Originally Posted by cbig
Will check that out. I was recently given a map by Mammoth rangers extending to that area I recently laminated.
Out of curiosity, how do you compare the new pumpkin to the xr400 and xr600 you used to ride for this kind of work? Comfort wise? Power I am sure is there and reliability is too soon. I've got a xr600 and a xr400 to bring out there. Recommendations? We got a guy in our group with pumpkin envy..
I would take the XR400 assuming it is street legal because a lighter more flickable bike is more fun in DV.
I liked my XR400 but didn't use it for dual sporting. I liked my XR650L better than my XR650R because it actually handled better for me and was more mellow. All three were comfortable to ride. The DRZ400S and my new KTM 500EXC are both great bikes and yet very different. The main difference between the two bikes is weight, suspension and power. The KTM is about 50 lbs lighter, has better suspension and more power. The KTM is much better in the whoop and can climb any hill you are skilled enough to climb but that doesn't make the DRZ an inferior bike, it is just a different bike.
I mainly got the KTM last year for my son because he does much better on a lighter bike but the DRZ is also very good. Both bikes are my favorite dual sport bikes to date. The recent 4 day DV ride was my first true dual sport test on the KTM and it did great. The DRZ is softer in the rocks but the KTM is better in the whoops we wound up riding between Bearry and highway 267.
Reliability of the KTM, so far, is very good. There are many very good dual sport bikes out there and I would tend to rate the bikes more on their weight than anything else when riding in Death Valley. My buddy rode a very old dual sported XR600 and did great on our ride but it is a relatively light bike. A KLR650 fully loaded would be a handful in DV right now but we saw a guy riding one in Nevada at Gold Point. Had he tried to ride Steele Pass, he might not have made it through.
I put a Corbin seat on my XR650L, WR450F, DRZ400s and just had a Corbin made for my KTM 500EXC. I like my seats 10" wide and can ride on them all day without any discomfort. The Corbin seats work great for me.
I set up all my dual sport bikes in the following way so they can be dropped without damage which keeps me from getting stranded 50 miles from nowhere:
1. Radiator Guards
2. Aluminum Hand Guards. Protects levers and perches from getting broken
3. Aluminum Desert Skid Plate
4. Wheel Rim Locks, MSR Ultra HD Tubes, Dunlop 606 tires. I have never had a flat with this set up, knock on wood
5. I used to use a 4 gallon fuel tank but now use an Acerbis 5.3 gallon tank that I love. It isn't too bulky and gives me great fuel range.
5. Garmin Zumo GPS. I plan my routes with Mapsource and then download it to the Zumo and that works great on the trail.
6. Promoto Billet Rear Rack
7. I used to use Dirt Bagz Panniers but now use a Giant Loop Coyote pannier.
So far the reliability of the fuel injected KTM 500EXC has been great. I hardly used any oil on this 4 day ride to DV. The Corbin seat is giving me the usual comfort I have experienced on all the other Corbin seats I have used.