RE-Branding Completed


Lately, I am certain some can tell my tone has been somewhat tame.  Life has a way of throwing you curve balls when you least expect them.  As the saying goes, “here today, gone tomorrow”.  Cheryl and I have broken up for reasons I am really not sure of but she is gone and I must go on. 

Travel Cards

 

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Pics of the Day


I leave for my X-Country trip in 32 days~! ;-)

P1010047

NEW DOMAIN IS LIVE


Whether you search advgrrls or advgrrl you should land here.  The OFFICIAL NEW address of this blog is advgrrl.com.

advgrrl

this logo was designed by George…a loyal follower/virtual friend in the UK. He made this on his own for me and I am grateful and appreciate his kindness.

 

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BATTLE OF THE ADVENTURE BIKES: COMPARISON TEST


Does Suzuki’s affordable new V-Strom 1000 have a chance against the BMW R1200GS

and KTM 1190 Adventure?

Adventure Bike Comparison group action shot

When the R80 G/S was introduced in 1981, no one at BMW realized the full impact of what they had just done. We now think of that first G/S as the original adventure bike, but that term was not coined for quite a few years. Instead, most people back then had no idea why BMWwould produce a large, heavy, shaft-drive, on- and off-road opposed twin in an era of lightweight, single-cylinder dual-purpose bikes. But enthusiasts eventually “got it,” and other manufacturers soon cashed in on the allure of exploring the world on big, powerful two-wheelers.

Since their one-bike origin, adventure motorcycles have evolved to levels of sophistication no one 33 years ago could have imagined. These three bikes—BMW’s R1200GS, KTM’s 1190 Adventure, and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 ABS—epitomize that progress with modern style, outstanding comfort, brilliant performance, and unmatched versatility.

And what terrific motorcycles they are! The 2014 R1200GS, the direct descendant of that ’81 R80 G/S, glides down the road to the soothing thrum of its 1,170cc twin, the first liquid-cooled Boxer motor ever. Bags of torque lurk in reserve, making the bike sneaky fast and always ready to push the 525-pound GS forward at an impressive rate at any rpm and in any gear.

2014 BMW R1200GS static side view

UPS DOWNS
BMW R1200GS
  • Highly refined all around
  • Shaft drive = no chain maintenance
  • Better tourer than some tourers
  • Footpegs a bit far to the rear
  • Electronics controls could be more intuitive
  • $$$ with all the optional electronics

Its ride and handling qualities are pretty much what you want them to be. That’s the result of the optional Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), ASC traction control, adjustable riding modes, and ABS, all of which influence each other depending upon the setting the rider chooses. Match all that with a beautifully contoured and padded seat, and you have the industry’s most comfortable adventurer, reflecting BMW’s decades of experience building top-flight touring bikes.

While the BMW impresses with its finesse, the 1,195cc KTM is a 129-hp V-twin wildcat that wheelies in the first three or four gears, burns the quarter-mile in 10.62 seconds at 130 mph, hits a top speed of 151 mph, and fires from corner to corner on back roads like it has a rocket stuck up its tail. If the GS serves up its power with a magnum of champagne on a silver platter, the Adventure does it with a bottle of Bud slid down the bar. For certain, it is very refined, but in its own uncompromising, “let’s get it on” way.

Like the GS, the 1190 has a full suite of electronic suspension, traction control, power delivery, and ABS rider aids; but while the BMW’s are optional, the Katoom’s are standard. They also engage in a lot of cross-talk, allowing you to tune those performance factors over a sufficiently wide range to cope with anything you might encounter. Plus, the ABS is lean-sensitive, adjusting the antilock dependent upon how fast and far the 1190 is banked over in a corner.

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure static side view

UPS DOWNS
KTM 1190 Adventure
  • Electronic rider aids are standard
  • Does everything exceptionally well
  • Baaaad fast!
  • Engine mechanically noisy
  • Awkward, two-hand windscreen adjustment
  • Nosebleed seat height

Meanwhile, the V-Strom splits the difference between the other two—not as polished as the BMW, not as raucous as the KTM, and sans as many electronic aids as either. It’s a solid, legitimate adventure bike that never gets embarrassed by the other two, despite being priced several thou lower and having the smallest (1,037cc) engine. The 90-degree V-twin is smooth, torquey, and responsive, and its quarter-mile performance is only half a second and about 7 mph behind the BMW’s; even its top-gear roll-ons are just fractions of a second slower.

Because the ’Strom has an excellent chassis and is lighter and lower than the others, it handles beautifully. The 468-pound (dry) 1000 devours back-road corners like that was its dedicated purpose, yet it’s rock-steady on straightaways.

Okay, but how did these bikes play the adventure game in the dirt?

Pretty damned well, considering that they all are quarter-ton motorcycles riding on knobless street tires. We never tackled gnarly, rutted, rocky climbs, since that’s not what these bikes are intended to conquer in their existing configurations; we instead stayed on dirt roads, narrow trails, and gravel-strewn two-tracks. Only deep sand gave them any trouble, again, mostly due to their tires.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Suzuki. With its traction control either turned off or on the least sensitive of its three settings, the V-Strom churned through the aforementioned with no trouble whatsoever. The fork digested everything we bounced over without a hiccup, and the shock only bottomed on some of the whoops. You can’t turn off the ABS, so we had to be mindful of that when braking on slick terrain.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS static side view

UPS DOWNS
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
  • Most-affordable big adventure bike
  • Bright, dark-piercing headlight
  • Comfortable ergonomics
  • No ABS Off switch
  • No centerstand
  • Desperately seeking skid plate

So, too, was the BMW impressive off-road, considering its greater weight, shaft drive, and two big cylinders poking out like fat outriggers. Its smooth, linear torque was easy to modulate in riding mode’s Enduro setting, and the low center of gravity provided by the opposed-twin layout helped disguise the GS’s mass. We were a little disappointed with the previous R1200GS’s suspension, but the new bike’s Telelever fork and Paralever rear combination—together with a new stering damper for 2014—is vastly improved.

Which brings us to the KTM. Once you quit the tarmac and hit the dirt, the 1190 morphs from a take-no-prisoners streetbike to an ass-kicking dirt bike. In agility, stability, balance, steering, suspension, and adjustable power delivery, the KTM was this test’s off-road class act. It was less bothered by rocks, ruts, and other trail obstacles, and even coped with the sand a little better. With the traction control in the Offroad position, the ABS even allows rear-wheel skidding while still applying antilock to the front brake.

Actually, the 1190’s stellar dirt manners should have come as no surprise. KTM has been building championship-caliber off-road machinery for decades, and that know-how has translated directly to the 1190. Whether off-road or on, it was the most capable, most confidence-inspiring, and most fun of the trio. The R1200GS is the best overall streetbike, the Suzuki the best bang-for-buck. But when you consider the KTM’s advantages in almost every area of performance—plus, its standard MSRP gets you all the electronic rider aids at about the same price as the BMW without such equipment—the outcome here is a slam dunk.

In the March issue of Cycle World, we stated that the KTM 1190 might be the best all-around bike in the world. We still believe that but with a small word change: Replace “might be” with “is.”

SPECIFICATIONS
BMW R1200GS KTM 1190 Adventure Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
PRICE $19,520 $17,834 $12,699
DRY WEIGHT 520 lb. 490 lb. 474 lb.
WHEELBASE 59.2 in. 61.2 in. 61.4 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.9/34.6 in. 34.3/35.0 in. 33.4 in.
FUEL MILEAGE 37 mpg 35 mpg 36 mpg
0-60 MPH 2.9 sec. 2.8 sec. 3.1 sec.
1/4 MILE 11.07 sec. @ 119.44 mph 10.62 sec. @ 129.70 mph 11.60 sec. @ 112.82 mph
HORSEPOWER 116.5 hp @ 7900 rpm 128.8 hp @ 9360 rpm 91.1 hp @ 8240 rpm
TORQUE 84.0 lb.-ft. @ 6260 rpm 81.3 lb.-ft. @ 7670 rpm 67.4 lb.-ft. @ 3980 rpm
TOP SPEED 137 mph 151 mph 126 mph

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New Domain Coming Up


I will be announcing a new blog domain and logo soon.  All about new beginnings and carrying on with my own adventures!  Thanks to everyone in the 207 countries that follow this blog of mine….it is humbling that so many, over 1.3 million have stopped by to either check out the posts and leave such insightful comments.

I love this virtual community and enjoy watching where you all are from around the world.  Again, thank you for hanging in there during my transition from being 2 to 1.

Riding SOLO as a Type II Diabetic


Diabetes mellitus type 2 (formerly noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the context of insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin.[2]

586px-Main_symptoms_of_diabetes

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KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part II the PANTS


All pics are clickable for larger versions – Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are  useful somehow.  Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. ;-) Now, on to my initial review.

Repeating some of the intro stuff from my jacket review for those who did not read that from Saturday.  

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Chris Birch gives KTM1190 Wings!


OMG this guy is sick….I wish I could ride like him….

Chris Birch, X-treme Enduro champion and RedBull Romaniacs winner shows his versatile riding skills by blasting around on a KTM1190 Adventure R in the mud before launching it off a rock shelf.

2014 CROSS COUNTRY TRIP-see bottom of post


After going back and forth as to where I should take my SOLO trip this year I think I have come up with a plan.  Head East, go see my family and some friends and then head West.  I think it’s doable…May 17 – June 16?  Need to replace my SPOT CONNECT as my other one seems to like to eat batteries more than usual and the battery lid does not like to stay closed.  So, new Connect on order and over the next few months I shall get the camping gear together, check out it twice, before I leave get the bike all tuned up with new K60 tires and off I will head into the USA and Canada.  We did this trip, different route in 2010.

Connect

As usual I will try to do a live report from the road on the ADV forum or maybe just the F800 forum not sure yet and the BLOG, with updates on our Face Book page too.  Should be fun to get out there on my own.  I have taken shorter trips SOLO but not 12,000 KM’s worth.   Continue reading

Brain Farm Aerial Reel 2012


I will just say this video  allowed me to escape into a bit of a fantasy land for about 3 mins.  Yeah there is a RED BULL helicopter in it but don’t let that take away from this really beautifully done aerial shot.  Make sure you watch in HD…just click the HD button. 

Brain Farm provides precise stabilized HD aerial footage using both the Cineflex ELITE and Cineflex V14 HD for film, commercial, and television work throughout the entire world. With thousands of hours of air to air and air to ground experience, we can consult on the best way to achieve a project’s goals and set up an efficient and safe aerial shoot.

like us on facebook at facebook.com/brainfarmcinema

for more info visit us at:
brainfarmcinema.com

Artist: Mod Era
Song: Peace In Love
facebook.com/wearemodera

New KLIM GEAR for WOMEN – Meet the ALTITUDE


Did KLIM do what many of ADV grrls in general wanted?  Thanks Colleen for pointing me to REVZILLA (look to your right and click on the RevZilla widget to check this suit out)  who has the new KLIM Altitude Gore Tex Suit for women on their website.  Due out March 1st, 2014, KLIM said they would introduce a suit for females, similar to the Misano Latitude and I have to admit this sure looks like it.  Will they add black as an option?  I can’t wait to try this on for size literally.  I bought my Traverse gear in 2010 and I am ready to have a suit that fits better.  Retail price on par with the guys…$569.99 for the jacket and $489.99 for pants.  Not cheap but it’s female KLIM gear!!!! ;-)  Thoughts????

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Top 10 Adventure Motorcycles for Shorter Riders


At the request of the site who has the original post they have asked I link the rest of the story from this blog…so, if you want to read all about the top 10 bikes please head on over to ADV Pulse to read it all.  Thanks.  Leslie

I love finding articles that deal with real life challenges for those of us who want to ride an ADV bike so badly but have been cursed with being vertically challenged.  This article was sent to me by a FB page reader from ADV Pulse

ADV bikes as I have said before can be the right bike for you despite seat height.  I am proof…5′ almost 5″ ;-)  and an inseam of 30.5.  Plus, I am a grrl, I have thighs that push my legs out even further than a guy while sitting on the seat making the ground that much further on my F8.  But you want to know the truth?  I was intimidated buying a regular height BMW F800 at first.  But now over 11,000 KM’s later I would have regretted getting the low suspension because I am a confident, not cocky rider who can ride my bike safely and with ease.  I am mindful as to where I park more so but in the end I have absolutely NO issues with the seat height.  So, lesson?  There is an ADV bike out there for you….don’t under estimate you riding abilities as well don’t over-estimate them as well.  

Know you will get used to not being flat-footed, you will adjust your riding habits to the bike you ride.  Enjoy the search….and I think articles like this sure will hit home for some of you….at least you can see there are a few ADV/DS bikes out there that might make you feel comfortable enough to buy.

Trying to find an Adventure Motorcycle with a reasonable seat height can be a frustrating experience. Adventure Bikes are some of the tallest motorcycles in existence. Their long-travel suspension smooths out the bumps off-road, but it also gives them a tall seat that makes it hard to touch both feet on the ground.

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2014 BMW F800GS ADVenture


F800GS-Adventure

I was at my dealer the other day and speaking with Sheldon, the informative and more than a sales guy we buy our ADV bikes from…and he was telling more about his father who bought the F800 ADV model.  Sheldon tells me and I have heard this from other owners, that the ADV F8 is certainly worth the extra coin.  If Cheryl and I were going to buy again, and if this version was out we would have bought it over the standard GS.  Why?  The extra’s BMW have added to this bike as well as the larger tank seem to actually work…such as the almost upright touring shield.  I hear that it actually works for many riders of all sizes and has a great mounting location for your GPS.   Continue reading