The ideal bike?
- Seat height 810mm or lower
- Comfy upright seating position
- Weight ~200kg. Less is more in this instance. So the touring bikes @ 1,000+cc are off the list.
- Power: 70+hp
- Torque: 50+ft-lbs
- Decent fuel tank. Range 400++km
- Protection for the rider. At the least, a windshield. Preferably one that is part of the bodywork, and not just attached to the handlebars
- Decent bags, and space to strap tent, etc to the back seat
- Easy on/off. Via foot-peg if the stand will allow.
- Price: have come to the conclusion that $10k is the starting point
- Ideal equipment list: centre-stand; Scott vacuum oiler; cruise control; touring windshield; aluminium panniers; heated grips+hand-protectors; front&rear shock covers; 12v power outlet; sump guard; engine bars; sliders; alarm
The new list in $$$ order:-
- BMW F700GS – Excellent road manners and all the goodies for $18k, including alarm. But, bars a bit of a stretch, centre of gravity feels high, needs revs above 3k, and uses premium fuel
- Ducati Hyperstrada – Best power and lightest bike. Has all the goodies for $17k, including lowering kit so I can sit on it. But yet to ride
- Triumph Tiger 800 – Nice ride for $17k, but dives under severe braking. Windshield is small.
- Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS – Rode the 2012 Expedition version. Not bad. $13k gets all the goodies
- Triumph Bonneville – Nice ride for $12k, but naked, ie: no extras. And be careful on the throttle, else will slide off the bike:)
- Honda CB500X – Add goodies and priced above $11k. Never felt 100%. When rode, felt small, light and underpowered, with an engine that REALLY buzzies in a nasty spot of the anatomy
- Kawasaki ER-6N – Nice bike with good structure (eg: upside-down shocks that have guards, and rear shock mud-guard). Only $8k, but naked, and yet to ride
NOTE: Prices are approximate, but include freight, pdi, taxes & in most cases the accessories (unless bike listed as “naked”),