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LAMS trail bike recommendations

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by WeeBubba, May 9, 2010.

  1. hi

    i made a post ages ago asking for recommendations for a beginner (LAMS) bike for me. since then a lot happened and the motorbike thing got pushed to one side. but now im back with a vengeance and taking my pre-learner course in the next couple of weeks! very excited!

    yesterday i went to check some bikes out and i really like the GS500 for a road bike. BUT i am thinking now that i would prefer more of a road/trail bike. theres some offroad tracks around here, but mainly it will be used for work every day. i like the riding position and feel of a trail and there phat wide tyres etc.

    anyhow bit of a noob no idea whats a good mosel to scout for in sales websites. any recommendations very appreciated will help me focus my search as a bit bewildering. thanks!
  2. hey mate, if you want something thats a bit lighter and quicker than the husky te610, a great buy is a yamaha wr450f.

    mine has done nearly 13,000k's and been pretty much trouble free. and if you really want to have fun, you can easily pick up a set of supermoto wheels so you don't wear out your knobbies on the road. i picked up a full set with rims, tyres, front and rear discs, rear sprocket, front brake caliper, brake line, front brake master cylinder and a front guard for $1750 off ebay.

    i've got a thread on it here.

  3. thanks for the posts. my budget is $5K inc leathers, helmet etc. so really i suppose my budget for a bike is around $4 - $4.5K. any ideas of what good trail bikes i could get for this?
  4. DRZ's pretty much.
  5. yeah road/trail. wouldnt go past a dr650.
  6. they are damn reliable. the old man had one just for riding around on and it had done nearly 20,000 kays and it wasn't burning any oil at all.

    and most of that riding was at flat out. real tough unit, way tougher than klr 650's.
  7. klr650
  8. Much as I like my DR650 and would not hesitate to recommend one, I don't consider 20,000 kms without wear to be particularly impressive. In my book, that's barely run-in for anything that isn't pukka competition tackle. Any modern road bike engine, serviced by the book, should be capable of five times that without noticeable deterioration.

    That said, I fully expect my own DR to achieve that without effort.
  9. in comparison to his klr 650 he had previously though, it was quite good. the klr just burned the oil like it thought it was a 2 stroke. i think it was an 08 model, the green and black one.

    i didn't expect the dr not use a single bit of oil, sure most engines will use a tiny bit even when new but the dr didn't. it loved punishment and never gave any trouble. even the original tyres lasted for ages!

    dr 650 > klr 650
  10. DR650 and KLR650 both good bikes

    I went with a KLR, cause stock, a much better all roads bike - yeah sure the DR's a bit better off-road, but lacking; water cooled engine, HUGE tank, great rack and comfier seat.

    Both bikes do well with a sprocket change for trail and long trip highway miles, and be relatively maintenance free

    Rode the DRZ400 and whilst good for trail work, not that much fun on the highway.
  11. the thing is.. those weaknesses are also its strengths as it saves weight....big time.

    plasic fuel tank less rads and crap ect.

    plus there are millions of mod options for the DR. i mean you can get 30l safari fuel tanks for ~$650 (~24l for a bit less as well) and put that on when you want mammoth range.

    then take it off and put the lighter thinner 15l on to go do some bush bashing
  12. We've discussed this before, you love your DR great, enjoy

    So why is there still no other modern dual sport with an air cooled engine??

    And I said "stock". The OP's spending $4k, why spend $600 (15%) on a tank, when he can get 24 litre tank for free
  13. lol. defensive hey.

    i dont own a dr. used to, got no vested interest in them.

    but as soon as he takes the klr on the dirt he will wish he got something lighter they weigh a tonne more than the docs. you dont need a bigger tank but the upgrade option is cheap and always there for later. theres always the dr/klx/xr 400 option too
  14. Because most new bike buyers are mechanically illiterate and believe salesmen who tell them that they need every new gadget :grin: :bolt:.

    Seriously though, it's hard to get aircooled bikes through modern noise tests as slack clearances and the lack of a muffling water jacket put them at a disadvantage. Most modern aircoolers are pretty seriously corked up exhaust and inletwise to compensate and only really work at their best when fitted with illegal aftermarket parts.

    From a practical point of view, I doubt if water cooling holds any technical advantage for the average rider unless they spend an awful lot of time at high revs in low gears. For my day to day commuting duties, I'll take the weight and parts count advantages of air cooling thanks.
  15. in my opinion the only thing klr's are better for is riding in a straight line on the bitchumen, and thats due to the fairing.

    i found on my old mans 08 model that he had was that going around a fairly easy sweeping corner on the bitchumen that it had aerodynamic problems. it used to get the wobbles up, which i thought was due to one side of the fairing catching the air then the bike then the other side catching the air and it just kept on going until you straightened up.

    the dr went better, did better wheelies, stopped better, suprisingly fun in the twisties for what it was but the handlebar position is JUNK! sure, the standard bars are in a good place and bend for sitting down and riding but stand up and it was way way too low (im only 6ft). changed to some bars that had a high enough bend for riding standing up and they were too high when seated for me. i think the problem was due to the seat height, if you could just get that up another 40mm-50mm then the problem wouldn't be there, or if you were taller than me.
  16. And a better bet for more off road than on.....and also water cooled :beer:
  17. Agree with JimmyD about bars and seat height. The bars don't bother me for road use though, and would easily be changed if they did, but the seat is too low relative to the pegs so my legs get a bit cramped after a couple of hundred kms. Then again, I'm 6'2" so most people would have less of a problem and peg lowering kits are available anyway.
  18. i found the same thing with the drz400 and drz250. low bars, low seat, forward set pegs.

    verry different riding position to my ktms. But i spose thats because they are designed for more time in the saddle rather than standing up like the enduros. the xr650r is a nice mix between the too - still slightly leaning towards sitting though
  19. xr's need a different top triple clamp to move the bars forward. then they would be better.

    BRP's aren't cool anyway.