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. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    Yes you do get a choice. Stay home or get a vehicle that can handle it.
  2. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    I posted earlier about my KTM 690 as an adventure bike. It will serve that purpose but I don't really like it as a long range travel bike. I bought a Honda Africa Twin for that, but while a terrific touring bike, it is far too heavy for solo exploration of the remote dirt roads out west. I think I have to be able to pick it up after a dirt nap. The mighty DR650 is good for that and travels well, like a few other large bore thumpers, but it is an antique. I am pretty optimistic about the new Yamaha 700, but it is still going to weigh around 440lbs wet. Maybe there really is no such thing as a lightweight motorcycle that will travel well?
  3. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    Never ridden one? As per the vid I bought the 690 but sold it a few months later, Pantah. Possibly later models had lower footpegs? The high positioning was often commented on although I suspect it would not have been an issue for shorter riders. As for single track, I did mention in the vid that in Australia adventure riding appears to involve more dirt tracks and way less highways than adventure riding in the USA, hence this topic. Australian video, Australian context. :D
  4. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    Some interesting models have come out since the thread started in 2013 so I threw some extra bikes into the list for consideration.

    Honda CRF450L
    Honda 250 Rally
    CCM450
    KTM 390 Adventure
    SWM Superdual 650
    AJP PR7

    After a lengthy break from adventure riding to focus on the enduro vids I'm thinking of getting the SWM. Although it's based on the very solid Husqvarna TE610 engine I wasn't sure what the long-term reliability of the Italian brand would be but it seems to be thumbs up from the majority of owners. And they are good value too, at least in Australia.

    [​IMG]
  5. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    I'll be the outlier. It is no myth. It's only a myth if you're a princess and need total comfort or if you think if a little bit of gear is good then a lot is better. I didn't go through the whole thread so pardon me if it's been mentioned before.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/adventurizing-a-ktm-500exc-for-rtw-riding.1369978/

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-zealand-rtw-and-back-on-a-ktm500exc.1181912/

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-art-of-packing-light.1333417/

    This spring I sold my trusty LC4 640E and bought a '14 KTM 500 EXC. I added a small windscreen and will get a more comfortable seat but it is a bike that does it all. Cruises at 80+ mph no problem, is a hoot on twisty canyon roads, and of course is a great tool when the road turns to trail.

    Sure, it gets pushed around a bit in the wind but a Honda Goldwing gets pushed around more than a car so it's just a continuum. Sure you have to change oil more frequently but it's a 10 minute job. All the other maintenance requirements are the same as any other bike.

    With some intent it was easy to come up with full camping gear and keep the load at 35 pounds including luggage.

    So yes, you can have a light adventure bike suitable for high speeds and the long haul.
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  6. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Which exact motorcycle "handles" a wind that picks up rocks large enough to break car windows? Prey tell.

    Because I have done it on everything for a 450 to an Ultra-Classic. You don't get to know in advance when the wind is going to kick up to stupid.
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  7. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    They all do. This is adventure rider, not woosie rider. When the wind picks up like that the adventure begins. Get a grip on the handlebars and be thankful that you are out experiencing it and not at home watching TV, manicuring the lawn, or sitting in a cubicle at work.
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  8. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    Vehicle means an auto, truck, etc.
  9. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    A CB 500X ain't gonna do it either.
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  10. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

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    try living in the middle of the country. Outside the riding in my immediate area it's several hundred miles to "good riding". Add the fact that I have to be back to work Monday morning and the ability to cover a lot of miles quickly and comfortably is why I have a "big bike", set the cruise on 85 and run out the 250mile fuel range. I'm just not going to do that on a 250 or 500?? maybe when I retire and have more time my priorities will change, but for now the 1290 is what works for me.

    Another factor is the size of the person, a 5'2 120lb. person and a 6'5 250lb. person are going to have different opinions on a bike. but, for "adventure purposes" if you can't pick it u[p by yourself it's too big for you.
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  11. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    I believe the "lightweight adventure" problem really does become magnified as an American (and especially the Western USA) thing - Oz and Canada have top highway speed limits that would be outright cozy on a stock DR650, KLR, or even a WR250R or CRF250L (edit: bet you I could absolutely cross the entire Trans-Canada Highway quite comfortably on a CRF Rally!), and workable on some even more high-strung, lower-geared bikes.

    The amount of air drag a motor has to overcome at 80mph/~125kph (a fairly common US roadway speed!) is much higher than at even 70mph/110 kph. Not to mention increased strain on the motor and such.

    Now, I haven't ridden in Australia - for all I know y'all could secretly be going 130 kph on your roads even if the posted signage is lower, especially out in the desert
  12. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    A CB500X can go northwards of 100mph on stock gearing, for certain.
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  13. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

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    this ^
    it is not unusual for me to go 90+ for a few hours, mostly in the name of time. the 1290 does it not only easily but more importantly comfortably. As I said before when I have more time my opinion will most likely change...
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  14. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    Absolutely agree. I think the short answer is to either get off the freeways and ride more "adventurous" roads, or simply ignore what other vehicles are doing and ride at your, and the bike's, comfortable speed (I recognise in some places this may be dangerous, in which case you have even more reasons for staying off the freeway :-)).
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  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    That's why I have a pick up truck. I'd rather kick back in the cab, maybe have a stogie if alone, and haul the bike to the good stuff, saving those dual sport tires to run on what they were made for. But we each decide what suits us and that's peachy. :-)
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  16. Black Hills

    Black Hills Long timer

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    If I'm going to load up the pickup and drive to a good riding spot I'm taking the 300. As you said what suits us.
  17. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    I was recently thinking about the whole trailer thing.

    At out last home, there was no getting around an hour of slab before getting to good dual sport areas. That's an hour, then the ride, then an hour home. I tried in on pretty much all the smaller bikes, and there was no getting around misery on the return trip. The smaller the bike, the worse it was.

    We were on the return leg of a big day, and I was ready to be off the KLR ..just done...and my buddy let me try his 1150gs. Ahhhh! Smooth, comfortable, decent wind protection. The ride home was so much nicer; enjoyable even. I bought one shortly after and it was a revelation on big rides with long stretches of high speed road work. The downside was that, while the big GS was actually pretty good on gravel and Forest service roads, she was still a big girl and brought some limitations

    In hindsight, I could have trailered any of the smaller bikes to an area at the edge of the "good stuff" (which would usually be a full day of gravel and twisties), and been much better off, and I doubt I would have felt the need to get the GS.

    I'm a working guy with kids, so the reality is that I'm not heading out on multi-week, big mile journeys where the large ADV bikes really come into their own. I would have been better of trailering and enjoying something smaller and lighter.

    I don't believe in unicorns.
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  18. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    +1

    I enjoy the 1-2 hours of highway riding in my van much more. I pull my small bike out of the back when I get somewhere good.

    Nothing against big bikes and ADVtouring, it just depends on what you want.
  19. RowBust

    RowBust Long timer

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    No,we wouldn't do that
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  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Reading that really brings up the question... Where is the adventure riding on any US roadway where 80 mph drones are possible? Is it flaunting the speed limit? Is it seeing just how many miles one can go?

    I can see the small light weight adventure bike in the east, where one can ride any of thousands of back roads where 80 mph would just not be sensible. Back roads where the sheer number of miles becomes secondary to the incredible lie of the land and the roads winding, rising, and falling across it. Look at the map and figure about where one wants to end up then go get lost on the back roads for a couple hundred miles trying to cover 50 miles as the crow flies. Having to judge location either by the sun and shadows or by a gps to try to end up somewhere that has facilities to suit one's preferences.

    That is the world for a small light weight... adventure on the back roads from the St Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico in the old Appalachian Mountains, avoiding any 4+ lane highways.
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