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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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what counter (front) sprocket are you running? how steep? stalling or not enough jam? 

I can only recommend that riding with a buddy will help - critiquing helps - as well there are some vid's both on line and to buy that might help

the information is a bit vague... I'm a newbie to the DR650 but not to dualsport / enduro's been riding for 35 years - drop me a line if you want

Edited by cdnabn49

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Definitely gear down, smaller front sprocket/larger rear. The DR 650 will take you lots of places, but it needs a bit of set-up. If you are in loose gravel/rocks/sand, you may need a knobby on back. If you are not a tall person, lowering the suspension can be a big help. See if you can tag along with other dual sport riders, picking up on how others handle things that give you trouble. Most of all, have fun!

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Definitely gear down, smaller front sprocket/larger rear. The DR 650 will take you lots of places, but it needs a bit of set-up. If you are in loose gravel/rocks/sand, you may need a knobby on back. If you are not a tall person, lowering the suspension can be a big help. See if you can tag along with other dual sport riders, picking up on how others handle things that give you trouble. Most of all, have fun!

In my experience a knobbie on the front is far more important than a knobbie on the back.

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Not in mine. I've had  a knobbie on the front and stock trailwing on the back in mud and didn't go anywhere. Do the reverse and you'll actually move forwards. A terrain matching front and rear is important

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Certainly it's better to have aggressive tires on both ends off pavement but someone suggested a knobbie on the back. It probably depends on how fast one rides but I think a a knobbie on the back and a street tire on the front is a treacherous combination because the front "pushes" and will wash out easily. That makes for a hard fall.

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Tire choice, front and rear, mixing and matching, can depend on a lot of things. If the bike is primarily used on the street, a knobby on back, trailwing type on the front, can be a good set up. The original post here stated he was having trouble getting out of ravines and ditches. I wasn't sure if it was due to gearing or traction. I should have also mentioned just how much a friend momentum is in those instances.

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I run cheap kendas and let a little air out on loose or muddy stuff. If you run a street tire on anything other than hard dirt over a snails pace you will eventually bust your ass.

Sent from my iPhone using Thumper Talk

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If you want to do well on dirt, you are going to need dirt tires. You have to make a compromise.

 

I went for a ride yesterday. I was on my 1994 DR350SE with Michelin T-63's on it. My buddy was on a 2014 DRZ400S with the stock Trail Wings. The road leading to the trails is a windy mountain road. I couldn't keep up with my friend, but once we got off the road I was riding circles around him.

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dunlops 606 front & rear. best tires out there for dirt & hold the road excellent for a DP tire. I dropped gearing to 14/46. gearing drop turned this beast into a tractor.

 

tight technical single track always got me in trouble because im only 5'6" and 165 lbs. i never lowered the bike and it was hard for me to muscle this heavy bike around. i could climb whatever though.

 

defintely have a buddy with you on rides where you might be doing something to leave you hurt. I know that isnt always feasible but just saying. ive been pinned by this bike before. my friends thought it was hilarious.

 

TTS

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Tire choice, front and rear, mixing and matching, can depend on a lot of things. If the bike is primarily used on the street, a knobby on back, trailwing type on the front, can be a good set up. The original post here stated he was having trouble getting out of ravines and ditches. I wasn't sure if it was due to gearing or traction. I should have also mentioned just how much a friend momentum is in those instances.

 

I don't understand any benefit in running a knobbie on the back, on the street. all it will do is wear out very quickly. 

 

 

 

here's a very good example of what to expect with a trailwing rear + knobbie front:

 

 

it's a great dualsport combination, very little vibration on the street, great hillblimbing ability, and 'interesting' manuevering to keep the ball rolling.

 

 

i'll second the comment earlier- the best friend when offroad is always momentum. 

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+1 on the T63 tire suggestion.  I ran them on my DRZ400S and they were great off-road.  They will make a huge difference on the DR650 in the trails too.

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The cheap kenda has held up good. Almost 3k miles at 60/40 off-road and I ride a lot of rough rocks and gravel roads.

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I don't understand any benefit in running a knobbie on the back, on the street. all it will do is wear out very quickly. 

 

 

 

here's a very good example of what to expect with a trailwing rear + knobbie front:

 

 

it's a great dualsport combination, very little vibration on the street, great hillblimbing ability, and 'interesting' manuevering to keep the ball rolling.

 

 

i'll second the comment earlier- the best friend when offroad is always momentum. 

 

The clip shows that rear knobbies work much better than a TW rear offroad? That guy is clearly struggling for traction on the hill climb at the end. Add some rain and he's not ever getting up that slope.

 

I buy tires according to seasons. Winter and a trailwing just don't work at all. If I'm on the street a lot I'll keep the TW set up but being a mud plugger it's knobbies all round and I'll just ride extra carefully on the street. I agree for only street use I'd not run a Knobbie back and TW front but it'd be a pretty good compromise for someone doing 50/50 street/dirt riding.

Edited by Eazy-E

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Metzler Shahara work for me, Big Bend, and back to Austin, enough to do it again,don't believe in cheap tires

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a little from column a and a little from column b

 

a dirt-ied up DR, and I can run w seasoned guys on 400's, no issues.

 

Tires (606's), lower gearing, bar risers and springs (depending on your weight) are key.

 

Also sounds like you havent got a lot of off road time in, so ride w a buddy for critique.  THe one riding tip i always give is keep your feet on the pegs!!!  Having your butt on the seat and pontooning actually raises your ctr of gravity, and puts the bike in control of YOUR weight (bouncing you around) instead of you controlling it. 

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I don't understand any benefit in running a knobbie on the back, on the street. all it will do is wear out very quickly. 

 

 

 

I put a set of D606s on mine and I have to run asphalt 70 miles round trip to get to the fire trails.  The front is the one that wore out quickly for me, 2200 miles and the front knobs are gone in the center.  The rear still has 50% left. 

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I just got a DR650. Being fifty years old figured I'm not going balls to the walls anymore. Ha Ha. wrong. Having been on the dirt since I was eight and having owned several bikes. My first was a Benelli, then...KX125, YZ250, YZ490, Honda XR600R. I can tell you the YZ will smoke the DR in the dirt. But I would not want to ride it on the street. As far as a Dualsport bike the DR650 (in my humble opinion) is awesome. Some people struggle in the dirt with it sure but if you put an experienced rider on that bike it has alot to offer. Plenty of suspension and torque. Sure you can change gearing and tires but ride man. Stay on top of it, look ahead and make good decisions, when in doubt gas it. When I'm ripping down a trail or through the bush it doesnt feel like a 300 lb. bike. Alot of fun. And still cruise along the highway nicely. Good luck with it man. It was the next right bike for me.

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I just got a DR650. Being fifty years old figured I'm not going balls to the walls anymore. Ha Ha. wrong. Having been on the dirt since I was eight and having owned several bikes. My first was a Benelli, then...KX125, YZ250, YZ490, Honda XR600R. I can tell you the YZ will smoke the DR in the dirt. But I would not want to ride it on the street. As far as a Dualsport bike the DR650 (in my humble opinion) is awesome. Some people struggle in the dirt with it sure but if you put an experienced rider on that bike it has alot to offer. Plenty of suspension and torque. Sure you can change gearing and tires but ride man. Stay on top of it, look ahead and make good decisions, when in doubt gas it. When I'm ripping down a trail or through the bush it doesnt feel like a 300 lb. bike. Alot of fun. And still cruise along the highway nicely. Good luck with it man. It was the next right bike for me.

+1 I'm dang near 50 and i agree - went out the other day with a couple of buddies 1 KLR and 1 DRZ400 both had knobbies and me with kenda street tires of which the rear tire is pretty much bald...

needless to say we had a blast - I fell a few times in the wet waist high grass, but with propper throttle in the sand and muck I did aight. New tires this week - Hidenau K60 Scout's.

Edited by cdnabn49
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