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Old 01-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #46
DepthFinder
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Originally Posted by ddavidv View Post
I used to ride a POS '89 KLR650. I replaced it with a 2004 Wee Strom a few months ago. My insurance actually went down.
Opposite for me. My 91 dr650 with high liability and uninsured motorist coverage was at 99/yr. The 04 Vee went up to 135/yr.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:12 PM   #47
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Dual-sports can make more escape routes available . . . to avoid dangerous situations.

Still, not always an option when financial limits preclude owning other additional mounts.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:32 PM   #48
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Personally, I am probably safer on my KLR than I would be on a crotch rocket, just because I'm not tempted to break the century mark on the speedometer. Were I a sportbike owner, I suspect the bike wouldn't see much time below that until a nice judge were to determine I don't need my license for a while. Now granted the KLR sure doesn't have the braking, acceleration, or razor sharp handling of the crotch rocket obviously, so in that regard it may be less safe, but that depends on the rider. I'm less likely to push it on the road than I might be with a sport bike, or even a sportier bike within the DS category.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:03 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Racersteve View Post
Avoiding an emergency situation will keep you alive, keeping your bike away from problems is best.
Foolish to think it was possible to do so all the time. Better learn braking. Since it's the most likely way to solve upcoming problems, that's the way to go.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:37 PM   #50
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OK, to reframe the situation: for a rider of equal skills, knowledge and abilities would a dual sport be safer in a particular riding environment (e.g. beat up urban streets) compared with another rider of equal skills, knowledge and abilities on another type of bike (e.g. cruiser/sport bike)? In such a comparison, if a cruiser or sport bike were ridden at the same speed over the same surfaces - the beat up urban streets or broken pavement of a windy rural secondary back roads - I'd say a dual sport is potentially safer. Maybe the cruiser can ride the same speed over the same surface as a dual sport that day, or maybe always, but their workload in doing so is going to be higher, and higher workload usually leads to errors.
Having sold bikes and ridden for over 40 years I can tell you the bike type has less effect than the rider skill. I fell off a few times when younger, didn't matter what bike. After about 30 years old, I've not had any problem with any bikes I've ridden, no big safety difference, mostly because I know how I have to ride. Thus the safety is equal on all of them based on my riding skills... or equally unsafe with my 22 year old bravado back in 1975.

Now if you want to know which bike is going to do what better just look at the design. Nothing to do with safety, rather the design to undertake a task.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:26 PM   #51
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To me a dualsport is better at avoidance , and escape than a sport bike at moderate (in town) speeds. I watched a friend riding in front of me avoid a car backing out. He drove over a large curb and across a lawn. I doubt he could have made the same move on his KZ1000. I feel way more agile in town on a dual sport.

As far as scooting along at 50 mph, I guess its a draw.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:49 PM   #52
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Could you link such a test? I know exactly one test that compares dual sport (KTM Duke 690 as a very street oriented version of dual sports and BMW R1200GS as a heavy version of dual sports) bikes to sports bikes and nakeds. And with "compare" I don't mean bullshitting about "oh how light it is... I'm going circles around xy", I mean real empirical data. The German magazine "MOTORRAD" did two tests, a slalom parcours with really NO place for accelerating, a thing that just doesn't exist on real roads, and an obstacle-avoidance maneuvre like the elk test.
Winner in the slalom were - of course - a sports bike and - surprisingly enough - the Triumph Street Triple, third the Duke (street tires), fourth another sports bike and then loooong way after the other bikes. And know what? All of them didn't do well because of too soft suspension, even the Duke was said to could have done better with harder suspension!
In the avoidance test the GS was on par with the sports bikes and the Triumph, but the duke fell behind and again the others followed a looong way after. Again the reason was too soft suspension, only the GS befitted from its telelever system.

After all I'd bet on it.
Read all the parking lot testing you want, but when it hits the streets it seems many magazines DO find the dual sports and super;motos to come out quite well on the tight winding back roads.

I read the tests on the DRz400 in Motorcyclist back when it came out and have read numerous others where the comments about flickability and performance on tight back roads will almost always crop up - even when the bikes are only 250s. But actually I've ridden with sportbikes experiencing the handling of which I speak riding with riders with similar skills riding their sportbikes Comments are usually "I don't understand how you can corner so fast on a dirt bike!". I've also watched some KTM supermotos (not the street Duke which is actually a street single more than even a dual sport now) put it to some sportbikes on Mid Ohio Sportscar course. I will tell you most anyone who's been on a road like Deal's Gap can tell you that a dual sport or supermoto can do the job better than a sportbike when they hit the S turns. Then there were my friends who did Beach's Alps tour that watched a rider on a dual sport Husky dusting GSXRs and the lot in the Alps on the switch backs. The leader of the tour, Beach, told them that was pretty much the way it was. The dual sports could run under or around the sportbikes quite easily carrying far more corner speed and ground clearance..

Of course that won't mean squat to you, you won't want to believe it anyway. But if it helps, here's a bit of a comment from Motorcyclist:

Not to worry: A good dirtbike always makes a great streetbike. Especially when it weighs under 300 pounds, has wide, soft, sticky tires, great brakes and the suspension travel, quality and adjustability to make 'em all work together.

The Malibu canyons are tight, dirty and bumpy-in other words, perfect for the DR-Z. When I tested the KTM 950 Supermoto, I thought I'd ridden the ultimate canyon bike. And I just might have. But the DR-Z can certainly hold its own here; buddy Peter Goodwin had his own new 950 SM along for many of those canyon miles, and its power advantage was much less help than either of us would have predicted. The DR-Z's nutty flickability, uncanny bump absorption and amazing grip make it the king of cornering speed. And it's always more fun to go fast on a slow bike than vice versa.

Then there was Cycle World's 1993 test of the Kawasaki KLX650C, the bike I have, here's a quote pertaining to my claims:

The KLX650’s handling is on the slow side in tight turns due to its kicked-out, 28.5-degree racke, 4.8-inch trail and 59.3-inch wheelbase. Still, a wide motocross-style handlebar provides the leverage needed to get the bike turned, cornering clearance is almost unlimited, and the Dunlop semi-knobbed tires deliver good grip and excellent feedback. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; a good dual-purpose Thumper on a twisty piece of backroad is about the most fun you can have on two wheels. The KLX does nothing to alter our opinion.

From the comments in that article:

The engine is smooth and powerful, the 43mm KYB fork easily soaks up potholes and bumps, and this thing will flat burn up your favorite set of twisties, and do so without the hanging-off histrionics that a repli-racer requires. – Matthew Miles, Associate Editor

I had to type that one up, since it isn't on line except in the Yahoo KLX650 Group files from a scanner. Similar comments have been made in many tests of dual sport and supermoto tests, some referring to running with sportbikes in those conditions where motor means little and flickability is king.

There... you have it. You'll just have to get a hard copy to read the Cycle World article and pay more attention when reading about dual sports I guess. That or take parking lot tests as definitive.
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markk53 screwed with this post 01-28-2013 at 05:07 PM
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:45 PM   #53
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I think the first post covered it all. I had a Ninja 1000R before my XR650L. The Ninja was rock solid handling at any speed with horsepower forever, the XR is like a hamster wheel in a bowl of Jello on a bed of marbles.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:20 AM   #54
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Of course that won't mean squat to you
Of course, because you don't give any usable information. Just babbling about oh how cool and oh how fast it FEELS (of course it always feels fast on a bike designed to be slow) and oh how heroic one overtook a sports bike rider who didn't know he was raced (or just was a worse rider).
I asked you for real numbers that proof your claims, you repeated the same lame phrases we all already know.

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And it's always more fun to go fast on a slow bike than vice versa.
Another common bla. You might feel so for some strange reason, but to me it's always more fun to ride a fast, confidence inspiring bike, knowing it's me who defines the limits, because the bike does everything I dare trying. Much more freedom, much more fun.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:06 PM   #55
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Some useful comments, some not so much. I happen to like having throttle availability. Can throttle cause problems, of course, and speed in the wrong place can make you very "unsafe". I really like how my KLR rides, it's comfortable, has tires that are better for uneven pavement, has ground clearance and suspension that will absorb bumps, holes, etc, much better than my fast bikes. However, I prefer to stay away from cars. No one tailgates me, lane changers do not cut me off. Road rage is left behind me. There is no substitute for proper use of brakes (yes, I know how to use them), and steering without over correction. I agree with learning to ride in the dirt, it gives you an edge on the street.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:47 PM   #56
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If I find myself coming in to a blind corner a bit too hot on my XRL (rather than a streetbike) I've got three choices, lean her down over and carve the turn scraping pegs, stand up and brake hard and ride in and out of the ditch, or gas it and try to clear that ditch! Ive seen plenty of youtubes of sport bikers low/high siding when panic braking trying not to go off the pavement.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
Of course, because you don't give any usable information. Just babbling about oh how cool and oh how fast it FEELS (of course it always feels fast on a bike designed to be slow) and oh how heroic one overtook a sports bike rider who didn't know he was raced (or just was a worse rider).
I asked you for real numbers that proof your claims, you repeated the same lame phrases we all already know.



Another common bla. You might feel so for some strange reason, but to me it's always more fun to ride a fast, confidence inspiring bike, knowing it's me who defines the limits, because the bike does everything I dare trying. Much more freedom, much more fun.

Show me the "real numbers" from that German parking lot test. Some G forces and all. Much like the magazine articles I gave you, it was purely what the riders did. Nothing else. Hell, if they could have maneuvered faster on a scooter it would have been proclaimed the greatest. I simply gave you some input that you asked for from some riders with a hell of a lot of experience on everything that came in the states.

But as I said, you won't care. And you didn't. Pretty simple.

By the way, it is a hell of a lot more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. Try riding a ZX10 on a go kart track, then tell me about how much more fun it is than a supermoto. I'll take the tight winding roads we have in the Appalachians with a dual sport or small bore, being able to peg the throttle a lot, row the shifter and work the brakes nearly with abandon over tiptoeing over the same roads in one or two gears on a high horsepower supersport. Oddly enough a number of people I know who own both types of bikes find that true too. After a winding stretch of Kentucky roads, me on my 550 Zephyr and my friend on his ZX14, his comment was, "I wish we'd brought the dual sports." Says it all.

But again, you don't care, it's all about a magazine, not experience.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:14 AM   #58
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Without a doubt, for me anyway, DS bike is the winner. I can't think of any sticky situation, where i'd rather be on a sport bike or a cruiser, than on my 990adv, no contest.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:24 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Show me the real numbers
No problem: http://www.motorradonline.de/bmw-spe...318659?seite=6
More than you have to show.

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By the way, it is a hell of a lot more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.
Surely not to me. But as I said, if it's that way to you for some strange reason, that's fine, just don't pretend it was a general truth. It isn't.

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Try riding a ZX10 on a go kart track, then tell me about how much more fun it is than a supermoto.
For every job the right tool, if I have to explain that to you, you'll never understand.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #60
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The answer will depend on the rider and the situation, of course.

If we (as the original question did) assume that the rider is equal, and just look at what effect the bike's capabilities will have on it, I believe that the higher those capabilities, the safer you will be, provided (and this is a BIG "provided") that you (a) have the skills to use that capacity, and (b) have the willpower not to abuse that capacity to be an idiot.

For street riding, I like the handling, nimbleness, and brakes of a top sportbike. I prefer the lowend response of a big V-twin. I like safety systems like ABS. If the pavement is poor, having some roughroad/offroad capacity will be useful to keep it from getting upset as much by bad conditions.

So for an experienced and highly capable rider, the safest bike I could think of would be the current Ducati MultiStrada. If you live in an area where the road quality is generally good, I think the BMW S1000RR would also be a top choice.

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