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Discussion Starter #1
First, I am a middle-aged rider who spent my life on Enduros and Dual-Sports. The natural tendency is to be pulled towards various adventure bikes or possibly sport-tourers. While a mid-size KTM or BMW twin would certainly work, the reality is I won't take one of those on any single track trails as that is what my little dual-sport Kawasaki and big thumper KTM is for.

I haven't done any test rides yet for various reasons so, my initial impressions the classic drool session at a couple of dealers and the limited feedback you get from that experience. The thing I noticed immediately from back to back 'showroom' comparisons between the BMW F850 and Multistrada 950S was how much more weight the Multistrada had up high. The KTM 790 and new BMW F-series seem to be slimmer at the seat tank junction too. This has me thinking I should reconsider the Monster 821 as I like and want something lightweight with less mass up high which is why I like BMW boxers in general.

I can certainly see the Monster 821 being an awesome weekend or sunny afternoon ride on rural roads to distant BBQ joints or scenic parks. What I am wondering about is the longer vacation type trips, not RTW Walter Mitty fantasies but, multiday rides to adjoining states with some wind protection and saddlebags. Also, it is just me so I don't need a ~150HP land yacht for a pillion with a mini-vans worth of clothing and other stuff but, I do want a place to store some limited camping gear, some hiking boots, a normal jacket and a couple of changes of clothes ideally. Of course, most of this needs to come off if I'm just puttering around at ~45MPH on a rural road enjoying a sunny day!

Is a Monster 821 really suitable for this type of use? Or do I need to look elsewhere for something like a Kawasaki Versys or a KTM 790 Adventure? With a Multistrada 950S, I'm realistically looking at ~$20K with saddlebags so, it is a huge step up in price and with the economy tanking right now, just isn't the best time to make a purchase like that and, to be honest, the higher CG (weight high and forward) means the likelihood of that choice is pretty remote even if the cost wasn't a factor.

Is the Moster 821 a viable choice for this type of use or, do I really need to stick to something like a midweight twin Adventure style ride with wind protection and good hard bags?

TIA,
Sid
 

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Mexican Ducatista
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1,064 Posts
First, I am a middle-aged rider who spent my life on Enduros and Dual-Sports. The natural tendency is to be pulled towards various adventure bikes or possibly sport-tourers. While a mid-size KTM or BMW twin would certainly work, the reality is I won't take one of those on any single track trails as that is what my little dual-sport Kawasaki and big thumper KTM is for.

I haven't done any test rides yet for various reasons so, my initial impressions the classic drool session at a couple of dealers and the limited feedback you get from that experience. The thing I noticed immediately from back to back 'showroom' comparisons between the BMW F850 and Multistrada 950S was how much more weight the Multistrada had up high. The KTM 790 and new BMW F-series seem to be slimmer at the seat tank junction too. This has me thinking I should reconsider the Monster 821 as I like and want something lightweight with less mass up high which is why I like BMW boxers in general.

I can certainly see the Monster 821 being an awesome weekend or sunny afternoon ride on rural roads to distant BBQ joints or scenic parks. What I am wondering about is the longer vacation type trips, not RTW Walter Mitty fantasies but, multiday rides to adjoining states with some wind protection and saddlebags. Also, it is just me so I don't need a ~150HP land yacht for a pillion with a mini-vans worth of clothing and other stuff but, I do want a place to store some limited camping gear, some hiking boots, a normal jacket and a couple of changes of clothes ideally. Of course, most of this needs to come off if I'm just puttering around at ~45MPH on a rural road enjoying a sunny day!

Is a Monster 821 really suitable for this type of use? Or do I need to look elsewhere for something like a Kawasaki Versys or a KTM 790 Adventure? With a Multistrada 950S, I'm realistically looking at ~$20K with saddlebags so, it is a huge step up in price and with the economy tanking right now, just isn't the best time to make a purchase like that and, to be honest, the higher CG (weight high and forward) means the likelihood of that choice is pretty remote even if the cost wasn't a factor.

Is the Moster 821 a viable choice for this type of use or, do I really need to stick to something like a midweight twin Adventure style ride with wind protection and good hard bags?

TIA,
Sid
You might not be going into any single track trails during the kind of trips you describe, but you will certainly face a few hours on the highway. To me that is enough reason to consider a bike with some fairing.
My bikes are naked (Hypermotard, GT1000) and although I love carving canyons with them, I really wish I had a fairing when on the highway. I am also considering to add a 950 Multi to the stable just for the long trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, bugs, small stones, and wind pressure on the highway gets old fast. At a leisurely pace like I do on my KLX-250S on a sunny afternoon, 45MPH on a rural scenic road is nice and the wind isn't so bad. At Interstate speeds when I lived out in Arizona, it was rather unpleasant to do ~80MPH with traffic on my KLX not mention the twitchy steering built for tight woods use.

With a full tank of gas, I'm wondering how much heavier the Multistrada would feel, especially with the weight up so high. It is certainly a better starting point with a factory fairing and hardpoints for panniers.
 

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Smut peddler
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Lots of variables here. The monster is for sure a great one up tourer to some (me included). The slightly forward position helps on the freeways, I don't ever want for wind protection on.mine. the seating position may or may not be to your liking. The multi is an obviously more comfortable ride. But it strays away from the light/agile feeling you speak of. I love multi, but my hyper or monster most always get the nod for anything but long trips. A monster with hepco Becker bags would be hard to beat for all an around bike. IMO, the multis stray to far away from that basic feeling of what I started on for motorcycles, and what I stay with today. To each their own .
 

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Well, this is intended to help, not hurt the decision making process. I, too, come from the enduro world and currently run a KTM 300XCW TPI for the woods and trails but I do a lot of miles a year for both commuting as well as moto-touring and camping. I had a brand new 2017 FJR1300 for doing this and racked up 26k miles in 3 years without even trying. Over the winter I decided to rotate the stock and swapped out the FJR for a Multistrada. While the bikes are both in the same general category, the difference is night and day!!! The FJR is/was a very competent commuter (I do 100 miles per day) and an excellent long distance mount but in comparison it was heavy and took some muscle to bend it like Beckham in the twisties. The Multi is quite a bit lighter and more flickable even given it's approaching 500lbs. It does have the windscreen which I need for the miles I do plus the HP to haul when and what needed so I am a happy camper. The long and the short of it is ride a bunch of them til you find the one that fits your needs best and go with it!!!!
 

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I've toured my m821...it can be done...I did not enjoy the drive on any one of trips...lol

500 mile days to COTA...passed the exact same people on the highway over and over...wind never really was a bother...weather was unavoidable...not being able to move around was the real torture...a 30L tailbag would have been a welcome addition to the 20L as far as gear goes

I've camped with it...and this really comes down to your luggage...I had everything strapped to the tailbag...it held...but was a chore to unpack and reload...again a larger tailbag would have made a huge difference

...the posture or wind really isn't a bother...the most recent 500 mile camping trip was on clipons... did a track day and road 500 more miles home the same day...it's not that unpleasant to ride... however it's something I put up with...if I was touring to visit roads or riding events than it's really good...if your traveling, visiting, people than I would fly...lol

Touring is not it's strong suit but can be done..I'd recommend the 30L and 20L kreiga tailbags and limit highway travel as much as possible
 

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Here is a summary video of 4 of us going from NJ to the tip of Nova Scotia. 4 different bikes to show the packing styles. It's all in the first couple of minutes.

 
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