Let's talk Thumpers

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Phreaky Phil, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Here's an interesting video on some suspension mods for the DR650, using stock components. Worth a look
    #21
  2. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    882
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Fair enough re the Himalayan its not everyones cup of Assam. There's at least one good example of long term all terrain durability but i guess the bikeworld needs a bit more convincing. I mentioned it because of the initial comment about highway riding. They are supposed to be ok at that.

    Also agree that my drz250 is not the ideal bike for touring highways even though i had a ball riding mine through Haast Pass and down to Wanaka. But I spend most of my bike time trying to avoid highways. When i did use that bike on them overtaking wasnt an issue at all as I was pulling over to get people off my taillight rather than passing anything.

    Once you are on the road or track less travelled though i suspect rider capability would quickly become the limiting factor with respect to how fast you go and where you can get to. The drz weighs about 125kg wet so its not so difficult to pick.

    The other big advantage of little bikes is they can be "as well as" rather than "instead of" bikes. They are cheap to buy run and fix. They are generally simpler than the big boys and to me that means the ride can be more about where you go than what you're riding.

    That all sounds like a sales pitch..sorry...end of the day bikes are toys and logic only has a small part to play in the decision making process. Buy whichever one takes your fancy. Looking at your list, there's actually a pretty good range of bikes to choose from.

    Another first world problem!!
    #22
    innathyzit and Phreaky Phil like this.
  3. NZSpokes

    NZSpokes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Auckland New Zealand
    BMW xChallenge for the win. Lol 20190713_143906.jpg
    #23
    EVLED and Night Falcon like this.
  4. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Quite a rarity the X Challenge. They got a good motor in them, pretty much the same as as the 650 Dakar. Took a Dakar to Alaska. We averaged 25-26 kmpl 2 up and loaded. Didn't need a big tank !
    I had hopes when Husky used that motor it may have been a great bike but the chassis / suspension seemed a little " whimpey "
    #24
  5. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,362
    Location:
    New Zealand
    690 isn't being given the discussion it deserves on this thread :dirtdog

    They offer the best platform for dual sporting thumpers IMO...plus they plough
    IMG_1664.JPG

    and don't mind the odd mid ride nap (Pic courtesy of Dawn's Candid Camera :lol3)
    IMGP1833.jpg
    I''d have to say probably not a great two up bike though but for more extreme dual sporting the 5XX KTM's are a hoot :rilla
    IMG_3064.JPG

    Lets face it though, we are spoilt for choice, you can make most bikes work, the hard part is deciding exactly what you want to do with it
    #25
    wairau likes this.
  6. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    882
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Rally Raid GS310 Beemer????
    Maybe not quite as cool as a 500 or 690 KTM but probably around the same cost.
    Its 170 kg though!!

    Sounds like the SWM is similar weight to the drz400. Bigger motor so better??

    When i was looking for my drz400 there were a lot of adverts on trademe saying things like "top end rebuilt by...". These were bikes in the 20 to 40,000 kms which made me a bit suss. I assumed they had neen thrashed. If one was to stump up and buy a new one they you could probably extend its life with good maintenance. The E version is loud though. Not a stealth bike thats for sure.
    And most people complain about the seat. I dont think its that bad and rarely a problem for me anyway on day rides.

    What's your inclination at this point? Have you narrowed the field??
    More exciting than the RWC!!
    #26
  7. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    I was waiting for someone orange to enter the discussion :-)
    The 690 has always seemed like a cool bike. Fairly light with lots of power and good suspension.
    There seems to have been a few problems along the way with them.
    I looked long and hard at one for the TAT but couldn't figure out if i could make a subframe yo support the two of us and gear. If I was to buy a smaller bike it will be for me only so no worries about that.
    What sort of run did you have with your 690 ?
    The gearing seems weird with them from what I've been told.
    #27
  8. wairau

    wairau get in behind!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,464
    Location:
    urenui, taranaki
    as an ex-690 owner.
    #28
  9. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    I've looked at the threads of the GS310 with Rally Raid bits but at that weight it's way to heavy. It only 10kg lighter than my Airhead Beemer !!!
    One of my questions for DRZ owners is how many km will they do before needing a rebuild. I remember many many years ago when they came out I knew a guy who adv rode one. At about 35k km the camchain tensioner chewed itself and went through the engine / oil pump and lunched it.
    This thread just to discuss all the options out there and maybe help me or someone else to narrow down a choice.
    My brains telling me I still want to do the tracks and trails in both north and south islands. A lighter bike than my Beemer would be great but you've still go to get yo and from these places so that means road miles or trailer.
    With the enduro bikes you may end up trailering a lot more to keep the engine hours down whereas the 650s can do the road miles

    While not thumpers, on the front page of Adv rider today KTM announced 5 490 twin models. One being an adventure and one an enduro !!!!!
    #29
    Night Falcon likes this.
  10. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    A mixed bag :hmmmmm
    The usual tell tale is " would you buy another one "
    I can remember after breaking the frame on the DR that I will never buy another one.
    #30
    bart-nz likes this.
  11. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,426
    Location:
    Nelson NZ
    Have you considered the AJP pr7? Very good out of the box.
    #31
  12. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    There will be a slight pause while we consult google
    #32
    innathyzit likes this.
  13. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Hmmmm, basically a 600cc fuel injected 140kg dry Rally style bike. :D
    #33
  14. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    882
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    I'm no expert on the dizzer for sure but have spent a fair bit of time trawling through the Thumpertalk and ADV rider DRZ400 forums. As far as I can ascertain the cam chain issue was fixed long ago. There's a bunch of recommended things to do with a new one, just like there is with a dr650. But even if you do have to rebuild it after 40,000kms its probably still going to be cheaper than most of its rivals.

    "This thread just to discuss all the options out there and maybe help me or someone else to narrow down a choice."

    Can't see any narrowing going on yet!! Here's an opportunity to come up with one of those witty flow charts starting with "What should I buy?"

    My take is that if you can ride a big bike (say 500+) with confidence in that terrain, you're unlikely to be looking for any advice, you will probably already know what you really want and you just need to rationalise the decision/convince the wife you can afford it.

    If you're a noob, (unless you are Bill Gates) doesn't it make sense to buy something small light and cheap and then find some tracks and see which breaks first you or the bike??. If you still want to do more, then trade up to the next best, cheapest lightest one and so on. Because if riding the tracks is the main requirement, you will need to put up with the highway miles. (Broken record time....don't ride on the highways and you will be fine. Agree it takes a lot longer and usually you don't have that luxury.) Any bike will do highways, but most of us cannot ride just any bike on trails.

    If you are going to trailer your bike to the trails, then get an electric bike!!!!! No thump but plenty of torque.
    #34
    glitch_oz likes this.
  15. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,362
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I had some of the known minor issues with mine; fan shroud wearing hole in radiator, tank bolts breaking, broken wiring but no fuel pump or cam problems. It did 38K hard klm before I binned it.

    Was such a fun bike to ride though. The motor is crazy powerful for a thumper and the suspension was pretty good out of the box...although some reckon its a bit harsh, it is fully tuneable so you can get it to how you like if that's a problem.

    I never found the gearing much of a problem, it's made to ride fast but will tractor in 1st no problem. If you ride it in the 'wild' setting you get instant power from 2nd (1st almost disappears) so there is some flexibility. Dropping a tooth on the front changes things, but again, it isn't made for slow crawling. The turning radius is a weakness but engine power makes up for it....I never had a problem getting it to 180 on a tight track.

    Must do's are
    replace the stock exhaust - it has a cat in it so runs VERY hot
    a 5l rotopax tank fitted to the rear will get you 300klm range - you can buy cheap chinese copies which do the trick.
    seat concepts -ktm don't do comfortable seats!

    Typically, the 2nd hand ones on TM have had most if not all of the essential mods done.

    My advice; take one for a spin if you can. It really is the only way to judge for yourself. But if you like a lightweight big thumper with loads of grunt and flickability....you'll fall right in love :raabia

    EDIT: yes I'd buy another one and almost did until I realised its too much bike for me in my current condition....I'd be too tempted to push it and another ding-dong will likely be the end of two wheels for me....maybe I should start a 'lets talk Spyder or Chair' thread :lol3
    #35
  16. Adventure Moto

    Adventure Moto Formerly Known as MOTOXNUT

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND
    My 10 cents worth Phil.......
    Having owned a DRZ400 - DR650 - TE 630 - KTM 690 & now it`s close cousin the 701.

    I am assuming that the plan is to keep the beemer for 2 up riding and the other bike would be for shorter and closer to home trips.

    DRZ400 - Great offroad, Okay on the road but does get a little tiring and will need to be geared up for semi comfortable highway cruising. Needs a lot bigger tank and comfy seat to replace the 4 x 2 plank. Brakes are only OK on the road & not as good as DR650. I overheated my front disc a few times & wore it out at 25k. Should do about 40k before needing engine refresh.
    I did a couple of south island trips on mine but it is not a relaxed mile eater on the tarmac but good if mainly doing just day trips ( best value for $$$ though ).

    DR650 You already know about.

    TE630 & SWM - Mine had many issues which the online forums confirmed were not uncommon. Very week rear subframe - Hard starting cold - Gearbox failure - and it never really went like a 600 should do until i put an aftermarket exhaust and a power
    commander on it. Will also need a lot bigger tank and the 24 l safari is the only option.

    KTM 690 - Great bike off road and can still comfortably do long distances ( and 180 KP/H ) on the tarmac. Good suspension ( better than the Japanese offerings ) and brembo brakes are excellent. Goes like a 600+ bike should. I put aftermarket exhausts on both of mine mainly to get rid of the heat from the catalytic converter but it does improve the low end response a little bit. Probably want an aftermarket comfy seat ( I did with the 1st 690 but have not bothered on the 701 ). Reliability wise they require some upgraded fuel tank mounting bolts and the rockers to be replaced at about 40k. ( 2017 onward 701 & 2019 onwards 690 have a different top end with an extra balance shaft that fixes the rocker issue ) . Fuel range varies for me from about 220 to about 250 km`s.
    Accerbis have just made some small radiator side tanks for them which are waaaaaay nicer than the huge safari option ( but are expensive at $600 US ). I have done 4 x south island trips on mine ( including the 701 ) and now I just carry a 5l fuel badder
    for the 1 day where i need the extra range ( I used a Rade under seat 6L tank for the US trip but have since removed it as i love the water fording capabilities of the standard airbox ).

    I looked at the 500 -530 -501 but could not live with the increased maintenance & lack of highway comfort. If i lived in central Otago or south Canterbury where my riding was within a days traveling, then i would definitely have seriously considered them.

    While waiting for the new 790 to come out last year i was convinced that i wanted one. Now that they are out I will stick with the lighter 690 -701 for the foreseeable future until i give up the off road technical type riding.
    #36
    Night Falcon, innathyzit and moto74 like this.
  17. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Hi Mark, yes my GS is almost back on the road, and that will be the Touring and light 2 up adventure.
    The thoughts of another thumper would be for solo rides, wherever they may be. So I guess the prerequisites are
    Must be able to be ridden anywhere in the country, ( and not need a rebuild when I get home )
    Be capable of tackling any farm or station track that I care to point it at. Have to be able to pick it up by myself without buggering my back. ( not that I need to often :muutt)
    #37
  18. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,810
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Mind you, I do like big tanks. :getiton
    image.jpg
    #38
  19. NZSpokes

    NZSpokes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Auckland New Zealand
    Challenge got bigger valves and a much lighter flywheels. At 144kg they are fun. 500k range with the big tank on.
    #39
  20. bart-nz

    bart-nz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    982
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I hate DR650's
    #40