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Old 11-09-2014, 04:15 AM   #1
sfreak77 OP
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Now im confused.

Ok...
Common question with a twist.

What size bike is best?

Yes I am rollings my eyes too.

I had it all figured out untill going to a few dealerships today.
I have been trying to decide between a Suziki DR 650 and a Triumph Scrambled or TigerXC.
Wanting to put hands on I decided to hit a few shops and do some looking.

At the Suzuki dealer I looked at a 2015 DR, it felt good.
Good seat hight for me and just seemed natural.
Then the salesman opened his mouth.
He was pushing the DRZ 400 saying the 650 was too much for a first dual sport.
I've been riding for years and yes this will be my first dirt ride I'm pretty sure I'll manage.
The 400 felt short to me, I could flat foot both bikes but the 400 was a solid on the ground foot. Where the 650 I was just able to plant both heels down in sneakers in boots I will be fine. After looking for a while longer the salesman said if I wanted a 650 I should go with the Kawasaki KLR 650 not the DR.

So now off to the Triumph dealer...
The Tiger XC 800. A little more modern than I expected.. lots of plastic.
The Triumph guy went the other way and was saying I needed to go bigger to the 1130.?
Explaining that id want the extra power for the highway riding I wanted to do.
I'm being realistic and not expecting a bike to do 100mph all day.
I checked out a few bikes and headed home.

So here I sit hoping to be closer to a decision but instead im more confused.
I kind of explained what I'm looking for in another thread but ill recap.
I'm looking for a dual sport to use for a dd (20 miles average) and hit trails on the weekends.
I will be doing longer trips from NY to PA about 300 miles at times but not regularly.

I'm a bigger guy at 5' 11 260lbs so obviously a 250 wont cut it.
How do you / I size a bike?
Street bikes I know how to figure out but DS/ adventure style I'm confused now.

I figured the 650 size for the suspension and Hp.
But the Suzuki guy said I can beef up the 400 and do power adders. Header etc..
The Triumph guy agreed but said 650 would be over worked on the highways.
I know the DR and Tiger are 2 significantly different bikes but I'm just stumped.

And then add the KLR to the mix. :(
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:19 AM   #2
sfreak77 OP
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Thanks for the tip.
I'll check out thumper for sure.

The 400 was a 2012 trade in that had side bags and rear aftermarket susp.
I forget what but it was stiff as a board and barely moved when my big azz sat on it.

I'm used to a 900cc Triumph America (road bike) and figured a 400 would be too small.

I road a friends enduro a few weeks ago that got me wanting my own.
It was a Honda.. 400?? Don't remember exactly but a 4 stroke.
It did ok but I had to keep the rev's up.

Granted it's set up for a guy who is maybe 170lbs wet and I'm 260..
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:20 AM   #3
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Oops sorry, was mid-edit and started over, deleted my original post. :-)

You might get more play in the thumpers section.
Normally I'd recommend the 400, but like you said at 260 you're a pretty big guy.

I think the 400 is a better bike then both the kawi and DR650.
Put 45,000 miles, many offroad, on mine from 2003-2008,
then bought a KTM950 superenduro.

My advice, see if you can get test rides on anything you're considering.
Dealers are not always willing, but they should be if you are serious.
Friendly guys in your area on adv and perhaps thumpertalk.com might hook you up too.

A friend of mine just got the BMW 800, he seems to like it.
It sits somewhere between my 400 and 950 in size and power.

Best of luck in your search for offroad bliss.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
trailer Rails
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You don't say where you live but I am going to assume America. It seems like everyone in America try's to compensate for the size of their member in their pants and have to ride a huge 1000cc+ bikes or drive diesel pickups to the grocery store. As the saying goes, it is not the size but how you use it.

I used to have a DRZ400 and loved that bike. If it had an aftermarket seat, I would loved it more. I made a mistake and sold it. After a couple mistake bikes I am on a DR650 and am real happy. Both of the bikes will more than break the speed limit and can cruise at 80mph. Granted, on steep mountain roads, you may wish for a bit more power but be patient with the bike, let them rev a bit more. They will reward you when the roads get rough. The 400 is better for short rides and rougher roads. Although I did a few 300-500 mile days on it. The 650 is more suited to sustained high speed roads than the 400 but is still very off road friendly. The KLR is even more suited for roads and less offroad friendly.

There are other bikes it would consider if money was no object. KTM690 and some BMWs but the Suzuki bikes can be had cheap, are easy to work on and add a few aftermarket parts you can have the bike exactly how you want.

Keep us posted on what you end up with.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
sfreak77 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
You don't say where you live but I am going to assume America. It seems like everyone in America try's to compensate for the size of their member in their pants and have to ride a huge 1000cc+ bikes or drive diesel pickups to the grocery store. As the saying goes, it is not the size but how you use it.

I used to have a DRZ400 and loved that bike. If it had an aftermarket seat, I would loved it more. I made a mistake and sold it. After a couple mistake bikes I am on a DR650 and am real happy. Both of the bikes will more than break the speed limit and can cruise at 80mph. Granted, on steep mountain roads, you may wish for a bit more power but be patient with the bike, let them rev a bit more. They will reward you when the roads get rough. The 400 is better for short rides and rougher roads. Although I did a few 300-500 mile days on it. The 650 is more suited to sustained high speed roads than the 400 but is still very off road friendly. The KLR is even more suited for roads and less offroad friendly.

There are other bikes it would consider if money was no object. KTM690 and some BMWs but the Suzuki bikes can be had cheap, are easy to work on and add a few aftermarket parts you can have the bike exactly how you want.

Keep us posted on what you end up with.
Yeah sry.
I'm in New York Hudson valley area.

Like I was saying I have based my initial search requirements based on my experience with road bikes. I'm sure smaller bikes will work but I'm not sure how small.
Heck a friend suggested I start with a KLX250.

As far as my brand choices.
I'd love a KTM but the nearest dealer is 45 min away.
I have a Suzuki dealer literally 5 min away and a Triumph 15.

The 400 is a nice bike I just hadn't seriously considered it.
Its also more affordable.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:04 AM   #6
C/1/509
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Depends of course
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:28 AM   #7
swimmer
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Yes, considering you posted your question in the section of the forum which has almost no motorcycle content, you are confused.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:54 AM   #8
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Here's my thoughts:

You should buy the bike for the riding you plan to do most of the time. That means that if 300 mile days are going to be pretty infrequent (10% of your riding time) then buy the bike suited to the 90%, which sounds like it will be in town and dirt riding.

Will this be your only bike? If it is, that changes the process considerably.

Post up in your regional forums and see if you can hook up with some inmates that own the bikes you're considering. If you ask nicely, and/or provide a six pack/bottle, they may let you have a bit of a ride. Since you've been riding for years, you're well aware that a bike's street manners are not obvious while just sitting on it in a showroom.

At the end of the day though, choosing which bike tends to be an emotional choice, rather than a logical one. Choose the bike that makes your pants warm. Ride it, love it. Break up with it if it turns out not to be the one for you. Then pick another.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:00 AM   #9
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If we're talking all-around bikes with highway and dirt I'm gonna have to recommend the DR 650. I've put 26,000 miles on mine, it pulls like a tractor, is incredibly easy to ride and extremely simple to maintain.
I've also put 11,000 on my DRZ400. It's also a great bike, but for a big guy, you'll appreciate the extra power eventually.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:10 PM   #10
sfreak77 OP
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Originally Posted by swimmer View Post
Yes, considering you posted your question in the section of the forum which has almost no motorcycle content, you are confused.
Valid point.

Noob to site and still figuring out what goes where.
I'm going to re post this thread in a different section for better visibility.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:33 PM   #11
sfreak77 OP
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Moved.

Mods please close
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
High Country Herb
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If you wanted to explore trails in your back yard, the 250 would be a good place to start, but that isn't your situation. For your size and possible 300 mile trips, the 400 is out too.

I agree with Benduro. The DR650 will handle those infrequent highway trips, cruising at 75-80 all day. That is the bike I would recommend.

The guy who suggested the DR650 was too big and you should get the KLR650 was nuts. The KLR is a big bulky thing designed to cover highway miles and forest roads while carrying lots of gear. To me, they feel the same size as the Suzuki V-Strom 650. It has its purpose, but seems a bit big for your needs.

The Triumph 800XC is another larger off roadish bike designed for highway use. Cool bike, but a bad place to start off roading.

If you want something bigger and badder the KTM 950 superenduro would be a good second dirt bike for someone your size. KTM also makes some 525-690 cc sized dual sports you may want to consider if you have the budget (price and maint.)
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #13
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I m no expert . Never graduated college but , if your new to off road start with the dr 400 . I have an 1150 gs, a drz 400 ,a ktm 300 ,and a reflex 200 different tools for different jobs .The gs can be taken off road but at 500 lbs+ I don't do anything technical with it thats what the others are for. They all have their place the dr 400 sounds like the bike for you . Lighter / easier to pick forgiving start small and work up . Long days on the dr will be rough but a comfy seat and a windshield can wonders even stock you could work up to longer days. You have to remember what tool you are using and what you doing with it . Take your time and keep posting . Maybe find some local adv folk to help steer you in the right direction . A big bike off road can get to be a handful quick -discouraging and leaving you second guessing the off road stuff - take your time be realistic .the highway speeds in the east are slower than the west ? Realistically what woud your average highway speed be slower more dr 400 friendly faster dr 650 friendly . Boy I'm long winded !!!! Pm if you want too ?
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:24 PM   #14
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:45 PM   #15
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You are very clearly in the early stages of a serious medical condition known as MBS. MBS (or Multiple Bike Syndrome) frequently starts with the realization that no one bike can do everything. After a time this disease progresses to the idea that no two bikes can do everything....next thing you know..no 3, 4 or 5 bikes can really scratch each riding itch. The progression of the disease is both tragic, expensive and rather enjoyable. This disease often causes marital problems as well.

From reading this thread I can see that some others are already infected.

Sadly there is no known cure. The best advice is simply to enjoy it as best as you can or as long as your finances hold out.

Good luck.

Eric
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