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Dirt, Road and Track

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Hi all,

Been getting around on a DRZ SM for the last 9 months or so and quite enjoyed it, however I'm looking to get into some dirt riding as well and the SM just isn't brilliantly suited for it, mostly due to weight. I'm looking for a genuine dirt bike which with a second set of wheels can be converted in to a street ridden motard relatively easily. I'm guessing the biggest requirement there is a bike that has substantial and easily accessible suspension adjustment. Something to absorb driveline shock like a cush hub or slipper clutch, is so much the better as well I suppose.

Where I'm torn is that I want something fairly light and not over-powered, I want to learn to ride well, rather than relying on the heavy hand to keep up but....Because it will see a lot of road use as well, it needs to be something with enough torque and tall enough gearing to make it genuinely useable on the road, I really can't hack a two stroke 250 pinging it's way down the freeway for 20 mins. I'm also pretty tall at 6'3", so cockpit space is an issue.

I'm thinking at the moment of things in 350 to 550 class (i know, doesn't really narrow the field much). I'm liking the euro stuff particulalrly Husaberg and KTM, though the Husqvarna's look interesting as well.

As a starting point, what do people think of the multi role potential of 350EXC-F compared to the other end of the spectrum say the big Berg FE-570. Would the 350 be a useable street tard for weekend outings with the road bikes?

Is the Berg to much of torque monster to learn on, is it just to big to be a good choice off road for an inexperienced rider?

Please hit with any thoughts that you might have.

Cheers

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My opinion. Most all the bikes big enough to be at home on the street at speeds are tooheavy to be fun in the woods. That being said I meet a lot of people riding XR650's, KTM 525 and 530's etc in the woods. The trouble with a true dirt bike for road use is in the gearing. Yes a 450 can be done but at 70 MPH the motor is just screaming.

I would say keep the SM for street and dirt roads and get a real dirt bike Exc, CRF, WR, YZ, etc for offroad.

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I tried that and bought a 690. Didn't fit the dirt ticket as much as i had hoped

The above posts are right: Get a bigger bore for the street and buy a bike for the woods. Weight is almost more important off road than power is, and any bike that can cruise @ 72mph for several hours without a hicup, isnt going to be too "woods" friendly.

before you all jump down my throat - the XR400 is a GREAT dualsport -> sumo conversion platform but you'll need to rework the suspension. Also the xr650R is an AMAZING BIKE - great for fireroads, desert and "ATV ok trails"

anything tighter and it might ask you for skill / finesse you may or may not have.

2cents.

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You already have a DRZ. You can make that into anything that you want. I know it's heavy but some new rims and knobs will really help. I used to own a DRZ400s and it was fine off-road after some mods.

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You don't have to get very serious to need two different bikes. Suspension and gearing will do you in, specially riding offroad with other people.

Unless you ride in real open areas, I would get a 250 to ride offroad.

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Lot depends on your terrain and idea of "off roading". You could do better with a dual sport type bike if your riding open desert. But if your in gnarly tight woods with a lot of rocks, roots, and very steep elevation changes (hills), your going to have a rough go with a dual sport. Can be done, but it's the "jack of all trades, master of none" syndrome.

I second the thought of 2 purpose built bikes.

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I was in the same dilema you are in now. But I didn't have the money to keep the Z. I bought a bike that

was 242 lbs.

true off roader

street legal

6 SPEED

And couldn't be happier.

DSC07081.jpg

Check one out if you can, if you ride it you will buy it!

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Ah nice, you got a Beta :bonk:

I've been looking at them and the Huskies. The KTMs and Bergs are nice, but the price is fairly preventative, The Husky is about 3g's cheaper, still chasing up the Beta's. The only downside that i see with the Betas is the carb, there is just no good reason that bikes aren't fuel injected these days.

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If I went down the path of getting the SM into a dirt config, what would I need apart from another set of wheels, maybe a bash plate and radiator guard?

What about suspension wise?

Cheers

Being a beginner off-road the stock DRZ suspension will be fine. The faster you go the stiffer it needs to be. When I had mine I eventually put 10w oil in the forks and shock and it was good, even for the motocross track(as long as I hit the landings perfect). A skid plate is always good.

I've never had rad guards on anything. I do crush the outer fins but have never had a leak.

Since you'll be switching wheels for the road gearing isn't an issue.

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