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Author Topic: Motorcycle ?  (Read 1581 times)

Offline AWS

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Motorcycle ?
« on: August 10, 2017, 04:45:30 PM »
Looking for a coyote hunting motorcycle.  I would like something light enough to put on a hitch rack, under 500 lbs.  Needs to be highway capable to travel to hunting areas, sometimes 100 miles so it needs to be pretty fast 65+ and comfortable as I'm 70.  It also has  to have the seat low to the ground as I'm short, even a TW-200 is a little tall for me.  Most of the roads I travel I can go down with my 2 wheel drive van but will have to be able to walk it across a sand wash so a lot of gravel and some sand roads. 

I used to ride a lot, in the early years a 57 panhead(too heavy) .  Then a 750 Honda in a ridged frame with a 21" over springer (I road a lot of dirt roads with it but it was hard to turn in a tight place I road it for 10 years).  Next was a Suzuki 700 Intruder a nice comfortable ride but fragile, things were easy to break on it. 

A couple of bikes that interest me is the Suzuki 650 Boulevard,  The new Honda 500 Rebel but not sure about belt drive on gravel and dirt roads.  I liked the shaft drive on the Intruder.

So help me with some suggestion(good used or new), as I haven't kept up with the bike world for 20 yrs.

Thanks

AWS
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Offline Atroxus

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 09:12:06 PM »
KLR 650 would probably work well for you. Basically a hybrid dirt bike/road bike. More than enough power for highway travel, and good to go off-road as well.

https://www.kawasaki.com/Products/2017-KLR650

Offline pd

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 09:45:46 PM »
I am going to politely disagree with Altroxus.  I would not go with a KLR or its Honda rival (XL650).  Both have high centers of gravity, and are heavy!

It sounds like you have gained a few years since you last rode.  You will be surprised how much strength you have lost in your upper body.  You do not want a heavy bike in the back country, especially when you are tired.  Compromise on the "comfortable at 70mph" condition, and go with something road legal but much smaller, such as an older XR250.  Cheap, lightweight, easy to maneuver, easy to repair.  The XR is quite tall, so maybe not a good match for you, but do look at smaller (displacement in c.c.'s) bikes.

I sold my 650 two years ago.  Too heavy for single track, not fast enough for the freeway, dual sport bikes are bad at both.  Never again for me.
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Offline Atroxus

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 10:21:54 PM »
I am going to politely disagree with Altroxus.  I would not go with a KLR or its Honda rival (XL650).  Both have high centers of gravity, and are heavy!

It sounds like you have gained a few years since you last rode.  You will be surprised how much strength you have lost in your upper body.  You do not want a heavy bike in the back country, especially when you are tired.  Compromise on the "comfortable at 70mph" condition, and go with something road legal but much smaller, such as an older XR250.  Cheap, lightweight, easy to maneuver, easy to repair.  The XR is quite tall, so maybe not a good match for you, but do look at smaller (displacement in c.c.'s) bikes.

I sold my 650 two years ago.  Too heavy for single track, not fast enough for the freeway, dual sport bikes are bad at both.  Never again for me.

I missed the part about him being short, but other than that the KLR meets all of the criteria he set. It's under 500lbs. I am not sure what 650cc bike you were riding that was too slow for the freeway, but I have a 650 that has no problems exceeding the speed limit on the freeway. A couple times I have got on the throttle harder than I intended when passing, and looked down to see I was doing 80+. I suppose the height thing could be problematic, depending on how short he is. I have only ever ridden one dual sport, but I am only 5'6" and had no problem mounting/riding, and the riding position and geometry of the bike made it quite comfortable and easy to maneuver.

If he is too short for a dual sport though I would agree on a smaller bike. A 250 can be adequate for the freeway as well. I rode a Ninja 250 for a while and it did fine on the freeway(would not recommend for off-road though). Any time I needed to pass someone I had to downshift 2 gears at a time to get enough acceleration, but other than that I never had any problems keeping up with freeway traffic on it, even in areas with 70Mph speed limit.

Offline dscubame

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 07:13:42 AM »
I am not a bike guy but I have been tempted on a Kawasaki versys.  Short no problem and definitely meets your requirements.  Used ones are Cheap too!
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.kawasaki.com/product/details/2017-Versys-X-300-ABS&ved=0ahUKEwjGuIKlrs_VAhVPxGMKHehNDeAQFggmMAA&usg=AFQjCNEyE0N5tvY8j-MNXS_EG0dVBw7Qtg
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Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 10:50:12 AM »
Very difficult criteria to meet. A couple questions come to mind. What will you be the primary vehicle the bike will be hitched to? In the majority of cases the better the bike handles on the road the more heavy it will be. So a comfortable bike at 70 mph for 100 miles that is going to be light enough to load easily on a hitch rack does not exist IMO.  If you have a low vehicle  it will make it possible. Still a lot of load to balance. For example My XR650 is 350 pounds.  Loading it on a hitchrack from level ground is a handful for me on the back of a Toyota Tacoma. But not a big deal onto a ford escape. Just be aware.

Is there a reason you are looking to ride those distances vs trailering to a closer drop off? I recently rode a new XT250. Its comfortable, and my feet were completely flat, easy to balance and pretty light. The fuel injected motor actually surprised me compared to some of the slugs I have rode in the past, nice bottom end and good mid range power that had great throttle response. This was straight stocker. BUT a highway machine it was not. Anything over low 50s and it was working hard. Not to mention wind will push you around. But county roads and off road it was great. It should also be a breeze to load onto a low hitch rack. And well under your 500 pound limit.

Several of the options you mention are straight pavement pounders. And if gravel road travel is in the mix I would cross them off immediately. Although they will be lower to the ground, they will not handle well offroad. Good luck with the search.


Offline rainshadow1

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 11:07:55 AM »
I was going to suggest the TW, most other dual sports are a lot higher up. It is a tough slot to fill. Especially something factory made.

I have a Boulevard 50 (805cc), but I ride like a granny on gravel, it's street only!


« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 01:59:19 PM by rainshadow1 »
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Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 12:17:16 PM »
Check out the Ural, and many have sidecars and 2wd

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 12:30:14 PM »
Honda is making this


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Offline Kittman

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 01:52:47 PM »
I have a KLR-650 which I use for hunting all the time.  It is way too heavy to be putting on a hitch rack setup.  There are lighter options and a couple of the good ones have already been mentioned here.  The criteria I would use is what is available to erect a gun boot mounting setup -Safely-on the bike and is the bike frame up to the task for any future "Iron Mule" pack basket, think GVWR ratings additions.

I have a couple posts somewhere here in HuntWa land with my setup.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 01:59:41 PM »
I'm not sure there is such a bike that is:

1) lower seat than a TW200    and
2) goes 70mph on the freeway    and
3) comfortable for 100+ mile ride   and
4) light enough for a hitch rack under 500lbs

5) and off road capable for sand washes + carry a gun boot.


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Offline rainshadow1

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 02:01:44 PM »
I built this up from a 400cc sport bike and a Kawasaki 250 dirt bike front end... tall though...

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Offline Kittman

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 02:22:31 PM »
I'm not sure there is such a bike that is:

1) lower seat than a TW200    and
2) goes 70mph on the freeway    and
3) comfortable for 100+ mile ride   and
4) light enough for a hitch rack under 500lbs

5) and off road capable for sand washes + carry a gun boot.

And is Shaft Drive?

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 02:39:08 PM »
Going to have to find a compromise somewhere, the easiest compromise is the speed limit and range.  If you didn't need to go 65+ on the interstate or run 100 miles comfortably you could find a bike to do all the other things pretty easily. 

or you could find 2 bikes, one for the low speed light weight off road stuff, and another bike for the longer runs.
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Offline Kittman

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 02:59:20 PM »
Triumph Tiger Explorer has shaft drive.  Ouch, that thing hurts the wallet though.

Offline goldenhtr

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 03:23:57 PM »
You need this. Forget the 65+mph-If you can hit the dirt within 25miles of your home and keep it at 55-60 or below, this is the bike. Tons of mods possible. I have 2, mine and one for my wife that I lowered 3in, she's 5'1" My oldest son(37) has one as well as to of my best friends, and several other hunting buddies. Pic is not me. But shows what the little bike is capable of. I have taken out 2 deer on my bike as well. You don't say where you are from but if you get up to the Smokey Point area and would like to throw a leg over one let me know. Here's a pic of my bike as well with the scabbard on.
Just ask at www.TW200forum.com
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« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 03:39:33 PM by goldenhtr »

Offline AWS

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 09:40:40 PM »
I hunt coyotes, hunt 30 minutes and on down the road a couple mile and hunt again.  I easily put a hundred miles a day, with my van that adds up to alot of gas and wear on the van.  I would like to park the van and use it as a base camp and hunt off the motorcycle, no need to haul any gear other than a few coyote skins and a couple gallons of fuel.  Think park the truck in Moses Lake  run to the Tri cities and hunt all day, next day up to Brewster, then to Ritzville. you get the picture.  I do this for a few months thru the winter in the SW hunting NV, AZ and NM.  If you can lower a TW-200 I might have to rethink it although I hear they are very buzzy at highway speed..  The Suzuki S40 is a 650cc single that is under 400 lbs same with the Honda Rebel 300.
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Offline j_h_nimrod

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 11:24:08 PM »
Kind of a bit different direction but the Honda Ruckus might fit your needs. I have talked with a few guys that run them and they appear fairly trail competent and meet most of your criteria. Good for shorter people because you don't straddle it. Slower speed than you are looking for is the main detractor.

I also have a klr 250 that is a good bike that they make a lowering link for. 70mph is about tops but it weighs about 225 lbs and has good low torque.

Offline goldenhtr

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 06:26:38 AM »
I hunt coyotes, hunt 30 minutes and on down the road a couple mile and hunt again.  I easily put a hundred miles a day, with my van that adds up to alot of gas and wear on the van.  I would like to park the van and use it as a base camp and hunt off the motorcycle, no need to haul any gear other than a few coyote skins and a couple gallons of fuel.  Think park the truck in Moses Lake  run to the Tri cities and hunt all day, next day up to Brewster, then to Ritzville. you get the picture.  I do this for a few months thru the winter in the SW hunting NV, AZ and NM.  If you can lower a TW-200 I might have to rethink it although I hear they are very buzzy at highway speed..  The Suzuki S40 is a 650cc single that is under 400 lbs same with the Honda Rebel 300.

Yes that's quite a drive between locations. If taking back roads and not in a hurry it would still work. But yes they can be buzzy if riding at 55+ for long periods.  Me, I stick to 80% dirt roads. I'm no longer interested in going fast from point A to point B. But with some regearing you could significantly reduce the buzzing. But sounds like you need a bigger displacement bike. But that comes with the height issue. Good luck.

Offline huntinguy

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2017, 11:14:20 AM »
honda used to make a 400cc ruckus. I have seen them do 65+ on the freeway.  A little pricey if you can find one.

Suzuki makes a TU250X, pipes are low but a nice retro bike with a 30 seat height.

There are some nice Honda 110 floating around. the 65MPH might be asking too much but...

Dual Sports are tall. Wish they would come back out with the old Enduro's again.

Offline scotsman

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2017, 09:19:04 PM »
Go old school. I keep a ''74 Honda 360 dual sport at our place in Chelan for just that type of purpose. I can take mama touring the vinyards one day, next day hit the dirt roads to pop over the mountain between Chelan and the Methow. Then instead of beating myself up going back over the top I hit hwy 97 to zoom down the columbia back to  Chelan. The 360 works well because it weighs under 400 pounds and has a 6 speed trans - the CB 350 has the same motor but 5 speed so runs hig rpm at freeway speed.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2017, 07:38:09 AM »
I had a CB400 Honda hawk, with the right tires it would certainly do it.   I put knobbies on mine and had a ball slinging mud with it, but I did a lot of highway miles on it and she rode pretty good, topped out about 115 (with a stiff tail wind and slightly downhill) but 65 was no problem.

Mine was rough I paid like 400 bucks for it, sat in someone's garage for 20 years.  Had to redo the seat and go through it
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 09:36:02 AM by KFhunter »
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Offline Special T

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2017, 08:56:44 AM »
If all you are going to ride is gravel roads I say keep an eye out for a cheep road bike that may fit the bill and purchase some dirt bike tires. Have you seen the bike in Walking Dead? Tv show. It's like a Harley with off road lobbies front AND rear.
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Offline Rich_S

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2017, 10:57:34 AM »
I turn 75 this year and had to sell my 2003 Suzuki 1400 Intruder. Outstanding road bike but too darn heavy for an old guy.
Even standing still, if I got a little tipped, it was going over, no question about it! It was 525# and I could not get it up by myself. I got $3,000 for it with less than 1,000 miles on the clock.

Traded up to a 2014 Yamaha 250 Virago for the same price with under 4,000 miles. Just about 300#. Nice and low but plenty of ground clearance. Not really a brush bike but no problem for gravel or dirt. Can keep up with traffic on the freeway, but it's straining a bit. 75 mph flat out, probably won't last very long that way.

I like it a lot, but miss the shaft drive of my last two bikes. I think they make a 525 cc model.
Rich

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Motorcycle ?
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2017, 05:59:47 PM »
"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." -George Bernard.

 

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