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DR650 offroad newbie - am i the limit of where i can go or is it the bike?

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So i've been riding DR650 for 2+ years now ,mostly commuting and around town...    

Recently moved to a more rural area where there are lots of gravel paths and some more off-roadish trails as well

 

so i tried to ride around and i found i couldnt manage to climb up out of ravines or dry channels and such

 

so i'm wondering if its my inexperience is the reason im not doing well or is it that the bike is too heavy for that kind of thing

 

so the question is : should i consider moving to DRZ-400S or something like that or should i instead take some off-roading course or something of the kind?

 

 

Thanks for the input :)

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Practice, practice & more! You are only limited by your experience. Also more aggressive tires & lower gearing will greatly improve the DR & your confidence. Check in at DR Riders forum for lots more info & advice. DR650 is a great mid-weight dualsport. Not a full on dirt bike or MX.

Have fun & wear ATGATT!

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well my tires are as aggressive as is permitted by law   

what do you mean by lower gearing?  

Actually with my current setups i have no problem going across rough terrain and sand and whatnot , its the going up and down dry creeks and ravines that i have trouble with   

on the going down part, i can feel the brakes slipping  and on the going up part i just get stuck halfway when the ridge is just a bit too high , and i can see all the WR250 people going over it like it wasnt there 

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Hi Saargrin,

 

There's no doubt the DR650 has enough power and agility to go up most any slope. If the slope has special conditions such as a loose and/or slippery surface or mixed surfaces such as sand to rock to gravel etc., technique will be important to success. Your skill level and technique will have to be of a higher order to climb such obstacles on a bike like the 650 that weighs 75lbs more than a WR250, doesn't have knobby tires, and has a suspension that's a compromise between street and dirt capabilities. 

 

Either of your two suggested courses of action would help you on the hills. I'd suggest you take the course you suggest. If it's done well, it would give you an advantage no matter what motorcycle you are riding off road. Consider it a jump start to your skill base. I'm self taught, but I did it when I was much younger and took a lot of punishment learning my lessons!

 

Paul

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i dont know what mods if any you have made to your bike. I bought my dr650 because i didnt have the money to purchase two bikes. I used it to commute 70 mile round trip to work and to play off road with a buddy of mine. I weigh 160 so i didnt make any suspension changes though the bike does benefit from doing so. I purchased an extra rear wheel so that i could swap between road and dirt tire in the back. my best off road tire was dunlop 606. these tires actually stick pretty good on the road too.  i also geared down to a 14t front and 46t rear. i went to a 520 chain because it was easier to find sprockets. As long as i stayed on the bike, i could climb just about anything. i never made any jetting changes because i was satisfied with the stock power. rejetting and or new carb can make some significant changes in your power band. its all going to come down to your pocket book and what you want to do with the best bike on the market. IMO. it is so easy to work on too.

 

TTS

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ttsquirrel: well yeah the commute thing is my primary concern and the reason i dont immediately move to a lighter bike , riding an underpowered bike on highway is practically suicidal 

 

i have no idea what "geared down" means... is there some kit i could get for that?    can you recommend some reading material about that?

 

 

unfortunately i dont have the facilities to work on the bike at home so i have to go thru a mechanic :(

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Gearing down is referring to the sprocket sizes.  Your bike probably has a 15 toothed front and a 41 or 42 toothed rear sprocket.  By changing the front to a smaller 14t and the rear to a larger increase the low end power.  I really like the stock gearing for what I do but I have a 14/47 that I have also play with.  When I put it on I often take off in second gear.  Keep in mind this will bring up your rpm's at freeway speeds.  Might not be the best for commuting.  Lots of guys will just switch the front as it a quick change and can be done cheap.  Personally after owner many 250cc two strokes and a couple 500cc two strokes I find the dr way to heavy and clumsy for any real off road use.  

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Yes it sounds like you can still go a long way on the DR before you've reached the bikes limitations. I have a DR650 and can hang with my buddies on their DRZ's no problems BUT the suspension is not the stock mushy set up. If you're an aggressive rider it's the first thing that needs sorting out IMO. Obviously the big DR is heavier and will wear you out quicker on a long stretch off road but I certainly don't feel limited as to where I can go.

Here's some inspiration for you

 

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