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Old 03-31-2014, 12:19 AM   #1
Liberty556 OP
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Totaly new to motorbikes...

Been creeping around the forum for a while. I am 27 years old, and have decided that I would like to get into motorcycling. I am a bicycle rider, and enjoy that thoroughly, but would like something that can take me further distances...without wearing me out. The only two wheeled motor vehicle I have ever driven was a moped about 3 years ago...and it was only for about 5 minutes.

So, first on my list is to take an MSF class in my area.

I am wanting to get an enduro/dual sport bike (is there a difference?). Preferably used to start out with. I will be using this bike mainly on roads (short trips of 50 miles total) and some minor off road stuff (no jumps or rock climbing). I am 6 foot 3 and weight about 300 lbs. I have been told that a 250cc would probably struggle to get me to highway speeds, so I would like something a bit bigger (450 or so). The problem is, I cannot find any Japanese bikes (I would like to stick to these bikes for now due to cost) in this range. They seem to jump from 250 to 650cc. I would also like electric start, ability to mount some "trunk space", and something comfortable for a big guy.

What are my options here? Will 250cc be enough? I want to have decent power for traffic purposes.

Thanks, gents.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:31 AM   #2
XtreemLEE
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Suckzuki DR400...

But the KLR 650 has a bigger motor and less power than the 400. I am 6'3" and 280, I think a 650 would be fine for you. Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki all make good 650's dualsports/enduro's.

If you want to tour on them motorcycle specific websites can give you great details into what is the best or most needed mods.

Happy-trail.com can outfit most of them for light adventure touring.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:18 AM   #3
XDragRacer
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Originally Posted by XtreemLEE View Post
Suckzuki DR400...

But the KLR 650 has a bigger motor and less power than the 400.
Just curious, XtreemLEE; what's your source for this information?

Motorcycle Consumer News, February 2014 issue, p. 30, lists the DRZ400S (tested in 2010) rear-wheel horsepower (RWHP) as 32.35; on p. 29 of that issue, the 2008 KLR650's RWHP as 36.1.

A small detail.

Regardless, relevant to the OP's interest, in my opinion, a lighter-weight motorcycle would be more appropriate for a learning rider in general (for one thing, it's easier to pick up when dropped! ). Performance? The Yamaha WR250R (p. 31 of the magazine issue cited above) has a top speed of 88.8 mph (no offense intended WR250R haters ).
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:05 AM   #4
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A modern 250cc with Fuel injection will be more than enought usability for you. They will do 75-80 mph on hwy no problems, and do tight, technical, single tracks w/ no drama. I recommend the Yamaha WR250R. It's got the highest seat height, and it's got the best suspension setup in its class, not to mention the huge aftermarket parts available. YOu can mount just about anything, carry your house if you want to go around the world, with what's out there for this type bike. Try not to get sucked into the bigger is better...you're just starting out. You need a bike you can ride, not a bike that will ride you.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:39 AM   #5
Liberty556 OP
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Thanks a lot, guys. As far as the WR250R, I had a local guy tell me that his (2007 IIRC) got kinda squirrely above 55 or 60 MPH on the highway...anyone agree with that?
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post
Thanks a lot, guys. As far as the WR250R, I had a local guy tell me that his (2007 IIRC) got kinda squirrely above 55 or 60 MPH on the highway...anyone agree with that?
Any lightweight bike is going to get squirrelly on the highway... it's manageable, but you need to ride consciously and defensively so you don't get sucked into the draft of large trucks, etc. Tuck in and hold on :)
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:12 AM   #7
Liberty556 OP
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What's a good shape WR250R go for? How about the KLR650?



Here's another question...If I go to a dealership, will they allow me to test ride a bike around their lot without a license?
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
XDragRacer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post
What's a good shape WR250R go for? How about the KLR650?



Here's another question...If I go to a dealership, will they allow me to test ride a bike around their lot without a license?
All you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask, about motorcycle prices:

http://www.kbb.com/motorcycles/

Test ride policies vary with dealerships.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post
What's a good shape WR250R go for? How about the KLR650?



Here's another question...If I go to a dealership, will they allow me to test ride a bike around their lot without a license?
I see about a zero chance of any dealer allowing an unlicensed new rider a test ride.

Get your license first. You will need it to get insurance.

Many/most dealers will not allow test rides at all, especially for a beginner.

The MSF course should be enough to give you a good idea about riding. Any friends with bikes?
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post
Been creeping around the forum for a while. I am 27 years old, and have decided that I would like to get into motorcycling. I am a bicycle rider, and enjoy that thoroughly, but would like something that can take me further distances...without wearing me out. The only two wheeled motor vehicle I have ever driven was a moped about 3 years ago...and it was only for about 5 minutes.

So, first on my list is to take an MSF class in my area.

I am wanting to get an enduro/dual sport bike (is there a difference?). Preferably used to start out with. I will be using this bike mainly on roads (short trips of 50 miles total) and some minor off road stuff (no jumps or rock climbing). I am 6 foot 3 and weight about 300 lbs. I have been told that a 250cc would probably struggle to get me to highway speeds, so I would like something a bit bigger (450 or so). The problem is, I cannot find any Japanese bikes (I would like to stick to these bikes for now due to cost) in this range. They seem to jump from 250 to 650cc. I would also like electric start, ability to mount some "trunk space", and something comfortable for a big guy.

What are my options here? Will 250cc be enough? I want to have decent power for traffic purposes.

Thanks, gents.
Your location?

Even most modern 250cc thumpers will haul 300lb to 60MPH quicker than most cars will be moving off of stoplights. 300lb bikes just aren't likely to be comfy on the highway.

DR-Z400S, XT350, XR400, or DR350SE are some choices you might have available in your area. You could also get a 250 to learn on, then hop it up later, like a KLX351S or a WR290R.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:49 AM   #11
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Location is eastern Iowa. Roger that on taking the MSF course...they provide the bikes, yes? The student just needs to bring protective gear? So, what exactly is the difference between dual sport and enduro?
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:24 PM   #12
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My first road bike was a BMW G650 Xmoto. It had about 52 horsepower and weighed a little over 300 lbs. Anyways, I'd recommend a DR650 or KLR650 for a guy of your size. I'm 6'5", 250lbs and as much as I like the WR250R, it's just too small for my frame. I look like I stole some kid's dirtbike. KLRs and DRs can be bought for a couple grand and are pretty much bomb proof. Parts, suspension, etc are pretty cheap too (compared to BMW).

When you sign up for a motorcycle safety class, there should be a list of things you should bring.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post
Location is eastern Iowa. Roger that on taking the MSF course...they provide the bikes, yes? The student just needs to bring protective gear? So, what exactly is the difference between dual sport and enduro?
Your on the right track with the MSF course. Use the good old fashion Google search along with the search on here. This will insure you that you will have endless reading at your disposal for days on end. Next is go to the dealer and sit on them and see how they feel imo. I've only had one Japanese dealer ever let me take a bike for a test drive.
Enduro
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enduro
Dual sport
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-sport_motorcycle

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Old 03-31-2014, 08:41 PM   #14
The_Precious_Juice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty556 View Post

I am wanting to get an enduro/dual sport bike (is there a difference?). Preferably used to start out with. I will be using this bike mainly on roads (short trips of 50 miles total) and some minor off road stuff (no jumps or rock climbing). I am 6 foot 3 and weight about 300 lbs. I have been told that a 250cc would probably struggle to get me to highway speeds, so I would like something a bit bigger (450 or so). The problem is, I cannot find any Japanese bikes (I would like to stick to these bikes for now due to cost) in this range. They seem to jump from 250 to 650cc. I would also like electric start, ability to mount some "trunk space", and something comfortable for a big guy.

What are my options here? Will 250cc be enough? I want to have decent power for traffic purposes.

Thanks, gents.
It's hard to find the right fit for you. Short trips of 50 miles or so. You could maybe pull off the WR250R. It has a high seat height and has good travel. But, the MC is more toured higher performance off road. But, the good suspension would match well with your body weight.

Ohh, the enduro/DualSport stuff is semantics. But, I do remember someone typing that enduro was used a lot in the 80s and 90s.

Maybe a DRZ400 that has had some suspension work done. Hell, you could go with the stock tank of 2.6 gallons or so.

__
When you mintion the DRZ, you have to talk about the 2013+ Honda CRF250L. You could find a used on for sale. They were just $4,400 or so brand new when they first came out in 2013. But, unlike the WR250R, she will not have the top end speed you may need.
_
Being a bicylist at your age (like me) and frugal (team Japan), I think you could go with a used 2009+ KLR. She's heavy for a thumper, and she does not take falls very well, but I'm sure you would take to it easy on the off-roading. With your height and strong legs, I doubt you will let her take any naps.
The are easy to find, cheap to buy used, and are the best in parts avaliablity.

The DR could be a little cramped, but would be good to go as well.

With used, on both of these MC, look for a suspension overhall. Their stock suspension is weak sauce. I'm cool with mine, I just weight 165lbs and 5'-10" or so, and I take it easy off road. But, I can flat foot the DR with my 25lbs of touring gear. Do not put too much into seat heights when looking at specs. The 2009+KLR has a 35" seat height, but the seat is really wide (more comfort at the expense of foot purchase when off-roading); however, the suspension sinks down something fierce. Again, with your height, your feet will be as flat as a pancake.
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The_Precious_Juice screwed with this post 03-31-2014 at 08:48 PM
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:05 AM   #15
Liberty556 OP
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Thanks a lot for the replies, guys. Given me a lot to think about. What kinds of motorbikes are generally offered for students at MSF BRC classes?
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