thing about this web forum, it's the high quality of contributions and analytical thought without too many serious arguments. I think most members here are mature in intellect if not their passing years and are more appreciative that their views are not always the best, or even right, but quite often they have accumulative enough personal experience to add value within the thoughts that they express. I currently frequent six forums regularly, but this has always been my favourite because of these reasons mentioned and I don't see that changing in time. I don't want to make you jealous, but I had a vide-conference yesterday on my laptop whilst sat outside my local Starbucks. As I was engrossed in the conversation I didn't pay attention to the sun moving on me and the temperatures rising. By the end of the call I had slight sunburn from the 80F! Sitting outside in a t-shirt approaching Christmas week is certainly a different experience for a Limey like me! :-D
bdimon I've just been on the phone to Honda North America Customer Service and enquired if there was any more news regarding the CrossTourer potentially coming into America during the spring/summer in 2012. After some lengthy checking, the guy I spoke to said that they have already had confirmation from Honda Japan regarding which models will come into the country during those seasons and (according to him anyway) the CrossTourer definitely isn't one of them. He indicated that it could arrive late next year, but was more likely to be a spring 2013 model. Apart from this being very disappointing news, for potential America based owners, I think this is a major faux pas for Honda. Waiting until they have to compete with a (revised?) Tenere, the eXplorer and by then liquid-cooled GS shows just how out of touch they are with regards to how many bike they could potentially sell next year. This is very good news for Triumph as many will view the Tenere as underpowered, the GS as superseded and with no direct competition from Honda, the eXplorer is likely to take a huge percentage of non-GS business, which Honda could have shared in. For a bike that looked production ready nearly 18 mths ago it's very poor IMHO.
Lenz1 I totally agree with you. I don't understand the rationale of Honda. You're only mighty whilst you remember and continue to well serve the people who put you there in the first place. I like to watching racing and was pleased for Honda and Stoner this year, but I'd rather they'd not raced at all and given us the option to buy a CrossTourer or NC700 or Integra or... in America in the new year. What are they playing at? Nothing new or exciting from them for a decade and then when they start showing the new metal they're only handing them out to a select few. In a global recession companies that you can't throw money at don't deserve to do as well as more accessible companies, like Triumph, who seem to keep saying to their customers 'what do you want and when do you want it? We want your business and we'll be happy to oblige'. Since 2000, in the UK, Triumph sales are up 146% (13% in the last year, during an overall 6% downturn) and the best of the Japanese (Kawasaki) are down 10% (source: BIKE Dec '11) which says it all basically. Ho hum! :-D
CS - What Honda is doing here in the USA is nothing new. Many models never make it here. Most other Manufacturers don't export all there models here as well. Their loss.
I guess you will just have to buy the Triumph eXplorer.
While you seem quite happy with the Diavel, I'm not sure why the MTS 1200 isn't on your short list? Lack of shaft drive?
By the way, Motociclismo.it has a test ride video of the NC700X - unfortunately in Italian. They gave it a pretty good review. It would seem to be a good/practical compromise between a big Scooter and a regular bike. I believe they got 28.7km/litre.
78mpg. (imp gals). That's some going in and of itself. It's a bloody miracle for an Italian!
Cap'n : just figured out what IMO and IMHO means! Because you put it at the end of a sentence. Been scratching my head with that one for a while. Not up to speed with the latest buzzwords. In fact, using the word "buzzword" probably shows my age. Ha ha.
GT, I'm definitely starting to appreciate what you are saying about it being 'nothing new' for Honda in the US.
New magazines (like Motorcycle Escape), which focus on Adventure bikes, are cropping up all the time in the U.S.; indicating a clear interest in the genre. But with sportsbike sales down and Adventure bike sales up globally, you'd think Honda would be falling over their samurai's to get out as many Adventure genre derivatives as they could - seems to be working for BMW and Triumph doesn't it?
I was pretty interested in the CrossTourer, so it disappoints me as an individual living in the States. But to be honest with you, I feel just as sad for those in the USA that would like to see the NC700X, Integra scooter and CrossRunner 800 - none of those are coming here either!
A Honda dealer told me today that Honda has now slipped to third, out of the four main Japanese marques, in overall U.S. sales. I can't repeat here what he said about their general disposition, but trust me it wasn't too complimentary!
Yes I'm most interested in the eXplorer now. But I'd ideally like to see it and ride it before making any decision to sell or exchange my Diavel, which is a pretty special bike by all accounts, but I'm finding I'm doing high mileage riding days now and the Diavel is fine for a 300 mile day for a day or so, but for two-up, luggage laden trips longer in length and duration than that, a more practical bike focussed on comfort and all-round ability will naturally perform better. I.e. My needs are changing rather than the Ducati not meeting all my expectations. As Shuggs will tell you, it's a wonderful bike, so I'm in no hurry to let it go despite my changing needs.
I did have an MTS on order for some time before the Diavel, but it was taking forever with the typical "No idea when it'll arrive" delivery information from the importer, and I eventually had my head turned by the Diavel. In some ways time has proven the MTS would have been a better bike for my now needs, but I've no regrets I'll look back fondly on the ownership when I've retired from riding. The MTS has the best ptw ratio and looks great to my mince-pies. But the price is very high (circa $6k more than than the eXplorer) and I can't help thinking that I'm paying for clever bits that I don't need. I've owned BMW's with ESA and ridden the electronic suspended MTS a few times now too. My view is suspension like the Sachs (not flashy named WP, Showa or Ohlins) forks and shocks that the S-RR I had, work far better without the need for constant fiddling and button pushing. And you're also right, after owning six BMW's (fortunately without any bevel drive problems with the shafts) I do like the zero maintenance - cleaning rather than oiling and adjusting! Plus in the US, rather than the UK, the speed limits are lower, the traffic moves slower and you just don't need anything more than about 100 hp in all honesty. That said some of the Adventure bikes are getting very heavy. So the 135 hp / 89 lb/ft / 160 kilo (with full tank of fuel) combo, coupled with triple character, does seem a pretty decent compromise. The Triumph has some general advantages like: easy clean mag wheels, extensive accessory range, standard cruise control and 10k service intervals - even for the minor one's.
Pittsy, if you've got children don't ask them what WTF or LMFAO means! ;-D
Honda have put a lot of work into this engine and I think they are on to something by them reputedly (source: BIKE) noticing that riders nowadays rarely ride above 90 mph ("90% below 87 mph") or sit at revs higher than 6,000 rpm for very long periods of time. By taking a modern design slant on older values requirements the rider hopefully ends up with useable performance whilst enjoying the fruits of frugality. The claimed 76 mpg is impressive enough, without the Italian's claiming it's even better than that! The Integra scooter which uses the same engine also looks good too. I don't know what's wrong with me, because the older I get the worse sportsbike look and the more appealing scooters are becoming - argghh, I need more merlot/shiraz!
It's interesting to hear our colonial cousins complain about a lack of modles being imported into the US as it was not that far in the distant past that I remember the magazines in Blighty complaining about it being the opposite way round. I suspect the reality is still both and that the manufacturers do not import all models to any country.
The people at Honda and the likes are out to make money and I am sure that they have done some kind of market research into what they think will sell. I guess they will keep an eye on the situation and if it proves to be wrong then they shall modify accordingly.
Having read some of the horror stories both when I lived there and subsequently, regarding product liability and companies being sued in the USA when consumers do stupid things. If I was a manufacturer I would be reluctant to sell anything there for fear of being hauled through court because some numpty had tried to use my hand produced leather back pack as a parachute, plummeted to his death and the family look for some one to blame.
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