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Old 11-02-2012, 06:34 PM   #16
seabee1
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There is a huge punchline for this thread title...

Same thing I thouht of when I read the title!

I think the listed bikes will suit you fine for trails. Any length of Tarmac, and you won't like them much, though. Fantastic for the trails. Light, flickable, and easy to pick up when the inevitable happens.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:44 PM   #17
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My first dual sport was a 1983 Honda XL600R...
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:24 PM   #18
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KTM 500 EXC or 690 Enduro R - those are my votes. (I have a 690)

Having ridden the Yamaha WR250, I can honestly say it's an awesome bike. For the riding I do, the 690 is a better choice for myself, however.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #19
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Eh? Need to define what dualsporting is for you

Forgot to say...you need to define for yourself what is dual sporting.

I rode my '75GT750 Suzuki two-stroke on something like 1200 miles of gravel on the AK Hwy, through ruts...never went down. Nowadays it seems that would be called dual sport, we just called it motorcycle riding... Rode the 600 miles mostly FS Roads WABDR on my 230L in August and I think on the toughest section I put a foot down once... because a small, light motorcycle is really easy, easier with the right weight and geometry (yes, KTM enduros are small, light motorcycles, along with the smaller Japanese dual sports).

There are smooth gravel roads and roads rocky and rutted like Jeep trails. I cruised gleefully the WABDR last August on a little dual sport, and one can look at TRs and see folks dropping 650s and 800s quite a bit on these WABDR roads. There are trails that you could easily ride a street bike on if dry- have done it. And there are trails in the mountains here that I have ridden since the '80s that are still scary...as in go off the 18 inch trail and it is a vertical fall in places And the really fun stuff are the switchbacks- series of switchbacks in places- that are tough even on dirt bikes (thus I like my little Hondas). Back east (have lived in OH and NC and ridden woods) there are tight trails, really narrow between trees, up, down, around.And slick mud. So if you take something like a 650 into the slick, tight and rough, if you ride it then all good, if not, one could be in for work and pain

I would agree with the big motorcycle guys that if one is riding reaslonable gravel roads and highway a big 650 and up is fine....
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #20
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Oh, I thought you were 30.
You can get away with falling on a big heavy bike when 30, not so much at 50+.
The weight and height of a bigger bike and brittle bones can end up badly sometimes.

wr250 or back roads and one of the other modern smaller lighter bikes.
A clean used dr350 is a good inexpensive pick.

The euro brands are great, but are tall and seem to take more looking after.



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Old 11-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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John with your inseam and height, I would recommend the WR250R or any 01-07 KTM 400/450/525 EXC (you can find them all over New England plated for around 3k)

The KTM and WR will feel similar on the road, with the KTM having much more power and the WR being the familiar Japanese workmanship. The WR needs less maintenance, but any bike you take off road will need to be look after....a lot.

The Yamaha will be more $$, but it's a capable little bike. In fact, it's pretty much the only Japanese bike that's come out in the last 10 years for the enduro/dual sport market with any notable upgrades at all. The Euro bikes have really run away with the enduro market.

Shoot me a PM if you want to chat.

EDIT
If you can find a clean, well-sorted 97+ DR350, they are great underrated bikes. It will need massive suspension work/replacement, but the engine/tranny/E-start/ergos are really well done. They are rare.

The problem with the DR650/XR650 and most other Japanese bikes is that they suffer from the same problems....outdated parts where it counts....shitty suspension/brakes, crappy wheelsets, bad trannys with huge gaps and no 6th gear, just disposable parts all around. Most people that own and love their Japanese bikes have sunk thousands into them. Plus they are heavy as fucking hell. A KTM 450 EXC is around 275lbs wet. A DR650 is around 350. Offroad, you really feel that weight.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:42 AM   #22
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OTG says it all well

Another choice:

I had a Husky TE610 for 4years/12,000 miles...the most overlooked/underrated/best kept secret in 50/50 dual sports hands down. You get all the top shelf components, light weight (for an open class bike), HP, reliable, and the worlds best gear box spread. 2006-2009 for the 610 (06-07 being pumper carb, 08 and newer being EFI), and then the 630 for 2 years (610 with slightly more cc's, better head).

My wife has a 99 DR350 with a 441 kit and pumper carb. That is a great engine, and is certainly a viable choice for a do it all bike (we had another one with a stock engine...night and day difference)...but my 610 did everything better
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:16 AM   #23
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DR350 is not the bike for a tall, long-legged guy.

Since budget is not an issue, I'd check out the WR250R, plus the KTM 350 / 500 EXC
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:18 AM   #24
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Good info so far. Thanks. Keep it coming.

Any thoughts on a similar type bike for our 25 y.o. daughter 5' 7" 115#? Thinking 200-250cc range.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:55 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by DC2wheels View Post
Good info so far. Thanks. Keep it coming.

Any thoughts on a similar type bike for our 25 y.o. daughter 5' 7" 115#? Thinking 200-250cc range.
Yamaha XT225/250, Kawasaki Super Sherpa, Honda CRF230L.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
...


The problem with the DR650/XR650 and most other Japanese bikes is that they suffer from the same problems....outdated parts where it counts....shitty suspension/brakes, crappy wheelsets, bad trannys with huge gaps and no 6th gear, just disposable parts all around. Most people that own and love their Japanese bikes have sunk thousands into them. Plus they are heavy as fucking hell. A KTM 450 EXC is around 275lbs wet. A DR650 is around 350. Offroad, you really feel that weight.
My Honda 230L has a six speed and I enjoy it immensely on gnarly trails and dual sport adventure trips across the state. Folks I meet on the XT225 have similar stories. Weight, weight, weight! Seat height! Makes up for a lot of better suspension...True, not the best suspension, but it works for trail and dualsport- NOT enduro/ racing/ hucking. I have installed a custom seat, footpegs, and raised the handlebars. Will ride the dirt roads plenty fast and the curvy ones as fast as any. I hung 40 lbs luggage on the back for a few thousand miles, no problems. Cost per mile is as low as it goes, reliability is as high as it goes...So the little bike hauls me around, will haul your daughter and she will have fun....or you for that matter

And I wrestle the same questions- WRR v KTM500 v everything...have sat on and priced them all this month.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #27
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OK, just got home from looking around at what is probably the largest multi-brand MC dealer in NH (even though we probably will go the used route). They had Hondas, Kawis, Suzukis and Yamahas (but no WR250) plus KTMs

Some of you really hit it on the head. Just sitting on bikes in the showroom, the Honda CRF230F fits Jen like it was made for her. The dealer said that there is a road legal kit available (yes?)

I think that this might be a good bike for her. Yeah, I know that it is pretty basic and probably will not be good for long term pounding, but Jen is NOT a pin-it and bin-it rider. She is so easy on equipment. The think would probably last her until she wants something else in quite a few years.

As far as me, (35+" inseam) the KTM machines are really something that I could get to like. They had quite a few on the floor- seeing the prices, I can see why. The 350 EXC-F feels right for my size. But $$$$ (Thanks Dave )

So the search begins.........

But please keep up the suggestions.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #28
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Some of you really hit it on the head. Just sitting on bikes in the showroom, the Honda CRF230F fits Jen like it was made for her. The dealer said that there is a road legal kit available (yes?)

I think that this might be a good bike for her. Yeah, I know that it is pretty basic and probably will not be good for long term pounding, but Jen is NOT a pin-it and bin-it rider. She is so easy on equipment. The think would probably last her until she wants something else in quite a few years.
Look at the CRF230L. Basically same bike as the CRF230F, but street legal, and Japanese manufactured instead of Brazil.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #29
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You probably won't have any trouble making the CRF230F legal in NH, but the CRF230L is street legal from the factory.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by DC2wheels View Post
OK, just got home from looking around at what is probably the largest multi-brand MC dealer in NH (even though we probably will go the used route). They had Hondas, Kawis, Suzukis and Yamahas (but no WR250) plus KTMs

Some of you really hit it on the head. Just sitting on bikes in the showroom, the Honda CRF230F fits Jen like it was made for her. The dealer said that there is a road legal kit available (yes?)

I think that this might be a good bike for her. Yeah, I know that it is pretty basic and probably will not be good for long term pounding, but Jen is NOT a pin-it and bin-it rider. She is so easy on equipment. The think would probably last her until she wants something else in quite a few years.

As far as me, (35+" inseam) the KTM machines are really something that I could get to like. They had quite a few on the floor- seeing the prices, I can see why. The 350 EXC-F feels right for my size. But $$$$ (Thanks Dave )

So the search begins.........

But please keep up the suggestions.
I find that the WR250R feels very comfortable with my 34 inch inseam and 36 inch sleeve. The KTM500 fit but I felt that I would need to raise the handlebars. WRR has the best seat.

I rode my buddy's WR250R on trails, it is higher-rev power, and also outclimbed him, thus for trails I prefer the 230L. My quiver would include WRR + 230L but it seems wasteful to buy the WRR just for the CDR when the 230L would do it...

The 230F has better suspension and more aftermarket mods available. My 230L works for me @ 230lbs I think because it is designed for 2 up riding so with the suspension on max it works...not plush...only 6 inches rear travel (F has more) ...so I stand up a lot to ride. I think the 230L is not understood or appreciated, that little dog pulls on trails/ climbs and is easy and tractable on dirt. The WRR is fine but the power comes on up in the revs a bit. Since I do not want to rip around with my hair on fire or race I have a hard time considering spending the big $$ for the real performance, not needed for trail and gravel roads. BTW, my 230L is nice because of the Seat Concepts seat XR Only foot pegs and 1 7/8 handlebar risers.The 230L has a shorter wheelbase than the F and any other dualsport. That makes it maneuverable, but less stable say at 60 MPH in Baja, where I will not be riding...I did a lot of 40 to 50 MPH on dirt/ gravel riding and on the beach...

When I bought the 230L for trails, I ruled out the WR250R for trails that I ride because of the weight...
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