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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #46
mikem9
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As others have said, I like the angle of this thread. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and so is the best bike choice. I like all kinds of thumpers for different capabilities.

Probably my favorite kind of riding is mountain single track and dirt oriented dual sporting where I can link trails. This photo was taken on a ride where we crossed the state of Montana along the Rockies. But, I live in the East and my favorite bikes for single track in the East are the EXC 400 and 450.

What do I like about them? Smooth controllable power delivery, easy to turn and they have been bullet proof. Just easier to ride in the tight woods than many other 4 stroke race oriented bikes I've ridden. Good dealer support nearby and most of my buddies ride them so we can exchange advice. Love "surfing" the mountains on them.


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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #47
Gleado
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DR650-The Perfect Thumper.......

for me. There are reasons for this.

1)To me, simplicity means reliability-less to go wrong.
2)Low cost. Yes, I can afford any bike out there, but my current life stage now that I'm 50 is to get in the black and retire at the earliest possible, but I have one kid in college and one close. Needed to keep cost down.
3)Ability to go anywhere, anytime, with enough power to carry a passenger and gear.
4)Reasonable comfort to make 400+ mile rides a day.
5)Good offroad ability including single track.
6) I don't want to go fast anymore, just explore. I'm a little beat up from my desert racing and motocross days and need to preserve what's left. The DR is a docile steed indeed. It can rip pretty good though when I'm feisty.

All of the above criteria I believe have been met with my 1998 DR650 I bought over a year ago with 9400 miles on it for 1750.00. But I've done a few mods since that time.

First, the bad:
1)1998 and some early '99 models had a solid starter gear that could explode the lefthand engine case if the motor kicked back when turned off. Found out about it and replaced the gear with a clutch gear within the first week of ownership. All other years have the clutch gear Cost: 200 bucks
2)The vacuum slide actuated Mikuni carb it comes with is prone to surging and generally aggravated the crap out of me. The replacement I chose was the Kien FCR 39 flat slide pumper carb. Used cost-250.00. Jet kit-80.00.
3)The upper chain roller is prone to tearing holes in the frame-removed.
4)17" rear tire can be harder to find "on hand" at bike shops whether at home or far from home. (will live with it). The advantage maybe lower ride height but can't say for sure.
5)The stock exhaust weighs 14.5 lbs and is restrictive. Replaced with GSXR1000 40F0 muffler and Kientech eng midpipe. Cost: A little over 300 bucks for these parts.
6) Stock fuel capacity sucks at 3.4 gallons. New 5.3 gal Acerbis tank is on the way. Cost: 265 bucks or so.
7) 36 hp stock-40hp with mods I have now(projected based on MX Rob's dyno work with the same mods)
8)NSU issue-taken care of at no cost.
9)Stock seat was uncomfortable-replaced with seat concepts about 165 bucks.

The Good:
1) No fuel injection or injector pump to go bad.
2) Oil and air cooled engine-I'd rather have this as I don't think water cooling is necessary plus no worries about water pumps, coolant lines, fans or sensors and potential coolant leaks eliminated including the weight of all this crap.
3)Relatively lightweight, but has a steel frame that can be repaired/welded easily just about anywhere if necessary.
4)Ability to carry alot of weight
5) Reliable, low tech old school thumper with very little to go wrong.
6) Decent handling characteristics
7) The DR series encompassing my bike has remained basically unchanged from 1996-present, so there are more options for accessories and parts whether used or new.
8)Even with the mods I've done, which weren't really a necessity, what I have in the bike moneywise is still way less than a buddies new KTM 690 adventure
9)Great torque characteristics and lugs down low
10)Cruises the highway comfortably with all the speed you could want if you gear it right, or lugs low for more technical work on nasty trails(CS sprocket change). Geared 16/42 now. Top speed 105mph indicated
11)Not alot of cowling plastics to wreck in a crash.

It's funny, I didn't set out to buy a DR. I was sold on the KLR. Went to see a KLR650 and the guy also had a DR. I came home with the DR. I wanted a simple, low-cost, reliable bike that I could go anywhere on and commute to work with. Wasn't sure at the time if I'd ultimately like the bike or not, but I followed my instincts and the payback was big. I really love this DR as it's always ready to go anywhere, anytime. 53-58 mpg town/highway.

Anyway, this is a snapshot that was asked for by the OP-The DR650 is for me.

Gleado screwed with this post 04-27-2012 at 02:32 PM
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #48
absoluteclint
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Gleado... Thanks for that detailed description of the DR's good and bad points. I'm in the market for my first dual sport and have been giving alot of attention and research to the DR. Following this thread really helps... It's nice to hear everyone give opinions of their bikes (both the good and bad of it) without bashing other makes/models. Upfront, sound reports and opinions are what really helps someone in my shoes. I also like what you said about "following your instincts"... I've heard and read alot about various makes/models... The "instinct" comment describes where I'm currently at with the DR as a potential first purchase... everything I read and hear keeps pushing more to it... Thanks again!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #49
rocky mtn nut
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[QUOTE=Adv Grifter;18544370]Seems to me the KLR guys are the ones here so far who "get it". As mentioned, all very subjective. BUT ...
This forum ... last I checked .... is called Adventure Rider ... Ride The World.

I love dirt bikes ... but how far will you get on a dirt bike? Can you carry 60 to 80 lbs. of gear off road and ride 10 hours a day, rain, shine or dark? The KLR can, and so can my DR650 or XR-L, or XT. I've ridden dirt bikes since age 10, raced a bit, rode AMA Enduros. But we're on a Travel forum here, no? Not the time to focus on race bikes really or doing wheelies.

My DR650 is a budget travel bike, not a race bike ... , not fast, not sexy, but reliable as a stone, cheap and simple to service and goes good on just about any "road". It's seen at least part of the world, fully loaded in all kinds of conditions ... including 3 major tours through Baja. It rarely travels in a pick-up truck or Van ... and has never, ever broken down. But it's only got 45,000 miles, so a mere youngin'.

I'd like to see more members here ... especially the young guys ... go somewhere. See how you do in Bolivia or Mongolia (on your race bike if you like). Girls go RTW SOLO, why so few of you doing it.

I did it all in my 20's (1970's) and put off school and family to itch the travel bug. Get it! [/QUOTE
BLAH BLAH BLAH I'M GLAD I DON'T GET IT IT'S NICE TO DO THINGS MY WAY AND NOT ONE MAJOR COMPROMISE WITH THE BIKE . THER IS SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO IN NORTH AMERICA I HAVE NO DESIRE TO GO OVER SEAS ONE COULD SPEND A LIFETIME IN ALASKA ALONE !
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #50
astrolump
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm View Post
Words are fine, but open to interpretation, but I am a visual kind of guy. So when a poster tells me he rides single track on his 400lb bike I would like to see it.

To me this is single track:


The point I am trying to make is if my interest was in riding that type of terrain, I would own something other than what I have. If I could fix a FI bike where I do ride, i would probably ride another. If fuel was available closer than 200+ miles from where I ride I might choose something else. That is why there is no one size fits all.
pfff....I can, without a doubt get to the top of that trail with my KLR....
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it just may take me a little while.....put the coffee on man..Ill be there soon
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:41 AM   #51
bobbed06
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Well, I will throw in my 2 cents here, and yes its merely a subjective opinion and its free. So your getting what you paid for

I had a 1983 XL 600 back in the day I rode the wheels off of in my early 20s and I also had a full arsenal of brand new mx and woods specific bikes that I raced during the ownership of the XL 600.

I took the 1983 XL 600 EVERYWHERE I rode pure woods bikes albeit a tad slower. To this day I still would own that 1983 XL 600 if I were to find a clean example for sale. So I currently own a 2007 DRZ 400S, as it seems to fill the gap between the 1983 XL600 and true dirt bikes of the early 2000 era of which I am particularly fond of. I have faith in knowing that its on a 13 year production run, has many aftermarket upgrades if so inclined to tinker, and feels like a real dirt bike to me with early 2000 era RM geometry. Some people say its heavy, but I find them easy to handle. I guess thats subjective according to the strength of the rider.

The subframe handles adventure duty , with the addition of a saddlebag rack setup and soft bags. ( I havent bought those yet)

So for me its a DRZ 400S that has been somewhat upgraded and dialed in for me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #52
itsatdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrolump View Post
pfff....I can, without a doubt get to the top of that trail with my KLR....
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it just may take me a little while.....put the coffee on man..Ill be there soon
I like a guy with a sense of humor.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #53
rocky mtn nut
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Te 610 from husqvarna but even its a compromise. I used to have a klr it would get me near the glacier but the,te gets me on the glacier. As for the KTM I sold mine to get the klr 650 what a mistake that was . My KTM was very reliable. Like I said I'm glad "I don't get it". I would rather get to the top rather than close to the top ...
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:00 PM   #54
selkirkswamper
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my new ride

well after owning a 1995 BMWR100GS PD for 15 years, it was time for a change, sold the beemer and started the search, cost was a factor as well as maintenance, availability of parts and fit (I'm 6"5"). I read the reviews and on-line chatter looked at spec of various machines. I was really looking at the DR650 pretty seriously (along with the XR650L and KLR650), it seemed to fit what I wanted to do, commuter, backroads, some off road and some trips. I was looking to buy new as my last 2 cycles were used. local dealers had nothing or wouldn't deal with me (I was paying cash). I went to a local Honda dealer checked out the XR650L, he met what I wanted to pay, plus tax (thanks New York) seat height is good, handles well and a hell of a lot lighter than the beemer on the dirt roads.

So far the first 100 or so miles I'm happy with my XR650L, rear rack is installed, skid plate is next, is it the perfect bike, no, but it'll do what I want. It's all subjective, similar to discussions on guitars, amplifiers etc I've seen on other forums I visit it's personal preference.

the main thing is to ride as much and as often as you can. just my 2 cents
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #55
Myfuture_yourdebt
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My WR450f is plated and I live in Colorado. Need I say more? I got a pair of supermoto rims for it and it kills the street. Then I switch back to the dirt rims for weekend offroad rides. I took it to a mechanic for a valve check and other little work that I'm too busy to do (school and work). I got it rejetted, and when I picked it up I asked the mechanic what he thought of it since he rode it after the tuning (previous owner opened it up but tuned it for ultra-high altitude, I only need high altitude jetting). He said "I couldn't own that bike...I'd lose my license." Really, on a street legal supermoto 450!? Who would have thought. And he also said the bike is practically bullet-proof which is something I was looking for when I decided I wanted a plated 450. I don't mind changing my oil every 8 hours or so. I do wonder about what are appropriate valve check/adj. intervals considering I'm doing about 75% street mildly aggressive riding and 25% offroad also midly aggressive riding. I don't ever floor it...for too long!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #56
Gleado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absoluteclint View Post
Gleado... Thanks for that detailed description of the DR's good and bad points. I'm in the market for my first dual sport and have been giving alot of attention and research to the DR. Following this thread really helps... It's nice to hear everyone give opinions of their bikes (both the good and bad of it) without bashing other makes/models. Upfront, sound reports and opinions are what really helps someone in my shoes. I also like what you said about "following your instincts"... I've heard and read alot about various makes/models... The "instinct" comment describes where I'm currently at with the DR as a potential first purchase... everything I read and hear keeps pushing more to it... Thanks again!
Clint-even if there was a bike out there that was hands down the best at everything (which there isn't), the ultimate decision should be made after you ride them. Research is good, but in the end get the one YOU like!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #57
BigSingle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm View Post
Words are fine, but open to interpretation, but I am a visual kind of guy. So when a poster tells me he rides single track on his 400lb bike I would like to see it.

To me this is single track:


The point I am trying to make is if my interest was in riding that type of terrain, I would own something other than what I have. If I could fix a FI bike where I do ride, i would probably ride another. If fuel was available closer than 200+ miles from where I ride I might choose something else. That is why there is no one size fits all.
Single track I don't need no stinking track


Your pic looks a lot like cedro peak in NM. Yep climbed that too. I do agree though buy the bike that fits YOU where YOU plan to ride it.

Mine also works for me to climb mountains in January. Sandia Peak, NM 06 I think.



I'll see if I can find any good pics for ya
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #58
absoluteclint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gleado View Post
Clint-even if there was a bike out there that was hands down the best at everything (which there isn't), the ultimate decision should be made after you ride them. Research is good, but in the end get the one YOU like!
Thanks Gleado... Yea there is no way I would buy anything without having ridden a few different models beforehand. I am in no rush at the time to make a purchase... Just researching and daydreaming... A 4wheeler must be sold first.

I think I have it lined up to ride a buddy's XR650L soon but that's my only access to a test ride for now. I live in the Charlotte/Hickory, NC area and am open if anyone would like to let someone who's confident he won't tear up your bike take a test ride (in exchange for a few beers of course!). Also... of course... this is a long shot and similar to asking the most bad-ass, over-protective father if you can take his youngest daughter out on a first date... but maybe worth asking!
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:50 PM   #59
dolphins13
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99 lc4 640 is awesome for me for the price. The new 500 does look tasty tho.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:35 PM   #60
mrphotoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHEtREV View Post
Your the one who doesn't "get it".

ADVrider is not only about round the world riding, I'm guessing not to many people on here are actually that interested in a RTW trip, and even less will actually do it.

And coming from the guy that has shown his complete ignorance of the world outside America with such hilariously ignorant comments as "I had no idea New Zealand had any gravel roads", and telling a guy from Tasmania that he couldn't know what adventure riding is because lives on an island, its pretty rich.

ADVrider is about all roads touring, and about just getting out there, something that you don't seem to do.

The only time I have heard you mention any trip is one of your three or so trips to Baja, and from what I gather, that is only a few hundred miles from your doorstep.

Horizons Unlimited might be more to your liking if you only want to talk about RTW, and how great the DR is at RTW and bla bla bla, but this place seems to focus more on actual riding than dreaming.


But even your outdated thinking may not be welcome there, after all, they have probably realized that Euro bikes time bombs, and they actually are just as reliable, and in some cases more reliable than Jap bikes.

And just because you had a friend who had his KTM or Husqvarna blow up in the early 90s, that doesn't mean that Euro bikes are unreliable.

And to the OP, my KTM 640 is the best bike for me, because I can't afford a 660 Rallye, and I needed a bike that could get me out to the desert, carry my ass and my gear around for a week, and then get me home again without having to worry that it was going to fall apart.

They are freaking awesome bikes, although people like AdvGrifter will try and tell you they are unreliable, it just show they haven't got a clue, or just believe the stories they read on the internet.

My next desert bike will hopefully be my 525 that I am currently rebuilding.

Got to love proven reliability and performance.

Wow you must have a really sore pussy



I am in the search of the perfect do everything dual sport. Something lightish, around 50+hp that can do 2up on the trails when needed. Currently I have a dr350s and it is super reliable but a little down on power. I like it a lot though and the 6 speed is great.

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