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New Bike Itch

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Well it is starting warm up enough to ride again. But my venerable old XL600R needs some TLC after the pounding I gave it last October during the Frozen Hell dual sport ride put on by NVTR. And I am just not feeling the love this year. Instead of fixing what's broke on the old girl, I find myself checking Craigslist and the local crab wrapper ads everyday trying to find a new toy.

I need somebody to remind me that my old bike with its all day comfy seat, aftermarket shock, fork springs, jetting and pipe still has what it takes. Afterall nobody passed me except when I was kneeling beside the bike with my frozen hands wrapped around the pipe. Well almost. Something huge with two pipes blew past me at over a ton on a gravel road. However, I am at peace with the fact I would die on a crazyazz megaenduro that does over a 100.

So I am feeling no envy for those giant adventure bikes. But all those guys on normal dual sports that could just push the magic e button and be gone. Now there is something to lust after. Especially given my surgically rebuilt but still largely trashed right ankle. A KTM525 or a nice XR650 (R or L) would sure be convenient. I might even be able to live with a portly DR or KLR just for The Button. Surely you can carve some tonnage off those beasts somehow and they sell for way less money.

Nope, I must convince myself to drop $500 and order the Ricky stator, do some rewiring and shed a little more tonnage with a digital dash and LED lights instead of crushing a credit card. I must fight the urge to just ditch the XL and go in debt on a new toy. I would definitely catch you know what from my spouse that says our new house needs furniture (which it does) and that our boat needs the tropical storm ruined top replaced first.

Maybe if I just wash the XL ...

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To tell you what you already know, your XL is heavy, and has poor suspension by todays standards. You really can't drop much weight unless you go extreme. You can swap suspension, but at the end you will still have a heavy bike. I currently ride a plated XR600 and I have been on a XL600. The XR is about 40 pounds lighter and has a way better suspension.

The XR650L may have the button, but I think it is even a little heavier than your XL. The suspension is a lot better, but at the price of a high seat height. Overall the 650L is much more off road worthy than the XL600.

A KTM EXC 525 is on a whole different level. The suspension completely blows away any of the XR's, DR's, or KLR's. The 250 pound weight is just as awesome when you come from a 300+ pound bike.

The XL still has some value. Decent ones sell for $1500 to as much as $2000 out here in California. You can always fix it, sell it, and use the cash for your next bike.

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The suspension under my old beater is anything but poor. It is actually pretty sweet aftermarket stuff designed for XR's. But you are right about the KTM's. Even the gigantic 640's will blow through rough country at speeds that seem ridiculous by normal dual sport standards.

But my old XL will keep up reasonably well because of the quality aftermarket legs under it. I rode about 100 miles with a new KTM525 last year. The guy never could get much on me on trails and I could take him on two track. The year before I was switching off with a guy on an LC640 and he couldn't leave me on trails either. But he could flat out smoke me on two track.

The one thing that keeps me on my old beater is the suspension mods. It is actually kind of fun to pass converted dirt bikes and new DS's on an old beat up sleeper DS from the 80's. But I want that damn e button. And who doesn't want to shed 50 or so pounds? Yep, I definitely need that 525.

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Save yourself some headache and get a nice new china-200cc (and a spare or two). She'll do over a hundred (Kmph) too! :applause:

Cheers!

Pullin'

PS: This October's ride just wont be the same without a nice big-bore XL.

Vs fix up your bike why not sell it and get a "newsed" xr or xl. You'll find one in great shape at an OK price if your patient.

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This may be a BS thread that I started just because I am tired of reading "which tire is best" and "which DS should I buy" threads. But you aren't suckering me into turning this into a third China Bike thread. :applause:

BTW, I really want that guy's 525 that I rode with. That was one sweet bike. And speaking of big bores, I would like to try that Elefant just once - on a gravel two track - to see what an offroad Ducati is like at 120 or so mph. I would probably have a religous experience.

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I got an even better idea for you! Keep the beloved XL600R and buy yourself that new KTM to go alongside it in the garage!! Problem solved! :applause:

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to see what an offroad Ducati is like.... I would probably have a religous experience.

'Fraid not....from my experience riding with them they do not "walk on water" that good. :applause::eek:

Cheers

Pullin'

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This may be a BS thread that I started just because I am tired of reading "which tire is best" and "which DS should I buy" threads. But you aren't suckering me into turning this into a third China Bike thread. :lol:

Someone east of the Rockies has some sense!:eek::lol::applause:

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I got an even better idea for you! Keep the beloved XL600R and buy yourself that new KTM to go alongside it in the garage!! Problem solved! :eek:

Now we are talking divorce lawyer. I just looked at what the new street legal EXC's cost. I guess I better just suck it up and order a new stator. I need to rewire to ditch my shot ignition switch/fork lock anyway. At least losing that switch will be another 3 pounds of useless overengineered crap off the bike.

'Fraid not....from my experience riding with them they do not "walk on water" that good. :applause::lol:

Cheers

Pullin'

After a second cup of coffee I finally caught your meaning. You are correct. Those Elefants don't walk on water so well do they? They sink like stones and try to drown the rider.

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greatdog, I went from a XL600R to a DR-Z400S to a '06 Husky TE250. Check out the Husky's, 450 or 510. Button AND kick. Street legal. Less money than the KTM's.

I'd say try a DRZ, but it sounds like you wouldn't be happy with it.

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I have looked at a lot of DRZ400's. But it always comes down to this: if I have to ride an overweight Japanese DS then I at least want the power of a 600cc bike. In other words I do a lot of highway riding.

I really like all the Husky's. But they are the rarest of bikes around here. I would have to drive a long way to even see what one looks like in person. Which means there is no used market here.

Maybe the rumored BMW acquisition of Husky will happen. There are plenty of BMW dealers around here.

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