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  #1  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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Singles in N America?

Is a single cylinder bike suitable for a tour of the West US/Canada. I ask this (silly?) question as the mileages between the areas i'm likely to be interested in are that much further than those of my Euro trip, and on much straighter roads.
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Old 14 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
Is a single cylinder bike suitable for a tour of the West US/Canada. I ask this (silly?) question as the mileages between the areas i'm likely to be interested in are that much further than those of my Euro trip, and on much straighter roads.
I asked myself the same question recently (having had a 650 single for an Africa trip) and decided the answer was - probably not. So I bought an Africa Twin to go to S. & N. America.

The Dominator I had before was great (perfect I reckon) until I got to the gleaming tarmac highways of South Africa, where it all felt a bit wheezy with the luggage on.

It was only a "need a bit more power next time" thing though. Of course you could do it on a 125 etc etc etc...
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  #3  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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It all depends on where you want to ride and what kind of roads .
My son has been touring western Canada on his DRZ 400SM having a great time on the twisty BC roads ,but bored to death on the Alberta prairie flat roads and being passed all the time by big trucks .

My personal preference would be for a bigger bike ,if you "wanna run with the big dogs" - most pick ups these days are capable of 100 mph ,it's good to have a performance advantage over the cagers .
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Old 14 Aug 2008
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Touring vs Passing through

I agree with Dodger it all depends on where you want to go.

I have a KLR650 which I ride when I want to go exploring and am in no big hurry. On occasion my wife comes along on her TW200.

On the other hand I have a Triumph Trophy 1200 for those days when I want to get someplace and plan to take the higher speed highways.

So the short of it is yes you can do it all on a large single but do you want to.

Have fun

Rick
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Old 14 Aug 2008
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Cheers People for this input. I have "toured" said areas as a backpacker on the Greyhound but want to get to the places i couldn't get to that way i.e. anywhere other than the major cities. My XT600 runs happiest at about 100km/h but i'd probably just be a hazard on a main road, if i recall the speeds the Big Rigs motor at.The real back roads would be fine, i guess, but it's the getting inbetween the slower areas i'm thinking about as these distances can be big...
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Old 15 Aug 2008
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The single bikes are fine till you get on some of the congested roads with the big trucks. It seems it is a race with them wanting to pass at 80 mph after you over took them on hills. But there are alot of travelers here using F650's, KLRs, or modified dual sports that are smaller. The main factor is route planning to avoid speeding traffic if you are thinking safely to get out of the way. I just rode out of New York City on an F 650 without any problems and it is great for dual sport riding instead of some giant bike. It can be done and so what if you have to down shift to pass a vehicle.
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Old 15 Aug 2008
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Quote:
I just rode out of New York City on an F 650 without any problems and it is great for dual sport riding instead of some giant bike.
Cheers, Statdawg. I wasn't thinking of a Giant Bike, more a SV650-type bike as my old one really impressed me - i reckon fitted with dualsport tyres one'd be ok for dirt roads with it's light weight and slim profile...
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Old 15 Aug 2008
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Mollydog (Patrick, if i recall?), yet another super-informative and wordy response, a veritable Oracle! Interesting about the slower speeds due to the gas prices, doesn't seem to be replicated here in England, or Europe in general .I've managed to get my old job back after 14 weeks riding around this remarkable Continent, but that meant giving a time-bar of a couple of years before the next lengthy jaunt (hopefully across the Pond).But the planning is as fun as the trip IMHO. Planning on the National Park areas in the West (your patch...) and more BC/Yukon.Great pics, by the way.
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Old 16 Aug 2008
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Arrow

I think a 650 single is perfectly fine for riding one-up in most of the USA. There are a few stretches of interstate (I'm thinking I-5 in southern California) where the average pace of traffic is 75 to 85 MPH, and if it's busy you may feel a bit stressed.
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Old 16 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
Cheers, Statdawg. I wasn't thinking of a Giant Bike, more a SV650-type bike as my old one really impressed me - i reckon fitted with dualsport tyres one'd be ok for dirt roads with it's light weight and slim profile...
Pottsy,

My wife has ridden her SV650 all over calif, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. She rarely had trouble keeping up w/ me on the slab, and my bikes have been between 800 - 1000 cc. Course, i carry most of the luggage.

The SV's pretty bomb proof.
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Old 16 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post

So many mountain ranges to discover, hundreds of high passes to cross and a ton of wide open nothing, where you won't see another car for 2 hours.
Twisty roads abound and dirt and dual sport roads you can literally cross the country on. You can go, for example from Minden, Nevada all the way into Utah, all on dirt roads, and its not hard. See pics.

For just a tiny taste of what you will see check just a few pics of Utah and some other areas shown below.

California alone is a Gem. My favorite areas are the north west quadrant.
The Lost Coast Area, Trinity Alps, and the Sierra/Nevada. Now, with the weak dollar you will be fighting off German tourists in Mini -Vans. They all have a nearly identical itinerary .... Ya ya, ve fly in Las Vegas, undt ve rent ze mini van undt now we go to Death Valley .... in July ... 53C !! seriously, they are fine and are really helping the very poor economies in a lot of small towns in the middle of nowhere!


Jeez, Mollydog!

Absolutely stunning pics! Have you got a public gallery with some hints where the photos were taken?

Hans
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Old 21 Aug 2008
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Wow!!

Thx mate!

Such pics should be BANNED from the HUBB, cause they make you want to leave immediately. Highly infectious
I remember having looked at the Baja photos a while ago.


Actually you could open a homepage listing interesting trails including a short description ;-) Yeah, I know, lots of work behind that...


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Old 3 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
Is a single cylinder bike suitable for a tour of the West US/Canada. I ask this (silly?) question as the mileages between the areas i'm likely to be interested in are that much further than those of my Euro trip, and on much straighter roads.

hey Pottsy!

Well, I would have to say your XT is fine, but I personally would prefer a bigger bike if you were planning to stay on the highway alot. If y ou are gonna try the dempster or some of the more adventurous dirt roads, the single would be good.

Keep in mind the mountains, and the weight + load onthe bike. Thats a factor, as is breaking and Handling on steep incline and declines with said weight. Especially with the dew. Now, with that said, you will also find that in the mountains you wont run into alot of traffic unless in peak seasons, and even then its nto that bad. Fuel and range are something to consider. As fuel here is not exactly cheap anymore. Its very cheap right now at 112.9 a litre for the 81 octane cheap stuff. It has been in the 135-140s for the cheap stuff already this year. Only reason its cheap is the cost of oil is down with the market crashes etc.. This wont remain for too long, if it makes it to the end of Oct Id be shocked.

So basically, try to figure out your route, consider the amount of off road you will do and go from there. You could get more miles in a day on something a little bigger and with less maintenance, not to mention, the stress factor. Keep in mind, most highways are 80-110kph with the majority at 100kph. and NO ONE does 100 in a 100. I do 130-140 and get passed ALOT, even some semis pass me. But I think 80% of the cars would be doing about 120Kph on the highways. Obviously nto the case in the mountians.

If your travels take you into Ontario, you can crash at my place in Southern Ontario, and put the bike in the garage if you like and get some work done on it. Im no mechanic, but I dont mind assisting ya. I can also help you with routes and stuff in Ontario, if you like. I can help with all of Canada, but Im sure there are better choices of people for the provinces I dont live in.

Best of luck, and Im sure no matter what bike you choose, you will be happy. Just remember, the Dempster is a monster, and eats tires, so bring spares, and its fairly rough ride too. Lots of videos on Youtube to attest to this. Oh, there was a serious on tv on the OLN channel called Destinations, and they had one where they drove a pickup north to inuvik, and took the dempster. Im sure you can find that on the net someplace.

Cheers, and dont be a stranger if you find yourself in my neck of the woods!
Gary
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Old 3 Oct 2008
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Wow Patrick, those are some good quality pics. You must have a solid camera. Impressive quality indeed!
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Old 5 Oct 2008
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SWM seeking... damb, wrong kind of singles...

im the earlier mentioned son on a drz going round bc. the 400 supermoto was perfect for the tighter roads in and around the mountains. the roads in alberta where boring, but to be honest i don't think that had much to do with the bike. long, straight prairie roads are going to suck no matter what bike you take (unless your one of those cruiser types who seem to love sitting in the same position looking cool all day). a friend of mine rode thru saskatchewan and manitoba on his sv650 and seemed to have the same opinion, he was just bored at a higher speed. id say take the bike your comfortable with, and if traffic bothers you, pick a different highway.
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