Old Guys with heavy bikes

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by ktmrandy, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. ktmrandy

    ktmrandy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    If you get into a situation where the terrain is more difficult than you would like to tackle on your 950 or 990 do you think a smaller bike would allow you to handle the terrain? I had great hopes for exploring with this bike. I quit riding dirt bikes 10 years ago when I would get too tired from riding 4 1/2 hour enduros. Now I plot routes with Basecamp, put the routes in my gps and take off. I seem to end up on 4 wheel drive roads that keep getting worse and worse where I get more and more tired then reach an uphill with loose rolly rocks where I can't get traction so I turn around and backtrack for another route or just head home.

    I have been thinking that 20 or 30 years ago I probably could ride the ktm up those roads and now I am thinking of getting a smaller bike but I still get worn out and don't know if a smaller bike is a solution or just find easier terrain. I ride by my self so I don't have a ridding buddy that puts me to shame and cruises up these hills. I do know the young guys on small bikes go up these hills like they are nothing.

    I ride my road bicycle 25 to 50 mile loops over hilly terrain 2 or 3 times a week so I don't think I can get stronger or gain more stamina. I only get slower and weaker.

    What do you think? Smaller bike or too old find easier stuff?
  2. JoeMongo

    JoeMongo ¿Por dónde? Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    896
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, not exactly dirt moto heaven
    I can ride my 990 anywhere I can ride my DR-Z400, but when I hit the limit with the Suzuki, I can pick it up several times a day and keep going, or turn around if required (once).

    I prefer to ride challenging terrain on the 990 when I have a friend with me.
    J.
    desert sky and 406Blues like this.
  3. Dustodust

    Dustodust Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,510
    Location:
    Hillsboro Oregon
    Here is a perfect example of why I prefer to ride alone.
    4 arrogant weaklings afraid to get grass stains on their $1200 riding pants watch as the guy who took an unwise line tries to pull his 500lb bike out of a ditch by himself

    since I moved 1500 miles away, I miss my old riding buddies , they would have all jumped off their bikes and helped get it out before I could get my helmet off

    hey at least one guy is willing to steady the handlebar with one hand and another guy looks concerned from a distance so they cant be all bad

    Id rather ride alone than with those prissies
    If it was me in the ditch, as soon as it got out, I would go the opposite direction and never look back

    kinda reminds me of the type of guys I rode with once who who loaded up their bikes and went home after a guy got lost from the group when out desert riding.
    It took me 4 hours of grid search to find him just before dark, lost and out of gas, he was about 4 miles from his bike 20 miles from the truck, dissoriented and weak from heat stress, no idea where he was.
    their reasoning was: "we dont really know that guy its his first time riding with us" , Needless to say I crossed that group off my list, and everytime I saw the prick who invited me at work, I reminded him how he left the guy for dead, he could have been laying in a ravine injured.
    i wanted to go search as soon as we noticed he was lost , but the big lead dog wanted to finish the ride saying he probably went back to the trucks, when we got back at the end of the day he wasnt there and they said "what an idiot serves him right for getting lost", packed up and left as a test of their character I never acted like I was going to go search by myself and waited for them to leave
    406Blues likes this.
  4. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,309
    Location:
    Western Montana
    It's not an on/off switch...it's a progression.

    I'm late fifties, with incipient back and knee issues. I dumped a bike for the first time, this summer - my road ride, a nice, shiny new Honda CB1100. Good luck had witnesses who were happy to help me right it; better luck had it going down where all it did was bend the shifter. Had I been alone, that machine would have been flopped over for hours. No WAY I could have righted it.

    I see...my time in the saddle is limited; as is my time sitting upright and taking nourishment.

    I am in the process of scaling down - my "other" bike is a TW200. Feels light as a ten-speed by comparison. It happens that the riding position is MORE comfortable than on the Honda...something I didn't expect. I push it around, no problem - haven't dropped it yet, but I don't think putting it back up will be a problem.

    I draw the line at trikes. If that's what I need...I don't need to be out there. I'll go smaller, and then, when I have to, it will be over.
    Mr Head likes this.
  5. Newstrom48

    Newstrom48 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Alberta
    Ones of the reasons I went to the CB500X is because it is a lot easier to right, does off pavement roads well, good sitting position. I have a DL1000 and had to right it last year. Couldn't do it alone due to mud/wet without help. I like to ride alone and the 500 allows me to. I have never had it off road and have no intention too. I expect I will be able to ride alone for at least 10 years more (67 now). Thanks Honda.
  6. Velvet

    Velvet El lobo solitario

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    White Signal, NM. Along the Continental Divide.
    I had a very similar situation occur once during a group ride. It was at a KTM rally and luckily it was only a one time deal but it really pissed me off that the group leader, a local, wouldn't wait for the slower riders of the pack and they got lost at a fork in the road. Luckily those riders made it back to the rally safely.

    On a number of group rides that I have taken, it seems that high testosterone levels override common sense and bad things usually happen. Thats why I prefer to ride alone.
    406Blues likes this.
  7. 1Bonehead

    1Bonehead Fearless of Falling

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,124
    Location:
    Marylanstain
    Take Viagra before every ride to help keep it upright, lol

    Actually, I find the bike not to hard to pick up with just my tail bag.
    At March Moto Madness I followed 7 BMW GS 1200 guys on some single track. I was tailgunner for the whole trip and the guy in front dropped his bike 40times at least. At the end of the day I was tired as well and glad I own a KTM. I actually ended up winching his bike back on the trail after going off in a reveen. And they wonder why I have a winch mounted on my tail rack.
    406Blues likes this.
  8. ktmrandy

    ktmrandy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    TAT or Discovery Routes on 990

    Have any of you ridden your 990 on the TAT or Discovery routes? I am looking at doing the Idaho Discovery Route and the Nevada TAT. Maybe the Oregon TAT. The rest of the states look to be too technical for me and the 990.
  9. Justwantoride

    Justwantoride Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Is there a website that shows all these trails?
  10. zeegman

    zeegman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    588
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada
    I have done Washington, Colorado, some of Utah, and Arizona Backroads discovery routes on my 950 Adventure.
    Colorado/Utah trip here:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...ikes-conquer-the-elements-of-the-west.924330/

    In my 50s now so it is getting tougher.
    Colorado was my favorite - amazing scenery in the high mountain passes, and Arizona was way more diverse than just desert.
    Arizona route was kind of tough as it was very rocky (volcanic odd shaped rock) and seemed like all the tough stuff happened near the end of the days ride when energy levels were lowest.

    Dropped my bike about three times each BDR but always rode with friends so help was there when needed.
    Had camping gear and food along.

    Might be looking at a lighter bike to continue these trips (like a 690) in a few years but will do the Idaho BDR next year and will probably do it on the 950.

    Another good 2 week ride - not too hard but great scenery and history is the Heart of the West Route by Tony Huegel
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/heart-of-the-west-adv-route.845500/

    BDR routes are here:
    http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/

    Mike Z
  11. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,280
    Location:
    Australia
    There might be another reason why you ride alone.... have you had a real look at that photo??
    I probably wouldnt be keen to ride with you if youre going bag me on the net with some cocked up story.
    tacosupreme likes this.
  12. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Boysee
  13. Dustodust

    Dustodust Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,510
    Location:
    Hillsboro Oregon
    hey thats OK, I just crossed you of my list of riding buddies anyway.......
    along with the three riders in that series of photos who never got off their bikes to help and just watched from a distance.
    Maybe the four of you can ride to sturgis together, get a room together and have a sword fight.
  14. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,280
    Location:
    Australia
    Classy reply... I rest my case

    Now back to the photo, one old mate runs off the road into a gully, one of his pussy riding buddies gets a winch out of his kit, he is really pissed that he has to unpack his gear coz he really didnt want to help his mate. Another prissy riding buddy turns his bike around to act as an anchor. Now the winch and all associated slings magically attach themselves coz no one wants to help, but hey... magic is magic. Old mate the crasher is holding his bike upright and realises winching may cause the bike to fall sideways so another soft cock rider offers to help steady it, he thinks about telling the helper to fuck off but hell he's gotta stand somewhere. Now whose going to operate the winch and take the photo?? Oh thats right, fucking magic again.
    The way I see it is that they are out riding and having an adventure while some here are playing on their keyboard and talking shit.
    Duane1969 and notagraphicartist like this.
  15. Maoule

    Maoule Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,664
    Location:
    KCMO
    Wow...if y'all are "old guys with heavy bikes", sounds like a nap is in order
  16. ktmrandy

    ktmrandy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Sacramento CA



    Mike
    Now that you are older and have traveled these routes which would you recommend for an old guy on a 990 that has not seen any of this? Which would you recommend for a 690 instead.
  17. Dustodust

    Dustodust Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,510
    Location:
    Hillsboro Oregon
    great synopsis : one guy to hold the camera , one to have a sandwich off in the distance, one to look concerned about the other riders soft cock and another to hold the handlebar while another hits the winch button of the winch hidden behind the bush and one more to come to their rescue on the keyboard from the evil hater (me)
    I like it , well done
  18. zeegman

    zeegman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    588
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada
    Hi Ktmrandy,

    Would be nice of some people on this thread used private messages for their heated discussions so we could stay on topic.

    I am listing the rides in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest (at least for me).

    Easiest - WABDR, UTBDR (I did not do Lockhart Basin) COBDR, AZBDR

    We did most of the hard routes except for Lockhart Basin in Utah (would not really recommend that on a loaded 990 unless you are one of the Oco Locos) - but did White Rim trail on an unloaded 990.

    IDBDR looks like it might be easier than the others - so that might be a good candidate for loaded 990. There are optional hard routes if one wants the challenge.
    Keep in mind most of the BDR routes have bypasses for the hard parts so most are doable on a 990 even if you are an older guy but I would always recommend to have a friend along.

    For WABDR, IDBDR you will run into snow at higher elevations unless you leave after June.
    We tried to do WABDR in mid June - got blocked by snow and mucky trails at higher elevations a few times so go later in the season.

    Generally I think it might be more fun on a 690 on all these since what we do is trailer the bikes to the start of the trails so we do not burn the knobbies off on the highway so that minimizes highway travel. You could definitely try more difficult stuff with higher confidence on the 690 and it is not so bad on stretches of highway between trails.

    In the case of the AZBDR we rode the 990s all the way including riding back to SF area from Grand Canyon through a lot of dirt in Nevada.

    Another great ride is the Heart of the West ride - perfect for loaded 990 type riding.

    I am definitely considering the 690 for future rides when the 990 is a handful.

    I also have a KTM530 for the more gnarly stuff.
    Have even camped off the 530 a few times on long weekend trips.
    Might take it to Baja next year for a week long trip hotelling it along the way.
    Would not recommend the 530 for extended highway riding.

    Hope this helps.
    Mike Z
  19. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,473
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland

    Weights! If you want to wrestle with this pig in gnarly terrain it helps to be strong, and you can always get stronger.
  20. ABuck99

    ABuck99 0.0

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    791
    Location:
    Georgia
    Done the AZBDR parts of UT & CO BDR- HOW & some CDR on my fully loaded 950- Im in my 50s and any of these routes are quite doable on a packed/loaded LC8 (Id say that the difficulty or reduced pace might be amplified for other big bikes though). Lockhart basin was in fairly rough shape about 10 days ago but certainly doable, some qualifier step ups on the way get you ready before dropping into the basin. If you ride alone, and are worried about picking up a dropped big bike- yes get a smaller bike, choose easier terrain, or ride with a buddy. Definitely consider a Spot if you ride alone offroad.