Author Topic: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...  (Read 5358 times)

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  • Offline Snowy

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    Offline Snowy

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    So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    on: Dec 16, 2016, 02.59 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 02.59 am
    G'day.

    Snowy, live in Canberra Australia, but if you refer to me as a Canberran you'll go on my stabbing list. For those that don't know, Canberra is the Australian Capital, home to more public servants than you want to see in one place, and the front door to the Alpine region here (Austrians, the French, and Italians can start sniggering now) which is the closest we have to mountains and snow. Within 15 minutes riding I'm into the National Parks and State forests that make up an area a lot of countries have for total habitable area. Interspersed with enough towns and villages to provide fuel, food, and accommodation for those getting too old to sleep on the ground.

    Been doing a bit of 2 up trail riding on a BMW F800GS over the last 6 years. Morphed it into a kind of motorcycle version of a mountain mule. It does nothing really well...but it'll do just about anything all day through any country you can throw at it. The BMW experience was starting to depress me, especially after I'd had a modified CB1300 for a few months. The Bummer suffers from a lack of HP, especially as it's basically overloaded everywhere it goes.

    Went to the local bike store with wifey looking for a donor bike for a project. I was looking for a bike of a 4 cyl 1200~1300 capacity that I could change out suspension on and have basically an all road/dirt road tourer.

    Wifey asked why I wouldn't just buy the Crosstourer. Price. That and the fact that as a veteran on disability pension, having not worked for a couple of years now thanks to an unending list of surgeries, I have no money to throw at new bikes. So she bought it for me.

    Loving it. 2 and a bit weeks and 1500kms into the ownership I'm very happy with it. Neither of us is a lightweight, and combined we top out the bikes payload. It's the only bike I've ever owned that could cope by just cranking up the preload to maximum. It's not perfect, but it's the closest yet standard for 2 up riding. Done about 500kms of dirt roads on it, and love it on the dirt.

    Weight is the first thing most "adventure bike" owners start raving about, and to be honest I was sceptical of the advertised wet weight of the Honda. The BMW with it's Touratech aux tank fully fuelled weighs in at 255kgs, and with me and wifey there's about 200kg of payload. I spent the best part of $5K in suspension on that, in what seemed a never ending process of replace, respring, revalve, ride, replace, respring, revalve, ride....I got it to where I wanted by throwing away the original front end and fitting a Showa MX front end off a RMZ 450, custom triples, sprung to suit, revalved the high speed, and enjoyed 300mm of plush well damped travel. The Ohlins rear....yeah...well...multiple revalves and resprings and it became apparent I was flogging a dead horse. Not a fan of Ohlins now. So while weight was a consideration, I comdorted myself with the thought that I take the BMW places most of them will never go weighing in at about a half tonne...so how bad could another 15 or 20kg be?

    The Honda really does, in that overused motorcycle journalist quote..."carry it's weight well". I've always hated that line, and I usually stop reading an article when it crops up. Just another journo who copy pasted the media release. But the CT does really carry it's weight well. From the second I lifted it off the side stand, to commuting and filtering through traffic, to low speed turns while parking etc, it feels far lighter, much less top heavy than my BMW does. To the point where I haven't thrown a leg over the BMW since I bought the Honda. The BMW sits abandoned next to the KTM 950. Even a mate of mine who rode over to see my new bike on his KTM 1190 AdvR says the Honda feels far less top heavy than his Kato. The weight seems to feel centralised about knee height on the Honda, and on the Katos and BMW about hip height.

    Looking forward to many mountain trail rides on the Honda. Might do the high plains this weekend.

    The youtube channel for the trail riding is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNyFZjOPo7t_2JE3hEuaPPw

    Mostly just raw footage from helmet camera. Caution...I swear like an old grunt. Wifey tunes it out.

  • Offline Hartley   england

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    Offline Hartley

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #1 on: Dec 16, 2016, 06.12 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 06.12 am
     :400: Snowy.

    Ill have to remember that.........."oh look love, ive accidently bought a bike"


  • Offline Yasko   england

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    Offline Yasko

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #2 on: Dec 16, 2016, 07.11 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 07.11 am
     :400: Excellent introduction Snowy a nice read. Ride safe  :305:
    Bill

  • Offline Yasko   england

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    Offline Yasko

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #3 on: Dec 16, 2016, 07.26 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 07.26 am
    Just viewed the shakedown ride, very sensible and informative re; the brakes and comparison to BMW.  I assume from your remark about the knobbly's you had road/trail tyres on the bike then.
    Bill

  • Offline BRITINFRANCE   fr

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    Offline BRITINFRANCE

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #4 on: Dec 16, 2016, 08.18 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 08.18 am
     :400: Snowy old chap to the bikers club with the super wifeys!! :032: good intro into the forum and a nice detailed personal account on your CT, ride safe and look frorward to reading the next chapter :028:
    Lambretta125 (1950's) Honda SS125, BSA650 Road Rocket, Husquvana390 motocross, Honda CR480 motocross, Honda NC700X, Honda VFR1200X,

  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #5 on: Dec 16, 2016, 09.19 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 09.19 am
     :400: along snowy and have a  :031: on me as I have to say that has got to be the best introduction to the CollecTive that I have read, congratulations mate.
    I certainly look forward to any further thoughts on your CT and any ride reports that you fancy posting up.  :028:
    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"

  • Offline capobob

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    Offline capobob

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #6 on: Dec 16, 2016, 10.26 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 10.26 am
     :400: to the pack...enjoy the CT
    It all started with a 1959 Vespa 125 Super.......
    KMX125 KMX200 DRBIG 750 TDM800 R1100RS CAPONORD VARADERO.......

  • Offline Snowy

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    Offline Snowy

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    Re: So I accidentally bought a Crosstourer...
    Reply #7 on: Dec 16, 2016, 10.43 am
    Dec 16, 2016, 10.43 am
    The CT came with Battle Wings on it. I approached those with an open mind, having heard all kinds of horror stories on teh interwebz.

    On dirt they aren't that bad. By dirt I mean the typical dirt roads of Australia...well...East of the Range. Hard clay base with a coat of crushed sandstone and gravel. Like concrete covered in a dusting of gravel and sand when dry. For that they feel very planted. When wet these same roads are like trying to ride on ice covered in snot. The Battle Wing makes a great tar road tyre, and wet weather tyre. I haven't had any moments while taking wifey to work on the bike in the rain, and around here the roads are notoriously slippery coming into summer as they start to sweat out the oil that's soaked in all winter, and then rain just puts the icing on the cake. Roundabouts are entertaining in the all wheel drive car, my rear wheel drive ute is sideways at every intersection when it's wet, and it has quality Euro commercial tyres on it. The VFR has behaved perfectly in the wet so far. Traction control has kicked in a couple of times, usually it's so subtle I only know because I see the TC light flashing.

    I'm used to running the F800GS with full knobbies, which aren't very good on tar wet or dry, or on a dry dirt road. For those environments the dual sport tyres work better. The knobbies come into their own on the rocky dusty water damaged fire trails, with long climbs with a loose surface, and in mud. With the extra weight 2 up they grip like tank tracks. But on a hard surface covered in gravel they're every bit as bad as road tyres. Usually if I over cook a turn the old motocross rider in me has me looking for the wide line and the loose berm. Much to wifeys horror I've railed a berm on many a country road. Because the BMW ABS was so flakey. I have my own working theory on this, the F series uses a really small ABS ring front and rear, so far fewer impulses per revolution means a much more course measurement of the rate of change of the wheel relative to the other wheel. The Honda ABS seems much more predictable, with far fewer "funky moments". Linked brakes may also play a part in this, as will the inertia of the shaft drive...longer wheelbase...load distribution...etc.

    I'm already looking at tyre choices, with my favourite 21 inch tyre, the Pirelli Rally being available in a couple of 19 inch options I reckon I'll stick with what I know up front. Out back on the Bummer I used to run Mitas E09 in winter, or E07 in Summer, for long hot trips up North I throw a K60 on the back of the Bummer. I don't mind the Karoo 3, feeling much the same as the Pirelli Rally on road, but the rears only run about 6000kms for me. I get that from an E09 which are a lot cheaper.

    Though trying to equate tyre life from the 800 twin to the 1200 V4 is probably futile. The 650 single I have eats the same size tyres as the BMW. Big torque impulses from the single put stress on tyres.
    If anything I expect the 1200 to be easier on tyres. Number one it has traction control. Number two it has 4 cyl spreading the torque impulses around.

    We'll see soon enough. Looking forward to getting this thing into the mountains on the dirt.


     


    arab-exile