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Old 11-27-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
lhendrik OP
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Advice on a lightweight alternative to my R1200GSA

Looking for advice. I have an 09 GSA for long haul touring, pavement. It's great for heavy loads over long paved rides. Now I keep reading about guys like Colebach, etc who ride gravel and dirt and sand and off road, places where the big pig is a handful, like all the way to Magadan and Mongolia I want to explore the rougher ride, and wanted advice on what bike might work, maybe with soft luggage for some real adventure riding, including lots of fire roads, gravel and dirt, while still carrying lightweight camping gear.

I have seen some pics of the BMW 650X Challenge and its looks good. Is this a good place to start my off pavement exploration, or do I need to go lighter.

I have zero off road time, and don't mind taking some training programs.

All information appreciated.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Get a DR650, add a IMS 5 gallon tank, skid plate, Corbin flat saddle, and stiffer fork springs. Dead reliable and fun as heck.

http://youtu.be/0t2IopH1AG0

(They're cheap, air cooled, plus higher quality and 60# less than a KLR.)

milo screwed with this post 11-27-2012 at 05:33 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milo View Post
Get a DR650, add a IMS 5 gallon tank, skid plate, Corbin flat saddle, and stiffer fork springs. Dead reliable and fun as heck.

http://youtu.be/0t2IopH1AG0
+1 and rebuilt/new rear shock sprung for your weight, then a pumper carb from Jesse and find a titanium GSXR Can and it will still be dead reliable, fun as heck and you will have to hang on
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
L21
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KTM 950 works for me
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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guys have been doing on the cheap with KLRs for years. stone simple too
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
WoodButcher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milo View Post
Get a DR650, add a IMS 5 gallon tank, skid plate, Corbin flat saddle, and stiffer fork springs. Dead reliable and fun as heck.

http://youtu.be/0t2IopH1AG0

(They're cheap, air cooled, plus higher quality and 60# less than a KLR.)
+1 and inexpensive on the used market.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
AviatorTroy
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WR250? Seriously if you have no off road experience at all then you probably should log some time on a light 250 dual sport.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
vabuckaroo68
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KTM 950/990 ADVENTURE. Traded my 1150GS a couple of years ago. This is a great all round bike. Either single or two-up. Fire roads to interstate..... it can do it all. I prefer the 950 as I'm anti EFI/ABS.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
BigDave75
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I really enjoyed my KTM 530 EXC it did everything you are looking for, although a bit more expensive than a DR or KLR.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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I'm with Aviator

Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
WR250? Seriously if you have no off road experience at all then you probably should log some time on a light 250 dual sport.
Unless you're a big boy that DR650 will still kick your ass in the rough stuff. Service roads, jeep trails, no problem.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
a.c.s.
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Having owned a KLR 650, I'd consider it just as heavy an cumbersome as the GSA, but still just as manageable. I've ridden in plenty of places the GSA had no business going while following some experienced dirt riders on KLR's and KTM 950s. I can't comment on the DL650, but consider it in the same class.

Having ridden a KTM 450 EXC this summer, I'm left with lust in my heart.. Excellent on the dirt and capable of taking you 250 miles on back roads to where the action is. $3500 will buy you one, and you don't have to feel like a fool when you're following your friends riding a disposable motorcycle (KLR 650) when the SHTF in the sand...

If you're really looking to go on the cheap, take a look at the Honda XR600 or XR400. $1500 will fetch you a fine specimen.

Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
I have zero off road time, and don't mind taking some training programs.
This is where you should start. Serious off road riding ain't for everybody, and for anything that can be called a "road" the GSA will be fine, but you still want real training. Trial and error is fine, and having friends show you the ropes can be helpful, but real hard-core training will get you a lot of know-how in a short time. It will also give you a better idea of the size of bike you are wiling to wrastle in what enviornment.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:46 PM   #13
Mad Kaw
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The DRz 400 or even KLX400/450 would be ideal. When I started out dual sport a few years ago I had never done it. Been 400,000 miles pavement but no dirt touring to that point. I had some dirt experience as a teen racing MX...but not 3000 mile cross country trips on a dirt bike.

I bought a KLX400 (drz400) and first ride out was 1500 miles on the TAT from Oklahoma across the Rockies to Moab, UT. We r
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:48 PM   #14
lhendrik OP
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Thanks guys, lots of good information. My budget is OK, I can go $5-8,000 on this project. I don't like to buy junk, tend to spend the $$$ once rather than a little many times. Not against the KLR DR route, but from my looking at pictures they look like big lumps and not too maneuverable to me, maybe I'm mistaken. KTM mid weights (450?) look like my path now, not the big 900+ cc versions, too heavy for me off pavement. I plan to fall over a lot and need to be able to lift it myself.

Looking at this sort of makes me drool.... http://www.ktm.com/enduro/450-exc-eu...l#.ULVtkoWGh1I

Thanks all.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
WR250? Seriously if you have no off road experience at all then you probably should log some time on a light 250 dual sport.
Ditto....you need a friend or two to do this with & log some off road time on a bike that is lighter. A Honda XR250 is a great choice too. Buy used and sell in a year or two for around what you paid for it. (or you may decide to keep it)
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