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Offline KiLRoy

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How to rate a d/s bike
« on: February 02, 2006, 02:12:56 pm »
I've started with an article in which I rate and evaluate the d/s bikes in the 650 class.  I'm doing it purely for fun but it can be use to help a potential buyer decide on which bike will fit him best.

Now I do realise that emotion plays a huge role in choosing a bike (and I do allow for this) but one also need so form of objective criteria for selection.

In short this is my reasoning thus far:

IMHO a d/s bike must be able to do all of the following three things (some bikes will do some of these things better than others, but a bike needs to score an acceptable score in all of these areas) - call them functions:

1. Able to handle off road terrain - more than smooth gravel but not necessarily mx and enduro kind of tracks
2. Street riding - must be able to ride the bike daily on tarmac - view this as its commuting capability
3. Touring capability - its ability to cover longer distances or run for a long period. Included in this is its ability to carry load

Now these areas can be further analysed ito suspension reach for say #1, seat comfort for #3 etc etc. One can then see that some bikes will score differently in each category eg The Suz V-Strom 650 will score high in 2 and 3 but low in 1 whereas the KTM 640 will score high in 1 but lower in 3.  Bikes like the Dakar will score well in all 3 areas, but maybe not as well in 1 as the KTM etc etc

The above look at what the bike must be able to do and how well it fit these function.  Next we must look at performance issues - how well do the bikes perform its functions:

1. Power
2. Torque
3. Weight
4. Economy
5. Handling
6. Reliability

Next comes Cost:
1. Price
2. Cost of ownership

Then a bunch of other stuff like:
1. Looks
2. Functions - abs, heated grips, decent lights, etc
3. Repairability - since we ride in far off place we need to be able to do basic repairs

What i intent to do is to build some form of model where given a potential buyer's stated intended use for the bike, he can derive at some more objective pointers regarding a suitable bike.  The bikes can also be objectively evaluated against each other ito the right criteria as well as a suitable set of measuring techniques.

Your opinions?
Hein

PS the contenders are:
KTM 640
Honda XLV
Suz V-Strom
KLR 650
Dakar
GS 650
Yam XT 660

any others - i'm taking about current production bikes
 

Offline macduff

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2006, 02:21:37 pm »
will these bikes be new ones?

i ask because i think some bikes have undergone some changes over the last few years.
i look at mine - the xt600 which i reckon would score poorly in 3, med in 2 and ok in 1.
todays xt 660 i imagine would up the stakes in group 2 and 3 (already a 660 iso 600)

but a wonderful idea........ :)
 

Offline KiLRoy

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2006, 02:24:46 pm »
yes latest models

h
 

Offline Grootseun

How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2006, 02:29:25 pm »
Hein,

I do agree with the article, it is well thought through. I did consider some of the criteria when i bought my bike... but the MAJOR DECIDING factor for me was as you said - emotion. Ever since the first version of the Funduro came out i wanted one (was in highschool) and when the opertunity arrived, instead of going and blindly buying the first Blik Met Wiele that i come across, i did however investigate all the options in the 650 range as well as suzooks dr's. But none of the bikes i looked at, gave me the same feeling in my gut (not the montly payment due feeling) that i got when i read the article on the beemers.

IMHO
It basically boils down to what you as a person feel that you "want" Everyone has a favoirite.. are you willing to settle (mainly because of price) or are you gonna make sure you get what you always wanted.

Is there a cure for literary spuitpoep (cant spell it in english.. and spellcheck aint helping either.) cuz i sure have it.
 

Offline JourneyMan

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2006, 02:47:19 pm »
Excellent idea!

I had the good luck to stumble upon the barksa forum and I did all my research there before buying my bike. It was bits and pieces but got the info I needed. Others who have not done their homework, is in the hands of the sales people and I still need to see ANY saleman slating his own product!

Maybe add a section about riding gear/tool/accessories? Not much but basics. It is things which I am only now thinking about since starting to actively ride in DS conditions and considering longer trips/tours. The costs involved in proper gear and accessories shocked me. I under-budgeted at least R10k in that department. :shock:

Have a look at this site. Don't know what their standards are but is quite nice. Also did not see any specific comments on each section evaluated. The link provided is a comparison between 2005 Dakar and 2005 KLR. You can evaluate any bike model against any other bike model.

http://www.bikez.com/bike/rating.php?idbike=21636

Maybe help you with some pointers.
He who angers you, controls you.
 

Offline KiLRoy

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2006, 03:14:08 pm »
I am so disgrunted with the quality of the bike tests in most SA bike mags.  I get the opinion they're all members of an old boys club.  Since the vendors treat them at bike launches, the bikes they're supposed to evaluate aways score good points.  They act if the dealers/vendors are their customers instead of us.  Look at that British car program on the dish - think TopGear or something.  There they evaluate the car in depth and give honest even brutal feedback - they act in the interest of the real customer - not the dealers.

About a year ago they featured an article on the KLR in one of the mags.  I bought the mag, rushed home with anticipation and was appalled with the standard of reporting and just general investigation and evaluation techniques.  They got simple things like the tank size wrong - said the KLR have a comfy seat, never mentioned the doohickey once - but spend a lot of time telling us about himself and his bike gang buddies.  I could have found 12 times more valuable info by googling the topic for half an hour - pathetic.

Hence this little pet project - and please help me with it, we can say we at wilddog feel this is how one must evaluate a d/s bike.  I want to be in the position to query this shit reporting - and to use this tool to ask them why they didn't consider this or that - also to ask them WHY they think the KLR got a comfy seat, what constitutes a comfy seat??

Jeez i'm working myself up again - the standard of bike and even car journalism in this country is really poor.  Or what Sot - you know the field well?  Read some of the 4x4 mags - Land Rov and Toy - irrespective of model and engin is always in the same league as Elvis - most big brands are just always great, it seams the car coys own the mags?

I'll stop my bitching now and work on the rating tool.

H
 

Offline LiveInTheOutdoors

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2006, 03:22:53 pm »
work work work Hein... I also feel that the bike mags do this, and its EXCEPTIONALLY rare for them to tell the truth. Its consumer journalism. Which is something I dont for one need. I like honest truth but I dont get mad about it. I just let them be - dumb ass thickies - and get on with life.

And make my own mind up and do my own investigation.

Worst thing you can do though IMO is to go to a BrandXXX crazy site and ask their opinion. They will naturally be quite coy or modest about the bad things and really explode the good things. Its why they are fans in the first place. Duh!

Get an all round view and gooi your choice after test riding.
very minute is a chance to turn it all around - Vanilla Sky



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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2006, 03:58:07 pm »
Quote from: "KiLeRSA"
the standard of bike and even car journalism in this country is really poor.  Or what Sot - you know the field well?  Read some of the 4x4 mags - etc.

H


Don't know the particular field all that well but I think you touch upon some real problems. It used to be worse but it seems the motoring press is starting to clean up their own act. Still, it's a closed club, the industry have their favourites and the launches are typically grand affairs where the scribes are not as much bribed as treated very well. Difficult to write something bad then, especially if you know you can be cut out of the loop at any time. In simple terms: Give us a bad review and we won't give you a bike next time. There are exceptions and imho I think the Argus' Dave Abrahams is an honest and knowledgeable reviewer who does "real world" reviews.. Check his stuff here:
http://www.motoring.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=759&fSetId=377

ps: Years ago when I was still young and almost fast I helped out with bike reviews in Beeld. Bikes were not such big business then and we actually had fun. The only "bribe" I ever got was a carton of ciggies when Marlboro was still sponsoring Yamaha. Oh, yes, and I got to meet Eddie Lawson in person. Haven't washed my hands since.
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2006, 04:31:14 pm »
Yes, when I watch programs like Top Gear on DSTV and see Jeromy Clarkson trample on cars that he hates, then I wonder about our own meek journos with their never-a-bad-word attitude to some truly horrible vehicles in SA
 

shark_za

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2006, 04:35:04 pm »
Even Clarkson is a twat, if its a BMW he hates it.

I second Abrahams in CT's bike reviews, good and relevant.
 

Offline Welsh

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2006, 05:00:42 pm »
Quote from: "LiveInTheOutdoors"
work work work Hein... I also feel that the bike mags do this, and its EXCEPTIONALLY rare for them to tell the truth. Its consumer journalism. Which is something I dont for one need. I like honest truth but I dont get mad about it. I just let them be - dumb ass thickies - and get on with life.

And make my own mind up and do my own investigation.

Worst thing you can do though IMO is to go to a BrandXXX crazy site and ask their opinion. They will naturally be quite coy or modest about the bad things and really explode the good things. Its why they are fans in the first place. Duh!

Get an all round view and gooi your choice after test riding.


O.K. my 2c worth,
I am not a newcomer to this issue (I alway,s have an issue) I have been more than a little pissy over this subject for nore than a few years.

I was an avid reader of everything motorcycle I could get my hands on since the early 1970,s.
They were all very wishy washy even in the UK, then I started reading BIKE (the British one) when it was launched in about 1978. On the button, called a spade a spade and a Silver Wing a lead balloon. Result no Honda advertising for 3 or 4 years, they said tough its the truth.
Then I came to the dear RSA, read BikeSA and CAR, what a bunch of "nice boys" even a totaly useless piece of rubbish (trying to be nice) got a report that it "was not the best in its market segment" meanwhile it was a piece of horsedropping.
The advertisers buck was king, stuff the punter he only bought the mag.

Welshie.
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I want to grow my own food, looking for Bacon seeds
 

Offline mango

How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2006, 08:45:34 pm »
Yep, Dave Abrahams wrote a pretty good report on the KLR a while
back....Otherwise, I prefer honest reviews from people who have
owned and ridden a bike for a few years....
 

Offline Lootch67

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2006, 01:22:07 pm »
Ah, Jeremy Clarkson....... Do you know he HATES bikes? And that he dreams about stringing a piece of wire across the road to act as a "cheesecutter" when bikes pass? Shame, probably frustrated because he's stuck in traffic in his √?¬£Gazillion car - which is about to break down again! Arrogant twat in my opinion who has no respect for anybody else's opinion, even his co-presenters. He's a good reporter and very funny at times, but his arrogance is just too much for me.....
98 Black AT & the wheel from a 04 KLR 650.
 

Offline Leo

How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2006, 07:39:48 pm »
Remember to rate the backup service, parts availability & dealer network as well!

Not sure if BMW has any competition in this department? :?
Grey Haired Riders Don't get that way from pure luck!
 

Offline Adventurer

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How to rate a d/s bike
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2006, 09:55:16 pm »
What about trade in value?
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!