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BikeMeet Cafe / Decisions, decisions - Replacing a BMW GS1200
« Last post by Radar on July 20, 2018, 12:07:11 AM »
Decisions, decisions
Replacing a BMW GS1200

I know in the accepted order of the universe that once you buy one BMW GS1200 that it is inevitable that you will buy another: You have not merely bought a motorcycle when you sign on the dotted line for your GS, you have in fact been assimilated into the collective….you must, when the time comes, buy the next model that boasts a revised something or another that is clearly vastly superior and well worth the thousands extra that you will be expected to cough up on top of your existing GS in order to enjoy the delights of a TFT screen or a new way of selecting some function or other. Or do you? I know a man willing to go against the tide, to leave the collective…a rebel! Here we have a man willing to sell his GS and replace it with, gulp…something else!!

His existing GS has been his mount for the last two years and a little over 30,000 mils from new. He uses it almost exclusively for commuting (no tedious continent crossing here, all recorded via Go-Pro) but he now fancies a change and wants to replace the old bus with something else! Does he not know the way of things?!

Stu's Feedback:
Ok, so the reason for taking the RED pill to escape the BMW matrix is a follows…
Buy a premium brand bike, enjoy unparalleled robustness, fine engineering, longevity and a status that gives you excellent residuals. Invest a not inconsiderable chunk of money, then another chunk on essential accessories ( that will make commuting a joy and last what was supposed to be a longterm tenure or at least bits that could be easily transferred to the next model year steed…hence making these premium priced accessories as bit more VFM) and I will be set for life….happy in my ignorance

So, since taking the pill, there has been something of acknowledgement of the brutual truth
These things aren’t that robust (well, at least mine isn’t…it’s had some pretty big things go wrong), some of the quality is questionable and it turns out that it haemorrhages value when you go over 5k per year (WTF…this is supposed to be a globe trotting machine, not some garage queen….I’d have taken less of a hit if I’d bought the lunatic S1000XR that I really wanted). So whilst the dealer is very happy to try and sort stuff out and keep me a happy customer, even if the warranty isn’t worth the paper its written on …I’m getting fed up with the 80 mile roundtrip. In short, I reckon running a Panigale through the winter as my daily commuter would have been less painful.

Anyway he has roped me into this process and I have joined him in his quest and so far five runners are in the race for his business and have been ridden to evaluate their right to take the place of the GS.

The Contenders:
1.   Yamaha XTZ1200 Tenere

The actual example he was looking at was a fully loaded ultra-low miles bike, but the one in the showroom was owned by private individual and couldn’t be ridden. With no demo bike available he had to resort to a leggy 40k 2012 example to at least give the big Yamaha a try. I joined him, riding my Ducati 2008 S2R (I am yet to be assimilated) around a 16 mile loop of local Worcestershire roads that had a little of everything; open roads, tighter sections, urban areas etc. Well to be blunt he didn’t seem to like it, in particular the way it handled, especially the front end feel…NEXT!

Stu's Feedback:
Someone’s always raving about Yamaha’s …so try Yamaha’s GS equivalent (without the expensive electronic gizmo’s to go wrong)…another big twin, sufficient torque and a shafty…..ideal commuter tool.
So, whilst not the freshest example to try it took all of 10 yards to work out that the thing was like steering a supertanker in comparison to the GS…the fact that the junction at the end of the dealership sort of doubles back on itself wasn’t filling me with confidence…I made it with some judicious clutch slipping. I was getting flash backs to my first ride on a feet-forward Victory on the twisty lanes of Warwickshire….will need to apply some concentration to steer this Yam….good job I hadn’t suggested that the test route included some twisties otherwise there would be a high potential to test out the Dakar inspired off-road capabilities.
Making it back unscathed was a relief…clearly 10 years of bike development had moved things in comparison to largely unchanged Super Ten design....suffice to say its off the list

2.   Yamaha MT-09 Tracer GT

Having consulted with a friend of mine who has knocked a big mileage on a Tracer with few issues next on the hit list was the new for 2018 GT model. We went over exactly the same route as we had when trying the XTZ and he came back highly impressed. Way more fun to ride, comfortable and well equipped too. However he wasn’t keen on the current range of colours on offer, but he did get some ‘numbers’ from the sales team…WATCH THIS SPACE…

Stu's Feedback:
What a polar opposite to the XTZ…light, steerable, fast….I could keep up easily with the Ducati riding mad man in front of me (makes a change although I think he’d only engage impulse rather than warp drive). Very much like my old tiger in feel, just with better brakes and a nice TFT screen. The flies in the ointment…what the hell do I do with the Roll-On/Roll-Off shipping container that masquerades on my GS as a top box and why do they offer them in such cr*p colours. Let’s see what happens when 19MY gets released (I’m channelling speedblocks as a paint scheme)…if not, I’ll take the primer grey demo at a discount and get it wrapped !!
We now move on a few days for next in the race…

Big E's Tracer review...

My Tracer Review...

3.   KTM 1090 Adventure
The big Austrian is next under the microscope, and like that most famous of Austrians, Mr Schwarzeneggerr, the KTM is a powerful beast…160bhp! I wasn’t with him when he tried this one, but he loved the way it boogied with all that power to play with. Nagging doubts about reliability over 30k miles in two years and depreciation remained but…WATCH THIS SPCE, or as Arnie might put it…I’ll BE BACK (possibly…)!!

Stu's Feedback:
OK…I didn’t try the full fat 160bhp 1290 Super adventure…I tried the 1090 half fat with 125bhp…still a hoot once I’d worked out that the fun started past my usual short shift point of 4k. The quality control seems to have improved since the 1190 I test rode 3 years ago thankfully  but despite the thing being ORANGE (it aint subtle) and the top-box would look at home…the spec is poverty and there’s that niggle about QC and the thought of trying to extract warranty repairs out of the local dealer

Fast forward another week and the next two competitors come to the floor

4.   Honda Africa Twin DCT

This is a beautifully built and presented bike and once again I joined my friend on his quest as he rode the legendary AT on another selection of Worcestershire roads. I led the way on my Ducati once more acting like a ‘chase plane’ as we circulated another challenging 15 mile loop. Not the same as we used before but providing a similar mix of roads. He came back impressed in some respects, but wasn’t at home with the DCT automatic transmission and had a more minor issue with some of the decals being a little tacky and pointless….so….NEXT!!

Stu's Feedback:
In my head this was very much a sensible option…Honda reliability, fit n finish, nice looking bit of kit with all the right bits on it. Hated the DCT, shifted too quickly so you missed all the fun up the rev range…much better to use it in manual. OK, so DCT isn’t essential you can order a manual (which I would do anyway), but there was something going with the ergonomics….1/2mile in and my calf was aching, then at the 30mins marker my butt cheek went numb…and the LCD screen wasn’t compatible with my polarised sunglasses (essential kit for us middle aged bikers to look cool) and my height…I had to bob my head like an owl to see anything on it ! Another off the list

Big E's AT review...

5.   Triumph XC800 Tiger XRT

Well now it was the turn of the plucky Brit contender to take over from the Bavarian Behemoth. He has run a XC800 in the past, he enjoyed it, but this was the bike that was traded in on his current GS, so it was always going to be a tough gig for the Triumph. This was the very latest 2018 model with all the latest gadgets and updates suchas a TFT screen. It is also the most expensive he has tried so far. Riding yet another 15 mile loop an yet another mix of Worcestershire tarmac he came back impressed, but not blown way and a slight feeling that it was like going out with an old girlfriend again…NEXT!

Stu's Feedback:
Very much like my old XC….even down to not being able to easily slip my boot between the footpeg and the gear lever…..I needed to know whether the 200+ changes that Triumph have been trumpeting has made a significant difference….in short…. Nope (they should really turn their attention to the brakes…as bad as the leggy Super Ten from last week!). It’s also the one with the highest cost to change and I think the Tracer is better (ok….I’m ready for my stoning but all the Trumpet riders)

My XC800 review...

Big E's review of a XC...

So five bikes in, the GS remains, but two contenders are pushing it hard…the Tracer GT and the mighty KTM. There are some others to consider, the Suzuki Vstrom 1000 and the Ducati Multistrada perhaps? So far he has no mentioned getting another GS…so let’s hold our breaths and see what happens next…

Stu's Feedback:
The V-strom is uglier than I am (and that’s going some) and a bit old skool now…it’d have to be an epic bargain but you never know
Ducati Multi….as good way to throw £20k away in 3 years and the servicing costs are eye-watering (even compared to Triumphs eye opening costs)
Another GS…would have to go some to reverse my slightly jaded view of Germany’s modern Panzer.
The F850GS would have been an option with its updated engine and new chassis but someone in Germany (actually in India) is filling the front forks with marshmellow’s they dive so much….and being a less than attentive rider I generally hit the front brakes hard and late, which on the occasions I’ve had the bike as a loaner, I’ve been close to scrapping the chin guard of my helmet on the floor it dived so much.

Any suggestions ??

Kidderminster Motorcycle Mart

Sutton Motorcycles (Bromsgrove)

Kestral KTM

Classics / Re: Classics at Quatt Shropshire - Pictures
« Last post by HippoDrones on July 16, 2018, 02:36:34 PM »
they often appear on ebay, also with stowage for an SA80 5.56 Rifle lol :D
Classics / Re: Classics at Quatt Shropshire - Pictures
« Last post by Radar on July 16, 2018, 01:32:03 PM »
Some nice 2Ts there. I contemplated getting one of those ex army Harley Davidson dirt bikes, they are pretty sturdy bikes!
The strokers were lovely...I have not seen one of those HD's before...really liked it
Classics / Re: Classics at Quatt Shropshire - Pictures
« Last post by HippoDrones on July 08, 2018, 03:15:54 PM »
Some nice 2Ts there. I contemplated getting one of those ex army Harley Davidson dirt bikes, they are pretty sturdy bikes!
They do have good morphine there though! :D

In that case...
Meetings and events / Re: Old Rose and crown Bike Nights 08/06 & 29/06
« Last post by Radar on July 07, 2018, 12:39:45 AM »
That lil DT was bang tidy! :-)

..... and a meal isn't a meal unless it has pudding! :P

It was perfect I kid you not.
Classics / Classics at Quatt Shropshire - Pictures
« Last post by Radar on July 06, 2018, 11:56:12 PM »
I often pop into the cafe at Quatt between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth and many, many posts have been put up about the place. Thing is you can just turn up on pretty much any weekend over the summer and be treated to a free bike show! I was up there a couple of weeks ago and this lot were there...

Modified LC's...loads of work has gone in here....

DT125LC, the stuff of dreams for a teenager in the mid 1980's

Honda 175, looks to be a US those pipes!

The rare 750 twin Kwak...not the greatest bike according to contemporary reviews, it was somewhat overshadowed by it's 4 cylinder stable mates, but I think it looks cool

Even the cars there have class...

Is this the coolest HD?

Wallace and Grommet rocket ship...

The much rarer Cx500 custom...this one is another US re-import, but the courier company I worked for in 85 had a few of these and I rode them frequently

The big Z always looks good..

Much more modern, but a classic from the second they screwed it together in Italy...MV Agusta F4

Not a Madonna fan myself, but you have to appreciate the craftsmanship involved here

The original AT, cool...capable

This was just a random Sunday afternoon! See what I mean!

Get up there, buy tea, eat butties...enjoy

Meetings and events / Crossgates Run – 01/07/2018 - Hello old friend - Pictures!
« Last post by Radar on July 06, 2018, 05:21:20 PM »
Crossgates Run – 01/07/2018

There was a time when this run was pretty much the staple of my riding time. The pressure on me from work and a young family often meant that a quick 3-4 hour blast to and from the café at Crossgates was all the biking time I would get once or twice a month. I got to know the run well. But time has passed, pressure on my time has eased as my kids got have older and in recent years I have enjoyed more bike time riding much further afield. So as a result the good old ‘Crossgates Run’ has become somewhat neglected. So last weekend I gathered the troops and put that right….Old mate Andy aka ‘Red-Leader’ rocked up on his BMW R1200R and lead the line as he used to, while Toggsy (CBR1000RR), Matt (GS1200A) and Kat (RSV1000) joined me on my MV to ‘do the loop’.
So far the summer of 2018 has been a corker weather wise and this morning was no different as we neatly lined up astern of ‘Red-Leader’ on his R1200: Up the Bewdley by pass, going over the bridge across over the River Severn as the throttles opened and the exhaust notes began to harden…out through Far Forest, we stopped for fuel in Cleobury ~ why does somebody always turn up for a rideout running on fumes? Then over Clee Hill, where the view was particularly stunning today. Skirting the town of Ludlow on the by-pass the miles just melted away as we sliced across country through the rustic and utterly charming village of Leintwardine. From here it was Knighton before returning to the main road for the final run into Crossgates and the rather stonking café there. 60 miles dispatched in near perfect weather. Time for a suitably refreshing 'light-salad' before retracing our steps to get home. Again a cracking 60 miles in ideal conditions. One of the most enjoyable rides that I have undertaken on my MV in the three years I have owned it.Thanks to Andy M for expertly leading the line and thanks to the lads for keeping me company so well. I will be back on the loop much sooner next time!

A few pictures:

Forming up

There's always one...


The traditional 'Boy-Band' shot...F#ck That on tour

Random Triumph custom amongst the the more modern metal at Crossgates, me likey!,-3359023,2493&tbm=lcl&rldimm=18336796206408279598&ved=0ahUKEwiAovba8IrcAhVEK1AKHaRYAvwQvS4ITjAA&rldoc=1&tbs=lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!2m1!1e16!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:9#rlfi=hd:;si:18336796206408279598;mv:!1m3!1d115197.30019035048!2d-3.35562695!3d52.2552679!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i253!2i283!4f13.1;tbs:lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!2m1!1e16!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:9
Meetings and events / Re: Old Rose and crown Bike Nights 08/06 & 29/06
« Last post by HippoDrones on July 05, 2018, 10:27:26 PM »
That lil DT was bang tidy! :-)

..... and a meal isn't a meal unless it has pudding! :P
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