Supermotos - impractical?
First rides & tests
17 April 2012 21:42
I disagree with the continuous comments I read in MCN of supermotos being impractical.
I live in the real world with a real budget, I have a Honda XR650R supermoto with USD forks and yokes from a CRF, she has an akrapovic full exhaust and a nice Mikuni carb, wavy discs and a few other bits. I spent about €3000 on her.
I live in west Cork on Ireland's south coast where the roads are brutal - the bike gives me the best of all worlds, upright riding position, plenty of torque, she will turn on a six pence and has the ability to carry a full rucksack of shopping and all with an average of 55mpg.
Even in a city, the ability to get straight off the lights, drift around roundabouts and go up or down kerbs or even flights of stairs cannot be scoffed at. What other style of bike is so versatile?
Here she is in the Sahara on the Moroccan/Algerian border with a rack and soft luggage, managing the soft sand in her pace.
Yes I did have to keep my speed down on the big roads and yes I have a softer seat, but are the backroads of a country with their twisty roads adn tiny villages not where its true pulse lies?
Have we all lost the ability to read maps? I carry usually about 20kg to 25kg including food and water. How people manage to carry more than 50kg baffles me.
While it's all well and good to warble on about adventure bikes who in the real world can afford €12,000 for a fancy adventure bike AND the cash to then go traveling on it?
Five years ago I crossed from here through Turkey, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia on an XR250. I had a choice before I left: buy a new bike and travel for 3 months or travel for 10 months on a bike I knew was mechanically sound - and the 250 gave me 80mpg.
I would of course love a selection of bikes, but the supermoto for me offers much more than anything else, especially in grin factor - every time I go out on her I end up laughing out loud as my rear wheel fishtails along country roads.
She is powerful, light, strong, comfortable, efficient, can be dropped, is easy and simple to work on, has long service intervals, and a bullet proof engine.
Impractical? I think not.