Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 2/16/2006 1:51:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 1:56:02 PM EDT by MeestaSparkle]
I have zero bike experience, but I'm debating about picking up a yamaha dual purpose (basically a street legal dirt bike) off someone I know. I'd mainly just want to drive it back and forth from work and school, freeway optional. I see that they don't have a lot of power, ~200 cc, but they are also super light... so, would that be a good option or would I be wasting my money? Like i said, i know nothing about bikes... I just want a cheap and reliable means of local transportation that saves my car all the wear and tear on crappy columbus streets; it will be occasional freeway or more extended use (probably just on range trips), mostly just local. Thanks
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 2:43:40 PM EDT
i am also looking for a dual purpose bike, but for different reasons. I have about three years street bike experience and numerous years dirt bike experience. i would advise that you buy the bike if you feel like it is a good deal. Cheap transportation it will be. but i would also say not to take it on a freeway. it is always nice to have a bunch of power to get you out of a bad situation and a 200cc bike just doesn't have it for me. i also way well over 200lbs to, so that may come into play.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:24:44 PM EDT
The 200 class will be to small for the street. If small apeals to you the Suzuki DR and DRZ in the 400cc might be the ticket. If you plan more on road riding get a bigger bike, like the KLR650.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:41:39 AM EDT
If you're considering venturing out onto interstates/freeways, any single-cylinder dual-purpose bike 250cc and under is going to be pretty anemic. To maintain 65 mph, that little motor's going to be turning serious revs. Personally, I don't like to run engines that close to redline for that long.

Granted, they're way lighter and often lower, which is a plus for newbies, especially when off-road. However, as jstang suggested, the DR-Z400S might be a better choice. Though it's heavy, it doesn't feel so when riding (just when pushing it around). BTW, Suzuki and Kawasaki had a cooperative venture where they both sold nearly identical models that were rebadged, similar to what the car companies do (like Ford's Ranger being pretty much the same as the Mazda B-series pickups). Thus, you'll notice that Kawasaki's KLR400 is basically the same bike as the DR-Z400S. Nice thing about the DR-Z/KLR is that it has electric starting.

By all means, take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's beginning rider course, available at many community/junior colleges and other facilities. It's very helpful, plus you use their bikes. Have fun!
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 5:06:25 PM EDT
There never was a KLR400. Only the 650 and last year was the last for the 250. The joint venture was dirt only bikes.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:08:44 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies! I talked to him about it again, and he has had the gears changed and tires are extra knobby, so this thing is pretty much a dirt bike at the moment; I don't need the extra hassle of reconverting it, plus i don't want to spend as much as he's asking. I think I may look around for a 400cc or so beater that runs. Or, if I feel ambitious, maybe a low end bike around the $5000 new mark. Any input on a good beginner bike?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:46:23 PM EDT
Stay with a large motor, 500+. A smaller bike after a couple hours will vibrate you to death on the highway. Dual is good just have the right tires for the road condition your on. I used to have two sets of tires, one street/ one off road. KLR's are a great bike

Find an older BMW in good shape, motor will last 150,00 miles with good care. Just need to find one with a good frame and body. Look around the SouthWest everything here in the east is rusted out.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:31:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 8:38:21 PM EDT by kato4moto]

Originally Posted By jstang:
There never was a KLR400. Only the 650 and last year was the last for the 250. The joint venture was dirt only bikes.



I'll have to politely insist otherwise. I've ridden the KLR400 (though I might be mistaken on the precise model designation); I borrowed it from Team Green for a day as a camera bike. It was indeed a DR-Z400S with green plastic. There was also a Kawasaki version of the LT-Z400 (ATV), as well as some of the smaller dirt-only play/trail bikes and the joint-venture RM-Z250/KX250F (which, in 2006, are independtly produced, IIRC, as the two companies have decided to terminate their joint-production agreement).

I don't work for a dealer or either manufacturer; I'm a freelance photojournalist specializing in off-road motorcycles, and part of my job includes testing (though that's now a very small portion of my work).

ETA: MeestaSparkle, regarding a beginner bike, again I strongly urge you to take an MSF class and get that done with. Since you'll be using their bikes, you can see first-hand if they do or don't fit you (chances are they're going to be smaller street-only 250s, but bike selection varies by location of the course). Plus, you can ask the instructors, and since they're going to be keeping a close eye on you all weekend, they'll be likely to suggest something that might be even better targeted at your needs, desires, physical size and abilities.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 12:29:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 6:49:26 PM EDT by jstang]
Well my friend you are wrong!!

The bike you drove was likely a KX 450, not a KLR. The Suzuki version the RM-Z 450.

There has never been a KLR400, or 450. If it was a KLR, it was a 250, 600(84 to 86 or 87) or 650, thats all they made.

I invite you to prove otherwise, as a freelance photojournalist specializing in off-road motorcycles,you should know what you had.

I am curious as to what you drove, go to www.bikez.com and search for a photo and post it.

Best Regards



ETA. a search there will also show there has never been a KLR 400
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 9:47:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 9:52:13 PM EDT by kato4moto]

Originally Posted By jstang:
Well my friend you are wrong!!

The bike you drove was likely a KX 450, not a KLR. The Suzuki version the RM-Z 450.

There has never been a KLR400, or 450. If it was a KLR, it was a 250, 600(84 to 86 or 87) or 650, thats all they made.

I invite you to prove otherwise, as a freelance photojournalist specializing in off-road motorcycles,you should know what you had.

I am curious as to what you drove, go to www.bikez.com and search for a photo and post it.

Best Regards



ETA. a search there will also show there has never been a KLR 400



Hmmm, you're right. Searching there didn't reveal a KLR400.

Perhaps a different search would produce evidence. Here's something I found immediately on eBay:

Granted, it's not exactly the best view, but I think that even a cursory examination of the photo (provided it shows up) reveals striking similarities to a DR-Z400S (or E or whatever it is). Again, I may not remember the exact model designation, but it was a 400 and it was manufactured by Suzuki for Kawasaki.

BTW, I'm quite familiar with the new-for-2006 KX450F; Team Green has been testing them for Destry Abbott's National hare & hound and other off-road applications since October '05. The 450F is completely different than Suzuki's RM-Z450; both companies developed their respective 450cc MXers independently. The old 250Fs were the only joint-venture motocross bike that they cooperatively developed and sold.

(Sorry for the hijack, MeestaSparkle.)

ETA: I can now see that it is not designated a KLR400; it's a KLX400. My mistake; as I said previously, I wasn't 100-percent confident of the exact model designation, only of what I actually rode a few years ago.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:07:14 AM EDT
Yamaha made the XT350 for a long time, people that had them liked them-you might too.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:14:22 AM EDT
I had the XT350 while I was in college. Great commuter bike, if you don't mind kick start. It would easily maintain 75mph, so the freeway was no problem. If you were only going to use the bike around town, the XT225 is better. Lighter, electric start, lower seat. The XT225 (Serow) is used worldwide as a rental bike.

Neither of these bikes could be considered high performance or modern. They are very sturdy and easy to maintain. They also have minimal resale, so buy used. I paid $1400 in 1998 for my 1995 XT350 with 400 miles on it!
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:15:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MeestaSparkle:
I have zero bike experience, but I'm debating about picking up a yamaha dual purpose (basically a street legal dirt bike) off someone I know. I'd mainly just want to drive it back and forth from work and school, freeway optional. I see that they don't have a lot of power, ~200 cc, but they are also super light... so, would that be a good option or would I be wasting my money? Like i said, i know nothing about bikes... I just want a cheap and reliable means of local transportation that saves my car all the wear and tear on crappy columbus streets; it will be occasional freeway or more extended use (probably just on range trips), mostly just local. Thanks



Does your friend have the TW200 or XT225? The TW is a very slow bike that can only be used in town.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:50:33 PM EDT
I bought a KLR650 a couple of years ago as a commuter bike and have no regrets. It was under $5k out the door and gets 50+ MPG. Its more street oriented than the suzuki dual sport but handles the dirt pretty well once you change out the stock tires. Warning: bikes take a lot more mainenance than cars do, be prepared to tinker! Also plan on spending $$$$ on gear: Riding jacket, pants, gloves, boots, helmet. Let the accessorizing begin!
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 8:23:09 PM EDT
Another thing to consider is that a 250 dirt bike converted to street use would be high maintenance. Most MX bikes made strictly for dirt recommend oil changes after every ride (although this is for riding in dirt..dust is a problem) and the motors require a bit more maintanence also.

The dual sports such as th DRZ400, DR650, KLR650 and the like are very good bikes and aren't as labor intensive as, say, a street legalled Yamaha WR426 (which I have).

If I were interested in mostly road riding and wanted a dual purpose commuter that was light and wouldn't leave the road a whole lot I'd seriously consider the DRZ400SM. A lightly used one would fall very close if not right in your price range. A lot of supermoto guys are getting them and realizing they aren't as fast as the their friend's KTM's and motarded XR650's and letting them go at decent prices.

For your purposes and being a new rider, this would be a great bike (plus supermoto is growing and you'll probably be the first to have one in your area).

Suzuki's site

Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:48:32 PM EDT
Thanks for all the info and replies; I'm gonna find a place and take the safety course, and go from there. Again, thanks guys for all the help .
Top Top