Best All Around Dual Sport Bike?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by BerndM, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Big Mistake onWheels

    Big Mistake onWheels Banned

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    I haven't read that about the Tenere's low end grunt being deficient , at least compared to the GS. I hope not because that GS low end torque is the greatest beauty of that bike.Kinda amazing,really. I guess I'll find out. Can always slip the clutch.Hate that. The torque figures on both bikes are similar,but haven't seen a comparison at lower RPMs.True, going into nasties with an expensive beemer is cause for pause,but I found I rode it better because of that. Terror has it's uses.Never dropped it bad. Knock on wood.
    #41
  2. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

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    That could definately be a contender IMHO

    Topo bad outfitting it is soooo expensive

    But, I do love my KTM 950 Super Enduro (many say it's the best bike they've ever owned)!
    #42
  3. Kegler

    Kegler Adventurer

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    First off, I'm a cheap SOB, but hear me out.

    I got tired of having to pass up dirt/gravel road adventures while riding my 1981 Honda CB900 dresser, so for 20 cents on the dollar ($4000) I bought a 1995 BMW R1100GS with 50K miles to serve as my "adventure" bike. It's my primary street/commuter bike, will cover long distances in complete comfort, and I can turn down any dirt/gravel road to see what is at the end of it. Did I mention it handles like a sport bike and what torque.......

    Next, I was growing tired of loading up my 1985 Yamaha YZ490 MXer in the back of my truck and hauling it 1-2 hours to a place to ride it. At 52 years of age, I was getting tired of kicking the beast to start it too. I decided to replace it with a nice 1995 Suzuki DR350SE ($1200) that came with a license plate, electric start, resonable weight, and is air cooled (can you say simple). It ain't no race bike, but it serves as my dirtbike and can be ridden on the street too.

    For me there is no one bike that will cover all of my biking needs, but these two cover 95% of them and the combined cost was less than a new KLR.

    Of course, there are costs associated with purchasing used bikes, but you can find great buys if you are patient and I don't pay the 30% depreciation of a new bike when you drive it out of the showroom.

    Did I mention I'm a cheap SOB.........
    #43
  4. Ed~

    Ed~ What, Me Worry?

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    Interesting... Your DR350 is a good buy but being so "economical" I wonder why you didn't bother looking for a 200X KLR with under 5K miles for under $2500?

    That's what I did after taking my R100GS into Canyonlands (Moab) with two other friends riding KLR's. The big Airhead did OK on the rocks but wallowed and fell twice in the sands. Great on the highway but too much work on loose surfaces.

    The economics of owning a motorcycle is NOT only the purchase price, but the price of parts and service (if you don't work on them yourself). Oilhead GS's (with their e-wizardry) are certainly more expensive to maintain than Airheads as a result of service costs IMHO. Certainly more than the KLR.

    I hate the way the KLR rides. I love the way it gets me there and back with confidence. But Locktite is my friend.
    #44
  5. Kegler

    Kegler Adventurer

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    Actually I did buy a 2006 KLR to replace my original Honda 900, but I wasn't satisfied with it on the road and certainly would not want to ride it as my only dirt bike (remember I was replacing a MXer). I think the reason I was not happy with it was I was coming from a fully dressed multi-cylinder touring bike. Understand I am not knocking the KLR, it just didn't suit me. The BMW will handle my touring requirements with even more comfort than my old 900 and it will go down dirt/gravels that I would never attempt on the 900.
    #45
  6. Lank

    Lank Been here awhile

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    Kinda have had one of em all and dirt and mud and sand and rocks and inclines and steep grades and tight corners and stuff to trip on make for what some would think is dual sport territory. But notice how most pictured "dual sports" are clean and the back tire is ground off from asphalt riding. So if you wanna ride is the "stuff" get a bike that you can pick up and one that you can afford to fix. Prob not a GS, prob not a KLR. I ride a GS and it loves dirt roads but its just a street bike with a cool look. Now an XRL or similar mid size bike probably will get you home, you just won't be the coolest lookin dude in the parking lot. Of course you can always "farkle" it so you can have braggin rights.
    #46
  7. Tooth

    Tooth State of Jefferson

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    Replace, shocks, springs, SW Mo-tech bars and seat.....its a great off road bike and it does not hurt to drop it.....$$$$$
    It holds a good amount of gas...
    I bought the 1200GSA for 2-up riding.....my friend weighs only 105 soaking wet but I felt that I was asking for trouble attempting the forest roads here in Oregon loaded with "stuff" and the princess on back.
    I am no dual sport giant and would not even attempt what many of you call routine but the KLR is a MULE.....and cheap to feed. It is what it is $5000 worth of being able to do everything and nothing well.
    I have a Corbin seat on mine and it is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned....
    #47
  8. bykemike

    bykemike "ready to navigate"

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    KLR 650..without a doubt
    #48
  9. Xmoto

    Xmoto Death Race

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    I am thinking of getting a second bike that is street legal but will be used for single track or rough trail riding that I dont want to risk damaging my GS. I have been looking at the KTM 530 or 525. I would be getting the second bike used. ??
    #49
  10. HeadShrinker

    HeadShrinker www.good-adv.com

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    I think a great contender is the BMW X Challenge. I just spent a week on this bike and only have great things to say. While its no KTM 300 in the woods, it does hold its own on single track, do slab fairly comfortable, spanks other bikes in the twisties, and has a good suspension. It puts a KLR/DRL/XRL to shame.

    I put a huge duffle on the rear and with the soft bags had enough stuff for a week. I also have an 06 GSA and I feel they are a great balance. Sometimes figuring out what to ride is the hardest part.

    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. Texmoto1

    Texmoto1 Adventure Berzerker

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    The answer to that question lies 100% in what kind of "dual sporting" you do. My idea of dual sporting gets broken down. version A) dual sporting: using paved or unpaved roads only for connecting trails. For this I use a WR250F with a license plate but otherwise a full blown dirt bike. I wont run into a GS or a KLR on these trails! version B) dual sporting: Using Highways, Goat trails, dirt roads, and some mild single track and dual track thrown in. I take my GS on these. This is the same type trip I would probably use a KLR on if I had one. I have allways tried to figure out 1 bike that could do it all and I just cant find one. The closest might be something like a Husqvarna 610/630. More of a dirt bike than a KLR or GS but still has enough motor to handle a highway or 2.
    #51
  12. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    KLR with a Moab shock, Ricor fork valves, and a 685 kit (with a bit of easy head work) will blow your mind... totally different feel. Very close to the KTM 640, & yes I've ridden them side by side. My KLR will wheelie with the throttle... even with my 16 tooth highway gear (for comfortable 75/80 all day cruise). I can drop the front cog as low as 13 teeth for root pulling low end power. All that stuff costs about $1200. Is tittying up a KLR putting lipstick on a pig?... sure, why not. And BTW, no, the KLR is not that close to a GS... not even. Riding the KLR off road is like being on a bicyle by comparison. I have both. And my buddies tell me that to get the most out of my GS off road I need to put on the Ohlins... at $1400. And what about the gearing? Too tall really for some places I ride... should I put in an Adventure tranny to get a better 1st gear? Nope, my decision is to just use it where it works.

    As others have said... it really depends on what duelsporting means to you. The DR650 is good right out of the box... the DRZ is better, but both need a seat that isn't butt floss. The newer crop of 250's are great. The more mud... the lighter the bike.
    #52
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I too have pondered this for many a day.

    Suzuki DRZ400
    or
    Suzuki DR650

    To me the KLR 650 is a joke. It's an old design and feels like it.

    I'm hearing more and more about RTW riders on DR650, they keep saying "bullet proof" and you can't say that about a KLR 650, they are a pain in the ass maintenance wise, under powered and just an 'old fashioned' ride.

    I think you will find in the coming years that DR650 has taken over from the Kawasaki.

    What do I know? I have a BMW R1150GS and a Yamaha TW200! I'm not afraid to 'try' and go ANYWHERE on the TW, steep, up, down, across, water, sand, mud, dirt, gravel, sure I've dropped it many times trying.
    The 1150GS.......there is NO WAY I could do the things I do on the TW, just NO WAY. IMHO the BMW is not a Dual Sport bike, it's 'Dual Sport styling'.

    I like a 250 Dual Sport, but for long distances the maintenance is just too high.

    The benchmark bike used to be the DRZ400, methinks it will be the DR650.
    #53
  14. Lank

    Lank Been here awhile

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    MHO the BMW is not a Dual Sport bike, it's 'Dual Sport styling'.

    I say you are right with that comment. Did a nice 80 mile dirt road trip with my GS and my brother on my KLR. When its over he busted my scroats by saying that he could of made it with his Gold Wing. I thought I was doing something on the GS. Dry hard conditions are good with anything, wet, muddy and slimey no good with anything but a dirt bike. A GS is one heavy pig when that front end plows out on you but is a great street bike.
    #54
  15. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile

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    The KLR gets my vote for the 650 class DS bikes, thou I have not tried out the DR650 yet.
    #55
  16. kindberg

    kindberg MANA

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    :freaky
    I cannot agree more with you,I own a BMW r1200 GS Adventure and would not trade that bike for the world.
    I also have an 09 KLR fully farkeld out and it is exactly how you described it.
    Very well put.
    #56
  17. NONAME13

    NONAME13 NONAME13

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    KLR owned three ok bike when modded but boring it does the job takes abuse and there easy to sell. Honda ct 90 110 trail it does the job too easy to work on real rear rack with extra fuel tank snorkel air intake and exaust under seat tank light weight some have gun racks and last dual range transmition these machines go any where with good gas milage and cheap insurance. Trail 110 gets my vote slower than my HP but fun as hell all hail the mighty CT!
    #57
  18. RacerXS

    RacerXS Been here awhile

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    The only solution is to have 2 bikes, I tried for many years to have the best "all around dual sport"......there isnt one. KLR's suck, I had one.

    I settled on a TE450 & a GS1200, what suits you is going to be different based on your needs.
    #58
  19. jsb223

    jsb223 ADV Rookie

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    I've got the DRZ400S.

    I have an "E" also but is strictly off-road.

    Light enough to pickup again and again loaded without straining something.

    The 400 does have a radiator but with the guards they can take a pretty rough spill
    and not cause problems.

    Fuel and load capacity is an issue and IMHO that's why the KLR keeps
    getting mentioned.

    If the DRZ ever goes away I'll probably get either a DR650 or XL650.

    The orange stuff looks great but it's pricey.
    #59
  20. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

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    My 12 Adventure (The Big Ugly) and my modded 06 KLR (KiLleR). Perfect combo for me. I don't do single track or trails. For rough ranch roads and anything called a public road, KiLleR has proven to be indestructible (Oh, shit. What have I done?) I have EM raising links and stiff front suspension (springs, spacers, heavyweight oil) on KiLleR. (And lots of other bolt upgrades, braces, etc.)

    Big giant Hyper-Pro springs on the Big Ugly. Have done some rough stuff. Barely O.K. if it will end quickly (like one bad section) but too much weight for a hour, much less all-day. Class II roads? All day long and mucho fun with a TKC front and a 90/10 rear.

    The little 450's are great, and if I had a desire to do single track that would be the ticket, but I don't think many people on one could leave Tombstone, run over to 191 up to Alpine, head over to Reserve , hit the mountain dirt for 50 miles and then head to Deming for the night . 505 miles WFO. KiLleR never stumbled, never complained. Next day , big dirt near Cloudcroft that the Big Ugly would have had trouble with (with me on her). It'll never be like my nephews KTM's but........they couldn't have made that trip without blowing something up.

    And KiLleR ain't worth shit. If you are Mexico and somebody wants it? Hell, give it to them. ;)

    So.... The question is, how ya gonna use it?
    #60