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Old 08-02-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
ktm.marmalade OP
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Adventure/dirt bikes wasted in UK/Europe?

I'm not sure what I really hope to achieve with this post except to gripe, however maybe someone chimes in with some revolutionary piece of information I wasn't aware of, so here goes.

My question is are adventure/offroad bikes wasted in Europe?

I find it somewhat ironic that a large portion of the worlds adventure and offroad bikes are made by European companies yet the reality is there is very few places within Europe, and specifically the UK where I live, to ride them, that is to ride them offroad in their element.

To put this in context I come from South Africa where open/un-owned land is plentiful. It is the void between towns and cities. So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of last year I swapped my GSXR1000K7 for a 990 Adventure only to find that the only public offroad available are so called BOAT (Byway Open to All Trafiic) which are few an far between and usually consist of a dirt path between two field stretching a few hundred meters. Certainly won't be joining the 200 Club on them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTYL3eTBUDQ.

Lets not mention that the locals don't appreciate motorbikes on these paths anyway and do their damn best to close them eg:

http://www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk/C...ck_the_tracks/

Nevertheless I've done my fair share of green laneing, taken the bike to Norway and had a bit of off road fun there, and really for the 990 Adventure this is where the bike shines. I love my bike, I commute in London, perform country blasts and tour on the thing and on the road it's good. It's just not as good or as much fun on road as off. And that's the shame. I feel like I've bought this wonderful bike, and short of shipping myself and it off to the Sahara twice a year I feel I have no where to enjoy it to it's full potential.

It's easy to see why KTM and others are opting for more road biased machines like the 1190, Multistrada etc.

In fact I recently test rode the 1190R and feel had I gone straight to that from a GSXR I wouldn't have known or understood what a dirt bike is all about.

So, am I missing something or is this the reality of living in one of the most cultivated and over populated places on the planet? Are those of us in the UK and Europe just living a pipe dream?
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
Martynho
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In short, yes.

I am from the North of England, and I also got very frustrated about having very limited riding available. It got significantly worse in 2006 after they passed draconian laws pretty much taking most of the BOAT's away from us. That's why I shipped out and now live in Chile where like in RSA, you can pretty much ride where you like and there are literally 1,000's of miles of dirt roads and trails.

I was talking with the Latin American Manager of KTM (an Austrian from Mattighofen) at the recent launch of the 1190ADV here in Chile. We were giving him grief about the direction they had taken with it vs the 990ADV, bitching about why don't they make a 690ADV, or a 800 etc etc. His reply was that there is little demand for such machines in Europe, and that we in Chile were pretty much at the extreme end of the spectrum in terms of the use (abuse he termed it) we deal out to our 990's. Hence the development of the 1190 and the move to a more road biased formula.

Sorry mate, if you want to give the 990 its rein, Spain is about the nearest spot, and even there the bloody greens and the like are already closing off some areas like in Catalunya and the Picos de Europa park.

Bugger off back to RSA is my advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm.marmalade View Post
I'm not sure what I really hope to achieve with this post except to gripe, however maybe someone chimes in with some revolutionary piece of information I wasn't aware of, so here goes.

My question is are adventure/offroad bikes wasted in Europe?

I find it somewhat ironic that a large portion of the worlds adventure and offroad bikes are made by European companies yet the reality is there is very few places within Europe, and specifically the UK where I live, to ride them, that is to ride them offroad in their element.

To put this in context I come from South Africa where open/un-owned land is plentiful. It is the void between towns and cities. So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of last year I swapped my GSXR1000K7 for a 990 Adventure only to find that the only public offroad available are so called BOAT (Byway Open to All Trafiic) which are few an far between and usually consist of a dirt path between two field stretching a few hundred meters. Certainly won't be joining the 200 Club on them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTYL3eTBUDQ.

Lets not mention that the locals don't appreciate motorbikes on these paths anyway and do their damn best to close them eg:

http://www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk/C...ck_the_tracks/

Nevertheless I've done my fair share of green laneing, taken the bike to Norway and had a bit of off road fun there, and really for the 990 Adventure this is where the bike shines. I love my bike, I commute in London, perform country blasts and tour on the thing and on the road it's good. It's just not as good or as much fun on road as off. And that's the shame. I feel like I've bought this wonderful bike, and short of shipping myself and it off to the Sahara twice a year I feel I have no where to enjoy it to it's full potential.

It's easy to see why KTM and others are opting for more road biased machines like the 1190, Multistrada etc.

In fact I recently test rode the 1190R and feel had I gone straight to that from a GSXR I wouldn't have known or understood what a dirt bike is all about.

So, am I missing something or is this the reality of living in one of the most cultivated and over populated places on the planet? Are those of us in the UK and Europe just living a pipe dream?
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
mousitsas
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One word....

Greece!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
PPiA
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No, Australia.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
mousitsas
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Originally Posted by PPiA View Post
No, Australia.
The place without mountains is not in Europe
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:49 AM   #6
种.
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I agree, offroad driving is forbidden in almost everywhere. But there are thousands kilometers of different kind of gravel roads in Northen and Eastern europe. They have very little traffic and nobody is checking how fast your driving there. Many times its difficult to even reach the speed limit.

Bikes are not wasted but they are not in the interest of the big crowd. ZXYZFGX-1000 200 hp streetbikes are the thing around here. Even though they are quite useless in my opinion. Fun but useless.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:56 AM   #7
Zombie025
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North Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Maginot Line in France.... just to mention a few places in Europe...
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:57 AM   #8
alongat
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Don't fret too much; the zombie apocalypse is coming and it will begin in Europe - roads will be riddled with abandoned vehicles, the population of humans will diminish. Your ADV bike will be the perfect getaway vehicle :)

Seriously, I read Bike and Adventure Bike Rider magazine all the time and I just froth at the mouth from insane jealousy at the green lane write-ups, the ease and access to other parts of Europe from the UK and the abundance of motorcycle friendly cultures and establishments and yet here I am in Canada - as rural and desolate in some places as Australia and still a first world nation...

By the way, Norway is an incredible and magical place - I love it there (but Sweden is damn nice too)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm.marmalade View Post
I'm not sure what I really hope to achieve with this post except to gripe, however maybe someone chimes in with some revolutionary piece of information I wasn't aware of, so here goes.

My question is are adventure/offroad bikes wasted in Europe?

I find it somewhat ironic that a large portion of the worlds adventure and offroad bikes are made by European companies yet the reality is there is very few places within Europe, and specifically the UK where I live, to ride them, that is to ride them offroad in their element.

To put this in context I come from South Africa where open/un-owned land is plentiful. It is the void between towns and cities. So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of last year I swapped my GSXR1000K7 for a 990 Adventure only to find that the only public offroad available are so called BOAT (Byway Open to All Trafiic) which are few an far between and usually consist of a dirt path between two field stretching a few hundred meters. Certainly won't be joining the 200 Club on them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTYL3eTBUDQ.

Lets not mention that the locals don't appreciate motorbikes on these paths anyway and do their damn best to close them eg:

http://www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk/C...ck_the_tracks/

Nevertheless I've done my fair share of green laneing, taken the bike to Norway and had a bit of off road fun there, and really for the 990 Adventure this is where the bike shines. I love my bike, I commute in London, perform country blasts and tour on the thing and on the road it's good. It's just not as good or as much fun on road as off. And that's the shame. I feel like I've bought this wonderful bike, and short of shipping myself and it off to the Sahara twice a year I feel I have no where to enjoy it to it's full potential.

It's easy to see why KTM and others are opting for more road biased machines like the 1190, Multistrada etc.

In fact I recently test rode the 1190R and feel had I gone straight to that from a GSXR I wouldn't have known or understood what a dirt bike is all about.

So, am I missing something or is this the reality of living in one of the most cultivated and over populated places on the planet? Are those of us in the UK and Europe just living a pipe dream?
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #9
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Lets be clear here - it's not the locals getting the lanes closed, it's a hard core of nimby anti-vehicle whingers. I've live in the Peak District and we're constantly fighting to keep the lanes open. But in my experience, most of the local people actually welcome respectfully ridden trail bikes. But there is a small hardcore group of antis who seem to have the ear of the authorities.

If you want to ride lanes in the UK and keep them open, consider joining the TRF: trf.org.uk
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:40 AM   #10
Vector Leto
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The OP makes a good point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martynho View Post
I was talking with the Latin American Manager of KTM (an Austrian from Mattighofen) at the recent launch of the 1190ADV here in Chile. We were giving him grief about the direction they had taken with it vs the 990ADV, bitching about why don't they make a 690ADV, or a 800 etc etc. His reply was that there is little demand for such machines in Europe, and that we in Chile were pretty much at the extreme end of the spectrum in terms of the use (abuse he termed it) we deal out to our 990's. Hence the development of the 1190 and the move to a more road biased formula.
Martynho speaks to a larger point, which is that apparently many Adventure bike owners don't go off-road very much. I have a hunch that even when off-road access isn't an issue, the majority of Adventure (any make) bike owners avoid truly off-road experiences. I think that THE IDEA of taking an Adventure bike anywhere is appealing to lots of folks, but in reality most people stick to pavement and good dirt roads where the excellent off-road features of the 990 don't really matter. Clearly, lots of riders that post in this forum (and even more that don't bother posting) use the 990 in gnarly off-road conditions, or at least go way too fast on any and all dirt roads . From KTM's perspective, there must not be enough of those folks to continue development of truly off-road worthy adventure-touring bikes. Couple that with lame off-road restrictions, it's understandable why KTM is moving away from rally-type bikes like the 990/950 and toward the touring-oriented BMW and Ducati offerings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm.marmalade View Post
Are those of us in the UK and Europe just living a pipe dream?
Yes, but you're waking up...

That sounded really condescending... just joking around.
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Vector Leto screwed with this post 08-03-2013 at 08:04 AM
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:23 AM   #11
Pistolero
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It's headed that way in the Colonies as well. While the land and roads exist, my government tells me I can't use them... Free country... The government stole the land in the first place from one person or another and now they police it like that and charge us to fucking camp there. BS...

They are also trying to make the whole of the usable wilderness in Utah off limits which will destroy some towns due to the fact that they are tourist based.

It's all headed that way and most of the east where I live is paved... To be honest I have considered getting a different bike because of it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
Peanuts
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But when the 990Adv with 17/19" wheels makes for such a good road bike, who needs to take it on the mud?
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
Akilleus
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come to Finland please...

and You find the smallest tarmac roads challenging enough not to mention that most of the roads are gravel and legal to ride . And I'm not fooling You .
br, Tapsa and SE
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:44 AM   #14
orangebear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuts View Post
But when the 990Adv with 17/19" wheels makes for such a good road bike, who needs to take it on the mud?
Hope u mean 19f and 17 r
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by orangebear View Post
Hope u mean 19f and 17 r
no, I got it to turn in really well with a 19" rear and 17" front

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