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Adventure Motorcycle Websites

by Craig Olsen 
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, May 2017

During an IAMC officer’s meeting held a few months ago, a recommendation was made to feature a Newsletter article on popular adventure motorcycle websites. Pursuant to that, I sent out an e-mail questionnaire to several club members asking them which specific websites they use or recommend for each specific bike they own and why, as well as websites they use or recommend for purchasing reusables (motor oil, chain lube, antifreeze, air filters, tires, chains/sprockets, etc.), riding gear and accessories. The majority of those queried responded, and their responses were both informative and enlightening to me. Hopefully, you will find them the same. 

Almost without fail, every club member responding mentioned that they routinely use either the website of one or more of our sponsors and then pick up the item in which they are interested at the physical address of the sponsor. Happy Trails Products was number one on this list followed by Carl’s Cycles and Big Twin. 

The next most common theme was to use the various forums to learn the specifics about your
particular bike. For example, Ed Torrey recommends using the Parallel Universe Forum on
Adventure Rider [] for information on the BMW F800GS. As of April 20, when I last checked, there were 7,803 discussions or threads with 184,901 posts alone for the BMW F series GS bikes (F650GS, F700GS, F800GS and F800GSA). For the larger GS Boxers there is a separate forum [ forums/gs-boxers.3/] that had 69,904 discussions/threads with 1,126,085 posts on April 20. There are similar forums on Adventure Rider for each type of bike you ride (though not as extensive as these two), and almost every conceivable question you may have regarding your bike has been asked and answered in these forums. 

In addition to bike specific questions there is a wealth of other information available on Adventure Rider about various dual-sport topics such as rides by specific regions, GPS routes and tracks, gear, accessories, vendors and lots more. There is a useful secSon of resources that includes a variety of topics including off-road riding technique training videos [] well worth reviewing. Be careful though, you can end up spending so much Time on Adventure Rider that you don’t have Time to ride. 

Some other forums recommended by club members include: — This web site has a large following with a lot of good information. Their forums cover a wide variety of topics besides just single cylinder bikes, plus they have a wealth of knowledge in product reviews and specialized motorcycle articles. It is well worth a visit if you are not already familiar with this website. — This forum on Facebook has over 8,000 members. Jim Jorgensen finds that it is an excellent resource for maintenance, gear and riding recommendations specific to his Suzuki DR650. Facebook has similar groups or forums for nearly every type of bike you ride. Some are more robust and useful with helpful information than others depending on the moderator and the size of the following. Rick Skinner likes the FB page for Suzuki DRZ400. 

While on Facebook, don’t forget to check in on our Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Riders [https://]. This group was started by Sam Stone in December 2014, and it currently consists of 163 members. It is a closed group limited primarily to members of our club. If you belong to IAMC and are not a member of this Facebook group, send a request to join, and one of the group administrators will let you join. — This web site is devoted to Husky riders. Ed Torrey finds that it has a good active following, a lot of good information and a Vendor secSon that he has also used to get parts. — For those of you riding a Suzuki DR650 you will want to visit this forum. Like several of the other forums already listed, it is organized into various secSons: An introductory one that will help you beYer know your machine; a section on technical tips, tricks & maintenance where you can ask those technical questions and find the answers that you need; a secSon on “cool” modifications and changes others have made to their bikes that you might want to add to yours; a secSon for ride reports to read others and upload yours; a secSon devoted to those members that take their machines camping and talk about all the camping related gear; a secSon devoted to riding gear and accessories; another for vendors who have DR650 specific parts, accessories or other items useful to DR650 riders; a secSon for buying, selling, trading and listing wanted parts; and many more. Mark England uses this forum. — This site is specific to the Kawasaki KLR650 and its riders. Michael Hardy has been a member of this forum since 2007. He has learned a lot from them before he decided to purchase his KLR, and he has continued to learn much more from them in the years since. There is a huge amount of good information available parScularly from some members who are real KLR gurus. — Suzuki V-Strom riders will find a large following of fellow riders at this site. There are multiple forums one very subject related to V-Stroms and then some. Lowell Mannering likes this site. 

Specific Sites for Specific Bikes: 

1.BMW— Chuck Scheer recommends Wunderlich America [] for excellent quality afermarket BMW accessories and farkels, and Bob’s BMW [] for virtually everything BMW that is new and used. Chuck also uses Suburban Machinery, Inc. [ for foot peg lowering. 

Arden Hill likes to use Beemer Boneyard [] to get good deals on new and used BMW parts and reusables. 

Lowell Mannering likes using BMW Motorcycle Owner’s of America [] because of its good BMW information, forums, and marketplace to sell or buy used BMW bikes and gear. He also recommends Sierra BMW [] for BMW apparel and gear. 

Ron Hoppins and several others also recommend Touratech []. They specialize in accessories for adventure bikes (BMW, KTM, Triumph, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati and Husqvarrna) in addition to riding gear, GPS, maintenance, camping gear and travel accessories. They are expensive, but their products are high quality, and they fit your bike well.

2. KTM — Dan Driscoll and Ron Schinnerer both like KTM Twins [] because of their wide selection of compettively priced KTM parts and after market accessories. Black Dog Cycle Works [] out of Spokane, Washington, makes very good specialty accessory parts for not only KTM adventure bikes, but BMW, Honda and Triumph. Another useful site is 950/990 Issues [] that grew out of the Adventure Rider Forum for these bikes and addresses the common issues riders have experienced with detailed instructions how to work them out. 

3. Triumph — Both Doug Patchin and I like Muddy Sump’s YouTube Channel []. It has 20-25 useful and informative videos on all types of Triumph Tiger 800 maintenance and repair. He also has 9 excellent videos on Suzuki DRZ 400 maintenance and repair. A good recommendation for anyone doing work of their own bike is to review the appropriate YouTube videos on this before tackling the job. It will save you a lot of Time and grief. 

Bike Bandit [] has become my “go to place” for Triumph OEM parts. I find that I can get them quicker, cheaper and they are delivered right to my doorstep than I can get through the not so local dealer in Caldwell. They are also a great source for OEM parts for all the other bikes you ride, as well as a wide variety of aftermarket accessories and apparel. 

Twisted Throttle [] is the only vendor in the USA that carries Bark Busters hand guards that best fit the Tiger 800. They also carry a wide variety of after market accessories for multiple bikes, as well as gear and riding apparel. 

4. Suzuki — ProCycle [] seems to be the recommended place to go for DR and DRZ parts and accessories, but the reviews were divided with Jim Jorgensen and Ron Schinnerer giving them a “thumbs up,” while Tom Serine’s experience with them was not so positive. Another DR / DRZ site recommended by Ed Hiatt is DRC Products [hYp://] because of its great selection of after market Suzuki parts. 

5. Kawasaki — Michael Hardy recommends Eagle Manufacturing [] because the owner, Mike, is a KLR guru with engine modifications to improve the performance and longevity of your bike. Michael also favors Partzilla [] for ordering KLR OEM parts. He states they have excellent diagrams, and they are almost always cheaper than any other source. Shipping is fast (if the parts are in stock), and orders over $149 ship for free. 

Overall Favorite Sites: 

There are a few sites that ticame up on nearly ever responder’s list of motorcycle websites. Following is a listing of those sites and why they are so favorably recommended. Each has specials, some daily, and they offer incentives (discounts) for repeat orders. I have found customer service at each of these sites to be excellent. 

1. Motorcycle Superstore []: This site has one of the widest selections of after market parts and accessories, as well as gear and apparel for every range of bike and some ATVs and UTVs. Shipping is free on orders over $89. They have a very good selection of motorcycle
tires, and they usually arrive at your doorstep in 2-5 days from placing your order. 

2. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC []: This site is similar to Motorcycle Superstore but restricted more to dirt bikes, dual-sport bikes and ATVs/UTVs. They have an excellent array of dirt and dual-sport tires. Based out of Salt Lake City, they deliver generally quicker than the other on-line stores. Shipping is free on all orders over $75. 

3. Revzilla []: This may be the largest on-line motorcycle store available. They cover the whole spectrum of street, dual-sport and dirt bikes, as well as snowmobile gear and accessories. One premier feature of Revzilla is their product evaluation videos. Shipping is efficient, but takes a little longer since they are located in the east, and it is free for all orders of $40 or more. Again they have a good selection of tires from which to choose. 

4. Bike Bandit []: This site is similar to the three above covering the full spectrum of bikes, and it may be the second largest on-line motorcycle store. Shipping is similar to Revzilla and is free for orders over $99. Their forte for me is the OEM parts. They take a little longer to ship, but their pricing beats the dealerships. 

 Other Noteworthy Sites: 

1. American Motorcycle Tire []: Recommended by Michael Hardy, this site specializes in all types of motorcycle tires and has an extensive range of dirt and dual-sport tires at very reasonable prices. Shipping on allt ires is free. They also carry tire and wheel accessories. The main advantage in ordering your tires on-line is that you can ofen get them somewhat cheaper, but only if you mount them yourself. Most shops charge anywhere from $15 to $50 per tire depending on whether or not you purchase the tire from them and the type of bike on which it is being mounted. 

2. Atomic Moto []: This company is based out of Bend, Oregon, where they do the R & D and testing of their products. Both Dan Driscoll and Michael Hardy recommend this website for riding gear and apparel. 

3. Motorcycle Gear []: This is another site tailored to riding gear and apparel recommended by Doug Patchin. It has good pricing on gear that is being discounted. Shipping is free for orders over $89. 

4. Cycle Gear []: This site has a very wide selection of products for all types of motorcycling, and their brick and mortar store is located on Fairview in Meridian. Chuck Scheer has found that they have good gear at a reasonable price with which I concur. Orders over $99 ship for free. 

5. Solomoto []: Dan Driscoll likes this site, which is another one with a wide variety of motorcycle parts, riding gear and accessories for both dual- sport and dirt bikes. Shipping is free for order over $88. 

6. MotoSport []: Doug Patchin uses and recommends this site as a good source for all dirt bike parts, both OEM and aftermarket. They also have a good selection of riding gear and accessories. Shipping is free for orders over $79. 

7. Sound Rider []: This site, recommended by Ed Hiatt, focuses on dual-sport riding in the Pacific Northwest. It has links to all the riding events and rallies in the region. It features an on-line library of helpful articles on riding and other pertinent topics. Despite their on-line
store being small and limited, I have found that they offer several very useful motorcycling accessories. Tom Mehren, the founder, has put on a clinic for our club in the past, and when I got into dual-sport riding about 10 years ago, I found his book, Packing Light Packing Right!, to be very helpful. 

Where to get the best deals: 

Obviously, it is beyond the scope of this article to review all the dual-sport and dirt bike website, but the ones listed above are a good start. You probably have some favorite sites of your own that I and those responding to my e-mail questionnaire have not listed. If so, please e-mail me your favorite sites and why you like and use them, and I will publish a follow-up article in the next issue of the IAMC Newsletter. My e-mail address: [[email protected]] .

One of the primary benefits and reason for using on-line sites for your motorcycle needs is the opportunity to easily and efficiently do product review and price comparison. You can use a combination of the websites listed above to compare several different products in an effort to narrow your choices down to one or two. Then you can compare the prices for your choice(s) at several different websites to find the best deal. Keep in mind that some of our local dealerships will match the price you find for any item in their store. Carl’s Cycles on State Street in Boise does this. 

Having said all that, some of the very best on-line motorcycle deals do not come from a dedicated motorcycle website. Here are two worth checking out. Surprisingly, you can someTimes find the best deal for a particular motorcycle related item on eBay []. A personal example illustrates this point. Afer breaking a Tiger 800 clutch and brake lever on two separate occasions despite having Bark Buster hand guards on at the Time, I was tired of replacing them with OEM parts — they cost $100 per lever and required me to wait several weeks each Time for them to arrive. I looked for some compatible aftermarket folding levers that give way and Sp upward when they are hit on the end. I found a few opSons for about $110-130 per lever at several of the above mentioned motorcycle websites. On eBay I found essentially the same lever for $25 per set — a savings of about $200. I was even able to get them in a blue color exactly matching the color of my bike, and I only had to wait five days for them to arrive with no charge for shipping! I had to make a minor modification to the clutch lever, adding a tab that would engage the clutch position switch, but I would also have had to do that for the more expensive levers. 

Ed Torrey found a bonanza at Amazon of great deals on open-box and pre-owned products []. Items listed at this site are used-like new or used-very good. Some of the items have damaged packaging or are customer returns. These items have been inspected, and Ed has not received any bad items. He was able to purchase a $30 sprocket for $9, and a $93 DID X-ring chain for $33. These are just a couple of deals he has goYen at this site. 

One more great idea: 

Jason Abbott, who is full of great ideas, has a novel way of keeping track of all his motorcycle related internet purchases from year to year should he need to reorder the same item or make reference to it. He has a group of spreadsheets going back several years, and he makes a new one each season of the parts he needs and the vendors from whom he obtains them. Many vendors, like HighwayDirtBikes and Sicass, are the only source for the specific part that you may need. He keeps the spreadsheets on Google Drive Spreadsheets of the parts or items purchased and the website or vendor from which the purchases were made. You can view his spreadsheets at this link: [

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