dualsport conversions

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Jun 3, 2001
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#1
I am about to get a bike and am having trouble deciding on a model. I'm looking for a earlier 90s four stroke which will be converted to dualsport. It will need to be able to handle a 20 mile or so ride to town or to the trails on a 60mph rural highway. I have mostly been considering an XR600. I have heard that they do fairly well on the highway. However, I am afraid that it will be a bit much off road. I am 6'1" and 190lbs. and will ride mostly jeep roads and logging trails. Would a smaller (400 or so) factory dualsport model be better on the highway and less of a handfull off road? Any comments would be very helpful!!
 
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Nov 7, 2000
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#2
The XR600 is fine on the road, it goes over 80 mph and is pretty comfy. It is a bit of a bear off road mostly because of it's weight. Depends on where you live really. Out west the big XR is great fun and a pleasure to ride under most all circumstances. However, in the tight East trails it can be a bugger to move around. It is a great bike and a lot of fun no matter where you are, just a little big for my taste on the East. I personally don't feel comfortable riding a 400 on the street, mostly because I like a lot of street power for hairy situations.
 
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#3
Thanks for the response. To clarify, I live in the Southwestern Colorado Rockies so the trails are not like the root infested twisties of North Carolina or Tennessee but also don't really resemble the open desert terrain of So Cal and Nevada. I would definately call Colorado West but am not sure how it would be classified as far as terrain types. Any comments on this from people around here would be appreciated. Secondly these are the mountains so this bike will routenely go from 5500 ft to 12000 ft above sea level, I am guessing anything less than 400cc would be strugling at high altitude. Any experiences with various bikes at these altitudes would be great. Thanks!!!
 
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#4
It all depends on how comfortable you want to be on that 20 mile ride. If it's a nice twisty road, even a 250 will be enough. If it's a flat, straight thing -- then go big.

Even an XR250 with proper gearing will happily buzz along at 60+ mph for 20 miles. Unfortunately, the comfort factor for the rider is pretty much gone after about 15 minutes on the highway. Something about the engine vibration and the pavement makes your rear fall asleep. It's uncomfortable!

A DR350 or an XR400 will have about the same effect, but would definitely pull taller gearing if required.

The XR6 will probably be the most comfortable on the road, but as stated before, may be a handful on the trails.

Unfortunately, finding a happy commuter bike that is also a good, aggressive Dual Sporter is not easy.

You'll have to decide what's more important, fun on the trails or fun on the blacktop!
 

mtngoat

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#5
Ditto the above. While I'm comfortable at freeway speeds on my XR4, I wouldn't want to do it a lot. My XR4s are set up for "95% dirt/5% street". We ride at 7000-10,000' and the XR4s run very strong (after proper jetting).
 

Wolf

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#6
Yap...

All of the above. My XR is 100% dirt with a license plate and brake light. When I ride it on pavement I am always happy to get back on the dirt.
Depending on gearing it will do 70 to 75 easy, I run a 14 tooth front sprocket and 55 to 60 is comfortable but like I said, the comfort goes away fast:D
 
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#7
Thanks for the respones. After reading these responses and talking to local riders I think that I have decided to go with a XR 600. check out my new post about XRs.