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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Ham, May 31, 2012.
Here ya' go.
I've not ridden a Wee, so I will certainly take your word as to its overall goodness. But (you knew one was coming, right?), the DR IMHO still has some advantages as an Adventure bike.
It's air cooled, so no thermostat, radiator, hoses, seals, or water pump concerns.
It's not fuel injected, so no injector or fuel pump worrys.
The DR can be bump started in the event of a dead battery.
In the very unlikely event you need to adjust valves while in East Armpit, Wherever, the DR doesn't need shims.
The DR gets similar fuel mileage to the Wee, and the aftermarket has huge tanks available.
At 225#+ and packing about 100# of crap for extended camping trips, I agree more DR power would be nice. Maybe the PC 780 kit would handle this.
The DR could stand to have more electrical output, but there are some aftermarket improvements available. I run a 35 watt HID and that allows me to safely run my GPS and Gerbings heated jacket.
Unlike the 800s, no way in hell do I see a DR functioning as 2 up Adventure bike.
The only real disadvantage I find with the DR, and it may just be me and the way I have mine set up, is that this tall, light bike with a lot of side surface gets blown around by side winds very easily.
As an aside, I've found my DR's smoothness to be noticeably affected by the state of the carburetor tuning.
Lets throw some gas in the fire...
Low weight, good power, steel frame, air cooled, easy to work on, no dohicky, hell... why not. Honestly I'd settle for a KTM super enduro to me possible the best adventure bike made as soon as I can afford one .
See, I'm just the opposite. I want fuel injection and water cooling. I've read over and over how un-reliable these systems are, but I've never had a waterpump issue, or an issue with fuel injection. I've had more issues with aircooled bikes no being able to run after they got too hot in stop and go traffic.
In the unlikely event you need to adjust shim type valves, just grind the shim down with a piece of sand paper. I honestly do it all the time.
Its got to be bone simple. And it should be if they would start ground up. So far other than the idividual attempts as have been indicated no one has done that.
I think the companies are disingenuous. The seats the put our are just plain fundamentally flawed.
It would take planning from the get go to get fuel down low, which could be combined with fuel up top.
Or how about a wind shield that helps someone over 5'8 and 150 lbs.
Is a steel frame the way or should it be aluminum or titanium to help lighten the load.
An electrical system that takes advantage of the best small lithium batteries because you use LEDs.
There is a lot of room for innovation here.
If it's got to be "bone simple" then you need a steel frame so anyone with a stick welder can fix it when it cracks. And non of those fancy lithium batteries, you'll never find replacements in the middle of mongolia.
BMW had a mechanical voltage regulators on their older bikes, not the most efficient, but bone simple and repairable in the field.
Not much room for innovation, cause that innovation won't have made it to the 3rd world countries where you'll be riding and fixing it.
I'd like to start with the US and work from there. Given present technology it should start requiring a heck of a lot less wattage.
I'm telling you...this is where we start.
You're right, you are the opposite! I've had a water pump seal go (Vulcan 1500), a water pump housing punctured (KLX650), thermostats malfunction, etc. My Triumph's on its 3rd (4th?) EFI map.
I've never had an issue with an air cooled motor overheating.
PS How do you sand a shim thicker?
I would buy that. I honestly think Ducati is missing the boat by not making something similar with the 1100 motor.
I came thiiiis close to buying a Super Enduro a couple years back. Relatively poor fuel mileage, doubts about sub frame strength, and pumps maintenance kept my wallet in my pocket. Still bet the things are a blast though.
+1 I wish they sold parts. This would be a fun project bike, but I'm not willing to pay the price for someone else to assemble it.
I also like the 950SE -- wish they still sold it in the US. Maybe they'll put a 21" front on the SMT.
If your valve clearances are opening up, you've got more problems than a valve adjust will take care of.
Any old FN motorcycle! (check out this web-site!)
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Doesn't matter what you believe, it's still true.
Good news, I don't know anything about the VT500, but most modern motors have enough power spread than true granny and true highway can be accomplished with 6 speeds. Hell, a KTM 450 has three granny gears and 6th is still reasonable for the highway.
Probably means a fuel pump. Not so simple.
What is simpler than a chain?
Shaft drive? At least two gears, probably four gears and two u-joints.
Belt drive? You're going to put a battle-proof skid plate and a belt on the same motorcycle...
You can claim that you want "bone simple" for reliability, ease of working or just nostalgia, but the real reason anybody buys a bone simple bike is because it's cheaper.
One fuel tank is cheaper than two, zero fuel pumps are cheaper than one, 5 speeds are cheaper than 7, and good enough suspension is cheaper than the best. Steel is cheaper than aluminum, except in Japan, but they're both cheaper than titanium everywhere.
If a motorcycle is half KLR (simple) and half KTM (good), nobody wants to pay KTM prices for it, and manufactures don't want to sell it for KLR prices, so it doesn't get made.
There's your real problem.
That doesn't apply after page one right?
well, you're right; it has been talked about before. Among the many guys who have built their own was an inmate (Wes Weber or his brother?) who built his own based if irc, on a dr 650. It was yellow-very yellow:eek1. Good enough to be featured in Cycle Guide magazine several years ago.
Maybe somebody with better search skills can bring up the original thread, or maybe one of the Webers can chime in, but I don't recall seeing any posts from them in a while.
But somebody else already said it- what ever is perfect for me, may not be perfect for you. Or said another way- there is no perfect machine, so modify ourselves to suit the situation.
I have a DRZ400 E and a Super Tènèrè 1200 and if I would go to a really adventure trip I will go with the DRZ: simple, no electronics, unstoppable in sand, mud
Usually I use it for enduro rides but also in trail trips or Morocco with a bigger tank, more comfortable seat, a rack, led lights and the development of the S mode (more speed).
I didn't mean "I believe" like "I feel". I have some experience into what things cost. What I see in this world is if there is a will there is a way, but you have to start with a clean sheet of paper. Simple yes, but not simpleton. LEDs gave us a great leg up on the electrical end of things.
Think out of the box on how you can instead of sitting back lobbing 3 pointers hitting 1 out of 10...thats about your average right?:)
Define your adventure. Some of the "features" of an adventure bike desired by some folks have too high of cost (in the sense of trade-offs) for others. Fer instance: If I don't plan on adventuring in the Third World, the additional weight of a steel frame just so the one-eyed blacksmith in Bumphuxipawny can hammer weld it back together doesn't really make sense, does it? Ditto with fuel pumps, fuel injection, etc.
That said, based on my sense of adventure:
Twin cylinder - 400-500 cc, tuned for torque. A twin for smoothness.
6 speed tranny with granny and overdrive. Torque tuned engine gives wider powerband. Think tractor, not race car.
Titanium frame and other bits where possible. Keep the weight down.
6" or so of suspension, adjustable. I'm not racing motocross or doing stadium supercross.
200+ mile range.
Robust electrical system with a "power distribution" center already installed for hooking in farkles.
LED lighting for everything except maybe headlight.
Adjustable seat, with cheap OEM seatpans so customized seats are relatively inexpensive. I don't expect the bike manufacturer to be able to build a seat that is comfortable for everybody, but I do think they should be able to make it easy for us to do so ourselves.
Designed for ease of routine maintenance. Minimize the variety of fasteners.
"Dirt bike" plastics. Cheaper and tougher than streetbike plastics. But not as shiny.
Long maintenance intervals. I'd rather have a 3k-5k oil change interval than save 6lbs of weight by using only a single quart of oil!
Two frame sizes. Small and Large. They've been building different frame sizes in bicycles for a century, it ain't that hard!
Manually adjustable windshield. Adjustability is important, don't need it to be 'lectric though.
Integrated pannier attachment points. Sell the mounting bits to aftermarket bag makers.
ABS, easy to turn off.
Either dirt cheap junk suspension in a very common form factor (so you have lots of choices for upgrades) or decent rebuildable suspension.
Stout bash plate, protected radiator.
Fuel injected. Runs on regular.
Fuel filter and pump NOT IN THE TANK, i.e. easy to replace, uses commonly available replacement bits. Same with the oil filter. Commonly available size.
What I have no use for/interest in:
Electronically adjustable suspension. Not mature enough a technology to make it cost effective.
Shaft drive. Weight penalty isn't worth it for this application.
Two-up touring capability.
This is a solo long distance adventure bike suitable for everything from interstates to single track. It is NOT a race bike. Ya mosey down the single track. It's okay to put a foot down. Its okay to watch Ricky RoadRacer and Wally WoodsRacer disappear around the next corner. You'll be two states over tomorrow when Ricky is still getting the kinks out of his back, and Wally is deciding whether or not he's going to unload his bike from the truck.
Nevada, except for the second cylinder, you've accurately described my mythical WR450R...
But since this is in "Beasts", I'd be happy to have the bike you describe.