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Topic: Dual sport or stick with sport-touring?  (Read 5877 times)

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russell420
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« on: April 29, 2012, 01:34:21 PM »

Like many, I started out riding dirt bikes when I was a teenager, but have ridden street bikes (Kawasaki Concours 10 and ZX14) exclusively for the past 20 years (I'm 44 now).  I recently had my first motorcycle crash (ZX14), resulting in it being totaled.  The accident involved a diagonal, sunken portion of asphalt in the middle of a curve that deceptively looked like a crack in the road, until I instantly found myself on the ground.  Luckily, my gear saved my life, and my only injuries were a concussion, separated shoulder and broken ribs.  I had noticed prior to my crash that my riding over the past 3 years had become more aggressive on the 14 (not straight line speeding, but in corner carving), and I was considering a different style bike.  The ZX was a fantastic bike, and was easy and forgiving to ride quickly.  I initially thought I would buy a Concours 14, but I'm now considering a dual sport, specifically, a new XR650L, thinking that the different style bike might create a different mindset, and that the style of riding might be a bit safer than I'm used to, but I'm not certain.  An added benefit would be paying cash for the XR.  There are areas near me to ride off road on trails, but I would likely be doing it alone, since everyone I know rides street bikes.  Have any of you changed completely from sport touring to dual sports and, if so, are you satisfied with the different bike?  Do you feel that dual sport riding is any safer than sport touring?  Thanks for your help.

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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 03:37:44 PM »

Sounds to me like you are ready for a big GS.  Bigsmile They handle those surface irregularities pretty well too. They are considered a sport bike on Michigans frost-heaved and neglected roads.  Lol
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 04:43:51 PM »

I agree.  You'd be surprised how nimble a BMW GS, KTM Adventure, and Yamaha Super Tenere are on the paved stuff.  
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 05:39:20 PM »

I don't know that the bike will make you slow down or ride more safely. Thats done purely by the rider and not the bike. You would be surprised at the corner speeds a dual sport is capable of. Make a concious decision to dial it back a bit or do track days or not. Its up to you. I wouldn't say DS riding is any safer than street riding. DS riding may lead to more interesting places to get hurt, though.

One more thing; dual sports do crash well.  Lol
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black hills
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 05:48:23 PM »

I started feeling the same way at your age ( a couple years ago). I had a dirt bike (KTM300) and a Sport bike (CBR954) but the "fun" seemed to be running out of them. I decided on the KTM990Adventure, but a GS or Super Tennere would do the same thing. I absolutely love it!! It hasn't slowed me down a whole lot, but I do have just as much fun at slightly slower speeds. plus it opens up a whole new side of riding, dirt roads and trails! It's great to ride out to the mountains and then go exploring on the back roads. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
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the above opinion is simply that of an average middle aged hick with one too many brain injuries... or, don't take it too serious.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 08:25:46 AM »

.............................I would likely be doing it alone,.....................................


this could be an issue. Because if you ride hard on a street bike, what makes you think you will change your habits while riding in the woods. It can be a long hike out by yourself with injuries.

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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 08:56:42 AM »

You may find your corner speed in check anyway, now that it has happened to you.  

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 09:03:31 AM »

There are pros and cons of each.  DS-ing is fun and there are varying levels of it.
Keep in mind, that you cornering speed may slow, but you still may push the limits of the bike.  Not to mention the wheelie-ing.
Ahh there's fun (and limits) in every bike.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 02:44:23 PM »

Anything away from opposing traffic is safer. To some riding backwoods dirt roads is akin to hard enduro.

Riding alone...to me....know big deal...others its totally insane!
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 09:19:12 PM »

I got into dualsporting a couple of years ago. First, let me say that track days have pretty much come to a halt for me. It is that much fun! Also, there is no better hooligan bike than a DS, so I wouldn't plan on it calming your riding down. 30-40 on a tight trail can be much more intense than 100+mph sweepers!
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black hills
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 10:13:56 PM »

a few reason I like a big DS for touring:

it works fantastically well for this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/blackhills_2007/IMG_1955.jpg

then equally well for this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/blackhills_2007/IMG-20110927-00084.jpg

you don't have to be afraid of roads like this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/blackhills_2007/IMG_1705.jpg

and you can stop for a break in places like this (without a sole around):
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/blackhills_2007/IMG-20110716-00014.jpg

since the 990 showed up in the garage the CBR has been converted to sport only use, it will never take a trip again Wink
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 10:39:33 PM »

As was said, you'll just be further from help the next time you crash...  

Dual Sports are all kinds of fun, but it sounds to me like you don't trust yourself to really "learn" the lesson...

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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 01:36:37 AM »


As was said, you'll just be further from help the next time you crash...  

Dual Sports are all kinds of fun, but it sounds to me like you don't trust yourself to really "learn" the lesson...



So if you go that route get a spot @ satellite phone then your covered Thumbsup......when I'm off road riding I'm usually alone cause most of my riding companions are still working (during the week) so the above gives me an out cause as we all know ktm's are meant to be ridden slow Wink Lol
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 06:42:50 AM »

I am often solo on dual sport rides. So, a spot is always with me.  Thumbsup
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black hills
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 09:07:22 AM »



So if you go that route get a spot @ satellite phone then your covered Thumbsup......when I'm off road riding I'm usually alone cause most of my riding companions are still working (during the week) so the above gives me an out cause as we all know ktm's are meant to be ridden slow Wink Lol


 Thumbsup
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 08:54:21 PM »

The old adage is true for me. Riding a slow bike fast is more fun than riding a fast bike slow (on the street).

Dual sports are great fun and with proper gear crashing them rarely hurts much while off-road. I've gone over the bars more than a couple of times, low sided, high-sided, etc. Other than a sprain or two and occasionally getting my bell rung a bit I'm no worse for wear, and neither are the bikes (well they still function anyway... LOL)

The only issue is going long distance on a dual sport sucks. Anything that isn't super curvy or unpaved on a dual-sport sucks.

I did a couple of 500 mile days and my personal best was a bit over 700 miles in one day on my DRZ. However, I didn't even want to look at that damn bike for 2 weeks after that 700+ mile day. Now I keep my rides on the dual-sports under 200 miles or so and stick to twisty roads or trails and take the Concours or FZ1 for when there is a lot of ground to be covered.

Edit: Of course if you go with a GS or Tenere, Adventure, etc then distance is not an issue. Seems these bikes are pretty dang comfy for distance work. I was just having flash backs and reliving the pain of those long distance DR-Z rides...
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 10:14:29 PM »

First off, I'm glad that you're all right.    Thumbsup

I had a similar experience: I hit a pothole while leaned over in a curve. I didn't crash, but hitting the pothole bent both rims, shredded one of them which also cut brake lines, and immediately deflated both tires. I was able to bring the bike to a controlled stop. The guys at the motorcycle shop were stunned when they saw the damage and learned that I didn't crash.

Think about what kind of riding you want to do, then choose the tool that accomplishes that goal or those goals.

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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 11:15:22 PM »

I bought a 2012 XR650L this week & have been enjoying it greatly.  My first thought when I rode it was that it was the slowest thing on two wheels I'd ever been on, but riding such a slow bike fast definitely is much more fun than my zx14 was.  Since it is slow (on the road), I don't have the urge to ride it aggressively.  I took it offroad for a few minutes today riding a pipeline, & it was the most fun I have had on two wheels since I was a kid riding dirt bikes.  It was much more peaceful, yet very challenging, as my dirt skills are a bit rusty after 30 years.  The bike had plenty of power for the steep hills I climbed, & it cruised without any trouble at 65 mph on the highway.  It needs higher bars for offroad work, though, & I've got some on the way.  Thanks again to those who suggested I give dual sporting a try.  It was definitely worth it.
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 02:11:36 PM »

I almost always go from a really fast bike to a slow bike (and back again) for just that reason. Although I don't really get worried about wadding it up by riding over my head, more of a slow down and enjoy the ride kinda change. Anyhoo, I really miss dirtbikin' and am gonna try to pick a up a D-S this summer so I'm biased in saying that you should pick one up and give it a shot. Personally I find riding off road a whole lot more fun than street but they've closed so many trails where I used to ride and a street bike is more logical for my main bike.
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 07:52:11 PM »

Just gave my son my KLR and Dau in law a KL250 and picked upped a Xt600 for me they love heading to Hills to explore old mines and save a bundle going to work now. still have my street bikes but back surgery in 2 weeks i havent been able to ride at all and that sucks..........
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