The results are in and you have designed what you think is the ideal adventure travel bike.  Thirteen polls asked you about your ideal adventure travel bike design criteria.  And you put your hearts into it.  You visited our polls nearly 50,000 times and placed a vote about 50% of the time.  So it seems that you really wanted to have a say in what the ideal adventure travel bike is made of.

Designing the “ideal adventure travel” bike is no small feat.  So we inserted some criteria that inmates should use in making their decisions.  We told you that your “ideal” travel-oriented adventure motorcycle must:

  • Have the ability to readily traverse unimproved/unmaintained roads.
  • Be able to cover long distances comfortably.
  • Easily carry overnight supplies (food, clothing, shelter, etc) for a journey of at least a week before re-supplying.

Some inmates commented that the result of our polls would lead to a “unicorn” bike with specs that were impossible to build.  And, that is a possibility.  But let’s take a look at the results of your votes and decide if the bike is a unicorn or something that is possible.

1. Weight

We simply asked how much could the ideal adventure bike weigh?  At 41% of the votes, many of you said that the ideal adventure travel machine could weigh between 351 – 400 pounds.

Coming in second, 31% of you said that the bike should weigh between 301 – 350 pounds.  With a total of 72% of the votes, it’s clear that you want the bike to be light.  So now the question becomes whether the other things you want can possibly be packaged into a machine that “light”.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds

2. Engine displacement

Next, we got into engine parameters.  We asked how much engine displacement was necessary.  About 50% of you said that the engine should displace between 601cc to 800cc.  The next highest response was 401cc to 600cc and only 26% of you chose to go with this displacement.  Hmm…  A 600cc+ machine that can only weigh a maximum of 400 pounds?  Are we starting off building a unicorn?

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc

3. Number of cylinders

So how many cylinders does our ideal adventure travel machine require?  With 71% of the votes, the very clear cut winner was two cylinders.  Next in line was one cylinder, but the thumper configuration only mustered 15% of the votes.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2

4. Engine configuration

Your votes were relatively spread out on this topic.  Ultimately, you chose an inline or parallel-twin engine with 38% of the votes.  Next was a “V” with 24% of the votes, followed by vertical, opposed, horizontal and “W” engine configurations in that order.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel

5. Fuel capacity

It’s clear that you want some decent fuel capacity.  31% of you said that you wanted a fuel capacity between 5 – 6 gallons.  With a 601 – 800cc engine, it appears that you want your ideal adventure machine to have a significant range.  Of course, more fuel adds weight, but then, on the other hand, you don’t have to always fill the fuel tank to capacity.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons

6. Mileage

Over 51% of you said that you wanted the machine to get between 46 – 55 miles per gallon of fuel.  With the engine displacement you chose, this mileage seems approachable.  And, with the tank of 5 – 6 gallons you chose, your ideal adventure machine could have a mid-point range of about 275 miles (5.5 gallons times 50 mpg).  The next closest mpg choice was 36 – 45 mpg with 23% of the votes.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg

 

Did we design a unicorn adventure bike? Photo credit: Pinterest

7. Tires and wheels

Since the ideal adventure bike would need to cover a distance in comfort but still be able to travel unimproved roads, we asked you about your choice of tires and wheels.  You were able to choose from Tube, tubeless, or foam mousse tires and cast or spoked wheels.  Nearly 60% of you chose a tubeless on a spoked wheel setup.   The next highest choice was a tube tire on spoked wheels which 21% of you picked.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubless tires on spoked rims

8. Wheel size

With the kinds of tire and rims out of the way, we then asked you about your choice of wheelset sizes.  Once again, there was a clear winner.  55% of you said a 21″ front and 18″ rear wheel would suit your machine the best.  A 19″ front with 17″ rear setup came in second with 25% of the vote.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear

9. Ground clearance

Since our ideal adventure bike would have to be able to travel on unimproved roads, ground clearance could be an issue.  So we asked you what the minimum ground clearance should be for the machine.  35% of you said that 7 – 8 inches of ground clearance would be sufficient.  While 27% of you said that the bike must have more than 8 but less than 9 inches of clearance.  With those choices, 62% of you said that between 7 and 9 inches of ground clearance would be sufficient.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear
Ground clearance More than 7″ to 8″

10. Horsepower

Your answers for how much horsepower you wanted came in neck and neck between 61 – 80 and 81 – 100.  33% said that 61 – 80 horsepower was sufficient while 32% of you wanted 81 – 100 horsepower.  Those figures seem doable with the 601cc – 800cc parallel twin engine you chose earlier.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear
Ground clearance More than 7″ to 8″
Horsepower 61 – 80 horsepower

11. Seat height

The reach to the ground was our next topic and we asked you what the “normal” seat height should be.  Three answers were closely grouped with 25% choosing 31.1 to 32 inches.  There was a tie for second with 21% of you choosing either 30.1 to 31 inches or 32.1 to 33 inches.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear
Ground clearance More than 7″ to 8″
Horsepower 61 – 80 horsepower
Seat height 31.1 to 32 inches

12. Minimum suspension travel

34% of you thought that no more than 8 inches of suspension travel are necessary.  Next, 24% of you said an additional inch of travel was necessary with a 9-inch minimum.  For the stated mission of this bike, either choice seems reasonable and doable.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear
Ground clearance More than 7″ to 8″
Horsepower 61 – 80 horsepower
Seat height 31.1 to 32 inches
Minimum suspension travel Up to 8 inches

Rider aids

We asked you whether you wanted electronic rider aids on your ideal adventure travel machine.  Two rather different choices garnered very close votes.  But with 31% of the vote, you chose just a few rider aids and only those that were safety enhancements.  However, 29% of you said that you wanted all the rider aids and accessory electronics.  Ultimately, it appears you see value in at a minimum the “safety” rider aids.

Parameter Result
Weight 351 – 400 pounds
Engine displacement 601cc – 800cc
Number of cylinders 2
Engine configuration Inline or parallel
Fuel capacity 5 – 6 gallons
Mileage 46 – 55 mpg
Tires and wheels Tubeless tires on spoked rims
Wheel size 21″ front with 18″ rear
Ground clearance More than 7″ to 8″
Horsepower 61 – 80 horsepower
Seat height 31.1 to 32 inches
Minimum suspension travel Up to 8 inches
Rider aids The “safety” rider aids are acceptable

Summary

So there it is.  This is your ideal adventure travel bike.  But is it a unicorn, or could your choices actually become a production machine?  At first glance, many of your specifications seem doable.

But there is a bugaboo.  It seems that we want a lot of bike with very little weight.  351 – 400 pounds doesn’t leave the manufacturers much room to incorporate a lot of our “must-haves”.

There are a couple of  bikes that come close to several of our selected choices.  The Yamaha T7 has many of our chosen attributes, but the bike that seems to come closest is the KTM 790 Adventure (non-R).

That machine weighs in at a claimed 417 pounds dry and “only” misses the outside mark of our weight parameter by 17 pounds.  So would you accept some additional weight for your ideal adventure travel machine or does it absolutely have to be under 400 pounds (wet or dry)?

For now, it seems that we have designed a producible bike for other than one parameter; weight.  That’s pretty good considering we had many choices and a wide range of capacities to choose from.

So what do you think?  Is our bike a unicorn that can never be produced?  Are there disconnects in what we specified and what is reasonably possible?

Would you accept a little more weight in return for all the other things you specified?  If so, how much more?

Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Featured image credit: Meloukhia.net

 

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