Another brilliant MO article! Publishing heresies the big mags won't even consider. Take that CW!
Sportbikes still look cooler, though, particularly at the after-ride pose-down. Har. Seriously, riding sportbikes on the freeway for more than about 10 minutes does just blow. I've done a 300 mile day on my 1000RR, but it was all twisty mountain roads in Colorado, except for the last 20 miles. And the only part that hurt? You got it - the last 20 miles.
That was an interesting article, not quite typical moto-journalism fare, but interesting. I always wondered if those stories about the KLR waxing sport bikes at track days were true. Given I own a KLR, V-Strom and Ducati I know it must be rider skill making that happen. Some day everyone will catch on to just how damn fun the big DP's are, till then keep your mouth shut!
I got passed so many times by guys on BMW GSs that I finally went out and bought my own. Now, I'm the guy in the faded 'stich blasting by a squid on a bumpy road. Of course, I never forget to give a friendly wave when I go by.
I bought an R12RT a month ago and nothing makes sporty bike guys more pissed than parking myself off their tail light on a twisty road. It's fun watching the body steering motions get more exaggerated before they finally surrender and wave me by.
Unless there's some guy on a GS crawling up my ass.......
Another great motorcycle.com article that proves you're all willing to be toy with nonconformity, far more so than most other motorcycle pubs. The KLR 650 aint perfect but its not a bad buy for the money and it is fun, reliable, and I'd say comfortable too. A Yamaha FZ1 its not, but then you won't see many FZ1s, or Vstroms for that matter, on fire roads or desert trails.
OK, now I am really motivated to get my XR650R street-ready.
Too bad the Strom is so damned fugly. Too bad the BMW GS is >$15K. Too bad the KTM Adventure is $11K and has a plank for a seat. The KTM would seriously clean up on a test like this, apart from the seat.
Speaking of the BMW, I spent a couple of days on an R1150GS around San Fran a few years back and was enthralled. I felt that I could have had a passenger and gone just as fast, just as easily, just as comfortably.
Two weeks ago, my girlfriend and I did 220miles of Texas Hill Country on my Z1000. As much as I love my Z, I was wishing for the GS. Or a Strom.
But neither looks as sweet as my Pearl Blazing Orange hooligan. Damned ego.
that was fun. imagine what Gabe could do if they would let yous guys loose with one those Suzuki DRZ400S whatevers and new superDuke KTM and stuff like that. where are all the dang test units? those bikes are Wave of the Future i tell u... i am holding out for d-p WR450F. U guys see stunning new yamahas? not on MO u haven't what is dealio?
I have an acquaintance by the name of Vance Breese that many of your readers may have heard of. He told me stories of riding a heavily modified HD FLT bagger over HWY 33 to Ojai passing squids along the way.
At the base of the hill he would get out a map, light a cigarett that had been broken in half and when the frustrated squids pulled up he would make a statement that he had never been on that road before and was was lost.
Great report guys. Anything with 2 wheels is fun. My wife and I have a couple of GSXR's and a pair of KLR650's so your article really hit home with us. After reading your story, I can't wait to get out and ride them all again.
I think that the DL1000 is a great bike, but I wish Suzuki made it a little shorter. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to lower the bike so that someone who is 5 ft 8 in can ride it without feeling like he is taking a chance every time he slows down? Or maybe I should just settle for the DL650?
Sportbikes are for a purpose, dual purpose bikes are for another purpose. If ya' want to cover a lot of ground
between the twisties, you need something that cruises along just fine at triple digits ....
More miles = more fun.
Your article waxes on about the benifits of the Dual Sports, with a strong emphasis on the fact that they can go off road. DUH ! Sportbikes are not meant to go offroad. Comparing these bikes using their offroad abilities is just dumb. Put one rider on each of these bikes, on the same road (or track ?), see which bike is faster. That would be a "Canyon Carving Shootout". When I saw your article, I thought it would be an (equal) comparison of the abilities of each bike in its "Canyon Carving" capability - to demonstrate how surprisingly quick you can be on a DualSport ???
Me and my buds regularly do 400+ mile days on SPORTBIKES, we love it, and we're f'n sore when we're done .... if we wanted to be fresh as a daisy at the end of a ride, we'd ride something else .... and probably cover a lot less miles.
I read this with some interest as I'm about to take off for Yellowstone on my 93 CB750 with ???? miles on it. As a streetbike I wish motor/brakes/suspension/frame were all better, but that riding position (with aftermarket motocross bars for a bit more front tire loading) just makes the miles disappear, and going fast on uncertain roads the joyous treat it should be.
Then I think about my racebike, a lightly modded SV650S I'm using to try out the AFM. The ergos that were ok in the twisties and a bit too much on the street become really obnoxiusly too little on the track. Following my instincts I put on aftermarket clipons that dropped the grips maybe 1 1/2" and moved them forward maybe 1", and rearsets that are up and back 1" in each dimension. Ahh, knee down nirvana. With the arch of my foot on the up peg, toe on the down peg, knee 1/2" off the pavement, chest lightly bumping the tank, and one bun on the seat the extra room kept my arms in a more natural position and made my weight fall mostly where the up knee hit the tank and the down peg.
So what's my point? Sportbike ergos are all about being tied to the bike, relaxed, and in control with a knee down. I say any bike with a more extreme riding position than the CBR600 f4i is just as much about posing as the harley "wind up my pants" stance. That is unless you wear out knee pucks going to work... and the only guy I ever met who did that rode... an R1150RT!
Very good article ,I believe the KLR-650 is the most underated bike in the motorcycle world.I have ridden mine 1100 miles over two days to attend a dualsport meet and then went trail riding for three days and then loaded all my gear back on and rode the 1100 miles back home.The KLR will comfortably and happily run 75mph all day long as well as trail ride at 10mph. I purchased a Ducati Multistrada in Feb. this year and it is an excellant bike, but not quite the do it all machine that the KLR is.
Nice write up guys. The main reason I subscribe to MO is for this kind of quirky off-beat shootout.
Awhile back, when I decided that I would probably ever only buy air-cooled twins and singles (easy mantainence), I had ruled out the KLR because of it's water cooling and partly because of it's weight which I thought was about 375 and not 337. (???)
Good article. My only response is that I am one of the few Capo Nord owner - after 16K miles of roads like the ones you describe (I fit in the old dude catagory who likes only curly lines on the map, 250 mi. at a clip) I am still very happy. I get the big rotax twin of the Mille, comfortable seat, good wind protection with added Laminar Lip, excellent brakes, and with custom cartridges, cut fork springs and a rebuilt shock all by Aftershocks, a Mille type ride with no dive. I bought mine for $6K less than a GS. I know I'm as fast as I want to be and a lot less tired and sore at the end of my day compared to my 900RR or FZ1. I just hope the new owners of Aprilia continue to bring the bike to the US so I can buy another when I wear this one out in 5 years.
I love sport bikes ... for track days ... nothing beats 'em. But not for what these guys were writing about. If you want to go long, day after day, the proverbial monkey flocking a football is not the tool of choice. But it's always good to have a hard core s'bike in the garage.
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