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Old 01-21-2015, 07:12 PM   #1
Cowboy181132 OP
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Joined: Dec 2014
Location: Del Norte, CO
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Big Guy Wants A Thumper???

New to the site. I am really interested in a DR650, but I am reserved about buying one. I'm 6'3" 280. About 290 with a leather jacket and boots. I've been riding dirt my entire life, and street since I was old enough. I also ride year around as long as it's not below 20F, or snow on the streets. My son and I ride dirt regardless of snow or not. I'm not an expert rider, but my abilities are not an issue for any size bike. As a matter of fact small bikes are tougher to ride than big ones due to my size.

I'm not biased about brands. I have a 2002 VL1500, 83 Iron Head Flat Tracker/Bobber (my own design), 2001 Carefree Custom Chopper with 107 S&S, 1997 XR400R, 1997 CR500R, 2000 YZ250, and a 2005 TRX450. I also like riding my wife's 1998 1200 Bandit, and her 2005 1100 Star. Keeping up with all the maintenance is a chore. I'm not listing all these to brag. I'm listing them to give everyone insight to what type of bikes I ride.

Here is my situation. I want to get into dual sport bikes. I am a real estate appraiser, and work in the Del Norte, CO and surrounding areas. Del Norte is at 7800 feet in elevation, and I go to properties up to 10,500 feet. My goal is to do a lot of my appraisals on a bike this year. Most of my miles are highway. Sometime over 200 in a day. But, the areas I work in are mountain communities, and all paved roads eventually turn into dirt. Some dirt roads are nice gravel that I would take VL1500 down, but I don't like beating it up. Other dirt roads get a little more extreme. I built my Iron Head for cruising dirt back roads, but the suspension and reliability are an issue. My chopper is a chopper, and my dirt bikes are strictly dirt.

The DR650 looks like a good happy medium. It's simple, reliable from everything I've read, not as heavy as a KLR, but not so light that it will get blown all over the road like the KTM 625 I test road.

I want something I can hop up a little (jet kit, filter, exhaust, etc.). Fab up some saddle bag brackets for some old leather bags I got (sentimental reasons). All I have to carry is a tape measure, camera, and my work files in one saddle bag, and rain gear, and some pop or water in the other. The bike needs to have the ability to cruise 65 MPH all day, but kick up to 75 or 80 if necessary. It will also need to be able to do gravel, mud, and basic two track in the mountain areas I work in. On occasion I might even single track it. Just to take an afternoon jaunt from the house.

I like simple old thumpers, v-twins, air cooled bikes, and two strokes. The DR650 has a lot of appeal to me for the reasons listed. It also has a cool factor in my opinion.

So here's the question. Will a DR650 haul my fat ass around semi comfortably all day at highway speeds, and have a little extra power to pass people if necessary? Then will it be able to go on mountain dirt roads and simple trails? Or, should I get a 1200GS, Tiger, V-Strom or something of that nature? I really like the bigger bikes too, but they are heavy on the dirt and complicated with electronics. This goes against my simplistic nature. Money is always a consideration, but I would rather buy once, cry once than be unhappy with a purchase just because I wanted to be cheap. My main concern is the DR650's single cylinder powerful enough vs. my size.

I have read too much on this subject, and over thought it to the point of insanity. I would love some advise from all sides. Thanks!!!!
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
Soldier311
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You will never know until you test drive one and see. Unfortunately, that's just how it is.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:19 PM   #3
Yooper_Bob
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Look for a good used KTM 640 Adventure.

I am 6'6" tall, and weigh a solid 275# before I get dressed. Bike easily hauls me around.

The adventure will do EVERYTHING better than the DR650, and also has great wind protection.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:44 PM   #4
Cowboy181132 OP
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I would love to test drive a DR650, or a KTM640, but it is difficult find any in my neck of the woods. It is especially difficult for a long test drive. It would actually be nice to rent a few if I could find some place. Until then all advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:47 PM   #5
Roadinator
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I'm 6'3" and 255 and recently went to sit on a 2015 DR650 and a 2015 KLR 650. On the floor, the KLR fit really nice. I know you can make both work for taller folks, but was a little surprised how good the KLR felt.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:18 PM   #6
Cowboy181132 OP
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I got a Kawi dealership about 30 miles away. I will see if they have one and check t out. Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:28 PM   #7
bobnoxious67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Bob View Post
Look for a good used KTM 640 Adventure.

I am 6'6" tall, and weigh a solid 275# before I get dressed. Bike easily hauls me around.

The adventure will do EVERYTHING better than the DR650, and also has great wind protection.
What. He. Said.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
villageidiot
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im 6'2 and currently 310...... slowly dropping.

my dr650 fits and carries my weight great. i did change bars, along with an inch taller riser, and put on lowered footpegs, also had cogent dynamics re do the shock, and send me springs and valves up front. but this thing fits great.

bone stock it cruises nicely at an indicated 75-80, I've got some hop ups waiting. the seat sucks, and i plan on a seat concepts kit. for range, i plan a 5.3 acerbic tank.

that about sums it all up for me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
itsatdm
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You probably won't like this answer. Considering your weight, altitude, 200 mile pavement occasionally and what sounds like mostly easy dirt. You are better off with a middleweight multi cylinder bike.

A DL650 will do what you need. Certainly a better pavement bike, especially at altitude, than old school thumpers. Its fine on easy dirt. They have a very good reputation for being problem free.

Think of the fun you will have respringing it, adding engine protection and replacing tires.

I own both an old school thumper and a middleweight twin.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:59 PM   #10
villageidiot
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Vstrom is hard to beat, I've had 2. Both stone reliable. Better than a dr everywhere but dirt.

Though I will say, my dr is more fun stop light to stop light and splitting lanes etc. Also, less Tupperware. A simple knocked over on the kickstand on my vstrom netted in, broken mirror, bent bars, chunked bar end, gouged tank panel, busted turn signal. I went "cheap" and got aftermarket bars, and no bar ends, but it still cost $550. And that was me doing the work. Ouch.

I rode my dr 180 miles of slab Sunday, and it was damn good, save for the seat.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:42 PM   #11
itsatdm
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High altitude+ highway speeds + Passing = Uphill or downhill, just how long is the passing lane?

A Dr is a great bike, all 34rwhp of it. If you lived further down the hill, I would recommend it too. Typical carbs and exhaust add maybe 2-3 hp. If you really like to tinker, put a ProCycle 790cc kit with a pumper carb for 54HP.

Those that don't ride in the 7-10,000 foot range, have no idea how much power that sucks.
There is a formula for it. HP at sea level (34) X .03 X altitude(7,800) divided by 1000 = 8hp plus or minus.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:10 AM   #12
FlyGuy
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Easy you need a XR650R, you can strip the forks and shock off that CR500 with the right springs and work it will handle like a Baja winner.
power is easy to come by on the cheap compared to other models
what more could you want?

Its how we roll
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:55 AM   #13
Vegas Mike
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For the type of riding you mentioned. I would Say look for a nicely used Ktm 990. It's going to hurt the wallet more than the dr would. But weighs roughly what a KLR does. And has monster power on tap any time you want.

And you always have the smaller 2 strokers for the tight stuff anyway.

Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:10 AM   #14
LexLeroy
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KLR w/ a 705 kit or a DR650 w/ a ProCycle 790 kit. Suspension work is a given for anything that you buy.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:22 AM   #15
gjcarving
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I have a DR650 and a DL650. If your reality is mostly highway miles I would chose the DL all day long! Much better on the road and much more power for highway type maneuvers. I use my DR for 50/50 riding and it is great for that. That being said I have toured on it also and yes it did the highway miles but the DL is Much better. Unless your dirt roads are really gnarly I would get the DL. The KLR is a good split use wise between the DR and DL in terms of street/dirt but still short on horsepower. It really comes down to your average speed on the road and how rough the dirt roads you speak of are? I am 6'4'' 210 if that helps.
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