This is why I love my Suzuki V-Strom 650. This point from Motorcyclist reader Dean Zatkowsky/ Ojai, CA is exactly the way I feel,
Since it has proven to be the perfect motorcycle for the boring rider I really am (as opposed to who I imagine I am while ogling your magazine)
I bought the bike based on a lot of articles like this. The V-Strom 650 is a light and care-free bike that needs little to keep it going. It handles a passenger well when someone wants a ride and that same capability lets it haul a lot of camping gear in line without huge panniers hanging off the side.
I got rid of my big adventure bikes and move to this 650 for the road and light off road travel and a Honda CRF 250 L for my off road riding. Both of them bought new cost less than one of the big adventure bikes.
As you can tell, I’m very happy with mine.
I’m wondering if we have reached maximum trendiness on Adventure bikes? (note I say “trendiness,” not usefulness) The LA Times talks a little about this in this article. I wouldn’t mind it if it meant the prices would go down a little.
I know they are right when they talk about guys who buy these bikes to farkle them up and show them off the same way guys do with 4X4s. However, I have always liked to buy a good solid bike that needed very little to conquer the limited amount of off-road riding I do. The main reason I have always liked adventure bikes is how much fun they are to ride. They ride high generally and the pegs are well off the ground so you can get some good sway in the twisties. When riding in England, you could pass the sports bikes on roundabouts while knocking helmets almost. They can handle a little dirt and gravel and they are generally built very well with good access to the stuff that needs to be maintained. They look good dirty, so I don’t have to clean them very often.
I kind of view mine like an old pick up truck and I pack it like the Beverley Hillbillies.
Good advice from the good folks at ADV Pulse on how to prepare your bike for a long distance ride. Read on to page 2 as they have included a pretty good checklist at the end of the article.
I’ve always prided myself on riding out on the spur of the moment, but I have also been pretty regular at what the Army calls PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services). Nothing like throwing track under fire to make you consider maintenance.
Get to know your maintenance manual too. That will help you know which tools to pack.
AAA is a pretty good idea for North America too.
Above is an image of me fixing a radio switch in a northern Norwegian parking lot with some of my favorite tools; Swiss Army knife, a Bic lighter, and duct tape… always bring plenty of duct tape.
As Walt Kowalski would say,
Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.