ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-01-2014, 06:34 PM   #16
Kommando
Grumpy Young Man
 
Kommando's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
Oddometer: 6,720
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem9 View Post
Let's discuss the trade offs of big bikes vs. small bikes during true Adventure travel, where a lot of rough dirt roads are involved.
For covering distance solo at better than a legal clip, on a budget, while still being able to ride rougher offroad terrain like mud, sand, rocks, and roots in BFE, I really like the simple DR650. If I were a better rider, and/or wanted to travel 2up, I might move up to something as big as an F800GS or Tiger 800XC for the same split of slab/rough. The DR will do 2up if you're not big people, but we still like to take breaks every 100 miles or so. Solo, with a big tank I can burn over 1000 miles a day without issue. If I'm staying within easy hiking distance of roadside assistance, I'd be inclined to try an EFI 650-class thumper, like the TR650, 690E, TE630, or X-Challenge. Some of these EFI bikes offer exceptional mileage, power, and smoothness for a big thumper. The DR is anvil-simple fun on a budget that can usually be field-fixed with just the OEM toolkit, some duct/electrical tape, and/or some epoxy.

If there's no 65MPH+ slab involved, something like a DR350, or a smooth and powerful 250, would be better solo, as long as it keeps the weight down around 320lb curb or less, unladen.

I see no benefit, for me, in getting something bigger or more spacious than something like a DL650, F800GS, or Tiger 800XC. These bikes handle big distances at superlegal speeds fine. A bigger bike would just add bulk, and would likely suck more $$ for gas, tires, insurance, and purchase. We aren't big people though. Big people may want more space to stretch out, or want more power if they're hauling bigger/heavier personal items. I don't need 100HP+. 60-90HP does me just fine. The DR even does it OK for us with probably not even 40WHP, and on just one carbed cylinder with a mild cam and air/oil-cooling.

I also think that if Yamaha made a WR450R as smooth as the 250, with similar tranny, similar weight, similar frame/subframe, similar stator, similar suspension, similar maintenance schedule, and similar HP/liter, at a decent price, they'd sell a crapload of 'em. I think they'd even be fine with 10" of travel to make for a shorter seat height. Add an optional/accessory kicker and they wouldn't be able to keep up with demand. Ditto, if Suzuki ever got off their asses and just swapped a wide-ratio 6spd into the DR-Z400 without jacking the price to the moon, and that thing is just barely more modern than the DR650.
__________________
Some are guard dogs of the flock. Some herders, search/rescue, or companions. We Devildogs are those, and also retrievers. Hell is our blazing dogpark, our frigid swimming hole. The fallen are our tennis balls. We don't leave the fallen behind, even if the master has to bring them home for us. Semper Fi, my friends.

Kommando screwed with this post 02-01-2014 at 06:46 PM
Kommando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #17
NJ-Brett
Brett
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Southern New Jersey
Oddometer: 6,265
Its all relative.
My big bike is a TU250, 340 pounds wet.
My little bike is an XT200, 260 pounds (or less).

The DR650 was fun with the power and torque, but I sold it after getting out of the hospital.
The motor on the 1200 sportster was fun, the weight and poor suspension was not.

Fun can be had on any bike, but I figure I do not want to end up in the hospital again or worse, plus I like pushing small bikes HARD.
Push a big bike hard, and it can end badly.
NJ-Brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 07:38 PM   #18
DAKEZ
Beastly Adventurer
 
DAKEZ's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: OR
Oddometer: 19,538
The DR 650 is a PIG of a Dual Sport. Anything bigger and heavier is just an adventure bike.
__________________
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
Bib
DAKEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 09:44 PM   #19
Wraith Rider
Beastly Adventurer
 
Wraith Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Germany
Oddometer: 1,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkent02 View Post
On a straight street maybe. Where I prefer to ride, give me quick and nimble handling any day over an overweight high-powered behemoth.
You only need a little bit more force on the bigger bike. It corners just as well as the smaller one and often even better because with the often higher price there often come better parts.
A straight street, for a rider who obeys the law, might be the only street where more power is NO advantage.
__________________
"Why not stay in disguise all the time? You know, look like everyone else."
"Because we shouldn't have to."
Wraith Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 01:57 AM   #20
bush pilot
Beastly Adventurer
 
bush pilot's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Thailand
Oddometer: 2,473
One of the favorite bikes I own is a 30 year old 100cc honda dream. It's by far the best tool for zipping through heavy traffic. Now my r1100gs isn't bad either as the handlebars are higher than most car mirrors, it is the taller small pickup trucks which cause problems.
Anyway smaller is better my next travel bike is going to a KLX250S fitted with lightweight cyclist touring gear and punched out to a 351cc cylinder.
Also the venerable old dr200 or it's many china knockoffs is worthy too.
I'm just partial to Kawasaki motos.

Sent from my SM-T211 using Tapatalk
__________________
USA travels 09'
Anchorage to Ushuaia
RTW...part: Europe
Iron Butt #35784
bush pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 04:17 AM   #21
FinlandThumper
Has Cake/Eats it Too
 
FinlandThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Neither here nor there
Oddometer: 6,206
I am a one bike person, with the caveat that I keep a bike here, and have one in America for when I am home for tours and visiting. The bike here is a BMW f650 and the bike there is a Harley Davidson. Long story on why I have the Harley but not relevant here.

I consider the 650 single to be the optimum one-up adventure touring ride. They are comparatively cheap, but have good power and snap for one person. They are lighter and simpler, repairs are eary. They are easy on gas and insurance is cheaper. THey can take a fair amount of load (gear) but they still handle any legal highway speed basically anywhere on earth, which is better than bikes with even smaller enginers. Whichever brand you like is a personal choice, but for true adventure touring alone I would be hesitant to go larger.

If in future we tour two up with my wife, I will go to something larger. Until then I don't see compelling reasons to do so.
FinlandThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 05:09 AM   #22
rivercreep
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
Oddometer: 3,243
Where I'm probably the worlds biggest DR650 fan (I've owned a 91, 97 and a 2009) I've also owned a 2008 XT250 that had all the power I needed for anything I wanted to do, and I took that little girl places I NEVER would have thought to take any of my DR's.
If it hadn't suffered from Yamahas cost cutting for suspension and finish, I'd have loved to have kept her.
Point = I don't think there's anything that little bike couldn't have done, (solo riding) except survive another Pa. Winter, without rusting/rotting away.

F.W.I.W. if Suzuki ever brings a street legal (has to be from the factory in Pa.) DRZ250S here...I'll be on it like flies on shit regardless of my financial state. I long for a mini DR650 in the worse way. ( the DR200 just isn't quite "enough" bike)

The magic of a small bike is the ease in which you can get it out of jams, the flick-ability on tight back roads and tight trails where too much bike can become a chore and the lack of its ability to pound you into the ground like a tent stake. (although, it can still happen if you try really hard)

I think the only place a "big bike" really shines, is on roads with heavy/fast (75mph+) traffic, and who wants to ride there?
rivercreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 06:15 AM   #23
Soldier311
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Eastern NC
Oddometer: 1,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post

F.W.I.W. if Suzuki ever brings a street legal (has to be from the factory in Pa.) DRZ250S here...I'll be on it like flies on shit regardless of my financial state. I long for a mini DR650 in the worse way. ( the DR200 just isn't quite "enough" bike)
River, sounds like you're describing my DR350, yes? It would be great if they brought it back.
__________________
"It's more fun to ride a slow girl fast than a fast girl slow."
1999 DR350SEX
Soldier311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 07:05 AM   #24
Aussijussi
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Finland-Australia
Oddometer: 1,098
[QUOTE=SloMo228;23365332]For anyone who's ever been to Glacier National Park in Montana, there is a Forest Service road called North Fork Road, which is where my dad and I happened to end up on two rather unsuitable bikes. Last summer, my dad and I visited Glacier, me on my ZRX1100 and him on his GL1500. We arrived at the park a little late and all of the front-end, easily accessible campsites were full. We pulled out the map of the park and located a campsite at Bowman Lake, and headed for it, not knowing what the roads there and back would be like. Now, that road is probably not terribly challenging on a smaller DS bike, and probably not even that bad on a bigger ADV bike with some ground clearance, but it was quite an experience for us - me on a 120hp street bike with slick tires and next to no ground clearance, and him on his 900+lb behemoth. It was one of those experiences that was fun in retrospect but at the time we were both constantly worrying about being able to make it up a gravelly hill, or bottoming out and cracking an oil pan, leaving us stranded miles from help.

I would have much preferred to have been on a ~300lb DS bike and would have had a lot more fun, too. We did pass a group of riders (going the other way, we'd never have been able to overtake anyone) on KLRs and DR650s and such who were clearly having more fun than us.

The smaller bike is almost always going to be better suited to rougher conditions, and that's what I'd take in a heartbeat. The biggest bike I'd want to be riding on anything rougher than a graded gravel road is a 650.[/QUOTE
You could pull , say KTM 200, on a bike trailer behind the GL 1500
Aussijussi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 07:27 AM   #25
Pantah
Red Sox Nation
 
Pantah's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 10,071
For adventure travel, I vote for the biggest motorcycle you can pick up out of the mud solo.
__________________
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013
Pantah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:33 AM   #26
mfgc2310
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ottawa
Oddometer: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
For adventure travel, I vote for the biggest motorcycle you can pick up out of the mud solo.
That's it - the one factor that determines it.

Adventure is doing something that turns out not the way you expected but works out ok in the end. By that definition riding a 500 lb plus, 100 hp plus basically on one wheel, into the unknown, with untested abilities qualifies, as high probabilty adventure, but high probability tragedy too. If the bike is stuck, or you are stuck under it the bike adventure is over for you, unless trying to walk 50 miles, is the adventure you are looking for, or maybe it's a grown up game of hide and seek with emergency rescue. You don't need a motorcycle for those adventures.

For most people though, it's about riding the bike, the adventure comes as a consequence of where you have to ride to get a type of riding experience. Defintely the lighter, and with sufficient power (60 hp, roads with traffic, 40hp no traffic), the bike is, the more fun, technical, challenging, and rewarding the riding is.

The adventure is when unexpected uncontrolled things happen, big bikes on pavement at highway speeds tend to have very short adventures.
mfgc2310 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 10:04 AM   #27
Wraith Rider
Beastly Adventurer
 
Wraith Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Germany
Oddometer: 1,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
I think the only place a "big bike" really shines, is on roads with heavy/fast (75mph+) traffic, and who wants to ride there?
Depends on what a "big bike" is for you. 100hp are just fine for speeds up to say 65mph. However, speeds of 65mph you easily reach where cages mostly go 25 to 40mph.
Sure, my big girl doesn't "shine" on such a road, but she can keep the pace as far as I'm willing to risk it. I can live with the fact that the 600ccm class (sports bikes and SuMos as well) does better there.
Where she shines are the fast sweepers at maybe 90 to 100mph where the cages mostly do up to 70mph.
When getting faster than that, a bike asks for at least 200hp.

I like to ride all of these roads, so to me my mid class powered VFR 1200 is a good compromise. But I'd surely like it if she revved 2000rpm higher and reached the 200hp mark - it would make her better on every of the above mentioned roads.
__________________
"Why not stay in disguise all the time? You know, look like everyone else."
"Because we shouldn't have to."
Wraith Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #28
tkent02
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Littleton, CO
Oddometer: 2,162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
A straight street, for a rider who obeys the law,
Yeah like that's going to happen.
tkent02 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 04:59 PM   #29
rivercreep
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
Oddometer: 3,243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier311 View Post
River, sounds like you're describing my DR350, yes? It would be great if they brought it back.
Me too but, with NikaSil plating and an oil cooler.

rivercreep screwed with this post 02-03-2014 at 06:10 AM
rivercreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #30
NJ-Brett
Brett
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Southern New Jersey
Oddometer: 6,265
Am I the only one who enjoys abusing smaller bikes (less power) then loafing along on a bigger bike most of the time?

I get to hit the power peak in every gear, speed shift, tuck in, brake late and hard, and go full throttle out of turns ALL THE TIME.

If I had a bike that broke the speed limit in 1st or 2nd, I would just get locked up!

I am the guy who could not resist lofting the front wheel at 80 mph.

Yes, locked up.
NJ-Brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014