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Which dual sport to buy

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Hello everyone, just joined figured I'd say hello. But I have a question, I know there're other posts about this, but none that fully answer my question. So I'm looking at purchasing a dual sport, although I'm torn between the Kawasaki klr 650, and the Suzuki dr-z400, I've read that the klr is better on the highway, and the drz is better offroad. This is my first motorcycle (although I have experience with dirtbikes) and I don't know if 650 would be to big for a starter bike, but at the same time I'm 6' 7" 300lbs and I don't know if the drz 400 would be big enough frame wise, I've heard they are more suited for small-normal sized riders. It would mostly be used for commuting, around town, and offroad on the weekends. So what does everyone thing would be the better first bike?

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You can easily handle either bike based on your size. For commuting, the KLR all the way. If you were going to ride trails then I would get the DRZ.

I agree. Though I will say the DR does a suprisingly good job on the hwy. I have rode 200 + miles at a single go and the dr did fine. I use the big 650 mostly for trails and gravel roads, and some hwy.

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KLR is comfy for big riders. DRZ is small. I'm 6'2". Any skilled big-boned dirt biker can manhandle a KLR most anywhere offroad. DRZ on the small side shown below with 5'11" rider aboard. I'm on KLR.

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A Beta would be sweet for trails, but wouldn't hold a candle to the KLR doing 70mph for a couple hours.
:smirk:

true! I was half joking!

:bonk:

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Hello everyone, just joined figured I'd say hello. But I have a question, I know there're other posts about this, but none that fully answer my question. So I'm looking at purchasing a dual sport, although I'm torn between the Kawasaki klr 650, and the Suzuki dr-z400, I've read that the klr is better on the highway, and the drz is better offroad. This is my first motorcycle (although I have experience with dirtbikes) and I don't know if 650 would be to big for a starter bike, but at the same time I'm 6' 7" 300lbs and I don't know if the drz 400 would be big enough frame wise, I've heard they are more suited for small-normal sized riders. It would mostly be used for commuting, around town, and offroad on the weekends. So what does everyone thing would be the better first bike?

I've always been a supporter of the DRZ400. I had an older DR and it was comfy and enough power to get me around. Great for street riding and handled well off road.

In your case however, I think you'd need something larger than just a DRZ. I would have to agree with others that either the KLR or XR650L or R would prob be best. I think you'd be disappointed in the DRZ.

Go to a dealer and sit on the bikes in there and see how they feel.

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I've always been a supporter of the DRZ400. I had an older DR and it was comfy and enough power to get me around. Great for street riding and handled well off road.

In your case however, I think you'd need something larger than just a DRZ. I would have to agree with others that either the KLR or XR650L or R would prob be best. I think you'd be disappointed in the DRZ.

Go to a dealer and sit on the bikes in there and see how they feel.

+1 also keep in mind when buying a bike that the normal dual sport (I.e. DRZ, etc.) Is going to be sprung front and rear for someone about 120 lbs. lighter than yourself. New fork springs and a rear shock spring will be mandatory, minimum.

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If you want to ride hard on the weekend on the trails, not gravel roads, you need something like the DRZ. I ride mine almost everyday to work, although its a twelve mile ride. this last summer I've done a couple 600 mile weekends. For me it has been easier to set the Drz up for a 200 mile tourer then make the KLR really go fast through the woods. If you like going fast get the DRZ. If you like taking it easy and looking at the scenery get the KLR.

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klr is more of a 2nd bike... no good on trails, but comfy on road.

dr650 would be way undersprung for you. drz400 okay, but you would be better off with a plated wr450 or xr400, or even an xr600r. xr650r if you want insanity power

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Do you want the best of both worlds in one bike ? A bike that's built for off-road use but is better on

the highway than the KLR, DR650, XRL650 and DRZ because of it's perfect wide-ratio six speed tranny....

The definition of a "Do it all" motorcycle. TE610

GeorgetownJan092011-1.jpg

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I believe the KLR would serve a guy your size better than a DRZ especially as a first DS bike. You can usually pick them up used for less money than the DRZ also. I met a fellla the other day that was your size and took his KLR all over the country doing the TAT. It's a better fit for a 300 pounder and from there, with experience, you'll probably want more, not less...like a KTM 690 Enduro (plated).

I'm assuming you haven't done any dual sporting yet.

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Take it from a big guy that has had a butt load of different bikes. I would look hard at a xr650l. It is the best combo in its stock form for the money and can be set up to do both on or off road riding very well. I have 6 bikes and the one I ride the most is my 650l. It is just plan old fun to ride on trails, fire roads or 300 mile road trips. The after market parts list is endless for the type of riding you want to do the most.

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I have to agree that the Honda XR650L is and awesome bike being that I had 4 duel sport bikes over the years. The KLR 650 is a fantastic bike for the open road and it rocks with lots of power on the logging roads and 50/50 trails. The XR650L is better at the trail stuff and the DR650 is very close to the XR, but the suspention on my new DR is not as firm as the Honda. There all good bikes, and you have to deside what you want to use the bike for. I like the 80% roads and 20% logging roads. But I like the lightest bike possable with the power. Good luck on your adventure from Crashtestgordon.

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Thanks everyone for their reply's, unfortunately there arnt any Honda xl650's in my area in my price range, same with the husqvarna te610. There is an abundance of klr's and drz's. I think I'm gonna go with a klr 650, for the riding I'd be doing that just seems to fit my needs best. I did do some research on parts and accessories, but what are some good websites to get some heavy duty springs both front and rear, and other small accessories?

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klr's start to break if you push them hard, I even got to watch a guy strip the footpeg bolts right out of the frame on his, jumping water breaks

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Use Bikefinds.com for your search. I saw a XR650L in PA for $3000. That is in the price range for a nice older KLR or a decent DRZ400S. I am in the market for a D/S as well (6'2" 190+ B level MX guy) I have other bikes (08 125SX KTM with a 200SX motor and a 97 XR280) so I am really up in the air as what to buy. The KLR is a great bike..But super soft, ugly SOB..IMO! Its a great road/dirt road/tourer. So it should be in the running for me..But its not. If I go 80% street 20% dirt roads (I have the MXer and Trail bike) I am going to buy a Kawi Versys and put on adventure tires. As a twin it will stomp two lane paved roads and do 400mile days! But no real trails..:smirk:

But I still keep coming back to a DRZ 650 and a XR650L. The DRZ seat is a rock, and a lower sitting bike. The XR650L is a tall BIG bike, but yet its like 325 lbs..With E start! Plus the big XR has so many parts available (up to 5 gallon tanks!) is fast, wheelies, slides like a Xr600! A small wind shield like the guy with the DRZ400 above makes the KLR advantage less. That said..The KLR guys will call me stupid..LOL

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/374/8488/Motorcycle-Article/2009-Honda-XR650L-Project-Bike-Part-1.aspx

Look around here for some Tests. It is not an easy decision, but if you buy used you can always change your mind!

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