Why such big bikes on gravel/ dirt routes?

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

  1. itrack

    itrack Been here awhile

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    Read again, I didn't say just for newbs. For newbs especially they have big advantages for them compared to a big KLR or such.
    #21
  2. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I've got your answer. Go test a 12 690R. Talk about power! Every bit as quick as my old 950 up to about 90mph. Maybe quicker. It's got your name all over it. :deal

    :D

    #22
  3. mslow

    mslow Faccia Brutta

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    its all about the rider...haha
    a friend of mine never rode a 'big' bike before, so he tries it out in coal silt...of all places
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zT8RcDhl56M" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

    Same guy playing on another friends sumo(he's the guy videoing) with street knobbies, think they were mt60's, again in the silt
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UiMUHp0yKyQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #23
  4. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

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    I recently changed from a KTM 640ADV to a WR250R. The only thing I miss about the 640 is the giggles when accelerating (and the kewl factor). Other than that the 250 is a much better bike for my adventures.

    Maybe I'm gettin old, but I sure enjoy easy mounting/dismounting, being able to quickly put my foot down to keep from tipping over, having less weight to throw around in tight corners, and being able to easily pick up the bike.

    The main advantage of the WR250R over a 200 class bike is cruise speed. It goes 60mph all day long with trail gearing. The main disadvantage of the WR250r is it's still too heavy to be a real good trail bike. If I was much shorter than my 6'1" it would be too tall too.
    #24
  5. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    With the same respect, I don't understand your post. You're secure in yourself and satisfied with what you ride? So are the guys with bigger bikes. Seems you already know the answer to the questions you're asking, just not allowing for or understanding others to have the same answers? It's kind of like, if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand. If you have to ask, then yes, you need to spend $8k on another bike that will do what your 230L already does.

    How about, larger bikes tend to be more comfortable, tend to carry more weight (camping gear), tend to go all the same places as smaller bikes offroad, albeit slower, and go on road faster. My question would be, if you have a bike at all, regardless of size, why not take it on gravel/dirt routes?
    #25
  6. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    I consider my KTM 690r to be a big bike. And it is because it weighs over 300lbs ready to go. Most terrain it does fine but you can always find places where a lighter bike is way better. I love the power though so for now I just avoid the really nasty trails. I have considered getting a 500 which is much lighter but for now the 690 is OK. Honestly some places I ride, the best bike would be a two stroke 125 or a trials bike! Anything bigger than my 690 is out of the question for me. I did a week in Baja with a bunch of riders on big adventure bikes and was so happy I was not on one of those beasts. They were able to do the trip but worked a lot harder. As I get older, light is right!
    #26
  7. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    Riding a big heavy bike on rough and difficult terrain just isn't fun IMO, it's work. In rough terrain the lighter and smaller the better. The bike I use for really rough stuff weighs 180 lbs and has 12 hp. When I drop it on a hill too steep to get traction it's not a big struggle to get turned around and try again. It'll go places a bigger bike can't, plus it gets about 100 mpg.
    #27
  8. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    One major consideration for me is the potential of the bike to hurt me in a crash due to its weight. We had a situation in Baja where a rider actually got his leg pinned under a KTM 950 Super Enduro. We had to get the bike off of him and he was a very very good rider. Luckily he did not break his leg. Something to think about.
    #28
  9. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    My main bike is a single 650GS. It goes everywhere I point it at, but sometimes it's just too much work. My fun bike is KLR250 - light, nimble, with enough power to go anywhere and not enough power to get me in trouble (no spontaneous wheelies, slips, etc). If i were doing the TAT, I'd probably take the 250. If I have to ride two hours to get to the dirt I'm visiting that day, I'd take the 650.

    I've seen people on 1200GS doing stuff I would not attempt on the 250. I've also seen people on 250 unable to pass what I just cleared on the 650.

    For me, the 650 is about as big of an adv bike as I will ever get. Sure, the KTMs are nice, light, powerful...but all too tall for me. If I can't flat foot it, I don't want 400+ pounds under me in dirt. The 650GS I can flatfoot, even though it is a heavy pig for its class. The 250 I can tiptoe, and that's okay, because it's a light bike.
    #29
  10. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    Especially if your 200 has about 40 hp and a light switch for a throttle. :lol3

    As for the title of this thread, one of my greatest joys in life is backing into and roosting out of dirt and gravel corners with my 640. A mountain with a switchback forest service road and my 640 means I can entertain myself for hours if not days. It just isn't the same without enough power to steer with my right hand and enough suspension to put that power down over rough ground without spitting me off. Which accounts for why rear tires on my 640E are only lasting 600 to 800 miles.
    #30
  11. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck

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    I have a V-Strom. It's a fun bike with limitations. No way I'd take it half the places some of these guys do. It just doesnt appeal to me to ride it like that. I've done it. And I don't care for it. Does that mean the bike isn't for me? Nope. I enjoy it in other ways.

    I also have a bored KLX. Again, fun bike. And it goes places the 'Strom can't...with a lot less effort. But even as the terrain dictates when I'm on that bike, it can be a handful at times and makes me wish I was on my Trials bike. I choose the tool based on the task at hand.

    And, I have a couple of race bikes...each suited for certain disciplines. Each is better at certain things just like the bikes above and I choose accordingly. This system I have is for ME. They are my bikes and I pick the one that will give ME the most overall enjoyment for the type of riding I choose to set out on.

    Point is, I thank the original poster for his opinion. But it's only that...his opinion. He's obviously tuned in to his machine and enjoys it. I'm tuned in to my bikes and enjoy them, too. But I never begrudge anyone for their choice in bikes...or how and where they choose to ride them. He seems to want to poke a bit at those that don't share his motorcycle ephinany. I think that's a little elitist. But that's MY opinion.

    You guys that ride 500 lb behemoths off-road...you go! And keep posting the pics. And you that ride dualsport tiddlers...keep at it. Whatever you ride, keep riding it. And keep us informed of your progress. :clap
    #31
  12. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    I guess I just read the OP differently. I read, "gravel/ dirt routes" and saw the picture posted of a road a Honda Goldwing could navigate. I feel bad for people that have to ship their bike when a big bike will travel gravel/dirt routes just fine and you can ride them to and from the trail.
    #32
  13. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I got the DR650SE because it has enough power/torque, gearspread, stability, and smoothness to also run slab...2up and on a budget. It's about as tall and heavy as I would want to ride offroad. Bigger people may be fine on some of the heavier beasts. I dump it a lot, mostly from lack of skill and short legs, but I'm strong enough to pick it up, repeatedly, by just grabbing the bars. Using better technique makes it even easier.

    Most of the smaller-displacement bikes that have enough power to slab are even taller than the DR, and they likely won't have the down-low torque to easily tractor up sandy hills with a passenger on the back. The DR actually isn't difficult to ride over most terrain I've yet encountered...as long as you have appropriate tires, AND you're not in a hurry. Don't try to keep up with real enduro bikes on a packmule like this unless you've got some serious skills.
    #33
  14. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    On the Baja trip we had a guy on a huge GS 1200 Adventure. I think he had one very minor crash the whole week. He was slow but steady and after the trip was over he rode the bike back to Canada! That was impressive!
    #34
  15. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    I'm with Velociraptor. Dirt & Gravel roads could be done on most any bike. Do you guys on the little bikes haul them to your destination? I have been riding out & back to Colorado. I can't see me doing it on a small bike but maybe I should try.


    Murf
    #35
  16. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    If I were hauling a bike to a trail, it'd be a performance bike, not a dual sport. If you're hauling a bike to the trail, you're taking the dual out of dual sport.
    #36
  17. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    The big issue it how far do you want to travel and how fast? After a couple of highway hours, I found my 225 single to be annoying. The lack of speed plus thumping got on my nerves.

    The 650 Versys was great for a while, but it also felt strained at 80mph and I didnt have a lot of confidence in it surviving too many 8+ hour trips at high speed in heat.

    The GSA is at least easier to service than that bike. Valve inspections are nothing serious. It's even easier to change tires and check the air filter. Plus the fuel lasts a good while longer.

    That makes it easier to keep serviced after a ton of miles. Plus its fast, smooth, and comfortable.

    If the offroad activity was in my back yard. Ida take a dirt bike. If its across town, ida take a small dual sport ~250. If its across the state, take a medium dual sport 400-650. Across the country? A heavier bike near the liter area.

    Yeah youre more miserable offroad , but at least the 90% other section of your trip werent also miserable.
    #37
  18. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Great discussion THANKS! I am trying to decide what I want to do.

    I will do the CDR either on the 230L after hauling it to the start, or do the CDR the same with a new WR250R with a big tank. On the 230L I cary a 1.5 gal Kolpin on the front rack
    and get over 250 miles range with that and the 2.3 gal stock tank- 73 MPG avg on the WABDR.I stopped at a dealer, they were looking at my loaded 230L, I mentioned I liked the WR250R, the handed me the key and said to try it. The WRR also felt small and easy to me on street and ripping around a dirt lot. In other words, WRR is pretty easy ride also, but it is nearly 30 lbs heavier than my little dog 230L. Way more fun to twist the throttle, however, on the WR250R!

    To clarify:

    The rig in the photo I have ridden singletrack and camped. With that load I went down a trail and decided to not take the next downhill- so I turned that little loaded bike easily on an 18 inch singletrack on am mountain sidehill; easy, no unloading, first try, no sweat. So I balance that kind of ease with the 'dog' performance on highway. As well, where I see so many photos of folks on larger bikes, even DR400s and up, struggle just on rutted rough roads, and I saw some of that myself. And I just fly with ease with that little (dog) 230L. I have put 6K on that rig loaded and unlaoded since May, on gnarly rocky mountin trails, gravel roads, crossed the state a few times from mountains to beach and back..

    And, yeah, as I said, before the term was invented I was an adventure rider on gravel AK Hwy on my '75 GT750. I also had an open class Husky and Yamaha. But the 230L has advantages- gas mileage, small good-handling frame low weight, tractable power- limited wheel spin and fishtailing, just a smoothe ride- it gets the job done

    Thanks again, I like reading the comments, good discussion!
    #38
  19. BillMoore

    BillMoore Been here awhile

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    Depends on where you ride. Around here, most places you have to have a license plate to be legal. If I'm going on a ride that requires 2 hours of freeway to get there, I'm trailering the bikes.
    #39
  20. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    GPS elevation graph of a trail we took in August near Bralorne BC. Think it was called Steep Creek ATV trail. Soft stuff with some rocks, trees to duck under, just wide enough for an ATV, short runs with tight switchbacks. More than a 36% grade in some parts. Would love to have seen someone try it on a 500 lb bike! A couple ATVs were even abandoned along the trail.

    [​IMG]
    #40