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post #1 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Begin the adventure

So, I was reading jetblast's Virgin KLR thread, and that got me thinking. I was going to post in his thread, but thought it might be a hijack...sooo...

jet's trip sounds awesome, and coincidentally, I was just last night planning a dream route from St. Louis to Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seattle, San Fran, Denver, and back. Unfortunately, I don't think I would be able to do it for a couple years, but for a trip like that, you gotta start planning ahead.

That, and jet's trip got me thinking...I've never ridden a dirt or dual-purpose bike. I think that it is something that I'd love to get into, but I don't really have any idea where to start. I am positive that riding techniques are a lot different, so how do I learn? Do I start w/ a cheap POS dirt or dual-purpose bike? How do you find places to ride off-road? Are there resources to find fire roads and dirt roads?

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
- Stephen Hawking
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 06:57 AM
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Great questions, I'll be interested in hearing the replies from our experienced riders. I feel the same way, think I'd love to have an adventure bike, but don't really have any experience with a dual sport bike. Don't think the old early 70's Yamaha Enduros of my youth count at this point. After seeing some of the motorcyclists in Guatemala, the idea of taking a major adventure ride has been stuck in the back of my head.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 07:06 AM
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ADV riding opens up a whole new world of riding areas and levels. No longer are you committed to the pavement and you are encouraged by your own sense of curiousity to take the road less traveled. How many times have you been on a trip in your cage or motorcycle and passed a dirt road or path wondering where it leads?

If you truly want to ride Dual-Sport/ADV, I would suggest searching Craigslist and Ebay for a cheap DR-650, DR-Z400(S or E), DR-200, DR-350, KLX250S, Super Sherpa, older KLR. Any of these models can be found used for a couple grand. Very small investment equals lots of fun and satisfaction from the DS side of riding.

Once you have acquired your ride, start looking for public OHV trails, National Forests (We ride in Pisgah here.), Fire trails (Forestry service makes these for you), Powerline roads and anything dirt you can find that isn't posted as private property or No Trespassing.

I can't begin to describe how satisfying it is to have a bike capable of going damn near anywhere I feel the urge. I have been stuck in traffic and taken the dirt shoulder to get off the interstate before, found shortcuts and detours through dirt roads where cages would never dare to tread.

My garage will always have some sortof DS ride parked in it.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 07:16 AM
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Get a beater 125 and get out to some trails and tracks. It is different than the street but easily as fun. There are tons of places to look to ride. Try your DNR or forest service websites. Even Honda has a trail locater. Riding the dirt is something anyone can love. You and a moto in the middle of nowhere.

http://offroad.honda.com/novice/

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post #5 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 07:33 AM
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dual sports are a study in compromise.
They can do all things proficiently but few things excellently so it comes down to what you want to do.

I agree that starting small and cheap is best, don't do like me and get a big heavy $15,000 BMW with 90hp, it's nowhere nimble enough to really enjoy offroad and simply heartbreaking when it falls over. And yes, dual sporting will fall over. It's part of the fun.

Forget about high speed and quick acceleration, they have no place in real dual sporting. The ability to go anywhere and do anything is usually executed in places where trying to go fast leads to disaster.


What you want is simple & reliable. Easy to service when it falls over. Comfortable enough to spend days in the saddle - reliable enough to push boundaries without fear of catastrophic failure. That rules out exotic bikes in my opinion. I wouldn't trust most KTM & Aprilia bikes (beautiful as they are) to get me around the block, let alone through the wilderness.

If long distance isn't a real concern I like the CRF230L because it's very light and has a bulletproof motor. Throw on some bags and you're ready to roll nearly anywhere that doesn't require you to exceed 60mph.
Bigger bikes I like, the KLR - XR650 (must buy the larger capacity fuel tank) - the DRZ / KLX. You can pick up used ones for a song.

You're not alone in feeling the allure. Dual sporting prettymuch killed my interest in sportbikes for anything but the track, and even there I lean toward supermoto now. Personally I have no use for a gofast bike anymore, I've found the other world of riding and it's a whole different challenge.

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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Ill add my voice - I really like the dirt stuff, the speeds arent a big, but , when you blitzing down a trail with trees inches away from you, its as ggod a feeling as putting your knee down for the first time - I still like my spotbike however and I dont see getting completly away form that end of the sport.
If you looking for help in getting comfortable off road, there are schools that can help you with thet - I went to Dirt Wise , http://www.shanewatts.com/ridingschools.aspx - And I learned a ton in two days of riding. I wish I had done this along time ago. BMW does a really basic school at thier plant in Spartanburg, but, IM not sure of what all it will cover, seeing as how the majority of BMW guys ride huge bikes off road -
Anyway, get you a bike and go play in the dirt - its a great thing to do and a good workout as well -

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 09:08 AM
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I say go out and buy a new KTM Super Enduro and have at it!

Seriously, its been years since I've rode dirt, but I'm looking forward to getting back out there. Having grown up on MX and woods dirt riding before street, I don't think you ever really loose it.

Get a reasonable bike and go at it. I was really contemplatint getting something different than the KLR, but bang for the buck, you can't beat it. Also, as Jet said, you will drop it!

It's better to have loved and lost than live with the psycho for life!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
Great questions, I'll be interested in hearing the replies from our experienced riders. I feel the same way, think I'd love to have an adventure bike, but don't really have any experience with a dual sport bike. Don't think the old early 70's Yamaha Enduros of my youth count at this point. After seeing some of the motorcyclists in Guatemala, the idea of taking a major adventure ride has been stuck in the back of my head.
Yea, I recently saw a guided adventure tour for 2 weeks that goes from Peru to Tierra del Fuego, and was like . But, for the price they were charging, I could buy 1.75 new KLRs, so I thought, what could I do on my own?

Thanks for the comments, guys...I'm getting excited!

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
- Stephen Hawking
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-11-2008, 10:44 AM
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Do a search for dual sport/adventure riding. Advrider.com and thumpertalk.com are two of the larger websites, and have tons of information. Besides this forum, those are the two that I frequent the most.

DSR.com sells a DVD that gives a good overview of basic skills on a dual sport, and has some good training exercises.

As for bikes, pick up something cheap and run the hell out of it. That will give you an idea of what exactly you want in a dual sport. Buying something new just to find that it doesn't do what you want sucks. But that's kind of a no-brainer.

-Joe
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