Other bikes that should exist

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by mridefellow, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Forseti

    Forseti Long timer

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    The main reason most of the "adventure" bikes sell is not for their off road ability but instead for the "standard" riding position. Thus the more cost effective option for the builders is to produce bikes that look the part by tweaking current production lines.

    This is what Honda, Kawi, Suzuki are doing for that very reason.

    Hp is a huge selling point even though for most riders a 60Hp bike is more than enough but in north america a bike is a toy and what is needed rarely comes into the decision.
    #41
  2. xrcris

    xrcris Been here awhile

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    Definitely. It would be nice however, if they used some upscale parts from the bin, rather than the budget crap picked so far.

    Three comments about "more than enough power":
    1) Depends on what you ride, who you ride with and most importantly, what they ride. I had a NT650 Hawk when new, and it was a great bike, light, handled well, cool styling, cutting edge with the ss swingarm, Al frame, fat rear tire - but a hell of a lot slower than the FZR600's my friends rode. That got old quick.
    2) As a commuter, I want to enough power on tap now to get away from the cage when the distracted dumbass does something stupid. This happens way too often.
    3) Maybe most important, sometimes you just want to be a hooligan and whack the throttle, in this case more is always better.:D
    #42
  3. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    You are the person the Manufactures have targeted. Adventure to most seems to me mostly street with the ability to do a dirt road once in while.

    I could live with a 60 hp multi cylinder, if the bike was lighter. A 7/8th size F800 would do just fine. You can't use all the HP off road and that snappy throttle response is not something you want to feel sometimes.
    #43
  4. sark

    sark Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    The V7s are so damned tempting, but the Scrambler......that's just begging me to rob a bank.
    #45
  6. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    In think in the real world 90+ % of all "adventures" involve substantial pavement, it's a fact of life in our modern world. For me a ride to Alaska would be 80+ % pavement, if you take off for Argentina most of your trip will be on pavement. There simply aren't enough connected dirt roads to do otherwise.

    The rest of the time most of us ride our "Adventure bikes" in rather plebeian roles as we commute to work or go for a weekend ride someplace. I think that is very reasonable. How many buyers actually have several months to go off trekking across Africa or any other place, most of us work and want to use our expensive (OK, KLRs don't qualify) Adventure bikes on a more daily basis to get some user value out of the purchase.

    I do agree a big draw for Adventure bikes is the more upright / relaxed riding position plus good passenger ergos. We don't have standard style bikes anymore (except just a very few) so many are looking for that, I was, it was a major draw for me when I started considering a bike to replace my last sport touring bike. I come from a dirt bike background and love those ergos. Today every time I sit on a bike that has ergos similar to a dirt bike I like it, Super Motards offer a similar attraction. Way too many current bikes have really lousy passenger ergos.

    60 hp with reasonable weight is fine. I remember riding my '78 KZ650 which probably had around 65 hp and it was PLENTY fast for any street situation and would blow past 100 mph with ease. Dry weight, around 460 lbs or so according to the Wiki and seems about right.

    That was not a slow bike, we really don't need mega hp, we just need a reasonable balance of power to weight plus some honesty. What the hell is the point of a crazy 200hp 1400cc monster if they have to put "traction control" (read rider control) on it to make it rideable? It's ego maniac marketing.

    I find 100 hp on a 600 lb bike to be plenty, and 60-70 hp with decent torque on a 450 lb bike would make most people smile if they are honest.
    #46
  7. xrcris

    xrcris Been here awhile

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    P:W is important, but your comparison to a KZ650 was also in the era of chevette's, Vega's and pinto's that made 100hp. A 1985 Mustang GT made 200HP, Hyundai's make that now....everything has gotten faster and more powerful. You're right that 60-70hp would make most people smile, but that has to be under the right circumstances as well......like you said, more beasts slog through rather pedestrian duty than anything else......
    #47
  8. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Those may have been some of the uhmmm not so fast cars of the day, but I was driving a 1967 Pontiac GTO (4 spd) at the time so it was my "car" reference. I agree vehicles in general have gotten more powerful, also heavier, and some faster. I might argue some in severe excess, well past what is actually usable on the street.

    My point was we have come to a time of expecting excess, more than what is needed or usable, often more than what is actually fun. A lot of people decided 500cc 2-stroke motocross bikes were a bit too much, more than the needed power to get around the track the fastest. A smaller, lighter, less powerful, bike proved faster and far more user friendly.
    #48
  9. xrcris

    xrcris Been here awhile

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    Nice. Mine was a '65 Nova, which actually fits your example pretty well, light car + good running small block = :D
    #49
  10. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    I think there are a lot of good suggestions here but there always seems to be the missing bits.

    Take the above FZ-09

    Add 14Litres + 14lbs = 428lbs.
    Add 3 more inches of suspension + some suspension tube thickening + 6lbs? 434lbs
    Bit more robust chain and sprockets for that low first gear torque and crap conditions. + 1lbs 435lbs
    Protection, under motor sub frame + 10lbs = 445lbs
    If you don't want things cracking ala DR BIG, KTM, BMW beef up the frame(s) = +5lbs = 450lbs.
    Center stand? + 5lbs 455lbs.
    ABS is optional in some countries but not in others + 2lbs = 452lbs
    Standard off road thick wall tires on big wire wheels + 3lbs 455lbs
    Bit less compression so it's real safe on regular gas - 5HP.
    Rake out the steering a bit so it's more stable and easier to handle in the rough.

    So maybe you are looking at a real ADV XT850. But me thinks all people will see is 455lbs and 95HP.

    On the other hand you could get the "test ride special / reviewer special" a WR850R

    Just jack it up and add a few litres. (18 Litres) same range as a GS.
    No changes, no centre stand as standard, no ABS, Light tires, No protection, same motor, same wheels same frame.
    Higher compression 12.5:1 and power output. +10HP
    Add some maps (Drive modes) Gnarly and Super Gnarly, to soften it down a bit so it has a chance of getting grip off road. People love modes.

    Then people will see an ADV styled bike and see 420lbs and 115HP.

    So there is sensible real world and then there is "Mine is better than yours" simplistic marketing.

    Super size me, is a proven formula, whether that be food, HP, Gadgets, Capacity etc

    In a marketing sense option 2 would be the way to go.

    People will be quoting the non optioned weight ad nauseum, No one will weigh the accessories. The power output will be good for Cafe/Starbucks bragging rights, It will be a mental strain off road for any length of time but will feel great on a test ride. The reviewers will love the "rasp" that the new "improved" triple makes and the price will be really reasonable.
    The experienced off roaders will love the pace at which it can be punted through terrain, and in the day they have it, it probably won't break.

    This is why you see things that don't make much sense. People buy perceived excitement.

    From an Australian perspective, the non exciting parts are where things count. AWAY from the smooth coastal roads where GS's and Multistrada's live there is a big country full of dust, sand, regular fuel and big distances between fuel.

    This is where the tough as nails, separate chassis, vinyl floor covered, bench seated, air conditioned, diesel powered, low HP world of 4WD live. Usually TOYOTA and NISSAN.
    As far as bikes go, you see 200cc AG bikes everywhere, practical go anywhere things. On the road it's Cruisers, KTM's, Super Tenere's, Goldwings and if you are lucky a GSA occasionally. (huge range). That's just my experience.

    In the city it's BMW, AUDI and Lexus. You don't see that stuff away from the coast except in the Greener Horsey people areas where it is still LAND ROVER all the way.
    Bikes? Multi's, GS's, Harleys, Crotch rockets and Motards.

    So, it seems the city is where the main source of cashed up yuppies live and is where the profit action is. This is why the sensible bikes are pretty much left alone. They work. They are reliable, don't break, simple, cheap and can run on anything as long as it is Petrol. I don't know what would happen if Kawasaki released a KLR twin but the KLE 500cc twin didn't work, despite being a great bike. Maybe the KLR's / DR success is all about price and history.

    Sensible doesn't seem to sell well at a good profit. Image does these days. It's exactly the same in the Push bike world. I mean how many people just ride a normal bike in some old jeans and a T Shirt these days?

    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    That seems about right to me for a true ADV equipped and tuned bike, pretty close to a Tiger 800XC. A lot of companies like to quote base bike weights, which then grow at least 30 lbs when you hang on some protection and luggage. I'm also happy to trade some weight for durability and suitable oil capacities. I'm not into this 1 qt capacity, change it after every ride nonsense. I can handle the extra weight of a couple more quarts.

    I'm not sure why the KLE wasn't a success, we didn't get it here. I "suspect" it may have had to do with a lack of torque in the old 500 twin, not sure. I do think a modern rendition of that using the Versys tuned 650 would work fine, especially if they put a 270 crank in it and added a bit more flywheel weight.

    I don't know about the outback per se, but I'm not willing to give up fuel injection any longer. Somethings need to progress......

    There is no doubt a big part of the KLR's success has to do with it's rock bottom price, large fuel tank, and "reasonably" capable chassis. A lot are sold on price...... to people wishing they could afford better and after riding it for a while certainly wishing for it.
    #51
  12. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    They don't care about FI. It works and it's reliable. Some old timers might like the carbs because they feel more in control, but the FI problems are pretty rare. I think the whole carb thing is just cost. Millions of small carbs sold each year on small bikes.

    The bigger problem is seals. The dust gets into everything and grinds things up. Gatters are the thing to have, Shafts, forks whatever.
    #52
  13. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Wise decision on their part because these bikes do not sell well. When I bought mine in june they had 2012 leftovers in almost every dealership across the province and I got mine for 4300$ below MSRP. Nobody wants them. The old guyz with coin to spend would rather spend double for something with spoked wheels and a pedigree. The young guns all want the Z1000 with the tranformers look... because it looks cool. So the ones who buy them.. the bargain hunters. I was looking at used Vstroms when I bought mine and this is my first new bike.

    So sure some would get sold but they need models that will sell easely to have them cycling thru the showrooms and make them some money.They dont make money by selling them a year late at 4300 below MSRP.
    #53
  14. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    I think you are right. If Kawi would only drop their cyclops styling theme and maybe mount spoked wheels with a 19" front I think both sized Versys would sell a hell of a lot better. Somebody at Kawi doesn't quite get it, it's not that hard to fix. The basics really aren't that bad.

    The funny thing is it seems the guys who did buy the Versys 1000 like them quite a bit. Most of the reviews I've read were quite positive.
    #54
  15. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    I'd like to see somebody develop gaters for upside down forks. I'd buy a set in a heart beat for my Stelvio.
    #55
  16. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    I do love mine and I prefer the 17s for 98% of my riding is tarmac
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  17. danptobin

    danptobin Been here awhile

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    I wouldnt be suprised to see a fuel injected DRZ400s in 5-10 years. As well as a fuel injected KLX250s and KLR650.The XR650L and DR650SE will probably fade away though. These days it costs to much for the enissions certifications in the US to make a new model that doesnt sell well. So we will get these changes only after successfully tried in other markets. The US demand just isnt there like it was in the 1980s.
    #57
  18. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    Kawasaki should do what Kawasaki does best. When a company releases a debatably better bike at a particular engine size, upsize it. The KLX should be a 300, if not a 350. It would still be lighter than the CRFL and for sure worth an extra $500-$1000.
    #58
  19. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    A FI KLX 300-350 at a price around $5.5k would rock a few people's world. The WR250R is nice but overpriced for a 250. Maybe someday Yamaha will release it's big brother and we'll have a nice Japanese FI 6spd 450 dual sport bike to lust for. I just hope it ends up for sale in the states.

    Let's see, there's another brand who's good at filling in the gaps..... orange comes to mind, seems they have a pretty nice 350 on the market.

    But right now Kawi isn't doing anything to most of it's dual sport line up, they seem stuck in time on that front...... along with most of the Japanese companies.
    #59
  20. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Solid thread.

    I feel like brain storming. :evil

    Make the V-strom 100lbs lighter. If Honda can make 470cc P. Twin, then Suzuki can make a 445cc V-twin.

    Make the frame lighter, and then give the under carriage better protection. The tank can go down to 4.5 gallons.
    70mpg under great conditions. Range 300 miles. I can go as heavy as 390lbs.
    HP would need to be about 45-48hp. Perfect for the EU.:deal
    6 gears.

    If we wanted, to get real nasty, up grade the suspension.
    Lights out.

    _
    #60