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Old 05-05-2014, 05:59 PM   #1
empiredownhc OP
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Sydney, AUS
Oddometer: 38
How Many Road KMs are you putting on your ‘Adventure Converted’ Trail Bikes?

I’ve been thinking about how many road/bitumen kilometres I’ve been putting on my recently setup ‘adventure’ XR600. It is was originally intended as a dirt bike, and even made for racing purposes back in the day, although is considered a mild performing machine by today’s standards. So how will it cope with riding on the road >50% of the time? I live in Sydney so no matter what, it’s at least an hour or more blacktop to get anywhere.

Over Easter I rode from Sydney to Goulburn River NP and back, covering nearly 800kms, with only maybe 10% of that on the dirt. The bike felt like it coped OK, though I appreciate she was never intended for that type of use and I took it easy.

Last weekend at the Gloucester motorcycle festival I noticed (maybe an inmate?) on a 525EXC, loaded up and camped at the show. I wondered how far he had ridden on the road? I also counted 2 DR650s there, although with the cush drive and big oil cooler they are more road friendly.

There are plenty of posts about with people using single cylinder thumpers for adventure purposes. So I’m interested to know how many of you out there are clocking up K’s on the blacktop on ‘Adventure Converted’ Trailies, and how is the bike handling it?

Aussie XR600 Build-up
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
I did that.
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Village Idiot's residence
Oddometer: 7,457
Same deal here, an XR600R bought nearly 20 years ago for hardcore exploring and the odd competition, it's spent a lot of it's later life as my only registered steed, so does dual duties, and now I'm getting on a bit the harder stuff gets a miss.

I wondered about a cush drive for a while, but then I reasoned that full knobbies probably have more give in them than cush rubbers, so I just run full knobbies all the time.

Regular servicing, fresh oil, grease the swingarm/suspension nipples, clean and grease the axles and seals each time the wheel is out, o-ring chain with chaingang sprockets, and it's pretty reliable.

The best mod ever was adding a seat that has had a bit of extra foam added and a recover, it takes the seat from a 15-minute-tops effort to an all-day (with breaks) seat.

Worst thing, there's nowhere to carry anything, and putting gear on an enduro bike (with anorexic subframe) is a challenge, particularly for anything longer than an overnighter. Watch out how you pack, and keep an eye out for frame cracks at the rear.

Mine's been to Phillip Island from Canberra twice (? or is it 3 times?) with 2 or 3 day rides down and a day ride home, complete with clothes and camping gear.

I see a bit of tar, but I try to keep my speed down to 80 - 90 kph where possible, but sit on 100 if there's a bit of traffic. Back roads are better, less trafficked and I can sit on lower speeds all day. Gravel is best.
Death to Turnips.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: brisbanish
Oddometer: 310
WR 450 riding 50/50. Bike works way better than I thought it would. Tall gearing, 15/45 and Kush sprocket (good so far) make the bitumen almost as effortless as the old DR. Spot some dirt and disappear from actual "adventure bikes"!!
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Perth Western Australia
Oddometer: 98
I got a dr650 a year ago to get to work on and have only just primed it for off road action. It does really well on the road but of all the trail bikes I think the dr650 is prob the most road focused. Cruises well at 120kph, has a good subframe compared to other trail bikes so im not too worried about luggage. The seat is only good for about 60kms so I got an airhawk cushion. Cant complain about it on or off road.
Suzuki FTW!!!
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #5
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 772
Not as many as I like, my girlfriend doesn't like me taking holidays without her also I have to plan carefully due to work and Melbourne is suited more to car + trailer trips in my opinion because there are too many freeways to get to most places. Also it rains a lot.

To put this into perspective I have put maybe 3000km in over a year but when I was overseas, single and self-employed I put 25,000km on in 3 months.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:24 PM   #6
Have pig will travel
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Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Mallee Scrub VIC.
Oddometer: 164
As little as possible.. Every km on the bitumen is km wasted
That being said larger capacity thumpers makes a great commuters..
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:11 AM   #7
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: SE Missouri
Oddometer: 1,068

I don't think I'd take it across Australia for the comfort, but for a trip over to the next town it's comfortable enough. Mine pulls like a mule at most speeds, but I think it's most comfortable in the 60s.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
Carbon-based bipedal
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Arse-trailer
Oddometer: 3,127
Originally Posted by 0405canvet View Post
WR 450 riding 50/50. Bike works way better than I thought it would. Tall gearing, 15/45 and Kush sprocket (good so far) make the bitumen almost as effortless as the old DR. Spot some dirt and disappear from actual "adventure bikes"!!
but don't you disappear because you've usually run off the road?
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:21 AM   #9
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Gold Coast
Oddometer: 2,500
I put 76,000k's on a BMW F650 ?, had 20,000 when I got it.

Handled it just fine.

I'll admit, I prefer the DL 650 I have now, it's a lot more touring friendly and only marginally less capable on dirt roads.

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Old 05-06-2014, 01:08 AM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2014
Location: S.E Queensland
Oddometer: 240

I used to use mine for work many years a go, and have even been out on it for a few road bike rides. It actually doesn't do to bad, it just can't do the highway speeds they can to. I was using a MT18 on the front and a MT21 on the back at the time with 15/45 gearing. But they were only about 4 to 5 hundred kay rides.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #11
Beer'o'clock Baz
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Toowoomba
Oddometer: 1,713
Originally Posted by luckychucky View Post
I don't think I'd take it across Australia for the comfort, but for a trip over to the next town it's comfortable enough. Mine pulls like a mule at most speeds, but I think it's most comfortable in the 60s.

just joking mate I own an L
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
Crazy Pom in Aus
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Joined: Aug 2004
Oddometer: 296
I'm on my 3rd dualsport used primarily for commuting.

Why? Well I like the ability to up higher and sitting upright. Alos the 'wide' bars give it good manouverability.

Previosuly 95 F650, 2004 KLR650 with 18,000km, current ride 2014 KLR650 with 9000km already

Brisbane, Qld, AU
2014 KLR650EEF - LED tail light, Wolfman luggage
former04 KLR650 A18
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:08 AM   #13
El Toad Man
Offroad adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Cairns, Australia
Oddometer: 626
I usually have some form of 650 single as my all rounder. At the moment my KLX650 is my daily transport. 100km round trip every day to work, almost all at 100km/h. Done about 8000km so far. It handles it fine, and I even prefer it on the road over the typical sports tourer road bikes I've ridden.

A few things to take note of, firstly is oil consumption. Constant high speed can use a fair bit, but depends on what type of oil. Some days I would get to work smelling like a 2 stroke. I thought the engine needed a rebuild but the oil was being sucked out the engine breather in to the airbox (fixed with simple hose rerouting and different oil).

Another thing to look out for is how much a chain can whip around at speed. On a KTM I cut through a chain guard on a long highway ride, despite it appearing to have plenty of clearance when stationary. Check tension, chain sliders, even check the frame for rub marks.
KLX650C 1993
KTM530EXC 2010
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:59 AM   #14
Andrew M
Joined: May 2006
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Oddometer: 23
My bike

That was my 525 at Gloucester
It is heaps of fun, we rode 50/50 trails & tar up from Newcastle on sat
The std springs are too soft for my 115 kgs + gear - no surprise.
It rides great, a bit noisy with the hardparts sports pipe.
I bought it pretty much set up as is. There are heaps of these in the states like this doing shorter loops eg 300-400 km weekends

The bike has the following
Trailtech stator upgrade + HID headlight globe
17 L safari tank
MSC steering damper
cush drive rear hub
Guts soft seat
pivot pegs
HT racing oil cooler
Hard parts exhaust + JD jetting

I am a little conscious about clocking up heaps of kms but it only has 10,000 kms and still starts up straight away. I change oil every 1000 km and it has magnetic sump lugs which are always clear.

Its a great bike for weekends & overnight trips. The camping gear on the back acts like a back rest. I also have wolfman e12 side bags and small duffle which are great.

I can also keep up (sort of) with my enduro mates when they go out for a trail ride. Just try and work out what sort of riding you will be doing. Initially I was looking for a 625 or 640 enduro. I had a DR650 but was underwhelmed, great bike, just not exciting.

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Old 05-08-2014, 07:06 AM   #15
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Dardanup, Western Australia
Oddometer: 723
DRZ400 copes well with bitumen, just needs a better seat and gearing above stock. 15/47 suits 90-100kph cruising. 15/44 suits 100-110kph cruising. Done the 400km run to Hyden a few times (mostly slab), 600km slab to Esperance and slabbed across the Nullarbor.
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