Kicking some motorcycle tires

The past couple of days, I have found myself looking at other motorcycles. It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with what I have, but that I am wondering what else is out there. Is there a second motorcycle in my future?

Brad, Clinton County Motorsports, called me to say, “Hey! We’ve got a new Yamaha Super Tenere’ sitting on the floor. They’ve discontinued the deposit program. Come on out and take a look.”

So I did.


Standing next to the bike, it looks big. Astride the bike, the tank and fairings look massive. It weighs 90 lbs. more than my V-Strom 650, but that 1200cc parallel twin will really get up and go.

Clinton County Motorsports is also a KTM dealer, and of course, they had a 990 Adventure sitting on the floor.


The Adventure is not as large as the Yamaha, but it’s V-twin engine will provide all the power needed for long distance dual sport riding. Frankly, I liked this better than the Super Tenere.

Whenever I visit Indianapolis on a Saturday morning, it’s usually to have breakfast with my brother with the BMW club and then a trip to the Indy BMW/Triumph dealer. The dealer’s inventory was full. It did not seem like there was anymore room for another bike on the showroom floor. Every model was represented including the one I really wanted to see. No … not a 1200GS, but rather the BMW G650GS—a thumper.


The 650 GS is approximately 30 lbs. lighter than my V-Strom 650, and is probably more of an enduro bike than mine. This bike is meant for back roads, gravel and fire trails. Can you picture this bike loaded with camping equipment headed to some remote wilderness campground? I can. And, oh yes. It comes in white.

See you on the highway.


4 Replies to “Kicking some motorcycle tires”

  1. That 990 is the only large displacement dual-sport that piques my interest (other than the unavailable 660 Ténéré) I loved the get-up-and-go of that bike, though it’s far too twitchy in traffic! It’s really built for on-the-pegs riding as well, a perfect fit.

    In my opinion, the BMW is damn near the same thing as your V-strom. They are both heavy road-going bikes that can capably handle rough gravel and easy trails (as is my KLR). I don’t think I’d notice a whole lot of difference in where those two bikes could be ridden.

    I suggest checking out something smaller if you’re looking for remote wilderness camping, a significantly lighter enduro bike is a joy after these beastly dual-sports.

    I’d love to have a Husqvarna TE449 with a GiantLoop saddlebag to head out into the woods!

  2. Anthony, I agree. Everything I read about the KTM 990 is that it’s got an incredible amount of power, but also demands attention–both riding and mechanically. For me, the Super Tenere is too big–physically.

    As I have “matured,” I have concluded that less is more. I don’t need a big powerful bike which also comes with compromises. Of all the motorcycles I have owned, the V-Strom 650 is my favorite. It is a do-all, go anywhere bike. AND, everything I look at gets compared to it. In August, it took me into the Colorado wilderness for a couple of days of camping with friends. Two years ago, it took me to California and back, and along the Pony Express trail going west.

    As I look at other bikes, they all get compared to the V-Strom, and I haven’t seen anything that I would replace it with. But … I would like to have a second motorcycle, something different, for scooting around. The BMW G 650 GS is a lot like the V-Strom, and also a KLR. I’ve thought about something nostalgic like a Bonneville. A Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is on the radar screen, also.

    It’s like a friend recently said, “So many bikes. So many choices. So few dollars.” 🙂


  3. Brent, I’m beginning to come round to your point of view regarding big motorcycles. As I’ve aged, I’ve found myself dropping in cc and going for the type of bike that allows me to do the type of riding I really want to do. Like you, I’m leaning more toward the adventure side of riding. Of course I realize I’m not getting any younger, (or taller) so a bike that is geared toward the diminutive rider as well as having the guts to ride fire roads and bike trails (not to mention street/highway legal).
    Thanks for the thoughts on these motorcycles. I was thinking about them myself, I just haven’t had the time to investigate them in “real life”!

  4. Chessie (aka Marilyn), Pictures of the new Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 are popping up and that is a gorgeous bike! But, it’s still a bigger bike. My V-Strom 650 is a great all-around bike that pretty much does it all. Rick Slark commented to me yesterday that the bikes I was looking at all looked like the V-Strom (the same type of bike) and he’s right. It doesn’t make sense to have two adventure bikes. Maybe I should go back to looking at a Bonneville or Moto Guzzi V7 Classic–nostalgic modern day standards. A second bike should be something different–a different kind of ride.


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