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Old 11-29-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
Craneguy OP
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Location: Muscat, Oman, Cuerna, Mexico, Houston, Tx
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Off Roading on a 600

Hey Guys.

I have never spent one minute off-road on a bike in my life, and I'm coming to the conclusion that my Vee is not the bike to learn on. The need arises to ride up rocky farm trails sometimes, so I want a thumper. My plan is to take it when I know the trails will be bad, and get some off-road experience for when mad MikeMike of Vera Cruz wants to lead me off the tarmac on the Strom.

I don't have the luxury of a car and trailer, so I need something that will cover some miles, then take me where the asphalt don't go.

Decent bikes are expensive down here, so I have a fair bit of money tied up in my Strom. Bike #2 needs to be cheap (ish), easily repaired with brown paper and string and since I have a bad back, easily lifted.

I was thinking about a DR350, but they don't seem to be available down here, only the 200. After the Strom, I think that will be a bit of a toy on the highway.

I always liked the the KLR650, but it's still a bit heavy. The XT600 looks skinnier.

Anyway, I can flat-foot the Strom so that gives you an idea of my size.

Let me know your suggestions please...
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
OrangeYZ
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Off roading is possible on a 600


It's on the heavy side of the dirt bike scale, but sounds perfect for what you want to do. An XR600R is way lighter than a Strom, Lighter than a KLR, and probably lighter than a DR350. That's probably true for the XT600 as well, though I don't know for sure.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
Craneguy OP
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Thanks.

I just checked and the XT is 220 lbs lighter than my Strom, and about 50 less than the KLR.

We may have a front runner... Unfortunately I can't find an XBR.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
Kommando
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I don't know what your price-range or size is, but a used WR250R might work well for you. I'd also consider a sorted DR650SE if you're my build or stronger...5'8"/200lb/30"inseam/strong like bull. The DR runs highway pretty nice for an agricultural thumper. With some smart mods, I think it makes a nicer slab bike than the KLR650, while still being more like a dirtbike when offroad. Just don't expect either to be a racebike. They're both pretty versatile, but they accomplish this in different ways.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
G600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craneguy View Post
Hey Guys.

I have never spent one minute off-road on a bike in my life, and I'm coming to the conclusion that my Vee is not the bike to learn on. The need arises to ride up rocky farm trails sometimes, so I want a thumper. My plan is to take it when I know the trails will be bad, and get some off-road experience for when mad MikeMike of Vera Cruz wants to lead me off the tarmac on the Strom.

I don't have the luxury of a car and trailer, so I need something that will cover some miles, then take me where the asphalt don't go.

Decent bikes are expensive down here, so I have a fair bit of money tied up in my Strom. Bike #2 needs to be cheap (ish), easily repaired with brown paper and string and since I have a bad back, easily lifted.

I was thinking about a DR350, but they don't seem to be available down here, only the 200. After the Strom, I think that will be a bit of a toy on the highway.

I always liked the the KLR650, but it's still a bit heavy. The XT600 looks skinnier.

Anyway, I can flat-foot the Strom so that gives you an idea of my size.

Let me know your suggestions please...
If your primary focus is off-road go for a mid size trail bike like the DRZ400E, XR400 or DR350 (if you can get them plated in your area). Avoid race bikes if you want reliability and cheap/easy maintenance. Personally I avoid modern FI bikes like the plague, racebikes or trailbikes.

If you are looking for (semi)comfort on road, simplicity and can live with modest off road capability go for an air cooled, old school thumper like the XT600, DR650 or similar. I have had a few XT's and like them. Low maintenance and easy to fix. The old XT's (1984-1989) are somewhat "real" dirtbikes, but the newer ones are dualsport (more comfort on road). Bikes in this class will not shine in the dirt but do OK at low speed.

If any longer distance blacktop riding is involved, definitely go for the bigger bikes. Tall, skinny, lightweight dirtbikes are not really good for that. Bikes like the XR or DRZ will handle it fine with the right gearing, but they are not comfortable. Get one of the bigger bikes, you wont be using knobbies if you are riding on the blacktop a lot, and without decent traction you cant ride hard int the dirt anyway.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:21 AM   #6
Mike the Yank
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I'm new to "off roading" and my XR600 is damn heavy. I should have got a XR250 or XR400 until I got used to off road again. Last street bike was a 88 CBR1000 so I'm not a wimp to big power or bigger bikes. If you can even find a XR250L with an electric start you'll be laughing.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:38 AM   #7
bamfslap
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The 600 will feel heavy offroad, but if you have the determination and can build up the skill, it can feel light. It might take a year or 6 months of regularly practicing, but it can be done.

I can throw my XR600 and 650 around like a rag doll. Yeah if i jumped on a 450 I would be blown away by the weight differences, but I am having fun and can handle it and am pretty good at it, so why not?

It just takes time, practice/dedication, and a litte bit of stubborness.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
Craneguy OP
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The Strom will remain my main bike, but a 400 would be enough to get me to the dirt.

I'm not weak by any means, but I do have a bad back that will send me to bed for a week if I tweak it. I have no fear of multiple falls, but picking up a heavy bike over and over will leave me an invalid.

I was looking for a DR350, but I haven't found a used one yet. There are some DR200's around but that's probably too small.

I obsess about farkling my Vee, so the dirt bike needs to clean and straight but other than that I want something I won't give a crap about beating up and can be fixed with hammer.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
Mike the Yank
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I did my licence test on a dr200 and yes it will be too small.
If you have a bad back you should focus on an electric start too, kicking can be a bitch, esspecially after a fall where it floods!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
Craneguy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike the Yank View Post
I did my licence test on a dr200 and yes it will be too small.
If you have a bad back you should focus on an electric start too, kicking can be a bitch, esspecially after a fall where it floods!
Good call. I used to have a Vespa that needed 40 kicks to start if it was damp. I was a courier, and that gets old after 10 stops. Never again!
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
Dino3310
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a good comprise say between the XR600/650 and the DR350 would be the DRZ400, some guys over here go every where on them, only down fall on longer trips is the plank of a seat although that can be changed/moded. another would be the new WRF450.

as for me im as happy as a pig in shit with my XR600r whether on or off highway
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