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Old 08-11-2014, 05:57 AM   #1
myowngod OP
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Opinions Wanted -- Next ADV Bike

I realize the "which bike do I buy" question is really 100% up to my personal tastes/desires, but I wanted to poll seasoned adv riders with my situation and get some opinions to possibly help my thought process.

Backstory (skip if you don't care):
Last year I bought a Tiger 800 (roadie) which I liked a lot but it never really ticked the "grin factor" box... and after a track day with her (which was a lot of fun for the record) I realized how much I missed track days and ended up trading it for a 675R.

I don't regret the trade, but I do find myself missing the do-it-all side of the tiger.

Question/Situation:
At the moment I can easily justify buying another bike... but not two more... so I'm debating the following options... want something that can do mild trails (nothing crazy).. ideally touring capable.. and two up possible (not first priority).

Tiger 800 XC (I found I regretting buying the roadie after my first few trips offroad.. not to mention the XC looks better to me) -- Already had it.. I liked it.. but I didn't LOVE it.. but it does do most things well.

WR250R (yes I know this is beasts but I am considering a thumper) -- Much better offroad but not a great touring bike and not two-up friendly... can truck it to trails but that's not ideal.. I like riding to and from..

Triumph Scrambler -- Also not super touring friendly nor two up friendly... has character and is OK off road...

KTM 1190R -- Checks most of my boxes but is also $$$$ - not sure I'd want to thrash a new $16k bike.

KLR650 -- I like most things about this bike but the character is lacking and I've heard two up is not fun.

Open to things I haven't considered... I thought about putting TKC's on an FZ07 or 09.. or do I wait and see if they make a 700cc or 800cc tenere...

Wish I could buy them all!! Thoughts and input appreciated!!!
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:56 AM   #2
Big Jon
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My suggestions would be to:

1. Figure out what types of riding you really want to do.

2. Figure out if you can only afford 1 bike or 2 bikes.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:09 AM   #3
ram1000
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Tiger 800 XC
None of the bigger "dualsport" bikes do anything real well. They are like an SUV for offroad traveling. Who power slides a bike that weighs 500+ lbs. (I know it can be done but even those that do it ride a KTM 500 when it comes to serious offroading) So why worry about which one to get in terms of off road prowess if first gear is all you'll ever use?

WR250R
If you know how to ride, any of the 650 and smaller dualsports can be a very serious offroader and can be farkled into any direction desired. If your not into changing things up I don't see how you can be satisfied with just another bike.

Triumph Scrambler
Like I said changing shocks, and internals on the forks will get you there, but you have to be willing... I pondered long at changing over a Triumph scrambler into a serious offroader, but ended up with an XC800 myself.

KTM 1190R
Nothing but another 500+ lb SUV (I had a 950 ADV and it was no better than my Vstrom 1000 or my current XC800 offroad since they all weigh too much to do serious riding other than an occasional power slide. This bike is no better off road than any of the other big ADV bikes considering the weight. In my opinion the better you can ride (I.E. like a good mx rider, the less your gonna be satisfied with these big bikes offroad.

KLR650
Probably the closest to a real all around dualsport ADV bike, but again if your not willing to put a big bore kit, aftermarket rear shock, new fork springs and Race Tech dampeners or new forks, etc, etc... I don't think it can be a satisfying all around bike.

I thought about putting TKC's on an FZ07 or 09.. or do I wait and see if they make a 700cc or 800cc tenere...
My conclusion is to keep the Triumph 675 (I've always wanted one myself) and buy one or even two lesser bikes (WR250R) to fit into the other categories. You simply can't get a twin or triple to do what a single does so well off road, but you can get a single to get you around at 70 mph on the freeway, and if you throw enough money at suspension and engine it will be as good as more than most riders are capable of riding.

I also own a WR450F and really love its offroading factor after 50 or so other motorcycles...
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:22 AM   #4
arrcrussell
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Come on man - loaded questions! WR250 vs KTM 1190!?!?! Dude - you gotta a long way to go to make up your mind! Only you can figure this out. Of the 3 criteria you mention - mild trails, touring, 2 up - order the preference and weight each. You also named a few bikes - go read about them. Good luck!!!
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:42 AM   #5
myowngod OP
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I guess (and I knew this going in) the truth is one bike will simply not satisfy all my wants for a motorcycle...

Perhaps I buy a WR250R and save up for a touring or sport touring bike for 2 up and road trips (or a big ADV)... or in reverse order... hmmm... too many bikes not enough money...

My reason for posting... and I know in the end it's 100% my decision/choice.. was to probe if there was something I had not considered.. or any flaws in my current assessment...

My riding priorities (ideally): 50% general street, 20% off-road, 10% touring, 10% two up, and 10% misc.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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Holy Toledo!!! Hope you can keep this topic from spinning out of control!

Anyway.......I think it was Jimmy Lewis himself that wrote an article for Cycle World that was titled "the one bike myth/single bike solution".....or something like that. Anyway, to sum it up.....there's no solution. As a friend I've given the advice go big or go light......that's basically what your dealing with. There's also another article in a recent Motor-Cyclist that the editor summed up all this ADV nonsense by saying.......if it's over 300lbs it's not a dirt bike or Adventure bike.....and; if you stepped off your bike and just let it fall over and something breaks and it costs $$$ to replace.....it's not a dirt bike/adventure bike.

Setting all that aside, figure out if your doing this for yourself or your friends because honestly you can go put knobbies on a used V-Strom and call it good (I went to the last Touratech Rally and our ride leader was exactly on that and he was a badass). No, that's not my choice but I'm saying, it will tour two up, go off-road, super reliable and is cheap. Your friends probably won't like it and the BMW boys won't play with you but if your trying to find something to fill a hole it's a great bike. For me, if I were in your shoes I'd wait two months and see what Yamaha and Honda have up their sleeves as the 700 Tenere and Africa Twin will be all the talk and ego kicking this winter.

How about this for a helpful chart.....


You can thank me later.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:50 AM   #7
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Here's my opinion on the matter. I have found that regardless of which bike that I own at the moment, I want a different bike that is on the other end of the spectrum. If I have a Thumper, I want a Sport-Touring bike, and vice versa. To me that is why something along the lines of the Tiger 800XC fits perfectly in some riders lives. It blends the two wants into something in between. With that being said, I own a Scrambler now but would love to have a WR250R and a FZ1 in the garage.

In the past I've always just owned one bike at a time but I'm starting to realize the error in that type of thinking. I can't say that it's not a money thing that's preventing me from owning two bikes at a time, because it is. It's not that I can't afford it, I personally throw more toward savings, retirement, and college funds than I do toys. I'm not a rich man by any means so I have to make choices based on what I bring in and what goes out. It sucks trying to be responsible.

With the broad spectrum of bikes you have listed, I think you and I think alike which is why I am replying to your thread. Personally, if I sit down and said to myself that I have $16k to spend on a bike, would I buy a KTM 1190 or something similar? My answer would be no. I could easily buy two bikes for the same or less money that serve completely opposite purposes and would be happier than I would be with one bike. I'm in no way trying to take away from any bike or brand, but I would rather own two versus one. That's my opinion, coming from a guy that has owned close to 40 bikes in my life (I'm 36).
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
browneye
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Plus 1 on RAM1000 and PCFLY.

Maybe there's something on the chart that you hadn't thought of.

I almost bought a Tiger 800 rodie...thank god I chose the XC. It's been a great bike. I bought it a year after I got the Husqvarna TE630. Both bikes are arguably the best in their class.

Instead of extoling the virtues of each, since I've ridden both a LOT of miles, here are the cons:

Tiger XC - this is NOT a dirtbike. I really don't care what the boys do in their spare time off road with it, and no matter what, it's still a roadbike that's been engineered to ride off the pavement. It's heavy, the airfilter is hard to service, the forks bottom if you ride it hard, it's expensive and stuff breaks if you drop it. The motor is a darling on road but geared high and a handful off. Did I mention it's heavy?

The Husky is a big dirtbike but it's still heavy. It works really well on fast dirt and is well matched with the 950/990 crowd as well as the DR/XR-L crowd. It is a poor match for the KTM exc crowd. It is also a poor match for the GS or road touring crowd. It's not what I would choose for a multi-day multi-thousand mile tour. Dirt tour yes, but a lot of road just eats the knobbies and it's not that comfortable for multi-hundred mile days. A couple of hundred and I'm done. You can pile on camp gear and ride all manner of dirt roads, but try to ride it like a singletrack bike and you soon tire and drop it. Or run it off a cliff. LOL.

I love 'em both but neither could replace the other well. The Tiger works great as an adventure bike that tours and does 2-up great, it's easy to ride for lots of miles and performance is outstanding. The Husky works great as a dualsport, able to tackle tough two-track with ease.

I'm keeping them both.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
danketchpel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myowngod View Post
I realize the "which bike do I buy" question is really 100% up to my personal tastes/desires, but I wanted to poll seasoned adv riders with my situation and get some opinions to possibly help my thought process.

Backstory (skip if you don't care):
Last year I bought a Tiger 800 (roadie) which I liked a lot but it never really ticked the "grin factor" box... and after a track day with her (which was a lot of fun for the record) I realized how much I missed track days and ended up trading it for a 675R.

I don't regret the trade, but I do find myself missing the do-it-all side of the tiger.

Question/Situation:
At the moment I can easily justify buying another bike... but not two more... so I'm debating the following options... want something that can do mild trails (nothing crazy).. ideally touring capable.. and two up possible (not first priority).

Tiger 800 XC (I found I regretting buying the roadie after my first few trips offroad.. not to mention the XC looks better to me) -- Already had it.. I liked it.. but I didn't LOVE it.. but it does do most things well.

WR250R (yes I know this is beasts but I am considering a thumper) -- Much better offroad but not a great touring bike and not two-up friendly... can truck it to trails but that's not ideal.. I like riding to and from..

Triumph Scrambler -- Also not super touring friendly nor two up friendly... has character and is OK off road...

KTM 1190R -- Checks most of my boxes but is also $$$$ - not sure I'd want to thrash a new $16k bike.

KLR650 -- I like most things about this bike but the character is lacking and I've heard two up is not fun.

Open to things I haven't considered... I thought about putting TKC's on an FZ07 or 09.. or do I wait and see if they make a 700cc or 800cc tenere...

Wish I could buy them all!! Thoughts and input appreciated!!!
... want something that can do mild trails (nothing crazy).. ideally touring capable.. and two up possible (not first priority).

Honestly you were on the right track before with the Tiger 800. I'd suggest going XC this time.

Your comments & observations on the bikes you mentioned are accurate.

I'd add;

KLR, you can do two up but it's pretty cramped for 2 people and you WILL need to upgrade the rear spring at least. It has character, but you may not like it, and it's certainly lacking in power. Yes, many people tour on one but I wouldn't if I had a choice.

You might add the DR650 which has a little more power, is a little better in the dirt, but a little worse for 2 up than the KLR. There are a few more thumpers to consider but it will depend on your need to ride slab in between the dirt.

As was so effectively pointed out by that very nice chart, there is a large gap in the current offering of mid-sized dirt worthy ADV bikes in which many people have a strong interest, myself included.

To give you a clue, I very much want to replace my KLR with something from the "dirt modern" concept, 2-3 cylinders with 6 gears, and close to 400 lbs as feasible.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pcfly View Post

How about this for a helpful chart.....


You can thank me later.
Honestly, that's a pretty good way to sum up the current market offerings, well done.

Except you didn't add Yamaha's mini Tenere with 700cc & 70 hp with less weight below and to the left of the Africa Twin excitement (meaning more dirt worthy). Just about smack on top of your perceived gap lettering.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:31 PM   #11
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A lot of good points and comments and I'm very glad I posted this now. I have an upcoming surgery to repair my torn ACL so I'll sit tight until post recovery and maybe by then that midsized gap will have some new entries.. if not I think a WR and maybe a VFR would be ideal... Thanks guys for the input!
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myowngod View Post
A lot of good points and comments and I'm very glad I posted this now. I have an upcoming surgery to repair my torn ACL so I'll sit tight until post recovery and maybe by then that midsized gap will have some new entries.. if not I think a WR and maybe a VFR would be ideal... Thanks guys for the input!
As an owner of a WR, a VFR could NOT be more different...
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtysouth View Post
Here's my opinion on the matter. I have found that regardless of which bike that I own at the moment, I want a different bike that is on the other end of the spectrum. If I have a Thumper, I want a Sport-Touring bike, and vice versa. To me that is why something along the lines of the Tiger 800XC fits perfectly in some riders lives. It blends the two wants into something in between. With that being said, I own a Scrambler now but would love to have a WR250R and a FZ1 in the garage.

In the past I've always just owned one bike at a time but I'm starting to realize the error in that type of thinking. I can't say that it's not a money thing that's preventing me from owning two bikes at a time, because it is. It's not that I can't afford it, I personally throw more toward savings, retirement, and college funds than I do toys. I'm not a rich man by any means so I have to make choices based on what I bring in and what goes out. It sucks trying to be responsible.

With the broad spectrum of bikes you have listed, I think you and I think alike which is why I am replying to your thread. Personally, if I sit down and said to myself that I have $16k to spend on a bike, would I buy a KTM 1190 or something similar? My answer would be no. I could easily buy two bikes for the same or less money that serve completely opposite purposes and would be happier than I would be with one bike. I'm in no way trying to take away from any bike or brand, but I would rather own two versus one. That's my opinion, coming from a guy that has owned close to 40 bikes in my life (I'm 36).
Yep . . . i agree on two for one approach:
I ride mountain bikes off road . . . my two for one are Wee Adventure & Street Fighter. I may consider the new V2 . . . as a third bike. Life is short . . . and I am old . . .

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Old 08-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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I think this really comes down to what you think it means to be able to "do a trail" on a bike. For example, I have a DR650, which is an excellent commuter machine and light dual sport work, but is ill suited for touring and two-up duties. My buddy has a Tiger 800XC, which works well for him for touring and two-up trips across state lines. Now, my bike is definitely more comfortable offroad, and we've gone out to the mesa several times to ride in the Puerco together. What I've found is that there's nowhere I'm going on my DR650 that he can't go on his 800XC (he previously had a gen 2 KLR and it was the same story). It's just that he has to be a tad more careful about picking a line and knowing the limits of his machine than if he had a smaller, lighter, more dirt oriented machine.

It isn't that you're completely giving up your single track days to be able to tour two-up with your lady friend of choice. It's that you're compromising by acknowledging that you need to slow down a bit (or a lot) when you're on a bigger bike. For some of the guys I ride with that grew up on MX bikes and high speed runs down forest trails, that's a compromise they aren't willing to make, so they just get the multiple bikes for different uses and deal with it. If you're not from that background and can live with slowing yourself down if it means you can ride across the country, then go get yourself an 800XC or a VStrom 650 and ride on.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo1piv014 View Post
I think this really comes down to what you think it means to be able to "do a trail" on a bike. For example, I have a DR650, which is an excellent commuter machine and light dual sport work, but is ill suited for touring and two-up duties. My buddy has a Tiger 800XC, which works well for him for touring and two-up trips across state lines. Now, my bike is definitely more comfortable offroad, and we've gone out to the mesa several times to ride in the Puerco together. What I've found is that there's nowhere I'm going on my DR650 that he can't go on his 800XC (he previously had a gen 2 KLR and it was the same story). It's just that he has to be a tad more careful about picking a line and knowing the limits of his machine than if he had a smaller, lighter, more dirt oriented machine.

It isn't that you're completely giving up your single track days to be able to tour two-up with your lady friend of choice. It's that you're compromising by acknowledging that you need to slow down a bit (or a lot) when you're on a bigger bike. For some of the guys I ride with that grew up on MX bikes and high speed runs down forest trails, that's a compromise they aren't willing to make, so they just get the multiple bikes for different uses and deal with it. If you're not from that background and can live with slowing yourself down if it means you can ride across the country, then go get yourself an 800XC or a VStrom 650 and ride on.

^^This +1000
VERY well said.
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