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Old 03-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #1
ryan6838 OP
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First bike

Ok hope Im putting this in the right place. Hey guys Im new to the site and new to adventure riding, so new I don't even have a bike. I have a little riding experience and what Ive picked up so fare is Ill probably be looking at a 650. Small enough to manage but big enough to travel on the highway. My question is with a budget of 3 to 4k ( lower the better ) what all should I look at? I don't want anything fancy just a reliable bike with aftermarket support so it can be equipped for trips and offroad. I don't really know what all models to look at. Any help would be great and if this belongs else ware just yell at me.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:24 PM   #2
FlatlandKSBrett
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Well here is what I can tell you. My XR650L feels like dirtbike with blinkers. Plenty of power with great handling. I'm 6'1" and by my standards it's tall. My brother-in-laws KLR650 is more of a street bike with dirt tires. It's a little shorter, and a little less power, but it gets the job done also. I picked my 1995 XR up for $1800 and he picked his 2008 KLR up for $3400. Both fun and reliable.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
alvincullumyork
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Wanna have fun on the dirt and have long-ish legs, get a XR650L

Wanna be comfy on the street or have short legs, DR650.

Want a shitty boring heavy bike that sucks at everything, get the KLR.

Or spend the money now and get a 690. The orange kool aid tastes so good.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:03 PM   #4
Beezer
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or.... do want a very reliable bike that does everything pretty well, some things extremely well, cheap to buy, cheap to operate, has a ton of support, parts are plentiful, can tolerate massive abuse, easy to work on, has been doing round the world trips since before the internet, and has more ADV touring miles than anything you are likley to consider.... that would be the KLR
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
Kommando
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650cc bikes can vary greatly in their power output and power characteristics. Choose a bike with a mellow power delivery when you're just learning to ride, and preferably one that doesn't make more than 50-60WHP. Most thumpers are well within this power envelope.

Weight and height can also make a moto more difficult to handle for a noob.

What size and level of fitness are you? For example...I'm 5'8"/30" inseam/200lb/athletic. I can get my left foot down flat on a stock unlowered DR650SE. I can only touch the balls of my feet if I put both feet down. Some of the smaller-cc dualsports are taller than the DR650, but they may weigh considerably less, which can make them easier to hold up when you're on uneven ground. As you gain experience, you can get used to a taller/heavier bike, but a tall/heavy bike can be difficult to handle as a noob.

Riding dirt is a great way to gain more riding experience after passing a BRC and/or dirt BRC. You can often further develop your riding skills by doing this, without having to contend with traffic. Dualsports also tend to handle falling over better than most streetbikes do.

Some of the modern 250 dualsports can handle highway riding ok. The KLX250S and WR250R have enough power to exceed the speed limit in most states, and either bike can be made more powerful with aftermarket parts. Both bikes are pretty close to 300lb, which is lighter than most streetbikes.

If you want ABS, and don't need much dirt ability at all, you may also be able to find a used CB500X ABS for maybe a bit more than the price range you stated.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:07 PM   #6
ryan6838 OP
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Im 6 foot with and semi athletic. Trying to get back into shape sense leaving the army 2 years ago. I did the basic riders course when I got my license. I have a little street riding but not much dirt, growing up I preferred 4 wheels. I'm in school for auto tech so I like the little older stuff where I can get a good deal on a fixer upper. So it looks like the xr, dr and klr are the big 3. So basically each has its little spot. I have a cb750 so im a little par shale to hondas. Any big thinks to stay away from in the three or years that were better or worse?
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:34 PM   #7
alvincullumyork
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The XR650L, for better or worse, has been the exact same from 93 to now. There are no fatal flaws, but look at the counter shaft splines as those can wear fairly quick, depending on how it's ridden and maintained. The rear sub frame can crack if it's overloaded on rough terrain. There are fixes for both of those problems. It's the second simplest to work on behind the DR. It's almost indestructible, no fragile radiators, or cheap plastic bulky fairings. Like all three aftermarket parts are every in every flavor. It has the most suspension, though quality is probably on par with the DR. It has less power than DR but is 20 pounds lighter.

Honestly if your not looking to do a lot of dirt I would get a DR.
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If you're in my area on a ride and need a place to crash, a hot meal, or some beer let me know. 913 260 7873
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #8
tkent02
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Why the 650?

Other than prolonged Interstate rides a 250cc - 450cc bike will be a Hell of a lot more fun.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #9
ryan6838 OP
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Some of the guys at my church have the big BMWs and do trips out west. I'd like to be able to have the ability to do some long hauls and carry gear to camp the whole way. 650 seemed about as small as I could go and still be able to do that.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:31 PM   #10
kconville
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I'd recommend a 250 for a first bike. MUCH easier to handle off road and get acclimated to motorcycles generally.

Response #3 is especially snarky and inappropriate. A 690 is not a beginner's bike and a KLR would be the best 650 class bike of those mentioned, for the road. All are a handful off road, especially with gear strapped on.

Added: based on your response in post #9, you would be best served with a 650. A KLR is well suited for this, especially considering your budget.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:53 PM   #11
Roland44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan6838 View Post
Some of the guys at my church have the big BMWs and do trips out west. I'd like to be able to have the ability to do some long hauls and carry gear to camp the whole way. 650 seemed about as small as I could go and still be able to do that.
That's a valid reason. I would go with a 650 but take it really easy at first.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:05 PM   #12
countryrebel
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I was in your same position last year and after many hours of research I bought a 08 KLR650 for $3500 with extras. Good bike for the money. I don't regret it one bit.

P.S. Do the doohickey and change the seat.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:37 PM   #13
sharkmotorcycle
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Well for a newbie 250cc engine would be much more fun to ride .But if you are looking for more power & with decent off roading capabilities then go with XR650L you will not be disappointed with Honda for the same.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:36 AM   #14
Beezer
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it really is a valid question.... how much dirt are you going to do, and what do you mean by "dirt". be real about it because if you want to do a lot of dirt, lighter is better.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:53 AM   #15
Ockrocket
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As this is NOT YOUR FIRST bike....

The DR650 would be my choice.... well actually, it was my choice.

I have a Wee-Strom, and a Kawasaki KLE500 alongside the DR.

In the recent past I had a KLR650, the DR is lighter, less issues (well maybe about the same, but different ones), is better on dirt and equally good for highway needs.

Keep the CB750 for the strictly road rides and use a DR for the day/tour/mixed surface rides.

You will find the smaller bikes run out of puff for serious long tar sections, the DR is able to cope comfortably.
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