The General Motorbikers Discussion Thread

PelicanHazard

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So this weekend, MotoAmerica was here in Pittsburgh. I went with a friend who's gone pretty regularly in the past, and Yamaha was there with test rides. I rode this:

8FU0Ve0.jpg

An FJR1300. Quite a step up from my 390 Duke!

The demo route was pretty simple, given the lack of options surrounding the race complex:

Untitled.png


I did have some initial difficulties during the low speed exit from the parking area, being unused to the larger bike, but a little bit of speed and it became very easy to manage.

Pros:
  • POWAH. Exemplified best on the turnpike on-ramp where I went up to highway speed before I even realized it without shifting. Can't manage that in the Duke.
  • So smooooooth. I know an inline-four isn't inherently vibration-free, but coming from a single cylinder buzzer, it was downright buttery.
  • I've looked at sport-tourers for a while now, but never actually ridden one. With the Duke being so flickable, I thought perhaps a larger and heaver tourer would be a bit much. This one, anyways, hides its weight very well when moving. (Again, couple of issues I had with it while taxiing in and out of the staging area.)
Cons:
  • Overly complicated dashboard. I've probably been spoiled rotten by the Duke's clean TFT screen, but having 3 distinct clusters was a bit busy.
  • The fairing was much appreciated, but there wasn't a windshield height that worked well at speed. All the way up covered most of me pretty well, but amplified the wind noise and buffeted my head. Lowering the windshield to clean the air around the helmet and combat the buffeting also did something to the pocket of still air my torso had been enjoying that I didn't like. Maybe a taller windshield that fully covered the helmet would have helped, but I don't know for sure.
Still a pretty good experience overall, and some of my qualms about getting a sport tourer in the future are thoroughly quashed.
 

NecroJoe

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Has anyone been following this video series, chronicling the restoration of a Kawasaki KM90? :lmao:

How this hasn't been age-restricted by YouTube, I don't know.

NSFW:
 

shad_68

DOOD looks like a lady
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I rode a bike again for the first time in (I think) 6 years! It was 10 meters out of the garage and back in, but still...

As I mentioned elsewhere, a friend has given me the moto bug again. So after watching tons of F9 and revzilla videos on yt I decided to finally get the XT repaired at a garage, which will happen in August.

Yesterday I also grabbed a new battery for the 125 Yamaha, which also been sitting in the garage for 2-3 years. Started right up, was a little hesitant to pick up throttle from idle at first but smoothed out after running for a bit. Clutch was also super stiff but some oil on the cable fixed that. Everything else seems good for inspection, although tires are at the edge of legal tread depth. And I need to reinflate them. I'll explain why I want to get the 125 rideable again in a bit...

And I went to the local Yamaha dealer on monday to take a look at the MT07 and Tenere 700. They had moved to a different, much smaller location from the one they had when I was there last time, which was weird. The whole place looked a little... sad. Very small, lots of bikes crammed together tightly so you can't even get a good all around look at them and still not even the full lineup on display.

Anyway, they did have a couple MTs on display as well as demonstrators for the MT and Tenere, so I got to sit on both and arranged back to back test rides in July when I'm back from vacation. I'm pretty average height and always had to either tip toe or single foot the XT, so I was worried the T7 might be uncomfortably tall. But it felt just fine sitting on it for a minute. Still had to tip toe, but holding it with one leg down felt very natural. I guess the habit holds up.

So that's also the reason for fixing up the 125, I want to use it to refamiliarize myself with bike controls and handling before I do the test rides.

And as a side note, motorcycle color options suck. Or at least the ones on the MT07 and T7. I kinda like the "cyan storm" color on the MT Yamaha has for this year, but I really wish they had done the whole tank etc. in the wheel color.
2022-Yamaha-MT07-EU-Cyan_Storm-Studio-001-03.jpg


If I were to get either of those bikes I think I'd have to put a wrap on them. This place for example seems to have some really nice designs.
2021_MT-07_Black.CONQUER.photomontage-29584.jpg


replica-tenere-700-rouge-27411.jpg


:oops:
 

DanRoM

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That sounds good, @shad_68! I guess after swapping the Fiesta for a Mustang, you need something else to go around corners. :p

And I went to the local Yamaha dealer on monday to take a look at the MT07 and Tenere 700. They had moved to a different, much smaller location from the one they had when I was there last time, which was weird. The whole place looked a little... sad. Very small, lots of bikes crammed together tightly so you can't even get a good all around look at them and still not even the full lineup on display.
You are talking about the one in the north of town, I guess. Yeah, their new place is weird. It's just a converted warehouse, it seems. And the location is really inconvenient - at least before they had a subway station nearby. This new place basically forces you to get a (non-free!) loaner from them when you have them do a service on your bike unless you have someone play taxi for you.
Still, their service is as okay as it was before. Can't complain.
 

shad_68

DOOD looks like a lady
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You are talking about the one in the north of town, I guess. Yeah, their new place is weird. It's just a converted warehouse, it seems. And the location is really inconvenient - at least before they had a subway station nearby. This new place basically forces you to get a (non-free!) loaner from them when you have them do a service on your bike unless you have someone play taxi for you.
Still, their service is as okay as it was before. Can't complain.
Yeah, I guess the car dealership next to their old place expanded and they had to move out and this was the best they could find? Because I can't imagine business was so bad they had to downsize to a worse location. It's definitely less convenient, but I just checked, the nearest subway stop is still just 10 minutes walk away, that's not terrible.
 

DanRoM

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Now that you say it - yeah, not so bad. The location just feels like AdW because of the surroundings.
 

PelicanHazard

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'13 Dart, '03 Ranger, '20 390 Duke, '22 K16GTL
Alright, so this weekend was a 'Bikes & BBQ' event in the next county north of me, and the dealer where I bought my KTM was there offering test rides of Triumphs, Indians, and (surprisingly!) BMWs. Turns out they're now a BMW dealer, which works for me because the other one is way on the other end of town and not well-situated for test rides. I took a mental health day off work and went up to test ride three different bikes I've had my eye on, two BMWs and one Indian: BMW K1600GTL, BMW R1250RT, and Indian Pursuit.

Before getting to the bikes, here's the demo circuit the BMWs ran:
Untitled.png

The Indians ran a different circuit I don't remember for reasons I'll mention in the Indian review. The starting point is in the bottom right, starting off going northeast to a sharp left intersection then in a giant, partially-wooded, right-handed loop before crossing over itself and rejoining the main road by Honda North, located southwest of the start. Most of the route was two-lane roads, varying from unmarked lanes in a forest with large elevation changes to mostly straight country roads, with the Benjamin Franklin highway on the north of the circuit providing the only pure highway driving. Total time for the circuit from sidestand up to motors off was about a half hour, and since it was a Friday the event wasn't too busy and I was able to go on three rides in a row to get the three bikes reviewed.

Bike #1: BMW K1600GTL
20220722_120028.jpg

This one has been on my radar for so long it's actually part of the reason I went and got my M endorsement in the first place. I just really like the way they look, which fits my style much better than Harleys that are as common as pigeons out here, and the reviews of how great the engine is kept the hype going. This was a 2022 model demo tour, so this one is the mild refresh with the big honking TFT screen and new headlight design. I got a basic intro to the screen but the ride leaders urged us not to mess with electronics on the ride so I just left the screen alone and only fiddled with the windshield.

Pros:
  • Holy &%*$* that ENGINE. It purring awake on thumbing the starter did not in any way prepare me for how powerful it was and how it was in every respect completely unbothered by the hefty bike it's installed in. Since it was a group ride, I was more concerned with keeping proper spacing than looking at the dash. Imagine my surprise when I look down at the speedo after a relaxed start off a stop sign and find myself going 50 in second and low on the revs, the engine relaxed and untaxed. Not once in the entire ride, even when I had the chance when merging onto the highway, did the powerplant complain or reach to the upper half of the tach. Now I fully understand all those forum posts of owners out west claiming they've run in triple digits on unpopulated Montana highways for long stretches of time. This is certainly an engine that can do that while idly swinging in a hammock.
    • Special mention to how smooth the engine is. No noticeable vibrations through the butt or the handlebars. Hopping on the following two bikes and then my own Duke was jarring.
  • That TFT screen is nice, in my opinion. From what I was able to play with it, I never really had a problem with the way information was displayed. Sure, the half hour demo is insufficient time to understand the whizzwheel control and its proper operation, but so far so good.
  • The looks. I like designs like this, and it's a stunner. Bonus that the next ride on the RT, someone else took out the GTL and was right behind me in the riding order, so I got to look at it in the rearview mirror for the ride.
  • This model had the Premium Package with Shift Assist Pro, such that the only time clutch lever was needed was starting off and stopping. True to its promise, I never had to touch the clutch while in motion, and the shifts were always quick and smooth.
  • Comfy, comfy saddle
Cons:
  • Damn, it's heavy. Low-speed maneuvering was a little iffy, and putting it on the sidestand was a small measure of trust that the uneven ground where we were instructed to park the bikes wouldn't result in the bikes just tipping over anyways.
    • Also, the heft makes it...arduous...to reverse manually. It has a reverse gear, but that wasn't something I was going to learn for just a quick couple of feet, but it would be necessary for regular use. As an example, I fit my bike next to my car facing out, which means I reverse it into the garage. The Duke is easy enough to move while dismounted, this one not so.
  • The electronics and packaging behind the TFT have their issues. The BMW rep was not sugarcoating that the phone compartment under the windshield is not sized for flagship phones. Large iPhones, my Samsung Ultra, etc, don't fit. Also, the idea of the TFT screen grabbing the phone data for nav and stuff is great, but the rep said that to use the map function the phone screen has to be unlocked. If it locks, the map goes away (but maybe turn-by-turn stays? Not clear).
  • The windshield never fully got rid of buffeting. More in the RT review.
  • The pegs were right where I wanted to place my feet on the ground. I kept getting poked in the ankle when coming to a stop.
  • The rep also didn't pull punches on the valve servicing, which is much more difficult and expensive than the RT's. But, the GTL has longer servicing intervals, so that's a minor plus.
In short...yeah I'm building a spreadsheet to see if I can buy one.
 
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PelicanHazard

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Bike #2: BMW R1250RT
20220722_124450.jpg

This one came up as the natural alternative to the K bike. Owners forums have plenty of examples of people looking for a tourer, finding something they don't like about the K, and being happy with the RT instead. So why not take the chance to compare them back to back?

Pros:
  • Much, much lighter. It feels so much easier to handle at lower speeds and manually repositioning it.
  • The windshield was better. Yeah, really, the dedicated full-dress tourer loses the windshield podium to its sister here. The concave curve at the top of this windshield meant I found a nice mid position where I got no wind and could look over the shield. Not so in the GTL, where I had some buffeting regardless of position, and the least buffeting was with the shield in my line of sight.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control. Didn't use it on this demo, but the mere fact it's an option on the RT and completely unavailable on the GTL would mean something to long interstate stretches.
Cons:
  • Engine vibrations make it through the handlebars, and that would get old fast on highways.
  • I don't know what it was, but the Shift Assist on this bike was nowhere near as good or smooth as the GTL. It even found neutral a couple of times, which was annoying. Even when it worked, it was more abrupt than the GTL, so much so that I reverted to using the clutch.
  • Same footpeg location issue as the GTL.
I was talking to the rep about this and the GTL after the ride, and the basic conclusion I came to is that the RT is the better bike if you can only have one roadgoing bike. It's a better generalist for around town and highway. The GTL dumped all its skillpoints in a full speed highway build, so since I already have a town bike and am looking for a highway bike specifically, the GTL is likely the better choice.
 
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PelicanHazard

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Bike #3: Indian Pursuit
I didn't take a picture of this one for reasons I will elaborate on in a second, so here's a stock photo in the exact color I rode, and it was also a Dark Horse, with blacked out pipes and engine bits instead of chrome:
1658540919104.png


The Indian demo ride was an unorganized mess. Mayhaps there was a method to their madness, but it was just some chaos off the line of scrambling to seat people on models (BMW reserved bikes by slot, so you had a wristband claiming a model for a particular ride time; Indian was first come first served and whenever the ride group got back), then sending them off. Ride leaders were not identified or even introduced before the ride got started, so I wasn't sure if I was actually following the route and a proper leader or if myself and some other demo riders just got lost. Ride leaders didn't wait for us in the pit but gathered people on the main road outside the venue. And I guess because of the size of the ride groups (easily double the size of the BMW rides), they opted to instead have a ride leader block an intersection so we could all go through instead of waiting for a clear gap.

Not that the last is much of a complaint, because the other riders were...not good. The guy in front of me often stopped paying attention to fiddle with the electronic dash, so he rolled off the throttle, slowed everyone behind him down, then saw he was trailing and gunned it to catch up. It very much resembled the 'slingshotting' the BMW leaders warned us not to do. And this happened constantly. Between that and him just taking corners at a snail's pace, I considered just jumping ahead of him, but I was towards the back of the pack and the ride coordinator within easy sight of me would have yelled at me since not passing was one of the few rules they stated in the pit, so I just had to deal.

Because of this chaos, I didn't take pics of the bike. The previous group rolled in, my group loaded up, and off we go. No time beforehand, and at the end of the ride I just wanted to be done with it.

Now, as for the bike itself...

Pros:
  • The style is nice. As stated in the GTL review, I prefer Euro styling over Harley styling, but this bike manages to be an acceptable bridge between them, the sharknose fairing giving me enough to deal with the very American rear end. Having analog speedo/tach and then everything else in a TFT screen was a nice mix as well.
  • Ride Command, from what I could fiddle with it, seems to be a perfectly good electronic system, including readouts on the bike's systems that I could cycle through with a simple trigger pull on the left handlebar that's dead simple to learn, much more so than BMW's whizzwheel
  • This was the heaviest bike I tested by a far margin (~910lbs/~410kg to the GTL's ~770lbs/~350kg), but it wasn't noticeable from the handlebars. It felt not too dissimilar from the GTL in the slow pit lane.
Cons:
  • I have discovered that I do not like floorboard forward controls.
  • My right leg kept getting cooked by the sidepipe when putting feet down. BMW was nice enough to route their pipes where legs couldn't touch them.
  • My calves in general were uncomfortably warm. I checked at a long red light that the lower fairing was open, which it was. Maybe it was a side effect of that honking big engine being right next to my legs on a 91F (33C) day, but it was not fun.
  • The handlebar controls were oddly-shaped and that kept futzing with me. Every other bike I've ridden, from the Yamaha whose ride review is at the top of this page to my buddy's Ninja to the two BMWs, I just needed a quick glance to establish were some controls were like windshield height, and then I could operate them just fine, find the turn signals easily, etc. Not this one. Kept missing the turn signals.
  • The windshield is right at the perfect level when fully down to be annoying. The top of the screen cuts right through my sightline. Multiple reviews mentioned this, that riders of my approximate height would find the stock screen annoying at its lowest setting, and boy they were right.
Had I taken the more typical route in this region and started riding on Harleys or Victorys or similar style bikes, I probably would not have as many quibbles with the equipment this bike comes with and how it's laid out. As it is, I didn't, so this test ride has effectively killed my interest in one of these bikes or a bike similar enough to it. And someone, please anyone, tell the yokels that gravitate to these bikes to pay attention and stop riding like you need automatic speed control. The BMW groups were so, so much better.
 
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Crazyjeeper

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A brand new bike is an investment in happiness so clearly it is a great financial decision. Plus, the price is well worth not having any GDPO problems.
 
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