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Is a proper dirt/motard really possible?

Discussion in 'Supermoto' started by UDLOSE, May 2, 2013.

  1. I've recently got into dirt and been loving it. Unfortunately I've been limited to private land since I have an unregistered MX bike. I'm looking to really put in some hours in the next 2 months and hopefully get my skills up enough to upgrade.

    I originally got into dirt to help my road racing skills and also as a gateway to supermoto. But I genuinely love dirt in its own right and want to take it further. I'm interested in getting into trails and enduro.

    The bike I have my heart set on is a KTM 300 EXC, registered. They're light, very good in stock form (I don't want to illegally mod it with loud offensive pipes etc) and have awesome bottom end for a 2 stroke (or even for a 4T if you believe some of the reviews). They also have a good nsme for reliability and have decent service intervals (they reckon 80 hours for the top end). I reckon for what I want to it'll be the ducks nuts.

    But I am interested in having a crack at supermoto but I wouldn't want an all out race bike (already got a 600cc race bike), I'd want something that can do a bit of road km. All the reasearch I've done pretty much says the 300 is not suitable for this.

    When I say road use though I do mean a mountain ride every now and then, not every weekend or commuting etc. I'm going to lose my license soon and am opting to take the good behavior deal and not ride on the road much at all for that year. As it is I've done about 1 ride in the last 2 months on my R1.

    I'm quite happy to sell my R1, get my KTM and stick to what the bike was intended for and stay off the road for a year.

    But I figured it was worth asking if there really is a bike that can do it all. Say something like a WR450 if it had road and dirt configs can it do a good job of both or will it be mediocre at both? I want to do proper hardcore dirt riding mud, jumps, sand and on the road side I'm a track day rider so if I did take it for a mountain ride I wouldn't be happy with intermediate tyres and soft suspension, I'd want to be able to properly hammer it and the occasional hit around EC south circuit or gokart track etc.

    That's why in my mind I think I'm talking about two bikes here. One full on dirt and the other a proper motard. I'm happy to hold off on getting a tard till after my good behavior crap is over but if it really is doable to have a bike that's good at both then maybe I'd consider getting that instead of the KTM 300 2T that I'm dreaming of. Start out as a dirt bike then covert to a motard when I'm ready.

    I'd really value your opinions because I'm pretty new to all this

  2. The old one bike to rule them all! Mate, when you find it please let me know. I'm on a parallel path looking for an adv bike that can do most things ok and it seems a stretch, let alone do things well. I don't know the answer sorry, but I have a feeling it involves more than one bike, depending on the level of performance compromise you are not willing to accept, and the cost/time factor between conversions. At least that's the conclusion me and my buddy keep arriving at, no wonder he curses the drz he uses for everything.
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  3. #3 Kernel, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
    If you want to go ride on gravel, wide dirt tracks, slightly tighter sections, a well set-up DR650 will do fine. And they make good long distance travellers as long as you have well set-up accessories. And if you want extra engine performance once your suspension and ergonomics are sorted, there are options available for that as well. Tuning kits for the stock carb, entire bolt-on fuel system upgrades (even EFI believe it or not but that is obviously slightly more involved), big bore kits, transmission upgrade parts, gearing...

    Keep a motard conversion kit in the shed made out of some CBR250R (old gen) wheels and you really do have a good all-round bike... there's not really anything else out there quite like it, maybe an XR650L if you really want to have fun on the dirt.

    Sadly there's no bike that will do proper mud jumps and whatsit dirt riding AND do decent road kms... but have you considered a Yamaha WR250R? They are meant to be pretty good on maintenance and really good in very tight sections of road.
  4. Well i think the biggest issue is of course the tires, fully knobbies are shit on the road and the semi off road tires are not great in the hardcore dirt and mud.

    I think you need to choose where you want to be worse off, on the road or in the dirt. the new husky TE650s seem pretty good for going off and on road, at least amcn thought so and i have seen a few other reviews around saying the same things, apparently good and light in the dirt, more of a dirtbike than an enduro, there is an option that is more dirt focused and one that is more road focused. Probably not that exciting because they are just a 4stroke single, but i think you will be hard pressed to find a crazy exciting two smoke dirt bike that you can also ride on the road out to the trails.
  5. The dr650 will be a pig and not what his looking for at all.
    Unconnected dont take this the wrong way but sometimes the less said the better. Tyres wont be an issues as he will be running two different sets of wheels (motard wheels are 17in and a fair bit fatter then a normal dirt set up)

    looked at the huski 450-510s? the ktm could do it but you might want to get a second set of suspension revalved(and upgraded the front brake)
  6. yeah but its not always that easy to swap over depending on the bike as you will want to change your front brakes too. Also he wont be riding to the trails with a set of wheels and tires and some paddock stands stapped to his back is he? so being able to sw won't really give him the ability to ride to the trail eh. TBH just trailering a proper dirtbike with a rego would be the best solution. Idk if you have the right car and a trailer to achieve this though.
  7. #7 bluer6, May 4, 2013
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
    Ffs he has 600cc track bike( and currently a mx bike), pretty sure he does not carry all his gear and run from the cops every time he wants to take them out...

    I know you have freedom of speech and all, but at least read and understand what the op is on about before you post....
  8. I'm kinda liking the thought of a Katoom 300 2 stoke motard.
    They're a great bike in the dirt. Really a toss up between it and the 200 for personal fav bikes.

    For mine and only mine brakes are your biggest limitation. What will save you on the road will bring you down in the dirt. You need bigger stoppers on the road. And they will lock in the dirt.
    If your not racing then gearing doesn't matter. Wheels can be changed in halfa if you have road and dirt rims.

    And I guess tank capacity. Then again they're that much fun 100lt wouldn't be enough.

    I had a 525 I rode 30k from my farm to my restaurant and back almost every day...mostly on one wheel. There were lots of stories of failed gearboxes so forth. Mine never faulted in three years of doing both dirt and road daily.
  9. I would give someone like Terry Hay a call and ask him what he reckons. You'll definitely have to go see a suspension tuner anyway.
    He'll be at Wakefield today though.
  10. The closest thing I've found, is my KTM 625 SXC, with a motard wheel set. It's quite passable in the dirt as a very quick trail bike, and it's pretty much the same weight as something like a DRZ 400. Just with quite a bit more power, and far better suspension. As for brakes, I just use a caliper extension bracket, when using the 'tard wheel set. Leave the stock disc on the 21 inch dirty front, a 300mm (from memory) on the 17 inch 'tard front, and just add the extension in when changing wheels. It's a compromise, as the stocker is only a 2 piston caliper, which is fine for the dirt, and fine for the street, but I could see it getting out of its depth doing track work. If it's dry, you can ride the dirt on the 'tard wheels, with something like Avon Distanzias, or Pirelli scorpions (I think that's what they are) which will also do 95% of the job on the street as well. Still a compromise.
    The 625 has decent service intervals, carries quite a reasonable volume of oil, and is quite easy to check valves etc. I've done about 20,000kms of mixed road/dirt on mine without issue. Other than it hurting me on a couple of occasions.
    Suspension wise, if you set the spring rates up a touch on the firmer side, there should be plenty of adjustment in the stock WP compression and rebound circuits to accommodate both road and dirt work. I cane mine pretty hard in the dirt, do some fairly big jumps and stuff (not supercross tabletops and triples etc) and it handles it just fine. But it is heavy for a dirt bike, and will wear you out. No worse than an XR 650R, or DRZ 400 or Husky 610/630 though.
  11. Correct me if I'm wrong.. from bikez.com..

    drz400e - 119kg dry
    ktm 625 sxc - 139kg dry

    bit of difference there, except if the wife/gf is asking
  12. If he does, ill be following him with my camera and putting it up on youtube :).......Marty, this would be so EPIC you will be a youtube hit......DO IT lol :)
  13. I'm only going off my owners manual, which states 123 or 126kg. There are also variations between the same model bike, such as some having cush drive hubs, others not, cooling fans on some etc which could account for some differences. The only way to really tell, would be to chuck it on the digital industrial scales at work. KTM seem to be quite honest with their weight claims, whereas Suzuki are quite often notorious liars:)
  14. You got me thinking, so I dug up my KTM owners manual, and the most realistic figure, is wet weight, ready to ride, minus fuel. Which is stated at 132kg. According to the manual. Dry weight is an imaginary ambiguous figure, depending on the manufacturers own set of rules. I've heard that some dry weights are done with no exhaust, no air in the tyres, or no tyres at all, or special one off's, no battery, no coolant or brake fluid etc etc etc.
    Also, US specced SXC's are different again. Different exhaust, they don't carry oil in the frame, and different carb are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head.
    One day as a matter of interest, I might return mine back to stock, with the stock wheel set, seat and 9 litre tank, standard tubes and tyres, and chuck it on the scales at work:)
  15. In one word NO.If your looking at hard core off road and similar Motad either would be seriously compromised.Wheels,21 and 18 = off road.17 or 19 and 18=Motad.Thats doable at least.Suspension,off road needs big travel and plush,motad needs less travel.Big front brake needed for Motad.And one thing also needed for motad ideally is a cush drive rear wheel,thats missing on a lot of offroaders.Without it the gearbox gets a hard time with all the traction on the black top.BTW if you look at the 300 smoker,make it a priority to get the BUTTON.
    So much energy gets used starting them in crazy situations haft way up big hills,
    LOVE THE BUTTON.If your looking for riding Buddy's,Dirt Bike World website is a good place,take it easy at first.Level 4 rides will take there toll till your experienced
  16. Thanks for all the replies everyone. So much info to process! I've been wracking my brain for a while trying to think what to do.

    My heart is really set on the 300 but I've been thinking hard about it and I reckon I'm probably not ready for such a gnarly bike. I'm sure I'd manage but maybe it's worth getting something more basic and dull (and cheaper!!).

    I've been trawling forums and seen some people buy the DRZ400SM (full road) and buy a set of stock dirt wheels and switch them back and fourth.. It's supposed to be cheaper than doing it the other way around. I know these are dull bikes but it would arguably tick all the boxes. I can do a little road riding, gokart track days and dirt. The question is really how capable are these bikes as dirt bikes? I can't expect anywhere near the KTM or my 125 MX bike but are they decent? I need to work my way up on dirt. I have the mentality of a road racing hoon but I'm a rookie on dirt so I can't see myself doing the serious stuff straight away. When I do get to the point of hitting its dirt limits then I could buy the animal KTM.

    Any opinions? It sounds like a good idea but will it be crap?
  17. They do very well,there only limitation is weight.There an excellent first dirtbike,very reliable.
  18. There's always the Katoom 200....
    A few bike shops I have worked had kits for various 450's.... The DR's are good, even fun for a while..... If you want to play hard you need a tool designed for just that.
    The good thing is these days a serious tool can be a doddle to ride. And a absolute maniac.....up to you and your nads or stupidity.

    Do you want to put money into a bike you will want to upgrade in six to ten months
  19. I'll pass on my buddy'd thoughts who has the e model, has the cbr wheels, fcr carb, mrd full pipe etc. Has tracked/raced it a few times (was sh1t). He's just about had a gut full of it in the dirt as its out of its depth, it only gets used for commuting and even for that he'd prefer something else if its going to be a compromise. One of those things, if you recognise its limitations up front, really recognise them, it wont be so bad. But ride with other proper dirt bikes and it will inevitably suck suck suck. Strangely he talks about getting the sm model? Sucker for punishment??
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