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Need light tourer recommendations

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by MVRob, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Hi all,

    In the market for a new bike, been racking my brain and can't really sell myself on anything currently on the market. Hoping I'm just overlooking something obvious, looking for suggestions.

    Ridden street 13 years, plenty of dirt experience before that. Been through 8 or 9 streetbikes, incl. Duc Monster, GSX-R600, CRF250L, MV Agusta Brutale, Triumph Thruxton, Guzzi V7 and a few in between. This time around, looking to get something that will make my wife happier for long day rides or a weekend coast run, but I don't need a cross-country tourer by any means. Will be keeping a couple sportier bikes in the stable, so versatility isn't a concern; wouldn't mind something a bit more relaxed in both temperment and ergos.

    I'm 5'-10" / 180#, and my wife is 5'-0" so the more current ADV trend isn't especially appealing to either of us. Sub-30 / 31" seat height would be ideal, as would keeping under 650#. Open to sport-tourers and cruisers, preferably with removable luggage and the option of a passenger backrest. The BMW F800GT is about the closest to ticking all my boxes, but it's taller than I'd like, and doesn't have a great deal of character. Something closer to a bagger / cruiser might be a fun change of pace, but they're pushing the weight issue and all seem to be laid out for 6'+ guys. FJR1300 is also in the running, but I could do without some of the tech (slipper clutch, throttle override during gear select, etc.).

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance!
  2. The indian scout might be what you're looking for. About 500 pounds. Relaxed riding position, capable of passenger with back rest. Different options for handlebar and foot peg placement. Quick release saddlebags as well.

    I like to call it a sport bike trapped in a cruiser body. It'll cause easy going, but rip like crazy when you wasnt it to.

  3. Seems I've a similar physical build and riding background. FWIW, I got into a 2015 Harley Ultra Limited, yes its heavy but it handles well, cruises ALL day (800 mile days) in comfort, your passenger will love it and best of all....right now its a buyers market. I got mine private sale, less than 5K miles, 7 year warranty unblemished for $18K. PO had bought it year previous for $27k, sold due to health issues.....The Sportsters and Brit bikes remain for more spirited stuff
  4. Thanks guys,

    Hadn't considered the Scout, not immediately drawn to the styling. Did a little research and it's growing on me; certainly worth checking one out in person. Not much for wind / rain protection, but a windscreen would probably take care of most of that. Not finding much info about passenger ride quality, but it looks like a generally well-rounded package, and the low price doesn't hurt.

    As for the Harley, we checked out a Road King and Heritage Softtail last weekend. Wife was of course in love with both, with the Heritage feeling like the more manageable of the two from my perspective. I'll need to snag a test ride before I can really understand how these barges carry their weight, may find myself surprised. Again, seems like the whole package could be scaled down about 10-15% and I'd be much happier. Not cheap, but I'm sure there are some good used options out there to keep this closer to the ~$14-18k I had envisioned.

    Thanks again!
    mack likes this.
  5. After a few test rides on friends HDs the Road King (swing arm model) handled the better than the softtail. 2015 or later the primary was narrowed by 1 1/2" making better lean angle to the left. Check out Craigslist, there are some amazing deals on late model HD big twins especially this time of year and the current market, factory extended warranty fully transferable. Been told by several that know the late model 103 engines are making well over 100k miles before issues. Parts are plentiful and cheap. sheesh, maybe I shoulda been a HOG salesman....
  6. You can always put lowering links and lower the fork tubes to loose nearly and inch on most bikes. I did it on my VStrom 1000 and it works good. That plus a Corbin seat (lower than stock) I bet it is more like an inch and a half.
    You could always check out some of the used smaller (650) cruisers out there. They can be had for under $3K and have a lot of miles left on them. Some have quite a few farkles on them as well. That might give you a chance to see if they will work for you without loosing a bunch of money if it does not work out.
  7. I've always shook my head in wonder at people who say the F800GT doesn't have a lot of character. Shortly after buying mine, I took it to Hurricane Ridge. I'd met a Ducati owner on the Kingston ferry who was going there too, so we set off together. As we're passing through Sequim, I see two WSPs sitting on the side of the road. I wasn't worried about how fast I was going, figuring I was doing 60-65 mph in a 55 zone. But I looked down anyway figuring I might have to slow down some. Gulp!!! I was doing 90 mph!'re right, no character. The bike just does what it does with no fuss or bother.

    I define "character" by something that sticks out about the bike, while the rest of the bike isn't nearly as good. The FJ-09 was that way. All you read about was how great it was at popping wheelies with the traction control off. If you looked closely, you might see some comments about the snatchy throttle response, and some magazine reviewers thought the suspension wasn't up to snuff. Now that the Tracer GT has come out, you hear about those issues. But at the time...all you heard about was the "character" of the bike, defined by the engine.

    I have a F800GT that was set up for touring by a retired cardiologist. I'd like to meet him again some day to thank him. The bike has been flawless in touring the last two summers through every state west of the Rockies (except New Mexico) and the Canadian Provinces. I've never wished for a different bike in that time. I toured a portion of that with a Gold Wing owner. At the end of the day, he collapsed in his motel bed. I dumped my things off and went riding or hiking in the area. That says a lot about the bike and how well it can tour.

    A nice part about the F800GT too, is the price. You can pick up some nice gently used models for a fraction of the new price.

  8. Look at the new Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. It’s essentially the F800gt with a way better engine and slightly more upright. I’m 5,10 and I flat foot it easily with the seat in the high setting. It has a lower setting that is easy to make without tools. Excellent handling, good passenger comfort, stock with heated grips and luggage. That 850 Triple is an amazing engine.