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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Good long distance commuter

I'm looking at buying a new bike fairly soon really as a commuter but I need to enjoy it too.I do a round trip of 115 miles per day. so the miles pile up quickly and I have a very busy home life so chain maintenance (and washing for that matter) isn't appreciated by me or others. I would prefer a bike with a range over 230 miles too otherwise I end up filling every day...

On my list is:

Yamaha FJR1300
BMW R1XX0R, R1XX0RT, R1XX0GS
BMW F800ST
Honda NT700 (yeah I know)
Honda VFR1200 (I'm a bit scared of this one but the service interval is 8000 miles)
Honda Pan European (Service interval is very low and mpg bad but I think they are pretty special)
Moto Guzzi 750 Breva (4000 mile service intervals)
Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport (hmm 6000 mile service intervals and large tank and I like it in Black)

You will see there are no Kawasakis. I have no dealer any more but otherwise the GTR would be here too...
I'm still negotiating funding with the exchequer so don't know if I am buying new or second hand.
Insurance isn't really an issue because as an old fogey  I can consider most bikes.

I like the Yamaha but finding one under seven years old with a moderate mileage second hand is difficult and the new price is astronomical.
BMW wise I prefer the R1200R but the mirrors are titchy and the tank is a bit small. The GS is nice but without a low seat I can't touch the ground with both feet. I have a problem with the looks of the RT although its quite tempting otherwise :-) Chasing the forums seems to suggest that some people think reliability of BMWs isn't too good but then you get others that say its fine.  Just hope its not a lottery as to if you get a good bike...
Between the BMW R and the Sport 1200 I prefer the idea of the Moto Guzzi but am still cautious about reliability and the fact that I only have one dealer nearby (I'm thinking 2 dealers nearby is useful since if there is only one and they go out of business you are left like I am with the kawa). The general comment on Moto Guzzi is that reliability is much better than it was but the base was so low to start with that I'm not sure what that really means...
The Honda Deauville isn't my favourite bike  but is fairly cheap and I expect its improved since my old NT650V. Unfortunately it needs too since I didn't like it much and the new one doesn't feel that great in the showroom. I don't like the service interval (4000 miles) since it means it sees the garage every 2 months...
The VFR seems like much too much bike for me but I admire its construction and it feels okay (albeit quite large) in the showroom. Not keen on range etc but service interval of 8000 miles is very attractive and the price compared to the FJR & R1200SE isn't outrageous.
Pan Europeans are beautifully made but probably too big for me and the service interval is 4000 miles and servicing is pricey so it sort of drops of the list.
The BMW F800ST forums seem quite positive about the bike and belt drives seem to last >30K but I'm looking to keep the bike for ages and I think the other bikes are less of a "cheap bike" too me. From the Forums some of the early bikes seem a bit of a risk but the later bikes are sorted...
I have seen a few K1200 BMWs at reasonable prices but I doubt I will enjoy them - probably much too fast...


I admit I need to start having test rides soon to see how first impressions last when the wheels roll...

Any other thoughts for a guy who doesn't scream around at 100mph but doesn't like too much weight up high  - I don't enjoy that I'm going to fall over in the middle of the road feeling around roundabouts!

BTW Current bike is a 250ZXR which is quite fun in a "toy" way and only needs filling every 2 days. However service intervals are 3750miles and the chain is very soft (wears tyres faster than my previous ER6 too).

Thanks

Andy.

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  • Posted 5 years ago (28 July 2010 12:46)

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jaffa90

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 8821

jaffa90 says:

tourer

I`ll stick my neck out and your not going to like it,for reliability and mpg and to keep your licence clean it`s the Honda nt700.

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Yeah honest advice...

Thanks Jaffa, on the basis that friends are defined as those that tell you what you don't want to hear I guess that is very friendly advice :-)
We have just spent my bike money on a new Volvo for the wife and kids (yeah I know) so I got concerned that a good BMW or FJR was a bit out of reach so thought I would try a CBF600 and a Deaville (again since I had a NT650V 3 years ago). Rode the CBF on Friday and enjoyed it thoroughly (I love 4 cylinder bikes but have never owned one yet) but I really wanted to lose the chain...
I borrowed a Deaville from the dealer in Letchworth. It feels like a tank when stationary and is so ugly even its mother is ashamed when travelling with it but as soon as the wheels roll its really rather good. Riding position is very commanding, even in the horrible wind and rain this morning it feels planted (unlike my old 650). Its quite torquey albeit a bit breathless at its top end but its good enough for me. Even slow speed filtering it feels great and much easier than the zxr.
Only negatives are the ugliness, 4000 mile service intervals and the shortage of second hand bikes.
Its got me thinking...
(Subsequent to the initial post I have checked the manual. The 4000 mile services are inspection services and even the spark plug checks look straight forward - not a major dismantling job.)

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Rode a Breva 1100 last night

It was very nice and coped with the outrageous wind really well. Has a lot of poke and is great fun to ride but i'm worried about the fuel consumption (on the web most claim low 40 mpg perhaps going up to 45 or so when on a trip). I know the deaville will do 60!
Also insurance on the Breva is nearly £400 vs less than £100 for the Deaville (and about 260 for the ZXR)

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Did the deed...

Got a crazy deal on a Deauville so bought one new. Did a search on biketrader and MCN for nearly new ones and considered buying one from a London dealer (they would have delivered and collected the p/x) but my local dealer matched the price. The dealer seems really organised as well as friendly so I am happy. First service booked in for next week...
Picked it up last night. Its a bit more comfy than the ZXR250 and get a bit more respect from other road users! Still running it in so economy isn't too good yet (50+) although it moves well enough with the traffic. The honda handbook's advice on running in is along the lines of  don't thrash it which contrasts nicely with the Kawaski instructions of maximum rev limits for the first 500 miles and 1000 miles that make you slower than milk floats. It handles a bit like a big traillie - If you are aggressive and use counter steering if grips really well but it doesn't feel very precise. The panniers are also very useful. If I forget how it looks I am very happy (sorry even the Deauville's mum thinks they are ugly).

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Deauville gone...

Hi,
The Deauville lasted about 15000 miles and it got replaced with the F800. I have written about the pair of them (and others) on the deauville UK Forum www.deauvilleuk.org/forum/
In short I replaced the Deau because its servicing and economy (56mpg ouch) made it quite expensive to run and because I had found a bike that was cheaper to run, was more fun and could do a similar job (Servicing costs may have improved since many Hondas now have 8000 mile service intervals but mine had 4000 and only one service in 4 was an inspection - unlike the old DV650 or the ER6 which had inspections every 2. Being a V twin the labour component is quite lengthy - the 16000 mile service was nearly £400 and I was going through both tyres very quickly)
This isn't to say that the NT700 is a bad bike or that the F800 is better. its just that they approach the touring ethic from a different position - I view the F800 as a mini sports-tourer whilst the NT700 is a Mini tourer (in engine capacity and purchase price only perhaps).  The fuel economy of the F800 is outstanding (I average 68mpg better even than my old 250 and several mpg better than the ER6) whilst its servicing is less frequent and there is less to do so is cheaper and it wears tyres less often too.
The NT700 isn't a lot different to the 650. They are very good bikes for long distance touring in all weathers but are not as fun as the F800 (which is not as good in rain or cold as the fairing isn't as effective and its seat isn't as comfy). The handling on the NT700 was a bit poorly controlled on fast long sweeping bends (it was prone to pogo) but otherwise was okay. The F800 is very good and very sure footed. Also its smaller which makes traffic filtering and parking easier. But its not as comfy - I wouldn't be able to ride up to my parents (220 miles) easily on the F800 where as the Deau would do it easier than a car...
I think in your position I would struggle to buy a Deau compared to a NC700 as the list price of the Deau is very high (mind you I got £1500 off list on mine). The other bike that I have a huge respect for (having ridden one) is the R1200GS (although I still feel they are ugly - maybe not so much compared to the deau). It is bigger than the F800 and always feels it but has that same planted feel of the F800 with the comfort and touring competence of the Deau and a bit extra performance. (It is no bigger than a deau but has much more sophisticated suspension than one)
I have recently moved closer to work so the bike isn't getting as much use so for me a change won't happen for some time now - with smaller mileage something achingly beautiful like a VFR800 in white or small and usable like a Hornet might be possible (I have a thing about 4 cylinder bikes but have never owned one).

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

sadly running a car is cheaper...

I know this is a bikers forum and I admit that doing the same trip in a car is frustrating boring and very unreliable (because of traffic) but I know that the Total Cost Of Ownership of running a small diesel fiesta for an average mileage over 15000 miles is significantly less than a bike - even the F800. For a car insurance is similar, tax is cheaper whilst the service intervals are much higher (and servicing itself is cheaper), tyre costs are much lower (even for four) and last forever. On a long trip the car will do 60 mpg which even with the higher cost of diesel will just never make enough difference for the bike to be cheaper.
The final insult is at trade in time when you discover that a one or two year old bike with over 30K has lost over half its value where as a diesel car of the same age and mileage will sell easily privately...
You also don't have as much faff getting dressed and undressed or as much gear to buy and replace (Visors, Gloves, Helmets, Boots, textiles, Jumpers etc)
The only time running a bike is cheaper than a car is when you are running a bike for a short distance - when the service intervals and increased tyre wear aren't so much of an issue OR when you do your own servicing (125s often have 1500 mile services so the servicing for them can cost even more)...
I would so like this not to be true...

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