Motorcycle Noob Researching Dual Sport/Adventure Bikes...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Designer Jake, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Jake. To be honest, I am a college student studying Product Design and a complete beginner to Motorcycles (only rode once on my Uncles KTM 450 MX, but I do ride quads). I am currently designing a mid to heavy weight Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle (not a mx conversion dual sport, but more like a KTM 690 or BMW G 650GS) for a Project and I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to help me out with a few questions I have!

    Please start off by introducing yourself and the bike you ride, skill level or rider experience, how often you ride, what type of riding you do, and hobbies... etc.

    Questions:

    Do you ride your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle more On or Off the road?

    What features about the bike do you most admire or lead you to purchasing the motorcycle?

    What do you generally look for in a motorcycle when it comes time to purchasing one?

    What type of emotions or experiences are evoked when riding your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle?

    Again, I would really appreciate your help!

    Thank you!
    #1
  2. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    In other words, you want us to do your homework for you, for free, so you
    don't have to do the work of researching the subject yourself.


    And THEN you are going to claim to have designed a motorcycle.


    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl



    Just go to the Rally Raid website and spend a few hours reading up on the
    gear they sell for the KTM 690. That will give you a very good idea of
    what is involved in a light weight adventure motorcycle.

    http://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/KTM-690-Enduro-R-SMC


    And by the way, the BMW 650 is a joke. It has poor quality suspension
    which has been known to fail while under way, and it is underpowered and heavy.
    I don't know a single expert rider who takes the BMW seriously. The BMW is
    a street bike for people who want to pretend they are adventure riders. Stick with
    KTM and at least anyone in your class who actually knows bikes won't detect that you are
    clueless when or if you present your "design" in front of the class.



    .
    #2
  3. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    With all do respect, I do not have access to interview dual sport riders locally. The team I am working with suggested that I use forums to get rider feedback. The questions I am asking are to assist me in developing a clearer sense of what is needed by the consumer. Part of the Product Design process is to create a platform to design from by using research from a target market and other viable sources. This is only a small fraction of the work need to design a product.

    I apologize if there was any misunderstanding for my motives for this research. I'm just trying to design the best motorcycle for you, the consumer.
    #3
  4. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    Do you ride your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle more On or Off the road?

    Off

    What features about the bike do you most admire or lead you to purchasing the motorcycle?

    Lower weight, good suspension travel and ground clearance

    What do you generally look for in a motorcycle when it comes time to purchasing one?

    Not weight.
    "Is this thing tall enough that lesser riders are scared of it and I can get a better deal?"

    What type of emotions or experiences are evoked when riding your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle?

    OH MY GOD I AM GLAD THIS IS NOT A HEAVY-ASS "Mid to heavy weight" DUAL SPORT!!!

    :D
    #4
  5. Hurricane Bob

    Hurricane Bob formerly: Bomber1965

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    Fill out your profile.:*sip*
    #5
  6. Al Goodwin

    Al Goodwin Long timer

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    Allen Goodwin
    48 years old, riding since 9
    .Roadraced 11 years with WERA, 4 Championships, 25+ race wins.
    Hare-scrambles and seceral times in the Perry Mountain 24 Hour Challenge,,,3rd. place in that event last year in the 40+ Ironman class.
    I've owned several bikes...Yamaha FJ1200, FZR1000, GTS1000...Kawasaki LTD1000, KLX650, KX500, ZX-6R...Honda XR400....Suzuki SV650...Laverda Ghost Strike...
    I presently ride an '06 Kawasaki KLR650. Bought it new in mid-summer '06, 61,000 miles now.

    Now...for your questions concerning what I like in a bike now.

    What I like now, and what I've looked for in the past have changed over the years. It was once that I wanted the latest/greatest out there, but it's so much more now about THE RIDE, NOT the bike.
    .I want something I can take anywhere, I take the bike, not the other way around.
    I do ride more on-road, commuting, and trips, but I have ridden my KLR to the 24 HOUR race, raced the race..then rode it home the next day...a good story, but really, not very smart.
    My number one want is versitility, it's difficult for one bike to do it all....my KLR needed a few mods to make it what I wanted, but now, after 6 years, it's almost perfect.
    I've been looking for a Big Adventure style bike, something the wife and I can be just a bit more comfortable on. We now ride the KLR on 350+ mile days, but it'd be nice to be a bit more comfortable.
    Anyway...The Yamaha Super Tenere BMW R1200GS, and Moto Guzzi Stelvio NXT are all good bike, along with the KTM Adventure, Triumphs bike bike also,,,,but in comparing them to my trusty KLR, I can buy 4 KLRs for the price of one BMW. I want DURABILITY,and VALUE,

    DURABILITY and VALUE......JOY of the ride, without worry of $$$$$.
    #6
  7. Al Goodwin

    Al Goodwin Long timer

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    EASE of maitenance.....I can change the oil on my bike in about 5-6 minutes...HELL, I do it before I even take my helmet off.:freaky

    How about you KTM Adventure riders????:huh
    #7
  8. Al Goodwin

    Al Goodwin Long timer

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    Just take a Kawasaki KLR650, a pre '08 model...give it 30% more power, better suspension, and shave off 70lbs.....there's your perfect dual-sport bike.:D
    #8
  9. bikepharmer

    bikepharmer Baja is on the way

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    but maybe 50% more power, six speed transmission, and fuel injection. Keep the large fuel tank.
    #9
  10. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    Awesome!!! -- Thank you so much for the great response! Very much appreciated!
    #10
  11. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    I never even considered the Kawasaki KLR 650 before... I'll definitely look into it!
    #11
  12. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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    I recommend that you find motorcycles that currently exist that meet your design specifications, and interview the owners of those motorcycles to identify the needs that they meet, and the specifications that better fulfill them. E.g., if you feel you want to build a better KLR, ask KLR owners. If you want to build a better BMW R1200GS, ask GS owners. They are extremely different motorcycles despite being both "dual sports."

    Your current approach is as general as asking people who wear pants whether they use them more standing up or sitting down.
    #12
  13. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    Justin
    31, been riding all of my life, on the street about 7 years or so.
    Currently ride an F650GS Dakar (single)
    Use my bike for mainly exploring. Dont do much in the hardcore terrain, dont have much interest in getting a dirt bike. For me the Dakar has plenty of power for my puposes, is comfortable enough for me to commute 180 miles daily, will carry plenty for me to load it up and go on a trip. Yes, the suspension could use some improvement but in general its been good for me.

    Main things I look for in a bike are:
    Comfort/Ergonomics
    Power
    Durability/Reliability
    Offroad ability
    Ease of maintenance
    Parts availability
    Load capacity

    Im sure I left something out but thats a fair summation of what I want in a bike. As with Al, its about the ride for me. About the places it takes me and the things I get to see. Not about how fast I can go or how rough the terrain I can ride over.

    Another site you may wish to check out is HorizonsUnlimited.com. Youll find riders of just about every bike under the sun on that site, and many more long distance travellers than here.
    #13
  14. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    you are following a path with an undesirable end; failure
    no motorcycle designed by a non-enthusiast has ever succeeded in the marketplace
    get a klr, xr, dr and ride it all day every day
    check back next month
    adios
    #14
  15. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    Or better yet we can help him out with his research. Hes in a friggin class project, not working for a manufacturer. I had to do a similar project once in a construction management class. Was I supposed to put my assignment on hold, just tell my professor that itd have to wait, while I went and got a job in a building so that I could actually learn what it takes to build one?? Yeah right.
    #15
  16. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    There is a big difference between a Dual Sport and an Adventure bike, this is just my opinion and everyone here will have a different one.

    The Dual Sport bike is something that is just powerful enough to drive on the road so you can get to an offroad area and thrash it. Examples are bikes like the XT225/250, WR250, DR-Z400 and many others. Generally speaking, they are not pleasant to ride for long periods of time on the highway at highway speeds. It can be done, and has been, but usually by some folks that are hardcore and borderline insane.

    Conversely, Adventure bikes are big beefy, high horsepower monsters that are closer to sport-touring bikes than they are to dual sports. These bikes are at home on the highway, but also have the capability to drive down some rougher roads that you wouldn't take a sport-touring bike with a 17" front wheel down. Examples of these bikes are the BMW GS bikes, the Super Tenere, the Triumph Tiger XC, and more. That said, you can of course thrash these bikes offroad, and many people have done it, but usually again: the hardcore and borderline insane folks.

    There are also bikes that are between these two classifications. The KLR is more on the dual-sporty side, the V-strom is more on the Adventure side, but they are pretty middle of the road. Neither one is light weight or particulary powerful, but they are a somewhat balanced approach.

    Answer:
    1. On road. I spend probably 95% of my time on pavement. When I'm Adventuring it'll be for stretch of about 12 hours in the saddle at a time. The other 5% is shit roads that are technically roads, but you couldn't usually traverse with a normal sports bike.

    2. The "feel" of the bike is what led me to buy it, it's an intangible thing created by the sum of it's parts. I would say it's a combination of comfort, displacement, and style.

    3. I look for something that gets me excited when I look at it and more excited when I actually ride it.

    4. I would say that for any motorcycle the primary feeling is "freedom". Usually there's no cellphone to bother you, you have an almost limitless power to weight ratio when compared to cars, and you can point it in a direction and just go and usually not worry about fuel capacity or cost. It's the feeling of liberation from society: Even in traffic you have the ability to dart about, pass most others easily, and plus you occasionally get the feeling of imminent death.
    #16
  17. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    Well said. Its that "alive" feeling that you just cant get in a car.
    #17
  18. dillon

    dillon Low Speed, High Drag

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    The single biggest thing I look for in my bikes is ease of maintenance, this extends to parts cost in my book. This is followed closely by bike weight. Honestly engine displacement is hardly even on my list of needs, any of the modern 250cc engines will take you down the highway when needed. Other things I think of is crash protection and fuel capacity. It used to annoy me that my KLX only has a 2 gallon tank, but I just carry extra fuel when needed and have come to like the lighter weight and thinner dimensions of a small tanked bike. In your design a set of removable axillary tanks would be brilliant if you decide to spec out a smaller tank. Small fixed tank for hardcore off road, then fit the "drop tanks" for long trips. Anyway As far as my details I have been riding for 4 years, and I do not own a car, so I ride rain sun or snow, and I average about 15K miles a year. I usually ride about 70% on road and 30% off.
    #18
  19. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    Hi Jake, future business lesson one never write or say to a client "to be honest" or any of the variations thereof. Old guys like me just assume that you will then have been or will be lying to us.

    Sure, first of all make the bike lighter


    I am in 57 years old. I have twice finished the Iron Butt Rally and completed 20 IBA Certified rides. I have ridden all over this continent and now have shipped a Europe. I have ridden about 500,000 kms in the last 12 years.

    I have taken a lot of riding classes and completed the equivalent of week one of the motor officer's course.

    I have over a dozen rides into the arctic.I am a competent but cautious off pavement rider. Off pavement is gravel and dirt roads not single track

    Motorcycles Currently owned

    2007 KTM 990 ADV (now lives in Europe)
    2008 BMW K 1200 GT
    2012 Yamaha Super Tenere

    Prior MC's

    2005 Honda Goldwing GL 1800
    2004 BMW K1200LT
    2003 BMW 1150 GS Adventure
    2001 BMW 1150GS

    I used to ride year round but decided I didn't need to ride in shitty weather anymore. I will plate my Tenere next week and all the bikes are off the road by November 30

    I do long distance touring and regular around town stuff. We are are riding in Iceland in May and Europe for two weeks in September

    I ski (former pro patroller), target shoot,am a hobby photographer, go to art galleries , and walk 3.2 miles every day


    On


    Ergonomics I am 6'4" tall
    ABS brakes
    light weight
    reliable
    price
    21" front wheel (KTM only)




    See above

    No phone, living in the moment, experiencing life


    It would be set up with the stuff that is proven to work and have some long desired features

    Here is my list

    HID or LED headlights that actually light up the road

    Directional signals that are LED big an visible and built into the MC so that they don't get knocked off and broken. Brake light tht is huge and bright

    Already plugs installed for heated gear with heavy gauge wire. triple tree pre threaded for ram mounts

    Over capacity alternator

    A centre stand that does not need gravity defiance to engage

    A decent bash plate and engine guards

    footpegs that a size 12 boot will fit on, the same goes for rear brake and shifter levers

    a scotts steering stabilizer as standard

    21" tubeless front wheel spoked, 18" on rear
    switchable abs

    a decent horn and mirrors that don't need extension or vibrate all day

    one piece seat to make it easier when a custom seat is purchased.
    runs on regular gas

    MC comes with a decent tool kit that fits everything on bike

    two gas tank options 5.5 and 11.3 (drop and swap)

    creative rear exhaust to keep bike narrow. perhaps under seat with guard

    mc should be able to carry hard bags 100 liters capacity and still be 34" wide or splitting.

    100 hp & equivalent torque

    basic service that anyone can do. Oil/filter change in less than 10 without having to give bike a colonoscopy

    external fuel filter and pump

    Air filter that is an easy job

    chain drive

    simple panel that switches imperial to metric

    heated grips real handlever guards

    under 450 pounds dry


    It would be a nice gesture to share your project and grade on here


    You are welcome
    #19
  20. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Hi Jake - I was a college student once, so I'd like to help. My college project was starting and operating a motorcycle shop. While attending San Jose State, I was a part time salesman with Grand Prix Cycles in Santa Clara, and a D36 and CMC motocrosser. My racing ended in a stadium in 1981 when I hurt myself enough for a years worth of rehab. I sold everything off.

    At age 50 I bought myself a Ducati, but discovered adventure riding a few years later. My first Adventure bike was a KTM 950A. Just sitting on it in the showroom was like old home week. :raabia It was a lot more like my YZ's than any BMW. I bought it on the spot and rode it all over the continent for 7 years. Every trip involved at least some dirt roads or forest roads. These are things I can still do at my age so I needed a bike to help me.

    In 2010 I decided to ride the Continental Divide Ride solo. The KTM was too big and heavy for that. I needed a bike I could pick up out of the mud by myself. So I bought a Yamaha WR250R, equipped it and shipped it to Salt Lake to tackle the CDR. It was an awesome 2 weeks of some 2500 miles of dirt, sand and mud. The bike was so good, I sold the KTM and bought a bike similar to my Yamaha in most dimensions except that it had 2.5X the power; a 2012 KTM 690R. I equipped it exactly like the Yamaha. That is; mods to enhance travel, range and comfort.

    The KTM 690 is a good product to model from for your project. It weighs about 300 lbs so fairly easy to pick up solo. It has a great motor and a 6 speed gearbox. Plus very sophisticated suspension. However it only has about 170 miles fuel range (I like 220 miles) and the tank is the rear subframe, which limits the bike's versatility.

    The Yamaha is a good product to model from too. It has a nice aluminum twin spar chassis combined with a steel rear subframe. That means it is versatile for equipping luggage and hauling stuff. The bike is a little too short with a 56 inch wheelbase and of course the power is not ideal, but enough. It also weighs about 300 lbs. Both are smooth on the highway and excellent plonking along in the rough stuff.

    My bikes have to be able to superslab for days on end, yet roll rock gardens and sand washes too. Those elements are a critical part of my trips. In short, my answers to all your questions center on the trips I envision. That is; can I get it done with this or not? In my case, real dirt bikes are out and so are the big heavy multi-cylinder adventure travel bikes.

    My Yamaha 50 miles from tar northeast of Lake Powell in Southern Utah:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The KTM here in town and somewhere in Vermont:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Good luck and study hard. It's worth it. :deal


    #20