What attribute make a good/great ADV bike

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Qaz, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

    Mar 12, 2012
    I have been reading these builds for about a year and like everyone else, I think: Man that is a good idea or I wouldn't do that. Let's face it, the BMW GS is a street bike and although the old Yamaha DT 250 was hell of a trailbike, it was limited on the road! As you move up in size and cc there should be a point where it all balances. The Versys and V-strom are good starting points but the KLR with the 650 twin engine offers more.
    My question is: If you were to build frankenstien, what would it include and why? I think we need some guide lines, it must be capable of 200+ miles on a tank of gas, comfortable enough to ride 600+ mile days strung together (ie. Touring), keep up with highway traffic, nimble enough to ride single track.
  2. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

    Dec 19, 2008
    Right where I need to be
    The hard part to achieve is the "nimble enough to ride single track" along with all that preceded that.

    Personally I'm a big fan of the modified Versys/Ninja, and I simply accept that due to the limitations of the bike and myself as a rider, this is not the bike for me to ride single track with.
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Aug 12, 2005
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    I would build exactly what I built with the ninja 650 but I would change the following

    Replace pds shock and swing arm with a linkage from a KTM 690. That gets rid of the tank mods. Probably. I would also run shorter travel. I have 300mm and I could get by with less.

    Perhaps go custom on the tank, but that is beyond my skill level. My bike you can stand but the shape of the tank prevents it being comfortable for long distance.

    I had also considered running the KTM 690 subframe and tank setup. This would get rid of huge ninja tank and replace with 3.2 gals. I would then augment with maybe a side tank opposite the exhaust. Now I could have a seat that goes all the way to the bars for better seating positions.

    Probably would require a custom frame and a ton of work. I considered doing this as I have the parts to frame it up but I simply don't have the time or ambition to tackle another huge project right now. But it would be awesome

    My bike is fuel injected, gets 40ish mpg. Has plenty of power, weighs 385 lbs and that is full of fuel. I don't know if I would want it I do a 600 mile day on it but I probably could. It will easily pull 75 all day long and rips past 100 when required.

    To me the big thing is weight. It makes a huge difference. You know how fun it is to ride a 450 dirt bike. But adding 200lbs just kills the fun off-road. My ninja is pretty close to exactly what I would want but def needs another revision.

    I will do it someday just can't dedicate the time.
  4. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Aug 12, 2005
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    The more I have considered it, I think the KTM 690 with some mods would pretty much check all the boxes. I guess you might lose a little comfort on the road, but it sure makes up for it in performance and off road ability. And they have been around long enough to be within reach of most buyers. Building a bike is not cheap. Especially with fun bling components. Anyone who tells you different hasn't done one:lol3
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Jul 6, 2007
    there are no guidelines, never will be either. the bikes are purpose built and tailored to satisfy the builder's criteria, not some other rider's notions of what "ideal" means, no matter the usage. riders can't even agree on the capability and usage of bone stock motos, how are they to set guidelines for custom builds?

    if custom bikes happen to end up with some similarities, it's because the builders had similar goals and might have faced the same problems and constraints.

    KLR with a ptwin offers more what, exactly? some great builds by some very talented guys, and that bike might offer more of what you're looking for, but certainly not more of what i'm looking for. see what i mean.

    your money, your time, your skills, your ride...build whatever the heck ya want.
  6. Navin

    Navin Long timer

    Sep 22, 2009
    Tonymorr is going to nail it with the Ninja 300 conversion. The engine is a doll of a motor. The torque is flat and useable, the gears are spread wide enough for one sprocket set to do trails and highway. Capable of big MPH numbers and smooth at high RPMs.

    I rode/raced KTM Adv and/or a SE950 since 2003. Put this 300cc engine in a SE type frame and it would be a riot. In an Adv it would put the KLR out of business. No, it won't power wheelie in 3rd gear, but it would be nimble off road and do over 100 MPH.

    Kawasaki needs to hire a few guys away from KTM and grow a set! :1drink
  7. dhallilama

    dhallilama Long timer

    Apr 3, 2012
    Portland, OR, USA
    guess it depends on the rider... for me, a GS would be an utter nightmare off road & i don't even like it on road. i like the idea of a ninja 300 motor in a capable chassis/suspension package. for me the closest thing to a great ADV bike out of the box is an XR650R. It's still on the heavy side for single track, but it does the wide open throttle boogie through the desert that i love so much.

    otherwise... if i were building my version of an ADV bike... either a late suzuki RM... or KTM frame/suspension, wedge a ~450cc thumper in there... or maybe a big rotax 4 stroke...
  8. AST236

    AST236 Long timer

    Oct 2, 2009
    Lower Alabama
    Sit back and get ready for hundreds of answers to your question. Should be fun! :clap

    If I could just average my DR350 and my FJR1300, maybe I'd be close.

    I actually liked the WeeStrom I had for a while. It was just so, SO ugly! :lol3

    For me, a less ugly WeeStrom w/ laced wheels would take care of most of my riding needs.......YMMV
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    By the Great Lakes
    Pick up a beaten DR650SE and drag it through www.Procycle.us.

    You can have a smooth-running DR790 with 400+ miles of range, a comfy seat, luggage racks, and suspension with fully-adjustable damping. Then fab some brackets to lower your passenger pegs and add touring pegs, and shop for some soft luggage bags with some PacSafe mesh bags around them. It'll run singletrack. It'll run slab for days at a time.
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

    Dec 2, 2008
    Kensington, NH USA
    what kind of ADVENTURE will you be doing?
  11. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Feb 11, 2012
    Reliability! Most important is reliability.
    So it should be an as stock as possible Honda.
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    An "Adventure bike" is (or should be) one with a 19" front wheel chain, shaft or belt final drive and long suspension.

    A Dual Sport Bike should be lighter, have a 21" front wheel Chain final drive and Long suspension.

  13. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Jan 9, 2005
    Über Alles,California

    1. Wide ratio 6 speed transmission with a low first gear.

    2. Air cooled.

    3. Minimum engine size of 350cc.

    4. 40 RWHP, true HP, not Dynojet.

    5. 300 pounds fully fueled.

    How I would achieve that list;

    1. TY350 transmission.

    2. TY350 engine.

    3. TY350 engine.

    4. Turbo and fuel injected.

    5. 7 gallons of fuel, nav tower, oil tank for pre-mix, integrated soft luggage should get me to 300 pounds which is the magic number for me in my experience. I want a little weight for good highway manners, yet light enough for single track.

    Stay tuned to the 'Built, not Bought' section and I'll make it a reality.
  14. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy I like pussy

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern CA
    ADV ain't in the bike, it's in the rider!!! :D

  15. CanadianLifeGuard

    CanadianLifeGuard Been here awhile

    Jan 22, 2013
    Victoria, BC
    For me that bike would be easy to make. Take a KTM dirt bike frame, with well sorted suspension components. Drop in the 375cc thumper from the new duke 390, with a good wide range 6-speed gearbox. Add a 20L(ish) fuel tank for some good range and a rally style fairing for some wind protection along with a good seat. Boom you have a a bike thats punchy (40-45rwhp depending on what you read), has good range, would be comfortable on the highway and capable in the dirt. Keep it all around, preferably under, 300lb ready to ride and with an MSRP of around $10,000 and it would sell like hotcakes in my opinion.
  16. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    May 5, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    It will always be a compromise. There can be no one bike, that is perfect for crossing an alligator infested swamp, and touring two-up on the big highways. The trick is to get the machine, that suits YOUR needs really well.
  17. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Feb 27, 2007
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
    I'd take a DR350, bump it out to 400CC. give it the DR650's oil cooler, NikaSil plating, 5gal tank (don't have to have it full for single tracking, to keep the weight down) with the modern chassis/suspension of the DRZ400 while retaining the old DR's 6 speed box.
    It must retain screw and lock-nut valves for easy on the road servicing (no parts required for valve adjustments) and F.I. to cope with todays shitty gas and changing altitudes.

    ...that's my perfect 200+ mile a day bike for single track woods exploring and highway droning @ 75 mph.

    Oh yeah, I'll also take the old 91 DR650's seat, luggage rack, skid plates and mini-windshield WITH the kick starter.

    I.M.H.O. Suzuki at one time, has had all the parts and capability (for cheap) but it never wound up all on one motorcycle.:wink:

    So, what are the attributes that make the perfect bike for me? (above)
    Simplicity, reliability, serviceability and flexibility.

    As for touring two up...I.M.H.O. that just nixed 1/2 the fun of the adventure and escape. (you guys can have your big bikes for those needs)
  18. jessej

    jessej CruiserLuiser

    Jan 27, 2010
    :eek1 If you've jumped out of airplanes thousands of times, it isn't an adventure any more. If it's your first, WOW! There are 4 components to a good ADV bike: comfort, power, agility and reliability. I guess that could be said for any type of bike, but ADV more so. As I collect more calendar time, I don't yearn for "adventure" like I used to. At this point, I am very happy with a Wee-strom with seat mods, handlebar mods and appropriate Givi luggage. It has performed well in all the above categories and I get close to 60mpg with it on the highway. I've considered other 2-wheelers (Yamaha Tenere) but keep with the Wee because I now have it set up as I like it. After coming from many younger years with KLRs (which I revere), it gives me that same feel but with greater comfort. That should be worth 2 cents.

  19. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

    Dec 3, 2010
    a wr250r does everything :lol3
  20. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Feb 22, 2007
    Granbury Texas
    For me, having a BMW on it makes a great DS bike. A large one that is. Like a R1200GS.