I think a lot of motorcycle riders are like us... even if they love their current bike, they are always wondering what's better. We spend countless hours reading magazines and forums, watching YouTube, and talking with the like-minded about what their "ideal" ride would look like. We all know that this perfect bike doesn't exist, but we keep searching for it.
A few years ago, after 35+ years riding dirt bikes together, Steve and I were bitten by the ADV bug. The plan: to load them up with all kinds of cool gear and equipment, and to set out on long weekend adventures, camping along the way; just seeing what there is to see in this big ol' country! But, the road of good intentions doesn't get you far, and our plans didn't quite materialize the way that we had hoped. We ended up living in different cities (Tampa & Denver), and between work and family obligations, our ADV bikes (Triumph Tiger 800XC and KTM 990 Adventure) ended up being weekend dual-sport machines at best. In fact, our only real taste of adventure riding together was last summer, where we both just happen to have been in Portland Oregon visiting family and decided to rent a couple of BMW F800GS ADVs for the day. We had a great time, but Steve kept pointing out that anytime we'd talk bikes, I'd always mention how much I missed skoochin' up on the tank, sticking a leg out, laying the bike over, and rippin' through a big sweeper-turn, off-road. I know that Chris Birch makes this look easy on 500+ lb. ADV bikes, but I'm not Chris Birch.
A couple of months ago Steve called me up, all excited... "Hey Bosch... I have news! I took a new job and we're moving to Tampa!" Coming from a man that takes cold shower sand spends most snowy Colorado days running around in shorts, I was more than a little surprised since it’s kind-of hot and humid here in central Florida for half the year. Regardless, It didn't take long for the motorcycle planning to begin. 1st order of business: sell these big ADV bikes. The KTM 990 sold in a matter of hours out in Colorado, and interestingly enough, I sold my Tiger to gentleman that was moving to Colorado Springs, the same place that the buyer of the 990 lives. How's that for coincidence?
The 2nd order of business: NEW BIKES! And, we both already knew what we wanted. Steve had a Husky 510 dual-sport that he loved when he lived in Idaho, and I wanted to be back on KTM, having drank the orange cool-aid back in 2008. So, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro and KTM 690 Enduro R it was! The crazy part is, outside of reading and watching videos on these bikes, neither of us had ridden either of them. In faith, we just plunked down the silly amount of money they ask for these bikes and hoped they were what we were looking for! Exactly what is it that we’re looking for? More comfort & road-worthiness than just a plated dirt bike, and more capable and fun off-road than the typical 500+ lb. ADV machine. Not too much to ask, right?
We're excited to begin putting some miles on these sexy bikes to see if they are the "just right" bikes that we hope they are. Considering the price, our wives have made it clear that come hell-or-high-water, we better be prepared to love them...No pressure! We'd love to take you on this journey as we share our experiences with these bikes, including our riding impressions, bike mods & problems, parts & gear evaluations, and hopefully lots of interesting pictures and video; we even plan on picking up a drone so that we can capture on-the-move video and awesome vantage points.
This will be our first blog, so we’re totally open to feedback & suggestions on how to make it better. We're just a couple of long-time, middle aged dirt bike guys that are pumped about riding together again, and thought it would be fun to share it all with our ThumperTalk peeps. Thanks for checking out the blog!
Bryan Bosch, Steve Claus - #DualSportDuo