When I first found out that I was going to be riding BMW’s Adventure
model, I was quite nervous. My off road repertoire has been a bit light in the past few years since I’ve spent my time on sport bikes and sport touring. I had visions of huge knobby off road tires and a bit of a skittish ride on pavement.
|These stock tires worked great on pavement and were real good for the limited bit of non-pavement riding I was able to do.
As usual, expectations were considerably different than reality. BMW realizes that many Adventure riders don’t ride from Moscow to Beijing very often or take a right turn at Dawson City to go to Inuvik, so the need for knobby tires really isn’t there. The stock tire is a pretty decent dual purpose tire. Now you need to specify if you want the “knobbies” on your Adventure.
These stock tires worked great on pavement and were real good for the limited bit of non-pavement riding I was able to do. I spend my limited time bouncing through road construction and down paved roads that were still covered with the detritus of winter sanding and salting. The construction zones were the most interesting to navigate, more for my own personal satisfaction than difficulty in travel.
I expected to move about and get that feeling of the front about to go away on a few of the gravel ridges and it never came. It was just up and over the ridge and if it were soft enough the front did move about, a bit like going over one of the mesh decked bridges. The back tire was as stable as the front, but the low rpm that torque was available at meant that I had to use the throttle sparingly. On the odd occasion that I was behind a car, idling along was no big deal.
The only time I was up on the pegs was when I went curb hopping to get some photos alongside a river. Going up or down was never an issue and the ground clearance meant that I could get to many places others couldn’t. I actually caught up to a couple of trail riding bicyclists who never heard me coming over the volume they had their personal entertainment devices set at. Later that day, I heard there had been a cougar sighted along that stretch of river. Maybe bicyclists and motorcyclists should only have one ear covered—just in case.
One problem I did have with the Adventure is seat height. This is the tallest seat height bike BMW makes and with the seat at the lowest setting, you should still have about a 33 inch leg to be able to handle one properly. My leg is 32 inches and this issue would come back to haunt me. Ironically sitting on the seat with my “stubby legs” was very comfortable and I never had any trouble mounting or dismounting. The qualifier to this is that the bike didn’t have any of the BMW system cases on it and that has the potential of making me stretch a bit more.
|One problem I did have with the Adventure is seat height.