Beemer Beemer chicken deener!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMo (& piglet), Apr 16, 2018.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thank you for your kind words John!

    As I said right at the beginning - I thought this bike had a lot of potential as a lighter-weight 'adventure' machine, so was willing to take a punt on one - and it's certainly proved it's ability over these past few months, albeit with some choice upgrades fitted too of course.

    I have to admit though, I'm pretty worn out at the moment - I said last year (after my Northern eXposure trip on the CB500X) that I felt I'd basically got these big [multi-week] trips out of my system... Turns out I was wrong this time - and I covered nearly 50% more ground that I did last summer, explored some really cool new places, added to my arsenal of North American GPS routes, renewed acquaintances - and typically at the same time also met some great new people who I now call friends...

    It's been an absolute blast I have to say... Dontcha just love adventure riding?!

    Jenny x
  2. crashkorolyk

    crashkorolyk just happy to ride

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    Thanks again for the brilliant R.R. and all your insight,although I`ve only just received mine last weekend,so far have been very impressed with the wee BMW. looking forward to getting it "ready" over the winter to try some BDR`s south of me next summer,hopefully run into you on the trail,take care!
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Epic report! Thx Jenny. You rock! :thumb
  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thanks Crash' - I'm happy to have entertained, and also to have helped and informed (I hope!) - enjoy your new bike!

    I'm looking forward to heading back north again next year - the PNW is beautiful country!

    Jx
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  5. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the great RR, definitely all the goods for anyone thinking of buying one of these little machines but a fun RR to follow even if you're not.

    The last time I was in San José I was working for Cirque, if I'd know you were there I would have looked you up.:D
  6. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

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    Damn I wish I would have been able to give you some advice about St Maries ID... there are many many wild camping spots there. Though at the time of day you rolled into town, the motel isn't a bad option.

    If you are ever there again, just head South out of town on the St Maries River Rd about 5 miles and you'll start to see many many pull offs to the left towards the river where you can camp for free.
    JMo (& piglet) likes this.
  7. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

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    Great report on this new middle weight bike Jenny!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts.
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  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    And thank you for showing some great riding (and hospitality) in Idaho... it certainly was a highlight of this trip for me!

    I think we need to make a plan for next year now ;o)

    Jx
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  9. Archie Adv

    Archie Adv Celtic Adventurer

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    Great RR Jenny!! Perhaps you need some time to yourself now to just chill. When you back in the UK?
    Archie
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Archie - I've actually been back in the UK since the beginning of this month... sorting some stuff out here over the next few weeks, then hope to be back in the USA by November.

    Jx
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  11. Bike2Hike

    Bike2Hike Adventurer

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    Jenny,
    Your bike review has been more thorough and interesting than any i have ever read in any motorcycle magazine, and I subscribe to a lot of them. I recently stopped at my favorite BMW shop and they offered a ride on the G310GS demo bike. I turned them down as I can resist anything except temptation. And I'm really tempted to get one of these. The salesman was well aware of the RR upgrades and felt they were completely warranted. My R100GS is a bit tall and heavy for me and the 310 makes a lot of sense as I'm not getting any younger. Thanks again for all the posts.
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  12. Archie Adv

    Archie Adv Celtic Adventurer

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    No tying you down. You must love all the pond hopping, I guess you must enjoy it otherwise you wouldn't do it. Take care.
  13. RockyDS

    RockyDS Lost in the wilderness

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    Great read - I'll be reading it all again when I'm snowed in this winter. Excellent.

    I know it takes a ton of time to write up such a comprehensive RR, so all credit to you, Jenny and many thanks. Diolch.

    Telegraph Creek on a CRF250 Rally
    https://dualsportblog.wordpress.com/2018-telegraph-creek/
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  14. Surfnjmatt

    Surfnjmatt Adventurer

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    Jenny why did you choose tubed rims over tubeless?
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Matt - basically because that was all there was available at the time... if you followed this story from the beginning you'll recall I built the bike up on the 20th April at the dealer in Virginia, and there was no time to send my wheels via BARTubeless before the kit had to be shipped to the US.

    I can say it now [I'm finished], but I've been really lucky this trip - 17,500 miles and no punctures! - but then I always tend to run my tyres at a health pressure (ie. around 25 psi front and rear, unless I really need a little extra traction on the rear) and use good quality tubes and tyres. Certainly being able to just plug a nail type puncture (most usually in the rear tyre) is a huge benefit, rather than have to pull the wheel to change a tube, and there were times I was praying I didn't get a flat!

    Jx
  16. philratton

    philratton Been here awhile

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    Jenny, final verdict, the GS or the CB?
  17. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thanks for sharing your adventures on the new bike. I have enjoyed reading your report!
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  18. stevetheb

    stevetheb mashed potatoes

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    Great read! Thanks for taking us along.

    So... Level 2 next?
  19. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Steve - hee hee, actually I found the LEVEL 1 shock surprisingly capable - other than the lack of comprehensive (separate high & low speed compression and rebound adjusters) damping control, and the PDS circuitry too of course, I personally never found the bike lacking in ground clearance, nor did I bottom out the suspension all that much - only when really looning with it ;o) so I wouldn't say the longer travel [+20mm] option is essential on this bike in the same way as the CB500X benefits from the LEVEL 2 suspension kit*.

    *note. for those that didn't read my introduction, or have forgotten it since it was so many months ago now - the stock/LEVEL 1 G310GS suspension basically already offers the same travel as the Rally-Raid LEVEL 2 kit on the Honda CB500X does - that is 170mm travel front and rear, and 17"/19" rear and front wheels - the stock CB500X only having 5/5.5" travel as standard you see.

    I have to say, I am tempted to see how much [weight/bodywork] I could strip off a G310GS, beef up the front end a little (I understand there is, or will be a fork cartridge kit available) and even have a crack at a road-book rally event on it... However, at the end of the day, it is still a small-capacity [30ish hp] thumper, and while it is great as a trail and adventure-lite platform, pushing it beyond that remit is probably an expensive and ultimately futile endeavor?

    Not saying it wouldn't be a giggle though ;o)

    Jenny x
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  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Philratton - aw, that's like asking me to choose a favourite child... and in this instance particularly, while I like to think I helped to give birth to the CB, the GS is adopted of course, so it really wouldn't be fair to say either or...

    But like children, typically they each have their own attributes - and leaving aside any more metaphors that might potentially get me in to trouble - as you'll be aware I have now covered a lot of ground on both bikes - both on and off-road, so consider myself in a reasonably strong position to compare and contrast the two options...

    However, personally speaking, while the internet seems to demand you sit in one camp or another on such matters, I don't really think there is much value in such simplistic comparisons - rather it is better to illustrate each machine's attributes [and any shortcomings] and let you make up your own mind what is going to work best for you? In that regard, I trust this lengthy ride-report illustrates just how versatile and capable the G310GS can be, while last year's [similar] trip: Northern eXposure to eastern Canada and back on the CB500X also offers a good perspective of that bike's all-round abilities.

    In a nutshell, they both do the 'adventure light' thing pretty well - actually, the CB500X does the adventure light thing EXTREMELY WELL - which is why it's hard to be objective when another bike doesn't live up to the standards set by what John and I created back in 2015 with the Rally-Raid LEVEL 2 kit for that bike.

    I liked the G310GS very much - I was initially a little sceptical (if I'm quite honest, I find the whole BMW 'thing' only slightly less tedious than the general douchery around KTM ownership - especially on internet forums - which is why up until this year I have owned neither brand, nor ever wished to...), but the bike genuinely impressed me [as did the dealer relationship/service I received] - and I can certainly see why John [at Rally-Raid Products] thought it was the best small-thumper platform to develop into a complementary bike in their range (which for those unaware, already includes the KTM 690 Enduro for the hard-core off-road riders, and the Honda CB500X for the all-road/terrain adventure riders).

    Over the last six months of ownership, it has done exactly the same thing/s as I would have chosen to do on my CB - including covering some pretty huge highway distances as required, and been huge fun exploring new trails as I criss-crossed the country.

    The GS does lack the outright competence on the open highway compared to the CB - for example, I was riding my CB only yesterday on the freeway and a steady 70mph, than wicked it straight up to 80+mph with barely any effort... conversely, my GS [certainly the way I have it currently geared with 15/40 for more response at slower speeds off-road] feels strained* at those sorts of speeds now - like you're ragging it more than you feel you should.

    *note. not like it's actually going to explode, nor suffer detrimentally it seems, but it's beyond what I consider the 'sweet spot' for a small capacity thumper.

    So if you're asking me to choose which bike I personally prefer for the kind of long distance all-road/all-terrain adventure riding I like to do here in North America - then I have to say the Honda is the one who's spot in the garage is a permanent fixture... but not just for the reason/s you might think:

    Basically, the G310GS is too similar to the CB to warrant owning both of them long term here in California. Yes the GS is noticeably lighter in certain circumstances, but it's still not a full-on 120Kg dual-sport enduro in that regard. Of course it has far more on-road civility than anything more stripped-down/light-weight/off-road biased would offer - but then like I say, so does my CB500X (other than the extra 20+Kg that bike carries, which personally I find more than manageable anyway).

    Currently I'm still debating where I go next with the GS. As I mentioned in my reply to Stevetheb above - one option is to now strip it down and build more of a 'special' out of it - just, well, just because... !

    The other option is to keep it somewhere other than close to home - on the east coast perhaps, or up in Idaho/Montana which is a riding area I've only just begun to scratch the surface of - so having a suitable bike located there would save shlepping across two states and a good couple of thousand miles each time I wanted to explore some more.

    Option three of course is to sell it - there are some exciting prospects for 2019 and beyond (I sincerely hope Honda do bring out a production bike based on their 'concept' CB125X they showed at EICMA recently for example - using the CB/CRF 300cc engine for rest-of-world markets) and having a degree of toy-budget liquidity is always good ;o)

    Ultimately I had a lot of fun on the GS this summer - probably some of the best 'adventure' riding I have ever done in fact. However, what made it was the [new] locations I visited, and the people I met and rode with, not the machine per se... so in that regard, as I always say, the bike [itself] is really only part of your inventory for getting out there and having some fun!

    There, I hope that isn't too 'damn diplomatic' for you all ;o)

    Keep on riding... whatever you choose!

    Jenny x