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Author Topic: Motorcycle ?  (Read 3818 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.

 

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