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Old Yesterday, 10:39 PM   #1
stilesb52 OP
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Coming to the experts on what bike!?!?!

Quick Stats:
6'2"
205 lbs
Back round of street bikes from 600's to hayabusa.
Used to do some track riding, knee dragging ect...
Street hooligan on a 600 or 750.
Standups, stoppies ect.

I would consider myself a competent rider, I used to ride a kx85 when younger and a yz125 in my teens then switched to quads and gncc style riding. A few year a go I got into the large 4x4's and bought a can am 800 renegade. Crashed that, totalled myself and the bike.

I have a friend of mine that is on here and he has got me hooked on the idea of a dual sport style bike, he rides a TW200 and its just to small and slow for me stop, the end. Sorry if that it offensive.

Anyway Sorry for the novel, I will be using this bike for 70 percent on road 30 off.
I've considered everything from a TW200 to a 640ktm or Big husky and can figure out what would work for me. crf250, wr250, wr450. I'm leaning to the bigger bikes for my size and power needs but who knows.

The DRZ in SM configuration seems like a good option for hooning around town and the occasional off road and tight situation.
I've always been a bit of a power junkie so my main thing is that I want to have more than enough power but don't want a bike that I can't do some low speed trail or on road goofing off on.

I know My question is so broad thats why I included so much info.

Thanks in advance fellas!
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Old Yesterday, 11:40 PM   #2
WR250X
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For dual sports based on your height and weight, a DRZ400S might be a good choice for a 70/30 bike. Everyone has their own opinions on what works, but for me I just finished a round of DS bikes and here is my scoop.

KLR 80/20
DRZ 60/40
DR650 70/30
WR250R 40/60
DL650 90/10

If your pavement includes any 60+ mph long rides, I would not go with the DRZ but the DR650. Loved the DRZ in the dirt and hated it in the street. Of course mine was the S and not the SM. Very buzzy at 65-70 when on a 200 mile ride.

Also depends on whether or not your friend on his TW will be your main riding friend. If this is who you will be riding a lot with, consider that to.
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM   #3
stilesb52 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR250X View Post
For dual sports based on your height and weight, a DRZ400S might be a good choice for a 70/30 bike. Everyone has their own opinions on what works, but for me I just finished a round of DS bikes and here is my scoop.

KLR 80/20
DRZ 60/40
DR650 70/30
WR250R 40/60
DL650 90/10

If your pavement includes any 60+ mph long rides, I would not go with the DRZ but the DR650. Loved the DRZ in the dirt and hated it in the street. Of course mine was the S and not the SM. Very buzzy at 65-70 when on a 200 mile ride.

Also depends on whether or not your friend on his TW will be your main riding friend. If this is who you will be riding a lot with, consider that to.
He may be one of my most frequent rider friends but mostly, I will be commuting from home to work about 24 miles 65+mph and get as roudy as I can on some trails.... you recommended the drz400s but you placed the 650 as a more or less 70/30 bike... My only fear is that the 650 will be too much of a pig?
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Old Today, 05:38 AM   #4
jms78
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You should define what type of off road riding you'll be doing. If you're serious about riding off road then the type of conditions you encounter in that "30 percent off road" will be the deciding factor for which bike to chose. It's much easier to ride an off road motorcycle on the road than an on road bike off road.
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Old Today, 05:43 AM   #5
wiswoodsguy
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How much do you want to spend ??

The KLR, DR650, & XR650L are all nice bikes, but will seem like pigs in your eyes. DRZ 400 seems to be the animal your looking for, will do exactly what you ask. I belong to a DS club and couple of guys have no issues doing anything on them.

If you want to open your wallet a little more, than consider the Euro bikes. For your 70/30 description the KTM 640/690 and Husky 610/630 are excellant choices as well. If your road riding only consists of burning around town and lesss distance riding, then a KTM EXC is a perfect choice. Perfect hooligan bike and awesone offroader, just a little lacking for a distance runner (but capable)

Happy hunting
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Old Today, 05:50 AM   #6
markk53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilesb52 View Post
He may be one of my most frequent rider friends but mostly, I will be commuting from home to work about 24 miles 65+mph and get as roudy as I can on some trails.... you recommended the drz400s but you placed the 650 as a more or less 70/30 bike... My only fear is that the 650 will be too much of a pig?

With your size you should do well with about any bike, but clearly you have some information we don't... where you are and the possible off road conditions. It's all about where you will be riding. Tight stuff - smaller more maneuverable bike, open fast stuff - bigger more powerful bike. The bigger engines carry added weight up higher, so they feel heavier than they actually are in weight difference. I have a Kawasaki KLX650C and a KLX250S, both dual sport. There is about 60-70 lb difference, but where the 650 feels huge and heavy - especially if you start tipping over - the 250 feels like you're on a mountain bike - totally able to toss side to side on a trail.

If you would be riding tight trails and very little open road (aka main highways with long boring straights) the DRz400 would be good stuff, since the gear box is a bit close on the ratios. If you wanted to have more power you could do a KTM530, light with near race power and possibly a better wider spread gear box.

The supermoto is great in play, but so are the dual sports with a decent 60/40 road/dirt tire and will be way better off road. They can run with the average rider on a supermoto. It's more about the rider and confidence in tires.

edit - the previous post snuck in a bit ahead of me, same thought process to an extent.
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Old Today, 07:17 AM   #7
Trail Boss
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3 categories

You might find it useful to think of dual sport bikes as basically consisting of 3 categories:
  • street legal dirt bikes
  • dual sport bikes
  • adventure bike
The street legal dirt bike class is best for off-road riding. I include bikes like the KTM EXC models in this category. This class of bikes is light and powerful, with just enough stuff (basically, lights and a horn) to make them street legal. Conversely they aren't a particularly good choice for extended highway riding. Certainly they could handle your 24 mile daily commute but wouldn't be the optimum choice for something like a multi-day 1000+ mile mixed pavement and non-pavement riding.


The dual sport bikes attempt to split the difference between the street legal dirt bikes and the big adventure bikes. The DRZ, KLR, DR, XR650L, TE610/630, KTM 690 all fit in this class. These bikes are 50 - 100 lbs heavier than street legal dirt bikes and 75- 200 lbs less than the adventure bike class. They are also outfitted with more stuff to make them better on highway than the street legal dirt bikes. Due to their weight they are more challenging to ride in tight, difficult conditions. They excel on dirt roads of all types and can handle moderate difficulty off-road riding. In short, they are significantly better dirt bikes than the adventure bikes and significantly better street bikes than the street legal dirt bikes. I think they are the most versatile of all 3 classes.


The adventure bikes are the SUVs of the dual sport adventure world. They are fantastic touring motorcycles that are also capable of being ridden on easy, dry, groomed dirt roads. They don't do well in mud, sand, rocky, wet, rutted, steep, off-camber, etc. conditions, making them a significantly lesser choice for off-road or difficult dirt roads.


My suggestion is to determine what kind of "off-road" riding you are going to do and how much pavement you are going to do. Off road riding means different things to different people. Riding motocross is off-road riding. Riding the Baja 1000 is off-road riding. Riding an enduro on the east coast is off-road riding. But even though all 3 of those activities are "off-road riding", they are all vastly different from each other and each places very different demands on the rider and the motorcycle. A motocross bike is far from the best choice for riding the Baja 1000, for example. If you intend to ride tight woods and difficult off-road stuff, then choose one of the street legal dirt bikes. If your off-road riding will not include tight, tough off-roading, but will instead consist of easy to moderate off-road riding, dirt roads, and other similar easy-to-moderate difficulty stuff, then a bike from the dual sport class will be a more versatile choice.


If, like many new riders, you aren't sure what type of riding you will actually be doing, then I recommend buying a good, used bike from the dual sport class. It doesn't matter which one you get; just find one that is in good shape and priced to sell and buy it. Ride it for 6 months to a year. By then you will likely have figured out what type of riding you want to do. If you have the wrong bike then sell it - you aren't married to it. If you've taken care of it and haven't extensively modified it then you can sell it for about what you paid for it. Then take the money and buy the bike that will better meet your riding preferences.
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Old Today, 09:53 AM   #8
stilesb52 OP
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Sorry I left out so much info, and thanks for the help so far.

I'm In Southern Indiana, So we have some good size hils and tighter trails, the riding I will be doing off road will mostly be slower speed tighter stuff. steeper long hills, slate pits ect.

I guess in my head as one of you broke down the 3 categories of dual sports. I'm leaning towards a dirt bike that is street legal if that makes sense. It wont be a daily commuter but I would like to have that ability if its nice out and I wanted to. So thats why I need the highway speeds. I just dont want to end up under powered, it sounds like the drz? But at that point do I look towards a wr250 over a drz? crf 250, convert a wr450? So many options my head hurts lol. I know you guys won't have a definitive answer but your experience with your own bikes helps alot.

I would love to have a woods trails style gncc, capable offroad bike that is street legal that I could throw some slicks on and take to the road course or deals gap haha...

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Old Today, 10:08 AM   #9
Trail Boss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilesb52 View Post
I guess in my head as one of you broke down the 3 categories of dual sports. I'm leaning towards a dirt bike that is street legal if that makes sense. It wont be a daily commuter but I would like to have that ability if its nice out and I wanted to. So thats why I need the highway speeds. I just dont want to end up under powered, it sounds like the drz?

The DRZ is in the dual sport bike category - it's not one of the street legal dirt bikes. Don't get me wrong, the DRZ is a fine motorcycle but at 320lbs it's a handful in tight or technical terrain.

In the street legal dirt bike category have a look at the KTM EXC models (525, 530, 500, 350) and the Husqvarna TE model (310/450/510). At 240-250 lbs they are 70 or more lbs lighter than a DRZ - and, consequently, that much better in the dirt.


Quote:
But at that point do I look towards a wr250 over a drz? crf 250, convert a wr450? So many options my head hurts lol.

You're overthinking your choice.
1. Pick a category (sounds like you've already done this since you indicate you are leaning toward the street legal dirt bike category)
2. Find a good used bike in your selected category. It doesn't really matter which one you choose, they are all more alike than not.
3. Buy it.
4. Ride it for 6 months to a year. If it still meets your needs, keep it. If it doesn't meet your needs, sell it for about what you paid for it and buy something else.
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Old Today, 10:09 AM   #10
alvincullumyork
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Coming to the experts on what bike!?!?!

First off you won't be happy with a KLR. Friends don't let friends buy KLRs. If you're on a budget look at a XR650L or DR650. Got some money to spend? KTM 500, 690, some of the bigger Huskys. You could also look for a street legal XR650R.



I have an XR650L and its a blast to ride around town and short stretches on the interstate aren't bad but it is just a slightly over sized dirt bike and a little under powered. Mines been worked over quite a bit and it does a lot better than a stock bike but it costs some money to do.





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Old Today, 10:26 AM   #11
BushX
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I'll second the guy who suggested the big ktm or husky. I picked up a husqvarna TE630 this year. I've done 3500 km in a week with a mix of dirt and street, including some overgrown double track and tight twisty paved roads and freeway at 130km/h plus. I've done single track on knobbies, and even some dry rocky rooty single track this weekend on basicly street tires. It handles twisty paved mountain roads like a champ too. I'm 6', 200 lbs, and can manage the bikes weight. It's sprung good for a heavier rider as is, which is a plus. Maintaninance intervals are long, which is good if you use it for commuting. One thing it does need for playing in the tight stuff is lower gearing. It's great out of the box for open stuff and cruising at 130, but 1st is too tall for the really tight woods work.
Good luck with whatever u decide on.
Ps, I've owned a lot of bikes from rm250, klx400r, cbr600rr, sv650 race bike, vtr1000, sprint st 1050, but this is by far the best do everything bike I've owned. And it does everything well.
I should add, good value too. Paid 6000k for my '11 with 2000 km on it. Similar ktm690, I could only find an 08 with 20,000k plus for the same cash.
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Old Today, 10:29 AM   #12
kyns
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Yamaha WR250R or KTM 690 ER.
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Old Today, 10:34 AM   #13
stilesb52 OP
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Yamaha WR250R or KTM 690 ER.
Since I dont know a whole lot and those seem so different was is sarcasim?
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Old Today, 11:03 AM   #14
kyns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilesb52 View Post
Since I dont know a whole lot and those seem so different was is sarcasim?
They are not that different really.

Pretty much the only capable modern dual sports made at the moment.
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Old Today, 11:05 AM   #15
davesupreme
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just got off our sunday DS ride.... pretty fast, alotta sand, whoops, whoops, whoops.... did is say whoops?....

guy that rides it just bought a new KTM 500 XC-W.... he was riding a 400 KLX (kawasaki branded DRZ) for quite awhile... he's pretty fast....

this was the first ride on the KTM, and he couldn't believe the difference.... went on and on about what a POS the KLX was.... and his was pretty shagged...

you ain't gonna beat the euro DS bikes... they're sweet, purpose designed, fast bikes with really good components.... no matter how you ride, they're better..... if you wanna really do 70% road, get a 690... and it's still sweeter than the jap bikes.....
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