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Old 01-27-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
c-m OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Oddometer: 639
Spec me a beast - from a sportsbike rider

Hi guys,

I'm looking for ideas on bike more suited to touring and bad roads.

I currently ride an SL1000 which is great for what it does, but it's abysmal on fuel, and probably not suited to dodgy potholed roads, ruts, gravel, and stones.

My previous bikes have been a ZX9R, ZXR750, and a GPZ500, so i'm not really familiar with 'beasts'.

All three of these have been around Europe, mostly on asphalt, sometimes through stony forests roads (avoiding areas market with landmine warning signs), other times through gravel.

I've never truly been off road (like deep mud, or sand), but I'm looking to get a bit more off the beaten the track in my future trips.

I've got a budget of about 2.5k - 3k and looking for something about 800cc or more, that weighs less than my current bike 222kg wet weight, and will do quite a bit more than 40mpg. It must also be suitable for pillion use.

The other problem is that I like the styling of sportsbikes and find the riding position comfortable enough, for the types of tours I do anyway - 5,000 miles.

Obviously I'll need to be flexible, but does anyone have any opinions on some models I should be looking at?

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
Jeathrow Bowdean
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Western Canada Dream
Oddometer: 463
Hello c-m. So you are looking at touring and, something that can handel some bad roads from what I can gather, so I was wounder a few things that can help you pick something that you might be looking for !!!

In your general area where you live, there must be someone who works on bikes that you use when you need things done, or you are the person who dose all of his/ her own work. I only ask this from the point that if something needs fixing, can you or the shop of people that you trust be there when you need them ???

You have a few ideas of mud and sand in your thread, so I'm guessing that weight is a factor, and that 222 kg's or 489 lbs won't work for your off road stuff. The pillon thing tells me that you want highway handling as well. So with most of this info that you have supplied, I would like to ask, What bikes did you have in mind ???
Brand or Make would help a-lot, and if you had to pick 5 or 7 bikes to choose from, what would they be ???

You must of been looking at a few units, so throw a few of them out there, being that it makes things easier to start some where. Look at the trululu96 thread to see what he has in his selection. He picked some awesome units to start with, and now he has to pick from his list, or add others that might fit his catagory

I commented on his thread, and some of that info might come in handy as you find you "Fab Five or Seven units that you are looking at."

From Jeathrow Bowdean in Western Canada
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
c-m OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Oddometer: 639
In terms of maintenance I can do many things myself. I had to strip and rebuild my carbs by the side of the road on my way to Split in Croatia. Fault find after the camshaft sensor failed on my ZX9R in Vienna. I've also experience with checking and adjusting valve clearences, and switching chains and sprockets etc..

I tend not to do my own work when at home though as my bike lives in the street so I don't have anywhere I can work.

Well all the bikes I like are far too new and far too expensive, so I need some older cheaper alternatives.

Additionally they're not really off road bikes, which is fine, as long as they can handle the odd off highway experience.

Things like the Multistrada 1200, KTM 990 SMT would be my favourites. Of course they are road bias, with 17" wheels. Though Continental now do TCK80 in 120 and 180 section sizes, which helps. Tiger 800 is another one (way over my budget), again it's not light, but I like it, and coming from an Aprilia, the huge generator would be a bonus.

I've had a look at the DL650 but after the bikes I've had I can't imagine having that little power two-up. Plus it actually weighs the same as my current bike (which i'd adapt if it wasn't for the poor fuel range).

Obviously I'll have to make compromises, so I'm just curious what alternatives I should be looking at?
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:27 AM   #4
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Gold Coast
Oddometer: 2,792
Personally I'd suggest you keep your existing bike and in the short term, get a cheap second hand 250cc dirt bike and spend some time on gravel rather than leap onto a pig and expect miracles - That's likely cheaper than dropping one of the larger dual sports bikes the first time and you'll learn faster.

Unless you have an insanely fast commute a 250 will handle it, and fuel economy will be excellent. Once the skills are there, you'll have a better idea of the compromises all the big fat pigs make on the rough stuff and be in a better position to make a good choice.

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2008
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Oddometer: 4,420
DL650 does remarkably well two-up. Can only be disappointed if you expected it to match a 1000, which it does not. Try one with the pillion.

By no means an off-road bike, just too heavy, but so are almost all bikes that are suited for 2-up IMO, or at least they go way over budget. And a good rider can take even a DL650 surprisingly far... bad rider will soon end up on his/her ear, and blame the bike

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
Jeathrow Bowdean
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Western Canada Dream
Oddometer: 463
Yes. This is so true about the big'en heavy adventure bikes. A person that does not have the hands on stuff for the off road thing can end up on their side pretty fast. It sounds like you have some nice street unit c-m, and purhaps a cheaper off road unit might be worth considering. I have a beater bike for my 55/50 thing, and it does every thing I need it to do. I have used it for long huals once and a while, but I like my wee-pig for this stuff.

I did the heinduen scout on my V for the 80% hyw and 20% dry gravel roads that are not to soft or wet being that 600 + 200 lbs rider does not work well in that kind of stiuation. "Not a good enough rider." The little DRZ that I have is for that kind of stuff. My play ground is 300 kms one way, so it is not uncommon for me to clock on a 700-800 km day. The air pillow makes this possable. I like the wee for this kind of stuff if my play ground is dry and I stick to the gravel roads. When the going is good, it's hammer down, but when soft spots and wet holes show up, I tap it cool.

I realy like my XL 600, KLR 650, and my DR 650 units for all round stuff. Fairly good power on the hyw, and not to bad on the odd cut lines. Just like you said c-m. Give up one thing for something else. This is why the smaller DRZ ended up in my picture. A freind of mine helped power it up, and I can hold in with some of the 650's, but it's no power house. It is better for the cut lines, being that the weight makes a world of diffrence. The bigger fuel tank add a few lbs, but the after market muffler helped put me back to where I started. 330 lbs ish. Still heavy for dirt bike, but it is not a dirt bike. It is my 50/50 dual sport.

If I could only own one bike, I some time wonder which unit I would pick !!!
It would be my powered up DRZ I guess. Not good for this or that, but good enough to a little bit of everything.

From Jeathrow Bowdean.

Jeathrow Bowdean screwed with this post 01-28-2013 at 11:29 AM
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