Great Dual Sport bikes that disappeared . . .

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Butters, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    Unfortunetely, many of us live in states where you cannot make a dirt bike street legal. But, yeah, if I could, then an IT175 would be a great ride.



    #81
  2. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Dirtyrider

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    I have a building filled with old OSSAs & Suzuki PEs. Love 'em all, but mostly look at 'em now. I sold my 'out dated 2000 DR650' and bought a 'Updated 2000 KTM LC4 640' to go along with my 03 KTM 4 stroke and 08 KTM 2 stroke(both registered and plated). KTM has figured it out and the Jap companies have not. Why did I sell my tried & true DR650? I had put 12,000+ miles on it and the electrical problems I had with it always happened out in the middle of nowhere! Suzuki needs to install a kickstart lever and upgrade this model. Its still better than the KLR(I personally hate them), but its still a street bike with high fenders NOT a real dual sport(and I tried lol). Put my leg over a KTM 640 and realized how much I disliked the DR650! Now just finding a better seat for my street ride a 650 wee Strom..life will be good!!

    BTW, grew up on Suzuki TCs & TS models..cool little bikes..ride an OSSA you'll forget your TS models!!
    #82
  3. SRG

    SRG SRG

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    I had a Bultaco Alpina 250 back in the day. Trials bike based trail bike. Light, street legal, grunty 2 stroke. It was a great bike. I would love to see a modern rendition of the Alpina - with a torquey fuel injected 4 stroke and wide ratio 6 speed. I think I just described the KTM Freeride but those seem somehow different.
    #83
  4. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    6 pages, and no one has mentioned the discontinued KING of dual-sports....the KTM 640 Adventure.
    #84
  5. Krono

    Krono Speed Junkie

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    KTM 250 gs was also a great dual bike. I had one plated in the 80s. Sorry no pics

    L
    #85
  6. tdrrally

    tdrrally Long timer

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    i had an 1980 xl500 great ds bike
    #86
  7. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    Now I know at age 67 why I just purchase a new Honda CRF250L, trying to bring back those old days back in the 60's. After owing just about all types of bikes that there are out there, I'm trying to bring back those old days just to get that feeling again. This little Honda just put a smile on my face when I rode it around the block for the first time, all I could think of was back in the days of trail riding, my smile was ear to ear. I really enjoyed reading all the post, I felt as if I were there doing it all over again. Keep up the post, very enjoyable. A little 250 might not work for most of you, but for me it's been very enjoyable. I probably can't remember how bad those bikes handled back then, but it was all cutting edge technology of its day.

    John
    #87
  8. GlennF33

    GlennF33 Been here awhile

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    I had an XT350 which was just the right size. If they had used the TT350 suspension on that bike it would have been a real winner.
    #88
  9. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I have very low standards for bikes, 6 inches of travel in the front, 4 or 5 in the back, light weight and air cooled (that seems to go together), in a 350 to 500cc size 4 stroke engine.

    But what you seem to get now is street bikes with knobby's or motocross bikes with tags.
    DR650 is to heavy but nice, the dr350 was fine, the drz is tall, water cooled and has that transmission thing.

    The Japanese used to give you a lot of choices, 90, 100, 125, 175, 250, 350, 400, 500, 650 cc's in the same basic bike, plus over the years both 2 and 4 strokes.
    Now its almost only 250 or 650 (or bigger) sizes.

    And it seems like water cooling and great suspension just makes the bikes heavier with the weight up high.
    Then, because you have a big engine, you need a huge gas tank, more weight up high.

    My first bike was a TC 90 (go rotory valve!) and a TS 185 would have been my dream bike.

    No market for some sizes these days I suppose, but then it seemed crazy to sell all those little street legal bikes in the past, cb/sl 100's,125's, my TC 90, DT100's, who was riding those things on the street?
    What could you do with a 125cc 4 stroke bike with 10 hp on the street?
    Did we need turn signals in the dirt?

    I suppose Japan does not build motorcycles for the US, we just get SOME of what the rest of the world gets.
    #89
  10. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    On my first bike, a KLR650, I quickly learned that such a pig was too heavy to be fun/not incredibly exhausting on the tighter trails I like to frequent. I also have never liked having to choose between gearing for highway or offroad. So for a few years I had a longing for a XR350R or DR350SE (the 6 speeds), since it seemed like either would be better than the KLR on both the highway and offroad minus maybe some 2-up and load capacity.

    But then the WR250R came out :clap I'm still saving for one, but I'm going to keep my Gen-1 KLR around still. Given that the Gen 2's basically took a dump on KLR heritage (not that that's saying much) IMO, the Gen-1 KLR650 itself is a "great dual sport bike that disappeared"...at least the aftermarket for them is still prime.
    #90
  11. SRG

    SRG SRG

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    Yooper Bob - When you are of a certain age the 640A still seems to be contemporary bike - hell, I had one till just the other day.
    #91
  12. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Dirtyrider

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    Bob - I mentioned it! Well the e model anyway! Lovin my 2000 640. Its the best still-modern-by-most-standards REAL dual sport motorcycle avaliable. The current Japanese offerings are not real dirtbike oriented anymore, but rather set-up and geared for the pavement. It seems most people that own D/S motorcycles around me have them setup further for pavement or their idea of offroad is a few dirt road:lol3 sections. I grew up on the 'cutting edge of their times' Suzuki TC/TS and the Yamaha DT models and ride one on occasion and would never want to have to ride one more than a few minutes in the woods. My old(er) lol body loves a tall, SUPER suspended, SUPER hp dirtbike thats street legal. The old bikes are absolutely great for nostalga but riding them seriously again??? No thanks
    #92
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I never had or tried a GOOD modern dual sport, so maybe that is why I would love most of those old bikes.
    I no longer need to go really fast or prove anything, and had great fun doing just that on a 1969 Daytona.
    What a hoot I thought that bike was, on the street or in the dirt.
    It took LOTS of work keeping it running right, but was a boat load of fun.
    The wife could go on the back for a ride in the country, I could play solo road racer, or blast down dirt roads and trails.
    No, it did not do mud holes well, or jumps, but it was just FUN to ride.
    I am still looking for something good to replace it with.
    More of a light street bike then a dirt bike.
    But almost any old 2 stroke dual sport would be fun for legal dirt riding.

    Way back when they were new, I had an IT 175 and it was a hoot, light, fast for a 175, great suspension, but mine always broke or had something wear out, on almost every ride.

    I suppose the downside of running one now would be the poor range out of a tank of gas, getting parts, and more motor work needed if you put a lot of miles on it.

    I am sure I would like a wr250 or klx 250, or the new crf if it was just me or I could have a bunch of bikes, or a Euro brand if I had a lot more money, I even thought an xt225 was great fun.


    #93
  14. heirhead

    heirhead Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    I had a Suzuki rv90 with big fat tires that rocked. Raced MX in early 70s in SoCal and most people who had pit bikes had Honda SL70s and then xr75s. Always one to be a little different and had always rode street also, I bought a RV90. Some times would race 2 classes, 6 motos at Carlsbad or Saddleback, but would always find time to ride pit bikes. One day was riding at Saddleback and went down a step slope with a gully at the bottom. Slowed down and then tried to jump it, NOT!!
    Crashed hard and was laying with the bike on top of me with what I thought the exhaust burning my leg. After not being able to get bike off me, the front brake lever with a broken off ball at end had went into my leg. Saw that it had torn through my brand new Torsten Hallman leathers and was in my leg. About 5" further down popped out of my leg. Ouch!! Was done racing for the day.
    In 1974 rode that bike in Barstow to Vegas as in 72 and 73 I broke down so I was going to ride a dependable street legal bike and finish. Had a spare 1 gallon canteen with gas as it had tiny tank, also 2 stroke, so crap mileage. Someone crashed hard and had a broken collarbone. I stopped and went back for rescue 3 to help him as they wouldn't be coming for a while. Finally took off again and got lost. Saw a couple of planes flying over the hill, thought they were following the race so went there. It was a group of small planes and had nothing to do with race. Well ran out of gas then used up canteen to get to the freeway. Had to push it a small way and hitched a ride to catch up with group. Still have pics of myself and friend racing around high school track as it was a great flat tracker.
    I really like that bike and is maybe the reason I've had 3 TW200s, also a great dual sport.

    Always lost.
    Heirhead
    #94
  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    The real hole is in the Japanese market above 250. There are no real quality dual sports other than the DRz400S. Otherwise they're all pretty much 1980s tech. The closest in big bore was the bike I ride - the KLX650C - but no one would pay the cost for the KLX over the lower tech KLR. That is the problem, the riders buying Japanese hit a price block and won't go beyond. The other good all arounder was the XL350R, specifically the 1985 model which had the best general power delivery.

    It would be great to see a modified LC MX engine 350-450 in a good dual sport chassis, but I don't think many would be willing to pay for it.
    #95
  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Problem with many of the European dual sports, possibly excepting the BMW, is the maintenance and reliability. Many dual sport riders don't want the kind of maintenance demand and sometimes the reliability in the long haul. I have 45,000 miles on a Kawasaki with almost no maintenance after replacing the OEM crap cam chain tensioner. Nothing breaking or cracking. True it isn't a great off roader due to weight, but there is a price for that weight and for my size I'd do a 400 if I did real trail riding (aka serious hills, ruts, etc) as opposed to more or less groomed trails and rutted country roads.
    #96
  17. xrcris

    xrcris Been here awhile

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    My feeling is that the DP category is so wide, whats out there is always a compromise to begin with. Do you want a plated dirt-bike to link trails together, an "adventure" type bike? Where are you going to ride? woods bike, desert bike, FS roads? If the manufacturers were to come out with a brand new model, 2/3rds of us would never even consider it. On top of that, by definition dual sporters are cheap bastards - instead of buying two bikes, we want one that can do it all - that's why I've been hanging onto my L for damn near 20 years.

    That said, it sure would be nice if we aren't going to see brand new machines, to at least get the existing ones get upgraded components; ie the suspension is out there to slap onto the DR-Z and XR-L, so why not?

    For the OP - I sure would like to see a new mini-trail that I could ride down to the grocery store on, and also throw in the back of the truck to scoot around on when camping.....
    #97
  18. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    I still do... selling is not an option.

    [​IMG]
    #98
  19. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Dirtyrider

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    #99
  20. Krono

    Krono Speed Junkie

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    How i understand you :D



    [​IMG]

    XL125

    That was my very first bike :norton

    L