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Old 09-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
Spectre5922
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Opinions on dual-sports

Okay, so I like my gixxer, but there are times that I wanna hit some trails or putt around on a fire road, or just basically go somewhere my Gixxer can't (or even ride in at least a LITTLE more comfort). I am looking at possibly starting to save my pennies for a dual sport and would like opinions from anyone who either currently owns one or has recently owned one.

I think I pretty much have it narrowed down to either the Honda XR650 or the Kawasaki KLR650. I'm 5'11" 240 lbs., so a 400 won't cut it. I would probably end up commuting some on it also (around 125 miles round trip when I do, almost all freeway). I actually considered the Ducati or Aprillia also, but the price goes WAY up from the models.

Keep in mind that I'm just starting to look and get ideas on which way to go, but I have never owned a dual-sport, so I don't even know where to start. Also, please let me know the pros/cons that you've experienced.

Thanks guys!
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:42 PM   #2
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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Back when I was preparing to get a dual sport I had also narrowed the selection down to the XR650 vs KLR650. Dual sports are by their very nature a compromise so you need to figure where your priorities lay. Between those two the XR is lighter and a little more agile which is nice for off road especially if the trails you are planning to ride are a little more technical. The KLR is a little better suited for the commuting and/or highway role if you are going to need to do more riding to get to the off road places. The KLR also has more fuel capacity and it is easy to go 250 miles on a single tank (your may have some regrets on that though). The KLR will run 70+ on the highway all day with no problem. I have not run an XR at highway speeds but from what I hear it is not quite as stable and struggles a bit more.

The extra fuel and better highway capability was what lead me to choose the KLR over the XR, so you really need to think about what your mix of riding is most likely to be.

I've ridden the KLR on most every trail in the national forest and while you can't run the pace that a dirt bike will do it will make it through the trails with no problem. I've also ridden it on highways and off road mountain trails in Colorado, even in snow, and it performed very well. There are a lot of aftermarket parts for both of them (search for dual star as they have a lot) so you can easily customize for your wants/needs.

Hopefully you will find some of this useful. Also check for info on advrider and twtex as there is a lot of dual sport info there.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:24 PM   #4
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tw200, or drz400
i also hear the klr650 is loveable
big money likes the f800gs
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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Lorin,

I have read the same things. I believe the tank on the KLR is a 6.1 gallon. That would be awesome since I only get around 150 miles/tank on my bike now. I would probably end up doing a lot of commuting on it if it is comfortable enough. I wouldn't be doing any hard-core off roading to where I would need the XR.

Loosenoose,

I won't ride anything less than a 650. Going from a Gixxer 750 to a dual sport would be culture shock enough. I've owned 15 street bikes in my life, and have only owned 2 (my first two bikes) that were below a 750. I love the idea of the F800, but if I do this, the budget won't allow big money.

This is all good stuff. Keep the info/opinions coming guys.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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the klr650 is a workhorse with a great history, a honda is a honda which means always reliable and they are great on the trails. I have a dr350 right now and love it because its a good compromise between a real dirtbike and a bigger enduro, but I am only 5'10 160. They are so much fun because you can basically go wherever you want whenever you want. The only thing with the bigger 650's is when you get on some tight trails or steep climbs. or if you drop them on a hill or in some mud they are a pain to pick up. I got rid of all my sport bikes and only ride enduros for right now, and I love them
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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i heard the ktms are more race and require more maintenance. i had a honda xl250r that was the shiznit on backroads but my next dualsport will be a drz400
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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i love my drz (granted it's not dual sport). I am in the hunt for knobbies for it though, and it will be sufficient for on/off road.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:05 PM   #10
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http://www.klrworld.com/

http://www.klr650.net/

http://advrider.com/forums/

I am also considering either a KLR650 or maybe spending a bit more for either a F650GS Dakar or go nuts and get the F800GS.

First 2 KLR links are fantastic sites with tons of info.

CAUTION! CAUTION! Be very careful when visiting ADVRider. You will disappear for days/weeks reading all of the ride reports. It is absolutely addicting. I am now in therapy because of it but I have relapses every week. All I think about is taking a trip from Houston to Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #11
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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there is a few threads on ADV discussing the "best" dual sport. I wouldn't go for a KLR650 if you plan to do many highway miles.

consider a V-strom , or a Versys too.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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650s are too heavy IMO, i like dirtbikes that u can flip around
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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the versys will do 124mph with my 200lb on it, and makes for a decent ride around town too.

This is not the factory configuration, far from it....not mine either
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"... I say the govt puts something in the water that sterilizes all women..."
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:09 PM   #15
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I actually looked at the V-Strom and thought it was pretty cool. The Versys is supposed to be a good bike, but it's so ugly that I don't think I'd want to ride it. Keep in mind that the trail riding will be minimal, but the commuting will be very often. I guess I just wonder about the power on the V-Strom 650. Doesn't it have the same motor as the SV650? Although I've never ridden one, I've heard great things about them. I wouldn't mind the 1000, but if I was going to spend around 10K on another bike, I'd just bite the bullet and get an M90 and cruise. I am basically starting to look from a comfort/mileage perspective. I'm getting too old to ride the Gixxer every day. On short trips it's a blast, but it tears my back up BAD on anything over around 10-15 miles.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
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the versys will do 124mph with my 200lb on it, and makes for a decent ride around town too.

This is not the factory configuration, far from it....not mine either
THAT! is FAWKING AWESOME!

Check out this Versys this guy in Eurolandia tarded out.

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
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No kidding. My wife catches me on that site occasionally. she says she can always tell when I'm looking at the trip reports because my eye's get glassy, I start talking like Ewan McGregor and calling her Charlie.
I am hoping to she looks a helluva lot better than Charlie
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:29 PM   #18
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The Versys is supposed to be a good bike, but it's so ugly that I don't think I'd want to ride it.
You think this is an ugly bike?

Your opinion

Chicks dig it, plenty of umph for me (most of the time), 50+mpg, comfy, handles great....... The head light is a bit funny looking from the front, but I care not because it works great.

function > form
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:41 PM   #19
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Either one, you can't go wrong. Honda known for reliability, but I like the looks of the kawasaki better? Flip a coin?
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:04 PM   #20
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