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Old 02-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #76
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 9,202
Originally Posted by scottrnelson View Post
Thankfully California doesn't have many roads like that either.

You flat-landers seem proud of your long straight roads. I would be bored out of my mind if that was all that was available to ride on. I'll stick to the west side of the continental divide, thanks.

Not at all. I moved to Columbus Ohio from the foothills of the Appalachians in eastern Ohio. We had a network of dirt/gravel and paved supermoto quality county and township roads within a few miles in any direction in eastern Ohio. You have to figure all those settlers who went west had to meander through those hills and mountains. Many of those roads originated as trails and paths for wagons and livestock, meandering around and around along the hill sides. Makes for some mighty fine riding.

Now central Ohio and west turns into a pancake. I don't really know if I'd ever been a motorcyclist if I'd lived here in central Ohio all my life. In the east it was almost natural. In the 60s-70s there was so much off roading available it was the golden age of that. Heck, the Pentons used races down east of I-77 to develop their bikes and to warm up for the six days and such.

You guys never look east into the mountains we have. Yours are more open and sweeping in the turns, ours are tight and winding. Different riding, but good. I have friends who have done both and said both are great. Remember, this is the area where there is the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, along with Deal's Gap. In the area of Ohio I have ridden a lot has two roads that frequently appear on lists of highly technical riding, Ohio State Route 555 just south of Zanesville Ohio and State Route 164 just east of New Philadelphia Ohio. In the past year there was a dual sport tour that did a run through eastern Ohio foothills on all the back roads.

Here's one in the top 100 and no patrols, plus others nearly as good SR536 been there done that.
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

markk53 screwed with this post 02-11-2014 at 04:35 PM
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:31 AM   #77
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Essex, UK - Still looking for home
Oddometer: 125
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For me, there are several critical differences.

I have been on a DL650 for 9 years and 60,000 miles. 40,000 of that as commuting and riding in Europe.

Last June I moved to an aprilia RST1000 Futura. For the last 4,000 miles there is a night and day difference.


On the DL, I have to really watch mirrors on other vehicles, especially white vans. On the Futura, as it is both narrower and lower, I miss 90% of the mirrors I used to have to be careful around.


On the DL, I spend much of my time above 50% throttle. I ride in a fast aggressive area of the UK and I needed to pretty much flat out that bike most mornings to keep ahead of traffic. On the RST, yeah not so much.


On the DL, 90mph is really all it will go. Yes, I have seen 120 on the clocks but it takes an awfully long time to get there. When cruising on the motorway, 85-95 is average. On the ape, not an issue. I only kick it into 6th north of 65mph.


On the DL, with up rated suspension, a fork brace, up rated pads, ss lines, and good tyres, it can't hold a candle to the Futura.

Wind management.

The DL has handgards the futura does not. On the DL I need my gerbings below 5 degc. On the Futura, 2 deg c. Also my hands stay dryer on the Futura. Go figure.

Also, as I am crouched a bit and behind a better screen, I stay a bit dryer and warmer. I have only used my heated jacket once this winter so far.

As for comfort.... it is a tie. I am 6'1@ 95 kg and have a 33 inch inseam. The futura and the DL fit like a glove. My knees are a bit tighter on the ape, my hips are tighter on the DL. The seat on the RST is MUCH better!

As always, YMMV.

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:53 AM   #78
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Joined: Jan 2014
Location: Twin Hills, OK
Oddometer: 235
Originally Posted by Colorado_Rider View Post
So I'm curious what the advantages and disadvantanges there are between a long travel bike vs a short travel bike on paved roads. If one isn't planning on riding dirt, and still looking for a really nice handing bike, is there any reason at all to look at bikes like the MTS1200?
Asking that question in here, you're sure to get some biased answers.

I've owned both (among other bikes), and spend a couple of weeks a year riding in CO and surrounding states. Of course, you know there is no perfect bike for all conditions. We have to compromise.

My ST1300 was an amazing machine. It handled incredible, had insane but manageable power, provided great wind protection even at rediculous speeds, would carry a weeks worth of gear (stock), and it was nothing to lay down an 800 mi day on it. If I lived in an area where 90% of my riding day was spent wizzing along the paved twisties, highways, long open stretches, there would be no other machine I'd want. On the downside, it did have a little forward riding position that would cause an aching in my hands during extended city riding (from my weight going forward under braking - but I'm out of shape and some core strengthening would have gone a long way to help with that), and at 6'4", after an 600mi day, my legs were deffinately looking for a new position.

I can see no advantage to having long travel suspension on paved roads, until they get really really bad. I can't think of any highway that qualifies, but deffinately can think of a few single lane roads through the back country. They're the same ones that I always think to myself "Why did they pave this? It would be smoother if they left it dirt". The long travel bikes do tend to have a more upright riding position and more room to move around and strech out, but that comes at the cost of wind protection, high speed stability, handling, etc. Some of the long travel bikes are still "good", but I've yet to see one where the handling is mind bogglingly great.

That was an attempt to answer your exact question. However - If I lived in Colorado, there would be no question - I would own an adventure bike. Easily half the roads in CO are not paved, and every time I rode there on my street bikes, I'd run across a road that I couldn't take because it turned to dirt at some point.

So in my opinion, if you're sure you're never going to leave the tarmac, go sport/touring. If you think you just might want to see what's over that next ridge a couple of miles down that dirt road, go Adventure. If you're riding a lot of city - just don't. Cities suck.
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