Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Newport Beach, CA, USA
Overland Expo West
Attended the Expo in AZ and started to familiarize myself with the new bike.
Road: The ride out to AZ from SoCal took 8 hours. I40 had high wind warnings and the amount of trucks on the road made it a back and forth battle as I rode into the wind and away from trucks as I passed. I was able to maintain highway speeds over 80 mph with control and comfort, even on the knobblies that Anakee designed. (They say they are a 50/50 tyre, and I agree)
The bike handled the wind well with the larger front beak and touring windscreen, but the Touratech bags catch a lot of wind and push you around a bit more than previous aerodynamic bags on my Pikes Peak. (More storage is nice though) Harley seem to handle the wind better with their 400lb advantage.
Dirt: I practiced some basics in the corral they set up at Overland and went on some trails that were rated a 5 out of 10, just to feel it out. In maneuverability around the corral and practicing throttle control, the bike feels lighter than you might expect and moves over obstacles easily. I was able to power slide around and roll over small obstacles with ease. Lofting was a bit different as the wheelie control settings are tricky and power band is much higher than the GS, or what I am used to. I think I need more practice to get the front end up consistently.
On the trail: The Anakee Wilds held the terrain very well, (I had the Trail II's on just before this and they slide around a lot more) and I felt well connected to loose ground that gave me confidence over water and rocks. I could have gone on more aggressive trails with this set up quite easily.
Overall: Touring on this bike is great. The oem seat was comfortable, (no Airhawk needed) the controls easy to use, and the fatigue factor is lower because of the larger front end and touring windscreen. The cornering headlight (new to me) was nice, but the main headlights do lack the depth needed in dark roads. I will add ClearWater lights for more depth.
I think this bike will be far better in many aspects than other adventure bikes as you get a well rounded experience on and off the road. e.g. The touring aspect of the Duc delivers a higher performance oriented ride and as for the dirt, offers more than thought possible. (Higher speeds, better cornering ='s more fun, IMHO)
That was a quick 1300 miles and a good start to understanding this bike. Sure a pro would have more to say with their experience, but I am glad this novice is able to enjoy the bike as it was designed and excited to develop the skills on a bike that offers more excitement than the other adventure bikes on the market today. IMHO.
'12 Pikes Peak #195
'16 Multistrada Enduro