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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for NEXT ride :)

This will still be a ways off, but I'd like to start researching now. Hubby and I are just finishing up our second season of riding. I've got just over 3,000 miles under my belt. I'm hoping to take an intermediate or advanced riding course next year to "polish" my skills. I think it is safe to say that we are going to continue riding, and will probably be adding some distance. My Shadow is perfect for what I bought it for and I don't plan on selling it. Day trips are fine on it and it's a great cruiser for "around town". I do start to get uncomfortable after about 100 miles or so.

I want to start looking into more of a touring-type bike that I would be comfortable on for hours at a time. Something I can load for bear and take on weekend trips...maybe even camping. Something that is going to cruise at freeway speeds without thinking about it. My concern is my size. I am only 5'2" and my impression is that these types of bike tend to be taller. I am also hopeful to have something that we could easily take off on dirt roads, in addition to highway.

So where do I start? Any initial recommendations?

"Camille"
1998 Honda Shadow ACE 750
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 09:58 AM
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Suggestions for NEXT ride :)

Good luck, @Bethany1972 .

Some say smaller dirt bike experience helps, but if so, those same people will lie to you about other things as well!

Any dual purpose bike big enough to tour / camp on is gonna handle SO different on dirt than any dirt bike ever made. Period.

There is a steep learning curve ahead, but we have confidence in you.


-Gnarly

( that's what SHE often calls me )

~~~Ride safe; ride smart....in memory of the one and only 7x~~~

The VT1100C2 ACEs: the '97 Flyin' Jenni, rescue dog Hobo LongNose, and the '96 on the right.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Good luck, @Bethany1972 .

Some say smaller dirt bike experience helps, but if so, those same people will lie to you about other things as well!

Any dual purpose bike big enough to tour / camp on is gonna handle SO different on dirt than any dirt bike ever made. Period.

There is a steep learning curve ahead, but we have confidence in you.


-Gnarly

( that's what SHE often calls me )
Oh, forgot to mention that I LIVE down a gravel road, so gravel is not scary to me unless it's 6" deep and pulls your tires down...been through that as well!

"Camille"
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 10:24 AM
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You could easily get to grips with any touring machine.. It's the dirt that'll undo you.. Adventure bikes are designed to tour on and take on dirt. But they are going to be substantially taller as you need that additional ground clearance to deal with off-road conditions and suspension plush enough to soak it all up.

Saying that, You can lower pretty-much any bike. With most adventure bikes you can usually find aftermarket dogbones to drop the rear, and you can drop the front forks down to keep your bike's geometry relatively unchanged. Or, you could send your bike to a suspension specialist and have them reduce travel in your OEM setup to get a height you are comfortable with for the kind of riding you do.. I have seen WR'S dropped 5 inches (which is pretty-low), but that also prevents you taking the less beaten paths on a bike like that, for doing so.

There are the scrambler class of bikes? Which might be more of what you are used to? Not really designed for really rough stuff, but they can get out on forest roads easy enough.. But, Touring? MMmm yeah..okay..but they aren't the best for that.

That's the thing with bikes.. They kinda need to be setup in a specialized way to do an adequate job of the tasks you throw at them.

You could get a Ural?! You'd be the Coolest Kid on The Block!

Whatever you decide, All the Best and Best of Luck!

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Family, Friends, Love and Life..
Take Care and Ride Safe,
Mark..


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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 10:36 AM
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It's hard to reconcile the need for a lower seat height with the desire for some off-road capabilities as you already said. I know there are lowering options for some of the small BMW adventure bikes but I don't know how far they can be lowered. I'd look at them first and foremost.

I'll let you know how the CTX700 does on longer rides once I get to do one, hopefully sometime here in October. It's by no means an offroad bike, but it has a lower seat height than most (28") and better ground clearance than the Shadow. The steering geometry seems to handle the limited gravel riding I've done on it. The forward controls do not lend themselves to proper gravel or dirt riding.

That's all I've got.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:09 AM
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Being short myself, and being located FAR from the nearest bike dealers, I found this to be a pretty-cool tool to play with, when I was shopping for new bikes..

http://www.cycle-ergo.com

It isn't all things - not sure it corrects for sag (for example) - but it gives you a good idea of what you are up against. It also allows you to figure - ballpark - how much of adjustment would be needed to drop a bike to a more comfortable height (if that what you plan to do).
But, then, like I said.. You can adjust any bike to fit you.

.
Family, Friends, Love and Life..
Take Care and Ride Safe,
Mark..


C u r r e n t ... S c o o t s:
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Last edited by Mark-B; 09-30-2016 at 11:12 AM.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:13 AM
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Honestly, if you really want a tourer that will hold to dirt, trade up to the 1100 and put some knobbys on it.

My dad used to run a 450 in the 80s with knobbys on the road, he said the only time it was a problem was on steel grate bridges, the treads grip and you wobble, but it never bucked him.

Sometimes it seems like I'm arguing, that's just how I work out a solution:.. The other times I'm arguing.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Should I also mention that the likelihood that we will do any "off-roading" is minimal. Just don't want to have to worry on those occasions where you come across a roadway that's been ripped up or you find out last minute that the road you need is dirt. Would "adventure touring" be the class I'm looking for?

"Camille"
1998 Honda Shadow ACE 750
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 02:28 PM
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Wouldn't it be easier to just avoid the occasional really bad road than to buy a different bike. You talk of loading it to the gills for long trips, but your 750 will haul all you can stuff in it's bags at interstate speeds quite comfortably with power to spare. (Been there.) Especially if you're only riding solo. As for being uncomfortable after 100 miles seems strange with a Mustang seat. Is the behind sore or the hips? The Mustang being a very wide saddle can make the hip joints a bit sore if you have a lot of " feet to the ground" time. At least from my experience, but I have a few years on you. Stretch that comfortable ride out to about 130-140 miles and you get a fuel stop and a chance to walk off any discomfort.

http://2007 Shadow Spirit VT750C2, Ride bell by h13man, Ride cross by Capt D
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany1972 View Post
Should I also mention that the likelihood that we will do any "off-roading" is minimal. Just don't want to have to worry on those occasions where you come across a roadway that's been ripped up or you find out last minute that the road you need is dirt. Would "adventure touring" be the class I'm looking for?
Adventure touring is what @Mark-B was talking about. The seats are real high compared to cruisers.

You just need an aggressive tread for that "shite it's dirt" moment.

Sometimes it seems like I'm arguing, that's just how I work out a solution:.. The other times I'm arguing.

'Grace' 03 Shadow Ace Deluxe VT750CDA

'Vickie' 05 Shadow VLX 600 VT600CA

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