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Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by garfield, Dec 13, 2008.
Yeah, that's some funny shit!oser
Well...I did not actually say the bike went over the log. Good point. Actually the log in question was lying in some rocks at the bottom of M5 in the Mendocino National Forest. Had to cross it to get to the tricky creek crossing leading to M12 (I say tricky, but dirt riders familiar with this crossing are probably laughing their asses off). Some times of the year it is impassible with anything, but when I went throught there was only about a foot of water in the creek and it was hardly moving. The log was laying among some big river rocks so I had about two inches of lift from the rocks before hitting the log. Anyway, I thought it was a big deal. My GF scampered over it with her Honda CRF230L which sort of diminished my manly exploit.
Your reference to teakettle reminded me that GF and I are heading to Death Valley with the F8 and the 230 for 7 days of riding over Xmas (Dec 21-28). We plan to do Lippincott to Teakettle Junction (returning via Hunter Mountain Road), Steel Pass, Goler Wash, and of course Titus Canyon. Will let you know how it goes. Personally, I am mainly concerned about Steel Pass. Had to turn around with a group on 12GS's last year on Lippincott. Not everyone was comfortable with the terrain and the dropoffs so we decided not to force the issue. We will be staying at Panamint Springs. Any ADVRiders passing by in the evening should look us up - probably in the bar.
BTW, Scotty's Castle no longer has gas, so if we do get through Steel Pass I may have to liberate some gas from a tourist's car to make it back to Panamint Springs. It will remind me of my college days. It might be possible to make it to Big Pine. I'll have to check the mileage carefully, and perhaps carry some MSR bottles with gas.
JohnF3 - I miss you guys also. Oh well life and death go on.
True. Seems many riders in this thread own multiple brands. I also think that a lot of the 800 owners are not BMW loyal types, but bought one because they liked this one particular bike....not the brand necessarily.
Back to the main question, my answer between the two can't be quantified on paper, as it has more two do with the way the bike feels when I'm riding it. Logically I know the KTM has a better suspension, and I've seen what guys have done riding them, as well as riding a few myself, so I won't knock it's ability one bit.
However, the first time I rode the KTM, after I got done giggling from twisting the throttle, my thoughts were about how big it FELT to me. As dirtworthy as it may be, it felt like a big adventure bike, even if it does reward a confident rider. Myself, I wanted a BIG 650, and the first time I sat on the 800 that's what I felt like, riding it I felt at home from mile one. I really think if BMW had put a suspension on the 800 that was really designed for agressive riding that would close the gap. Truth is I don't ride that agressive off road as my adventure riding is a much different mentality then when I'd race a Hare scramble.
So I got a bike that fits me like a glove and just FEELS they way I like it to. No one can argue with my smile while I'm riding. Of course if your needs are different then maybe your bike should be as well.
Same experience here. The KTM felt very big to me, and a little tippy. Also the throttle response on the KTM's I have ridden is not as crisp off idle as the BMW's. Maybe that is fixable, maybe it reflects KTM's current state of evolution. I would be more inclined to compare the 950/990 KTM's to the HP2. At the professional level the HP2 has faired quite well going head to head with KTM.
The F8 is very new. The aftermarket has not had a chance to catch up. If the bike continues to sell well, we will have a lot of ways to spend out money on upgrades. Unfortunately it will be very expensive.
One thing is certain - the genre has gotten the attention of the European manufacturers. I see the adventure bike niche filling up nicely over time as more people discover the joy of continuing when the pavement ends. Right now KTM and BMW have by far the lion's share of this market. It seems that the big four will continue to focus their development dollars on motocrossers and sport bikes - not saying that the Strom's and KLR's are not legit choices, but my sense is their existence is more of an accident than a marketing move.
Brief heads-up / hijack: bettter check the DV Morning report due to recent winter storms. Today's report below (Dec.16) indicates many closures:
Emigrant Pass, Dante’s View, Titus Canyon and Twenty Mule Team Canyon……………..CLOSED due to snow or mud
Racetrack Road……………Possible winter conditions. Chains and four-wheel drive recommended.
Saline Valley - N Pass and S Pass……Heavy deep snow possibly accessible with chains and four-wheel drive.
BTW, Lippincott was a kinda rough in Nov, and Hunter Mtn Rd is likely to have heavy snow. Have fun, but dress warm!
Some ride reports: Hunter-Lippincott Loop Saline Valley Loop from Panamint Springs Steel Pass Loop Panamint Mtns Goler Loop
Whatever floats your boat is OK with me.
I have been waiting for a medium weight multi adventure bike for the last 4yrs. Did a big bore on my 650 and love to ride it, but it is still a thumper and uncomfortable at freeway speeds for long periods of time. Adventurized my TDM but it was still marginal in the rough stuff.
If some Japanese company had built one between 6-800cc I would have been first in line. (Sorry Strom owners, too much like my TDM)
The KTM ADV, felt top heavy to me and I worried about consistantly being able to pick it up, as I ride alone alot. Looked at an SE, but it was too tall and lacked fuel capacity.
Though I have no love for corporate BMW, I jumped on the BMW800 as it just seem to fit. I have whined some about the suspension and some other nigling issues, but I am now a BMW owner so it is expected .
The more I ride it, the more I think I made the right decision. It has a great motor, that spins up incredably fast, coupled to a smooth transmission. A little vibier than the TDM, but spot on throttle reaction with more power to boot. The suspension is not as plush as my modded KLX, but better than I initially thought and fixable. Ergonomicaly it feels very similiar to my old school thumper. You just don't feel the weight, though you better be mindful of it when it is time to stop. In some conditions I prefer it over my 650, as it hooks up in loose conditions and rolls through ruts with no attempt to swap ends.
Frankly I wished there were more choices in this spectrum, but the ones that are available are pretty good.