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Old 03-31-2015, 11:11 AM   #1
ChuckyBaby OP
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Question Need some help deciding between DR650 and DRZ400 Ė TAT and after

Hi Guys,

I know it's been discussed a thousand time, but Iíve been reading this forum (and others) too much, Iíve gathered so much information that Iím now undecided between both bikes.

Here is the plan: Iíll be doing the TAT in summer of 2016. I intend to buy the bike this summer, ride it for a while and then start modifying it for the TAT. I will most likely put an FCR card and a complete exhaust system when new and do the rest next winter in preparation for the big trip.

Apart from the TAT, the bike will be used once in a while to go to the office (street/highway), will also see some wood riding. Most likely 55/45 respectively. My yearly mileage should more or less 3000 miles.

Me: Iíve had bikes (RM80, RM125) and ATVís (Warrior 350) when I was young (Iím now 41). Then I had a street bike for 3 years (2000 Triumph ST) and then I went back to my passion and Iím now racing a Porsche 944 (road racing) since 2007. But now, Iím tired of all the work and expenses of going all around Northeast Canada and USA and I wish for something simpler. So I donít have a lot experience on dirt in my recent past, although Iíve done some auto ice racing. I have short legs, so seat height is important (a DR650 with the lowering links was more than perfect for me).

So Iíve thought of this: Maybe I could buy a DRZ400 SM and ride this summer with it, buy some wheels and go dirt once in a while.

Or just buy a DR650, mod it, lighten it and just have knobbys all the time on it.

Iím ready to make modifications to the bikes to make them appropriate for the intended purpose. But Iím not inclined to go to KTM for a better suspended bike at a higher cost (read 690 enduro R) that I will need to modify too for the TAT (bigger tank, new seat and so onÖ). Or maybe is it the way to go?

What you guys think?

Thanks

c.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:30 AM   #2
slip
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DRZ is a great bike, and I am sure it would be fine for the trip. But you will definitely have to get an after market seat, as the stock one will have your arse hurting after an hour. I myself would opt for the DR650. I have ridden them and I think the extra grunt and comfort would be better for such a long ride. I think the XR650L would be a good choice as well.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slip View Post
DRZ is a great bike, and I am sure it would be fine for the trip. But you will definitely have to get an after market seat, as the stock one will have your arse hurting after an hour. I myself would opt for the DR650. I have ridden them and I think the extra grunt and comfort would be better for such a long ride. I think the XR650L would be a good choice as well.
Thanks for the info!

The DR650 was/is still my first choice. But I ain't be doing the whole TAT each year. I plan on keeping the bike and do some 1 day dirt rides once or twice per month and a 3-5 day trip once per year. The rest of the time, maybe once a week, I'll go to the office on the bike.

I come from an auto racing background but I do not intent to race, although a good handling and comfortable bike is my priority. Think of it as a BMW M3. Not a Lotus Exige. I'm ready to buy a Cogent suspension kit for the DR650 if it's going to transform the bike.

c.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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DRZ and DR, both good bikes! I rode part of the TAT last year on a DR 650, my riding partner was on a DRZ 400 SM. He didn't switch wheels, just put Shinko knobs. His rear wore out kinda quick, but he never had any problems with his little fat tires. BTW, my Kenda K-270 5.10x17 rear lasted all of the 6000 miles I put on it.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
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Dr650

I am considering a new DR650 and will be test riding one this Friday. I have been riding large street bikes for awhile and I am ready for something lighter, less complicated and reliable that can handle on/off road. In my younger days all I rode were smaller street legal dirt bikes. From what I have read and heard the DR650 should be a good choice for me. Of course, I have enjoyed ever bike that I have owned.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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Haven't had either (I ride the "third" option, a DR350), but got any pics of the 944?
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SloMo228 View Post
Haven't had either (I ride the "third" option, a DR350), but got any pics of the 944?
There you go Steve. The white/green version before the crash and the 2015 repaired car...
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:29 AM   #8
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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BTT

NB: I think I'm going to go with a DR650 and a Cogent rear shock and fork solution, full exhaust systems + new carb.

What you guys think?

c.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:21 PM   #10
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Either bike will work.

You are asking for a bike to do street/highway AND woods riding. That is a pretty tall order Im sure you know.

Whatever bike you get, you might want to think about getting a second wheel set. So you can have a set of street tires on one set for commuting back and forth to work and light dualsporting. Then also have a set with more hardcore knobbies for woods riding. And have a different rear sprocket for each rear wheel so you can have taller/street and shorter gearing for woods.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:38 PM   #11
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I've owned a DRZ and my riding buddy has a DR650.
I guarantee you will farkle whichever you own, without ever meeting you. You race; it never leaves you...

KTM. Gonna end up there anyway!
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:05 AM   #12
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I would recommend a XR650L but you said short legs so that's not really the best option. Great bikes with a little work.

For me it always comes back to the dirt so I'd rather give up comfort on the road to have fun in the mud. Between the DR650 and DRZ400 I'd would go with the 400 because it's lighter and more of a true dirt bike.

You could also look for a used KTM 530 or 450 EXC or one of the RFS bikes. They are pretty bullet proof and will smoke any of the above in the dirt. I just picked up an 01' 520 EXC that has seen a really hard life. The rear sprocket was almost smooth, the tires were smooth, and the motor runs like shit. It is still better in the dirt than my XR650L was with a bunch of money thrown at it. Light weight, great suspension, and monster power.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus16 View Post
I've owned a DRZ and my riding buddy has a DR650.
I guarantee you will farkle whichever you own, without ever meeting you. You race; it never leaves you...

KTM. Gonna end up there anyway!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but KTM maintenance cost is like Porsche maintenance cost.

I could have raced a Honda or a Mazda, which have ridiculously low maintenance cost (OEM parts are cheap). What part of Porsche Racing did I thought was cheap, the Porsche part or the racing part ?

c.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post
Either bike will work.

You are asking for a bike to do street/highway AND woods riding. That is a pretty tall order Im sure you know.

Whatever bike you get, you might want to think about getting a second wheel set. So you can have a set of street tires on one set for commuting back and forth to work and light dualsporting. Then also have a set with more hardcore knobbies for woods riding. And have a different rear sprocket for each rear wheel so you can have taller/street and shorter gearing for woods.
I understand the best would be to have 2 bikes as I will end up with a compromise. But I want to keep things simple. So I will have to learn to live with a bike that is a compromise.

I had thought about starting with a DRZ400 SM, which seams to have a better suspension and leave it alone, and buy wheels for the dirt.

How good is the stock suspension on the DRZ400?

Thanks

c.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
ChuckyBaby OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvincullumyork View Post
I would recommend a XR650L but you said short legs so that's not really the best option. Great bikes with a little work.

For me it always comes back to the dirt so I'd rather give up comfort on the road to have fun in the mud. Between the DR650 and DRZ400 I'd would go with the 400 because it's lighter and more of a true dirt bike.

You could also look for a used KTM 530 or 450 EXC or one of the RFS bikes. They are pretty bullet proof and will smoke any of the above in the dirt. I just picked up an 01' 520 EXC that has seen a really hard life. The rear sprocket was almost smooth, the tires were smooth, and the motor runs like shit. It is still better in the dirt than my XR650L was with a bunch of money thrown at it. Light weight, great suspension, and monster power.
Will buy the bike new. The KTM 500EXC was my first choice. Up until I read that there was a 14 hour maintenance interval. I don't want another race machine to take care of.

The Enduro 690 would be a great bike, but I would still need to throw money at it (seat, larger fuel tank...). That's why I choosed the Suzuki route. And parts are so dirt cheap.

How about the HONDA? It was a bit too high for me, I guess it could be lowered a bit. But why the Xr650L vs the DR650?

Opinions on that?

c.
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