Riding Standard vs Dual Sport

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Alcanfinforo, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Susser Tod,
    What bike would you recommend that would have the best chance of parts availability in "Latin America"?
    In other words what do the locals ride? I rode a 1982 GL500 down to the Panama Canal in 1997 and it was plenty of bike. Luckily I did not need any parts other than a new battery in Guatemala.

    A modern air cooled, chain drive, simple 250 cc bike would be fine with me.
    #21
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away

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    A very good point, IMHO. Bad roads, by whatever means (neglect, frost heaves, poor materials), are everywhere and another reason why I left the world of luxury barges for DS. Having that extra travel, coupled with improved handling, is one of the reasons why I found my GS to be more comfortable than the old road sofa, regardless of distance. Every rider in our family has moved to a GS (currently 3) or DS type of bike for their primary bike, even when touring.
    #22
  3. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    ...my most enjoyable distance rides (200-600 miles in a day) have always taken place on the Dualsports I've owned. (from 250's to 650's)
    Why, is because they're the only ones with a really stable geometry, 21 in fronts and the suspension to suck up Pennsylvania's shitty road conditions.

    On Sportbikes, Cruisers and Standards, I've managed to blowout tires, bend rims and even blow out a suspension or two; none of which I would want to have happen abroad where parts availability might be an issue.

    I learned my lesson. Any bike might be able to travel anywhere but, I'll always hedge my bets on a D.S. being able to do it better.

    F.W.I.W. my definition of a D.S. is a true 50/50 bike like a DR650 (or comparable model) that forms a great starting point to take you in the direction you want to go.

    Good luck on your Journey.:freaky
    #23
  4. Alcanfinforo

    Alcanfinforo Adventurer

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    Unfortunately no, and my trip is heading out west from IL, then south until the road ends, then some more.

    My plan is to leave in October, so plenty of time to prepare. I'm guessing fuel consumption will lower once I have all the gear on. Tank holds 4.5 gallons. Slower rides and an extra 3 gallon tank I think should do the trick.

    Under what conditions? I've not ridden dual sports long distances, which is partly why I asked the original question. I don't plan to go off-road and most of the pictures of ride reports are 90% paved or hard packed dirt.
    #24
  5. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    One small hint, maybe you've heard this one, maybe not. I ride a lot of vintage bikes and in fact a couple vintage Hondas, and on a long road trip many people thread an extra clutch cable and throttle cable (the pull side) down through the stock routing and zip tie it to the good one. Then if you are in some god forsaken place and it snaps on you all you have to do is hook up the spare and you are rolling again.
    #25
  6. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    This.

    Get a good tune up before you leave, sync the carbs, bring some extra tubes, get some good modern tires, put together a good tool kit, what ever other replacement parts you think might be necessary and split!

    Have fun! Whatever bike you own is the best one to take! I've been on long rides on a cb-750 and they are rock solid reliable.

    If people keep waiting for the right bike to do the trip, they sometimes don't do the trip. The fun in motorcycling, as I see it, is going with what you have and having fun on the way!
    #26
  7. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    Friend did a trip around the world on a gold wing, which included Sahara and south America, so it can be done
    #27
  8. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    +1. Around here, the single most comfortable vehicle I own is my DR350. :lol3 It doesn't even have a great suspension compared to more expensive or more modern DS bikes, but it soaks up potholes, cracks, heaves, and bumps better than even my SUV did. Plus, it's way easier to dodge the potholes with a lightweight, agile bike and you have better visibility with a taller bike and more upright seating position.

    That said, you can certainly ride just about any bike just about anywhere with enough skill, determination, and luck.
    #28
  9. Alcanfinforo

    Alcanfinforo Adventurer

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    Check, have one of each in stock (even though the clutch is new within the last six months). Started with a base set of tools, not every time I work on the moto and necessarily need a tool I add it to the kit.

    Very true!
    #29
  10. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    This is my XV920 Yamaha,1981 model. It weighs about 510 lb.s + all the stuff I took , so maybe in the 600 lb.s range. It also has very limited ground clearance and short travel suspension.
    It's shown here on the MaGruder Corridor ,reputed to be the longest primative road in the lower 48 states, 148 miles.
    You can see the mods I made to prepare for this type riding. Handguards,for weather protection and so if you do tip over ,you won't break your levers. A skid plate to protect the bottom of the engine, on the MaGruder there were hills to climb that had it ringing like cymbals from rock hits.Also a crash bar mainly because there is no frame under the motor to mount the skid plate to.It's also a good place to mount highway pegs, just to have a alternate riding position for the flats.
    It's no dirt bike, not even close. But if you are determined and slow down,and pick the right line ,you can go a lot of places.
    No one sells skid plates for your Honda 4, you'll have to come up with your own. Metal handguards will fit , crashbars are out there.

    [​IMG]

    Stuff like this may happen. Pick it up and continue.
    #30
  11. Seth650

    Seth650 Been here awhile

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    ADV sticker causes cagers to slow down around you?
    #31
  12. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I also think I would pick a dual sport, much as I like vintage bikes.
    They are tough, soak up bumps, tend to be light, easy to work on.

    Nothing seems great, the dr650 is a bit too big and heavy, the 250's too small and under powered.
    A dr400 would be nice.

    Once out of the US and its high speed limits and wide open interstates, the 250's would do real well.
    I think 95% of bikes in other countries are 250cc or less.
    #32
  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Especially when you bury it to the axles in mud on one of those nice unimproved South American road ways!

    Do it!
    #33
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    There are contortionists who can likely stick their heads up their anus too. But I don't plan to try.
    #34
  15. SuperdaveOsborn

    SuperdaveOsborn Frustrated Slacker

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    I would say dual sport. This is like taking a '68 Mustang. It might do fine, but it will be hard on the old girl. Your bike is going to be a classic very soon, if not already. You will take years off its life, years you'll want back some day.

    Better to get a newer dual sport, something you can afford, and save your classic.

    In my opinion, dual sports, especially the big ones are the standard bikes of today. Most of them are ridden on the road, many exclusively so. Like a standard, the just do lots of stuff well. Motorcycle marketing just won't accept a standard. It does not work with identity marketing.
    #35
  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I guess I will put out something of value -

    Simplest lightest bike that will do the job is the trick when it comes to ease of touring that involves serious single track and unimproved roads, getting in rutted root crossed paths, and other crap.

    If you want to make it some challenge to prove either that you can do it or that you're just plain foolish - or both - then do something goofy like some have mentioned. Ride an R1 across the desert and snow covered tundra, do it with a Wing or a Road King. After all, you can also motocross race a Harley or Gold Wing too, if you want and the promoter will allow it...

    Oddly enough a CX500 actually makes a bit of sense - ever see how much ground clearance they have? Makes some adventure bikes jealous! I swear it had to be about 10" or more! Some good shocks and forks along with dual sport tires would put that bike firmly in the Adventure bike class.

    [​IMG]

    18 or 19" front wheel, stock forks and shock length close to stock, and the bottom of the engine is nearly in-line with the axle centerline! That's ground clearance.
    #36
  17. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    The OP asked about touring on pavement and hard-packed gravel roads. You can call standard motorcycles foolish if you misinterpret the question wildly enough, but it doesn't really address the question.
    #37
  18. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Holy poop. I got home from three-plus years in Germany to MI and about had a heart attack. I don't need my F bike, I need a flipping dirt bike here.
    #38
  19. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    It's particularly bad this year. It's actually better when MDOT doesn't plow and salt the roads because then the ice and snow packs into the potholes (more like craters) and smooths the road out a bit!
    #39
  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    How many times have you EVER seen where all the roads from North America to South America was all hard packed dry, much less paved? Seems every time I've seen anything about touring down into Central and South America there are areas where the road ways qualify for off roading if they were in the U.S.

    The answer is legitimate considering the question posed.
    #40