Trying to pick out my first dual purpose bike. This is hard.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Johnny Tarr, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. divimon2000

    divimon2000 Been here awhile

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    The height issue of a klr or Dakar goes away quick. I'm 5'8 and have no problems. Try it. I'd get a used Dakar or new klr.
    #21
  2. 71olds

    71olds Motorholic

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    Ok I have had a DR650 XR650l DRZ400s & KLR650.

    I am 5'11 205

    DR650 is the lowest has a super soft suspension feels lighter then it is as the seat hight is so low.
    Sold it to a buddy who still has it with no problems ever.
    I then bought a XR650l Bike was tall way way way better suspension then the DR650 but hated it on rocks as it was too tall for me then lowered it with a lowering link & slid the fork tubes & it turned the bike around for me. oved it & still miss it
    Sold it to buy my Husky te510
    At the same time I bought a DRZ400 as tall as the XR but more slim so I did not need to lower it, Bike has been great heads & tails better then the DR or XR off road but I have modded the bike so that it it worthless for anything then connecting the trails. But was pretty lousy street bike.

    Well now I have 2 pretty much all off road bikes so I bought a KLR650 If I only had 1 bike this may be it. Will go anywhere the DR or XR will go but not as fast. Bike is heavy and feels like it.

    So the question is how much street use will you do?? you have a street bike so I would kick the KLR out because of that.
    Then If you want to ride 5 miles to the trails & then ride some single track I would go DRZ400

    If you want to be able to commute to work 25 miles & still ride trails I would go DR650 or XR650l
    DR650 will be more forgiving to learn on the low seat will inspire confidence & soft suspenion will take less out of you at a moderate pace.
    When you get better & faster the DR650 will bottom & feel underspung & you will want a XR650l.

    My suggestion is to buy used & after a year you will know what you want.

    Also the KLR & DR650 have a odd 17in rear tire makes for less choice of tires not a big deal but something to think about I think the Dr350 has a 18in rear & if you change the rear rotor will bolt up.

    Also spent some time on a DR350s. This bike is super easy to lean on granny 1st low seat super soft. & not a lot of power. Great learning dual sport but you will sell it after a season for one of the others.
    #22
  3. Chill

    Chill Been here awhile

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    DR650 is 5 speed.

    I'll chime in another +1 for the DR. I have one. I know there are a lot of KLR Vs DR debates. I have owned 3 Kawasaki road bikes and was given a KLR as a courtesy bike each time they went in for any work. They are big and seem to have a lot of breakable plastic bits but I have no evidence they they would break off. All I know is that after being a kwakka boy for years (ZX6, Z1000, ZX10) I bought a DR and am very happy with it.
    #23
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    #24
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    DR650 has a wider ratio 5 spd
    DRZ400 has a narrow ratio 5 spd.
    if you spend time on the hwy above 60 you'll not like the DRZ
    #25
  6. bobbed06

    bobbed06 Cavalera Conspirator

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    Very Nice XRL :freakyI will add a well prepped DRZ for those that wanna see what a few bucks and work will do for the DRZ 400S.

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. Johnny Tarr

    Johnny Tarr n00b

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    Since people are wondering how much time on the stree vs how much time in the dirt:

    The average excursion this bike is intended for is 200-500 miles of highway followed by a few days of off road of varying extremes, then the trip back home. I need whatever I get to be reliable too, because it will likely be what I take into Mexico next year. Preferably something I can fix myself.

    If it matters, I'm also considering a Ural. And yeah, to all the people recommending Suzuki, I haven't ruled them out yet, its just a an hour to the nearest dealer so I haven't been up close with them yet.

    And to the guy with the honda, I respect that the look works for some people. For me its the matte red and white, and the headlight that I can't throw in with.

    Note I said highway, not interstate. I don't take bikes onto the slab, so we're talking 55-65 mph speeds.

    edit, more info: Price range is 2-6k, but I'd like to stay under 4 (used).
    #27
  8. big_papa_nuts

    big_papa_nuts n00b

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    Seat height isn't much of an issue under real world conditions, and the are multiple options to lower a KLR.

    KLR is a great bike on the highway, best of the 650 and under options especially for the price, and good enough off road to get you there. But I will say it doesn't handle actually trails, especially more technical ones, that well. So if you intend on riding it like a dirt bike (at all) you'd be better off modding a XRL, DR, DRZ or similar to be better on the highway then trying to take a KLR on the trails.

    I'm actually thinking of dumping the KLR for a DRZ just to be able to ride the trails more. And I wouldn't be afraid to ride it across the county, with a few mods. I think the DRZ seems the most KLRish as far as build, aftermarket, maintenance, ect.
    #28
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Put your location in your profile. Maybe somebody local to you would let you try a few bikes.

    I really like my DR650SE. It's no 250lb woods bike, or 600lb+ touring bike, but it can chase either one on the same day. It's not prone to overheating, like air-cooled or water-cooled bikes can be. It's subframe will carry a serious load for travel/camping. The motor is smooth on slab and torquey on trails. Parts and accessories are easy to source. The 5spd tranny has a decent gearspread to cover both slab and trail situations. They can be found pretty inexpensively. Customize it with a comfortable seat, a long-range fueltank, and decent carbing. Upgrade the suspension and tires when you want more performance. My DR is now more comfortable/capable to ride across the country than my streetbike is, and it'll still run the sugarsand around here like a fat dirtbike. It's a GREAT bike for exploring the world by slab or trail, then commuting during the week with a grin on your face.

    Now...Big news on the 40-50lb-lighter, water-cooled, DR-Z400S with fully-adjustable suspension, is that the aftermarket now offers a wide-ratio gearset. The DR-Z400S and DR650SE make similar stock WHP, but the DR makes big torque down low. It rides like a taller, skinnier, utility quad. The down-low tractoring torque is almost funny, especially with a flat-slide pumper carb swapped on. Either bike can be tuned to make 50WHP+ and considerably more torque than stock. The DR-Z is more of a revver, like a sport quad, but even the DR seems fine with getting spun up a bit. It's not known for burning a lot of oil at sustained high revs, like many thumpers are, and I like hearing it's throaty song going down the interstate on-ramps. Neither Suzuki is a race-oriented screamer though, even if people DO sometimes race them.
    #29
  10. Johnny Tarr

    Johnny Tarr n00b

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    Done.

    And based on the replies so far, I'm liking the DR650. Just need to get out and find one to try out.
    #30
  11. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

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    My current Honda. Any better for ya?
    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    You under-represented the Honda weight and added 10% to the Suzuki weight.

    So, keeping in line (adjusting the weights by about 10% that other way) the DR650 is 330lbs and the Honda is 355 lbs!!!!

    Although, if you were to rely on the real wet weights, per the manufacturer sites, the DR650 is 366 fueled, with oil, ready to race! The Honda XR650L is 346! There is a 20 lbs difference, not a 60 lbs difference as you indicated.

    Edit to add: I see you corrected the DR650 weight.
    #32
  13. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

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    Well excuse me:eek1
    #33
  14. Hurricane Bob

    Hurricane Bob Long timer

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    Well, that narrows it down......


    [​IMG]


    .....just slip the forks up an inch or two and toss in a lowering link.



    Next question?


    :lurk
    #34
  15. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

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    Like others have suggested buy used.....you'll save a TON of money and won't lose your azz in depreciation the moment you drive the bike off the lot. A 250 is going to disappoint you in the power department on road compared to your Ninja 650.....and your 650 would make a better adventure bike than some of the big rigs, waste of money for what you want. You need to look at a used high performance 350-650 lightweight street legal dirt bike.
    #35
  16. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    The good news is, is that all of the bikes discussed will get the job done.....

    But based on your intended purpose/use/price point, I would highly recommend a DR650. It will cruise all day at 70-80mph, comfortably....and it is pretty damn good off-road (although it's not a woods bike). It is extremely reliable. Many people have ridden them around the world and they are very simple to work on. Be patient, and find a clean used one with around 3k miles it for around $3.5-4k. Put on a Sargent seat, skid plate, an Acerbis tank, and have Cogent rework the rear shock...total cost ~$1.1k, and this bike will take you anywhere you want to go.

    As a side note I have a WR250R and love it for your intended purpose, but I think it'll be a little anemic for you (fully loaded), as you weigh around 40lbs more than I do. It'll do it, but I don't think you'll be happy with the "lack of power" in the long run.

    The DRZ 400 is a fantastic bike.....would have plenty of power and is great off-road, but 200-300 mile days on the slab will kill you. If they would only put a wide ratio, 6-speed transmission in this bike, it would be perfect.
    #36
  17. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    #37
  18. bobbed06

    bobbed06 Cavalera Conspirator

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    I agree .......
    #38
  19. phoneman

    phoneman Adventurer

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    I'll go ahead and say it. I'm really liking my 2012 drz400s--especially with the gearing change--and I haven't had time to wring it out yet.
    BUT--there ain't no way I'd ride that skinny thing 200 or 300 hundred miles on pavement. Heck-10 miles from dirt to dirt is too far for me. I have a wee for that.
    If you plan on running a couple hundred miles of pavement to go off on the trails a KLR 650 or a DR 650 would be a lot better on the pavement. Neither will be as much fun off-road probably but they will both get you there---which is the fun of it all anyway.
    #39
  20. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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