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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.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #16  
Old 13 May 2018
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Originally Posted by tremens View Post
and we have now preparation of new ktm 500 ex for motonomad III





I just watched that one this week. Been following Adam's series since the first video. Cinematography is incredible.
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  #17  
Old 14 May 2018
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Originally Posted by msamsen View Post
I love my 350 EXC-F. However, I would personally not consider it for any significant travel. Comfort aside, the biggest issue is service intervals. With a 15 hour service interval, you’re looking at every other day, or every third day. That means sourcing the parts and oil and doing the work. You could be spending a significant portion of your travel time on routine maintenance.
Perhaps you mean "lack" of comfort aside"!
Totally agree, although when traveling, you could probably push that oil change interval a bit, since most times you won't be riding at race pace. But point certainly made!
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Originally Posted by msamsen View Post
Last year, while already planning to purchase the 350 EXC-F, I picked up a DRZ 400S to ride the Trans America Trail on. Though not as light or nimble, it was a super, maintenance free (one routine oil change and tire swap required) across the country. IMO, that bike is much better suited for adventure travel than a KTM. (I traded the DRZ in on the KTM when I returned.)
Yep! And my guess is when it comes time for another long range trip ...you go back Suzuki or similar for travel.

Ready To Race not required for long range travel. But I've literally been beating this drum for 20 years ... and I thought for sure by now KTM would have stepped up and built a strong, reliable, easy to maintain dual sport, a sort of "Suzuki Like" Dual Sport/Adventure bike.

In the old days it was a given the KTM would break down in some way.
KTM better now of course ... but still we don't see all that many average, non mechanical types traveling in hordes on KTM's.

I thought sure by now the old Japanese nails would be long dead and buried ... yet they are still relevant. (Honda XR-L, Yamaha XT600/660, Suzuki DR/DRZ, Kawi KLR)
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  #18  
Old 15 May 2018
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My 450EXC was completely reliable. I did have the head worked with SS valves and added an oil cooler to double the oil capacity. Still, it was a well used and abused motorcross bike from the previous owner. The rear plastic shroud around the subframe was split in two, suggesting that the bike had been in a pretty heavy crash ( I didn't see this until I dismantled the bike in the garage). I had the head off and didn't even touch the bottom end. I split the cam chain, dismantled the top end, and then put it all back together and it was fine for reliability. For comfort...well...that's a whole different story. haha
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  #19  
Old 15 May 2018
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It's amazing what a good seat can do for a previously unrideable bike!
Like your KTM, my DR650 was impossible to ride (for me) more than about an hour on the stock seat. A true POS torture rack.

I've ridden (and owned) KTM's for years and only my two Dukes ('01 Duke 2 and 2017 690 Duke) had marginally OK seats. Both those seats were tolerable, especially the 690 Duke, which I rode 6 to 8 hour days on.
Not great but doable.

Your 450, if fitted with a nice WIDE custom seat like a Corbin may surprise you.
A real seat made from premium materials by Pros can really make a difference for all day comfort. Using things like Sheep skins or air pads are, IMO, half measures. Something like an Air Hawk can help ... but can you do 10 hour days with it as your only buffer between a crap plank and you? Width and shape, IMO are key to comfort.

I'm quite sure the Corbin on my DR650 is the only reason I could ride back to back long days on that bike. Others make good seats and some, like James Renazco, specialize in making custom seats for KTM.
Renazco Dual Sport Seats

Back to the BMW G310. I'm sure both Corbin and Renazco will be jumping in to build a seat for this new bike.
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  #20  
Old 15 May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
It's amazing what a good seat can do for a previously unrideable bike!
Like your KTM, my DR650 was impossible to ride (for me) more than about an hour on the stock seat. A true POS torture rack.

I've ridden (and owned) KTM's for years and only my two Dukes ('01 Duke 2 and 2017 690 Duke) had marginally OK seats. Both those seats were tolerable, especially the 690 Duke, which I rode 6 to 8 hour days on.
Not great but doable.

Your 450, if fitted with a nice WIDE custom seat like a Corbin may surprise you.
A real seat made from premium materials by Pros can really make a difference for all day comfort. Using things like Sheep skins or air pads are, IMO, half measures. Something like an Air Hawk can help ... but can you do 10 hour days with it as your only buffer between a crap plank and you? Width and shape, IMO are key to comfort.

I'm quite sure the Corbin on my DR650 is the only reason I could ride back to back long days on that bike. Others make good seats and some, like James Renazco, specialize in making custom seats for KTM.
Renazco Dual Sport Seats

Back to the BMW G310. I'm sure both Corbin and Renazco will be jumping in to build a seat for this new bike.
I put a Seat Concepts wide seat on it. A chainsaw with two wheels still rides like a chainsaw with two wheels.

I am going to get an AirHawk to put on my Benelli down here. I'm hoping that it'll help my bum.
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  #21  
Old 15 May 2018
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
... but still we don't see all that many average, non mechanical types traveling in hordes on KTM's.
main reason would be the high price of KTM IMO, bikes like DRZ or XR have cheap components. With KTM you get very good suspension, wheels, hydraulic levers, motor out of the box. You don't really have to put more money into it.
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  #22  
Old 15 May 2018
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ktm 500 exc as adventure bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tremens View Post
main reason would be the high price of KTM IMO, bikes like DRZ or XR have cheap components. With KTM you get very good suspension, wheels, hydraulic levers, motor out of the box. You don't really have to put more money into it.


This is certainly true. For travel, just add luggage for the most part.
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  #23  
Old 17 May 2018
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BTW, that kiwi guy Aaron S. is still riding after New Zealand to Oregon, then to Alaska trip. Currently in Europe and just hit 75000 km on his ktm 500 exc! amazing. No faults, no engine rebuild I believe.
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  #24  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by tremens View Post
BTW, that kiwi guy Aaron S. is still riding after New Zealand to Oregon, then to Alaska trip. Currently in Europe and just hit 75000 km on his ktm 500 exc! amazing. No faults, no engine rebuild I believe.
And I do not envy him!
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  #25  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by tremens View Post
main reason would be the high price of KTM IMO, bikes like DRZ or XR have cheap components. With KTM you get very good suspension, wheels, hydraulic levers, motor out of the box. You don't really have to put more money into it.
The "cheap components" argument has been well disproven decades ago. A hydraulic clutch system does not make a KTM the better bike.

What components on Japanese dual sports do you consider "cheap"?
The Engine? Funny, a DRZ will outlast any KTM by double or more.
Suspension? Standard Showa and KYB is just as good an anything WP make. The difference is typically the spring rate and valving are OFF on the Jap bikes, the KTM more dialed in. But even so, most KTM riders I know (that's be a BIG number!) end up re-doing their suspension front and rear.

The other area KTM are good is that they have more modern chassis where the old DRZ and XR's are over 20 years old and never updated. So big advantage KTM here.

Should also be noted that in EU KTM is about same price as many Japanese bikes. In the USA, different situation as there are SO MANY used DRZ's and XR out there selling super cheap, fewer KTM's for sale and used one typically sell for more money.

XR Honda's haven't been made in 10 years now (* except XR650L), DRZ still in production as is DR650 and KLR.

KTM comes out with new models and different engines every few years. Some good ... some not so good! (see rocker arm disaster on 690's)

From a travelers perspective, many pick Japanese bikes for lower price (as you've said). Not many would walk away from a
$10,000 KTM, but an old KLR or DR could be abandon and rider may not take such a financial hit.
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  #26  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The "cheap components" argument has been well disproven decades ago. A hydraulic clutch system does not make a KTM the better bike.

What components on Japanese dual sports do you consider "cheap"?
The Engine? Funny, a DRZ will outlast any KTM by double or more.
Suspension? Standard Showa and KYB is just as good an anything WP make. The difference is typically the spring rate and valving are OFF on the Jap bikes, the KTM more dialed in. But even so, most KTM riders I know (that's be a BIG number!) end up re-doing their suspension front and rear.

The other area KTM are good is that they have more modern chassis where the old DRZ and XR's are over 20 years old and never updated. So big advantage KTM here.

Should also be noted that in EU KTM is about same price as many Japanese bikes. In the USA, different situation as there are SO MANY used DRZ's and XR out there selling super cheap, fewer KTM's for sale and used one typically sell for more money.

XR Honda's haven't been made in 10 years now (* except XR650L), DRZ still in production as is DR650 and KLR.

KTM comes out with new models and different engines every few years. Some good ... some not so good! (see rocker arm disaster on 690's)

From a travelers perspective, many pick Japanese bikes for lower price (as you've said). Not many would walk away from a
$10,000 KTM, but an old KLR or DR could be abandon and rider may not take such a financial hit.
Abandon!??!?! Nevarrrr!!!! Seriously though, people abandon their bikes?
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  #27  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by ThirtyOne View Post
Abandon!??!?! Nevarrrr!!!! Seriously though, people abandon their bikes?
Yes, abandon ... or sold very very cheap. Happens all the time from reports I've read. In the crazy Baja rides I mentioned many guys crashed and abandon their bikes. Some came back for them, some not. Some sold off ... some left where they broke in middle of the desert. The carcass of one such bike was there for years.

Here on HUBB you can find several cases of travelers on inexpensive Chinese bikes being given away or left.

I helped two Kiwi guys buy and set up two KLR's years ago ... one sold his off in Bolivia, the other gave it to a fellow traveler. Initial cost was around $2000 USD per bike. So, for a years service on the road for the "life time" trip, not a bad deal. Both these guys are pushing Prams now in NZ!

Quick! Your Adventure Window is closing down!
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  #28  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The "cheap components" argument has been well disproven decades ago. A hydraulic clutch system does not make a KTM the better bike.

What components on Japanese dual sports do you consider "cheap"?
oh please, wheels and suspension is the biggest one - even today all new honda crf250l or Africa Twin have crappy soft suspension and people change it right away. Same goes with very soft rims. Have you ridden on recent KTM bike at all? As far as the Japanese engines, usually under powered unit without character.


p.s.
and yes hydraulic clutch system makes ktm less troublesome and more maintenance free.
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  #29  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Yes, abandon ... or sold very very cheap. Happens all the time from reports I've read. In the crazy Baja rides I mentioned many guys crashed and abandon their bikes. Some came back for them, some not. Some sold off ... some left where they broke in middle of the desert. The carcass of one such bike was there for years.

Here on HUBB you can find several cases of travelers on inexpensive Chinese bikes being given away or left.

I helped two Kiwi guys buy and set up two KLR's years ago ... one sold his off in Bolivia, the other gave it to a fellow traveler. Initial cost was around $2000 USD per bike. So, for a years service on the road for the "life time" trip, not a bad deal. Both these guys are pushing Prams now in NZ!

Quick! Your Adventure Window is closing down!

Yes, I've noticed quite a few bikes in the classifieds here on HUBB that are in South America and the prices are ridiculously low. Makes me wonder if I should fly south, buy and travel north on the next big run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tremens View Post
oh please, wheels and suspension is the biggest one - even today all new honda crf250l or Africa Twin have crappy soft suspension and people change it right away. Same goes with very soft rims. Have you ridden on recent KTM bike at all? As far as the Japanese engines, usually under powered unit without character.


p.s.
and yes hydraulic clutch system makes ktm less troublesome and more maintenance free.
oh noes.

"Character" and "soul" are the two most nondescript words overused by journalists and bloggers. This is purely subjective. There is absolutely no measure for this. It's a stereotype and it's marketing. "Italian bikes have soul" "European bikes have character" "Japanese bikes have no soul." "Japanese bikes are purely mechanical. They have no character. They're functional, but they don't speak to my soul the way X does." Sound familiar? It's an idea that's been repeated so often that it's has become accepted as common "fact."

hogwash.
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  #30  
Old 17 May 2018
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Originally Posted by ThirtyOne View Post
"Character" and "soul" are the two most nondescript words overused by journalists and bloggers. This is purely subjective.
sure it's non descriptive, how can you describe feelings. But phenomenon is real, if you get erection while riding it's definitely real

Anyway, it's not the point here.
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