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Old 04-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #16
where2next?
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DRZ is just as reliable I think and its twice the bike that a KLR is stock. The KLR is better on the highway though, especially the newer ones with fairings and a windshield. I would submit that the maintenance costs of bikes on a per mile basis is mostly tires, chains, air filters and crash damage so there shouldn't be much difference between the 2. Both bikes are proven designs with long track records of reliability over the years. The difference is that the KLR needs serious upgrades as soon as you buy it and that can get expensive. don't forget that you will need to buy protective gear etc for the road and insurance so buying something that intimidately needs $$$ poured into it is just a hidden cost. I suppose given an equal purchase price for a stock DRZ and a highly modified KLR it would come down to riding style, fit, and expected use. At 6'2 you might prefer the taller DRZ to the shorter KLR and your weight would argue for the bike with better suspension which is a major edge that the DRZ has over the KLR.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:08 AM   #17
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The DRZ is easy to disguise as a far cooler machine as well.

Edge tail light and a modern looking headlight replacment and it's a darn cool looking bike. I'll post pics when I finish mine.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:28 AM   #18
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That "last century" technology has advantages; tried and true, reliable, and long maintenance intervals. But, like has been said, they are heavy and left stock, underpowered.
The DRZ is damn nice but you never said how much street you were doing and if it included highway. There is much to be said for comfort when you spend a long time in the saddle.
I think all the opinions are great but you really need to get on a dirt oriented bike and ride both dirt and street and then try one of the heavier road oriented DS bikes and try that.
I am 6'1", 240 and fit. I chose one of the heavy DS bikes cuz I can handle the extra weight off road but can ride all day on the highway in comfort.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:45 AM   #19
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team green

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon86 View Post
DRZ400S.

You'll love it.
The green drz's are faster......

Just got back from a weekend at Hatfield McCoy trails in the hills of WV. Plenty of power and soft enough not to tire you out after a long day of trails...

Every now and then I take it to work.... does 65 to 70 without the wobble...

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #20
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A DRZ400 can be easely modded to fit ur need and type of riding you decide to do without breaking you bank account. Parts and after market stuff are available for cheap when u need them. It have 2 major flows that can be fixed with simple mods.
1- It comes with 5 speed. Lots of riders would prefer 6th gear for freeway rides. It help keep the revs down. Solution: play the gearing to find the sweet spot that fits ur riding.
2- The seat is horrible for long distance rides (cross country or so). It can be replace with a better comfy one. (seat concept, Corbin, etc...).
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone! Lots of good replies.

Skibumbrian, in my OP, i mentioned the type of riding I'd be doing. No freeway. All country roads (80km/h limits) and gravel and dirt roads. Would definitely be using the streets to mostly look for nice long dirt trails through the woods.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR650SEDDY View Post
A DRZ400 can be easely modded to fit ur need and type of riding you decide to do without breaking you bank account. Parts and after market stuff are available for cheap when u need them. It have 2 major flows that can be fixed with simple mods.
1- It comes with 5 speed. Lots of riders would prefer 6th gear for freeway rides. It help keep the revs down. Solution: play the gearing to find the sweet spot that fits ur riding.
2- The seat is horrible for long distance rides (cross country or so). It can be replace with a better comfy one. (seat concept, Corbin, etc...).
Fair enough. 6th gear would be nice, though
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by calgarydrz View Post
DRZ is just as reliable I think and its twice the bike that a KLR is stock. The KLR is better on the highway though, especially the newer ones with fairings and a windshield. I would submit that the maintenance costs of bikes on a per mile basis is mostly tires, chains, air filters and crash damage so there shouldn't be much difference between the 2. Both bikes are proven designs with long track records of reliability over the years. The difference is that the KLR needs serious upgrades as soon as you buy it and that can get expensive. don't forget that you will need to buy protective gear etc for the road and insurance so buying something that intimidately needs $$$ poured into it is just a hidden cost. I suppose given an equal purchase price for a stock DRZ and a highly modified KLR it would come down to riding style, fit, and expected use. At 6'2 you might prefer the taller DRZ to the shorter KLR and your weight would argue for the bike with better suspension which is a major edge that the DRZ has over the KLR.
Good points! I'll leave the KLR out of my search, I think.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
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I need to learn how to add links(help) but their are a couple of guys on ADV who are heading for the tip of South America from Oregon on a couple of DRZ400's,slightly modded but mods you would do eventually if Dualsporting was where you end up.When you decide what type of riding will fit you there are many options,the only limit is your finances,and damn you'll have a lot of fun as you experience the world of bikes,just ask anyone here,oh you did!Oh and I am partial to KLR's at the moment cause that's what I have at the moment,it's ever evolving for me,have gone through 6 bikes in the last couple of years,hey I can't get a new wife so it's motorcycle for variety.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropsix View Post
I have done some pretty good research on all the brands and all the dual sport bikes out there. I plan to ride 50% gravel roads/dirt roads and the other half street. I live in the country so I would only use it on country roads and not highways. I've looked at everything from the 250cc bikes such as the WR250R and KLX250S to the Honda XR650L and KLR 650.

This would be my very first bike. I am however a responsible 32 year old with a perfect driving record. I drive manual transmission cars and own an old 75 Honda MR50 which I ride around for fun on our property.

Also, I am 6'3 and 230lbs.

Just wondering what you experienced folk would recommend for someone in my situation? Thanks in advance!
You're likely to want something at least a little bit "roomy", at your size. The KLR is roomy, but can seem too much so for a noob. Try one on. The DR-Z400S is fairly roomy for a dirtbike and can be opened up a little, as can the DR650SE. The XR650L is tall, but the riding position often needs to be opened up a bit for taller people. The WR250R and KLX250S are full-sized 250s, and might be able to fit you fine. Anything much smaller in the rider position than these 250s is likely to be uncomfortable after much time. For no interstate, I'd lean towards the DR-Z with it's close-ratio 5spd. If you want to run slab as well as trails, I'd lean towards the wide-ratio 5spd and lazy torque of the smooth DR650SE.

All of these bikes can be made MUCH better with mods.

Kommando screwed with this post 04-24-2013 at 08:44 PM
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8lives View Post
I need to learn how to add links(help) but their are a couple of guys on ADV who are heading for the tip of South America from Oregon on a couple of DRZ400's,slightly modded but mods you would do eventually if Dualsporting was where you end up.When you decide what type of riding will fit you there are many options,the only limit is your finances,and damn you'll have a lot of fun as you experience the world of bikes,just ask anyone here,oh you did!Oh and I am partial to KLR's at the moment cause that's what I have at the moment,it's ever evolving for me,have gone through 6 bikes in the last couple of years,hey I can't get a new wife so it's motorcycle for variety.
I like that wife bit, haha. I'll look up that South America thread.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #27
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For the riding you describe its got to be either KLR650 or DR650.
Both are more comfortable than the DRZ400S. Much better on road, easier to pack up with gear and can cruise highways at 75 mph all day long.

I prefer the DR650, having owned the KLR, DRZ and most of the other bikes mentioned so far. 50,000 miles and counting, NO PROBLEMS.

The DR will need:
A better seat
Up graded suspension (ALL the bikes listed would need suspension help for a rider your size/weight)
You can do more but the basic bike is good. Reliable, tough, low maintenance. Win Win.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:02 AM   #28
trainman
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Dropsix, I think we have given you the best bikes as far as, reliability, cost, resale, and what may or may not work for you. Now, until you get out there and start checking them out you are not going anywhere with this back and forth thread. We all have our favorites and what works for us, may or may not work for you. These threads are informative to a point, but somewhere you have to decide for yourself. Now get out there and do your homework, we all picked our favorites, you pick yours by ridding them.

John
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:09 AM   #29
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Do you care whether you get a carburetor or fuel injection? With the quality of gas today, carburetors tend to require cleaning every few years, especially if your motorcycle sits a lot. I used to think that was fun. Now I think it's a pain. I probably will never buy another motorcycle with a carburetor.

Fuel injected bikes that might suit your purpose include Honda's CRF250L and both the XT250 and WR250R from Yamaha. The XT is probably not suitable for sustained speeds over 60 mph. Many people find the WR250R more comfortable on the highway than Suzuki's DR400S, but the Suzuki has substantially more power, especially at lower rpm.

For your purpose I wouldn't get anything heavier than the Honda or Suzuki, which both come in just over 320 pounds with gas. To me the DR650 and KLR650 at 367 and 442 pounds respectively, are just way too heavy to offset their power or their comfort. And I'm 6' 4" and 230.

There isn't a dimes worth of difference in reliability in any of these bikes, so you don't need to decide on that basis. They're all good.

For a first bike for the use you described, I think the Honda has a lot going for it, particularly because the engine is noted for being smooth, quiet, and pulling strongly from lower rpm.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #30
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montesa_vr View Post
Do you care whether you get a carburetor or fuel injection? With the quality of gas today, carburetors tend to require cleaning every few years, especially if your motorcycle sits a lot. I used to think that was fun. Now I think it's a pain. I probably will never buy another motorcycle with a carburetor.

Fuel injected bikes that might suit your purpose include Honda's CRF250L and both the XT250 and WR250R from Yamaha. The XT is probably not suitable for sustained speeds over 60 mph. Many people find the WR250R more comfortable on the highway than Suzuki's DR400S, but the Suzuki has substantially more power, especially at lower rpm.

For your purpose I wouldn't get anything heavier than the Honda or Suzuki, which both come in just over 320 pounds with gas. To me the DR650 and KLR650 at 367 and 442 pounds respectively, are just way too heavy to offset their power or their comfort. And I'm 6' 4" and 230.

There isn't a dimes worth of difference in reliability in any of these bikes, so you don't need to decide on that basis. They're all good.

For a first bike for the use you described, I think the Honda has a lot going for it, particularly because the engine is noted for being smooth, quiet, and pulling strongly from lower rpm.
Good post and some good points.
I would add that F.I. bikes tend to have MORE problems with modern Ethanol laced fuel than old Carb'd bikes do. In any case ... a monthly dose of something like Sea Foam will solve those problems and keep Carbs clean and F.I. running great.

I would agree with your weight comments if it wasn't for the fact that the OP stated he would be doing very little off road. If doing mostly paved roads then bikes like the DR or KLR make perfect sense ... and both are easy on dirt or gravel roads. Also, both are better if Two Up enters in the mix ... or luggage needs to be added.

I do like the 250's though. Mostly for their stellar MPG and low maintenance. But if you get an F.I. bike ... it may require dealer service where both the KLR and DR650 are ALL Do It Yourself. Easy Peasy.
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