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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've had my TA for a week now and done my commute to London from the Island. These are my first impressions - if I'm wrong in any of this, no doubt I'll be corrected!

I came from a V-Strom 650 which I had got when I downsized from a series of BM GSs. I'm very fond of V-Stroms and reckon they do a damn good job cheaply and efficiently. BUT, I reckon, the V-Strom and the 700TA are quite different bikes and cannot be logically compared. The TA is more involving. It's more like being on a supermoto in some ways. For a start the TA took me by surprise by performing a small wheelie as I accelerated away from the lights at the beginning of the A3. On the same throttle, the Strom would not do that.

The front wheel is 'quicker' on the TA - I reckon it could be good on Alpine passes. Need to watch out for that until I get used to it - the Strom is a 'lazier' ride (comfortable and easy). Reports reckon the Strom is faster but I don't agree. The pick up on acceleration through the gears is marginally quicker on the TA - the response from the throttle definitely so. I really could not see any difference on the top speed either - and I'm not going to talk about figures here!

People complain about the lack of a sixth gear on the TA. Now, the Strom has 6 gears but I noticed something rather interesting about the spread of the ratios. On the Strom at 6,000 revs in 6th it hit a steady 80. On the TA at 6,000 revs in 5th it hit a steady 90. Hence, for me, the lack of a 6th gear is not a problem.

The handling is 'sharper' on the TA - but also pretty confidence inspiring. I do tend to push bikes a bit and even in the heavy rain encountered on Friday afternoon coming down from London (and even with the standard Trailwings which the V-Strom also had until I changed them for Battlewings) I found it was steady in long sweepers. I was heavily loaded with a Givi top box and an Oxford tailpack full of files (I don't use panniers as they prevent efficient filtering through London) and the TA was steady as a rock. I had to buy a forkbrace for the Strom to achieve the same thing (and then it was very good). I have to say, both are better than GSs which I found had a bit of headshake at three figure speeds.

All in all, a more exciting ride on the TA - which seems to go against the findings of the pundits in the bike rags (hey ho).

The overall comfort is, for me, better on the Strom. That's because the suspension on the TA is sharper - the geometry seems make the bike shorter (hence more chuckable). But I reckon I can do some things to alleviate that. I'm not a biker that likes to be cocooned in an airless cockpit - might as well drive a cage or get a Goldwing if you want that, I reckon. But the screen on the Strom afforded me more protection. I may change the screen or try the Palmer adjustable windscreen.

There was more room on the Strom for the legs (my wife reckons I'm deformed as I'm 6' 2" and she's 5'5" but in the cinema she's the same height as me!) but in order to get that I had had to get the seat off a 1000 Strom. I might try an airhawk or gel pad to raise me up a tad and it might make the seat slightly easier. I much prefer the slightly more forward position on the TA. On the Strom and the GSs I tend to 'slouch' - the TA makes me lean forward a touch more but just enough to relieve the pressure on my lower back.

All in all, I'm delighted with the purchase. I'm not sure how comfortable the TA will be (compared with the Strom) on long days down Continental motorways but no bike has been invented which is all things to all men for all occasions. Even if the TA's not so comfortable down the auto routes I can't wait for next Summer to see what it does over the passes!

Sorry if this is a bit long but if anyone's thinking of getting a 700TA thought my first impressions might help.

Cheers!
 

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Well Tim, it took me four months to get fully used to my 2006 Transalp. This follows 30,000 plus miles on my BM 850GS.
It is now a cracking bike. It always was, but I think I had a bit of a 'BM is better' head on.
You mentioned a bike that did eveything, in some ways, I wish I had not had a BM first. The BM suffers from less vibration through the seat, but I've got a Sheepskin on the Trannie for bigger trips.
Yes the BM tappets take 15 minutes compared to 5 hours on the Trannie, but it's nice not having a £1000 Motronic sat down below and no fuel pump to worry about on the Trannie.
I don't want to upset to the Trannie, but I've had a number of bikes and the top two are the BM and the Transalp; I'm not saying which is first, because they both have their plus points.
IMORTANT point - I love the Tranaslp and I loved the GS

THEY ARE BOTH GREAT
 

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Now im really confused been to lincoln today and got a test ride on a Strom 650 on Wednesday.Have 2001 TA at the moment.
 

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Tim

Indeed! I too enjoy the more direct response of the FI. Takes some getting used to, but delicate feathering round the bends is a joy when you get it right. Personally I enjoy the responsiveness, even in 5th, and the stable and confidence-inspiring handling - improved further with decent tyres.

Alpine passes - it does go light at the front when loaded up so have a care, but no worse than any other bike. The 600 never had a issue, so I imagine the 700 would be a blast. Fit a decent can and listen to the music in the tunnels!

Somehow I expected the 700 brakes to be a much bigger improvement, but not so far. They are better, but not by much. Maybe decent pads, and a service about will improve matters. However, the linked brakes are good for just rubbing off a bit of speed into a bend. I think it will be better down the motorways. It seems 5200 revs equates to about 75/80, which for me is fine given the traffic and the excess buffeting above that. Engine/vibes seem happy at those revs too.

The 700 is fast and nimble enough to crack on down A roads and is certainly up to the job of zipping past nearly every car imaginable. Personally I do enjoy its ability round the bends and you can get a surprising amount of lean on - considering the tall nature of the bike. It is of course no point and squirt machine - and I doff my lid to the guy in the yellow helmet yesterday who overtook me on the Deeside Road at something like 120 mph - on a bend! - but then I prefer this world for a bit longer rather than the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oggy, as I said, I loved the Strom and would not criticise it but the brakes were not its strongest point - ok, but you had to pull hard in a tight situation. In comparison the TA's brakes are something of a pleasant surprise!

We must be getting old... something very similar occurred to me yesterday in the car. I keep a look out for bikes but this guy surprised me, didn't see him until he was right behind me. I pulled over to give him some space as their were oncoming cars and he came past about an inch from my wing mirror and took off doing at least 80 with a wild explosion of sound. We were in a 40 limit at the time. My companion in the seat next to me just said, "Blimey". Quite.
 

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I am glad that someone other than a Reporter has ridden both the V-Strom and TA.
A real comparison is always better, I hope the TA continues to out perform the V-Strom in all the tests you put it through.
I also hope it continues to put a smile on your face.
 
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