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Adventure Riding Adventure riding, dual sports, and dirt bikes

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Mar 14th 2018, 06:24 AM   #1
 
  Mar 2018
  Olympia

  2016 Kawasaki Z1000,2015 Polaris sportsman XP1000,2017 Ktm 690 enduro R
Dual sport under 500cc ???

If you were to get a new dual sport bike,what would you get? I'm thinking of getting one to do the backcountry trail this summer,I'm really liking the Ktm exc-F 500. Is it too much bike for that? I'm not worried about the power myself,I'll ride it on the road on occasion. Would the 350 be better or any other bike? Ktm is on the spendy side but I'm really liking the looks of them,although I'm not counting the DRZ400 out at close to half the cost of the Ktm. What say all you dual sport riders?
Mar 14th 2018, 06:49 AM   #2
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
ktm maintenance and reliability are important considerations, as much as price. but they're orange.

the drz is as reliable, and as sexy, as a hammer.

to my mind, the best compromise is something like a WR450F. best of both worlds.

too bad there's not a CRF450X or something.

i used to own an XR400R and THAT was an excellent fire road bike. I would totally ride one of those if they made a street legal version.

last - I would NEVER buy one new. let someone else take that hit.
Chrishil54 likes this.
Mar 14th 2018, 07:37 AM   #3
 Suzuki Stevo's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle ,Wa

  Burgman 400, TW200, Boulevard M50, 2018 Indian Scout 1131, 2018 Indian Chieftain Classic
I like the WR250R for it's nimbleness, YMMV
Mar 14th 2018, 07:56 AM   #4
 
  Apr 2016
  WA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel

i used to own an XR400R and THAT was an excellent fire road bike. I would totally ride one of those if they made a street legal version.
It is super easy to convert these days....
Mar 14th 2018, 11:02 AM   #5
 
  Jan 2016
  Beaverton

  Triumph Tiger 800XC
This is what I am going with, a BMW 310 GS and getting a Rally Raid kit for it. The kit isn't Available yet, but check it out on YouTube.
Mar 14th 2018, 03:18 PM   #6
 
  Mar 2018
  Olympia

  2016 Kawasaki Z1000,2015 Polaris sportsman XP1000,2017 Ktm 690 enduro R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
ktm maintenance and reliability are important considerations, as much as price. but they're orange.

the drz is as reliable, and as sexy, as a hammer.

to my mind, the best compromise is something like a WR450F. best of both worlds.

too bad there's not a CRF450X or something.

i used to own an XR400R and THAT was an excellent fire road bike. I would totally ride one of those if they made a street legal version.

last - I would NEVER buy one new. let someone else take that hit.
I agree,I wish Honda did a crf450 that was street able from the factory. Also agree,wish they still had the XR 400. Thanks for the reply.
Mar 14th 2018, 06:07 PM   #7
 SilvieFox's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  welches, Oregon

  08Kawasaki Versys(Sylvester),72Suzuki RV90(vanvan),81Honda TwinStar(Bobber),Yamaha225,Honda Shadow
the yami 225 xt is a fun bike, not the fastest but more then enough to get you around
Mar 14th 2018, 09:24 PM   #8
 Scribbles's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  NW

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16Z1000
If you were to get a new dual sport bike
If money was no object, BMW F800GS.

Under 500cc... wouldn't buy one new.

Every dualsport is a compromise, better on dirt = worse on street. Many of the dirt oriented bikes are too uncomfortable to sit on for 6 hrs a day, too tall for shorter riders to manage easily. Many of them are really buzzy going down the road.

Are you planning to ride the WABDR? (there are no trails on that route) Its almost all easy forest roads and a quite a bit of pavement. You'll be riding slab for hours to get to the start in Carson, and then again to get home from the Canadian border.



Here's a list of the bikes we took on our 2016 trip.
BMW F800GS
KTM 1190R x2
KLR650
DR650
Versys

IMHO the all around best bike was the F800GS. Most fun on the road- 1190R. Best bike in the short but difficult sections-DR650. (the DR650 was so buzzy that he had some nerve damage in his hand at the end of the trip. His hands were constantly numb..) Best middle of the road bike for the trip- KLR650 (for a budget), F800GS otherwise. The Versys made it, but it is a more street oriented bike so it was an adventure for the rider.


Greg likes this.

Edited by Scribbles on Mar 29th 2018 at 10:46 PM
Mar 14th 2018, 10:27 PM   #9
 
  Feb 2016
  Spokane

  ZREX, Superhawk, CRF450R, KX500 SM, XR650R DS, KV75, RX50, RD400
Just a couple of 650 dual sports, one for logging roads, one for real trails and I'm into both for less than half a new ktm
Neverseenrain likes this.
Mar 14th 2018, 11:43 PM   #10
 
  Mar 2018
  Olympia

  2016 Kawasaki Z1000,2015 Polaris sportsman XP1000,2017 Ktm 690 enduro R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribbles
If money was no object, BMW F800GS.

Under 500cc... wouldn't buy one new.

Every dualsport is a compromise, better on dirt = worse on street (usually). Many of the dirt oriented bikes are too uncomfortable to sit on for 6 hrs a day, too tall for shorter riders to manage easily. Some of them are really buzzy going down the road.

Are you planning to ride the WABDR? (there are no trails on that route) Its almost all easy forest roads and a quite a bit of pavement. You'll be riding slab for hours to get to the start in Carson, and then again to get home from the Canadian border.



Here's a list of the bikes we took on our 2016 trip.
BMW F800GS
KTM 1190R x2
KLR650
DR650
Versys

IMHO the all around best bike was the F800GS. Most fun on the road- 1190R. Best bike in the short but difficult sections-DR650. (the DR650 was so buzzy that he had some nerve damage in his hand at the end of the trip. His hands were constantly numb..) Best middle of the road bike for the trip- KLR650 (for a budget), F800GS otherwise. The Versys made it, but it is a more street oriented bike so it was an adventure for the rider.


Thank you for all that info. It helps me a lot with what I'll be looking for in a bike. I was thinking it was a lot of trails and hard riding,but it sounds a lot easier than that. I have a street bike,now I'm wanting an enduro. Those Ktm sure look nice but overkill for what I'm looking for.
Mar 15th 2018, 05:21 AM   #11
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
What about that Versys?

Seems like a good compromise as long as the off-road section only means fire roads.

Also, it looks like the dog has an opinion.
Mar 15th 2018, 11:11 AM   #12
 Parilla125's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  SeaTac

I am leaning more toward lighter bikes for street and trail these days and not as much into power for ripping up ground. I would probably go 350cc or less to get the weight down.
I bought a VStrom 1000 Adventure and have told a number of people "This will NEVER see the dirt. A 500 lb dirt bike is not my idea of fun." While some are Ok with a heavy off road bike you need to consider if you are alone can you get it back up if you go down on a muddy trail or road? Also, it is a LOT more work riding a heavy bike off road.
Mar 15th 2018, 11:45 AM   #13
 
  Jan 2016
  Lynnwood WA

  2007 Yamaha FZ6, 2008 Aprilia Tuono & 2009 Yamaha WR250R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
ktm maintenance and reliability are important considerations, as much as price. but they're orange.

the drz is as reliable, and as sexy, as a hammer.

to my mind, the best compromise is something like a WR450F. best of both worlds.

too bad there's not a CRF450X or something.

i used to own an XR400R and THAT was an excellent fire road bike. I would totally ride one of those if they made a street legal version.

last - I would NEVER buy one new. let someone else take that hit.
Is the WR450F street legal? I bought a used WR250R last fall, but too late in the year to get out into the back country, as there were things that needed fixing on it. I did take it on paved roads a bit and I would not want to take it any real distance at 60-70mph.
Mar 15th 2018, 12:58 PM   #14
 Scribbles's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  NW

The WR450F is not street legal from the factory. I have a friend with one thats converted and while its lightweight and powerful, it had some things that needed to be addressed to do longer trips.
Uncomfortable seat, small fuel tank, low output stator and no subframe behind the seat to support luggage or bags. A few things to consider if you want to use it as an ADV bike.

My advice to new off-road riders is to buy a used bike that is smaller rather than larger. Sure, it wont go down the highway as well, but you have a street bike for that. A smaller,lighter bike with a lower seat height is much easier to learn on and after a year, upgrade to the bike that fits your needs.
Some models to consider,
DR250,DR350,KLR250,Super Sherpa(if you can find one),XT225/250/350,TW200,XR250L. All good/light factory dual sport bikes with a lower, more comfortable seat than some of the newer models (CRF250L,DRZ400,WR250R)
Mar 15th 2018, 08:37 PM   #15
 
  Mar 2018
  Olympia

  2016 Kawasaki Z1000,2015 Polaris sportsman XP1000,2017 Ktm 690 enduro R
I know I said under 500cc,but does anyone have an opinion on the Ktm 690 enduro R? Seems to be some good prices on a few 2017 hold overs. I'm not looking for a bike to do extreamly trails on,not that young anymore,but still young enough to want to have fun. I'm not too worried about the power,back in the day I raced on a CR500,but I'm wiser now.
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