Having managed our expectations about this Cycle World article by previously re-writing the title in plain English – Sub-1200cc Heavyweight Adventure Dirt Road Shootout – we are now prepared to discuss some of the particulars of the article. Our goal here, as in part one, is to translate the “writer-speak” in the article into ordinary, everyday English so that the content can be more accurately understood.
Writer-speak: “We sought the off-road-leaning middle ground in adventure machines…larger adventure bikes wouldn’t be able to attack the technical terrain we wanted to experience.”
Ordinary english: There no real world difference between a 500+ lb 800-1090cc adventure bike and a 500+ lb 1200cc adventure bike. However, we need to claim that something is uniquely important about these 500+ lb adventure bikes with smaller motors so we are going to pretend the behemoths with the slightly smaller motors are more “off-road leaning” than the same size behemoths with slightly larger motors. The truth is the big girls with the smaller motors aren’t any more off-road capable or suitable than the big girls with the larger motors.
Writer-speak: “Ranging from 507 pounds for the Tiger to 556 pounds for the Honda (measured without fuel on the CW scale), the heft of these machines melts away as you stand on the pegs to attack the trail.”
Ordinary english: We don’t have any actual off-road riding experience. The weight of these machines doesn’t melt away or magically disappear when riding off-road. They are big, heavy pigs. The only place the weight isn’t an issue is when the bikes are being ridden and are completely vertical to the ground. Lean them either way, especially at slow speeds off-road, and you will feel every ounce of weight. But we have to explain away the weight somehow to support our claim that they are more off-road leaning than the same sized adventure bikes with slightly larger motors.
Writer-speak: “The Triumph feels the lightest, mostly because of its smaller size, while the KTM is significantly lighter on its feet than the Africa Twin.”
Ordinary english: The lightest bike (the 507 lb Triumph) felt the lightest because it was the lightest. The 535 lb KTM (the second lightest bike) felt significantly lighter than the 556 lb Honda because it weighs 21 lbs less than the Honda. In other words, the heavier the bike the heavier it felt – the pounds did not somehow melt away when the bikes were being ridden.
Writer-speak: “The real winner here is the rider looking for a machine that is capable of devouring miles of a mixed terrain while also going nearly anywhere a full-on dirt bike can go. There are no other motorcycles that expand the meaning of riding “everywhere” than midsize adventure machines.”
Ordinary english: Adventure bikes are the hottest sellers on the market and the manufacturers have carefully created an image for adventure motorcycles as go-anywhere bikes. Motorcycle magazines exist to help sell motorcycles and image is more important than facts so we are going to go along with the pretense and claim these giant beasts can go nearly anywhere a full-on dirt bike can go.
There is no reason to exaggerate the marvelous capabilities of these amazing bikes, Don’t be fooled by writer-speak. See these bikes for what they really are – truly awesome motorcycles that aren’t really suitable, or fun, to ride on anything tougher than easy dirt roads.