@spurgeon, everything you showed looks like “on road“ to me, dude.
These photos of guys on the MS standing up on graded gravel roads kill me. What are they preparing for? Negotiating a large pebble? A ripple in the road? I‘ve run 90 mph down roads like that sitting down.
These bikes are notional, like Matthew McConaughey wearing a Breitling next to some jet.
I totally think the MS is a great bike (and may buy one) but anybody that has really thrashed about on rough four wheel drive roads or single track knows it ain’t the right weapon to bring to the fight. It’s just way too heavy for anything other than tame gravel roads. And if you load it up with panniers and all that, it gets totally ponderous. Sure, I can go out to the Rocky Mountains and find the occasional zealot riding a MS on some rough stuff but that‘s the exception, not the norm. Most guys that can ride that way don‘t have the money to pay for spills. And most guys that have the money to pay for the spills won‘t ride it that way.
I guess I just wish they would drop the word “off road” from the sales pitches.
General question I've been toying with the Multi idea. Not wanting to do serious off road, but there's a lot of grave roads that I'd like to tackle - with loaded panniers/top box. What else would you recommend?
I’m partial to KTM. Lighter bike and better suspension for when the road gets rough. I rode mine over multiple rocky mountain passes WITH panniers. I camped out (thus lightening the load for the day) and rode rough stuff and carved canyons just the same. The limitation on the KTM was me.
I put 40K miles on a 2012 MTS S Touring before I traded it for the SSS. Other than a few gravel roads, I never left the pavement. After the OEM Scorpion tires wore out after 3K miles, I always ran Angel GTs, so didn't have the tires for anything other than pavement. Having said that, the MTS was a comfortable and very fast (but somewhat odd looking) sport touring bike that took me to Canada and all points West.
The only real complaint is the windscreen. It is much farther away from your body that on the SSS and this is true with all of the Adventure Touring bike. I went through 6 different windscreens before I found one that didn't cause significant buffeting on my helmet. Wound up with shorty from Cal-Sci.
The SSS doesn't have the power of the MTS and few bikes will have the HP of the V-4 MTS, but I still like the sport bike feel of the SSS better.
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