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Dual sport bikes for taller learner rider?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by renew490, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. hi guys, looking for a bigger LAMS bike to learn on and heard that 400+ offroad bikes might suit my height best (Im 180cm 83kg). I'm not planning taking it off-road. My budget is super entry level - $3-4K. So looking at 2003-2005 models or so.

    I've heard that some off-road bikes have to be maintained a lot more, as they are for racing off-road. I'd like to stay away from those, but don't know which ones are what..

    These are what I heard have been recommended for taller riders: DRZ400, DR650, KLR650, XR400, WR450.
    Do any of these require more maintenance than normal?
    What about CRF450X? Looks that that one may be more competition focused? Would you recommend any other ones? Any KTMs?

  2. The more highly strung it is, ie high output from smaller capacity and high revs, the more demanding the service schedule is going to be. A more relaxed engine, like the DR650, is going to have longer service intervals .... generally speaking. While I have a definite soft spot for Kawasaki, the DR is probably the cheapest of them to maintain and has more than enough leg room for all but the most stretched riders. If you're after more punch then there might be better options, but for easy to maintain and simple the DR is hard to beat.
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  3. thanks, will keep an eye out for DR650s. Theres one on gumtree for $3K, 1996. Sounds like something like that could work, maybe a bit newer would be nice.
  4. DR650 is cheap and a good bike by all accounts. The KLR650 is the official bike of the zombie apocalypse.. because they just keep on going and going and going. the KLR650 forums have guys who have wracked up 100,000 MILES (160,000km) on them, still riding them with no rebuilds. Cheap second hand, and they havent changed much since the 80's with the exception of fairings really. So either DR or KLR would be the first place I'd look.
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  5. DR650 is as reliable as a hammer and costs maybe $20 to service every 5,000 km. Buy one.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. sounds good, thanks guys. Looks like at the moment on bikesales theres a DR650 for $4.5K and KLR650 for $4. Will keep looking, and saving up $.

    How does DR650 compare to DRZ400? maybe it will be cheaper on insurance? I'm not too concerned with power at this stage, more I need to learn how to ride, so planning on taking it easy anyway.
  7. DR650 is physically bigger and heavier. Motor feels torquier at low revs and more forgiving of gear selection. Suspension is cruder but nothing that will be a problem for a learner on the road. Servicing is simpler and therefore likely to be cheaper if you need to pay someone to do it.

    DRZ is a pukka enduro bike. DR650 is a learner friendly, fun, economical commuter and runabout in pseudo-dirtbike clothes
  8. I recommend you to have a look for KLE500. As I said in a similar post it is a very under rated motorbike.
    They seem to be within your budget as well.
  9. All 3 of the bikes mention - KLE500, KLR650 and DR650 would suit. The Kawasaki's (KLE500 and KLR650) have a bit more plastic than the DR650 and the KLE500 engine is a little more complicated.

    My pick is the DR650 (I am in the market for one). Reliable, easy to work on or modify and fairly easy to get more power from if you feel you need it (carby kits, exhausts and even big bore kits). Tyres and wheels are readily available so it's easy to put road biased tyres on. And in the end if you decide you want to ride around the world you have the right bike (although the KLR is good for that to).
  10. thanks guys, all these sound good and seem close to budget. DR650 seems to get the most recommendations. Not that many of them are for sale though, maybe people are holding on to them more.
  11. The dr650 is not a tall bike.
    If you want a tall bike you either want a drz400e or xr650
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  12. I'm 178cm and I find I have plenty of room on my XR400M. I haven't had the bike long so I can't say much on the other side of things.
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  13. DR650 or KLR650
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  14. The DRs have quite a cult following on the ADV forum, people ride them ridiculous distances over gnarly terrain. For a bit of a chuckle:

  15. "My 96 DR650 is still on the original front tire, but my arms are six inches longer than they used to be" Bob - haha

    How could anyone say no to DR650!
  16. thanks, Is there any difference between DRZ400 and XR650 (or XR400, or WR400) as far as how easy they are to learn on?
  17. They are all pretty easy.
    The DR650 is very easy the DRZ400E is slightly more difficult.
    Basically all the 4 stroke dual sport bikes are easy.
    I would choose a drz400e over an xr400 mainly because you can get them with low miles at great prices.
    If you just wanna cruise around the dr650 is a top bike but it is short. Go sit on on a few and decide how tall is tall enough.
  18. I got jet kits for my KLE500 and got it dyno tuned. I find that if you are doing a lot of traffic, start stop and commuting the twin cylinder water cooled is better than a thumper.
  19. Incidentally, I'm 185+ cm and 110 kg. The riding position of the DR is fine for me. Although the pegs could usefully be lower, the fact that I've never bothered in 5 years and 65,000 km indicates that it's not that big a deal.
  20. DR650.
    I am 180cm + 90kg, Dr650 good for me.

    I believe some early (pre 2005) Drz400 had problems with valves, so keep this in mind when searching.