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Old 03-11-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
BeerIsGood
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What Is The Advantage Of Large Displacement In The Dirt?

This is probably a noob question. And as far as off road riding goes, I guess I am a noob. I see a lot of riders on this forum wallowing around the dirt and mud with HUGE bikes (BMW 1200 GS, Yamaha Tenere, KTM 990) and I was just wondering:

1. What is the advantage of a bike this large in an off road situation?
2. Other than speed and power on tarmac, is there really any advantage?
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
julesmt
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There`s no advantage in dirt riding a big displacement bike. A smaller / lighter bike wil always be easier to ride / faster / more fun in the dirt. The only advantage of the big bikes is that you can travel a lot of distance fast.

Of all the big adventure bikes the only one that can be ridden agressive is the big KTM, but only with a very good rider on top of it.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
BeerIsGood
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The only advantage of the big bikes is that you can travel a lot of distance fast.
This has always confused me as I rarely see anyone riding faster than 70-75 and only on the Interstates where legal. I never see a 1200GS booking down the back roads at these speeds. To tell you the truth it seems that GS riders are the most law abiding and courteous riders on the road.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
2tallnwide
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Originally Posted by BeerIsGood View Post
This has always confused me as I rarely see anyone riding faster than 70-75 and only on the Interstates where legal. I never see a 1200GS booking down the back roads at these speeds. To tell you the truth it seems that GS riders are the most law abiding and courteous riders on the road.
Look at the vid in my signature line so you won't have to use "never" in that regard again...

We were out riding 2up in NC close to Beech Mountain, the two track we were on turned into a rutted single track decent. About a half mile into it we encountered two mountain bikers, one of them patching a flat. The looks on their faces was priceless...

I asked them if the trail went back to a two track, or at least ran into something more manageable. They said it would only get worse, so I turned around and headed back. I don't recommend that kind of riding for most folks on a GS, but it was fun to me.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Look at the vid in my signature line so you won't have to use "never" in that regard again...

We were out riding 2up in NC close to Beech Mountain, the two track we were on turned into a rutted single track decent. About a half mile into it we encountered two mountain bikers, one of them patching a flat. The looks on their faces was priceless...

I asked them if the trail went back to a two track, or at least ran into something more manageable. They said it would only get worse, so I turned around and headed back. I don't recommend that kind of riding for most folks on a GS, but it was fun to me.
Ok..... I mean sometimes. Haha. Thanks for the vid link!!
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Ok..... I mean sometimes. Haha. Thanks for the vid link!!
Got my wife to shoot that one day while we were out riding. I told her it was for later on when folks would try to call me a liar...
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:27 AM   #7
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Of all the big adventure bikes the only one that can be ridden agressive is the big KTM, but only with a very good rider on top of it.
No foolin'.... My Austrian Rock Thrower is too much bike for me but oh so fun! It spit me off HARD once, but I love it for it's capabilities. Just don't ride within 50 feet of one on loose surfaces.


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Old 04-01-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
DAKEZ
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So, have we all concluded that there is NO advantage of large displacement bikes in the dirt?

By the way. If anyone wants an extra 20 rear wheel horsepower out of their Tiger 800's let me know.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:21 PM   #9
Clockwatcher
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My 2 cents.........

I would find a bike that fits you, that you are comfortable riding , then figure out how to ride it on the terrain you like. I havent found anything that handles sand well.
I do know that to ride sand is kinda like waterskiing, ya gotta get on top of it.........my Transalp lifts out at about 55mph......works OK til you have to brake for the turn............What I learned .....stay outta the damn sand!!
I would say to enjoy your weestrom and worry about the rest later....
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #10
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.....works OK til you have to brake for the turn............
Don't brake, get on the gas and build a berm.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #11
PeterW
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So, have we all concluded that there is NO advantage of large displacement bikes in the dirt?

By the way. If anyone wants an extra 20 rear wheel horsepower out of their Tiger 800's let me know.
There is one. Steep hills, not 'insane' just steep. With the pig I can just pick a line and go, with the smaller dirt bikes I used to have to have a run up - and of course if something went wrong half-way up the only option was turn around and try again.

Mind you, more than made up for by how f'ing terrifying they are going back down - but it is one advantage.

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Old 04-10-2012, 11:25 AM   #12
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I don't know if there is any advantage, and there are a lot of disadvantages of a big powerful bike, like when you fall, but they can be a lot of fun in the smooth parts.
Kind of seductive, my dr650 was not a real heavy bike, but with mods had plenty of power all the time, and the suspension to let you use it most times.
That lets you get in over your head real quick, and when it goes bad, it can go very bad.
Smaller lighter bikes will let you get away with it, or not have the power to hit a bad speed in the space allowed, or have a lower top speed.
Around me, its mostly tight rough sandy stuff, and something like a dr650 will let you get up to speed quickly, and not always do real well when those giant sandy whoops show up around that next turn.

You might fall on anything, but falling on a heavy tall bike can be a lot worse then a lower lighter one.

Gobs or power and torque at any rpm sure can be a lot of fun though...
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:31 AM   #13
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I never bought my GSA wanting to ride every sandpit I could find. Since buying it over a year ago, I've also happened to prove I hate soft sand in the interim, mainly by dropping it every time I hit a patch of soft sand. I've decided I definitely don't like soft sand, and there are plenty of other roads/tracks to go and enjoy.

No, I don't think the big bikes have any advantage whatsoever, large capacity brings more weight, usually more bulk, more torque, more power, all usually making matters worse when your stubborn head has thought the track was a brilliant idea. That said, it's also very satisfying doing tracks that others are doing on smaller bikes, and they're looking back at you, amazed that they were struggling on a smaller bike, but here you are punting something twice the size over the same terrain.

I only have one bike, and use it for 1000km days, as well as exploring forests and gravel roads. To me, there's only one bike that has such do-all ability.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #14
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Mondo Enduro did forty thousand miles around the world, on all terrain surfaces and in all weather conditions, on mostly stock DR350's...

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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The only advantage I can think of is that they are heavy, and if you somehow end up underneath it, you'll have died doing what you love...
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