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Old 02-03-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
MotorcycleWriter OP
Studly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: N.Alabama, World's Rockiest Trails
Oddometer: 750
Tech: Old Reliable vs New Fangled

As I tell my wife when she comments on the number of boots or jackets I own, the right gear is essential for the given set of circumstances. I know we've all been through this argument with our better half and it is a winnable argument, especially when we point at the other side of the closet.

Lately it's been getting a bit tougher to convince her, though, as my new collection seems to consist of motorcycles for different situations. At this point I have a BMW R1150RT for road riding, distance, and comfort - sort of the Rockport of motorcycles. Comfortable for walking but stay on the trail. I recently acquired a pair of heavy backpacking boots in the guise of an '89 R100GS. They say it'll go anywhere but when I compare it to my trail running boots - the Husqvarna TE250, I have my doubts.

So I'm re-evaluating my options and requirements and have a philosophical question for those who've been bumping around this prison a bit longer than I have. The GS is a beautiful machine. Utilitarian, simple, and, well, old. I've read threads where people perform heart surgery on their dead GS's in the middle of a swamp that happens to be in the middle of a desert on top of a mountain on Mars. But that was only after they spent the equivalent of a new bike preparing their "reliable old" GS for said misadventure. And the time it took to get the machine ready. And all the lying about prices as box after box arrives in a string of brown trucks.

On the other hand, there is some right nice technology out there in the form of things like the KTM 990, 1190, watercooled GS, etc. ABS to keep you from skidding. Fuel injection to keep you from jetting. GPS to keep you from wandering. Fortunately there is such a thing as SPOT so when these bikes suddenly stop - like you do when you're in bed with the missus and a sick rugrat appears and vomits all over the bed - the rescue chopper can find you and air lift you and said technological marvel to safety.

My question is, to the wise old inmates who've done the trips and learned the hard way, which is preferable? The GS is cool, has a certain wow factor, and does lend itself to roadside repairs. I'm as handy as I need to be and have the scared knuckles to prove it. And there's a whole cottage industry around keeping the things running (data point!) But at some point I'd rather be riding than wrenching, you know. There is only so much time and I already waste a good chunk lurking here! ABS and fuel injection are very nice. And the likelihood of my doing and RTW trip is... well... about like getting my kids off the family tit. It'll happen when I die. Most of my riding is close to home with an occasional trip out west every other year or so.

I'm starting to sound like a whiney bitch. Weigh in - be brutal - I like it when it hurts.
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