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Posted: 1/28/2006 12:49:40 PM EDT
What experience does anyone have on Dual sport bikes?

I am going to buy a new one OR an older one if I find one with very low milage.

I am looking at the:
KLR 250 or 650
Suzuki DR250 - 350 - 650
Honda XL 250 - 650

What do you think about these and what other ones out there that I havent heard about?

I would prefer something in a 350cc range but a 250 would work. I might go 650 but thats alittle bigger than I wanted really......

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 1:56:58 AM EDT
These are TALL bikes, so if you are short you will definately want to make sure you arent going to have problems at stop lights. If you just plan on taking it around town, a 250 should be fine. A 650 will really take you places though.



Personally, I want those diesel KLR650's that the military has to become street legal. 80mpg, 80mph. All. Day. Long.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:40:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mwood65:
What experience does anyone have on Dual sport bikes?

I am going to buy a new one OR an older one if I find one with very low milage.

I am looking at the:
KLR 250 or 650
Suzuki DR250 - 350 - 650
Honda XL 250 - 650

What do you think about these and what other ones out there that I havent heard about?

I would prefer something in a 350cc range but a 250 would work. I might go 650 but thats alittle bigger than I wanted really......




Go with the Honda, and get a 650. You'll grow out of a smaller bike in a few rides.

Also, there is a a reason why Honda has won so many Baja races....They're great bikes
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:53:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 2:08:43 PM EDT by Slacker]
I bought a used KLR650 from a board member last fall. Its a 2004 w/low miles. I'm looking forward to warm weather when I can really rack up some miles. Only mod was an extra tooth sprocket (front one) for better top end. I'm not so sure I like it, as it boggs quick. However, I'm sure the mpg will go up. I've only put 60 miles on it so far so I don't really have a range report, but so far so good. This is my first "Dual sport" after many street and dirt bikes. First impression is that it doesn't do street or dirt very well! Compramise is a bitch. It drives like it was made for the road much more than the dirt, but I'm biased after owning only 2 stroke dirt bikes for off road fun. I certainly took that powerband for granted! Long story short, don't expect it to excell at either, but it will do both.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:59:48 PM EDT
i got a dr250 when i turned 16. good little bike for around town. get blown around on the highway though. if i were to get another one, id get an xr650. theyre the best.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:09:04 PM EDT
The KLR650 is a better street bike than the XL650R, but the Honda is a better dirt bike.

The 250s and 350s are too small for any street riding except around town.

I've owned an XR250 (dirt bike) and an XL650R (dual sport). My brother had a Suzi DR350.

If you plan to ride mostly on the pavement, get the KLR.

If you plan to ride dirt and live in a state where you can "legalize" a dirt bike, get a Honda XR400 or XR650R and add a baja designs kit, you'll have the best of both worlds.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:36:52 PM EDT
I do most of my riding around a small town and frequent trips to fire roads and easy trails. I do nothing to radical on the dirt. I had a 1979 Honda xl250s and it was PERFECT, I sold it and cant figure out why now. I miss that bike. I want something newer though than 1979.

I "think" I want a KLR 250. I would prefer a 01' - 04' just because of the color scheme. I dont like the new one's colors. I like the dark green or the dark red

I also am considering the KLR 650 due to it having more power but the seat looks awful tall.

I am 6'2"
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:53:27 AM EDT
I ride a 1975 Honda MT250, which is a 2-stroke dual sport. The only riding I do is around town, since I am still in the learning phase, and it seems to be enough for me. I wouldnt even think of taking it on the highway.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:29:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:38:02 PM EDT
Years ago I had a KLR250, it was a great bike. Easily cruise at 65+ on the highway (I once goit up to just over 100 on a long flat straightway) and still goes pretty good offroad.
I used to ride with a buddy who had a Honda 250 enduro type9Can't remember what it was but I can tell you it was a late 80's street legal aircooled fourstroke). We road a lot on the tank trails at Ft. Benning. Both bikes would run pretty close until we got to the deep sand. It was no contest then. The Honda would overheat like clockwork on one particular section right before a very steep climb. We always had to stop and let his bike cool off before trying that hill.
Oh, another thing, that KLR was maneuverable as hell on the street. Just a twitch of the bars and you were turning hard. I actually used to practice riding in a circle and never touching the lines on a standard parking spot.
However that same bike did hurt me once. I was running too fast down the road and at the sencond turn of an "S" I laid it down around 35mph. I wasn't hurt too bad, just a broken wrist, but I learned a hell of a lesson. Knobbies (yeah, I know but when did anyone ever get a ticket for running non-approved tires on the street) slide like an SOB when cold on pavement.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:20:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MoparMike:
These are TALL bikes, so if you are short you will definately want to make sure you arent going to have problems at stop lights. If you just plan on taking it around town, a 250 should be fine. A 650 will really take you places though.



Personally, I want those diesel KLR650's that the military has to become street legal. 80mpg, 80mph. All. Day. Long.



The HDT-USA bikes are supposed to get 102mpg at 55mph. Probably not exactly a speed demon with only 34hp-not a left lane on the freeway bike :D

Still, we wants one!
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 9:02:18 PM EDT
Stay in the 650cc class and you will not regret your purchase. Anything less is, well, just less. Some of the other comments are right on target, re: differences between the Kaw and the Hon.

I rode a BMW F650 for a few years and loved it. In fact, rode it from Texas to Alaska and back on a 30 day, 12,000 mile 'getaway' trip. I then moved up to the BMW GS1150 which is a dream to ride on long hauls as well as in town.

In the end, I'd probably wind up with another GS but you can have 3 Kawasaki's for the price. Moose products on a KLR650 and your ready to take on the world with that HUGE gas tank it has.
~m38a1
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:18:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By candt:
I ride a 1975 Honda MT250, which is a 2-stroke dual sport. The only riding I do is around town, since I am still in the learning phase, and it seems to be enough for me. I wouldnt even think of taking it on the highway.



Cool, I bought a '75 MT250 as a new leftover in late 1975. Seems like it was about $900 new <G>

I raced a '75 CR250 motocross bike at the time and wanted something I could ride on the street with my dad and friends who rode what we called "enduro" bikes back then. The MT250 was a great bike.

Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:31:08 PM EDT
Look at KTM. If you decide against one, rethink your decision. Ask the KTM owners about them. They are the best.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:23:34 PM EDT
KTM's are great off road, but on road they suck.
my choice

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 2:57:04 AM EDT
Is that considered an on/off road machine? Sure looks like a street bike.



Originally Posted By VTwin60:
KTM's are great off road, but on road they suck.
my choice


Link Posted: 2/6/2006 9:22:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 9:23:24 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]

Originally Posted By VTwin60:
KTM's are great off road, but on road they suck.
my choice
i2.photobucket.com/albums/y48/InFALaBill/14May05060.jpg



KTM's do not suck on the road. You need to have them set up properly for on-road use. I've ridden them in both modes. They are very flexible in that regard.

IMHO, that BMW bike is a joke. It weighs a TON.

Dual sports are a compromise. The KTM's will do well in both roles.


Hey, mwood65, where will you be using it? What types of riding? Be truthful.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 10:30:31 AM EDT
I used to have an MT125 back in about 1976 or so. I bought it used. It was decent, but I'd imagine the 250 was better power wise. Anyhow, what you buy all depends on how you want to use the bike. For me, a dual purpose bike should be a dirt bike with a tag on it. Just barely legal on the street and as good as possible in the dirt. My logic being that I'm not using it as a street bike except to get to the dirt, where I'll have my fun on it (I have a gsxr for pavement fun). For that reason, I also wouldn't want a 650 'cause they're generally pretty heavy. Yeah, they have plenty of power, but since I'm not concerned with going fast on the road on a dual purpose bike, who cares? The 350's and 400's make plenty of power for off road use, and some of them are a good bit lighter than the 650's. That makes a big difference when you're riding hard in the dirt. Once again, which bike you'll like all depends on what you want to do with it. Also, make sure you get the right sort of tires for what you're doing. If you don't have good knobbies in the dirt, you're gonna get stuck in the first good sized mud hole you come across... and if you bought a 650, that's when you're gonna find out how much a heavy bike sucks in the dirt.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 2:47:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 2:55:24 PM EDT by VTwin60]

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:

Originally Posted By VTwin60:
KTM's are great off road, but on road they suck.
my choice
i2.photobucket.com/albums/y48/InFALaBill/14May05060.jpg



KTM's do not suck on the road. You need to have them set up properly for on-road use. I've ridden them in both modes. They are very flexible in that regard.

IMHO, that BMW bike is a joke. It weighs a TON.

Dual sports are a compromise. The KTM's will do well in both roles.


Hey, mwood65, where will you be using it? What types of riding? Be truthful.



The R12gs is the comparable model to KTM's 950, check out the weight differences: KTM950 437lbs dry BMW R12GS 496lbs.

As an adventure rider that has ridden all the litre bike dual sports the KTM 950 adventure is by far the worst handling for the road, in any setting. Tell me in your expert opinion and personal experience how would you rank the following; BMWR12GS, KTM950, Triumph Tigre, Suzuki DL1000, Aprilia Caponord, Buell Ulysess?

BTW are you going to give a specific KTM model or am I going to continue to assume you're talking of the KTM950? Maybe the superduke 990? Maybe the 525? What model and then compare.

As for the questions of whether this is an off road bike, take a look at BMW motoradd website and watch some of the flicks, or better come over to advrider.com and witness the first hand accounts pics, and vids.

BMW Media gallery for R12GS
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 2:50:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 2:54:30 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
The disconnect between us is now clear to me.

I do not consider any type of 1000cc motorcycle to be a dual use scooter. It's too big for serious off road use. I think of them as being in the 250 to 400 cc range weighiong in the 250 to 300 lb range. That is just my opinion, yours is apparently different.

If you look at the bikes mwood65 was originally discussing, you will see bikes in the is range.

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 2:51:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 9:34:52 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
post deleted
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 2:54:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:

Originally Posted By VTwin60:




You know, this is totally uncalled for. How puerile.



You're right my appologies, I have changed it.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:46:11 PM EDT
This looks pretty cool...105bhp to boot


www.bmwmotorcycles.com/bikes/bike.jsp?b=hp2
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 6:16:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnnyMcEldoo:
This looks pretty cool...105bhp to boot


www.bmwmotorcycles.com/bikes/bike.jsp?b=hp2


Johnny, I admit it looks pretty cool but 20 grand?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:53:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By JohnnyMcEldoo:
This looks pretty cool...105bhp to boot


www.bmwmotorcycles.com/bikes/bike.jsp?b=hp2


Johnny, I admit it looks pretty cool but 20 grand?



If I was gonna spend 20K on a dual purpose bike, it'd be this one:
www.husqvarnausa.com/2005/05_TE510C.html
Won't go as fast on the road, but won't get stuck in the first mudhole off road.

Just my version of "nice". I still wouldn't spend 20K on a bike though.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 7:21:39 AM EDT
I ride a Kaw 250 called a Super Shepra , not sure of the "K" thing KX , KLX ??
Anyway it is a nice small bike , I ride mostly on road and some lite trails.
Its not good for Interstate riding , will do it , just not well.
Big pluses . 70mpg , low cost , light weight.

The KLX was my second choice and I did not go w/ it because it is a heavy hog. Not a problem for street riding but if you are planning to trail ride you better be a big strong man in damm good shape.
Its around 400 plus pounds wet , way to much to handle in the woods without getting hurt.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 6:27:10 PM EDT
The Honda is a better dirt machine, however it has an old school air cooled engine smaller tank and cost 1K more.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:35:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mwood65:
I do most of my riding around a small town and frequent trips to fire roads and easy trails. I do nothing to radical on the dirt. I had a 1979 Honda xl250s and it was PERFECT, I sold it and cant figure out why now. I miss that bike. I want something newer though than 1979.

I "think" I want a KLR 250. I would prefer a 01' - 04' just because of the color scheme. I dont like the new one's colors. I like the dark green or the dark red

I also am considering the KLR 650 due to it having more power but the seat looks awful tall.

I am 6'2"



If you're 6-2, I'd consider you kind of big for any 250. You've really got to buzz them to get any power, but if you liked your '79 XL250S, what do I know?

I'd steer you towards a DR-Z400S. It's an updated version of the DR350S. I'll bet you could also find the Kawasaki version of that as a used bike. (Suzuki and Kawasaki shared a few models over the past couple years, sort of like how some car manufacturers share/rebadge different models like Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series.)

Don't worry about the seat being too tall. I'm 5-10 so I'm significantly shorter than you. When you come to a stop, just slide one cheek a bit off the seat; that's what I do. Your legs only need to be long enough to reach the footpegs.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:16:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2006 10:20:38 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
The bikes look way taller than your '79. The thing is, when you sit on the bike the suspension will settle quite a bit and the seated position is really very confortable. The HUGE suspension travel will be very welcome by you once you start moving over rough terrain.

I am 6'2" and would suggest you consider something in the 400 cc range rather than a 250cc. You can make a 250 cc work, no doubt, but you will have to work a little bit harder at it than is necessary. The 400 CC bike will weigh probably 5 to 10 lb more than the 250, will use a little bit more gas (maybe) BUT it will have much better low rpm torque to get you out of trouble you may find yourself in.
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