Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Questions for those who ride dual-sports..

Recommended Posts

SO... I haven't owned a dirtbike in close to three years. Last year I got my motorcycle licence(street), and bought a 82 yamaha maxim 550, then later uppgraded to a RoadStar 1600.

Ive been wanting to get back into off road riding, but was planning on taking the summer off and riding/travelling/backpacking around the west coast ( mainly Alaska & British Columbia).

Now, IMO, the ideal bike for a 4000+ km (2400 miles approx) trip would be a cruiser. However, a few of my friends recently purchased dirtbikes, so I have riding buddies again. Since I plan on not working this summer, and going on a trip, I obviously cant afford to buy another motorcycle. But, if a dual sport bike would suit the kind of riding I plan to do (fields, trails, mud, and long highway rides) I would happily trade my Roadstar for a dual sport.

Now, obviously I want to know how suitable these bikes are for highway rides.. (gas mileage, passing power, fuel capacity, comfort, luggage, etc.)

but i also have a few other questions..

1 : How are they for maintenance? How long do the chain/sprockets last w/ moderate maintenance? etc. My old KX used to need 3 hours of maintenance per hour of riding, lol.

2: How long will these bikes hold up? 15 000 kms? 30 000kms? 100 000????

3: Any other advice I should know??

And in case anyone is wondering.. I found a 1996 Suzuki Dr-350 for sale. Its about $3000, which is very reasonably priced for prices around here. 12000 kms, only one season on the tires and chain. It looks absolutely immaculate and has never seen dirt. Insurance and plates/tags is $120 for 6 months. As well Id have money to spare after selling my road star. How would this hold up on the highway? Would it still be fun (powerwise, little bit of jumping) off road compared to my late 90's KX125 ?

Thanks.

Any input or long distance dual sport riding experience is greatly appreciated.

Ive always thought a streetlegal dirtbike would be loads of fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. But, if a dual sport bike would suit the kind of riding I plan to do (fields, trails, mud, and long highway rides) I would happily trade my Roadstar for a dual sport.

Now, obviously I want to know how suitable these bikes are for highway rides.. (gas mileage, passing power, fuel capacity, comfort, luggage, etc.)

but i also have a few other questions..

1 : How are they for maintenance? How long do the chain/sprockets last w/ moderate maintenance? etc. My old KX used to need 3 hours of maintenance per hour of riding, lol.

2: How long will these bikes hold up? 15 000 kms? 30 000kms? 100 000????

3: Any other advice I should know??

Any input or long distance dual sport riding experience is greatly appreciated.

There is a trade off for comfort and dirtability. What do you want more of?

Comfort :banana:; gas milage: depends upon load, crosswinds etc but strong 60s-70 mpg; dependable :lol:; passing power :banana:; dirt roads :banana:; and not too rough trails :banana:; luggage options :banana:: F650GS

797900260_TdhUs-L.jpg

Rougher trails:thumbsup:, not as much comfort but dependable: DRZ400

597256404_X8v2x-L.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comfort is not really an issue. I've never ridden a streetbike with a windshield, & don't feel I need to start now:P

AND I just realized this should probably be in the dual sport forums. Sorry guys. Thanks dman. How many kms can I expect out of an engine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

drz400 sounds like a great choice for what you want to accomplish, a dr650 would be great as well.

both bikes are easily maintained, affordable, competent offroad, comfortable on-road{with a custom seat change} and will run a good distance between oil changes and valve service.

there are guys out there with 50,000 miles on drz400's and 100,000 miles on dr650's.

no guaranty's but a good record....those are U.S. miles not km's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The answers to most of your questions vary with the bike.

As for the DR350, they are great bikes. You can have both an e-start and a kick start. You can bump them up to almost 450cc, and there is a large community out there for them.

Mr. Suzuki DR/DRZ is Jesse Kientz: http://www.kientech.com - although he is trying to retire so get what you want from him now. Very honest and smart guy. What he doesn't know about DR/DRZs you don't want to know.

Anyway, I recommend a '99 or newer - I think that is when they put the better suspension on the bike.

If you want to ride trails, then the DR350 or DRZ400 is good, but if you want to ride pavement, dirt roads, easy trails and you want to do long distances, I recommend a '96 or newer DR650.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 1998 DR-350 that I purchased new that summer. It has served me very well and I have loved it from day one! I replaced the handlebars with a slightly taller set from Renthal a while back and it was like riding a new bike. I am running Pirelli MT/90 Scorpion tires front and back. I have ridden at 14,000 ft. elevation on Mt. Evans Colorado and at sea level in Virginia where I now live and have not had a single problem with this machine, EVER! I really think that with regular maintenance and thorough cleaning after every ride this bike will last me another ten years. This bike will run pretty well on the highway at 60 or 70 mph but is happiest on dirt all day long.

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  

×