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Thread: Adventure Motorbike

  1. #1
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    Default Adventure Motorbike

    If a body were inclined to meander on a motorbike in an adventurous fashion, what sort of motorbike would it be?

    If a person wanted, say, a moderate displacement motorcycle to ride on curvy and questionable roads, say on a continental lap on smaller back, and occasionally dirt roads, what type bike would serve best?

    Speed is in no way a consideration, and nor is power or panache. Something like a samsonite meets times, eh?

    Just wondering, because, you never know.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    When you throw dirt in the mix then Gatenby has the singular ultimate adventure bike. As much as it pains me to admit it.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike



    I have done a fair amount of wandering about both on and off road with this one.



    Sometimes we get a little muddy
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    When you throw dirt in the mix then Gatenby has the singular ultimate adventure bike. As much as it pains me to admit it.
    So, to get back to the freeway, I turn when I see the spotted dog?

    What the heck does this mean to a dummy like me?

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post


    I have done a fair amount of wandering about both on and off road with this one.



    Sometimes we get a little muddy
    It's hard to see, but is that the 650 single? Are those rotax motors?
    Looks quite in the spirit of what I mean.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    That's probably what I'd choose Rob or if this G series is available in the US, I'd choose it. A BMW G650 Cross Country.

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    2001 BMW F650 Dakar. First generation fuel injection for the Rotax single BMW started using on the "Funduro" in the late '90s. There is also a GS version with a smaller diameter front tire along with shorter forks and swingarm. There is a pretty active community known as "The Chaingang" providing moral support.



    Loaded for road tripping. Yes that is a beaded seat, a million cabdrivers can't be wrong
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    I wouldn't go near the big BMW Adventure bikes. Too big, too heavy, not really good if you get very far from a cafe. The smaller single cylinder BMWs mentioned above, sure. But if it's not a boxer it's not really a BMW is it? I think most of the 600 cc Japanese road/trail bikes would do fine. I have a soft spot for Suzuki DRZs. I've got a 400 which is a great bike on dirt, probably not too comfortable on long bitumen rides, although you could up the gearing for that. Have a look on ADV rider for inspiration. Really you can start with a 110cc postie bike and work up.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    True, what ever you own is your adventure bike.

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    KTM's Super Enduro, of course. Ten years or so out of production... but still highly prized.



    I would have bought a BMW HP2 Enduro, if one had been available when I bought the KTM.... but it'd have been the wrong choice. The KTM is much better - better suspension in particular, and better survivability in the rough. It also has carbies - which I still see as the right choice in remote areas, with dodgy fuel.

    The bike above has run on fuel containing palm sap alcohol, been cartwheeled down a mountainside, thrown 10' by an elephant and got through the slop with smaller bikes on a day where we made just 7km in 24 hours.

    When the road opens up, it'll stay with the traffic - and be nice and stable for one-handed photography



    Away from the lights, it'll make mincemeat of Audi's R8, Ferraries and Lamborghinis.... as this one has. On bitumen twisties, it's been known to sit on the tail of a BMW R1200

    This is my town bike... the original iteration of the bike stromborg has. It's a '94 BMW Funduro, that I'd given my son... but he failed to sell it before he moved to America for work.... so it came back to me. I've since filled in that silly dip in the seat. I did a 250 km mid-winter ride on it on Monday. It's got nice low to mid speed riding characteristics.

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    The BMW 650 is hard to beat though one could take a Suzuki SV650 and put more dual purpose tires.
    A sweet motor with a nice transmission, solid performance and durability.



    Most modern classic bikes can make a great adventure touring bike if tires are changed and a set of bags are worked out. Most bikes fit a a large pack to hold a tent, bag, cooker, pot, expresso maker, some food and cofee, and a fly rod.

    I am not the guy who trailers a bike to an area to ride. I love packing the pieces it takes to get on the road, the roads and then some reasonable comfort camping. Riding fire roads and single lane hard pack is all part of getting to that spot as that part of the journey. If i have to ride more than 10 miles of pea gravel, transverse bloody watery ravines, worry about being buried in mud to one's hubs - i need an off road bike and some advil for later.

    Death Valley comparative - Fun on a decent naked bike!



    Get a dedicated off road bike!

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 07-04-2017 at 06:26 PM.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    My town bike in Chiang Mai is this



    It's a 200 cc Lifan. I've taken it into Laos... in the truck, but did use it as intended, whilst there. It's nasty. Not nice in the rough at all.... and if you've got a bad back, you'll understand what I mean if I say nasty suspension... bottoming out at the front end and the back on dirt roads is no fun.

    This one is entirely more fun....



    But it's best in the tighter stuff, and not so good on the bitumen.... but that said, I have done a lot of bitumen on it too. It'll go where none of the other bikes I've had will go.... and it's a lot damn easier to pick it up again when you fall off, or to drag it out of the slop.

    It's a modified KTM 525 EXC... now with a 613cc engine. Which brings me to it's biggest negative. It's a bit service-intensive (which isn't a huge negative)... but it wants it's oil changed every 1,000 km. But if you want to get into tiger territory... it's the go.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Ted mentions the SV650... I hired this one for an overnight visa run on my last trip



    I thought it was quite a competent road bike. I wouldn't buy it if I was doing more than 5% of my time on the dirt... but on the road it was nice. Not overly powerful, but nice. My pillion started thumping my shoulder at 184 kph... and it was still winding out. I hit some oil on it in the mountains too... and didn't drop it. It behaved itself
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Awesome.

    The idea sprang from the scooter. I really just want someimg with more range. A classic "scrambler""type bike,or,really all the off road I'd ever need, not a full blown dirt bike.

    I can't have loads of bags or plastic or close fenders or low draggy bits, is all.

    Picture this. 55-60 miles of windy, windy mountain tarmac, maybe 20-30 miles of logging or fire road, and then up a short spur of double track to a clearing. Tent or hammock, small fire. Maybe fish, maybe meditate. Maybe repeat over and over.

    The problem is long stretches of high speed tarmac and long distances between petrol pumps.

    So far I like all the proposals. Thank you. This is a very open ended, yet serious question, and any suggestion is welcome, no matter how obvious it may seem, and all practical (advice based on experience) advice is welcome.

    Thanks again, all.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    I'd love to take on a hobby like this, totally appeals to me.
    "Please be more specific or we'll choose to order a cheaper bilge-rat to replace you."

    ~seanz

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post

    It's a modified KTM 525 EXC... now with a 613cc engine. Which brings me to it's biggest negative. It's a bit service-intensive (which isn't a huge negative)... but it wants it's oil changed every 1,000 km. But if you want to get into tiger territory... it's the go.
    A modified KTM where you ride... No thank you! Who want to screw around with oil changes every 1000K and such with the bugs, rain and mud. I come to believe that Ian loves a little machine masochism and corporal female temptation when he rides. That is part of his adventure accounting - more power to his testing of will and wiles.

    I would rather ride a nearly stock Honda RX400 which trusted great riding friends have told me is bulletproof and waiting to be abused. Besides for me - getting home safely and without treatment is as important a factor as getting to the destination.

    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    I'm toying with buying a bike in the US for a bit of a ride around next year. My current thinking is either a KTM Super Enduro. I've seen them for relatively reasonable money. Or, an old BMW airhead. I've even looked at a few of the adverts for later BMWs.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    A couple of friends are about to embark on an Alaska to Patagonia trip. They are on identical Honda XR650s. Well prepped. These bikes are a few years old... but in fully rebuilt condition. I saw them going together about a month ago. I may have some phone photos...

    Edit... one phone pic

    Last edited by The Bigfella; 07-04-2017 at 06:52 PM.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    I'm toying with buying a bike in the US for a bit of a ride around next year. My current thinking is either a KTM Super Enduro. I've seen them for relatively reasonable money. Or, an old BMW airhead. I've even looked at a few of the adverts for later BMWs.
    Let's just say your type of riding is three levels of adventure more than I'm after. Which is not to say it doesn't look and sound fun, but my days of riding aggressively in any way are long gone, and some of the terrain you tackle requires nerves and skill I no longer wish to keep polished.

    Where are you riding in the US?

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    I'm toying with buying a bike in the US for a bit of a ride around next year. My current thinking is either a KTM Super Enduro. I've seen them for relatively reasonable money. Or, an old BMW airhead. I've even looked at a few of the adverts for later BMWs.
    You would be disappointed if you couldn't ride off road. The trick will be for balance of superslab, a salt flats full out run and death valley days deep camping adventure.

    Although - a k100 with dual tires on her... Under 2k she would be a blast with a turn around sale for the same price in short order.

    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Where? No firm plans yet. I reckon Pless might invite me to come have a beer in Hell.... but you never know.

    My son is living in SW Colorado. I haven't spoken with him about it yet, but my half-formed plan is to source a bike later this year and send it to him ahead of time. He can use it... although he's going to be waist deep in snow about when I plan to buy. So... starting out of Colorado, do a bit of a loop and see how it goes. Maybe take in Route 66, back up to the Pacific NW. Dunno really. My divorce hearing is today. Let's see what life holds after today.....
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    A modified KTM where you ride... No thank you! Who want to screw around with oil changes every 1000K and such with the bugs, rain and mud. I come to believe that Ian loves a little machine masochism and corporal female temptation when he rides. That is part of his adventure accounting - more power to his testing of will and wiles.

    I would rather ride a nearly stock Honda RX400 which trusted great riding friends have told me is bulletproof and waiting to be abused. Besides for me - getting home safely and without treatment is as important a factor as getting to the destination.

    Have a look at Suzuki DRZ400 then. It's the newer equivalent of the old XRs. It's bullet proof. Good torquey motor. Electric start, which soon becomes important. And you can get an aftermarket long range tank. They've been everywhere. Nothing extreme about them, just a really good all rounder. Mines been in the shed for a while but I had it in Papau New Gunea for a couple of years, where creek beds are better than roads. It's great around the Adelaide Hills, a mix of b grade bitumen, made dirt roads and a few fire tracks. Plenty of people have ridden them across the Australian deserts, where you are as likely to be riding over untouched sand hills as on a road, and the roads are often rutted, corrugated, sandy tracks, interspersed with the occasional stretch of 1000 km or so of dead straight bitumen. Just a really nice, reliable bike.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    You would be disappointed if you couldn't ride off road. The trick will be for balance of superslab, a salt flats full out run and death valley days deep camping adventure.

    Although - a k100 with dual tires on her... Under 2k she would be a blast with a turn around sale for the same price in short order.

    You really don't want to take that on a rough twisty dirt track, whatever tyres you put on it.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    What? No mention of the KLR 650? Sacrilege.





    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    So, to get back to the freeway, I turn when I see the spotted dog?

    What the heck does this mean to a dummy like me?

    Peace,
    Robert
    I think you figured it out by now, but Gatenby is Bigfella.
    Last edited by BrianW; 07-04-2017 at 07:30 PM.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    What? No mention of the KLR 650? Sacrilege.





    Yeah they've been around a long time now. Always struck me as biased more toward bitumen than dirt, and I'm thinking Rob is on the lighter side, as I am, so that could be a bit heavy. Nice long range touring bike with some off road capacity though.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    You really don't want to take that on a rough twisty dirt track, whatever tyres you put on it.
    If you can carry an air pump with you, a motorcycle becomes a more versatile machine with expanded capabilities. Reducing the air in the tires provided you have good inter tubes and good rubber tread - why not go a bit further down the trail?

    I am not afraid i am going to dump it if i ride with caution and looking ahead. It is a whole different kind of riding when you have a group of folks on dual purpose bikes blazing on single track. If I am alone or with a friend, i will not push the bike to beyond my low comfort level when exploring a fire road or a gravel wash. Most important part of riding for me is safety. I need to make it home every time and work on the day i said I would be there. If you are riding for speed things come up too fast. If you are riding like Rob suggested, you are riding to see and be part of the grander journey. i found when i forced to speed because of other people through i miss the best parts of why I am riding. It is different for many others who seek the speed thrill but that is a subset of this adventure riding.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    The BMW 650 is hard to beat though one could take a Suzuki SV650 and put more dual purpose tires.
    A sweet motor with a nice transmission, solid performance and durability.



    Most modern classic bikes can make a great adventure touring bike if tires are changed and a set of bags are worked out. Most bikes fit a a large pack to hold a tent, bag, cooker, pot, expresso maker, some food and cofee, and a fly rod.
    Not a bad suggestion at all Ted and the SV sounds great !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Ian - sorry to read about your difficulties. No matter where you are in this process it is tough. I hope that things begin to have a brighter reckoning for you and yours. A good long ride will bring you some mental clarity and facilitate emotional closure. Focusing on maintaining your relationships with your kids and having this to plan are all good for you.

    Ride on.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    I only got back on a bike again in 2010, after three decades on the sidelines. That first ride / bike was about 3,500 km in Vietnam on a "China Honda"... a clone, called a Zinda, IRRC. My next ride was the Scrapheap Challenge - a fundraiser for kids with Downs Syndrome, where one had to take a bike bought and fixed for under $1k to a remote location... in this case, up into the desert to the furtherest corner of the state... nearly 1,000 miles from home.

    I had an old MZ 250 - an evil East German two stroke single - but I gave that to my son and rode an XR250 Honda myself. It blew up trying to keep up with the MZ on the highway.... and the only other XR250 in the event blew up on the same hill.

    I was handed a KLE600 Kawasaki - the predecessor of the KLR - that the event organiser had been riding, after his XR400 split its (non-original) fuel tank at the start line. A guy providing support for the event had bought this KLE for $146 on fleabay... with a "non-operative gearbox". The gear lever was bent against the case. Two seconds with a screwdriver fixed that problem. The organiser has two artificial legs (he lost an argument with a train when he was a young bloke).... and when the battery started to play up on the KLE... he couldn't start it, so he jumped in a car and gave it to me to ride.

    I had a rather spectacular rear wheel (fortunately) blowout on the gibber plains at about 110 kph. The tube spilt for about 18"... so, instant flat tyre. Here we are fixing it (with a larger diameter tube). These days, we wouldn't be so silly as to collect rocks to prop the bike up... just lay the bike over. Duhh...



    ..... and on that note... I'm off to get my 1938 Norton frame repaired. It needs the gearbox mounts fixed - they are a bit ovalised. Need bushing
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Ian - sorry to read about your difficulties. No matter where you are in this process it is tough. I hope that things begin to have a brighter reckoning for you and yours. A good long ride will bring you some mental clarity and facilitate emotional closure. Focusing on maintaining your relationships with your kids and having this to plan are all good for you.

    Ride on.
    Thanks Ted. Yeah - bit of a tough day. We had a pretty good 43 years... 36 of 'em married. But hey... she stopped getting on the back of the motorbike. What can a bloke say, eh?
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    K L R

    Brian beat me to it, but I'll say it again. They've been around the World as often as any of the KTM or BMW models mentioned. They cost a lot less, so you can spend a little on them, and all the rest that you don't spend on a KTM or BMW, goes to your trip. I hear that it can be a lot of money. They are reliable, you can get parts everywhere, and the aftermarket for them is YUGEEEE!

    When it comes to dollars per (s)mile, it's a solid choice.



    now. . . lets see if they're biting today.

    Last edited by Old Dryfoot; 07-04-2017 at 09:45 PM.
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    I rode a lot in my younger years and any bike will go off road until you get to fording rivers and knee deep mud.
    Generally if it is a walking/ hiking trail just about any bike will do it! Get the one you like...






  34. #34
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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Keep your eye on the yard sales for one of these!


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    Default Re: Adventure Motorbike

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I rode a lot in my younger years and any bike will go off road until you get to fording rivers and knee deep mud.
    Generally if it is a walking/ hiking trail just about any bike will do it! Get the one you like...





    All bikes are dirt bikes.

    Honestly, this is speculative, but fairly serious, and I just wanted favorites or dreams. Really, the scooter is fine for now, so I'm not too afraid of the bike. Anything will be more off-road worthy. But hardy to portage. Ahem.

    That Kawasaki looks nice. And cheap, too.

    I LOVE the full one dirt bike Harley.

    Peace,
    Robert

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