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Old 04-12-2014, 03:05 PM   #1
Gasolinejunkie OP
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Bitten by the Adventure tourer bug - what bike now?

Hi fellow adventure riders, I'm Ash from Melbourne, Australia and this is my story.
For the last few years I've been happy with having a 4WD for the tracks and my bike on the hardtop, I commute and tour with it too. The last one was an 06 Blackbird and when it came time to upgrade I got the Zx14r because I was content with a hyperbike, I didn't even think of another category.

The 14r is an awesome bike but it's left me wanting more. As quick as it is it's a one trick pony. I like it but I hate riding it in peak hour traffic to work and I'll never be able to see all of the country because it'll roll over and die if it sees gravel.

I was gonna say If I had a rewind button on life I would've bought a Triumph Explorer 1200 and then I thought I should go testride one instead of just dreaming about owning it so half way through writing this I took the Explorer for a half hour spin. Yes, it's a great bike but I don't want to own it. I prefer the power of my big Kawasaki and if I wanted to go touring on dirt I'll need something smaller.

So the big question here is what bike should I be looking at? I like the Suzuki V-stroms but they're massive and heavy and I've seen a few debates here for and against taking them off-road. If I was going to buy one bike to ride everyday and take off-road touring it'll be a DL1000 or a BMW 800GS but after testriding a few bikes yesterday I definitely want to keep my Zx14r and buy a little fun bag for the off-road touring.
What bikes should I be looking at? KTMs are expensive and few & far between. I hear the Aprilia 550s are a grenade of a motor and the DRs and KLRs are pretty thiristy for their size and have limited range with their little tanks and still have carburetors.

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasolinejunkie View Post
I took the Explorer for a half hour spin. Yes, it's a great bike but I don't want to own it. I prefer the power of my big Kawasaki and if I wanted to go touring on dirt I'll need something smaller.

So the big question here is what bike should I be looking at?

KTMs are expensive and few & far between.



Honest dual sport = dirt capable, and highway capable too.

Anything else would be a distant second place. They're either too heavy (the lightest 2 highway capable are DR 650 and KLR and are another 50kg), or too slow (250cc)
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #3
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I think this would be a great candidate!

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:31 PM   #4
Gasolinejunkie OP
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^ Yeah, I've just stumbled upon the Tenere, and the wife likes it too so might go look at it. It's a bit on the expensive side so might wait till winter when they get cheaper.
I wouldn't mind a KTM 640 Adventure either but there are none in the state. I'll test ride the Tenere and take it from there, I haven't ridden a single in years
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
JustKip
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I hope that either there's no mud in Ozz, or they make a high fender for the front
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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Might be worth keeping an eye on the Melbourne thread in the Australia section on here. There may be a meeting happening soon and there was a big range of bikes at the last one so could be a good chance to talk to some owners and see some bikes.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:40 PM   #7
findlj
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All these bikes are a compromise. i bought a Tiger 800 XC and am very pleased. I needed a bike that could take me to the trail/gravel over sometimes long hauls over pavement. Is it a great dirt bike, no. Is it a great touring bike, no. I wouldn't hesitate to take it from Missouri to Alaska though.

The smaller Tenere' is going to be lacking on long, fast pavement but better once in the dirt. It's not going to be a WR250 though. None of these 600+cc Adv touring bikes are truly good dirt bikes. They will cover pavement and dirt with some degree of competency and that is their strength.

My recommendation, decide what you primarily want to do and then pick a bike that you think will fit that and your budget fairly well. Don't really sweat the bike.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:30 AM   #8
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The smaller Tenere' is going to be lacking on long, fast pavement but better once in the dirt. It's not going to be a WR250 though. None of these 600+cc Adv touring bikes are truly good dirt bikes. They will cover pavement and dirt with some degree of competency and that is their strength.

My recommendation, decide what you primarily want to do and then pick a bike that you think will fit that and your budget fairly well. Don't really sweat the bike.
That's why I'm keeping both, I love the power of the ZX14r and after the chip it'll be a monster. So what I need from the next bike is something to commute to work, have a play on the weekend and do moderate to harder dirt tracks like the Simpson Desert.
After riding the Explorer 1200 I want something light and torquey down low, and I'm sure any 500+ motorcycle should be happy to sit at 110 all day. So in short I'm looking for a light dirt bike with a big fuel tank and hopefully some wind protection.
I need to read more about the Yamaha Tenere, they look good but are slightly on the expensive side for a second bike. I'll have to wait a few months if I want it.
Other option is the KTM 640LC Adventure. I've heard mixed opinions on their reliability, I don't know if they're tougher and more rugged than the newer Yamahas or if the fuel injected Tenere would beat the Dakar legend.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul74 View Post
Might be worth keeping an eye on the Melbourne thread in the Australia section on here. There may be a meeting happening soon and there was a big range of bikes at the last one so could be a good chance to talk to some owners and see some bikes.
That would be really interesting, Do you have any details of these meets or a link where I would find more info?
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:34 AM   #9
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...922924&page=35

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ight=melbourne
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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See if you can get a test ride on a DRZ400.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:35 AM   #11
tangerine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
I hope that either there's no mud in Ozz, or they make a high fender for the front
You easily can change the fender
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:16 AM   #12
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I think this would be a great candidate!

And what bike is that?
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:13 AM   #13
Gasolinejunkie OP
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^ Yamaha Tenere 660
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:36 AM   #14
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^ Yamaha Tenere 660
Thanks. And it's sadly not available in the U.S., of course.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #15
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See if you can get a test ride on a DRZ400.
+1
Great all-round, reliable bike. Very cheap too
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