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Choosing a dual sport

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I'm looking at getting a dual sport next spring and I'm wondering if you guys could help me out a little.

I'm looking towards getting a dual sport that is more oriented towards riding long distances south of the US and capable of carrying camping gear and food and water for a week.

Any thoughts on some bikes to look at? I'm not brand specific but the BMW's push the budget a bit.

Thanks!

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I would recommend a Kawasaki KLR 650. All of the dual-sport bikes are compromise bikes, some are better in the dirt and some are better on the street. I think the KLR would be the choice for long distance but thats my opinion. The other bikes have been ridden long distances too.

Read the tests in the links below for some info on the different bikes.

650 DS Comparison

650 DS followup

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I'd say KLR too. Just do the Doo-hickey mod. Used ones are even safe, they're bullet proof.

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If your riding includes lots of dirt roads, then I would think the Honda XR650L (with a desert tank) would be the better choice. This was a Baja bike back in the day....

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suzuki dr650 :busted:

not real comfortable with the stock seat but i've heard the corbin seat makes longer rides alot better. personally i have mine set up for single track and harescrambles but that's just me :moon:

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I'm looking towards getting a dual sport that is more oriented towards riding long distances south of the US

Need more details on your intended use, south of the US.

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Traveling, not racing.

Reliability, access to parts in foreign countries, easy to work on, can handle the added weight...

Size is also important. If I can't pick it up when it is laid over I'm not buying it. (IE- BMW 1200GS)

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I say KLR, but any 650 is going to be heavy and hard to pick up loaded down, for a trip like that. How long you been rideing, and what kinda bike?

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I'm looking at getting a dual sport next spring and I'm wondering if you guys could help me out a little.

I'm looking towards getting a dual sport that is more oriented towards riding long distances south of the US and capable of carrying camping gear and food and water for a week.

Any thoughts on some bikes to look at? I'm not brand specific but the BMW's push the budget a bit.

Thanks!

A lot of it depends on your riding and dimensions. For a mid-sized ADV bike that can handle some moderate trails, DR650 is good and cheap for people around 5'4"-5'11". KLR650 for bigger people. XR650L for tall people who travel light.

I'm 5'8"/190lb/31" inseam, fairly athletic, and prefer a modest Jeep YJ/TJ over a rockbuggy, an H1, a jacked-up bogger on 44s, or a desert racetruck. I occasionally carry a petite passenger. A modded DR650 fits my needs/wants better than any other bike I've come across. You may want something faster, quicker, lighter, bigger, etc.

Any of them will need some mods for best usage.

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Enjoyed the links. It gives me more to consider in my own search. If we don't learn from the experiences of others, we just have to fall on our faces a few extra times.

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On this years LA-Barstow-to-Vegas ride a guy was riding his GS 1100 Dakar through Redrock Canyon just outside of Vegas.......in the dark. He was trying to complete the hard way section, just as he had during the entire ride. He fell over, a slow speed tip, kinda upside down and off the trail. This would be a major pain in the butt on an XR 250 not to mention a 600 pound Airhead. So, what's this guy do? He got to work and removed the gas tank, seat, paniers and whatever else he could to lighten the load. Once he lightened up the bike he was able to bulldog it back onto the trail.

I always say it's not the bike, but the rider. Whatever bike you get prepare yourself, your bike and your mind to deal with whatever comes your way and the rides are much more fun. Take lots of pics!

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I'm a short dude (5'-6"). The KLR is REAL tall for my frame. I think it's the probably the best overall use choice, but not sure how to go about mod'ing it to pull the height down. I doubt that could be done without sacrificing something. Anyone attempted to do this?

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I'm a short dude (5'-6"). The KLR is REAL tall for my frame. I think it's the probably the best overall use choice, but not sure how to go about mod'ing it to pull the height down. I doubt that could be done without sacrificing something. Anyone attempted to do this?

I would think a shorter and/or lighter bike would be a better choice.

DR650. Put a few mods on it and it equals or surpasses the KLR650 at most things.

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You didn't say how much you would carry, whether you would be doing high speed highways or only back roads as well as offroad. There are people who travel, loaded down, on TW200s. So anything is possible. Advrider has a section on minimalist touring. Worth checking out even if you're determined to go with a bigger bike. Much good info there. Even the TW200 specific sites are worth a look. http://tw200forum.com/forums/ is one.

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. . . Size is also important. If I can't pick it up when it is laid over I'm not buying it. (IE- BMW 1200GS)

Picking up a fallen bike is all about technique. I have personally witnessed a demonstration where a 130 pound woman picked up a 700+ pound Harley at bike week in Daytona. Here are a few links on how to pick up a fallen motorcycle. If you google it, you can probably find a lot more.

LINK

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Picking up a fallen bike is all about technique. I have personally witnessed a demonstration where a 130 pound woman picked up a 700+ pound Harley at bike week in Daytona. Here are a few links on how to pick up a fallen motorcycle. If you google it, you can probably find a lot more.

Yeah that works fine if you are on a flat paved surface with good footing, But most of us fall over in the worst places, with lousy footing etc. Let us see her use that technique in sand or on a hill.

I have had to spin my GS around on the cyl head to stand it up on a hill, So that's what them cylinders are for, worked great, Valve cover looked like crap after but, hey I was back riding .

I finally sold my GSA as I was taking it into too many places I should not have been on a 600lb bike,

I got a Xchallenge and what a great lil' Dual Sport, Great mileage, Smooth, Handles pretty darn good for a 350lb'r ( wet). Range is only 125 miles when you flog it and about 150 riding normally.

DSC05288.JPG

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What about the DRZ400...very reliable and a fun bike to ride let alone mod. I put the Corbin seat and Clarke 3.9 tank on mine and have done 500+ mile rides on many occasion and did it without a problem:thumbsup:

Good luck on your decision.......oh mine is an SM but also have the dirt wheels to change it over

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