Thinking about a dual sport/adventure Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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  2. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    170 HP ... :D
     
  3. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That’s what all the Multistrada V4s have. The Rally mainly has a bigger tank and is a bit more off road oriented.
     
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  4. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    My ‘14 had the puny 5.3gal combined tank so the main tank light comes after about 4 gals have been consumed, or about every 180-220 mi or so.

    Much longer than that is pretty uncomfortable though…the stock seat is fairly horrible.
     
  5. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I don’t know what it is about stock seats, but it seems that almost all of them are horrible.

    The 200 mile range really isn’t a big deal. It’s what my 1150 has currently and it’s sufficient.
     
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  6. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    CC8C7C63-CD44-406B-A115-D7D640B3969C.jpeg

    My friend whose R1200GSA I ride in New York came to visit. So, old panzer meet new panzer!
     
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  7. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Today I went by the Ducati dealer to test ride a Multistrada V4S.

    A resounding no.

    I'd been thinking and wondering if the V4S might be the bike for me for a while. Ticks a lot of the boxes - newer tech than the BMW R1250GS, a Multistrada that finally seems to be something that actually is designed to be able to legitimately do off roading (and some of the videos and reviews on them prove it is capable), and 170 HP doesn't hurt. I've always wanted a Ducati as a bucket list bike, although the desmodronic valves and V-twin were part of the appeal. The V4S removes both of those, having a conventional valve train (still revving to something around 10,500 RPM) and a V4 engine. However, they set the V4 to fire two cylinders at the same time to theoretically give it more of a feel of the V-twin.

    Among the tech features I really liked were the highly adjustable rider modes (adjust ABS, wheelie control, traction control, etc. etc.), radar cruise control, blind spot detection, and a much nicer and newer looking TFT than what BMW is using, which now you can tell is a previous generation.

    Initial impressions seeing the motorcycle in person were positive. Although they come with very much road tires (I don't even think you could call them 80/20s, and I wouldn't accept delivery until appropriate knobbies were added), the spoked 19" front/17" rear wheels on the one I test rode were at least an important step in the right direction. Panniers were very much road oriented, although the upcoming Rally model will have aluminum cases (which I also don't like due to the risk of a bad leg fracture if they fall on you). And on opening the panniers, it was immediately noticeable that the right side one had virtually no space in it. The reason for this is that it had a cutout for the exhaust (which had heat shielding, which really wasn't very attractive when you looked at it). So a negative there.

    Aesthetics are fantastic on the bike, but it was also obvious that doing a valve adjustment on this engine would involve a whole, whole lot of parts to remove to get at it. One thing Ducati advertises is just how long that interval is, now something like 36k miles, so you won't have to do it for a while. Lighting was very impressive, and the buttonology on the handlebars was attractive and intuitive. I'm not a huge fan of the BMW "wonder wheel" that's on the modern GS bikes and definitely gave the Ducati a one up on that.

    Another thing I found that they did very right immediately was the windshield. Not only is it easy to adjust up and down one-handed, but it is also at an angle and location where while standing on the pegs you can look down and see the ground without the windshield in the way. This isn't the case on most adventure bikes, and I wish it was. I run my R1150GS without a windshield for this reason (although I can put it back on in about 2 minutes if I want to).

    After signing papers on waiving liability they pulled the bike out and told me the desired route for me to ride, and off I went. It was a short ride, basically a 3 or 4 mile loop that they said you could do twice, so I did that twice.

    Once on the road, a few things were immediately noticeable. It's not horrifically top heavy, but definitely mores than a GS. The engine really does not like to be under 4,000 RPM. Below that range you can feel the engine pulses, but it feels not like a V-twin and instead like it's missing (it's not, but it feels that way). Better fueling could maybe help that, but above 4,000 it's very smooth with little visceral indication of any sort of V-twin sound. Under heavy power the mirrors vibrate. The engine sounds like a racebike as you get it up in revs, but that's not where you spend any significant time with 170 HP. On such a short test drive there wasn't much time to play with the different modes, but overall found the throttle more sensitive than it needed to be, especially at low RPMs. With throttle by wire I don't see a reason why it needed to be so non-linear. And, to my surprise, I couldn't get the front wheel off the ground (granted I didn't try hard, but I tried enough), something I would've thought that engine to be easily capable without trying. And yes, that was in a mode where wheelie control was off (at least according to the display). I couldn't see the blind spot detection doing anything and tried on several occasions to make it think I wanted to change lanes into somebody. Maybe it was too smart and knew I wasn't actually changing lanes into someone, maybe I was looking for the wrong thing, but I just didn't see it working. To my surprise, the very high revs on the highway (something north of 5k RPM for 70 MPH) didn't feel buzzy, but it definitely felt higher than what it should need for the bike.

    So in the end, I thanked them for the test ride, said I would consider things. But the more I thought about it after the test ride, the less I liked it. It's a beautiful bike, but it also seems a beauty queen that lacks it where it counts. The power is usable but essentially useless. The horsepower is all up high and for being a bike with nearly 1200ccs, it wants to be revved like a 600cc sport bike. I personally didn't find the personality of the engine to be very appealing, something that I was disappointed in. The transmission and quick shifter were great, but the fact that they're attached to a chain drive and that 6th gear on the Ducati is about the same as 4th gear on either my R1150GS or a new R1200/1250GS seems rather silly to me. The Triumph actually revs lower on the highway I think. It had its good parts, but there were also some details that didn't make sense on a bike that costs that much.

    I rode the Triumph there and rode my friend's R1200GSA on the way home, and thought that given the choice of the three, I would pick the Ducati last. So I didn't buy it, and I won't.

    But my friend also rode the Triumph (both on the road and around the property) and had the same opinion I did on the Michelin Anakee Wild tires, which is that he wasn't impressed. I think I may replace them early. They don't really do the on-road portions supremely fantastic, and off road they aren't as confidence inspiring as they could be. I'll get a set of the same Mitas E-09 tires I'm using on the BMW for it, and might do them over the winter.
     
  8. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    CB35A8CD-4146-441D-A946-A62B1B3078AF.jpeg 67E457C0-EA92-45CA-8850-D24B73F6073D.jpeg

    Ran around my local area doing adventure bike stuff this afternoon. Getting a lot more comfortable on gravel.
     
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  9. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    This past week involved a bunch of different bikes back to back more than I normally would have and in different conditions. With my friends visiting with their R1200GSA we ended up switching bikes back to back quite a bit, including the newer GSA vs. my old R1150GS, and my wife's Triumph Tiger. I've already covered the Multistrada. This friend I taught to ride 15 years ago or so, and I taught his girlfriend how to ride on this visit. She has always been a very good passenger but had some fear issues with being in control of the bike. We managed to get her over those and she was actually doing quite well by the end of the week.

    A few notes on bike comparisons between a 2018 R1200GSA, my 2001 R1150GS, and my wife's 2022 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro:

    - The GSA is definitely a nicer road riding bike. However in my friend's trim (which includes the side bags) it's noticeably heavier than my old R1150GS when getting off the side stand. The tires on it are 50/50s vs. my 20/80s, and that makes a noticeable difference mostly at more leaned over riding positions when not on pavement
    - Ultimately, I feel I can do better with the old GS off road than the new GSA. Some of that I'm sure is familiarity, but I also have the suspension more tuned (and firmer) which gives me more feel and seems to work better. With the GSA you're pretty limited on how much you can tune vs. what the computers do automatically. Really the computer does a better job, and with more practice, I'm sure I could do better with the GSA. But the old GS is still capable
    - Much to my surprise, the Triumph is better than the GSA when riding 2-up, at least I found it to be. I've ridden the GSA with my friend's girlfriend as passenger quite a bit, and at one point I rode with her on back of the Triumph while my friend rode my old GS. The Triumph I found much more stable at low speeds while the GSA will tend to lose a bit of front end stability in that <5 MPH range. I'd seen a review where a rider's wife rated the Triumph as better for her as a passenger vs. the same GSA.
    - With how I've tuned the R1150GS, it feels more sporty and fun than the GSA but is definitely down on power. It's torquier than both the GSA or the Triumph. I think my future plans for it will only improve things further

    So, now to keep on working on the winter upgrade plans and get moving in that direction.
     
  10. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Excellent and accurate write up. Kind of surprised at no wheelies, but if they have it mapped to the low hp ‘city’ setup, I think that limits the motor to 100hp and really softens the power delivery.

    I don’t have to try hard to get the front wheel off the ground just rolling power on in first and second. Sometimes third if I make that shift at about 7-8K rpms.

    Even my V-twin isn’t the torque monster I’s like for it to be, but a sprocket change would fix it.
     
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  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yesterday I managed to get some good wrenching in, among other things working on the Morini and the BMW.

    The Morini I finally finished up the rear brake. This just took a bit of time to grind away on a piece of steel for a bracket to mount the rear brake caliper that I was using. Ran the brake hose and bled the system. A hard line and a shorter hose would be better at some point and I may do that as a future modification. But for now the hose I got works fine. I haven't ridden the bike yet, but it does seem to work just fine so I think it will do the job as expected.

    The other bike item I did was fab up a back rest for the BMW:

    upload_2022-10-10_7-59-51.png

    I like having a back rest on longer road rides. The goals were to make something compact so that I wouldn't lose the utility of the parcel shelf and also easily removeable for off road riding since you don't want a backrest in the way of moving around. I can remove the backrest and its arm with one pin, and on the ride to work today, it was nice.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I've done a few rides around the property now with the rear brake on the Morini. It's definitely nice to have both brakes working, especially given that these are Ninja 250 brake calipers which are... not spectacular. However based on what I've read on the Morini forum (there appears to be only one), the stock brakes were little more than suggestions, so it doesn't appear that I've gotten anything worse than what was there before.

    One problem the bike has is that even with the clutch cable pulled in fully, the clutch does not disengage 100%. Apparently this is not uncommon on these bikes. End result is that you always have some dragging, it's hard to find neutral, and that also reduces the effectiveness of the rear brake in such conditions as trying to lock up the rear tire intentionally (the GS has no issues doing that).

    Overall, I have the Morini well sorted at this point. It still needs a new rear shock as the one it has is 100% dead and the rear is way, way too bouncy. So at some point I need to just pull that rear shock out entirely, measure it, and look for a replacement. There are a couple of minor little nits, but overall, the bike starts and runs really well now.

    To be honest, I'm debating what I want to do with the bike. I love the engine on it. That little 500cc V-twin makes a wonderful sound, it's very responsive, and has good power (roughly 50 HP). With a new shock I'm sure it will ride a lot better once I do that, and brakes are nice. However ultimately, I don't see that as being the direction I'm really wanting to head with my off road biking. I have been enjoying the large adventure bikes, the things that I can ride all around in all conditions. They just suit me better. The Morini's kick-start-only is a novelty that wears out from a practical standpoint, although to be fair it starts pretty easily now that I have things tuned properly. However it does require a good and solid warm-up.

    The steering on it has very little steering angle - something on the order of 50 degrees lock to lock. You run into full lock really quickly. Of course then you lean the bike over to get more turning, and it's something you get used to. But it feels like it really was intended to be more of a race bike, and something that is fun if you want to ride it like that, but ultimately fast is not the direction I'm going with off road - I really enjoy the highly technical aspects.

    Ultimately I have enough space in the shop for it, but I think it's one of those bikes that if the right person came along with a good offer, I'd probably consider parting with it.

    The BMW, on the other hand, I really am continuing to enjoy. I've more or less figured that at some point I am going to buy/order a new one, but the exact timing of that remains to be seen. The new R1300GS is expected for the 2024 MY, and so the question of the existing 1250GS vs. waiting for the new one is a real and significant question. BMW is not known for the first year of bikes being perfect or even complete feature wise. The 1250GS is essentially a 10 year old platform at this point, proven and fantastic. I love the way they ride. The new ones are thought to likely have radar cruise control and some more horsepower, both of which are features I'd like.

    But either way, I tend to think I'd keep the old panzer even with a new one. I enjoy the character of the old one. I just maybe don't trust its reliability fully given its age and high miles, and it would be nice to have cruise control for longer rides (throttle lock just isn't the same). So, I'm continuing to make progress there. I ordered a spare set of connecting rods and am going to work on polishing those. I'd like to get a 5-10% weight reduction in the process. We'll see what I can do there.

    The pistons I think have little room for improvement in weight reduction, but there is some. I've also found some lightweight wrist pins from Ross that I'll likely order as part of that plan. That will be some winter work.
     
  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Started getting some weight removed from the rods. My goal was 5%, and I got just about there. Haven't done a full polishing yet, but did the initial weight reduction. The initial rods were within about 2 grams of each other, my goal is to get them as close to dead on the same as possible and also as close to perfectly balanced as possible. This is just phase 1 of that, but I'm happy overall thus far.

    Note, the pics are of two different rods - the untouched rod was the lighter one by about 2 grams.

    upload_2022-10-19_20-49-18.png

    upload_2022-10-19_20-49-28.png
     
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  14. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    Had some free time and it was nearly 70 out so I went bombing around this afternoon with no real route or destination. I just started turning down roads I couldn’t remember ever having gone down. Ended up here, which believe it or not is a numbered county road. Crossed a shallow creek with running water along the way- nothing too impressive but I wouldn’t be doing this if I’d bought a cruiser. On the way home I took another road I’d spotted from the air the other day and now I have a new alternate route home.

    480F7E56-AF6A-4A76-A151-A332115FD496.jpeg
     
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  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    It's rides like that that make me wish I'd gotten into adventure/dual sport riding years ago. The coolest places to find don't involve pavement.
     
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  16. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Just remember to turn back if you start to hear banjos playing . . .
     
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  17. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I decided that I was going to go ahead and do something you wouldn't do on most on-road bikes, and remove one of the front brakes:

    upload_2022-11-1_14-49-25.png

    On the surface, this doesn't necessarily make sense. However in my continued pursuit for weight reduction and making the bike better for my off-road pursuits, this is a good idea. About half of that mass is rotating (on the wheel) and 100% of it is unsprung weight, the enemy of handling. Additionally, this increases the braking force required (slightly), which therefore should also help make precise braking easier for lower speed operations. That wasn't a problem before and this is really more about weight reduction.

    The change is fully and easily reversible, so I can always put it back on if I change my mind that I don't like how it behaves. However, this is what BMW did on the HP2 Enduro, which was basically a stripped down oil-cooled R1200GS aiming to do almost exactly what I'm doing. We'll see what I notice as far as changes go. So far all of my weight reductions have helped, but this is the first significant unsprung weight reduction I'll be doing.

    I've also decided that I'm going to start planning and training myself for trying out for the GS Trophy US team next year. That gives me a bit under a year to prepare myself and the bike for. My intent is going to be to use ye olde panzer, the R1150GS. Although most people seem to show up with new(er) 1200s and 1250s, I like the idea of using the old 1150. It doesn't have all the fancy toys the newer ones have, but is still a plenty capable machine, one that I've been enjoying optimizing.

    This is the first time I'll be doing any sort of selective competition that I consider to be of a physical nature. Sure it's not running 100 miles like some people do (ahem @JoeSelch ) but I'm someone who was always picked last in gym class, and deservedly so. I've never considered myself anything resembling an athlete. But, off-road riding, especially working a big adventure bike weighing in at 500ish lbs is definitely a physical activity. If I get selected I'll be 40 when the competition occurs in 2024 so if I'm ever going to try to do something like this, I think now's the time as I won't have too many more years of potential opportunities.

    So with that, I've started figuring out what my preparations should look like from all sides, looking at the motorcycle itself, the skills for me to practice on it, and my personal physical preparations to be in a good position of fitness.

    Part of me is hesitant about announcing that this is something that I want to do. But maybe that will help keep me accountable to myself and all 0 of you who are interested in seeing what I end up doing on my crazy thinking about threads. ;)

    The panzer will have over 100k by the time I get to wherever the tryouts are next year...

    upload_2022-11-1_14-56-46.png
     
  18. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Makes perfect sense @Ted, especially considering the type of riding you want to do. There’s opportunity for improvement with disk/pad combos as well as line size.

    Strongly suggest Castrol SRF brake fluid at the next fluid change all around. Expensive but night and day different, especially if there’s any chance of heat at all.
     
  19. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I hadn't considered line size for changing, but that could be an option as I tweak things.

    This evening I did some riding around the property with it while my son was riding the TTR50. The front brake effort required now is noticeably higher, enough so that I think that may make me want to change out the organic pads for sintered or semi-sintered pads to help balance that out. However, I do feel like that reduction in unsprung weight is noticeable in the handling of the bike. I need to do some more riding to see, but it does seem to be an improvement.

    Interestingly, and maybe this is just because the front brakes are so much firmer, it seems as though the rear brake is more bitey now. That could be a perception, or it could be that the front wheel having less rotating mass actually makes the rear brake respond more. But I imagine it's probably perception and maybe a little of both. I already had on the list to change the rear brake to organic pads.

    I'm running Motul DOT 5.1 brake fluid in there right now, you think Castrol SRF might be an improvement over that? I'm not familiar with the differences there.
     
  20. charheep

    charheep Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    This is amazing! I didnt know it was a thing. I hope you entertain me/us with the progress and progression to get there. Good for you. It does feel odd for me to post something without snark. I better lie down
     
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  21. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Thank you. :)

    I found out about it earlier this year. Initially it was appealing, but I figured that there was no way that I would be good enough for it, expecting it to take superhuman riders like you see on YouTube and Instagram (and falling back on my "picked last in gym class" history). Although I do consider myself a very good driver and pilot, motorcycling I've generally considered myself not much more than average. A good friend of mine (who's much more familiar than I am) said that I'm underestimating my ability, and overestimating the ability of most of the people who go to try out.

    Personally, I still think that I'm a ways away from being good enough to have a hope of being selected. However watching some of the qualifier videos from last year, I don't think I'm in the bottom half of the bell curve.

    I'm dividing up my prep into multiple sections:

    - Making the bike the best it can be
    - Improving my skill set
    - Mentally preparing
    - Physically preparing

    Really the physical preparations are, at this point, no different than my normal workout routine that I've been doing over the past couple of years. After needing hernia surgery last year I don't push myself too hard, but the differences are noticeable. Making the bike the best it can be is what I've been posting and doing over the past year and a half or so since I got the 1150, with more things still to do. The goal continues to be weight reduction and better handling and balance, also with continued improvement in controllable and accessible power.

    Getting my skill set is a combination of practice and having specific exercises to practice. Really low speed motorcycle riding comes down to balance more than anything. So there's both practicing the end maneuvers that are part of tests, and exercises that are the building blocks for those. I'm going through the general philosophy of trying to master (or at least get good enough at) one block at a time and then move to the next one, and keep practicing.

    Oh, and mental. That's probably one of the bigger ones. Changing my above "still thinking I have a ways to go to be selected" to "I can do this."

    More to come as I do more...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
  22. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    SRF has a wet boiling point of 270* C vs 185*C for your Motul is the biggest differentiator from a technical standard. In practice, it’s going to be hard for SRF to be the weak point in your brakes unless you plan on flushing your brakes more than once a year.
     
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  23. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Got the new Ohlins front shock for the old R1150GS:

    upload_2022-11-16_13-40-54.jpeg

    But an annoying omission is that you're supposed to reuse the upper shock mount bushing which is... not reusable in this case.

    upload_2022-11-16_13-41-26.jpeg

    So I'll get it back together once that's back in stock at my house.
     
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  24. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well now I've gone and done it.

    [​IMG]

    What it is: a 2022 R1250GSA, ice grey color, LED headlight, leftover that I was able to negotiate a remarkably good deal on. I'm happy.

    I'd been doing a lot of hemming and hawing this year, knowing that I'd ultimately want to buy a new adventure bike, but deciding which one. In the end, BMW just does this the best in my opinion. I didn't care for the Multistrada. Everything I've read about the KTM 1290 Super Adventure tells me that it's a bike that needs to be ridden at 12/10ths all the time, and is unhappy otherwise. Obviously that's something of an exaggeration, but the more I looked at them, the more I didn't want one. I just kept on coming back to the BMWs. While I like my old panzer, the other reality is that it's also a bike that's old, has a ton of miles, and not something that is necessarily trustworthy for long trips. Given that my wife and I don't get to do much riding together, it's a stress point to worry about getting to finally go out for a ride, and then having the old thing break. Reality is we probably worry about that more than it actually will, but with our lives now, it's nice to have something that you can just trust will turn on when you push the button.

    I also considered whether I wanted to get an R1250GS(A) or wait for the new R1300GS series that is slated to come out in the 2024 model year. The way I looked at it ultimately was I don't lose no matter what. I know I love the R1200/1250 bikes, which have been refined over the past decade. The 1300 looks like it will have some really cool new features, but will also probably have some teething troubles. So I figured I would look for the deal that spoke to me.

    Last weekend while in NYC I visited the dealer my friend goes to in New Jersey, and almost made a deal on a 2023 R1250GS Rally. In the end something felt off that I couldn't put my finger on. After doing some more thinking I decided that I really wanted a GSA vs. a GS, I wanted a 2022 (to get end of year pricing, especially with the sub-zero temperatures lately), and I would rather not have the electronic suspension. It's a high dollar item to repair/replace, and ultimately I'll just want an Ohlins. Plus when doing aggressive off road riding (it doesn't even have to be that aggressive) the electronic shock will overheat and give a warning. Also, because the electronic suspension is so desirable, that makes ones without it even more aggressively priced (or at least more room to negotiate). Yes, might hurt resale, something I'm not concerned about.

    Color was the other item that I was mulling over. I really like how the GS Rally looks. The GSA Rally, however, changes the coloring on the tank for the worse and I don't like how it looks from a lot of angles. I'm not a fan of the triple black. I do like the GS Trophy coloring, however from a philosophical perspective, I tend to think those are colors you earn, not buy. Ice grey is not only the base (read: cheapest) color, but I do like it, especially with some of the aftermarket tank decal options that I'll probably add at some point. Out the door, it didn't have the "ride modes pro", which I'll get to in a minute (and also hurts desirability). So in the end I found a bike that fit what I wanted, but would be less desirable on the whole to the average market. I negotiated in adding both more aggressive tires (which end up being 60/40 Metzeler Karoo 3s) and adding the ride modes pro options (it's a software enablement), giving me the more advanced rider modes that I will use.

    Now I just have to work out transport, or buy heated gear and ride it home

    So what does this mean for the fleet? Not a ton. This will be my bike, my wife still has her Triumph. The old R1150GS I'm going to keep. It's a fun old bike to mess around with and not be worried about dropping. This will be the more primary/reliable bike for local and longer rides, especially over the winter, likely eventually becoming a bike I ride more aggressively off road.

    I do think I'm going to sell the Moto Morini. But when, I'm not sure. Now would be the wrong time to sell it due to winter and the slowing economy. I'll keep riding it, but I think I've realized that what I like are the big adventure bikes and the Morini will probably ultimately be something I get rid of. However it costs nothing to keep and it is a neat piece of history, and fairly small.

    I'm excited!
     
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  25. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Bravo.
     
  26. charheep

    charheep Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    So I dont have to look it up, whats the differences between a GS and a GSA?
     
  27. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Usually larger fuel tank, spoke wheels, sometimes a wide-ratio transmission, and cosmetics.

    It’s been a while since I’ve really studied them though.
     
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The GSA (GS Adventure) has a few key differences.

    - Larger fuel tank (something like 7.9 gallons vs. something in the low 5s)
    - Includes crash bars from the factory
    - Larger wind screen and more wind protection
    - Taller suspension (available on the GS as the "sport" suspension)

    The extra wind protection is the big thing that was nice to have. Interestingly, the tank on the GSA (plastic) is actually lighter than the tank on the GS (metal), but if you top off the tank it weighs more. The idea is that it's nice to have the extra capacity for a longer adventure off road.

    When I went to the BMW school I rode a GS the first day (off road day) and a GSA the second day (on road day). I really didn't notice much of a difference in terms of how they rode in that scenario.
     
  29. charheep

    charheep Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thanks Ted and TCABM
     
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  30. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Very nice Ted, May you have many miles and smiles together!
     
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  31. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm still working on transport for my new bike home (and whether I ride it home or just pay a shipper). However this weekend I got the new Ohlins front shock on the old R1150GS. This morning was my first ride with it heading to work.

    The difference is immediately noticeable as an improvement. There's actually control of the front end, and it both rides better and is much better balanced. This was just a normal street/dirt road ride to work so I haven't tried any advanced technical riding. Once I get the new bike I will probably see what turnaround time is for shipping out the rear shock to get rebuilt, I'm sure that will make a noticeable difference as well.
     
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  32. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The transport was a terrible experience, but it did arrive unscathed:

    upload_2022-12-5_14-13-32.png

    The bike is exactly as I wanted and expected. Actually slightly better as it included the LED driving lights, which I wasn't expecting. I managed to take it on a test ride and I am very happy. Of course I have a lot of time riding these bikes already, so I know what I'm getting into. But this is really a great bike.

    The transport in the end was fine, but as someone who used to transport cars to earn money, I now really understand why my customers liked me so much. The past 3 vehicles that I was involved with having shipped, the other party handled it and communication I felt was better. This company was awful on communication, and outright lies to the point where I was afraid the bike was stolen. In the end the driver showed up this morning with nothing more than a text 10 minutes prior, spoke only Russian. It all worked out in the end, but I will not be sending a good review.
     
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  33. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Curious who you used. I’ve had great luck with uship.
     
  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well, since you asked, I'll give you more of an answer than you asked for... :)

    I was going to let the dealership handle it. They said they prefer not to, and I think this is why. They gave me two recommendations for people they've used in the past, both of whom had high quotes. I then put out bids on both Uship and Carship.com (the latter being a website my friend used recently to transport a '56 Oldsmobile they bought).

    In the end, the best options as far as price and promised timeframe came from Carship.com. I got a few bids on Uship but they weren't going to work schedule wise, were really high priced, or both.

    End result was that I got a broker (which is how this normally works) who tried subcontracting out to... probably ended up trying 5 or 10 different carriers to ship, at least if you believe him. The communication through this process was awful and I was clearly lied to a lot during it. The first 4 or 5 "broke down" or otherwise wanted to pick up the bike outside of working hours and so it didn't work out. Finally got someone who promised a pickup that afternoon, then turned into evening, then turned into after the dealership was closed and they literally asked if the dealer could simply leave it outside for the driver to pick up and drive off with. You can imagine my response.

    They said they would pick it up the next morning first thing, which actually happened. That was an indication that ok, these guys might be ok. I asked the broker when my bike would arrive and he said that afternoon. New Jersey to Kansas is a 1300 mile drive, that's physically impossible. When I pointed that out he said "Ok tomorrow." Obviously, he didn't check.

    The dispatcher gave me a better answer of maybe Saturday afternoon, probably Sunday, but then proceeded to not answer calls all day on Sunday when the bike didn't show up and throw off my schedule.

    This morning the driver showed up with a 10 minute warning (good thing I decided to work from home today, or I would've had to come home from work). He only spoke Russian (which by itself isn't a problem - this is the sort of job a lot of immigrants who can't speak English well do to try to build a better life - most drivers who deliver/pick up vehicles to me don't speak English very well if at all), but the broker never bothered to tell me that I needed to have cash to pay the balance of the delivery payment, and I don't keep much cash around the house. This created a conflict since neither the driver nor I trusted eachother, spoke the same language, and he wanted to make sure he got paid. We finally came to an agreement and in the end the cold war ended, he was paid, went on his way.

    I used to haul cars to earn money in college, and now I realize why my customers liked me so much. The past few cars that've been picked up/dropped off from me were arranged by another party so I didn't see quite as may of these issues first hand, or maybe they just had better companies. But talking to some friends, it seems this is the norm.
     
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  35. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Line Up and Wait

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    I've seen this one before. Usually a plumber or cable guy and the hot girl doesn't have enough cash. Hope the russian dude was gentle with you.
     
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  36. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    When @Ted can't speak the language, he lets his body do the talking.
     
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  37. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Shoot, I thought we were dealing with some Bueller Ferrari fiasco.

    With Uship, you are the broker; I’ve never used Carship, so I can’t speak to that. It remains though, as the broker, you define the job and the market sets the price.

    In the end, it sounds to me like you farmed out the job, but not the expectations. When you are the broker, that’s one thing; as the customer, it’s entirely different.

    I get it’s frustrating, but I sense this is a broker/expectations management issue, which is what it is and you acknowledged early on. I think the ultimate lesson for others to learn is contractually defining expectations, even though this experience sucked for you.
     
  38. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I decided to remove a few parts I'm not going to use and get weight out. I like the cleaner look and saved 11 lbs, which is roughly 2%.

    upload_2022-12-9_16-11-49.png

    upload_2022-12-9_16-12-12.png

    I like the cleaner look better personally.

    I took the stock muffler on just to start it up and see how it sounded. It sounds really good! But also really loud. Interestingly since it's got the shift-cam (variable valve and lift timing - similar to what you've got in BMW cars) and I think that the default when started is a higher lift profile that's louder. There are two mufflers I'm interested in, and I might swap one on. We'll see.
     
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  39. Aviatordoc

    Aviatordoc Pre-Flight

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    My 2020 R1250 GSA.
    River zoomed in.jpg
     
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  40. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Ted is killing me with this thread and you ain't helping. I recently acquired a Honda 1800 VTX and been riding it quite a bit. Still the weather lately hasn't been conducive to plane flying or motorcycle riding ...
     
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