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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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  #1  
Old 26 Sep 2017
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Views on the husqvarna 701?

I would like to go from 2 off road/dual sport bikes to 1 and am wondering if the Husqvarna 701 is the answer. This would mean a bike i can ride on the TET, TAT and other 'off the beaten track' travel. What are your thoughts?

I currently ride a KTM Freeride 350 on 'green lanes' and events in the UK. Here's a typical event for me https://youtu.be/PYlA0YPyinc (skip through to 11 mins to get a feel for the terrain). The Freeride is perfect for me on this type of event but the limited tank range (55-60miles) means its has a limited range of usefulness.

I also have an XT660z in South Africa which i used for a Cape to Nairobi last year and will use for a week long South Africa tour at Christmas. However import rules mean i can't get this back to the UK.

I am considering selling both and getting the Husqvarna. I am about to turn 48, am 6ft, 100kgs and reasonably fit, and am a decidedly average dirt bike rider (at best). The XT (on K60s) was too much (too heavy) for me in the the tricky stuff in Africa. The Freeride (on MT43s) makes it so easy everywhere i feel like I am cheating (amazing for my confidence).

Pretty sure the Husky would do well in lieu of the XT660z but wonder if it would be way too much for me in lieu of the Freeride.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2017
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For Mollydog :-)


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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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I rented one for a week in Morocco and must admit I was not impressed at all, primarily due to the vibration. There was nothing wrong with the low-miler other than possibly worn out MT21s or similar.
But you'll be running similar tyres. And they say it's less hardcore than the 690...
I suppose I've gone soft (same size/skill-level as you); but briefly getting back on a clapped-out 100,000km old XR250 was like sinking into a bath of warm cream - heavenly!

https://adventure-motorcycling.com/2...-quick-review/

Other than that, the Picasso look is not to my taste ;-)
So make sure you have a good try before you buy.

I must say I have finally gone off big singles.
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  #4  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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I had high hopes for the CCM GP450, and nearly bought an ex demo one to take the place of my TTR250 on the trails and TDM 850 on the road. The lack of turning circle compared to the TTR was the only downside for me off road, but I've seen a few with various fuelling issues most likely to do with the over complicated fuel tank system, and I really wanted to rip off all that rallyesque fairing and put on a raised front mudguard to make it the trail version (that the factory tried, then hid away quickly for some reason.
So little choice in this area of the market. KLX450R? Build your own CRF500L twin? Orange?
I'm with you Chris - Picasso's ironing board is not to my taste either.
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  #5  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Never got round to trying a CCM but funnily enough I'm checking out a KLX450R later this week as an alternative to Orange. Anyone ever owned one?

Looking for a bike for Algeria – a supported tour not a travel bike.
After years of faffing about with do-it-all machines (a bit like the OP is trying to do) I am loath to buy such a purposeful racing machine only to have to sell it again right after as it's good for nothing else (for me). But they say it's the least purposeful in its class and actually quite easy to ride. I suspect that is all relative though.
I bet there's a mile-long thread on advrider on Adventurizing KLX450Rs.

i agree with the OP the XT660Z is a tank with a high CoG (weighs more than my XSR7) but tbh, if you've got the space, a TTR and a TDM sounds like a good combo.
Fyi one of the guys coming to Algeria is developing a 350 barrel for TTRs - he hopes to bring it with.

This the bit where I say: ''CRF450L, svp''
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  #6  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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been riding ktm 690 enduro r and didn't like bike geometry, for my height 6.1
riding position and handling didn't feel right. Husky 701 is very similar bike I believe with small, cosmetic changes so I would say test it first.

Have you thought about ktm 500 exc and getting bigger tank? IMO it has potential for replacing other bikes and be the one, although for longer trips
I still prefer heavier, more stable bikes and my tenere is perfect for that.
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  #7  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I rented one for a week in Morocco and must admit I was not impressed at all, primarily due to the vibration.

Thanks Chris. Do you know whether it was the 2017 model? I gather they have added a second balancer shaft for 2017 and i've seen reviews suggesting that this has made it much smoother than the previous version.

Completely with you on the graphics - hate that on my KTM too. Sadly 'understated' is not really part of the dirt biking world design lingo so we are consigned to be middle aged men looking like 12 year old skate boarding wanadees!
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  #8  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Views on the husqvarna 701?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mossproof View Post
So little choice in this area of the market. KLX450R? Build your own CRF500L twin? Orange?

I'd not really thought about the KLX450R So will have a read. Be interested to hear how Chris gets on if he goes for it.

The real appeal of the husky is the sensible tank size (13 litres) and service interval (6000 miles). The 20 hour interval on my KTM Is not really a travel friendly feature.....

On the twin front is there anything out there that is sensibly light for proper off road?

Last edited by Temporaryescapee; 28 Sep 2017 at 06:12.
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  #9  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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H701E (2018) will own one in the future as on the very short list of bikes I have got a real interest in, most probably with a HARD Kits Australia setup, somewhere ~ just not in China as got the right bike for exploring around the motherland (KTM450EXC 2016) and the H701E currently not available as legal PRC import anyways....

https://www.hardkits.com
https://www.facebook.com/HARDkitsRR/
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Somewhere down the road in China since '89 ~ along the route I've learned the hard way that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake....TBR
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  #10  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tremens View Post
been riding ktm 690 enduro r and didn't like bike geometry, for my height 6.1

riding position and handling didn't feel right. Husky 701 is very similar bike I believe with small, cosmetic changes so I would say test it first.



Have you thought about ktm 500 exc and getting bigger tank? IMO it has potential for replacing other bikes and be the one, although for longer trips

I still prefer heavier, more stable bikes and my tenere is perfect for that.


Thanks Tremens - i will definitely try if i am getting close to buying.

I discounted the 500 exc as i don't want a race bike with short service intervals.

I love my xt660z too, proper off roading aside. But i am in the fortunate position of having an xt1200z too which i use as my pure road touring bike (european stuff) so the 660 is caught a bit in no mans land for me as i am not sure it would be right for me on the TET and TAT. As my Freeride is not either that would mean a 4th bike, which might prove a little hard to justify.....
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  #11  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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I think if you are really into your events you will be better off a dedicated event bike.
As I get older a light bike becomes more important.

The 701 I rode was the first model; prob 2015. Unbearable at 100kph.
Yes, tank size was dead handy; amazingly economical for the power.

Quote:
... so we are consigned to be middle aged men looking like 12 year old skate boarding wanadees!
Nicely put ;-) I detest that look and connotation and associate it (rightly or otherwise) with young punks doing wheelies and jumps on wasteland and not adhering diligently to service and maintenance schedules. As pictured below, in fact ;-).

Too slow on the KLX – sold.



There was a good 500EXC in Hackney on ebay which had been tastefully oranged down. Looked great. Should have bought it and stored it but really need to ride one of these things first.

Look up the rolling hobo. Hardcore off road travel/long event? rider who switched from 690 to 500 and has done a meticulous conversion.

I wonder if these short oil intervals are partly dependent on how hard you ride it?
I think Hobo came up with a good strategy on that front.
Unless you're a pro, I can't see there being space/places in the UK to ride a 500 properly which again, makes me assume these sort of big enduros end up being neglected toys which get through lots of owners in a short mileage.

Don't know of anything dirtworthy on the twin front.
Isn't there talk of a KTM 500 twin - or is is 7-800?

DRZ 400? Hard to find one with few owners and not covered in Monster stickers.
A modern efi DRZ4 would be great.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 28 Sep 2017 at 11:19.
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  #12  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Temporaryescapee View Post
Thanks Tremens - i will definitely try if i am getting close to buying.

I discounted the 500 exc as i don't want a race bike with short service intervals.

I love my xt660z too, proper off roading aside. But i am in the fortunate position of having an xt1200z too which i use as my pure road touring bike (european stuff) so the 660 is caught a bit in no mans land for me as i am not sure it would be right for me on the TET and TAT. As my Freeride is not either that would mean a 4th bike, which might prove a little hard to justify.....
when not racing intervals are not that bad, around 2k km.
xt1200z is IMO way too heavy. On xt660z I can do mostly
all kinda off-road I do on exc but at much slower tempo.
Plus on road small tenere give me over 500 km on tank, it's
great DS bike but for physically fit riders
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  #13  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Don't know of anything dirtworthy on the twin front.
Loncin reveals 650cc adventure bike | Visordown
The Chinese are here! Just one of several ADV style twins coming along from China. NO IDEA how they actually are to ride ... but Loncin had a long standing relationship with BMW. Not sure if that's a positive or negative!
Hopefully reliable long term.

But design wise looks promising, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Isn't there talk of a KTM 500 twin - or is is 7-800?
Yes, I think it's a 700 or 800 parallel twin? But where is it? We've seen mock ups and Spy Shots of this bike over 2 years now. Speculators claim it will be TOO HEAVY and TOO Expensive. I believe it. IMO, KTM are pushing their luck, may be headed off a cliff.

Is the KLX450 you speak of a "new" model? UK only? Road legal? I have not heard of this one and it's for sure not in USA. Would be a great addition to the KLX dual sport line. Here we only get the KX450/KX250 Motocross race bikes. Also the long suffering KLX250S, KLR650 ... all long in the tooth, overdue for revision.

The Husky would not be my choice as a "Do It All" bike.
On the subject of vibration. I've been following the KTM 690 Duke. In 2016 KTM revised the engine in a major way. I can only assume this new Engine has migrated in part or whole over to the Husky?

Reviews rave about how SMOOTH the new 2016 690 Duke engine is. 100% of UTubes and mag reviews agree just how much nicer this new smoother engine is ... plus, gets a couple more HP. Way nicer than earlier iterations ... so reviews say, I've not ridden a 690 Duke since 2010. Lots of vibes on that one.

Last edited by mollydog; 28 Sep 2017 at 23:39.
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  #14  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Well spotted with the Loncin, not my cup of tea but here they come.
Wonder what their 500 twin is like.

I'm sure you know the KLX450R - been making them for years and still do here, but in the US discontinued after 2010. Like a WR450F and all that sort of thing.

Fyi, next year the US KLX250S comes back as efi (as we've had here for years). I still don't get why that bike never caught on the way the CRF-L has.
It can only be better marketing. Suspension is way better and the rest is the same. Its 10kg lighter too.
Ran a carb one last year in the US - as good as my CRF all round.

Maybe I'l get a chance to try a newer 701. Some bloke was setting off RTW on one; can't be the same motor I tried.
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  #15  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Well spotted with the Loncin, not my cup of tea but here they come. Wonder what their 500 twin is like.
You will probably see more Chinese bikes in the UK/EU than we will in USA. Whole moto industry is very slow now, so existing dealers may not want to take on new random, unknown bikes. Dunno.

Many have taken on Taiwanese Kymco scooters and done just "OK". (which are excellent!) .... not sure on new bikes from China. Could be a tough sell. We DO have quite a few China scooters here but very few of the latest ADV style motos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I'm sure you know the KLX450R - been making them for years and still do here, but in the US discontinued after 2010. Like a WR450F and all that sort of thing.
Ah yes, I do know this bike. I somehow thought it was a new road going version. Guess not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Fyi, next year the US KLX250S comes back as efi (as we've had here for years). I still don't get why that bike never caught on the way the CRF-L has.
It can only be better marketing. Suspension is way better and the rest is the same. Its 10kg lighter too.
Ran a carb one last year in the US - as good as my CRF all round.
Marketing! You got it! Kawi USA has not spent a dime promoting this bike.
It's funny ... Kawi could dominate the 250 dual sport niche with a few simple upgrades to their current bike:
1. Make it 300cc single, hot it up a bit, more compression et al.
2. Firm up suspension just a bit ... USA riders are fatties.
3. Do a ADV Dakar/Baja version similar to what Honda's done with their Rally.
4. Keep it LIGHT.
5. Hire a few guys like you ... and PAY THEM to ride the bikes around Africa
and get it well covered in print and internet.

Could be a winner if they promote it the way Honda have done with their Rally.
They've crushed Kawi in this segment. But both Husky and KTM are way ahead
(not sales wise) with their 350 bikes. ($10,000 USD before fees/taxes)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Maybe I'l get a chance to try a newer 701. Some bloke was setting off RTW on one; can't be the same motor I tried.
If you run across a link for his Ride Report, I'd like to have a look.

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