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Old 02-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
rdcamp OP
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Newb adv tourer bike questions

So, I would really love to get into adventure touring.

I'm going to be on a budget. This would be a second bike to my BMW R80

Is it better to buy used or new?

I'm short 5'7'' i guess around a 28'' inseam.

The only dealers in the area are Kawi, Suzu, Honda, and Yamaha.

I'm a novice level mechanic (can currently do oil) But will be learning much more this season.


Bikes that I have looked at are the KLR 650

DRZ400

So, any input is welcome.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
ram1000
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Understanding the range of your interest is skewed by the two bikes you've mentioned. On the one side the KLR is a great ADV bike for those that will generally see only paved and dirt roads while the DRZ is more suited to rough dirt roads or even single track type trails for experienced riders, although single track usually draws in the even more focused KTM style bikes. I have personally had somewhere near 60 motorcycles including the venerable 950 KTM for my ADV riding. I have settled on a KLR for my ADV rides at this time and also own a DR650 that has every bit as much money in it as my previous experiences with KTM's and other serious off road equipment. My best advise is that you stick with what those you intend to ride with, already ride. If they go out for a 1000 mile weekend as I do then the KLR is your better fit, while if your more likely to ride 100 miles into the mountains or desert and camp of your bike in that situation your going to feel hampered by a KLR unless your riding partners are likewise hampered. This is where my DR650 shines for myself. Also consider your riding ability/experience if you lean towards the KLR where the DRZ would better fit. There is more difference than can be appreciated or conveyed in words between the DRZ off road and the KLR off road, while on a dirt road either can do the trick, more depending on how much pavement is involved getting there. These distinctions are why I own both the KLR for my future long distance ADV rides and a DR650 with better suspension than my previously owned KTM 640 Dual Sport for serious off-roading and trail camping, although the DR is too much bike off road for a beginner to be using it for single track type riding. A DRZ or even better a WR is more suitable to a newbie off roader. AS all bikes are a compromise in some situations you will be happiest with what those use ride with, own.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
rdcamp OP
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Ok, well from what information I've gathered, the KLR is much more up my alley.

I want something I can tour on the road with, with occasional off road excursions.

Most of the people I know who ride (My dad, some of his friends) all ride old airheads, I didn't get a chance to ride with anyone except my dad last season. This season I will be riding with a bunch more people, most of whom ride BMW GS bikes.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
McB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcamp View Post
Ok, well from what information I've gathered, the KLR is much more up my alley.

I want something I can tour on the road with, with occasional off road excursions.

Most of the people I know who ride (My dad, some of his friends) all ride old airheads, I didn't get a chance to ride with anyone except my dad last season. This season I will be riding with a bunch more people, most of whom ride BMW GS bikes.
I've lived in your neck of the woods, and a KLR or DR650 would be terrific for the roads you have available. Of the two, the DR is more athletic, but the KLR is a better pack mule. The VT/MA/NY triangle has lots of 50-55 mph two-lanes, old farm roads, forest service roads..... Many of the abandoned farm roads or no maintenance forest roads still show up on the DeLorme Gazateers. When I lived there (mid-80s) I rode them on an SR500 Yamaha, but a dual sport would have been even better.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
clintnz
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The KLR is heavy & the DRZ is tall. I'd go for the DR650 over those two for a shorter dude. If you have high offroad ambitions, but low offroad experience, something like an XT250 or Super Sherpa 250 may be the ticket to get started on. A bit slow on the highway but much more fun on the trails.

If you like your airheads & don't want to get too gnarly offroad, you probably should try to get a ride on a R80GS too.

Cheers
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
rdcamp OP
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The empty seat height on all of those bikes is pretty high 33''+ up.

I'd assume that settles when there is 180 lbs of rider?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
McB
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Originally Posted by rdcamp View Post
The empty seat height on all of those bikes is pretty high 33''+ up.

I'd assume that settles when there is 180 lbs of rider?
Quite a bit. But both can be lowered as well. Check out Kouba Links for an example of the products availalble to assist with that.

http://www.koubalink.com/
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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I looked at a lot of DRZ's myself, they can be had cheap and there are lots of aftermarket parts available for a reasonable price too. Great bike.

Since you're riding a BMW R80, I'll assume you like the idea of a "classic bike"... what about a KTM 640? There early models like the late 90's to the early 2000's can be had pretty cheap. The after market is still fairly good for them. They can do anything from highways to gnarly off road...

There's also the KTM 690 if you have some cash or maybe the Yamaha 250 if you're looking for something low maintenance and very capable off road?
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #9
rdcamp OP
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I'll look into them. It seems there are plenty of options. However, the KLR does seem like it would be a lot of fun travel on
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Fun and KLR are rarely words used together. They are utilitarian, funtional and reliable but not known for their fun factor.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
rdcamp OP
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what would you suggest as fun then?

I mean the bike I have already I don't think most would call "fun"

Do I love riding my airhead? most definitely

Does it do what I want it to do? Yes

Would most people enjoy it, probably not.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:14 PM   #12
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcamp View Post
So, I would really love to get into adventure touring.

I'm going to be on a budget. This would be a second bike to my BMW R80

Is it better to buy used or new?

I'm short 5'7'' i guess around a 28'' inseam.

The only dealers in the area are Kawi, Suzu, Honda, and Yamaha.

I'm a novice level mechanic (can currently do oil) But will be learning much more this season.


Bikes that I have looked at are the KLR 650

DRZ400

So, any input is welcome.
I'd go used DR650SE if you have the experience to handle a 350lb+ bike. It's lower at the seat than the KLR or the DR-Z. It's even lower than many modern 250s. It's also simpler, being air/oil-cooled, and having screw/locknut valve adjustments. It'll haul weight like a KLR, has plenty of power for 2up slabbing once jetted, weighs less than a KLR, has wider gearspread than the DR-Z, doesn't mind revs, runs smooth on the slab, isn't known for burning oil, and has decent aftermarket/used parts support. Lightweight dirtbike? None of these are. Look for an air-cooled 250 if you want light weight in the dirt, but don't expect to comfortably cruise slab all day at 70+MPH on one like you could on a modern and hefty 6spd WR-R, CRF-L, or a chunky and archaic wide-ratio 5spd DR.

Check some of these bikes out at dealers and demo days. Some may just not feel right to you.

I'm just a little taller than you @ 5'8"/200lb/30"inseam. I ride an unlowered DR as my first dualsport. Lower and/or lighter would definitely help in the dirt, but it's still OK. I'm not running race pace or anything. I ride it like a dirtbike in sand, mud, rocks, gravel, grass, roots, and logs. I ride it like a touring bike, flying 1100 miles of slab in a day. I commute 2up on it. It handles it all fine.

You can factory-lower a DR. You can also slide the forks and use lowering links. You can shave an inch or two from the seat as well. In fact, aftermarket seats are available for the DR in lowered configurations. From 34.8", factory lowering takes the seat down to 33". Sliding the forks and installing lowering links can take it down below 32". Installing a lower seat can take it below 31". Use a skidplate, even at max height.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
jessepitt
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/\ /\ /\ This.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #14
bmwktmbill
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You are riding a Euro bike, don't cheat yourself.

Get a used 640 KTM Adventure and learn something.

The Japanese mc's are not of the same quality.
They are easy.

IMHO.
bill
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