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Road bike equivalent of the 650 thumper (2nd bike search)?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by petery, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Hi

    I'm looking for my second bike (bigger of course than my 250 Virago) and a friend was gushing about his experiences with DR650s - as much a good on road commuter as an off-road bike. I was wondering if there is an on-road only equivalent of this classic thumper style off road bike?

    Basically I want a bike that has the following characteristics:
    * Cheap to run (cheap on fuel and repairs)
    * Reliable
    * Capable of highway cruising but also suitable for lots of round town stuff
    * Could do a trip if required (load up with panniers etc) but this is not a must have
    * Prefer an "easy on the back" riding style - not a sports bike (I'm an old dude)

    Alternately is the DR650 perhaps the right bike if all I want is a bike for on-road use? Just set it up with on road gear?

    This all started when I saw a lovely looking MuV Skorpion Traveller that fits the bill apart from a worry about spare parts (break down then wait 2 months for the clutch cable to ship from OS). But is there something else more mainstream that's similar?

    Apologies if there is an obvious answer that I've missed - I'm pretty new to bikes.


  2. The BMW F650 single range might suit you.

    For road the Scarver version.

    For on/off road the F650GS version.
  3. Re: Road bike equivalent of the 650 thumper (2nd bike search

    I've had a DR650 for just over a year now and and use it 95% of the time for commuting.

    Sure is I get about 180km from 8lt
    Yep they go forever and easy to service yourself (i'm not the most mechanically minded person and even I was able to change oil/spark plugs/filters etc)
    Most of my riding is hwy and around town and find its great for both
    I find it easy on the back. I'm not that old but my back used to ache after about an hour of riding on a sportier style of bike.

    It would be worth checking this thread out if you have a few spare days http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135295
  4. Beautiful. I'll keep that in mind. May be an issue of budget.

    Would it be right to say that a higher mileage BMW would last as well as a lower mileage Suzuki? Bikesales have a couple near me - both early 2000s, both with around 30k on the clock, and both selling for close to the new price of a DR650.

    I guess the BMW is a much nicer bike to ride, and safety for me is important (I'm classic accident material - mid 40s and returning to riding after 20 years away).

    Lets add safety to the criteria for this second bike:

    * Cheap to own and run
    * Reliable
    * Safe
    * Suit around town riding and occassional highway trip

    Thanks for any and all help. It's great getting introduced to new bikes to research and lust after.
  5. Yeah it sounds like a thumper or a F650. Or have a look at this, IMO the ugliest bike ever but a good compromise.

  6. Thanks Mr Bungle - just read your reply. I'll read more on the DR650. Every bit of research to date is positive about this classic bike.
  7. Suzuki V-Strom 650 will tick all the boxes, I'm sure. The DR is basically a trail bike that 'can' be used on the road. Whereas the DL (V-Strom) is a road bike that 'can' be used on trails.

    They're actually quite versatile. I used to own one and was able to travel around quite happily on a friend's farm (dry paddocks only)

    Great position for touring and adjustable screen. V-Twin, which has been around for ages, and is cheap to service and for parts etc,.

    There's some good second hand ones out there for around 8k. Maybe even cheaper with higher k's, which personally, wouldn't concern me.

    Both the DR's and DL's are a popular choice with bike couriers, so be careful not to pick up one that has spent it's life fanging around the CBD in first and second gear, jumping gutters etc,.
  8. Re: Road bike equivalent of the 650 thumper (2nd bike search

    :LOL: 612 pages of great wisdom! Thanks for this link. I had found this thread once before when researching the DR and then didn't bookmark it.
  9. Suzuki brought out the Freewind 650 a few years ago. A bit like a DR650 with bodywork to keep the rider a bit more comfy. Don't forget the likes of Kawasaki's KLR650 or KLE500.
  10. So what's your budget?

    As others have suggested the BMW or Strom also good choices

    DR650's will do what you want.

    I owned a KLR650, which is slightly more road orientated and did a few trips and trail rides on it - capable bike and post 04 models have a 24 litre tank, comfier seat, large rack and water cooled that are all lacking on the DR.

  11. DR650 owners go on about them all day long - they sound fantastic.

    Aprilia Pegaso is another excellent roadgoing 660 single, I've seen those get around at terrifying corner speeds.

    And yes, the 650 V-strom is a great bike but it ain't a single.

    For my money, buy a DR and be done with it. Don't rule out off-road riding, it's some of the best fun a fella can have with his pants on.
  12. I don't really understand why you wouldn't want a DR650 from your post?
    It has the offroad styling, but it's really a better urban bike than most road bikes, and will go fine on the long haul too.

    I would rule out the BMW on price alone. They're really not worth what people ask for them. A suzuki with the lower K's will always be more reliable. I think the F650 has ABS, so mabye slightly safer, but there's really no such thing as a safe motorcycle.

    A DRZ-400sm might be worth considering- a dirtbike with proper road suspension and huge grip from decent road tyres. Slightly deficient compared to the DR650 on the highway, but king everywhere else.

    Yamaha XT600 is pretty road orientated. Definetly check out the yamaha XTZ750 too.
  13. Thanks for all the great advice.

    I guess my newness made me unsure about whether buying a DR650 for 99% road use was sensible or not - unsure whther the dirt bike styling etc meant some compromise in handling when on road. But everything about them sounds great. And the dirt stuff might end up becoming a bigger part of my weekend riding - who knows. Nice to buy a bike with that as an option.

    Also I am not tall (about 5' 8") so the adjustable seat height on the DR is appealing.

    My budget is pretty tight - probably no more than $5,000. Again this seems to point to the DR or similar.

    The DRX-400sm looks nice.

    KLR650 - excellent

    XT600 - very nice

    Aprilla looks nice too

    Great stuff - thanks heaps. That's a great list to guide me. Any more advice welcome.
  14. Any bike will do smooth dirt. Dual sports have more travel suspension and with that comes seat height. Just sit on all the bikes, whilst my KLR was high to get on, the springs compressed a few inches and pretty sure you'd get two feet down. The soft suspension also helps riding crappy tarred roads, and then there's the fire trails :cool:

    $5K would get you a three year old KLR/DR but a much older BMW. Guy I rode with on the weekend, bought his wife a GS650 with 50,000kms and needed $2K spent on the gearbox, but in the end got a rebuilt bike for $6K.

    I also had a V twin Aprilia - only issues are a bit of a parts delay, and they also stay for sale a while
  15. what you want is a srz660, 660cc single in the form of a sports bike, fairly easy on the eyes (well they won't blind you with ugliness)
    i do believe this one is still for sale pm me and i will find out if your interested the price that was on it was $5800, but that was some months ago

    or even a muz 660
  16. So being short and heavy has advantages - excellent.

    Just done some more reading and sounds like the DR is well suited to shorter dudes, and being lighter might suit me too.
  17. Dear god no. He said he needed comfortable. And reliable. And cheap to own.
  18. lol oh just about any bike can be cheap tp run, depending on the right hand, well with the exception of the big twins
  19. I had a ride of an ER6F. Sounds exactly what you describe you want.
  20. Any of the MuZ 660 Scoprions. Not new but there are at least 2 on Trading Post and Bike Point. I have one and love it.