adventure bike

Bike pulling a bike on a bike trailer.

Saw this over on ADV rider.  I love this.  I saw something similar a long time ago where a guy was pulling his Ducati track bike with a Goldwing on his way to the races.  I guess if you get the balance right there’s no reason it can’t be done safely.  That’s about 1000 lbs (with rider) pulling about 400.   Be damm sure to keep those brakes serviced though.




A flawless Yamaha XT600. One of my favorite classic dualsports.

It funny because I was thinking of this very bike just the other day. At around the same time that Suzuki was designing the DR650 that’s been in continuous presence in American showrooms since 1998 (virtually unchanged) Yamaha had a serious competitor already on the market. It kills me that they surrendered the market to Suzuki so easily. This was a fantastic bike! I’m equally as pissed that they never brought its descendant, the Tenere 660, here either. WAKE up Yamaha! There are some of out here who love ADV thumpers! You’ve once again surrendered the market. This time to BMW and KTM. Damm shame…


A shoutout to Paul King for these shots. She’s a real beauty. Take good care of her!

Paul writes in:


My name is Paul King, from Colorado.
I’m an avid viewer of your site.
Thought you might like at couple of shots of my ‘just assembled’ current ride.
It’s a 1994 Yamaha XT 600 with only 3,000 miles on it.
After cleaning it up, I added my personalizing accessories
to make it an adventure tourer.
Windshield, hot grips, aluminum panniers, bars, etc.

P.S. I rode one prepared like this to Alaska a few years ago.

Great stuff. Thanks Paul! And if you take this one on any adventures remember to send in some pics!

KTM… I think I get it now..

I’ve never spent much time around KTM’s. We had a dealer nearby who everyone generally agreed was an asshole.   It was a small shop and could have been a winner but the guy was a real crook.   How he ever landed that dealership (and kept it as long as he did) was a mystery to those of us in the local motorcycle community.  As a result, I never spent much time kicking the tires over there.  What’s was the point really.  I’d never buy a bike from the guy anyway.  So as it happens I had to run by the local Suzuki / Yamaha dealership for some parts for the DR650 last weekend and low and behold there on the floor was a full compliment of Orange machines. They had picked up a KTM franchise of their very own!  It was a Saturday so took the time to hang out and gave them an honest once over.  One of the salesman is a buddy that I’ve known for quite a few years and it was a slow day so I hung around and picked his brain a bit.

Veeeeery interesting stuff….

To start with they didn’t have the full lineup in yet. They had most of the dirtbikes but unfortunately no Dukes or Superdukes.  They did however have a pair of the big 990 Adventurer models on the floor. For years  I never did “get” these bikes.   Oh I’ve seen them plenty in magazines and on the web and such but I’ve never thought much of them really.  Plenty of general praise but they always seemed slabsided and very  heavy “looking”.

And then I sat on one.

Well damm..  not that is a well balanced bike for it’s size.  And it’s a lot smaller (and frankly better looking) in person anyway.   Some bikes just don’t phoograph well for some reason.   It felt about 150 pounds lighter than it looked and if the power is as good as I’ve read about then it must be one fun ride.  Now they are not cheap of course , but lightweight, big power and go almost anywhere performance rarely is.  Really impressive “in the flesh” as they say.

Then my brain went ding!  There’s your blogpost for the day there Steve-o!  Cool! So I came home started to do a little research for this post and tripped across this beauty..


Now THAT is a gutsy build.  What a performer this thing must be.

Once my superkid gets a bit older I may have to hunt one down and head for parts unknown for a while. That is some sex on wheels.

So anyway, back at the dealership, my salesman salesman friend casually pointed to the KTM 30exc 2 stroke I was leaning against and asked, “what do ya think?”…

Now he knows full well that I’m a certifiable 2 stroke loon. And as it turns out, I’ve talked to a few owners of these over the years and the reports are jaw dropping.  A tase of what might have been if everyone had stayed with 2 stroke tech.  The thing is essentially weightless.  It has a highly developed powervalve exhaust that keeps it strong literally everywhere.  One mutual buddy of ours (who marshals for CCS/ASRA racing series) named Ron G who has good skills and a serious stable of bikes to match, actually owns a tagged KTM300 2 stroke that I though he bought that way.  He has other hooligan bikes for the street so he mostly uses it to ride from trailhead to trailhead when he’s offroading.  I always just assume that the guy he bought it from bullshitted it past the tag agency (by some fluke or friend or whatever) and off he went. The old “it’s nice to know a guy” trick.  Anyway, Ron G once swore to me that if properly massaged that bike could stand the 450 4-stroke MX class on its head.  He said the beauty of that would be that the low dollar amateur racers would not go broke on high priced insanely expensive maintenance every 12 races or so on their titanium valved Swiss watch thumpers.  And screw the emissions.  It’s just a few bikes.  Anyway, I really don’t doubt him about this which is also why I have no doubt that the major manufacturers will NEVER, EVER allow it to happen. Too much investment in new tech to lose races to a simple affordable 2 stroke.

Oh well… sigh..  life goes on… yada yada.. but man are they aver gorgeous.

AND THEN My Super Duper pain in the ass salesbuddy dropped THE BOMB on me…

You know he said, “Ron G titled that bike himself.  It was easy.”

I stopped and stared at him.  Maybe a little slack jawed.

“As it turns out”, he continued, ” the titles on those bike do not have offroad use only written on them anywhere. And just as important, they’ve got the correct # of digits to satisfy the DMV. Hell an aftermarket enduro light kit and you can tag those babies in Florida and get them street legal”….

… least 10 solid seconds of dead silence.  I may have stopped breathing. I turned from him, stepped back and just stared at the bike and visualized it with Supermoto wheels. I tried to imagine the sublime ecstasy of what it might be like to ride a waifish,  heck almost weightless 2 stroke motorcycle , properly sprung with giant sticky tires and insane power around a place like Deals Gap.

tic tic tic…

“Are you OK?” he asked.

“You’re a prick.” I replied.

He had me. “And why’s that?” he asked laughing out loud.

“Because compared to most sane people I am definitely NOT OK.  Hell I wouldn’t even know how to explain this to a normal person much less my own family.”

“Ha! I hooked you didn’t I?” he said.

“Not at over $8000 new you didn’t.  I can’t swallow THAT much bait” I said.  “But call me if you get a used one in.  You never know.”

So I muttered a curse and came home.  Logged in and did a search on KTM 300 Supermoto.

Son of a bitch..

The Dirt Fazer!

Manny had made a few comments about his old Dirt Fazer in the FZ! Adventure Bike thread and he was kind ehough to send in some pics of it.  Cool Stuff but a sad ending..
Manny Wrote in:

Hope some of these are OK. Don’t forget most of this stuff is from the film era and it wasn’t so easy to take pictures back then. I owned this bike for 13 years and had a blast with it. One day I was riding it home from work and the countershaft sprocket came off the shaft and the chain wrapped around and locked my rear wheel in the fast lane of a major Montreal highway. I slid to a stop on the inside service lane and took the plate, tools and mirrors, crossed the highway, called my wife to pick me up and abandoned the bike. I had never plated it and ran it on the street with the plate from my other Fazer so it couldn’t be traced to me. That’s the last time I saw it.

Following on our theme of large Adventure Bikes…

Thanks to”small wheels”  (for the link in the comments thread of the FZ1 build) it seems that there’s a longer history of this than I realized.  As he said it’s “already (been) done in the ’80 by Jean Claude OLIVIER, french importater of Yamaha who even race it at the Paris-Dakar”

And here’s a shot of the 87 version.  Go check out the complete page.  It’s in original German Here… or the Google Translated version Here

Really cool converted BMW dualsport K75 “Brick”

There’s an interesting thread over on ADV rider called “converted dual sports” where folks convert all manner of unusual rides into some form of off roar or dual sport bike. A lot of it can be nothing more than thick tread tires on a UJM inline four but every once in a while there’s a really inspired and well crafted creation. Todd was kind enough to give me permission to re-post pics of his work in progress here. He mentioned that there’s a sturdy piece of aluminum waiting to be bent into a bash plate for under the engine. He says there’s more on the way so this post may get updated a little in the near future.

It’s such a nice fit for the style that I’m surprised that BMW never built one themselves. Great build Todd. Thanks!