- Bike: Honda CRF1000LD
I have been thinking a bit about this recently.
I was commuting (35km each way mon-fri) with my ST1300 due to fantastic reliability and no chain maintenance. Then I bought a Nissan Leaf for even less maintenance and cheaper running cost (by quite a bit) as well as $77 per year rego.
Yesterday a man took away my ST1300 and left me with a a nice bundle of cash (yay!). I now am down to 1 car and 1 bike, this suits me as far as rego cost goes.
Now I have my DR650, which I think is a really good bike in so many ways. But it falls short in a few ways too. I don’t really like carburettors, FI is just better in a bunch of ways. I did take the DR650 for a 2,500km ride (Morrinsville-Invercargill-Morrinsville with some extra diversions, a ride through the Molesworth station and taking 2 weeks all up) recently and it did a decent enough job. But I want something more in certain aspects.
In a dual-sport I’d maybe want 350-500cc with fairly light weight and reasonable power, parallel twin with FI might be the ticket. But for what I want to do on a bike I’m thinking that an Adventure Tourer would be more suitable than a DS bike. A parallel twin still sounds like a good idea for the compact size and better power delivery. I’d like reasonable competence off the sealed roads, able to handle gravel and dirt roads and not immediately fall over as soon as it leaves the road. The V-Strom 1,000 is almost decent except that it doesn’t have good ground clearance and the wheel sizes aren’t off-road oriented. I kinda think my ideal adventure tourer should have 18″ rear and 21″ front with reasonable ground clearance and a skid plate to protect the important bits. I’d like the ability to ride on the open road at 100kph effortlessly with abundant spare power on tap for passing. I don’t really go on challenging single-track much, only a couple of times with the DR650 in the last 3 yeas – but I’d like to be as unrestricted in getting wherever I want to go, as much as is possible on a bigger bike anyway.
I am sure the perfect bike doesn’t exist so I’m looking to trade in my DR650 for the closest thing I can find in a bike suited to what I want to do. I’m wanting to explore NZ, go to motorcycle rallies, go motorcycle camping, get to the end of gravel roads and sometimes go even a bit further than the end of the road. Right now I’m planning on getting a Honda CRF-1000L Africa Twin with DCT. It seems in many ways close to my ideal adventure tourer bike and hopefully I can live with the aspects that are less than perfect, like the weight. I’ll probably spend a few thousand on after-market items to change the bike into being as close as possible to what I want, unfortunately adding even more weight. I love almost everything about that bike, but can’t help thinking about that damned weight – 242kg before I add skid plate, crash bars, racks & panniers, top box, beefier foot pegs, proper handguards, centre stand, etc. Once I load my gear and put myself on the bike there will be a LOT of weight.
Ideally I’d be able to afford to own & rego 2 bikes, the 2nd one being a light dual sport with half the weight, decent power, able to handle open road riding and also good for having fun off-road. But I just don’t have the time and money to justify the cost of running and registering two bikes.