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Old 05-04-2012, 10:41 AM   #61
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XT250 and the DRZ400 are the best at light highway and heavy offroad use, IMO. I love these bikes.

The KLE650 and the Vstrom is best as heavy short-term highway and light offroad use. The KLR650 and DR650 are relatively slow bikes, but good enough for moderate highway and moderate offroad use. So basically, they are kind of shit as both.

The Gold Wing is great as soaking up miles, with all the amenities of a car, but would cry if you took it offroad. The 1200 GS has less amenities than a Gold Wing, and is probably slower, but still eats up highway miles, and you can take it offroad sort of.

Just because a bike CAN do two things, doesn't mean it should. I started on an XT225, it was great offroad. small, nimble, and tall. It would do 55-60 mph on the highway (gps checked), but it loved the beach and mud. When you got stuck it, it was about 200 pounds, you could generally wrestle it out. On the highway? HATED WIND; Wind would either blow you around your lane position or reduce your top speed when you got a head wind. This was a bike far superior by a long shot to the KLR offroad, but the KLR is much better on road.

The KLE Versys is great for short highway trips. 5 hours or so at a time, it's fine. Offroad? It can do dirt roads, grass, and sand, nothing technical. KLR will always it it's lunch in gravel and down technical hills. On highway? It blows the KLR away. The ability to travel at the prevailing speed of travel on I-10 when the posted speed is 80 and the actual speed is higher is great. However after about 6 hours you're sick of it. Even with mods it'll never be a GS

The Beemer eats up the miles, 80 is practically it's lazy cruising speed. Lots of nice gadgets to keep you comfortable such as heated grips, ESA, ABS, linked brakes, and factory plug for GPS, the seat is the least terrible stock seat I have owned. And it'll go offroad better than the KLE.

It's all a matter of preference I guess. I either want a bike that is good on the highway or good off-road, I don't want it to suck at both of them.
2012 BMW R1200 GSA, 2009 Kawasaki Versys (sold), 2001 Yamaha XT225 (sold)
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by BerndM View Post
Let me start by saying that I LOVE my 2006 R1200GS, and I would NOT consider replacing it with ANY other bike, BUT, lets get real here, the GS is a big, heavy and VERY expensive piece of machinery, and NOT optimally suited or designed for "serious" off-roading. Right??
So, I've spent some time looking at all the different dual sports out there and it appears (IMHO) that there is no PERFECT bike for that purpose, BUT the best may in fact be the Kawasaki 650 KLR. If you factor in ALL the variables, such as purchase price, registration, insurance, operating expenses, cost to repair or replace parts, weight and off-road capabilities, I think you'd be very hard pressed to find anything better. I know "better" is very subjective, but let's face it, honestly, other than extended touring (which many do successfully) on the KLR, does anyone actually believe that the GS will go places the KLR can't? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I think the KLR is capable of going many places you'd never want to take the GS to. It is no problem riding the KLR 100 or 200 miles on the pavement, and then take it off the road and do stuff the GS can't match, because of its size and weight.
Not trying to start a fight here, just a lively discussion regarding the REALITY of the off-road aspect of our riding.
My 2 cents I ride a 1150 gs on a 21 inch conversion with gsa shocks . for me this is a perfect compromise I ride it all over the country i do heavy offroad including single track .the gs handles well . and does what the small bikes cant as far as travel. The only concernes I have ever had was deep mud .... swamp crossings
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:15 PM   #63
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First, my idea of "Dual Sport" is the Contintal Divide Trail, or maybe the Trans America Trail. I don't like Interstates and Freeways. That's what cars are for. I remember, back in the '70s, seeing pictures of thoes giant German guys riding thoes big BMWs in the 6 days trials, when the rest of us were struggling to get a 250 through an enduro. If you're that size then the KLR makes a little sense. You can add all the suspension and brakes you want, but it's still too tall and top heavy with not enough ground clearance for most people. I know you can do some off road with the big BMWs and the like, but they really look like a handfull ( Long Way Round ). The truth is, none of the big brands makes the bike we want. The older Transalps and Africa Twins, that the US didn't get, were close, but still a touch heavy in the tight stuff. But they had the basics, the right size wheels, smooth motor, suspension ( with up grades ), and gearing. I'll be interested to see what one of you super modders do with the new NC700, use the engine package and change every thing else. Don't know how it's geared though. So until then, it's a Big compromise, or two or three bikes.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:57 PM   #64
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best dual sport bike

A dual sport bike is a bike like the ,drz etc, it can ride to a trail an back home and still handle medium distance travelling. However,for an adventure bike the criteria are somewhat different as you need, parts availability, ability for engine to handle low grade fuel, gear carrying capacity and lots more,
the bmw hp2 with tank, screen and bags would be my choice.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:18 AM   #65
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Best DS

I went on a 100 mile off road ride with a dualsport riding group. Almost entirely ktm's. The ride was real offroad. As in not on a dirt road. So it depends on what you are doing dualsport. If your dualsporting is riding to a dirt road then riding the much more road bikes are great but if you want to hit single track and technical riding I think the big bikes are not king. Just my opinion. I run an hp2 but grew up riding husky's ect....
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #66
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GS... I ride with drz's klr 's ktm's and every thing in between. I still say the best DS is the gs ..You can ride 500 mile days on pavement,set up camp and unload .then blast off and hit the trails ..
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:25 PM   #67
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #68
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All you have to do is look at what others are doing.

The Suzuki DR650 has become the benchmark for RTW travel, it has surpassed the Kawasaki KLR 650.

Yes there are others, folk prefer different things.

But over and over the Suzuki DR650 comes up and everyone says "it's bullet proof"

Yes it needs some modification, but it makes a pretty fine compromise bike for real, all World RTW travel.

Of course you can ride to Tierra Del Fuego on a Honda 50 Stepthrough, a Harley Sportster or a BMW of any ilk...but that darn DR650 just keeps showing up day after day as the benchmark bike.

NO I don't own one......yet
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #69
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If you're going to ride a bike to out of the way places on dirt, it should have 3 virtues:
Easy to pick up
No fragile bits to break when dropped
Not prone to catastrophic failure without warning.

I think I'd better buy another DR650 :)
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #70
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I don't know what the best is because I am still looking for it, but I do know what isn't. The GS is not even close for several reasons: Dealer availability throughout the states and canada( there aren't many), who wants to pick up all that dead weight even if you could actually ride it off road(real off road), I will say it will eat the miles better than most ADV bikes on the street.
You can find a Jap bike dealership in almost every town, if not every other, They are reliable as a time piece, You can pick it up or wrestle it up if need be, and they are usually tolerablally comfortable but most lack highway speed.

If you add up all the points that everyone looks for in a Duel sport bike, it isn't even produced by a factory, it is produced here! The KLRE 650 is about as close as any of us will come to it and Kawasaki is letting it slip by.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:14 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Xmoto View Post
I am thinking of getting a second bike that is street legal but will be used for single track or rough trail riding that I dont want to risk damaging my GS. I have been looking at the KTM 530 or 525. I would be getting the second bike used. ??

You will not be disappointed
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #72
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I've been all over the place with this. The worst so faar was a Yamaha XT350. I didn't like it on or offroad. Then a plated XR400. Great offroad ... but you knew you were on a dirt bike onroad. Son's KTM 450 was great offroad ... but vibrated worse than my BSA T'bolt and that thing is a paint mixer. Coming off the XR400 a KLR felt heavy, weak and awkward... so I found a KLX650c. Little better suspension and a little lighter. Then a DRZ400s came my way cheap. Much better imho offroad than the KLR or KLX ... but it cries for a 6th gear.

I began considering a GS when the parameters became 2-up with some offroad capability. But the thought of dropping one just put the chill on that. A low mileage one crossed my path at a price that would allow me to drop it and not commit severe self abasement.

So ... right now I have a KLX650c, a DRZ400 and a R1200GS...and I'm wanting a DR650 ... which may just be the best all a rounder of the bunch... naturally because I don't have one ...yet...

(Oh yeah...I rode a KTM990 ... and the thought of "when in doubt gas it" brought visions of long hospital stays... )
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #73
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I partial to my setup
gsa for long light offroad trips (no 3'+ deep riverbeds with steep drops)
adventureized xrr for med off road trips (required to jump over gaps and climb 100+ foot sand and rock singletrack)
300exc for heavy offroad (think redbull sponsorship and jumping on highway for gas)

the best one depends on what your ability is and what your gonna do, not think your gonna do or want to do.
If you didn't crash at lease once, you were not having enough fun!
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:32 PM   #74
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I had to chuckle at the posts about riding 100 or 200 miles on a KLR. I rode my '98 from Phoenix to Fort St. John, BC and back, then to Batapillas (sp? to lazy to check) MX, on the same set of Gripster tires. Yes, it was a long ride to both but a Rick Mayer seat helped a great deal. Then I rode it to Colorado one year and rode the Colorado 500 with it (if you don't know the 500, you don't know dirt.) 'course I rode a GSPD in the 500 one year, made the video going through the water on Taylor Pass and rode it over Black Bear. Last year I rode my '07 from San Antonio to Ruidoso and back, 650 miles out, 600 back (found a short cut.) But are they the 'perfect' DS bike? I agree that there is no such thing. I recently acquired a DL650 for my trip to D2D from San Antonio and I think it will work out great since there is lots of pavement and only a few hundred miles of gravel/dirt. IF I could afford an 1150 or 1200 GS, I would prefer to do that. But for <$3500 for an '04, and <$5000 invested by the time I'm done with it, you can barely get a 30,000 mile service done on a GS! OK, so I exaggerate a little. But the big GS's are the berries for LD riding if one can afford them. I guess if I could only have one bike, it would be a GS. But I LOVE my FJR (no, not a 2013, just a winner in my book.)
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:14 AM   #75
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McRuss- How many days did it take you to ride the 2100 miles one way? What do you feel is a good days mileage on the KLR? I am looking at one to travel on and do not know what to expect. And for the record, I am talking about a relaxed, not pushed to the limit day, riding all interstate. This info would be very helpful.

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