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Tony1790 04-02-2006 11:29 AM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?

How about a KLR250, plenty of power to begin with and commute with, etc. I have a KLR 250 and 650. Obviously the 650 has more power but the 250 is easier to get on and has plenty of power, my weight on the bike is 240 lbs. Besides fat, I'm also short....5'6" and rode both with no problems. But in the dirt, the 250 is much easier to manuever and stand back up after a fall.

I say 250, but either way, good luck and take care.


pplassm 04-02-2006 11:32 AM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
If you're spending most of your time on the road, especially if you're going to ride interstates or at speeds above 70 MPH, you are pretty much going to get one that's over 500CC.

I have a KTM620RXC and can vouch for it's power and durability. It is more powerful than the XR and KLR, but I have never ridden a DR.

Not quite sure what your off-road experience is, but if you were riding 2 stroke 250s, don't worry about looping anything out. These big 4 strokes are tame.

Interesting news about the KLRs, though. I guess they kind of blew their rep.

12er 04-02-2006 11:58 AM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
Pick up a couple years old KLR and ride the wheels off of it. Aftermarket support is huge for lowering or anything your intersted in and the power is very tame (33hp, a 250 2smoker puts out 45+). I put 12k miles on mine in a year before I upgrade to a full road bike. Just didnt have the power needed to keep me safe on SF Bay Area freeways where 80+mph is the norm. Thats with jet kit, pipe, K&N, and vented box, oversized front brake rotor, galfer green pads, steel braded line, progressive fork springs and metlzer street rubber. Loved the bike off the slab though, still one of the most fun rides to date. Now to pick up a GS Adventure, finally sat on a production model yesterday, Daddy likes!

Klay 04-02-2006 01:44 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
A DR650 is a great all-rounder. My wife and I take our two DR650's long-distance touring every summer. Hers has the lowering kit from Suzuki installed. (really it's just rearranginging a spacer in the fork and relocating an arm in the shock linkage)

She's 5' 7" with a shorter inseam than you and the bike fits her fine.

The DR650 is extremely easy to tune up so I do it myself for free. It only takes about a half an hour because the valve lash clearance is adjusted by screw-and-locknut adjusters. That save a lot of money over the long run.

We installed Corbin seats, 5 gallon IMS gas tanks, and Hepco&Becker luggage. The bikes will do 75 on the freeway okay and yet we never hesitate to turn down a path or a gravel road.

Both of our DR650's sprang minor oil leaks at the base gasket, but we had the base gaskets replaced with the new metal/paper gaskets which never give any trouble and are stock in new DR650's.

Don't worry about accidental won't have any problem with that at all. The DR650 is a really a user-friendly torquey all-arounder not difficult to ride smoothly.

I regard them as ideal adventure-touring bikes because they are simple, very lightweight, and inexpensive with adequate performance for all situations. Insurance is very cheap, also.

I can't emphasize the advantages of very light weight enough. What matters more than outright horsepower to me in an off-road or long-distance adventure touring bike is how easy it is to handle in the parking lot after a 500 mile day. Or that feeling that you never need to hesitate to turn down a trail or onto a gravel road, even after a long day in the saddle.

You won't be unhappy with a DR650. That being said, I have multiple bike syndrome. I couldn't imagine doing without my DR200 or the sportbike. If I had to settle on one bike, I say without any reservation I'd keep the DR650.


cyclesteve 04-02-2006 02:04 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
It depends on your definition of dual sporting. If you will realy be off road you need a DRZ400S. Close enough to a dirtbike for real off road fun. Enough beans to run w/ traffic. Not a long distance mount.

Neal 04-02-2006 02:21 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
I hadnt heard of the KLR advice was going to be the KLR250. My neighbor has one;Im a vintage MX racer and the KLR has enough offroad guts(if you avoid the gnarly stuff) to keep me happy. its also a great short trip commuter....not that great if you gonna do freeway riding. The KLR 650 is a great bike if you gonna do more long distance stuff...youll get used to the height. Have you checked out the new KLX250? its a little more offroad oriented than the KLR...I havent riddeen one but they seem like real nice bikes. The offroad mags tout the suzuki 400 as the best dual purpose bike going...Ive ridden them offroad and they are a blast,but I havent ridden one very far on the road.If you're onroad/offroad ratio is 80/20,you really oughta consoer the KLR's.If you worried about quality,shop for a good used one.

sfcdjevans 04-02-2006 02:34 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
Do you consider a Wee Strom a dual sport? I'm in a similiar situation, shopping. It started out with a salesman trying to sell me something other than I wanted, but it has grown on me. Since I haven't ridden it I can only recommend that you do an e search for the forums for the Stroms and see if it's what you're looking for. Once I convince my self that the lower links and fork raising aren't going to ruin all the engineering that's the way I'm going to go.

gjbedna 04-02-2006 03:05 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
How about the KLX 250? It's new this year and looks to be far better than the KLR 250 it replaced. It looks like a trail bike and at about 3800, not too expensive...check it out.

Klay 04-02-2006 03:17 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
Don't forget the Yamaha XT225. It's very reliable and inexpensive. Tuneups are so easy and simple.

You may be unhappy with the 200-250cc class dual-sports if you want to do weekend touring/camping/exploring, however. If your riding were all off-road and gravel and dirt, they'd be okay. But if you're on pavement 80% of the time, you probably would be happier with one of the 650-class machines.

pplassm 04-02-2006 03:39 PM

Re: Advice for First Dual Sport?
I have a registered KLX300 for dual sport riding, and , while it is very capable off-road (MO has a review, but may not want to admit it) it is not the ticket for highway riding. Unfortunately, it will take a larger bike to give decent performance at 60 MPH +.

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