myth of the light weight adventure bike for dirt and adv riding?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by B1, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    kawi super Sherpa, XT225/250, a lot of after market support or DR200 not as much after market support, all under 300lbs.[/QUOTE]

    Did the xt250, good bike for certain trips, but doesn't work for me anymore.
  2. justdirtyfun

    justdirtyfun Been here awhile

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    My wife ran an Xt250 carburetor version then they went to F.I.

    So a entry level low profit margin bike was deemed worthy of change yet bread and butter mainstream bikes still suck through jets, I don't understand.
  3. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Yup, it's all pretty much same except for the costumes.
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  4. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

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    I have a 950s. Nothing light about it.
  5. keepshoveling

    keepshoveling DNF

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    So, what have folks found is the lightest bike that's reasonable for, say, two-three hours of pavement at 70 mph (112kph)? Seems like there's a line somewhere around 300lbs (136kg) where folks on the internet start cautioning that it's really just a big dirtbike and you can ride it on the highway but you won't like it.
  6. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Yes, I have the L3 kit.

    To get back on topic, the CB500X/RR is a pretty decent compromise bike. It's heavy (430 lbs wet) but it feels lighter than it should, especially at stock height. It is smooth, quiet and power is nice and linear. It wants to be revved high. The honda suspension is kind of a joke. The pegs are too high and too far back for a good standing posture. 1st gear is too fast for slow speed manouvers. Lots of other nitpicks over on the CB500X thread...

    I wanted a single bike and I tried to be realistic about what kind of riding I would be doing -- 90% street, 10% dirt roads. This was the best choice for me for the money.

    The RR kit is expensive. It tacks on about $3500 to the price of the bike (around $5k new right now). I think it was worth it. Road performance is vastly superior to stock and off road it is more than adequate.

    My ride to saline valley was about 100 miles of dirt and 35 road. I spent $12 on gas, which at the inflated resort prices was a little over 2 gallons. I had half a tank of gas left when I got back which translates to roughly 50-60 mpg. I probably could have done the trip twice without refuelling.
  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    I've ridden the xt from Temecula to Death Valley (and back). Stock gearing on a drz would have been better.
  8. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    As opposed to my vstrom which is pushing 500 lbs and top heavy. I'd rather ride the cb in Death Valley on the two track roads.
  9. Drwnite

    Drwnite Adventurer

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    I had a 950 Adv S also, the SE at 180 Kg dry is lighter than a 660 Tenere! As I said it does it for me and the choice was easy!
  10. WindBlast

    WindBlast Sonorous

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    I have an 09 DRz-400S with Wolfman racks carrying Rotopax 1gal gas cans, and a Shad tail trunk bolted to an eBay rack. SM larger footpegs and a tankbag, GPS, heated grips, and 12v socket on the handlebars. My friend Ron rode this bike on a 1500 mile 8 day ride around NorCal Sierras and Nevada. Other than needing the extra gas a few times we had no hiccups, he was as fast (or faster in the really tight stuff) as I was on my Triumph and we put in 250-350 miles on most days. He hauled clothes and camping gear on the little bike and had a blast. I am thinking of doing the Ramapo 500 on it this year. I think it could be the perfect bike for me unless I am going cross country. 310 lbs. plus gas and gear. I did have Fisher redo my seat though.
  11. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Tall light bikes can blow around on the interstate some, and I hate wearing out good dirt tires on interstate runs.
    Lots of bikes will do 70 for hours and some will be nice doing it, its not even a problem on my xt250.
    Not a lot left at that speed, but its happy to do that or a bit more.
    290 pounds stock, seat is hard, rear shock is over damped, what else is new, gas tank is kind of small for the great open spaces out West, but if you do not mind wearing good dirt tires out on the interstate, it does ok.
    Its a lot of fun for local work.
    Not many bikes are really much fun on the interstate at legal speeds....




  12. Trailrider200

    Trailrider200 Long timer

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    love your "is it real or memorex" avatar. Haven't seen that in yrs. has always been one of my favorite ads. did I just date myself?? :D
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  13. Trailrider200

    Trailrider200 Long timer

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    Clark has a 4 gal tank for the XT
  14. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    How'd you get it down to 310 lbs? Mine was 320 wet weight
  15. WindBlast

    WindBlast Sonorous

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    I thought it was 310 plus gas. Maybe I was drunk.:photog
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  16. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    You guys got me thinking, so with an impending camping trip in the SoCal desert - Ocotillo Wells - I decided to set up my DRZ and try it out with the good riders on their dedicated dirt bikes, RZRs and Quads.

    2006 DRZ400s with: Clarke 3.9 tank, 14/44 gearing (stock is 15/44) stiffer springs front and rear, USB port for charging, X-grip for phone/gps, Seat Concepts seat, acerbis hand guards, case savers, skid plate and rad guards, Michelin Desert Race front, Pirelli MT-43 rear, nomad rider out-n-back day bag with Wolfman small rolltop duffel on top. Moose wider pegs and of course, an ADV sticker.

    Packed: REI halfdome 2 tent, North Face sleeping bag, BA inflatable pad, inflatable pillow, clothes for 4 days, shoes for off the bike, 1 gallon water, spare tubes, full tool kit + irons and air pump, food, towel and other crap.

    Day 1: ~650 miles of back roads - home to Ocotillo - speeds 45-65 - easy
    Days 2/3: riding around camp, single track in sand, desert wash, hills, small jumps, small whoops etc... now i'm a learning dirt rider so nothing totally hardcore but I was one of few who never went down and I kept up with the quads/rzrs for the most part. Some of the dirt riders were very good... one on a 2T 500cc bike!
    Day 4: decided to see if this crap works as an adv. Put in earplugs and took I5 home at 70MPH for 600 miles. With ear plugs in, no issue at all. Bike was happy and rode well, even once switching back to curvy backroads for the last 60 or so miles.

    Is it perfect? nah, but it worked very well off-road. It was about a direct opposite to my GSA... better off than on but doable with the GSA better on than off but doable. My ass hurt often on the ride but standing a bit made it better. I need a way to carry more water, need to carry less clothes and I'm not sold on rolltop luggage :jack

    Do I still want a 690? Ya, but that's because i'm an addict.

    Attached Files:

  17. mixed

    mixed Dirty

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    Case closed for 2016
    the Husky 701
    10000km service intervals (6k mile). I do oil and filters on my EXC every 1000km, check valves every 3000. head rebuild and rings at 10000km.
    Some bags, some extra fuel. I'm good to go.
    I don't care how bad it is on the freeway (I have no freeway within 1600km of me,) if i can still ride it on the trails like a huge dirt bike.
  18. MotoChron

    MotoChron Got Dirt?!

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    That guy could make a moped look amazing, his videos are awesome. Yup 701 is at the top of my list for my next bike.
  19. keepshoveling

    keepshoveling DNF

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    Bike looks great but is it really all that different from the 690?

    I think, generally, the following things are mutually exclusive:
    light and powerful or cheap
    light and powerful
    or long maintenance intervals
    good on the highway
    or light
    good on the highway
    or good in the dirt
    modern tech
    or cheap

    I'd be curious to hear about which bikes folks think are the exceptions to those categories and then what other mutually exclusive categories there are. Of course, there's some element of subjectivity to it (for example, what you can endure on the highway may well be different from what I can) and spending a bundle on aftermarket stuff can often help you in one of the categories (not the cheap category, one of the other categories) but I think these are very broadly true.

    Anything you want is going to end up being a compromise of some sort and you just have to figure out your priorities and make your choices, but it's nice to have some idea of what you'll have to choose to prioritize when making those choices.

    edit: I was thinking of this in terms of the thread title, I think a light weight adventure bike is perfectly possible. Just get a ktm 500 or 350 or a husky or beta equivalent, toss on a steering stabilizer and an aftermarket seat, don't do long stretches of highway and plan to pack very little and you'll be all set. Of course it will be relatively expensive and even if you triple the recommended maintenance intervals you're still looking at a bike that needs more TLC than something heavier with less power.
  20. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    :thumb Yep, no free lunch.
    You're right in that the KTM/Husqvarna or Beta are the shiznit for dirt. If you can deal with the hiway part, or truck it to the start of a tour, they work really well. You also have to be a master at packing light because they don't do well all loaded down. Think super-light backpacking gear or going without.

    I actually thought I would use my TE630 as an adventure bike and hence chose it for longer service intervals and decent road manners, but it's a handful offroad due to weight, and it's still a big dirtbike so it's nothing like a road-oriented adventure bike on the hiway. If it's more than 75-100 miles of hiway I will usually truck it. Over the past five years I have ended up only using it for two 800-mile dirt trips camping off the bike. The rest of the 7K miles it has is riding it like a dirtbike. So I constantly toy with trading it off for a lite-bike - the 501 Husky would be my choice. 75lbs lighter for offroad makes a HUGE difference.

    As an aside, over those five years I put over 20K miles on my Tiger 800XC - it just eats big miles. Now I've traded that off for a new GS - it is my "road" bike.
    keepshoveling likes this.