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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of buy one.. but I can't decide..
I'm a honda guy so I like the XR650 R (with a dual sport kit)
OR
A Suzuki 400SM cause it looks so fcking bad ass...

I'd say 80% of my riding will be road.

JD
 

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The Honda is fun on the road, not so much on the trail. That's why I changed mine into a streettracker. Real heavy at low speeds. I kept wearing myself out and crashing in the woods. If you ride fast open trails, like out west, it's great.
I'm a fan of the small, light, agile dual sports, KDX, DRZ, or any of the KTM's. I'd stay away from the air cooled pretenders like TTR and CRFs.


FR
 

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The KTMs are better in terms of performance and off-road capability. The Suzuki is probably more reliable and has a lot of aftermarket engine parts available. I'm not man enough to ride a XR off-road around here, so it wouldn't be an option for me.

I have a buddy with a street-legal KTM. Only rode it once, I'd get in sooo much trouble if it were mine.
 

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The KTMs are better in terms of performance and off-road capability. The Suzuki is probably more reliable and has a lot of aftermarket engine parts available. I'm not man enough to ride a XR off-road around here, so it wouldn't be an option for me.

I have a buddy with a street-legal KTM. Only rode it once, I'd get in sooo much trouble if it were mine.
 

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JD,
What do you think the 20% off road portion will be? If you're thinking that you'll only be on dirt roads and seasonal use only roads you may want to consider something like a V-strom. I've got the 1000 and it seems to be perfect for me. Most of my riding is on the street but I have done a lot of dirt roads with this and it's been a lot of fun. I have ridden on some trails with it and while still fun it's not the best bike for that. A V-strom is not going to be as good off road as some of the other bikes mentioned but unless you're going to ride an enduro it's not a bad compromise.
Craig
 

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JD,
What do you think the 20% off road portion will be? If you're thinking that you'll only be on dirt roads and seasonal use only roads you may want to consider something like a V-strom. I've got the 1000 and it seems to be perfect for me. Most of my riding is on the street but I have done a lot of dirt roads with this and it's been a lot of fun. I have ridden on some trails with it and while still fun it's not the best bike for that. A V-strom is not going to be as good off road as some of the other bikes mentioned but unless you're going to ride an enduro it's not a bad compromise.
Craig
 

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The DRZ is nice because it takes almost 0 maintanence. Its a capable bike, not particularly grand at anything, but gets everything done at the same time. Parts are dirt cheap as the bike has been around for quit some time, and its really popular so there are plenty of used parts out there. You dump oil in it from time to time and wax the chain, work done. Make sure if you get one to go with the SM, the brakes and forks are important if you are going to use if for mostly street.

Having said that though, the 650R is bad ass. Its just going to be a lot of work getting it to road standards, plus the XRR's are still kinda expensive.

Here is my DRZ SM, too much fun. I gave up riding sportbikes on the street after I got this guy. They are especially fun is the city through allies and down stair cases and such...

 

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I used to have a XR600R. Little heavy offroad, but did fine. As long as the engine is running, it'll get you up any hill. Some 17" wheels on it would've been fun. Lotsa grunt. If you're going to mostly do road riding, look for a bike that has a cush drive in the rear wheel.
 

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olmsteads looking into a dr400. hes got a klr650 now, but says his bmw was more fun on the trails. i havent ridden a klr650 in a long time, but i cant imagine rtying to muscle one of those things around. but yes, id imagine they could go up just about any hill you can find.

jc
 

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I love KTMs. My dad has one and it is gorgeous, along with a few friends that have some. The SM's are just stupid fun and they put out so much power. I even had a friend that took his Adventurer down to Baja and got to hang out with some of the Honda team who was doing pre running for a race and he was able to keep up with them (note not the race, he can't get that tank moving that quickly).

My only beef with KTM is how damned expensive they are over here. I'd own one if the bikes weren't as much as sportbikes and the parts were more reasonably priced. Otherwise, they are superior bikes.
 

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Actually Joe I said that the BMW F650gs is way better on the city streets than on the trails. I bought a KLR bcause it was available, cheap and capable of everything I wanted to do with it. It is a little heavy for real off road use but fine on fire roads and established bike trails and still has the power to pull 100mph on the road.

My thinking on the DRZ is that they are very nice. A little tall for the vertically challenged but light and capable. I just couldn't find one around here that was available for a decent price.

I didn't look into the KTM too much because the local dealer is dropping them because they're too much trouble for them. I guess they are a little fragile if ridden too aggressively and the distributor wasn't as helpful as the dealer thought he should be (with warrantees etc). Now maybe this dealer just didn't have a good experiance with a couple of bikes that soured him or whatever but without a local outlet for parts I didn't want to go with the KTM.

Mike O.
 

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ooops mikes right. i got it backwards. he actually did tell me the klr is a better dirtbike. (my comment to him was i thought it was derived from the klx maybe??) besides, anyone would know bmw and the dirtbike dont go together. i mean, duh.

je
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well seeing as my basic wrenching skills are "limited".. I'm leaning towards the DRZ.... Still the I hear the Honda's calling me...
what about the 650 L ? It comes street legal.... but I think I might end up crushing it... I'm no MX racer but if I do have it in the woods... I'm going to hit every fcking thing I think I can land.. and probably some shit I can't... again.. DRZ looks to have the best of both worlds... I'd do an air, exhaust and jet kit to it for sure.. the FI on the Yamaha looks pretty cool.. if it came as a 4 or 600 I'd buy that for sure...
 

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the XRL is a completely different bike than the R. Its heavier, has a steel frame, battery, air cooled engine, weaker suspension. Its not a bad bike, but more of a beast offroad than the XRR. The DRZ will do you well if you are looking for offroad capability. In totally stock form, it BLOWS GOATS on highways. 70mph feels like you are beating the engine mercilessly. But if you do the 3x3 airbox mod, the FCR carb, and exhaust, the bike is an all new animal. Rolls at 70 just fine, and will go up to 104mph (107 if you tuck in behind someone at the track with one hand on the fork like a flat tracker.)

Note: the restricting part of the exhaust on the DRZ is the header. A lot of people put slip on's on the bike, but all that does is make noise, no performance advantage. You can get away with doing new jets in the carb, but the best thing to do is the FCRMX carb.

If you really want to get ballsy, get an old XR400R and motard it. More reliable than the XR650R, tons of parts, lighter than the DRZ, and cheap! The engine is a little laggy on the top end, but it makes gobs of torque.
 
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