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Old 07-10-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
arizonagerg
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

First Post! Woo-hoo! Finally.



Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:16 PM   #2
sportbikebandit
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

Interesting comparo. Fun read. Nice photos. Thanks MO!
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

Looks like lots of fun. I'm sure it took a couple mules and wagons to haul all of Sean's food though.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

Interesting comparo; I have just returned from Sweden where I had an opportunity to compare the [unavailable in the U.S.] Highland 950 V-twin adventure bikes with the KTM 950 offering during several hours of rural Swedish back-road bashing. The KTM is indeed nicely refined and rides much lighter and nimbler than its size and heft would indicate. Having said that, the unexpectedly high vibration levels at any and all engine speeds were annoying and curious in light of the twin balance shaft architecture of the motor.



However, the Highland, in all 3 iterations [Motard, Allroad, and Adventure] simply blows the KTM away. Sportbike HP, coupled with dirtbike torque and racebike handling makes an unreal package. And, little vibration from a non-balance shaft V-twin which, by the way, is the lightest currently on the planet. The entire bike is a [relative] feather-weight at 360 lbs., dry. If I had a complaint, it is that the Highland is a little too "racy" - not surprising since it is the product of a partnership of ex-motocross and speedway racing stars and engineers from the halycon days of Husqvarna and Husaberg. The seat, peg and bar ergonomics work to push you forward over the tank with elbows splayed and on your toes. Great in the dirt but less so at high speed on pavement. Having said that, on a "technical" road course such a Louden, I would bet my Vanson leather suit I could lap faster on the Highland than on my full-race Buell Thunderbike class machine. As for canyon dicing, it would give a current liter-class sportbike fits.



Oh, I forgot to mention, the price is obscene [$16K], even in Europe, but it IS basically a hand-built homolgation special that employs all the best bits available for every single function screwed together by guys who know how these hybrid bikes are supposed to work.

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Old 07-11-2005, 02:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

At last someone had the smarts to realize that if you can go on a dirt road you can't do adventure touring. Also, the KLR still has a seat height of 35 inches. In the rocks, that is up there for the neophyte. If you're new to off-roading, it may take some time to get used to, and then appreciate, that long reach to the ground. Good test.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

I've heard and read that the Tiger with a couple of suspension modes and different tires makes for a rather nice bike. Even Triumph agrees this is a street biased bike with the only off road duty is a non paved road. Still you can get Tigers for a great price and decent financing. You can do a lot with 3K differents up to the KTM. Hands down the KTM rocks. Them and BMW invented this catagory (sorry BMW, 19k?!). My original level of pain for any motorcycle was about 10k. I've now moved that up to 15k (staying under $300 for a payment) and I simply can't see that for the BMW sorry to say (I got a 1 year old 999 new off the floor for 14k this year. Amazing machine...) Only drawback to the KTM is the seat which is a easy fix..
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

What was it that you couldn't resist?
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

Well done test, interesting comments and conclusions. Personally would have liked to see the BMW F650 included, either in GS or P-D configurations. Having put many miles on the GS version of a 650, and ridden the new 1200 GS, my preference still lies with the 650 version. Physically smaller and lighter in weight than a 1200 GS, less vibration and a better road bike than the KLR, it may well have rated higher than you might think. Oh well, maybe next time!
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

Great review. Wish you had included the 650 BMW, would have been interesting. I guess I'm a less is more kind of guy - I love my DR 650 for adventure touring (tho' I had to add a Corbin seat or I never would have ridden the thing over 100 miles again, and the big IMS tank helps a lot too). And I avoid interstates like the plague - which is easy enough to do here in Colorado.
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Adventure Touring: Go There, Go Anywhere

With Gabe's delicate features, I thought he was thrilled to find a boy scout camp.
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