NEW DOMAIN IS LIVE


Whether you search advgrrls or advgrrl you should land here.  The OFFICIAL NEW address of this blog is advgrrl.com.

advgrrl

this logo was designed by George…a loyal follower/virtual friend in the UK. He made this on his own for me and I am grateful and appreciate his kindness.

 

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BATTLE OF THE ADVENTURE BIKES: COMPARISON TEST


Does Suzuki’s affordable new V-Strom 1000 have a chance against the BMW R1200GS

and KTM 1190 Adventure?

Adventure Bike Comparison group action shot

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.

2014 BMW R1200GS static side view

UPS DOWNS
BMW R1200GS
  • Highly refined all around
  • Shaft drive = no chain maintenance
  • Better tourer than some tourers
  • Footpegs a bit far to the rear
  • Electronics controls could be more intuitive
  • $$$ with all the optional electronics

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.

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure static side view

UPS DOWNS
KTM 1190 Adventure
  • Electronic rider aids are standard
  • Does everything exceptionally well
  • Baaaad fast!
  • Engine mechanically noisy
  • Awkward, two-hand windscreen adjustment
  • Nosebleed seat height

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.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS static side view

UPS DOWNS
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
  • Most-affordable big adventure bike
  • Bright, dark-piercing headlight
  • Comfortable ergonomics
  • No ABS Off switch
  • No centerstand
  • Desperately seeking skid plate

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.”

SPECIFICATIONS
BMW R1200GS KTM 1190 Adventure Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
PRICE $19,520 $17,834 $12,699
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

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How tall is too tall


REPEAT POST by request….

How tall is too tall

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. 

cropped-img_0170.jpg

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.

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****SOLD****Brand NEW in BOX Pivot Pegz Mark 3 Pivot Pegs BMW F650GS / F800GS


****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

Winter Getaway Part II


Over night the resort filled up a bit more and it was my lone bike among all cars.

Yesterday I had planned on exploring on the bike the surrounding area but after a beautiful sunrise…

…sea fog rolled in not only around the water but inland too.  It was destined to stick around the entire day.  So, after having a great yet a bit expensive breakfast at the Cedars restaurant I walked around looking at cottages for sale in the area and went to the beach.  Continue reading

2014 BMW F800GS ADVenture


F800GS-Adventure

I was at my dealer the other day and speaking with Sheldon, the informative and more than a sales guy we buy our ADV bikes from…and he was telling more about his father who bought the F800 ADV model.  Sheldon tells me and I have heard this from other owners, that the ADV F8 is certainly worth the extra coin.  If Cheryl and I were going to buy again, and if this version was out we would have bought it over the standard GS.  Why?  The extra’s BMW have added to this bike as well as the larger tank seem to actually work…such as the almost upright touring shield.  I hear that it actually works for many riders of all sizes and has a great mounting location for your GPS.   Continue reading

Travel compilation 2013


Great commentator and follower of the blog, George shows his BMW bikes, his 2013 travels and reviews all in one video. Godd stuff George…any questions post the on this post and I am sure George will add his insight.

This is a compilation of places I’ve travelled by motorbike during 2013 filmed with my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition.

BMW Motorrad sets sales record again


By On January 14, 2014 

The R 1200 GS was BMW's biggest seller for 2013.

The R 1200 GS was BMW’s biggest seller for 2013.

The hits just keep on rollin’ in for BMW Motorrad.

Yesterday, BMW announced they’d set an all-time sales record again – for the third year in a row. The company sold 115,215 bikes worldwide in 2013, up from 2012′s previous all-time high of 106,358 bikes. That’s an 8.3 per cent increase – not bad, considering how some of their competition is still struggling to deal with the collapse of the global economy. Continue reading

1st Impression Visually of the new KTM 1190 R


Maybe it’s a grrl thing but when we buy bikes we have to really love them visually as well as mechanically.  On Saturday, Jan. 4th, 2014 I was heading out for a haircut and decided to stop at our local shop to take a look at the new KTM 1190 in person.  When KTM revealed this bike I thought to myself “OMG, what a sexy looking ADV bike”.  Immediately I was drawn to the new look, the lines and even the KTM colours.

IMG_2288 Continue reading

Crash Outtakes from AltRider’s 2013 BMW R 1200 GS W


Not only is Jeremy the owner of AltRider but he is one hell of a rider.  Watch this video and see the new WC BMW 1200 take a tumble but more importantly see how the new crash bars AltRider has developed for this bike protects the fairing.  So….Jeremy and Erik where are the uppers for the F800 crash bars? ;-)

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS – First Ride


I think this bike will be a hit and find its way into the ADV market place.  Just seems like a whole lot of bike for the price and will make to non hard-core off-road rider very happy.   Perhaps just a great overall everyday ADV bike ;-)

SOURCE:  Cycle World

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 on-road action shot

The adventure doesn’t really begin, they say, until something goes wrong. When we combine adventure bikes with guys that have seen too many BMW commercials, this inevitably entails picking adventure bikes back up from the dusty trail (or in my case, having them extracted by helicopter). Suddenly, it’s very clear why weight matters. Continue reading