Best sport touring bikes for long distance | Page 18 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Best sport touring bikes for long distance

MSRP

Well-known member
I like the VFR's and rode one for about 40k a long time ago. I'm trying to stay away from fully faired bikes, because I have a tendency to scratch and break plastics in addition to the hassles of removing them for some types of maintenance. Also looking for something a bit more upright if possible.

I do agree that they are an excellent sport touring bike and have been throughout the various versions. The VFRD forum is also a great resource.
VFR-riders always creep out of the bushes to +1 our own.
If you don't like the plastics, you can always sell the OEM fairings for a pretty penny as they are highly sought after due to the poor aftermarket Chinese fitment alternatives.

You might be able to get it all done for 1/10th of your $15k budget too.. Grab one end of season well kitted with all the GIVI racks and bags (maybe even the elusive beetle bags) for like $3-4k, then sell the plastics off for $500... I snagged mine with 30k for just $3.5k 3 years ago..

They do look damn peculiar without the OEM plastics, SSS, and without modding the side mounted rads..
 

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
VFR-riders always creep out of the bushes to +1 our own.
If you don't like the plastics, you can always sell the OEM fairings for a pretty penny as they are highly sought after due to the poor aftermarket Chinese fitment alternatives.

You might be able to get it all done for 1/10th of your $15k budget too.. Grab one end of season well kitted with all the GIVI racks and bags (maybe even the elusive beetle bags) for like $3-4k, then sell the plastics off for $500... I snagged mine with 30k for just $3.5k 3 years ago..

They do look damn peculiar without the OEM plastics, SSS, and without modding the side mounted rads..
Thanks. They do look really odd without the plastics, except for the ones that look like they are professionally done. I'm not really looking to find a way to spend less than my budget. I'd rather find the best bike that doesn't exceed my budget.

That said, there's a guy in Australia who does really nice mods to the V-strom and calls them ThinStroms. Not for 2up any more, but really nice fabrication.
PW650_317.jpg
 

Hardwrkr13

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Thanks. They do look really odd without the plastics, except for the ones that look like they are professionally done. I'm not really looking to find a way to spend less than my budget. I'd rather find the best bike that doesn't exceed my budget.

That said, there's a guy in Australia who does really nice mods to the V-strom and calls them ThinStroms. Not for 2up any more, but really nice fabrication.
PW650_317.jpg
Wouldn't it just be easier to put high bars and knobbies on a SV?
 

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
Wouldn't it just be easier to put high bars and knobbies on a SV?
I think it was more about taking crashed bikes and bringing them back in whole new way and using his fabrication skills. From a distance they may look very similar to an SV, but I recall reading his build threads years ago and he did a ton of little fabrication to get the bikes to where they are at, with a considerable amount of weight trimmed off a stock model.
 

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
Does anyone know what years the Multistrada came in black/grey, instead of the red or white?
I didn't know they even came in black, and wasn't sure if that's been available throughout the model years or only the older models (2014 and older). I saw this as a recent ad for a 2013 model and like this colour much better.
1620146469562.png
 

bigpoppa

Well-known member
Does anyone know what years the Multistrada came in black/grey, instead of the red or white?
I didn't know they even came in black, and wasn't sure if that's been available throughout the model years or only the older models (2014 and older). I saw this as a recent ad for a 2013 model and like this colour much better.
View attachment 48529

Looks good, not sure about the colors, but I hear the pre DVT models were BEASTS
That one should also have the electronic suspension

Although if you want cruise control gonna have to go 2015+
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
Does anyone know what years the Multistrada came in black/grey, instead of the red or white?
I didn't know they even came in black, and wasn't sure if that's been available throughout the model years or only the older models (2014 and older). I saw this as a recent ad for a 2013 model and like this colour much better.
View attachment 48529
I was under the impression that ALL Italian made vehicles had to be primarily red.

Isn't it a law or something over there or is it just the ones for export?:giggle:

Nice, by the way.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
I was under the impression that ALL Italian made vehicles had to be primarily red.

Isn't it a law or something over there or is it just the ones for export?:giggle:

Nice, by the way.
 

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shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
I do! But I've moved on from the SDGT - it's just a bit too compact for longer rides that I do and the cases are too small. I did see one of the 1290 SA's in person the other day and it fits me very well. The heat issue is the only thing keeping me from it, since I do ride in traffic a fair bit. Can't get past the looks of the older S1000XR, so it's out.
 

Priller

Well-known member
Shane see if you can get a leg over the Versys 1000 It's a great bike and really nimble for the size. And did i mention crap load of torque and power
The May issue of Ride Magazine has a head-to-head between the new Versys 1000 S and the S1000XR. They rank the Versys ahead primarily because it's comfier for distance and is better value. Here's the closing line from the article:

"If you’re after a sporty adventurer to take on touring holidays with a pillion or solo, the Versys remains the best-value option and, even in the pricier S guise, this fact hasn’t changed."
 

Evoex

The God
Site Supporter
The May issue of Ride Magazine has a head-to-head between the new Versys 1000 S and the S1000XR. They rank the Versys ahead primarily because it's comfier for distance and is better value. Here's the closing line from the article:

"If you’re after a sporty adventurer to take on touring holidays with a pillion or solo, the Versys remains the best-value option and, even in the pricier S guise, this fact hasn’t changed."
"best value option"

Says a lot, it also doesn't say a lot.

3 grand price difference on base models, then with the packages on the BMW the gap likely sky rockets.

Value, duh.
 

kurtrules

Well-known member
Does anyone know what years the Multistrada came in black/grey, instead of the red or white?
I didn't know they even came in black, and wasn't sure if that's been available throughout the model years or only the older models (2014 and older). I saw this as a recent ad for a 2013 model and like this colour much better.
View attachment 48529

That's a nice looking adv!
 

Priller

Well-known member
"best value option"

Says a lot, it also doesn't say a lot.

3 grand price difference on base models, then with the packages on the BMW the gap likely sky rockets.

Value, duh.
Value is relative, really. If you got the cash to spare, the better bike is the better bike. If it's a stretch, then sometimes the cheaper bike is more than enough. Value also depends heavily on the actual OTD price offered, though Ride is pretty detailed and breaks down service costs, insurance, consumables, etc when looking at total operating costs.

I'm just passing on what these testers said, as I haven't spent time on either bike. They were very much coming down on the touring side of sport-touring in their priorities.

Breaking down their comparison, they surprisingly gave the Engine a slight edge to the Versys (easier midrange, , better low-rpm roll-on, less need to rev, and less buzzy, though the XR has way, way more power) and unsurprisingly ranked the Versys much better for Distance (better seat, better wind protection, better mileage). Standard equipment went to the Versys only because it was so much cheaper with all the boxes ticked, otherwise the fully loaded versions of each come pretty much with the same features barring the ESA option on the Beemer. Handling was split, with the XR getting the nod for spirited riding in the bends on smooth tarmac, and the Versys getting credit for being smooth and balanced, and better over rougher roads. The XR got credit for being 30 kg lighter here.

Purchase cost went to the Versys for obvious reasons, though BMW in the UK apparently offer some excellent financing options that narrows the gap somewhat. Running costs again went to the Kawi, with similar 4-yr depreciation, cheaper insurance, longer service intervals (valves being almost double), and cheaper major service. The only spot the XR was cheaper was a lower minor service cost. Worked out over three years and 15,000 miles (not km, they're British), it came to a fairly close 71.1p/mile for the Kawasaki and 77.5p/mile for the BMW.

Ultimately, the result comes down to what the testers rated as important. It's obvious from the above, they wanted a comfy touring bike that could do a bit of sporty riding, not a sportbike that was relatively comfy. It's also extremely detailed on running costs, but all using Brit data, so not directly comparable. They really highlight how you can get a fully loaded Versys for slightly less than a base XR, saying that compensates for the less sexy bike and smaller TFT dash. It's a nerdy spendthrift approach with a heavy emphasis on the practical, not on the passion...
 

Evoex

The God
Site Supporter

bigpoppa

Well-known member
If I could only have one bike, with my set of priorities weighted much more to the sporting side, it'd be the XR all day. There's a lot of overlap between it and the Tuono on the performance end. If it's something to augment the Aprilia or do big miles, it's probably the Versys...
wtb aprilia v4 adventure bike already...
 

Priller

Well-known member
wtb aprilia v4 adventure bike already...
The Aprilia V4 gets terrible mileage (see also: Multistrada V4), so you'd need a 30 litre tank to compensate.

Keeping things somewhat on topic, have you tried the XR? I know you've got a thing about i4's, but I personally think you've been on the wrong ones. My ZX-14 and ZX-10R had faults, but a lack of character wasn't an issue with either bike (for very different reasons, though). Nobody says that about the XR, either, with most complaints centering on its revviness and general angry quality. The above test specifically rates the Versys because it's smooth and predictable, while the BMW is much more raw. It's got all the gadgets, all the power, all the handling, good wind protection, legroom for taller riders, Euro brand cachet, can munch miles, can do twisties.

Just a thought, anyway...
 

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