Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Need Advice on a good Dual Purpose Bike

Recommended Posts

Ok, I'm ready to buy a new dual sport bike and would like advice from those that have owned DRZ400 and DR650. My time will be spent about 70% running around town (for fun) ...no major hwys and 30% back road ranches. I grew up riding dirt bikes but have not owned one in 20 yrs, after looking at the DRZ400 it looks big compared to the bikes i grew up riding. I'm 5'11, 180lbs and can get both feet on the ground or close to it but it still feels high.

I've not seen a DR650 in the showroom but have heard good things about them, or if anyone has any other suggestions on other bikes.

This will be a bike i keep a while, one that i do not want to grow out of in a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a DRZ 400 as my first bike in 2005. And I have to say it is a solid motorcycle, nothing on this bike is fragile, the cases I suppose but Thumpertalk makes awesome case savers for cheap. It may be a heavy bike at 300# but that's only when you have to pick it up and going down really steep switchbacks, it actually rides as light as my KTM 450 at 250#. Now I have massaged mine into an offroad machine, 12 x 47 gearing, heavy springs and heavy oil in the suspension, FCR carb and full exhaust. So I am not afraid to take it on any trail. On the other hand, I have also put 10,000 road miles on it. Went through two sets of the stock trail wing tires, had it geared 15 x 43, and hit indicated speeds of 95 mph.

I highly recommend the DRZ400 if you can only have 1 bike. There are more high performance dual sports out now, KTM EXC and the Husky's which are much better offroad machines stock than the DRZ. But for highway and road use the 2 full quarts of oil that the DRZ carries and the large oil filter go a long way with enhancing the durability.

Mine DRZ is for sale but you have to come to Oregon to get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just sold a 2005 DRZ 400. It was stock, in great shape. I mainly rode it on roads to and from work, took it out on fire roads, and powerline trails occasionally. The bike is practically maintenance free, always started right up and great for dual purpose needs. I highly suggest getting one if that's what you're looking for. I paid $2,000 for it a couple of years ago and sold it for $1,800. Very reliable bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DR-Z400 is a great bike, and much lighter and better in dirt, BUT if you are planning on 70% city streets, 30% back-road, 0% dirt, the DR650 is the better choice. Especially if you are concerned about seat height.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for the DRZ 400. As long as you're not expecting to do long trips over 60mph its a great bike. I had no problems riding mine off road with light trail rides and rural back roads and Im smaller than you (5'9" 165lbs). A gel seat helped with the seat height and lowering links are cheap and readily available for it if you want to stand flat footed on it. I only had the gel seat myself but could still get both tip toes comfortably on the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got one buddy that sold his DR and bought a DRZ- says he wouldn't go back. Another buddy was in the same boat as you and went with the DR- sort of regrets it and wishes he went DRZ. I'd say it's all about where your heart is. Realistically, my miles are probably 75% street/25% dirt, but my heart is in the dirt. So, I'll sacrifice street perf, even though I ride more miles of it, to get decent dirt performance.

So, if you prefer better street manners and a little offroad ability, the DR is the pick. If you dream of slinging some roost and are just stuck on the roads for practical reasons, buy the DRZ! You won't regret it! The DRZ is a great bike on road and off. Even with Dunlop 606's, theres plenty of traction to make teh twisties fun. And plenty of power to turn any trail into all the fun you can stand! I've been beating on mine for 3 years and can't wait for the next time I get to climb on!

Hmmmm, Sunday.....

Forgot to mention- I'm 6', 180 lbs and the DRZ fits like a glove. The first few times I got on, I remember it feeling high. No more, it's just perfect, just got to get used to it. I tried the gel seat, but the reduced seat height drove me crazy so I went back to the stocker. That's about a 1-2" change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DRZ is awesome around the city. i ride mine there every day. then, on the weekends, i go out and ride dirt with guys who have non-plated dirt only bikes and feel right at home with them, too.

imho, the only reason to go with a DR650 over a DRZ is if you are going to ride a lot of highway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great advice. Ive called around to several dealers and the 2012's should be out in a month or so....back in black!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DRZ is awesome around the city. i ride mine there every day. then, on the weekends, i go out and ride dirt with guys who have non-plated dirt only bikes and feel right at home with them, too.

imho, the only reason to go with a DR650 over a DRZ is if you are going to ride a lot of highway.

^^Agree completely, and I have a DR-650SE. See my comparison post here: http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10614889&postcount=17

DSC09046.jpg

Edited by DR Da-da
Added picture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently picked up a WR 250 X as a dual sport bike. Previously I had a DRZ 400 S model. The WR has been a game changer for me. I think this is hands down a true dual sport bike. In one week time I did a 250 mile street ride (with a couple of fire roads and single track thrown in) and yes on 17" tires. Then I rode the arena cross track, the motocross track, and the go kart track. The suspension is a little soft for airing the bike out but other than that, WOW! I was torn between that and a DRZ (which I did a cross country trip on so I have a basis for comparison). If I was riding another 3000 miles in a week on a dual sport adventure on the WR, the only thing I'd do is put on a bigger gas tank and something to make the seat a little softer.

I recommend checking out the WR's

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

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×