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. ViperJustin

    ViperJustin Retired HH60G Gunner

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    After reading through the list of needs, the WR250R is the only bike I can think of that fits the bill better than anything else. Just read the Big Dog adventures. And the Canadians that are midway in South America already. They don't seem to have any issues with the "lack" of power. Seems to be enough to get by.
  2. mesoman

    mesoman Been here awhile

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    This is a good evaluation thread but here's the thing. Each of us has to realistically sort out what sort of riding they will do. Most times, we end up with more than one bike. So the one bike idea ... IS a myth. If I want a dirt bike, I'll buy a dirt bike and truck it there. No point squabbling over which bike until a new bikes usage is determined. (Not so easy!)

    Bikes for LD ADV travel are clearly in a different world. (GS, big KTM V-Twins, Triumph, Vstrom, Caponord, et al) Props to the guy who did long ON/OFF road trip on a DRZ400S.
    Good bang for the buck and emblematic of what, IMO, a true ADV bike should strive to be. Can the new Euro marvels (new Huskies, KTM's, Beta singles) really cut the mustard if 1000 miles of highway are on the menu? I'm not keen to spend $12,000 USD on a dirt bike that will spit it's top end or need rebuilding in "Hours" rather than thousands of miles.
    Traveling riders may not be doing super technical tracks, or not that much anyway. Travelers may want to compromise towards more road biased practicality you require when crossing borders rather than county lines.

    If someone just rides locally, no problem. Get the KTM or Husky race bike for sure. And if the GS and KTM ADV guys never go far beyond Starbuck's, not a problem. At least they are out on a bike dreaming. But many GS/KTM guys DO get out there ... and RIDE. Just follow the GS ride reports. Not much technical dirt ... but great, long rides to ... all over the world.

    Can't skip the strengthening 250 class. More and more going that way. Lots of reasons why they work. RTW is not a race. A 250 will get you there most times.

    I try to pick a bike for the next trip planned. Is it always the right choice? Nope. But we're all here to learn.
    Ride On.
    Hamamelis and Noobie Doobie like this.
  3. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    When you look at what Yamaha is doing with their 847cc and their 689cc engines, I am confident that they will make a true "Mini Tenere" .

    Not this
    [​IMG]
    Source: Yamaha

    Engine: 250cc Air/Oil-Cooled, EFI Single
    Horsepower: 21.0 hp @ 8000 rpm
    Torque: 15.2 lb.-ft. @ 6500 rpm
    Dry Weight: 302 lbs. (137 kg.)
    Wet Weight: 340 lbs. (154 kg.)
    Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gallons (16 l.)
    Seat Height: 34.0 inches (865 mm.)

    It’s a Mini-Super Ténéré with everything you need for a long-distance tour. A large windscreen and comfortable seat will keep you cruising in comfort on the highway at 65 mph. The optional luggage rack provides space to secure your gear. A large 4.2 gallon tank will keep you going for roughly 280 miles before stopping for gas. The XTZ 250 Ténéré is also a capable trail bike with low weight and a relatively stiff suspension. With its attractive styling, touring features and small stature, it’s a great all-around bike that can easily escape the city for an adventurous weekend in the wilderness.

    ____________________
    I think we can get a 460cc engine and have similar specs as the 660 and have a modern DR650.

    I put the make believe specs to the right.


    Source: Yamaha

    Engine: 460cc Liquid-Cooled, EFI Single
    Horsepower: 46.9 hp @ 6000 rpm ________(35hp )
    Torque: 42.7 lb.-ft. @ 5500 rpm_____________( 40lb.-ft)
    Wet Weight: 460 lbs. (208 kg.)______________( 380 lbs. {172kgs})
    Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gallons (23 l.)
    Seat Height: 35.3 inches (896 mm.)

    The same bulletproof engine from the XT660R is utilized in the XT660Z Ténéré. The cost is higher than the XT660R, but you get more touring features like the big tank, dual front discs, and taller windscreen. The XT660Z offers attractive Adventure Bike styling and cruises well on the highway. The bike comes with good crash protection and a skid plate to help prevent damage off-road. It’s said to be capable off-road with good slow speed handling despite its heaviness. The XT660Z would compete well against the BMW Sertão or F800GS while offering Japanese affordability and reliability.


    If ABS and other ES S10 offerings were offered, the mass would continue to go up. So would the price with a fully adjustable suspension.
    I am not sure what the 689cc will be like with the 21" tyre.
    It should be more commuter/holigan/weekend warrior than RTW trip.
    Guys like us can take a $8,350 689cc dual sport with 3.5 gallons at 425lbs and have a blast... Well I would still ride slow.

    But the next generarion thumpers will be great. Lighter and more powerful, just like the 09 and 07.
    Not sure when they will get here. The 270° crank P. Twins are the new trend.
  4. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    In this thread I find it interseting what the terms mean to different people.

    Light adventure bikes have ranged from 1000cc to 125cc, weights from 500 lb to 250 lb

    Power from multi-cylinder monsters to plated racers to lowly air cooled singles. Only thing missing were the Adventure Scooters - Ruckus and Zuma among others.

    Adventure has ranged from "everything including the kitchen sink" to "my wallet in a pocket" riding, and doing full loaded "I can live for a month" gear to overnighters with a back pack and "credit card camping".

    Amazing the broadness of the term "Light weight adventure bike".

    Nothing wrong with that, just an observation.
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  5. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    I am in the same mind frame as the OP.

    The MIGHTY DR is at the end of the spectrum for light wieght ADV bikes.

    She is a pot belly dirt bike with a over geard 5th. Like B1 typed, just used for easy going forest road stuff.
    Basically for Yanks who do not want a 435lbs 35hp KLR650°, or those who spend months researching their ADV Bike. The DR does not get any magazine or internet love from websites. It is all forum love/info.


    It was funny how when the new AT spes were released, inmates threw up their arms and declared the KTM 690 as their next bike. Even if the AT was 420lbs, that is still 100lbs :scratch

    °If I had to pick a 400lbs + bike to do a RTW tour on, I would go with a brand new KLR.
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  6. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    I bought a 2008 Yamaha WR250R in 2011. I added a big tank, flyscreen, electrical outlets and pannier system. I shipped it to Salt Lake and rode the CDR. Then I left it in Scottsdale were I have a patio home. It was so impressive I sold my KTM 950 and bought a KTM690R because it was about the same weight as my Yamaha but with much more power. I equipped it similarly with the creature comforts. That was 2012. That bike suffered all kinds of snatchy throttle issues and vibration. I learned to hate that bike and was about to sell it, when I had to take it in for valve check. One month later that bike finally ran like it was intended. Smooth and no throttle snatch in the standard map setting. I had them remap the ECU and do a few other adjustments. Plus I got rid of those tall mirrors and viola', no vibes! Today I think I'm going to ship the KTM to Scottsdale and sell the little Yamaha. I like to ride a few dual sport and adventure events every year and I like the 690 power for the highway. But the Yam was good all day at 70mph too, so it isn't bad. I may buy a Guzzi Stelvio for the east coast and use it for my long range touring. So for me its going to be two bikes anyway.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I live in a High Rise city condo building in Boston, but they let me keep one bike in the parking garage. I have a 2 car garage in Scottsdale but it is filled mostly with a F-150 pick-up. So space is an issue but at least I have room to spoon tires and do minor maintenance. I might add that having FI is a major advantage when crossing the Rockies or Sierras.
    mesoman and The_Precious_Juice like this.
  7. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

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    ^^^^^
    Nice 690. Do you have a build list of some kind?
  8. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent Supporter

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    Just doing my own WR250 build.
    What gearing did you use on the WR ? I just put on 13/45 (stock is 13/43) so far it is better on the highway in 6th gear.
    Also put on a Brittania Composite fairing....so far so good. I will try this out and see how I like it...may go 690 in the future.
    Very happy with the WR for now
  9. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    I have stock gearing. Above 7k feet the bike definitely gets softer. I try to cruise about 65mph no matter where I am and when the grades drop me to 60 I simply go to 5th gear and she comes right back up to 65. I've even gone to 4th gear to get my speed back. It's an amazing little motor! Another improvement to consider is Michelin T63 DOT knobby's. They are much better in sand and mud, plus they are soft and easy to mount and remove. Online they are about $70.
  10. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    OEM Flyscreen
    OEM Tail/tank bags
    Wolfman racks and waterproof saddle bags
    Garmin Montana and hard wired mount
    Accessory outlet for heated gear and battery charger
    Scotts steering damper kit
    Seat Concepts seat kit (installed by a pro)
    OEM Folding enduro mirrors (reduced vibes)
    Foam superbike grips (softer and thicker than OEM)
    Custom tool kit for field repairs and tire changes
    Trailstand 3rd leg
    Have Michelin Desert on rear and T63 on front now. Probably go to Mefo Super Explorer rear for quieter ride and more mileage
    Burro driver likes this.
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That sounds pretty appealing. My wife's DR350 does it all, but lacks power. I agree that all of the pieces are available right now to build a really nice machine. In fact, I just read that a prototype MT-07 Tenere was spotted testing in Europe. 2017 model year supposedly. At about 100 lbs less than the Africa Twin, and horsepower scaled approximately the same amount, it should be great.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.cycleworld.com/2017-yamaha-mt-07-tenere-adventure-motorcycle-spy-photo
  12. BobintheMtns

    BobintheMtns Been here awhile

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    Cool thread... and just makes me like my bike even more.... '94 Cagiva Elefant (Duc e900).

    I had to look for probably 5 years before finding a suitable one, and then another few months to find a motor for it... But the bike, plus a 900cc engine from a '95 Duc supersport, ended up being less than $4k..... With the custom exhaust and the lion battery the bike is probably about 390 lbs dry. The supersport motor fitted with high-torque cams and hi-comp pistons puts out about 95 Hp..... And the Elefants are pretty good in techy off-road situations too....

    Fuel economy is 40+ mpg in town and 50+ on the highway.. with the 5.5 gallon tank, range is good. And obviously the Ducati 900 makes quick work of any highway section. I recently added some teeth to the rear sprocket because it was lugging the motor in 6th gear at anything below 80 mph....

    tantor.jpg

    But if I didn't have Tantor, I'd be wanting to take a look at that tenere 700..... that thing looks promising...
    Jud likes this.
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I have only seen one of those in person, and it was in the UK.

    So is the 900 motor you used OEM for the bike, or did it come from a different model? It sounds like a fairly similar riding experience as my Aprilia, except I can only carry 3.2 gallons and weigh a bit more. 90+ horsepower is very welcome on the road.
  14. BobintheMtns

    BobintheMtns Been here awhile

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    Yeah, originally the bike had a duc 2v 900, but it used 750 heads on that motor to give it more low-end torque versus top-end speed. It was rated at 65-70 hp. But the supersports of that era had bigger valves/bigger exhaust good for about 80 hp stock. But as mentioned, the previous owner of the transplanted supersport motor had done some work to it to boost the output.

    To make the supersport motor fit in the elefant frame just involved grinding a bit off the engine case in a few areas.. and I was good to go (fucking fast).

    Edited to add: I just checked out your link High Country Herb, and that's a bad-ass looking aprilia!
  15. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    The beasts are having a good run.

    In time the XR, DR, and KLR will be replaced by smaller displacement engines with more torque and horse power.

    Apparently, it all depends on emmission laws and such.

    Put there is a New Hope
    I think the Key Stone will be dislodging the KLR from Down Under, Africa, and North America.
    The Yamaha ADV 700 is the best thing we have to do the job.
    They should have the same mass and almost the same range (58mpg for the Candy Yams).
    They should be the same in the dirt,
    But
    $2,500 will seperate them on the price tag... Ohh and one more thing, nearly twice the horse power on the Candy Yams. Good god!

    Once the KLR650 dies off, Kawi will make a modern thumper to sale all around the world that will be below 400lbs (181kgs) and have about 48hp. This in turn will kill off the MIGHTY DR and the XR.
  16. mesoman

    mesoman Been here awhile

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    Another unknown Ducati mystery favorite of mine is the rare Ducati Gran Canyon. Ever ride one? Lots of potential and far less problematic motor than E900 generation ducs. A good dirt bike riding buddy owned an E750 and E900 Elephants. I rode them both on and off road. Really surprising bikes. I preferred the 750 version.
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  17. mesoman

    mesoman Been here awhile

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    Indeed, Yam's new P-twin 700 has potential, but will never match off road ability or simplicity of current very old school 650's. (KLR, DR, XT, XR-L) And IMO, it will be a LONG TIME before Suzuki's 20 year old DR650 will be "killed off". No modern bikes have it's "features" ...or should we say antiquated design elements? :D
    For many the Air/Oil cooling is plus. The Suzuki SACS system won world championships in early GSXR race bikes. Yes, liquid cooling brings more HP but also adds: hoses, water pump, radiator and more ... more weight, more complexity ... and more things you can break off road. As good as the modern F.I. system will be on the new Yamaha, the old DR's Carb gets the job done, simply cheaply and road side repairable ... in ALL situations. Fuel economy could be better, DR's getting mostly around 50 mpg. Will a new Yamaha do much better? I doubt it.

    All these antiquated features on the DR keep the weight down and owner serviceable. At 324 lbs. dry (367 lbs. wet, ready to ride). What will the new P twin Yamaha weigh? If it's "adventurized" I'd guess a 450 lb. curb weight. Not bad, but no DR. Also note the DR's standard 43mm forks (huge by 1996 standards) and very beefy Alu Swing arm. Sure, many DR guys slap on upside down modern forks. Even better. The DR won't run with KTM's but will OUTLAST most of them on a long RTW tour. Make it as good as you need it to be. Or spend $10K to $15K on a modern ADV bike.
    It's all good!
  18. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    Fair enough.

    Kind of like how WWI begain, we need one thing to ingite the modern thumpers purge.
    Right now we have some movement on the western front due to the 660 thumper dieing off.
    I hope the 689cc P. Twin will cause this to happen.

    The DR will be good for the rest of the decade.

    Just like with cages, the Companies will force us to buy modern expensive stuff so they can make money.
    Out of 100 folks, maybe 10 will stick with the low tech stuff.
    I will commute on the DR as long as she lets me. I doubt I will buy the last model year and always have a solid bike for a good ten plus years. Parts would be around for a long time cause we will have two in the garage. Hahaha.
  19. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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  20. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    600cc thumper.

    Interesting.

    Our Company


    "SWM Motorcycles is a new motorcycle Company inspired by the past, originated from the passion and the technical and industrial competence of Ampelio Macchi and Daxing Gong. Ampelio Macchi, creator of the history of prestigious Italian brands as Cagiva, Husqvarna and Aprilia where he was the technical manager and obtained 51 World titles, 46 with Husqvarna and 5 with Aprilia; Daxing Gong, successful Chinese businessman leader of the majestic Shineray Group that operates in two wheels and four wheels vehicles, industrial products for agriculture and electricity generators."

    Very interesting.