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I amwondering how other 650 riders feel about riding on dirt roads? I tend to stick topaved roads and am wondering if I am being too conservative and missing out on some great riding. I'm not talking about trails.. but unpaved roads...

I have been spenidng some time over on the ADV rider forum and have found some great .GPX routes there that look very interesting.. but I don't want to destroy my 650...
 

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Others have done it, but it is not for the faint hearted.
Although the Lardy is a great compromise bike in the sense it is a great commuter/touring machine it falls short as soon as you leave tarmac, due to the suspension/smallish wheels/general lardiness (mass).
 

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The OEM type tire is passable for hard packed dirt and gravel but I would not make a day trip out of it. The first deep pocket of loose dirt or gravel and it will dig a rut and down it goes. I had good luck with the Potenza on the back. I did a 200 mile day trip that was a 75/25 % mix of paved Hy-way and gravel Forest/Fire/Logging service roads. While the Dual sport riders with us that day had no problems, the two cruisers, a Harley, a Vulcan 1700 and I kept up. Those cruisers were a hand full for sure. :lol:
 

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My question is: Have you ever tried to push or pull an over 600 pond scooter or motorcycle out of loose sand after it buried itself where the sand was up to the metal rim? I never want to have to do that again. :oops:

Bill
 

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As others have said, hard packed dirt or gravel is possible. I ride those from time to time, sometimes for as much 5 to 10 miles. But you do have to watch out. If the gravel or dirt is not hard packed the back end will tend to wander and feel a bit unsettling. If it is soft and deep the road tread pattern tires with dig in and it will be hard to make any forward progress. Same with mud, it doesn't take much to get the rear wheel spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That was my sense of reality.. Every now & again I end up on a gravel road and I am very careful until I hit the tarmac... I was just wondering if it was just me & I was being too cautious. I had my MP3 500 on some rutted & washboard roads and messed up the sensor for the front end.. so it wouldn't go over 4 miles per hour.. I had to take it back in for an ECU reset.. & since I started with the MP3 I was sort of thinking that maybe I got scared early and I should reconsider it.. Maybe not.. All good points here..
 

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After running mine up and down a few 'dirties" in AZ, I can telly you that it isn't much fun. Not at all. I don't like it when I hit that occasional patch of sand or dirt on pavement...and you have to "membas" that the 650 is not dirt road bike. The ground clearance isn't the greatest, it's not set up for dirt roads, and the gravel will beat up your radiator if you don't have a fender xtender. It's all about balance and traction and you give up the traction when you get off the pavement. Not FUN at all. Suggestion: If you want dirt road riding, get dual-sport bike for such riding. They are much better equipped than a 650. Riding a 650 on dirt roads is like taking my 2012 Genesis out on the dirt roads. Sure, I could, but WHY WOULD I? I have a '90 Isuzu 4x4 that is much more fun on a dirt road.



Noth said:
I amwondering how other 650 riders feel about riding on dirt roads? I tend to stick topaved roads and am wondering if I am being too conservative and missing out on some great riding. I'm not talking about trails.. but unpaved roads...

I have been spenidng some time over on the ADV rider forum and have found some great .GPX routes there that look very interesting.. but I don't want to destroy my 650...
 

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as long as no sand or mud it does a passable job as the weight is down low.
It's skittish on mud.
Impossible in sand - just floats and spins.

Stuff like this is fine



and it gets you into nice areas and I think it very important you know how to brake in gravel and how the bike handles.

It will do most places with traction - even a stream bed in a pinch ( don't believe your buddies GPS always )





those are rocks not leaves BTW

I have a fairly long background in scrambling ( remember that ) and trials riding ( non- competitive ) and currently ride a KLR650 during second season in Australia - about 50% of the time is off pavement - forest tracks and dirt roads.

But I realllllllly think it's important to go on some dirt roads with the Burgman or any bike under controlled conditions so when you get that unexpected stretch of construction zone gravel you don't grab a handful of front brake and you know what to expect.

I was only worried once going up a very soft steep freshly graded dirt road up the Niagara escarpment while the grader was coming down the other way.....bit of white knuckle that - for the grader driver as well....was not a very wide road - came a around a corner on the way up and there he was.
Momentum and a careful throttle hand was my friend.
I've even bottomed the front shocks on some whoops on a dirt road but the bike stayed stable.

Generally I'll hit some gravel stretches once or twice a week to stay in practice and it does lead you into some nice areas you might otherwise miss.

I often wonder what a dedicated ECVT with a "tractor" setting and bare frame might be like. Weight is way down low and not having to worry about a clutch would be interesting.
 

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As others have pointed out, doable on hard packed stuff but due to the weight anything too loose or knarly, the big Burgy is not the girl to be doing it on, being a combination of the the tyre type and size, low ride height, and a little to do with the weight. I have a XT1200Z / S10 and it weighs in around the Burgy, yet due to totally differing design is right at home off road and then some. A KTM it aint, but it does way better than most one litre plus DS bikes.

I rode a rental Suzuki 250 Majesty in NZ during April, and completed some 8000km (got the bike all in for a rental of $800) and I did a lot of my riding off road, on gravel, single track and even a couple of long sandy beaches in the North Islands west east coast of NZ, and that Majesty was FUN, with a capital F. Awesome time, and I was surprised how that little girl went off the tar seal/bitumen. After a month I returned the Majesty then went and rode my 2007 Burgy Exec, and the difference in road manners of the seal was very noticeable. The Majesty was so much civilised compared with the big burgy when the road conditions were less than ideal (off the tar seal/bitumen). The result is that with Majesty I never thought twice about venturing places that the Burgy would make me second guess myself. It is a fact of life with the Burgy, she is a big girl and disguises her weight well. If the off road was loose gravel or hard packed dirt, I'd simply ride to the conditions and proceed with more caution. Unless there is a chance of the rear end braking away, e.g. rain slicked dirt, or significant woop-de-dos I don't think there is any reason to shy away from continuing on. I've significant 4x4/4wd experience in NZ, but that didn't stop me from driving a Ford Falcon XF station wagon on really knarly tracks in the outback of OZ during my two circumnavigation of the continent. That's not to say that I didn't have some second thoughts and pucker arse moments though!

I wish that there was just one manufacturer who'd combine all that I luv about a maxi scooter such as the six fiddy Burgy and a dual sport like my S10... but as I have written elsewhere there's fat to no chance of a DS maxi scoot appearing anywhere on my horizon.
 

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MacDoc said:
good stuff - I just don't see it until the electrics come our way and then it's fairly easy.
There are already some very cool electric "........snipped.......
Look at their bikes at the motorcycle show and a guy from there comes in where I work to have his Sprinter worked on, drops it off and rides off on one of the bikes.

I was thinking they could probably shave a bit of weight off the Burgman 650 if they converted one to electric. :wink:
 

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You never know--it might be cheaper to convert a Burg to electric once the CVT fails. Personally, I've enjoyed my little hardpack/gravel excursions. The roads are basically empty, often with nicer scenery and it's more of a challenge than the highway droning. When it came to sand/mud I didn't need a watch to know it was pucker time.

Check your battery terminal bolts after any amount of washboards. They can come loose later, totally shutting off the Burgman in city traffic. DAMHIK. On the upside, it made me want to get an actual dualsport (DR650 I think).
 

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BurgmanUSA said:
Last edited by NormanB on Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: NormanB removed quoted image and stuff.
Ha ha. :thumbup:
 

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Back in 2007 or 08 a member had converted his AN650 to electric.
 

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Agree the electrics are nice, I've been following everything electric in terms of transportation since I have been working on contract in Asia and China principally for the past decade, where there is no end of electric scoots (before that I did a stint in the Middle East). There has been a increasing change in the culture here in China particularly over the past five years and more so in the last several years, with all manner of options available that once weren't before that time. I had two electric scoots (full sized, not quite maxi but not small either) back some seven years ago, but at the time the range was limited to around 55-60km, due to the lead acid batteries etc. I often pushed the batteries to their limits, which would result in me pushing the last several km's or more, or having my wife call the bike shop where I bought them swing by on a rescue mission. At that time, Lithium batteries weren't available here in China, since shops only sell what the mass market wants. Roll forward several years and what has changed is that lots of the younger generation through experimentation have lead to development of cottage style industries etc, same as how things develop in most countries.

The problem I see is that electric propulsion has its inherent limitations where the environmental cost is just shifted in the supply stream (which I won't go into here) and we'd be better off working down alternatives such as hydrogen etc. I get a number of webmail alternative energy, bike, vehicular subscriptions on a weekly basis so try to stay current with everything vehicular and experimental. The Zero bikes are nice, but again there are distance limitations, albeit there has been substantial improvements in that regard. When I ride/drive I tend to always take the longer off the main direct routes.

One of my acquaintances has converted a regular electric scoot here in China with better electric 1500W (I think) output hub, lithium batteries and a few other improvements.Costs (excluding the cost of the scoot) are upwards of $3000 and for that he can get distances of a little over 100km around double that of the standard electric hub and lead acid batteries. Not sure if that investment cost benefit ratio is worth it. Still I observe and am thankful that industry and more have picked up the mantle and its being industry driven now.

We just got to stop this dependence on fossil fuels and oil in particular.
 
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