ATV cross over/benifits of ABS
August 20, 2009 at 1:35 am #3331Member548Participant
I was wondering what the general opinion is on what ATV experience is worth when moving to a street bike. I’ve road pretty hard core cross country on 450R class ATV for over ten years now and have never had a wreck that damaged me or my ride. My current mount is a modded to 50hp TRX450R. I’ve recently considered giving in and buying a street bike since there is no apparent chance my state will allow street legalized ATVs any time soon and the Can-Am Spyder is 16k. If it wasn’t for the legality I’d built a pavement oriented quad years ago powered by a 600 class sport bike engine, but while I’d feel fine on a 100hp quad I don’t know if I’d ever feel that way on a 100hp bike.
My other question involves bikes with ABS. Is ABS helpful enough to try and find a bike with it? At the moment it appears only more powerful stuff has it even though I think it’d be great on a newb bike. Heck the smallest Honda with ABS is the 600RR…bleh.August 20, 2009 at 3:26 am #21811SpoolParticipant
I ride ATV’s quite a bit myself. In my opinion there really is no cross over as far as handling an ATV vs a Motorcyle. It’s a completely different set of skills other than the shifting, if it’s a manual ATV. That being said if you are a person who is confident and skilled at handling an ATV then most likely you will do well on a motorcycle IMO. In my experience on ATV’s you spend a lot of time focused on what’s immediately in front of you, where as on a street bike you need to focus on where you want to go. Of course most of my ATV experience is slow technical trail riding and mudding on 4×4 quads. From your decscription your into a different type of riding so it may be something you can apply to street riding.August 20, 2009 at 11:49 am #21812ranetteParticipant
I don’t think I am a great authority on this, having ridden an ATV only once, but in my opinion the experience doesn’t transfer over at all, in fact for me my motorcycle experience was counterproductive.
I was on vacation in South America this spring, we left before I could get my bike out of the garage from the winter, and I was absolutely jonesing to ride. We found ourselves at a resort that offered ATV tours and I jumped at the chance. They said the terrain was moderate, I’d disagree, but that’s neither here nor there. I flipped it once but decided to continue on, then got caught up on some rocks and jumped off with the ATV teetering, that was enough for me. The reason I think my motorcycle experience was counterproductive was that as I look back at what I was doing wrong on the ATV I’m pretty sure I was trying to countersteer and if I had never ridden a motorcycle I don’t think that I would have done that. The bottom line is that a street bike is controlled by very precise, subtle inputs; from what I could tell properly riding an ATV is more like wrestling an alligator, not much subtlety involved at all. Again, don’t necessarily take this as the gospel, as it is coming from someone who spent about an hour on an ATV. On the other hand any experience on a non enclosed vehicle has to be of use, just remember that the skill set is vastly different.
My take on ABS is that I didn’t want it on my first bike. I wanted to make sure I developed the skills necessary to brake in the traditional fashion. If I were to get another bike, especially if it were a sport tourer, it’s something I would certainly consider. I assume that the reason you don’t find ABS on smaller bikes is mostly cost, $1000 on a $9+K purchase doesn’t seem too bad, $1000 on a $5 – 6K purchase is about 20% of the cost of the bike on just one option.August 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm #21823CBBaronParticipant
Having ridden some ATV and ATCs I would say there are some transferable skills including clutch work, shifting and hand throttle. However the steering and body language is completely different so you will have plenty to learn. A 4×4 type ATV would have next to no transferable skills as the drive train is very different.
ABS is too expensive for entry level machines, though it would seem to be advantageous for any level of rider. 600 class bikes are not entry level machines. The 650 twins are much more manageable and a couple do have optional ABS. Usually 250cc and 500cc bikes are the entry level bikes.
Given your off-road background have you looked at the dual sport bikes? Some of these are very capable off road, and the 200-400cc bikes are good for beginners.August 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm #21824Member548Participant
I’ve looked at dual sports some. I think the main thing keeping me away is the typical 400 CC dual sport bike wouldn’t match my TRX off road. I spend as much time in the 50-70mph range off road as I do the 20-40mph most people identify as ATV speeds. I would feel more comfortable gaining bike skills off road though for a while. I could always limit myself to track day at Hallett motor speedway since they accept any skill level and it’s a pretty forgiving road coarse.
The main thing that has always kept me away from street bikes is car drivers.
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