First dual purpose, need some help

thanks for the input Sum Ting

Yeah, the only reason I was considering the 225 & 250 was b/c I wasnt sure if I would need much power, and it would be a lil better on trails. But then again, a highway is one of the main roads here and is 30-45 in town and also I'll more than likely end up needing to go out of town on it and then it's 65. So I was probably kidding myself.Plus I'd like to be able to have the power when its needed in unavoidable situations. And you're right the 650 is most likely too much power. Know off hand how the drz would do on Highway? Thanks for the tip on the stabilizer.

WoW! riding street is a whole different experience and wouldn't want a dual as my first street bike... don't run out and buy a busa, but at least get an sv650.

the only reason i have a dual sport is because it was the better value, but i have other street bikes... I'm a new street pilot, but have been riding pillion for many years. and just think... it is an opportunity to get new leathers.

It's a whole different out fit, a whole different ride...

my best to you... Brandi

Thanks Brandi

I was going to go for a street bike but my dad insists on me getting something I can take camping(I agree) and such, and since the money will be coming out of his pocket, I got to go along with what he wants. But if I cant have a street bike, this is a close second.

I would say then that the drz is probably for you. You can get an 's' & maybe get it 'sm'd with tires & gearing. My E can go 90 on the street with 15/47 gearing. It also is fun & fine off road. You can tweak & mod the drz, & parts are readily available & reasonable.

scotty :applause:

I was going to go for a street bike but my dad insists on me getting something I can take camping and such, and since the money will be coming out of his pocket, I got to go along with what he wants. But if I cant have a street bike, this is a close second.

Your dad sounds like a good guy.

I've had a lot of DS bikes, from big BMWs to a dual-sported 250# Honda XR400R. I've finally settled on two that just suit me perfectly: a KLR650 and a DRZ400E. A few simple and inexpensive mods made the DRZ-E street legal but its aggressive knobbies keep it from being a good commuter. The KLR will go anywhere except the steepest, rockiest trails. (That's why I bought the DRZ-E.)

Don't worry about the height of these bikes. I'm 5'8" and am not comfortable on anything smaller than a KLR. At 6', you won't be happy on an XT and you'll find the height of the KLX250 and DRZ to be a much better choice for visibility on the street and balance off road.

I'd say the DRZ-S is the best bike for 70/30 riding on the street and tight trails. Perfectly capable on the street, whether on the highway or in downtown trafffic, and also a very good trail (not MX) bike for Colorado's many miles of dirt. You lose horsepower at high elevations so you won't want anything under 400cc. (We have two 250 Super Sherpas so I feel confident saying that.)

For a "keep forever" trail/street 70/30 bike, you have three choices, all of which are fine: KLR650, DR650 and XR650L. I love my KLR but I'm sure I'd be just as happy on either of the other two. These bikes can be ridden over 90% of the trails in Colorado - just not very fast.

I too am looking for a dual sport. I don't mean to confuse the issue but have you considered the Husky Te-610(576cc 308lbs dry weight)? Good luck! :applause:

mach - Yes I have, as well as KTM, but price is too steep for me and I've heard KTMs need a lot of up keep.

colorado - I'm a little confused. you say the drz is the best for 70/30 but then later you dont include it the "keep forever" list

thanks guys

I vote for the drz. I almost bought one a few years ago but ended up with the SV650 instead (awesome bike). Since I still want to do some dual sport riding, I just finished dual sporting my 05 KTM 525. Now I just need to figure out where to go.


colorado - I'm a little confused. you say the drz is the best for 70/30 but then later you dont include it the "keep forever" list

Ah, sorry for the confusion.

What makes the KLR650, XR650L and DR650 "keepers" is that they're not as specialized as other bikes. They are do-it-all bikes you just get on and ride. They're great at commuting, exploring trails, riding to rallys, going camping or riding the TAT, CDT or 'round the world (ask Dr. Greg - 5 RTW loops). No matter what other bikes you may buy (and your tastes will change), there will always be room for one of these in your garage.

The DRZ, on the other hand, is much more specialized for dirt. As good and reliable as the DRZ is, it will never be a do-it-all bike like a KLR/XRL/DR. KTMs, Huskies and GasGas bikes are way more narrowly-focused than the DRZ even. They're "dual sports" only if your definition is limited to (a) dirt riding, and (:applause: dirt racing.

I ran into Craig Vetter in Ouray a couple of years ago. Obviously, he can have any bike (or any combination of bikes) he wants. He had an old, well-used KLR650 in his truck. Look at Peter Egan, the Cycle World editor. He goes through 3 or 4 "marquis" bikes every year, but he hangs on to his DR650 year-in and year-out. I've heard that Jimmy Lewis has a 1998 XR400R that he bought new (but he's a dirt guy).

Bikes that are "keepers" don't show up on the covers of magazines. They don't have the "latest thing" that drives bike sales. For me, my KLR is a keeper.


thanks for the clarification Colorado

I believe I like the dr650se quite a bit. I know its better on road than but worse off road than the xr650l, but is it a huge difference?



xr650l or klr650 - any thoughts?

I'd say a DRZ400s is your best bet. I have had a XR650L, KLR650, DRZ400s, and a Super Sherpa. The XR650L is a pretty decent woods bike and decent on the highway, but for your experience, I wouldn't suggest it. It is tall and heavy. The KLR is just too big for any serious trail riding IMHO. The suspension is soft too. The super sherpa (250) was fun on the trails, but I felt cramped on it, I'm 5'11". And you can get run over on it on the interstate on one, just not enough power. Once you get the DRZ setup, it is a great trail bike. It is pretty good on the highway too. The only downside is that skinny seat. It killed my old butt. But now you can get a corbin for them. Heck I had mine up to an indicated 100 mph on the NY thruway. :bonk: I can't speak for the KLX, but don't think that you are likely to find a used one. I might also add, to really confuse you, that I have heard good things about the DR650. In fact, I'm am considering one. But not having had one myself, I can't give you an honest assessment.

Last Oct, I bought my first dual purpose bike. Knowing I wanted power for the street it was an easy choice. KLR650. Used models sell cheap, and easy to fix.

Very easy to ride on dirt or gravel roads. just don't expect to tear up the trail. If you want to explore the back trails, it'll get you there. You just aren't going to beat the kids on the 250's getting there. It's a keeper. It's a very simple bike to ride on the street, tall and lots of visibility.

The DR650 would also be an excellent choice. If your budget allows, check out the BMW F 650GS may not be great off road but definitely the best of the bunch on road but the most expensive to own.


'06 KLR 650

'01 DR-Z 250 plated street legal

I was just surprised today with a klr650! Can't wait to ride it!

I was just surprised today with a klr650! Can't wait to ride it!

Now before you hurt yourself go to KLR FAQ and find out what you'll need to upgrade for your riding style.

Enjoy the new bike.:thumbsup:

congrats on the new ride!! have fun & be careful. Don't skimp on the gear.. the bike is a lot tougher than you are!!


+1 for the DR650... I just bought one as my first bike and it is a BLAST. It has a really nice feel to it on and off road (very easy to control) and its low to the ground. Its easy to balance and it has adequet power for riding on the highway. It really is a do-it-all dualsport bike. If I were doing it over I would have bought a DRZ400E with a dualsport kit instead, but thats because I am enjoying the woods quite a bit more than the street. I am actually selling my DR already to buy a WR426 and a trailor. If I wanted to do any kind of street riding the WR and DRZ would not be on my list. They are OK for cruising around town but the DR650 definitely feels better on the road, and the extra weight is a good thing.

The DRZ is an excelllent starting point. It might seem a bit gutless on the highways, but its a great do it alll...

07 Husky Te-610 costs a couple thousand more? less than it would cost to make a DRZ as capable as this bike.

I'd pit the husky against an XRL in the dirt and the road. The counter-balancer and road manners are STAGGERING, might even have to put it up against the KLR.

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