The Perfect Motorcycle....My thoughts!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by SilverhawkUSA, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Just a quick personal observation;

    I have been watching the many threads, along with listening to the numerous conversations over a bottle of beer, about the perfect bike. Guess what;There isn't one.

    The Versys seems to have aroused a lot of interest and the below quotes are somewhat typical of what appears in many threads.

    Yeah you are right... the rougher the terrain, the worse the Versys, the better the KLR. Bottom line Versys suitable for very light dirt road duty only, judging from the above thread.

    About the 17" wheels - are there no knobby 17" off road tires one could fit? Street tires are obviously going to be terrible on dirt roads.[/quote]

    I think you really need to think about how you are going to be using the bike for the MAJORITY of the time. Do you really want to buy a bike (or not) based on the chance you may do a few trips into Laos, or somewhere else, and encounter some dirt? How many times are you actually going to do this? If you know how you ride the majority of the time, match that usage with what you buy. Compromise may be the key word.

    Davidfl and I did a trip into Laos in 2004. Due to a project David was commissioned to do, we intentionally were seeking out-of- the way places and desolate areas . At that time there were not many dirt bikers on this site.There was also a limited selection of big bikes available for ANY kind of riding. I am far from an accomplished dirt biker, but I had to ride the only bike I had. A Yamaha TDM850, street tires/low pipes (they did get a few dents)............






    Was this the right bike for the terrain? Obviously not. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Don't be so quick to say "It can't, No way, It's not the right size wheels, It's not the right bike". You may be missing out on a lot of riding and adventures out there while you are waiting for that 'perfect' machine.

    For you guys that I hear say you are waiting because you must have a certain "special" bike in order to ride in Laos; you don't. You don't have to go off road to see the country unless you really want to. You can spend a couple weeks and travel from one end to the other and never leave the pavement. My suggestion is go there first, on what you have or rent. Get an idea of the country and what type riding you really want to do on a regular basis. How many times are you really going to travel in rough terrain? I have talked to some who are basing a major purchase on their perceptions without having set foot in the country or even know if they are going to like it.

    I know many riders who are having a blast on unlikely motorcycles. Yes, now I also have a dirt bike. But, I am sure glad I didn't miss out on that Laos trip because my bike wasn't the perfect one for the job. Whatever you ride or buy enjoy! :thumbup:
  2. Loading...

  3. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Therefore the right bike is the one you get out there and ride?

    Nice pictures, like the hill climb shot - that looks steep! :thumbup:
  4. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    And Slippery on road tyres...

    Mostly agreeing with you Dave...

    I see a lot of posts on here about the KLR... waiting desperately for it to come on sale... like it has been hyped up as the cure to all the bike problems in Thailand...

    I ride one here in Aus... bought it because I knew I was going to do a lot of backroad touring, and Ewen and Charlie rode Dual Purpose bikes in LWD... and I couldn't afford a BMW... and everyone told me to stay away from the 650 Dakar... and and and...

    I have never taken the bike anywhere the guys I ride with can't go on the Superblackbirds... but while they can cruise comfortably for endless hours at licence lost speeds, I am on a bike that is shacking itself apart at 140km/h... and even 120 isn't nice... uncomfortable seat, no rider comforts, awkward controls, not even a fuel guage... 650 Single rough as guts motor, poor brakes, cheap suspension...

    I wonder how many guys who are waiting on this bike to arrive have ever ridden one... I reckon they would quickly go looking for something like the TDM...

  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Yes, I would say that sums it up quite nicely. Thanks. :wink:
  6. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Or a Versys.........

    Had a nice opportunity to take a 08 KLR a couple of time around a loop with good surface, nasty broken pavement and smooth dirt roads last year; looks slick but really felt similar to my old long time friend a DR350r, surprisingly it's felt no where near as powerful as I thought a 650 would be and suspension and brakes are better with the D-Tracker. Seats can be changed. Before the ride would have jumped at buying one for long distances here, but given my apprehension riding on dirt (steel plated spine=no more MX'ing) and plentiful hard surfaced roads here - a powerful TDM would be a sweet ride. Have already told Pop's that I want first dibs on a Versys when they arrive, for a couple day trial ride.

    Sooo many bikes, never enough money and time :cry:

  7. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I don't want this topic to turn into another debate on WHAT IS THE PERFECT bike. There are enough other posts on that already. :crazy: My whole point is that you do not need the perfect bike to get out there and ride. If there was such a thing as the perfect bike, we would all have it wouldn't we?

    Everyone's needs and tastes are different, but sometimes I think we analyze it to death. If you have found your dream bike and have the means to get it; Good for you! :thumbup: I'm just saying don't miss out on a lot of good adventures because you feel you have the wrong bike. These are just MY thoughts, I certainly don't expect everyone to agree. :lol-sign:
  8. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Totally agree there is no perfect "one size fits all" bike. Have not ridden one, but at least on paper the new Multistrada may be as close to an all-rounder that exists today. The price of admission is just too steep when buying new. If the reviews and long-term reliability prove to be positive, I may look at picking up a used one in a few years.

    While one does not NEED the perfect bike for the terrain/conditions, the experience sure is enhanced when you do. And that is why we ride, for the experience (and adrenaline). Unfortunately, that is why most guys need a big garage for multiple bikes. Same thing with boating. Gotta have a go-fast/ski boat, a walk around capable cuddy for salt water fishing and over nighters, and a shallow draft river boat. And multiple girlfriends. I mean is one really ever enough to do it all? Geez, this is getting expensive!
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    One of my favorite travel report in recent years on this site was submitted by a guy from Singapore (forgot his handle...) who rode all the way to Laos and back on a little KSR- I can't imagine covering such a huge distance on such a tiny bike (110cc I think?) yet his trip report was awesome and it was obvious he had a great time. So yes, I second Silverhawk's sentiment that WHAT one rides is of little importance as long as it puts a smile on your face! :mrgreen:
    Happy Trails!
  10. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Yeah, I remember reading that awesome report. He was an iron man (with an iron butt) to do that. But I think he was 20 years old. If I would have tried it, they would still be trying to straighten me back out. 20 years ago yes, now NO WAY. When the time comes, will probably will have to draw the line at a trike though, but if a guy at 80+ still wants to give it a go for a few years, why not? Funny how we come full circle before we check out.
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The best bike is the one you enjoy riding the most.
    A good rider can ride anything, almost anywhere.

    Some of you guys are worrying about having the right bike to do Laos on??

    The Snail did Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang in a day in 2008 on his Ducati for something to do.

    Mark & Nikki rode in during the wet season on the Harley & made it.
    and they are back in town & should be at Miguels on Wednesday.

    There was a guy (Aussie) who did Houei Xai - Luang Nam Tha - Luang Prabang on a Honda VFR many years ago when the road was just about all dirt & still the jungle road. He had a website, but I can't find it.

    And which bike was the perfect one - well it was the one they all rode & loved riding.

    Captain Slash has done all of Thailand 3 or 4 times over - Honda Wave, BMW F650, Phantom 200.
    For me, it's my Africa Twin.

    It doesn't matter, just so long as you ride & enjoy yourself.
    Keep riding & enjoy. If you worry about it, just ride a bit more as you've got too much time on your hands.

  12. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Guys, for me there is no such thing as the 'perfect bike'. It is the pleasure of riding only :thumbup: , for as a long time I didn't have so much fun as on the MHS loop on our scooters. I can go with my bikes anywhere, and if it happens that I end up on a dirt road with the FJR then be it, for me it's the challenge on hand, will try and manage the dirttrack with my heavy pig...... :D . And if I have to kick the DR on a tarmac road until she glows red on the exhaust then so be it. On the SRX my butt aches after some 100 kms but she's a real challenge in the mountains as her back is light and starts to slide easily and still I love the Samoeng loop on her. Just a thought, on the big one, villages pass without me noticing them. On the dirt one I look more to the sides of the road as she'll do any pothole but still the villages pass, on the Step, everything is stored in my visual memory as there's some time spared to grasp my surroundings and still all of them give me pleasure. Selfspeaking, I do not even 20% of what I ride a year in my car. while going shopping, I still try to avoid 4 wheels if I can fit my purchase in the panniers or topcase. Through this I grew a little impatient while riding the car as I hate being stuck somehwere in 10th place behind a row of crawling/smoke belching pickups, bike is better. And just the thought of looking for a space to park in town puts me off the car.....Heard a lot of times that the F650GS is not for offroad riding, for me crap, I did a long off road run on her between Wiang Haeng and Pai 3 years ago and she did fine and flawless. Another headshake for me is when some friends tell me they can't ride because it's the rainy season, for me rain or shine I don't give a hoot, I ride.....even if it's above 40'C I don't care. Just the pleasure of it on any bike made me copy the sentence: "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul", keep on riding !! Cheers, Franz
  13. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    Don't forget this one from a few years back:

    [youtube:37s8jcjf] /youtube:37s8jcjf]
  14. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hell yeah! Classic! :mrgreen:
    Ride On!
  15. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer


    I know exactly where you were; both physically ("hills beyond 'Flight of the Gibbons'')' and mentally. Nice! :clap:
  16. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    If I was to Start out again Now with Just One Bike it Would Have to Be the Mighty BMW F800GS. The Go anywhere Bike!!! Yes it is not a Real Enduro Bike but it could have a Dam good Go at all the Trails I have been on!Plus it can Cruise with the Best of them on the Highway! And Having Tested one I know for a Fact it will keep up with the Pack on the Twisties, But can the Pack keep up with It :shock: As they Said in the Highlander Movie: "There can be only One".
    Now BMW can i please have a Free 800GS for giving You this Plug!!! :thumbup:
  17. Bert on the bike

    Bert on the bike Ol'Timer


    Owning a 800 GS and have owned a 650 Dakar and dirt bikes I could not agree with you more, the 800 GS is the bike for Thailand and suitable for every road except for the extreme dirt roads. I enjoy everyday I drive it, wether it is to work in Rayong or on dirt roads in Cambodia.

    However what is much more important is what silverhawk said; it is not the bike you are driving, it is what you do and where you go with it. Wichever bike you drive, go out there and drive it, tarmac or dirt and enjoy it.
  18. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Bert on a Bike is Obviously a Very Smart Educated Man with Impeccable Taste! I had got My Tiger end of 2007 and while it is Now the Best it has ever been with all the Mods and Perfect for the Rides I use it on the GS is better straight out of the Box and a better all rounder! My Triumph Just sits waiting for the Long Fast Rides. The Rest of the Time I am on 250! Because of the Money I have spent on the Tiger it just isn't viable to Sell it for a 800 GS. It is a Real Tuff Market at the moment and Not many Buyers out there so Prices of second hand bikes are dropping! I would Love an Anniversary 800 in the BMW Motorsport Red, White & Blue though? Beautiful!!! So Keep enjoying Bert, You are a Lucky Man and maybe we will pass on the Road somewhere?
  19. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    I would prefer a real enduro bike for all kinds of off-road driving. A street machine is not suited to river crossing, what about water getting into the wheel bearings and then they crack at high speed on the highway with disastrous results. No way would I ever do this. Better buy a dirt bike and then go to Laos or wherever there are dirt trails.
  20. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Your missing the whole point of my post. What I am saying is that many times one can make do with what they have. I am not asking what bike you want or prefer; there are plenty of posts about that already.

    I totally disagree with your wheel bearing argument. The bearings on an enduro are no different than the bearings on a street bike. They are all sealed bearings. You do ride in the rain? Most preferred enduros are also capable of high speeds on the highway, so what difference would that make?
  21. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

    Well, let me have unlimited resources. Then I would get an Africa Twin with titanium parts in the engine and frame and magnesium wheels. Hopefully, its weight will be some 30 kg less.
    I've had 650 cc enduro singles and as much as I like them, the power band and smoothness of a twin is more appealing for long distance trips. Weight is a major complaint. A HPN competition BMW R 1200 GS would not be rejected either. And that KTM above looks all business, too. (I loved the Ducati Monster, too but couldn't handle the soreness of the buttocks after merely 300 miles).

    My wish list: not much over 200 kg / very reliable / comfortable and ergonomic riding position / no gas guzzler / power to avoid constant gear shifts on a mountain road / tires which can handle the challenging road surfaces and some dirt terrain.

    Ducati has a software solution allowing different settings. That might be the future: buy one bike, get 3.

    It's the good old Africa Twin for me! It might even work as a Babe Puller :lol-sign: will have to ask some AT riders here (Lots of Thais made inquiries when it was parked in a bike shop for service)


Share This Page