Martin Shirley

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About Martin Shirley

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    California
  1. I've been riding with the Caberg tourmax for 2 years now and think it is first class. I got it from an Italian online store for about $250 and I have enjoyed wearing it more than my $700 Shoei. Price seems to have no consistent correlation with quality or comfort when it comes to helmets.
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    I've been riding this exquisite bike since 2015. I came to it from a Yamaha Super Tenere XT1200 and a DRZ400S (which I still own as a backup for buddies who want to ride with me, but are "bike-orphaned"). The 690 Enduro is the perfect compromise between the weight benefits of the DRZ and the power of the Tenere. I can't sing the 690's praise enough. It is a blast to cruise down the freeway at a steady 80 mph, or drift through the Santa Monica mountain twisties, or goat-whip it up some gnarly trail at Big Bear or Cleveland national forest. Don't listen to those who say it can't keep up with the heavyweights on long-distance rides. It most certainly can, especially with the right aftermarket seat or - even better - an Airhawk seat pad stretched over the Sweet Cheeks bottle carrier (increases fuel capacity by a couple of liters). The bike's only drawback is that it is not ideal for tight single-tracks which involved sharp, rising switchbacks, due to its relatively ungenerous turning angle. Apart from that, it is a far less stressful bike to take into difficult terrain than the 500 lb adventure machines we love on the freeways. With only 320 lbs to cart around, it is quite nimble. The torque is ridiculously neck-snapping and always induces an insane grin in city riding and on steep, rocky hills. I keep thinking I should get a 240 lb exc, but I'm lazy and useless with tools, so the incredibly low-maintenance schedules keep me on this reliable beast's haunches. The only thing that might get me to trade it in is the forthcoming 790 middleweight from KTM or the T7 under development from Yamaha. I don't ever see myself going back to a 500 lb+ bike... the bulk and limitations of those behemoths just isn't worth tolerating when you can ride a thoroughbred stallion, drop it a dozen times while riding solo and never worry about picking it up, or having it fall on you in a ditch.
    I've been riding this exquisite bike since 2015. I came to it from a Yamaha Super Tenere XT1200 and a DRZ400S (which I still own as a backup for buddies who want to ride with me, but are "bike-orphaned"). The 690 Enduro is the perfect blend of the weight benefits and nimbleness of the DRZ with the power and cruising capabilities of the Tenere. I can't sing the 690's praise enough. It is a blast to cruise down the freeway at a steady 80 mph, or drift through the Santa Monica mountain twisties, or goat-whip it up some gnarly trail at Big Bear or Cleveland national forest. Don't listen to those who say it can't keep up with the heavyweights on long-distance rides. It most certainly can, especially with the right aftermarket seat or - even better - an Airhawk seat pad stretched over the Sweet Cheeks bottle carrier (increases fuel capacity by a couple of liters). The bike's only drawback is that it is not ideal for tight single-tracks involving sharp, rising switchbacks, due to its relatively ungenerous turning angle. Apart from that, it is a far less stressful bike to take into difficult terrain than the 500 lb adventure machines we love on the freeways and long, fast desert dirt roads. With only 320 lbs to cart around, it is quite nimble. The torque is ridiculously neck-snapping and always induces an insane grin in city riding and on steep, rocky hills. I keep thinking I should get a 240 lb 500 exc to enjoy the toughest single-tracks even more, but I'm lazy and useless with tools, so the incredibly low-maintenance schedules keep me on this reliable beast's haunches. The only thing that might get me to trade it in is the forthcoming 790 middleweight from KTM or the T7 under development from Yamaha. I don't ever see myself going back to a 500 lb+ bike... the bulk and limitations of those behemoths just isn't worth tolerating when you can ride a thoroughbred stallion, drop it a dozen times while riding solo and never worry about picking it up, or having it fall on you in a ditch. Oh, did I mention the neck-snapping acceleration?
  3. My biggest issue with BMW is the same as I had with my Ducati Lexus and Jaguar: the dealership's right to rip you off. The worst was Jaguar... unbelievable "monopolist" attitude and utterly absurd pricing on servicing and parts.
  4. Every GS rider I've ridden with has had either electrical, drive-shaft issues… the stantion issue makes the thought of dropping $20k even more angst-inducing. Get a ktm/ducati /honda/tenere and sleep peacefully.
  5. The GS is a masterpiece of design and engineering. The only real negative I can see in the BMW range is the insanely high dealer servicing costs, purchasing price and the relative unreliability. That's why I was singing this song to myself on my way to pick up a Tenere ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEmJ-VWPDM4