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Topic: new to dual sporting - WR250R, XR650L, DRZ400S/E, DR650... KLR650???  (Read 51110 times)

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SLK50
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2008, 09:03:55 AM »

bpg, you response to my earlier post has somewhat tempered the statements made in your original post: specifically leaving out the adventure-touring requirements.
 If your reply honestly describes your DS needs then I heartily suggest taking a long hard look at the Kaw KLX250S. New or used it would be in the same price range as the others but much more dirt friendly.
 Relatively light weight and decent suspenion for the dirt and the wide ratio 6 speed trans helps on the street. You won't feel so much like your wrestling a bear when it's lying on top of you.
 Don't let others or your ego tell you that 250cc isn't enough; a dig bore DS can become a real handful off road and get in your way of having a good time.
 My recommendation of the Husky was taking into consideration long highway stints, for which it is better suited than the KLX. If that isn't of paramount importance to you then I again defer to the KLX.
 I am very interested in the info in this thread as I am asking myself the same questions and toiling with the same answers.
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SLK50
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2008, 09:14:00 AM »


Just my 2 cents. I don't own a DR-Z. Never plan to. But it's a reliable machine, as are all of the others mentioned in this thread. Not sure what your beef is with the Jap bikes, but thousands will tell you otherwise if you're saying they're unreliable.


No no no. You misunderstood. I wasn't saying Jap bikes aren't reliable, they certainly are, the industry benchmark. What I meant was that non-Japanese bikes are often perceived as unreliable, difficult to service, or that parts are expensive or hard to obtain. As a broad generalization that simply is no longer true. KTM's market share, for example, is growing exponetially. That certainly isn't because they're "unreliable".
And the fact that there isn't a dealer nearby shouldn't be a deterrent either.
My parts dept is only as far as the nearest keyboard. ( If not available locally )
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2008, 09:22:24 AM »




Nothing wrong with the KLR and going to Alaska. It's perfectly capable and fun on the gravel roads
like the Denali highway, Top Of The World Highway and Dempster highway. Just don't expect to
go really fast when fully loaded, and forget about passing when going uphill.


I'll keep that in my mind....my intention is riding 70% street and 30% gravel/logging roads...etc.
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2008, 09:28:12 AM »

I agree with SLK50 The KLX is the bike that meets your requirements the best. Not sure why it's not on your list, assuming since you're new to all this you just don't know about the bike.
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2008, 12:36:40 PM »




No no no. You misunderstood. I wasn't saying Jap bikes aren't reliable, they certainly are, the industry benchmark.


You're right, I misunderstood. Sorry 'bout that.

Regarding the KLX250S, it's an excellent choice, but I think a lot of riders outgrow them rather quickly. They decide they want more power for offroad work or they decide they need more top end for the pavement half of their dualsport riding. I've watched friends do all day pavement rides on KLR250's and Super Sherpas. While my Dakar and everyone else's KLR650's (cause EVERYBODY has one of those ugly beasts  Lol ) are lugging along comfortably at 60 and 70 mph, the l'il 250's are really wound up. When we get to the dirt, it's generally more about who is and is not an experienced rider, more so than it is about who has the more dirt-worthy bike (speaking in terms of dualsporting, not hardcore single-track dirtbiking). And the last guy I rode with who had a KLX250S broke his sub-frame. Probably just a fluke ... but adding it as a data point anyway.
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SLK50
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2008, 01:20:48 PM »




While my Dakar and everyone else's KLR650's (cause EVERYBODY has one of those ugly beasts  Lol ) are lugging along comfortably at 60 and 70 mph, the l'il 250's are really wound up.


 It's a shame that in this market we have to choose one or the other. What we really need is a bike that splits the difference: a 400 -450cc bike that's capable both on and off road.
 And no, the DR-Z400S isn't it. It's handicapped by it's close ratio 5 speed tranny. If you gear it for the street it bogs in the dirt, if you gear it for dirt it screams on the street. And it's frame doesn't really support side and top cases or bags that an Adventure-Tourer requires.
 The Big Four all currently make modern 450cc 4-stroke enduro bikes, I wish just one of them would take the plunge and offer it as a DS.
 About 8 yrs ago we got a look at the future with the intro of the DR-Z. That future is now and we need more choices. Enough already with the same old same old!
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2008, 02:18:16 PM »


I agree with SLK50 The KLX is the bike that meets your requirements the best. Not sure why it's not on your list, assuming since you're new to all this you just don't know about the bike.

Yip, I definitely checked the KLX250...  To be honest, even the 650's are a REAL stark contrast to my bagged XX for touring - especially on 100+, 200+ miles of highway, even on occasion.  Not sure that even the 6th gear on a 250 would cut it for the street aspect - I suppose I should try one though.
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2008, 03:00:15 PM »

The TE610 is the new DRZ. But it's not cheap.

For those on a budget, the DRZ gets the job done if you're OK with only doing low 70s (indicated). My DRZ will run that all day long on the street and is pretty smooth there. Any faster and it feels like I'm wringing its neck. Dirt Bagz (soft luggage) and a rear rack to bolt a tailbag on gets it done for luggage ($350 plus tailbag). A Clarke 4 gallon tank gives it 200+ mile range ($175).

Works for me. YMMV... Wish I had a TE610 though...
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2008, 03:17:43 PM »

Question: What does it mean on the Husqvarna website when it says "DOT legal" for the TE450 and  TE510. I don't see mirrors, blinkers, etc.
Not Big Four and not cheap. But I could have sworn one of the guys I rode dualsport with a couple weekends ago said his TE450 was factory street legal.
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2008, 04:15:46 PM »

 Hushy's TE-250, 450 & 510 ( along with KTM's EXC 450 & 525 ) are competition ready, serious dirt bikes that are just legal enough to keep you out of trouble ( jail!  Lol ) on those occasions when you find yourself on paved roads. Think of running into town to get gas while on the Trans-Smerica Trail.
 These "race bikes with lights" really lean waaaayyy over on the dirt bike side of DS equation and are suitable for experienced dirt riders who see little road riding, saving that for their other ( street ) bike.
 Better for Last Man Standing than Adventure-Touring.
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2008, 04:49:55 PM »


 Hushy's TE-250, 450 & 510 ( along with KTM's EXC 450 & 525 ) are competition ready, serious dirt bikes that are just legal enough to keep you out of trouble ( jail!  Lol ) on those occasions when you find yourself on paved roads. Think of running into town to get gas while on the Trans-Smerica Trail.
 These "race bikes with lights" really lean waaaayyy over on the dirt bike side of DS equation and are suitable for experienced dirt riders who see little road riding, saving that for their other ( street ) bike.
 Better for Last Man Standing than Adventure-Touring.


Right, so i guess the Husky site is just not showing the legal dodads on the bikes for marketing purposes...  I was just trying to figure out what Husqvarna specifically sold in the TE line.

Anyway, all same is true of the non-DOT Big-Four 450s. If they were submitted for DOT, they would also be race bikes with lights, for good or bad.
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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2008, 06:18:31 PM »


 Hushy's TE-250, 450 & 510 ( along with KTM's EXC 450 & 525 ) are competition ready, serious dirt bikes that are just legal enough to keep you out of trouble ( jail!  Lol ) on those occasions when you find yourself on paved roads. Think of running into town to get gas while on the Trans-Smerica Trail.
 These "race bikes with lights" really lean waaaayyy over on the dirt bike side of DS equation and are suitable for experienced dirt riders who see little road riding, saving that for their other ( street ) bike.
 Better for Last Man Standing than Adventure-Touring.


True. And you can add that maintenance on the true enduros like these is such that you won't want to be racking up mega-miles droning along on the pavement. I've taken my 450X and made it "street safe" (not street LEGAL) by adding a brake light, mirror, speedometer, etc, but I've only done that so I can scoot about a bit on back country roads getting from one trailhead to another or in and out of small towns for gas and munchies. With 30 hour/600 mile oil changes (half that if you follow the maintenance schedule recommended for a 450X that's being raced/ridden as it's intended (I actually split the difference on mine)), frequent valve adjustments and top end jobs, it's just not practical to treat these bikes like more dualsport-oriented machines.

For what it is -- a machine you can go 3-4,000 miles between oil changes or 7,500 miles between valve adjustments (I honestly don't know what Suzuki prescribes here, but experience tells me that guess is probably in the ballpark) or 35,000 miles without a top end job -- the DR-Z does very well as a dualsport that falls on the hypothetical "Scale of Compromise" nearer the dirt end than, say, the F650, KLR, and others.
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Albie
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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2008, 11:55:24 AM »



The Big Four all currently make modern 450cc 4-stroke enduro bikes, I wish just one of them would take the plunge and offer it as a DS.
 


If I had to guess,  I'd say Yamaha might be coming out with a tamer street legal WR 450 with FI next year.
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Albie
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« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2008, 11:57:48 AM »



 Better for Last Man Standing than Adventure-Touring.


LOL, I wouldn't go that far. It's very doubtful given todays technology that a 4T is gonna finish a Last Man Standing enduro.  Wink
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2008, 08:29:18 PM »

You have two choices if you're comparing the DS bikes available to the XRR.  That's it.  The TE-610 and the LC4.  You will be disappointed by anything else.  The KLR, DR, DRz, XRL all suffer by leaps and bounds by comparison both ON and OFF road.

Honestly, get the XRR and do the DS thing.  You'll be happier if you can live with a kickstart (which I happen to really enjoy).  You can go further offroad with your DS machine, but you begin to pay a price in maintenance and/or higher speed streetabilty.  The XRR is FAR easier to get around offroad; especially when you start dropping things.  Also, while I know that magic button is a wonderful thing most often, when you get out in the woods, dropping, etc. it is really easy to kill that battery.  Where are you then?  Only the LC4 and XRR have the kicker to get you home.  You're not going to bump/pull start a bike that only has e-start out in the wild on gnarly terrain.

One more thing; my XRR has lowering links on it, which put it just a touch taller than the DR650.  You should strongly look into this.  In fact, if I like my XRR with the stock links put back in, I'll let you know and you can get the lowering links from me.

However, from what you've said, the two I mentioned earlier would be best.  Just keep in mind that the XRR is also a better ROAD bike (as are the Husky and KTM) as well as being a better offroad bike.  The Husky will be a little more 'honda-ish' reliable for maintenance though.

I think you have one major misconception to overcome too:  more power offroad makes a bike EASIER to ride.  You can loft the front wheel with a lot less clutchwork and body english.  You can power your way through muck and deep sandy stuff.  The only downside to more power in the offroad arena is that it comes with a weight penalty in most cases.  However, in the cases of the XRR, TE, and LC4, you not only gain power but lose weight compared to the other bikes you're looking at.  Your inexperience is really your undoing.  It isn't like buying a Hayabusa as a first bike, it's more like being handed a brand new Honda S2000 instead of a rat-trap VW Bug convertible.  Sure, they both get you to the corner store, and are both topless, but they're entirely different animals otherwise, and one is far superior to the other without being a 'killer'.

Read my posting on 'how I learned to love a kicker' http://:http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,22107.0.html
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2008, 08:38:29 PM »


No doubt, the Husky's a great bike. I wouldn't mind having one myself. But as an introductory bike for someone with little dirt experience ... I'd say overkill. He can pick up a used low-mileage DR-Z400 for just a little over 3 grand. After a couple years on that, if he's really pushing its envelope in the dirt, he can get most of his money back out of it and upgrade to something like the TE.

Just my 2 cents. I don't own a DR-Z. Never plan to. But it's a reliable machine, as are all of the others mentioned in this thread. Not sure what your beef is with the Jap bikes, but thousands will tell you otherwise if you're saying they're unreliable.


I disagree; everything that makes the Husky great offroad makes it even better on-road.  Also, you can get a clean Husky for right around the $4K range.
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2008, 08:49:05 PM »


Question: What does it mean on the Husqvarna website when it says "DOT legal" for the TE450 and  TE510. I don't see mirrors, blinkers, etc.
Not Big Four and not cheap. But I could have sworn one of the guys I rode dualsport with a couple weekends ago said his TE450 was factory street legal.



Like KTM bikes, they come with the street kits available.  Up to you to decide if you want them put on.
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2008, 09:13:47 PM »

Um, Johnny - go re-read post 1.  XRR - tried it, didn't like it - overall.  With a few year's experience?  Might love it to death for all aspects of dual sporting!  Just not now.

At this point, I don't want the "ultimate bad-ass race-bike with blinkers".  I want mellow, I just want to learn, I want easy (without getting TOO pedestrian, hence no KLR) Bigsmile  

I guess in a street analogy, I'm the guy who is (gulp) happy with a faster cruiser vs a much more sophisticated ST bike - just to get a feel for things for a while...  Yeah, the ST is better in all ways, and actually safer if ridden HARD.  I ain't gonna be moto-crossing anytime soon, LOL!

Plus, you need to ride that XRR East Coast-style before you pass judgement on what an "easy" trail is for that bike, LOL!  Big difference threading 120 degree bends uphill around trees all day, vs using big power to loft a front wheel across some rough terrain in TX.. Bigsmile

For a dumbass newb like me, huge power + tight trails = no fun.  Ain't skeered to admit it.
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« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2008, 09:24:15 PM »

I would just shop for a deal on a pre-farkled DRZ400S, DR650 or XR650L for $3000 or so. They'll all get the job done for what you want to do. Let the deal dictate which one you end up buying.
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« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2008, 09:50:49 PM »


I would just shop for a deal on a pre-farkled DRZ400S, DR650 or XR650L for $3000 or so. They'll all get the job done for what you want to do. Let the deal dictate which one you end up buying.

ah, that thought has crossed my mind! Thumbsup Bigsmile

C'moooon tax refund!!!! Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup
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