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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 11 Feb 2004
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Phoenix AZ USA
Posts: 133
KTM v. others, pannier & insurance considerations

My finances suggest that I consider all factors when purchasing a motorcycle. After riding my Dakar to the last Horizons meeting, I decided to get something that would eat the miles easier than the F650.

This isn't a knock on the F650. At 6'2" and 220 pounds, it's simply not my cup of tea for getting down the slabs at 80-90 mph.

One nice-to-have would be that the Jesse panniers I purchased used would fit any new bike. It's not a requirement but it would be nice.

Another requirement would be that the insurance wouldn't increase by a huge amount. I figured that would be tough.

My riding style and road preferences is quite simple. I like dirt roads but in the western US and Phoenix in particular, you have to get on the interstate at times to get to the better dirt roads. :-)

Last year, I really thought about getting a V-Strom. Proven bike, great engine. etc.

The increase in insurance costs was the same as that for a BMW 1150 GS... about $300 per year...and the bags that fit an F650 will fit the V-Strom but not a GS.... that essentially ruled out the GS.

I decided to check out the KTM Adventure. Other than a rock-hard seat, it seemed to fit my criteria. More dirt-oriented, long-legged in both size and speed. The Jesses will fit with only a need for a new rack and the insurance increase was only about $60. (There must be some kind of line at the 1000CC mark for insurance companies!)

I looked around and found a dealer desperate to unload four of them at essentially cost. I have to admit that it's pretty much a niche bike. You have to like it's looks and being tall doesn't hurt. Even the regular model can be intimidating with the seat height.

The easiest part was convincing my wife. That took 2 minutes, selling my Dakar took another 10-minutes, calling the dealer and having a buy-order confirmed was 30-minutes and the rest was simple. A quick trip to Al Jesse's shop to pick up the new racks and one of his guys even installed those bits for me.

I'm pretty happy. Got a trip planned to Utah in early May and then there's the Horizons Meeting in Oct. My wife is headed home to Brazil in early April so I'll probably sneak in a quick weekend Mexico trip then too.

If you set your criteria, the choice can be pretty simple and it can be accomplished without a lot of stress.

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