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Old 05-20-2015, 03:55 PM   #1
JFortner5 OP
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New guy

Hey everyone. I've been lurking here for a little while and really enjoy reading the forums.

I'm 31 and from Alabama. I've been riding dirt bikes on and off since about 2003 or so when I was around 18. (Parents didn't like it so that's why I got a late start.)

I didn't see an intro section but I'm on my phone so I apologize if I missed it.

I'm currently riding a 2004 Kawasaki KDX220. I spend most of my riding time with my 6 year old boy on his CRF50. He just got it this past Christmas and is stating to get more comfortable on it. As for me I really like the KDX. I bought it a couple weeks after Christmas to chase the boy around on.



Lately though I've been thinking about getting a dual sport. I'd really like to be able to just take off and cruise around some back roads and find new trails. There is also an OHV park about 10 miles from my house. I think it would be fun just to ride to it.

I know there will be a weight penalty if I do it but my previous bike was an XR400. I'm not a fast rider in the woods. I just enjoy cruising through the trails, maybe a couple small jumps but nothing crazy. I've never gone above 3rd gear on the KDX when in the trails.

I'd have to sell my current bike to buy a dual sport and I know it will be a compromise, but I'm leaning toward finding a KLX250S. My other choice would be a DRZ400S, or maybe even a WR250R. If the budget allows. My ideal price range would be $2500-3000 but I would splurge a little for the right machine.

Starting off I'd say I'd probably do 80% trail riding and maybe 20% back road stuff. I've never ridden street before. This wouldn't be a commuter for me at least in the beginning. My drive to work is about 25 miles one way mostly interstate.

Because I'll be buying used I guess it just depends one what I can find in good shape. I just wanted to hear a couple opinions on which one you like. Also if anybody has any opinions on the KLX with a 351 kit I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks,
Joey
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:19 PM   #2
MrPulldown
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Welcome.

The whole 25 miles of interstate commute and 80% trail riding are polar opposites.

Will be hard to find a machine that will be comfortable doing both.

THe DRZ400 is a terrible interstate bike.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:29 PM   #3
JFortner5 OP
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I could have worded it better but this would not be a commuter. I'd drive my truck to work and back.

The bike would be mostly trails and just messing around on back roads. 55mph and under mostly.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
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I meant to say that I am about 6'1" and 205lbs.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:57 PM   #5
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:28 AM   #6
trailer Rails
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My experience on the KDX is limited to a short spin on one but that is a really nice bike. Definitely not suited to riding on the road for any distance but for trail use, it is great. It is on my radar to get and try and dual sport one.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:53 AM   #7
Taurkon
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I'd recommend you consider a bike like the WRR and truck it for the 25 miles more often than not. I've a plated dirt bike, but I prefer to truck it and then take advantage of the plate to connect the riding areas.

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Old 05-21-2015, 08:33 AM   #8
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFortner5 View Post
I'm currently riding a 2004 Kawasaki KDX220.

...

I know there will be a weight penalty if I do it but my previous bike was an XR400.

..

I'd have to sell my current bike to buy a dual sport and I know it will be a compromise, but I'm leaning toward finding a KLX250S. My other choice would be a DRZ400S, or maybe even a WR250R. If the budget allows. My ideal price range would be $2500-3000 but I would splurge a little for the right machine.

...

Starting off I'd say I'd probably do 80% trail riding and maybe 20% back road stuff. I've never ridden street before. This wouldn't be a commuter for me at least in the beginning. My drive to work is about 25 miles one way mostly interstate.

...

Also if anybody has any opinions on the KLX with a 351 kit I'd love to hear about it.
i own or have ridden all the bikes mentioned. here is my take:

the DRZ-s/WRR/KLX are all going to feel like heavy pigs compared to your KDX...and even compared to your XR400.

none of them are actually good dirt bikes. (i'd take an XR400 over any of them in dirt any day.)

from your description, you really want a dirt bike with a license plate...none of those three bikes are that.

i would suggest hanging on to the KDX for a little while and save up a little more money and get something like a KTM EXC (350/400/450). if you're patient, you can get a good used one for $4,000.

they blow the DRZ/WRR/KLX away in dirt...not even close to the same league. much lighter, much better suspended, much better motors. EXCs are real dirt bikes. they also do surprisingly well on roads...even interstates. the EXC has a heavenly wide-ratio 6 speed tranny that lets it go from technical single track to highway with the same set of sprockets.

i routinely ride my plated XCW (the same thing as an EXC) 20 miles of interstate to get to trails. it's fine. i've even done 300 miles road trips on it. the only issue for that long of a trip is the seat, but, for me, just wearing padded bicycle shorts solves that problem. for a 25 mile commute to work, if you did decide to do that once in awhile, you would not need them.

(the one thing you need to be prepared for is going through a lot of tires. that is not a function of the bike, though. that's just a function of running tires that actually work in dirt on pavement. pavement chews them up fast.)

i've been down the road you are contemplating. i eventually realized it was a mistake. my strong suggestion is to not bother starting down the DRZ/WRR/KLX road. it is, in my experience and opinion, a waste of time and money for what you are describing. just keep riding the KDX for now and save up a little more money and go straight to an EXC.

(the 351 kit does make the KLX into a much nicer bike, but it's still not close to in the same league as an EXC.)
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:59 AM   #9
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btw, not sure about AL, but in PA, you can plate XR400s (and european 2 strokes...and i've even seen a couple plated KDXes). that is another possible route for you to go.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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Cheaper Options

True light dirt bikes that are easier to get plated:

CRF250X - These are in your price range 95% of the time and can be found already plated. This bike is truly light. I believe it comes in around 230-240Lbs.


WR450F - This again is close in price. Some previous model year bikes that are brand new are being sold at around $6K-7K. This bike can be plated as well. 270lbs I believe.

Neither are interstate queens but the DRZ and WRR aren't either. The plus side to the the above bikes is that they are wide ratio transmissions (good for dual sporting and trails). They can be had with electric and kick start. there is a good amount of aftermarket support for just about everything you need.

If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket then I would go and buy a KTM 350 exc-f. It is street legal, has great suspension and is ready out of the box for most everything you can throw at it.

My compromise was getting a KTM 690 Enduro. This is a well rounded bike that can do more of the adventure riding and still get out on good trails. The true dirt bikes can go farther but I don't generally trailer my bikes for now and I only have permission from the missus for one bike at a time right now.

Eventual goal is to get a 990/1190 and a KTM 200xcw to round out the stable. I bleed orange if you can't tell already but I would gladly take either of the Japanese bikes mentioned above.

Good luck in your search. Take pictures of whatever you get and post them or else it never happened.
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:50 PM   #11
JFortner5 OP
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I'm not sure I need an EXC for the riding I do. I literally just like putting along an exploring. I know I mentioned little jumps, and if I do any it would be really little. I'm not out there to compete I just like riding at my own (mostly slow lol) pace.

My street riding would be limited to mostly back roads. I could see myself riding to work on a special occasion but can take back roads there too.

I'm reading all I can about the KLX and DRZ. I prefer the simplicity of carbs and I believe I can find either of those bikes easier in my preferred price range.

I'm still a month or two away from making a purchase but I'll keep it updated.

Edit- Getting a bike plated from what I hear is very difficult here.

JFortner5 screwed with this post 05-21-2015 at 06:59 PM Reason: Lo
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:17 PM   #12
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFortner5 View Post
I'm reading all I can about the KLX and DRZ.
between those two, if you can find a KLX with a 350 kit, i'd take that. KLX250 vs. DRZ, i'd probably take the DRZ unless i was planning on putting a 350 kit on it.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:21 PM   #13
JFortner5 OP
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I'd prefer a stock bike unless I know who worked on it but the Bill Blue 351 kit does sound nice.

Honestly I think I'd be happy with either bike. I'll probably just buy one on condition and end up modding it to my liking anyway.

Thank you all for the replies. I really do appreciate it. I'm off to do some more reading...
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:32 AM   #14
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFortner5 View Post
I'd prefer a stock bike unless I know who worked on it but the Bill Blue 351 kit does sound nice.
I have owned/ridden some oversized bore bikes and I a fan of keeping stuff stock. For true offroad riding, they are ok but they tend to have more vibration and make the bike less comfortable. The Japanese factories do a lot to try and balance those engines, I prefer not to mess with that. I am sure there a few who will chime in and say their big bores are as smooth as silk but that is not my experience.
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