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Johnny Tarr 10-04-2012 04:38 PM

Trying to pick out my first dual purpose bike. This is hard.
Hey guys. This is my first post here after lurker for most of the year. Yaay. Ok, anyway. I've been thinking about getting a dual sport for awhile now, and over the past few days have been doing some heavy research into what I want. After a lot of debate, and a lot of reading the back and fourth here, I decided I wanted a KLR.

Yes, I know it has downsides. But It fit everything I wanted it to do.

Easy maintenance.
Very comfy on the road.
Can take it on trails (even if its more hassle than a dirtier bike)

Well, I went on down to my local Honda/Kawasaki dealership and found their KLR650 display. Wow. First impression, this thing is HUGE. I ride a ninja 650r, and I was expecting something like that but a bit taller. Not by a long shot. This bike is massive, and tall. I threw my leg over and was quite shocked when I realized that my toes were barely on the ground. I'm 6'2, and had to stretch to hold myself and the bike up comfortably. I have no idea how anyone shorter than me could hope to ride it.

Second impression: This thing is heavy. It didnt really feel top heavy like many here describe it, just tall + heavy. So heavy that combined with the height, I wasnt sure if I'd be able to pick it up if I dropped it.

So after deciding the bike was plain out too large for what I wanted, I asked the rep to show me the next bike down that they had, and he showed me the KLX250 (Though he claimed it was 230.) This bike LOOKED closer to what I was looking for. But I'm a big guy. 6'2, 240lbs. When I sat on it, it was small. And light. I loved the weight, but im not sure if I like the size. If I was -2 inches and -50 pounds, I'd probably be looking for one online right now.

So, I just don't know what to do. The KLR650 is too big, the KLX250 is to small. The BMW DAKAR and anything by KTM are out of my pricerange, so please dont suggest them. The Honda crf230 was also too small, and the honda 650 was too ugly for me to consider.

The Tiger and Vstrom are as large and heavy as the KLR, right? I'm going to try to find a suzuki dealer so I can scope out the DRZ400. If that doesnt pan out, ill just have to choose between too heavy but comfy, or light, but not comfy.

Navin 10-04-2012 04:43 PM

WR250r is a faster KLX250, DRZ400 or DR650 are solid and you might get lucky and find a deal on a leftover Husky 630. That 630 is what I think you'd really like, real power, 6 speed wide ratio trans, good suspension, large frame but only around 330 lbs.

devo2002 10-04-2012 04:47 PM

There are way more choices besides a klx and klr ya know.:lol3

Wr250r, older dr350, dr650 have 6 speeds, drz only 5, just an FYI. The price range you are shopping in leaves you at least 10 years of used dirt bikes in great condition. Depends on what you want to do, if racking miles is your goal then not much in comfort besides the klr. All can handle highway speeds though, depends on your tolerance.

mikesova 10-04-2012 04:53 PM

I think the KLX is a good compliment to a bike like a 650r. I have the KLX250s and an FZ6. I like the idea of a KLR, but it wouldn't really make sense since I have the FZ6. The KLX is nice on the single track ,too.

Dirtchuck 10-04-2012 05:03 PM

Did you look at the crf250l?

150ron 10-04-2012 05:09 PM

my neighbor is about your size, 6'1 and a fat ass at 260 pounds, he rides a DRZ400S, fits him perfectly, great bike imo, at your size, i would not get any 250, including the wr250r imo.

AZ TOM 10-04-2012 05:15 PM

TOO UGLY! Comon Man!!

joec63 10-04-2012 05:19 PM

I wouldnt look at a 250 either. I know you said no KTM but how about a used KTM 640 LC4. A sweet looking one in the Flea Market with just 501 miles.

jon_l 10-04-2012 05:21 PM

Lots of opinions, all valid. Here is mine:

Based on what you wrote, you want a DR650.

phoneman 10-04-2012 05:25 PM

A friend of mine just bought a new crf250l--nice bike. Weighs around 320 lbs. Handles 70 mph easily on the highway and can get down the trails if need be. Sits pretty tall so he lowered the front and rear to fit him---he's pretty short.
I just bought a new drz400s. Weighs about the same but has more oopmh--250 versus 400. I'm a lot heavier and taller than him so I wanted a little more go power. Would probably run 90 mph before I changed the sprocket combo to 14/47--better for trails--and wheelies :D.
It really depends on what you want/need. Just don't get caught up and buy something that's too heavy for fun offroad---as in a Weestrom. Great bike on pavement--decent on good dirt roads--not worth dog-pooh in sand. I have a 2012 Wee and love it--in its place.

RandoCommando 10-04-2012 05:32 PM

I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and have little problem riding my 1999 KLR with a Progressive 465 shock, which raised my bike higher than the stock shock had my bike sitting.
Granted I'm on tip toes, but most of the time I just put one foot down and scoot over on the seat a little.
If I'm not mistaken, the new KLRs have the same seat height as the older KLRs.
Also consider that the bike will break in and the suspension will lower.
You could also buy lowering links for the KLR and shave the seat down. I have lowering links, but never put them on.
I never shaved my seat down either.
Sit on the DR650, DRZ, WR and you'll see there isn't much difference in the seat height from the KLR.
Don't rule out platform shoes! :rofl

clintnz 10-04-2012 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by jon_l (Post 19749777)
Lots of opinions, all valid. Here is mine:

Based on what you wrote, you want a DR650.


Add a a big tank, a lil windscreen & a comfy seat & you'll have something functionally pretty similar to the KLR but smaller & lighter. Once you start to pick up some pace offroad get the suspension reworked for your weight.

I like my 640E & it is a good bit lighter than a KLR, but if you found the height of the KLR intimidating the 640 might not be the best choice. At 6'2 you will probably find you'll be able to handle a taller bike once you get used to the dirtbike ergos & get some dirt skillz but it's nice to learn the basics on something shortish.


AZ TOM 10-04-2012 05:37 PM

DR 650 over 400 lbs, as is the KLR. Honda XR650L 340 lbs & way better off road in stock form.

RandoCommando 10-04-2012 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by AZ TOM (Post 19749900)
DR 650 over 400 lbs, as is the KLR. Honda XR650L 340 lbs & way better off road in stock form.

Seat height on the XR650L is 37"
Nice bike though.

AZ TOM 10-04-2012 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by RandoCommando (Post 19749920)
Seat height on the XR650L is 37"

Nice bike though.

He said he is 6/2 . Correction on the weights DR 366 lbs, KLR 432 lbs. I'm 6 ft with a 32 in inseam & the Honda works for me?

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