Author Topic: What bikes did you test ride and what were your impressions of them  (Read 4767 times)

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Offline Telbert

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Hi all

in my quest to find a replacement for my 1050 Tiger i test rode quite a few bikes. I was surprised how much i liked the Crosstourer when reviews for it had been so lukewarm yet bikes that the journalists raved over such as the Triumph Explorer and Ducati Multistrada left me relatively unimpressed. I think that's probably because my expectations were too high. The bikes weren't bad, just not great. To be honest my favorite three were the Guzzi Stelvio, Yamaha Super Tenere and Crosstourer which are probably the least favorites with the journalists. Which bikes did you test ride before choosing the Crosstourer and what were your impressions of them? Did any surprise or disappoint?

. . . . Terry

#1

Offline Mika

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Hi Terry

To replace my 1200GS the only bikes I took out for a run were the CT and Triumph Explorer, I had considered a few other bikes but had a paper sift and only ended up with these two.

The Triumph initially felt almost identical to the GS straight away in the way you sit on the bike. I found it handled slightly better than the GS but the suspension was set harder, brakes were really good and the engine really nice, but, I found after 90 miles bum getting a bit numb, engine was buzzy about 5k and my right thumb was getting a bit numb like it does on the GS. having had an 1150GS prior to the 12 for all day comfort the 1150 was a better bike.

I really wanted to like the Triumph more than I did and to be honest the CT was the underdog, thinking back the reason it was getting a test was more to satisfy myself that the Explorer was the better bike. The CT made it through the paper sift more as a quality product and I expected it to be bland in comparison to the EXp and GS.

It did take a few miles to get used to the Ct but after about 50 miles it was converting me, 200 miles at a time comfort and an absolute gem of an engine. Needless to say Honda got my business.

Yes there are a few things that I have covered on another thread relating to what I would change on the bike but these are all subjective to the individual.

 Biggest problem I have at the moment is deciding whether or not I am going to get any more decent runs this year as the salt is out on the roads here. Do I cover it in ACF 50 and use it or put it under a blanket until March :190: 

#2

Offline Telbert

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Hi Mika, not sure what to do this winter either. First tried using ACF 50 a couple of years ago and thought it was great. When i used it last winter it didnt stop the salt and grime from making a real mess of my 955 Tiger. Paint was peeling from the engine and once that starts its hard to stop it. No salt on the roads yet but as soon as there is i think i'll put the bike away and use the wifes car. For the past couple of weeks my major headache has been mud on the road and now the clocks have changed and i'm riding home in the dark i've had 2 or 3 close shaves when i've hit a patch that i couldn't see.
I tried the Explorer but to be honest i found it a bit bland and characterless, very like my 1050 Tiger except it handled far better. Lovely engine with plenty of pull but no character. The throttle was too sensitive, almost KTM like and the pegs too low and ground out too easily. The cruise control was a bit fiddly to set too and a bit reluctant to switch off when the brakes were applied which made things interesting  :038: I get the impression that Triumph slightly rushed the bike to get it out there. If they had taken a little more time and care to iron out some of the niggles it could have been really special.

. . . Terry

#3

Offline Mika

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The cruise control on the Triumph was a PITA to use.

Out of about 10 attempts to use it on the test ride I only got it to work once, mentioned the trouble to the dealer when I took it back and they said they recommended you use your left hand to reach over and engage the cruise control because if you move the throttle at all it will disengage it. :151:

There were just too many doubts about the Triumph for me to part with my cash for one and the build quality didn't look a patch on the Honda.

Looking forward to getting some decent mileage on the CT next year. Hoping to save enough for a trip to Spain but that might be 2014.

#4

Offline Telbert

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Hi Mika,

what were your reasons for getting rid of your GS1200? I test rode both the standard GS and the Adventure and of the two i prefered the standard bike. I liked the character of the engine and the handling and comfort level but for me the motor was a bit gutless and lacking in zip. The reliability or lack of it was also a worry but if the bike had blown me away i would have taken the risk and got one.

. . . Terry

#5

Offline Mika

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Terry

The 1200 was my second GS having previous;y owned an1150.

The 1200 was more powerful and a big leap forward in many ways, however I never could get the all day comfort that I had on the 1150. I tried bar risers and moved the seat to all different positions and also my right thumb would go numb from the vibrations. It was a bit lethargic in the power stakes as the speeds went up but the handling was really good and I miss the telelever front end. I would never describe it as slow but you did have to give it a big handful to get it to really go.

I had more warranty work carried out on the 1200 than any other bike I have ever owned, nothing major but the corrosion was a problem that I had never experienced on any other bike, and if anything I certainly didn't do the mileage on the 1200 the way I had used bikes in previous years.

It let me down once when the fuel pump controller gave up, a common problem with the BMW. My biggest gripe was that the problems the bike had when launched in 2004 are still the same problems owners are complaining about now and I no longer trust BMW to produce a bike that will be reliable and be a quality product.

If they treated their car customers the way they treat their bike customers then their reputation as a premium manufacturer would be in ruins. Don't get me wrong when the bike was in warranty there was no arguing when it came to warranty work, but there was too much of it and my closest dealer whom I don't rate at all is over 60 miles away.

I kept my 1200 for 7 years which is the longest I have ever kept a bike as I loved the style of bike but there is competition in this market now and for me the CT was the bike I wanted the GS to be, a quality product.

#6

Offline thetrecker

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Mika, you summed up all BMW problems there i think, they do not learn from their mistakes and the old problems are still causing roadside breakdowns and now they have set up agreements with emerging Chinese bike companies (very third rate quality ones) to produce engines and other parts for their whole range... I think the warranty and breakdowns will only increase in the future.
As you say, even with dealers here in Ireland, the warranty claims are always dealt with without quibble but does anybody want to own one when the warranty expires
Thetrecker. Sometimes your the bug and sometimes your the windshield.

#7

Offline Telbert

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I'm a bit surprised about the corrosion problem on the 1200 BMWs. They usually seem in pretty good condition even when they've clocked up a few miles. Perhaps they never get ridden in wet weather or maybe the corroded parts have been replaced under warranty  :038:

The things that most interested me about the BMW were the electronic suspension and the telelever front end. They were good but not massively better than the competition though and the electronic suspension is a bit prone to packing up and costs a bomb to sort if the bike is out of warranty  :151:

Any idea what Honda are like when it comes to sorting warranty claims?

. . . Terry

 



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