Trading a Street Bike for a Thumper Dual Sport

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mikem9, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    Do what I did: Get a 2008+ KLR (2nd Gen), and put it on a diet.

    with some simple mods, I have no problem lifting the front end in second gear, and I have comfort and power for the highway - 100km/h at 4400rpm, 130km/h at 5000rpm - how fast do you really want to slab on a dirtbike anyway?

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    #21
  2. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    To the OP - I'd keep both if I could do it.

    I came from the same thing... a pure street bike, bought a DR650, sold the street bike to make room ... and I was on a tighter budget.

    But I'm in a strange place (south east Florida) where the DR650's charm isn't always available. It's certainly better for shorter distance commuting than I used to do, but there are times I miss the street bike.

    I think it's gonna wholly depend on where you live, and the routes and roads/trails you have available to you. There are parts of the country where the DR650 would be 90% of all the bike you'd ever need, and then places like here where it's more like 25% to 30%.
    #22
  3. DaveHunter

    DaveHunter Adventurer

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    Because of some other debts I've decided to sell my Honda ST1300. I just don't ride it like it is intended and I don't ride it to work anymore, so it's only had about 4000 miles put on it this year. Previous years were 3 times that. I just don't take long trips like that and I've never been comfortable riding the pig on gravel roads. I can pick her up from a drop but at 750# it ain't easy.
    Enter old thumper! I bought an old '94 Honda XR650L Labor Day weekend. I'm enjoying the shit out of this bike. Once I got it running. I trailered it down to Galton, PA last week for a DS ride with some buddies. I wasn't up to riding it 340 miles one way and I wasn't sure I could trust it. It was a good choice. I was beat after a 200 mile day Saturday! Locally I'm having a blast on this old bike. I got on some logging roads yesterday that were a real kick. Shit ass grin on my face as I went where most other bikes can't. Or even 4x4 trucks. I've dropped it twice already in the crap and at 350-ish #'s, I've been able to pick her up easy and almost zero damage. I wish I could have been able to afford a little nicer one but WTF, it's a dirt bike! Who cares what it looks like?
    #23
  4. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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    I would agree with others here. I have a KLR, and when it comes to strictly road riding, I want something with a bit more oomph, and better breaks. A Wee Strom, Versys, or even a Honda NC700 would be much better then a DR650 for what you want, unless you build it like this one :evil

    2000 Suzuki DR650 790cc Big bore many extras, Long Island NY
    #24
  5. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    Have you got all the oomph out of your KLR? Have you done the MC mod? I did that and it was like a different bike. I also have the KLX needle, and an aftermarket exhaust. Stainless braided brake lines are like night & day in respect to brake performance.
    #25
  6. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    While I don't know how much 'oomph' can be brought out of a KLR, I will admit that the 2008 (so newer model) that I rode seemed much more the stable street bike alternative compared to my DR650. I bought the DR650 for weight and such, but I'm pretty sure a KLR650, 2009 or newer, would have made me just as happy up to this point.

    As for believeability... Stainless brake lines, IMHO, reduce the flex, and make the brake activate the brakes harder, earlier, but they don't do anything in as far as brake performance on any bike I've tried them on. Feel - yes; performance - no. Now if part of a brake system's falures were modulation, then perhaps the reduced flxed of braided lines would aid the rider.
    #26
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I see a fly-n-ride in the OP's future. That bike would fit the bill. Still not quite going to keep up with sport bikes in the straightaways, but would be hard to catch in the twisties. It would make for fun banter/debates with the buddies.
    #27
  8. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    If you already have a proper dirt bike, get a twin for the road and some light off-road. A single just ain't gonna match a twin on the road, no way. Even more so, if your buddies ride powerful road bikes, and you fancy to somehow keep up with them.
    #28
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    OK then, you've pretty well answered your own question.

    So, might I suggest you look at tires for your Bandit of the more correct type for adv riding? If all you want is dirt road capability, you can do that with tires alone.

    If you really wanted to, you could fabricate a skid plate, and get a different front fender.
    #29
  10. davethegoat

    davethegoat bahhh....bah...

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    Your Bandit is every bit as capable as your buddies' CB750, Concourse, and BMWs. As mentioned, just get a set of more aggressive tires if you plan on doing gravel and dirt.
    #30
  11. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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    I've added exhaust, L-modded the air box, no-toil filter. I have not messed with the internals of the carb because it runs perfectly, the spark plug looks just like it should, and it regularly gets 55+ mpg. If I screw with anything I will likely get very minimal power gains and a big drop in fuel mileage, and it's my daily driver. I like only having to fill it up once every two weeks to get to work and back. These mods helped a bunch (in stock form it got 40-45 mpg) but I doubt it has much more than 40hp. I've also done fork springs, shock, and braided brake lines. It will do 100 mph anytime I want it to,(as long as it's not uphill or in a headwind :lol3 ) but it's not happy about it, with not really much reserve passing power above 75-80 mph. And even with SS break lines, the breaks are still terrible for aggressive road riding. I love it for an all around bike, but when I just need to get somewhere involving lots of pavement, or I really want to carve it up on paved twistys, it pretty much blows.

    highjack off

    OP. I would look elsewhere besides a big single if you still regularly road ride with friends. I would look at either of the three twin cylinder bikes I previously mentioned. One of those three will likely be my next bike (I will keep the KLR though)
    #31
  12. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    Thanks for the discussion all. Good things to consider. I think for now I'm going to just keep the Bandit. I've ordered some new handlebars that are a little higher and wider. (Dale's Holeshot sport touring bars). Hopefully this will make occasionally standing feel a little more natural and give better handling in the twisties.

    I'm also going to either try to add an inch to my seat or get some 1 inch lowered pegs to improve the peg to seat distance for a hip issue.

    For occasional forest roads, I'm fine with the Pilot Road III's I'm running. Traction doesn't seem to be a big issue for the kind of riding we typically do, but I think I will appreciate wider bars.

    We often buzz up to the Blue Ridge Parkway or other parts of the NC/Tenn/Virginia mountains. The ride from here (North Atlanta Metro) to there will go alot better with the Bandit.
    #32
  13. judobiker

    judobiker Been here awhile

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    I traded my Bandit last year and really wish I hadn't. I had bar risers and aftermarket bars, delkevic exhaust, and dales hole shot stage 1 kit on it. It was a blast to ride and was comfortable on all day rides after I got the bars set up right. I took it on every forest service road in Rabun county and never had any issues, although I was careful not to smash the header on a rock.
    #33
  14. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    I have a sport tourer and yet still riding my 650 KLR to Death Valley, CA (from FL!) for offroading. Tire change when i reach the west :lol3
    #34
  15. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    I had a 2001 1200N Bandit. It is the one bike I wish I never sold!!!! I had Renthal dirt bike bars on mine, it was an extremely comfortable bike. I also had a fox clicker shock on the rear. That bike was a sleeper, tons of torque, it ate rear tires.
    #35
  16. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    thanks for the continued sharing of info.

    Interesting - I've read or heard from several folks who've sold their Bandits and who now wish they didn't sell them.
    #36
  17. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Some of the previous posts are laughable. Something must have been wrong with the DR they were riding.

    Unless your buddies ride like they want to go to jail, a sorted DR will keep up fine on the road.

    People that can't comfortably ride a DR on something more technical than a dirt road really need to check out the bike they're on or examine their technique. The bike is capable of a hell of a lot more than that. The DR will run hilly Texas pasture or pillowy Florida sand berms without breaking a sweat. It'll run dunes, beaches, quad trails, creekbeds, mud holes, whoops, and even singletrack. Just don't expect it to hop big logs like a trials bike, or thread through muddy roots at an enduro race pace.

    I'm not even that good of a dirt rider, I'm fairly short (5'8"/30" inseam), and I only use a full-on knobby on the front frequently. The rear just gets an inexpensive, long-wearing DS tire like a Kenda K761 or K270. A sorted DR rides trails like a heavy, cushy, vintage enduro. It'll then cruise down the interstate better than many mid-sized '80s standards.

    Now...If you want a bike that will pin your eyeballs back in their sockets from a roll-on at 80MPH, you'll want something with more cylinders, and a LOT more power, like a Tiger 800XC. If you want a bike to competitively race enduros with, you'll want something at least 75lb lighter, like your KTM 400. But if you want a bike that can comfortably take you all over the continent, offroad or on, without costing an arm and a leg, the DR is a good candidate to look at.
    #37
  18. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    Put some new, higher and wider bars on my Bandit today. (Dale's Holeshot Sport Touring Bars). Whew, was more work than I imagined - re-routing cables, drilling holes and making the bar end holes bigger for stock bar ends etc. Dale is a nice guy and helpful - he returns emails regularly and I even spoke to him on the phone.

    Will be testing them this week.

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    #38
  19. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    Once you have a bike you love, don't give it up! Those bars look nice. Let us know how they ride!
    #39
  20. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    :freaky

    I have a 2005 Bandit 1200S, and I behave badly on that motorcycle :eek1 Personally, the one fault of the Bandit is it isnt worth shit, so why bother selling it? Keep it. Use that for running with your buds on mountain roads, and consider a reliable thumper as well.

    I also have a 2008 DR650. I love it. Since you have the KTM, getting some dependable dirty-capable bike like a WR250R doesnt serve much purpose. I think, if you like dirt and also like cruising street, the DR is about the perfect bike. Ill toss the XR650L on there as well (hope youre tall). The DR is no KTM and it wont go fast offroad, but it will go many places if you have the balls or skill. Take as much weight off it as you can, armor it up (still be about 7-10 lbs lighter than stock), and ride it around.

    Good luck. Ill actually read the rest of the thread now :lol3

    **EDIT** You might also consider a KTM 690. It seems to last before rebuilds as Noahs KTM is proving. It prolly wont be as faultless as most old school thumpers, but it has a lot of balls and it will haul ass on the street or in the dirt. Expensive though..

    **EDIT2** After reading the thread :lol3, I see youre basically looking at a streetbike that does dirt roads. What about something like a KTM 950 or 990? That will easily handle dirt and gravel (and prolly more) but will be pretty fast on the road..

    Dont believe that a DR cant do more than fire roads. I suck offroad and ive done way waaay more than that. You could build up one with a 790 kit and big valve head and gsxr exhaust and cam and all that, but a 990 is still going to ruin it on the street. It seems to me a big KTM is more what you need than a DR.. Just IMO
    #40