First bike, what to look for?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Dropsix, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Dropsix

    Dropsix Adventurer

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    I have done some pretty good research on all the brands and all the dual sport bikes out there. I plan to ride 50% gravel roads/dirt roads and the other half street. I live in the country so I would only use it on country roads and not highways. I've looked at everything from the 250cc bikes such as the WR250R and KLX250S to the Honda XR650L and KLR 650.

    This would be my very first bike. I am however a responsible 32 year old with a perfect driving record. I drive manual transmission cars and own an old 75 Honda MR50 which I ride around for fun on our property.

    Also, I am 6'3 and 230lbs.

    Just wondering what you experienced folk would recommend for someone in my situation? Thanks in advance!
    #1
  2. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    out of the ones you picked i would go for the xr650l for your size. they are pretty good on and off road with the right set of tires.
    #2
  3. DR650SEDDY

    DR650SEDDY ride2discover

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    WR450F, DR650SE (modded), KTM450EXC, last but not least DRZ400.
    #3
  4. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Wr250r
    dr-z400s
    te610/630
    #4
  5. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    The new 2013 CRF250L Honda hauls my big a -- everywhere, 6'1", 235, what else could you ask for a $4499.00. Go ride one and you decide. Riding off road is nothing like riding on the street, it's a whole new world, 650 bikes can be very intimating for a new rider.

    John
    #5
  6. Dropsix

    Dropsix Adventurer

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    How does it feel cruising at 50-70mph for longer periods?
    #6
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Klr 650
    #7
  8. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    KLR.. You are from the country so you are very familiar with tractors :rofl

    Seriously though, most likely the cheapest bike to get into, and as an all arounder it's hard to beat.
    #8
  9. SkiBumBrian

    SkiBumBrian DualSport Crazy !!

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    As you can see, the answers you get will be as diverse as number of bikes available. All I will say is if you are going to be doing much asphalt at all go for the bigger displacement thumpers. The small ones are great for tight single track but lack luster on the road.
    #9
  10. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    Dropsix, it sucks as far as I'm concerned over 60+, the bike just doesn't have the power for that type of highway speeds. I have a BMW 650 Dakar for the road if needed. The Honda is a blast to ride within its limits, plus the original poster ask for a bike for dirt, gravel, and back county roads which this Honda will do just fine and it will put a big grin on your face.

    John
    #10
  11. NesquikNinja

    NesquikNinja Been here awhile

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    I did about 400 miles all highway in he past two days with mine after a $20 mod and it did fantastic. Rsin wind and all.
    #11
  12. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    I have owned an XRL650, DR650 and DRZ400. For what you want to do, DRZ all the way. It is just much better behaved off road and it does quite well up to about 75mph on the road too.
    #12
  13. Falcon86

    Falcon86 I just work here.

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    DRZ400S.

    You'll love it.
    #13
  14. where2next?

    where2next? Map guy

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    Drz 400S. If you are that big you will find a 250 small if you plan on riding on or off road for any length of time at all. skip the big iron. unless you are looking at a KTM or a BMW it was all designed last century. DRZ's are cheap too. round my way they can be had for less than a KLR and don't require $$$ to make them reliable or rideable. Ever heard of the dohickey? yeah, it's a critical KLR engine component that is so unreliable that changing it out is the first order of business for KLR owners. Is that what you want to pay for? FYI high mileage for a DRZ is ~80'000km. in my area you never see one with more than 20'000 meaning that most are basically still new.
    #14
  15. Dropsix

    Dropsix Adventurer

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    Quite a few votes for the DRZ.

    I do like them. I'll go have a look at them at the shop after work today. Hopefully I can find a good used one.

    About the KLR though, aren't they supposed to be one of the most reliable and cheap bikes to maintain?
    #15
  16. where2next?

    where2next? Map guy

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    DRZ is just as reliable I think and its twice the bike that a KLR is stock. The KLR is better on the highway though, especially the newer ones with fairings and a windshield. I would submit that the maintenance costs of bikes on a per mile basis is mostly tires, chains, air filters and crash damage so there shouldn't be much difference between the 2. Both bikes are proven designs with long track records of reliability over the years. The difference is that the KLR needs serious upgrades as soon as you buy it and that can get expensive. don't forget that you will need to buy protective gear etc for the road and insurance so buying something that intimidately needs $$$ poured into it is just a hidden cost. I suppose given an equal purchase price for a stock DRZ and a highly modified KLR it would come down to riding style, fit, and expected use. At 6'2 you might prefer the taller DRZ to the shorter KLR and your weight would argue for the bike with better suspension which is a major edge that the DRZ has over the KLR.
    #16
  17. Buliwyf

    Buliwyf Been here awhile

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    The DRZ is easy to disguise as a far cooler machine as well.

    Edge tail light and a modern looking headlight replacment and it's a darn cool looking bike. I'll post pics when I finish mine.
    #17
  18. SkiBumBrian

    SkiBumBrian DualSport Crazy !!

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    That "last century" technology has advantages; tried and true, reliable, and long maintenance intervals. But, like has been said, they are heavy and left stock, underpowered.
    The DRZ is damn nice but you never said how much street you were doing and if it included highway. There is much to be said for comfort when you spend a long time in the saddle.
    I think all the opinions are great but you really need to get on a dirt oriented bike and ride both dirt and street and then try one of the heavier road oriented DS bikes and try that.
    I am 6'1", 240 and fit. I chose one of the heavy DS bikes cuz I can handle the extra weight off road but can ride all day on the highway in comfort.:deal
    #18
  19. CHECK_OIL

    CHECK_OIL Been here awhile

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    The green drz's are faster......:deal:lol3

    Just got back from a weekend at Hatfield McCoy trails in the hills of WV. Plenty of power and soft enough not to tire you out after a long day of trails...

    Every now and then I take it to work.... does 65 to 70 without the wobble...

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. DR650SEDDY

    DR650SEDDY ride2discover

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    A DRZ400 can be easely modded to fit ur need and type of riding you decide to do without breaking you bank account. Parts and after market stuff are available for cheap when u need them. It have 2 major flows that can be fixed with simple mods.
    1- It comes with 5 speed. Lots of riders would prefer 6th gear for freeway rides. It help keep the revs down. Solution: play the gearing to find the sweet spot that fits ur riding.
    2- The seat is horrible for long distance rides (cross country or so). It can be replace with a better comfy one. (seat concept, Corbin, etc...).
    #20