The world needs some gravel bikes

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by DesertPilot, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    I just checked the specs and drooled over some photos...

    ARGH! Curse you, Triumph!

    One more excellent possibility to chose from...
    Webman likes this.
  2. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen DR Guy

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    Other than the need to hit freeway speeds, that's a pretty ideal description of a good bike here in Houston. The roads are terribly rough in many places. My DR provides a much more comfortable ride than my truck over it all.

    Like you said, the Himalayan looks great, but I can't see it doing 80mph down I10 or I45. Maybe someone will make a similar bike with something along the lines of a 650 class engine. Heck, they could probably shoehorn a bigger jug in the current frame!
    TxRoadDog likes this.
  3. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    A 650 engined gravel bike you say? :ricky



    Charles.
  4. Kiwiscoot

    Kiwiscoot Been here awhile

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    RE Himalayan Pretty good on the gravel yesterday.
    Himma.jpg
  5. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    That's beautiful! Where is it? If all goes well, we're going to nip out to New Zealand for a few weeks in January.
  6. Kiwiscoot

    Kiwiscoot Been here awhile

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    That is Banks peninsula (Little Akaloa) just outside Christchurch. This is Duvauchelle. Grab a bike in Christchurch for the day and explore Banks Peninsula. It truly is beautiful, though it may start to go brown in January.
    Devauchells.jpg
  7. Sumo64c

    Sumo64c Long timer

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    While a full luggage Hayabusa' isn't exactly a wise choice for gravel roads or putting dual sport tires on, I'm enjoying them again as I putt along slowly while enjoying the scenery. I mounted tkc 80's for the winter season as I ride year round and get the occasional snow and ice. Some entertaining looks from passerbys as well. :lol3
    [​IMG]
    ACR, NC Rick, e.t. and 3 others like this.
  8. kcoralj

    kcoralj Been here awhile

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    Looking back on my riding last year, I think we need more descriptive words than "gravel".
    Here in Wisconsin I've ridden on everything from Dolomite- which is blasted and crushed from the Niagara escarpment and compacts into a very stable roadway (smoother than concrete)- to glacial deposits comprised of 75 percent sand and 25 percent roundish granite. You can guess which one is the most fun on a surprise encounter whilst carrying a passenger up a steep grade on a road bike!
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  9. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Just looked here again...

    What I learned is the SR500/400 is pretty much capable without anything more than maybe changing tires. A light slim single with a normal motorcycle seat/peg/handlebar position works great. There have been a fair number of SR500s stripped and raced by beginner flat trackers and also vintage flat track racing. The engines are simple and performance tricks well known.

    I rode both my SR500s on back roads and the second one did a lot of dirt/gravel with the only real modification being Dunlop K70 tires and a set of K&N flat track #13 bend handlebars.

    The street tracker build is as much aesthetics as it is making any difference in road performance. It could have been used for flat track trackdays by taking off lights and the front fender. Wouldn't be a rocket, but a lot of fun. Same for ice, except it would need ice tires built up.

    The SR500 was just plain stone axe simple and fun to ride. I'd think a 400 with the junk stripped off and maybe some hop up bits would be there too. If the efi could handle it, a cam could be added and possibly go to a mild 528cc big bore. Of course a 36mm Mikuni would solve the EFI problem if it wouldn't compensate enough. But I'm betting all that stuff has been scienced out in Japan, where the SRs have been very popular. Click here if you need inspiration.
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  10. Webman

    Webman Been here awhile

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    Agreed, the only thing I'd recommend is relocating the SR400's regulator/rectifier from under the engine for dirt and off road use. A power commander will help with hop ups, and can compensate for cams, etc. If you're serious about low speed dirt use, swapping the crank for one off of the 500 should give a bit more low end torque; the 400's a bit more of a revver than the 500. Lots of review comments about the 400 can be found here:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-yamaha-sr400-confirmed-for-usa.849303/

    A couple of the riders there have logged over 25,000 miles on their SR400's and have been posting about their experiences with the bike, it's a great thread if you're interested in these machines. If you don't want to go through the full 185 pages (I did, it was great!), the main takeaway is that they're bulletproof reliable and really quite easy to kickstart. Very few problems, capable of 85mph plus for extended periods on the highway, and just a great all around bike. I really want one after reading this thread. I'd make a few minor mods to make it more dirt worthy, and a few small aesthetic tweaks, but I think the SR is an ideal gravel road bike for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a good used one in the near future.
  11. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    My gravel bike ride on Saturday. Strangely, this thing was a lot more stable and thus faster in the gravel than my new SCR950. Scr always wants to slide the back out, though it may be the trail wings on it. This cx scrambler has shinko 705s on it. They were great in the gravel but in the mud the bike was all over the place.

    Had fun though!!

    0F450284-A296-4D60-A463-15B47936D73F.jpeg

    Charles.
    Andrew and DesertPilot like this.
  12. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    My 09 Suzuki Boulevard 800cc is awesome on gravel and dirt roads. Huge wide smooth tires. Screenshot_2019-01-20-20-07-17(1).png
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  13. Guvment mule

    Guvment mule Adventurer

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    To me my KLR 688 with Cogent supention and Shinko 244s ,about as good of a gravel road bike that I ever had.
  14. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    A local dealer claims they'll be unloading some of last year's XSR700s at a vastly reduced price to clear out their warehouse. I am sooo tempted. Even as I type these words, i can hear my checking account crying "Spend me! Spend me!" Argh...
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  15. nephron

    nephron countercurrent exchanger Supporter

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    Could you, erm, share the name of this local dealer, for the good of the collective?
  16. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    After I can confirm it. I don't like to include actual names for things of this sort unless I'm certain they're true. If all goes as planned, I'll check back with the fellows later this week.
  17. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    The local dealer -- G P Sports on Camden Ave -- did finally get those XRS700's in, they look nicer than I expected, and the price was tempting, but during the long wait, I decided to try something different. I don't know about gravel yet, but it seems to handle rain pretty well :D

    IMG_0846.x5r60..jpg
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  18. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Bellisimo! Fantastic looking bike, great color, although I would have to take that lower fender/ plate holder thing off the first 5 minutes I owned it.
  19. kcoralj

    kcoralj Been here awhile

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    Riding in the rain I'd keep it.
    I ran a short rear fender on one of my bikes for years, I had to get a rain jacket with a hood to keep the water out from between my helmet and jacket collar, it looked kool but I got tired of my back being more wet than my front!
  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I need to invent the retractable mud flap fender for bikes like that... Look cool when it is fun to do so, but have the functionality when needed. A racing stripe of crud up your back isn't cool.