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Old 11-14-2012, 09:57 PM   #31
misteroldschool
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Location: Ventura, California / Bucharest, Romania
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haters gonna hate. i cant wait to get me one of these and slap some dirt tires on it for the last year or so iv been contemplating what bike to get, all the normal adventure tourers get way to horrible gas mileage and are to heavy for a twig like me to pick up when they go down. this thing is an answer to my prayers :) the only things that would make this bike better would be a shaft drive and air/oil cooling but screw it those can be overlooked lol
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #32
bluesman
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I am not hating it, just trying to grasp logic behind this...
Here is what I see. Someone say "oh, it's X middleweight beast, I will wait and get one and slap dirt tyres on to use for that".
But.
Why this customer not riding CB500F with "dirt tyres slapped on" now? Or CB600F? Or Versys, NC, GS (suzuki), XJ (Yamaha) etc. etc. etc. Why not since wait for CB500X? Where such customers been looking - there are tens of models like that, regular road bike that you can slap dirt tyres on with same or very close specs? What makes people think, that Honda was targeting that niche , while they themselves position it as urban vehicles (and do good job of aiming and hitting target with new models)?
I am just curious, no offense. Or is it because of infamous lack of middleweight UJMs models released for US?
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:29 AM   #33
misteroldschool
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lack of models in the US, its very hard to find anything under 600 (aside from a ninja 250) here, unless its a pure dirt bike. if i lived in europe i wouldent even give this bike a second glance, there are alot better bikes out in europe that i would get over this any day (such as the africa twin or the kle500)
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:31 AM   #34
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Thank you! This explains a lot...I never realized it is that bad with middleweights in US
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #35
Evenflo76
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So what would the cost be of adding a set of aftermarket forks and a 19 or 21" tire up front?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:12 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Evenflo76 View Post
So what would the cost be of adding a set of aftermarket forks and a 19 or 21" tire up front?
You'll also need to raise the arse end or handling will be in the flusher.

Regards, Paul
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #37
Gryphon12
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Are the Honda Africa Twin or Kawasaki KLE500 still available new in Europe? I understand both were good bikes, and should still be available used. Are they all beat up or are some available in reasonable condition?
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:00 AM   #38
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PLENTY of those still available 2nd hand in rather good condition. As well as Transalps and older Teneres. DR Bigs becoming more difficult to find in good state, but still available. Old Superteneres same.
KLE500s chip as dirt here. I personally do not like that bike - in my opinion in stock state it kinda...not nice. But it is easy to modify.
As for Africa Twins - have not really noticed shortage of those, but for good state you will pay. Still no more than half of new CB500.
Hell, even more rare things available. Last year my friend picked MINT condition Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600 in Germany for about 1200 Euro.
Take a peek at today's list of offers for KLE in Germany

http://suchen.mobile.de/motorrad/kaw...&ambitCountry=
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:41 AM   #39
Gryphon12
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Bluesman - Wow! You've just proven the old adage that "the grass is always greener on the other side (of the pond)". I'd modify a KLE or restore an Africa Twin in a HEARTBEAT! A Yamah XT would work, too. Even MZ's if they are still available.
  • It really is true that there is almost nothing in the USA under 600cc supersports unless you ride a dual sport / dirt bike. You can get older Honda NT650 Hawks or CB-1's (CB400F's) and some Suzuki 400 Bandits, but they are rare. The Yamaha YZF-600R Thundercat and Honda CBR600 F4i are available as SPORT-tourers, but they started life as supersports.
  • We really need an XTZ1200 Super Tenere in a 750cc size and 100 lbs. less weight (a modern Africa Twin). That's why everyone wants to believe that a bike that looks like a CB500X will perform like an Africa Twin, even though Honda never claims it will. They say "urban" and "adventure STYLED". We see what we want to see; not what is actually there. Also, the "real deal" would be quite expensive, while the "styled" bike is a cheap modification on a basic CB500 frame, which will sell into the "ADV" trend at a low price. [American tastes and economics sux.]
Evenflo76 - You can spend anything you want on a new or modified front end:
  • Full Ohlins with custom triple clamps and a Marchesini front wheel will run between $2500 and $4000 US.
  • Take the front end from another bike (wrecked or on Ebay) for maybe $1200 if you don't have to change the wheel or brakes.
  • Modify what's there starting about $600 or $800. An Excel wheel laced into a hub that will fit can be $400 all by itself.
These are all ball-park prices - almost anything I buy will need some of this attention, since we can't get stock high quality front ends on any mid-sized motorcycle in the US. I watch what is being done to some bikes in Europe as examples from which to learn (e.g. the Africa Twin front end upgrades, usually with KTM / WP parts).
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:18 AM   #40
Gryphon12
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To our European friends, how does the KTM 690 fit into the spectrum of the CB500's on the low end and the CBR's on the higher end? I know that the Duke doesn't have real ADV suspension travel, but the light weight and power might make a good platform for suspension modification. Our friends in Australia like it so far.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:35 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon12 View Post
To our European friends, how does the KTM 690 fit into the spectrum of the CB500's on the low end and the CBR's on the higher end? I know that the Duke doesn't have real ADV suspension travel, but the light weight and power might make a good platform for suspension modification. Our friends in Australia like it so far.
In Europe KTM sells a 690 enduro next to the duke 690. CB500's are a completly different bike, and why would you want to compare it with the CBR600F oO?
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:40 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Evenflo76 View Post
So what would the cost be of adding a set of aftermarket forks and a 19 or 21" tire up front?
If talking about new parts, probably cost you a few thousand dollars altogether.

And do you mean, that by doing only this, the bike would convert itself into an off-road machine? No it wouldn´t.

Plus it ain´t so simple, that you just go out to buy some forks and wheels different to original, fit them, and achieve the desired result. While it may be technically possible to do such modifications, you really need to know, what you´re doing, when messing around with things like wheel sizes. For example, changing 17 inch -> 19 inch will alter the bike´s steering geometry.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:59 AM   #43
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Gryphon12,
In Europe by far most popular 690 is 690 Supermoto/SMC/SMC-R.
Duke 690 - seen few in Germany and Italy, not sure about other countries but not so much as 690 supermotards...
We have (mostly) different type of roads and conditions. Twisties, narrow, densely built towns etc. dictates.
In my honest personal opinion over here suspension and brakes matter more than motor sheer power. Tractability, flexibility of engine is important - but not just size and bhp.On latest trip we made with many friends in 1 group we had lot of bikes of totally different types. From top of my had it was...Caponord, SMT990, Futura, BMW R100R, Tuareg 600, my Tiger 800, FJR1300, VFR800, Bandit 600, Tenere 660 (new), R1200GS - all were separated "automatically" into subgroups only by riders ability or desire to ride fast, very fast, regularly, slow, very slow and bikes had no place in this division and we always met alltogether few times a day and arrived to accomodations in the evening at approximately same time. Because it was all twisties and narow roads.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:23 AM   #44
Gryphon12
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Bluesman - thanks. It really is about finding a bike that you love, and then just riding it.

Bugz - Some discussion from Australia suggested that the Duke 690 made a reasonable, relatively fast & light, short-to-middle distance day-touring bike. Not a supersport, not a beginner bike, not a sport-tourer, but occupying a section of the middle ground. In Europe, the SM690 would probably be a better choice. Neither bike is available currently in the US - we get the 690 Enduro, and we hear alot about the problems of the 690 series. On the other hand, the internet always discusses the troubles more than the successes.

I like to understand the spectrum of bikes offered, especially those with a higher quality components, so that I understand the compromises I'm making. Unlike many riders in the US who have been riding 40+ years, I've owned very few bikes - I keep them a long time, so I try to research thoroughly. Bottom line - I'm trying to learn from those who actually ride a wide variety of bikes.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:23 AM   #45
Bugz
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Originally Posted by Gryphon12 View Post
Bluesman - thanks. It really is about finding a bike that you love, and then just riding it.

Bugz - Some discussion from Australia suggested that the Duke 690 made a reasonable, relatively fast & light, short-to-middle distance day-touring bike. Not a supersport, not a beginner bike, not a sport-tourer, but occupying a section of the middle ground. In Europe, the SM690 would probably be a better choice. Neither bike is available currently in the US - we get the 690 Enduro, and we hear alot about the problems of the 690 series. On the other hand, the internet always discusses the troubles more than the successes.

I like to understand the spectrum of bikes offered, especially those with a higher quality components, so that I understand the compromises I'm making. Unlike many riders in the US who have been riding 40+ years, I've owned very few bikes - I keep them a long time, so I try to research thoroughly. Bottom line - I'm trying to learn from those who actually ride a wide variety of bikes.
Ah, I see.

I never rode with the KTM 690ies. Though when I'm thinking about a bike which would fit your specifications the duke 690 wouln't be close to it. Obv you can make it work, but there are a lot bikes more practical, economical and more relieable. I think these new 500's would fit your bill really well.

The KTM 690 is a relative hardcore streetbike (not as hardcore as true supermoto's) but really it's meant for spirited backroad riding. KTM released the Duke 690 to offer a bike a 'littke ' less hardcore compared to the SMC's. Duke 690 would be best for the street and city riding. Doesn't mean there arn't better alternatives IMO.

Another bike which I think you would really like is the tiger 800 or a street triple? A lot more expensive compared to these new 500's but more high-end. Could upgrade suspension as well for it.

Just my .02 GL with the search!
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