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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I'm considering going on a bit of an adventure with my vulcan 650s. I live in the south of France so there are plenty of nice options around. Last summer I took her over to Corsica. I'm a relatively new rider and riding around Corsica confirmed for me all the reasons I wanted to get into riding. It was amazing. Anyway - when I let my imagination run a little wild I think of places like North Africa and such... maybe Morocco... but maybe the 650s is not the bike for that kind of stuff? So I guess my question is, how adventurous would you get with the 650s before you should rather be considering a proper adventure machine? When I say "Morocco" though, I'm not talking about riding dirt tracks or across the desert or stuff like that - more accessible routes even then, I imagine one should expect a fair amount of "adventure".

Thoughts?
 

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My first thought would be knowing the terrain you expect to be on and what ground clearance might be needed. The KVS sits pretty low. You also might consider better tires/tread (don't know if you are running on the stock tires or have changed them out).

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I do not know enough about the nature of the roads you will encounter on such a trip, but regardless of the make and model, a cruiser is a cruiser, and as such that bike style/geometry it is best suited for the tarmac, and is not the optimum style for dirt or spotty paved roads. Not just ground clearance; standing on the pegs wile riding is best practice for off pavement riding - not possible with a cruiser. Gas range is another consideration in addition to riding position and ground clearance.

Not to say it cannot be done - people obviously do ride cruisers off pavement, including myself, on occasion. But having ridden from the USA to the tip of Argentina by motorcycle, I would not choose to do that on a cruiser style bike, as a first choice (I did that trip on an adv style BMW).

That said, you SHOULD do it on your 650S if that is your only option! Just know the limitations. It is plenty big enough in terms of engine size, ok in terms of gas range (but beware), and you can load it with enough luggage (may require some add-ons). I am a firm believer in the saying that the best bike for the trip is the one you own. Just go forward understanding the limitations. But in any case, go!


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The furthest I've taken my Vulcan S is some 500km/315miles. That's about the limit I'd do per day before I can't stand sitting on it anymore. Not sure if I'd do that 10 days in a row.
But I do not have the backrest. It's that my back keeps hurting, not my ass.

This year I plan to buy a backrest and travel through Norway all the way to the northernmost part of Europe (Nordkapp).
I live in Sweden so it should not be a huge deal over 2 weeks. Some 400km/day. And not too expensive. Around €1500 for 2 weeks, including food, accommodation and gas.

Hopefully Covid situation improves and I can get into Norway!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys - that's all really helpful. Maybe long term I might invest in an adventure machine but I like my 650S so much. I'm a relatively new rider so I'll build up to it gently enough.

I'm thinking that in the short term, the best might be to stick to the tarmac of southern Europe or go on one of these organised trips where the machines are provided... like here for example :Voyage à moto au Maroc

There are a lot of clubs here in the south of France but I've had bad experiences riding with them - they all, with few exceptions, seem to be obsessed with overtaking absolutely everything they come across on the road and riding at maxium speed - whereas I am pretty chill and happy taking it all in. Ideally I think I'd like to find a like minded rider or two to go on trips with but not quite sure how to go about it.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys - that's all really helpful. Maybe long term I might invest in an adventure machine but I like my 650S so much. I'm a relatively new rider so I'll build up to it gently enough.

I'm thinking that in the short term, the best might be to stick to the tarmac of southern Europe or go on one of these organised trips where the machines are provided... like here for example :Voyage à moto au Maroc

There are a lot of clubs here in the south of France but I've had bad experiences riding with them - they all, with few exceptions, seem to be obsessed with overtaking absolutely everything they come across on the road and riding at maxium speed - whereas I am pretty chill and happy taking it all in. Ideally I think I'd like to find a like minded rider or two to go on trips with but not quite sure how to go about it.
Yeah I have similar thoughts. Some people ride too fast for me. Sure I do it sometimes myself and I already collided with a car less than a week after I got my license lol (in may 2021), but I'd rather do it when I feel like it instead of having to catch up to someone who feels like doing it but I'm not on my best day.
 

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did 20kms of unsealed road recently, was fine and quite stable, but there was no extended sections of deep sand or significant loose gravel (that is not to say it wouldn't handle it, just rather I never was exposed to it). The problem I have found off road is the bottom of the exhaust hitting the ground due to low clearance, that would probably be a significant factor. So dirt roads probably depend on their quality.

It was a pain to clean when I got back though as I ended up in muddy clay like version of the same road further on and it got into every nook and cranny.

Tire Wheel Plant Sky Fuel tank
 

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The main factor is probably getting used to being on unsealed roads if you haven't been on them, maybe more so than the bike itself. Someone had blog about how his parents used to do an original version of trial riding on WW2 Harleys in places that were like remote mountain walking tracks after the war in some of the areas in the US, so a lot of it is also our ideas about things, what can and can't be done. Mind you if something broke on the things my guess is they would have often been able to fix it themselves.
 
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