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Adventure motorcycle travel
08-21-2014, 23:34
Post: #1
Adventure motorcycle travel
We've been riding Harley's now for almost 20 years. We've managed to cover much of the interesting areas on 2 different continents that are paved in that time. We're thinking we want to get a little more off road and while we've done more than a few dirt roads with the dressers, we'd like to have the ability to really get off road when we want.

So who's riding what and how do you like it? Where have you been that's off the beaten path?

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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08-21-2014, 23:55
Post: #2
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
I rode Harleys for years and then I started riding back roads and then dirt roads, and started ruining rear shocks and fork seals. So I shopped around, and since my riding style changed, I bought a BMW GS Adventure. I have since been to Alaska and the Arctic Ocean at Deadhorse, then road the trans-Labrador highway before it was paved at all (used the temporary bridges during the construction phase) then down to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
It has 78,000 miles on it and I am 68 and not slowing down at all!
I want 300,000 on my Bird and my GSA! If you like this type of riding, check out ADVRider.com and read the trip reports. I am on there as "Packrat". I DO NOT go to Mexico anymore, but I love Canada and South America.
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08-22-2014, 00:23 (This post was last modified: 08-22-2014 00:23 by Arcticdude.)
Post: #3
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
So do you boat to South America and ride once there?


And is that the 1200GSA?

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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08-22-2014, 16:46
Post: #4
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
John,

I've had my BMW 1100GS since '95. Love the bike but it's really a handful on anything rougher than hard packed surfaces. It's a road machine at heart, but certainly good on stone roads and hard packed side roads; it's not really a trail bike. Once I was riding south on Highway One on the coast of California. I parked in a couple of inches of sand and I was lucky to get it out! It just kept digging deeper and deeper! LOL! Whoop-de-doos are a real workout; jumps or air... forget it! Ha! I love the bike on hard packed surfaces and for paved roads! For more technical off-road riding I'd opt for something about half the weight!

david brady,
'02 Wanderlodge LXi 'Smokey' (Sold),
'04 Prevost H3 Vantare 'SpongeBob'

"I don't like being wrong, but I really hate being right"
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08-22-2014, 17:04
Post: #5
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
David,

Do you think that's related to the tires that are on her? Certainly Bob hasn't had those issues riding the tLh with his GS. He'd have been there for a LONG time, if it "self buries"!

I've been looking at the 1200GSA and the 1190 Adventure (KTM). The KTM is a little lighter and has tons more power, but the GSA has some attributes that could make it a better choice.

What I really need is a way to rent a couple of bikes for about 3, maybe 6 mos; do my riding and then move on to other stuff! I think I actually want to end up with 650KLR's and ride all the gold mining ghost towns, using the bus as a base camp. The bigger bikes would only be to check Labrador/Newfoundland and the NWT off our check list. Since we can't get to Nunavut and she only feels like riding there is the way to go, I'm forced to stay on some kind of path. Wink

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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08-22-2014, 17:45 (This post was last modified: 08-22-2014 19:42 by travelite.)
Post: #6
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
My tires didn't help. I was running a Michelin dual sport tire, 150's on the back and 110's up front. With a more aggressive tire maybe I could have lifted the front end, but it's very hard to get any weight off the front on this bike. It's a very heavy bike, 550 lbs, with roadbike style weight bias. My sand episode was more of a sand dune, very loose stuff. The front tire knifes in. I've since learned to stay clear of anything that looks soft.

david brady,
'02 Wanderlodge LXi 'Smokey' (Sold),
'04 Prevost H3 Vantare 'SpongeBob'

"I don't like being wrong, but I really hate being right"
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08-22-2014, 20:28
Post: #7
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
(08-22-2014 00:23)Arcticdude Wrote:  So do you boat to South America and ride once there?


And is that the 1200GSA?

I borrowed a Honda 400 in Bolivia to ride the "Road of Death" from La Paz to Corocio. Went from 13,500 to 17,000 and down to 3000 ft AGL. They modify carbs with a small strand of copper wire to hold the jet open at altitude. It was scary to look down and seen the crash of a bus down 1500 feet from the road. I hugged the inside wall each time I passed a decending truck. Uphill traffic has the right of way since they cannot get started again after stopping.

Mine is a 2002 R1150 GSA. I have a hybrid transmission with a low 1st gear and a tall 6th gear.
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08-23-2014, 04:00 (This post was last modified: 08-23-2014 04:02 by Arcticdude.)
Post: #8
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
(08-22-2014 17:45)davidbrady Wrote:  It's a very heavy bike, 550 lbs, with roadbike style weight bias.



I'm guessing you'd think 850-900# would a small Winnebago, huh?!? That's where our Ultras are depending on loading. The only thing I question with the GSA is how top heavy it gets with a full 8 gal on board. The 1190 is just about 520 wet. With 150hp, it should be a real hoot in the gravel. Lol.

I'd love to do the death road, but we'll probably have to save that one for the next life. Since I feel like I'm either on my second or third life, doing the death road on the fourth or fifth should be about right!! Big Grin Wink

A 400, eh? Man that must have been a slow ride as it got up there!

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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08-24-2014, 03:05
Post: #9
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
(08-23-2014 04:00)Arcticdude Wrote:  
(08-22-2014 17:45)davidbrady Wrote:  It's a very heavy bike, 550 lbs, with roadbike style weight bias.
I'm guessing you'd think 850-900# would a small Winnebago, huh?!? That's where our Ultras are depending on loading. The only thing I question with the GSA is how top heavy it gets with a full 8 gal on board. The 1190 is just about 520 wet. With 150hp, it should be a real hoot in the gravel. Lol.

I'd love to do the death road, but we'll probably have to save that
one for the next life. Since I feel like I'm either on my second or third life, doing the death road on the fourth or fifth should be about right!! Big Grin Wink

A 400, eh? Man that must have been a slow ride as it got up there!

ACTUALLY, FOR THAT ROAD, THE 400 WAS FANTASTIC. I only had a small backpack and the fastest you can really go is about 60 on the open areas on top of the mountains. Both of us were breathing hard!! I need to find and scan those pictures.

The GSA is top heavy when full. I can still lift it when it takes a nap, but some times I have to take my gear off it.

Check out these ride reports from Alaska and Labrador:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthrea...932&page=2
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=399946
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08-25-2014, 13:32
Post: #10
RE: Adventure motorcycle travel
Those gravel roads will tear up some tires! Not that the weight has anything to do with it!! Tongue I would think you would have to unload to pick her back up. Might bend the rims, otherwise!! Look like a neat trip, though.

Ready to take the bird back up?

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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