Musings on bike weight - aging - exploring

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by windblown101, May 13, 2017.

  1. Plebeian

    Plebeian Scruffy-Looking Nerf Herder

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,828
    Location:
    Shoreview, MN
    I went with the Whirrrrr as my first bike. I also liked the old-school vibe I got from the bike. Light, capable, go anywhere, do anything.... but don't do anything really well :lol3
    #41
  2. Plebeian

    Plebeian Scruffy-Looking Nerf Herder

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,828
    Location:
    Shoreview, MN
    I hear you, and have gone back and forth on whether or not to put a small windshield on my WRR. In the end, I can never pull the trigger on one because, dammit, it's a motorcycle. That freeway blast is the one thing that can't be duplicated by many other vehicles. The roar, the pressure on your chest.... there is something fun about a light, naked bike on the freeway. Keep the stock tank and you get to take a break for gas son enough anyway :thumb
    #42
    ACR and Unstable Rider like this.
  3. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,400
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Lot's of interesting choices listed, each with a slightly different flavor/take depending on wants & needs. :clap Hopefully it will serve as a basis for others looking to downsize a source to sort through the current options too.

    As it is, a shiney new KTM 690 Enduro is now in the garage and in "Project" status. I'm currently working on protecting the wiring loom better while everything is new and fresh an waiting for the delivery man to bring me some more goodies to adventurize it with. Basic Flatlands skid plate, Seat Concepts seat, Lynx-R fairing, Perun rear rack, KTM PP radiator guard, Wings Exhaust, KTM Evo1 airbox lid, Uni-filter and a few other assorted odds and ends. Still mulling over fuel range solutions and may go for a Rade underseat tank later but for now I'll probably just add a Rotopax on the rear rack for when I am wandering and revisit the fuel options if I decide to go out west with it.


    Perfect because I wouldn't have a license long enough to blow it up! LOL.
    #43
  4. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    752
    Location:
    Virginia
    Fantastic, can't wait to see it in action!

    What's approx. fuel range on stock tank?
    #44
  5. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,400
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Thanks. From what I've read one better have a gas station in sight within 130-140 miles if you don't like pushing the bike .
    #45
  6. Black Rhino

    Black Rhino Hopelessly optimistic cat herder

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,264
    Location:
    West of Atlanta , Ga.
    We mounted a rotopax on the inside of the saddlebag bracket on my buddies 690.
    IMG_3421.JPG
    #46
    windblown101 and Jproaster like this.
  7. tentative_rider

    tentative_rider Wanna Be On Gravel

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    New Braunfels TX
    Hello would like to hear what you think of the 690 on longer trips. I have debated for a long time about filling out the stable with one of these. I love my 500 EXC but no way to get acceptable luggage options (although I am still considering Mosko Reckless) I find my F800 can be pushed much harder than the 1200 GSA due to longer travel more compliant suspension and 21" front tire but long pavement sessions are not nearly as fun as on the big GSA due to better wind protection, power, better seat etc. No perfect bikes exist for sure.

    I still go back and forth about long distance comfort vs better off pavement manners due to the fact it's hard to do big trips in without long highway sections (getting to and from the route, meet up points, and fuel/food stops are long way from where I live in NorCal.)

    TR
    #47
    Snapper likes this.
  8. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,400
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    There is no way it will be as nice on open pavement as a big bike for mile munching. I'm hopeful though that it will make up for it where things get dicy and intimidating on a big bike. Like when you have to turn it around on the trail! LOL.

    It will be a bit yet before I get the chance to do a multi-day trip with it. I'm still bolting on some parts and making it mine. I'm waiting on the Seat Concepts seat and Lynx fairing which should arrive soon.

    I did get a chance to run a bit of single track with it yesterday and today I'm test fitting some Wolfman luggage off my old 525 EXC on it which will do for short weekend get-a-ways. It was nice to have a sub 500lb bike for the tight stuff for sure.

    20170518_195322.jpg 20170519_152052.jpg
    #48
    Cuttlefish and Black Rhino like this.
  9. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,224
    Location:
    Eastern shore of MD
    I am 15 going on 41. I ride a XR 400 ( 270 ish lbs ) in the dirt mostly. I hope to get a ADV bike when i have more time to travel.
    I find the more I drop my bike the older I get. I might start a ride at 20, and finish at 75 if its a hard trail. No drops, and I can ride all day with no real issues to recover from, even if its a challenging trail.
    #49
    windblown101 likes this.
  10. tentative_rider

    tentative_rider Wanna Be On Gravel

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    New Braunfels TX
    Looks great!

    Love the helmet too (I have been riding in Arai for 30 years and just replaced my XD3 with the XD4 last year).

    For sure let us know what fuel tank option you use.

    Like you, one of my biggest worries with the 690 was not spending $10K to turn it to a useable long trip bike. Really wish they would but a bigger fuel tank on but Rotopax is cheap and works well, I carry a 1.75 or 1 gal on my F800 on big trips due to the crappy stock tank capacity. I bought it before the 800 Adventure came out :(

    I am steeling myself to take my 1200 GSA on a 10 day trip in about 2 weeks, will include some dicey unridden (by our group) roads. I may panic last minute and take the 800 but getting out and back is so long (500+ miles on first and last days) the big GSA beckons. We have a big group this time so will be plenty of help around to pick up the bikes when they go down.

    TR
    #50
    stuntjake912 and windblown101 like this.
  11. TarTripper

    TarTripper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Cotswolds, England
    But if you decide to go for Option B then I'd recommemd the Suzuki Jimmy. It's an amazingly agile rock rat and has enough room to carry all the comfort camping items that we oldies need more of.

    The portable shower, the deck chair with beer holder, the nice big flat stove, the gas lantern a bigger tent, the air matress........
    #51
    windblown101 likes this.
  12. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    664
    Location:
    Wandering WNC and sometimes in Costa Rica
    Christ
    How old are you??
    Pushing 65 here and still slinging the big VStrom around. And believe me, she is not a svelt girl and I have had to get her upright from the mud
    No reason to think I can't ride a big, comfortable adv touring bike of whatever brand for a good while longer.
    But hey, a smaller, lighter more nimble steed would be ok as well. Ride whatever makes you feel safe
    #52
  13. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,400
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    That's cool you're still comfortable getting in situations where you have to pick up a big bike at 65! I'm younger and slinging them around is not a problem, but picking them up is a drag. It's unfortunate in a sense because a big bike is truly awesome for most of the off pavement forest roads around here. The little bike is proving itself though, and it's already taken me to a few places a big bike would have a hard time fitting through. The small fairing I mounted does an amazing job of knocking the wind down on the road. I think it's going to work well for me.
    #53
  14. 97707

    97707 Go Long

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,829
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    Once in a while I get big bike lust, dreaming of a liter class Beemer or KTM or Africa twin. Then I remember I ride alone a lot, and I ride remote a lot, and sometimes I ride loaded (with gear). And I don't want a bike I can't pick up. I don't mean pick up in the parking lot, I mean downhill on a trail in the mud at night when I'm tired.

    I can pick up my DR650. It weighs <350. If I have to strip the luggage I can do it quick enough. Its no race bike, and the big ones can walk away from me on the highway. But on ADV routes they got not much on me . . . and I have zero envy for all those canbus, magic keys, EFI computer, fancy traction control and electronic suspension adjustment geegaws. Just a headache waiting to happen, seems like.

    Its 1990s tech, but its simple and proven and affordable. The time and money you save, you can spend riding. Some other guy can have the bragging rights that come with his new GS.
    .
    #54
    victor441, Lo Echsar, Folly1 and 4 others like this.
  15. stuntjake912

    stuntjake912 Brrraaaaapp!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Ohio
    So I've race MX and Hare Scrambles all my life and still currently do. I work for IXCR and GNCC and just recently got into the ADV game. Here is my take on the BIG ADV bikes.

    I currently own my race bikes which are two KTMs. I can ride them on the gnarliest of terrains. I also own the other end of the Offroad end a Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. It's in the same class as the BMW 1200 GS. It's is extremely comfortable on the road and has gobs of power 132HP. It is limited Offroad. Recently I have taken it on the Kentucky Adventure Tour trail, I took the Triumph places it was never meant to be but with my Offroad skills I was able to muscle the beast around respectively. It didn't like it and Infact the abuse it took on the skid plate would not aid it reliability. The suspension is soft and because of my aggressive Offroad riding style I kept having to put my mind in check because I was hammering G-out and rocks to hard causing havoc on my bike. It's 575lbs unloaded, it's a handful. And I would run no traction control or ABS on the trail. It's a great fire road, gravel, and light Offroad bike. But a less then expert rider would end up in trouble. The HP was almost to much Offroad, which leads to my next point

    The Africa twin is down on power when I rode it on the road. but once I got Offroad it was just about Perfect. I will say the suspension is not great but way better then the Triumph Explorer. It is just about the happy middle for road and trail. It's honestly hard to beat a DR650 for all around bang for your buck, it will roll 80mph and handle good Offroad. The DRZ hate highway speeds and that equates to valve maintenance. The range on the Triumph is great 220-250miles depending on riding conditions. On my DR I have to bring the RotaPax because range is not great. I review rode the Africa Twin for 410miles. It's going to be hard to beat that, wish it had a little more electronics but a good bike. I'm excited to throw my leg over the new Yamaha T7. I wish I never go rid of my 990 KTM, but the new 1090 or 1190 will be in my near future for an added steed to the stable.
    #55
  16. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5,601
    Location:
    NW Illinois, Driftless Zone
    My musings on the Subject would be:

    1.) Make sure you are in decent physical shape. Don't try to go from couch potato to Dirt Rider... you'll get injured. Go on a decent exercise and cardio program before you get started.

    2.) Make sure you can easily pick up the bike.

    3.) Start out with an easy course / terrain, and work your way up as your skills develop.

    4.) Ride with a group that are at the same level, or slightly better than you are. Don't ride beyond your realistic capabilities.

    5.) Have fun. If you find that you are not.... go back home. :-)
    #56
  17. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    253
    At 72 5'6 27 inch inseam and no weight lifter I'm pretty limited with off road bikes, I've got a 650 Strom which is ok for the paved or good dirt roads but too heavy if I were to get off balance, so I bought a CRF250RALLY, yeah it's high but because it's so light I manage. This bike is an absolute hoot to ride places that I would never go on the Strom
    #57
    zoid, RedEX, Snapper and 3 others like this.
  18. tentative_rider

    tentative_rider Wanna Be On Gravel

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    713
    Location:
    New Braunfels TX
    Yes no doubt that is a great bike too. I have a KTM 500 EXC that has about a 38" seat height (I am the same height as you) but it only weighs 260 lbs full of gas so its not an issue. I can pull it out of a ditch myself and can literally get it upright with 1 hand, whereas my GSA I can get it back on it's wheels if the situation calls but requires me to drag and pivot it around until things are optimal and then it's a very heavy lift, much prefer to have help with that one.
    #58
  19. baldman1

    baldman1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    798
    Why all these exotic bikes? I'm 55 and I can still pick up my old trusty XR650L even when fully loaded. Yeah it doesn't have the power or sexiness of the bigger ADV bikes or even the exotic stuff but it has enough power, is reliable, does 70 mph all day, can still go trail riding, super easy to work on and best of all it's cheap. The thing has taken me all over the Central and South America.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #59
    ACR, Lo Echsar, 97707 and 1 other person like this.
  20. SuperRat

    SuperRat No Longer Lurking

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Turn off the paved road
    I recently turned 60 am in good shape 6ft. 175 pounds. Have been riding 50+ years. I have never understood the big (500 lb) adventure bike. It must be a generation thing. It is my opinion that ALL men should own a min. of 2 bikes. One street bike 750cc or better for road duty and one street legal dirt bike. More bikes are better of course. A selection is optimal. My choice of dirt bike is a 250. When (not if) I drop it I can easly pick it up. Added benefit to light weight is less breakage when dropped. If I want to ride a trail faraway its easy to haul. Anything with a hitch will carry it. Road duty goes to the GUZZI. My $.02.
    I downsized from a XR650L due to height and weight. I drove the 650 up to Mike's Sky Ranch in Baja. Watched some big GS bikes bite the dust...and my wife on her trusty TW drove effortlessly. In my humble opinion, the ease of riding a small bike enhances the experience. I have nothing to prove.
    #60
    Lo Echsar and 97707 like this.