Another "Which Dual Sport Bike is For Me?" Thread

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by S8W7, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,707
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's pretty nice and rare.

    I got shot down at the HD dealer today for a test ride of a used Dyna. :huh
    #61
  2. S8W7

    S8W7 Libertarian

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    I don't think I could ever allow myself to purchase a used vehicle that I couldn't test drive first.

    "No test pilots? Okay. Go get the [insert vehicle here] certified by [insert mechanic of my choice here] and call me back."
    #62
  3. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,747
    Location:
    OR
    :huh Was it raining or something?
    #63
  4. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,707
    Location:
    Michigan
    Nope, manager said, "You can't ride unless you've made a decision to buy."

    WTF?! :huh

    So I made a decision. I won't be buying anything from that dealership.
    #64
  5. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    I call BS too! You have probably never ridden your DR uphill. Bring it to Utah, and let's see it do what you say it can... I get to pick the hill. :evil
    #65
  6. S8W7

    S8W7 Libertarian

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    As long as it gets up the hill, with my gear and I on it, it really doesn't matter. Ontario is relatively flat and I've done all of the highways in gutless vehicles before, it's not a concern for me. As long as the machine can maintain highway speeds (110kph/68mph) all day without grenading, I'll be happier than a pig in shit.
    #66
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    10,500
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    If you don't have a BMW dealer within a reasonable distance, you might want to swap it out in your three way comparison for a Honda XR650L. They are a bit taller than the DR, but otherwise similar. Some taller guys prefer that.

    I had an older XL600R that I loved, and would also be happy with a DR650 for the same purpose, but the KLR felt as heavy as my Aprilia off road. However, for two-up riding like I do more often now, the KLR would be more appropriate.

    Assuming your wife is not as tall as you, a lowered DR for her, and an uncorked XR for you would be a nice pair. You could outfit the XR to carry the heavier camping gear, while lightening/lowering the DR for trail riding.
    #67
  8. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas

    My KLR is peachy at 70 mph, I cant imagine the DR couldn't do the same.

    Theres guys who put 685 kits on KLR's and they don't fool around. They are pretty quick for a single and are pretty smooth.

    As you can tell by reading all the replies, theres a pretty wide variance of what people deem acceptable acceleration and stability. I'm not knocking singles because I've ridden a lot of 50 and 60 horse twins that didnt accelerate to what I consider acceptable levels from 80 mph 2 up running up hill. So the only one whos gonna know what you like is you.

    If your not looking for single track but are thinking fire roads theres loads of others that would be fun. Wee strom, Versys or Triumph scrambler. They are all fun.
    #68
  9. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,747
    Location:
    OR
    Wish I had what you were after... I would pick you up at PDX and toss you some keys.
    #69
  10. LetItRoll

    LetItRoll ForwardAholic

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    North Central Idaho
    Most of the bikes mentioned (dr650, klr650, xr650l, drz400s) are excellent overall. Most of the advice and opinions on this subject are very good and accurate for specific conditions and variables, if you want to try and get the best one for yourself the first time you really need to evaluate your exact habits and usages as accuratly as possible. One persons 80/20 street/dirt ratio can vary tremendously with 100 shades of grey in between, normally anybody leaning towards 80/20 street dirt would be looking at a Klr650, Dr650, or even BMW650, however you mention specifically wanting the lightest bike, and giving up less in the dirt, the biggest questions then become, is the 20% easy/moderate dirt or fast serious dirt riding, any playing & jumping around? The other big one is are you ever going to do more than 250 miles per day (total street/dirt) for your adventure usage? Answering that for your situation will help your chances of getting it right the first time, I have done many 4 day 1,000 mile adventure trips, street dirt mix (no interstate) with small groups that have included all of the above bikes, the more dirt worthy bikes are great overall and probably better for your dirt bike background and concerns you mention in your opening post, as long as you are not doing over 250mi. a day (solo of course). They will do it, just not as much fun. If you are planning on some days over 300 miles, or any 50-75+ mile stints on major roads at 70mph you should definetly look at Klr650 etc. Otherwise its hard to go wrong with the more dirt worthy as long as your not in a hurry on the street, once again they will do it, but makes a very tough day out of it for the average rider.
    #70
  11. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,707
    Location:
    Michigan
    I believe that. Thanks anyway.
    #71
  12. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,530
    Location:
    In the sand
    I never mentioned anything about the DR doing it at western slope altitudes, and I know Florida is generally pancake-land, but if you've ever been over a causeway bridge spanning the intercoastal waterway on this side of the island, you know that can be plenty of grade to test uphill passing ability...even if it IS near sea-level.:D

    2-up mile-eating at anything faintly resembling legal speeds on the I-95 Speedway is no big deal for a tuned DR, if it's got enough air to breathe well. Your crowded butts aint likely gonna be happy on the tiny stock seat for long, but the DR won't care. It'll keep right on singing. Come on out east next winter, once steambath season is over here, and try it for yourself.

    Be forewarned...If you come to ride Ocala NF with a few of us, one of the other DR owners out this way may try to pass you on the grassy shoulder if you're lolly-gaggin' around in his way below 90MPH.:huh 'Dude aint quite right. :lol3
    #72
  13. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,530
    Location:
    In the sand
    After you test-ride an anemic stocker DR, come on down to MickeyLand and try one that's been uncorked a bit, if you like. Some of the other DR owners may be closer to you though, and have one with a pumper carb and free-flowing exhaust.
    #73
  14. S8W7

    S8W7 Libertarian

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    I'm definitely looking at some 400 mile days. I have always driven the ~400 miles from Sudbury to Kingston (to visit family) in one shot on four wheels, so I'd like to be able to do the same with a bike. It's usually about an 8-10 hour drive, depending on which route I take and how many stops I make along the way. Lately I've been taking a wonderful scenic route which keeps me off the 400-series freeways and I'd be doing the same on a bike. It's longer but it gives me more opportunities to take different roads and explore small communities that I've never visited.

    That's really just one example of hundreds that I'll be doing on my bike! I definitely need something that will eat up the highway. On the other end of the spectrum, however, I would like to be able to continue to make use of the local roads...

    [​IMG]

    I've never owned anything with an engine that didn't see tuning, modification, and upgrades shortly after I picked it up. I'm pretty content with the fact that I'll be changing the bike quite a bit in an effort to tailor it to my requirements and preferences (though I don't have much of the later just yet, still too green!). I'd go so far as to say that adding and tuning the farkles we throw on the machines is half the fun!

    That said, if there's a bike out there that does this better in stock trim, thus needing fewer modifications to make "right," all the better.
    #74
  15. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    937
    Location:
    Wasatch Mtns, UT
    The KLR & to a lesser extent, the DR will still be fairly piggish in truly rough terrain especially when loaded with boxes and gear. My Honda Falcon 400 is pretty much a pig at 360 wet.

    It sounds like more of what you are after would be a KTM 690 Ralley Raid Adventure. This will give you nearly vStrom power at only 313 lbs. Plus it has full MC suspension. Better yet, would be to rig up a KTM 500 exc (255lbs) with a larger tank, better seat, some soft bags and minimalist camping gear. It won't be a comfy tarmac mile muncher, but you're young and tough so comfort-smumfort. Add some super moto wheels for true urban hooliganism.:rofl:clap

    Personally, I'd go with something much more comfy given your stated uses, but I am old and soft. On all but the roughest trails, something like a Tiger 800xc handles just fine, you simply have to go slower and ride more carefully.






    [​IMG]

    with sm wheels

    [​IMG]
    #75
  16. S8W7

    S8W7 Libertarian

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    I don't think that model is available in Canada? The only 690 KTM lists on their website up here is the 690 Enduro R.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at their step up, the 990 Adventure and 990 Adventure R, they're interesting. A little heavy, but much lighter than I thought they were. Nice looking bikes, too!

    In all honesty, though, I think it all comes down to what I can find used for a decent price. So far there's not much in my area, so the search continues!
    #76
  17. LetItRoll

    LetItRoll ForwardAholic

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    North Central Idaho
    That really narrows it down, if you are needing to do 400 mile days once in a while and want to be able to leave the bike close to stock if need be, the Dr650se is going to be your best inexpensive choice for something that is still pretty good in the rougher 2 track. If you have the money or can find an affordable deal on a KTM adventure bike that of course would be great, I really like the KLR650 for most of your needs but you definetly would need to go a little slower in the dirt, a good rider can go fast in the dirt on one but it does take more mental focus than the lighter better suspended bikes and you just cant let your guard down without risk, and on a long day that can get mentally tiring. I have done 405mi. on a box stock DR650 (50/50 dirt street) you just have to stand up and move around enough to keep you butt from falling off. My friend on a Klr upon his first ride on my DR said the KLR is the Cadillac, and the Dr is the Corvette. You can do it on either but the DR takes less rider input and can get away with being a little more lazy in the dirt, and the Klr is a little more comfortable on the street.
    #77
  18. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    937
    Location:
    Wasatch Mtns, UT
    The KTM 690 Rally raid is made up from after market parts. You were primarily asking for light as I recall. You failed to mention that you were looking used and seeking a good deal. You may be able to find ktm' mid weight adv, somewhere, but they are fairly rare.

    If you are looking us you may have to settle on a klr/dr/honda xr or what ever pops up that is clean, well cared for and a good deal. There tends to be scads of klr's available, except when you are looking or course.

    Anyways, here is the link for Rally Raid, it sure looks badass, a full on dakarcicle.


    http://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/
    #78
  19. S8W7

    S8W7 Libertarian

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    In one of my overly wordy responses I've stated that I'm totally fine with aftermarket. In fact, I'm planning on it regardless of which bike I end up with as it's a large part of the fun for me. I've always modified vehicles and this will most certainly not be any different.

    Does anyone make an adventure fairing kit for the DR? I know Britannia Composites does, but are there others?
    #79
  20. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas
    #80