Reasons to buy a Sport Tourer

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by CYCLONE 2Cooper, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. CYCLONE 2Cooper

    CYCLONE 2Cooper New Member

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    In the process of purchasing another Sport Touring bike I notice different things that riders add to their bikes to tailor them to their personal liking. I feel like my personal preferences in some cases are very different. What I like about a sport touring bike....
    1. More upright riding position (not having the bars below the triple clamp) but still more aggressive than a "standard" type of bike.
    2. Full fairings. I've gotten used to not having the full body wind blast.
    3. Powerful motor. Once you feel the excitement and pull of a big horsepower motor, it's hard to go back.
    4. The weight. Heavier than a true sport bike which means a more planted stable ride.
    5. Insurance cost. Usually much cheaper insurance cost than a sport bike with similar CCs.

    I know I don't ride as aggressively as some so generally the stock suspension and brakes are adequate enough for me. I see many riders need to upgrade suspension and brakes. Usually the power of a stock engine is plenty for me. I don't feel the need to find my ability limits. I always want to enjoy the ride and arrive back home with my body and my bike in the same condition that I left with. My "chicken strips" usually are about a half inch. I see guys that have shreaded to the edges. As I said, I'm not that aggressive but still enjoy squirting the motor up and feeling the rush!
    I usually don't get an opportunity to do much traveling so a tailbag and a tank bag will usually be enough. When I do get out I usually try to get a 200 mile day in. By then I'm glad to be off the bike. I've had enough till the next adventure.
     
  2. James Bond

    James Bond New Member

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    There is no reason to buy a sport tourer.

    Kind of like when I told a salesman, "I don't need another whitewater boat". He said, "nobody needs a whitewater boat".
     
  3. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    The funny thing about brakes and suspension, could also apply to many other things too, is that you only know what you have. Until you use an identical machine with better brakes or suspension, you don't know what you're missing. I had my 6 Gen (commuter/tourer) setup with DMr suspension tuned to my weight and the type of riding I would be doing on the bike, even with the fore mentioned type of riding, the bike felt transformed. Similarly with brakes, the right pads, rotors and lines can make a big difference. To me, this is one area one should not compromise!

    As far as a sport-tourer, I think your list is a good guideline for you but since every rider is a bit different, what you look for in a sport-tourer may differ a little than someone else but the list has a common ground.
     
  4. JimFife777

    JimFife777 New Member

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    Interesting.
    #4 is a false sense of security, the more weight there is, doesn't really mean more planted. But I get it, used to race a '90 1100 and it was a tank.

    For me the sport-tourer was because even though the wife rides and has her own GSXR600, going two-up is something we really wanted to do (more her) and this is a great bike for it.
     
  5. thtanner

    thtanner New Member

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    I consider VFRs in general an extension of the UJM moniker (Universal Japanese Motorcycle.) On paper, it pretty much suits 90% of people's needs.

    Sadly the "cool" factor isn't taken into account on that, and to some people, super sports or adventure bikes are cooler. /shrug
     
  6. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder New Member

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    The weight of a sport-tourer turns me off. Also, being from CA, the ability to share a lane is a HUGE advantage in traffic (which we have a lot of in SoCal). So having side saddlebags is a big NO to me as well. Finally, I ride single. If my wife wanted to ride with me, I think I would get a sport-tourer because it would be more comfortable for her. But then again, I'd probably just get a Miata or something similar in that case.

    Having said all that, a VFR1200 would be MY ideal ST bike because it just looks the best and sounds the best and its size is more in-line with a sport bike (a big one).
     
  7. Thomas Gessner

    Thomas Gessner New Member

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    I fully agree: Nobody needs a sport tourer. There is probably agreement about dual sports bike having taken over the role sports tourers like the VFR played in the nineties. Riding in the Alps during a summer weekend, you get the feeling you are amidst the mother of all BMW GS group rides. And that is for a reason: Those things are as good for sporty touring as they are ugly.

    I fell for that thinking a few years ago and bought a Yamaha XTZ1200ZE Super Tenere (I just don’t dig flat twins) and I have to say that for touring in the mountains, that bike is almost perfect. Almost. The point is that with all the things a Dual Sports gives you, it also takes away something: Front wheel feel. This might not be an issue for may, but for me it is. So I sold the Tenere and bought a VFR 800. Of course, the seating position is more cramped in comparison and it does not like the narrow hairpins as much, but what it gives me - beyond many other things - is that direct, unfiltered, immediate front wheel feedback.

    Again, many folks would not care about this and rightfully go out and buy a GS or an equivalent. There is probably a shrinking minority that values what a true sports tourer can provide and I for one am grateful that Honda has decided to build one.
     
  8. grabcon

    grabcon New Member

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    Boy Sport Tour. This is an oxymoron. Three bikes come to mind when I think of Sport Tour, ST1300, FJR1300 and BMW R1200RT. Out of these three the ST is no longer made. Things I know about Sport Tour bikes, I can say this because I have had a couple of ST's. They do a lot of things well, but doing nothing great. They are not a sport bike, like a stock VFR800. Yep I am saying the VFR800 is not a Sport Tour. It is far more sport than tour, I do have one in the garage. The only thing a Sport Tour does not do well is dirt roads, mostly because of ground clearance. I have done many miles of dirt roads on mine that most guys wouldn't go down. They are not a Gold Wing, although many guys that own them think they are. I know a lot of folks that have the FJR and the R1200RT and they all say they are great, but with similar comments that I say about the ST.

    The issue I found with the ST is that when moving it around when not running it is a beast at 720 pounds. The other two feel really light comparably. The VFR800 feels like a toy in comparison. That was my only real complaint other than Honda does not make them or a comparable model.

    Personally I made the jump to an ADV Tour VFR1200X. Like a Sport Tour it does a lot of things well but doing nothing great. But it is more versatile than a Sport Tour and in my opinion a very comfortable bike to ride long distances. Honestly what it does well is that it is a great all around bike, from commuter, to long distance, to dirt roads and the twisties.

    Make a list of what you want in a bike and then from the list decide what type of bike best fills your needs. Also once you buy something, don't make it what it isn't. Finesse it into want suites your needs.
     
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  9. Mind_Surfer

    Mind_Surfer New Member

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    I saw a Kawasaki Concourse at the local ride-in. Nice features of that machine were large windscreen, comfy saddle, and luggage/storage.

    Sent from my XT1031 using Tapatalk
     
  10. thtanner

    thtanner New Member

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    I consider the VFR800 a light ST. I think it veered away from "sports bike" somewhere between 4th and 5th gens.
     
  11. slovcan

    slovcan New Member

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  12. slovcan

    slovcan New Member

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    Yep I am saying the VFR800 is not a Sport Tour. It is far more sport than tour, I do have one in the garage.
    People all over the world - especially Europe - would beg to differ. Perhaps the majority of sport-touring in Europe is done over shorter distances than many of us in North America cover. My 3rd gen VFR is definitely more sport than tour to me - partly because I am 182 cm tall and am pretty cramped on it compared to my Trophy. I have a blast with it on every single ride, but I do feel it when I get off it after a few hours. I don't think I could go more than 10 feet on a real Sport bike!

    They are not a Gold Wing, although many guys that own them think they are.
    I haven't driven a modern 'Wing, but have driven the older 1100-1200's. I am every bit as comfortable and weather-protected on my Trophy as I was on those and find it easier to ride and more maneuverable.

    The issue I found with the ST is that when moving it around when not running it is a beast at 720 pounds. The other two feel really light comparably.
    I even find this with my relatively lightweight Trophy due to the bulk of the bodywork. It's only maybe 25-30 lbs heavier than the VFR but definitely more awkward to push around. I don't think any motorcycle should weigh more than 650 lbs. 700 lbs max.

    ADV Tour VFR1200X. Like a Sport Tour it does a lot of things well but doing nothing great. But it is more versatile than a Sport Tour and in my opinion a very comfortable bike to ride long distances. Honestly what it does well is that it is a great all around bike, from commuter, to long distance, to dirt roads and the twisties.
    The ADV genre in general are too tall to suit me. The couple I have tried have felt as top heavy as my Trophy (known to be more top-heavy than the general S-T competition) even though at least one was actually lighter. Top heavy makes pushing around the garage and driveway trickier. Also, I like to flat foot when stopped and backing out of parking spaces. Tall bikes don't do that so well for me. Maybe if I was 190 cm tall. I can see an ADV bike being as good as (better with increased visibility in traffic, maybe) an S-T for commuting and better on real dirt roads of the logging/fire road variety. I'd call it a draw overall unless the logging road thing was a significant part of my riding.

    Make a list of what you want in a bike and then from the list decide what type of bike best fills your needs. Also once you buy something, don't make it what it isn't. Finesse it into want suites your needs.
    This is SPOT ON. It will make you want to take your bike EVERY time you walk out the door REGARDLESS.

    Grabcon, great informative post.

    Cheers,
    Glenn
     
  13. Getn off

    Getn off New Member

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    Don't forget the mighty Busa. It is technically a sport tourer. Some call it a hyperbike. I have mine set up for touring. Heli bars, seat, windscreen, cruise, power cable, lower peg, and quick disco Givi bags.. Perfect. Comfy and will pass mostly anything on the street. I have actually fallen asleep on her on the way back from the Dragon!
    For the guy that says weight is not a benefit for a sport tourer...wtf? U have never been passed on the freeway by semis??? Light bikes can be almost dangerous. A heavy bike will not move at all (ie HD Ultra Glide).
    Troy
     
  14. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    Interesting responses so far..

    My take is:

    I'd rather have a light bike than a heavy one.
    I'd rather have a bike with good suspension.
    I'd rather have a bike with great brakes.
    &
    I WANT a bike that will flatter my riding skills.
    I WANT a bike that will cross continent with all luggage.
    I WANT a bike that will be ultra-reliable.
    I WANT a bike that will carry 2 people in relative comfort.
    I WANT a bike that I can ride in most road conditions - I'm not worried about dirt.

    Thats why i have a VFR.
     
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  15. grabcon

    grabcon New Member

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    I also thought the same thing until I started to sit on them.

    My VFR1200X is stock. I am 5' 10" with a 30" inseam and can flat foot it with both feet when stopped. Keep in mind that many ADV bikes are narrow at the seat allowing the legs to move in and letting the feet touch the ground. My 1991 ST1100 was very wide at the seat , although it had a lower seat height that my current bike I could not flat foot both feet.

    I am not embarrassed to be off the bike and move it around from a parking position to a more appropriate spot. I would rather do that then fall over.

    Diving Pete. Now that you have put together the list we all want, now put together a different list.
    Like for me I had a 2008 ST1300, so I compared new bike against this bike. Here is something I wrote up for another forum when I bought the VFR1200X.

    "I have been on the hunt for sometime now (about 8 months) for a different motorcycle to replace my 2008 ST1300. I have looked at many, NC700X, FJR1300, FJ-09, Super Tenere, Versys 650, Gen8 VFR800, BMW F800GT and the VFR1200X. Yep the list is all over the board for size and style. There lies the problem when looking nowadays. There are just so many bikes to look at, each having attributes that seem to fit the ticket.

    Basic requirements: Must have storage capacity, must be lighter than the ST, must be easier to move around when not running, must have enough power to keep up with the wife on her 2008 VFR800 (LOL), and must have some general all around attributes that allows for a detour every now and then (dirt roads, not backcountry). The rub is I really like the ST1300, great bike in it's day, and this is not meant as a slam against the ST.

    My list of bikes finally got narrowed down to the Super Tenere and the VFR1200X. Honestly I was going to wait until the first of the year, but we all know what happens when we search Craigslist. Well last week something popped up locally at a dealer that I have done business with for several years. A 2016 VFR1200X with 4900 miles on the clock. It has the OEM full luggage set plus the Power outlet and accessory power cable.

    And lastly but not the bottom of the list, more at the top. Factory ergonomics must be at a point where little or nothing needs to be done. This is really important as the cost to change ergonomic features can be expensive and potentially not possible. "
     
  16. Zeta

    Zeta New Member

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    Most folks do not need a motorcycle so we buy what thrills us, whether the lifestyle, the looks, the pretense of RTW travel, etc., etc. Me personally, if I want all the comforts of of a car--I'll take a car. I want to know I'm on a motorcycle with all the shits and grins that experience brings. When I dismount I want to look back over my shoulder with a certain lust for the lady that just got me to my destination. The most comfortable bike I ever owned (Caponord), got me there quickly, safely, and economically but didn't give me the lustfulness that I desired. The only bikes that have ever done that for me were sport tourers (Norge and now the vfr800).
    Some folks like relationships to be simple and reliable (yes dear and all that stuff), I like mine a little bitchier, not psycho bitch just one to let me know there is something between my legs that will kick me in the nuts if I get out of line but will leave me yearning to smoke a cigarette (non-smoker) at the end of the ride. So my lady is a sport tourer--simple as that!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  17. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    I don't worry too much about lists as I've cheated instead and bought more than 1 bike.
    That way depending on my ride depends on which bike to take....
     
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  18. Getn off

    Getn off New Member

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    I agree with Pete. Of course always a great option if u can swing it. I will say that I do add/modify a few things to make it that more unique or comfy to each one.
    Troy
     
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