Warning! This story contains sarcasm and is not appropriate for those who are easily offended. For a lighter tale, please refer to one of the abundant TAT reports in this forum.
The short prologue is I live in Utah but ended up in Michigan with my Super Enduro which I intended to ride back across country to Utah this summer.
The KTM 950 Super Enduro is perhaps one of the dumbest motorcycles ever built. Only being available in the US for about 3 years is perhaps a tribute to how ludicrist they are. This tale is as much about that particular model bike as it is about the journey I had crossing the country.
I have always had some sort of street bike that I use as a commuter and to do some road trips on as well. I wanted to replace my road bike with something that I could ride with my friends who have the big GS's. I didn't think the BMWs were quite the right fit for me though. Don't get me wrong, those Gravel Goldwings are nice bikes, just not for me. I am a dirt biker so I wanted something a bit more oriented toward off-road. I started looking at the KTM 950 Adventures but still didn't like all the plastic faring and everything. Too much to break when I lay it down. I have seen two different Super Enduros during my journeys over the years so I started looking into them. Bingo!
I found one and purchased it, almost an impulse buy. Afterword, I thought "what the hell have I done "?! Oh well, I figured I would try it and if it didn't work out for me I would sell it even if I took a little bit of a monetary loss.
The 950 Super Enduro is an obscenely large dirt bike with no frills what so ever. Make no mistake, it is a dirt bike with the 950cc LC8 carbureted engine from the Adventure crammed into it. Chain drive 6 speed with a 21" front tire and 18" rear. White Power inverted forks and non linkage rear shock
It is by no means ready for abuse stock from the factory. The electric fuel pump (only needed when gas in the tank is lower than the carbs) is prone to failure as is the waterpump seal and shaft. Solid aftermarket solutions are available. The suspension needs work. The twin exhaust system should be modified to get rid of the emission crap and the carbs subsequently jetted properly. I chose to weld up a 2 into 1 exhaust to ditch weight and make room for camping gear. You need to relocate the kick stand so you don't crack the case when you slam down on a rock. Shave the seat foam down; the bike is too tall stock even for me at 6'2". I also chose metal reusable oil filters and a reusable air filter. And the 8.5 gallon aftermarket tank is an absolute must. Now she's ready!
I had full intentions of fabricating a rack and welding up some giant aluminum saddlebags for it. After riding the bike in the deserts of southern Utah and learning how capable of a dirtbike she is, I couldn't bear to think of her shackled and all constrained with the bulky saddlebags. It would be cruel and unjust to handicap such a beast taking away her ability to get into her natural habitat and stripping her dignity. I vowed at that time that I would always travel with her using the minimalist approach which I do with all of my off-road adventures allowing her to stretch and roam free as she would in her natural setting.
I did purchase a windshield from eBay which I retrofitted to her for civilian duties. She takes to it kind of like a dog that doesn't really like to wear it's collar but has to because it has no choice. I only make her wear the shield sparingly.
Here she is in Michigan with minimalist style gear strapped on, ready for the voyage across the Plains.