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Old 09-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
wdfwguy OP
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Considering a DS as my first bike...

I just finished a MSF/BRC and I'm considering a dual sport for my first bike. I'd probably be just running errands around town, doing some trail riding, and maybe an occasional camping trip. Probably not riding at freeway speeds. Mostly light trails and putting around town, working on my non-existent motorcycle skills.

I should also mention that I'm in my 40's, have a some street riding experience in the distant past (zero dirt riding exp), 6'5" (34" inseam) and 270 pounds. Don't want to spend more than about $5-6K for a used bike

Any suggestions?
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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Go for it. You will not regret it. I am much smaller than you 5'9" 180 and riding DS is the most fun I have had. I have owned aprilias, CBRs and other really fast toys. None have been as much fun as my two most recent bikes. Current ride is a klx250 last bike was a DR 650. Both were tons of fun. Both would haul my wife and two up freeway or otherwise (this would put us over your weight). For any longer slab rides I would rather have my old 650 but I am having a blast on the lighter 250. The smaller bike is not at all fast but pulls fine for me. Keep in mind I have owned 100+ HP bikes. I think any of the current dual sports would work for you based in what you will be doing. You price should get you a well setup used bike.

For smaller bikes I would say KLX 250 or WR 250. Bigger maybe DR 650 or XR650. More power Ktm690 or husky 610/630. More street oriented maybe a newer klr650

Hope this helps

Kelley P
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
mrchristian
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Another "what bike to buy" thread. We need a separate forum or something for these.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
tweeder
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general first bike suggestions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdfwguy View Post
I just finished a MSF/BRC and I'm considering a dual sport for my first bike. I'd probably be just running errands around town, doing some trail riding, and maybe an occasional camping trip. Probably not riding at freeway speeds. Mostly light trails and putting around town, working on my non-existent motorcycle skills.

I should also mention that I'm in my 40's, have a some street riding experience in the distant past (zero dirt riding exp), 6'5" (34" inseam) and 270 pounds. Don't want to spend more than about $5-6K for a used bike

Any suggestions?
Buy used, and buy smart. Numerous bikes, including DS bikes, can be bought, ridden, taken care of, and sold without much of a depreciation. Some of the bikes suggested (KLR, DR, WR, KLX, DRZ) all fit this bill (at least to me). All of these bikes can be found in your price range kitted out for all of what you hope to do with a bike-total plug and play.

Buy light/smaller displacement. To me, don't buy your first bike thinking you will have it forever, even more than a year. Get something you can learn on, that is forgiving enough to make things fun, and won't overpower you. Everything you learn on a lighter bike off-road can be translated to potentially heavier, more powerful bikes later if you so choose. I think most will agree that it's harder to learn to ride dirt/DS on something heavier than something lighter.

Buy what is right for you. You're a big guy-consider ergonomics (but those can be changed to a degree). I'm not trying to be condescending, but don't buy what is convenient. I made that mistake, as have others, and regret not knowing what I really wanted and shopping around rather than buying what was available right then.

Determine how much street capability/friendliness is important to you. Since you're not concerned about freeway speeds, I wouldn't worry about v-twin DS bikes, and focus on the lighter thumpers to start with.

I hope this helps somewhat. I'm sure others will chime in too.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
Earth Rider
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I just did the same thing. Having the time of my life. Bought a wr250r, no regrets.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
DerpByk
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How about if you don't want to read "Which bike to buy" threads you don't open them. Duh.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
sweetwater
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I love these threads! It is fun nostalgia to see what someone is considering and then to see what they select.

Like 'Racer, I am currently spending most of my time on a KLX250s. My Connie sits in the garage looking very pretty (wish it would sell so I cold buy another KLX). I sold a WR250X last year that was an excellent motorcycle, so I recommend it too. I like either better than my XR650.

I have had about one of every design and I liked a little something about each and every one. Some stayed around for a very long time, and I wish I had some back.

With that said, I think a DS makes a great first bike. Most will do highway or close to highway speeds and they're cheaper to repair after a drop. They also offer naked simplicity and that allows ease-of-maintenance. I personally don't ride serious off-road but some of my best trips involved fire roads and dirt paths that were too much for a dedicated street bike.

As a reference, we just did a family trip to Brown Mt. OHV in NC and after the kids were worn out, Missus Sweetwater and I went and rode the twisties. My KLX250 and her TW200 had plenty of power for sane corner carving, we had enough space for snacks and water, and our MPG was 59/61 respectively for the total trip (dirt and street).

While I really want a Husky (damn nostalgia again) or a KTM, I enjoy the inexpensive ownership of lightweight Jap dualsports. If I had nothing to ride right now and your budget I'd shop for KLX, WR, DR, and I'd seriously consider a lighter bike, less than 650cc.

Here's a shot of a lunch ride on a DR650 loaded for commuting and a WR250X loaded with nothing but rider:



That terrain was loose, washed out, and basically crap. Great ride, done on motard tyres, and no way possible with a street bike.

Same ride demonstrating the climbing ability of a DR650:



That hill was STEEP, and the nutbag riding blasted up it without a sweat.

The total value of both those bikes was $5900.00. Lots of ride for the coin

sweetwater screwed with this post 09-19-2013 at 05:36 PM
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
sweetwater
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...and about where are you located 'Guy? I didn't take that into consideration, but location might not change opinions on this much.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #9
wdfwguy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchristian View Post
Another "what bike to buy" thread. We need a separate forum or something for these.


I know these can be a pain, and I don't like being the clueless newbie...

but such is life
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Well, I'm 6'6" and weigh the same as you. You have a challenge, being as tall as you are. Besides a very few exceptions, I don't buy a motorcycle less than 650cc's. I've spent a lot of time on a XR650L and XR650R. Both bike aren't made for us, no bike really is...but, I've made them fit as best I could. Considering your budget, you could buy a great used BMW R1100GS. I rode one for over 100,000 miles. Fit me great!!! It's no hot rod. So, being a new rider I don't think would be a issue.

Find a bike that FITS you, then start to make small changes for it to fit you better.

Good luck with your search, Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:57 AM   #11
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I just think it's funny when these guys start these threads, get all kinds of great advice about getting a small to medium sized bike, and then go out and buy something huge. Hilarious.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:27 AM   #12
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I was much like your history - older rider starting out several years ago. Street bike experience in the distant past.

I started with a craigslist Tw200 (too small). Went from that to a BMW R100GSPD (too big). Went from that to a DR650 (nice size - tried to use it for everything, farkled it too much). Sold that and went to a KDX220R (straight enduro) and an SV650 for the street. Sold the KDX (lovely bike, but two stroke characteristics made trail riding difficult for me) and added a DR350 dual sport.

So, knowing all that, the DR350 works for me. Second choices would be DRZ400 or KLX250S. If I got rid of one of my bikes, it would be the SV, simply because of the utility of the dual sport bikes.

I don't intend to travel long distances on mine.

Tom
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:08 PM   #13
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Smaller and smaller...

I rode dirtbikes only until age 31. No bikes until age 50 when I bought a Ducati. I rode that for awhile and bought a MZ 660 Supermoto. That thumper was the best around town. Then I bought a KTM 950 twin and rode it everywhere. But it was too heavy for some of the remote solo riding I was doing. So I bought a Yamaha WR250R. What a fantastic bike. I leave it in the Arizona desert to visit. I sold the 950 and replaced it with a KTM 690R.

I think dual sport bikes are the way to go. I ride mine anywhere I want. They both go plenty fast for highway use.

I went down is size until leveling off with dual sports weighing about 320lbs wet. Most dual sport singles are around 350lbs I think. Suzuki DR650's and 400's are popular. So are BMW 650's. Husqvarna recently introduced a 650 dual sport that costs $7k new. BMW owns Husky and the 650 has the BMW motor. Seems a good value and perfect for what you discribe.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #14
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i agree with garthe, i'm 6'4 w/34 legs only 210 though, i think you would be happy with the 650L. more built for taller guys. also what garthe said, no bike is really built for tall guys, it kinda blows really, but with enough aftermarket that the XR has, its not problem making them "fit" your needs. That being said, you can do that with about any bike. but being at 270lbs, you are gonna want a larger engine displacement. just a thought. Oops 4:27 time to head home! have a good weekend!
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #15
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=911350




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