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So many great adventure

So many great adventure bikes on the market today... so I’ve put together some guidelines that I have personally experienced. We all ride to enjoy ourselves, so it’s definitely worth ensuring that what we ride will make that happen. The bikes available range from 300kg heavyweights able to carry two people and their luggage with ease, to 250cc trailbikes suitable for smaller riders and light loads. They’re all versatile enough to handle dirt and tar roads, but the bigger they are the better they work on tarmac, while smaller size and less weight equals off-road effectiveness. The lightweights are able to tackle gnarly trails, but struggle to run at motorway speeds. This leads us to the most important question to ask yourself before buying – “what sort of riding will I be doing most of; dirt or tarmac?” Weight: Generally speaking an emphasis on tarmac riding, with a little smooth dirt, will require a bike of at least 700cc capacity, while the intention to tackle rough dirt roads or trails, should limit the choice to machines of 1000cc or less. Bike mass is actually the most important factor at work here, because it limits the easy manoeuvrability required for effective off-road riding. BMW’s 1200cc HP2 might seem to buck this trend, but its 175kg dry mass actually confirms it, so try to find a bike weighing less than 200kg if you intend tackling much rough stuff. Size: Yamaha’s TTR250 would be an excellent choice for gnarly terrain, but a rider weighing much more than ninety kilograms would find it uncomfortably small. Rider size is therefore our second critical factor, with smaller people most likely to ride smaller bikes effectively and over 800cc machines being handled most comfortably by riders of 70kg mass and more. Heavyweight bikes call for heavyweight riders, most 1200’s should be bought by guys and girls of at least 90 kg. If there is one factor that can challenge this bike/rider mass guideline, it has to be rider ability. Well-developed riding skills can enable smaller riders to handle bigger bikes effectively in rough terrain, but newcomers to our sport are unlikely to have such skills, so they’re probably better off starting The originl Africa twin still competes... One of the bikes that started it all, quite rare now... 44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2016 1603 DT how to choose adventure.indd 44 2016/02/21 11:50 AM

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