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Old 10-31-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
ericthered OP
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First Post Go Easy On Me

I searched the categories and didn't see any introduction or newbie section so this seems closest to my topic.

I recently received my endorsement and am planning on shopping for a bike over the winter. I have limited riding experience and don't know exactly what I want to do.

I work from home so I don't need a daily commuter just something to ride around town minimal freeway use and some off road type stuff. Now whether that is single track or fire roads I really don't know what I will like more.

I originally started looking into the CRF250L but I am afraid that I will grow out of that in a month. I also looked into the KLR650 but I want something more dirt bike-ish

That brought me to the DRZ400S. I know there are a TON of supporters in this section and I have answered a lot of the basic questions myself but there are a few things that I'm still not sure about. I am already stretching my budget to buy one new or close to new so KTM seems a bit out of reach at this point. I have also looked into the Christini bikes. They have a couple dual sport models but I'm worried about the additional maintenance required to run that AWD system and the "Knock Off" engine. Now correct me if I'm wrong but I hear its a knock off Honda engine made in China or somewhere? They only have a 30 day warranty on the engine so that kind of freaks me out.

I am starting to wonder if I should just buy a dirtbike and get a plate for it? Im in Idaho now but plan on moving to Washington state next year.

I would like to try Adventure riding but I'm not sure how often I would be able to do it. I have my own business so its hard to take time off. Can a DRZ400 keep up with the KLR's? Same on the dirt can it keep up with the more dirt oriented bikes?

That was long thanks for reading
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
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Just get a DR650 and call it a day. The Goldilocks bike.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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DRZ would be OK. Since it's a first bike you don't want to spend a lot of cash then decide you prefer riding something else. I hate KLRs off road. Very heavy overall and even worse they are top heavy. The KLR is a good all around bike but I am a very experienced off road rider and I had a number of tip-overs on a KLR just because the weight got away from me. Don't discount the 250s either. I started out on a Honda CL-100 back in the late 60s then graduated up to a Suzuki 185. Usually you can abuse those bikes to no end and they just keep going.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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This isn't exactly a thumper-specific issue. It's the same issue all newbies have - choosing a bike.

Since you don't know what you'll like to do you don't have much of a basis for choosing. You may like one kind of riding and in a few years move somewhere or make new friends that change that direction for you.

250-500 cc street bike is the standard solution to start with. But since you're in great dual-purpose country, you'll have more to explore with a dual-purpose bike. At your altitude a 250 might be a little underpowered but I guarantee you can still learn a lot and have a lot of fun with it. (I moved to Colo with a 185 and had a ball exploring the jeep trails within my range.)

While most of us start off aspiring to ride bigger, faster, "better" machines it seems that many really experienced riders here are choosing smaller machines after tiring of pig wrestling.

BTW- I did a solo cross-country ride many years ago and rode a Honda CB900F a long ways next to the Boise river on a dirt road. I was pretty nervous about that bike on dirt with my camping gear on it and relatively little real dirt experience at the time. But I survived. But it was part of what planted the seed of trading that bike for something more dual purpose.

Now I'd never be without a dual purpose bike. There's too much to explore to stay on pavement only.

Have fun!
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
ericthered OP
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Thanks everyone

I would love a KTM but unless I can do a partial barter it wont happen. There is a group in Washington called ADV Camp. I want to do there courses but if I got a crf250l could I do any adventure stuff? I Know gear will add to an already heavy bike.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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Be careful not to be caught up in the "bigger is better" mentality. Especially if you are considering doing some off-road and adventure type riding. I think the little Honda and Yamaha 250's are fantastic bikes to start on. The 650's and even the DRZ400 are much larger bikes overall and a bit more to handle off-road.

My $.02, sit on a few and imagine riding it over all kinds of terrain. I'm not sure how tall you are, but if you have a hard time reaching the ground and are also a newer rider - you might have a lot more fun on the smaller bikes. They can keep up with the bigger bikes just fine - just have to ring them out a little more on the road.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bump Stop View Post
Yamaha Wr

this
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
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drz.... keep up with a klr.... yes & no. the klr is better on the road hands down, but nearly 100 pound more. the z is a good bike but geared too low for long highway. it needs to be geared up for decent hiway travel.... and then it fair but the seat is butt floss. it's a good start though. the WR is a good bike too but needs hi test gas. how big are you? if under 200 the WR will prolly do almost all you need (at least for a while). if you are close or over 200, then I'm thinkin the drz is a better choice. the DR650 is a good bike but noticeably heavier than the z. some data says it weighs 330 or something... bull. it is within 30 pounds of a klr. your call, depends on how much dirt you want to do.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:24 PM   #10
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DRZ great beginners bike! By the way....whats an endorsement and how do I get one?
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #11
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Agree with the general thrust of what the inmates are saying, its your first bike so chances are your going to drop it quite a bit so try and get something that's cheap to fix and easy to pick up, that club your on about sounds like a good idea, get out with them and just enjoy some riding.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #12
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Hey there mate, I owned a DRZ-400E for a while as a first bike to learn on. It was a lot of fun!

I do think its a bit limited if you want to use it on the freeway (gets buzzy over 60mph) but is great offroad and a hoot to ride around town.

The DR650 is good, too, but heavier and more road oriented. They cruise better at freeway speeds and return similar fuel economy.

Both bikes have electric start and modern suspension as well as good reliability and aftermarket.

Personally I love my XR600R - big grins, learner suitable and great both offroad and on. They owned Baja for a decade for a reason!

- boingk

EDIT: Saw you're looking for 'around town with minimal freeway use and some offroad type stuff' - the DRZ-400 is your friend! I'd highly recommend a plated DRZ-400E version as they come with 21" front wheel and flatslide carb (better power and throttle response).
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I originally started looking into the CRF250L but I am afraid that I will grow out of that in a month.
Check out the CRF-250L owner's thread... most of the owners are very experienced riders. I would not suggest a CRF250L as a first bike, just because they are brand-new. Get something used.

You can't go wrong with any of the popular dual-sports:

TW200 (cheap, fun, not good on the highway)
KLX250
WR250R (EFI and great suspension would make this my choice. Wide-range gearing and smooth motor makes it better on- and off-road than any of these bikes)
DRZ400 (super-popular for a reason)
DR650 (kinda big for real off-roading, but it'll get 'er done way better than the KLR. Great, smooth motor for highway use, from what I hear.)

Just find a good deal on one of them, and buy it. Ride it, see what you think, and then maybe try something else if it doesn't suit you. If you buy new, you're kinda stuck, as you'll lose your shirt if you try and sell it quickly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Thanks everyone

I would love a KTM but unless I can do a partial barter it wont happen. There is a group in Washington called ADV Camp. I want to do there courses but if I got a crf250l could I do any adventure stuff? I Know gear will add to an already heavy bike.

Yes. The 250s can do ANYTHING.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #14
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rode a CRF 250 last weekend... suspension wasn't much, didn't take much for my 200lb. butt to bottom it, and there was no rebound, pretty much a pogo stick.... the stock tires sukk too in real dirt, there was a S12 on the front that was nice, but the rear was pretty bad.... the motor was nice though, had some definite azz, so.... i wouldn't do the honda, myself...

the XR650L is a pretty nice bike, i ride w/a guy that hauls azz on one....
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #15
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WR250r hands down

I had an XR650L, and now a WRr. IMHO the WRr is a better bike in nearly every category except torque. Purchased used, you could buy one, use it for a year and if you decide to get a KTM after that, you could sell it for probably what you paid for it.

It's a really good all around bike. Certainly one of the best 250's on the market and among the larger Japanese DS, DRZ400 etc, it can hold its own.
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