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Old 10-18-2014, 07:40 AM   #1
1911fan OP
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A bike is a tool, and you need the right one: Help me decide

So, Mrs1911fan has decided her GS650 is too big on dirt, and not big enough on the highway. We've got two of them, hers and my Dakar. But in some ways I agree with her, much as I like my Dakar. We're selling her bike, a 2003 F650GS with 23,000 miles on it (PM me!) and we found her a TW200, which she really likes. She just wants to putt around on FS roads, two-tracks and such, and has told me that with the grandkids around, she is giving up street riding.
We bought a DRZ400 first, to see if she liked it. Too tall, so now it's mine. I've taken it for a few short rides and it is a BLAST compared to the Dakar. Wish my collarbone wasn't broken, I'd flog the DRZ more before winter.
So.... my commute is about 14 miles, about 10 on a 60-mph highway. The DRZ will do that. It's got the big tank, so it's got about the same range as the Dakar. It's lighter and more fun to ride, too.
But there are a couple months on each end of the season where the hills are still snowed in/muddy/gated, and all I do is go back and forth to work. All of the riding I've done on the Dakar on FS roads, two-track, etc will be more fun on the DRZ.
So, I guess I'm trying to figure out what to do. After last month's wreck, I couldn't pick the Dakar up. Part of that may be due to injuries (left shoulder/collarbone, right bicep) and part of it due to the fact that it's heavy. The DRZ weighs a lot less.
Sell the Dakar? Definitely keeping the DRZ, it's too fun. But I'd like a street bike, or at least something more capable than the Dakar or the DRZ. A bigger DS doesn't seem to be the answer, so do I want a pure street bike? If I do, I'd like to be able to roadtrip with both of us on it. But do I want a big cruiser? I dunno.
Somebody want to trade me a street bike for the Dakar?

Obviously, I don't know WTF do do here and I'm looking for suggestions. I'm posting it in the PNW forum because we all ride the same country, and that may influence equipment choices, even though I'm on the Dry Side.



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Old 10-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Consider a CRF230L

It's short, but better than a TW on forest roads.

It takes a few mods to make it a good trail bike.
My wife likes hers.

More details later - out the door to EnduroCross right now.
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:39 AM   #4
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so you are looking for a street bike that is capable two up?

if so, lots of good standards out there (guessing standards would be more comfortable given the injuries listed)
DL 1000, the big v-strom
z1000, a nice four
zrx, nice 1100 or 1200, retro cool
fz1

sport touring: blackbird (cbr1100xx) st1100, st1300, fjr (finding nice prices on these now)

cruiser; how bid do you want to go?
vtx1300, vtx1800?, valkyrie (1500 flat 6)
vstar 1100, vulcan 1500 or the Indian clone, vulcan drifter.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
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Sorry, I'm not much help, I was in the same boat (bike) as you years ago..............mostly rode dirt, had a dualsport (XT350), tried a bigger one (XT600), didn't want a cruiser, not disciplined enough for a sport bike, just wanted a smallish street bike. I remember telling people "I wish they still made the 650 Special, that would be perfect" (I wanted a new bike).
So what I ended up with was a F650 (which I later sold to buy a Dakar), it was the perfect "street" bike for me.

What about something like a Triumph Scrambler?


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Originally Posted by Dragon Rider View Post
so you are looking for a street bike that is capable two up?

if so, lots of good standards out there (guessing standards would be more comfortable given the injuries listed)
DL 1000, the big v-strom
Either one of the V-Strom's would be a good choice...............just thinking about where you/we live and ride.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:59 AM   #6
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"She just wants to putt around on FS roads"


TW is be the perfect bike for this. Low seat, big back tire for lots of stability, light weight. Don't be afraid to go a little slower and smell the roses. :) Swap out the stock front tire with a Kenda 270 or Shinko 244 Goldenboy and your set. Plus those grandkids will be riding soon. Can't think of a better bike for them to learn on. Ok I'm a little bias:) I've been riding TW's since 91'. My wife loves her scooter but has no problem handling HER TW off road. If your into skinny tires then the crf230l is not a bad choice. (223cc motor? why is it not called a crf225l)marketing, they didn't want to compete with the Yamaha XT225??
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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Funny, we looked at a coworkers CRF, but the TW popped up sudden-like. So, she's all set, it's me that has the questions. I'm looking at CL to see what sparks my interest. Good deal on a Sprtster that needs a little work.... I used to work at a Harley dealer so could probably figure it out.
I'll have to put obnoxiously loud pipes on it and learn to ride slow, though...


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Old 10-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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Keep the DRZ for day trips and rides with the wife on her TW.

Then buy a bigger twin for big mile trips. Something capable for two up, or when you want to get more than a 100 miles away and don't want your ass to fall off. Don't kid yourself that the bigger bike will be a dirt bike, take it on pavement and be easy with it on dirt/gravel roads. My personality and interests requires a bike that I can put a knobbie on so I'd be thinking BMW GS (800-1200) or KTM 990/1190 etc.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
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if this price isn't a typo you should snatch this up

zrx 1200r for $1550.

http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mcy/4720797381.html

Bike has brand new Michelin Pilot Road 3s, expandable textile saddle and tank bags, new front pads, new 520 chain and sprockets(-1front+2rear), complete full dealer serviced w/brand new battery, performance exhaust, pro jetted, runs great, tons of power. I'll show bike to serious shoppers only please, meaning no time payments, financing or other goofy aquisition schemes, local cash only sale. Email only
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

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Old 10-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #10
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Is your wife done street riding with her hands on the bars, or done being on the street period? If she still wants to go two-up, get rid of the (second) BMW and buy something you can both comfortably go 2-up on, and commute on it in those bad months.

If she doesn't want to go two-up, then you may as well just keep the BMW (assuming no payments) and use it to commute in those bad months. You already own it and it's configured/reliable/blah blah. Or trade it for a comfortable high-mpg street bike. Or better yet, sell it and buy a set of supermoto wheels to put on the DRZ during the crappy weather months and use the rest of the money to pay for the DRZ you bought.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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She might go two-up, depends on the bike. I think we're looking for street tourer. I'll commute on it and we can day trip too. Damn... I hate to sell the Dakar.
Dragon Rider, that's a sweet deal on the ZX, but I think I'm looking for something comfortable for two people for a day of riding, but hmm..... I think.


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Old 10-20-2014, 02:08 PM   #12
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My advice: keep the bikes you like to ride. There is no bike that will entice somebody who doesn't want to ride, to ride.

If there are grandkids in the picture, think XR50. EVERYBODY likes riding those!
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:47 PM   #14
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally View Post
There is no bike that will entice somebody who doesn't want to ride, to ride.
The low seat height, electric start, disc brakes and reasonable weight (in that order) with my wife's CRF230L has her riding more and having more fun than ever. She has ridden more this year than the last five combined.
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