100 km ride to work: Looking for comfortable touring bike options

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I like my Access 125 scooter and am hence leaning towards the Suzuki V-Strom 250 ADV.

BHPian biju1971 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I need some suggestions on a suitable bike for doing a 100km ride to work once or twice a week. The roads are well paved and a state highway with sparse traffic. I am 53 years old, height 167cm, and weigh about 60kgs. I travel by car now (CIAZ Diesel) and have the urge to try out a good bike before it’s too late. I would like to do some touring also by taking a sabbatical from work. My only requirement is to have a safe space to strap down my laptop bag. I should also be able to service the bike in my city. The dealers available are RE, Honda, Suzuki, Hero, Bajaj, TVS Yamaha and KTM (a little further away). I am a sedate driver and would stick to the 80-90kmph range. I like an upright relaxed driving posture.

I learnt my two-wheeler driving on a Bajaj Chetak. My parents gifted me a TVS Suzuki 100cc 2-stroke bike in 1992 when I got my first job. Although it could not compete with the Yamaha RX100, it was fun and could do a max speed of 90kmph. I went to work at sea later, the bike was not used much and was given away. I have a Suzuki Access 125 and a TVS Jupiter. I like the Access and therefore a tilt towards a Japanese brand. Jupiter does its job, but somehow you feel the maker did not seek perfection in what he was making.

After some research, I am inclined towards the Suzuki V-Storm 250 Adventure bike. I want to know if the laptop bag can be secured safely. I would also be passing through city traffic and would it be possible to manoeuvre it easily given my physical dimensions? There was no test bike at the dealer, but has promised one next week.

I plan to exchange my Access for this bike. Is it safe to exchange at the dealer? I have always exchanged my cars at Maruti dealers. When you are doing the exchange at the dealer, is the indemnity given by the dealer enough? How do we know if it has finally changed hands? My son is 21 years old and I will hand over the bike to him in future if he promises to take care. He makes no effort to maintain the scooters.

Looking for any other options/suggestions? Reliability is very important as there are no repair options along the route. I have finished about 1,10,000 on my Ciaz and it has not let me down any time.

Here’s what BHPian ajay0612 had to say on the matter:

If you have a Honda Bigwing showroom in your city, may check out Honda H’ness. Ergonomics are good for relaxed driving. May checkout CB300F also.

V-Strom seat height might be a problem for you. If that is not, it is a good choice.

May also try RE Meteor and RE Hunter. Both are surprisingly easy to handle and good for sedate highway driving.

Here’s what BHPian HowDifferent? had to say on the matter:

Let me start by saying that I was in the same situation about one and a half years back. I am 172 cm, about 70 kg and a few years younger than you, but not by much.

I bought a Honda Highness and have completed about 15 K kms so far, which is a mix of office commute and long-distance multi-day touring every couple of months with my wife. I love it. So go for it and I am sure you will enjoy the experience.

Do consider the seat height of the bike, you should be able to flat foot. Helps to handle and manoeuvre the bike better. Experienced riders will say this is not important, but I do not think these experienced riders are your or my age!

I cannot say what is the right bike for you, a test ride will tell. But I think my requirements for a bike are probably the same as yours. Easy to handle, not too heavy, comfortable to sit and ride and not tiring after a few hours of riding. Honda H’ness have all these. Plus very light clutch, smooth engine and gear shifts and no vibrations. There have been some complaints about rust and wobbling from a few owners which I have not faced. Service experience has been decent.

Let me also say that I have started thinking about a few years ahead and am considering a bike less in weight. Suspension of highness is also a little stiff. I am planning a test ride of BMW 310 GS which I think will allow me to ride a little more comfortably for a few more years.

Hope this helps!

Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

Trying to sum up the situation:

  • A comfortable bike for good roads with ~800kms per month and the potential for long tours.
  • The bike should be light enough since you’ve been riding light vehicles(~100kgs) and are concerned about manoeuvring in traffic.
  • The safest would be a backpack and there are other luggage options available too like hard panniers or soft luggage.

First, you’ve to make up your mind on if you want a tourer/ADV or a regular street bike which can do 300 km a day.

Touring bikes are heavy, adding in luggage will make them heavier so you’ll have to think that through.

My suggestion is that if your sabbatical isn’t finalized yet, get a 160-250cc street bike, and use it for your office runs, they’re good enough for a 300km ride and then see how that makes you feel. When you think you’re ready for the long trip, you’ll be in a better position to decide what sort of bike will work for you.

Motorcycles are very personal and subjective purchases.

Suggestions for some test rides to get a feel of things:

  • V-Strom 250 SX: good bike overall, except for some issues already mentioned on the forum
  • Pulsar N250/F250: good reviews on quality and comfort, some initial issues have been reported but haven’t heard much
  • RTR 200 4V: competent, comfortable with adjustable suspension but might not be to your liking

Wait for:

  • Hero Maverick: about to launch but wait for at least 6 months for the initial issues to be ironed out.
  • 2024 KTM 250 Adventure: No idea about the dates but wait for at least 3-6 months post-launch for the initial issues to be ironed out. A lot of them would already have been through the 250/390 Dukes.
  • XPulse 210/440: no idea about the launch date or even engine options due to various rumours but I would guess the last quarter of this year.

Most importantly start visiting showrooms and taking test rides. Just drop into a RE showroom and look at the luggage options available for each motorcycle or drop in a TVS showroom and check out the riding gears they have on display, hopefully

That’s a good place to start and get a feel of things IMHO.

Test rides are important as typically all motorcycles have become heavier with added equipment but unless you ride one how would you know if you like it or not?

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.


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