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Author Topic: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!  (Read 2983 times)

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Offline RobC

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2013, 11:42:54 am »
Bottomline: wait a year before you buy a new model...  :pot:
Unless it is a KLR... :sip:
 

Offline alanB

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2013, 12:50:14 pm »
The basis of the problem is that manufacturers have to cater for a shrinking, tiny niche market. Why would they spend money on it? There is only a very small chance that they will address issues (minor to them, in terms of ROI) in order to satisfy this tiny market segment (which includes countries like USA, Europe and Australia).
China produces 17 million 2 wheelers every year.

The fact that the "true DS" market niche (for want of a better description) is tiny doesn't address the complaint in this thread IMO. 

If they aren't going to build a proper DS bike because the market is too small - that's fine.  But then don't call what you do build instead to address some other larger market niche a "proper DS bike", just call it an "Adventure Tourer" or something - that's more honest IMO. 

The cognitive dissonance sets in when you see photos in brochures of test pilots jumping jumps and climbing Roof type gnarly tracks - when we all know the bike is being bought because it can do 200 + on tar in comfort, and not fall apart when you take it on gravel roads frequently.  There's nothing wrong with that - that's what its riders want.  Why pretend to be something else - that's what confuses everyone? 
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Offline Jannie46

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2013, 12:54:34 pm »
I would like to put my hand up and throw a cat amongst the pigeons. I think the manufacturers are now having difficulty with the concept of an "Adventure Bike". Why in DAKAR for example are they limiting the displacement capacity in an effort to bring down overall speed"? In my opinion, the new Adventure Bikes are getting much too fast, and that is probably the cause of all these different issues with suspension, steering, tyres etc. What are we trying to ride, Super Bikes or Adventure Bikes? Anybody can go fast in a straight line, but not many can go comfortably for long times technical and slow. Is that not why we buy Adventure Bikes, to go where Super bikes have difficulty to go? I do not think we want to compete with Plastics. We would like to play and enjoy in an environment between Super Bikes and Plastics. So, no speed records or any "boomklim" stuff, just the open gravel roads and the occasional lekker two spoor roads, alone or sometimes two-up.
 

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #63 on: June 04, 2013, 01:11:31 pm »
I would like to put my hand up and throw a cat amongst the pigeons. I think the manufacturers are now having difficulty with the concept of an "Adventure Bike". Why in DAKAR for example are they limiting the displacement capacity in an effort to bring down overall speed"? In my opinion, the new Adventure Bikes are getting much too fast, and that is probably the cause of all these different issues with suspension, steering, tyres etc. What are we trying to ride, Super Bikes or Adventure Bikes? Anybody can go fast in a straight line, but not many can go comfortably for long times technical and slow. Is that not why we buy Adventure Bikes, to go where Super bikes have difficulty to go? I do not think we want to compete with Plastics. We would like to play and enjoy in an environment between Super Bikes and Plastics. So, no speed records or any "boomklim" stuff, just the open gravel roads and the occasional lekker two spoor roads, alone or sometimes two-up.

Dit is hoekom ek se my XT660R is perfek vir my. Ek ry nooit met passasier egter. Adventure bike ja. Enduro bike nee. Ek vermoed
baie ouens koop n adventure tipe bikes om enduro's te ry en vice versa. Ek kyk nou weer na die ouens wat met die groot bikes die 4X4 old mill roete gaan ry. Dink glad nie daardie bikes is gemaak vir so iets nie. Dit is egter hulle bikes en hulle enduro/adventure. So hoekom nie, as jy jouself en bikes so wil gaan toets .
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Offline Chairman Meow

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #64 on: June 04, 2013, 02:15:30 pm »
Good points Eddy.
That is exactly the reason why I can't get myself to buy a new bike.
All factory bikes do need some serious work before you can take them on a proper DS trip. Add that to the price of the bike and it becomes a joke.

The bloody lifestyle sales pitch seems to be more important than the bike itself.
This is wrong.

 :patch:..What are you moaning about, slap that Siebenrock on that Airhead and you have a near perfect bike......maybe a bigger tank too.  ::)  :biggrin:
 

Offline Scalpel

Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #65 on: June 04, 2013, 02:18:36 pm »
Good points Eddy.
That is exactly the reason why I can't get myself to buy a new bike.
All factory bikes do need some serious work before you can take them on a proper DS trip. Add that to the price of the bike and it becomes a joke.

The bloody lifestyle sales pitch seems to be more important than the bike itself.
This is wrong.

 :patch:..What are you moaning about, slap that Siebenrock on that Airhead and you have a near perfect bike......maybe a bigger tank too.  ::)  :biggrin:

Praat jy!!!! :biggrin:
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #66 on: June 04, 2013, 02:23:47 pm »
Eddy81, great post - thanks man. You are 100% on the money :thumleft:


I would like to put my hand up and throw a cat amongst the pigeons. I think the manufacturers are now having difficulty with the concept of an "Adventure Bike". Why in DAKAR for example are they limiting the displacement capacity in an effort to bring down overall speed"? In my opinion, the new Adventure Bikes are getting much too fast, and that is probably the cause of all these different issues with suspension, steering, tyres etc. What are we trying to ride, Super Bikes or Adventure Bikes? Anybody can go fast in a straight line, but not many can go comfortably for long times technical and slow. Is that not why we buy Adventure Bikes, to go where Super bikes have difficulty to go? I do not think we want to compete with Plastics. We would like to play and enjoy in an environment between Super Bikes and Plastics. So, no speed records or any "boomklim" stuff, just the open gravel roads and the occasional lekker two spoor roads, alone or sometimes two-up.

Jannie, you are right there. Its true the Dakar people had safety in mind when they limited the bikes to 450cc. The result is now finally happening this year: Honda, Yamaha and KTM are now looking at making the best bikes to do long distance, technical riding in the 450 range. I think it will be another 2-4 years before we start to see see these bikes becoming the preferred DS bike.

Meanwhile the big DS bikes designs seem to be going bigger. Its all about big engines, size counts apparently, and the marketing does the rest. But these bikes are aimed at the wannabe road warrior, not really at us who want to go and ride dirt and sometimes gnarly stuff. This is more a function of biggest markets - guys in Europe and the USA (where there is precious little dirt highway).

So we should not be surprised that we need to bling up these bikes if we buy them. That's because they're designed more for poser value than for actually riding them. Sorry if it hurts but I honestly think this is what is discussed in the design meetings more than anything else.
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Offline Rooikat

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #67 on: June 04, 2013, 02:26:47 pm »
The basis of the problem is that manufacturers have to cater for a shrinking, tiny niche market. Why would they spend money on it? There is only a very small chance that they will address issues (minor to them, in terms of ROI) in order to satisfy this tiny market segment (which includes countries like USA, Europe and Australia).
China produces 17 million 2 wheelers every year.
and they get tossed in the dumpster the moment they fail... :sip:
The DS niche is probably the smallest of all in the bike market, that is why we are sold generics. :biggrin:
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Offline High 5

Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #68 on: June 04, 2013, 02:39:48 pm »
I agree 100% with Eddy81, there are some good point you have made.  We would expect improvements on the bikes from these big manufacturers.

I ride a KTM 640 and its a wonderfully capable bike both on and offroad, however the bike was produced between 1998 - 2007 (I stand to correction) and in that time the biggest issue that everybody complains about on all forums was the vibrations.  How do all the other manufacturers manage to get it right to produce a fairly smooth big bore single yet KTM totally missed the mark on what could have been the very best DS bike ever produced.

The Yamaha XT660Z the front wheels are so soft one is scared to even take it on a gravel road or venture off the beaten track because you will be in for a new rim in no time.

I agree that these items should be addressed by the factories, especially considering that DS riding as a sport is the fastest growing segment of the motorcycling market in the world.(this I have read a number of times)
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Offline fred400

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Re: The Shocking state of adventure bike development!
« Reply #69 on: June 04, 2013, 04:33:29 pm »
How’s this for a longwinded post.  I have been giving this exact question some thought recently. 
I think a large part of the varied opinions regarding why DS bikes come of the production lines short “specced” is more an issue of the DS definition rather than engineering incapability in the hands of the factory design engineers. What’s DS for the average SA guy is very different to a bloke in Germany.  Looking at this forum, the average SA guy’s interpretation also varies significantly as to what DS is - goat tracks to open dirt highway – all DS.  The individual’s skill levels, confidence, and wallets - particularly when it gets to those heavy, high HP, expensive bikes...also influences at what end of the DS spectrum a rider finds himself.   
Knowledge and experience is king here.  No salesman is going to convince you that you can do the Roof of Africa on the new 1190 – but only if you buy the “R”. Even if Chris Birch was nuts enough to try it and succeeded – and some motorcycle magazine printed a 4 page spread, barring the massive repair bills and the bike probably pretty ruined by the end of such ridiculous outing – it is not the bike for the Roof,  believe me.  It’s publicity and marketing jargon...You will probably only remember that they actually tried it in the first place and not the bike was ruined..so it must be a good bike for DS.  Not good for your wallet I am afraid if that was your intention for its use.  Don’t be fooled by these highfalutin marketing jargon – talk to other experienced bikers (not so emotional type, if you can find one) about your intended use and what bike will fit the bill, with or without farkles...and upgrades.    Remember you vote with your wallet, and you have choices.  What’s good for Chris B is not necessarily good for you, even if you think so.
My own DS definition varies, from trip to trip.  An outing on my 21” equipped first generation 1200 GS on gravel road, too a goat track, on my heavily farkled (Pooratech and Touratech –if you catch my drift) 650.  Many a times I would reason in one ride – man my 200cc 2-smoker would have been better now, but heaven knows I would be “fooked” on the 1200 – so be it, enjoy the ride. 
To complicate matters further, all those real world economic principles more often than not take over from market intelligence and engineering savvy when the final bike is specified for release in its market “location”. If it does not sell, why make it....I can assure you, you will get what you pay for, and if you are not well informed you will pay a hell of a lot for less than you bargained for.  However, no excuse for poor engineering – fundamentally flawed designs must be challenged, which I have done successfully a few times with manufacturers – it’s all about staying true to the issue and not the emotion. 
If you want an overlander 4x4 – you have to buy a suitable basic unit and convert it – this goes for extreme use DS bikes as well.  Your demand outstrips the average demand of the major market sector...so customise.   P.s – I am not a vendor of any kind.  This is how it works for me – buy a good condition bike second hand (lots of blokes buy bikes they do not need, or was fooled by the marketing jargon, or simply missed the application).  Take off the weak OE parts, – some bloke will want the stuff, so sell.  Farkle to your hearts delight with purpose built stuff – make it work for you. You will probably end up at the new bike price, but it will be what you expected, considering you upgraded it.  I am lucky, I like designing and building my own stuff so this offers me pleasure as well. Doing it myself is an easy decision if you look at the prices charged for these items, and I am no millionaire.  My stuff is old and used, BUT always well maintained and looked after.  It pays in the long run. Worst thing is to be caught in the marketing frenzie of a new model that is better than your already equipped and upgraded old girl.  Remember how good she was when you bought her first time round....       Its been said.....   
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