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Bullseye45

First adventure bike to replace others

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Posted (edited)

Hey all, 

Found this sub-forum after inputting a a "Which bike.." topic here if ya'll wouldn't mind giving your feedback and experiences.  It's a good time to be looking since the bug can't bite when we can't go anywhere.

Here are the details from the above link to save time and answer most questions.

Midwest (Ohio) guy here.   With the quarantine I've had time to do some long needed garage cleaning and maintenance on my 3 bikes (Yamaha Road Star 1300, Harley Sportster 883, Honda CR250R). This got me thinking that I'd really like to simplify things and maybe consolidate my bikes, or a few of them.   I'll go through all the standard Q&A and add anything at the end for clarification.

1. What is your skill Level (be honest)?

Intermediate/Advanced - I've got years of on/off road experience since I was a kid (45 yrs old now).  Had probably 8 bikes over the time from sport bikes to 2 and 4 stroke dirtbikes.  Though I still have my CR250R dirt ripper, I haven't been out on trails in several years, other than a small woods loop in the woods behind my house.  I've done plenty of weekend highway/backroad trips with buddies, but most are withing 500 miles round trip.   I've always had a dresser and a pure dirt machine, but since I'm not doing any track days and/or much in the way of hill climbs and super crazy single track anymore, I'm leaning towards something more road worthy for longer trips, but can still do rocks, bumps and some mud on double tracks or trails.  

2. What's your height & weight?

6'3 235lbs Athletic, but declining 🙂

3. What year, make, & model of motorcycle are you coming from? And, what do you want the new bike to do better?

Road: Yamaha Road Star 1300cc  - 850l bs - Ground pounder for going 2-up with the wife or road trips with the guys.

Local Hopper: Harley 883 Sportster - 550 lbs - Used for smaller local rides when don't want to get out the big bike.  Feels like a dirtbike compared to the Road Star

Dirt/Trail: Honda CR250R - 250 lbs - 2 stroke dirt/trail bike, but has been gaining dust as all my other buddies sold theirs or don't ride at all anymore

I have bikes currently from 850lbs to 250lbs and ridden everything inbetween.  DR350 off road (the hoomp'te), Yamaha R6 sport bike, etc

4. What's your ballpark budget?

If I could find the perfect bike, I'd buy new or used.  The most expensive ones I've looked into are $14K new, but would love to keep under 10K, maybe 8K in the used market.

5. What types of terrain will you be riding?

Honestly, 80-90% will be street.  I want something that is small light enough for short commutes (4-50 miles on road/highway), but can also be comfortable for a 500 mile weekend trip.  I'm not expecting this to be a full-trail bike, but want it to be able to handle bumpy, rutty, rocky double track and fire roads.  I'm also getting this to maybe take a few trips out west to CO from OH, possibly solo, so comfort and ease of maintenance and durability are big factors also.   My vision of this bike is mostly local riding on road, maybe the 70 mile away ATV park burning up some trails (no extreme enduro/dirtbike only stuff), but then can do some long weekend/week adventure rides up into local or out west mountains and off-road trails.   Pavement to dirt roads to some wide bumpy/rutty trails.

6. Will you be racing or just play riding?

No racing.. just pleasure riding.

Even when I have gone to trails and parks with my buddies in the past on dirt bikes, they loved the super technical single track and hill climbs.. Honestly, I always hated that stuff.  I liked moving quick on the off-road terrain but never cared for the super technical stuff.  So this bike (actually any of them) would never probably see that again.  I'd let them go do their thing and I'd hit the fire roads and do perimeter runs on the less aggressive trails.  Being I'm getting older, I doubt my tastes would change.

7. Ranking things that are important to me in this bike.

1. Reliability  (Hard to figure on new models, but historical reports of older models by manufacture is indication)

2. Low maintenance  (Hard to figure on new models, but historical reports of older models by manufacture is indication)

3. Comfort

4. Off-road ability

5. Features (ABS, Electric Start, Traction Control, Fuel Injection)

6. Aftermarket support

7. Price

8. Where I'm at looking at bikes and research.

Lots of articles, lots of YouTube, lots of forum reading.  I'm leaning towards a middle weight bike.  Not dual-sport, but not 1200cc monsters also. 

My short list of bikes so far based on the features I want (above in #5).

Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport (AS) DCT

- 530 lbs

- Price $13K new old stock (2019) to 8K Used. 

- Does road very well.  Good off-road.  Been out for a few years, so good used market.  Good aftermarket support. The AT AS does not have the fork issues of the standard AT. Low maintenance.  High reliability.  21" front and 18" rear.  Big 5 gal tank. Only real downside for long trips is no cruise control.  The 2020's are crazy expensive, so would probably look for a used one and work on my grip strength.   Suspension is a little soft from factory for big guy like me possibly.

Yamaha Tenere T700

- 420 lbs

- $10K new (when available in US)

- More off-road oriented, but does on-road pretty well also.  No frills.  New so not much history, but have been out in Euro/AUS for a few years.  Soft suspension possibly for a big guy like me.  

KTM 790 Adventure R

- 460 lbs

- $13K new

- This thing has everything, but it's expensive and if I recall KTMs are much more maintenance intensive, and that maintenance is also expensive.  Ready to go out of the box.

Anyway, there is where I am.  Look forward to your replies.

Thanks, Hawk.

Edited by Bullseye45
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10 minutes ago, InsaneClownPossum said:

How far are we talking for travel? What's a ride look like in your mind? 

I edited my original post and just added the details from my "Which bike" thread I posted in the dirt bike section.  That should answer most questions. 

Honestly, 80-90% will be street.  I want something that is small light enough for short commutes (4-50 miles on road/highway), but can also be comfortable for a 500 mile weekend trip.  I'm not expecting this to be a full-trail bike, but want it to be able to handle bumpy, rutty, rocky double track and fire roads.  I'm also getting this to maybe take a few trips out west to CO from OH, possibly solo, so comfort and ease of maintenance and durability are big factors also.   My vision of this bike is mostly local riding on road, maybe the 70 mile away ATV park burning up some trails (no extreme enduro/dirtbike only stuff), but then can do some long weekend/week adventure rides up into local or out west mountains and off-road trails.   Pavement to dirt roads to some wide bumpy/rutty trails.

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Posted (edited)

With the desire for electronics and reliability and pace not being an over riding concern the Honda may be the winner. 

No issues of consequence being reported on the Yamaha T7 but its lightly sprung in the rear and has no frills at all as you noted.

790 is a blast to ride but it's a little tight on legroom if you have a long inseam and it's a performance bike and will likely require a bit more  maintenance than an over built and understressed bike like the Honda.

Biggest negative to the Honda IMHO (based on my test ride of a 2016 base model) was laughably small pegs, brittle plastics, and a boring motor. 

Edited by Windblown
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Africa twin is your best fit. And unlike the guy above I spent a day on one and found it to be a very competent street bike with a lot of character for a Honda. It was the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden, as far as riding position and wind protection, but when standing on it whoopin down gravel roads it really felt much smaller and better than you'd believe looking at it. It's a very Honda motorbike, so yes it's buttoned down and refined, and some people find that boring. It's very snikety snik and precise and the controls are ergonomically perfect for a 6' guy. Happy hunting. 

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I would lean towards the KTM. Or maybe find a KTM 1090. Maintenance isn't that crazy, bad rap from earlier in KTM's history.

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Used to have a SX250 back in the day so somewhat familiar with KTM.   The more I'm thinking, I'm leaning towards a bigger bike b/c realistically, I don't see a way around less than a 2 bike system.  A cruiser that can get a little dirty but do long distance with comfort, and a dual sport/ enduro for mostly dirt but can do a little road use.

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15 hours ago, Bullseye45 said:

Used to have a SX250 back in the day so somewhat familiar with KTM.   The more I'm thinking, I'm leaning towards a bigger bike b/c realistically, I don't see a way around less than a 2 bike system.  A cruiser that can get a little dirty but do long distance with comfort, and a dual sport/ enduro for mostly dirt but can do a little road use.

You mispelled 3 bike system. Sport Tourer, DS/Light Adv, dirt bike. That's the minimum really. 

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He don't want to be doing no rocky technical single tract. Just put a good set of Moto Z tires on an African Twin and it'll rip up any dirt he's gonna be doing.

I'm guessing the AT will out perform his dirt skills. Unless I'm misreading his first post, which I could be.

Be brutally honest with yourself, if your claiming maybe a little bumpy rutted trails, are you really gonna run anything more than an occasional old logging road?

Keep the CR for a little longer and see if you clean the dust off, if not then know the AT was the right Moto.

Shit we all over reach from time to time.

 

 

Did you get anything or decide on one yet???

Edited by CoronaCarl

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Posted (edited)

Still haven't gone out an looked at anything physically with C19 and all.  Finally go the Yamaha cruiser out this week for the first time this year.  She's a big beast but not unwieldy for  2 or 4 lane paved.   

I've kinda got it narrowed down to 2 bikes now.  Depending on how they feel when I sit on them, I'm leaning towards a Honda CB500X and a DR650.    If they fit, and by all my reading and video watching, they should, with maybe a few small modifications, these would be perfect lightweight adventure bikes.  One more geared toward road (CB) and one more geared toward dirt (DR).  Lots of parts for both and very good track records.  CB has the Rally Raid Kit option to build a 500CC Africa Twin copy, and the DR is well.. the DR, jack of all, master of none.   Smaller and lighter kinda feels like the way to go.  Both can be had for around 6K or less new and 4K or less used.  If I find it's not a good fit, I'll can easily off-load and not be out much, then look to go bigger if need.  

I know I don't want to pound out hours of highway miles.  I find it unpleasant and boring.  Not really what adventure is about.  I've made up my mind, at least at this point, that wherever I go, I'm going to stick to back-roads and take the longer routes.  If I have to do some highway, I'll tough it out on whichever bike I get, but I don't want to plan my purchase around highway riding when it's not what I want to do with the bike.  If guys want to do 500 mile days on pavement I'll either suck it up, or meet them at the destination a little later, or find a new crew that likes to run the scenic routes.

In the end I'll probably add 2 more bikes.  A lighter and heavier ADV bike.  Then any trip or ride I want to do will be in reach.  I don't mind spending $ on my hobbies, that's why I work hard.  So when I want to play, I want to enjoy it.

Happy Memorial Weekend everyone.  For our fallen heroes.

Edited by Bullseye45
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That's a bit of a change up, but probably not a bad way to go. I really dig the idea of the CB500X, especially if setup with the Ralley Raid kit or similar.

If your interested in the DR I might suggest the XR650L also. It has a bit better dirt manners, but would sacrifice a bit on pavement. Just depends on which way you lean towards.

 

If I could have any 2 bikes, I'd probably have the African Twin and the CRF450L. They would be able to do pretty much anything I'd want to do now a days. Or...

Good times to be into motocycles, there are so many choices, maybe almost too many. It can be hard to decide on which one.

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Yeah, I'm kind of a research nerd and unfortunately leads to analysis paralysis sometimes.  It's a good thing to have so many options.  Just wish I had a bigger garage.

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