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5 Common Wear and Tear Items on Motorcycles
You should watch Long Way Round. It is this documentary television miniseries thing that Ewan McGreggor and his friend Charlie Boorman put together. They rode from England across Europe and Mongolia and down through Alaska to NYC. They had things pretty easy at times as the locals all recognized Ewan [including the Russian Mob] but the going was by no means easy. Some of the things they overcame were just amazing and things got to be quite emotional for them at at times. It is just amazing. I’ve watched all 7 hours or so of it twice. Their cameraman also is featured in it some times. He is sort of the comic relief and I wish they had more of him in it. I’d love if they released an extended cut or something with an extra few hours of footage as they went across Mongolia and Eastern Europe.
Charlie also did “Race to Dakar” after that. I haven’t finished watching that series yet. And right now on the BBC(?) they are running their latest that they just finished called Long Way Down where they ride down to South Africa. The 6th episode just finished.
All of these (including the complete Long Way Down) should be findable on thepiratebay.org […assuming you already own the copy and are looking their for backup purposes only]
I agree. But for every ugly bike there are a handful of people that absolutely love it.
Plus you should always get what you like and what does what you need it to do.
If you are just riding to look cool you probably won’t stick with it and are wasting money
and going to end up a speedbump for someone in an SUV.
There are even whole classes.. some people think supermoto bikes just look stupid. But then you have a lot of people that love putting street tires on a Honda XR600R or buy one of the new factory supermotos like the DRZ400SM that someone on here said they have.
Just don’t sell out. If the 250cc is a POS then say it is so. Since you will just be putting the ads on the site for access to the bikes and not for the $$ this shouldn’t be a problem. If they have an issue just ask to ride another bike [which if you find a large dealer that carries Suzuki/Yamaha/Honda or some combination this is easy] that you might review more favorably
Have you looked at the SV650 or the new Kawasaki Versys? The Honda 599 might also be suitable for a mature beginner. I personally like the look of the Honda more than the others but it is a bit expensive. This site has a nice shoot out
The Versys to me looks like a cheap Ducati Multistrada (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Or a clone of the Moto Guzzi Stelvio (with the 2008 Kaw KLR650 being a clone of the Moto Guzzi Quota).
These last few bikes are more dual sport bikes (the KLR650 and Quota for sure) but they are more 90% road 10 dirt
like the Suzuki V-Strom and the DL650 “wee-strom”.
Of course you’ll never look badass or cool or whatever on a dual sport. You don’t have the hat turned backwards riding in a tank top squid look or the pony tail and sunglasses and leathers look of a cruiser. Just the utilitarian go anywhere do anything look that certainly won’t impress the women.
The suspension on the redesigned 2008 KLR650 is much stiffer. It may not react the same way. Either way I’ve heard that the KLR650 even though it is a 650 is a decent beginner bike. Because it is a thumper (single cylinder) and a dual sport it doesn’t have the power of a sport bike. The only issues seem to be that it is much heavier than the smaller bikes, and more importantly, that it is extremely tall and even a tall beginner would want to purchase lowering links and the shorter side stand and have it lowered.
The F650GS is a great bike. Much better looking than the KLR650. Doesn’t handle quite as well off-road (although the 2008 is more road oriented also). Finding parts for it will be more difficult and more expensive than the KLR. We only have one place here to get BMW service but 3 that do factory work on Kaws [and a lot of small shops that I bet would work on any Japanese bike but wouldn’t touch a BMW.. any place is going to charge a fortune if they do though]. The new F800GS makes me drool. If you could find a used F650GS with antilock brakes and were planning on doing mostly road riding it might be worth it. My friend loves his. He rides primarily on the interstate in Georgia where the ABS is much needed.
If I had the money I think my bike would be the 2008 KLR650… but since I’m a bit short on $$ and worried about dumping a brand new bike I think I’ll end up with a used TW200 (some people hate the look.. I love the fat tires like I love a plump woman!) or an XT225, or whatever small dual sport I can find at a good price used (DR200SE, KLR250, an old Honda NX250 etc.)
Insurance should be very inexpensive for a 250cc bike. I’m not sure if they consider fairings on a bike that small, but insurance on unfaired bikes is usually cheaper [ie. any sport bike is going to cost more because there is a lot of delicate expensive plastic bits to replace..] Somewhere on this site I think Ben said it cost him $300 to replace on small piece out of 18 or so on his Kaw when he broke it in an accident. I think this is also a way to charge sport bike riding squids more for insurance when they have clean driving records.
Great to see another dualsport rider. Although the wee-strom is very much a road bike. From what I read it is like 90/10 split between road/dirt. I’m looking at a 2008 KLR650 (something like 70/30) or an older KLR (near 50/50). I plan on mostly commuting so I may start with something smaller like an XT225. How do you find the Wee-Strom to be a as a first bike? I sat on a few KLRs and they are beasts compared to all of the smaller dual sports. My shop right now has a 2008 that has been lowered and has a Corbin dished seat and I’m going to see if I can run over and take a sit on it and see if the extra stability and ability to have both feet fully flat would give me the confidence to have a beast like that as a first bike.
I know a lot of people that started on Ninja 250s. They seem to be a good and popular beginner bike. I even know some guys that still ride them because small displacement bikes are very economical and they love the maneuverability of a small bike. I don’t know anyone that does regular freeway riding though. After seeing the way people drive in my car and reading everyones horror stories I know I’ll be avoiding the interstate even with a large displacement bike capable of keeping up with traffic.
Place a local dealers add on your page in exchange for actually being able to ride and review rather than just from online information.
You should give yourself that distance but that you shouldn’t count on it? That on a motorcycle you are better off to accelerate slightly and move around if possible than to risk locking your tires and wrecking? It would be nice to own a nice BMW with antilock brakes if it worked as well on a motorcycle as on a car and they weren’t so expensive.