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DS for Dad?

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Hey guys, my Dad is looking to get into DS'ing (after years of riding a Harley) and we're trying to figure out the best thing for him b/twn the DR650, KLR650, and the XR650L, and possibly a Dakar 650 GS. He is 220lbs, 6' tall, 50 years old. Riding will be 50% street 50% trails (mostly Georgia fire roads). I think he likes the DR650 but I don't know that much of any of them. One more thing: He likes to keep stuff stock for some reason and likely won't do any crazy mods, so try to keep that in mind, too. THANKS!

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Get a drz 400, don't you like your klx? If you have to go 650 go with the xr its the best of the big boys stock.IMO :cry:

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I'd agree with the rockchuck. I had a Honda 650L. Does alot of things great, just kinda heavy. I think the KLR has the edge on the street due to it's saddle. For a true fire 50/50 the Honda. Both would benefit from a set of dualsport knobbies. Don't let your dad ride fire roads on those slippery stock tires. If you ride offroad at all on a dualsport bike, set it up for dirt. Bite the bullet on tires every 2K miles, consider it an expense of having twice the fun. He will get hurt on stock d/s tires.

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Hey guys, my Dad is looking to get into DS'ing (after years of riding a Harley) and we're trying to figure out the best thing for him b/twn the DR650, KLR650, and the XR650L, and possibly a Dakar 650 GS. He is 220lbs, 6' tall, 50 years old. Riding will be 50% street 50% trails (mostly Georgia fire roads). I think he likes the DR650 but I don't know that much of any of them. One more thing: He likes to keep stuff stock for some reason and likely won't do any crazy mods, so try to keep that in mind, too. THANKS!

If he has ever been a true dirt rider, I would suggest a bike like yours, especially around GA.

The 650s are a fun street/dirt road bikes, but dirt roads become boring, and trails are a blast.

At 50, I'm the youngest of a group of DS riders. Some have been the 650 route, everybody hated them. The XR650L is going to be the only one that will stay with your 400 off road, and your dad will lose that 20 extra pounds tiring to do so. :LOL

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The 650's are great for streets (stock tires) and fireroads (D606/MT21's) and light duty trail riding, but the 650's will kick your ass in short time due to their weight. I tell most people to go with the 400. It "feels" most like a real dirt bike and the power isn't too far off from the 650's if at all. The only thing missing is a few pounds of torque, but the fact that it weighs less might make up for that short coming.

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I guess I must be weird.....my XR650R dual sport is GREAT!!

I'm 59, 6'4", 220lbs and run it 75% fire roads, trails and 25% highway. Weight is not a problem...seems very light to me....but then, my other bike is an 850lb LT. Maybe because I am used to that weight, the XR seems so easy to handle.

I have run all day long on the fire roads thru the mountains of N. New Mexico several times and not been whipped yet. :cry:

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Hey guys, my Dad is looking to get into DS'ing (after years of riding a Harley) and we're trying to figure out the best thing for him b/twn the DR650, KLR650, and the XR650L, and possibly a Dakar 650 GS. He is 220lbs, 6' tall, 50 years old. Riding will be 50% street 50% trails (mostly Georgia fire roads). I think he likes the DR650 but I don't know that much of any of them. One more thing: He likes to keep stuff stock for some reason and likely won't do any crazy mods, so try to keep that in mind, too. THANKS!

My dad is 62. He just bought a used XR650L. Yeah, it's heavy :cry: I think if I had chosen for him I would have picked the DRZ400. But, he got a great price and loves it. He's 80% fire roads, 20% small roads on the way to the fire roads.

He was fairly comfortable riding my 650R, but not starting it. His right knee was replaced almost 2 years ago. Still rides the bike, still rides horses.

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About the 650L. IMO, it is the best of the 650's, and the only one I would buy.

The big XR's become a hand full when Barkbuster and 30" bars are a must, like on East Coast Enduro trails or the OHV parks I ride. Are a DS ride where you want to take the "Expert" trail. If you don't plan on riding that kind of stuff a lot, then the 650L will work fine. The reason I like the 650L is becouse it can handle those type of places.

We should use a ranking like the AMA has for Dual Sporting.

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Good points about what regions of the states you ride in. Put it this way, 650's are not half as fun on the east coast as they will be on the west. Trying to go through boulder fields on a 650 with 9-11 inches of ground clearance and 300+ pounds using up all the clearance to soften the blow makes for brutal rides that hammer the bikes. Also, going through trees that are 28" apart when the bars are 30-32 due to all the required buttons and gizmo's really makes you see the big dualsports shortcomings. West coast riders never even have to worry that much about this stuff. At least I remember riding Calico, Barstow, and Victorville and I don't think I ever came close to a tree. It was all fast fireroads and dry lakes. Unfortunately for me, back then I only had an XR200 when I needed the 600.

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Good input, guys. Ya, I love my 400, but I'm afraid that he may not be in the shape to ride hard-core trails all day. He mostly wants it for fire roads I think. I'm not sure he could comfortably ride a 400 all day. He is perfectly healthy but doesn't have the best back. He's used to riding hogs so I think the 650L is sounding appealling. I guess he will just have to try the KLX out for a say, eh?

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