Need advice: Which long distance touring bike under 4-4.5L?
Got my first bike at the age of 30, the Honda Hornet 2.0, and have mainly done city rides and some small rides to Lonavala and Lavasa and the likes, covering approximately 15000 kms in a little over a year.
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This is my first proper post on this forum. I’ve been riding for the past year. Got my first bike at the age of 30, the Honda Hornet 2.0, and have mainly done city rides and some small rides to Lonavala and Lavasa and the likes, covering approximately 15000 kms in a little over a year. I might write a long review some other time in case anyone is interested in that bike.
The reason I’m writing today is to get suggestions from the experienced folks here about what bike I should buy next. My Hornet 2.0 had a head gasket problem – the gasket was blown and oil was leaking from the engine head. I’ve got it replaced but there is still some misting due to the engine having been disassembled to put the gasket in. As much as I want to tour on my beloved Hornet, I really can’t because I honestly don’t want to end up with a blown gasket in the middle of nowhere. Not only will it dampen my mood and keep me worried till I get somewhere safe, it will also not be good for my little Hornet and will hurt him in the process of getting me somewhere safe. I recently had a crash (got distracted) that left me with a broken headlamp (fairings, bracket, and all) and a broken front fender. Got that replaced with a grey one instead of the red one I had.
These are my requirements for the new bike that I want:
- A bike that is capable of doing long distances safely without any kind of issues cropping up due to lack of refinement or due to excess heat being developed.
- Something that will give me a fuel economy of at least 25-30kmpl on an average.
- Something with a very neutral committed riding position. My right shoulder is very unstable and gets dislocated often. So, no clip-ons. I don’t mind slightly rear seat foot pegs.
- I do love high revving motors but being in India, especially Maharashtra, more torque always helps so something that has a good torque and is fast as well. I honestly don’t want a crotch-rocket, so something that makes about 50PS of power and 60Nm of torque is more than enough for me and will keep me very happy for a very long time. Lower numbers will also do but the power and torque figures must be over 30PS and 30Nm.
- A stable, semi-heavy (160-180kgs) machine that is capable of holding 100-125kmph on the highway without being affected by wind wobbles. I hit 126kmph on my bike but the wind wobbles really scared me especially because the Hornet 2.0 has a kerb weight of just 142kgs. And being a 5’7″ guy who is just 65-67kgs heavy doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence either when hitting the highways.
- Something that doesn’t have a super steep learning curve. Coming from a bike that makes just 17.02PS and 16.1Nm, any bike will have a learning curve for me but an easier bike which also meets the above requirements will definitely help.
- A price of 4-4.5L INR, on-road will be amazing. Even if I can afford a more expensive bike, I don’t want to spend more than this amount. Also, I’ll be opting for EMIs, so if any of you has any advice to give on that front, please feel free to comment.
- A bike from a brand that has a good after sales service and service network will definitely go a long way. I’ve experienced a bit of lack of support from HMSI and I don’t want to experience that ever again.
Not a necessity and more of a luxury, but still, good looks with help me win brownie points from my girlfriend.
Below are some of the (current and future) bikes that I have considered:
- RE Interceptor 650.
- Duke 390 (the ADV 390 is too tall for me).
- Upcoming Himalayan 450 LC (or any of its derivatives).
- Upcoming Hero XPulse 400.
- BMW G310GS.
- Upcoming Apache RTR 310.
The Ninja 400 and Ninja 300 are a bit out of budget and have clips-ons but I can compromise on those two areas a bit provided they are friendly enough and meet the above requirements.
Please help me out here, Team BHPians.
To the mods, because I’m asking for motorcycle advice and have hence put them under the motorcycles section. In case this thread belongs to some other topic/forum, please merge it with that.
Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:
You need something with liquid cooling.
Ignoring the “upcoming” as the realistic timeline is more into 2024 than 2023 and this is just a guess. Even if they launch by Diwali the deliveries won’t start before Feb-March 2024.
- Dominar 400 : sort of what you want
- 310 GS : better suspension but BMW service charges
- 390 Duke : Do test but not sure if it’s the ideal choice for a tourer
Didn’t mention the Interceptor as I felt the front get surprisingly light at triple digits and on open highways with head/cross wind there was a concerning wobble.
Then there’s the tube type tyres and lack of liquid cooling.
It’s a good bike, just not suited for some of your requirements.
Here’s what BHPian cyborg had to say on the matter:
Get the BMW G310GS, a proper upgrade but not too much. Fits your requirements, within your budget and brownie points with your girl friend as well
Take a test ride and see if it floats your boat, if it does, don’t look further. I would forget the upcoming part, it’s always in the air.
Do let us know what you eventually buy, all the best.
Here’s what BHPian SedanGuy had to say on the matter:
Hey there, 60ps under 4.5 lahks is tough ask. I don’t think there is anything new you can acquire for that price range. IMO if you are looking for highway cruising the RE twins and KTM390 (adv & duke) can be really good options.
I recently acquired the ktm 390 adv and have documented the buying experience here (Twin brothers twinning with their 2 KTM 390 Adventure bikes).
Also if you can wait, try and wait for Himalayan 450 liquid cooled and the xpulse 400. Don’t go by any numbers, if highway cruising is you main objective then 390 can easily hold 110-120 cruising speeds without any problems. I am sure the new Himalayan and xpulse too are being worked on to make this happen. In fact on one my recent rides, an experienced rider with the BS4 Himalayan cruised at 110 all day long without breaking a sweat.
Best to spend a few bucks and get rentals of the shortlisted bikes and do a small highway run to clear your doubts and hone in on what exactly you are looking for. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Here’s what BHPian Prolearner had to say on the matter:
Given your requirements, getting 50PS under 4.5L is hard. But if you are open to search for used, you can search for a Kawasaki Versys 650.
The BMW G310GS is a very good bike, with dual ABS, comfortable suspension, ride-by-wire etc. My friend has the naked version (G310R) and is happy with the bike, only concern being the high service costs.
Do test ride the Dominar 400. It matches your requirements, but is heavy and you don’t like the looks.
The Ninja 300 is not a supersport, but a sport tourer as per Kawasaki. Also it costs same as the 390 adventure. Ninja has a 17 litre fuel tank, if you are considering long tours. You can test ride, and see if you can do some modification for the handlebars.
Personally I would suggest go ahead with the G310GS or G310R.
Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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