Christini AWD update. This is some nice engineering pRorn.

I’d done a post on the Christini AWD bikes a while back and I always want to see it closer up.  Well a big thank you to Colin for the message board link over on Dirt Bike World where these were located.  This is the sort of technology that just stops me in my tracks and get me staring. Amazing how compact it really is.  I’d think the weight would be easily offset by the added traction.   Ant that  KTM 300 is already a rocket ship!  Really brilliant.   I’d love to ride one someday.

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”….

…..at 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..

Nice garage… and cool pic from a Go-Pro

Tom Leeming sent in a this shop photo that he took with his Go-Pro a while back. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a Go-Pro for videos but I was sort of holding off because I didn’t think the still camera was all that hot. I think I stand corrected. I even like the wide angle. Better panaromas and you can always carry a compact for the close-ups.

And that is a hell of a nice quiver there. A custom cafe’s Suzuki Titan. A KTM Adventure, A BMW(RS?), and a wicked GasGas trials bike. Hard to get bored with a collection like that.

A Little Colorado Adventure Wanderlust Action…

Living in Florida isn’t exactly torture but geography that’s as  flat as a pancake does get old.  I look at photos like this and think that a little snow might not be so bad once in a while.  These are courtesy of the incomparable Edward “Geek” Walker from Colorado.  AKA MotoGeek! Be sure to check out his site for a LOT more!  These are from a little Sunday/Monday ride he took.  Damm. Some guys sure do have it rough…

Thanks Ed!

More information on the Greek hooligan videos and some great reader rides!

A reader from Greece was kind enough to do some translating and fill us in on the “Greek Hooligan” videos from the previous post. He also included some fantastic bikes of his own!

Thanasis Vgenis writes in:

Hello there!
I would like to congratulate you on your great blog, I’ve seen very nice bikes there since I subscribed! Well done, it’s priceless!

I come (and still live here) from Greece, so I had a laugh watching those nice old videos from “Agios Ioannis”. This is a place in island of Evia, not far from Athens, were many athenian bikers use to go for a ride since the scenery is nice and the twisties are great. The guys in the video are race riders, especially the one on the 749, and local heros, so they know the road like the back of their palm, which of course is no excuse for that silly riding…The “disclaimer” at the start of the video says that “this has been done by professional riders, in a controlled (!!!! 😀 ) environment, so don’t try this at home and ride safely” Funny enough I dare say….(we must admit that their are pretty good, though)

Seizing the opportunity, I am including a couple of pics from some of my bikes.
First is my 1970 Ducati Scrambler 350, almost completely restored. I got the bike in 2003, and studies and PhD included I got it running in 2010….But it’s a charm…
Next, the scrambler is together with my mate’s 1979 XT 500, a really lovely bike, almost unrestored, just some paint jobs and slight engine repairs.
Finally, my lovely 660 smc in a break from work, on to the mountains near by.

Hope you like ’em.

Keep up the great work,
Best regards,
Thanasis Vgenis

This post is a great example of why the internet is so great. Thank you very much for the information sir and congratulations on your excellent collection! I like your taste in bikes!

Reader Ride! A killer KTM motard build!

A killer KTM build! Thanks to Joe Banks who writes in:
Hi there, love the twostroke blog and the pic of the day. Enjoyed the Stormer you just featured,took me back to my first full build,a 370 Stormer when I was 14 in an old pigsty.
At 40(ish) I seem to have ended up with another ex pigsty to work in, funny how life goes in circles.
Anyway, this is the latest piglet, not sure if its your thing but thought I’d send the pics anyway, I love it. It’s a 525exc bored to 540,flowed head,8/33 cam etc, in a supermoto/flatracker style. Lots of power and probably weighs in less than I do.
Keep up the good work, Joe.

That is NO pig Joe. Love it! I can think of some roads where this beauty would be right at home.