Looking for a dual sport. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Rubiconnn, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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    I'm on the hunt for an affordable used dual sport, mostly for commuting. Comfort is the number one priority for me (Current bike is a CBR F2 and hour long commutes feel like my junk is getting destroyed). Fuel efficiency and ease of maintenance are second (My CBR takes about 4 hours of work to change the air filter?). I'm open to any ideas, excluding Honda due to so many bad experiences with them, but I've currently had my eyes on maybe a BMW f650 (I've owned three old BMW cars and loved them). Price range is under $3k. What do you guys think?
    #1
  2. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    Under 3k, you'll want to stay away from a BMW. You're in the ballpark of a single with not too much mileage or a twin/triple with a TON of mileage.

    You didnt mention if you would be riding 2-up, makes a huge difference on these bikes.

    I enjoyed my KLR (09) while I had it fwiw.
    #2
  3. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

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    You won't find a [good] BMW 650 for under $3k. Suzuki DR650 and Kawasaki KLR650 are basically your two choices. If you want to go smaller (more off-road biased), you might find a beat-up DRZ400 or WR250R for that price. However, they won't have the onroad wind protection or "planted-ness" of the bigger, heavier bikes on 50mph+ sections of your commute.
    #3
  4. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    Yup, you stated comfort is number one priority for the commute. Forget the smaller bikes then.

    You ruled out Honda, otherwise I might suggest scrounging a clean TransAlp 650. It could be just the ticket for you.

    Of the more recent offerings the DR650 and KLR650 are 'bout it and I'd suggest the gen 2 KLR (2008+) over the DR if comfort for the commute is priority. The added wind protection really helps on the freeway. But you'll be bumping the price range at $3k, but you can find them.

    Most other choices are going to be more $$$. You can probably find a Kawi Versys 650 twin for close to $3,500 and a touch above that will get you into a Vstrom 650. Both are significantly more comfortable on the freeway.

    You'll need to get into the $5k range for a used BMW F650GS if it's in decent shape and I don't think you want a clapped out one.
    #4
  5. theloop

    theloop Been here awhile

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    650 V Strom.
    #5
  6. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    This is the beast section. If you're looking for a dual sport maybe post in the thumpers section.
    #6
  7. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    +1

    Going back and reading your mission statement about an hour long commute I'd have to say save up the extra $$$ to get yourself a decent Vstrom 650. I did a quick search on cycletrader and you can get into a decent Vstrom 650 (Wee) for $3-4k pretty easily.

    It WILL give you the comfort you are looking for, be as reliable as a hammer, and you can do some exploring off the pavement without too much to fear.

    The Vstrom 1000 seat is more comfortable (and slightly taller) and will slip right on in place of the 650 seat.
    #7
  8. Mulewright

    Mulewright Old Fart/Journeyman

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    No question for your stated usage; 650 V Strom all the way.
    I've had a '08 KLR650.... a great bike for it's intended purpose, but not likely a fit for your stated application. :gerg
    #8
  9. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    DL650 does have a reputation of being very reliable (and for a good reason), but I don´t think this is in any way guaranteed in ´well used $3-4k category´. Statistically, they are probably still more reliable than many other bikes with similar age/mileage, though. But any bike´s true condition at that stage depends on previous users, and maintenance.

    And it´s is not a dual-sport, it is a streetbike with some marginal off-road capability. A DR650 will beat the crap out of it off-road, but on the highways it´s the other way round.
    #9
  10. the_doc

    the_doc Street Convert

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    I am in a similar situation... Hour commute, Comfort / Fuel Eff, Low price. I think the KLR 650 probably a strong option due to the availability. At any given time Craigslist is full of KLRs that would fit the bill. Grab one of those until you can put the money together for that Beemer 650, (or bigger).
    #10
  11. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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    #11
  12. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    under 3K is single-cyl category.
    DR650 or old KLR or really old Beemer.
    the DR is an anvil. do a teenie bit of routine maintenance and it will outlive you. the trick is finding one.
    BUT, you will have zero wind/rain protection. you can try the many solutions the rest of us have tried, and you will conclude what I just said at the end of a long and grueling quest.
    The KLR may be marginally better in that regard, with one of the various tall fairings. But the 2 bikes, to my physique are VERY VERY different to ride. i obviously much prefer the venerable DR.

    save your money and for somewhere either side of $4K you can eventually pickup a Weestrom DL650. Ultra comfy. about the same mileage if not a tad better as the DR or KLR. I know guys that have the coin to buy anything they want, and swear the DL650 is the "least fatiguing" bike they've owned. very much the long distance friend

    #12
  13. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    No arguments there. I read the mission statement and concluded the dual sport reference was more about comfortable ergos than any real serious off-road treks.

    I routinely commute on my KLR about 30 minutes one way and have done hour commutes many times in my life on other bikes. If I was looking at an hour commute and considering a KLR or DL, I'd choose the DL in a heart beat even if it had 2x the mileage on it.

    The DL has fuel injection, a 6 spd gearbox, gets equal or better mpg than a KLR and is infinitely smoother with no exaggeration. The other aspect is the KLR feels very nervous on the freeway while the DL is much more stable which allows you to relax more.
    #13
  14. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Long days on dirt roads and it'll be the DR riders whining in pain and slabbing it to the accomodation while the DL's do the extra three hours optional dirt loop.

    The DL isn't a dirt bike agreed, and yes, it's 5-10kph slower on tight stuff - but dirt roads, oh yes, it eats those and will leave you still able to walk without crying at the end of the day.

    Pete
    #14
  15. John Ashman

    John Ashman Adventurer Wannabe

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    Why not? Not EVERY BMW owner thinks their broken and beaten ride is still the very best thing ever created after 40,000 miles. Just most of them.

    Thank God for the CB500X. "No thanks, I'll just get a new motorcycle".
    #15
  16. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    I notice that the OP is in the East Bay (California). Depending on his commute route, that one hour could only be 20 miles or so :) A DR650 (I have one) is just fine. A DL650 (I have one also, and use it a lot for my one hour commute, more like 40 miles) is even better. I paid well under $3K for my then 5 year old DR, and just over $4K for my then 5 year old DL ... both in Bay Area used-market prices (which I think are higher than many other places in the US).

    -dman
    #16
  17. Superstar

    Superstar Been here awhile

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    DL650 followed by DR650.

    Forget a KLR IMO.
    #17
  18. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

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    Yes this exactly.
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  19. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    At under $3,000 - condition will be everything... Any 650 will do fine.
    Try and find a bike that has low mileage and has not been abused. There will be tons of worn out beat up crap coming your way. Be prepared to do some work such as cleaning a carb, replacing a tire or bleeding brake fluid. Hold out for a bike where the owner quit riding, early on.
    Good luck!
    #19
  20. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    +1. If you're patient, you'll find a great deal. It'll probably be exactly the kind of bike RideDualSport describes. You're going to want something that's been sitting for a while. Not too long, though, because seals and O-rings dry out and shrink when a bike sits for years and years. Hopefully you can find someone who got a bike to ride with his buddies or because he thought it would make him look cool, then never really rode it and now his wife is making him clear out the garage. :lol3
    #20