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  #11  
Old 1st February 2019
Toejam503's Avatar
Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL 1200 C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbetts View Post
I highly recommend this youtube video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQG3XGybHrQ

It's a slideshow of some early 50's riders in the mountains... I think it's Colorado if I remember the original posts from 12 years ago. Having ridden a BMW GS in similar situations, I can tell you without a doubt the Harley has it's off road creds.
Back in the late '60s, I lived in Rapid City SD and us kids would watch the "Shovels" "Pans" and Sportsters race up this grassy hill next to a church, across the street from South Jr High School. They mostly had chopped fenders and big handlebars and made a lot of noise. They did this all day long until they either broke or the cops would chase them off. This was the same hill known as "cardboard" hill, cause we would sled down it on refrigerator boxes in the summer.
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  #12  
Old 1st February 2019
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Kbetts Kbetts is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200C
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Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki DL650ADV
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
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I've been riding adventure bikes since 1986. I bought one because the street bike I had at the time (Yamaha 550 Vision) wouldn't take me all the way back into the National Forest where I wanted to go. So I bought a 1987 KLR650 in Sept of 1986. I'm pretty sure that a Sportster would have got me there and brought me home. I didn't think of Sportsters when you think dirt roads so it never crossed my mind to look at them. I was really lusting after 1990 RoadKing but ended up buying a BMWR100GS because it was "off road."

Getting you there, and getting you home. That's mostly what it's about. It doesn't have to do it fast, it doesn't have to do it with style, it just has to do it. Modern dedicated Adventure bikes are like SUV's. 99% of them don't do off road. In fact, the vast majority of Adventure bikes stay within a hundred miles of the house. Kind of disappointing, isn't it? But they're tall and top heavy and they weight almost as much as a Sportster. When loaded for travel, they are VERY top heavy and the difference in weight is not much from a touring bike.

I took a Colorado trip a couple of years ago on my Suzuki Vstrom with a friend on his BMW 1200GS. His only requirement was that we stay on pavement. I said "ok" and when I wanted to do some dirt I did it on my own. 4000 mile trip and no dirt for that GS.

I easily could have done the trip on a Sportster. I can only remember a couple of times where I couldn't have ridden a Sportster and I probably shouldn't have been on Vstrom then.

Ground clearance is nice, Suspension travel is nice, traction is essential, and reliability is essential. Most of all, the bike needs to be rider freindly and not bite you when you start doing something stupid. I'm not quite comfortable with the Sportster in that way yet, but I was on my StreetBob so I'm very hopeful.
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  #13  
Old 1st February 2019
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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I usually don't go off pavement, much anymore, but it's nice to know I can.About 15 years ago, with a different bike, I found out that it is important to know what your tires are capable of. I had a set of Conti's on it that were designed for high speed wet pavement, but on a dirt/ muddy road they instantly plugged up. Never thought I could go down a hill, staying upright at a 45 degree angle.
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