I remember two things about my initial ride on Scott Brady’s KTM 950: The feeling when I twisted the throttle and experienced a “dirt bike” with nearly twice the horsepower of the Honda 500 Four street bike I rode for several years – and the feeling when I stopped, and had to lean the 400-pound-plus KTM over at about 20 degrees to get a foot on the ground. It’s a great bike, but I’d never have fun riding it, knowing that every pause on the trail would entail a fight with gravity.
Enter the new Overland Journal project adventure motorcycle:
A 2004 Suzuki DR650, a single-cylinder, 650cc adventure motorcycle more suited to my 31-inch inseam.
The Suzuki will serve as sort of the proletarian counterpoint to the excellent but pricey KTMs and BMWs that have been our featured adventure bikes so far. The DR is well-respected in the motorcycle overlanding community; examples have conquered every continent and accomplished global circumnavigations. The fuel economy should be in the mid-50 mpg range.
At present the only thing really bothering me is the motocrossy look of the thing. I’m tempted to take off all the blue and white parts and have them painted the same tan that the conservation project FJ60 will be getting. I’ve already added a beautiful machined aluminum luggage rack from Pro Moto Billet, to which I’ll bolt a 1400 Pelican Case as a weatherproof trunk for cameras, etc. Future additions will enhance long-distance comfort and ability while keeping an overall modest budget in mind. The project will be introduced in the winter issue.