I leave for my X-Country trip in 32 days~! ;-)
I leave for my X-Country trip in 32 days~! ;-)
Whether you search advgrrls or advgrrl you should land here. The OFFICIAL NEW address of this blog is advgrrl.com.
When the R80 G/S was introduced in 1981, no one at BMW realized the full impact of what they had just done. We now think of that first G/S as the original adventure bike, but that term was not coined for quite a few years. Instead, most people back then had no idea why BMWwould produce a large, heavy, shaft-drive, on- and off-road opposed twin in an era of lightweight, single-cylinder dual-purpose bikes. But enthusiasts eventually “got it,” and other manufacturers soon cashed in on the allure of exploring the world on big, powerful two-wheelers.
Since their one-bike origin, adventure motorcycles have evolved to levels of sophistication no one 33 years ago could have imagined. These three bikes—BMW’s R1200GS, KTM’s 1190 Adventure, and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 ABS—epitomize that progress with modern style, outstanding comfort, brilliant performance, and unmatched versatility.
And what terrific motorcycles they are! The 2014 R1200GS, the direct descendant of that ’81 R80 G/S, glides down the road to the soothing thrum of its 1,170cc twin, the first liquid-cooled Boxer motor ever. Bags of torque lurk in reserve, making the bike sneaky fast and always ready to push the 525-pound GS forward at an impressive rate at any rpm and in any gear.
Its ride and handling qualities are pretty much what you want them to be. That’s the result of the optional Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), ASC traction control, adjustable riding modes, and ABS, all of which influence each other depending upon the setting the rider chooses. Match all that with a beautifully contoured and padded seat, and you have the industry’s most comfortable adventurer, reflecting BMW’s decades of experience building top-flight touring bikes.
While the BMW impresses with its finesse, the 1,195cc KTM is a 129-hp V-twin wildcat that wheelies in the first three or four gears, burns the quarter-mile in 10.62 seconds at 130 mph, hits a top speed of 151 mph, and fires from corner to corner on back roads like it has a rocket stuck up its tail. If the GS serves up its power with a magnum of champagne on a silver platter, the Adventure does it with a bottle of Bud slid down the bar. For certain, it is very refined, but in its own uncompromising, “let’s get it on” way.
Like the GS, the 1190 has a full suite of electronic suspension, traction control, power delivery, and ABS rider aids; but while the BMW’s are optional, the Katoom’s are standard. They also engage in a lot of cross-talk, allowing you to tune those performance factors over a sufficiently wide range to cope with anything you might encounter. Plus, the ABS is lean-sensitive, adjusting the antilock dependent upon how fast and far the 1190 is banked over in a corner.
|KTM 1190 Adventure||
Meanwhile, the V-Strom splits the difference between the other two—not as polished as the BMW, not as raucous as the KTM, and sans as many electronic aids as either. It’s a solid, legitimate adventure bike that never gets embarrassed by the other two, despite being priced several thou lower and having the smallest (1,037cc) engine. The 90-degree V-twin is smooth, torquey, and responsive, and its quarter-mile performance is only half a second and about 7 mph behind the BMW’s; even its top-gear roll-ons are just fractions of a second slower.
Because the ’Strom has an excellent chassis and is lighter and lower than the others, it handles beautifully. The 468-pound (dry) 1000 devours back-road corners like that was its dedicated purpose, yet it’s rock-steady on straightaways.
Okay, but how did these bikes play the adventure game in the dirt?
Pretty damned well, considering that they all are quarter-ton motorcycles riding on knobless street tires. We never tackled gnarly, rutted, rocky climbs, since that’s not what these bikes are intended to conquer in their existing configurations; we instead stayed on dirt roads, narrow trails, and gravel-strewn two-tracks. Only deep sand gave them any trouble, again, mostly due to their tires.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Suzuki. With its traction control either turned off or on the least sensitive of its three settings, the V-Strom churned through the aforementioned with no trouble whatsoever. The fork digested everything we bounced over without a hiccup, and the shock only bottomed on some of the whoops. You can’t turn off the ABS, so we had to be mindful of that when braking on slick terrain.
|Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS||
So, too, was the BMW impressive off-road, considering its greater weight, shaft drive, and two big cylinders poking out like fat outriggers. Its smooth, linear torque was easy to modulate in riding mode’s Enduro setting, and the low center of gravity provided by the opposed-twin layout helped disguise the GS’s mass. We were a little disappointed with the previous R1200GS’s suspension, but the new bike’s Telelever fork and Paralever rear combination—together with a new stering damper for 2014—is vastly improved.
Which brings us to the KTM. Once you quit the tarmac and hit the dirt, the 1190 morphs from a take-no-prisoners streetbike to an ass-kicking dirt bike. In agility, stability, balance, steering, suspension, and adjustable power delivery, the KTM was this test’s off-road class act. It was less bothered by rocks, ruts, and other trail obstacles, and even coped with the sand a little better. With the traction control in the Offroad position, the ABS even allows rear-wheel skidding while still applying antilock to the front brake.
Actually, the 1190’s stellar dirt manners should have come as no surprise. KTM has been building championship-caliber off-road machinery for decades, and that know-how has translated directly to the 1190. Whether off-road or on, it was the most capable, most confidence-inspiring, and most fun of the trio. The R1200GS is the best overall streetbike, the Suzuki the best bang-for-buck. But when you consider the KTM’s advantages in almost every area of performance—plus, its standard MSRP gets you all the electronic rider aids at about the same price as the BMW without such equipment—the outcome here is a slam dunk.
In the March issue of Cycle World, we stated that the KTM 1190 might be the best all-around bike in the world. We still believe that but with a small word change: Replace “might be” with “is.”
|BMW R1200GS||KTM 1190 Adventure||Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS|
|DRY WEIGHT||520 lb.||490 lb.||474 lb.|
|WHEELBASE||59.2 in.||61.2 in.||61.4 in.|
|SEAT HEIGHT||33.9/34.6 in.||34.3/35.0 in.||33.4 in.|
|FUEL MILEAGE||37 mpg||35 mpg||36 mpg|
|0-60 MPH||2.9 sec.||2.8 sec.||3.1 sec.|
|1/4 MILE||11.07 sec. @ 119.44 mph||10.62 sec. @ 129.70 mph||11.60 sec. @ 112.82 mph|
|HORSEPOWER||116.5 hp @ 7900 rpm||128.8 hp @ 9360 rpm||91.1 hp @ 8240 rpm|
|TORQUE||84.0 lb.-ft. @ 6260 rpm||81.3 lb.-ft. @ 7670 rpm||67.4 lb.-ft. @ 3980 rpm|
|TOP SPEED||137 mph||151 mph||126 mph|
Need I say more…thanks again George this is awesome
I will be announcing a new blog domain and logo soon. All about new beginnings and carrying on with my own adventures! Thanks to everyone in the 207 countries that follow this blog of mine….it is humbling that so many, over 1.3 million have stopped by to either check out the posts and leave such insightful comments.
I love this virtual community and enjoy watching where you all are from around the world. Again, thank you for hanging in there during my transition from being 2 to 1.
REPEAT POST by request….
Most pics can be enlarged!
I have been asked many times “how can you ride such a tall bike”? So, I have put together some pics to try to show as close as I can with the specs I know what I might look like on all the recent bikes I have owned or “borrowed”. My height is 5’5″, well almost 5’5″ ;-) with an in seam of 30.5 inches.
Cheryl is about 5’5″ and her in seam is 31.5. Big difference when it comes to our ’13 BMW F800GS bikes. She has more footing than I will ever have. So, this post is for the vertically challenged.
All pics are clickable for larger versions – Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are useful somehow. Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. Now, on to my initial review.
Repeating some of the intro stuff from my jacket review for those who did not read that from Saturday.
**Please all women interested in this Jacket please try it on with your liner of choice before you buy it. The collar could be an issue regarding how tight it will feel around your neck. TRY THIS suit on in general before BUYING! It will be in your BEST interest…trust me!**
Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are useful somehow. Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. ;-) Now, on to my initial review.
Today I will review the Jacket and for tomorrow I will review the pants. PICS are all clickable for larger versions
**Remember to support your dealers who sell KLIM. Not everyone does. My dealer Pacific Motosports does, and for all you online buyers again shop Revzilla through this blog…great online company. Tons a great companies and more seem to carrying the great line of KLIM products.
I am excited to be able to get the new KLIM Altitude Gore Tex suit made for women by KLIM to wear and review on my trip coming up in May.
Rox Low Pro 1 3/4″ Pivot Risers for 1 1/8″ Handlebars
MSRP $94 USD, I am asking $65 USD + shipping
Brand NEW, 16 inch lightly tinted F800GS (2013- ) shield which includes the BMW OEM bracket you need….
MSRP $189 USD, I am asking $140 USD – PREFER local PICK as shipping would be VERY costly.
We have adjusted the rake angle so it’s close enough to be effective, yet it still provides an ample amount of space between the rider and shield. These replacement shields incorporate a subtle reverse curve with a wider surface that pushes the air up and over the rider. The result is a shield that reduces or eliminates the torso blast and turbulent buffeting effects that’s associated with others. Continue reading
****SOLD****MSRP $169 USD I am asking $120 + shipping, if not sold in 48 hours I will post these on the ADV Riders & F800 Forum. I take paypal – MORE good stuff to follow
Pivot Pegz are high performance foot pegs incorporating a unique and precisely tuned, spring loaded pivoting action that allows the foot peg to pivot forward and backward and move with the natural motion of the rider’s feet. A computer designed spring holds the peg in its central (neutral) position and provides optimized resistance and shock absorpsion during the pivoting action. When forward or aft pressure is applied, the peg pivots in a smooth and predictable manner. When pressure is released the peg instantly returns to its central position. The spring loaded action of Pivot Pegz also provides valuable force feedback to the rider and assists in returning their feet to the central position. Continue reading
****SOLD***I have this on my bike, neatly installed by my dealer under my faux tank on the F800GS. I have so far connected to the PDM60 my GPS, heated gear and will eventually connect my Aux lights. All set to be turned off with the ignition key. **IF NOT SOLD IN 48 HRS WILL BE POSTED ON THE ADV RIDER AND F800 FORUMS***
Package only opened to take pictures. RETAILS $199 USD, I am asking $150 USD plus shipping.
Rowe Electronics PDM60 Power Distribution Module
After going back and forth as to where I should take my SOLO trip this year I think I have come up with a plan. Head East, go see my family and some friends and then head West. I think it’s doable…May 17 – June 16? Need to replace my SPOT CONNECT as my other one seems to like to eat batteries more than usual and the battery lid does not like to stay closed. So, new Connect on order and over the next few months I shall get the camping gear together, check out it twice, before I leave get the bike all tuned up with new K60 tires and off I will head into the USA and Canada. We did this trip, different route in 2010.
As usual I will try to do a live report from the road on the ADV forum or maybe just the F800 forum not sure yet and the BLOG, with updates on our Face Book page too. Should be fun to get out there on my own. I have taken shorter trips SOLO but not 12,000 KM’s worth. Continue reading