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Anybody got a dual-sport motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PhoenixBill, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. PhoenixBill

    PhoenixBill Tele-Meister

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    I have had street bikes and pure dirt bikes, been riding for over 50 years, but eventually sold them all. Now I am wondering about getting a street-trail bike, like the Yamaha WR250R, which potentially I could use on some of the many dirt roads around central Arizona.

    Some of the larger bikes would be more street friendly, but still with some off-road capabilities. The Yamaha seems to be the most dirt-friendly of the dual sports out there.

    One problem: while I am still pretty fit, I am 60 years old so I am not going to quite as capable of hardcore dirt riding as when I was younger.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. natec

    natec Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I had a KLR 650 for several years and enjoyed it quite a bit. As you already know, there is a broad array of bikes available (XR Honda is basically a heavy street legal dirt bike, whereas a V-strom is a street bike that can also handle bumpy dirt roads).

    For me for the price point and the riding I do, the KLR was my go to. If my budget had been bigger then, or if I were to get something today I like the Yamaha Tenere (700 or 1200) or the Honda Africa twin.

    Lots of good runner ups in that field too - Triumph Tiger, BMW GS (800 or 1200), etc.

    Have fun, stay safe.
     
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  3. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    I've had 6 or so bikes over 40 years. The best by far was an XL500R. Have had basically road bikes since then but am dying to get back to a dual sport..

    Sixty shmixty, get on ya bike and ride!
     
  4. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Afflicted

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    Long time rider here. Just picked myself up a new 2020 ktm exc 350 f. Very stoked. Last bike was a 97 xr 400 r that I sold for $ 4000 before we left CA. Loved that bike, would have kept it if it had an electric starter.

    Can t wait to ride the new bike.

    Good luck with ya decision.

    edit - i should add that the 2020 ktm exc 350 f is a fully street legal dual sport bike...

    20210110_185424.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  5. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Do it. I have been road riding for a while and just got into trail riding with my son. I bought two starter bikes but they are really too small. I need something bigger. He's not old enough to go on the road but I want something that I could ride the back roads and forest roads. The WR is one I'm looking at.
     
  6. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Dual purpose bikes are the best. I get a laugh out of people who spend tons of time trying to make a D-S a better street bike, or a better dirt bike. Except for a bit of tailoring to your own use, most are just fine the way they are.
     
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  7. Jonzilla

    Jonzilla Tele-Meister

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    20201108_152647.jpg I've had my KLR650 for 15 years. Everytime I go on singletrack or rocky trails I wish I had a 250. The weight of the bike is exhausting on real rough terrain. The rest of the time (98%) the 650 is a perfect compromise that does everything "pretty good." I have other street bikes to ride and have considered a WR250R or the new Honda XL300L for more of an offroad capable setup.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  8. SuprHtr

    SuprHtr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I really like the KTM 390 Adventure. I need to get rid of two large sport-touring bikes that aren’t getting enough use lately.
     
  9. longears

    longears TDPRI Member

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    No I June
     
  10. Novatuc

    Novatuc Tele-Meister

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    Dual sports are great, I've had 9 of them. 250's are light and nimble off road and easy to pick up when you drop them but on the pavement they are screaming at 60 MPH. Not good if you will be doing a lot of road driving. Also some suffer from small gas tanks. The Suzuki DRZ400 is very similar in stature to a 250 but much better behaved on pavement. For me personally, the best DS I've owned was a Kawi KLX250. Tiny little thong of a seat but it was amazing in the woods which may not apply to you in Arizona.
     
  11. longears

    longears TDPRI Member

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    I have a beemer gs 1200
     
  12. Despres

    Despres Tele-Afflicted

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    A dual sport like a Yamaha can be a lot of fun for tooling around; I am not familiar with the WR250R, but we have an old (1992) XT-225 in the garage that is a great machine. It's obviously not the fastest bike, but is great for around town/dirt roads and light trails. The one we have was probably 15 years old when I got it with very low miles, my wife learned to ride on it, I've loaned it to friends/kept it as a spare around town bike and ridden trails & dirt roads at various times. It has been beaten up, crashed, dropped and while it isn't much to look at, it still works just fine and is really fun to ride.
     
  13. PhoenixBill

    PhoenixBill Tele-Meister

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    The closest decent off-roading is a little under an hour away, so I would want something that doesn’t beat me up too bad on the way there and back. I am concerned a 250 would be a little uncomfortable for that ride, plus I would have to stop for gas along the way and back if it only has a 2 gallon gas tank. I guess I could forego a little dirt capability—I won’t be trying to jump anything, but sure would like to at least be able to enjoy a few wheelies once on the trail.
     
  14. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Afflicted

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    if i was in your situation i would look at a drz 400 with a big tank..
     
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  15. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    For a few years my KTM 250 2 stroke got miscategorized as a "dual sport" here in Quebec. It was plated and everything...hah! Then, one day the party was over. Still, it was awfully fun going to the grocery store on a full-blown motocrosser and not getting a ticket.
    I've also had a bunch Honda XL's, and I'd say the biggest downside is the light weight (relatively) and high front fender catching the wind at highway speed or when passing by a big truck. They get squirrely. I like the Ducati Scrambler series as a compromise, especially the Desert Sled. Better yet...dirt bikes for the dirt, street bikes for the street.
     
  16. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Afflicted

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    so they pulled the plate ?? wow... had a couple of mates in CA that got away with plated bikes when the DMV dropped the ball... no one had their plate pulled tho

    weight is a big issue... my new exc 350 feels like a mtb at 240 lb
     
  17. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    The bike in question was a 250 EXC, but KTM also had the 250 EXC in a 4 stroke. The paperwork eventually caught up. Honestly, riding on the road with studded knobbies isn't all that entertaining, anyway. The 2 stroke power delivery is a bit too...violent for the street! KTM.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  18. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I had a Honda XLV650 TransAlp. Day long comfortable as a road bike, handled mild off-roading better than it had any obvious right to. Keeping with the 21" front wheel meant it rode bumps, ruts, roots and rocks rather than colliding with them. Being a twin as opposed to a big single gave it better long range, motorway comfort as the vibes and tingles were reduced compared to a big single.
    It had pretty damn fine suspension for hustling on roads too, and I did a few trackday instruction days with it where it kept pace through corners ( on road tyres, not knobblies or semi-knobblies ) with bikes like the Suzuki SV650 and Ducati Monster 600 thanks to its incredible ground clearance and stability.
    All-round, one of the better motorcycles I've owned.
     
  19. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a bunch. still have a couple. if you are goin "dual sport"... lighter is better. I've owned several BMW GSs and in the hands of a good rider you can do amazing things but I do not consider them to be DS. I've also owned 3 KLRs, a DR650, a DR350 and a DRZ among others. for true DS, the 250 class is the best compromise. there are a few others like the DRZ and KTMs that are in the 400 range that qualify too.

    I was impressed by the WR. I did a 1500 mile multi day ride with a friend that had one. he was packed VERY light and I had the kitchen sink on my KLR (685'd, many mods, etc... bad boy) and on the highway he could keep up with me up to 70-75mph (on the GPS) or until we hit the hills & then the CCs make a big difference. otherwise... good little road bike though I wouldn't take it on the superslab (wouldn't want the KLR there either). anyway.... once in the dirt it is not even close.... the WR was great. the only down side is the WR wants premium fuel... not available some places we went so he had to use regular. it worked but the power dropped off.

    I'm down to 2 bikes now. sold my last GS and bought a Versys 650 for the (mostly) highway use. at 100+ pounds lighter than the GS it is much easier to move around in the driveway, etc. it's not the flyin' couch the GS is, and though I miss it, I did the right thing... the Versys does everything I want. I got a 2nd set of wheels (Ninja wheels fit & are cheap used). one set has Tourance road tires, the other set has TKC80 knobbies. I use those on longer dirt runs like Denali Highway and the Dawson D2D. I sold the last KLR and got a KLX 250. not a bad little bike but the suspension is for somebody that weighs about 160. I've fixed it up a bit & like it but I'm really in the market for another DRZ400... unless a KTM 350 EXC fell in my lap. too bad the are 12k new. only down side the DRZ is the narrow band 5 speed transmission. as is, it works on the highway OK but you are running the Rs up there. a change in countershaft sprockets can refocus where you want to run the bike.

    maybe prowl around on some MC sites. heres a couple...

    https://advrider.com/f/forums/thumpers.15/

    https://thumpertalk.com/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  20. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    It looks to me like this category of bikes lean pretty hard one way or the other. There are a good number of street legal dirt bikes and a good number of street bikes with more clearance and available off-road accessories: adventure bikes. If I was going to do any serious off-roading I would lean towards the former. If I was mostly on pavement with some dirt roads and easy trails then I might consider an adventure bike.
     
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