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. lethe

    lethe Long timer

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    such fun when the rear is spinning and the front end is rising with some random cow looking over like WTF? :clap
    #21
  2. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    Yep, one of the my finest moments was having a guy I was riding with ask me if I learned how to turn from Don Garlits. I don't think he was happy about me shattering his headlight. :evil
    #22
  3. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    I climbed a hill yesterday.
    It's a long sucker just keeps goin up and up and up.
    1800 ft elevation change in 3 miles as the crow flies.
    Takes about 30 min on the G/S 2nd & 3rd gear seated mostly

    On enduro bikes takes about the same time maybe 5 min less for a gun rider
    I'm not a gun rider and on an enduro bike I'm knackered by the time I get to the top.

    On the larger bike I can ride home through the forest and brush up OK for work the next day.
    With an enduro bike I need to make a weekend of it and take a sickie Monday to get over the aches and pain.
    #23
  4. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    There is absolutely zero advantage to a big bike in the woods. I go places on my 450 that I wouldn't dare to take my GS, however other than transits I never ride my 450 on pavement.

    Now if you are talking general dual sport riding (fire roads, stuff on maps) there is still no advantage to the GS (other than comfort and range) however it didn't need to get there on a trailer.

    Bottom line is if you're looking to do more dirt or adventure touring figure out what you want to do, where you want to go and then get the smallest bike that will work. Cross country with a jaunt on some jeep trails to Colorado peaks? By all means the big bikes will be great. Trans-Am Trail? Not so good for the big bike, probably a 600 or so would be good. Single track with your buddies? 450 or smaller.

    I love my GS because it is a really great street bike that can do well off road, not because it's a great dirt bike.
    #24
  5. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest


    Quite curious about this one. Do you think it is possible to fit a small displacement bike to make it as comfortable as a GS with the same range as a GS?
    #25
  6. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    no.
    #26
  7. tbarstow

    tbarstow Two-wheelin' Fool

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    No, by the time you add gas capacity for range, you kill the weight advantage and handling of the smaller bike. The GS also has a nice wide seat, versus the standard piece of 2x4 that comes on a dirt bike.
    #27
  8. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    now don't be mixing up G/S with bloated up late model GS :lol3
    #28
  9. kbroderick

    kbroderick Long timer

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    I can't justify owning more than one bike, nor do I have anywhere to keep more bikes, so I own one bike that will do everything I want it to do reasonably well.

    A street-legal dirt bike would be much better off road, and a street bike with a slightly lower seat height would be better for on-road (particularly two-up...getting started is a bitch if you can't reach the ground with both feet). However, a dirt bike isn't going to have enough weatherproof luggage for going to visit my folks for a week and bringing a bunch of camera gear, nor is a lower bike going to work very well when the Garmin tells me that I'm on "Unpaved Road." :evil

    So, IMO, the advantage of an 1150GS in the dirt is that it's the bike I own.
    #29
  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    They are better at breaking a leg in a crash. :1drink
    #30
  11. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    No experience on an 1150 but my 800 boxer actually protects the legs in a fall and excursions off piste.
    The one time I have been pinned under the bike is when the cylinfer head fell into a rabbit hole.
    #31
  12. StolenFant

    StolenFant Been here awhile

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    Admittedly, it's been 26 years since I rode every day, and even longer since I blasted through the woods and swamps on motocross bikes from 125's to 450cc's. However this past Saturday I took my "new to me" 07 WeeStrom into deep sand, deep gravel, rutted red clay. I was disappointed to find out how impossible it is to redirect all that mass/momentum with any level of accuracy unless the speed is turtle slow. Blasting down straights at highway speeds with more gears and plenty throttle to spare is great until you notice the converging ruts grabbing at your front tire. I loved deep sand as a kid. Weight back and lots of throttle keept the front from digging in. However, no amount of throttle could extract the Wee's front from the sand. Forget about "catching" that power slide with your inside leg/foot.

    So, who knows a GOOD adv-riding school in the Southeast? My Wee's not about to get restricted to pavement only, but it would be nice to up the thrills without increasing the spills.

    Yes, it looks like there is a DR, KLR, or similar somewhere in my future.
    #32
  13. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    I don't see any advantage, though I do occasionally find it fun to take my concours down some trail it was never meant to be on. But given the choice I'd rather be on my two-stroke enduro for anything that isn't paved.
    #33
  14. Briggy

    Briggy Adventurer

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    Yes, the weight when you have to pick it up or get it unstuck is definitely a drawback, but after owning an 800GS, which has better suspension and is more nimble offload, I have returned to the 12GS.

    I hated having to clean, lubricate and adjust chains, plus carry chain oil on long trips. Give me the shaft any day. If there is ever going to be a flat tire on a group ride, it always seems to be on the bikes with tubed tires. Bummer. The leg protection of an oilhead in a fall or side contact with a car as already mentioned isn't to be underestimated and the cylinders do also help as a pivot point to assist in picking the bike up after a drop in the dirt. Ever notice who has the broken frames, rear shocks, etc? Usually the smaller bikes on really long trips that are so heavily loaded.

    Lastly, the torque means fewer shifts and if you have proper tires and tire pressure plus some offload training, the GS does pretty well in deep sand where power and a bit of speed are your friend if you have the confidence (read "guts") to use them. I stay off trails that are tight, technical, have slippery mud or fallen trees that need an elevated front wheel to cross... I know the limits here and accept them as trade offs.

    If I must travel with just one bike, I'll stick with a 12GS every time.
    #34
  15. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    It's easy, you just put it in the back of a Toyota pickup.

    No need to thank me... :lol3
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  16. RBnite

    RBnite Been here awhile

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    Take it from a FORMER KLR owner... NOT one thing I ever discovered, Except you will strengthen your legs and shoulders trying not to crash.

    Nite
    #36
  17. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    It's actually a hindrance more than anything, i mean i ride a 990 adv, and know it's limitations, soft sand, real tight single track. If i had the means, i'd have a something like Ktm 300 or the 525exc, as a second bike. I ride mostly on blacktop and fire trails, so the 990 suits me fine.
    #37
  18. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    So, you've stunted through Milwaukee's downtown area, huh?

    :lol3
    #38
  19. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    See, that's a clever application of sarcasm and irony that some ADV readers may not understand! :clap
    #39
  20. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    If the range of a GS is around 250 miles, you can get it close with a DR650SE and an IMS. If you want 400 miles of range, a Safari will get you in the neighborhood, but it's gonna be a little heavier when full.

    Comfort is subjective. I ride long distances on a stock DR seat. Most people think they're torture devices after 30 minutes. Aftermarket seats are pretty comfortable though. I don't use/need a windscreen either.

    Mine doesn't seem to have any vibe or shimmy problem at any speed. It's light/agile enough for me to ride it like a fat-ass dirtbike, but it's pretty steady at 80-85MPH (GPS), with a little passing power to spare. Top end is around 100-105MPH (GPS).
    #40