Next in the BDR series - AZBDR

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by eakins, May 8, 2013.

  1. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,143
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Live and let live. :ricky If you're not trying to be a hater, don't. Not everyone enjoys the same thing and if they did the world would be mighty boring.
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,148
    Location:
    MN and NM
    Maybe the towing bill will affect future bike decisions.

    OTOH I know from the BDR creators that the routes are designed to be mostly doable by loaded GS1200s.

    I believe BMW and some of the gear manufacturers subsidize the route creations.

    But a few guys have nearly died trying to do Lockhardt Basin on these big bikes.
    mntdawg, chilejack and AZ TOM like this.
  3. RidgelineRider

    RidgelineRider Don't take life too serious

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Wittmann, AZ
    It’s called marketing. Big manufacturers hire professional riders and make these pigs fly. With LOTS of practice and training can one make these 600lb bikes plus luggage manageable in BDR terrain or slightly worse..sure. Most of us have full time jobs or other life obligations. By the time we get proficient at it and couple weekends go by of not riding and we are back to square one.

    Being that I started heavy and now run a 500 EXC, riding trails is life altering. I still own the 1200 for big trips where destination is the most important, however the 500 EXC is my dirt devil. It’s not about about brands....it’s about weight. Turns out gravity hates Honda, BMW, KTM, Suzuki, Beta,...Etc all equally regardless how much you paid for it. A broken down KTM 1190/1200GS vs broken down DRZ400 in BFE is worth the same to the rider when he or she stranded.

    Nobody gets off a trail and wishes for a heavier bike. Take the bike that will accomplish the most difficult portion of the trip, because a light bike can do everything a big bike can. However I can’t say the same for the opposite of that statement.

    It my personal opinion, the heaviest bike I would take would be the KTM 690/Husky 701. In fact, I would almost consider those bikes unicorns for riders who only have room or finances for one bike and have ambitions of crossing state lines on their bike. 40lbs lighter than KLR, plenty of HP and mods available with a decent subframe. For those who stay within their state boundaries most trips a DRZ400, 350-500 EXC, WR250R, something under 300lbs are ideal bikes. Easy to work on, plenty of mods, large community and you can pick them up solo on the trail. All of these bikes are capable with mods (globetrotter racks) or Moskomoto saddle systems/Wolfman Luggage to do BDR type trips with prudent packing list.

    Again, nothing wrong with big bikes on trails. I still own my GS, however more planning is involved on unknown trail riding. This knowledge came at great financial expense before I retained my own enLIGHTment.
  4. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    586
    Big bike shade on a big bike site? Weird...

    My biggest bike now is a 690, but I recently sold an Africa Twin (which was a great bike). A buddy and I rented rockstar ready 1090's and did the Nevada AND California BDRs last year. In one word - AWESOME! You might not need 120+ hp offroad, but dang if it isn't fun! We'd hit the paved sections after a long stint on dirt and literally haul azz and clear the sweat.

    I'll keep my 690 as it fits what I do on my ADV rides better, but the big twins with cruise, heated things, and 100+ hp have their place. BDRs are not hard rides and are frankly made for these big rides.
  5. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Florida
    The switchbacks coming down Gray Mtn, Road 6150 close to Cameron are Lockhart Basin elevated 1000 feet. IMHO, BDR wants to label some of the sections “expert”, well that portion of the trail should be as well. Scared the crap out of me today coming down that trail.
    XFrog, wbbnm and RidgelineRider like this.
  6. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,101
    Location:
    Payson AZ
    pretty shitty to hash on these guys, mistake or not, we should support each other.

    no matter the reason, if you need help and i can help,,, i'll be there, yes, even for you macho guys riding little girl bikes on big bike routes:lol3
    CarterFury, AZ Mark, XFrog and 4 others like this.
  7. Jhawkins

    Jhawkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Los Lunas, NM

    Since when is this a big bike site? I've been here for years and it seems like a fairly equal mix of big and small. Either way, I'm not throwing shade on big bikes, just expressing my opinion, based on years riding both big and small bikes, that big bikes are miserable and less well suited to riding in the dirt. That seems like a fairly valid opinion, given the events that brought it up. Had the rider been on a thumper, he'd have certainly picked it up and continued on his merry way, no?


    No one is "hashing" on anyone. Big bikes are fun on pavement and smooth dirt fire roads. On anything else, they're a liability and a burden. The trends that suggest otherwise, as mentioned above by Ridgelinerider, is very successfull lifestyle marketing. BMW has taken Harleys "Cultivate an alternate persona and sell it" idea to guys who yearn for off road adventure and somehow sold them on the idea that the best machine for that is $25,000 and weighs 600 lbs.

    Anyway, my apologies for getting the thread off track. Also, to the rider who found himself in this predicament, I hope I didn't make you feel judged or demeaned. That wasn't my intention.
  8. RidgelineRider

    RidgelineRider Don't take life too serious

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Wittmann, AZ
    I’ll second Jhawkins post and piggyback. I apologize if I came across and dump of shaded opinion on Big Adv bikes. I have been in the OP’s boots, several times. I been in some sticky, heart pounding “what now” moments by myself on big bike on BDRs, no name trails and crap I shouldn’t be on to the point I wouldn’t post it here. It’s pit in the stomach type feeling.

    When I went light, it was a Eureka type moment. I used to sell motorcycle as well, so I know have seen the psychology that goes into the motorcycle industry..”sell the dream”. I just hate to see riders, who I like to think as an extended family, spend hard earned (most of you :-) ) money on bikes that may not achieve what they envision. Take for example “Everide”, many of us have seen his videos and love to envision ourselves living the same experience on two wheels in AZ, UT or CA soaking up the scenery and the physical challenges. Look at what he is on...thumpers and now recently a two stroke. If your goal is trails and riding with fellow trail seekers...get a trail capable bike. If you are riding to Alaska, ride a big bike for big miles because I know you aren’t going to ride diamond trails all the way there. I sincerely wish the best to all riders, big and light. Remember, it’s all about more smiles per mile.
    CarterFury, bigmo, Ladybug and 2 others like this.
  9. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,604
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    Just my opinion, but rider skill needs to match the bike and the terrain. If you're a skilled rider, take a GS or big bike on a BDR. If you don't have big bike skills, ride a smaller bike. As far as I know, most of the BDRs are laid out by riders on big bikes - skilled big bike riders but not necessarily professionals by any means. A GS or other big dual sport bike is only a liability when rider skills don't match the terrain, just as for some riders a KTM 500 might be a liability. It's a burden to some, but not to all. I don't think it's the fault of marketing necessarily. If you own a GS (or big KTM or Africa Twin or other big dual sport), then take a class (or 2) on riding the big bike in the dirt and rugged terrain. There is definitely a different riding style required between big and smaller dual sport bikes.

    I originally purchased my GS as primarily a street bike. That lasted about as long as it took to hit my first dirt road with it. Then I just wanted to ride primarily in the dirt; and by far it has more dirt miles than street miles. I did take a BMW factory riding class that taught me much more about riding offroad with it - much more than I would have ever figured out on my own (and I was a pretty decent offroad rider on smaller bikes). The class definitely set me up to ride much better offroad on a big bike. It's always about being prepared, and doing whatever research is required to know what you're getting into (in other words, personal accountability). Sometimes, you end up over your head (sh$t happens) - I've been there and done that. Everyone should realize that when you're riding offroad, conditions can change dramatically over time. I've ridden trails that on a scale of 1 to 10 (easiest to hardest) that have been a 3 for one ride, and no more than a few days later may be an 11 after a storm has come through. If you're going to ride a BDR, watch the official videos and other ride report videos. They often show good, skilled big bike riders struggling through some sections, with falls, etc. If you don't think you can ride a big bike through it, then select a bike that you can ride in that terrain. BDR's typically have such a variety of terrain, including highways, that there is no perfect bike for every mile. Choose the bike you want to have fun on, and can capably ride for the planned terrain.

    Since I started riding again about 15 years ago (after about a 25-year hiatus away from bikes), I've ridden everything from my GS to a Husky 310, and several sizes in between. Sometimes I want the challenge of riding a big bike in rough terrain, sometimes I don't. However, I don't want someone telling me what I should ride; that's my decision based on the research and assessments that I have made.
  10. XFrog

    XFrog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    We completed the AZBDR yesterday and I rode halfway home in the afternoon--laying in bed and catching up on the thread.

    First off, we had a great trip, nobody got hurt and the worst damage to the bike was a hand guard + scratches. Trail and weather conditions were awesome and we had a lot of fun, so many things to reflect on and some great stories to tell.

    It is not uncommon to drop a bike on any BDR, even on light bikes, it is just much easier to pick the little ones up. The 690 had to be picked up too!

    I had only had to pick my 1190 up one time prior to this trip and I was able to do it myself on a sloping dirt road. I am confident I could have completed 203 on the 1190 if i could have picked it up. I was doing great and having a lot of fun until I picked the bad line and dropped it. I have ridden 3 BDRs prior to this one, all done on a 2012 BDR R1200GSA with my wife on the back. Yes, we had to pick it up many times, but my wife's help made it possible to do consistently. My mistake was getting too far ahead of Mountainman and I had a lot of issues with my very old GPS, as well as the map I had was for the original route. My legs were fatigued from the heat and riding and I am only 170 lbs + 50 years old. I felt really weak and couldn't lift the bike even an inch, it would slide sideways and deeper in the hole on each attempt.

    I have ridden for over 25 years and 125K miles and like to challenge myself. Honestly, I was excited to do a BDR one-up on a 'lighter bike' so many of the comments surprised me. Many of the 'suitable bikes' being suggested are not even technically adventure bikes, they are enduros or basically plated dirt bikes such as the WR250R.

    Let's not forget, it is about having fun and as long as nobody gets hurt and we had fun...mission accomplished. As far as the cost, this is not an inexpensive sport and the tow was not unreasonable. This could happen on a street bike or even a car on the highway. If you can't afford to drop it you can't afford to ride it, a few scratches is chump change. If you want a safer sport then stay home and play video games, much cheaper and safer than riding.

    Cheers,

    XFrog

    20200523_130213.jpg
  11. jredford

    jredford Ninja Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,503
    Location:
    H town...
    I appreciate your honesty and attitude Xfrog.

    I feel for those riders who take bikes that are much larger and more powerful than their skill set to ride them in rugged, unforgiving terrain. I must truly be an “oh-shit” moment.:muutt
  12. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Lazarus has risen from the dead
  13. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,776
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
  14. philthyphil

    philthyphil Nomad

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    635
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    Great job xfrog. Ride what you want how you want as long as you have fun, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. Its usually when somebody can't do something and somebody else can that the hating starts. Not many on here post about failures/issues so when somebody does nobody knows how to react.
  15. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Florida
    Not quite the spot but cool video.
  16. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,776
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    GMTT heading west to the switchbacks.
    IMG_1691.JPG
    IMG_1692.JPG
    IMG_1696.JPG
    IMG_1695.JPG
    Muscongus, PYG RYDR and chilejack like this.
  17. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    756
    Location:
    AZ and CA
    The best part about riding a big bike solo is that everything becomes a proper challenge:

    IMG_20200512_175915.jpg
    IMG_20200512_171841.jpg
    IMG_20200514_140047.jpg
    IMG_20200514_135825.jpg

    IMG_20200510_130448.jpg
    IMG_20200510_121511.jpg
    XFrog, Muscongus, wbbnm and 5 others like this.
  18. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Florida
    I didn’t take pics, and the trail looked nothing like that. Maybe I took a wrong turn. I will post a pic of my gps to show where later.
  19. bigmo

    bigmo The Great White North

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    586
    That looks like the entrance to Lockhart Basin eh? I sheered the footpeg off of my Africa Twin there - joy! Luckily, Moab has like 10+ uber-good welders that can weld all kinds of alloys. I miss the heck out of that bike!
    Lost Cartographer likes this.
  20. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,101
    Location:
    Payson AZ
    i think Tom was a spring chicken of 74 when he rode that.
    AZ Mark, RidgelineRider and AZ TOM like this.