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Old 02-03-2014, 10:51 PM   #46
Bud Tugly
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My definition of the ideal adventure bike would be the smallest bike (in weight and power) that can safely keep up with traffic on the fastest road you plan to travel on. Obviously the answer will be very different if your trip is mostly interstate highways than if it is dirt and quiet back roads

Anyone who has ridden much serious dirt knows that picking up and/or pushing your bike will be part of the routine, and heavy is ALWAYS bad when that happens. Less power can mean far better throttle control when the going gets really rough and nearly always means much better fuel economy for more range.

We argue mainly because our definitions of what constitutes "adventure" are so different.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:54 AM   #47
Wraith Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
...is the fun of riding a small bike! (manageable and recoverable)
On a fast bike it's manageable and recoverable as well, maybe more so because of said better parts you often get. The good thing about big bikes is, they offer additional, less dangerous ways to have fun.

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Originally Posted by Vertical C View Post
Full acceleration on a 200hp bike will loop it, unless you have TCS and then its not full acceleration. Big bikes can't be ridden properly.
The S1000 and Pani only in 1st gear, the ZZR-1400 and the Hayabusa won't flip. What you call "not full acceleration" is much more than the small bikes are able to do at all. What a twisted definition of "ride properly" do you have? Every bike can be ridden properly.

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Never got both wheels sliding, on modern road tyres I am not sure it is possible on bitumen.
Was a damp November morning and I was late for school.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:19 AM   #48
cliffy109
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Last year, I took a DS ride with a very experienced off-road rider. After a pretty rough stretch of dirt, rocks, streams and ruts, the guy asked me what I thought of my GSA. His expression made it clear he thought I would hate my bike at that point.

"I love it!!!" He looked baffled. How could I love a 600 pound beast for riding those kinds of roads?

It is simple. I don't own the bike to ride that kind of road. I own it to ride twisties, super slab, commuting, in-town, highways and everything else 12 months of the year. I ride when it is cold, hot, wet and anything short of snow and ice. My GSA is VERY comfortable in all those conditions but I can still take it off-road if the mood strikes me. Yes, it is hard work and there are better bikes off road, but there isn't one that is better on road that still allows me to push the limits when I feel like it.

So for me, I will take the big and heavy bike because my priorities are not the few times I get a wild hair to go off road. I still want to ride off road every now and then and the GSA will do it but is far more comfortable the rest of the time than a light bike.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #49
luckychucky
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I present the Trail-Master

Perfect for getting you there with it's high gear ratio, then switch it to low for some 2 stroke madness in the woods. As long as you stay in your corner of the world, if you want to cross continents, better have a long time and lots of secondary roads. Right?
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:00 PM   #50
JerryH
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I have had many dual sport bikes, from a KE100 to a KLR650 (first gen) all Japanese. My XT225 easily bests all of them. It is not completely stock, it did require some suspension mods to handle my weight and riding style (I'm a bit on the heavy side for a 225) but it is by far the best street legal bike I have ever ridden off pavement. The KLR650 makes a good dirt road bike, as long as it is fairly smooth.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:40 PM   #51
Vertical C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
On a fast bike it's manageable and recoverable as well, maybe more so because of said better parts you often get. The good thing about big bikes is, they offer additional, less dangerous ways to have fun.



The S1000 and Pani only in 1st gear, the ZZR-1400 and the Hayabusa won't flip. What you call "not full acceleration" is much more than the small bikes are able to do at all. What a twisted definition of "ride properly" do you have? Every bike can be ridden properly.



Was a damp November morning and I was late for school.
if you have a bike that you cant open the accelerator it cant be ridden properly

i did also say moden tyres. Your experience back in the 40s is no longer relevant
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:39 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
On a fast bike it's manageable and recoverable as well, maybe more so because of said better parts you often get. The good thing about big bikes is, they offer additional, less dangerous ways to have fun.



The S1000 and Pani only in 1st gear, the ZZR-1400 and the Hayabusa won't flip. What you call "not full acceleration" is much more than the small bikes are able to do at all. What a twisted definition of "ride properly" do you have? Every bike can be ridden properly.



Was a damp November morning and I was late for school.
I want to be able to see you use all that power on a snowy commute like I can!
I'm only baiting you with this to see how you rationalize having so much gross power when it's slippery outside.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:10 AM   #53
markk53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
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?

That kind of sums me up on the Kawasaki KLX line up. I have a 650 that was for a long time my only street ride and I got it because it was simply a blast to ride a bike like that on the eastern Ohio dirt/gravel back roads and an occasional decent easy trail. It is far too heavy for any kind of serious single track for me.

I now have bought and need to pick up a KLX250. My intent now is to put 17s on the 650 and run it mainly on roads with occasional dirt/gravel and use the 250 for dirt/gravel and actual dual sporting. My brother got a 250 that I test rode before he bought it and I was sold. It was like riding a bicycle compared to the 650 and any road bike.

If I was riding tip to tip of the Americas I'd be on a 250. If I have to pick it up, pull it out of mud, and horse it around on poor roadways I'm going light. One more thing I would do, though, I'd lower the bike to drop it down to make paddling easier. I can slow up to make up for loss of travel.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:25 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
In fact there are many guys talking like you. While the "I'd get locked up" thing is an argument, I always wonder why it might be fun to turn the throttle and... nothing happens.
I hit peak power in every gear as well, ok, I don't always use the highest two or three gears, but why should one have to? Braking late and hard can be done with every bike, in fact with the faster ones even more and full throttle out of every turn is possible as well, just a bit later when the bike's a bit straighter. In addition, the big bike - at least in my case - is more comfortable.
Only the wheely thing - in my experience it's easier to wheely the smaller bikes.

So for the fun of it, not for the legality of it, I don't understand why it should be better to do all of this with a small bike instead of a big one.

First off something does happen. It accelerates. It's about the fun of rowing the gear box. I find that really fun to work a gear box and engine to keep the bike cooking. I liked my 125 mx bike in the 70s for that very reason. It was just plain fun to have to work to keep the bike on pipe and flying. When you do it past some guy lugging around on an open classer it is really fun.

I don't enjoy or want some bike I can only run through two or three gears before being in "go directly to jail, do not pass go" speeds. When I did a couple gears on a ZX6 years back, hitting three gears, shutting down in third, looked down and saw 80 mph I knew this wasn't for me. I much more enjoy slamming three or four gears on a 550 and being around 65. It's the feel, not the speed.

Off road it is also the feel. The feel of being able to hold up the motorcycle when stopped on a crappy trail. Then there is the ease of maneuvering the bike through tight trails, which are prevalent in the east here. Many trails are max 3rd gear here on a 250.

This really does relate to legality and also to dual sporting more than just size. It would be great to get to ride a streetbike as designed, but that just isn't legal on public roads. And if I have to lift my bike out of a mud hole or horse it around when I don't make it up a hill, I'll take a 250 over a 650 and either over a big twin adventure bike.

Just noticed you're in Germany - you have places where you can actually wring it out. Best we have within the limits are the 75 mph freeways. But I will also include the fact that the eastern part of the U.S. in the Appalachian mountain range there are so many tight winding fabulous roads that tie big power sport bikes in knots where the mid size are more fun and a supermoto type should be illegal they are so much fun. That is where I ride. Agility, good braking, high corner speed, and good shifting reward more than sheer horsepower. That's also true on the off roading here too.
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Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

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95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550

markk53 screwed with this post 02-05-2014 at 06:40 AM
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:31 AM   #55
markk53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
....

and nothing about the Zuma! Zumas are cool. I want a 50 with a big bore to run back and forth to school (teacher) along with errand running in and around town. It has to do 50 to be reasonable for the commuting due to soccer moms and business guys who are always late, even when they aren't. It would complement the 250 and 650 dual sports (the streetbike will be going bye bye this spring).
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Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:34 AM   #56
SloMo228
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That's the reason I sold my ZRX1100 but kept my DR350, mainly. The ZRX was a pretty good bike, and yeah, it was fun to go warp speed on it every now and then, but it wasn't nearly as much fun as the 30-ish horsepower DR. Plus, what fun is it really to be doing 150mph on a bike? There are few public roads where you can be going that fast in a curve, and going fast in a straight line just isn't much fun for me. Yeah, it's a thrill because the slightest mechanical failure, or road debris, or some unexpected animal running across the road, or any number of things going wrong will cause almost certain death, but I don't get off on risking death just for the sake of risking death...

Honestly, I don't think the ZRX was significantly better in corners than the DR, at least not on tight, twisty roads. High speed sweepers, sure, but that's just one step up from a straight road in my book. Give me low speed, technical roads any day of the week. I find them way more challenging and fun, and 200hp isn't going to do you the slightest bit of good on roads like that anyway.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:35 AM   #57
markk53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
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.

Even on my old 700 Nighthawk S when I was loafing, when I'd glance at the speedo I was doing 75-80 mph. Just too easy to go too fast without realizing it. Not done so often on a 550 street bike or a 650 on down dual sport. The feel usually warns you.
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Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:04 AM   #58
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Everything else being equal, a shorter wheelbase bike will corner far better than a longer wheelbase one. Nothing I have ridden is as quick down our canyon roads than my wife's DR 200. Up the roads, not so fast, but it's still a blast.

A 250 or so supermoto probably would be faster, but I haven't ridden one.

I have seen a 250 road racer almost keep up with modern liter race bikes, he would lose a 1/8 mile or so on the longest straight, but would almost catch back up after all of the corners. These were professional racers on top notch bikes. Overall he was losing maybe 1/8 second per lap or less. Watching him zip through the turns so much faster than the big bikes was very impressive, passing them left and right, inside and outside.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #59
Wraith Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertical C View Post
if you have a bike that you cant open the accelerator it cant be ridden properly
Even IF there was such a bike, what's not the case: Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertical C View Post
i did also say moden tyres. Your experience back in the 40s is no longer relevant
In the 40s not even my father was born.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
I want to be able to see you use all that power on a snowy commute like I can!
I'm only baiting you with this to see how you rationalize having so much gross power when it's slippery outside.
I can use as much power as you when it's slippery. What bothers me is the turning, not the power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
First off something does happen. It accelerates.
Nice joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
It's about the fun of rowing the gear box.
OK, if you like to frequently pull levers, that's a reason. I'm all in for automatics. And while most of the others aren't, they nonetheless are complaining about too little low end torque and having to shift too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Just noticed you're in Germany - you have places where you can actually wring it out. Best we have within the limits are the 75 mph freeways.
That's true, but it's true as well that accelerating hard up to 100...120mph on roads other than the Autobahn, restricted to 62mph, is as much fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Agility, good braking, high corner speed, and good shifting reward more than sheer horsepower. That's also true on the off roading here too.
I'm talking on road. There you have agility, good braking and high corner speed with the big bike as well. And in addition you have power.
It's not as if you had to exchange the one for the other, you just can have both. Off road is an other deal of course.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #60
SloMo228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
I'm talking on road. There you have agility, good braking and high corner speed with the big bike as well. And in addition you have power.
It's not as if you had to exchange the one for the other, you just can have both. Off road is an other deal of course.
I'm willing to concede that a bigger, heavier bike can have braking and maximum lateral grip similar to a smaller, lighter bike. But all else being equal (mainly frame geometry - trail, rake, wheelbase, etc.), the lighter bike is almost certainly going to be quicker changing directions, as well as being easier for the rider to make it change directions. If you like riding on tight, twisting roads, the light bike has a clear advantage. Blasting down the freeway and burning up large-radius sweepers, sure, the heavier bike will probably be faster.

It's not as if having more power automatically makes you faster on anything but straight or gently curving roads.
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