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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMo (& piglet), Apr 16, 2018.
And I still haven't seen a pair of skis yet this season!
Just a quick head-up for anyone within striking distance of Mariposa California this weekend - I'll be presenting two seminars at the Horizons Unlimited Travellers meeting - the first is my latest Packing Light show-and-tell/Q&A session, scheduled for Friday morning at 11am. I'll be sharing my experience and suggestions for packing light for a typical extended adventure ride with an off-road and trail bias.
The second is a science fiction double feature - Part 1 and [the debut of] Part 2 of my huge trip last summer on the G310GS, featuring highlights of some of the best dual-sport and adventure riding in North America - including sections of the Trans-America Trail, the Moab trail network, some of the best Colorado high passes, and sections of the various BDR routes all over the west and north west. A particular highlight is also my cross country blast to Toronto and back for some off-road riding in Ontario, plus my own exploration route/s through Wyoming and Montana. This audio-visual double bill is scheduled to start at 10am on Saturday 28th September.
As another treat, Juan Browne (Blancolirio on Youtube, and Visualizerent here on ADVrider) will also be attending, and we're planning a couple of afternoon trail rides in the local area.
So if you're already planning on attending, or simply fancy a last minute weekend away in some awesome scenery together with some equally awesome people, do check out the Horizons Unlimited website/forum for details (note that online registration is now closed), but if you contact them via email I'm sure you'll be able to sign up on the day.
Hope to see you there!
Thanks for such a comprehensive RR and review of the 310GS. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the entire thread, and, learning from your style, a good bit about creating a good ride report.
I've been looking to graduate into a long-term ADV/dual sport from all the dirt bikes I've owned, but I hated the idea of some 500+ lbs. machine due to their (MY) limited ability to ride at a "spirited" pace off road. I've always thought that riding and touring should be fun, and capture the moments that take our breath away, leave us speechless, even if just for a moment. NOT a chore, or something to be endured, (even though long travel days in the saddle can sometimes be necessary). I rode the NMBDR last year and spent 7 days in a state of awe.
When I rode the NMBDR, I was on a Versys 300x. At one extremely sandy point, I went down in the sand and broke my clutch lever off...completely. Once we extracted the bike, I had to ride 120 miles to Albuquerque to repair the clutch perch and lever, only to have to ride 120 miles back the following morning to rejoin my friends. The little Ninja engine was great on the highway, not-so-much on the more technical sections of the BDR. You had to wring the bike up to 9000-10000 rpms to get good torque for hill climbs and technical terrain. For me, with limited experience, it was the first time I really understood the personality of the bike and it's powerplant, AND, how that personality would mesh with ME as a rider!
I've ridden both the 310GS and the new CB500x and for me, your comments a couple of pages back separate, or, distinguish the personalities of these two bikes. You commented the following: "it doesn't give up much (or anything if you're used to riding them both) to the 310GS off-road, other than you are aware the Honda is a slightly physically heavier machine and that it's geometry lends itself to a more careful and considered approach to off-road riding, while the GS does allow you to rag it around a bit more aggressively if conditions allow/dictate." AhHa! Eureka! Result! This was what I was looking for! I want to feel like the bike I'm on wants to do what I want it to do. Forcing a big bike to ride small bike trails, or, conversely, forcing a dedicated dirt bike to slag highway miles is just painful, both to the bike and the rider. That said, in order to buy the right bike, the rider has to know just how they plan to ride the ADV bike once they get their hands on it!
As I said before, for me, riding takes me back to when I was a kid on the farm, ragging out my old XL80s, riding like a superstar (in my head), and experiencing the pure fun of the sport. The GS gives me that feeling much more so than the 500X. When I rode the 500X taking the "careful approach" was a palpable feeling. I was almost nervous that it would drop at any time and the ergos were much more street bike for me. The GS, on the other hand, was a spot on fit and confidence inspiring the moment I hit the road. It's no torque or hp monster, but for an average rider like me, it's got plenty of grunt....I'm not planning on entering the Dakar any time soon. Your review also shows that if a rider is really pressed for time, the GS will do the miles when needed, but that it shines as a less stressed, slower paced, easy going ADV bike. It's the "play bike" of the ADV class! It'll be perfect for me.
I Just wanted to share my thoughts after reading your story. I feel like you really gave us a great review, of BOTH bikes due to your extensive experience. I hope to see you at one of your presentations in the future, it would be a pleasure to meet you and pick your brain further.
Hi Jason - thank you so much for your kind words, and I'm glad my 'little' adventure inspired you, and ultimately prompted you down the smaller bike route too!
As you surmise, and indeed did I toward the end of this review section - the main difference between the CB (with the Rally-Raid kit) and the GS (again, with the Rally-Raid upgrades fitted) is the bias - the GS lends itself a little more towards the trail [off-road] handling, at the expense of some outright long-distance road ability, although if you've plenty of time, it is surprisingly adept at that too as required.
Ultimately it's good to have [even more] options out there, and while anything can be tweaked and modified further to improve your personal experience, it's always nice to start with a base bike that most closely suits your needs in the first place - hence why Rally-Raid felt there was a place in their range of 'Adventure' bikes for something slightly smaller and more nimble than the twin-cylinder CB - as you say, it is essentially the 'Play bike' of the ADV class, and a lot of fun!
I'm hoping to attend and present at a number of events all through next year, so there is every chance our paths will cross at some point I'm sure!
Take care out there!
Hey there from Canada Jenny!
Just curious what your currant ride is today? Do you you have a favourite old reliable or are you testing out something new?
Hi 1litre - I still have my [2014 model year] CB500X with the Rally-Raid LEVEL 2 kit, which if you've read the last couple of summary pages post the ride itself, you'll see I highlight the differences, and ultimately my personal preferences for all-terrain adventure riding here in North America.
My other 'old reliable' is my Honda XR400R which I brought over from the UK earlier this year, and is in the process of being road-registered here too.
As such, I am in the fortunate position of having two bikes which ultimately are 'better' in their respective roles - the 115Kg 12" travel XR400 is a much better 'off-road' bike, while my twin-cylinder 195Kg CB500X is a more relaxed bike to ride at higher speeds on the highway, and doesn't give much [if anything] away off-road compared to the G310GS - in the right hands of course.
However, and I think this is the whole point of the G310GS project - certainly with regard to Rally-Raid's upgrades and improvements - is that if you are looking for a single (ie. compromise) lighter-weight ADV bike that handles much like a smaller dual-sport, the G310GS will also do pretty much what both my two bikes do, if not ultimately quite as well as the respective more dedicated machines - such is the nature of compromise of course.
Glad to hear that you still have your CB and XR. I Can’t seem to part with either of my XR’s even as some newer bikes have come and gone through the garage.The Twin gets the lion share of riding but the desire to look around and see what other bikes might offer to my needs is still there.
Hope to catch you at the Overland Adventure Rally if you make it up to Toronto again !
And thanks again for another great ride report!
What do you make of this? Think it addresses the stalling problem you encountered on your trip?
Thaat's a cheeekin' [dinner].
Hey Jenny, there’s a new Horizons event next year in Gros Morne National Park.
Hi J' - that's interesting, thanks for the info.
Personally I never felt it was a fuelling issue as such - more the light flywheel and low torque at the bottom of the rev range, combined with rather taller gearing that might be ideal for slow speed work... however, if the EFi can be retuned/mapped to essentially mask the low end characteristics that sounds like a suitable fix. I'd be interested to ride one with the new map, as my initial concern would be that is the revs don't drop to idle quite so quickly, the result might be a slight surging? - however, as long as the engine doesn't stall, then essentially any engine 'overun' can be controlled with a little braking of course.
I was reading on the main G310GS page that Rekluse now consider there are enough bikes out there (and enough demand) to look at developing their centrifugal clutch for this bike too. The combination of that and the remap might well make the G310GS very handy indeed off-road!
Don’t know if I’ll make it, I have an invite to ride Siberia/Mongolia/stans.
Amazing write up, thank you so much.
My 2019 feels different then my buddies 2018,so I think they have cured that issue with the revs,but the Rekluse sounds like a great upgrade!
That's good to hear Crash' - I wonder if they have also sorted the cold-start issue [with the new fuel map] that some owners experienced early last year with the initial launch, where it effectively didn't have a richer map (to act like a choke) when the ambient temperature was less than about 10°C (40°F). It was not something I ever experienced with my bike, but some owners reported it would not fire up easily from cold without cracking the throttle too.
I haven`t had an issue with cold start,and it`s been below 10C for awhile out here on the coast (5C this morning),again it may have been addressed on the 2019 as well.