Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Adventure/Play bike. Need wisdom!

Recommended Posts

I've got a Jones for a new ride but am having trouble landing on a choice. I'm looking for a spirited mid-displacement adventure bike for getting into the mountains in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and BC. I want to blast the paved back roads and still get to the end of the worst, un-maintained and eroded logging road.

Most of the conversation with long distance thumpers (KLR 650, BMW 650) is about comfort, practicality, and load-carrying ability. Most of the conversation with factory dual purpose bikes (DRZ400s, XR650L, DR650) is about relative dirt performance and lack of comfort for long (300-500 mi.) road days. Nobody seems to care about having a blast on the road except for tard riders and they never seem to get far out of town or into the woods.

I know the DRZ400S would be a blast around town, back-road turns, and will cruise 65-70 with some exertion on the motor, but can you get around the line of cars following the motor home or do you have to wait for the passing lanes? 0-60 times are good but what about 65-85? If so, a seat and larger tank would solve its distance limitations (I think).

I know the XR650L and DR650 would be a blast on open trails and knarly, granite-strewn, rutted dirt mountain roads, but can you embarrass the squid on the sport bike in the tight, paved twisties with some Conti TKCs mounted? If so, a seat and larger tank would solve their distance limitations (I think).

I know the KLR and BMW P-D singles are (relatively) comfy rides for long days on the road and have some significant limitations as actual dirt bikes, but are they any fun in the hooligan sort of way? They seem to be more suited to the relaxed adventure rider.

I know various KTM LC4s would be a good way to go but my budget is limited to under $3,500 and even well used ones seem to cost well above that.

Is there something I'm missing or have I got it basically right and just have to make my choice?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For left side kick AND e-start, I would get a '97 or newer ATK 605. light as a DRZ-400S but more power and primo parts. Plus, lousey resale value so your $3000 will go far. The old LC4 series KTMs are real porkers.

I have not been able to dis-able my '95 yet and I fall a lot!

I rode down to our local county off road park this morning. It is 20 miles on highway 85 and I pass a lot of cars.

I'm not the best of riders and the bike continues to surprise me with body saving saves that I attribute to excellant handling and excellant suspension, not my skill!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The DRZ will do everything you want to do, a bit slow on the passing but it will do it.

The XR650L will do everything you want to do, with a bit more passing power and a bit heavier in the dirt.

The KLR650 will do everything you want to do, a lot heavier everywhere but it can get there if you have the determination to get it there.

Even an old DR350 will do everything you want to do. Cheaper.

Those are the bikes I've owned or currently own, so that's my first hand take on it. I use my bikes in a pretty similar manner to what you want to do.

Make your choice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the DRZ400S would be a blast around town, back-road turns, and will cruise 65-70 with some exertion on the motor, but can you get around the line of cars following the motor home or do you have to wait for the passing lanes? 0-60 times are good but what about 65-85? If so, a seat and larger tank would solve its distance limitations (I think).

I know the XR650L and DR650 would be a blast on open trails and knarly, granite-strewn, rutted dirt mountain roads, but can you embarrass the squid on the sport bike in the tight, paved twisties with some Conti TKCs mounted? If so, a seat and larger tank would solve their distance limitations (I think).

------------------------------------------------------------------------

My DRZ400SM cruises easily (no exertion) at 65-70 and passing from 65-85 is right in the meat of the power band, so it hauls butt then, for passing. An S model would need SM tires, of course, if you want to play "sportbike", unless you don't get too extreme.

My DR650 will cruise and pass better in every way than the 400, of course, and does quite well in twisties -- only limitation is stock tires -- if you put on street tries, it will do about as well as my SM -- with me driving, anyway, since I don't drag my pegs in corners, anymore. Does very well off-road, if you don't mind the little extra weight -- otherwise handles quite well on trails.

Just be sure, if you ride alone on trails, that you are able to pick up the 650, or even the 400 for that matter, if you drop it. That's why I keep my 400 and 650 mostly on the road, and use a 250 dual sport for off-road stuff.

Seems to be a little-known fact, but my various 250 dual-sports will ALSO cruise at 65-70, and pass okay at 65-85 -- but are WAY more fun to handle off-road, since I don't need to have a 6-foot roost every place I go, but I do like their easy handling, plus I can pick one up if it goes down, so I will go in rougher places that I wouldn't take my heavier bikes. Lots of riders use the 250 class bikes for long-range road riding and dual-sporting. Better to avoid interstates with a 250, but that goes for the 400's also -- both are happier on back-roads and twisties.

But, that's just me -- maybe you would have no problems with the heavier bikes off-road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...