KTM 790 ADV-R vs BMW F850GS

We have been switching between 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 purpose, 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 Birch told us when we met him at the KTM Adventure Rally Bosnia that he keeps his bike electronics “on”. The minimum setting, but “on”. And this says a lot about 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.

Tour Packages

Our carefully planned Adventure Tours connect the most important archeological sites with each-other, giving emphasis on the adventure experience while riding through the breathtaking scenery of long mountain ridges, remote dragon lakes, and isolated mountain hi-planes.

Our carefully planned tour packages can be modulated to fit any touring need. You can ride with your own motorcycle accompanied by one of our experienced guides, or you can participate in one of our all-inclusive packages that provide everything but your airplane tickets.

We are partners with BMW Motorrad Vagianelis and KTM Mimikos Motorcore, so all of our motorcycles are carefully serviced with the highest standards and certifications available. For On-Road Tours we can provide almost any motorcycle from the GS range, and for  our Off-Road Tours we can provide selected options from the LC4 and LC8 range.

Motorcycle Tour Packages


Provided

Services

All

Inclusive

Economy

Tour

Budget

Tour

Guide

Only

Tour Guide
Motorcycle Rental
Allianz Insurance*
24/7 Road Assistance*
Motorcycle Fuel
Road Tool
Hotel with breakfast
 All Meals
Archeological Site
(ATH) Airport pickup
Klim Discount
Enduristan Discount
Price/Day** (incl. VAT) €360 €300 €240 €70
*Not valid for off-road tracks **Price is based on a 6 Riders Group with BMW F850GS Rental (panniers included & full casco insurance)

Live a Mythical Adventure with us!

All of our Adventure Tours come with a leading Tour Guide rider and the possibility of a support vehicle if required. The BMW GS range motorcycles we can provide are perfect for Greece’s terrain featuring a high loading capacity, ease of use and top of the line rider comfort. A complete list of the available GS motorcycles, provided services, motorcycle gear discounts and Enduro Training can be found in the links below:

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.

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

Tour FAQs

What time of year can I do a Mythical Routes Adventure?

The best time for Adventure travel in Greece is between the months of May to December. The routes can be done between January and March, but snow-pack in the mountains may keep you from doing the entire route as planned. Always consider that the Greek summer (June to August) is very hot and you might experience extreme temperatures, up to 38-45 degrees Celsius.

How long does it take to ride each route?

Most people average 150-200 km a day on mixed back-country / off-road motorcycle routes. If you can ride 6 to 8 hours every day, then most routes would take 4-6 days to cover, with the exception of the Athenian Riviera tour (God of Atlantis), but it depends on road and weather conditions at the time.

What ancient Greek historical sites will we visit?

We are the most scientifically qualified and technically trained Motorcycle Adventure Travel Company in Greece. Our scientific team and Tour Guides are educated at least by a higher training institution and all of what we showcase is certified by public organizations like the University of Aquila in Italy and the University of Ioannina in Greece. Our cooperation with some departments of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) helps us built solid adventures based on facts and scientific knowledge.

In our Tours, we will be visiting all important Hellenic archeological sites, both famous Greek jewels and well-hidden ancient secrets.

Furthermore, our staff and guides are photography professionals and/or enthusiasts, and we are working closely with Nikon Greece. So, if requested, photography workshops or photography projects can be planned.

How difficult is the riding in your Adventures?

All our routes are designed with the average rider in mind, so there are no single-tracks. All routes can be ridden on any adventure and/or dual-sport motorcycle, from the KTM 690 Enduro to the BMW R1200GSA. Many of the tracks are in remote areas and reach a high elevation where road maintenance is minimal if non-existent. You can expect to cover sections of road with deep ruts, loose rocks, and other challenges. You may also encounter sections that have trees or branches over the road.

Enduro Training

If you are new to off-road riding on big adventure motorcycles, we can arrange for a single-day Enduro Training on the BMW F850GS or the R1200GS. You can also opt for a tarmac only tour, but you will be missing all the fun!

What motorcycle should I use?

Any adventure or dual-sport motorcycle that is road registered, carries a license plate, runs DOT approved knobby tires, is capable of carrying luggage for all the gear you will need and has a fuel range of minimum 240 km between gas stops is suitable for our routes. Keep in mind that for the most part, Greece has rocky soil, so well maintained and properly set-up suspension is required. You might have to cross a small river with very rocky soil, so weight distribution is crucial.

If your motorcycle is not ready or suitable for our tours you can always Rent a Ride from us. We can provide almost any motorcycle from the GS range, like the versatile F850GS Rally we are currently using as a Tour Leader Guide motorcycle, the mighty R1200GS Rally or the R1200GSA beast.

Rent a Ride

The GS range is perfect for Greece’s terrain featuring a high loading capacity, ease of use and top of the line rider comfort. Read about what is the best choise for you in our article Adventure Motorcycles.

What about accommodation?

We always provide two options for accommodation. A budget solution where you can visit many cosmopolitan locations for a walk or a dinner but have to ride back to a more isolated hotel location, or the all-inclusive luxury option where you always stay overnight in these cosmopolitan villages.

If you want to make the best of your trip to Greece, we believe that it is important not to miss locations like the one above.

How far between gas stops?

A mileage of 200 km between refuels will get you covered in the majority of the routes, but carrying extra gas safely in Rotopax canisters is always recommended since you could deviate from the route because of extreme weather conditions.

Is there water on the route?

There are many water sources along the routes, but carrying extra water is necessary. A Klim 2-3lt Hydration Pack that is provided in our all-inclusive package, will get you covered until the next water source. Some of these sources are marked on the route, but almost any running water found in Greece is suitable for drinking.

Is there cell phone coverage along the routes?

Deep inside national forests or mountain ridges, there will be long sections with no cellular coverage at all. Getting near any of the many villages will help you get rather good reception.

Where can I find the GPS tracks for each route?

If you are using your own motorcycle, GPS tracks for our Mythical Routes Adventures can be provided the day before departure. Any modern GPS unit capable of displaying a minimum of 500 points each is suitable for use.

In any case, if you are renting a motorcycle from us or using your own, there will always be leading Tour Guide that wil take care of navigation for you.

Do I have to camp?

As a general rule free-camping and Campfires are not allowed in Greece, but the majority of the Greek Adventure Community is doing it. In each of our routes, we have suggestions for free-camping locations or overnight stays in Mountain Refuges. Hotels are always the default option, except if the client requests the one night “free-camping experience”.

What about wild animals?

Greece is one of the safest countries concerning wild animals, with only a very small number of brown bears, wolves, and vipers. Also, 95% of snakes in Greece are completely harmless, but keep your distance just to be safe, since antivenom treatment is hard to find in remote areas. Safe food practices while camping is strongly advised.

Are the routes suitable for 4×4 vehicles?

Our routes, for the most part, are doable in ATVs and 4×4 vehicles with adequate tires and clearance. You must always keep in mind is that the trail conditions can change dramatically due to rain and flash floods which cause the roads to become difficult or even unpassable.

All of our Tours come with a leading Tour Guide rider and the possibility of a 4×4 Support Vehicle if required.

If you have any more questions, just contact us!

KLiM Badlands

Adventure Riding is one of the most demanding applications for motorcycle clothes. They have to perform in many different and often contradictory conditions. They need to be 100% waterproof without the ridiculous habit of requiring a vinyl overcoat, yet they need to be able to breath in warm weather. They have to be able to withstand impact with rocks, tarmac and whatever the road brings your way, yet they have to be in a relatively light so that you can wear them comfortably for 11+ hours per day – every day.

This year we have both switched from the KLiM Adventure Rally to the KLiM Badlands and our thoughts are very positive. The new Badlands feels very light, lighter than the old Badlands Pro and much lighter than the Adventure Rally. As a matter of fact you feel very impressed and puzzled with such a weight difference.

The D3O T5 EVO Pro XT protective pads are smaller in thickness that the Adventure Rally’s equivalent XERGO pads, but they remain thick enough to provide you with the necessary protection. After all they are bigger than anything else provided in the market today (except of the ones used at the Adventure Rally).

KLIM Badlands in its natural environment

In this new Badlands, KLiM added Superfabric (since only the Adventure Rally used to feature it). This stuff really works! I took a 80+km tarmac slide on my Adventure Rally and after I washed it, I could not see any scrape marks on it at all. Crazy stuff.

Ventilation is an area that the Badlands surpasses the Adventure Rally (and the previous Badlands Pro). It’s not just the number of vents, but the position that they are placed and the extra room you have inside the suit in comparison with a same size Adventure Rally. They just work fantastic. Even the side intake vents of the pant, though they look the same, bring much more air inside the pants. Yes, this is a Mediterranean-hot-summer Adventure Suit as well!

Hydration wise, like the old model’s there is an internal dedicated back-pocket to add a hydration bladder and works great, but if you have used the Adventure Rally’s external hydration pocket + internal harness for weigh distribution, you kind of miss it when you add more than 1,5lt (max is 3lt).

Fit is way better than the previous Badlands Pro and you could even describe it as “European Fit”. Feels comfortable even when you wear it all day long.

The Perfect Suit

If you had to find the perfect Adventure Suits, the one that is protective but not over-built, tough but also light, totally waterproof but breathable, this would be the one. If you could only have one suit for everything, from Adventure to Off-road to Touring riding and everything in-between, this would be it. And the reason is:

  1. it features big protective armor without being overkill
  2. it is 100% weatherproof without sacrificing breath-ability
  3. it features heavy-duty fabrics like the Superfabric without being heavy
  4. it is full of features without being too flashy
  5. it features kidney belt and chest protector for when you might need them
  6. it features increased low-light visibility without the need to use Hi-Vis colors
  7. it has more venting ports than you can remember
  8. it is backed up by KLiM’s legendary name and warranty

In order to be a real World Traveler, your gear must be ready for anything.

Updates are everywhere

Badlands features

  • improved comfort and fit
  • new Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro shell material on main body reduces weight without sacrificing durability/weatherproofness
  • Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro shell talisman superfabric® abrasion-resistant material on shoulders, elbows and forearm shrug off abrasion
  • easier hydration bladder access
  • jacket-to-pant zipper has been standardized (40cm) which enables users to zip different new pants and jackets together
  • new collar fit for greater coverage and comfort
  • collar can snap back to allow for more ventilation
  • custom tpu zipper pulls, pocket flap grips and zipper garages
  • hypalon headphone access port
  • shortened wrist gaiter for increased comfort
  • additional venting ports on outer chest—10 ports total
  • improved cuff material resists wear
  • arm vent storm flaps feature a more secure closure and opening system while providing higher levels of weatherproof construction
  • improved venting via easier-to-access side chest ports and lower body vents
  • refined armor placement and new exterior adjustment straps keep limb armor in place
  • guaranteed to keep you Dry®
  • Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro laminate technology
  • Gore-Tex® pro laminates—the most breathable, most durable motorsports shell construction available
  • high-mobility active fit patterning for unmatched comfort
  • Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro shell material on main body
  • Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro shell talisman superfabric® abrasion-resistant material on shoulders, elbows and forearm
  • Gore-Tex® 3-layer pro shell armacor™ material on back, chest and waist pockets
  • pre-curved arm and rider positioning construction
  • Gore-Tex® stretch back/shoulder panels minimize restriction of movement
  • 3M scotchlite™ industrial grade reflective materials on panels and trim for increased low-light visibility
  • Velcro® brand fasteners adjustable wrist closures
  • forearm and bicep sleeve adjustment straps
  • vt10 YKK® Vislon® aquagard water resistant zippers
  • D3O™ T5 Evo pro XT elbow and shoulder pieces included (exceed level 1 ce certification for pren1621-1:2011 testing)
  • D3O™ Viper pro back piece (exceeds level 2 ce certification for en1621-2 testing)
  • siliconized spacer mesh front chest armor
  • adjustable armor pockets for refined armor placement
  • 7 external pockets* [2 chest, 2 waist, spot pocket on left chest, id/licence pocket on left forearm one large storage pocket on exterior back]
  • four internal pockets + one hidden interior passport pocket [2 zippered, 2 mesh stash, 1 hidden)
  • waterproof internal pocket
  • hydration bladder compartment and internal hose route (bladder not included)
  • removable and adjustable kidney belt jacket-stabilizing support system
  • bottom hem adjustment
  • jacket-to-pant zipper integration system
  • 4 sleeve adjustment straps
  • lined comfort collar
  • moisture-wicking mesh comfort liner
  • velcro® wrist closures
  • key fob: yellow clip attached to shock cord in top of chest pockets
  • 2 chest, 2 side, 2 biceps and 2 forearm intake vents
  • 2 vertical back exhaust vents

* More information about KLiM Badlands 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

 

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.

Our Team

We are Mythical Routes, an Adventure Motorcycle Tour Operator, located in Glyfada/Athens, Greece. We are organizing motorcycle Expeditions that connect the most important archeological sites with each-other, giving emphasis on the riding experience. Our Adventures are gravel oriented on large displacement motorcycles and showcase the beauty and the hidden historical facts of the Ancient Hellenic World with the broader geographical meaning of the term.

Our belief is that only when you ride with a local you can see the true face of this country

In our Expeditions, you are always accompanied by one of our highly skilled Tour Guides and can be provided with a 4×4 Support Vehicle if required. When you visit Greece without your motorcycle, you can always Rent A Ride from us, fully prepared with everything needed to join our Mythical Expeditions.

 

FOUNDERS and tour LEADERS

Angelo Baltoyannis | MSc Architect, Urban Planner and Tour Leader (CEO)

Angelo has studied Architecture in Rome, Italy (Sapienza Università) and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the National Technical University of Greece (NTUA). He has done postgraduate studies in Planning and Bioclimatic Architecture. Since 2003 he was professionally engaged in many established architectural/construction offices and in 2010 he co-founded ArchiCulture, an architectural office in Glyfada, Greece.
Alongside with his work, the passion for the adventure and motorcycling has been constant for the last 20 years. He has traveled all around Europe, participated in many national Trail Rides and co-hosted multiple non-profit Adventure and Off-road rides, like the March Moto Madness Worldwide Adventure Rally Greece and the Adventure Rider Rally Greece.
Last, from 2016 he is a KLiM & Enduristan Ambassador and being very passionate about adventure motorcycles, is engaged as an Adventure Event Planner and Historical Tour Guide for Mythical Routes.

Read more about the life and work of Angelo here

Paris Baltoyannis | Landscape Architect and Tour Leader (CFO)

Paris graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Greece (TEI of Epirus) as a Landscape Architect and from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece (TEI of Athens) as an Interior Designer. He has done postgraduate studies in the Accademia Albertina delle Belle Arti in Turin, Italy in Decoration and Scenography. In 2004-2005 he was occupied in the Environmental Administration of Municipality of Voula, Greece and then co-founded ArchiCulture in Glyfada, Greece.
Alongside with his work, the passion for the adventure and motorcycling has been constant for the last 15 years. He has traveled in many countries, participated in many national Trail Rides and co-hosted multiple non-profit Adventure and Off-road rides, like the March Moto Madness Worldwide Adventure Rally Greece and the Adventure Rider Rally Greece.
Last, from 2016 he is a KLiM & Enduristan Ambassador and being very passionate about adventure motorcycles, is engaged as an Adventure Event Planner and Off-Road Tour Guide for Mythical Routes.

Read more about the life and work of Paris here

tour guides and Staff

Vasilis Boudros | BMW Motorrad Instructor (IIA) and Tour Guide

Vasilis is serious Rally Expert with many National and Balkan Rally wins in the last decade. He is also a serious enduro rider, always searching for new trails and owner of the Enduro Training and Touring company Enduro Greece.

In 2019 Vasilis got an official partnership with BMW Motorrad Hellas and is an official BMW Motorrad Academy (IIA) Instructor and part of our New Riders training program. This way we can train any newcomer to the adventure motorcycle community and guarantee that he has obtained all the basic necessary skills to participate in our Adventure Tours.

 

Konstantinos Tsigaras | Interior Design Architect and Tour Guide

Konstantinos has studied interior architecture and graphics design at the Middlesex University and is currently working in the field of consulting and real estate. Konstantinos is a real motorcycle enthusiast and has worked as a tour guide assistant for Most Wanted Warehouse | Klim Greece for the last four years.

He is a communications asset, speaking Czech, English, Greek and Russian and is always willing to help in any way. He is definitely an indispensable part of any motorcycle adventure.

You can check out his LinkedIn profile here

Ioanna Biziota | MSc Psychologist and Communications Manager

Ioanna studied psychology at Bedfordshire University and completed a Masters Degree in the Metropolitan University of London. She obtained a certificate of professional competence in 2003 and since then she has worked for several multinational companies in Greece in the department of communications and public relations.

From 2016 she has been actively involved in the KMOP “Live Without Bullying” project that aims at preventing and combating school and cyberbullying.

From 2018 Ioanna has been a great contributor to our team, undertaking the task of communications, since we are spending more and more time freeriding the mountains of Greece.

You can check out her web page here

Thanasis Giortsios | Safety Expert and Support 4×4

Thanasis is our Safety Expert and 4×4 support vehicle driver and is always on our side when vehicle support is required. His long experience in 4×4s and cheerful character make him an indispensable part of longer expeditions.

Thanassis is also responsible for all camp-preparations. Builds the fire, secures the tents and preps the dinner. His skills do not end there! He is an enthusiast photographer as well, always willing to try something new just for that killer shot.

You can check his Instagram page here

 

Scientific Contributors

George Baltoyannis | Architect, Researcher and Historical Author

cv_georgeGeorge studied and graduated in the faculty of Architecture in Rome, Italy (Sapienza Università) and took part in many exhibitions (Margutta – San Luca – Artecom – Palazzo Delle Esposizioni etc.). He returned to Athens in 1970 and dealt with architecture as a freelancer and at the same time as an employee in succession at the Greek Ministry of Defense (Pentagon), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Autonomous Building Officers Organization (AOOA).

With more than 30 years of Historical research on the relation between Ancient Architecture and Ancient Religion, George is the writer of the Best Seller books:

  • Dionysus Revelation (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1997)
  • Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1998)
  • Sacred Architecture (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2002)
  • Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2005)
  • Sacred Astronomy (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2008)

Read more about the life and work of George here

Stavros Triantafyllidis | Dr. Geologist and Lecturer at the NTUA University

cv_stavrosStavros is a Researcher and Lecturer at the NTUA – Greek National Technical University (School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering). He will be adding a geological profile to all the mountains from which we will pass and provide GPS data information.

Stavros is also a rider, so he will be joining us for some field activities that will take him away from his work in the university.

 

Technical contributors

Alexander Haritakis | Videographer and Video Editor

Alexander has a bachelor in music performance from thames valley university london.As a musician he has toured with different bands around europe for many years.For the past 10 years he has been combining his music and sound engineering knowledge along with video editing and has produced several action sport videos and documentaries.

An avid enduro rider with 15 years of experience in dirt riding he combines all of these skills to shoot for the mythical routes team!

You can check his work here

 

Alexander Ioannidis | Web Designer and Developer

cv_alexAlex is our Website Developer and the silent force behind the Mythical Routes website. We are constantly challenging him with new requirements of the MR website and he is always delivering!

Alex is a bicycle aficionado and a racer.

You can check out his work here

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.

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.

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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