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Touring/distance on SM?

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Please forgive me if this sounds like a really goofy post!

I have set up my SM with Clarke fuel tank & just got my Renazo seat; can't wait to try it. Have only gone on day rides so far.

Also we purchased an F650GS used. Was surprised how heavy it feels (& is, of course) next to the DRZ400SM. Also, my gosh, it is so slow. I know it is what it is. It seems to handle the curves okay (no DRZ) and feels like it would be major comfortable for trips. To be honest, I was hoping that maybe

this could replace the DRZ. Please don't shoot me; I hope this forum is somewhere we can be honest... But, it just is not FUN to ride to me. I get on the DRZ or a friend's honda Hawk GT and it is FUN to ride. The F650 just seems appliance-like, despite having exhaust & blackbox.

I really would like to have just one bike to maintain. So... is it feasible to use

the DRZ400SM for, say, weeklong trips. I searched & found another thread with Happy Trails metal panniers (pricey, but less than 2 bikes) and several

cloth panniers. I wonder how long the tires will last on the DRZ, would that be an issue? I suppose your cruising top speed could not be as high, but I

could live with 65-70.

Just your thoughts & honest thoughts. Maybe I was a dummy to buy the F.

Or maybe I should try 'n keep both, each for its place...

Many thanks & no smacks, please.

Crystal

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I use my DRZ400S for long distance rides and it has worked out beautifully. Obviously it is not a goldwing and isn't that the point?

Normally my destination is a location that will provide a photographic opprotunity so I carry ignorant amounts of gear on the bike. Right now two full-frame slr camera bodies, half a dozen lenses, tripod, and various camera knick knacks. Photographic equipments adds up to almost 80lbs before I begin packing clean undies and a toothbrush. On top of that goes camping gear including: two bags (weather depending), a tent, stove, and various camping do dads. The DRZ does just fine.

On really long trips I sometimes find it necessary to ship non essential items to my destination and have had great sucess doing so. The last time I went to Mexico I sent about a weeks worth of street clothes and junk ahead and everything was waiting on me when I arrived. If I am riding to a consulting gig I will ship a couple suits to the destination next day air and most hotels are willing to handle drycleaning while I am on my way. This is not the most cost effective solution but it works well for things you don't need on the ride.

Personally I don't maintain more than one ride at a time. I quit driving cars a long time ago and found it was just too much maintence having a play bike or two and a touring ride. The way I figure it the money I invest in the purchase and maintence of a play bike goes along way twords decking out whatever I am riding at the time. Imagine what your DRZ will look like when you sell the other bike and pour the profit back into your motard :thumbsup:

I can not directly compare tires as I own a different model DRZ. On my S I run knobbies anyways and they go to hell quickly if you ride on the freeway. With a SM you have some really good on road choices available and shouldn't have a problem getting 3k or so out of a set I would imagine. Keep in mind the way you ride your bike has alot to do with this so if you are going on a epic ride you would do well to take it easy on the rubbers.

On the freeway, fully loaded, and sitting upright I run with the throttle wide open and the bikes does 85 according to the GPS. I get a bit more if I tuck down but the position is not good for long distance. I much prefer riding in attack position way up front on the bike ready for anything. Plus I daydream alot more if I get really comfortable. I am not concerned at all about damage to the motor running WOT all the time because the rev limiter prevents running any faster than 9500rpm and I rarely see that in fifth gear.

I hope you can reach a decision that you are comfortable with. I know how hard it is deciding what bike is right for you. For now im thinking throw some stuff in a backpack and go riding for a couple days on the DRZ just to see how it feels to you.

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I have 12,6xx miles on Fang in the first year and can go 350 miles in one day before my ass goes dead and I start to mumble in Swahili.

It can be done on a DRZ, but the open road favors a larger bike for stability (the whole Newtonian physics mass and inertia thing).

"Follow your bliss".

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I have set up my SM with Clarke fuel tank & just got my Renazo seat; can't wait to try it. Have only gone on day rides so far.

How do you like your seat. Was thinking about the Renny but at $350-$400 plus my seat it was way out of my price range.

Post some pics!

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Goebz,

We just put it on now, it is BEAUTIFULLY put together, very professional &

perfectionist. It is a good couple inches wider, but he does base them on your personal dimensions (and you know you have to send in an old seat as a platform). After I can get a long ride in, I will put a post with a 'review" of it. BTW, when I ordered, the price was lower; it might be lower for smaller bike like DRZ; if you are half serious, I'd go ahead & e-mail Renazco; they are very nice, and I don't think they mind inquiries.

Seehenry, you are right, I am going to take a good time maybe a month & ride 'em both on longer trips, then decide. No 4 wheeler at all--pretty cool!

Bayoubikebruiser, checked out the photos; your bike is great.

Thanks, everybody. This will be an interesting decision.

Crystal

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Crystal, you are posting a very well considered thread with good honest and widely applicable questions and concerns. I am glad to help you, and can understand your dilemma.

I have the S model and, in terms of tires, can only comment with suggestions, not experience. I would run touring compound tires if I were touring. They are harder and built to carry heavy loads at high speeds and temps. Run the same sizes as stock but search for long wearing rubber.

For trips: I have done 3 1000+ km days on my S (on knobbies!) and it is fine at speeds up to 80mph. I stand a lot so the seat isn't as much an issue for me. It gets blown around a bit more than heavier bikes but that is just a mental issue, not a real safety issue (bikes have very strong dynamic stability due to gyroscopic inertia of the wheels and engine and their steering geometry [castor+trail=straight line]). There is an open and windy stretch of highway near montreal. One day on a sportbike I almost drug the pegs in a crosswind gust that leaned me over so far. It came and went so fast that I scarcely had time to react-good thing as I would probably have hit the brakes or steered and wrecked.

The f650gs: loved the idea when they came out. met a guy out on the trails on one last summer-looked like he was having fun-but best suited to dirt roads and highways, not trails. I would consider turning the 650 into a better touring bike and keeping the sm for fundays. If you only want to keep one bike then I would keep the sm as it is a more adaptable bike, as well as being more fun.

Seehenry: I went for a total of 7 years with bike as only wheels. I would miss having a pick-up now that I am spoiled but I was always able to get by somehow. The idea of shipping your stuff ahead is a great one, hadn't even crossed my mind. I cannot think of a better set of wheels for a pro photographer.

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robb please to not for a minute assume I am a pro photographer. if everything goes as planned photography will never provide a significant portion of my income. right now I take on projects that interest me and allow a great deal of flexibility. any revenu generated through photography is used to purchase more equipment and that is just fine by me :thumbsup:

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robb please to not for a minute assume I am a pro photographer. if everything goes as planned photography will never provide a significant portion of my income. right now I take on projects that interest me and allow a great deal of flexibility. any revenu generated through photography is used to purchase more equipment and that is just fine by me :ride:

oops :thumbsup:

great way to expand your gear collection

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What bayoubikebruiser said! I have a 400sm with 10,XXX miles for one year. :thumbsup: After 350 miles everything gets stiff. I too have considered the FS650 for when I would like to take longer rides, but most of my miles are commuting and nothing can touch the SM in town! :ride:

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The F650GS Dakar looks like a capable off road bike, as well as an adventure traveler. If I could afford one, I would get it for adventure travels and keep the S for playbike stuff.

I am seriously saving up for a Vstrom, since it is more in my price range.

If you can't keep both bikes keep the one you are most happy with. When you walk out to the garage which bike do want to get on and ride?

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Goebz,

We just put it on now, it is BEAUTIFULLY put together, very professional &

perfectionist. It is a good couple inches wider, but he does base them on your personal dimensions (and you know you have to send in an old seat as a platform). After I can get a long ride in, I will put a post with a 'review" of it. BTW, when I ordered, the price was lower; it might be lower for smaller bike like DRZ; if you are half serious, I'd go ahead & e-mail Renazco; they are very nice, and I don't think they mind inquiries.

When I checked with them on my drz they were high. Post pics of yours in your garage and tell us how much they charged for your custom design.

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Goebz,

We just put it on now, it is BEAUTIFULLY put together, very professional &

perfectionist. It is a good couple inches wider, but he does base them on your personal dimensions (and you know you have to send in an old seat as a platform). After I can get a long ride in, I will put a post with a 'review" of it. BTW, when I ordered, the price was lower; it might be lower for smaller bike like DRZ; if you are half serious, I'd go ahead & e-mail Renazco; they are very nice, and I don't think they mind inquiries.

I put in an inquiry a while ago and that was what they quoted. I went back, here is what their site says:

Pricing

All our custom seats are hand crafted using the best materials available for motorcycle application. We have a wide variety of material choices to compliment your bike in terms of both style and function. Our prices reflect using your existing seat pan.

Vinyl seats- $325.00

Full Suede or leather seats - $425.00

Shipping within the continental United States - $25

I would love to have a custom seat. $350 plus my seat, or one I snag off Fleabay, brings the total to more like $500. At 10% of the cost of the bike, that's a little rich for my blood.

Let me know if they charged you somethig different.

Right now, I'm thinking about a Corbin in black.

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How many posts have you seen where someone says they modified their Corbin? Needing to modify a custom seat is way screwed up isn't it. It's kinda like buying good boots, as an example, aren't YOU worth it?

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Hey, guys/gals... (if you care)

I just did this major trip thing with my husband, sharing the two bikes.

To start, my DRZ still doesn't feel like it did when new. There is a major stumble at steady speed, acceleration great but almost like bad FI when at about 3K rpm at steady speed. I am beginning to think it is from us pouring gas from a can in the garage into the Clarke gas,tank perhaps it is stale.

I got on & loved the Renazo seat. Husband said it hurt his butt right away.

Well, it was custom built for my 140 lbs. & he is 260 lbs. For those who asked, I did get it for a lower price, but they said they could not afford to keep building for that price. So... I would say a Corbin is the better deal!

Anyway, the F650 is so slow, I feel it cannot get out of its own way. Maybe there is something wrong with this particular one. After getting off the DRZ,it almost felt like a cruixer. Seat way too low & laid back; not how I like to feel on a m/c.

So, I know which one I love & which will go. 400SM great for commuting.

Still trying to decide if it is a trip bike. I know you say it is, but is it the one for me (smoothness).

I sure do appreciate you gusy & all your adivice.

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