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Triumph Explorer.......


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#41 Checkswrecks

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 06:58 AM


So... if I was looking for a superbly designed motorcycle that might have some mechanical problems, will definitely cost too much, will be relatively unsupported (at least here in the US), and I felt like drinking the BMW superiority Kool-Aid, well, I know where I'd turn straight away.


Yeah...Like the Triumph is going to have any better product support.

My experience with Triumph is that it comes down to how well an individual local dealer stocks parts and is willing to care for his customer. I got too familiar with the UPS delivery guy for our area.

Actually, BMW has very good support and will go to great lengths to ensure their customers are taken care of.

As long as the customers are willing to come in more often and pay more than for a Jap bike, sure.

Yamaha has built yet another GS wannabe and not even done an admirable job doing it.

Hmmm, not what Super Tenere owners defecting from BMW ranks or the reviews wrote. It was something about the GS winning only because they had to declare a winner, but
"This was one of the closest contests in MCN history." (MCN)
"In fact, of all the comparison tests we've worked on, none was a tougher call to make than this one." (Rider)

Just ask AVGeek who dropped his S10 at a near stop on a trail and had to have it towed home because it punched the radiator. Not good...

AVGeek acknowledged knowing that he knew he should've had crash bars on the bike and wanted to ride. Can't say I blame him, but I also wouldn't fault the bike for that one.

I have seen you GS-A go down hard, bend hard parts, and nearly flip over...Then the rider got back on it and rode it home.

Hard crash? Yep. It's why Yam gave the Super Teneres first to the Aussies and South Africans. And then made changes before the bikes came to the States. Here's a hard crash that recently took place in South America:
Posted Image
Rode home? No just continuing with his round the world trip. And unlike Ewan and Charlie, he didn't have to weld the frame.
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People can talk smack about the GS-A all they want, but most of it is just talk. Most people who have complaints about them have never ridden one. They're drinking their own form of Koolaid just cuz they think it sounds cool.

Umm, not quite right there, either. The Super Tenere forum is loaded with ex-GS owners. I've rented GS's for years and while agreeing that the bike works and is the originator of the shaftie off-road group, it's no coincidence that I never bought one. Besides the fact that I don't like it or trust the series, for the price difference I could have bought the Yamaha, some basic farkles, plus bought a used DR-Z for true off road without the weight of either 1200. And never will I worry about the GS:

Final drive
Tranny/pinion seals
ABS
Rotors
Clutch smells or burning, the hot oil engine smell
Occasional starting problems
Rear wheel flanges cracking
Issues with canbus or water getting into the fuel controller

I do wish the Tenere weighed less, but turn off the traction control and it'll haul ass quite well. As my tires are getting closer to replacement I've really appreciated the TCS and ABS. When I've had it on its side (twice), it's been easier to pick up than a GS.

Back to the Explorer topic, I really want to like it, especially with the triple. The photos and specs blow my skirt up.
Near-BMW cost, Tenere weight, and Triumph variability in parts and support do concern me though.
Time will tell.
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#42 MCRIDER007

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:33 AM

I do wish the Tenere weighed less, but turn off the traction control and it'll haul ass quite well. As my tires are getting closer to replacement I've really appreciated the TCS and ABS. When I've had it on its side (twice), it's been easier to pick up than a GS.

Back to the Explorer topic, I really want to like it, especially with the triple. The photos and specs blow my skirt up.
Near-BMW cost, Tenere weight, and Triumph variability in parts and support do concern me though.
Time will tell.


Very good post! :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

I am probably one of the few Tenere owners who doesn't care about the weight...that is because I intend to use it for riding on pavement or improved gravel roads about 99 percent of the time....but after test riding a 800 Triumph and its turbine like triple, I am a bit smitten by both the 800 and the Explorer. I am keeping the Tenere because it fits my needs almost perfectly but I can also see a Triumph in my garage someday. Its nice to have so many choices.

#43 Hudson

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:28 AM

There must be a reason why these bikes are built (including the GS) with a steel frame, even though they are heavier than aluminum No?


Just finished watching the "Long Way Round" series (highly entertaining). The first episode was hilarious when KTM ended up pulling out of the sponsorship (free bikes) b/c they didn't think Ewan and Charley would make it. Having watched the videos, I would actually doubt whether the KTM bikes would have made it. In certain stretches, they would be the far superior bike to have, but when you look at the punishment these bikes took on a 22k ride, I would fear for their structural integrity.

I think I now get the "steel frame" rationale: most of these ADV guys end up loading their bikes with another 100+ lbs of gear plus heavier farkles, and when those overloaded ADV RV's go down multiple times with all that weight, the frames take a beating. The older GS frame on the LWR video broke about 3 times and had to be welded using available gear in Mongolia, Russia, etc.

I could see where a steel frame would be more desireable. Imagine trying to find an aluminum welder in Mongolia, and not frying the electronics on the bike.
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#44 Donal

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:51 AM

UK launch scheduled for March 22nd clicky for details I am planning to be there :clapping:

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#45 Fred W

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:27 AM

I, for one, will be very interested in your impressions. I'm still thinking that any of the mid-sized Adventure Tourers might be a better all around package. But I'm also not afraid of chain drives. ;)


This winter has been an extremely mild one in the northeastern US. (Hooray for global warming!) I've managed to get out nearly every week on at least one day to ward off the usual PMS. I find that recently I have been favoring my old V-strom more than the FJR, even though the FJR will definitely keep me warmer with the jumbo windshield and full fairings.. The mid sized adventure type bikes, with their lighter weight, upright riding positions, and especially their considerably more compliant suspensions are really well suited for taking on the frost heaved New England back roads, not to mention the network of unpaved roads in the northern part of the region.

I still think the FJR, or any other SST, is far more comfortable for all day slogs on the interstate, especially two up, but that really isn't what I do very much. And for just about anything else I'd give the nod to an Adventure Touring type bike. If I could only own one bike at this point, I do not think it would be an FJR. I think lots of other folks probably feel the same way, which might explain the huge gain in their popularity, and the decline in the SST market.

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#46 beemerdons

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:27 AM

I do believe the Triumph Explorer is going to sell very well here in North America. There is "buzz" among the BMW Faithful that did not exist regarding the Super Tenere.

I do not know a single BMW GS Guy or Gal that switched to the Yamaha S10; even though yours truly had a $1K deposit down on one at D and H in Alabama for a year.

Still a huge flood of Super Tenere's on the market right now, 220 in just Estados Unidos. Really not impressed by the S10 when I have seen them in our Southwest dirt!

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#47 Pepperell

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:29 AM

Sat on a Tenere yesterday at a dealer; felt about the same leg reach and size as the FHR. Seat/peg/bars is pretty close to the same. (I have Russell & D&D barbacks).

I don't get what these humungous machines are about. I think Fred's WR250 is in many ways superior, at least in New England where you're hard pressed to find any place to hit 100mph anyway.
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#48 yamafitter

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:43 AM

... If I could only own one bike at this point, I do not think it would be an FJR. I think lots of other folks probably feel the same way, which might explain the huge gain in their popularity, and the decline in the SST market.

As much as it pains me to agree with FredW I would have to get rid of the FJR if I had to go back to one bike. The big Adventure bikes still confuse me though since they just are not suited for any of the off-road type of riding we see here in Eastern side of North America. My dream Adventure Bike is a 690 KTM Adventure though I would have to repaint it so that I don't feel I'm riding a pumpkin.

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#49 beemerdons

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:03 AM


... If I could only own one bike at this point, I do not think it would be an FJR. I think lots of other folks probably feel the same way, which might explain the huge gain in their popularity, and the decline in the SST market.

As much as it pains me to agree with FredW I would have to get rid of the FJR if I had to go back to one bike. The big Adventure bikes still confuse me though since they just are not suited for any of the off-road type of riding we see here in Eastern side of North America. My dream Adventure Bike is a 690 KTM Adventure though I would have to repaint it so that I don't feel I'm riding a pumpkin.

Posted Image


I thought you Canadians were supposed to be polite? You know damn well how much it hurts fjrrider-Scott's feelings when you make fun of the Orange KTM Pumpkins!

When I bought my R1100GS 17 years ago I thought it was perfect for my Southwest and Mexico riding. Now I'm in agreement with yamafitter, if only one bike: KTM 690!

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#50 Panman

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:26 AM

Sat on a Tenere yesterday at a dealer; felt about the same leg reach and size as the FHR. Seat/peg/bars is pretty close to the same. (I have Russell & D&D barbacks).

I don't get what these humungous machines are about. I think Fred's WR250 is in many ways superior, at least in New England where you're hard pressed to find any place to hit 100mph anyway.


I mostly don't either, but I do wonder what the trip would be like riding the 6,000 mile round trip to Prudhoe Bay and back on a wee strom or even the KTM 690. I'm leaning towards finding a used V-Strom that is already set up with bags to do this then clean up and sell the next year for a small loss. I think one of the big bikes might be better but not worth the price for one trip. A small 250 or 350 would be great to ride the to the local logging roads.
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#51 yamafitter

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:52 AM

I mostly don't either, but I do wonder what the trip would be like riding the 6,000 mile round trip to Prudhoe Bay and back on a wee strom or even the KTM 690. I'm leaning towards finding a used V-Strom that is already set up with bags to do this then clean up and sell the next year for a small loss. I think one of the big bikes might be better but not worth the price for one trip. A small 250 or 350 would be great to ride the to the local logging roads.

The other option to consider for a run up to Prudhoe Bay is to rent a KLR or something similar out of Anchorage. It might be cheaper in the long run. I rode a KLR650 from Prudhoe Bay along the pipeline down to the Glenn Highway before heading back to Anchorage in 2006.

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Here I was forging across one portion of the road ...




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I was on my second KLR at this point of the trip since I had exploded the shock on the first KLR on a pothole the previous day.
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#52 Fred W

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

I think Fred's WR250 is in many ways superior, at least in New England where you're hard pressed to find any place to hit 100mph anyway.


I think the WR is fine for bopping around locally and getting dirty, but way too small for any kind of serious touring duty. That is where the mid size ADV tourers come in.

I mostly don't either, but I do wonder what the trip would be like riding the 6,000 mile round trip to Prudhoe Bay and back on a wee strom or even the KTM 690. I'm leaning towards finding a used V-Strom that is already set up with bags to do this then clean up and sell the next year for a small loss.


Can't speak to the Katoom, but the Wee-strom is pretty much the same exact bike as the manly version 'strom, with a few minor exceptions (up until the redesign this year). I can tell you that after installing a Russell seat, bigger windshield and Madstad bracket on there it is actually more comfortable to ride than my FJR (which also has a Russell). The upright body position and softer suspension make the miles pass under the tires effortlessly. I would have no (more than usual) reservations about riding one to the arctic circle and back.

I was on my second KLR at this point of the trip since I had exploded the shock on the first KLR on a pothole the previous day.
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Not gonna touch that one. :rolleyes:

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#53 fljab

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

I saw a new Triumph Explorer at the BMW/Triumph/Ducati dealer in Daytona a couple of days ago. Looks pretty good IMO - great fit and finish.

Mebbe in 10 yrs I can afford a well thrashed one!

#54 oldryder

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

I wish the OEM's would recognize that a lot of the market has inseams less than 33 or 34". How is someone with a 28 or 30" inseam supposed to ride a bike where the minimum seat height is 33"?

I'd buy an ADV bike in a heartbeat for the lower weight if I didn't have to tiptoe it every time I stopped.

#55 Panman

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:02 PM

I wish the OEM's would recognize that a lot of the market has inseams less than 33 or 34". How is someone with a 28 or 30" inseam supposed to ride a bike where the minimum seat height is 33"?

I'd buy an ADV bike in a heartbeat for the lower weight if I didn't have to tiptoe it every time I stopped.

Funny I always wish they would make stuff for us guys with 34 inch inseams!
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#56 Fred W

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Guys have been riding dirt bikes for years with suspensions so high that nobody could possibly touch ground on both sides. Of course the lighter the bike the easier it is to one foot it. It can be done on the street too, but sure makes it tough to back a heavy bike up.

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#57 patch308

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:32 PM

The last off-road ride I did on my GSA included another GS and two KLR's...the KLR's couldn't keep up on Engineer Pass in Colorado between Lake City and Silverton. It has much to do with the riders I'm sure, but the GSA is a GREAT machine for ME. Service is performed by ME with the tools ON THE BIKE (everything I've had to do so far anyhow), BMW has been INCREDIBLY HELPFUL with EVERYTHING I've needed (primarily tech questions related to wiring something), the can-bus system has been just fine, and this bike will do some surprirsingly difficult terrain.

I rode the Super 10 and didn't care for it...the feel, the fit, the finish...I think it's more on par with a regular GS...which I ALSO don't care for. Last I heard about the Tigers is they managed to place venting in the fairing for the engine which blows hot air straight back onto the riders legs making for a hot day in the summer. I'm sure my winter riding would be warmer, but being a year-round rider, summer is still something to contend with. Haven't tried it, don't know for me-self. The Multistrada is AWESOME...for the highway, wouldn't ride one off-road for several reasons and don't care for the ergonomics.

Reason for the big bikes is you ride like a FJR to where you want to go, take a jeep trail over a mountain pass to find some hot springs, drop it-pick it up-drop it-pick it up etc, then ride it home. My GSA has made me a MUCH better rider for the SIMPLE reason that I practice a LOT of slow speed maneuvers without being afraid of it falling over. Nothing personal and not talking crap, but I see how MOST of the FJR riders I've ridden with make a u-turn and it's WAY to big IMHO. It's not that I'm some super dude, it's that I'm not skerd to practice it and drop my bike at low speed. If you ask ANY of the FJR guys who've ridden with me and HRZ in northern NM or North Carolina I think they'd agree that the GSA had no problems "keeping up"...and many times, leaving behind. The FJR is awesome, but I can't do a mountain pass on it which happens to be my cup-o-tea.

It's NOT (nor are the other big AT bikes) a "single track" bike. I have a KTM 530 EXC for that...I would NOT ride my 530 or a 650 from New Mexico to North Carolina doing 1,024 miles the first day...EVER. As for which one YOU prefer? Ride 'em all, consider what makes YOU happy, figure out where you're going to have yours serviced on a trip or if you're going to do it yourself, what kind of farkles you're going to put on (don't put any on you're not willing to have ripped off), and whether or not you're buying a name. As far as the weight, I put 9.2 galons of gas in my GSA the other day and still has miles to spare...she gets me where I want to go. I love my BMW because of the machine it is and is not...shop accordingly. Talk crap about her AFTER riding with me and leaving me in the dust.
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#58 Khunajawdge

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

[Snip} - I can tell you that after installing a Russell seat, bigger windshield and Madstad bracket on there {A Suzuki DL 1000 Manstrom} it is actually more comfortable to ride than my FJR (which also has a Russell). The upright body position and softer suspension make the miles pass under the tires effortlessly. I would have no (more than usual) reservations about riding one to the arctic circle and back.


I am so "with" your assessments there Fred!

Us 6'2" guys gotta stick.
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