adv noob

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by jayj93pgt, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. jayj93pgt

    jayj93pgt Adventurer

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    looking to do get a bike to do longer trips and such on, maybe some solo camping or whatever gets me away from snoreville. Anyway my short ass is only 5'7" and i dont know how to measure an inseam but its probably not good. on a stock 2012 vstrom adventure i can have both feet touching, but just on the balls not flat. anyway enough of that. I am wondering before i continue looking at bikes and considering a bike that is borderline too tall for my comfort, is there a certain amount of ground clearance, front/rear suspension travel that i should maintain when considering lowering if im going to be taking it on dirt and gravel roads etc? i most likely wont be taking this bike out to do hardcore off roading but would like to be able to hit forest roads and maybe a little harsher i suppose but im sure it will see significant amounts of slab. I dont like the idea of lowering suspension but i would like to be flat foot or nearly flat the first time i take a bike out on dirt in my life.

    if anyone here thinks i should just get a lightweight ds or dirt bike to learn on first please let me know before i get a 650cc'ish adv style bike and go beat the shit out of it and drop it everywhere lol. my experience riding is about 2 years, 2003 sv650s, 2005 gsxr 600, 2006 triumph sprint st 1050, 2009 ninja 250r, and my honda pcx 125 scooter (chick magnet)
    #1
  2. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    BMW G650GS. They make a "Low Seat Height" model. It'll handle better for a shorter person than the slightly-tall Vstroms. It's also very affordable and the amount of accessories and options for BMW adventure bikes rival Harleys. Perfect pack mule bike and it'll fit you well, as long as you aren't trying to break speed records (which it sounds like you aren't) you won't outgrow it.

    BMW dealerships are super lenient about test rides too, go ride one. Thank me later.
    #2
  3. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    DR650. :dunno




    Depends on how much and how fast you want to slab ride.
    #3
  4. Gonzoso

    Gonzoso Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't worry too much about standover height. If you can get one toe down to balance you're fine.

    Folks are intimidated by tall bikes but they're really not bad at all. I'm only 5'9" and I ride a KLR with stock height everything.

    I just step up onto the peg(stand side) and mount my bike like a horse.
    #4
  5. FirstPath

    FirstPath Long timer

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    5'7" on a good day and enjoying a stock height DR650. Rear suspension settles a bit and height is fine. Toes are good and 1 flat foot on the ground at a time works well too.
    #5
  6. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    I get that it is comforting to be flat footed but don't buy a bike based on your current level of experience and skill. It will seriously limit your choices. Expand your consideration to bikes that you can put one foot down solidly. If all you are looking for is a bike to do dirt roads, anything short of a full on sport bike with work. Think DR, Versys, Vespa, Ruckus or whatever. If you stay out of deep mud or sand any bike will be good. There is a Dutch rider riding the Saharan desert on an R1 so don't think that the bike is the most important part of the equation. Get whatever you want and learn how to ride it. Your SV would be plenty capable on a fs road. Anything with an upright riding position and wider bars will suffice. If you are having fun in the dirt you will drop it so don't get a pretty boy. Broken levers, bent handlebars, and scratched paint are part of the experience. Something light enough to pick up easily is a bonus.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    #6
  7. crowe2815

    crowe2815 kenoath

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    Dr650. Cheap enough and tough enough that it wont worry you too much when you drop it. That was my reasoning behind buying one and now i would not swap it. I have had a ride on a few peoples heavier bikes and it just feels like extra work throwing them around with no real advantage other than maybe the comfort of them when doing big slab rides. The lighter the better is my moto now for both bikes and packing.
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The DR650 would be a good first dual sport, but not ideal for multi-state rides (they can do it though). You can pick one up for a few thousand, you can get lowering links for them, and MMoto in the Ukraine makes a very stout rack that will carry your gear.

    If you are looking for something more refined, the BMWs get good reviews, and are easy to mod with some pretty tricked out aftermarket stuff like racks, lights, electrical plugs, and all of that. You'll pay for it, though.

    The Triumph 800XC may be too tall. A KTM 690 might work too (haven't sat on one, so I don't know how tall it is).
    #8
  9. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

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    Don't be intimidated by the height. You'll get used to it. But a tall and heavy bike is something else.

    I'm 5'9" 30" inseam, and just do one foot down on the f800gs. Unfortunately when it was loaded with gear and I was stopped on an unknown small sideways slope, there was no stopping it from going over. Oh well, no big deal.

    Any bike up to 400lbs should be easy to manhandle around.

    With all that being said. Make sure you buy a well taken care of bike for a good deal, ride it until you know what you want, sell it and move on. The worst thing you can do is pay wayyy too much for a bike that is in bad condition, hate it, and lose a ton of money trying to go a different route.
    #9
  10. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I'm 5'8"/30" inseam, and my first dirtybike was an unlowered DR650SE. While not ideal for height, weight, or suspension, it was fine because I'm strong and sturdy, and because I started off gradually, rather than trying to race Baja my first time off the pavement.

    It runs slab nicely too. Just set the bike up for your usage.

    Buy used.
    #10
  11. Beachfinn

    Beachfinn Adventurer

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    5,7" 30ish inseam and #130 wet. I captain morgan a stock height Triumph 800xc all day :D
    Plus, it only matters when you stop....
    #11
  12. Thumpstart92

    Thumpstart92 Been here awhile

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    I would try a DR650 and lower it the factory way, then once you get more comfortable to it you can put it back to stock height
    #12
  13. jayj93pgt

    jayj93pgt Adventurer

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    awesome, thanks everyone for the suggestions. the only reason im a bit nervous is cause ive never ridden anything on dirt/gravel so i guess i have a fear that im going to just eat gravel the first time i take a turn. I ended up just getting a short bike to learn on for really cheap, I do like the dr650 and the bmw g650gs as the weight is lower. I am skilled enough to ride a bike when i can barely tip toe, i will probably move up to a dr650se or g650gs or possibly a tiger 800 next summer. for now i bought a little xt225 and im going to learn on it and probably give it to my girlfriend or something when i move up to something different.

    appreciate all of the info too. it makes sense that any bike can basically do any type of riding. Ive learned over the years that comfort is huge moreso than looking cool on a supersport bike that is far from comfortable or practical...although i may get another one anyway lol. one can never have too many bikes!!
    #13
  14. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    That XT225 should be a super fun bike to ride. Smaller is better for learning offroad.
    #14
  15. BillMoore

    BillMoore Been here awhile

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    I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseam, and ride a DR650 with the factory lowering option. I can flat foot one foot, or touch toes down with both feet. At stock height, I had to lean the bike over to get one foot down flat, so it is much more comfortable for me at the 1.5" lower height.

    It is a great compromise bike. It can run 75 mph all day long, does awesome on forest roads, even when the going gets a little rough. And it can handle some pretty rough stuff, you just need to be aware that it isn't a 200 lb. dirt bike, and slow down accordingly...
    #15
  16. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    You dont have to justify anything here- you couldnt have made a better choice IMO, and I own the much-recommended DR650. It is my first dirty-bike and I have a great time in dirt with it, but ive considered getting an XT225/250 for honing my dirt skills as the DR is a big 'un.

    When you want a dirty bike for multi state trips, the DR has to be one of the top options, but there are others too.. I took mine to Alaska and it was perfect.
    #16
  17. jayj93pgt

    jayj93pgt Adventurer

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    yeah i have heard nothing but good things about the dr650, and i do like it. i sat on a brand new one at the dealership out near me and without the factory lower setting i was on the balls of both feet, or flat with 1 foot and toes with the other one. It will probably be the bike i move up to once i feel comfortable off road, but i am really satisfied with the xt225 so far, i love how light it is, right now im getting it ready for some off roading. i dont want to destroy it first time out so i have crash bars/skid plate on the way, as well as some moose racing aluminum hand guards. gonna get myself some knee/shin guards and elbow guards too cause im pretty sure im going to fall once at some point lol. any other things i should think about? at first im just going to start out on forest roads and stuff and eventually do some ohv trails and work my way to single trails i guess.

    any tips to keep me safe and to keep the bike from getting destroyed or me getting stranded lol. thanks
    #17
  18. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    My number one suggestion is to get some GREAT motocross boots. Im talking full race boots. I have Sidi Crossfire TAs and they have already saved me from a broken ankle once (and my ankle was sore the next day with them- without them I have no doubt I would have broken my ankle). This is especially important the more weight you have offroad, but an XT225 will break your ankle too. Not sure the equivalents to the Sidis I have in other brands, but look them up and try some on if you can. Totally worth it.

    Sounds good on the bike farkles, and sounds good on the initial dirt road selections. You sound like you are doing this right.

    If you are staying in the US, you might consider moving up to a WR250R. It wont have the torque of a DR, but it will do 80mph and its a very capable bike. Head to the third world though, and the DR is the ticket. The DR is a great choice for multi-state trips too. If you like being able to fix your own bike, the DR is much better suited to you than a WR. The WR is complicated but reliable and awesome. It really depends on whether you want a dirt bike that you can get to the trails with, or a motorcycle that can run some nasty dirt. Sometimes I take the DR out not even looking for dirt and enjoy it strictly as a street bike- plenty of torque, light to throw around, good visibility, soulful motor. Other times im headed for dirt- the DR is the best bike made at doing both IF you want simple too. The KTM 690 is great, but expensive, complicated, and SOME dont seem reliable. The WR is the bike if you want a dirtbike that can do long stretches of road.

    Anyways, youre on the right path so enjoy the XT and figure out what type of dual-sporter you are for when you "upgrade". :freaky
    #18