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    • I currently own a KTM 640 Adventure bike but have owned a KTM 450EXC and street legal Yamaha WR400. It seems there is still no serious, lightweight yet powerful adventure bike available in north america. I reject the BMW GS 800, KTM 790, Triumph Tiger because they are too heavy and laugh at the larger so called adventure bikes Like KTM 1290 or BMW GS1200 that are worse than bad on anything more than a decent dirt road. If you want to say these are serious adventure bikes then start another thread because what I'm looking for here is something that could feasably be raced in the Dakar by someone who isn't a superstar racer.

      Some people will talk about how they can modify their KTM 690 or Husqvarna 701 to be the ultimate adventure bike but I'm tired of making my own adventure bike. No, what I want is an out of the crate serious adventure bike that is rideable on a sandwash, can handle the whoops of the California desert, can take some doubles at the local motocross track and won't wear you out because there's no windscreen. In my mind there is no bike that fits that bill and is available in North America. BMW G650 is not serious enough for my liking and would be destroyed trying to take jumps on or race through the desert in stock form.

      Honda CRF450L Rally concept bike looks promising

      KTM 390 Adventure bike could fit the bill

      Honda 250l adventure is too underpowered and under suspended

      KTM, Husqvarna and Honda 450's and 500's have no windscreen or large tank

      CCM isn't available in North America and was discontinued :(

      Nothing. Nadda. Nill. Not since 2006 has there been a lightweight and powerful adventure bike that's been available for sale in North America. I'd say Honda's 250 Adventure is the closest anyone can come but it's just not serious enough for me and I'm tired of having to make a bike that would work. I'm also tired of the horrible vibrations on my KTM 640 Adventure. What's a guy to do?? Wait, wait, wait...

      Screenshot credit:

    • I don't think there will ever be a stock bike like the one you want, sorry. There is simply too much variables, and it is impossible to cater to everyone's whim. I wholeheartedly agree that there is a certain set of common basic things that everyone seems to want, but the moment you remember that people differ too, the commonality dilutes. Where you ride, how you ride, it all matters very much.

      I know people who can ride the big GSA anywhere in a way that I wouldn't be able to match on a two-stroke. People like Lyndon Poskitt effectively rebuild stock KTM rally bikes into a fully personalized and customized machines and whip those around the world, including Dakar - but then Lyndon can probably strip the bike down to fittings and back with his eyes closed after being woken up in the wee hours of the night.

      My "adventure" (I'm not a very aggressive rider, but I enjoy and cherish the ability to go down a forest trail if I feel like it) bike of choice was the Husqvarna Terra TR-650, which is really a G65GS Sertao but with a better engine. I still have it as my European fly-n-ride bike, and like it very much, but it was also not perfect stock. Suspension is just okay stock (definitely not okay for more aggressive terrain long term), no windscreen to speak of, not as heavy as BMWs but definitely not as light as it could have been, etc and so on. I spent a year farkling it out the way I wanted.

      After moving to Israel I decided against importing the Husky (too expensive, both import and ownership - moto insurance here is insane), and after a couple years sprung for CRF250L Rally. It's not that there is nowhere to ride here, far from it! But there is nowhere to ride far. Everything is within a day's ride. The little Honda is definitely underpowered - it rolls okay at 75mph on highway to get somewhere, but if there's crosswinds or hills, it's more or less dead in the water at those speeds. But as a combined daily nimble commuter and something to take on some forest trails or desert rides with not too much whooping, it's pretty fine. Some farkles incoming, of course, it's inevitable :)

      I agree that it's larger cousin, CRF450L, sounds intriguing, but we'll have to see and even then, you will want better hand protection, electric stuff for your GPS (and heated clothing if up north), your favourite wider pegs, wind deflectors on the stock windshield, maybe protection bars, maybe something for luggage - the list is endless. Test rode CCM at the Overland Event in UK couple years back - it's a very interesting bike, but even if you could get it, it wouldn't be ready for you stock anyway, too (starting from windscreen and tank).

    • I am not ashamed to admit never having really understood the delineation between "enduro" "adventure" and "dual sport" when it comes to naming these off road capable motorcycles, as anything other than marketing. That doesn't make me a very informed person I guess.. What I do know is having started to ride in the 80's on something that had 4 hp (on a good day) and from which I expected to propel me and a passenger hundreds of km away and back, with luggage. It looked just like this:

      That I had to have spare piston and rings with me always, and the tools to replace them at the most inopportune moments, is an entirely another story.

      I had no idea where riding off road was a "thing", just knew that at some point of my trips I may have had sometimes to get through some nasty muddy ruts to get to where I needed to go while trying to avoid falling down. I didn't like that, and some days I was more successful than others; now my bones remind me every day.

      Fast forward many years and much more powerful (and reliable!) motorcycles I came to appreciate the ability to cover immense distances in miles during just a day's ride, then be able to explore some remote desert or forest road aboard same ~ 700 lbs beast that carried me there. Explore is the key word for me. Unstoppable is not ;-) What are yours?

    • My first "real" motorcycle was a BMW F650ST, a street-version precursor of the F650GS, with the same Rotax single-cylinder engine, but carbureted, with a unibody dual carburetor. It was made in 1996 and I bought it in 2011 from a friend whose wife used it to visit her summer house in the boondocks, and it was 4th hand when they bought it. They were nice people but their knowledge of motorcycles was limited to a bit of riding and where to put petrol and (luckily) that one needs to change oil once a year. After riding it for a week, I discovered it used about 8 liters of petrol per 100km, like a jeep! Local BMW dealership hastily refused to do anything wit the relic :) I bought a Haynes manual on ebay and learned to fix it. I had to drop the carb needles two notches down while waiting for the first carb repair kit to arrive, and that alone cut the fuel consumption almost in two :) But even before that kit arrived I signed up to a trip to the northernmost tip of European Russia, Rybachy peninsula, with a group of people from one of the online BMW owner clubs none of whom I have ever seen. Most of them were on big GSes :) I never rode offroad before, and on that trip there's 160ish km of tundra after the last bit of tarmac ends beyond Murmansk and until you reach the lighthouse at the end of the land. I wasn't even sure about what mileage I'm getting (and there are a couple 400-500ish km intervals between gas stations on the way there), not to mention not very offroad tires, unknown state of suspension and general unpreparedness :) You can see me in the pic below (sorry for the quality, had to resave from FB) second from the left in the foreground, complete with stock hardbox :) and I did fine!

    • Here's the completely unsuitable BMW and me with the Barents sea as the background :) (if anyone remembers old movie Convoy with Kris Kristofferson, check out the little duckie on the front fender, I 3d-printed it from black ABS and glued it there)

      So TL;DR version of the keywords question for me is - it's me who needs to be curious and unstoppable, and then I can make any bike go.

    • be curious and unstoppable, and then I can make any bike go.

      That right there is the key, where one draws the line of their spirit of adventure and their own abilities. Mind you it's not all mental - some of ours and motorcycle's limits are quite physical and need to be respected, and weighed as factors just as with anything based on logical decision would need to be. Ooops, did I just say "logical" in an adventure related conversation? LOL

    • No matter whether you are into large, medium or small adventure bikes I think you ulimately need to undertake some form of custimzation to make the bike fit you, how you ride it, how much wind protection you do or do not want, seat comfort, luggage carrying capability and suspension. I used to ride stock bikes, but now the two bikes I own are customized to suit me. I don't see any way around it.

      The trick though, and this is where I do agree with you, is that out of crate should not require a lot of cusomization.

    • As with MrKiwi, nothing is going to fit everybody out of the box and everyone's definition of adventure is different. It seems @cvdavis is looking for a rallye machine with some consideration for comfort.

      For me an adventure machine needs to be able to carry enough gear for me to get away from civilisation and back again while carrying whatever gear is required to be completely self sufficient for at least 3 days in any season, and not require an oil change every time I ride it.

    • One reason big machines keep coming up at top of the list is definitely less often service intervals (6,000 miles isn't uncommon now) Also great power, luggage capacity, and comfort for the long days in the saddle. But what I gather and agree with, is that best machine choice is dependent on specific trip's travel region, because there are better choices than others depending on it. And personal preferences. I personally wouldn't want to neglect the pleasure of riding a preferred machine, just because I need something generic to haul me across the land.

      If the new Guzzi V85 is going to be under 500 lbs, to me it would be a tempting choice. Yes I am biased, but for me all of them, even the smaller block V75 Guzzi's are so easy to work on, with their screw & nut valve adjustment, one can do a tuneup in an hour, literally in a tree shade on the side of the road, with generic tools (using a drinking straw to locate TDC), and I would think this helps on a round the world trip. Not to mention save money. And sound good ;-)

      Too bad Guzzi stopped making the 350

      or even the 650 (turn on Closed Caption if needed to translate)

    • Some of the perfect examples

      Sjaak is a force of nature! I met him at MotoCamp Bulgaria several times and also at Overland and it is fascinating to follow his preparation for the Yamaha R1-based trip to the North Pole (continues as planned, most recent update today I think, on his FB page)

      And then there is Mr. Broken Tooth

    • I bought Sjaak's DVD and enjoy every time watching it! Will keep an eye on his new endeavors for sure. Thank you for sharing the Now I have more to watch! There are certainly many, many adventure riders and what fascinates me is how each is so unique. Another example I happen to recall -Emilio Scotto - I read his book about his round the world travel on a Honda Goldwing he called "Black Princess".

      found a video too:

    • I'll jump in here, and agree there isn't such a thing, because there isn't a standardised human, so there have to be variables, hence you not getting what you want.

      I used to own three motorcycles shops and build one off custom bikes from the ground up fo 20 years and if i wasn't into being a homeless bum nowadays I would most likely be the guy you would be coming to see.

      I could build 'that bike' for you, but it'd be at a price. You would simply tell me what you wanted and it would happen, but there are companies out there that do this already and as mentioned you are looking at a full on race bike but tuned for more day to day riding.

      So why aren't I riding 'that bike', one simple reason, off bikes that are perfect for you/ me are not perfect for extended travel, you would have a parts list that incorporated potentially parts from a dozen or more companies and one off parts too.

      Sorry to be in agreement with the naysaysers, but its just how it is, Ive looked/ tried/ ridden more than my fair share - XT660Z, WR250R, XR650R, DR650, SXC625, a combination of the five would be nice

    • Dang winter is here and it's putting a damper on my riding. Once upon a time I used to put studded tires on my dirt bike and go riding in the mountains during the winter. I wonder how that'd be on my KTM 640? How many people do full on winter rides on an adventure bike by choice? Could make for some interesting adventures. I know the laws here allow studded vehicle tires but dirt bikes...I'm not so sure.

    • If you have the gear for winter riding, it's pretty awesome. I don't know the specifics of the road laws in your location, but I know that in Finland and most of Scandinavia (and apparently in Canada) it's fully legal in winter months. Check out that Broken Tooth link above for inspiration and here's a blog (sorry it's in German but Google Translate should work well, and videos work well anyway) of a German couple who went to Nordkapp for Christmas :) - ; also here's a post (and there are a few around it that are related to winter prep) of a Finn riding CRF250L Rally in winter -

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the welcome.

      My friend uses his as his everyday transport (doesn't drive a car) and needs something reliable that will take him on errands, green-laning or cross-country touring.

      Critically, he needs a bike that will do any weathers, come hail or snow, and the CCM does just that.

      It has a lot more umph than his precious Serow 250. He almost had me converted.

    • You never heard about them because they never made it to North America. They were a fairly serious adventure bike much like what I want though the BMW motor was a bit underpowered. They are however working on a new larger motored version :)