Originally Posted by hansi
Just about to sell my 03 Triumph Tiger 955i and ready to move on to the next bike (see sig-line). The Triumph is a great bike for long distance touring with very limited off the road capabilities. Great engine, 105hp, super smooth, 450 mile days two-up no problem. But when you get to that stretch of deep gravel,sand, ruts, wet ground it becomes apparent that it is a top-heavy pig. My wife got her own bike, a Versys with a 19" front wheel conversion, so there is no more need for a big two-up bike.
Want to stay in a budget for my new (to me) bike, so choices are limited. Don't have money to go Triumph Tiger XC or BMW twin. Thought about Wee or Versys, they would be in the budget.
Used to own a Yamaha DT125, a Yamaha XT350 and a XT600 and really did like the thumper thing before going to a Buell Ulysses and the Triumph Tiger 955i.
So, how capable are modern 650cc+ thumpers?
One of our usual ADV trips involves doing long stretches of Freeway at slightly higher than posted speed
to get fast where we want to go, backroads with passing cars because our trip time is usually very limited because of work, a farm and kids. Our preferred camp-spots are usually out of the way places on dirt/gravel roads like that :
So what say you? Can a modern thumper do freeway at decent speed or pass cars on backroads, carry camping gear for a week and still can be fun off the road? Do I have to go twin for what I need?
Anybody got a FI thumper for trade?
Even an archaic DR650SE can manage 100MPH with a little tuning...barely, and it'll happily cruise at 75MPH+ across the whole continent.
I'd get a 2nd Versys. Then you and your wife only have to carry ONE set of tools.
If you want a dirtier bike though, get a thumper. The TE610/630, 690E, X-Challenge, and Terra 650 have more power than the likes of the DR or KLR. The DR/KLR/XRL can be easily upgraded though, and the inexpensive aftermarket is good. Stock, they make around 35WHP. 45+WHP DRs are getting more common, thanks to vendors like www.Procycle.us
I ride a DR. I love it. It's no big touring bike. It's no race-ready enduro. It has enough power, gearing, and stability to haul 2 of us and luggage down the slab. I can still ride it like a chunky-butt dirtbike when off the pavement, and I just started riding dirt semi-regularly a little over a year ago. I couldn't see myself doing that very easily on a much heavier bike. All it really needs to play off-pavement is armor, a front knobby, suspension, and some fuel:air work. These mods are common needs to almost any dualsport. I often run dirt without even swapping on a front knobby, but I do use a dualsport tire...Shinko 244. It's no knobby, but it does get me around.
Shop used, when you can. Bikes and parts can be found cheap.