Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by John Ashman, Nov 12, 2014.
Well... it's not a "twin" as this thread is about, but it is interesting
The 390 of course isn't a twin, but not only that, KTM said for YEARS that they couldn't build a proper ADV bike based on the Duke chassis, that it would require a totally new design. 7 long ass years later, they drop this modified Duke, which is built for the low cost, low grade Indian market.
EICMA is more than a bit disappointing this year.
There were bikes labeled as 390 ADV prototypes in spy shots that had aluminum box frames. Nobody seems to know what happened to them. But the engine also appeared to be somewhat different.
Reminder: If you're posting about the other guy, instead of the bike, you're in the wrong place.
Nope. It's the affordable gateway drug to the KTM addiction imho.
For the life of me I can't figure out why Honda can't build a Rally Raid replica CB650X. Use the 500 engine bump it to 650 with a 270 crank and decent quality suspension. They keep pushing the Africa twin larger and I want the original size.
I want the Africa Twin Lite and as a 650 not a hinted at 850. I think there's a sweet spot in engine size between 450 and 650 for bikes that will be used as dual purpose. Too small not enough power if you really want to ride on the freeway some and larger gets too heavy real quick.
It would be nice if Honda put some fun back in their bikes. It seems like most from big Red have become rather boring in nature.
Hell why can't they even build a CRF300L?
The new 500X version is pretty close, though I think the 500 is a perfect engine size for a more aggressive Enduro twin. A new XRL type bike.
I do agree that the CB500X is getting pretty close for an ADV bike that would see mild off-road which is probably what a great many actually see, basically dirt roads maybe some mellow 2 track. I'm glad to see the bump in rim size on the front from 17" to 19" though I'd still prefer spoke wheels but I suspect the cast wheels are lighter and hopefully tubeless (can't find a spec for tubeless or not). The design of the wheels isn't too bad.
The paper specs of the engine aren't too bad either, ~31 ftlbs of torque at 7k rpm and just under 50 hp at 8.5k rpm. The only reason I'd want it bumped up a bit is to increase torque if it could be done with bore size only to minimize weight gain. I'd still prefer a 270 crank vs the 180 for feel and sound, I think they also offer better traction off-road.
It's funny reading this thread and realizing how much the goalposts have been shifted now that the RR 500X, Ten7, KTM 790, MG V85TT, and Versys-X 300 all exist
Unicorns don't exist, ride more bikes
They really haven't shifted. What I would say is that the 500X and VX300 are much closer to the target. What we're really looking for is more of a replacement for the big thumpers. Something light and agile, but smoother between dirt roads. Something closer to an enduro twin. Though I think that someone like Zero is going to nail it better with an electric bike that is as smooth as butter and can nail highway speeds. Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha could all easily build more of a dirt based bike with modded versions of existing engines in the 400-500cc range and they could be as light as 350lbs. FWIW, the Honda isn't imported here and the VX300 is but only at a full sized price.
The other point is that motorcycle companies are throwing big tech at big bikes and low tech at little bikes, with no understanding that less is more the moment you step off road. And while they throw high tech at motocross bikes, they haven't yet been brave enough to throw some high tech at a small engined bike. And by tech, I mean good suspension, good brakes, good wheels, not all the ridiculous rider assist features that exist on 1000cc bikes.
If Honda put the 471cc engine in a motocross frame as a 350lb Enduro, it would cause a massive disruption.
I believe the primary road block to higher tech smaller bikes in the States is price is generally paired with engine size so there's a financial limit to what "most" buyers might be willing to pay for a small(er) capacity bike. Part of that is psychological and part is practical. For example, for me personally I don't think I'd be willing to pay the same for a tricked out 300 twin vs a 500/650 twin of the same specs, I'd opt for the larger bike at the same price. But there's a limit to that logic for sure. I think in the smaller sizes, definitely below 500cc, there's a very real price limit most buyers here are willing to pay. In other markets that's not necessarily true especially when you factor in tax laws based on displacement which is why you find some pretty trick 400cc bikes in some countries.
In reality larger engine capacity (with the same number of cylinders) doesn't increase cost of manufacture very much at all, but it's easy to charge more for a larger capacity engine because it offers greater performance. I think this is the primary reason why you see so many companies focus on the liter+ class as they make more money on their development and manufacturing effort. Also there's been a historic lust for ever more power, even at the cost of greater weight. I believe there are very real diminishing returns after ~100 hp or so as it becomes ever harder to actually use. But if you're looking at say 25 hp vs 50, ya the extra is very usable and desirable to me. I sold my KLR650 with it's amazing 37 hp for a Husky TR650 with 50 hp for a dang good reason, that KLR runs out of power with some luggage, increased altitude, and a head wind. Give it some uphill and you're running WOT just to keep up with traffic.
I do believe there's a market, at least in this country, for a higher tech/better spec'd smaller bike say in the 500-650 range which can be witnessed by the prices of Euro dual sport thumpers. It will be very interesting to see how KTM's proposed smaller bikes fair in the market. They have the 390 Duke now and a soon to be released ADV version of it, plus a proposed ~500-590 size parallel twin also. It's unclear if the new smaller twins will come to the States or not, or be primarily for overseas markets.
Don't get me wrong, I do really hope Japan puts money into a 400cc ADV, and Kawi is currently the most likely contender
The only twin cylinder bike that exists in the 400cc class right now is the Asia-only CB400X, but that's basically identical to the CB500X including in weight
Shifting the CB500X towards more offroad is a probable signal that Honda won´t develop a real offroader around that engine. Kawasaki used to do a lot of radical cool things to get attention long after Honda stopped, so yeah, a VX400, but also possibly KLR400 twin and 650 twin now that they are retiring the KLR. At least we know that they like 400cc twins and have a drop in one.
The main roadblock is Japanese stupidity. It's rooted in the asian mentality of austerity.
How long did the Japanese dragged their feet on ABS? How about them still selling some road legal bikes with carburetors?
Only this yr Honda finally added the features on AT AS that the euro bikes have had for a good 5 yrs.
It's the same situation in cars. The Japs are behind everyone on ADAS.
By that standard, I'm pretty fucking stupid, considering I use a CRF Rally as an urban commuter and light tourer, after years of seeing people in Japan and Thailand primarily using dual-sport bikes as rugged, ulilitarian commuters that are capable on all roads.
You see austerity, I see years of consistency and a parts catalog so well-filled in I was able to build up a '64 Honda barn find Cub starting with nothing more than the frame
The interesting thing about the CRF Rally is that it is heavier and more expensive than the CRF. Had they been bolder and put the 300cc engine in it, it would have been quite a bit cooler. Honda really became an extremely timid manufacturer while European companies take all the risks and they follow years later. I think we´ll see KLR400s and Tenere 400s before anything too interesting from Honda.
There are other bikes where Honda offers a 250/400 in Asia and a 300/500 in the NA/EU/ANZAC markets - I'm as surprised as anyone else they opted to keep it smaller.
That said, the Rally's been plenty handy for what I've asked of it, and if I chose to make it into the 300 motor I could do so with relative ease. It's not the "Unicorn" from the factory, but it's less far away from that mark than the people who've never ridden one would reckon, and I'd take it on a RTW ride or the TAT in a heartbeat. The Versys-X is decidedly closer to the "Unicorn" mark for highway ability, mind you