Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Is a Supermotard suitable?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by ArmyLad, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    I have been doing some reading and looking around and I really want to get a supermotard for my next bike. Question is though, will it be appropriate for my needs?

    I am looking at mainly commuting around Melbourne, with highway use on most trips (Citylink in and out of the city from Clayton way).
    Other use will include frequent enough longer trips every second weekend or so to places 200+km away, so hoping to cruise at around 110-125km/hr comfortably. For the longer trips I would love to be able to load up with panniers and gear on the back seat/top box for trips more than a day or two (read camping).

    I also want a bit of poke to play with on twistier stuff :p

    And to top it all off, it needs to be LAMS as I still have restrictions :-({|=

    I would prefer something low maintenance as I do not have a huge income or anything, and something very reliable/bulletproof as far as the engine goes. (think this means a single cylinder?) Will sacrifice some poke if it means I spend less on servicing/reliability.

    Wanting to spend around 8 grand +insurance, and something that starts easily on cold mornings would be nice. (efi by any chance?)

    Would look to mod it a bit/a lot over time, and want to keep it for a few years.

    So far it seems that a DRZ 400SM, KLR 650, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere (not really a tard i know) May fit the bill. Possibly with a sprocket change for the highway use?

    Any input on what I might/should look at would be great thanks! :)

    And test rides are on my to-do list.

  2. It would definitely work for the commute, but I think you'd find any of those would be butt-destroyers on a 200 km trip. Have a look at the seats on them...
  3. you're really asking for two different things so a bit of a compromise needs to be met.

    the dr650 with a set of 17's would probably suit you more than a drz400sm just for the touring aspect.

    the seats arent that bad, its just that people on road bikes are used to seats that feel like couches.
  4. +1 on the Dr650. - Sounds like it would suit your needs
    Maybe try the Xr600 or Xr650L/R for cheaper options although these are hard to find in motard trim.
    I dont think the subframe of a Drz-400sm could handle too much baggage.
    I Strongly suggest you check this out. this sounds like it may suit your needs and is in your price range.

  5. That one looks OK in general, but the rims off a 'Honda GSXR250R' worry me a bit... ;)
  6. A motard will do all that fine, and leave ya with a shit eating grin. Your list of bikes is terrible though, think kato 450, 525, 530, 640 etc, Husaberg, Husky, etc instead.
  7. wont be much good for touring though.

    touring is lame, ride twisties instead.
  8. Sorry mate, going to have to disagree with you there.
    Dont buy a Husaberg if you want reliability-only expect 1-10,000 kms out of an engine.
    Only buy a Te/Sm610 from Husky (all their other Tards are race breeds)
    Dont buy a <600cc Ktm motard for extended road use unless you can handle very stong vibrations and i mean hand numbing. The bikes listed earlier will the most trouble free motoring in the motard class.
    Most highly regarded motards in terms of reliability: (in no order)
    -Ktm Lc4 640
    -Ktm 625sm
    -Ktm 690sm

    Just a few to get you started. All these bikes should see 50,000km without engine work.
  9. Klr is plenty fine seat, for value hard to beat.

    I rode the drz400sm it's good around town not so good on highway. Owned the old tenere and ridden the new one, I think you mean the old one, good bike but getting old now, I would go the klr over it I think.

    As others havesaid the dr650 is a good choice as well. If you want a bit lighter go it. I just made the choice between klr and dr, I got the dr because I found one cheap, think I would have been happy either way. You may get a brand new dr for just over 8.
  10. XT660X is a good solid one that will be a bit more comfortable and go forever.
  11. Rashpocket, disagree away, my experience says otherwise - and half the bikes you listed aren't motards. DR650? You've gotta be kidding.
  12. Tell the truth, from the OPs wish list he's not really looking for a 'real' motard at all.
    Touring? Highway? Carrying luggage? Reliable and cheap to run?
  13. The only 'sensible' and reliable super motard available off the shelf is the Suzuki DR400 but it's not as powerful as the euro alternatives.

    Most of the euro super motards however are high strung, high maintenance bikes that simply aren't suited to doing touring (and yes the OP said he's doing touring).

    So if it was me and I wanted a motard I'd grab a Suzuki 400, put an aftermarket seat on it, change the sprocket, fit a bigger tank and you'd have something reliable that'll still be fun in the twisties.
  14. Look, let's just come right out and say it - you don't really want a supermotard for what you need. The closest you'll get is a XT660X and that's not a motard. But it will do what you want. So will a bunch of other 'ordinary' bikes.
  15. TheYak- Try reading what the OP wanted to do with his bike.
    Not having a dig at you mate, just listing the bike I know will suit his purpose.

    Like others have said a 'true' motard is a race bred MX single usually a 450 like

    But really you cant use any of those on the street and expect reliability, neither can you speak in 10,000's of kms on the odometer-more like 1,000s of kms.
    Every bike is a compromise, do your research and choose. Either way you go, you will have fun
  16. Buy a 650 dirt bike. Put on 17" rims and road rubber. There you go you now have motard.

    My eldest son had a '96 KLR650 with 17" rims and road rubber. He loved it. I thought it was a great bike in traffic and fun in the twisties, but hated it on the highway, damn that seat was uncomfortable.
  17. My idea of a motard is a killer, highly strung 450 weighing in around 120kg wet. This will not suit you at all. They suck on the highway. The fuel range is crap and unless you have a good backpack, you wont be carrying much.
    The 450's are a heap of fun, but your maitenence bill will soar as they get older.
    Everything else is a converted road trail.
    Get something in the 650 range with a cush hub and at least 12lt of fuel. I had a husky 610 for a while and it was bloody good. Very little vibration, low maintenence for a high tune bike. Easiest valves to do of the lot of them and parts are good for a euro.
    It will go hard on the tar or dirt and you can buy a gear rack for them in most shops. It's one of my Fav bikes really.
    +10 for the vibes on the KTM's. You will be forever tightening or losing bolts and bits.
    KLR is a bit soft. But a reliable axe if you are not a gun rider.
    Xr's gearbox does not like extended tar use.
    DR650. This is a good buy. Once again it is on the soft side but usually cheaper than the KLR. And plenty of go fast bits on the market to make this baby fly.
  18. Semi-on-topic, i've been thinking about "downgrading" from the Tiger 1050 and was looking at SM's.

    The mental conundrum I stumbled across was this - a Husky 610/630 is only about 10kg lighter than a Street Triple, the both have upright seating, wide handlebars, no wind protection, sports rubber and firm suspension, but the ST3 has a fueltank, a seat and double the peak horsepower. Admittedly the ST3 is the lightest in its class and the Husky's one of the heavier, but... :-k

    Edit: That is to say, I guess I've been trying to figure out what the supermoto "secret sauce" is, when some bikes like the Street Triple are alarmingly close in terms of weight and have similar ergonomics.
  19. But you can, and I have. I do get what you're saying, and a DR will go longer with less love, sure, but not the same kind of fun.
  20. Highways suck. 450s don't suck on highways any more than any other bike. Fuel range can be addressed with a bigger tank, and at ~5L/100km it's not expensive per km.