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Topic: Touring on a GSX 1000  (Read 31870 times)

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Monk42
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« on: November 14, 2010, 03:08:53 pm »

Hello all. Long time looker but this is my first post. I've never seen this one discussed - Anyone done serious miles on a GIXXER?  I like doing 3-4 day 1000mi. runs with an occasional longer trip.  I had a Bandit for years and with engine and suspension mods it would rip - but found it to be a bit heavy. Couple of years ago went with a VFR for its rep as a sport tourer that didn't weigh 500lbs.  Nice enough bike but I'd like something with more oompah and better cornering. Crackin' the throttle on it leaves me wanting more. Always wanted a CBR or GSX-R 1000 but everyone said I'd end up in traction after 500 miles. A local dealer has a beautiful '05 GSX with 2300 mi. on the clock. Unless I hear from you all that touring on a GIXXER is plumb loco I'm gonna seriosly consider pulling the trigger on it. I'd love to hear your feedback.
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 03:31:28 pm »

I've toured on my XB12R Firebolt, which is kind of close to a GSXR ergonomics-wise.  It is about as light and flickable, and is about as small too.  I also have an '07 VFR like you.

Touring on a sportbike is not going to kill you or torture you at all as long as you know your limits and the bike's limits.  Your body will tell you when to take a break, so as long as you don't have any back issues, shoulder or wrist issues, knee issues, neck issues, you will be fine!   Lol  I know that sounds funny but the bottom line is, you need to be nearly 100% healthy to do this.  500 mile days is possible and many have done it if you are healthy.  The healthier you are, the less excess body fat you have, the better you will be.

To be honest though, you already have the perfect bike for sporty-touring:  The VFR.  Anything less becomes a large compromise.  On most any other sportbike, you will sacrifice range, comfort, cargo/bag carrying capacity, centerstand, gas gauge, wind protection, etc.  Why?  So you can have a ligher bike with more power?  I personally don't think that's worth the sacrifice in many other areas.  I sport-toured on a Hayabusa, Bandit 1200S, Buell Firebolt, and two VFR's.  The best balanced bike in that group has always been the VFR.  Even when I'm trying to chase liter class bikes on a sport-tour, it was rare that I wanted more power from the VFR.  I've wanted more on the Buell Firebolt, but not the VFR.  
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 04:03:46 pm »

I ride a ZX-9 which is close to a VFR, bars are a little lower and pegs a bit higher. I've had a VFR and while it was a great bike I wouldn't go back. I enjoy the 9s engine a lot more and the less weight is a lot more fun when the road get's twisty. It sucks on the interstate but I never enjoyed the viffer on the interstate either.

My best friend rides a ZX-10, he has put 1" Heli bars or Genmar risers on it but I can't remember which. We usually ride from daylight to dark and have done several multi day rides. Both of us are in our middle 40's. A GSXR wouldn't be out of the question for either of us, we both just prefer Kawasaki though both of us have owned other brands.

It's all up to what you want in your riding experience. Neither of us are able to commute on motorcycles, so our riding time is limited to the hour or so after work or a Sunday morning get away. We have to plan our day rides and trips well in advance around family obligations. With that said when I hit the go juice, I want to go now and I don't want to fight a ponderous heavy motorcycle in the curves. Weight is only good on the interstate for my use to soften expansion joints the rest of the time it is a hinderance IMO.

As always YMMV but life is too short to wonder what if.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 04:11:04 pm »

You can "tour" on anything, it all boils down to your own comfort level/expectations. The gixxer is not going to be nearly as comfortable at the vfr or Bandit. Then again I often do 1000+ mile days on the Busa, and that's far less comfortable than an FJR. So it really comes down to how much discomfort you can take - and the gixxer 1k would be at the very bottom of the comfort scale; even with raised bars, lowered pegs and an after market seat.

But hey, you only live once, so I say "buy it!"
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 04:55:13 pm »

No problem for me, and I'm an old fart (50). I did lots of long weekends on my 2005 ZX-6R. Usually 350-450 miles a day (mostly twisty two lane, rarely any slab). It's more about how you fit on the bike. The 6R fit me pretty well since I'm tall and lanky. Knees were folded up pretty good under me, but the reach to the clip-ons was easy. I found it to be more comfortable than the Wee Strom I also owned at the time. I was achier after a day on the Strom than a day on the Ninja bike.

If the price is right on the GSXR and you fit well enough (remember that are supposed to support your body with your abs, not your arms), then get it. That bike is known for strong low/midrange power, so it will be really forgiving on gear choice. The better suspension, brakes and handling will make a believer of you. Modern sportbikes are great. It won't be much fun on the long straight sections of Ohio, but it'll be wicked fun down in southeast Ohio around Woodsfield.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 05:00:09 pm by garry » Logged

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Monk42
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 06:53:10 pm »

Truth is I'm pushing 60. Been riding since I was 16, hope to ride til I'm 80. Never been a track guy and probably 99.9% of the folks on this board can ride faster than me. I'm in good shape though I do have knee, back, and neck problems but mostly I ignore 'em.  So me riding a GIXXER is like Robin Williams riding Secretariat. But if given a chance I'd have loved to have ridden Secretariat. I appreciate the comments. Hope to see ya on the GIXXER.
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 07:31:43 pm »

You can tour on anything: Nathan made from Sydney to London on a moped, Doug's been round the world twice on a Harley chop and Nick set a record on an R1. Okay, you're not going to 'off piste' on a GSXR... and m'be not pick up as many kudos points, but you're still going to see an awful lot. I'm taking my zx11 down through South America.
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 08:00:28 pm »

1000 miles in 3-4 days doesn't sound too bad.  That should afford lots of opportunity to stop & stretch.

You could get the GSX-R1000, try it out, and either make adjustments to it (helibars, lower pegs, taller screen, etc.) later, or else sell it for something that fits you better.  Besides the riding position sportbikes are a little harder to find luggage for, they have smaller fuel tanks, alternators that generate less power for accessories (including heated gear & extra lighting), and they're more expensive to insure.  At least for me.  Smile

Personally, I don't think I'd want to tour on that bike.  But I can totally see wanting to try a longish trip on a sportbike again in a few years, perhaps after the memory of a 10 hour day (ok, 8 of actual riding if you remove gas stops & lunch) on my 1098 has totally faded away.
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 09:31:59 pm »

Do it!


If I can't swing the Ninja 1000, my next 'touring' rig is going to be a 600.

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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 09:38:04 pm »

I ride almost nothing but SS bikes, and regularly do 700 or more mile days. My current 1100 has HORRID ergos, in comparison to most newer bikes, but it does it just fine.


I am starting to feel it, though.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 11:54:38 pm »

It's your money get whatever you want. I can't help ask why you're considering this though. You admit to be a very slow rider and want cornering and light weight - what about a 650 Gladius or something you'll at least use 50% of it's capabilities?
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2010, 12:23:05 am »

I'm around your age and have a 2005 GSXR1000.  I had a 2002 and rode it 900 miles in one day.  I could have ridden for another 250 miles to my destination,  but stopped because it was raining hard and dark. If you are reasonably fit, you can tour on anything.

I'm 6'3" and have helibars and footpegs lowered half an inch.  The bike is comfortable enough for me to ride 3-400 miles days without any problems.  On the other hand you have a VFR.  A much better choice for covering distances.  I once had a 1990 VFR, and given the choice (if I still had it) I would ride that for long distances and leave the GSXR in the garage.  I don't see that the GSXR has any advantages over a VFR when used in the touring mode.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2010, 10:33:38 am »

I knew a guy that road his from Dallas to Main and back in a 4 day weekend. (just for a lobster lunch) I think it was on a some kinda bet. When I talk with him about it he told me it was not as bad as he thought it might be.
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2010, 11:22:43 am »

I'm 63 years old and have toured on a '08 GSXR 1000 for the past year (formerly on an '05 busa). The only change I've made is an aftermarket seat (Saddleman tech seat for the GSXR) as the stocker is pretty bad for all day riding. Still use the stock clipons as they are comfortable for me since the GSXR has the most upright seating position of all the liter bikes.

Longest day to date was 600 miles returning from a rally and I must admit it was a bit too long; pretty stewed the next day. I can, however, do multiple 500 miles days without a problem. I personally think the Gixxer makes a great sporttourer and I can really enjoy its' capabilities when the road gets more interesting. As others have pointed out, you just need to be fit. If you're tall you may need to look at peg adjustments but if you normally stop for gas ( or whatever) every ninety minutes or so you should be fine . At easy cruise (70 - 80 MPH) I can go 150 miles or so before the light comes on.

Don't let your age deter you!!
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2010, 07:17:20 pm »

Monk42

Do it if you want.

What could go wrong? You sell it?

I am 56 and had an 05 GSXR 1K.
Awesome torque, blazing speed if you keep twisting the throttle.
Treat it with respect and you will grin all day long.

Now, that said, a 400 mile day is a LONG day.
I could comfortably do 250-300.

Generally it was my neck that tired, not my azz or knees.


Did i mention, DO IT !

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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2010, 07:45:26 pm »

Go for it.  I'm 55 now and have been sport touring since '86.  As long as the fun is greater than the discomfort, then you can go all day long. Good helmet & earplugs, solid jacket, good boots, good gloves all help, too.  I've put 1000 mile days on my '01 GSXR1000 and later my '07 1000.  Put on a tankbag and some soft luggage, stay off the interstate whenever feasible and you'll do fine.

Like others have said, the more flexible (& fit) you are, the less discomfort you'll experience. Advil helps and stopping at least every 90 minutes does too.  Learn to hold your body with your legs, not your wrists.


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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2010, 09:03:49 pm »

I have a 2000 R1 with 70K on it, have considered moving back to something more comfortable until I ride a "Tank", then some suffering seems worth it.
I would recommend Corbin or other Seat, and helibars, makes the 12 + hr days bearable
After 12 hrs of slab you ask why, until you get into some nice twisties, makes it worth it in the long run.


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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2010, 12:01:27 pm »

With my '03 gixxer I find that 200-250 mile days aren't to bad, but much more than that hurts. Mostly my neck and upper back, right in between the shoulder blades. Stopping and stretching every couple of hours helps greatly. I always try to stay at a hotel/motel that has a hot tub to soak in at the end of the day( hot tub-cold drink feels nice). I am also out of shape and my knee ain't the best, but if I got in better shape I think it wouldn't be too bad at all. I have the bars raised about an inch and the pegs lowered about the same and a gel seat for comfort mods. For comparison I did a 600-700 mile two trip in the Berkshires on a friends Ducati ST-2 (two up) and it wasn't that much better or worse than my bike(gf/pillion agreed) so next year I just threw soft bags on the suzuki and took that.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2010, 12:39:43 pm »

Take a page from the pirate play book, buy it and a trailer.   Tow it to the interesting roads.  Then enjoy the GSX in the environment where it's going to shine.  

Riding a sport bike a 1,000 miles per day, even just one day, pushing 60 and ignoring the pain is not my idea of a good time.    
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2010, 02:41:31 pm »


Take a page from the pirate play book, buy it and a trailer.   Tow it to the interesting roads.  Then enjoy the GSX in the environment where it's going to shine.  

Riding a sport bike a 1,000 miles per day, even just one day, pushing 60 and ignoring the pain is not my idea of a good time.    


Sure it is.  You get off, have a shower and relax, and you feel great. Smile
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