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Old 10-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
tastroman OP
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Sub 500cc ADV Bike

You will have to pardon my ignorance as I have never taken a cross country trip and minus a couple gravel roads it's been 35 years since I've piloted a dirt bike but I'm wondering why has no manufacturer released a sub 500cc 80% street, 20% dirt ADV bike. I know there are a couple dirt oriented offerings and I'm familiar with the current crop of 650's but I'm thinking more along the lines of something in the 300-400cc range. Something like a baby Wee Strom.
I'm certainly not suggesting there should be, I'm more just curious as to why a bike like this would fail as a cross country mover.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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People ride DRZ400, WR250, etc. around the world, what more do ya want??

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Old 10-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by operose View Post
People ride DRZ400, WR250, etc. around the world, what more do ya want??

If nothing else, something with a more comfortable/wider seat.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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They are coming... But you better buy one within the next couple of years because they don't sell well and will be discontinued AGAIN.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tastroman View Post
If nothing else, something with a more comfortable/wider seat.
The Yamaha WRR has a good seat, and it is wide. I use a sheepskin on top of it too. I have a large tank, Cee-Bailey windscreen, electric outlets, luggage system and more. My trips on that thing are typically 2500 miles over several days. As a former dirt rider, I don't understand why you would want something else? A smaller V-strom? Why would you want a 450lb 350?

I rode a KTM 950 for 60k miles all over the continent. The little Yamaha is probably more comfortable. It has a longer reach to the footpegs and the windscreen/large tank protect me without any buffeting at all. My only complaint is the footpegs are too far forward.

I think you should just start riding again on whatever is handy. It will clear up your misconceptions.

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:30 AM   #6
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So Honda builds you 2 bikes in this category OP and you don't like them... The CB500X and the NC700X (a 700 with 450 performance). No bike will do everything. It is a wonder any mfgrs want to do this at all after getting burned on this size bike in the 80s (Dakez has it right). If you are a runt you need to know about KoubaLinks. The aftermarket exists to customize your bike in every way. A seat can be made any way you want it by a number of companies. You need to remember a bike on a showroom floor is set up just as it came in the crate and might fit a guy 6-4! You have to imagine how adjustable it is.It is not easy, nor is this a hobby for the lazy, non-mechanical person.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by buls4evr View Post
So Honda builds you 2 bikes in this category OP and you don't like them... The CB500X and the NC700X (a 700 with 450 performance). No bike will do everything. It is a wonder any mfgrs want to do this at all after getting burned on this size bike in the 80s (Dakez has it right). If you are a runt you need to know about KoubaLinks. The aftermarket exists to customize your bike in every way. A seat can be made any way you want it by a number of companies. You need to remember a bike on a showroom floor is set up just as it came in the crate and might fit a guy 6-4! You have to imagine how adjustable it is.It is not easy, nor is this a hobby for the lazy, non-mechanical person.
The 500x sparks my interest but I read it's not much good off road. Also' I'm not a big fan of the beak.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:34 AM   #8
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These threads are comical and frustrating at the same time

Why the hang up on displacement? The current 650's from Japan only make the HP a mild-tuned 400-450 makes anyways, and we're talking about an ADV bike they're all gonna start life in the 300+lb range anyways, then get all kinds of shit strapped to them, so I don't buy the "weight" argument either.

Why the hang up on Japanese? Is it the false belief that they are somehow immune to maintenance needs and mechanical failure?

Why the hang up on seat height? It's physics...the bike has to fit someplace (bottom of skid to top of seat), and then you need ground clearance...cuz we're such burly off-roaders! Put your damn feet on the damn pegs and RIDE!

If you can get past the "hang ups", you would see there are bikes out there that will fit your needs already
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
The Yamaha WRR has a good seat, and it is wide. I use a sheepskin on top of it too. I have a large tank, Cee-Bailey windscreen, electric outlets, luggage system and more. My trips on that thing are typically 2500 miles over several days. As a former dirt rider, I don't understand why you would want something else? A smaller V-strom? Why would you want a 450lb 350?

I rode a KTM 950 for 60k miles all over the continent. The little Yamaha is probably more comfortable. It has a longer reach to the footpegs and the windscreen/large tank protect me without any buffeting at all. My only complaint is the footpegs are too far forward.

I think you should just start riding again on whatever is handy. It will clear up your misconceptions.



I'm not sure where you are seeing misconceptions as my op was a question and not an answer. And I ride every day, year round mostly on a 250cc scooter, which lead me to start the thread. The scooter is 360lbs, has storage, great weather protection and is fairly comfortable, it just sucks off road.

I'm not sure why a 250-350cc 80/20 bike would need to weigh 450lbs but if you say so.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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Its fun to hash this stuff out over and over.

A 350/450 has enough power to slab, and nice torque in the dirt.
It should be light, but most modern Japanese bikes are not.

The addition of liquid cooling and other EPA equipment, and silly things like electric start makes the weight go up.

The Euro guys build things wimpy like race bikes and get the weight down, but they are not sturdy.

People seem to want a gold wing on the street, and a ktm in the dirt.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tastroman View Post
I'm not sure where you are seeing misconceptions as my op was a question and not an answer. And I ride every day, year round mostly on a 250cc scooter, which lead me to start the thread. The scooter is 360lbs, has storage, great weather protection and is fairly comfortable, it just sucks off road.

I'm not sure why a 250-350cc 80/20 bike would need to weigh 450lbs but if you say so.
Well, there is the Aprilia RSV 450 twin. It probably weighs about what my Yamaha weighs. They don't have much oil capacity, though, and they are probably not that comfortable either. Not sure what they cost when they were made, but I suspect they were expensive. KTM makes a 350cc dual sport called an EXC-F. My son had one. It weights about 250/260lbs ready to ride. Has a six speed gearbox and a top speed near 100mph. Small oil capacity and hard enduro ergonomics. But it is a DS bike. They are around $9k.

Regarding my weight projection, you specifically referenced a V-Strom, which is a street bike tweaked for modest dirt capability. The V-strom is a heavy motorcycle. Plus it has cast aluminum wheels. If you added a proper steel spoke wheel set, you would add about 20lbs. You could look at a few other similarly intended models like the Kaw Versys, and you still end up with a very heavy motorcycle. Shrinking the bore and stroke isn't going to save much weight.

My Yamaha weighs 298lbs wet as a stocker. It has a compact motor with large oil capacity that is actually a slice off an R1 Superbike motor. It has an aluminum twin spar chassis modeled after the YZ race bikes, yet beefed up with a steel rear subframe for hauling luggage. It has modern, lightweight suspension components like USD forks and aluminum shock with linkage. As a result of these more costly components, it is nearly as expensive as a YZF. I point this out because it would appear nobody is going to be able to produce the bike you envision that will come within 100lbs and $$$ MSRP of the little WRR. At least, that is my best guess.

I am surprised to read your 250cc scooter weights about 360lbs. That is impressive so I see where you are coming from. But it is still a lot heavier than my Yam. Also a Suzy DR650 weights about the same I think. So the products are already out there for you if your criteria is weight and decent off road and travel capability.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operose View Post
People ride DRZ400, WR250, etc. around the world, what more do ya want??

This.

There COULD be lot's more options, but it's hard to bitch about these two.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:23 AM   #13
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We spent a bit of time wondering the same thing. I was really hoping for something in the 350-450cc range. We're happy with our DR650's, and she loves her little Wombat, but still wonder why the gap. It seems like most of the smaller cc bikes are decidedly more dirt oriented, basically, plate-able dirt bikes.

Doesn't Honda have a new 500cc bike, maybe 500 ADX?

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Old 10-19-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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That's a CB500X. Honda's new 500cc adventure bike. We've got to drop by the local dealer today anyway, maybe I'll see if they have one.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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I think it's because people usually "get" to their adventure on the slab. Who the hell wants to ride a 350-400 cc bike on the slab? Not to mention the comfort factor.
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