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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by dcfield, May 9, 2020.
Thanks, I will definitely check out these parks (when I get a bike).
Fascinating info. I was kicking myself for not holding out for a closeout NC.
The DCT is an attraction to me; and I like the looks of the machine.
But, but, but...I have my X300 all tricked out with luggage...and it's running sweet. And it seems to do okay on substandard surfaces.
So...Mother Honda dropped the ball...AGAIN?
Doing a cursory search in flea market, there are at least four used well farkled DR 650's for sale at the moment.
My 2014 Crf250l is the one bike I will never get rid off but I don't have to deal with riding the bike on paved roads.
I've been living in Tyler for 25 years now, and it's not dual sport country! Unlike when I lived and rode in Arizona, everything here is private land. It's all fenced in by the individual owners, or by the oil field owners. Sometimes they accidentally leave the gates open, and you could go exploring, but if they come back and lock the gates, you're screwed! (I almost got locked in once trying that!)
I know what the traffic is like on the Loop, and South Broadway (and try to avoid it). You need something quick and nimble to avoid Tammy Texter, and Paul Porn Watcher when you ride in our traffic (yes, I've looked over and saw dudes watching porn on their phones). That would also be a good bike to ride on the twisty back roads, and explore the beautiful East Texas scenery. Probably in the 500cc - 1000cc range.
I just picked up a '97 Sportster 1200 in January, and got it all fixed up from the PO damages, so I get to bomb around the back roads with my daughter when she rides her Yamaha R6. We have a blast, and get to enjoy riding through all the spring colors. We like to take the 848 to Whitehouse, then the 346 to Old Jacksonville Hwy and back for a quick 30 mile loop.
In my opinion, a DS or ADV bike is the wrong tool for this area. I used to want one myself, and was actually planning to get a DR650, but I don't think it would have been as much fun on our local roads and highways. I wish I would have had one when I lived in Arizona, but I had to make do with my Ironhead Sportster and BSA for exploring off-road areas back in the early 80's.
Like others have said, be realistic about what you can actually do in the area, and then pick the right tool for the job.
The adventure bikes work about everywhere on roads improved or not, since they are essentially street bikes with more travel. Just whether they have the appeal.
Thanks. I had hopes of finding some dirt roads or trails after I got a bike, but it sounds like there aren't any around here.
Yeah, I'm leaning more toward the Honda CB500X, for several reasons. Like you said, it's basically a street bike with a bit more suspension travel (not a bad thing for potholes and poorly maintained back roads).
I also find the seating position better. My previous bikes all had fairly flat seats that had room to move around a little. Many of the modern bikes have stepped seats that lock you in one place. On long rides, just being able to shift around on the seat is sometimes nice.
There are a few, but not too many. I'm a "I wonder where that road goes" type of a rider. When I go for rides, I'll find an interesting road to explore for a bit, but then it's back to the open road.
Others have mentioned the Honda NC700x. That would probably be a good choice for this area. I have a '78 GL1000 and a '97 Sportster, and I haven't come across any areas that I was afraid to take them.
I can show you a few if you ever get up here in eastern Ohio.
Why not a 650 Versys? Timid enough for a beginner... great on twisties (I hear) and good power to cruise along at a good pace? Can get a used one for a good price. Or a Strom 650. Can't go wrong.
Those are good choices. The XR650L would be good too, but is a pretty tall bike. The CRF450 might be good too.
If you have the budget, a Euro dual sport might also be an option. A 500cc Beta, KTM, or Husky would be lighter and better off road. Being more high tech, they are likely to have higher maintenance costs/requirements.
My vote would be the DR650. You'll get used to the brakes, and won't need ABS. Do some practice panic stops. It's really the goldilocks that does it all. They also have great aftermarket support. Extended range fuel tanks, suspension upgrades, luggage mounts, comfortable wide seats, etc.
Speed of a bike as far as decision to buy is the wrong metric. For open road cruising where traffic speed is 60-70 mph you want a bike that has potential speed of 100. Leaving 30-40 mph untouched means you're not wringing the snot out of your machine at 65mph, or 60 or 50..... Riding position and weight are what to look for and there are many motorcycles with good position and modest weight that are sweet at highway speeds.
I don't care if you kill me, just make it fast so it doesn't hurt.
I was struggling up a steep almost empty hill on the Coquihalla 6 lane highway when a F250 with an empty boat trailer swerved around me with inches to spare.
I wanted to take away his phone and his marijuana.
Pot doesn't typically cause people to drive recklessly. A person I know (ahem) had a great deal of trouble keeping speed up when stoned. Just for the record: that person hasn't driven with any chemical impairment for coming up on 40 years now.
I think I'm generally more worried about ahead of impatient drivers than chemically impaired ones. Somebody behind you that thinks you're not going as fast as they want to, and tries to pass you on a blind curve (those double lines painted on the road only being a suggestion). If oncoming traffic suddenly appears, they'll swerve back into your lane whether you're there or not.
The impaired or distracted drivers are more likely to pull out in front of you. Avoiding them is another issue entirely (but a good reason to have ABS brakes).
Actually wringing the snot out of a small bore doesn't really hurt it running 65-70. Motorcycle engines are virtually all high performance built. Even the dual sport singles are such. They can over rev their power peak by anything from 500 to 1500 rpm - i.e., the KLX250 has a redline of 10,000 rpm, HP peaks at 8600 rpm. You will find that with most all Japanese bikes for sure. 250 Ninjas can run for ever and have their guts wrung out and keep on running.
But I won't disagree with your overall comment. Having a bike or scooter that can at least run 20-40 mph over the speed of general traffic on the roads one will travel is important along with the ability to crank up the extra speed quickly. From there it is all about comfort for whatever one wants in a ride. We all have different preferences so it may be cruiser, standard, sport, or dual sport/MX ergonomics.
Picking the power (ability to run with the traffic encountered for safety), look (emotional aspect) and comfort (physiological aspect) probably fall in that order for me. If the bike checks all the boxes it will be a bike I own for a long time. I'm not one to go through motorcycles, I'm one who tends to hold on to what I like.
As part of my research, I had my insurance agent run some quotes on different bikes. Of course, your numbers may vary depending on age, location, driving record, yada, yada, yada... And mine are a little higher because I go for increased coverage, not just the minimum requirements. But I thought the different amounts for various bikes was interesting.
Honda CB500X ABS, full coverage $346/year
Suzuki DR650, full coverage $431/year
Yamaha MT 03 (smaller bike) $449/year
Yamaha MT 07 (bigger bike) $612/year
The Honda CB500X is the clear winner on low insurance rates. I'm guessing they're purchased by more experienced riders and used for relaxed riding. Probably few people buy a CB500X because they want to go fast. Or maybe the CB500X hits some sweet spot of having enough power and handling to avoid accidents, but not enough speed to get you into trouble?
Even though the DR has higher displacement than the CB500X, I was kind of expecting the rates might be more comparable. The DR is the one bike of the bunch with no fairings or electronics. I'm sure it would be the cheapest to repair if it got knocked over in a parking lot. Apparently Allstate doesn't care about fender benders, they only care about totaled or stolen bikes and hospital bills.
I thought the little 300 cc MT 03 would be cheaper. Maybe as a "Beginner Bike" it has a higher accident rate? The more expensive DR has slightly cheaper insurance.
The MT 07 is a "naked" bike, but maybe it counts as a sport bike for insurance? Is there a big jump in insurance rates when you get to 700 cc's? Or do Yamahas in general have higher insurance rates for some reason? Or, I guess, do the CB500X and DR just have lower rates than most bikes? Both the Yamaha's have ABS, so that's not it.
Not the NC. The worst bike i ever owned. Heavy, crap suspension, slow. If you need to pass or get out of a situation quick like, the NC aint it. The frunk, however, is brilliant.
The CB500X is a excellent choice. You can put luggage on it for your grocery getting runs. Take it off if you think you may try for a gravel road or something less groomed than pavement.
How tall are you? Are you capable of picking up a "heavier street" bike it if has a nap? Do you want to flat foot a bike or get the balls of your feet down or is it irrelevant? You want be able to do your own basic service so try to keep it japanese. Some shops charge prime rates for non japanese bikes. Parts may be more expensive as well.
I never understood the whole " getting blown around on the highway" thing. I can't recall ever getting " thrown around" by buffeting. And i have been on singles and my street triple that weighs nothing.
The versys 300 might do as well. But i still like the CB idea. I bet you can find a good one used with all the goodies that will suit you for a good price.
FWIW, when i shopped for rates the insurance was HIGHER for a ER6N than it was for a Street Triple R. What???
I forgot to add that a wee 650 is a heavy and top heavy bike. Im still liking that CB!
ER6N lower price = more new/unskilled riders = more crashes = more damage for insurance industry to pay out. They keep track.