Originally Posted by Tumbleweed ADV
Large adventure bikes....small adventure bikes...all share theme: adventure.
Are adventure bikes 1000+ cc becoming TOURING on road bikes while bikes sub 700 cc are heading BACK COUNTRY for off road thrills and spills?
As I read more and more ride reports, it seems to me I find more people riding on machines that are sub 700cc in size...especially world travelers and those who are traveling solo...
While I thoroughly enjoyed my 1150 GSA for many years, last summer's trip on it on the Great Divide Ride got me rethinking my riding goals and strategy. I think I decided somewhere in New Mexico after my 5th 'pick up' to go lighter. Yup: lighter.
When I returned from Arizona at the end of that journey, I attended the KTM rally in September in my hometown. I took a 690 out for a demo ride. Wow! The bike handled like a sports car and the fun of riding a less cumbersome bike had me hooked.
Can a smaller, lighter bike replicate some of the comfort values I appreciated in my big BMW? That has been my goal in setting up my KTM 690 Enduro. This summer I am working to duplicate the positive features of my larger bike.
Very good thoughts. I love my 950 to death. No way would I ever sell it. It takes me anywhere I want to go with amazing agility, and it's so much dang fun to ride.
Then one day I met this guy in town -- TrailGoat on advrider. We decide to go ride together on some trails by the river and gravel roads, me on my 950 and he on his 690R:
Let me tell you, that little bike of his was amazing in the tight stuff. We rode in the woods in trails that had been rutted by four-wheelers. I struggle, and he just zipped through without problems. We hit a little washout that was sandy. He just popped the front end up and over he went. I hit the throttle and spun the rear wheel before wrestling the big pig through. I got off-line and bumped into a stump on the far side, but no major damage.
Later that day we hit some gravel roads -- some of it very DEEP gravel. Again, his little, lightweight bike could easily take on the toughest of gravel riding without problems. We were about on par on the gravel.
Then we did a couple of road bits, and I easily had the better bike for that. Still, he kept up pretty well.
Ever since then, I've thought that I would really like to have a lighter version of the 950. I'm not at all interested in a 1200cc bike of any make. What do I need that for? I'd much rather a V2 700cc version of the 690 with a good rear frame, maybe with this styling.