Searching for a Replacement Motorcycle (Sporty Touring)

DanRoM

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TL;DR: I'm searching for a new bike, but probably have missed a few candidates. If you can think of any that fit my requirements (see first list below), I'd be glad to read about it.

As you may have read, I sold my old CBF1000 a few weeks ago. There was nothing wrong with it, on the contrary, it was a good bike, reliable, comfortable, and nice to ride. But I've had it for 8.5 years, it was my first motorcycle, and I felt it was time to move on. So now I'm searching for a replacement.
Last spring, I visisted some dealerships to try a few bikes. At the time, the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT emerged as the clear winner, but I did try only three bikes, after all...

So, asking the FinalGear hivemind for advice: I need a new bike. Requirement: Being at least as good as the CBF in all relevant metrics for my use cases. To elaborate:
  • Use cases: City/short distance riding, short fun rides on country roads, and the occasional (as in once or twice a year) road trip. So, I need a good allrounder, but with emphasis on being nimble on country roads.
  • Suitable for a rider of my size (1.90 m, fairly long legs)
  • Suited for touring, meaning luggage capacity (factory provided side and top cases), comfortable seating position.
  • No "adventure bike", at least not a full-bore one. Those are the SUVs of motorcycles. Unfortunately, since the "sports tourer" is almost extinct, I may have to compromise on this. Also, no naked bike - at Autobahn speeds, wind protection is a must.
  • Low weight. For reference, the CBF was 250 kg. I'd like the new one to be lighter. This is what brought the Tracer to my attention.
  • Engine/power: 900 to 1200 cm³, thereabouts. Preferrably more than 70 kW (100 PS-ish). More is always better than less. :D
  • Usable headlights, as I'm by now jaded by modern car headlights, to which the CBF had a candle in comparison.
  • Heated grips and cruise control (for Autobahn legs) from factory, without some clunky extra switches on the handlebars.
  • Possibility for GPS and phone mounts on the handlebar.
  • Price limit: about €14,000. I'm using the price for a new Tracer 900 GT including all the extras I want as a reference here. Cheaper is better, and I'm also willing to buy used.

A few thoughts on the bikes I've already looked at in detail:
  • Yamaha Tracer 900 GT: Also known as an FJ-09 or MT-09. Basically the bike that @RdKetchup and @altoid ride. Therefore I'm especially interested in your experiences with it.
    While I just loved how the bike rode and the seating position, there are two things I didn't like:
    • Being a bit of an "adventure bike", it's a little on the high side, unfortunately. Can be corrected to a degree with the factory lowering kit, but the configurator says "without TÜV" for that. I'll have to inquire if that just means the TÜV certification is not included in the price, which I suspect.
    • It apparently doesn't have any space below the passenger seat. I like to use that compartment for storing locks, first-aid kit, etc. In retrospect I never used most of that stuff, so I could live without it. Still annoying.
    Yamaha has updated it in 2018 or 2019, and according to all the tests I read, that actually made a difference. That's why I'm using a new one as reference. Year-old models are not that much cheaper.
  • BMW R1200RS: I've test-ridden an R1250R. Brillant bike - and it having a cardan shaft instead of a chain is of course a plus. The RS is basically the R with a bit of fairing and a different handlebar. It's also nicely light at about 235 kg.
    Since a new BMW is laughibly expensive, going for a used one and therefore the predecessor 1200 would be a good alternative. Low-mileage, few-years-old ones can be had within my price limit. Unfortunately, the RS has a fancily formed handlebar that is not suited for the standard mounting solutions for GPS and phones. Fitting the handlebar of the R1200R might be a solution for that and also improves seating position, but costs extra unless you find one with that already done. Also, practically every one of them was sold with the mount for the BMW GPS unit, but the adverts mostly didn't mention the GPS itself. Anyway, @DaHitch tells me they are Garmin units with some additional BMW specials on it, so that's not really a problem.
    Only BMW being expensive in everything, of course including the services, is a major issue.
Between these two models, it's essentially a decision between going a bit sportier than before (BMW) or more to the adventure bike side (Yamaha).

So, now you experts come in: What other bikes have I missed? I've also looked at the Triumph Tiger Sport, but in my opinion, it's fairly similar to the Tracer, but more expensive. Plus, both Triumph Germany and the local dealership proved incompetent/unwilling at even providing a test ride opportunity.

I have an independent garage in town that I trust, so used bikes from all the mainstream brands are a go from the servicing point of view.
 
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RdKetchup

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Unless it's different in Europe, the Tracer GT is NOT the same bike as what Altoid and I ride. We have the regular Tracer. The GT comes better equipped, but also has a longer wheelbase. Both models are currently offered.

The regular FJ09/Tracer does not have heated grips or luggage, but the factory ones can be retrofitted.

Also no cruise control (it might have been added on newer ones).
 

DanRoM

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Thanks for clarifying that. I am aware of the differences, by "basically the same" I meant it's the same bike underneath. Apart from the slightly longer wheelbase, all the things can be bought extra for the non-GT version too as far as I know.
The longer wheelbase makes it somehow even better according to several tests/reviews I've seen/read.
 

DanRoM

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I don't. :p ;)

And to clarify once more, the one I've had for a test ride was actually the GT version, so I'm fully content with how that bike rides.
I'm very interested in both @altoid's and your experience with respect to mundane things like reliability, fuel consumption, servicing (as much as this is applicable across continents) etc.
 

RdKetchup

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But to answer your question, there is space under the seat, very limited though.

The front seat height is adjustable (2 positions), the bars are also adjustable (forward/back, 2 positions), so you have some play to get a comfortable riding position.

Reliability wise it's been perfect, except for a dead battery last year.

Fuel consumption, my average is 6.4 l/100km, but I also average above 12 in a Focus.
 

Der Stig

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Concours 14
Used 2014-2017 Multistrada (it's not an adventure bike, it's a tall street bike) that already has a Termi and tune
Used K1600GT with Hattech exhaust :D
 

Blind_Io

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I would second the Ducati Multistrada 1200 or the new 1260. It may look like an ADV bike, but with 16" cast wheels and the adaptive suspension, it doesn't ride like one. It's upright and comfortable, but the engine is right out of a super bike.

Honestly, that thing is like Clark Kent, unassuming on the outside but Superman where it counts. It is also a fantastic touring bike, has factory bags in either ADV aluminum or traditionally molded plastic. There are a ton of accessories and the 1200 has a 15,000 mile service interval.
 

Kiki

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My first thoughts would be Multi 1200/1260, MT09, KTM Super Duke, VFR800, or your favorite flavor of BMW. ;)

In terms of other ideas, how about a Suzuki GSX-S1000F?

I have zero real world experience with this model, but it looks like it's fully faired and has luggage options and some touring options like extended touring screen.

Weight: 215 kg
Seat Height: 81 cm (ergo is below)

Should fit the bill - over here in the US, you can usually get previous year brand new models for steals.

1577813790320.png
 

Redliner

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My first thoughts would be Multi 1200/1260, MT09, KTM Super Duke, VFR800, or your favorite flavor of BMW. ;)

In terms of other ideas, how about a Suzuki GSX-S1000F?

I have zero real world experience with this model, but it looks like it's fully faired and has luggage options and some touring options like extended touring screen.

Weight: 215 kg
Seat Height: 81 cm (ergo is below)

Should fit the bill - over here in the US, you can usually get previous year brand new models for steals.

View attachment 3556761
Stop bringing facts and science to this discussion!
 

RdKetchup

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Another one to consider is the Yamaha MT-10.

It can be kitted with a windscreen and luggage.

A touring bike with the R1 CP4 engine :love:

 

DanRoM

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Thanks for the replies everyone. :)

Stop bringing facts and science to this discussion!
On the contrary! :D

Concours 14
Used 2014-2017 Multistrada (it's not an adventure bike, it's a tall street bike) that already has a Termi and tune
Used K1600GT with Hattech exhaust :D
From those, only the Ducati is light enough to be considered.

But when I say "adventure bike", I do mean "tall street bike". ;) I don't know how else to refer to things like the Multistrada, the BMW GS models, V-Strom, or the KTM SuperDuke. Basically SUVs on two wheels. One could ride them off-road with suitable tyres, most never do. Sadly they have all but replaced "Sports Tourers" on the market. Purely from an optical perspective, I just don't like them. The Tracer 900 GT is - or looks, at least - small enough to only be halfway there, but even with that, I'd consider the lowering kit as I mentioned. Taste is an odd thing. ;)

I would second the Ducati Multistrada 1200
*sigh*
Well, I've looked like it. Apart from the looks, it seems to be an awesome bike. :) I will inquire more... Ducati dealerships are a rare occurence.

In terms of other ideas, how about a Suzuki GSX-S1000F?
Another one to consider is the Yamaha MT-10.
I've had already looked at the Suzuki, and discarded it for the lack of proper luggage options. Hm...
For the same reasons, the MT-10 is out, because those side bags are a joke, space-wise, that the additional topcase cannot make up for. A shame, really. The bike looks awesome especially in black. <3
Additionally, with these two bikes I am sceptical about the balance with luggage. The CBF didn't like it too much when the cases were all mounted, and those two are clearly not designed with a full three cases at the back in mind.

Thanks @Kiki for the hint with Motorcycle Ergonomics, I didn't know that site. I've entered my old bike for reference:
seat-angles-cbf1000.png

And some of the bikes I consider:
  • Tracer 900 GT:
    seat-angles-Tracer900GT.png
  • Triumph Tiger Sport:
    seat-angles-TigerSport.png
  • BMW R1200RS:
    seat-angles-R1200RS.png
  • Multistrada (I hope that's the correct model.... but they should be similar anyway):
    seat-angles-Multistrada.png
Basically all of them look okay to me.

Also, there is a Triumph Tiger Sport in there. @DaHitch is to be blamed for that. ;)

My plan going forward is to find Multistradas and Tiger Sports to look at and sit on at least. For now, the shortlist has grown. :rofl:
 

altoid

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FJ life has been stellar for me. Mine only has some 5,700 or so miles, 2,600 of them mine. No problems, obviously—I'd consider any issues with such low mileage to be huge red flags. Yamaha reliability is pretty great.

I honestly don't know what my fuel consumption is—it's never mattered to me. I'd wager it's around 40mpg with a fairly active right wrist in mixed riding, and some 10mpg better when highway cruising or with a calmer rider.

Underseat space is a joke. Get a top case. This bike is perfect for it and looks better with one. I still love my Givi Trekker 52. Will be adding side cases for the next big trip, likely.

The 1,100-mile road trip I did confirmed I very much bought the right bike. If mine got stolen or totaled, I'd buy another (Tracer GT) and keep riding. Nothing at the moto show I went to in November seemed like a better idea.
 

DaBoom

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I've had already looked at the Suzuki, and discarded it for the lack of proper luggage options. Hm...
For the same reasons, the MT-10 is out, because those side bags are a joke, space-wise, that the additional topcase cannot make up for. A shame, really. The bike looks awesome especially in black. <3
Additionally, with these two bikes I am sceptical about the balance with luggage. The CBF didn't like it too much when the cases were all mounted, and those two are clearly not designed with a full three cases at the back in mind.
There are other options than just factory, you know. ;) Givi setup seems fairly wholesome..?

 

DanRoM

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That. Looks. Awesome. 160 PS at 210 kg. And looking far better than the Multistrada.

Most used ones are non-touring versions (because that seems to be a new variant) and would need to be fitted with that windshield, but that shouldn't really be an issue.

The one thing I don't like about this is the higher fuel consumption combined with a smaller tank than on my other options.
And, of course, that this might actually be a bit too much to handle for me (coming from a far heavier and weaker bike, and not having that much experience), and there is actually nowhere for me to make use of all the power. To make it short, a little too on edge for me. Reviews judge it as not on the comfortable side.
On the other hand, I am actually tired of life, so... :)
 
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Blind_Io

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Both the MT-10 and the Multistrada have selectable riding modes, but the Ducati also lets you change the suspension based on how many are on the bike and whether you have luggage. Suspension is also adjusted when you change riding modes.

The MT-10 looks like a transformer had an affair with an alien insect and you're taking shots at the Multistrada's styling? 😋
 

Der Stig

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I rode an MT-10 on a demo and was disappointed. The ride was harsh and the controls weren't particularly nice. The Multi is way better, IMO.
 

DanRoM

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I was at the nearest Ducati dealership yesterday to look at the 1260 Multistrada. I didn't dislike the front beak as much as I expected. However, the whole engine/tank area looks massive. Didn't do a testride. The salesman said they expect to have a '16 model with 16k km on the clock for sale in a few weeks, for €12k. Only thing missing would be a topcase. Hm... I might be tempted also because that would be an easy solution.

Afterwards I went to the Triumph dealership. Sadly, the only Tiger Sport they had was a customer vehicle there for servicing, so I could only look at it. But it clearly loses against the Ducati, I have to say.

So the Multistrada has overtaken both the Tracer and the Tiger Sport on my shortlist. But I still like the BMW better for its form factor (the lower front, mainly) and the fact that it has shaft drive.
 

Blind_Io

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Remember that BMW does not have a good history with shaft drive. There are years of documented catastrophic failures of those, some even resulting in the loss of the bike due to a crash or fire.

Also, Ducati makes a top case for the Multistrada, I believe it is standard on the Touring and an accessory for the others. It's essentially a Givi, so that is also an option.
 
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