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Having owned and ridden motorcycles for over 45 years, many of which have carried the Honda marque I find it difficult to understand why Honda have called it time on the Alp and Vara.Having looked through their catalogue I can honestly say that theres not a bike in their range that I really fancy.I was looking for a mid range adventure bike and have swapped stables to Suzuki and Triumph ie the new dl 650 and the xc both of which are extremely competent bikes.Having said that I have an 87 Alp in anniversary colours and as far as Im concerned its one of the best looking adventure bikes ever made and with some whizz kid designer and probably and upgrade on the engine im sure it would be a best seller.Oh well that's my tuppence worth,have fun on whatever you ride . Regards Marv.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Having owned and ridden motorcycles for over 45 years, many of which have carried the Honda marque I find it difficult to understand why Honda have called it time on the Alp and Vara.Having looked through their catalogue I can honestly say that theres not a bike in their range that I really fancy.I was looking for a mid range adventure bike and have swapped stables to Suzuki and Triumph ie the new dl 650 and the xc both of which are extremely competent bikes.Having said that I have an 87 Alp in anniversary colours and as far as Im concerned its one of the best looking adventure bikes ever made and with some whizz kid designer and probably and upgrade on the engine im sure it would be a best seller.Oh well that's my tuppence worth,have fun on whatever you ride . Regards Marv.
I don't think it's just Honda, Kawasaki have nothing in their range that i can honestly say i have to have and the same with Yamaha.I like the look of the new V-strom, and some of the new Triumphs do look nice but having worked on issues on my mates 995 tiger and his sprint ST unless Triumph has seriously raised there game over the past few years i would touch one with a barge pole.
 

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Commuter Extraordinaire
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492 Posts
Having owned and ridden motorcycles for over 45 years, many of which have carried the Honda marque I find it difficult to understand why Honda have called it time on the Alp and Vara.Having looked through their catalogue I can honestly say that theres not a bike in their range that I really fancy.I was looking for a mid range adventure bike and have swapped stables to Suzuki and Triumph ie the new dl 650 and the xc both of which are extremely competent bikes.Having said that I have an 87 Alp in anniversary colours and as far as Im concerned its one of the best looking adventure bikes ever made and with some whizz kid designer and probably and upgrade on the engine im sure it would be a best seller.Oh well that's my tuppence worth,have fun on whatever you ride . Regards Marv.
I'm with you on this. I took my @ off the road after 11 yrs to give it a bit of slow tlc incl. new wheels, shock & so on and bought an NC700X to use in the meantime but, whilst a complete fuel miser, it disappointed in other areas so I chopped it in for a Tenere which I think is one of the few simple, reliable, mid-size, proper dual purpose bikes available new. I did consider the XT660R but the Ten ticked more boxes for me. The current Honda 'adventure' bikes are great machines in many respects but are clearly pure road bikes which is not what I want or need. It's a shame that Suzuki & Kawasaki don't import their DR650 / KLR650 models but I suppose the UK market isn't big enough. I have a mate who has an Anniversary Transalp with around 2000 miles on it and I have to agree it's one great looking motorcycle.
 

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I have been looking around for an upgrade to my TA650 but have not found anything that really fits my criteria:
a soft roader like the TA
probably a twin
low tech but that does still entail FI & ABS these days
lightish
reasonable seat height and ground clearance.
I wonder if the new CB500 or NC750 will father a more off road variant longer forks 19" front wheel some engine protection, the soft NC engine has the right power characteristics.
However what people need/want and what they buy are often not the same, I know I am as bad as the next person!
 

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After reading similar threads on other forums, from riders all over the World...
It seems to me that the manufacturers don't listen too or even bother to consult focus groups about what their requirements are ?
The general opinion I regularly see is that adventure riders/tourers want a machine that's mechanically simple so they're able to fix/bodge it themselves. Has usable power, is lightweight, off road capable & has good reliability
But what do they produce...
Road-going, pseudo off-roader's packed with electronic devices that take away any riders natural ability & have to be plugged into the dealers laptop even if they've blown a bulb !!
They pander too the presses attitude of... "this has more power than that", until they've produced an 150hp off-roader that's such an handful it has to be tamed by yet more electronic aids :mad:

The times I've seen postings with pictures of genuine Paris/Dakar machines & postings to the effect of "Give us this Mr Honda/Yamaha/whoever"
Ok a genuine Dakar racer is a 'balls out' competition machine, but there's no reason they can't make a watered down version for us lesser mortals to ride
Yet they persist in giving us road orientated duel sports which are useless off-road or too technical for genuine adventure...
Don't they realise we're happy too ride for hours through inhospitable environments, then sleep in the middle of nowhere in a bl**dy tent, so we hardly need something with a built in microwave or PS4 !!...

Lightweight's like 690 KTM's are an answer but they're "ready to race" out the crate, so not that suitable for high milage, low maintainence riding
Personally the Yamaha XT660R & Tenere are about the only thing you can buy new, that seems to fit the criteria
CCM have their new machine out but it's nearly £8000 !!
If they'd knocked £2 to 2.5 grand off that price, then they'd probably be onto a winner, but I'm thinking they're going to be a rare sight at adventure biking meetings at that price :(

This is why the oldies like AT's, TA's, XR's & Tenere's etc. still have such a following & will do for years to come until the large manufacturers take notice of the riders requirements not the presses :(
 

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Bloody furriner
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It seems to me that the manufacturers don't listen too or even bother to consult focus groups about what their requirements are ?
The general opinion I regularly see is that adventure riders/tourers want a machine that's mechanically simple so they're able to fix/bodge it themselves. Has usable power, is lightweight, off road capable & has good reliability
But what do they produce...
You're not nearly cynical enough. :mrgreen:

What they produce is what their focus groups tells them "the market" wants. And I'm afraid they're right...

We're not really their market. Who wants an actual proper overland-ready travel enduro? And is willing to pay the premium? And who wants an "Adventure" bike for showing off on a saturday afternoon, that's good on the road where it will be used 100% of the time and that's reasonably priced?

And how do the numbers compare on those groups?

Look around. All those "Adventure" all-roadbikes aren't built by companies "not getting it". They're building them to requirements. Real offroad capability is not on the list of requirements, because most customers won't go farther offroad (if at all!) than a bit of gravel or hard sand, which can be done on a fireblade. It just needs to be a bit taller as that's the look nowadays, but suspension needs to be firm for on-road use. Cast alloy wheels as they're easier to clean. 17" for good (road) tyre selection, 19" front at most, certainly not 21" as they handle funny. It doesn't need to be mechanically simple because "nobody" maintains their own machines anymore anyway, and it's not even allowed to be properly mechanically simple due to emissions and whatnot so it will have watercooling and fancy injection, making it heavy too. Besides, it doesn't need to be light, dropping one on its side is a major crisis instead of just life on the road and what do you mean offroad? It needs to be reliable enough to cope with the "normal" yearly mileage of say 5k a year, dealer maintained. It needs to be reliable enough to last about the ton, regular road use, because "everyone" knows a second hand bike with a ton on the clock is a liability that you run not walk away from, and most people who buy new bikes trade it in for a later model within 3 years anyway. And people like gadgets and electronic tat, so the more of that the better. And yeah, bigger and more power, because that's how bike mags and thus the general population thinks. It doesn't need a big tank, just "enough". Enough being about 200 miles range tops, it seems. No Ohlins but something cheap and nonadjustable, especially in the 600-800 midrange segment as it needs to be built to a price, because nobody likes spending money and if you make it too good/expensive people will just buy the 1200cc model instead.

No wonder the 650 Strom is one of the most popular bikes out there. It has the popular adventure riding position but is otherwise a road bike, has good power for a 650, rides well and it's cheap as chips.

A proper long distance overland-ready bike is not going to be a 1200, more likely 600-800cc and about 60-80 bhp because that's enough, but it will likely cost the same as a 1200. Faced with that or the 1200 GS, most people will buy the GS.

That said, I'd like to be proven wrong. ;-) But I'm not holding my breath.
 

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After reading similar threads on other forums, from riders all over the World...
It seems to me that the manufacturers don't listen too or even bother to consult focus groups about what their requirements are ?
The general opinion I regularly see is that adventure riders/tourers want a machine that's mechanically simple so they're able to fix/bodge it themselves. Has usable power, is lightweight, off road capable & has good reliability
But what do they produce...
Road-going, pseudo off-roader's packed with electronic devices that take away any riders natural ability & have to be plugged into the dealers laptop even if they've blown a bulb !!
They pander too the presses attitude of... "this has more power than that", until they've produced an 150hp off-roader that's such an handful it has to be tamed by yet more electronic aids :mad:
Its called progress their way LOL! but what makes anybody think they are going to listen to riders requirements, its one of the reasons the old british bike industry disappeared (oh no not again we've heard all that before :) )

Think I will get my old BM airhead out ---- set the points/ignition timing, (20 minutes) check/set the valve clearances (10/20 minutes) check the plugs (5/10 minutes) ------ off for a ride now 50 MPG. ------ and in 5,000 miles it will need an oil change, could even bugger off to Yugoslavia again --- if it existed :D
 

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Yup, Schorsch last week running on 1.5 cylinders. Reminded me of a diaphragm issue. So, popped the top off the Bing, one slightly detached diaphragm, new one in, all quicker than getting the fairing off a new bike :D
But, isn't the issue that if we were all sensible, we'd be driving small cars.
I hate what's happened to new bikes. They are not designed to be used in all weathers, great idea making front mudguards about 3 square centimetres in size and then sticking the oil filter in full line of site of road crud!
Do you think the market would be big enough for a sensible bike?
The two bigger selling bikes ever are the Honda Cub and the Honda 125.
So, the CB\CG 125, double seat, enclosed chain case, etc but cheap enough for the world to afford.
So if they made a more expensive fun to ride but sensible bike, who would buy it? Flat seat, comfortable for pillion, shaft or enclosed chain, four stroke possibly twin, capable of 70 mph two up, easily accessible service items, main stand, indicators you can see.... Ooh hang on, we're back to my Schorsch :D
 

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Bloody furriner
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Yup, Schorsch last week running on 1.5 cylinders. Reminded me of a diaphragm issue. So, popped the top off the Bing, one slightly detached diaphragm, new one in, all quicker than getting the fairing off a new bike :D
Or an old one. Ever tried getting at the stuff inside the fairing of a '92 R100GS? :mrgreen:

50 mpg is pretty good though. I barely get past 42 lately...
 

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There are rumours that they're developing another 1000cc fat adventure thingy...

I think it's just best to build your own bike.. get a frame.. get an engine... get some help with suspension pickup positions.. wire it... jobs a good un. If you want... ECU it (probably loads 2nd hand on ebay) and injector it up (correct spray patterns might be tricky??)... get it mapped. Done!

theres always this one.. be quite expensive though..
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/07/ccm-gp-450-adventure-so-you-say-you-want-a-light-bike/



 
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