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Old 02-18-2015, 02:36 AM   #1
Dagostino480 OP
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My first enduro style bike

Excuse me if this is not the correct place for this topic, I briefly looked at the forums and noticed that there was no main forum for introductions/ noob style questions. Fell free to move this thread accordingly.

I have recently been bit by the enduro bug and have chosen to pick one up. The main purpose for the bike will be more of an on road bike but being so close to a couple trails and only have a 10-15 mile commute to work (10 miles if I took freeway-14.5 if i took city streets) I want something that I can play around with. I have rode dirt bikes in the past (my first and only bike being a cr250 2 stroke with a built motor) but am smart enough to know that on road and off road are two completely different riding styles and I was only able to take the bike out roughly 10 hours at max. So I am still a very unexperienced rider.

For refference: I weigh in about 175 at 5'10'' with an athletic build and live near huntington beach right along pch. Bike will have 2 different setup (ds and sm). I also love to camp and go backpacking an this seems like a fun way to explore more terrain (so dual sport capabilities are a must).

Now after a bit of research I feel extremely confident in purchasing a drz 400 due to the torque over the smaller 250cc bikes. But I feel kinda drawn towards getting something bigger like a ktm 690 enduro r (both single cylinder bikes which leads me to believe this is the right forum).

I have read the KTM stands pretty tall and people at 6 ft also struggle getting on the bike. I have also read that the bike has some serious balls with it comes to power and that the throttle and clutch are extremely senstive.

I am looking to buy either bike new and with a msrp of almost double the drz I was wondering which be a good choice for a beginner rider?

Thought? questions? Concerns?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:59 AM   #2
Neverenuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagostino480 View Post
Excuse me if this is not the correct place for this topic, I briefly looked at the forums and noticed that there was no main forum for introductions/ noob style questions. Fell free to move this thread accordingly.

I have recently been bit by the enduro bug and have chosen to pick one up. The main purpose for the bike will be more of an on road bike but being so close to a couple trails and only have a 10-15 mile commute to work (10 miles if I took freeway-14.5 if i took city streets) I want something that I can play around with. I have rode dirt bikes in the past (my first and only bike being a cr250 2 stroke with a built motor) but am smart enough to know that on road and off road are two completely different riding styles and I was only able to take the bike out roughly 10 hours at max. So I am still a very unexperienced rider.

For refference: I weigh in about 175 at 5'10'' with an athletic build and live near huntington beach right along pch. Bike will have 2 different setup (ds and sm). I also love to camp and go backpacking an this seems like a fun way to explore more terrain (so dual sport capabilities are a must).

Now after a bit of research I feel extremely confident in purchasing a drz 400 due to the torque over the smaller 250cc bikes. But I feel kinda drawn towards getting something bigger like a ktm 690 enduro r (both single cylinder bikes which leads me to believe this is the right forum).

I have read the KTM stands pretty tall and people at 6 ft also struggle getting on the bike. I have also read that the bike has some serious balls with it comes to power and that the throttle and clutch are extremely senstive.

I am looking to buy either bike new and with a msrp of almost double the drz I was wondering which be a good choice for a beginner rider?

Thought? questions? Concerns?

Thanks in advance!
XR650L would be my choice, e-start, big enough to ride on the road, lots of aftermarket support
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:12 AM   #3
Dagostino480 OP
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Ill take a look into it!
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:37 AM   #4
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I would not choose an XR650L for a new rider who does not have a lot of dirt experience. I have owned an L since 2008, and it is a great bike, but it is REALLY heavy. That makes it a it tough to manage on trails, especially when things are rocky, slick, narrow, or steep. I'm about the same size as the author, 5'10" 175lbs, but I grew up on the dirt, so the L's weight is manageable.

As for a recommendation, I've never owned a DRZ, but it sounds like a great option for a first dual sport. Get it used, ride it for a year or two, and sell it at a minimal loss. After that, you'll have a better idea of what you want.

Some video of me on my L in Death Valley with my buddy on a KTM, and brother on an older DRZ.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Find a nice used 04ish KTM 450EXC.
It's a nice light bike with lots of usable power that you will be able to grow into.
If you are just starting out with dirt riding a big heavy 650 is not going to make your rides much fun.

I started out on a DRZ, and while they are great bikes even they can seem top-heavy.
If you are planning on doing ALOLT more road riding the DRZ may be a better option.
Doing more offroad, then stick with the KTM.
...and I May be a little biased 'cuz I have a 04 450EXC



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Old 02-18-2015, 11:25 AM   #6
Rusty Shovel
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Hi Dagostino,

I've owned a DR650, a WR250R, and currently ride a KTM 690 Enduro R, so I feel somewhat qualified to answer your question.

First, don't get the DR650. I know you weren't really considering it. But in case someone tries getting you to look at it, consider this a preemptive strike against it. It's too heavy and too slow (especially if you're a lightweight rider).

I currently own the 690 Enduro R, which I love, but it might not be for you. Don't worry about the power--the ride by wire throttle is extremely smooth; you hardly know the power is there (until you need it). The height can be addressed through a lowering link. The real trouble with the 690 is cost. It's very expensive. If you know you're gonna ride a ton and are willing to pay for the best dual-sport, go for it.

The WR250R is a great bike (for a 250), but it's a bit expensive for what you get.

The middle ground, and the bike I ultimately recommend, is the DRZ400. It's venerable, yes, but it's proven. There are loads of support for it on this forum and others. And, get real, it's more than enough bike for 90% of us who simply like exploring back roads at moderate speeds.

Good luck, it's a great hobby, and I'm sure you'll enjoy any model you choose.

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Old 02-18-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
Neverenuff
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I know some disagree with my "nominee" but I think we would all agree with having e-start. I'm vertically challenged so kick starting my XT600 can be a challenge. Its nice to have when your no so tall! To me it makes seat height less of an issue. DRZ is also a good choice, I guess I thought you had more riding experience. I had a kick start XR600 and regret selling it. Now I have an XT600 and really enjoy it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:18 PM   #8
Dagostino480 OP
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Thank you for all the very detailed answers! I dont believe in selling toys btw haha :P But it seems like the DRZ is going to be a great bike for me to learn on! I have not heard any negative reviews on the bike and it seems buletproof.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:06 AM   #9
mikerogers74
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Hiya, I have owned a DRZ400 and a 2011 690 Enduro R. If money is not too much of an object I would take the 690 any day. I really did like the DRZ, it was heaps of fun but the 690 is just in a very different league. Power, suspension etc. I take it you are not new to motorbiking in general?
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:00 AM   #10
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagostino480 View Post
Thank you for all the very detailed answers! I dont believe in selling toys btw haha :P But it seems like the DRZ is going to be a great bike for me to learn on! I have not heard any negative reviews on the bike and it seems buletproof.
I used to have a DRZ400 with SM wheels and dual sport wheels, if you want one do it all bike, it is a great bike. I have friends with the 690, I have not tried one and am scared to try one because I know I'll like it and I don't what to have to buy one. The WR250's are nice also. I don't think any of the bikes are a bad choice for what you are describing.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:27 AM   #11
shrederscott
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Hi

For a new rider stay away from the ktm 690 .... it is a powerful bike ... that while the lightest 650 class bike ..... it still is 300+ lbs

I suggest the ktm 450 - 500exc ..... it is still a tall bike ...,, but is 50 lbs lighter .....and that makes a BIG difference !

The Ktm 450 - 500 exc is lighter, more powerful, better suspension than the drz 400.

I do not recommend getting super motoar wheels ..... the swap out is more than I think you realize. ....., often requiring a change in the front brake, and a different chain

I ride a ktm 530exc .....and I take canyon caving all the time on the way to and from the dirt...,,,I get substantial lean angles even with dot knobbies. ....... ride your bike with the stock wheels for awhile to learn ..... then if you still feel need get some sm wheels.

Recommend the wolfman e12 sadllebags for both dirt and urban use ....nice to limit your backpack weight to just a water bladder.

good luck

scott
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:22 AM   #12
trailer Rails
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Originally Posted by shrederscott View Post

I do not recommend getting super motoar wheels ..... the swap out is more than I think you realize. ....., often requiring a change in the front brake, and a different chain


scott
True but with my DRZ, I did a little work to make the swap easier.

-The front brake just required a spacer, so only a couple bolts. The OP could run the same size rotor on both front wheels to make it even easier.

-I played with different front/rear sprockets to get a setup where the swap just required the adjusters to be moved for the chain tension.

I could go from one setup to the other in about 20min.

The supermoto gearing I had setup was not good for higher speeds, so if I was going to spend some time at highway speed I would change the front sprocket and run a different chain. That only took another 10-15 min.

The supermoto was insanely fun in the city at speeds below 50mph. It really made commuting fun.

Ideally you would have multiple bike for multiple uses (that is the excuse you were looking for, a reason to buy a few bikes, right? )
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:08 AM   #13
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That was exactly what I was thinking. Both sets of wheels use the same rotor sizes and do the necessary work to figure how to set up CS/rear wheel sprockets to get the gearing that will allow use of the same chain.

It can be done unless differences are really radical. Most bikes can run a 13T and a 15T CS sprocket, so running those extremes can allow swaps. I know a chain can be cut to run a stupid high 15/39 on my KLX250, and that length will allow me to run a serious low 13/47 for dual sporting/off road - stock is 14//45 - the perfect set up for off road and SM. That 15/39 has me shifting into sixth at around 60 mph in casual riding, 70 when running it out harder, where the lower gearing was reving around 6000 rpm at 50 mph.

With a bit of calculations one could figure what gearing might work without or with minimal chain adjustment.


I actually screwed up when setting my bike up. I wanted to swap out countershaft sprockets from the 13/47 to the 15/47, but I cut the chain a link or two too short. I should have set up on the 15/47 which obviously required the longest chain. Not sure, but I may go to a 45 and see if that resolves the issue, I think the 13/47 was overkill... as is the 15/39.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:47 PM   #14
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Ill put in a vote for the DRZ, and no I dont have one or ever owned one. That said, Ive had plenty of bummed rides on one. And several friends with them.

They are great bikes for the money. You can find some great deals on used bikes. A little heavy compaired to a KTM/euro dualsport, but still pretty capable.
After a season or so and you want more power than go for the KTM690, or you find yourself doing more offroad than go for the Euro 450. You can probably resell the DRZ with minimal loss.

Having 2 wheelsets on a dualsport is a great idea. If you WANT a motard wheelset then go for it. (I have a motard set for my DR650). But if I were to do it over again Id opt just for the best street rubber you can find for stock size wheels. MUCH cheaper and 98% as good.

Have fun whichever way you go!
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:23 PM   #15
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Ill put in a vote for the DRZ, and no I dont have one or ever owned one. That said, Ive had plenty of bummed rides on one. And several friends with them.

They are great bikes for the money. You can find some great deals on used bikes. A little heavy compaired to a KTM/euro dualsport, but still pretty capable.
After a season or so and you want more power than go for the KTM690, or you find yourself doing more offroad than go for the Euro 450. You can probably resell the DRZ with minimal loss.

Having 2 wheelsets on a dualsport is a great idea. If you WANT a motard wheelset then go for it. (I have a motard set for my DR650). But if I were to do it over again Id opt just for the best street rubber you can find for stock size wheels. MUCH cheaper and 98% as good.

Have fun whichever way you go!

Drz400. Had one. Good bikes. Considering buying the factory SM and then get a dirt wheel setup. I think the sm's come with a better suspension. Sure, good street rubber can be had for the 21/18" wheels, but it takes a lot longer to swap tires than just the rims. I ride everything from single track to dirt roads to commuting and have done a 2000km+ trips on my dual sport. Weekend ride on the trails? Pop on the knobbies Friday night. Swap back on sun night to ride to work, or the twisties. :-)
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