The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Recommedations(general and specific)would be appreciated for tires which would fit my street bike but give me a bit of a leg up on rougher gravel and dirt roads. Two friends and I did a satisfying trip from Vancouver to the Yukon this summer and are now contemplating a run down the Baja and further into Mexico. We hope to get off pavement to some extent. The other two bikes are dual purpose singles but mine is a pure street 750 Kawasaki ZR7-S, a much under-appreciated, smooth, simple, reliable,standard-ish motorcycle which makes an excellent long distance tourer with bar risers and a higher windshield. I am loathe to dump it in favour of a vibrating thumper.
Some gravel stretches on the northern voyage taught me that the bike can handle them, but slowly and carefully. I'd like to improve the off pavement handling and speed if possible, and the only practical option seems to be a change of tires. Any suggestions received with thanks.
Originally posted by scdan3: don't know about tyres, but the engine in the zr7 is bombproof. maybe not such a ridiculous choice...
Nothingto do with reliability. Correct tyre fitment & choice is important.
Regular four cylinder bikes are far from ideal when riding offroad. Twins & singles are better, longer time between the power pulses to the tyre. All of this is well documented should you care to research it.
I have had friends use the Avon Distanzia (I'm getting those the next time I need tires) and be very happy with them. They made them for the Super Motard bikes, so you get a grippy tire that handles dirt/gravel roads and comes in 120/70-17 for the front and up to 160/60-17 rear, both radial.
i saw a guy who was riding a gsx r 750 to cape york in north of australia he removed the lower fairing and had made fork exteders to raise the front,but it looked like a nightmare to ride and the guys with him on there bmw.s were always waiting for him , i think the whole power thing was just wrong even though it was lighter than the gs 1150 beemers
mission impossible 2 - worst pile of crap of a movie I've seen for ages, but they had a Ducati and a Triumph on what looked like T63s or Deserts.
I got almost as far up a ski run on a GPz550 as I did on a knobbly KLR650. no snow and big back-flip off the KLR!
Clarifying my question further...I'm notlooking to cope with anything beyond reasonably flat dirt and gravel roads. I am looking to overcome that insecure somewhat squirrely feeling that holds my streetbike to less than 40 unhappy kph under those conditions. And that feeling, intuitively does seem to come from the tires, not the suspension or geometry of the machine. On a temporarily gravel stretch of the Alaska Highway this summer my 650 KLR co-adventurer came blasting by me but he was riding on knobbies. I do suspect that if you were to put pure street tires on that KLR he'd be just as slow as I was.
I considered purchasing such bikes as the 650 Vstrom and the 650GS but no one ever persuasively explained to me why those machines would deal with half decent dirt/gravel roads any better than my 4 cylinder Kawasaki (other than tires).
The Distanzia's will be great on gravel/dirt roads, that is what they are really made for (mixed surface Super Motard tires available street legal).
To answer your question about why the Vstrom or 650GS would do better, it is not just the tires but the wheel size. If you look at successful road race bikes, they have 17" front wheels. If you look at successful off-road race bikes, they have 21" front wheels. If you look at successful flat-trak bikes (dirt oval), they have 19" front wheels. The slicker the surface, the longer and skinnier you want your contact patch. For best performance on tarmac, you follow the road race bikes. For best performance where there are no roads, you follow the true off-road bikes. If you are on dirt roads that get graded once in a blue moon and have ruts, then you follow the flat trackers, since that is what they race on.
You should be fine on your bike with decent dual purpose tires (the Distanzia, again, being one of the only ones that will fit). You won't be as fast as you would on a DL650 of F650GS, but you will still have fun. I would personally keep the bike you have. If you have so much fun on your trip that you want a bike designed more for that kind of trip, go shopping when you get back.
Somehting that is VERY important to improve the feel of a street bike on dirt/gravel rtoads, is to lower the tire pressures.
Dirt bikes often run as low as 6 psi in the mud, or 12 psi on gravel roads. I'd drop the pressure on your street bike to around 20psi - you'll find a huge difference in how it feels, and by not going quite so low, give your rims some protection.
Carry an electric tire pump to bump the pressure back up when you hit the pavement, or if you're young and strong carry a quality double action bicycle pump.
FWIW - 100mph on good gravel on a pure street bike is quite possible - lower pressures and experience go a long way - so get the tire pressures down and practice!
Changing tires to something less street oriented isn't a bad idea either - lots of good suggestions above.
I was looking for info on the internet about the differences between dirt bikes, street and trail, and regular motorcycles. I do not own a motorcycle but would like to purchase a used one, inexpensive and comfortable to ride from PA to Alaska. I also of course have to buy weather appropriate gear, a helmet, learn to ride and get a motorcycle license. This is something of a long term project. I just moved to PA from Alaska a couple months ago.
Any suggestions on where I can access more information?
Hi Littlewolf, I`m new to this site , myself, but from what I`ve read on the forums you seem to be in the right place for advice. Don`t worry about being a newbie, we all started sometime, just keep asking questions of everyone and soon you`ll collect everything you need to make the right choice of bike. Easiest one to answer for you tho is whats the difference. Well, think about what kind of roads you`ll be riding. Dirt bike for dirt roads, street bike for street etc. Personally I`d be looking at something with not too much power (yet) four stroke engine, light weight. Maybe something like 400cc enduro/ trail bike. Whatever you do tho`, keep the dream alive and you`ll get there.
I would suggest you do an msf course.. it will help get your licence, and reduce your insurance. the best riding you can do is with any old ( preferably single cylinder) bike in a field. learn to ride fast, and slow doing very slow figure of 8's and 'drifting it on corners at speed. This will improve your reactions when you graduate to the road. remember to become equally familiar with both right and left turns
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