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. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    My dream bike too BUT what about lacing up a 21" & 18" to an Aprilia Dorsoduro 750.... I read about a project (in "beasts" I think). This is probably the closest thing to the ultimate compromise going right now.
  2. v8toilet

    v8toilet Nothing to see here.

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    Hmmm... 12 litres? 100 mile range? The ultimate compromise is right.

    I'm becoming more and more accepting of the single cylinder solution. Maintenance is easy, less failure points no extra cam chains or other BS. The 690 is cranking 60+ HP and is 100lbs lighter than any suitable ADV twin I'm aware of. I like a twin on the highway but I've logged alot of miles of tar on singles and they do the job admirably.

    I've had a range of ADV bikes and never in my all my riding did I have a situation where it got hairy and I wished for more cylinders and/or weight.
  3. ThisWayHome

    ThisWayHome Adventurer

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    well said


  4. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

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    I owned a DR650 for 6 years.

    I would buy one as an adventure tourer again if they did several things:

    CArtridge forks/better shock. Fully adjustable

    Fuel injected

    Better headlight

    Bigger stock tank 5 gallon minimum


    I know all but the fuel injection can be bought and bolted on but I've found that adding aftermarket parts doesn't always mean it will work right together.
  5. DirtJack

    DirtJack Adventurer

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    Sounds like a 690 to me. :D The 690, though pricy, would likely be cheaper that those mods on a DR.
  6. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Your Dipped in Orange, so no surprise your ignorance regards anything DR650. The 690 is a fun bike to ride, but will cost over $10,000 usd OTD ... now start adding extras and doing mods :lol3 I can literally buy 3 DR650's for $10K! :lol3 Fixes on the DR? Yes ... all but the F.I. is cheap and easy to do, see below:

    Many DR guys have changed forks, usually modern Mx ones. Totally doable ... usually under $500 or less, including new clamps and sometimes new stem. Some fit better than others. Lots of info on doing this. But the fact is ... revised stock forks aren't bad for a travel bike. The DR is no race bike but better forks can settle it down some.

    Fuel Injected. Not practical ... although TWO systems have been built and are for sale to fuel inject the DR650. Don't know the price. Based on all the issues with 690's ... I'd prefer to keep it simple, fixable on side of road like the DR BST40 Carb. Every 3rd world mechanic understands a CV carb. Basic. I DO miss the good MPG given by some F.I. bikes. But the 690 MPG sucks anyway! Too much HP!

    Headlight: My HID kit was $25 and installed in minutes. Spare bulb? $12.
    Mine is 3 years old, about 15K, no problems. 3 times brighter than stock.

    You can buy used IMS tank for the DR for around $100 to $150 in perfect shape. Perfect fit, no issues, no brackets, fuel pumps, high pressure hoses or crap like on the KTM. So simple. Mine is 55,000 miles old. Acerbis makes one for DR too now, about $280 new, IIRC.

    Trust me ... it ALL works right together. 55,000 miles of proof. I have an Ohlins (free off crashed bike) shock and stock forks with RT emulators ($140). It's fine. Will the DR handle like a 690? No way ... it's 100 lbs. heavier and 20 less HP.

    So Add all that up? Are we up to $10,000 plus yet? :lol3

    If one can afford to buy, build up and maintain the 690 ... go for it. It's a fantastic bike. But I wouldn't trust one in the 3rd world ... and I'd hate to have to abandon it somewhere. This does happen. The DR650? Unbolt the Ohlins ... and walk away. :lol3

    When traveling I'm not in a race or trying to show off for my buddies on some piss ant two day trail ride to no where. I take it easy and try to make it out alive ... given I've witnessed several Hot shots NOT make it out, I'm in for the long haul. As Honda say : "Stupid Hurts". :eek1
    YMMV, IMHO, Blah Blah!
  7. nomad guy

    nomad guy A legal alien

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    All true and wise..but since when motorcycling was about making sense ?:D
  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Are you with the East Bay Moto Bros? :lol3
    You guys are some wacky M-Fer's ... but I love it! Stay safe out there! :clap
  9. DirtJack

    DirtJack Adventurer

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    It's true that this is the Orange phase of my life (now in my 73rd year), but you compare the cost of a new 690 with a used DR, don't add the cost of FI or Ohlins ...

    At my age I'm not racing or showing off, but riding is still about the passion you feel when you twist the grip, grab the brakes, navigate those places with pucker factor, ... Orange does it for me right now, riding friends DR, not so much. :D Cheers.
  10. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Much respect Jack! ... glad to hear you're still out there enjoying riding ... whatever the bike! That's what counts! (I'm right behind you in age).

    I did not include F.I. costs because the systems for sale are NOT plug and play and very few owners will undertake such a project. So I concede ... NO F.I. for the DR650.

    But as you well know ... a well maintained and properly tuned Carb will get you there ... and back. Many very experienced riders would not go with F.I. They prefer a Carb for true ADV riding.

    The 690 has had plenty of glitches regards F.I., fuel pumps ... so not quite perfected in all conditions. (all fixable) The DR is far from perfect, but once set up, pretty much gets by with basic maintenance & attention and is well proven the last 17 years.
    Cheap and Cheerful ... a good retiree's bike, IMHO! :D

    Many guys have had good luck with the Cogent conversion. Rick's work makes the stock KYB shock a modern, fully adjustable wonder. Excellent damping, plush with excellent control. The A package shock from Rick is about $800. A big hit, but reviews on his shock are very good. YMMV.
    BTW, Every KTM guy I know has at least that into their suspension. (SuperPlush suspension is right in my neighborhood ... and I know what they charge!)

    But this thread is supposed to be about philosophical split regards the direction of so called "Adventure Riding". Sorry for going astray and getting sucked into the usual "My bike is Better than YOUR bike" arguments. :D

    But as far as this forum goes (ADV Rider) I'll stick to the original Motto in it's Title: RIDE THE WORLD.

    I've ridden the world ... I hope everyone has the courage to get out of their comfort zone and ignore the ethnocentric, small minded ones ... and get out there and go FOR IT.
  11. DirtJack

    DirtJack Adventurer

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    Yea, Big powerful twin, light nimble single. I think I need both. :D
  12. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Subscribed :yum
  13. speed_racer

    speed_racer Been here awhile

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    meh, just buy a big powerful twin and ride it like a single :1drink :D
  14. rlmankins

    rlmankins Adventurer

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    Have been riding since I was 4, now 60. Rode dirt bikes exclusively for 25 years, Ktms, Hondas, suzukis, a penton, ossa, triumph scramblers, you get the idea. Live in southern Nevada so mostly desert, gravel, sand. Been jeeping, sand railing, generally hobbies got more complex, more equipment, more work less adventure.

    Decided I was going to cut back, simplify. I rode gold wings for 20 years, many 1000 mile days, something to be said about running across Montana at 100mph on cruise control, drinking coffe, listening to Sirius while pulling a trailer. Adventure comes in many forms, not the least is travel.

    I rode many bikes and bought a new triumph explorer. I did this because I want to travel far and fast, on road and be able to travel back roads to see the many places I have been missing. Hard core off road can be done with my jeep or Monster Manx. Really tough roads at my age should be done with a roll cage and 5 point shoulder harnesses. I have done the hair ball stuff, 125 mph in the desert in a class one off road car for 400 miles at a time will show you the true violence that can happen in a hundredth of a second.

    The simplify part of the equation might have been overrated. The pig is a pain in the ass to ride off road. But I am getting more comfortable with it. The amount of gear, research, and money is considerable also. I am going to take a couple of classese from Jimmy Lewis to point me in the right direction.

    Because of my needs I determined that a smaller bike would not do. My idea of adventure travel is not to explore every single track but to cross continents and experience culture, sights and sounds that I don't know about.

    Please don't think any less of me for.p this. I was just trying to explain why I made the decision to by a huge honking bike. I am definitely going to buy another smaller Ktm.
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    numb hands?
    http://www.vibranator.com/

  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    learning to lighten your load and bring less unnecessary carp is the other 1/2 of the light bike equation.

  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    ADV is just a definition of a riding segment.
    it's the evolution of dual-sports ridden farther distance.

    no matter the segment anyone falls in, it's a persons choice alone to spend $ on constant upgrades and feel they're entitled the latest gadgets. the constant $ upgrade happens in every segment.

    plenty are still happily chugging along on DR350s, riding all sort of adventures and not working constantly to keep feeding the expensive bike habit.

  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    no carbs work great. i have a dr650 with suspension upgrades and other mods and the fueling works at sea level and over 14K. it's a smooth engine and a comfortable bike that needs very little maintenance. it takes me every where i want to go except hardcore singletrack (it's not a dirtbike) and long supper slab (it's not a sport tourer). of course most all KTM riders would thumb there nose down upon it as an old tech POS. in the mean time I keep chugging along on my next adventure. :rofl
  19. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Yeah that sounds about right,as a longtime dirtrider any bike that's well over 300 lbs is a compromise rig. Over 500 lbs is a streetbike with attachements to make it look Adventurey. If you cant lift it yourself on flatground easily,then getting it out of the rock filled ditch it high centered and crashed out in wont work.
    You'll need help. Dont ride by yourself.

    I just rode a 2 day ride in the Sierras,some 4 strokes came along with all the gew-gaws yet license plates werent even needed. I rode my 200KTM and when the rockpiles stretched for miles and pin balling through them was the only option I didnt mind so much. It looked uncomfortable at best wrestling pigs through there and waiting got old.

    My DR650 is about as much pig iron as I take offroad and it works fine if kept in it's element. I dont really see how exotic/expensive/big bikes help for average off road dualsporting on dirt roads/jeep trail. Speed isnt the issue nor is power. Just getting there without breakdowns is easily half the deal.

    But the DR has 0 poseur value,none.
  20. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Good discussion.
    Listen to ADVGrifter, he's a pretty smart guy. :deal

    I thought I would add my experience to the discussion in case it would help anyone on the fence or new at this adventure riding stuff.

    I've been riding motorcycles for over 40 years so I've had a chance to sort out what works and what doesn't. Rider size and experience has a lot of bearing on bike choice, or at least should have. Pick something you can enjoy and can keep running out there on your adventure trips. Go as small as you think you can possibly deal with. For most they're happier in the long run. If you're a great big guy or an expert rider, then get the big adv bike!


    My solution was to get one of each:
    WR250F with plate for singletrack
    TE630 for long distance dualsport riding
    Tiger 800XC for road riding to out of the way places.

    Seems like this was a discussion about how the 690 was the end-all do-all, but it's heavy like my TE for really tough offroad, has a close ratio gearbox from the SM, and you have to pull everything off the back to put gas in it. It's expensive, and prone to failure. I don't know how you could not read thru luke and nick's africa adventure and not come away with at least a suspicion of dependability for those bikes. As a KTM fan from before they even put their name on them (Penton), I still would not choose one of their big bikes. Too finicky and too prone to failures. I'd take one of their light-bikes hands down. The new 350 and 500 are tops in their class.

    The jury is still out on the new 1190. Hopefully it's a better bike than what it replaced, not that they were bad, but owners will admit they have their problems. IMO these big bikes are for expert riders, not for new riders. Put some time in on something more modest and then decide if that's what you really need to get the job done.

    The XC is better on road than the F8. Otherwise they're pretty similar. Mine makes for an adventurous road bike. And it's not so heavy that maybe I could pick it up if I ever dropped it. It can really eat the miles though, and it's comfortable for all day touring. Wouldn't dream of trying to ride it on real trails.

    None of these bikes will do gnarly singletrack if that's where you really want to ride. Something under 250lbs is key here. Anyone that would disagree just hasn't done it. Just got back from a weekend of many miles of singletrack and the little WR was just a tractor. Perfect for that stuff, never got out of 2nd gear. 235lbs, just jumps up over obstacles.

    The TE is great for anything remote offroad, for covering long distances offroad, and for getting through tough 2-track jeep roads. EFI is easy to live with, liquid cooling is as well. It's just more plush and a little faster than the DR, and better thought out than the 690. The best part is that it was at least three grand less to buy. It will cruise 75 on the hiway all day. I've ridden with KTM450-525's, 690/950/990's, XR's, and GS's - it keeps up with them all, does it all. But when a long road trip is in the works then the tiger goes.




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