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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2721

MarcusMarsh says:

An Unexpected Choice

Yesterday was an interesting day. My girlfriend Kate has taken to riding pillion and we are planning a couple of trips for next year, including a two-week jaunt to Spain. As some of you may know, I currently have two bikes in my garage - a 2005 Fazer 1000 and a ‘98 VFR800. The VFR is the bike I usually use for touring as I am less precious with it. However, with more two up touring planned I have decided to look at getting a tourer.

Today we test-rode two of the market leaders - The Honda Pan European and a BMW R1200RT. Now I would usually consider myself as a typical Honda buyer (Previous bikes include a CBR900 and a Blackbird) and although this would be the first time I had actually ridden the Pan I expected to prefer it to the RT. But the opposite was true! I was really disappointed with the Pan. I could really feel the weight a slow speeds and the shaft-drive had sufficient slack as to make smooth riding difficult. The BMW on the other hand - even with an engine design dating back to the 1920’s and surely reaching the end of it’s development potential - was the better bike. It felt more modern, was better equipped (Cruise control was very amusing) and it just generally worked better as bike.

I had intended to keep the VFR either way but with a tourer taking up so much space in the garage that probably won’t be possible so it look s like the VFR will be sold to make way for a BMW RT.

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  • Posted 3 years ago (23 September 2012 18:44)

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ally600

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 2573

ally600 says:

never tried the bm

all i can tell you is i ride a pan for up to 11hrs a day and i manage to walk away in one piece from it...........my mate on his gs gets numb fingers from engine vibes after several hrs................my advise, buy a triumph...............there's only a clylinder between them:wink:

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preunit

Joined:

Dec 10

Posts: 12021

preunit says:

"Unexpected"

Happens to me too, nowt wrong with the R 1200RT m8, go with your instinct and enjoy, although the post does sound like an apology.:biggrin:

Have you tried a KTM 990 SMT, capable, add gel seats, comfy enough:unsure: and right laugh when want to be a little naughty.:smile

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2721

MarcusMarsh says:

Bike choice

Apology...... no, I don't think so.  I'm just amazed as the Pan has such a strong reputation and following and it's the first Honda I have ridden that I didn't instantly like. 

Ally - I know what you mean about the vibes.  I have an 1150GS a few years back and that was one of the reasons I got rid of it.  Things have improved since that time. 

The Triumph looks good but it's a new model.  I want something that's 2 - 3 years old so that I don't take the initial hit in depreciation.   

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bikerbit

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 743

bikerbit says:

would go for fjr

fjr1300 is far better than the pan or the bmw having tryed the pan good bike but not as quick or as nibble feeling as the fjr.  Bmw one I tryed broke down so cant comment to much on it 

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paulderekjohnson

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 1952

Marcus

Just use either of the bikes you've got,they're both far more than capable! 

My first european trip was when I was 17 and that was two up on a 250 superdream. Had a hell of a time and covered just over 2500 miles in a two week trip. Remember being a tad peeved on the way back when we met a coupe on a CD175 and thought,you swine,it's smaller than my bike,you've ruined my sense of adventure. hahaha

Can't say I can fault either of the bikes you've tested though,but personally,I'd just jump on the VFR,and put extra money into the trip if needed. Or the Fazer,or the VFR,or maybe the Fazer,oh you get the idea. :wink:

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2721

MarcusMarsh says:

Fazer / VFR

Paul,

I agree that both the Fazer and VFR are capable but I am looking for more than that.  II want to have the extra level of comfort two-up in additon to good weather protection.  I also want a machine that is shaft drive.  (If I was still doing solo tours I would continue to take the VFR, which I am sure would still give many more years of reliable service)    

As for the FJR, I didn't even stick that on the short list.  The FZS is a great bike and I love it l but I have had some appauling experiences with Yamaha dealers.  At the time the response I had from Yamaha themselves when wanting their help in addressing a serious issue with one of their dealers was disappointing.  If I were looking at older bikes it would be less of an issue but the bike I purchase this time round will be a late model (maybe two years old or so) and I want proper dealer back up should I need it.  Unfortunately I can't be confident of getting that from a Yamaha dealer and, even worse, experience tells me I can't rely on Yamaha for any back-up either.  That rules them out as a manufacturer for me.  

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byron10

Joined:

Nov 10

Posts: 3

byron10 says:

spain

did 7wks in spain on blackbird this year. fabulous country, people and food.

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byron10

Joined:

Nov 10

Posts: 3

byron10 says:

weekday rideouts around wales, cotswolds.etc

live in bromsgrove area would like occasional company on rides during weekdays around cotswolds and wales. ride Blackbird, sometimes quite brisk, but happy at any pace. new riders lookin to gain experience welcome. mature rider, know lots of great open roads an places for coffee and a bun.  

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spondonste

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 2751

spondonste says:

Touring

I did something similar many years ago in buying a ZZR1100 thinking it would be better 2 up for distance work. The reality was that it was a bit of a barge when you came to the twisty stuff and I found that frustrating.

 

Most bikes can be fitted with hard luggage to make it suitable for touring so get something that ticks as many boxes as possible.

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goldenboyfz1

Joined:

Dec 07

Posts: 1112

goldenboyfz1 says:

Blackbird

I can see the appeal of these big tourers. I wouldn't be able to afford the BMW... And the Pan doesn't inspire me enough to want to go out riding.


Have you thought about a late model Blackbird with matching luggage, heated grips, bar risers etc ?. You'd be able to do and go anywhere on that ?. Also when you return, you could take all the luggage off and it would more than sufficient 

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