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Old 11-18-2003, 06:44 AM   #21
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

A buddy of mine lives about two miles up what is basicly a Cat-track, I've done on my Trophy but like you say, It ain't no dirt bike. All I could think of was $800 saddle bags and lovely fairing bits laying in the weeds.

He does it daily on an '81 shovelhead bagger so I had to show him my Triumph was up to the task.
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:02 AM   #22
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Default Red Green

The Red Green comment is awesome, but I bet I'm the only one who gets it! One of the PBS gems, that one.

You own too many bikes, you lucky bastard.

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Old 11-18-2003, 07:27 AM   #23

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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

Thanks, I'll tell him...
A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:31 AM   #24
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Absolutely! I would include Triumph's Speed 4 on your short list. Nobody seems to want that bike anyway, it's cheap, has no body work, high pegs and it looks like it lives in the woods. And it'd be a blast riding to and from your favorite off-road area.
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:56 AM   #25
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

I recently tried an experiment, taking my old FJ1100 down an 'unimproved' (unmaintained) road, about an 85 mile jaunt down an unpaved, potholed, extremely primitive mountain road. The only other traffic was 4X4 crew cabs belonging to oil and gas drilling rig crews. I don't think a logging truck could have negotiated this road (hairpin city). Everything was great until it started to rain. To make a long story short, I made it. The biggest problem was mud coating my faceshield so I could no longer see, ditto my glasses, eyeballs, everything else.

My observations, the FJ would have been much improved for this kind of riding if it had only slightly higher, wider bars, (and less weight). I will be replacing the stock clip on type bars with some kind of handlebar, and doing a bit more 'adventure touring' on it. Oh yeah, wear a dirt style helmet with goggles and tear offs, or whatever the dirt guys do to maintain their vision in the flying mud.

Any bike can be used in dirt or loose stuff with confidence if it has handlebars that keep you sitting up straight with no weight on the bars, and pegs that are forward so you can easily stand up when hitting the rough stuff.

Guys used to take stripped down harleys with rigid suspensions off road, sometimes even full deckers. Just make sure you can lift the bike back on its feet if it falls over.
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Old 11-18-2003, 08:44 AM   #26
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

o Greyone:

You have my deepest sympathies- literally hundreds of wonderful bikes to choose from, in a buyerÂ’s market.

I suggest you get 3x5 cards and write down all the pros and cons of the entire range of offerings. DonÂ’t label them by name, and try and forget what they look like. You wonÂ’t have to look when you are the rider, assign a code number to each card then make a decision based on the features / drawbacks of the bikes.

Be sure to factor in the necessary items for off road use. If for instance: when a bike already has a steering damper you will save hundreds on the aftermarket- even if you only use the mounts. Is there an adequate skid plate, can you buy one on the aftermarket, or will you have to make your own out of a shovel?

Don't cheat; don't make your predisposed favorite number one for instance.

I've had several of the adventure bikes, starting with an 87 Cagiva Elephant. It made up for steady feet and great off-road finesse with frequent expensive desmotronic valve adjustments, and no knowledgeable mechanics outside of the big cities, The valve drive train was ill placed in this "ahead of it's time" bike.

My "Adventures" were limited by serviceability, and I had to work so much to afford it, I hardly got to ride it.

IÂ’ve always been amused by BMWs attempt to emulate Land Rover. I have encountered the galaxy wide (ford) r-100 based BMWs stuck in the trees a couple of times, or crashed on the highway- too often, no one marquee stands out here. Usually itÂ’s inexperience, not the bike.

I always carry as much first aid as I can fit under my seat. - carma and ski patrol, from when the hills were young.

Having been helped countless times by the good folks in the BMW owners club, who are always in good humor, be it a trivial or life and death situation. I am always gratefulfor a chance to begin to repay their kindness to me, stop and give first aid, burn my gloves for a while, or pick up the pieces to help out.

The ones in the trees always heads deeper into the woods- a great bunch of stubborn guys. The BMWÂ’s best feature is that it connects you with these good people; I still have a connection and get mail announcing it's on for some weekend months away.

I own and cherish a rarely ridden R65. I hook up with guys like Rick Meyers at the motorands. They excuse the FZ1, or CBR, or GSXR I might have under me, both because Rick (an emergency room nurse and saddle maker) once saved my life, and they judge the man not the mount. The crowd that rides these big beasts is far more a community than a weekend riding club.

Have you considered a used "adventure bike" Take a look at the 82 BMW R-80 is written up in the November 03 issue of "Rider" retrospective. As the writer states, the 797.5 cc engine was the best boxer BMW has ever built.

I may have missed it in the article, but a real advantage to that motor is that itÂ’s three inches narrower. In the trees it can make the difference of getting there or turning around. Used Cagivas are money pits. I know I own one- bought it new but itÂ’s a parts pig now.

There are great dual purpose bikes from the big four floating around, sometimes in the back of garages, sometimes in the wood pile. You can often buy them of peanuts.

If you buy a spider farm, be sure to get expert advice on rehabilitating it. DONÂ’T start it without prepping it.

Of the new bikes; SuzukiÂ’s adventure leaning 650 V twins are loved by their owners, even though the radiator is too vulnerable. ItÂ’s the DP I would buy today. The Europeans have had the model longer than us and have more accessories designed to address the bikes few shortcomings.

I donÂ’t know many with the 1000 cc version. On its face it seems odd; more power for a different drum?

happy trails
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:48 AM   #27
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Default KTM All the Way!

Although I don't own one, I have to agree that the KTM 950 Adventure is THE all purpose bike. It will do all you ask of it, and if you are willing to put on true dirt tires or true street tires it'll do even more. Please write about it and let us know what it's like to own one. Heck, I haven't even seen one yet.

What's that GSXR 400 like? Sounds like a real screamer.

Singles and Twins Forever!
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:45 PM   #28
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

I would agree with you that the r 100 series gs bmw is not the right bike for eastern enduros. Having owned over 30 different motorcycles of all varieties, and putting over 100,000 miles on my trusty old gs. It is in my estimation the best all round motorcycle built to date. It is much lighter than the later model gs bikes, but still has enought power to tour two up on steep moutain passes. You are also right that the r 80 version, which I also own one of, is a marginally better off road choice, however with luggage and a passenger it just has to be flogged to hard for comfortable high speed touring. VWW
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Old 11-18-2003, 01:29 PM   #29
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

It looks like I should trade the VFR in on a FZ6, keep the H1A and add a KLR or DR650. The VFR has been faultless for 51,000 km and needs a new home with a rider doing less distance in a year. Maybe 3 bikes is enough.
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Old 11-18-2003, 01:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: Minimum Number of Bikes

Are you crazy? Get a KLR 650! Cheap, lots of support. and you wont cry when you drop it. These bikes a great on and off road. I know this! Keep the stock knobbies for off road and get a set of Metzler Tourance tires for street duty. SuperTrapp make a great pipe for it too.

Just stay off the interstate!
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