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About johno_slc

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    Motorcycling, hiking, photography, mountain biking.

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  1. johno_slc

    USA DRZ400E off road only to a KTM 500 EXC-F

    Dang it - that's right, and I knew that. Thanks for the correction NPM...
  2. johno_slc

    USA DRZ400E off road only to a KTM 500 EXC-F

    My question, too - there are lots of frames out there (and swapping out would give you a chance to upgrade to the S/SM subframe, which would help if you ever wanted to carry gear and go ADV style). Other question: other than the pumper carb and the compression, there's not a huge diff in engines between an E and and S/SM. Could you not buy the S/SM and tweak the card (or just install a pumper carb)? That was my plan when I was looking at a two-bike sale last year (fell through - I couldn't get to the seller's on time, because a massive storm blew into Utah and Wyoming and there was no safe route, dang it... Had an E and an S, and I was planning on keeping the E, swapping subframes, and parting out the S).
  3. johno_slc

    DR650 or DRZ400?

    Well, I was considering a very used GS (110,000 miles, $3000 sale price). So if I could find a KTM for $3000, or if money were no object, I'd consider it Wisdom prevailed both in terms of ground clearance and overall weight - the 1200 gets me literally nowhere further than the VStrom and has all the same limitations for my application. As much as Japanese bikes are knocked, I have to admit I've been happy with the VStrom (as long as I don't exceed its capability). I can buy a used Japanese bike with dramatically fewer miles on it than I could a used KTM, and they're dirt-simple to work on. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could buy TWO Suzuki's for the price of one KTM. Right now, I'm hanging onto the VStrom to be my road princess, and looking strongly at DR650 and DRZ400 for serious ADV riding. When I'm independently wealthy and have my "Bike Barn," I'll have several bikes, including a KTM.
  4. johno_slc

    DR650 or DRZ400?

    That's exactly what's driven me to this point--lifting a VStrom is more than I can do by myself. Well, that and the miserly 6 inch ground clearance.
  5. johno_slc

    DR650 or DRZ400?

    Yup, I am a big fan of Everide (hoping to run into him some day) so I've watched his videos. He seems to be moving down, from the KLR to the DRZ to the WR250.
  6. johno_slc

    DR650 or DRZ400?

    I’ve been soul searching about bikes all summer, after a trip to Moab drove home to me that the DL650 really isn’t an ADV bike. With aspirations of doing the UTBDR (and others to follow), I need a better bike. At first, my inner McGregor was unleashed, and I almost bought an R1200 GS. Luckily my insanity was brief enough that I didn’t. If I can’t pick up an unloaded DL650 without wrecking my back for 3 weeks, I really have no business taking a GS off-road. Not to mention it only offers an inch or two more in ground clearance. After research, I’ve narrowed it down to a DR650 or a DRZ400. The DR is shorter (only 2” taller than my VStrom, instead of the DRZ’s giant-like 4” gain). The DRZ weighs 30 lbs less and has 2 more inches of clearance. Seems like the DRZ needs fewer suspension mods—it’s better stock than the DR. The DR would do better on highways, but I can always trailer to the start. Used DRs seem $500 to $1000 cheaper than equivalent DRZ’s, which is money I can use for farkles. I’m leaning toward the DR, but would love feedback from anyone who has had both. I’m not looking to scream along at 35 mph across the BDR. I just want to clear the hurdles and enjoy the ride. So I am not sure if the additional clearance and suspension capability of the DRZ would be needed. It’d also be nice to be able to loan the DR to my son so we can take road rides and even fire roads together (he rides an 82 KZ550 LTD, and as much as he wants to make it a scrambler, it’s never going to be an ADV bike). Well like I said, I’d love your input.
  7. +1 for the E07 Dakars. I have been amazed at how well they've performed. I have 4k miles on mine, and they have been great on road as well as off--I won't say they look brand new, but I have plenty of tread left on the rear still, and the front is barely worn. Spent 4 days riding to, around, and home from Moab last June. These tires hooked up on everything but the sand, baby head, and steep hill mix I got myself into by not turning around at the end of Onion Creek. We went where no VStrom should ever go... 100 mph seems fine--it's pushing the limits of a VStrom, so it's difficult to know what about that speed is the bike and what is the tire. I installed mine with Counter Balance beads, rather than risking some tech opting the weights on wrong. No speed wobble at all.
  8. johno_slc

    Big adventure, smaller bike

    OK folks, thanks for the feedback. I’ve arrived at the same conclusion: to keep it cheap and in any way feasible, it has to be a DRZ. I keep forgetting the weeks of back pain after lifting my DL650 three times in Moab. So, I just have to figure out how to buy two bikes: a big roadie (probably and FJR), and a little ADV.
  9. johno_slc

    Big adventure, smaller bike

    OK those links are great, and I'm starting to think maybe my concerns were a bit overboard. Thanks NEODS!
  10. johno_slc

    Big adventure, smaller bike

    My concern isn't with the DRZ, it's with the DR650. The DRZ is bomb proof, but to small to be my one go-to bike. It would need a big brother, for road rides.
  11. I'm hoping to get some recommendations and/or feedback. I own a VStrom Dl650 with just over 11,000 miles. It's pretty much flawless. I'm hooked on Backcountry travel, but riding it on sections of the UTBDR this summer convinced me this bike is maybe the Trans Am of ADV bikes: lots of plastic, looks great, but performance-wise? Not so much. I work from home, but on occasion I hop on the freeway for up to an hour each way, running errands. I want to ride the UTBDR, and yet have a bike that handles the freeway well. Since getting my endorsement in '15, I have dreamt of owning an R1200 GS, but I am coming to think that bike might be the opposite of what I need. Heck of a road bike, great on fire roads, but only with the most experienced of hands could it do Lockard Basin! Suddenly I find myself in a sea of options. There's the 250 dirt bikes, the DRZ400, the KRL or the DR650. Let's not forget the F650 GS, either. I'm like a donkey starving between two haystacks... The DR seemed like a perfect solution, until I started reading about the reliability issues. The KTM never made it on my list: too expensive. The KRL seems a bit bloated. Can't tell if the F650 GS is a capable offroad bike (rode with a guy over Hurray Pass who had one, and it seemed to do well). I'd prefer to own one bike, but my dream would be to own an R1200 GS, and have a DRZ400 for these trails. I just don't want to spend the money to buy two, although it may come to that. Like I said, I was leaning toward the DR until I started reading about catastrophic failure. I am not into that (ironically, the reputation of the DL650 is why I bought one). I don't want to worry about not making it up the trail, once I start out. Any ideas or recommendations here? Is the DR really that fragile (third gear failures and all sorts of other "go bads")? Is there a bike that could handle the BDR, do an hour or two of highway riding comfortably, and be reliable? Found an '02 F650 GS with 8000 miles on it, hasn't been started in 8 years but the price is sure right. I'm handy with a wrench on most things (not splitting an engine, but most everything else). If the F650 GS can be maneuvered up a steep, rocky trail, it might fit the bill. Anyhow, I'd appreciate your feedback.