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Old 06-17-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
Csorin OP
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Question Trade Triumph Explorer and 500 EXC in for an 1190 Adventure R?

Hey guys,

I've currently got three bikes in the garage and it's beginning to feel a bit excessive. I used to be a one bike guy and rocked my Street Triple for years. Plenty of road trips on it and now use it mainly as a track bike.

I bought a 500 EXC last year to ride the TAT with some friends. Bike has been awesome, but we hardly made it out of Oklahoma before I flipped end over end, knocking myself out, breaking my hand, and ending the trip. Since then, it's been used only a handful of times off-road, and at least once a week to commute on surface streets.

I picked up a Triumph Explorer in January for a big touring mount. The Street Triple was getting tiresome on the highway, and the KTM spoiled me to the tall riding position. The Explorer has been great on the streets, but I can't say I'd trust myself on the dirt as it weighs almost 600lbs with no luggage. You can feel the weight at slow speeds and it's fairly annoying coming to a stop.

I was about to sell the Street Triple since I hadn't been to the track very much this year, but then rode it around town the other day. What a blast! Thing is a rocket. My plan had been to sell it and put some supermoto rims on the KTM to at least have one lightweight, trackable bike in the stable. Having just blasted around town on the Street I'm now reconsidering.

So I'm now looking at the KTM 500 EXC, a full on dirtbike, and the Triumph Explorer, a massive tank of a tourer, sitting in my garage not being used to their fullest. As I was sitting there, especially after the Street Triple ride, I started thinking what bike combines the attributes that I like about the KTM and the Explorer into one platform?

KTM 500 EXC

Positives:
Lightweight
Easy to work on
Almost indestructible (60+ mph wreck, replaced headlight, gtg)
Really fun with huge torque

Negatives:
Vibrates like crazy
Wiring is a bit janky (had chaffing wires behind headlight that I addressed)
Terrible highway manners (addressed slightly with damper)
Limited luggage capacity
Short range


Triumph Explorer

Positives:
Very smooth (once I floated the handlebars with ROX risers)
Heated grips
Incredibly fast with awesome thrust
Handles city streets with aplomb
Awesome headlights
Normal maintenance intervals
Comfortable seat
Huge luggage cargo with GIVI sidebags
Big range (though not fantastic, 170 miles maybe)

Negatives:
Heavy (feels like it almost tips over at every stop)
Can't find a windshield that works without major buffeting (got a Powerbronze short shield coming in the mail)
Don't trust it on dirt (afraid to try really, did I mention it's heavy as snot?)


What kind of riding I want to do with this bike:
Commute to work
Have a place to store my stich and helmet (leaning towards a top box as I've come to despise the girth of the hard side boxes)
Offroad riding on occasion, but have the ability to handle everything besides massive jumps
Capable of long trips and long seat time
Be exhilarating to ride (both the KTM and the Explorer hit this)


So basically this list got me thinking about a bike that combines the attributes I like of both bikes. I dig the 500 EXC. It looks awesome, sounds awesome, and is exciting in this gritty, slightly out of control way. It sucks on the highway, but I can imagine with some SM wheels it would be awesome around town.

The Explorer has really opened my eyes to big bikes. It's my first bike that I've had luggage on and I love how big and substantial it feels. The weight does suck though, and it's been a questionable purchase since day one. I figure you're supposed to love your bike and I just haven't made that connection with this one.

So what do you guys think? 1190 Adventure R? From watching videos, these reviewers are beating the crap out of this thing and riding it harder than I'm probably capable of riding my 500 off road. The most extreme off-roading I'd be doing is dual sport stuff. No whoops, no 60 ft jumps, no tree lined single track mud climbs, nothing crazy. Next big ride is the Colorado Back Country Discovery Route in July. In the fall, we might take another stab at the western TaT.

My biggest concern is I'll miss the 500. It's just a damn fun lightweight bike and it did awesome through the Oklahoma sand roads. I'm trying to be honest with myself in what I use these bikes for. Bought the Explorer with dreams of taking multiday asphalt trips and it hasn't happened in six months. Maybe I'm better off just getting rid of the Explorer and putting a bit less aggressive tires on the 500? Eh.... choices.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:21 PM   #2
Rikki Rockett
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Sounds like me!

This dilemma is so me! I have a 990 Baja that I bought like 5 months ago and I'm considering a trade in for an 1190 R! Had a 500 like you, got the Baja. Now I want an 1190 R and a 350 EXC for the tight stuff. Are we nuts?
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
ADVill
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What you want for the 500? And yes, you both are nuts.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:04 AM   #4
Rikki Rockett
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The 500 is long gone. Part of the trade for the 990.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVill View Post
What you want for the 500? And yes, you both are nuts.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:06 AM   #5
scudrunner82
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Based on the list of what you want out of a motorcycle I'd say go for it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:10 AM   #6
PS-RagE
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If it were me, I'd keep the EXC and dump the other two in favour of the "R". Then again, I'm not a street bike guy.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:34 AM   #7
ADVill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PS-RagE View Post
If it were me, I'd keep the EXC and dump the other two in favour of the "R". Then again, I'm not a street bike guy.
This ^. Again.... TO THE OP, what you want for the 500?
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:36 AM   #8
Mad Cow
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JFDI!




Just F***ing Do It
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:25 AM   #9
ADVill
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Another thought. If you aren't going to take the bike off road, get a real street bike. Don't be a poser.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
Csorin OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVill View Post
Another thought. If you aren't going to take the bike off road, get a real street bike. Don't be a poser.
Haha, okay okay. I did take the 500 off road, at least off pavement (Trans America Trail, short lived, but it happened). I live in Dallas. It sucks here for off-road riding. There are a couple adventure parks within an hour or two but it's not the ride 30 minutes and go explore down some mountainous single track. I can't move back to California soon enough.

I have a street bike, the Street Triple. It's my track bike and my love so it's going nowhere.

I'm basically asking how well the 1190 R can handle simple 4X4 roads, highways, and commuting. The worst off road I'd do with it would be the Trans America Trail in the fall. Will probably put 60/40 tires on it.

My worry is I'll miss the lightness of the 500. I've also never tried the supermoto thing so there's that going for the EXC as well.

Probably the best course of action is just sell the Explorer, take the hit, and reevaluate what my needs/wants are in a bike. It's been an incredibly reliable, smooth riding bike, it's just got about as much character and excitement as a sewing machine and it weighs a ton. I went in buying it wanting a civilized mount, but it seems I miss the rambunctiousness of its siblings.

It sounds like you guys think I'm crazy even thinking about getting rid of the 500. For those who are pressed about how awesome it is, what kind of environment do you live in? Are good trails right next to your place or are you riding a fair distance? I bought it for dual sporting and will have done two trips in a year. Just feel like I could do these same trips on a slightly bigger bike that could double as a commuter/highway bike.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:50 PM   #11
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Before you do anything......ride the 1190 for a couple hours.....then decide what you want to do
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:29 PM   #12
oldfuddy
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Hummmmmmm

…the switch on my left handlebar turns the 1190R into at least 3 different acting bikes…. you're offering 2… what else ya got in the garage? Just kidding…

have to agree with kag, get some seat time first if you can and take some deep breaths. I've been in your shoes before and it can be a sick feeling at times…once you execute its done. sometimes it works out and other times it doesn't.

take your time on this one and good luck.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kag View Post
Before you do anything......ride the 1190 for a couple hours.....then decide what you want to do

Most folks that test ride make up their mind pretty quick
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
Lupin 3rd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Csorin View Post
I'm basically asking how well the 1190 R can handle simple 4X4 roads, highways, and commuting. The worst off road I'd do with it would be the Trans America Trail in the fall. Will probably put 60/40 tires on it.
Seems like the limit is the rider, not the bike.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Csorin View Post
My worry is I'll miss the lightness of the 500. I've also never tried the supermoto thing so there's that going for the EXC as well.
You'll miss it the moment you get the 1190 stuck in mud/sand/whatever, the same way you would miss the 1190 droning down the highway.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:31 AM   #15
Rikki Rockett
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That MOFO can ride!!!

That MOFO can ride!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupin 3rd View Post
Seems like the limit is the rider, not the bike.


You'll miss it the moment you get the 1190 stuck in mud/sand/whatever, the same way you would miss the 1190 droning down the highway.
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