Skip to content

Discuss This Poll: Are big adventure bikes killing adventure riding? New bikes

You are in... Forums > Discuss This > New bikes > Poll: Are big adventure bikes killing adventure riding?

This is a discussion topic

This discussion topic is linked to an article on this site. You can navigate to the article by clicking on the article name in the first post.

Go to most recent reply

Anonymous

Joined:

Posts:

MCN  says:

Poll: Are big adventure bikes killing adventure riding?

In this week's MCN the new BMW G650GS Sertao is tested against Yamaha's Tenere 660. Part of the discussion between the testers concentrates on how much easier off-roading is on a bike that feels light and agile – which both these single-cylinders do compared to behemoths such as Triumph's Explorer and Yamaha's Super Tenere 1200. But are these two middleweight...

Reply to this Topic  
  • Posted 3 years ago (01 May 2012 11:35)

Post a message in New bikes

Fields marked with an asterisk * are required

   

Please note. You cannot submit more than 4000 characters as a message.

Upload image(s) from your computer (up to 3 images)

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

Terms of use

Use of our community areas and forums is subject to important terms of use. By joining our community and using the features you agree to be bound by these terms. See terms of use below. 

Cancel
dwfarthing

Joined:

Mar 04

Posts: 1

dwfarthing says:

Between the extremes

I wonder if some of the comments below miss the point? I know Austin is being provocative (and the poll offers only two extremes - amusing though!) but the substantive point is that manufacturers don't offer much variety. Long gone are the days when you could buy a purposeful 650 Africa Twin or Transalp. And if you want something even smaller the choice is minute. (Someone suggested the KTM Freeride 350, but where are you going to put the luggage?) Yes,  a 1200cc bike is great for some types of adventure, but the point is the lack of choice.

You can't really argue with Austin when he says, "the manufacturers would rather we bought a £12,000 bike and stayed in the UK rather than buying a £3000 bike..."
 

Reply to this Topic
trannie680

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 12

trannie680 says:

what are you doing?

I voted 'no' to the question, remember what that was? Simple reason being big adventure bikes are'nt being bought by the adventure going public, are they, really? I have a GSA and a great bike it is too for what I do with it. But if I were planning a true round the world, or long off road adventure I would buy a bike, probably second hand, that would fit the bill. I would'nt just say my bikes too big and not go!

Reply to this Topic
Titosfuneral

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 219

Titosfuneral says:

Bending the truth

If you go to Horizons unlimited you'll find that most people there are using KLR's for their "Adventure touring".. So in that respect it's correct. 1200's are too big to for that kind of motorcycling. Having said that I'd probably say that the people on Horizons Unlimited are more "Adventure travelling".. i.e. They're not going on a 2 or 3 week tour, but are travelling for months or years. (and yes, you'll find me there talking KLR's - having spent the best part of 5 years away with one) However it's really horses for courses and I've Adventure toured on all classes of these bikes. When strapped for cash I've done it and had a great time on 125 and scooters.. but 500 mile days are not possible. In North America I've used a big beemer and it was ideal for covering the vast distances between places and yet able to attack some very challenging off-roading. (with the proviso being - mud is bad) However, in Central or South America or in Africa it's too big to get into a hotel room (yes, I did say that), and too expensive to be going through customs with, exposes you to theft/mugging and is needlessly and dangerously fast. (no-one on the road expects a 100mph+ motorbike) Another problem comes with the price.. if you're going places with less money in the society.. you can't get big expensive bikes fixed. You need a bike that can be taken to a street mechanic in a small town.. and that's where even bikes such as the Serato fall down. (Ask Dan Walsh.. he had to wait for parts for his 650 beemer) So yes, 250's are good for a lot of things, and any bike you travel on, you will come to love. I've certainly had fun on then.. But... You can't load em up too much, and, and, and, and,.... So unless you're going to be exclusively offroading, where a more pure offroader is required, or you're touring in Europe or North America.... get a simple 650 single (Kawa or Yam), that can be loaded up, can do miles, can go offroad and can be fixed anywhere.... AND for the love of pete don't buy a new one. It's going to get trashed and new ones are too nickable/make you a target. Get a 5 year old one someone's ridden on the road, uprate the suspension, fit lowering links if you're a small, stick strips of gaffer tape on the seat and random bits of plastic to make it look older and crapper... and never ever wash it. Now go have a blast!

Reply to this Topic
Bmw_Mick

Joined:

May 05

Posts: 8

Bmw_Mick says:

At the risk of sounding daft who is Austin Vince?  An old car I haven't heard of?

But seriously, who does he think he is?  Unless I am totally mistaken it wasn't until two well known people went for a short bimble on BMW R1150GS's that 'adventure' bikes started to become popular.  For him to say that 1200cc bikes are a farce to do adventure riding simply proves his lack of credentials.  Like it or not, Mr Vince, the BMW GS has a high profile because of three things. 1. The Long Way Round. 2. The Long Way Down, and 3 KTM said that Ewan and Charlie weren't capable to doing number 1 and refused to sponsor them.

But back to your purile ravings.  Lets face it, an adventure bike can be anything you want.  It all depends on what you call an 'adventure'.  My first 'adventure' was a week in Holland, Belgium and a bit of Germany in 1983 on a 400/4.  Oh, sorry, you don't think that's an adventure?  Never having been abroad on a bike before it sure as hell felt life one to me.  Before that I went all over parts of the UK on my (t)rusty Honda CB200.  That was an adventure too.  These days my 'adventures' are done on a 19 year old K1100LT.  Physical problems mean I don't do off roading, and I want to be comfortable when I ride.  Personally I don't give a crap what anyone else wants to ride, it's entirely up to them.  Yes, there are those who will look down on anyone riding something they think isn't the right bike... Oh, hang on, that's you isn't it?  If I had the money I would quite happily get a GS.  The engine size is up for debate though.

Another thing.  You assume that everyone is going to buy a new bike.  What's wrong with second hand?  A quick search on MCN's bike for sale threw up a R1100GS for £3K.  So I saved the 9K you were moaning about.  And a 1150GS for not much more. 

Titosfuneral makes some good points as well.  Small bikes are going to struggle to carry stuff.  And if you have to do a long distance in a short time for any reason, you are stuffed.

But really does it matter what you are riding if you are happy with it?  Waiting for spares may be a pain, but allows you to find out more about where you are at the time.  And if it happens in the middle of nowhere it doesn't matter what you're on, you're still stuffed....

Reply to this Topic
rlf3

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 421

rlf3 says:

Chelsea Tractors

1200 cc adventure bikes are the Range Rovers of the bike world

Most will never be used off road, most are used by insecure people desperate to project an image

Reply to this Topic
X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

NO

I said NO.  The big bikes have not killed anything. The segment is more popular than ever because these big bikes have gotten more people out there, giving it a go, and they are doing it more comfortably, taking stuff with them you can't on smaller bikes.

"My opinion is that Austin Vince is a pompous ass"

I have to agree.  You can adventure tour on anything of any size.  He just couldn't afford one at the time of his original trip.  Nothing wrong with his choice.  There's just better options now.

Small bikes are great.  They are agile and easy to pick up.  But the lack of power sucks.  Ever been to the desert on a 250-400?  Sand saps power easily.  Killing the engine won't get you anywhere because it bogged down due to lack of power.  You need at least 600 cc on an adventure bike.  Loaded up, you need more.  The mighty CRF450R does fine in the dunes but it weighs 260#  fueled and has 55 HP.  A small, 400 lb adventure bike + luggage/tools and larger tank needs another 20-30 more HP.

I had a F650 loaner once.  Took it for some off roading...lots of sand where I live, and it was crap.  Handled for crap off road and when the sand got deep, forgetaboutit.

I've got good dirt bike skills and pilot a 1150 Adventure easily off road with hard cases and tent and spare fuel/tools.  I get everywhere a true off road bike goes, just slower.  And I get everywhere else I want to go in more comfort.  So I can put in longer days for 2 full weeks.

For those who can't ride a big bike, smaller ones are available.  Buy them instead of slagging off those who are capable.

I can go anywhere a real dirt bike can go, even long harsh, rooted climbs that some people say you can't do.  Said by those that have never ridden a big bike.  And if they have and can't, they just ned to work on their skills and strength.  It isn't for everyone.  Myself and many others on various other make of big bikes do it regularly.  But then again, we also race enduros.

 

Reply to this Topic
X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

blah, blah, blah

"Most will never be used off road, most are used by insecure people desperate to project an image."

Most sport bikes (Blades, Ninjas, Gixxers) never go on the track either.  Same reasons.  What's your point?

Actually comfort is a big reason to buy a GS, Super Ten, etc.  Very practical in use despite the price.

Reply to this Topic
X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

Agree with Tito

Simplicty is a good reason to choose a KLR or similar.  Nothing to go wrong and easy to work on when it does.

I started out Adv riding on a Honda XL600R.  Added a rack, panniers, larger tank and some extra lighting and was good to go.  Street duty was ok but liveable, 75 mph had serious headshake.  So 65 was a sweet spot.  Off road, it did well too.  In fact, it was my off road bike for quite a few years before I got a CRF450.  Sold the XL with a little over 40,000 miles on it.  Durable as hell and the only issue I had was keeping the dual carb setup running right.  But Honda remedied that and went to a single carb in '86.

Reply to this Topic
X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

Agree with Tito

Simplicty is a good reason to choose a KLR or similar.  Nothing to go wrong and easy to work on when it does.

I started out Adv riding on a Honda XL600R.  Added a rack, panniers, larger tank and some extra lighting and was good to go.  Street duty was ok but liveable, 75 mph had serious headshake.  So 65 was a sweet spot.  Off road, it did well too.  In fact, it was my off road bike for quite a few years before I got a CRF450.  Sold the XL with a little over 40,000 miles on it.  Durable as hell and the only issue I had was keeping the dual carb setup running right.  But Honda remedied that and went to a single carb in '86.

Reply to this Topic
X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

Popular?

BMW Mick, adventure riding was popular long before Ewan and Charlie made a TV show.  Just popular with the adventure crowd.  The show opened up the eyes of some other riders and no-riders.

Reply to this Topic

Compare Insurance

Save money by comparing quotes. It's quick and easy

Motorcycles for sale

 

It's only £13.99 to advertise your motorcycle on MCN

Sell your Motorcycle

Motorcycle pricing tool

New! Find used bike prices