KTM 790 ADV-R vs BMW F850GS

We have been riding KTM and BMW for the last 15 years and have owned most of their motorcycle milestones. Even though most of these motorcycles are great for all-round purposes, one always stood out for pure adventure riding, so

the bet was to find a genuine replacement for the KTM 990 Adventure R, the best twin-cylinder adventure motorcycle ever created.

Join our Central Greece Adventure for an epic trip, testing in real-life adventure conditions the brand new KTM Adventure 790 R head to head against it’s best rival today, the BMW F850GS Rally and KTMs most hardcore incarnation yet, the KTM 950 Super Enduro R.

BMW F850GS Rally


Last year we switched back to BMW and it’s brand new F850GS Rally, the best-suited model for our needs. Its 21″ front wheel, relatively lightweight and use of chain instead of shaft drive made it ideal for off-road adventure. We wanted something easy to ride, comfortable enough and able to carry our luggage. Also, since we ain’t getting any younger, cruise control, heated grips and electronic assistance were welcome. We also installed the optional BMW rally pegs since the OEM are not suited for riding in a standing position and AltRider 1” bar risers to help handle the many kilometers in standing position.

The twin BMW inline engine of the F850GS operates flawlessly and performs exactly how an adventure motorcycle engine should. It delivers enough torque to wheelie when it is required and produces minimal vibration, contrary to BMWs boxer engines. Brakes are fairly good with strong initial bite and can handle very well the excess heat generated in adventure riding conditions. The rear brake has an excellent feeling and in the “Enduro Pro” mode helps ride the motorcycle with controlled slides while keeping the ABS on for the front system.

The F850GS is a fantastic motorcycle to ride on the tarmac and feels like a proper street bike making you feel very safe. It is stable in all speeds, has moderate wind protection but zero helmet buffeting and is one of the most comfortable bikes we have ever ridden, with the optional comfort seat. It also features a nice quick shifter system, with a not so nice feeling of the gear lever, and a full off-road electrics package called “Enduro Pro” that helps you ride fast and safe.

When riding the middleweight beemer off-road in a seated position, or with slow sub 45km/h speeds, it performs flawlessly. Once you get excited and start asking for more the GS starts showing its various construction limitations with the lack of a proper suspension being the most notable. The front suspension keeps bottoming out as soon as you hit something hard, making the need for engine protection a true necessity since it keeps hitting every extruding rock. We addressed that with the built-as-a-tank construction of an AltRider skid plate.

A second side effect of the same problem is that even though it feels comfortable at low speeds, as soon as speed rises above 50-60 km/h every generated force is poorly damped and directed to the entire front system and your wrists. Another suspension problem emerger when the terrain became hard with planted rocks and the ESA equipped GS makes it impossible to find traction because of its very slow, non-adjustable, rebound setting.

In our opinion, if BMW had raised the bar on the F850GS suspension system we would be talking about a completely different motorcycle, very suited for all purposes and possible best adventure middleweight contender. It kind of reminds us of the HP2 Enduro that had the geometry characteristics to be a Super Enduro rival but is stock form was seriously lacking in suspension.

KTM 790 Adventure R


After owning almost everything in the legendary LC8 range, from the touring-oriented 950/990 Adventure to the radical 950 Super Enduro we were eager to find out if the 790 would win where the 1090/1290 failed: to become a true successor of the 990, the benchmark in twin-cylinder adventure motorcycles. For 2019-2020 we have ordered a couple of KTM 790 Adventure R since we were pretty confident that the ingredients for success were there. The brand new 790R is behaving completely different from what it looks and it is the first time an adventure bike ever looked that weird!

Our 790R is fitted with almost every available from the KTM Power Parts and we added the AltRider 1″ bar raisers and swapped the pegs for a set of 3″ wide PivotPegs for added rider comfort. We also turned the upper handlebar clamps 180 degrees to move our shoulders in a more relaxed angle for standing up position. An issue we had with the KTM right out the box is with the fuel level indicator not working properly, hopefully, fixable with some future software update.

Also if you are using the S model taller screen as we did, the bike gets higher overall wind protection, but helmet buffeting is very annoying, so we ended using the stock smaller R screen. Nevertheless, the F850GS has a cleaner helmet airflow.

The ergonomic characteristics of the 790R are great since you fell “on” the motorcycle and not trapped “in” the motorcycle as per all GS designs. Only weird thing is that the position of the footpegs is a bit back from its ideal position, so you keep adjusting your foot every time you place it on the pegs. A possible reason for this is that your toes keep touching the lower part of the tank, especially if you are an 11+ US size boot.

Another issue with the 790 design is that the rear side fenders that hold the tools are some made from some sort of thermoplastic and when riding with the added weight of soft saddlebags rested on them, they become loose. As a matter of fact, in our 3 days tour, one side came apart from the bike while riding.

Riding the 790R KTM on road, the front high fender produces some tremble on the bars and the motorcycle wobbles after 150km/h with the std Metzeler Karoo 3. From the first few kilometers, the KTM feels super stiff and stopped to check the std suspension setting that the bike was delivered with. Our goal is to find the perfect long-distance adventure motorcycle and not some rally replica. The std setting was adjusted to comfort setting and immediately the 790R felt more friendly both on and off the road.

The geometry of the 790R is super crisp and you could say that it is a 950 Super Enduro with some specs from 950-990 Adventure. Typically KTM, power and throttle response was there to help you pass anything on your way. You simply open the gas and orange magic makes all obstacles disappear! Even though this is the first parallel-twin adventure motorcycle for KTM, and even though it lacks its ancestor’s engine displacement, it will be hard for any V-Twin like the 1090R and 1190R to escape it when ridden hard on gravel roads. Of course, when talking brute power, the Super Enduro will easily outrun it on a drag race.

The suspension is typical KTM. Perfect and precise transforming any gravel road to smooth tarmac. It’s better than the old std 950/990, but not as precise as the 990R was. Travel isn’t much, for KTM standards, but it’s enough. KTM electronics work and in the 790R work very well. As per engine management, there are many settings to choose from, but when chaced by two Super Enduros, maybe you should stick to “Rally Mode”. Even though electronically aided riding is the only way forward, many KTM purists insist that it takes all the fun away.

Talking to a Belgian friend about the 790R Rally mode and the 9 levels of engine management, he replied that his beloved Super Enduro has only two modes: full gas or no gas! He did order whatsoever one of the first European limited production 790R Rally models, so we will be making a future test of the updated suspension kit. Regarding electronics, even Chris told us when we met him at the KTM Adventure Rally Bosnia that electronics are the future of adventure motorcycles.

Conclusions


Riding both bikes on the tarmac has a similar feeling since both bikes feel light and agile. Both feel too small for your average north European rider (I am 1.88m tall) and for tarmac-only riding we would rather choose their bigger equivalents.
Comfort-wise there is no doubt that the F850GS wins any day and this is simply because it is excessively soft. You will get diving under heavy braking on both motorcycles, but except for the R1200/1250GS, there no other way to get soft suspension settings and avoid diving under braking or heavy acceleration. KTMs electronically assisted try on this with the anti-dive system on the 1290T simply never worked well.

On the other hand, when road conditions deteriorate or when you start asking for more than mere transportation, then the orange beast leaps away howling at the mountains. Then you get reminded that the “ready to race” motto is more than a catchword.

The last thing to consider is history if anyone is interested in that in an age where we keep swapping motorcycles faster than helmets. If the KTM 790, rumored to become an 890 next year, make such a long-lasting impact as the 950/990 did remains to be seen. The miderange BMW, on the other hand, will not last in time, since it is always growing under the heavy shadow of a bigger brother. BMW is aware of this and maybe this is the reason for their sudden change of motorcycle choice for the GS Trophy 2020. Maybe this is an effort to make the midrange parallel-twin a true protagonist in BMWs future.

We will be sticking with both brands for the near future, using them more according to their design. Time to go back for another Mythical Routes adventure.

Featured Gear


All BMW and KTM motorcycles featured in this article are the property of Mythical Routes, so there is no sponsoring involved in our review.
All Klim, Enduristan, and AltRider equipment featured in this article is provided by Most Wanted Warehouse, sales agents of all the above brands in Greece.

Save Epirus Project

Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south.

A rugged and mountainous region, Epirus was the north-west area of ancient Greece. It was inhabited by the Greek tribes of the Chaonians, Molossians, and Thesprotians, and home to the sanctuary of Dodona, the oldest ancient Greek oracle, and the most prestigious one after Delphi. Unified into a single state in 370 BC by the Aeacidae dynasty, Epirus achieved fame during the reign of Pyrrhus of Epirus who fought the Roman Republic in a series of campaigns. Epirus subsequently became part of the Roman Republic along with the rest of Greece in 146 BC, which was followed by the Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire.

Epirus is facing a threat with catastrophic consequences for the environment, livestock farming, crops, livestock farming, and the ever-growing tourist product. Exports of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) pose a threat to public health and a serious deterioration of the protected areas of Epirus.

Epirus is one of the few areas in Europe that has such healthy ecosystems. Epirus has the richest and cleanest water reserves in Greece, which are in turn at risk.

The inhabitants of Epirus respond to these plans, forming an opposition movement of thousands of people who raise the issue at local, national and international level. Greater environmental organizations in the country and Greenpeace have been actively involved in the struggle of the local community as well as in all the collective organs of migrant Epirus.

By supporting the actions and by actively participating in this struggle, we help to preserve for us and the next generations the hydrological center of the country, the national parks with the rare animal species, the products with quality characteristics and the hygiene of the people living in this place.

Say No to Oil and Gas Extraction!

At a time when fuel is coming to an end, it is absurd for such an intervention to take place in Epirus. You can get all the latest news, help, support and follow the Save Epirus Project at their Social media links.

Meet Gregorio


All images in this article are provided by our friend, Mountain Engineer, Ocean Enthusiast and Coffee Lover Gregorio Papageorgiou Anriquez, a Commander of the Merchant Navy, with an origin from Epirus and Argentina!

He declares that he loves the sea and travels with his motorcycle around the world, hence the plethora of his photos from all over the world. Support his passion by following his Instagram account.

Epirus Awareness Ride


Both founding members Angelo and Paris Baltoyannis are originated from Epirus, so our involvement is personal. All Mythical Routes contributors are genuine ambassadors of the Adventure Life. We love to wander with our adventure motorcycles traversing every corner of Greece, trying to capture the natural beauty and essence of our landscape and our culture.

We are planning an Epirus Awarness Ride this summer with riding, hiking, camping and other epic activites that we hope will showcase this natural treasure and help protect the future of Epirus.

Enduristan Catalogue

As adventure riders, we have to travel with all kinds of weather and carry a lot of gear. We always needed a luggage system that is light, 100% weatherproof and rugged. We use a lot of electronics like cameras, laptops, and drones, so our luggage system must provide all the protection electronics require. You can read more about our opinion on the old subject at our Hard of Soft Luggage article.

In 2017 Enduristan GmbH, a Swiss premium motorcycle luggage manufacturer that specializes in Adventure Luggage Systems offered to support our project with many different luggage solutions like saddlebags, tank-bags, tail-bags, and backpacks. In our routes gear gets seriously tested, so we could provide constant feedback back to Enduristan headquarters. In 2018 both Mythical Routes founders and riders became official Enduristan Ambassadors.

Our collaboration with Enduristan GmbH and Most Wanted Warehouse | Enduristan Greece produced a limited edition “Mythical Routes” version of Enduristan’s 2018-2019 product catalogue, that features all of Enduristan products as viewed from our perspective, rich of the Hellenic Landscape.

Mythical Routes Enduristan Catalogue 2018-2019 | EN

KLiM Badlands Pro

I was planning for our next Mythical Routes tracking ride when the new 2018 KLIM Badlands Pro showed up in the office. What a great timing, I thought. This year’s first ride will be with brand new gear! Packed the old Super Enduro and headed to Mount Parnitha for a first ride in the new suit to see how it stands against our current 2017 KLIM Badlands suits.

As soon as I tried the pants, the fit improvements are obvious. It has a looser fit than the previous Badlands and the second top strap (above the knee) has been eliminated. That strap was something that was always bugging me with the old Badlands. That top strap, even fully loose, was pulling and squeezing my thigh every time I sat on the bike. Now that it’s gone, the pants are much more comfortable. Another nice improvement is the bigger size of the pants hem. My MX boots fit perfectly and the pant zipper closes without any effort. The jacket has an almost identical fit with the old one, with just a little more room at the belly area.

Ice and snow are ideal conditions for a great test ride

One thing that strikes you as soon as you use the new suit is the extra protection added with the all new KLIM® D3O® AERO PRO Armor. With 44% more coverage, these things are huge! You really feel the upgrade here. On top of that they ventilate 5 times better due to their innovative design.

One of the key components of the Badlands series was the enhanced protection provided by Superfabric® extreme abrasion panels placed on the highest abrasion zones. These panels were first used at the Adventure Rally and then inherited to the previous Badlands. The new upgraded panels feature variable density fabric that provides a combination of free movement and extreme resistance. The new panels are also larger in total area thus providing an upgraded abrasion protection.

Built and backed up by KLiM’s legendary name and warranty

KLIM has always used motorsports-exclusive GORE-TEX® 3-Layer Pro Shell technology for all previous Badlands incarnations, so waterproofness and breathability was never an issue. No change here for the new model. We feel 100% sure, as with all previous models, that it will withstand all weather conditions and we will always arrive safe and dry, wherever the trail brings us.

Ventilation was always one of Badlands strong points, better even than the legendary KLIM Adventure Rally that we have used extensively in the past. The positioning of the majority of vents have no variation from the previous model, which already worked just about perfect. The new jacket eliminates the lateral vents and replaces them with two front ones, just below the chest. This new configuration should work even better than the previous model, but given the cold we faced during the ride, we did not use the intake vents much. Maybe in the near future we will make a review of the venting system, once the weather becomes warmer once again.

Tan colorway blends perfectly with Greek National Forest colors

Ventilation is also enhanced, due to the use of the new dynamic D3O AERO PRO armor’s open structure. Airflow can now move completely through the best armor in the industry, protecting but also cooling the body by expelling heat at all speeds.
Furthermore the use of KLIM engineered KLIMATEK COOL base layer cooling fabric into the armor pockets, utilizes chemical-free moisture transfer and cool evaporation technology that does not wear out over time. The result is a fabric with hyper-wicking properties that is cooling your skin.

We focus only in the trail ahead and let our gear worry about the weather..

The only issue we had with the new Badlands Pro is the design of the rear cargo pocket. KLIM eliminated the top zipper and replaced it with two lateral zippers. In theory it should work better being easier to reach, but given the lower volume of the pocket, we had trouble storing the exact same items that we used to store in the previous model.

Updates are everywhere for the all-new 2018 Badlands Pro

Is this the perfect Adventure suit? If you had to find the one suit that does it all, from Adventure to Off-road to Touring and everything in-between, this would be it. We said the exact same thing for the previous Badlands model, but this is just the confirmation of how well engineered and executed the Badlands concept has always been. This 2018 new model is a true successor of the Badlands legacy and the key reasons are:

  1. it features the best protective armor produced to date, matching – or even surpassing – the Adventure Rally. That is a statement on it’s own.
  2. it is 100% weatherproof without sacrificing breath-ability. It will keep you dry and comfortable day after day.
  3. it features heavy-duty abrasion resisting fabrics without being too heavy. Weight feels almost identical to the previous model, even with the added weight of the larger protective pads.
  4. it is full of features and pockets and zippers and everything to make your life easier, without being too flashy.
  5. it features kidney belt and chest protector, as any real Adventure suit should feature. Being hit in the chest by a stone is no joke.
  6. it features increased low-light visibility without the need to use Hi-Vis colors, so “I don’t want to get dirty” is not an excuse anymore for those that opted for the Hi-Vis color.
  7. it has more venting ports than I can remember, better placed than the previous models and much more than any other waterproof adventure suit that we have ever used.
  8. it is backed up by KLiM’s legendary name and KLiM’s warranty system that works every time.

We really couldn’t be happier with this year’s Badlands Pro. Now, let’s get dirty !!

Husqvarna 701 Rally Replica

As most Adventure Riders out there, we are in the hunt for the perfect all-round and do-it-all Adventure Bike.

One of the key features is weight. A perfect adventure bike must be light enough to tackle some single-track use or hard obstacles. As we have mentioned in our article Adventure Bikes, always keep in mind that if you can not pick up your bike fully loaded in any situation, then it is not an adventure bike!

You will need to pick-up your bike many times in a day

Speaking of off-road use, another key feature is good suspension. A proper Adventure bike must have proper off-road suspension and everything that comes with it. If the bike can not handle dirt-road abuse, then your adventure will be rather sort.

One of the most important features in any adventure ride, is the absence of frequent gas stations, so our bikes must be able to carry a lot of fuel. The more we can carry, the best we are. With large tanks you always have the option to leave them half-empty in the event of a difficult single-track day.

Single-track is part of any Adventure Ride

Last required feature is good wind protection for those tarmac miles that you will need to travel. This protection will be also very useful while riding off-road, protecting your GPS and other devices from stones, branches and other things that keep coming your way.

Husqvarna 701 Rally Replica

A thought that instantly comes in our minds is that Rally bikes have almost all the required features of the perfect Adventure bike. We choose the 701 to begin this project for the same reason it’s progenitor, the KTM 690, has so many hardcore fans and so many companies are building hard parts for it, all around the world. The 701 took its place as the latest incarnation of an almost extinct breed, refined and perfected in all aspects and maybe this is the actual reason why KTM never fixed some of the serious problems of the 690.

Many (like us) are addicted to the look of Rally bikes and just recently we got acquainted with a native Greek company, AURORA Rally Equipment that specializes into doing exactly what we wanted. It produces a complete Rally Replica kit that converts a stock Husqvarna 701 to the ultimate Adventure and Rally weapon, with 3 tanks, 2 fuel pumps, a navigation tower and a big RR screen. it seamed obvious that this was the ultimate 701 and just the right bike for what we were looking for.

This 701RR is the absolute best Adventure bike ever built

The 701RR has the aggressive look and the light factor that today’s adventure bikes simply do not have any more, just because the companies are constantly adding street oriented features to their motorcycles making them heavier and with bigger boar engines, year after year.

The 701 as stock is ready to take you into some of the most wonderful back roads Greece has to offer, but it lacks is some areas especially fuel range. This kit doubles the range of the bike with two OEM rally tanks (total fuel carried is 28 liters).

As we started our first journey on this bike to test it’s capabilities, we found out it was a real pleasure to be able to choose which pump to use, front or rear tanks, in order to change the balance characteristics of the motorcycle at will. In Travel Enduro situations, the motorcycle has to constantly adapt to both the added weight-load from the equipment that is is caring and the ever-changing conditions of the road. In addition, having a dual fuel pump system gives you peace of mind since in the event of a malfunction, you still go the second pump to take you safely at your next base.

The actual added weight to the bike is not much. If you have an after-market can like we do and a Li-Po battery, then the added weight is 12.833kg. Adding the fuel (27lt) we are at 178kg total. Not bad at all !!

Another lacking characteristic of the 701 that gets addressed with the 701RR kit is rider comfort. Your butt now gets a royal ride with an ergonomically enhanced high-tech polymer seat that does not get in the way when standing on the pegs, but makes a comfy siting position for those tarmac-legs that you were dreading.

Night riding experience also gets a serious update with a dedicated high beam LED light, a 10.000 lumens Baja Squadron that literally turns they darkest night into a bright day. No more worries about those last off-road miles while getting dark.

AURORA Rally Equipment Roadbook and Nav-Tower are build as tanks

Another feature to get addressed is bash-plate protection. This kit features a full-carbon plate that integrates perfectly with the shape of the front tanks. Now this is a part that we were skeptical about, since Greece has a rocky soil, so close encounters with boulders is a very common thing. Added the fact that the bike is fully loaded with fuel and luggage, this seriously reduces ground clearance in deep ruts and small jumps, because the springs are working overtimes. In reality though, the carbon-fiber bash plate did not show any kind of stress marks or cracks. It stood perfect while tackling the harsh Greek mountain roads.

Last feature of the perfect Adventure bike is reliability. So, “plug & play” was the only option that we were looking for and this kit has it. The Aurora 701RR kit is the only one in the market today that uses OEM Rally Factory parts and does not modify the frame in any way. This way you do not loose the official Husqvarna warranty and this is something very important in our book.

Combine that with the confidence that this kit will survive everything you throw at it, with brackets that come with a limited life warranty, you got really nice deal here.

Luggage System

On our off-road / adventure motorcycles we are using exclusively Soft Luggage for a variety of reasons. You can give yourself a read about that in our Hard or Soft Luggage blog post.

We like to ride as compact as possible

In our Mythical 701 Rally Replica bikes we are using Enduristan Sandstorm 4H tankbag to safe keep our cameras and other electronics from water, dust or whatever we encounter. For all of our tools, spear air tubes and clothes we are using Enduristan Blizzard L Saddle Bags to keep everything safe and maintain a low center of gravity. For our saddle bags we are not using any kind of frame, so we can keep the added weight to a minimal. Last storage item used is the Enduristan Tail Pack, a fast-accessibly bag with a zipper design to safe keep some items that we would need to use frequently, like a second dry-fit shirt, a Gore Tex soft shell, or a power-bar.

AURORA 701 Rally Replica Highlights

Speaking with Dimitris, head-developer of the 701RR, is always cool since you always learn many things about the fascinating Rally world. This is his analysis of the 701RR kit:

Fuel System

A fully loaded Aurora 701RR will hold approximately 28 liters of fuel. We chose to use the KTM factory parts. The fuel pump is located on the right tank, while the left is waiting to be upgraded with a third pump should you travel to the ends of Earth! Tripe layered racing heat reflector is installed to protect the tanks from the heat generated.
The fuel piping uses billet non-return valves and OEM quick release couplings, but also adds two extra fuel filters in the system. A secondary fuel piping can be installed as a spare system on the bike, ready to be connected in case the primary one is damaged. Thermal protection is installed in all the critical areas of the fuelling lines to prevent over-heating.
Aurora 701RR comes with two fuel pumps manually selectable. We added the OEM Keihin, rally pump and its fuel warning light to ensure that the rider will get to the next resting point whatever the circumstances. It is known that the KTM690 fuel pumps were failing sooner or later, so the extra fuel pump is necessary. Due to the laws of hydraulics and the geometry of the bike, the tanks cannot be interconnected (and they are not, even on the rally bike) so the two fuel pumps are necessary for optimal performance.

Tank Brackets

This is the only kit in worldwide today that uses the OEM KTM factory tanks and does not modify the frame in any way. While other ‘garage’ built kits will force the builders to modify the frame of the bike, invalidating the warranty in most of the countries that the bike is sold, the Aurora 701 leaves the frame unharmed.
Pioneering in materials use and design, these tank brackets are the strongest in the market to date.  While sheet metal is cheap to make. It does not have neither the integrity nor the strength of billet parts. We, at Aurora Rally Equipment, made no compromise in designing and building something that will last the lifetime of the vehicle. Installation is a breeze, no need to remove the internals of the rear tank or other major parts of the bike to install them.
The CNC brackets, made from Aluminium or ST37, allow some flexibility in case of a crash, yet they are warrantied for the life of the vehicle.

Head Clamp

One of the most important parts on the bike. Holding the navigation tower and electrics. When collaborating with winning teams, we know that failure is not an option. Aurora Rally Equipment is active in the Rally scene since 2013 and our equipment has won multiple times in the mighty Africa Eco Race and Dakar. We have used data logging equipment to understand the forces involved during riding and crashing. Using temperature loggers and three axis accelerometers on Rally bikes, we designed a pioneering head clamp like no other. Machined out of a solid block of aluminium, using the stock mounting points on the bike, our innovative design uses a third anchor point to increase strength and stability. Once again, this clamp is warrantied for the life of the vehicle.

Navigation Tower

The navigation tower on the 701RR is like no other. Easy cable access, strong yet flexible to protect your valuable gear, this tower can be transformed either to a digital setup using HighwayDirtbikes unique ipad and iphone cases, or to a rally cockpit using the winning Aurora Rally Equipment products. This tower comes with special rivet nuts so there is no need to put nuts and washers in the critical, no easy to access places.

Lights

If you decide to take it the long way and wonder in the dark, you have the perfect combination of lights. OEM Hella light with a Baja Squadron Sport keep you both legal and safe. The option to replace the Sport with the Pro model, as well as add another two Squadrons can lit up the road with almost 10.000 lumens! The RGB position light allows you to create a unique setup according to your mood and the soon to be released thin sheet lights will give the bike an appearance like no other bike on the road.

 

* More information about the AURORA 701 RR kit can be found here

KTM 950 Super Enduro R

The KTM 950 Super Enduro R .. how can you describe that beast? The Super Enduro concept was prototyped in 2004-2005 and took it’s final form in 2006. The project was fueled by the ongoing war between KTM and BMW for the construction of the most extreme large cc enduro motorcycle ever created. In 2006 it dominated it’s main adversary, the mighty BMW HP2, and the rest of the competing motorcycles in the Prologue Race of the Erzberg Rodeo 2006. With only 3000 units ever produced and a 100hp twin cylinder engine, it was the Beast Supreme!

Having the KTM 950 Super Enduro R in the garage, you find it difficult to classify it as an “adventure motorcycle” as it looks like most KTM enduro bikes do. Only when you park it next to one, you realize the sky-hi saddle height, the extra long wheelbase and that LC8 beast V2 hiding, not particularly well, under the tank.

The only way it likes to be ridden ..

Having all the positives of it’s 950/990 Adventure brother (minus the wind protection) and with 40kg less weight, it has phenomenal off-road performance. The WP USD Ø 48mm forks and WP monoshock PDS, even in stock form, work much better than the Adventure – even though they are perfect for solo rides. You can not easily adjust the rear spring pre-load for pillion (the shock has to be removed), but it’s not something it is built for. With 265mm of suspension travel it will swallow any obstacle found in it’s way and it is perfect for high speed dirt riding with very quick handling.

The V2 engine is a real dynamite, capable of destroying a rear tire in just a ride and the aggressive riding position instantly puts you in race mode. At every opportunity you want to fully open the throttle and hold on for dear life. You instantly realize that KTM has created the toughest, baddest naked adventure bike of its generation.

It will literally take you anywhere

As we have said many times (Adventure Bikes | What’s Best for you?), “if you can not pick up your bike fully loaded, in any situation, then it is not an adventure bike“. With 180kg dry weight it can reach the 200-220kg territory loaded with everything you need. So, if you have been doing your dead-lifts, you can pick it up with relative ease. It is not featherweight, but it’s nowhere near as heavy as any twin adventure motorcycle out there. The single cylinder 690/701 are lighter, but they will never have THAT engine ..

Adventurizing the Super Enduro

Having a solid off-road platform, I only had to focus into fixing it’s mechanical issues and adjusting it to our travel-enduro needs. With a 950cc twin engine, road sections are covered with ease. I did not want to add a rally screen, since it would transform it into a 950 Adventure with almost the same weight. It would also loose it’s off-road strong point, the ability to enter single-track gnarly trails without having a visor blocking the view in front of you. The KTM 690 screen does the job perfectly. You have a buffet-free ride, without too much air in your chest and with no added weight. Stick to road limits and you can cover distances without much fatigue. It’s not a GS, but it doesn’t weight 350kg either.

Ergonomics are dealt with a set of Rox 2” Pivoting Bar Risers and Pivot Pegz WIDE MK3 Foot Pegs. These make a big difference in comfort. The Rox Risers can be adjusted to position you perfectly over the bars and the Pivot Pegz give you a much wider area to stand on. Another option was the KTM Rally pegs, but having used the pivot pegs in previous builds, I just loved the ease of the pivoting action they provide.

The center stand is a must for any Adventure motorcycle. It is way easier to use it than to search for a rock or a log in the event of a flat tire. It doen’t add too much weight (relative to the bike’s weight) and the KTM 990 S/R center stand fits without any modifications. A true bolt-on upgrade.

Free-riding is fun on the Super Enduro

The only actual poor design of the Super Enduro is the position of the oil tank under the radiator. It is tough and will survive a small hit, partially protected the oem bash plate, but a big crush will move it. Once it moves, it will break your radiator and that’s it, you are stuck! I really did not want to go the oil tank relocation mods way, so I opted for the next best thing: The Adv-Spec Bashplate is super sexy, built like a tank with a 5mm aircraft grade aluminum construction, it will keep weight down while providing plenty of protection. It ads a third fixing point just before the center stand (total 6 fixing bolts instead of the stock 4 bolts) that will prevent any movement from the oil tank. Another usual LC8 issue is the leaking secondary clutch cylinder. A great solution is the Oberon Clutch Slave Cylinder. Once added you forget that LC8s even had that problem.

Last issue is the heat. All you can do is remove the SAS crap and the catalytic converter of the stock mufflers. I fitted the delicious FMF Q4 Slip-On Exhaust, fixed the fueling and that’s it. Except for the sound upgrade, the only reason you install a slip-on exhaust is the weight and heat benefits. The Super Enduro does not lack power .. trust me on that.

Mileage is a bit low. The beast is thirsty and the stock 13 liters of fuel capacity (3.43 gal) don’t help. The first solution that comes in mind is to add a 30lt Safari Tank. If we were located in Africa or Australia this would be my first upgrade, even though the added weight upfront does not help the dynamic characteristics of the bike. If you can reach 230+km of fuel range, you can just make it in Greece. You will always be a bit worried about mileage, but you will eventually reach the next gas station. A great solution is Nenduro’s KTM 950SE Rally Fuel Tank that adds 2+ extra gallons, but requires that you convert to 2 into 1 exhaust to make room for the tank. I actually bought it, but didn’t ever use it, since I am in love with the look of the twin pipes. So, my only solution is the use of the RotopaX Gasoline Packs. They help the SE reach the 230+km of fuel range and look awesome! The Super Enduro does not feature a rack, but that was easy to fix. I installed the 6mm aluminum MWW Luggage Rack (fabricated by Most Wanted Warehouse in Greece).

Luggage System

On our off-road adventure tours we are using exclusively Soft Luggage for a variety of reasons. You can give yourself a read about that in our Hard or Soft Luggage  article.

Maximum volume, minimum weight and 100% weatherproof

With the Mythical 950 Super Enduro we are using Enduristan Sandstorm 4H tankbag to keep our cameras and other electronics safe from water & dust. All of our tools, tubes and heavy items we are using Enduristan Blizzard L Saddle Bags to keep everything safe and maintain a low center of gravity, very important wiyh any tall motorcycle. The saddlebags help much as a bumper when the bike falls and keep it higher, so easier to lift. For the saddle bags we are not using any kind of frame, in order to keep the added weight to a minimum. The LC8’s twin pipes tail is just perfect for this application. The pipes support all the weight and the only modification you will ever need to do is to ad the Enduristan Universal Exhaust Heat Shields.

Last storage item used with the Super Enduro is the Enduristan Tornado 2M Pack Sack, above the RotopaX, straped to the MWW Luggage Rack. We keep very light items here like camp shoes and layers, a Gore Tex soft shell, or a power-bar.

 

* More information about almost all items used to upgrade the KTM can be found here

Enduristan Blizzard Saddle Bags

When ADV-traveling, it is necessary to find the best quality Bag for your gear. It must be 100% waterproof & very durable to usage wear. There is nothing more annoying than arriving to your destination and finding out that your gear is wet.

In our article Hard or Soft Luggage, you can read our thoughts about why we choose to use only Soft Luggage for off-road riding. The brand that we have chosen to use is Enduristan, a Swiss company founded in 2008 by Christoph von Ow, Isabel Jenni and David Jenni. The company aims to design and produce innovative, high quality products for individualists for the touring markets. Their products are strong, intelligently engineered and long lasting. They are products produced by off-road users for off-road users.

Soft Saddlebags are the most efficient way of loading your bike

The best way to load your gear to the motorcycle, both for road and off-road use, is with a Saddle Bag. The weight is located low, so the dynamic performance of the motorcycle is changed as less as possible. There are many options available out there, but our focus was in a set of 100% weatherproof, tough to survive off-road abuse and as compact as possible – since if you carry too much the dynamics of the bike will change drastically. Another important factor is that the bags should not get in the way while riding aggressively.

Enduristan Blizzard L Saddle Bags are ready to take you anywhere

Our choice was Enduristan Blizzard L Saddle Bags, made by a fully waterproof 3-layer fabric, roll-top closure and an all welded construction. The bags are 100% water, mud, snow and dust proof and come in three sizes (S, M, L) and ranges all the way from 2×6 to 2×12 liters, depending on size. We went with the L size since they are the ideal compromise between storage capacity and small size.

The Blizzard Saddle Bags are made from Enduristan’s new 3-layer fabric, a supreme high-tech material. The outer layer of extremely abrasion resistant polymer protects your belongings whilst the inner layer is made of high visibility red vinyl. In between a 1000D Nylon mesh is embedded. The mesh is densely woven yet flexible to allow the 1000D Nylon filaments to align in the direction of the stress for maximum tear resistance.

Blizzard L Saddle Bags are perfect for any mid & large Adventure motorcycle

Riding off-road with the added 2×12 liters of the Blizzard, the dynamics of the bike do not change much and the bags do not get in your way while wrestling with the motorcycle. On steep descents you can really move all the way back to the rear of the seat, an important riding position off-road, a position that can’t be accomplished with the use of a Loop Bag design.

The two compression straps on the Blizzard Saddle Bags can easily be converted into an interface to attach a Bottle Holster or a Fender Bag (size M or L only). Like this you can add 2 x 1.5 liter additional volume, 2 x 1 liter fuel or a combination of both. On top of the Blizzard Saddle Bags, there is placement to attach two more Bottle Holsters to increase the range of your hard enduro. The rear of your bike remains free to attach a Pack Sack, a Rally Pack or any XS Base Pack, in order to add storage space, without limiting your freedom of movement.

Blizzard Saddle Bags Highlights

  • Does not require rack
  • Fits any enduro or adventure bike
  • Red inner lining for high visibility
  • 4 compression straps per bag
  • 2 rows of cargo loops to attach additional gear
  • 4 interfaces to attach Bottle Holsters
  • 2 interfaces to attach Fender Bags (size M and L only)
  • Ergonomic soft grip handles
  • Deluxe shoulder strap separately available
  • Firm seat under even the most extreme off road riding
  • Easy fastening, quick removal
  • Distance between bags adjustable
  • Fore-aft placement fully adjustable
  • No flapping straps
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • Built to last

* More information about Enduristan Blizzard Saddle Bags here

KLiM Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet ECE

The KRIOS is KLiM’s new beginning for ADV helmets – revitalizing standards in strength, performance and functionality while leaving traditional compromises behind. This is the lightest hi-end adventure helmet ever tested by us.

This must be the one Gear that we were most exited about. We have owned or tested almost all the hi-end Adventure helmets out there. Arai, Shoei .. you name it. We had settled to Arai for that last 4-5 year, buying all of their X-Tour and MX models. While being really plush and well built, our constant complain was the ridiculous weight of the helmets. Another problem was the presence of a lot of turbulence in hi-speeds, with all kinds of motorcycle used. From full-house BMW R1200GSA to naked KTM 950SE. Turbulence and head shake was always there.

KLiM Krios in enduro trim

Well, not any more !! The Krios literally eliminates these issues in all speeds, even with the visor on. The helmet remains rock solid in all speeds and literally weights nothing. The interior is very comfortable with the “hi-end feel” it should have for it’s price range and can be fully removed for washing in seconds. The aerodynamics do not let the helmet shake and the visor can be removed very fast – without any short of tool needed.

The one thing though that strikes you the most is the lack of weight. KLIM’s full-carbon KRIOS shell features a wide carbon weave at it’s core which is absolutely stunning to look (black & color options). You can wear it all day and feel that your head is fine (no headaches) and your neck hasn’t suffered from the ride. It is an absolute joy to wear, all day and in any situation helmet. This is the BEST Adventure helmet we have ever used!

Krios works excellent in all weather conditions and riding modes

KLiM Krios Features

  • REIGN OR SHINE : THE LIGHTEST ADV HELMET
    KLIM developed the KRIOS ADV Helmet to destroy the conventional performance parameters of the modern Adventure Touring helmet. Innovative construction techniques and supreme material sourcing combine in the ultimate multi-function and completely versatile Adventure Helmet. It’s the only helmet weighing under 1500 grams in North America.
  • ULTRA VISION
    See the path clearly ahead through optically correct face-shield technology, coupled with an industry leading field of vision.
  • FEEL AT HOME : ENGINEERED AERO ACOUSTICS
    Focus on the road ahead and fully engage with the ride thanks to KLIM’s perfected Aero Acoustic performance. Combining sleek and stable aerodynamics, intelligent ventilation design and a premium liner system, KLIM makes it easy to keep riding mile after mile.
  • TESTED, TESTED, TESTED, TESTED
    To perfect the premium ride quality of the KRIOS, ADV test riders revised and manipulated every component in the real-world to ensure features such as visors and modular systems didn’t increase noise or reduce on-bike comfort. The result: Aero Acoustic and Aerodynamic excellence and high-level fit and finish ensure a premium experience on every ride.
  • HAND BUILT PRECISION
    KLIM’s full-carbon KRIOS shell features a wide carbon weave at its core. Hand-laid for a perfectly consistent shell, each section utilizes optimal resin amounts to reduce weight and ensure uniform shell thickness and integrity.
  • VERSATILITY PERFECTED
    Mastering aerodynamics and functionality of visor-equipped helmets at high speeds is a huge challenge. KLIM developed the KRIOS to utilize aerodynamic visor and spoiler attributes to stabilize and put riders’ heads at ease.
  • EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
    Thanks to innovative construction techniques and premium materials, the KLIM KRIOS meets or exceeds the most demanding ECE and DOT standards for motorcycle helmets at reduced weight compared to the competition.
  • KLIM CUSTOM FIT
    Klimatek™ Fabric liner systems utilize adaptive smart foam technology and anti-microbial/bacterial fast-wicking textiles.
  • QUICK CHANGE
    KLIM’s KRIOS helmet rebuilt the modular helmet mindset with a quick release shield and visor system requiring only a simple, 90 degree quarter-turn to lock/unlock. No tools required.
  • FEEL THE FLOW
    KRIOS was born for Adventure and its intelligent ventilation system ensures riders will keep their cool when the terrain heats up. Adequate airflow through the chin bar vent and a closable top vent make it comfortable from slow-to-go.
  • BUILT FOR EVERY RIDE
    Quickly transition from Street to Off-Road or to any of four riding modes quickly and without tools . Innovative KLIM modular helmet technology allows riders to adapt the KRIOS to any riding need including KLIM Radius Goggle use.
  • SHIELDS UP
    Premium Polycarbonate Anti-Scratch shield tech takes the lead with Pinlock® ready systems standard to ensure a clear road ahead. Clear and Smoke options available.
    KRIOS provides a premium experience through High Performance Carbon-Fiber construction, four ride mode versatility, aerodynamic superiority and unrivaled acoustical and contact comfort.

* More information about KLiM Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet ECE here

 

Greek Architectural Orders

Architectural order describes the style of building. In Classical architecture, each order is identifiable by means of its proportions and profiles as well as by various aesthetic details. The style of column employed serves as a useful index of the style itself, so identifying the order of the column will then, in turn, situate the order employed in the structure as a whole.

The Parthenon of Athens

The Parthenon, 447-432 BC, Athens

There are three distinct orders in Ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These three were later adopted by the Romans, who modified their capitals. The Roman adoption of the Greek orders took place in the 1st century BC. The three Ancient Greek orders have since been consistently used in neo-classical European architecture.

Sometimes the Doric order is considered the earliest order, but there is no evidence to support this. Rather, the Doric and Ionic orders seem to have appeared at around the same time, the Ionic in eastern Greece and the Doric in the west and mainland. Both the Doric and the Ionic order appear to have originated in wood. The Temple of Hera in Olympia is the oldest well-preserved temple of Doric architecture. It was built just after 600 BC. The Doric order later spread across Greece and into Sicily where it was the chief order for monumental architecture for 800 years.

Anatomy of a Column

Doric order

The Doric order originated on the mainland and western Greece. It is the simplest of the orders, characterized by short, faceted, heavy columns with plain, round capitals and no base. With a height that is only four to eight times its diameter, the columns are the most squat of all orders. The shaft of the Doric order is channeled with 20 flutes. The capital consists of a necking which is of a simple form. The echinus is convex and the abacus is square.

Above the capital is a square abacus connecting the capital to the entablature. The entablature is divided into three horizontal registers, the lower part of which is either smooth or divided by horizontal lines. The upper half is distinctive for the Doric order. The frieze of the Doric entablature is divided into triglyphs and metopes. A triglyph is a unit consisting of three vertical bands which are separated by grooves. Metopes are the plain or carved reliefs between two triglyphs.

The Greek forms of the Doric order come without an individual base. They instead are placed directly on the stylobate. Later forms, however, came with the conventional base consisting of a plinth and a torus. The Roman versions of the Doric order have smaller proportions. As a result, they appear lighter than the Greek orders.

Ionic order

The Ionic order came from eastern Greece, where its origins are entwined with the similar but little known Aeolic order. It is distinguished by slender, fluted pillars with a large base and two opposed volutes (also called scrolls) in the echinus of the capital. The echinus itself is decorated with an egg-and-dart motif. The Ionic shaft comes with four more flutes than the Doric counterpart (totalling 24). The Ionic base has two convex moldings called tori which are separated by a scotia.

The Ionic order is also marked by an entasis, a curved tapering in the column shaft. A column of the ionic order is nine times its lower diameter. The shaft itself is eight diameters high. The architrave of the entablature commonly consists of three stepped bands (fasciae). The frieze comes without the Doric triglyph and metope. The frieze sometimes comes with a continuous ornament such as carved figures instead.

Corinthian order

The Corinthian order is the most ornate of the Greek orders, characterized by a slender fluted column having an ornate capital decorated with two rows of acanthus leaves and four scrolls. It is commonly regarded as the most elegant of the three orders. The shaft of the Corinthian order has 24 flutes. The column is commonly ten diameters high.

The Roman writer Vitruvius credited the invention of the Corinthian order to Callimachus, a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC. The oldest known building built according to this order is the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, constructed from 335 to 334 BC. The Corinthian order was raised to rank by the writings of Vitruvius in the 1st century BC.

Choragic-Monument-of-Lysicrates

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens (335-334 BC)

Set up your Suspension

Your gear is ready and everything is planed. But are you ready to go? One of the most common mistakes that almost every adventure rider makes, is that they forget to setup the motorcycle for the load that it is going to carry.

A badly set up motorcycle will perform equally bad, resulting into poor rider comfort and control of the motorcycle. Lack of rider control is the best recipe for disaster.

Making sure that the motorcycle does not bottom out under full load is very important

Step 1

Spring preload is very important as it affects the height and geometry of the bike.

  1. Place the motorcycle on a stand, so that both wheels have no ground contact and no load posts.
  2. Measure the distance between the center axis of each wheel to a fixed point on the motorcycle, for example the rear axle with the tail (R1) and the front axle with the triple clamp (F1).
  3. Put the motorcycle on the ground, so that the suspension is compressed by the weight of the motorcycle. Measure again from the same points and note the new lengths (R2 & F2).
  4. Sit on the bike in your normal riding position (standing position for enduro or travelenduro) and with both feet on the peg, with the help of a friend. You should be in full riding gear and equipment as it has considerable weight. Repeat measurements and note the new lengths (R3 & F3).

Suggested Measurements for Road Travels

Free Sag (rear) R1-R2 5-15 mm
Free Sag (front) F1-F2 20-30 mm
Race Sag (rear) R1-R3 25-35 mm
Race Sag (front) F1-F3 30-40 mm

sag_street

Suggested Measurements for Enduro & Adventure Travels

Free Sag (rear) R1-R2 30 +/- mm
Free Sag (front) F1-F2 30 +/- mm
Race Sag (rear) R1-R3 105 +/- mm
Race Sag (front) F1-F3 50 +/- mm

sag_mx

Step 2

  • If you deviate much from the suggested measures, then you must adjust the preload of the respective spring.
  • If the Race Sag (with driver) differs even after adjusting the preload of the springs, then a spring change to another of different hardness is probably the only way.

If you want to know more about adventure motorcycle preparation, like where and how to pack, read out article about Hard or Soft Luggage.

Still not sure about what adventure motorcycle is best for you? Read our article about Adventure Bikes.

Mysteries of the Cabeiri

Sanctuary of the Cabeiri at Lemnos

The Mysteries of the Cabeiri of Lemnos and Samothrace were very important. The Cabeiri were a group of deities of the ancient Greek religion, while in the dictionary of Sudas, Cabeir means Daemon. According to Welcker and Maury, the word Cabeiri is produced by the Greek verb καίω (burn), and are the evil daemons born in the depths of the sea, who expel the flame of their father Hephaestus and destroy the ground. The religion of Hephaestus prevailed in Lemnos (the location of his workshop) and the Cabeiri were considered his children, whom he had with Kabeiro, the daughter of Proteus, who accompanied the chariot of Poseidon.

There is also the opinion, according to Pausanias, that the worship of the Cabeiri is associated with fire worship, which was introduced by the Thraco-Pelasgians and received by the Achaeans in 2.200 B.C.

Apollo is also mentioned as a Cabeiri deity.

sanctuary-of-the-cabeiri-lemnossmall

Sanctuary of the Cabeiri at Lemnos

The modern inhabitants of the island give it a plural name: Cabeiri. It was discovered by L. Bernarbo Brea at the cape of Chloe in NE Lemnos, opposite the site of ancient Hephaestia. It was excavated by the Italian Archaeological School of Athens in 1937-39. Since 1982 research and excavations are continued.
The sanctuary of the Cabeiri was protected, by land, by a long wall at the top of the hill which hid it from the eyes of the uninitiated. The main buildings of the sanctuary were large halls of initiation (Telestiria) within which the “sacred” was revealed to the initiate, the so called Cabeirian mysteries. Their ruins are preserved in two flat areas, held up on the steep slope towards the sea, by supports.
At the back of the cella (the main interior of the temple) are the foundations of a small temple, destined for the “sacred”. The cella is divided into three compartments by two rows of five marble columns, and with a portico supported towards the sea by a strong stylobate.
A rich repository of offerings, lamps for night ceremonies, kantharoi, skyphoi, “compasses”, pottery for the sacred symposia, belong to the classical and Hellenistic phase. In the sanctuary, fragments of sculptures, terracotta and bronze figurines, glassware and many votive, honorific, liberating inscriptions were found.
The archaic telesterion is located in the southern plateau, with benches of half-baked plinths along the walls where the initiates sat. In the back there was the most holy place, the adyton, where the priest entered and the statues of the gods were situated.
It is perhaps the oldest known telesterion in Greece, even older than the Soloneio Telesterion in Eleusis. It was destroyed by fire, probably by the invading Persians in 512 BC.
The Hellenistic telesterion was built on the northern plateau and is the first thing someone sees when entering the site. It is rectangle, measuring 33 x 46.10 meters, double in size compared to the sanctuary of Samothrace and at the front it had a portico with 12 columns. It was divided into three aisles, by two rows of four Ionic columns.

Understanding Micro Climate

Choosing your Riding Gear

If you want to use 100% of the potential of an Adventure Suit, you should first learn more about the “microclimate” (Micro Climate) and how it relates to you so that you are more comfortable during riding. The microclimate defines a thin, invisible layer of air that is around your body. For the majority of people, the most convenient microclimate is 32 degrees Celsius (comfort temperature) and a relative humidity of 30%.

Different parts of our bodies react differently to changes in the microclimate. Some parts are more durable, for example our hands and feet are more comfortable when the temperature is 7 degrees lower than in the rest of our body. The most sensitive part of our body is the head. We lose much heat from our heads in relation to the rest of the body. Different parts of the body react differently from each other. Shoulders and lower back are more sensitive points to excessive cooling. Hands and our feet are constantly sweaty and need more care to stay warm and comfortable.

dsc_4614

One of the first true Adventure suits, the KLiM Badlands Pro

Our microclimate can be affected by many things. To stay comfortable when driving, it is important to understand what things are affected by:

  1. The environment we are. If we are not dressed appropriately for the weather and environmental conditions, our microclimate will be affected.
  2. This leads to the second issue which is our equipment. If we wear proper equipment, our microclimate will have a better chance of staying in optimum temperatures.
  3. Our body type may also be an influencing factor. The more healthy you are, the more stable are the prices in our microclimate. Also, the more mass we have, the more heat it will produce.
  4. The level of activity will also affect our microclimate. If you work harder, it will produce more heat.
  5. Anyone can have a different sensitivity to the temperature data. The temperature gauge between people can vary up to 12 degrees Celsius.

It is important to remember that to maintain a comfortable microclimate, your equipment must be able to keep you dry. Staying dry means that you will be comfortable. The heat balance is also important to stay comfortable during driving. The heat generated must be equal to the heat lost.

Celestial and Chthonic

Rectilinear and Curvilinear architecture

Let us see the logic through which the clergy separated the rectilinear from the curvilinear shapes, to create the architectural systems we mention in the 1st part of the book “Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece” (by author G. Baltoyannis); a logic which had to do with the psychology of the individual. Even to this day we follow the same logic and express ourselves with designs and volumes in the same way. Today however it is difficult to say if our own perception of space is a spontaneous expression or if it comes from the processing of the past.
Nowadays when an artist wants to express “joy” or “sorrow”, he will use the same logic on the canvas, otherwise he will not be understood. Therefore through education we learn to distinguish the things, in order to understand the artist. Of course art nowadays is not bound by rules, based on which the art critic gave his opinion on the work of the artist and which started to be created during the Renaissance. These rules came from the interpretation of the works of art of antiquity. Therefore our opinion is very deeply rooted. Let us now observe the logic of the Ancients.
There was a clear distinction between a straight line and a curved part. When someone wants to express a powerful emotion, like passion, love or anger and has to choose between a straight line and a curved part, he will not choose the rectilinear but the curvilinear; on the contrary, if he wants to express thought, justice, conviction, he will use the rectilinear part.
The reason he would choose the curvilinear would not be because that was forced upon him, ergo it would have been a matter of habit, but because man lives and belongs to the natural environment, where everything is based on curvilinear shapes; he instinctively and spontaneously understands those, without being able to see the process within him, it is namely cthonic.

Necromanteion of Acheron is one of the first examples of Curvilinear architecture

The straight line occurred from cerebral activity, when man used tools and created structures, which are easier to solve in time. The outcome of said process is also visible outside of man, in the light of day, it is namely celestial.
Therefore, the rectilinear surface is a result of thought and is identified with reason, while the curvilinear always existed in the nature of man. The more a person evolves, the more the straight line dominates in his structures, because, it not only spares him time, it is also more economic.

Parthenon is the pinnacle of Rectilinear architecture

When then, in a given time, man, reaching some level of intellectual maturity, thinks of structurally expressing his religious needs, he chooses the curve for his passions and the straight line for his thoughts. But because man thought of his own origin, he came to the conclusion that he himself was also the creation of some rational thought, the same way he thinks and creates. Therefore he places this God, his Creator, based on the rectilinear logic, outside of man and above him, to watch and protect him. That is why the ancients sacrificed a white lamb, on a high altar, for the celestial gods.
On the contrary, as far as his passions are concerned, which make him clash with his fellow man, there is also some god responsible. And because it all starts within man, therefore the god of passion lies within man and bellow the earth, since he is not seen. They sacrificed then, to the chthonic gods, digging in the earth, the black lamb.

The STRAIGHT represents: above, thought, civilization, (and by a similar logic as the East) represents: light, truth, power.

The CURVE represents: bellow, the chthonic, the devious, the primitive, (and consequently) North which represents: darkness, lies, fear.

Adventure Motorcycles

Definition

We must first define the word “Adventure Bike“. A motorcycle can be attributed with the term “adventure” if it can help you live your Adventure. Your definition of Adventure that is. For some people crossing vast distances in relatively small time is an “Adventure”. For some “Adventure” doesn’t happen before they hit the trail (fire-roads mainly). Finally, there are those that just love the hard technical stuff.

ADV-04

Big Twins eat miles like cookies and carry weight without any problem

The main thing all these types have in common is the period of this Adventure. We are not talking for a 20km single track here. This is “Enduro” and not “Adventure”. So we have to consider bikes that have an emphasis on long-range performance. We would exclude any 250 cc bike because they lack the ability to cruise comfortably at higher speeds (especially carrying luggage) and can have reduced engine life if ridden frequently on the highway.

Experience

Another important factor is “Experience“. Some may be completely new to riding, while others have many years of experience on other types of motorcycles. A KTM 950 Super Enduro, for example, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

1280x820_traverse2017

One of the most versatile Adventure Bikes ever built

These days, there are a lot of different Adventure Bikes on the market to choose from and choosing the right bike for your individual needs can be challenging. For the not so experienced riders, choosing a large single cylinder bike might be the best way to go. A DRZ400, KTM 690 or Husky 701 would be great when the going gets tough and have excellent all-around characteristics. Same goes for the not so gifted in body height. On the other hand, if your Adventures are 70% road / 30% off-road, then a big V-twin would be a nice bet.

The must-have list

Considering all the above, a proper “Adventure Bike” is the one that takes you to new far away locations, lets you spend at least a night under the stars, makes your life easy when unexpected things keep coming your way (it’s an adventure, remember?), makes you feel alive and happy. So, a proper Adventure Bike should:

  1. Be able to carry all your gear. Camping gear, clothes, extra fuel, personal hygiene stuff, etc.
  2. Have good tune-able off-road suspension. The gear that you carry varies in every adventure ride you take, so should the suspension change.
  3. Have at least a 7500 km oil change interval.
  4. Have at least a 250 km fuel range (a 400-450 km range would be just perfect).
  5. Have 50-100 hp for off-road use. There is absolutely no need for 160+ hp behemoths in the middle of a forest!
  6. Be less than 200 kg fully loaded. This is really difficult to accomplish when opting for large cc twins, but in the world of Adventure-Biking, we all have to make compromises according to our needs, the terrain that we are going to travel and the gear that we want to carry.

Try getting out of this!

Always keep in mind that if you can not pick up your bike fully loaded in any situation, then it is not an adventure bike!

Hard or Soft Luggage?

Adventure Riding is all about mountains, trails, forests. So we have to be rather sufficient out there. First questions that comes in mind is “what do I carry with me?”. Soon enough the next important question arrives: “where do I pack my things?”.

There are loads of things to carry … clothes, tent, mattress, food, extra fuel and basically almost every item in our Packing List.

Hard Aluminum Panniers

The first answer that pops up is Hard Aluminum Panniers, that are very much advertised and quite expensive. Everywhere around us we see motorcycles “ready for adventure” equipped with two side aluminum panniers and a top box. A key advantage of Hard Aluminum Panniers is that it is possible to lock and insure our things if we want to move away from the motorcycle. Also, if we have been equipped with inner bags, we can transfer our existing, without being obliged to remove the bags from the motorcycle. Finally our belongings are protected from the weather, particularly rain. But these are the only advantages that they have and since in Adventure Riding sooner or later the bike will get dropped, there start their problems!

Aluminum panniers are a common choice for many riders

Usually after the first “good” fall, aluminum will get dented and twisted, with the result that the cap no longer fits perfectly with the body of the pannier. Even a few millimeters of deviation is enough to not let them seal properly and start letting the rain and dust go inside, with all that this implies … Certainly with a hammer and enough perseverance they can be restored relatively close to their original shape, but waterproofness is over for ever!

Second main issue we have with Aluminum Panniers is weight! They are very heave to begin with (even without anything inside them) and add to that the weight of all the necessary metal racks on which they have to mount, it results in an overweight adventure motorcycle that is extremely difficult to maneuver in Off-road conditions. It is difficult even to pick up!

Last problem with Aluminum Panniers is the injury possibility! There are a few cases of riders being injured in their legs when, during a fall, their boot got trapped beneath the aluminum pannier.

Hard Plastic Panniers

In an effort to reduce the high cost and weight of the aluminum panniers, one can resort to the solution of plastic panniers/saddlebags.When riding on-road this is a good option indeed. But Adventure riding is all about gravel road exploration and when we put plastic panniers in this situation, thing can and will got horribly bad very soon.

Hard Panniers taking a beating

The plastic side cases (regardless of manufacturer) are not designed to take the stress of a hard dirt road, nor to survive after collision with stones and other immovable elements of mother nature. On a recent trip, the three motorcycles equipped with plastic panniers had many problems. The first broke the locking-base of the suitcase at the first drop and the second broke the mounting-base only by driving the route and without falling!

Soft Luggage

When it comes to off-road adventures, weight and capability to keep your gear safe from water, dust, mud and snow become a priority. With soft luggage you do not need frames to attach them, resulting in a significant weight reduction. They are flexible so they can absorb impacts without compromising their construction integrity or loosing their waterproof characteristics. In the event of a tear, some of them can be repaired on the spot using repair kits. They can also protect both your motorcycle and your legs working as pillows for when you eventually hit the forest floor

Enduristan Blizzard Saddle Bags are light, tough and 100% waterproof – ideal for our adventures!

Our experience has shown us that when you are about to venture for an off-road adventure, the only way to go is Soft Luggage, whose only downside is the lack of lock feature, both of their content and the bags themselves on the motorcycle. Beyond that, they have only advantages:

  • Purchase cost is significantly lower than any metal solution.
  • They are unbelievably light weight. There is usually the possibility to attach them directly on our motorcycle without metal frames, so the behavior of our motorcycle is closer to the behavior without luggage. Always remember that weight is the main problem in Off-road riding!
  • They are 100% waterproof since they usually have a roll-top design.
  • The eventual drop of the bike will not end in tears, since the variable of their shape allows them to adapt to the soil and not get damaged by the fall.
  • In the process they protect the motorcycle as well, acting like a soft pillow.
  • Their materials are durable and designed to withstand extensive and harsh use.
  • In the event of a hole or tear after rubbing on asphalt or bumping into a blunt object, they can get repaired on the trail, simply and with permanent results. Most companies sell repair kits for their products.
  • There are size and shape combinations for all tastes and all kinds of motorcycle.
  • Finally they adapt to all kinds of motorcycles, so they easily switch between different motorcycles that we may have.

Free maps for Garmin GPS

Do you need some Free and Legal maps for your Garmin GPS ?

OpenStreetMaps is the answer !

 

  • Required: Garmin GPS, 2gb blank MicroSD memory card, internet access.
  • Caution: OpenStreetMap maps are free, updated frequently and contain very great detail, but provided no guarantee for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.

 

The acquisition of a top with Garmin GPS navigation means that you spend enough money for the unit cost, which increases if you want to expand the capabilities of your new GPS (the basic map of the device is almost useless). Following these steps will install easily and fast navigation maps on your Garmin GPS:

Insert the MicroSD memory card into the port on your computer, use the relative MicroSD to SD card adapter if necessary. Ensure that the memory card is completely empty. Create a folder “Garmin” in the memory card.

Visit Freizeitkarte (http://www.freizeitkarte-osm.de/garmin/en/) and from the menu select “Maps”. There you can find the country that you are interested in.We will be searching for maps of Greece. One you have located it, download the first option below the country name, “Garmin GPS-device: Greece – install image for micro SD card (0.2 GB)”.

Download GRC_en_gmapsupp.img.zip file from the link and unzip it (unzip). When finished unpacking the gmapsupp.img file will appear which must be copied to the folder “Garmin” which opened in MicroSD memory card.

Place the MicroSD to your Garmin device. Turn on your Garmin and wait to find a signal (“Satellite fix acquired”), you may have to wait a few seconds more than the usual start time while the device writes itself other necessary files in MicroSD. Turn on the map screen and start to move. It is likely to take 2-3 minutes until you find your correct location on the map.

Enjoy your free map!

Lodging

When the night comes, you will need a place to rest. For some people a Hotels is the only option. For some a Mountain Cabin is a better option. Then there are those how will say that Camping is the only choice if you are a hardcore Adventure Rider.

Whatever is your preference, we got you covered! This is a list of all three options along our routes. We are not affiliated with any of these, but we have good personal experience from their services.

Mountain Cabins

This is a live map of most of the Mountain Cabins that can be used along our Routes. We are not affiliated with any of these, but we have good personal experience from their services.

Please take note that we do not have constant info about their operation, so personal contact with them before your trip is essential.

Hotel

Greece is backed with absolutely stunning small villages. You will definitely find a hotel in these places, but it usually will not be cheap. You can always book something in advance or plan to stay in the previous/next village and keep your expenses low.

These is a list of these “have to visit at least once” villages.

You could use some application like Booking.com to get reviews and prices about the disposable hotels. In our organized tours we use some of them, so planning will not be an issue.

Camping

These are actual sites that we, or many fellow adventures from one of the biggest adv-oriented forums in Greece, have used as a free campsite in one of our Adventures. You will usually find running water in these camp sites. Always keep in mind that Greek legislation is not favoring free-camping, so be cautious. Keep a low profile and you most probably meet some of our friends out there.

Please take note that these are free camp spots that we have used in the past. Conditions change, so some of them will not be available when you visit, but isn’t that what adventure is all about?

Million Stars Hotel

Read more about this in our FAQ section, but the general rule is to keep a low profile.

 

Ancient Greek Architecture

One of the Architectural problems of the Ancient world, that concerned me as a student of Architecture in Rome, was the Arc. Namely this Architectural solution, that for my professors was a Roman invention, unknown in the Ancient Greek World.

Colosseum-of-Rome

Colosseum of Rome, completed in the 1st century CE

The same view prevails today, after 35 years. I noticed that in one of my last trip to southern Italy, where the tour guide of Taormina (Tavroménio) repeated just the same, namely that the Arc was a Roman invention. So I decided to get involved with it, to ascertain the fact, since, from the first moment, I felt that something should be happening in this ancient world, all of whose achievements we see with our own logic, without following it’s own mentality.

Turning, then, to the inquiry procedure with the eyes of the Ancients, I met unknown places and secret cults, playing a key role in shaping the architecture and formed a cosmic standard, with axes and shapes, through which the ancient satisfy their religious Needs. At the same time, they were trying to convert Theory into Action, with structures and symbols, placing the Sacred Temples in specific points, with axial relations between them. Here I met a world where Art was a component of a Global Logic, they should be working together as a whole. So insinuated that behind wars and conflicts, there was a Structured Authority, he had the wit to impose it’s will through advising, having Religion as instrument.

To solve the problem of the Ancient’s Logic only with the use of the findings and unilaterally, without putting your imagination to work and without entering into their shoes, it’s like using on a modern PC only as a calculator! This, however, increases the success of amateurs versus professionals, as is the Schliemann case.

Seeing, then, the fantastic effort of the volume “History of the Greek Nation” I felt – in the past – much more Confident. But today, after all my researches, I found that there are some key differences in the results and come to the conclusion that something is amiss. This I realized when I noticed that sixteen volumes, about 10,000 pages, are based on 159 collaborators archaeologists, historians, philologists, etc. and only report an architect and a mathematical, and none of the other professionals, for a period of 101.941 years.
But we know at least 754 Ancient Scientists (G. Georgakopoulos “Ancient Greek Scientists”), of whom 117 were architects and for a period of 1.200 years they were basically structurally implementing the theories of the Ancient Greeks. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that the architect of the time was a painter, sculptor, engineer, etc. But we know also that the architect of today has the most comprehensive training and profound knowledge of the Past through the History of Art, the Present constructing Buildings and the Future by processing future proposals. And all this implies: Building Design, Static Knowledge, Functional Needs Design, Interior Design, in deapth knowledge of the materials, Topography, Mathematics, Prospectively, Construction Details, social Structures knowledge a thousand of other things, resulting in a Global Knowledge.
So when this Professional is Absent, all individual analysis of Archaeological findings, of Historical facts, or of Philosophical thinking may be possible, but the system does not work Spherically (as a whole) – especially when other professions are missing in the process of analysis.

The result of all the above is that the prevailing opinion around the world is that the architecture of the Greeks is only the Linear Surface with Rhythms: Doric – Ionic – Corinthian and Formulas: Prostyle Amphiprostyle – Pavilion – Dipteral etc. I felt, therefore, the professional curiosity to study the subject of Construction Knowledge of the Ancient Greeks, and based on ideology tireless researchers, covering the Gaps which exist in the area of Greek knowledge, while I took into account tall the views of colleagues and professionals in other scientific areas.

The_Odeon_of_Herodes_Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticcus, Athens

As, however, i went on in my investigations, construction-wise, I kept falling on puzzles and riddles, that opened access to other spaces; thus, I walked into a Labyrinth of Knowledge, whose road was not closed in front of me and that I followed; and without much effort, when I looked into the problems with eye of the Ancient entering in their mentality, I saw solutions. As one good God is in front of me that opened me the way; perhaps it was Apollo, maybe it was Dionysus, who knows? Using Pythagoras as a Key to open latched doors and understand the symbolism on the Sacred Temples until the Labyrinth lead me to a circular space; there, on one hand, as Petal Inclined I see seated people dressed as Greeks, watching in agony there in front of me, the Goathorned.
I bit my lips, because I realized that the Goathorned actor was playing Dionysus Revelation.

The researcher – G. Baltoyannis

KLiM Adventure Rally

When planing for that epic long Adventure, you need an Adventure suit that is waterproof, full of safety features, well ventilated and that will withstand the beating of the harsh off-road riding without any problem. Basically you need something built like a Tank! When the best is required, you can’t find anything better than the KLiM Adventure Rally Suit !

The KLiM Adventure Rally is ready for everything

This has been our favorite Adventure Suit for the last 3 years. We have done almost exclusively off-road riding with it, and it has seen all sorts of weather conditions. For non-stop downpours that went on for days, till the hot Greek summers with 38+ degrees of heat.

The 3-layer Gore-Tex used by the Adventure Rally in conjunction with the Superfabric and D3O Xergo protectors at shoulders, elbows, knees and hips, D3O Viper back, Deflexion Spacer Mesh chest and quadriceps and finally PoronXrd the coccyx, have a rugged feeling and you feel like a knight in his armor. Even when things go south and you end up on your back, most of the impact get absorbed by the suit and not much is transferred to your body. Your simply just smile with confidence and get on your way …

The epitome of the no-compromise riding suit

In real driving off-road conditions, the Adventure Rally reminds you of its origin as a thoroughbred outfit from Rally races like the Dakar. Even with full 3 liters of water inside the back-bladder and all back and side pockets full with tools, food and extra layers, the inner harness eliminates the weight, that just disappears. Its unique Rally technology with internal weight distribution straps and kidney belt distributes evenly transported kilos throughout the body. Whatever the conditions, this is a unique and do-it-all tool. It will bring you back safe, no matter what.

The only complaint that we have with the Adventure Rally is that even though it distributes it’s weight better than anything we have ever tried, the weight itself is a lot .. It is built like a tank, but it weights like one too.

Adventure Rally features

  • Gore-tex® 3-layer pro shell Armacor™ for waterproof and outstanding abrasion and tear resistance
  • large Gore-tex® 3 layer pro talisman Superfabric® slide zones on shoulders and elbows
  • guaranteed to keep you dry®
  • stretch panels at shoulders for full range of motion
  • high coverage 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective material integrated armor systems
  • D3O® Xergo shoulder and elbow pads (meet and exceed newest proposed ce level 2 limb protector standards [n1621-1:2011])
  • D3O® Viper pro – level 2 back pads (exceeds level 2 impact performance standards for ce certification en1621-2 testing)
  • Fully ventilated silicone dow corning® Deflexion™ integrated chest coverage cargo, hydration, comfort and support systems
  • 10 external pockets*: 2 upper chest, 4 lower center front, 2 side quick-access tool pockets, rear center back pouch, larger left chest spot® pocket.
  • 1 seam-sealed waterproof*, removable roll top “dry bag”
  • 3 internal pockets*: 2 inner chest and 1 hidden (passport) pocket
  • external hydration system pocket and internal routing options
  • 3 liter Hydrapak® reservoir included
  • vertically adjustable/easily removable kidney belt with shoulder straps moves weight of entire kit to the hips
  • Klim® id/emergency id pocket on left forearm
  • moisture wicking mesh internal liner
  • neck brace-compatible collar system
  • armor adjustment straps at bicep and forearm
  • external waist belt with daisy chain
  • standard klim® jacket-to-pant zipper panel
  • Velcro® fastener adjustable wrist closures
  • heavy duty YKK® zippers throughout
  • highly water resistant YKK® Vislon in exposed areas
  • bottom hem shock cord
  • microfleece-lined collar
  • hidden strech-straps allow collar to be pulled open for increased ventilation max flow ventilation system: 8 ports
  • four zippered arm intake vents: 2 bicep, 2 forearm
  • two upper torso/pit intake vents
  • two large vertical back exhaust vents

* More information about the KLiM Adventure Rally here

What is Mythical Routes

Mythical Routes is an idea, a project started in 2017 by two brothers, an Architect and a Landscape Architect, both passionate Adventure Riders, trying to combine the scientific knowledge they had acquired, with their passion for exploration and the best way to do that, the motorcycle.

Their personal journey through Myths and Time started back in the ’90s while helping their father with his historical research. Using old army maps they were connecting important archeological sites with each other, only to realize that the ideas their father was working on were more than theories. They were becoming scientific facts, just before their own eyes!

Trying to understand the Construction Aliments of Ancient Greek Temples and the Connections that existed between them, we thought that the best way to visit all the important and remote archeological sites was with our adventure motorcycles.

This website is an interactive instrument of knowledge, that will help spread the ideas and facts of Ancient Greek Architecture and modern Hellenic Adventure Lifestyle throughout the international adventure community.


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