Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

What Bike for Me?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have enjoyed reading the forums and learned a lot. Now I hope you can help me with a question.

I'm looking at buying my first off-road bike and not sure what to get. I'm 43, 6'1", 190 lbs. I've been street riding for 15 years (GPz 550, VFR 800) but never been off-road on a motorcycle. (I'm an occasional mountain biker.)

I'd like to buy something used, then upgrade to a new bike in a couple of years if I'm still into it.

I anticipte my use will be 40% pavement, 40% dirt roads, and 20% trail. The pavement will be short 2-lane trips - I'll use the VFR for long distance. I live in a rural area, and will be able to commute on dirt roads if I choose. This is really my prime motivatioin for buying a DS - I'm finding it's more fun to do 40 mph on a dirt road than 70 on a paved one. The VFR isn't really the tool for this job. And if I have a dirt bike, I'll want to take it on some trails, which around here are muddy, rocky dirt.

I've been looking for a DR-Z 400 or DR650. Just this weekend I've figured out that here in New Hampshire I can probably register a "trail bike" for highway use if it has a headlight, tail/brake light, and horn. Not clear if I need turn signals and a speedo. There's a nice-looking WR426F for sale locally that's street registered in Vermont, but that may be too traily for me. Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I don't see how you could go wrong with a DRZ 400 with DOT Knobbies. ( the stock trailwings are slippery and you may find yourself eating mud with little warning) I do about the same mix you are talking about and am very happy. rko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drz 400 sounds like your bike. Might also want to test drive a husky Te-610(they are promoting free test rides). Use the search engine to try to get an idea of how people feel about various bikes. good luck!:bonk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say either of the two you mentioned, with me leaning towards the DR650 for ease of routine maint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an XR650L advocate now but since you have no off road experience you might want some thing less heavier like the DRz 400 or check out that new Kawasaki klx250s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're a poster child for a DRZ 400. The most compelling reason is you can pick up a very nice example used for 2500-3000. Look for an 02 or later, these models share the same suspension as the offroad only model. Then, put an aggressive knoby tire on it. As mentioned above the stock tires are killers on fireroads. That's how my brother got his used DRZ with 43 miles on it. (the guy broke his foot on a slow speed slide out.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say DRZ too. The only killer is the seat if you do a lot of street, but there are options.

I sold mine to get my Husky 250, but I am doing almost all trails and no street. Husky is 60 lbs lighter than my DRZ-S.:bonk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought a dual sport for my first bike - then decided off road was more fun for me so went with a Husqvarna with a factory license plate.

You really sound like a drz400s guy to me - buy used, sell when you are done with it for hopefully not a whole lot less.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, bapinnh! You sound like my partner and I about 3 years ago.

Went from 20 yrs of street riding to big dualies (bmw gs1150 and gs650), and then as we ventured more and more into the dirt, we lighted up to DRZ400s'.

Then we got hooked on trail riding (the rush is fantastic), and moved to lighter weight trail bikes with plates so we could ride in state forests and in sanctioned dualsport events.

The DRZ400 sounds about right for what you want now. You can play around with the gearing to fit your needs. Definitely buy used. The WR450f would be right for more trail use. You are correct about the fun factor!

BTW, my partner may be selling in the near future his low mileage, fully-farkled 2003 DRZ400s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I also need to decide on a bike. 6' and 230lbs, riding streetbikes for years. I need a fire road bike that can double as an "errand" and surface road commuter bike.

My option narrows down to DR650 and DRZ400S. DR650 seems to be more "natural" to me while DRZ's off road seating still hasn't grown on me.

I also concern that I have more things to break if I tip over in fire roads with DRZ (water cooled). However, I am also concerned that DR will run really hot in the traffic in the summer. Please advise. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lighter bike would be easier to handle off road. If you plan to cruise more long distances and a little more highway than dirt, then the 650 is the bike to get. IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KTM 640 Adventure! You can do 70 on pavement or fire roads no problem. It's big but at 6'1" you shouldn't have any problem, I'm 5'8" and I can get around alright, even trail riding. I currently ride mostly pavement, but as soon as I change the stock rubber I'll be stepping it up to a lot more trail rides with a whole gang of DRZ riders strangely enough. :bonk:

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...