What Dual Sport do you recommend?

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#1
I'm thinking about purchasing a DR200SE, DR400S , XT225, or maybe a 650. I'm 5'6" 170lbs. so seat height is an issue. What bike would you reccomend? I mostly will use it for around town, but I live in Northern California with endless logging roads so I will be taking it off road when I can. Any feedback will be appreciated....Thanx.
 

JPIVEY

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#2
I would stay away from anything big and heavy or anything smaller than a 250, find one you like with an E button and if can go TTR,XR,DRZ or whatever and get a dual sport conversion and keep the weight down to a minimum. I know guys that have the 650r and on alot of occasions they have to drag them under fallen trees,pull them out of rivers and all kinds of crap.

And seeing that you are short and light ( not a slame ) you should scoot pretty good on a smaller/lighter bike

Just my opinion
 
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#3
You really have to think about your priorities. Most 250cc bikes that are street legal are geared pretty high to enable them to do highway speeds. This isn't good when you are off road and need lower gearing. Get one of these small bores if you will never go over 55 for much distance. I've found that you can gear down the bigger bore bikes and still have a bike that will do 70 comfortably. I think the XR400&650 will be pretty tall for you. The same for the DRZ400, however, they make lowering links for all of these bikes. The DR650 has a low seat height and is pretty good offroad--not as many aftermarket products as some of the others. The KLR650 is pretty low, also, but it is a heavy mother. If you are going to ride mostly dirt roads, either the DR650 or the KLR650. If you are going to do trails then I'd go with the DRZ400S or the XR400 with a dualsport kit. Go to your dealer and sit on some bikes--you can generally feel what is going to be best for you.
 
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#6
The DRZ400E or DRZ400S are probably the best bikes currently available for the mission you describe.
I have a DRZ400E with a Baja Kit that is an excellent Dual Sport bike. I have never ridden the S model.
I also have a KTM 520 EXC with a tag and I have used it as a Dual Sport bike. It probably has too many compromises for day to day D-S usage but can be made to work.
If I were not racing the KTM and could only own one bike for Dual Sport riding, it would definitely be one of the DRZs.
 

dirt bike dave

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#7
The older DR350 is a little lower in the seat height than some of the newer bikes. Many of the dirt models have Baja kits.

Offroad performance is not up to the standards of the newer bikes, but it is a good reliable fire road cruiser. And a lot cheaper than the newer machines.
 
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#8
you must decide, do you want a bike for street riding, that you can dabble in the dirt with , or do you want a bike for dirt riding, that is also street legal. if you're anything like me, once you start riding in the dirt, you'll stop thinking about anything else. i got a klr650 for commuting and touring and stuff, and started riding some firetrails and easy singletrack, and i got hooked. i ended up buying a klx300 for trailriding.

the easiest solution for you is a drz400-s. it'll hold up to all sorts of street-riding, and most anything reasonable off-road. it's too heavy to race offroad, or to do really hairy trails with (unless you are skilled and confident), but it's 100's of times better offroad than a dr650 or klr650, and hundreds of times better onroad than a dirtbike with a baja kit. good luck.
mw
 
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#9
Good Info

I want to thank all you for posting and helping me out. I think I little more info would help out. I owned a KX125 for about 6 years and the seat height on that with Race Tech suspension was around 38 inches. The bike was under powered big time, and I felt a lot better on my buddies CR250s (power and seat height). I also was able to ride a friends XR200 which was a damn fun machine. Enjoyed riding the XR at Carnegie, near Livermore, because that damn bike can climb anything. Right now I'm thinking more along the lines of a DR400 or the 200. Also will be riding the bike to my parents house about 2.5 ours away to visit so will the little 200 be able to keep up at highway speeds for 2.5 hrs?
 
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#10
oh, that's different. i would definitely get the 400 then. i've ridden my wife's xt225 for an hour each way to get up to cow mountain (to ride in the dirt) and it's underpowered and annoying on the freeway, plus the suspension is way too soft in the dirt to go fast, even the spodely novice kind of fast that someone like me wants to go.

the 400 has all the power you need for street use, will be perfectly fun in the dirt ( i see 400s's on pretty serious trails in norcal all the time), and can be lowered if you desire it. it sounds like the perfect fit for the riding you describe.
 

DougRoost

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#11
I agree that it's hard to find one you'll really like -- and be safe on -- in both uses, especially with 2.5 hours of highway use. The weakest link in both places will be tires. Any kind of knobby tire on the highway is just dangerous -- your contact patch is that center knobby. Riding trails without knobbies will have you frustrated that you can't climb things the bike would otherwise fly up or over.

I recommend doing what I did and getting a good trail bike and an inexpensive trailer (used perhaps)! It's just too big a compromise, especially for highway use.
 
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#12
Originally posted by DougRoost
Any kind of knobby tire on the highway is just dangerous -- your contact patch is that center knobby.
that's a little alarmist. pirelli mt21's are perfectly useful for both applications. obviously you can't ride it like it's a roadracing bike, but it's not like you'll crash or anything, unless you ride stupid.

i put in the occasional pavement miles on non-DOT tires, and they still work fine. they sure wear down fast on pavement tho.
mw
 

NVR FNSH

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#13
If 2.5 hours of hwy riding is in your future then give up right now on everything but the DR650 or KLR650. I commuted on an '88 XR600 that was street legal a few times from Merced to Catheys Valley (just downhill from Mariposa). I did it because my CJ-7 was beating me to death - the XR made the Jeep look like a RollsRoyce.

I just did the Cal Poly Penguins DS and it was 75 miles of pavement before hitting the dirt - pure misery on an XR250R. Would have been awesome on a street bike though.....

Brian
 

WoodsRider

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#15
XR650L