As much as I enjoy my Sportster, and as much as I enjoy my little Rebel, there is a special place in my being for adventure riding. Sure, one can partake in riding adventures on any bike, my little cross-country adventure on my Rebel was proof of that. However, available time for such a ride is rather rare; I am only glad my boss rides and could be convinced a three week vacation was in order.
The back roads, the narrow paths, the solitude and beauty of areas less traveled has, as far as can be remembered, held a special place. While moving into my apartment, an old notebook was found at the bottom of a box. "Over 60" was scrawled in red permanent marker over its fading green cover. Inside, on the first few pages were plans and route ideas I had formulated in the mid-90's for a trip above the 60th parallel. Optimistically it was to take place in the year 2000.
Perhaps it was a bit of escapism from the facades of Las Vegas, or perhaps other things. Regardless, the year 2000 involved no travels to the Northwest Territories or the Yukon. It was spent in a certain layer of insanity.
That being neither here-nor-there at this point, I want to ride the trails and gravel roads. Both my Sportster and Rebel can do it, albeit poorly. They were not meant for this sort of riding.
A bike on my 'short list' of next stable additions is the Suzuki DR650 line of dual-sport bikes (pictured above). Last night was spent reading reviews and history of this line, and I was hooked. The DR's are light, simple, efficient, durable and popular. Alas, due to all of these fine attributes, the resell value is quite high, even for those made in the mid 90's.
Going out to the garage to grab a beer I see my project bike. 'What are you thinking??? Your adventure bike is right there! Patience!'
Sure, she is a bit heavy, weighing in at about 450 pounds dry. Sure, she is more of a 'standard' than dual-sport. Yes, it is a V-Twin, not a thumper or inline twin like other adventure bikes. But, what am I thinking? SHE IS the adventure. It has already begun! For the most part, a bolt-by-bolt rebuild by a novice bike mechanic, reconstructing a unique bike with a few additional tweeks to make her off-road worthy.
Fantasy adventures may be fun, but the concrete adventures are the ones that stay with, and are a part of us.