Fantasy mini-ADV twin.....

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by John Ashman, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    It's hard to keep track of what bikes are offered in what markets. When I travel International I'm always amazed at the bikes we don't get in the USA. My wife gets a bit annoyed at me constantly shooting pix of bikes when we travel and I'm always saying "we don't have that bike back home". But she understands as she's from the Philippines where they don't have 70% of the bikes we have here in the US.
  2. patrown

    patrown Adventurer

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    DRZ with wider gearing, EFI, USD Forks-- $8k take my money. Not sure why they haven't done it. Honda came close with the 450L, the maint cycles and price keep it from being a true DRZ replacement.

    Hell, even a Japanese 690ish big thumper-- knock some performance and price off and that would be cool.
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  3. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    If Honda put half as much effort into making a decent small ADV as they do in making the Rebel......
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  4. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Yup, a "modern" DRZ450-S with a wide ratio 6 spd, EFI, and updated suspension but the same service intervals and durability of the old DRZ would sell like hotcakes. Same if Yamaha brought out a similar spec WR450R built along the lines of the WR250R.

    I think the major downfall for Honda was using the small cases of the CRF450 so small oil volume and short oil change intervals. I don't know why they don't use oil in the frame like the DRZ for more volume and no extra case mass, made huge sense to me plus it helps with cooling the oil. I "think" many might even overlook the weight of the CRF450L if it brought longer service intervals. I owned a DRZ400-S for 18 years and gave up waiting and bought a Beta 500 RR-S which has the above wish list and 2x the service intervals of the KTM/Husky/CRF450L and is just as smooth as the DRZ400. It's quite smooth for a thumper making 50 hp.

    I don't know why Japan Inc has kinda given up on the 650 single market, it makes a lot of sense if you balance the engines correctly. My Husky 650 single and the latest dual counterbalancer KTM/Husky 690/701 are very smooth so I know it's possible. They are cheaper to build and lighter than twins, and it's proven then can pass EPA, so ????
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  5. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    I realize older motorcycle engine and chassis designs are cheaper to build, but at this point, I´m starting to eye Chinese bikes. For instance, the new Italika 250cc trail bike is just as "advanced" as air cooled Japanese trail bikes, at least on paper, and the new 650cc street bike has the BMW 650GS single engine in it. The Japanese want premium dollars for 20 and 30 year old motorcycles. The also sell the 250cc single Chinese ADV bike that´s been rebadged a dozen times all over the world. All half the price of Japanese stuff. If they start exporting twin cylinder bikes, they might become half dangerous.
  6. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Honestly the new CSC RX4-450 seems kinda reasonable though it's not sounding very polished. A friend of mine bought the 250 version and I rode that bike. It wasn't bad for a 250 single but was rather heavy for a 250, granted it was "fully loaded" in terms of as built equipment (fully luggage, crash bars, etc.) The biggest detractor so far with Chinese bikes is they seem rather heavy with not too much attention paid to weight savings. I haven't seen many twins from the Chinese mostly singles. The Korean company Hyosung is doing some rather nice street oriented bikes based on the Suzuki 650 V-twin. But so far I haven't seen any ADV styled bikes from them.

    From my trips to Asia I haven't seen many twins on the road, primarily singles as the usual market there is 100-125cc with anything over a 250 considered a "big bike". In fact during my last trip to the Philippines early this year I was searching out dealers that carried "big bikes" and came to find out many of the Japanese dealers are restricted to 300cc or so. Only a few dealers are allowed (I think by company policy) to sell "big bikes", then up to pretty much anything. The Euro dealers had larger bikes and Harley sells it's full size models though I've yet to see a full boat HD touring bike on the road.

    Surprisingly I haven't seen a Kawi Versys 300 there which is surprising as it would make a lot of sense. I know a friend of mine is looking to buy a Honda CB500X to ride there which I must agree would be a very good choice.
  7. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    I think you can get away with a low tech engine in a high tech chassis or a high tech engine in a low tech chassis, but the Japanese keep trying to do low tech everything on a lot of their bikes at a price double that of the Chinese. Would be interesting to see a 650cc version of the ADV bike with the BMW engine. But then all you have is a 650GS so.... meh. Just hard to believe Yamaha is slacking with the success of their 300cc engine. MT3, yes. R3, yes. But wheres the Tracer 300-500 and the Tenere 300-500?
  8. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Ya, the Chinese are pretty much doing low tech engine in a low tech frame etc. as they are all about price. I think some of the Japanese stuff is definitely higher tech but it depends on how far up the food chain you have to go to get it.

    I suspect Yamaha hasn't decided if there's really a market for a Tenere 300 and they don't seem interested in making their 450 single EPA legal so..... I'm guessing they'd need to do something new. Seeing how long it's taking them to get the T700 to market with an existing engine I certainly wouldn't hold my breath. I don't think Kawi is selling that many Versys 300s (at least based on how many I see out on the roads) so I'm not sure of that segment of the market myself. I could see a 400 version in the markets that have specific regs to create a demand for the 400 class which is why you see some of those bikes.
  9. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    The VX3 would be very attractive to me except for the very high price in Mexico. About 50% more than the US. I think it´s an importation problem. But in the US, you´d want more power for high speed roads and the CB500X isn´t much more. The Yamaha MT3 is very reasonable, less than $5000, at least at these exchange rates. Just not suiting the purpose physically. I imagine the VX3 is selling VERY well in Europe and Asia.

    And though it might not be able to handle as so much torque, the Yamaha 321cc engine could be stroked to as much as 500cc. Certainly 400cc. It´s a very short stroke engine, too much so for any offroad use. And it would fill a hole in their line. At the very least, it could serve as a template for a 500cc engine.
  10. Ashmite

    Ashmite Adventurer

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    Catching up on this thread.

    I'm currently searching for that elusive mini-ADV bike currently to compliment my CRF250L. The CRF is a PIG. What it lacks in horsepower, it makes up for in weight. It's heavier than the CRF230 and has the same HP. I've done a bunch of mods so far, including new seat, new exhaust and FI computer and rebuilt suspension. It's now a good enough trail bike but really struggles on the road. I'd never consider the 250L Rally for primary bike. I'm seriously considering a 305cc big bore upgrade for the 250L, but it won't fix the street performance.

    My criteria:
    • Low Seat Height. <32"
    • Wide Ratio Transmission for good highway performance
    • Light weight ~400lbs or less (My '99 SV650 was 365lbs dry)
    • 40-60 HP (depending on weight)
    • Dirt appropriate torque
    • Adjustable suspension (this trend of moving back to non-adjustable suspension sucks)
      • Does not have to have 10"-12" of travel!! or Ground Clearance!
    • Spoked wheels
    • Large gas tank
    • Subframe built to support Luggage
    • Set up for primarily Road, but can handle gravel fireroads/Jeep trails.
    Since I'm as inseam challenged as JohnA, finding a bike that I can handle safely at the red lights of Northern VA which can take 5 minutes to cycle is a key factor. I also want to be able to do highway speeds comfortably as my gang of friends likes to go out for Sunday ADV rides, and the CRF just can't keep up.

    Right now, I'm looking at the V-Strom 650 XT, the Versys 650LT and the Tiger 900 GT Low. For price and fun, the Suzuki wins. I've had an original '99 SV650 (stolen in 6 months) and it was so much fun to ride. I had Kawi Ninja 650R that I made into a mini Sport Tourere (because I miss my Triumph Sprint ST), but it struggled on the highway.

    The Tiger Low is really appealing (and why I include it in the list of Fantasy Mini ADV bikes) is that it weighs the same as the two 650's AND has a 30" seat height vs their 32" or so seat height. Plus I realy miss my 955 Triumph Triple motor.

    I also really like the Ducati Scrambler, and would consider that as a purchase (add windscreen and luggage and I think it's a near perfect ADV bike for me), or a BMW, but my dealer selection is limited somewhat, even though being in the DC metro area. BMW dealers are 60 miles each way (can be 2 hours in traffic). The Ducati dealer is closer, but I don't like the dealership all that much. Suzuki, Kawi and Triumph are all within 20 minutes from my house.

    Now that Triumph has taken the wraps off the new Trident with a 660cc triple, that might make the basis of a nice scrambler model. Swap out the wheels for spoked wheels, and tweak the suspension a bit?
  11. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    You sort of just described the Versys-X 300 in your criteria, except it's 39hp and not 40hp not adjustable suspension.
  12. Ashmite

    Ashmite Adventurer

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    I'd be very curious to see how well it goes down the highway. The Ninja 650R would do it, but you could tell it was near the top end. And the DR650 always struggled at higway speeds.

    I will check it out though when I start hitting the dealerships.
  13. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Hmmm, if you felt the Ninja 650 struggled "a bit" the Versys 300 is gonna be that much worse. I've ridden the Versys 650 and both the Ninja 300 and Ninja 400 sport bikes. The small Ninjas can get down the road but at fairly elevated rpm, think freeway cruising at around 7k rpm and you need to get to around 10k to get any semblance of passing potential from the 300 and maybe knock that down to say 9k rpm for the 400. Grunt is not the description that comes to mind or dirt appropriate torque.

    Curious at including the Tiger 900 low, certainly a full sized ADV bike. I have a 955i Speed Triple, yes a very sweet motor indeed!

    Honestly I didn't think the Versys 650 lacked that much for power. It wasn't my cup of Tea but it had a lot of pep as I recall. I know the newer ones are smoother as they upgraded to rubber motor mounts on the front I think, the older versions were kinda buzzy.

    One bike that comes to mind that's pretty close to your description, but more of a retro standard, is the Royal Enfield Intercepter 650 twin. It ticks most all of your boxes.
  14. GapRunr

    GapRunr Well known Hermit

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    I used to ride my DR650 at 75 all day long, and occasionally closer to 85-90 on smaller stretches. My wife rode it from Albuquerque back to the TN/NC border in three days.
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  15. Ashmite

    Ashmite Adventurer

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    Not a twin, but it looks like we may be getting a 660cc Tiger Cub (finally).

    Also there appears to be an Aprilla 660 twin Adv bike in the works.
  16. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Yes, 660cc Aprilia Tuareg due out in Spring 2021.
  17. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    I hadn't seen anything on the Tiger Cub 660. You're thinking based on the Trident 660? It could make sense.
  18. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    There was a YouTube video yesterday with a photo of the development screen for 3 bikes based on the Trident 660: The Trident, a 660 Sport (Al wheels) and an Adventure (wire spoked wheels). So, like the now common leaks of the KTM marketing meetings, Triumph has leaked 3 bikes based on the Trident motor. Modular design is now the norm to save on development costs. Witness Yamaha 07s & 09s, Aprilia 660 twins, Honda 500 twins, and KTM/Husky 390, 490, 690, 790, 890, etc.

    Of course, we have been wanting, and suggesting that Triumph build, the Tiger Cub for a decade. Demand leads, but this industry is slower than most to understand trends and then address serious demands. I do so miss Soichiro Honda.
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  19. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    I dug up a video from Oz that goes over the projected Tiger 660, makes sense for Triumph to do it. I was waiting for them to chop 1 cyl off the 800 and make a 550 twin, but it needs to be in a smaller / lighter chassis.

    For me it will be interesting to follow and hopefully it's a "650 scale" bike and not a 800 scaled Tiger. I like the 650 size overall, it's a nice happy medium. Too many bikes have been on the "too large" end of the scale.

    Hopefully they aren't on the Yamaha development time line........
  20. ridewv

    ridewv Been here awhile

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    I'd just buy a new CB500X and call it a day. Fully fulled it's 35# over your 400# ideal but certainly lighter than the other bikes you list.
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