Thursday, 4 June 2015
Testing 1, 2, 3 .........8
Over the last two weeks I have driven to the west coast of Denmark to test ride motorcycles eager to purchase one and begin my adventures in Europe with Danielle.
After much searching on the net and use of Google translate I discovered Suzuki and BMW dealer about an hour away. The Dealers were both helpful but the BMW dealer in Ølgod (Translation = Beer Good) was a great find with the owner Rune Bach Anderson looked after us with numerous test rides (~7 over six visits) and buy keeping the shop open after hours for us. He has also kindly lent us gear whilst we wait for ours to arrive by ship and has let us take gear that we have purchased before international transfers of cash have actually landed. I'd highly recommend Rune (pronounced Roona) and his teams in both the Ølgod and Copenhagen Xpedit A/S dealerships.
Anyway to the candidate bikes. All were given a thorough test and here are my thoughts
The F800GT was great fun, best brakes, best power delivery and best looking. But it is more expensive, not as easy to load up and I did feel more comfortable on the dirt roads on the dual sport format bikes. I really loved the ride but it did entice me to speed at every opportunity and the speeding fines are horrendous here. I'm not saying its all that powerful compare to what I'm used to but its light and does provide a grin inducing pull up through the revs.
The F800GS was as expected and didn't handle on road nearly as well as the others and for the extra money it just isn't as suited to Europe as the 700. There is no doubt though I would choose this for extended off road and dirt or RTW though. It would be a great around and through OZ bike.
The Vstrom 650 was great value, very planted, has a comfy seat and a smooth if dull delivery but, it's very ugly and lacks any personality. I found its finish is fairly agricultural and it felt too big and heavy for what it was given its low power. A real down side was its screen which delivered the worst buffeting regardless of position. Its probably a sensible economic choice but bugger that.
The F700GS felt really familiar, friendly, rock solid in the corners and feels very light and flickable. Its power is a bit down on the other beemers but it delivers what it has in all the right places making it better than the the others, all things considered. The seat and screen that so many complain about did not bother me but I am braced to replace if needed.
Mmmmm GT or GS ?