Are Adventure Bikes Heading in 2 different directions?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Tumbleweed ADV, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

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    Aprillia almost did it with their RXV 550 but they are an angry maintenance hungry high performer.

    If they made that a little softer in the power, fattened up the torque and thus made more reliable and get a bigger tank etc that would be a real winner, it would of course like every adventure bike need the swag of changes / mods / personalizations to make it how you want it but that is also half the fun.

    For me for the future I see a lighter bike, DRZ400 style of thing, Maya is great for us two up adventure touring but restricting if I want to to to the tight stuff, its all a compromise.

    (EDIT) link to 550 http://www.motorcycleshdwallpaper.c...ia-rxv450-rxv550a-motorcycle-news-motorcycle/
    #81
  2. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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    Seems like the thing anyone can take from this thread is that there is never going to be just one answer. A bike with decent wind protection, power and comfort for long paved legs, and good high speed stability is likely never going to be a good trail bike, where you want ground clearance, low weight, somewhat shorter wheelbase, less body parts to break, and reasonable seat height. Right now, to me, a KTM 950/990 is about as close as you can get, with the further option of the SE if you do more off road, or the adventure if you want a little more comfort on the long haul. That said, it's still too heavy to ride solo with great peace of mind - it's hard to pick up, and if you get it stuck in deep sand or mud, good luck...

    Many of the people I've met who are in the downsizing category now drive to the area they're planning on riding in, unload, and then ride. I don't know that many people would say a 250 on the highway at ~70 mph for long periods of time qualifies as fun or comfortable, and I always end up feeling much more worn out if I travel on the XT350.

    I really think that we'll continue to see a divide - a decent selection of low-capacity dual sport bikes, and a small selection of higher-capacity, higher-price 'adventure' bikes, with many of these adventure bikes becoming more highway oriented. From there, it will be up to the aftermarket and the original owner to modify a platform to fit a specific need. Seems to me that most people who buy a GSA don't do much off roading (gravel still counts as a road, at least for this example) and probably many people with KTM 9X0s don't use the off-road ability much either-thus the more street-oriented 1190. Nothing wrong with that, but a manufacturer can sell a lot more bikes by appealing to the majority preferences.
    #82
  3. nomad guy

    nomad guy A legal alien

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    I agree, it is one of a kind so is the rider who took it to Cape York.
    My point is: dont let the category of your bike dictate where you go.
    I was fortunate enough to spend a few years in south east Asia where the main personal transportation mode is 100-150cc bikes. Those things go everywhere. People there dont care about which bike is the best for riding two-up because most of them go three-up and more.
    Riding through rush hour in HCMC (Saigon) is a true adventure.:D
    It's not that i am living in a cave and dont understand what's the big deal about modern bikes. Hell, i own a 950s and a 690R because they are so much fun. But i dont think most of my rides are adventures because someone put an "Adventure" sticker on them.


    #83
  4. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    If I could have my 950 Adventure, and my XR600 could somehow grow a sixth gear, I would have all I would ever need.



    Well, at least until I am too feeble to pick up either one. :D
    #84
  5. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Or Kick/Push the 600. Then it's time to take up golf.
    #85
  6. Llamaha

    Llamaha Been here awhile

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    The last thing you want on an adventure ride is to be hammering single track at breakneck speeds with all of your luggage on the back. This will most certainly leave you stranded at some point, whether it be bike damage or if you come off and break a leg or something. I don't understand the need for such power to weight ratio for travel, at the end of an entire day of riding you may have been 30 minutes or so quicker but with far greater risk and then you'll be so tired the following day you won't be able to concentrate.

    Then there's the extra maintenance... if you take it easy your moto will last much longer as screws won't be vibrating lose, wheels won't get damaged (bound to happen if you're going too fast in an area with pot holes), rocks won't be flying into the engine, suspension working full time etc.

    Also don't forget the fuel efficiency. Any weight savings and power you gain from a high performance moto will be replaced by the fuel needed to power it for long stretches between destinations. Open up the air intake, derestrict exhaust, change carby jets etc, all these things will have a huge effect on your efficiency. Carrying an extra 10l of fuel is not easy.

    Oh and don't forget the initial cost, a DR650 is much cheaper than a KTM690 but after 50,000km the DR will start to look far more attractive... and on the road every day it doesn't take long to hit this.
    #86
  7. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Hondas rarely need pushing, but when I am too old to kick it, I'll know I am in trouble.



    Do they let you do wheelies with the golf carts? :d
    #87
  8. speed_racer

    speed_racer Been here awhile

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    Too true.. ;)
    We just need to push the envelope a little when it comes to what we can and apparently cant do..
    #88
  9. speed_racer

    speed_racer Been here awhile

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    Even better yet..
    [​IMG]
    #89
  10. Gillberg375

    Gillberg375 Adventurer

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    The GS looks pretty good.

    Tell us how you managed to get your bike to Mars??
    #90
  11. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Tiger Tamer

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    I'd answer the OP's question by saying yes, adventure bikes are heading in 2 different directions but only from a marketing/manufacturers perspective.

    Adventure riders themselves are heading in all directions as they have always done which is at the heart of the dilemma. From a purely financial perspective it makes much more sense to narrow peoples choice so you can better focus your energies and profits -manufactures can't make bikes to suit everyone so what you see out and about are people making the most of what's available. For me that ended up being this:


    [​IMG]

    Aint she Purdy :raabia
    #91
  12. nomad guy

    nomad guy A legal alien

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    Yes she is. :clap
    #92
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I enjoyed the CW Adv issue ... well done. Nice to see you back in print! You're wife must be a Super Star rider! Good to see CW continuing to support this segment. Will be interesting to see how both MC and CW change with the merger. Thoughts? :ear

    I'd really like to see more long term "real world" reports from RTW riders ... and not all journos on $20K ADV bikes out for a day or three.

    Is that you in the pic above riding the Honda? :D Yup, and Rodney Smith can ride a Vstrom off road too! Not all are so talented!
    #93
  14. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Mars? Sorry mate, that's a new paved road in Baja. A severe wind storm blew the unsettled rock off the road cut. Pic from a few years back, pavement ended soon thereafter. Now ...? They've paved it ALL! Progress!

    Like in OZ, if you get off the main tracks and start following the old Baja 1000 tracks ... it can get into DEEP sand and rocky too. Bit of a challenge on a 500 lbs. PLUS F800GS adv. I'm sure the pro riders could do it ... but fact is ... most GS riders I see in Baja are on the road. Fair enough.
    The old DR can make some of the dirt sections with knobby tires if you don't over load the bike.
    #94
  15. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    To the original question, yes the same as they've always been. GS's and XR's have been around a long time.
    #95
  16. SpringOly

    SpringOly Old Swede

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    She is indeed purdy! I also appredciate the DSR sticker, well done! :clap


    I've owned a 2006 640 ADVENTURE and loved it! Now I have a 2008 950 SE and love it as well! Ride what ya got, the grass is always greener on your neighbor's lawn. In my case, it's because I'm out riding, not watering the damn lawn!
    #96
  17. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I think the principal issue is the kind of use people want from the bikes. To answer the OP's question, I think that manufacturers are recycling road bike engines and basic chassis set ups and calling them "Adventure" bikes.

    What they are, in fact, is "Touring" bikes.

    At the other end of the spectrum, what people are looking for is the old fashioned "Trail bike". Not a high maintenance "Enduro Bike".

    The problem is, at the lighter end, no one is doing "Trail Bikes" with any seriousness. Yeah, Yamaha still do the TTR250 with a reliable low maintenance engine, and the WR250R Supertrail...but like someone else said, riding at freeway speeds on a 250 is over zealous at best.

    Many have asked for a WR450 Supertrail. That or a better suspended version of the little Tenere would be the go. Maybe even a 500 version of the TTR. They used to have one, surely the engine is still used in something?

    I built one of my DRs to fill exactly that role. MX suspension, lazy 650 engine. It fits the bill so perfectly. Yeah, it could be lighter. But, to be honest, I'm usually only thinking that when it's laying on top of me.

    I'm thinking different thoughts when the BMW is on top of me. I carry a survival knife for a reason. I'll probably have to hack my own leg off one day. Fat pig of a thing.
    #97
  18. blackness

    blackness more riding

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    Hurry up and buy a 950, you will still need the knife but it will be worth it..
    #98
  19. Pete640

    Pete640 Long timer

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    690rfr bikes are reasonable for what they're costing now.
    #99
  20. raceu2

    raceu2 Adventurer

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    The KTM 990 SMT looks nice. My local dealer has one outfitted with knobbies It is some what lighter than the adventure.
    When I sat on it I find it is lower to the ground and feels so much lighter than my adventure due to the lower center of gravity.
    Not sure if it would be any easier to pick up though. It is not as off road capable as the Adventure but he says it works well in the fire road scenario. It also has tubeless tires which is a plus. Just another option. As far as horse power I found that while I was in CA for 3 months lots of power was a plus on the 2 lane roads for passing, other wise you just set there and breath smoke. I think there is a rule in Guat. that if doesn't smoke you can't sell it.