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Buy the V 85 now, and when you are deciding what may be your perfect ride, you may very well discover after a year or less that in fact you have already found it.
I knew this concept bike would suite me if they ever built it. I followed the progress and put a deposit on one before you were supposed to do so. I flew from Pgh to N. Carolina and picked up one of the first ones in the country to ride home. My background included the Honda ST1300, KTM 990, BMW K1200, RS1200GS, and F800 GSA. All were very good bikes, but the V85 did everything really well - not perfect, but really well. It's seating is relatively low and comfortable for longer trips. Weight is not a feather, but feels good with the low center. Handling is very precise and the power is very adequate as a solo rider. I rode across Canada with it as well as rocky mountain passes in Colorado. Since then, I have given it to my son (who loves it) and bought the Centenario from Cadre in Ohio. It is about three hundred miles away but he is an excellent dealer and, to tell the truth, the bike just doesn't need anything. My younger son also has a Centenario. I have made some personal changes, as did Huzo, and as we all tend to do. My new bike has been across country to ride the Top of the Rockies rally and is very much at home on the mountain roads as well as the highway. It is my "go to" bike for everything but serious off road where I will ride the 570 Berg or my Alta. You can wait and search for the perfect bike and you will still be waiting and searching years from now. This bike is the most pleasant bike I have ever ridden. As for the looks, paint and a little thought can make a world of difference.
Love your color, especially the seat, which is why the Centenario is my first choice. I would want fog lights, center stand, heated grips too. I notice you said seating is relatively low. My Himalayan, with a Seat Concepts tall seat, is about 32.5-33", similar to V85TT. That bike fits me very well, one of the most natural seating positions on a machine I've experienced. I checked on cycle-ergo.com and the V85 looks good. No Himalayan to compare it, but much better seating position than my Wing (see pics - assuming they load).
I never even gave a new MG a passing thought until I saw your pictures Peter. Now I want one just like that. The red really pops.
Thank you again for all of the replies. This is helpful.For some context, here are bikes on my short list for context with reasons why and (why not):1. V85TT - shaft drive, mid-sized engine, cruise, cruising range, easy to maintain, lightweight, unique style, LED lighting, simple electronics, tubeless tires, 2 year warranty (dealer network, parts availability, resale value/ability to resell)2. VStrom 1050 - decent dealer network (three in my region), simple electronics, cruise, cast wheels, lots of aftermarket support, great V-twin engine (chain drive, a little boring, hard to service)3. Tiger 1200 GT Explorer - shaft drive, 3 year warranty, great seat height, cruise, cruising range, cast wheels, dealer in town(might be too tall, expensive, high depreciation, don't like 270 degree triple, complicated electronics)4. Versys 1000 - unique 4 cylinder, great handling, good seating position, cheap used (chain drive, poor shifter feel, a little heavy, hard to service)5. GS1250 - shaft drive, 3 year warranty, cruise, cruising range, tubeless tires, lots of aftermarket support (expensive to maintain, no dealer nearby, complicated electronics, not unique)
Thanks everyone for your input. It almost seems like I posted an oil thread from the range of opinions!Tusayan, I like your philosophy, use the lowest octane that doesnít ping. It makes sense. I don't want to have to be using premium if I don't have to. Especially at today's prices.
Yes, nothing worse than buying even more expensive gasoline.Hello sir KiowaEagle:Did you determine which octane rating worked for you best, particularly for summer riding?
1) Shifting was incredibly notchy. Many false neutrals. At least twice I had pull in the clutch at a light and roll the bike to get it to go into/out of gears. Several times it took significant foot work to get the gear engaged and so forth. It was a bit odd.2) I’m about 160lbs but on the highway at 75 the engine felt busy. Some folks are going to call BS on me for saying this but seriously, a former and much beloved Roamer felt more at ease on the highway at those speeds. But again, the Roamer was well broken in, and the Roamer is also considerably less weight than the V85, so…Guess I’m just saying I’m used to most Guzzis being nearly silly calm at 75, even the small blocks.3) I was a “little” surprised to see the bike only returning (if you believe the dash) about 42-44mpg at 75 or so. That’s not bad but compared to other modern bikes, especially and obviously the big bore machines, it’s not so great. Shoot, the 1290 SDR I had got around 48-50mpg on the highway at those speeds. I would expect the mpg to drop on the V85 at higher speeds, just maybe had hoped for at 45-50 at 75 or slightly plus. Not a big deal, just saying.And yes, I know all of the above will/can improve as the engine and everything gets broken in but just asking for input here. I will also say here that in nearly every other aspect of the ride the machine greatly pleased me. I say again, what a long way MG has come.
...1) Shifting was incredibly notchy. Many false neutrals. At least twice I had pull in the clutch at a light and roll the bike to get it to go into/out of gears. Several times it took significant foot work to get the gear engaged and so forth. It was a bit odd.2) Iím about 160lbs but on the highway at 75 the engine felt busy. Some folks are going to call BS on me for saying this but seriously, a former and much beloved Roamer felt more at ease on the highway at those speeds. But again, the Roamer was well broken in, and the Roamer is also considerably less weight than the V85, soÖGuess Iím just saying Iím used to most Guzzis being nearly silly calm at 75, even the small blocks.3) I was a ďlittleĒ surprised to see the bike only returning (if you believe the dash) about 42-44mpg at 75 or so. Thatís not bad but compared to other modern bikes,
BP...... I am often surprised at how some dealers let the bikes out for test rides, out of adjustment, tire pressure off. So many things that are unforced errors that cost sales.
A few thoughts on your list ... The V-Strom ... FYI, it has cornering ABS (I have one and notice zero difference between cornering ABS vs normal ABS), and the "little boring" part, have you ridden one? It has much more power than the V85TT and I actually like it better than the R1200GS (have not tried a 1250). I once rode the V-Strom to a BMW dealership to test drive a 1200GS, rode the GS around for ~30 minutes, not really impressed, got back on my V-Strom and really liked it much better. A valve clearance adjustment is a big chore though, a clearance check is a decent pain as well. OK, getting into the GS now, as you know, TONS of money. TONS of "features" if you are in to that kind of thing. For a gadget needing type, I guess I could see the attraction. While I was at the dealer a guy was getting the "new bike intro" talk with a service guy, 99% of the talk was "and to pair your bluetooth to the GPS ... and to the Cardo... " "and for android auto you can ..." ... "and to turn on the heated grips, you go into this menu, under this, and then ....", whew! Then you got the suspension, and auto preload setting (which, actually, is really cool if you switch how you ride (like no load, fully loaded for trip, light load with passenger, etc)), and power modes, and suspension modes, I bet you could spend an hour of each trip just making adjustments. The Tiger ... isn't it a really heavy bike? Maybe that was the previous 1200, not sure. Just thought those were piggie. The Versys ... double check the first year for cruise control, they did not add that until further along in the model years. I think they make a decent street bike, but not light, and really zero dirt road ability. The V85TT (have done 2 test rides, never owned one) seems lighter and more nimble than my V-Strom, easier rolling in/out of a garage, etc. The airflow on the V-Strom is much better, but as you've mentioned seems plenty of options for V85TT windshields. Just knocking out highway miles seems much easier on the V-Strom (smoother, more reserve power, lazier and more relaxed at higher speeds). Twisty backroads are fun on both, V85 handles a bit better, the V-Strom romps out of turns and smoother engine is more fun (to me). I do like the idea of the shaftdrive ... some people get a chain drive bike and kind of ignore the chain on a trip, I tend to want to oil a chain at the end of each rainy day and if all dry, maybe each third day. I was going to buy a V85TT, had a deposit on one when they first came out, but in my area in CA, the OTD price was $16,500 and I just could not do that.
Bumped for VStarRiderThere are some good impressions here from several riders.
Hi,A friend is considering replacing the OEM horn, with two air horns. The replacement horn is supplied with it's own wiring harness for both the low current(switch) circuit and high current circuit which are of course connected to both sides of a relay, I don't know the current which the horn draws but A 30A relay is supplied and the gauge of the high current wire is 59 in. The low current side(i.e the one wired to the supplied button) uses a 119in wire. What if instead of using the supplied button we wire it to the OEM switch coming from the handelbar? What concerns me is that I don't know what current flows in the original low current side, and also concerned about the increased voltage drop when using two much more powerful horns, any advice?
As I have often said, the V85 does nothing 100%.........but it does do everything 90-95% !!!
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