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Are They Making Bikes Too Light?

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Are they making bikes too light?

What I mean by this the manufacturers are now running dry or semi dry sumps so we have to change oil the every 500 kms or so, is to just to save a bit of weight or is this so they sell more oil and filters?

The tanks are getting smaller, so small that if you want to go for a decent ride you have to carry extra fuel.

The seats are getting harder and narrower and are to the point where you get a sore a$$ just riding to your favorite trail.

Check out the TT poll at the top of this page 40% of us are riding trails, that is double the nearest type of riding (motocross)

My point is are they sacrificing comfort to lose 1 or 2 kg as I don't think the average rider would really care if their bike is 105 kg or 108 kg.

But maybe I'm wrong, that is just my way of thinking.

But most of us are riding trails, have the manufacturers got it wrong when it comes to comfort and convenience verses weight?

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What kind of bike are you riding? YZ's, CR's, KX's, SX's, RM's, if so these bikes are made for motocross and are built to motocross standards... You should be into the WR's, XR's, KDX's, DRZ's, these bikes are setup for trail riding and would suit you better..... But then again what do I know :)

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Don't I feel like a a$$ now, I didn't even read your screen name, sorry dude for giving you the info you already know..... You really do think that your WR is uncomfortable? I've rode my bud's Dad's and actually thought it was quit plush.....

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I love my wr but I just think they have gone that little bit to far with the weight thing for the "average bloke" I saw a write up in a mag over here saying the 05 wr450 is set up for someone who is around 65kg I mean my dog is close to that weight.

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Whats wrong dude? Is the bike starting to make you look fat? :)

I look fat standing next to a truck :)

(I do weigh 120 kg but not fat, just big)

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whats too light,why build anything heavier then it needs to be :)

A single cylinder works harder than a multi cyl. eng. that would be the reason for more frequent oil changes ..........TJMO :):p

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point taken but if it had a wet sump i.e 2.5 to 3 litres of oil in it wouldn't this give you lots more kms before each oil change as the oil would not degrade as quick and it shouldn't add that much weight to the point where average joe would notice.

But it is not just oil I'm talking about it is the overall package, smaller tanks ,smaller seats, to the point where you have to carry fuel for a decent ride.

Don,t get me wrong I think late model bikes are awesome,I just think we are at the point of how much more weight can we take off these bikes without making them impractical for the average rider :)

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On a related note: A 91 KTM that I owned had magnesium (I think) parts in the cases that separated the water and oil. Trouble was, antifreeze attacks magnesium. It disolved the case material and let water into the oil, blah, blah...big freak'n mess. Anyway, KTM said they used magnesium for weight saving. As far as I'm concerned, that went too far. Hours of my time, much aggravation, and $$$ for the new ALUMINUM cases from KTM to replace the old magnesium crap.

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I understand what your saying, they are also doing the same thing to street bikes, after a few mods, my street bike is needing a fill up every 125 miles or so, they are just making things too small for ppl who dont race, and dont really care about a few pounds.

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Yeah, but this is what sells because the mags make it sound like a huge deal. Take sportbikes where the 10R wet worked out to 430 lbs. The mags went bozo about that (I own one) where the Honda was all 'porky' at something like 25 lbs more. So the Honda got a stink on it for weight added that like 99% of the riders can't feel or would know about if it weren' t for the mags.

So the 10R is the King for 2004 and now rumors are the new Gixxer may be a few oz's lighter and it may be the King of 2005.

The metal on my gas tank on the 10R is so thin that if you make an error and put the long bolt in the short hole, you will make a hole in the tank without putting much torque on the bolt. Maybe the new Gixxer will use foil for its tank.

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point taken but if it had a wet sump i.e 2.5 to 3 litres of oil in it wouldn't this give you lots more kms before each oil change as the oil would not degrade as quick and it shouldn't add that much weight to the point where average joe would notice.QUOTE]

I think you need a better understanding of the difference between wet and dry sump engines. It has little to do with weight savings and more to do with performance. A dry sump design practically eliminates power-robbing flywheel drag and windage. This is important in a high-revving engine. Also, by not having the oil remain in the cases, the oil picks up less heat transfer that causes thermal breakdown and it thereby lasts longer. By pumping the oil into the frame or a reservoir, it can be cooled more efficiently.

Making the bike lighter not only provides an advantage in racing, but in making suspension components work better and last longer by reducing sprung weight. The lighter the bike, the less stress it puts on the suspension. It also makes for less rider fatigue if they don't have to muscle a heavy machine around the trail/track. Every time you hit a bump and the bike rebounds, that energy is transmitted to the rider. The heavier the bike, the more energy absorbed by the rider.

As for factory bike setup, mass production requires compromise. By targeting dirt bikes at a specific average body size and weight, the factory can build a bike that fits the largest majority of riders. They can also be assured that there is enough leeway to allow modification of the bike to suit riders who may be on either side of this average. No bike could be built to a one-size-fits-all specification.

Where I would agree with your argument is in the area of a bike's reliability being sacrificed for a few less pounds. Shaving a few ounces on a part solely for weight while reducing the part's service life is something the factory should avoid. For most of us, a dirt bike purchase is a long term committment. We don't expect to replace them every year or consider them as throw-aways. This is true even for many who race. With new dirt bikes costing $6,000 and up, we should expect and demand that they be able to withstand more than a couple years of usage before needing expensive repairs, service or rebuilding.

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Yeah, they are making bikes to light these days! :) When are we going to get back to bikes that weigh at least as much as a XR650R, and with no electric start on it?!!!

Jeez, if you don't want a light bike, buy a XR650R or a DRZ. Or a XR400.

Plenty of choices out there that are heavier, and less maintenance intensive then the newer higher performance bikes.

Just what we need, people complaining that bikes are to light. :)

Ed

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625SXC....291lbs and LOVIN'IT! :) I rode a 250 and 300EXC at a KTM sponsored test ride, And to be honest I liked my heavy bike better in the woods. It(625SXC) was alot more stable, Got WAY BETTER traction. Is it more work? Ya I guess, But I look at it as exercise. Plus nuthin' beats the look on some guys face 20 miles out in the middle of NOWHERE on some muddy tight rocky singletrack trail when he's sittin' on his Gas Gas 200 2 stroke and see's me pull up on my street legal BOP. :)

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Are off-road motorcycles too light? WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY? I want my next bike to have 65HP and weight under 175lbs!!!!!!!!

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point taken but if it had a wet sump i.e 2.5 to 3 litres of oil in it wouldn't this give you lots more kms before each oil change as the oil would not degrade as quick and it shouldn't add that much weight to the point where average joe would notice.QUOTE]

I think you need a better understanding of the difference between wet and dry sump engines. It has little to do with weight savings and more to do with performance. A dry sump design practically eliminates power-robbing flywheel drag and windage. This is important in a high-revving engine. Also, by not having the oil remain in the cases, the oil picks up less heat transfer that causes thermal breakdown and it thereby lasts longer. By pumping the oil into the frame or a reservoir, it can be cooled more efficiently.

Making the bike lighter not only provides an advantage in racing, but in making suspension components work better and last longer by reducing sprung weight. The lighter the bike, the less stress it puts on the suspension. It also makes for less rider fatigue if they don't have to muscle a heavy machine around the trail/track. Every time you hit a bump and the bike rebounds, that energy is transmitted to the rider. The heavier the bike, the more energy absorbed by the rider.

As for factory bike setup, mass production requires compromise. By targeting dirt bikes at a specific average body size and weight, the factory can build a bike that fits the largest majority of riders. They can also be assured that there is enough leeway to allow modification of the bike to suit riders who may be on either side of this average. No bike could be built to a one-size-fits-all specification.

Where I would agree with your argument is in the area of a bike's reliability being sacrificed for a few less pounds. Shaving a few ounces on a part solely for weight while reducing the part's service life is something the factory should avoid. For most of us, a dirt bike purchase is a long term committment. We don't expect to replace them every year or consider them as throw-aways. This is true even for many who race. With new dirt bikes costing $6,000 and up, we should expect and demand that they be able to withstand more than a couple years of usage before needing expensive repairs, service or rebuilding.

G'day Radrick

Your probably right about my understanding of sumps, i'm no mechanic that is for sure. Thanks for giving me a better understanding of why they design them that way :)

As for making the bike lighter yes this would be an advantage for racing and they should make them as light as they can.

Maybe there should be two models e.g-wr450r (r being for racing that is smaller tank, seat, etc ) and wr450t (t being for trails etc big tank, bigger seat etc).

The point I'm trying to make with my limited command of the English language is I think they are making to many bikes aimed at the mx market when the majority of riders don't ride mx they ride trails and the like.

I think they have gone just that little bit to far and I mean only a little bit. :)

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Are off-road motorcycles too light? WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY? I want my next bike to have 65HP and weight under 175lbs!!!!!!!!

So do I but I don't want a fuel tank that hold 500mls or a seat that is to small for my 5yo son :)

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Yeah, they are making bikes to light these days! :) When are we going to get back to bikes that weigh at least as much as a XR650R, and with no electric start on it?!!!

Jeez, if you don't want a light bike, buy a XR650R or a DRZ. Or a XR400.

Plenty of choices out there that are heavier, and less maintenance intensive then the newer higher performance bikes.

Just what we need, people complaining that bikes are to light. :)

Ed

Your missing my point :p

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They can make bikes as strong as they want and light as they want. Just dont make something you have to replace valves after the first couple of rides and rebuild a 4stroke motor at least once a year. :) Sure not all bikes do this, but most of them do.

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