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Need advice for dualsport

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Ok, this is gonna be a long one, sorry. 

My name is Ryan, I live in Illinois, close to St. Louis and I am looking for my first bike\dualsport to use as my daily driver and commuter/adventure bike. 

 

Here's my questions of concern, first off, my budget is $3000(for bike and legalities)

I'm 5ft 5in so I'm a short dude, touching the ground will be a problem for me.

And probably the most asked and annoying question of all, as far as ride height goes, the 250's are perfect for me, but I feel like 250cc won't be good for long highway commutes(45-50 miles to and from 4 times a week) going anywhere from 60mph-70mph, but the 650's are damn near up to the middle of my rib cage when I stand next to them. Is there a 450 or 400cc dualsport offered by any company? Any help would be much appreciated, I am still learning the in's and out's of dirtbikes so bear with me as I learn.

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Ok, this is gonna be a long one, sorry. 

My name is Ryan, I live in Illinois, close to St. Louis and I am looking for my first bike\dualsport to use as my daily driver and commuter/adventure bike. 

 

Here's my questions of concern, first off, my budget is $3000(for bike and legalities)

I'm 5ft 5in so I'm a short dude, touching the ground will be a problem for me.

And probably the most asked and annoying question of all, as far as ride height goes, the 250's are perfect for me, but I feel like 250cc won't be good for long highway commutes(45-50 miles to and from 4 times a week) going anywhere from 60mph-70mph, but the 650's are damn near up to the middle of my rib cage when I stand next to them. Is there a 450 or 400cc dualsport offered by any company? Any help would be much appreciated, I am still learning the in's and out's of dirtbikes so bear with me as I learn.

I think you need something larger than a 250 for the use described. Some, me included, would say a 400 is to small. I think about any DS you get will probably be taller than you would like, you'll just have to learn to deal with it. There are lowering links available for many bikes, but they will still be tall.

If you're going to be riding on the street, however, there are many streetbikes 250 and up that would probably do the job.

Mike

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DR650. Try it. It's not that good offroad like a 250 would be but on road and easy offroad it does pretty well, 70mph is not a limit, can ride that speed all day. The seat height is also quite low, maybe a little hard for a lot of miles in a day but that can be solved, 50miles is no problem even on stock seat, much better than most 250-400cc

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Bike weight is not a problem, but I want something that will be for daily trail riding and long highway commutes, I feel like the 250 would be bad for long highway commutes considering I would be riding in high rpm's for long distances, I don't want to wear out the bike fast with my commute to work. Thats why I am looking for something like a 400-450, anything higher than that in my opinion would be unsafely too tall for my short legs. I've sat on the DR and there is almost 3 inches of clearance in between the tip of my big toe and the ground, at stop lights I would literally have to dismount the bike haha. I just don't know, seems like the Dualsport market doesn't have too much variety.

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Honda made a CRF230L (street legal in stock form). Would solve the height issue and should do 60mph without doing damage.  It's an older design, air cooled engine and they are pretty durable.  Definitely wouldn't take it on an Interstate.  Offroad it would be fine for mild trail riding with decent tires.  Honda doesn't make it any more, but you should be able to find one used in good shape.

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I've sat on the DR and there is almost 3 inches of clearance in between the tip of my big toe and the ground

 

It shouldn't be like that, maybe the previous owner lifted it a bit? There is a bolt that adjusts the height in 5 minutes. DR650 is usually very low

IMG_7882.jpg

Edited by MCVL

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...but I want something that will be for daily trail riding and long highway commutes...

What you want doesn't exist. There's no way around it. You either need a trail or MX bike with a plate like a CRF-R or X or KDX, a 50/50 dualsport like the DR-Z or CRF-L, or a highway cruiser like the DR650, KLR650 or XR650L.

 

It's either gonna be lousy on the street or the dirt. Pure dirtbikes are sketchy on the street, 50/50 bikes are lousy at both, cruisers are like a bad joke in the dirt.

 

It's a common misperception that smaller engined bikes are shorter. Actually this has nothing to do with it- you'll find that pure dirtbikes are all about the same height (tall) and that height varies wildly among dualsports. Plan on having custom shortened suspension on any bike you buy unless it's a supermoto.

 

The DR-Z400SM with on-off road tires pretty much fits the bill you have on all accounts. You'll PROBABLY be able to tip-toe it and with a lowering link very easily. Shop carefully and you'll find one in your price range.

 

tires-drz400.jpg

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Well as of yesterday I won $5,000 on a scratch off lotto ticket, so my budget for a dualsport has gone up...considerably lol. I'm leaning towards the DR-z400SM and maybe just go with a lowering kit to see how it fits me. Here in a few weeks when my check comes in, I'll keep everyone updated on what I'm shopping for, then once I make my purchase make a Youtube video to show off my new bike haha. Thanks for the help everyone I really appreciate it! You'll be seeing me around Thumpertalk a bit more these up and coming days.

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