- Oct 17, 2010
- South Eastern, CT
So I am ready to move up in the motorcycle world. Specifically, I am looking to upgrade to a larger, more powerful adventure touring style bike. I currently ride a 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 that I upgraded for adventure touring. I really like the KLR and will be sad to see it go. The KLR is economical, comfortable, rock solid reliable, easy to work on and really does go just about anywhere. My problem with the KLR is that I do more long trips and 2 up riding than I even thought I would. The KLR just does not have the power for this and vibrates a bit too much to do long trips. This being said, I would definitely like to stay in the adventure touring/slightly off road capable style of bike. My budget is about $15,000 max but staying under that would be even better. I prefer to buy new but lightly used is good also. Comfort, capability, reliability and performance are some of the most important features I am looking for. I use my motorcycles for a combination of commuting, longer trips, 2 up trips, light offroad and exploring. In order for me to be happy, I really need a versatile motorcycle. Here are my top 2 choices plus some others I am considering, please give me any insight opinion you may have: 1. New 2014 Triumph Tiger 800 XC - This bike seems to have mostly positive reviews, makes adequate power, is comfortable, capable and good looking. I have some concern that the 800CC inline triple will be barely adequate for 2 up riding and I also have no idea how reliable or economical this bike will be in the long term ownership. My local dealer is selling this for $12,5K out the door and includes $1500 worth of triumph accessories installed for free, seems like a hard to beat value. 2. New 2014 Suzuki V-strom 1000 Adventure- My local dealer has these for $12K out the door which seems like a good deal. Sitting on this bike was very comfortable and it looks pretty good too. It comes standard with some good accessories like crash bars, hard luggage, ABS and traction control which is nice. It should have typical Suzuki reliability and inexpensive maintenance requirements which I am happy about. From what I can see so far, this bike will need some aftermarket upgrades and also suffers from a very snatchy (on/off) throttle response for which there is no real cure. I also wish this bike had a better sounding exhaust note and a touch more ground clearance but it still seems like a solid choice. 3. Lightly used 2012 Ducati Mulistrada 1200. I normally would say this bike is too expensive to buy and own but a nearby dealer has this listed for $11K which puts it in my price range. I get excited about the idea of owning this bike; 150 horsepower, very good handling, high tech riding modes and rider aids with typical Ducati comfort and quality. This bike is less off road capable than the others but makes up for it with performance and high tech features. I can't seem to find any long term reliability reports and I have heard maintenance can be complicated and expensive. That being said, reviews for this bike are almost all positive and what few owner reports I have seen say this bike is very reliable. I really like this bike but my frugal and practical side makes it an uncomfortable choice for me. 4. A demo 2015 BMW R1200GS. This is another bike that really gets me pumped. I have always wanted one of these but they have always been too expensive for me. A nearby dealer has a lightly used Demo model listed for $17,300. This is a little out of my price range but for such a machine, the price is close enough for me to handle it. This bike is the King of adventure bikes and does everything well. I really like the looks of the new model but again, the frugal and practical demons inside me really talk me out of this one. There is very little user level maintenance on these bikes and I have heard maintenance and repair bills are outrageous on these. However, If reliability is good and maintenance costs are not as expensive as I have heard, I would be super excited and this could very well be the last motorcycle I ever have to buy. I really want this bike but am not sure how much I trust it or if want to spend quite this much money. Other bikes I am partially considering: 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000, Aprilia caponord and Yamaha super Tenere. If you are still reading this, help me spend my money! I am going to buy one of these, I just don't know which yet. Real world experience is the best but opinions and conjecture are OK too!!!