I’ve been wanting to get in to motorcycle riding for a while now and considering your recent shift , I thought this would be a perfect time to ask. Where do I get started? How do I choose a bike? What should I consider before going full bore in to this? If you feel like this is too much to respond to in line. Thanks! – Snallygaster
This is the battle of the ages. Or more specifically, the battle of the adventures. Adventure Motorcycles has grown from about 4% of the market about 5 years ago, to a full 10% of the market today. This makes ADV bikes, the fastest growing segment. Since the genesis of Adventure bikes, BMW has been leader. They practically invented it.
The king of the Adventure Bikes is the R1200GS.
As of this moment, I’m riding a white 2015 GS with the new liquid cooled engine, which is the same exact mill that is in the R1200R that I recently tested. This is a great engine. World Class. And honestly, one of the best engines in Motorbikes – period. It has plenty of power, plenty of torque, and is very compliant and composed. The blue GS in the photo above is a 2012 model, which is using the tried and true old Air Cooled version, which is the same as what you would get in the R Nine T bike… which people are loving.
Now, the #1 Contender to the King of Adventure is the Triumph Explorer. There are others out there that want that title, namely the KTM Adventure, Ducati’s Multistrada, Harley’s… no… Not Harley. Harley doesn’t have anything in this segment. But pretty much everyone else does, and they all want a piece of this action. But for Full Sized, Full Power Adventure, in my humble opinion, the Triumph Explorer is the only real challenger for the Crown.
The Explorer is powered by Triumphs 1200 Triple. This gives the Explorer 1/3 more pistons… but really what it gives you is a much smoother power delivery. From a rolling start to a pinned throttle, the Triumph surges forward with a sense of power and speed of biblical proportions. In just the span of a few heart beats, you are absolutely flying.
BMW owners always speak of the lower center of gravity thanks to that boxer engine. And that’s true. But this really only matters at crawling speeds. Once you are rolling and you have your landing gear up and locked on the pegs, this doesn’t matter at all, and the Explorer feels just as composed. I think the Explorer handles beautifully and turns in like a dream. Every bit as good as the GS. In fact, I liked the way the Explorer handled long sweeps and transitions to opposite lean angles better than the BMW. But that’s just my opinion, and could very well be my impression based on difference the tires could be giving instead of just the bikes. Well… Whatever the Explorer is rolling on, is the tire every bike of this sort should be working with. Because it’s fantastic.
The Triumph’s power plant stomps a mudhole in the BMW’s. It just does. It feels far more energetic and willing to be naughty than the more librarian BMW. But where the BMW shines is in the avionics. The Electronic Sorcery in the BMW is more sorted, better layed out and executed. With the BMW I was able to play with the system and quickly came to an understanding of how it all worked. With the Triumphs’s package, I had to RTFM and asked to be shown how to do it. This wasn’t Ogre being a knuckle dragger… this is the Triumph’s system being flat out poorly designed and executed.
Example 1: Traction Control. On the BMW, you select Rain Mode, Road Mode, Dynamic Mode, or your own User Defined Modes. Done. Easy as that. Find the mode you want, select it, and it will be in that mode until you decide you need something different. On the Triumph, you have Mode 1. Mode 2… WTF? Where’s the TTC Decoder Ring? What’s Mode 1 do? What’s Mode 2? What’s TTC? What is all this?
Example 2: You finally set it to the mode you want, after consulting a Customer Service Department in India, and you go for a little ride. You stop for a gas up or a cool beverage and go to turn the bike on again. All the sudden that Traction Control Mode has gone back to Default Settings and all that previous effort has been lost.
Example 3: Keyless Ignition can be found on the BMW GS series. This is not found on the Triumph. This is 2016, and soon to be 2017… and Triumph still hasn’t given us Keyless Ignition. Keyless is the future. Keep the Key Fob in your pocket, and your fine. This is a small detail no one cares about – until you’ve used it. And it’s like the first time you got to use Blu-Tooth. You don’t want to go back to anything else.
Because of these 3 examples, it’s easy to conclude that the BMW might be the winner. And for some… it is. But for me… the Bike its self is what’s important and I think the Triumph, though simple and less high tech…. has the much better engine. It’s the engine that pulls you out of the danger zone and forward unto dawn… not the Menu Layout. Between riding the two bikes, I had a much better experience on the Triumph. I really liked both, don’t get me wrong. Both bikes are truly World Beaters… I just liked the Explorer better.
For me, the winner is the Triumph Explorer.
2016 BMW R1200R. Just a simple standard motorcycle, done very well. Just a wonderful motorcycle. Let me tell you why…
Very comfortable, with an easy upright position, mid, to slightly rear sets on the foot controls that is comfortable but just back enough to be sporty. The seat is good for several hours in the saddle at a time without causing any pain in the buttocks. The mirrors are actually usable, and stay put and stable at speed.
But really, this bike is all about that engine. That classic BMW Boxer 1200. It’s rolling on 125 horses that are packing 92 pounds of torque. And that is a lot of power in what is really a small-ish bike. What’s great about it though is the way BMW has made all that power very accessible and controllable. There are three riding modes for the traction control and suspension. Rain, Road, and Dynamic. Dynamic is the fun mode. Like all BMW’s now, ABS is standard of course.
But there’s more to the engine than just numbers. The engine can be lugged, and you can just put put put around at low speeds… and if you want to go fast… This bike is fully FAST capable.
The brakes are very good. With the ABS system that works as well as this one does. Highway Speed to Full Stop under Death Grip Brake Stomp happens very suddenly, but with no drama, no skittering and nothing unexpected. The bike just comes to a well controlled stop.
The suspension is excellent. It takes in all irregularities and small bumps and turn them into distant miles behind you. The bike is very composed when the tarmac is less than perfect. Even in turns, under acceleration.
The R1200R is all about Competence. The bike just does everything well, without being flashy. It has no flair that might draw unwanted attention or get you accused of being a showboat. The R1200R is subtle in being awesome. It’s so subtle in fact that it garners very little attention in the motorcycle press. And in the showroom it’s one that is often overlooked and passed by, by those who’s eyes are caught by the more flashy of bikes. It might be the Big Brother to the R Nine T series, which might look more trendy and hip. Especially the R Nine T Scrambler… which is just amazing looking. But the R1200R should be the one you look at first. The R1200R has the better tech, and while it’s a similar 1200 Boxer to the Nine T series, this version is tuned to higher output thanks to the liquid cooling. Which makes it far more versatile for long range riding, more spirited riding, and lower maintenance.
When you are on a truly great bike, you can tell because the ride is about the ride and the bike becomes transparent. You don’t think about the bike anymore and all your attention is on the ride. And that’s what this bike does… It disappears when you get rolling and all you are thinking about is the road ahead. This is a beautiful thing.
BMW is most impressive with the engineering they’ve put into this machine. The quick shifter system, the switch gear, the GPS ready set up, the keyless ignition, the heated grips… And the simple menu system that only took a moment to figure out without having to pull out the manual. This bike makes my old ZX-11 look like it was from the Bronze Age.
I’ve ended all my consultation agreements, and I’m closing all those accounts within the firearms industry. I’m done with everything having to do with guns, professionally. I’m “Out”. However, I will continue with my interests in firearms as a hobby. I’m venturing into a new career in the Motorcycle industry with Triumph, BMW, and Ducati. So you will continue see some gun related content, but a lot more about motorcycles.
I just got another Romeo 4c, and this one is now topping Project Kahlan. The Burris Fastfire, which I also like, has been moved over to Elizebeta… my late Brother Zach’s AK-47. The Fastfire is better suited to the AK, thanks to it’s more compact nature and lower mounting capability with the current rail situation. (Photos will come late)
What I like about the 4c version of the Romeo, is the Solar Powered backup to for the battery, which has a 50,000 hour run time. It has two reticle options, a 2 moa Dot or an Eotech style circle dot. Quick Detach. Insane lifetime warranty that is basically saying if anything happens, they’ll replace it, no questions asked. Which is awesome.
The optic is super clear and bright for a Red Dot, and even with my bad eyes, I can see the dot nice and crisp. I like these little optics better than the vogue T1 or T2 Micros. SIG’s Electro Optics are very good… and with that lifetime warranty? Getting one is a No Brainer. For Project Kahlan, and any future firearm that I want a Red Dot for – I’m getting the Romeo 4c’s for them from now on.
I got this Romeo 4c from my good friend Steve, who has several more for sale at his store, PrecisionRifleShooters.com. Now, if you want one too… Go there, and at Checkout enter Coupon Code “MADOGRE” for a nice discount.
These two were complete and the other two were getting final touches done.
Absolutely flawless. Now, CAG has a lot of very cool new things coming… things that I’m sworn to secrecy on, so I wont tell. Even if the NDA is a Handshake, it’s still an NDA, so I’m not saying anything other than this… Give CAG a Like, follow them on FB. Because you are going to want to keep your eye on them.
There is one new thing about to drop that I CAN talk about.
CAG is going to be releasing Fire Control Parts that you can order to be put into your gun. I’ve examined these… FANTASTIC. You are going to want to put these on your gun. Machined from forged billet stainless and absolutely the top quality you would expect from CAG. Also slides and pretty much everything you need to build your 1911 save for the Frames. And since not all of us are Gunsmiths – you will be able to send in your 1911 and CAG’s own Gunsmiths will give you their FEEL THE DIFFERENCE treatment. All of the services will of course be on a menu for pricing and such. So bookmark this page too:
The first two Star Trek movies that Rebooted the Franchise really nailed it. This one, though… Well… it had potential. Right up to the point where the Enterprise sailed (sailed?) into it’s first – and last – battle. And then it just when full pants on the head retarded. It introduced a potentially cool new character and then seemed only to make her a bleached Xena Warrior Princess… No, wait… that gives it too much credit. A tall blond and hot Ewok.
Then to defeat the crazy powerful enemy that shredded the Enterprise, their old outdated ship that barely made it off the ground – blasts BEASTY BOYS which causes all the badguys save the Boss to Self Destruct because of the savage beats of the song “Sabotage”. All while the All Powerful Enemy is forming a perfect surfing wave formation for the old ship to Hang 10 through… because we all know that that is by far the best attack formation in space.
Then when get to the final Kirk v Boss Fight, we find that the enemy is Idris Elba who goes all Black Lives Matter protesting in the shiny new space city…. And ends up killing himself with his super evil weapon of evil before he can even loot one big screen.
Idris Elba could have brought so much more to the film and the whole franchise… but no… they went and… did this.
Here’s the thing. I’ve been loving the new Trek films… But this took the new Crew all the way back to Voyage Home levels of stupid and really just kinda gave the new fans like me, the middle finger and reminded us why we never liked Trek in the first place.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to ride a brand new Triumph Thruxton R 1200.
This bike was absolutely amazing in it’s composure and balance. It didn’t care what gear I was in… you could lug it… you could wind it out. Six speed transmission and the engine couldn’t care less…. Riding position is a bit leaned forward, but not enough that your holding yourself up by the wrists… It’s almost a Standard. Very comfortable.
It’s so much better than the old Bonny engine, which was an 865… and fine for… the 80’s… I guess. It was fine before… but somehow just a little lacking. Now, the new 1200 engine – which looks and feels weight wise like the same engine as before… is just so much BETTER at everything. Better top end. Better torque. Better power delivery from idle to redline… it’s just all completely better.
Having not ridden in some time, I was kinda nervous. But once I threw a leg over and grabbed those Clip Ons… it just felt RIGHT.
The bike didn’t feel like it was in a hurry to go fast – but it was. It cornered easily like you had already done that a thousand times. The handling was very neutral, with no drama. It turned in well, with no feeling of sluggishness or twitchiness. It stayed remarkably stable through the curve and powering out passed the apex.
The suspension was a very nice balance between comfort and road feel… You felt everything, but nothing hurt your spine or your gentleman’s nuggets. The seat feels both firm and comfortable as well, and you could easily spend enough time in the saddle to run from a full tank to vapor.
The bike was just a very pleasant, willing, and spirited companion.
EDIT: About a Month Later:
It’s been awhile since I rode it about a month ago now… And I’ve ridden pretty much everything else in between then and now. So I wanted to revisit the “Thruster”.
I am pleased to say that the Thruxton R has remained my favorite Sport Bike. The Bike is just hands down a pleasurable experience. The big bore engine makes effortless power, which translates into effortless motion. For a Twin, the Thruster is exceptionally smooth. And it’s extremely well behaved. In Rain Mode and Road Mode, the Thruster is the perfect gentleman. In Sport Mode, it gets straight up Dashing. It can keep up with most every other sport bike on the market save for the 200 horse power Ground Rockets. But it’s not trying to be a Race Replica… It’s only trying to be just what it is… a well built classic sport bike that can have fun carving canyons, and while doing so, it will be more relaxed, comfortable, and composed… It’s the Nicest of Sporting Motorbikes you will ever throw a leg over.
I just love this thing. Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing to do to it to make it better.
Ruger just officially announce the American Compact. Here is the Press Release:
New Compact Addition to the Ruger American Pistol Line
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce the addition of the Ruger American Pistol® Compact model. This new model is chambered in 9mm Luger and is available in both Manual Safety and Pro model configurations. Originally introduced in December 2015, the feature-rich Ruger American Pistol was designed with the latest U.S. Military standards in mind and was tested in the harshest environments to ensure the rugged reliability consumers have come to expect from Ruger.
Ruger polled law enforcement and military trainers throughout the country to select the form, function and features of the Ruger American Pistol. The resultant pistol combines a recoil-reducing barrel cam (which better spreads recoil over time) with a low-mass slide, low center of gravity and a low-bore axis to provide better balance, less felt recoil and less muzzle flip than comparable pistols. The Ruger American Pistol also features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short takeup trigger with positive reset, and a modular wrap-around grip system that adjusts palm swell and trigger reach to fit a wide range of hand sizes.
With a 3.55” barrel, overall dimensions of 6.65” long, 4.48” high and a weight of 28.75 ounces with an empty magazine, the Ruger American Pistol Compact model shares all of the features and rugged reliability of the duty-size gun in a smaller, lighter, more concealable package. It ships in a hard case with small, medium and large replaceable grip modules and two nickel-Teflon® plated steel magazines (one 17-round extended magazine and one 12-round compact magazine).
The American-made Ruger American Pistol is built on a rigid, one-piece, precision-machined, black nitrided, stainless steel chassis with integral frame rails and fire control housing. Additional features include genuine Novak® LoMount Carry three-dot sights, a stainless steel slide with non-reflective, black nitride finish, a one-piece, high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame and a mil-standard 1913 accessory rail.
For more information on the Ruger American Pistol Compact model, or to learn more about the extensive line of award-winning Ruger® firearms, visit Ruger.com or Facebook.com/Ruger. A full line of duty and concealment holsters, replacement sights and rail-mount accessories for the Ruger American Pistol are available through ShopRuger.com or your local independent retailer of Ruger firearms.
Here are the released pics:
It looks good! Looks like Ruger’s taken a Home Run, and just cleared the bases with it. *Golf Claps* Well done, Ruger. Well done.
Yes, Kriss brought out the Vector in 10mm. And I don’t care.
I LOVE the 10mm cartridge. The fact that there’s a new 10mm Carbine on the market, makes me happy. But I don’t want it.
Yes, it looks like it shoots well. However I find the Vector to be distasteful. The overall weapon system is far too bulky, and I find the weapon to be awkward on top of that.
During the heady days of Crusader Weaponry, one came into the shop and Joe was working on refinishing it. The weapon is excessively complicated, and everything pins through and into a sub-chassis that I feel is too delicate.
During my time as Retail Manager for Blackstone Shooting Sports, a customer wanted to look at the fixed stock version of one of the Vectors we had. He tried to fold the stock… and of course, broke it. Vector gave me hell trying to replace the part, insisting that I pay for a new one. I was finally able to get the part replaced under warranty, but it left a bad taste in my mouth for the company. It’s worth noting that the customer looked like a pasty white Urkel and did not have a lot of power to apply to the stock to get it to break so easily, and he didn’t even try. It broke far too easily. So if you want a Vector Carbine, get the folder version, not the fixed stock version.
Honestly, I don’t care if the Vector fired phased plasma in the 40 watt range. I wont have one. Being overly complicated, delicate and fragile, being awkward and bulky and is as attractive as George Soros and Diane Feinstein’s Love Child… I have a whole SHOT Industry worth of better options to spend my money on.
If you have one, and you like it – that’s the great thing about the Industry now – There are a great many choices. But for me, Kriss Vector isn’t one of them.