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DRZ400, CRF250l, WR250r, klx250...dual sports

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I'm looking to purchase a dual sport. Primary role of the bike will be back country exploring and local adventure riding/camping. I'd also like to commute year round to work with it. I'm only 12 miles round trip to work so not much commuting. I need the bike to sustain minimum 55mph with some gear strapped on. I'd also like to be able to strip off any adventure riding parts and ride single track.

I'm a 6'2" 205lb(with gear) aggressive rider, I'm 35 and in good shape. I'm a marine engineer and work on and rebuild million dollar propulsion plants so doing my own maintenance, repairs and swap/conversions is not a problem for me.

I've quasi narrowed my search down to the 4 bikes mentioned above...am I missing anything I should consider??..(obviously I've considered orange bikes, but alas the wife has set a $ limit)

I only have ridden 2 strokes(cr250 and kdx220 current bikes) so the 4 stroke world is new to me. I like the power of 2 strokes and I think some of my selections will disappoint me, maybe not the 400 or wr250...I'm not sure????

So given my criteria and stats what do you guys think?? Am I missing anything??

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The DRZ would be fine , they are heavy compared to the more performance orientated bikes . But for what use you describe , it would be good .

Setting up the suspension to suit you is Recommended

Yes, suspension, braking, and traction and very important to me coming off MX bikes. I'm also considering the dr650/xr650l but the weight really scares me...but the power and super reliability interests me...I think I really need to rest ride these bikes before laying down any cash...

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All the mentioned bikes are street bikes that look like a dirt bike.  In OEM trim each can be set up for mild off road riding but each does best on gravel roads and groomed trails.

 

The 250’s are woefully underpowered.

 

If you want a dirt bike that has a license plate then Husqvarna or KTM or Beta is the choice.

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I would suggest the drz400 for those needs as it will have the power to carry you and equipment and parts are cheap and is easily upgraded. the crf and klx are under powered, and the wr250r is a good bike but still small and more expensive. As to your interest in the 650s I would highly suggest the xr650l over the dr650 for offroad use. Yes they are big and heavy, but have power to make up for it, and much better on the highway than the smaller bikes. You'll want to brace the subframe for gear though $55 for a set. Best bet is to look at some bikes, sit on them, and preferably ride them

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I've rule out the 250 class dual sports, I won't be happy with the power and I want more grunt for the roads.

I've narrowed my choices I think to, drz400, dr650 or xr650l. I read a thread at adv rider about a guy racing a lightly modded dr650 in the baja1000, he didn't end up finishing(made it to mile 900 or 1000) but the whole thread was inspirational.

This is a wicked drz I lifted from adv rider

D88A140C-27F2-45D8-BF5C-9D359532482B.jpg

Dr650

ED12D5B0-3B83-4E58-8BEF-77B568B7947C.jpg

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DR650 will be better on road, DRZ offroad.

DR650 suspension is not enough for hard offroad, just enough to get slowly through it, singletracks unwelcome

DRZ400S has much better suspension, but ergos are more dual-sport oriented, it will make it through singletracks even though it's heavy and underpowered stock compared to kdx and cr, it will run 55 mph all day, you will want power mods (carb, pipe), but it will never be WR450F offroad or dl650 on road. It's just enough for anything but not best at it  :)

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(obviously I've considered orange bikes, but alas the wife has set a $ limit)

then look at used orange bikes. you can get very nice, lightly used ones for the price of a new DRZ/WRR/etc. and you will end up with a much better bike.

all the japanese dual sports are going to feel like bloated pigs (and under powered) compared to what you are used to riding. (because they are bloated pigs...and under powered.)

So given my criteria and stats what do you guys think?? Am I missing anything??

seriously, look at used KTMs, husabergs, and huskies.

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then look at used orange bikes. you can get very nice, lightly used ones for the price of a new DRZ/WRR/etc. and you will end up with a much better bike.

all the japanese dual sports are going to feel like bloated pigs (and under powered) compared to what you are used to riding. (because they are bloated pigs...and under powered.)

seriously, look at used KTMs, husabergs, and huskies.

I was at 2 of the dealers today poking around and sitting on bikes. I sat on a 690 enduro and a DS 500 exc...what wonderful bikes!!! The magura clutch on the 690 was sooooo sweet, the 500 didn't have the magura clutch but it was still really light...the 500 exc was $10299 and the 690 was $11,999 :0 but soooo sweet, the 690 felt a bit heavier than the 500 but not too bad....

I want a brand new bike, I want a fresh warranty and I'll need to finance a portion of the cost....that's why i can't do the ktm...also though the Ktm's are great looking and the performance speaks for itself, but Im also concerned about the longivity and maintaince schedule of the bike...this is where the Japanese bikes appeal with me.

For example the dr650, I can commute daily, ride in the bush on weekends, take a 2 week adventure trip, race baja, take it around the world....all before I need to service the top end!!!

Ktm's 70 hour top ends, 5 hour valves do not appeal to me...

I also checked out the drz400 and dr650 at the second shop I visited.

The 650 sat a bit lower than the 400s, it was about the same height as my kdx220. The 650 felt heavier obviously but not too bad, the weight feels lower than on the 400s. The 400s has more adjustable suspension vs the 650, but the 650s suspension felt decent enough for road, FSRs and mild trail riding. Just by sitting on the bikes I could tell the drz can handle more aggressive riding in the bush and on road...

I think I'm leaning towards the dr650 more and more, the utilitarian aspect of the bike appeals the most to me. I want something that I'll be happy with for 20 years....something I could comfortably take to baja or around the world, but I also want to be able to strip everything off and hit single track...obviously I'll be given up some performance on the tight trails but everything else the dr650 will excel at...

Thanks for any insight folks!!!

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