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Old 02-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
dazler OP
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Location: Tx
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New guy want a dual sport

Hi I been reading for some time now and finally, I decided to get me a dual sport as my 1st bike.
I dont need no stinking super sport 600+ just something to enjoy after work/days off.

Here is what I been looking at:
Yam WR250R 25/26k miles check around 62mpg
Husk TR650 ? ?
KTM 690 enduro r ? ?
KTM 500 EXC ? ?
KTM 350 EXC-F ? ?
Beta 400 RS ? ?
Apri Dorsoduro 750 ? ?

I be doing about 50/50 road/dirt roads. I live south of Texas close to the State Park.
I think my major consideration would be reliability I wont enjoy spending my afternoons checking that everything is still inside manufacturer specifications/adjustments.

since I know some bikes you ride 1 day you work on them for 2.
I have read more about the wr250r than all the others and i got that: is a super bike as far as reliability and maintenance. valve checks 25k miles, and good MPG 62
also that some ppl say it have enough power other insist they need more power. I also saw the athena 290 kit that would make the bike feel like a new one. that be down the road in any case.

Are the new KTM better now?
what about the others?
any tips welcome, Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:18 AM   #2
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try test riding them all, find what suits YOU.
sometimes you can just hop on a bike that the majority thinks is a dog and it fits perfectly for you.
what ever test ride fit your type of riding and style of riding and makes you smile the most... thats the one, i've had a few good tidy bikes like the DR650, DR750BIG but once i hoped on this scruffy XR600 pig i just new it was the one for me no matter how much discomfort compared to the others and im still riding it 3years on.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:39 AM   #3
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Definitely try a few. The WR250R and DR650SE are going to be about as low-maintenance as it gets. Just don't expect KTM performance offroad. Both are smooth, for being thumpers. Both can take some serious falls without constant damage.

Both bikes have some aftermarket support to improve them, and both can be fun commuters. They have different personalities though. The DR is a squishy torquer, and plows through trails like a plush bulldozer. It will put you THROUGH a tree at the top of 3rd. The WRR needs to spin up to make some power, and dances through trails like a "Step Up" extra on coke...rev it up to really move it. It will launch you into a treetop at the top of 3rd.

Wear good gear. Have a blast. Live to tell about it.

Kommando screwed with this post 02-10-2013 at 01:45 AM
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:17 AM   #4
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Is it going to be your 1st bike altogether ? If so - forget KTMs.

Get yourself something plain and possibly not so expensive to drop. Also avoid heavy pigs until you learn how to ride'em off-road.

If I were you (and I were some time ago), I would pick some used 350/400'ish bike of old days, easy to maintain, be it DR350, DRZ400 or the like. Heck, even some Sherpa KL250... Alternatively, if you like them new, either Kawa KLX250/Honda CRF250L or if longer stretches planned, Suzi DR650 or Honda XR650L. Beta 400 uses old Suzi DR350 engine that is reliable as much as you may want it.

You may also consider G650GS or Husky Terra if BMW is something you may accept Those are sweet little bikes, with motors that run forever.

Just try'em before you buy'em...
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:47 AM   #5
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Good advice in all the comments thus far.

As Dino commented, +1 on the ergonomic angle. If you are not comfortable on the bike you will ride tensed up, which leads to excessive fatigue and thereby to safety issues. Don't think in terms of how cool the bike looks or how cool you look on it; think in terms of how comfortable it feels and how cool it will feel to enjoy it.

As Kommando noted, +1 on try out the bikes on your short list. At first anything is going to feel strange, but if the fit is right, the maintenance soon becomes just part of the deal. FWIW, I own a DR that is set up like I want it, and after a month long trip out west in 2010 to do the CDT, we are old and familiar friends. But ... but ... but, if it were not for the stratospheric seat height, I could be tempted to let her go and then get a WR.

And finally, to pick up on Mario's comment, +1 on get something you can drop without feeling like you have dented the family heirloom. (My words, not his, but in the same spirit).

I bought my DR as a 2-yr old garage queen with less than 300 miles on it, and at less than half the MSRP of the 2008 model. I managed to not drop her until I was somewhere in northern New Mexico when, sitting still on a dusty road somewhere north of Pie Town, a monster gust of wind blew me over.

The bike was grossly overloaded. So after the two fools with me got done snickering they helped me pick up the bike...

'00 BMW R1100RT, Gone away: 5 previous BMW's, 3 Honda's, 2 Suzuki's
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." - Marcus Aurelius

basketcase screwed with this post 02-10-2013 at 03:25 AM Reason: grammer & speelin'
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:50 AM   #6
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If you use it as you say 50/50 i would go for a suzuki dr650 it will do everything you want it to , it will have the power to deal with both off road and on road , the bikes are bomb proof , yes the likes of ktms huskys are great but their more suited to off road and need to be looked after alot more
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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DR 400 comes to mind, WR250 is on my short list, or check out the line of new Husqvarnas,
they have one in every engine size you could ever need, spaced one hundred cc's apart as they go up.

Great quest though. I do like shopping
First the Earth cooled. Next came rats, cockroaches and KLR's... and life was good.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
Murphy Slaw
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Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
So after the two fools with me got done snickering they helped me pick up the bike...
At least the snickering stopped.....

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
At least the snickering stopped.....

... momentarily.

The trip was 5,000 miles of classic male bonding expressed as crude jesting, sarcasm, and shared adventure.
'00 BMW R1100RT, Gone away: 5 previous BMW's, 3 Honda's, 2 Suzuki's
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." - Marcus Aurelius
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
Jeathrow Bowdean
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I tried the 250cc units last year, and I found that they lacked a bit on the hyw side of life, but they realy shine off road for all out handling.
Then I steped back into the 650cc line up and the hyw life come back to me with lots of get up and go. It didn't take me long to find out that I was missing some of my off road stuff being that I'm not a good enough rider in the rough stuff, so I moved down to the DRZ to cut off a few pounds from the 650cc units.

This got me back on track again. Now that the DRZ got my riding skills going, and ready to head back to the 650 class again, but last years buying and selling come at a coast, so I'll keep the DRZ now that I have the stage 1 kit, and I can step up 3 more stages if I have to.

I like what you said about reliability dazler, and this is a super idea that I follow. I spend my time riding, and the fixing thing never crosses my mind. I think we all have some stuff to do once and awhile, and that is to be expected. but fixing stuff is not on any one's plan unless they like to do it.
I loved all the dual sport bikes I have had over the years, and I can't say any thing bad about them being that they did what I wanted them to do. I pick durability as 1, then some hyw speed as 2, and top it off with off road handling as 3.

Find the bike that you will be happy to own, then do your tires and gearing to fit your needs and you will have the best of both worlds. But make sure you get enough to do at least close to the hyw speed you need. I need 100 to 110 kp/r or 60 to 70 mpr to get to my play grounds, and this makes the coming home at the end of the day that much more fun...

From Jeathrow Bowdean in Western Canada
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
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I think a 500exc w/ globetrottin rack, 5.3 acerbis, and SeatConcepts is a sweet setup.

(borrowed pic, not my bike)

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:58 AM   #12
dazler OP
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thanks for all the replys.
it seem that I would have to buy new. I dont see used bikes in El Paso Tx the closed big city from my house.

I read some people say the new KTM are better as far as maintenance/reliability then thats not true. KTM out of my short list.

Husqvarna how are there Dual sport line of TE310R, TE449, TE511 do they still have the close ratio transmission that people are complaining about? reliable/maintenance?

what about Beta 400rs 450rs and 520rs not much info on those. beside what mario33 say about the 400 using the old suzuki DR350 engine. how are Betas as far as reliable/maintenance?

as right now I think the wr250r is on top of my list. since it seem the lightest plus removing some parts you can save another 15+ Lbs and later once I feel more confidence upgrade to the Athena big bore or swap the bike all together.
I completely forgot about the DR650 i guess the only negative is that some say is old technology. but I think I would get the Husqvarna TR650 instead of the DR650.

I forgot to mention im 5'9'' 200lbs and about 33'' inseam no shoes.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:34 AM   #13
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I have owned a bunch of XRs from 200s to 650s, a WR400, KTM 450EXC, currently riding a '96 XR400 and an '04 Husky TE250. For the type of riding you are talking about, my preference is an old school air cooled bike, great reliability factor, easy maintenance, easy to ride. My favorite is a street legal XR600, had two of them. The DR650 is a good choice, a couple of buddies rode them for a good while. The XR650L is also a decent mount, needs a bit of suspension work to make it trailworthy.
'98 BMW F650
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:47 AM   #14
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You are on the right track. The very best first motorcycle is single cylinder dual sport. They are great for both urban riding and going places. You can equip them for the long trail too. Plus because they are lighter, it is easier for you to learn skills.

I have a Yamaha WR250R and a new KTM 690R. I think the KTM is a little too much for learning. It's got incredible power, but not nearly as friendly as the Yamaha. I think the DR would be a nice choice too, but the new Husky is about 100lbs heavier than either my Yamaha or KTM.

You could also consider the new Honda 250 dual sport, at only $4500. It's a little lower than the Yamaha, but seems would be a really sweet first motorcycle... Or even a last motorcycle.
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #15
Hokem Malarky
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I don't think you could go wrong with the WR250R as a first bike.
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