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I am thinking of adding an adventure bike to the stable, just wondering if anyone has suggestions. Specifically concerned with maintenance, luggage capacity, and cost of ownership, and of course the ride comfort. Haven't ridden off-road for 15 years. Thanks.
 

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What you want to do with it will dictate what you should buy. Do you want an Adventure/tourer like the GS1200, Super Tenere, KTM 1290. Do you want a light off road like a VStrom or a more dirt worthy bike like the XR650L, DR650, KLR650?
 

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I'd have to vote for a KTM 690. Plenty of aftermarket parts, proven performance, and established dealer network. You already own a "road" dog, find something you can enjoy. KLRs are cheap now too. Pretty simple , too. There are forums for Adv riders too. Have fun. I love the GW, and my KTM 990. It would be nice if the 990 were a little lighter...
 

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In 2014 I rented a KLR650 in Anchorage, rode from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and then rode the Dalton Highway 414 miles all the way to Deadhorse, Alaska (Prudhoe Bay). For those of you who have ridden the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse, you already know that a minimum amount of moisture turns this mostly dirt and gravel road to slime. After completing this journey, I was convinced that the KLR 650 was the right tool for the job. And since they stopped production of the KLR650 for 2019 after 31 years in production, they can be had on the cheap.
 

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If maintenance is a concern, I'd look at the KLR or one of two Hondas: the Africa Twin (if you do more on road/fire road) or the CRF 450L.
 

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I am thinking of adding an adventure bike to the stable, just wondering if anyone has suggestions. Specifically concerned with maintenance, luggage capacity, and cost of ownership, and of course the ride comfort. Haven't ridden off-road for 15 years. Thanks.
R1200GS, Super Tenere, K1290 Super Adventure R, Africa Twin, Tiger Explorer.

:doorag:
 

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When it comes to REAL off roading, lighter is better. If you do it all 1-up, a VStrom 650 is a good bike for fire roads/forest service trails. With knobbies, it could go into rougher stuff. But, I prefer shaft drive. Too bad R80 and R100 GS' are so expensive.
 
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I never did do any "real" off roading. but I did put a lot of miles back road touring on this KLR, the most relaxing rides ever, the pace was slowed down considerably, One of the reasons I really liked it was I wasn't worried about taking a less traveled road. On the freeway, not so much, I always felt, the motor was straining at speed, The KLR is a very old design (I don't think they are being produced anymore) but for a nice relaxed ride through the back country, a good choice, I am not sure of it's off road capabilities. I think there are better, because of lack of use I recently sold it, No regrets, jmop

 

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Really depends on how much dirt as a % of street,, how difficult of dirt, and how long of a daily ride you'll be doing.

If it's 80% street and 20% easy dirt with 300 mile days. Get something like a R12GS, Sup10, 1290 SupAdv.

If 50/50 and the dirt is more technical or challenging. Maybe an Africa Twin or a KTM 1090R or for a bit slower, maybe a KLR or DRZ.

If more dirt, shorter distances or lots of tough and technical off road, a 690 or BMW 800GS or XR650R might be good choices.

Lots of choices out there.

Personally I have a GS12 for the tamer dirt rides and WR450 for the really nasty ones.
 
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If you want any off road, don't get anything bigger than a DR650.
My KLR 650 was only fun on dirt roads, no single track fun. You could do it, but it wasn't fun.
I now have a VStrom 1000, love it, but nothing worse than dirt roads for it.
 

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If you want any off road, don't get anything bigger than a DR650.
My KLR 650 was only fun on dirt roads, no single track fun. You could do it, but it wasn't fun.
I now have a VStrom 1000, love it, but nothing worse than dirt roads for it.

I'm curious as to your take on V strom on off road capabilities? Many on the ADVriders forum have Vstroms, many are 650 not 1000. Why wouldn't a Vstrom 650 tackle 80/20 road to dirt or even 50/50 with moderate dirt roads? I'm curious because they all say Vstroms are basically maintenance free and you can mod them to do both roads and dirt..
 

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Most adventure bikes I've seen, have RARELY, ever seen the dirt, mud, or woods. Maybe a bit of gravel, or a DNR Fire trail. That's an expensive experiment, if you haven't done any real off-road riding. You should be able to rent one, or maybe a friend has one, you can try out, before you drop the $$$. Off road riding is a blast, just make sure that's what you want.
 

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What you want to do with it will dictate what you should buy. Do you want an Adventure/tourer like the GS1200, Super Tenere, KTM 1290. Do you want a light off road like a VStrom or a more dirt worthy bike like the XR650L, DR650, KLR650?
I own a VStrom 650 and can tell you it is a pig in the dirt. A very skillful rider would of course be able to make it do tricks, but for the average weekend explorer it is too heavy for anything but improved dirt and forest service roads.

However, I do like the Suzuki's and the DR650 gets my vote for a dirt-worthy, easy to handle, cheap to maintain, reliable as a rock, infinitely customizable dual sport. Back in July 2010 two buddies and I rode most of the Continental Divide Trail. It was an epic trip.

The rider from Florida trucked his bike out and met us in New Mexico. My other buddy and I left Alabama on July 5, took US 82 to near Amarillo, TX, angled southwest across Texas and New Mexico, got on I-10 near Alamogordo, and then crossed the desert to get to Silver City, NM, where we got on the trail.

Three weeks later we got off the trail up on the northeast side of Yellowstone.

Below is one from the trip out. I'll dig up a few more and post via edit.




We had the knobbies installed at a shop in Silver City. Here is another taken on July 10.


Even grossly overloaded the DR650 performed flawlessly. The only problem I had was after taking on a tank of rotten fuel. After that was flushed out of the system the bike was back to normal.

We rode just at 5,500 miles round trip. I had installed a Sargent low-seat that took the pain out of the long days in the saddle.
 

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I am thinking of adding an adventure bike to the stable, just wondering if anyone has suggestions. Specifically concerned with maintenance, luggage capacity, and cost of ownership, and of course the ride comfort. Haven't ridden off-road for 15 years. Thanks.
I have a Kawasaki Versys 1000 for sale. Beautiful bike. Great adventure bike for straddling both worlds - on road and off road. But I've just bought a 2012 Wing. Can't justify both.


I'm in Brighton, ON. Check out my Kijiji ad. https://www.kijiji.ca/v-sport-touri...ed/1404707888?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

I considered the info below before making my purchase.

Top Ten AdventureBikes for the Road (Visor Down) http://www.visordown.com/features/top-10-adventure-bikes-road http://www.visordown.com/features/7-kawasaki-versys-1000
1. KTM 1290 Super Adventure S (the S is the road-biasedversion. Powered by a 1301cc V-twin,with 160hp and 73 lb/ft torque on tap, KTM’s big adventure bike isn’t short onthe kind of power that’ll see you crossing borders with regularity and ease. The 1290 Super Adventure really excels whenit comes to technology – IMU, traction control, cornering ABS, riding modes,semi-active suspension and a quickshifter. The result is a bike that delivers asuperb ride experience and flatters you while encouraging an ever increasingturn of speed.
2. BMW R1200GS (The recently launched R1200GS Rallye is thebig GS that’s really designed to cut it off-road and while the standard bikecan handle some trails, it’s definitely at its best on the road….. where itdelivers a sumptuous, comfortable and accomplished ride experience thatinspires going out and getting lost and if that’s not the sign of a goodroad-biased adventure bike, we’re not sure what is
3. Ducati Multistrada 1200/S (THIS HAS TO be one of thegreatest adventure tourers ever. Itcomes on dual purpose tyres as standard, so can handle a little light off roaduse, but stick some dedicated road rubber on it and this is a bike that offersa near-unsurpassed blend of road riding reward.)
4. BMW S1000XR
5. Triumph Tiger Explorer (six variations - top spec XCa has all the goodies)
6. MV Agusta Turismo Veloce
7. Kawasaki Versys 1000
8. Honda VFR800X Crossrunner
9. Honda CB500X
10. Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Visor Down Top fivebig adventure bikes for off-road (http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-top-10s/top-five-big-adventure-bikes-road)
1. Honda Africa Twin(The CRF1000L Africa Twin remains possibly the most natural-feeling off-roaderof the big adventure bike class, the one that feels most like an actualoff-road bike.)
2. BMW R1200GS Rallye
3. KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
4. Triumph Tiger 800 XCx (bit smaller)
5. Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
 

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Don’t rule out the Honda VFR1200X crosstour. V4 power and Honda reliability. A bit heavy for technical off-road use but definitely an adventure bike capable of the long haul. I will be riding mine from Texas to Alaska next June.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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"Adventure" is loosely defined. Some riders consider an adventure bike to be any street bike in what I call "adventure drag." The VStrom series, for example. Mine has the OEM Suzuki metal cases, top box, and other amenities. All things being equal, it's a street bike in a weird costume.

So when you say adventure are you looking for bike that is truly off-road capable, or or one that fits the "image."

It gets worse. There is a guy locally who rides to every Thursday evening bike night on a showroom shiny Africa Twin. He's dressed out in $1,200 worth of textile gear that has never been exposed to dust, much less mud. Kind of sad, really...

Another consideration for riding off road is this: "Can I pick the thing up unassisted, in dirt or mud? That answer alone may narrow the decision to just a few choices.

Next on my list is ease of maintenance. The DR650 requires a periodic valve adjustment that can be done with ordinary tools - no high dollar special tools needed. I adjusted mine at 600 miles for the required break-in tweak, checked them again at 3,500 miles, and again at 7,000 miles. They had not moved from the break-in adjustment. Those types of things strongly shaped the choice of the DR for my local bud and I.
 
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