If I had a dollar

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Solarbronco, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Solarbronco

    Solarbronco Been here awhile

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    for every time that a guy on a big adventure bike wrecked while trying to ride with us on our 450's and 400's, I could probably buy something at least somewhat cool for my bike. I try to talk em out of going with us, every summer. The more I try, the more proud and boastfull they get and last summer was the 6th in a row that a perfectly beautiful bike and good intentioned rider got broken. One guy is still in a back brace, off work and lost his home and toys, from 2007.

    The below was the last one, and resulted in the bike damage, (Crazy more expensive than you would guess for plastic and glass,) two broken ribs, a collapsed lung and much time off work.

    I write this as a warning. It may be called an adventure bike, it may even have a few knobs on the tires, but that tall heavy beast will get you seriously hurt or killed off road. I hope someone reads this and thinks twice, even if just one person.

    Hope this doesn't rub anyone wrong. I ADV as well, I just have seen too many really bad endings to adventure bikes ridden beyond their limits.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

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    Great post, i agree.

    It truly is sad when a person gets hurt doing what they love.


    Do you think it also has something to do with the persons size? for example, that BMW that you posted a pic off, will someone 6'1 and 220 pounds be better off on that bike rather then someone who is 5'10 and weighs 170?
    #2
  3. Solarbronco

    Solarbronco Been here awhile

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    Maybe, I dunno. The guy above was a really good rider on the road, smoked me in the twisties and I could tell he knew his stuff.

    But man, Gravity is for real. When you have to slow down for an obstacle, for sand, to make a corner on loose stuff, gravity means that big beast wants to just lean over and fall. And a little too much front brake in the dirt means that heavy beast is gonna loop forward and send you over the cliff or into a tree. 600 + pounds up high doesn't belong on anything worse than a well leveled gravel road, in my opinion. I have just seen too many bad endings. I ADV as well. For trips that include trails I'm on my DRZ-400 with a 50 tooth on the back. I'm slow on the highway but can idle down almost any nasty hill off road without touching the brakes.

    For highway and some gravel roads, I'm on my V-Strom.

    Again, the pic above is real, I was there and at many other bad endings and I really don't want to rub anyone wrong. I don't have many posts here but read this site every day. Looking forward to writing my first ride report this summer. Idaho to Maine and back!


    #3
  4. Jayrod1318

    Jayrod1318 Poster

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    Most folks can barely pilot a dirt bike that weighs 225-300 lbs. thru rough rocky terrain.

    Wrecking ones self off-road with one of these giant pavement monsters seems to be a recurring theme around here.

    Not to say it can't be done with talent and skill, but whats the point?

    I grew up on dirt bikes and feel I am pretty good at it, but I'd never take a bike that weighs that much thru even moderate rocky terrain.

    I can only imagine that when 500 pounds starts moving in a certain direction its going to keep going in said direction.

    I wish I had that bike! I just wouldn't ride it there!
    #4
  5. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    What has been left unspoken is that a lot of these scenarios are a direct result
    of people believing BMW's marketing baloney.


    BMW are selling the idea that people can buy a GS and go anywhere.
    People get sucked into the advertising, and off they go. Next stop,
    orthopedic surgeon and rehab.


    A boxer-engine GS is a big heavy ROAD BIKE which is dressed up in drag to look like it
    can go off road. Well, in the hands of a world class rider it can, sort of. But in
    the hands of an ordinary rider the attempts to ride any serious off road terrain
    often end in tears, as you have pointed out.


    Congratulations for revealing that the emperor didn't have any clothes. It
    needed to be said.



    .
    #5
  6. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    It takes about the same force to break the bones of either person you mention,
    so you be the judge of whether the slightly larger person is better off. When a 500+
    pound bike starts to crash the forces involved are higher than most people have the
    strength to counteract. Probably the best thing you can do is not even try to
    prevent the bike from falling and just jump out of the way, like Ewan did dozens
    of times in the film "Long Way Round".


    .
    #6
  7. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Now, a KTM 990 do more, in rough terrain? I like the GS 1200's, I own a KTM 450MXC. I want to get that bike going again.
    #7
  8. banshee

    banshee hi

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    is there a reason you single out BMWs? all of the big dual-sports advertise as go-anywhere.
    #8
  9. Mr_Snips

    Mr_Snips Husky BRAAAAAAAAP!

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    I'm 5'8" and weigh about 180. With that said when I had my BMW 1200gs I went on many off road rides with guys on plated dirt bikes. In the real rough stuff it was difficult but certainly not impossible. It was fun too when the trails opened up to ramp the speed up as well. I've also ridden and raced dirt bikes for many years.
    #9
  10. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Been riding with a mixed group of bikes off and on for a few years. The only rider seriously hurt was riding a 990.

    You can't win against mass when shit goes wrong, the difference between a 990 and say a DL 650 is that shit went wrong at far higher speeds on the 990.

    I'm happy to ride a DL on even bad dirt roads, but I'll concede the DR's DRZ's have 5-10kph on me when it gets tight. I've even ended up on real nasty shit where a DL doesn't belong - having no shame increases the odds of surving that on a pig a LOT.

    IMO The heavy bikes don't belong on single track - period - smartest thing you can do is concede defeat, turn back and take the alternate ASAP.

    Pete
    #10
  11. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    I think the original point was well made.

    I did not take it as a hit towards BMW products alone, if that was the one that dumped in the story and was in the camera when the pics were taken, then I guess its a story about a person whom dumped a big BMW.

    And that's fine. Sure, other big bikes dump. But this story was about a BMW.

    I dont think you have to apologize for that. :deal

    And your story and summary are spot on.

    I have a heavily rigged KLR... it weighs about 525 rigged with an empty tank for touring. I have trouble with it in sand and single track. I hate sand. SAND HATES ME. I SUCK in sand... :puke1

    I avoid those areas so that I do not dump, break my bike or my neck. I can't afford a second bike, nor can I regenerate neck and back vertibrae at my age.


    Now the story is about BMW's and KAWASAKI, and old people.


    Great original post IMO.
    #11
  12. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    Well, there is some complete bullshit in this thread and some very salient, valid points as well.

    There is no point in trying to ride a bike that big with a bunch of 400's at speed. It can be done, it has been done, and I have done it. Was it fun? Hell no, it wasn't. I have an 1150, even heavier still than that 1200 and caving the tank in on a rock is a very expensive possibility.

    Not to mention the shin breaker cylinders up ahead and rear pegs read to trap a foot if one were to dab in the wrong spot.

    That being said, these bikes can get through most anywhere if enough caution is taken. Obviously, if the goat trail is very steep and heavily rutted/rocked such that a rider on a 250 will stop and think about it, well, another track should be found if possible.

    But if the rider takes his time and is cautious, these big bikes can get through. Trying ride like it's the Paris-Dakar means trouble. The guys on the 400's will probably get bored and ride on. Which is how it should be.

    It's not a dirt bike, we all know that. Some people can ride them as such, the bulk of us can't and shouldn't. We just need to know that if the only way through IS a goat trail we can take our time and nose pick through it. And then run 85 on the slab once we make it back to tarmac. Those bikes have the suspension, the horsies, and the legs to go damn near anywhere.

    You just have care fuck-all about speed and impressing anyone. If I showed up on my 1150 and a bunch of guys on 400's were tearing ass and riding like maniacs down trails that made them stop and think-- I'd turn back and go have a pint of ale. Don't ruin your season or perhaps end your riding days because of one ride and some hubris.

    There is a reason I have an 1150GS , an F650 Dakar and a XR400. Choose the best weapon, have fun.

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that adventure bikes can't go nearly anywhere, because they can, and they have. You can read those reports on this very site. But big speed and nasty terrain add up to big crashes.
    #12
  13. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ^^^ This is the first post from you I completely agree with. :lol3

    :beer Bobby
    #13
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    He always does! Funny how ironic with his user name.

    Jim :brow

    PS There are prudent limits to all bikes and riders. Riders on small bikes crash and get hurt all the time as well. :deal As our friend say, it is not the bike!
    #14
  15. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    It has always puzzled me why a lot of GS riders think the Adventure model, carrying another 50-75lbs more weight, mostly up high, is somehow better suited for dirt and off-road stuff.
    #15
  16. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    Because Ewan and Charley rode them!

    (And broke them. And dropped them. And cursed them.)
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  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    The Adventure model has more ground clearance. Really, other than that, it is actually less capable than a standard GS, IMHO, because of weight and bulk.

    Charlie and Ewan were fools in the way they overloaded their bikes, and admitted it! You have to admit though, they got good at picking them up!:lol3

    Jim :brow
    #17
  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    The only true "adventure" bike I owned was a Ducati E900, I know it is a very capable bike in the right hands, but I hated riding it off pavement. Big, tall, heavy, expensive, vulnerable and jerky making it difficult to ride at lower speeds, and even a tip over had the potential for significant damage. I only rode it off pavement a few times.

    Another bike I owned that was about as far from an "adventure" bike as you can get, a V-Star 650 classic. I enjoyed riding it off pavement. Low, low cg, fat tires, inexpensive, front and rear crash bars, made it very easy to ride at lower speeds, and dropping it typically resulted in little or no damage. I rode it off pavement often.

    I do most of my off pavement riding alone, so I ride at lower speeds. Neither was suitable for challenging conditions at my skill level or willingness to take risk when alone.

    IMO, there are 2 basic rules.
    A bikes capabilities are only as good as the riders willingness and ability to use them.
    A riders capabilities only goes so far in making up for using the wrong bike for the conditions.
    #18
  19. Solarbronco

    Solarbronco Been here awhile

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    I honestly wasn't picking on BMW. They are magnificent bikes! But if ya start pricing those plastic pieces, ya will think twice before taking them offroad.

    I ride hard offroad and dump my DRZ all the time. It is only 8 months old and I have replaced a radiator and broken both rear blinkers, in the first two months! It too is considered heavy next to my friends on aluminum framed 450's. It weighs 317 or so when full of gas and man, the worse spills come when I slow down for something.
    Slowing down is when the heavy bikes want to tip over. On a big bike, ya gotta keep momentum going forward, use speed to plow thru sand or over rocks. Slowing down is when it will tip because your plant foot is trying to hold up 600 lbs on a rock that is turning or sand that your foot is sinking in. If you are going slow enough to have to plant a foot off road, you are probably going to dump that expensive beast and break something and hopefully not yer foot.

    Anyone who rides off road and never dumps their bike isn't riding hard enough or having enough fun. You don't learn until you spill yer bike and sometimes, yer blood a few times on some scary/gnarly/rocky trail. Ya just don't want to have 600 lbs of expensive bike spilling with or on top of you. anyone who argues with that is a damn liar.

    Again BMW, Aprilla, KTM, Ducati, ETC, ETC. they are all great bikes! Love em and if I had the money, I'd own all of em and open an ADV museum and hire a bunch of big boobied girls to pass out beer and show em all off. But I see too many broken on trails that they don't belong on. Just sayin...
    #19
  20. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Isn't this that guy?

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    That's what duct tape and JB weld is for!
    #20