Originally Posted by WHYNOWTHEN
Oh internet sages, I need some advice from people with diverse motorcycle experience.
I currently own, and love, a 990 Adventure which I occasionally ride off the beaten path. During a recent trip to Baja, I was once again reminded how far away a gas station can be from a 990. Just a little over 75 miles. I started thinking about changing to a bike that allows me to get more lost without loading up on gas like a super-tanker.
What kind of MPG are you guys getting on all your fancy/not-so-fancy bikes?
I need something that can sometimes carry a passenger, do 80ish on the freeway, make it through long sand washes and up sections of lumpy singletrack, be capable of carrying a weeks worth of camping gear, have a range of about 300 miles, and make me smile too.
I appreciate your recommendations.
It depends on your size. 2 large people aren't going to fit comfortably on anything less spacious than a KLR. If you're our size (5'8"/200lb/30"inseam and 5'4"/petite/30"inseam), you could potentially do it on a DR650SE.
Add an Acerbis 5.3 or an IMS 4.9 tank, expand it a little to 6gal, add some performance mods to engine and suspension, and throw some sand-capable tires on it. Figure on roughly 50MPG if you get the jetting right, so you'd want about 6gal of capacity to hit your target of a 300-mile range. A Safari 7.9 will get you about 100 miles further and only weigh about 12lb more, unless you expand it to get even further. Fill the tank only part way when extra fuel isn't needed. You could also carry collapsible fuel bladders to dump in ASAP, when you need extra range.
The DR is about as simple as you can get without being an air-cooled dirtbike. The air/oil-cooling works great, as does the gear-driven counter-balancer, the valves can easily be adjusted while on the road without needing to source shims, the MCCT works fine once you replace the stock gasket with RTV, and the bike also has a sturdy subframe for luggage. Do the common fixes and make the popular performance upgrades and it's a reliable do-it-all bike with good parts support. It's even easy enough to push-start by yourself on wet pavement that I've done it, and the oil-cooler can be bypassed if you damage something. It's design lends itself well to field-fixes in BFE.