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I see that you're leaning more towards the rebel and you make some good points about it but is there any way to lower the height for the DRs or DRZs? I've noticed that one of the main points used against the dual sports are that they sit too high for someone of my height.

You can lower either bike but not to the point of ideal for you. But maybe an off road bike might be a good choice also (strictly off road).

Okay I am going to forget the aspect of building a cafe bike and stick strictly to learning to ride because that is most important for your safety.

I know a lot of folks don't care for the rebel as a good choice for learning and I know it has its limitations.........and I know they are other choices out there that are good choices as well however......I am still going to toot the horn for the rebel because it is best suited to your height and riding experience (none). If you were my son I would feel better with the rebel.....not a DRZ400 with a 35 inch seat height, not a 450 lb 750, not a GSXR600, etc.

Another aspect to learning is intimidation. Nothing is more unsafe and intimidating than a bike you don't feel comfortable with.

Also your familiar with Imperial Highway right? When I was young my first street bike was a 1981 CM400E. Keep in mind I had many years off road so I was not new to motorcycles just street bikes. We lived in Yorba Linda and my dad insisted I ride all the way down Imperial Highway and back at least once a week. Not a lot of turns but enough, with some higher speed areas and a lot of traffic. This stop and go, turn, speed up, etc taught me the importance of city riding. The next year I bought a brand new GS1100ES.

Good luck and happy riding
 

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Dirt only is the best place to start

I see that you're leaning more towards the rebel and you make some good points about it but is there any way to lower the height for the DRs or DRZs? I've noticed that one of the main points used against the dual sports are that they sit too high for someone of my height.
You'd really like learning on my bike: 26 inches tall in the saddle unladen, and 160 pounds wet. First gear tops out slower than you can run and the brake and clutch are easy to operate with one finger. Difficult to hurt if you drop it too. Kind of the ultimate starter bike.
… but strictly daylight off-road, unless you are in a closed course competition that happens to take you on public roads or walkways :|
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Buy this: 2014 Suzuki DRZ400SM Enduro

Don't buy the first bike you see and sniff around for a while.

Cheap bikes only cost more money in the long term.

Danger, is my business."

I'm still saving up and am in no position to buy a bike in the next few weeks so I plan on looking for a while. I just want to get a price range for these bikes that is somewhat fair and fits the type of quality I will be paying for. So say for a used Rebel in pretty good condition would an asking price of 1,500 be too high? Same for the DRs and DRZs?
 

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Discussion Starter #45
You'd really like learning on my bike: 26 inches tall in the saddle unladen, and 160 pounds wet. First gear tops out slower than you can run and the brake and clutch are easy to operate with one finger. Difficult to hurt if you drop it too. Kind of the ultimate starter bike.
… but strictly daylight off-road, unless you are in a closed course competition that happens to take you on public roads or walkways :|

What type of bike do you have? Did you buy it this way or did you have to make modifications? If you did do mods how costly were they and could a beginner also make the same changes to a similar bike?
 

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What type of bike do you have? Did you buy it this way or did you have to make modifications? If you did do mods how costly were they and could a beginner also make the same changes to a similar bike?
He's pissing you around. He's talking about an off-road trials bike for hopping over rocks.

Danger, is my business."
 

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I'm still saving up and am in no position to buy a bike in the next few weeks so I plan on looking for a while. I just want to get a price range for these bikes that is somewhat fair and fits the type of quality I will be paying for. So say for a used Rebel in pretty good condition would an asking price of 1,500 be too high? Same for the DRs and DRZs?
If you haven't done a MSF type riding course, go and book one.

Go find a DRZ400 somewhere, and get to sit on it. Get a feel for the things.

Danger, is my business."
 

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You can lower a drz (at least the one with old type forks should be easy). You do it by swapping the linkages to aftermarket ones (called dog bones) and by putting spacers in the front forks. Its quite easy but not something you want to do yourself if you have very little experience. DR650 (too big of a bike imo as 1st) has from factory 2 settings for rear shock and spacers in forks that can be moved from top to bottom for lowering (and also lower kick stand is factory accessory).
Supermoto is actually a good choice. You can go on trails with one by choosing tires that fit that purpose. However they are generally pricey. And stay away from dirt bike based ones - those will need a lot of maintenance and will not last long on street. DRZ400sm is probably teh cheapest.
WR250X would be a GREAT 1st bike. Its quick enough but tame. Fuel injected with high maintenance interval - valve check is 26000 miles or something like that. Unfortunately its not too common and holding its value very well (sucks when buying, good when selling).
 

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A DR350 should be able to be obtained for less than $1500. It is "reasonably" light, and doesn't have much power....but adequate. They aren't as tall as the newer DRZ, but they do have one drawback. If you don't get the "E" model (the E has an electric start), there is a procedure that has to, repeat HAS TO, be followed to get it started. Not following that procedure will result in you melting down in a pile of sweat and tears, with a few bruised shins along the way, just to add salt to your misery. I had a friend that owned one, and every time we would go for a dual sport ride, I would show up and he would be cursing and sweating and kicking his bike. I would calmly walk over run through the procedure....that I had witnessed the guy who he bought the thing from show him....and have it started in 2 kicks. Pissed him right off every time! And yet, he still would never follow the procedure......
 

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He's not pissing you around. -> Trials bikes are the fastest bike to learn on, I wish I had discovered them earlier on.
I have a go fast bike, a go far bike and 2 go anywhere bikes. The go anywhere bikes are by far the most fun.



… :/ but nothing is cheap when it comes to bikes, so crank up your money production first.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
He's not pissing you around. -> Trials bikes are the fastest bike to learn on, I wish I had discovered them earlier on.
I have a go fast bike, a go far bike and 2 go anywhere bikes. The go anywhere bikes are by far the most fun.



… :/ but nothing is cheap when it comes to bikes, so crank up your money production first.

What makes trail bikes so much better to learn on? I'm not looking for a "cheap" bike I just don't want to pay something like $1,500 for a bike that's only really worth $1,100 you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
You can lower either bike but not to the point of ideal for you. But maybe an off road bike might be a good choice also (strictly off road).


I know a lot of folks don't care for the rebel as a good choice for learning and I know it has its limitations.........and I know they are other choices out there that are good choices as well however......I am still going to toot the horn for the rebel because it is best suited to your height and riding experience (none). If you were my son I would feel better with the rebel.....not a DRZ400 with a 35 inch seat height, not a 450 lb 750, not a GSXR600, etc.

Another aspect to learning is intimidation. Nothing is more unsafe and intimidating than a bike you don't feel comfortable with.

Good luck and happy riding
Wow, that is some good advice. I've already begun shifting my focus from strictly cafe racer to just a good beginner's bike. I still have much to think about but your input is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
If you haven't done a MSF type riding course, go and book one.

Go find a DRZ400 somewhere, and get to sit on it. Get a feel for the things.

Danger, is my business."

Great tip, I've started looking for courses close to my area.
 
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