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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
There are the backroad adventure routes where I see photos of riders with bikes that seem better suited for the road. Bikes I wouldn't want to drop.

This Husky 701/KTM 690 is better suited to these adventures, to me anyway.

https://ridebdr.com/



Imagine living in a place where you can get on an off-road route and ride across two states to Canada.

Although, in reality, big horsepower is seldom the answer when exploring endless miles of backroads. Especially when you encounter those Oh-Crap sections where lightweight is the key to surviving without a lot of help. It may well be that my choice for a street legal, reliable as a hammer, back country explorer may be the real hot ticket.

 

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KTM made the 2015 1290 Super Adventure T with an 8-gallon fuel tank as a response to the GS Adventure, but they didn't sell as well as KTM hoped. So they dropped it to 6 gallons in 2017 and called it an S model.

You can get a bolt-on 6-litre aux fuel tank that mounts behind the left saddlebag to extend range another 60 miles or so.

I agree that it's a bit big and heavy for all-day off-road work, but it seems well suited for crossing time zones while railing down the occasional fire road, such as on my extended LD Rally rides...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I may have not stated my position well. The above Husky is perfect for those long off-road adventures because you can drop it and little will be damaged, like a real dirt bike. It is those guys with expensive, and much heavier, GSs and similar portly "off-road" bikes that would be a challenge for any non-super rider, without a lot of assistance in those Oh-Crap sections. Plenty of YouTube videos demonstrate this.
 

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I may have not stated my position well. The above Husky is perfect for those long off-road adventures because you can drop it and little will be damaged, like a real dirt bike. It is those guys with expensive, and much heavier, GSs and similar portly "off-road" bikes that would be a challenge for any non-super rider, without a lot of assistance in those Oh-Crap sections. Plenty of YouTube videos demonstrate this.
I 100% agree. When I was really young my neighbor was sponsored by Husky and feeling sorry for me and my sad trail 70 he loaned me a two year old former race bike to ride. At the time, I had to stand on a milk crate to get on and if I dropped it I had to walk back to get help to get it back upright again. I then bought a 125 and just loved that bike even though it didn't have the power, didn't look as good, couldn't carry as much and even lacked the range of the bigger husky. Being confident in the single track and on the more open fire roads on a lighter bike was the ticket then and if I ever feel the need to buy a mostly off road bike it would be the way I would go now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A number of forum members express interest in one or more of the cross US off-road trails, from the Trans America Trail to one of the BDR routes. A few have even ridden at least one.

My experience with having ridden dual sport rides from the Ozarks to all the west coast is that bigger is seldom better, regardless of terrain. Bigger does offer more speed, carrying capacity and a whole lot more comfort when there is pavement or very easy non-paved sections. Outside of that the lighter bike shines. Add to that a seat height which allows for your legs to save you from a fall and you are nearly there. In addition, a fundamental necessity is reliability. BIG power and speed are qualities pros and experts look for. The regular guy benefits from ease of use and lack of damage to the bike when dropped far more.

This is why I recommend a real dirt bike made comfortable far more than a street oriented motorcycle made more dirt worthy for all but expert riders.

For those keen to try backcountry adventure riding there is no better time than now.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
I purchased a new, full Yamaha warranty, XT250 off the showroom floor for $4,100, or close to that. This makes the price of admission affordable. One thing about the venerable XT250 is that there is always a market for resale, just like the GS. It is always better to have a back door in case you find that adventure isn't for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some forum members may be interested in exploration and adventure discovery but desiring more than two wheels. There is a fast growing, worldwide, overlanding group. Now that certain vehicles are very off-road capable and daily driver useful, so many more are hearing the calling of backcountry adventure with 4 wheels.

https://overlandjournal.com/
 

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I understand what you're saying, RL, and for those circumstances I agree. A lighter, more reliable, and easier to ride bike is always better when the going gets tough. And some of those bikes are downright amazing, at very reasonable prices.

What I'm looking at is building a bike that can do Prudhoe Bay to Key West, on one long ride. Yes, I know it can be done on a GTL, but there are bikes better suited overall.

The KTM I talked about is a bit over 500 lbs fueled up. That's a lot for a "dirt" bike, but quite a bit less coming from a GTL or GT.

And as you said, rider experience definitely helps here.

One day I might learn how to stop and smell the roses along the way, but that day isn't here yet for me... :k16:
 

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Looks like the Slick Rock trial to me, rode it several times in the 80's with the wife on an 84 XL 600, (along with many other years on KTM's) there were a few places she had to bail off to keep us going from going over backwards. Oh the good Ole days!! Quit riding Moab in the late 90's when it started to get over run with granola's, probably a lot worse now I'm thinking!!
 
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