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About grreatdog

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  1. grreatdog

    Dual Sport Helmet

    I just went down this road. I got tired of being in my offroad helmet and getting caught in the rain or snow or being in my street helmet in crazy dust. So I finally went out and tried a bunch of dual sport helmets. First, no way I am buying the Arai or Shoei. Don't talk me about having a $200 head. It isn't about that. It is about knowing the helmet will get trashed too quickly to drop that kind of cash. I am perfectly happy in a less expensive helmet having successfully crash tested several. So I started looking at the less expensive models. I really liked the weight, fit and lining in the Speed and Strength helmet the best. But it is, to me, more of a street helmet with no goggle cutouts and very little ventilation. I may buy that one yet. It is a lot of helmet for the money just biased more toward street riding than offroad. I couldn't find the new AFX to try locally but tried the previous version at motorcycles shows and the fit wasn't right for me. Nice enough helmet though. I would have liked to try the Joe Rocket since my rebranded HJC (Thor) offroad helmet is the best fitting, most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. But there aren't any locally and the one I tried at a show had funky optics through the faceshield. That left the Fly Trekker and the MSR helmet which are identical except for paint and graphics. I narrowed it down to one of those primarily because they offer better ventilation than any of the other price point dual sport helmets I have seen. I went with the Fly simply because I hated the matte black MSR. That helmet would look like hell after a season with me. It was already covered with nasty looking fingerprints in the store and that is the only color they offer. So I got the Fly in silver to go with my two older KTM dual sports. I am happy with it considering the price point. Like I said, I may yet buy the Speed and Strength. I really liked that for a street helmet.
  2. I don't know anything about the Tusk kits, but the BD kit on my MXC is as good as any factory dual sport setup I have run. The switchgear is all very good, the mirrors are good and everything looks factory. Which was a big deal to me since we have to have a pretty thorough title inspection done in MD to get a plate. The reason a BD kit is expensive is that it is is very close to what you would get from Yamaha if they ever come to their senses and do a real offroad based dual sport.
  3. grreatdog

    Are We Screwed?

    I started to recommend one of those but didn't because I haven't personally swung a leg over one for a long, long time. But a couple of years ago I ended up following a woman out of the woods on single track that was riding a plated KDX200. It looked like a really good choice. It fit her pretty well, seemed to handle trail hack well and had enough power to make me eat a some roost a couple of times. She was holding us up a little bit but riding fast enough that we couldn't pass without being jerks. Which means she was riding a lot faster than most people do on dual sports.
  4. grreatdog

    Are We Screwed?

    Show your wife this 36 page threadfest about short women and dual sports: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669666
  5. grreatdog

    yamaha xt350 voltage ?

    All you need for a battery is a little sealed lawn mower batter from Home Depot for maybe $25. That was all I ever ran in my XT350 and it was plenty to power the turn signals, horn and brake light. All of those components need a little more juice than the stator puts out at low rpm which is why you need some kind of battery.
  6. grreatdog

    Are We Screwed?

    The closed course bikes like my MXC are close ratio with low top gears. So yes I keep the highway speeds down on it. But, as said, EXC's and XC-W's have wide ration transmissions. Even the two strokes EXC's will do OK on the highway. Any EXC450 or above will easily handle sustained highway speeds. Service intervals by most of the folks I ride with are done according to how they ride the bike just like any other bike. But KTM's tend to get abused offroad so most guys I know riding like that do change the oil as recommended. Some years the oil changes are a little fussy but no worse then my old XL600R. Maybe try posting about motorcycles you actually know something about. Because when you toss out incorrect information about bikes you have never actually ridden, well it kind of speaks for itself.
  7. Since you are talking used, the trick is to find a KTM where the original owner went to the trouble of getting a title. KTM's came with open MSO's that allowed the original buyer to get a street title in most states even if it was never plated. Maybe you could do it if the the person you buy from still has the MSO. But it won't be as easy as simply transferring an existing title. That is how I plated my MXC. The original owner had submitted his MSO and bill of sale, paid the sales tax and paid the title fees required for a title but never actually gotten a plate. So the bike had a valid MD street title. The title or the MSO are the key not a plate. I paid a good bit more than the bike would be worth as a dirt bike because of that title (and the dual sport kit). Transferring that MD title to my name just required paperwork and paying a title fee. Buying insurance was also easy since both Progressive and State Farm will insure any bike regardless of it being street legal. After that it got interesting getting it through MD titling inspection. But that was the only tough part. After that it was just the same fees and paperwork as any other vehicle. But having that original title was the key for me getting a plate.
  8. You have a good memory. In the years since I posted in this oldie I also went the roll your own light weight dual sport route. My plated MXC 200 isn't quite sub 200 pounds. But it is damned close and very fast.
  9. I had to bail off a CSX bridge back in the 80's (before things got so nutso with rail cops) because I got caught in the middle by an AMTRAK train while riding across it. There is no outrunning those on a dual sport. It wasn't much fun riding off the edge for a 15' plunge into a gator infested puss hole. But it beat the hell out of the alternative. I learned a lesson that day. One that dragging my bike out of the swamp made permanent. Now having done CSX, AMTRAK and Metro contractor rail safety training every year for the last eight years it has really been driven home. I want no part of tangling with trains. The videos they show at the end of thore training sessions makes it pretty clear what happens if you screw up.
  10. If you are willing to call something that weighs in the 400 pound range a dual sport the BMW 650's do have a great warranty and aftermarket. But even my 300 pound LC4 Enduro model is a bear to ride technical offroad. It will hang with real dirt bikes on any kind of trail that allows you to twist the throttle thanks to having serious suspension. But it is a workout when things turn technical. The length and weight murder you in tight stuff. Which is why I could never see myself riding a BMW, Suzuki or Kawasaki. They are all great dual sports if your idea of dual sports is more highway or dirt road than real trails. But I like offroad riding and once you start pushing 400 pounds things get ugly offroad. Yes, it can be done. My idea of fun isn't just being able to make it. I want to have some real ability under under me. I get no joy out of simply being able to wrestle a pig down a trail. So out of the big boys, if you take my first choice of the 690R off the table, then my choice would be the XR650L. It is a bit down on power and still pretty porky off the showroom floor. But it is the berst starting point for a highway capable dual sport that won't kick your ass (too badly) on hard trails. Being dirt cheap also gives you some room for making the needed performance and weight loss mods.
  11. grreatdog

    The Best Damn Little Dual sports!

    One of these days I need to get back to my XT200 and show it some love. With a garage full of KTM's it looks pretty sad. And I will never ride it again until I ditch the cable actuated drum brakes for hydraulic disk. I actually parked it after the front brake cable snapped and put me in a chain link fence. But my little XT200 has been punched out 2mm taking it from 196cc to 210cc and has an XS400 piston that bumps the compression WAY up. It was also rejetted for that and has a Supertrapp pipe. I had to run octane booster in it but it runs more like a YZ125 than an XT200. Hotrodding that bike was a silly experiment conducted by a psycho Yamaha mechanic after I blew it up. But it was fun back when I was in my 20's and about 30 pounds lighter. The same mechanic later unleashed the motor in my XT350 turning it into a fun little bike, too. Catching some "big air" on my brand new XT200 at the beach back in 1982 with my buddy's DT175 in the background:
  12. grreatdog

    The Best Damn Little Dual sports!

    I have a LOT of years and miles behind me on KE's, DT's and XT's. I lusted for a DT125 when I was on a KE125 and then for my XT200 and then for my XT350. I loved each of them in its time. But those times are past for me. I don't actually miss anything about any of them. I haven't touched my XT200 since about 1989. The reason why is these days my idea of the best damn little dual sport is my KTM 200. It barely weighs 200 pounds but it throws down nearly 40 horsepower and can tackle just about anything you are bold enough to attempt. Yes it vibrates and sucks gas but it also wheelies in every gear. This bike with a license plate on it is just too outrageous for words.
  13. grreatdog

    Dual Sport Series rumor

    What the AMA provides is insurance for the organizers and a level of legitimacy that opens up access to otherwise closed riding areas. The latter might not be an issue on the west coast where there are public lands that are open to riding. But on the east coast we have virtually zero public lands and very little of what public land there is is open to riding. So those AMA sactioned dual sport rides that are sponsored by KTM offer about the best dual sport riding we get over here. As for pay to ride, the entry fee is too minimal to whine about. They could double the fees for the ones I ride and not make me think twice. I paid more for gas getting to my last one than the whole weekend of riding cost. I could care less who the industry sponsor is. But, just in case I ever luck out and win the bike giveaway, I would prefer it to remain KTM.
  14. grreatdog

    My cool lightweight plater

    That is basically a DT175. The only difference I see between that and a 1978 DT175 is the front disk brake plus the seat, tank and headlight mask are a little more modern. I have a friend that is still riding a DT175 he bought new in 1979. He jumped on it then because in 1980 they were going four stroke with the XT200 and he wanted the two stroke. Those old monoshock DT's were fun and tough. So I suspect that will be a fun bike.
  15. That was my thought as soon as I saw rocky trails. I love my LC4E for most trails and as a long range dual sport. It is a solid offroad dual sport and relatively light at 300 pounds wet. But it flat out sucks for clawing your way along rocky trails in the mountains. ANY bike that weighs 300 pounds or more is a tough way to ride rocks whether it is a WR250R, DRZ400S, XR650L or my 640. Now that I am 51 and have several busted up body parts I just don't enjoy manhandling heavy beasts through gnarly sections of trail like I used to. Which is 100% of why I added a street legal MXC 200 to my garage. I am 6'2", 190 pounds and have been riding dual sports for over 30 years and find it is plenty of bike for me on the trail. Enough so that I am considering replacing my 640 with an EXC300. I also rode a very rocky AMA dual sport event last year with a guy that has ten years or so on me and is significantly smaller than me. He was on a plated EXC 200 for all of the same reasons. His second bike is a WR250R. But he rides the 200 in rocks for the light weight. He is a pretty serious rider though. Another friend in his 60's that is a very casual trail rider is on a DT175 for the light weight, mellow power and excellent seat. If you really plan to ride rocky trails and want a very offroad capable dual sport then consider leaving the 50 to 75 extra pounds that come with buying a Japanese dual sport behind and find a good KTM two stroke. All of the KTM EXC two strokes are easy enough to plate. The EXC's have wide ratio transmissions and lend themselves well to turning into dual sports. Yes, you have to carry oil on the KTM's. But you don't have to adjust valves or sweat frequent oil changes and they are way lighter than anything with lights that comes from Japan. I would be surprised if my MXC is much over 200 pounds. I can actually carry it. And I just had the a complete new top end done with porting, head work and power valve R&R for less than $500 including shipping the motor. Or scare up a good used DT. They are still out there in the wild