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Old 09-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #16
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I'd be happy to take your ever so sexy XRR off of you.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:21 PM   #17
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Its out of your slashed budget's range. I might sell it next spring, but I'm keeping it for at least a year. Get your own bike!
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:27 AM   #18
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It makes me all hot inside, Perhaps I might have to take you up on a place to stay. (So /i can visit my crush in person. )
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #19
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as long as you are referring to the bike... Drop by sometime on a bike of your own and you can take it for a ride.

You're losing focus...film project, travel, all that jazz remember?

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Old 09-17-2009, 01:21 PM   #20
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Sounds like a great plan!

I've two comments not really addressed too much so far.

1st, your riding ability will make far more difference in how easily and quickly you get along and how well you are able to cover technical terrain than will bike choice/setup. Piloting an over-weight, loaded down KLR though soft terrain with no real experience isn't going to be terribly easy - not saying you can't do it, just you might want to try to get some significant off road experience before you strike off on the trip or chose a lighter, better handling bike.

If you still have a bit of time, I'd recommend picking up a cheap used dirt bike (doesn't much matter what, but a KDX200 is a good starting point) and doing some purely off-road riding. You don't need to spend much (solid, $500 dirt bikes aren't impossible to find) and if you pay attention you'll be able to get out of the bike what you put into it.

The quickest way I've found to learn is to buy a bike and to go trail riding with experienced local riders (look for folks who dabble in GNCC's, hare and hounds, hare scrambles, enduros and that sort of thing). They'll likely be glad to give you some pointers and you can just follow and emulate.

Second, choice of bike doesn't matter too much. I don't particularly care for the KLR (heavy, low performance, comparatively complex and fragile, poor handling, poor build quality), but lots of folks do like them and one would most likely get the job done just fine. Other possible options would be a used BMW F650GS (older single cyl - can be had for under 4k) if you want something a bit more refined and street oriented; a DR650SE is a bit more reliable imho (no water cooling to worry about, no dohicky, better quality control) and sure footed off road than a KLR with no real comparative disadvantages other than perhaps a smaller stock tank (easily upgraded); an XR650L keeps with the simple, air cooled tradition but adds quite a lot more off road capability; a DR350SE is very similar to the XR-L, but 3/4 scale (might be a particularly good option if you want to stick to a lower budget, especially if you don't get a bunch of riding experience in before you leave - the lighter bike will require much less of you in the technial/soft stuff). There are many more options, but that should give you some things to think about. :)

You are more than welcome to crash on my couch, but I don't know where that'll be. I'll be in Cambridge (harvard area) until at least next spring when I graduate, then by fall I'll be in the DC area. Don't know where I'll be next summer.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:51 PM   #21
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I was referring to the bike. Unless...

I am now thinking along the lines of A DRZ400. There selling for about 2k here and and the Baja designs kit and BLAMMO I go the best of both worlds. I have quite a few relatives in the Boston area. I'll take you up on the DC area though.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:54 PM   #22
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The DRZ is a good option - the off road E model will give you e-start and comes with a good carb and reasonable compression. The S model gives you factory-street legal goodness, but has a comparatively unresponsive carb and lower compression. The K model is kick start only and offers less weight and more performance still.

If you plan to buy an off road model and make it street legal, check the laws in your state as it is not a simple thing in all states to get an off road only machine registered for road use (and is very simple in other states). You probably don't even need to buy the baja kit if you like - you can usually piece together the stuff you need on your own for less.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:03 PM   #23
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The dr650 is a shorter than the klr and xrl which can be confidence inspiring.

Get a used model, no reason to buy an expensive bike that in all likelihood you will essentially trash.
I honestly wonder how many people don't really trash their first bike. Hell I'm slowly destroying the one I have now.
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:18 PM   #24
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First, let me say you are doing the right thing kid. This is exactly what you should do- take this trip.

Second with regard to gear, more expensive doesn't really mean better but it is no place to try and save money. Any of us that have been riding long enough have dead and handicapped friends so gear up and be careful.

As for the bike, you can take a dirt bike if you want (I have read the the Sydney to London thread every day since it has been up) but at 6'1 I'd go KLR. It's so much more comfortable droning across the Midwest or wherever. With all the luggage you will have, the saved weight of the DRZ will be canceled out.

+1 on the tent space thread. You could do that practically very night. It's free and you will probably meet some great folks.

Have fun and post a ride report for us.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:31 PM   #25
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It's not so much the saved weight that I am looking at as it is the bikes life after the trip. Where I will be doing more street riding and a healthy dose of offroading.

Plus, I'm young and stubborn. I'm supposed to fuck up choices and cause trouble. How else am I supposed to learn?! God forbid I learn from other people.

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #26
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