Hi Jake - I was a college student once, so I'd like to help. My college project was starting and operating a motorcycle shop. While attending San Jose State, I was a part time salesman with Grand Prix Cycles in Santa Clara, and a D36 and CMC motocrosser. My racing ended in a stadium in 1981 when I hurt myself enough for a years worth of rehab. I sold everything off.
At age 50 I bought myself a Ducati, but discovered adventure riding a few years later. My first Adventure bike was a KTM 950A. Just sitting on it in the showroom was like old home week.
It was a lot more like my YZ's than any BMW. I bought it on the spot and rode it all over the continent for 7 years. Every trip involved at least some dirt roads or forest roads. These are things I can still do at my age so I needed a bike to help me.
In 2010 I decided to ride the Continental Divide Ride solo. The KTM was too big and heavy for that. I needed a bike I could pick up out of the mud by myself. So I bought a Yamaha WR250R, equipped it and shipped it to Salt Lake to tackle the CDR. It was an awesome 2 weeks of some 2500 miles of dirt, sand and mud. The bike was so good, I sold the KTM and bought a bike similar to my Yamaha in most dimensions except that it had 2.5X the power; a 2012 KTM 690R. I equipped it exactly like the Yamaha. That is; mods to enhance travel, range and comfort.
The KTM 690 is a good product to model from for your project. It weighs about 300 lbs so fairly easy to pick up solo. It has a great motor and a 6 speed gearbox. Plus very sophisticated suspension. However it only has about 170 miles fuel range (I like 220 miles) and the tank is the rear subframe, which limits the bike's versatility.
The Yamaha is a good product to model from too. It has a nice aluminum twin spar chassis combined with a steel rear subframe. That means it is versatile for equipping luggage and hauling stuff. The bike is a little too short with a 56 inch wheelbase and of course the power is not ideal, but enough. It also weighs about 300 lbs. Both are smooth on the highway and excellent plonking along in the rough stuff.
My bikes have to be able to superslab for days on end, yet roll rock gardens and sand washes too. Those elements are a critical part of my trips. In short, my answers to all your questions center on the trips I envision. That is; can I get it done with this or not? In my case, real dirt bikes are out and so are the big heavy multi-cylinder adventure travel bikes.
My Yamaha 50 miles from tar northeast of Lake Powell in Southern Utah:
The KTM here in town and somewhere in Vermont:
Good luck and study hard. It's worth it.
Originally Posted by Designer Jake
My name is Jake. To be honest, I am a college student studying Product Design and a complete beginner to Motorcycles (only rode once on my Uncles KTM 450 MX, but I do ride quads). I am currently designing a mid to heavy weight Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle (not a mx conversion dual sport, but more like a KTM 690 or BMW G 650GS) for a Project and I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to help me out with a few questions I have!
Please start off by introducing yourself and the bike you ride, skill level or rider experience, how often you ride, what type of riding you do, and hobbies... etc.
Do you ride your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle more On or Off the road?
What features about the bike do you most admire or lead you to purchasing the motorcycle?
What do you generally look for in a motorcycle when it comes time to purchasing one?
What type of emotions or experiences are evoked when riding your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle?
Again, I would really appreciate your help!