Author Topic: Girly replacement: the search begins  (Read 3061 times)

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June 14, 2014, 01:14:24 AM on

Offline Advwannabe (OP)

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My 02 has nearly 100k miles up now and although I'm pretty certain she'll go 150 at least before major surgery I'm hankering for something lighter and a little more dirt worthy.

I've eliminated the Goose ( I don't like motorcycle companies that use their owners as beta testers), Stevlio ( nice bike, too heavy), Cross tourer ( ditto) and Explorer so far. Actually, I quite liked Dora, I just didn't feel like I HAD to have one after the test ride. I've not had a closer look at the F650/800s for the same reason as the Goose.

Which leaves me with the 800XC and KTM1190R which I've ridden and the Super 10 which I am yet to ride.

I loved the XC off road, dug the handling on road even with the 21" front wheel and felt it was a competent enough tourer for my needs. The KTM is a better bike overall but more expensive and a little heavier.

I think the S10 will be a better touring bike than either but will be more compromised in the dirt.

So, beaker XC owners that tour their bikes and take them off bitumen, what do you think?

Have any of you ridden the XC back to back with the Kato and preferred the XC and if so, why?

Yes, I know motorcycle purchasing is a subjective thing and I'm not looking to start an argument. I want to know what you thought and just as importantly, felt buying your bikes. As I stated above I got off Dora and thought " gee that's a nice bike", but it didn't light my fire. After riding the XC and the Kato I could have put a deposit down right there but for the voice of reason telling me to check the others out.

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June 15, 2014, 06:01:33 PMReply #1 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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OK I can't cover all the bases but I'll make as fair a stab at it as I can being an XC owner. Mine is based in Singapore where I've done most of the XC riding, Malaysia and Thailand included. Covering city riding, daily commute, slogging up and down the highways, mountain twisties but only a little gravel. Loaded with luggage and two up on occasions. All of it in mostly +30 deg C and regularly in monsoon downpours, so there are direct comparisons with Australia.

I'm just a tad over 1.8m 75kg out of the shower and with about 82cm between the danglies and dessie boots. What follows is my opinion only so don't anybody get upset please. I currently own and ride the 800XC, Steamers and am waiting for the right moment to press the button on a CCM 450GP, just sold my 1050 Roadie.

Goosie 2012 Advwannabe. First hit me as still agricultural in the gearchange and engine delivery, grunty but no more so than I'm used to, felt like a was riding a camel that was trying to hump another camel going on and off throttle, hate those indicator controls with a vengance. I don't get the "it's got great balance due to the low centre of gravity" thing, I felt distinctly uncomfortable at slow speed even standing up, which I didn't like due to the width of the tank but it may also have had something to do with the lack of feel at the front end from what I'm more used to. No sale, like going on an adventure wearing a cardigan and carpet slippers  :icon_wink:

Baby Goose and 800's. Nice, good balance, steering and power delivery if rather weedy, gearchange slightly notchy. Sore @rse before I could really get a good feel for the bike, felt slightly cramped, great fuel consumption although my @rse didn't let me experience that personally. A bit cramped for the pillion. No sale, Bland.

Katoom 990. Super plastic enema time  :pottytrain2 , punchy, sharp and fun, not so easy to cruise at medium to lower speeds, begs to be thrashed. The narrow seat is a bonus when trying to clench your buttocks while using those brakes  :icon_eek: . Could imagine it being fun on the loose stuff if you had the danglies to give it some. No sale, a bit neurotic like a border collie.

Super 10. Adequately powered only, reasonably refined, feels big and heavy but no more so than the Dora as comparison, a bit tiresome in traffic, plenty of room comfy including for the pilllion. Didn't feel inspired to try one on gravel after dicing with some roadworks, good brakes but according to owner they fade quickly when pushing it in the twisties. No sale, hate the front on looks which reminded me of the scene from Beetlejuice with the guy who had his head shrunk on a normal body.

Dora. I had similar feelings to you but it was easier than I expected in traffic, getting my feet flat was very confidence inspiring, locks into corners like you just grabbed a nearby lamppost, standing I felt the bars needed to come up and back a bit. Smooth like peanut butter with added chilli, grunt and effortlessly stable cruising, once you get the hang of the cruise control. Not a knockout punch but I would happily have taken one for long distance Euro style riding, with the occasional gravel forray not filling me with foreboding, a handful in the carpark for my weedy frame. No sale, pillion felt too high but not as high as the Roadie, at least I got to order a Trophy and keep the Steamer.

800XC. I was sold (straight off a Street Triple) after the best part of a day test ride mostly in the saddle, city, highways and A/B roads, it was ordered. I've done 3k kms weekends up through Thailand alone and with mostly Goose riders, it was never embarrassed and performed flawlessly in all conditions, solo or two up. Lights are as good as the Steamers, ABS is very effective, you know it's working but it's not intrusive like some.

Most of the Goose riders weren't keen on talking to me about the XC, which knowing the local Asian culture means they were a bit shocked on how it was performing compared to more established wisdom, only my Greek GSA buddy (always forthright) told me he couldn't believe how smooth and effortless it was to ride and admitted if it wasn't for the BMW badge image and the financial hit he'd take, he'd be happy with one.

Apart from melting an indicator, my own fault for taking the baffle out of the Zard, it has had zero faults, the 2011/2's went through a spate of broken indicator stalks due to a sub suppliers manufacturing fault (same supplier to a few makes that have had similar failures), some have had small paint blisters on engine casings but not all. It uses negligible amounts of oil and returns high 40's / low 50's UK MPG and with the two year warranty and longer service intervals it's an economical beast too.

The stock tyres (forgot what they were) I didn't like, Anakee's now, I fitted 30mm risers for a little more relaxed cruising posture and better standing balance, I have an adjustable Wunderlich deflector on the stock screen which is fine for my size without going to an adjustable / high screen, I am fine with the stock seat all day long. Only a few gravel forays but I feel sufficiently in control with the back end stepping out as much as I have on much smaller trailies so I'd be happy to do more.

I am very attached to it and hope to bring it back to the UK the long way back eventually. I'm the first to admit that, probably because it is such a polished performer with no noticeable quirks, it doesn't have the same endearing qualities as the Steamer. Put it this way, if it got trashed or stolen I'd just go and get a replacement, if the same thing happened to the Steamer I'd lock myself in a dark place and cry.

Hope that doesn't come over too biased.
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

June 16, 2014, 08:01:54 PMReply #2 on

Offline Advwannabe (OP)

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Cheers, just what I was asking for

Agree with your Goose comments. I rode one down the East coast of the US a few years back and grew to love it, but that wasn't my bike and Eagle Rider would have picked it up and given me another one if it had failed to proceed.

Between the Kato and the XC I guess it comes down to how much you like the new fangled electronic aids and personal preference. If I can get the new bike and keep my Girly I'll be a happy man.
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June 17, 2014, 08:17:39 AMReply #3 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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My Greek mate had to get complete new wheels under warranty, they were warped from the factory and nobody in SE Asia was trained to true them  :icon_scratch: I did a longish ride in China in 2010, of the 6 GSA's only one of the 1200's and the sole 1150 did not have failures in the electrical system and one owner was not so sure about his final drive (99% on road). All of the guys I know who are BM owners boxers and 800's, 80% have had warranty claims (and arguments with the dealers) compared to the Triumph owners who have had only a handful of claims which were all under technical advisories anyway and would have been done at the next service. I only know a couple of Katoom owners, so it's not a balanced view, they only complain about the frequency and cost of servicing and parts, might be different with the newer ones.

I'm not having a go at BM or anybody else, there are some great bikes on the market. In my view I think Triumph have got the balance right with reliability, customer support and servicing without being cutting edge and are obviously working hard on the Brand Image and ownership experience. If they start paying Bozo's like Beckham money for endorsements I will have strong words for them  :icon_evil:

If we could fill a garage we would but that doesn't always go down well with our other halves  :blah Good luck with the tough choice  :icon_salut:
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

June 17, 2014, 04:59:58 PMReply #4 on

Offline Advwannabe (OP)

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My feeling when it comes to the Goose is frustration. In many ways it is the ideal bike for me. The rider aid package in the 08- models is superb and I enjoy the off beat rhythm of the boxer.

However, you know where I've ridden my Tiger and I can't afford a canbus, magic key or final drive failure 200 miles from anywhere.

I was a bit 'bah humbug' with the electronics packages on adventure bikes, but riding down a gnarly downhill on the Kato with the ABS kicking in on the front and the back sliding around, being able to lock that back to pivot the bike at the bottom of the hill, then charge back up the hill the the front wheel off the deck, the back wheel 20 degrees out of line but still providing good drive is pretty cool! I've come to terms with the fact that the techos have exceeded my dirt riding skills. Sad but true. It does, however make good sense to have a safety net at the end of a long riding day when the mistakes start creeping in.

The XC achieves a good level of control with a light, well balanced chassis and more compact package. We'll see.

"How many bikes do you want?" "Just one more dear!" 
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June 17, 2014, 08:50:23 PMReply #5 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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Just one more  :nono OK I'll sell one of the Rangies  :icon_cry:

I have a friend down your way who got a 990 when he went back and loves it although he does acknowledge the brakes need planning ahead. Some of these electronic packages now are very impressive, I think KTM are right up there with theirs and Aprillia have come out of left field with something to scare Ducati  :icon_mrgreen:

Going to be a tough choice either way, I don't envy you,  :icon_scratch: or do I  :hat10
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 13, 2014, 04:13:56 PMReply #6 on

Offline blacktiger

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"How many bikes do you want?" "Just one more dear!"

So what did you get?
2002 955i 72000 miles & counting.
2013 800XC 25000 miles & counting.

August 17, 2014, 03:05:41 AMReply #7 on

Offline Advwannabe (OP)

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 Going with the Kato BT.

The XC is a bloody good bike, the Kato just 'speaks' to me that bit more and after living mainly with triples these last 12 years it's time for another twin.

Pics on purchase!
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