Why such big bikes on gravel/ dirt routes?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ADVNCW, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

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    Adventure bikes are perfect if you do 95% of your travel on pavement and are willing to slow down and take it easy on smooth, graded dirt and gravel roads. But if your off road conditions are more challenging than that they are not the ideal tool.

    In reality most of us would need to travel to far flung remote locales to encounter dirt roads you could actually travel any distance on or go from point A to point B and then to point C. In the populated parts of North America the only dirt roads are the less traveled, tail ends, of remote rural roads that dead end. Where I ride I have yet to encounter a dirt road that is longer than a few kilometers, any dirt road over a kilometers is extremely rare.
  2. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Yep, my approach agrees with this...:D If I can go in traffic, that is all I need if I have a bike that I can just head off most any place offroad/ on dirt.
  3. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    True for many. For me, I can hit dirt roads at the edge of town and go hundreds of miles on mostly dirt roads.Not personally into riding slab anymore, so I prefer a capable dirt bike but great if anyone else likes something different.:1drink
  4. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    riiiight.


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  5. imprezagm4

    imprezagm4 Been here awhile

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    I sold my XT225 for a DR650...
    I love my DR and intend to keep it, however for me as a newer rider (especially dirt), it is more fun to be able to ride to the limit of the bike (XT225), than to push the limits of the rider (DR650).

    I will very likely be purchasing another smaller bike in the future, though my DR has done everything I have asked of it.
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    That sucks,here in nor cal we can hit a dirt road 20 miles out of town and with some knowledge can go 140 miles to Nevada on 95% dirt roads/trails,then one can cross Nevada in all dirt/gravel and into south eastern Oregon and cross it on big fast gravel/dirt roads then go on into Idaho where things can get real interesting in all sorts of directions,dirt and gravel backroads for as far as a person can find time to go. Then of course Utah isnt far once you get out that way and its another off road paradise,Moab,etc. Colorado can be reached from here on mostly all dirt as well,just gotta map it out.
    Thousands and thousands of miles of backroad dirt travel. Then there are the 400 miles or so of local singletrack to ride on the 2 strokes. I guess Im luckier then I figured living here.
  7. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    80mph is Texas posted speed limit.....WoW,no secondary roads:puke1.
  8. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    Very few that are worth a crap within an hr of freeway/highway riding. And it's posted 80 outside of townships on interstate and state highways. 85 from Ft.Stockton to ElPaso.
  9. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Shit, I once pulled a GPS indicated 130 between Guthrie and Lubbock for at least 20 miles a couple years ago. This was loaded for an XC trip where we camped most nights. My riding partner on her ST1100 saw 139. Neither of us were on the interstate.
  10. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    exactly my point. :deal

    Gotta be able to stretch legs around here.
  11. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Absolutely.

    Having a single ride that can bounce off 130 in Texas (I live in Ct) AND with little more than a different set of tires take on a weekend with 300 miles of sled trail in Maine? Worth the cost of admission and the membership dues (picking that bugger up for the *nth time).

    Alright, its heavy when I've got to pick it up, and I've got to be smart about the lines I take in the woods. Big damned deal, the Pigbeast handles it all and gets me to work in the morning.

    Besides, the OP of this thread didn't specify singletrack, where I'll readily admit my GS is less-than-optimal, it was gravel/dirt roads that were the question.
  12. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

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    You have a good point.....I live in the west and have access to endless mountain and desert riding, where I don't have to see pavement for a whole day...or days, if I choose. I really only need a bike with enough pavement abilities to get to the different dirt area's I want to explore. So for me the more agile, lightweight, and dirt oriented the bike the better. If I lived in an area that had very limited dirt access, and lots of pavement to get there, my bike preferences would definately be different.

    On a side note, personally I'm pretty dissapointed to see even the most dirt oriented dual sports getting heavier and heavier with every new model. It seems like the industry is losing sight of what a dual sport orignally was, a street legal dirt bike.
  13. Hoots

    Hoots Long timer

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    KTM690 Enduro R

    Last week combined the trail / enduro duties of a Berg 390 and dual sport duties of a DR650 into a 2012 KTM690 Enduro R ...<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    I had test-ridden the 690, but not offroad – astonished by how well it handles, and how easily it can be ridden over steep and gnarly single track, jumps, etc – only 145kg, and suspension as good as the Berg – enduro ergonomics – and then you’ve got 66hp for the fire trails / hard dirt roads / transport legs / etc ...<o:p></o:p>

    The 2012 690 has a genuine 690 displacement (c.f. 650 previous models) and a 10,000km service interval ...<o:p></o:p>

    Expensive, but the perfect all-purpose bike ...<o:p></o:p>
  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I would not say the industry is loosing sight of what the original dual-sport design was but more building what they think can sell the most. In the end the motorcycle biz is about selling the most of something.

    The truth is the majority of licensed riders don't venture in the dirt and then the ones that do go down dirt roads. The ones that ride more aggressive dirt roads and singletrack are the smallest group (of those who have a license and a tag).

    Then add to the fact many use dual-sports as the new standard/utilitarian/commuter bike. Thus you can see why bikes like the DR650/KLR/Husky TR650 sell so well (priced affordable) even though they are heavier & lower-tech than say a KTM 500 w/ a tag.
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    To answer the OP original question in reference to the WABDR and big bikes.

    The WABDR and other BDRs http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/ are a Touratech driven project (we produce the map for them). They focus on large ADV bikes (1200/800GS centric) and that is what they ride. All of those riders are for the most part top level riders who make it look easier than it is. A certain number of people thus are using larger bikes than they should...but there is also the challenge in doing so.

    The reality is a smaller bike is ideal for routes like these and I've found most are indeed using smaller bikes. Bikes like the WR250R are ideal on this terrain but less than ideal on the longer road section links. IMO 650 class dual-sports split the difference as they are easier to ride on dirt than the big ADV bikes yet still go down the paved roads nicely at speed. They are the true 50/50 bikes.

    The best example would be the KTM 690. The TR650 and 660 Tenere (not in the US) would be the next tiers down with the BMW F650 thrown in but more street biased. After that you have the reliable but old-tech KLR, DR & XRL.

    This is how I travel for ADV touring. For day rides I pull off the Giant Loop and Top case.
    I've owned upwards of 4 bikes at a time for specific uses but at this point i've simplified with this one bike to cover most all the riding terrain.
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  16. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    First dual sports were scramblers? Street bikes with high pipes. Then came the "Enduros" which were more dirt oriented, but my 1975 DT250 wasn't much different than today's dual sports when you compare it to the same year YZ250. The old DT250 was heavier, didn't have the suspension that the YZ did, but it was a lot more comfortable and didn't have the on/off switch power of the YZ. that DT was perfect for a high school kid, that didn't have a lot of money, to have a set of wheels. Or that farmer/rancher that needed something to plod along on to check on livestock or crops. I'd venture to say, that it wasn't until the Euro bikes, trying to compete in that market, showed up with slapping lights on a full on dirt bike that some expectations changed. The old dual sports were hybrids that were cheap and reliable, that you could beat on all weekend and ride to school or work on Monday. Dual sports have come a long way and we have quite a few choices. The choice you want may not be in the brand you want, or the price range you want, but it's there. You just got to decide how much bike you want to pay for or can afford.

    Oh yea, the question of "why such a big bike on gravel roads?", because I can and that's what I like. :lol3
  17. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Yep, you and the flatland guys and others make a good case, I do not disagree.:1drink Big bikes are fun as well indeed, thrilling. My GT750 would wheelie...:D and it was quick and fast.

    My current interest is being able to jump into narrow, gnarly terrain if I decide using the ride that I am traveling on.
  18. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I think the first standard of performance is the ability to pick the thing up in the mud by yourself.
  19. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Nice ride, I had that bike at the top of the list for a while, looked at some DR650s. I went for a bike that can trail ride well, the WR250R for the CDR and adventure travels.:D

    The OP started off talking about the CDR. I had already finished the WABDR. From what I see the CDR is probably easier for a big bike than is the WABDR. There were some rough sections on the WABDR, I think I took a foot off of the footpeg one time on one of the rough sections.

    "All of those riders are for the most part top level riders who make it look easier than it is. " Gotta call bullshit there, skippy. You ain't selling me that crap. That crowd and Touratech are into retail marketing, that is it. All ok if folks want that, but purely retail marketing. And I am sure that guys like me would not be the darlings of Tourtech and Rawhyde because we do the same 'adventures' for 1/10 the cost, do it easier, faster. "Best riders"- then why do the idiots take such large streetbikes and try to shove them through mudholes and fall on simple road riding? I really feel sorry for the riders who follow this idea and flounder along. I have watched lots of CDR videos, the Rawyhyde ones are the real clown-show. Big street bikes for adventure, big luggage, followed around by a 1 ton truck with camp and catered food? Hilarious! And the 'best' riders on these big street bikes on dirt roads- I see there where the 'best' got injured in a crash and was unable to finish leading his $$$$ adventure?:lol3

    There is a TR of the Canadian couple doing the WABDR, I find it tragic, their injurious struggle on their big BMWs! Man, they crashed over and over but toughed it through, a real adventure. Would have been easy on the right motorcycle.
  20. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Hey,if the bike(s) your riding fit the bill...for you....go for it.:D