2012 Adventure-Touring Shootout (Motorcycle.com)

KTMphil

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Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Couldn't agree more

2012-Adventure-Touring-Shootout-IMG_4021.jpg


In The Dirt
"To boldly go where these other Adventure-Tourers won't" should be the KTM Adventure's mantra. No matter how adventurous our ride became the KTM was always out front, tackling obstacles until forced to stop and collect the laggards.



An excellent read, thanks Ron


Interesting that the KTM is the only bike with a chain drive, the rest are shaft drive.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
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Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Offroad results


1st- KTM 990 Adventure

The KTM 990 Adventure is the only real choice if your idea of adventure takes you far away from the pavement,” says Hight.


2nd place - BMW 1200 gs



The bike most able to hang with the KTM in the dirt was the second lightest motorcycle of the group. BMW’s GS, with a claimed wet weight of 516 pounds, bests the next closest wet weight by 54 pounds (Claimed wet weights: Explorer = 570 lbs, Ténéré = 575 lbs, Stelvio = 598 lbs).



3rd Place -
Yamaha Ténéré


Coming in a very close third to the BMW in the dirt is the Yamaha Ténéré. All of the testers commended the Ténéré’s off-road handling manners generally saying it was a toss-up between it and the BMW. “Off road the Ténéré seems like a decently balanced motorcycle,” says Siahaan. “I'd pick it or the BMW as my second choice in the dirt.”



4th place - Triumph Explorer

Turning off-road is where things really fell apart for the Triumph Explorer. Although it’s not the heaviest of the group, the Explorer carries its weight high, and top-heaviness is severely exacerbated when riding in the dirt.


5th - The Guzzi

But Hight wasn’t alone in preferring the Guzzi over the Triumph during our off-road riding. Tipping the wet-weight scales more than the other models by way of its cavernous 8.5-gallon fuel tank, the Stelvio carries much of its heft lower in the chassis, making it more maneuverable and better balanced, thus more confidence-inspiring in the dirt.




 

2wheels

Community Manager
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Chiang Mai
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Honda Rebel 500
But with an Adventure-Touring bike this is very significant Phil; surely?

" On The Pavement

'Round-the-world aspirations aside, asphalt is the surface these bikes will be most familiar with during their lifetimes. Visions of emulating Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
are what Adventure-Touring bikes are all about, but reality suggests more sedate existences.

All the attributes elevating the KTM above the others in off-road performance now relegates the Adventure from first to last: a wandering front end in fast sweepers from its 21-inch front wheel
and more knobbyish tire, to severe fork dive under hard braking. "

That aside, and pardon my ignorance, why is a chain drive more advantageous (as suggested here) than shaft?
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
No mention of advantageous, just interesting that it was the only bike still with a chain drive. If your plan is a lot of road riding then by putting Pirelli Scorpions MT 90's on the bike you then have a smooth ride. If you're going to ride on the road most of the time, then get a road touring bike (not an adventure bike).




But with an Adventure-Touring bike this is very significant Phil; surely?

" On The Pavement

'Round-the-world aspirations aside, asphalt is the surface these bikes will be most familiar with during their lifetimes. Visions of emulating Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
are what Adventure-Touring bikes are all about, but reality suggests more sedate existences.

All the attributes elevating the KTM above the others in off-road performance now relegates the Adventure from first to last: a wandering front end in fast sweepers from its 21-inch front wheel
and more knobbyish tire, to severe fork dive under hard braking. "

That aside, and pardon my ignorance, why is a chain drive more advantageous (as suggested here) than shaft?
 

2wheels

Community Manager
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Also helping the KTM is its use of a chain drive compared to the shaft drives of the other models.

'Helping' is advantageous.
But I'm asking, in my ignorance, why is chain drive deemed to be advantageous over shaft?
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
I think there's more chance of being able to get the bike going again on a big trip in the middle of no where.


'Helping' is advantageous.
But I'm asking, in my ignorance, why is chain drive deemed to be advantageous over shaft?
 

2wheels

Community Manager
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Trying to generate some discussion here.

Chain drive;

* less complicated therefore more reliable?
* more instantaneous power?
* lighter
* no torque pull to one side
* easier maintenance
 

2wheels

Community Manager
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
I've only been shafted once (BMW 1150) and the plus was the lack of chain noise whilst the negative was the torque steer in heavy traffic from lights.
 

The Bigfella

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Staff member
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Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Unsprung weight, ratio changes, and....

bmwfinaldrive.jpg
 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Let me add, I own four BMWs... 2 bikes, 2 cars. Had at least one BMW since Adam was a boy. They aren't within a bulls roar of being the best adventure tourer.
 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 613 EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & Xs, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I reckon I might hang on to mine.
 

monsterman

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
I have only owned one adventure tourer and that was an original BMW 1000GS from 1989 it was very good off road and on and very rteliable and old tech and easy to work on , also it was much smaller and lighter than the current so called off road behemoths all are too tall, heavy and overloaded with hitech gizmos and built in complexity , only the KTM makes sense , but the middleweight simpler adventure tourers are also better choices if you venture into serious dirt .

saying that I ride a ducati monster S4 and Phil will vouch that I have taken it into stupidly off road areas and survived .
 
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