What Is The Advantage Of Large Displacement In The Dirt?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by BeerIsGood, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    This is probably a noob question. And as far as off road riding goes, I guess I am a noob. I see a lot of riders on this forum wallowing around the dirt and mud with HUGE bikes (BMW 1200 GS, Yamaha Tenere, KTM 990) and I was just wondering:

    1. What is the advantage of a bike this large in an off road situation?
    2. Other than speed and power on tarmac, is there really any advantage?
    #1
  2. julesmt

    julesmt Adventurer

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    There`s no advantage in dirt riding a big displacement bike. A smaller / lighter bike wil always be easier to ride / faster / more fun in the dirt. The only advantage of the big bikes is that you can travel a lot of distance fast.

    Of all the big adventure bikes the only one that can be ridden agressive is the big KTM, but only with a very good rider on top of it.
    #2
  3. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    1. There isn't one.

    2. No, but it really impresses the other posers riding across the speed bumps in the Starbucks parking lot. :freaky
    #3
  4. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    This has always confused me as I rarely see anyone riding faster than 70-75 and only on the Interstates where legal. I never see a 1200GS booking down the back roads at these speeds. To tell you the truth it seems that GS riders are the most law abiding and courteous riders on the road.
    #4
  5. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    only advantage I can think of is .... more grunt for two up option
    R80G/S is lightest of dual sport airheads at 368 dry... with 9 gal fuel = 450lbs
    even with say 4 gal fuel = 400lb is a pig

    HP2 (1170cc) is 385 dry.. 429 with 3.4 gal fuel .. 103 HP
    #5
  6. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    1.(a) The bigger the bike the less likely one is to do the stupid chit usually attempted on smaller bikes. :lol3

    (b) it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it? :wink:

    2. I reckon it's all relative to each individual, their stature, and experience. My R1200GS was a lot better off road 2up for me than my KLR650 was. That being said, I wasn't racing hare scrambles on either one of them...:lol3

    NOTE: I'm 6'4", 320lbs so the KLR was a little bike to me...:D

    I'd also like to kindly disagree with the first poster's reply...the HP2 is a hoot and a half to ride off road aggressively....:wink:

    We used to ride 2up 500+ miles to the place we liked to ride "off pavement", the GS was much nicer to do it on than anything else for us back then.

    I remember test riding a KTM 950 2up in SC, my wife wanted off before the first mile....:lol3 ... so I brought her back to the dealer, and ripped on it solo for a while. I liked it too, but it was not nearly as sorted for us as the GS was. YMMV.
    #6
  7. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Look at the vid in my signature line so you won't have to use "never" in that regard again...:lol3

    We were out riding 2up in NC close to Beech Mountain, the two track we were on turned into a rutted single track decent. About a half mile into it we encountered two mountain bikers, one of them patching a flat. The looks on their faces was priceless...:lol3

    I asked them if the trail went back to a two track, or at least ran into something more manageable. They said it would only get worse, so I turned around and headed back. I don't recommend that kind of riding for most folks on a GS, but it was fun to me. :D
    #7
  8. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    Ok..... I mean sometimes. Haha. Thanks for the vid link!!
    #8
  9. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Got my wife to shoot that one day while we were out riding. I told her it was for later on when folks would try to call me a liar...:lol3
    #9
  10. Drilldogger

    Drilldogger Been here awhile

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    The advantage to a large displacement bike isn't in the dirt, it's for when the dirt ends and you hit the road. Or if you want to travel long distances w/ a passenger. Dual sports are compromised bikes. They either lean towards dirt and they aren't that great on the road, or they lean towards the road and they aren't that great in the dirt. There are more than a few that are 50/50 which means they aren't good at either.
    Shoot down any one model on this forum, even the mighty KLR and you'll get 20 guys tearing you a new arsehole b/c they have think their bike is the best. The trick is to find a bike that suits your own needs and not someone else's.
    I just sold my KLX250s, this week. I my opinion it's a bike that doesn't really do anything that well, but it did almost everything good enough for me and it was cheap. I always found it underpowered - before the haters jump in I have ridden a big bore 351 and still found it weak and thirsty. Now I have a klx450 - it's awesome, but I will probably have to rebuild the motor more often but it works FOR ME.

    In short, if you're single tracking w/ your buddies a GS1200 won't give you an advantage over their thumpers. Don't worry about which bike everyone says will be perfect, and find the one that's perfect for you - at least until your needs change.
    #10
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Reliability of larger engines. Comfort of bigger ergonomics. Long wheelbase makes them less flighty when doing high speeds down fire roads. Also, some of us find them more fun. There are places I can get to on a 450 EXC that I cannot on a GS , but they are fewer than I suspect most people would imagine. For all the stuff I can get both get down, I find the F8 more entertaining. I ride offroad for pleasure, so why not pick what I enjoy most, rather than what is "best"?

    Sent from my Lumia 800 using Board Express
    #11
  12. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest


    Do you feel that the long wheel base ever hinders maneuverability? Especially in tight turning situations?

    ---Thanks
    #12
  13. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    :stupid
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  14. 5punksdad

    5punksdad Tag-Master-Flash

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    what he said
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  15. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    If the operator of the bike is having fun, that would be sufficient.

    In many spots, I have as much fun on the Adv as I do a smaller bike. It's a different set of challenges to work at.

    Oh, yeah...don't forget about ROOST!
    #15
  16. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Rarely; generally speaking, it's only when threading between trees, when "properly offroad" (as opposed to going down trails) that I find myself wanting a tighter turning circle. I suppose there are a few times I've reverted to the "spin on the sidestand/centrestand" trick to perform a u-turnon a narrow trail, when on a smaller bike I could have gotten away without doing it.

    I can think of two crashes I had on smaller bikes (a KTM 400EXC and a G450X) where it got out of shape when the front wheel got deflected that I am fairly sure I would have been easier to save on the F8. True, a steering dampener probably would have saved this on either smaller bike, but an F8 without a dampener would have likely stayed upright. FWIW, the trails where both these incidents occurred, I would have been able to get an F8 down; they weren't really nadgery ones.

    I am not for a second suggesting big bikes are more competent offroad than little ones; in general, they're not. It's just that there are some benefits to them and these are often overlooked.
    #16
  17. MWadv

    MWadv Gravel Road Roamer

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    Torque!!
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  18. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Momentum too. :D
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  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    get real... a 500lb pig in the dirt has no advantage :D

    a 575lb bike in the dirt is :eek1
    #19
  20. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    ROOST!

    Endless, glorious, roost.
    #20