WHICH BIKE FOR THE NEXT STEP UP?
Dear TRAIL ZONE: My head is in a spin as to which bike to buy next! I currently have an '09 Husky TE310 which is a great bike but I am in the market for some new wheels, but which way do I go? I have ridden the KTM and Husky 450s but my head is telling me that I want to go on some bigger rides that will take me on some big adventure. I am looking at a KTM 450 with a bigger tank or a BMW 650 GS Dakar or even a Transalp ... I want the best of both worlds to be able to go on a big ride with my mates or a quick squirt out the bush. I have got every edition of TRAIL ZONE and I read every issue back to front until the next one comes along. I have read everything you guys have said in previous issues and I am confued as which bike to buy. PLEASE HELP -- and keep up the great work as it's the best mag on the market!
-- 'Confused Rider' Dean Thompson, via www.trailzone.com.au
Dear Confused: Thanks for your email, Dean. Yes, you certainly sound like you’re in a spin. It’s always tough deciding just which bike to go for next. The fact you’re already on a Husky 310 tells me you may well be disappointed with a larger/heavier adventure machine like the Dakar or the Transalp -- they are a lot more soft-core and road-oriented than the Husky TE310 you're currently used to. Is it possible you may in fact like the next Husky in the range -- the mighty TE450? I think you’d love it and the larger 450cc powerplant should give you the scope to do longer trail rides more comfortably than the 310. But if you're still determined to get closer to the adventure riding end of the spectrum, why not look at the Husky TE610, or even the KTM 690 Enduro? These bikes are well suited to racking up long distance rides yet still offer great capabilities in the bush when you want to to tackle some more hard-core trail sections -- sections you would never want to take a GS or Transalp into! So work those couple of bikes into the mix and then do your best to get test-rides on all of them, either through bike shops or even from other owners you cross trails with. My advice is that you MUST try and ride them ALL! Good luck with it and let us know what you end up deciding on and why.
-- Dr Phil, www.trailzone.com.au
(Got a question for the Doctor? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org)