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Supermoto newblet seeks opinions on base bike!

Discussion in 'Supermoto' at netrider.net.au started by slygrog, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Hello there,

    I hope this is in the right section, first up.

    I've spent the last week getting my head around all the awesome options out there for creating a super moto and I wanted to get some trusted opinions now that I am sort of across it.

    Recently I decided I should start working on my dream bike and had to figure out what it was. Realised it was, above all else, FUN. I want something light, simple and reliable that's got some guts and can be used for commuting during the week and for chuckles on the weekend.

    This allowed me to realise my need for a scrambler/street tracker style build based on something like: Honda Dominator, Honda XR650R, Honda XL/XR600, Yamaha XT/TT or Suzuki DR650.

    But (and here's my question) I don't think I will be doing MUCH dirt riding at all. I am drawn to this type of bike for the lightweight and fun factor, and the single cylinder engines which I've always felt were made for me.

    I've been reading a whole bunch trying to figure out how viable they are as mostly-road bikes and I am a little confused by what I've found. Some people say they're the ultimate commuters/general bikes, some people say they're nightmares when used on the road. Some people say they can happily keep up with traffic on the tarmac, some say they vibrate horribly and crap themselves. I have no real knowledge to base a judgement off, just conjecture and research. Can someone here put me out of my misery?

    Would the above bikes be happy being used in this way, or do you think I'm heading in the wrong direction given what I'm wanting from the bike?

    This is a really cool sub-forum. Even though I can only see a few threads, they've all been extremely useful. Apologies for n00bing it up. :D
    • Like Like x 1
  2. for bikes that are all so similar they are quite different. thats probably why you've got all these different opinions out there.

    choosing a base bike can be a hard choice really for the street weight isn't a big issue like it is on the track, you just want a bike thats reliable and got enough power to do irresponsible things with.

    if you pick the wrong bike you can have a really shit time but just get the right bike for your application and its all sweet!

    if you're going the street tracker style build then to do it good looking i would go with a honda xr600r, because of the lack of radiators, steel frame easy to modify, good handling, hardly any electrics. i've been thinking about going a street tracker for a while but racing just takes all my moneys away!

    singles obviously do vibrate, its not an issue for me but sooks like to cry about it.

    for a road only motard thats reasonably quick and reliable something like the xr650r is good, its lighter than most of the big capacity bikes but you don't get electric start or an auto decompressor so the starting procedure takes a bit to get used to. but you wont get it to look like a street tracker because its just too modern with water cooling and all that crap.
  3. perfect, thanks jimmy.

    my concern with weight started when i began looking at the bigger capacity bikes and seeing how incredibly heavy they all are. not that i intend to drop the thing but as an average-body-strength female i ph34r super heavy bikes that i am helpless to pick up etc. perhaps i should focus less on weight and more on the other things you mentioned though!

    precisely the sort of intel i was after. you are the awesome.
  4. hi,

    motards are ridiculous fun.

    you mentioned light weight .. in motard/dirtworld all those dirt bikes on your list are at the heavy end of the scale.

    so far i have owned two 'motards' (well, street, low maintenace motards, i really want a race orientated one, but cannot cope with the amount of servicing.

    drz400sm .. which i think is the best fun bike out there. keeps up with any sportbike up to legal speeds and if you can ride hard it will out corner them all.

    now (long story) own a wr250x .. great bike, less acceleration than the 400, but better handling .. and 20kg lighter (but taller). once up an going in high rev range it is very quick in twisties, challenge is to keep it flowing as no room to get away with having revs drop. havent mastered that at all yet, but am enjoying trying. is great fun to sort out riding a bike to it's limits (something i would never be able to do on a big sports bike)

    anyway .. i love single cylinders and the lighter the better ..

    they really are the perfect fun bike. could write much more, but no time.

    when you normally see another rider you might get a nod. whenyou see another motard rider there is ALWAYS massive grins and nods exchanged
  5. word, that's ALL i ever see mentioned about the DR650 in particular. i guess because i haven't ridden motards, my mind is blown by their 'dry weights' versus my road bikes. my first bike was ~210kilos wet when stock, and had a bunch of heavy mods done before i bought it. so the numbers i am seeing for these 600/650s are like.. wow.

    this is the other thing i'm wondering about. originally i was planning to buy a banged up old roadbike and work on it until lams was up, so i was only looking at non-lams options (i know, so smart). then i happened upon this sm path and just went immediately to the 600+, but would i even need to? that's one of the things i've had trouble answering - especially as i've been looking at converting an actual dirtbike rather than buying a motard straight out. most people who are talking about the trailbikes i'm looking at do so to ride them offroad 100% of the time, so their criteria for review does not mirror mine. i don't know if a 450 can hang on a highway or not. even if they CAN reach a top speed of xyz, do they shit themselves in the process?

    that DOES sound fun. i am not a speed demon at all, so i don't see the point in buying a big roadbike. i'm more of a nerd who dreams of skill mastery, a sprawling sense of freedom and that obsessive glimmer in the eye of a competent rider at one with the motorcycle force! the motard world seems to call to me on those fronts :D
  6. off the shelf motard is alot cheaper than building your own unfortunately, that's if you want it to work like a factory built one.

    converting a dirt bike to motard takes a fair bit of work, if you want to do it right that is. the geometry needs fixing up when you convert a dirt bike to motard as the wheels drop the front and rear ends too much so your handling goes all weird.

    if you're not going to be riding much offroad then you may as well get a factory built one as you'll be getting stiffer suspension, better brakes etc.

    i have a wr450f that i ride on the road sometimes as a motard, it gets serviced around every 1000km for oil/filter. gearbox longevity is not good, partly because i'm quite hard on it and yamahas aren't particularly strong in the gearbox. for a dirtbike its done alot of km now (16,000) with 2 gearbox rebuilds, 1 piston/rings and the original rod/crankshaft still.

    in the end, it depends on how much money you want to spend.

    the ktm 690 smc is a great road motard, comes with all the things (radial brembo brakes, slipper clutch, big capacity, reasonable fuel range, good power) and has normal service intervals. you can only buy them used now and they are kinda hard to find as well.

    a mate of mine has a husqvarna sm610 and its not a bad bike either, handles really good, brakes are better than my racebike (frustratingly so) but the engine isn't that powerful or revvy.
  7. motards are awesome

    and this is coming from a guy whos bike on his L's and P's was an R1 and still owns a R1 that I have not ridden in a few months since getting my motard set up

    The wr450f I have excites me

    the wr450 will lift the front in the first 4 gears at normal road speed limits
    handles the twisties real well
    lets me jump gutters
    I now use speed humps as practice jumps to get some air and hang time

    strange things happen to you when you get a motard
    mainly the big shit eating grin on your face all the time
  8. yep!!

    .. back to question of highway speed ..

    i did sydney to philip island and back on my drz .. chewed up the kms fine.

    it easilty sat at 1.20 on freeways etc .. no problem at all .. it was uner 140 kg dry.

    my wr250x. with original exhaust was fine up to 100km and could easily sit on 110 .. with exhaust change .. now easily sits on 1.30 .. is about `20kg dry

    these two out of the box motards are based on bombroof reduced power versions of dirt bikes.

    my ideal weekend bike would be the wr450 changed to a motard. only thing, these need super regular oil chnges, so cuz i commute they dont suit.

    the bike i am trying to buy is the pre 2011 KTM duke 690 .. hard to find (handed over the cheque for one, the seller walked away, came back and handed the cheque back as he changed his mind .. grrrrr) universally known as the most fun on two wheels.

    anyway .. ultimately motards are fun!

    good to see another who isnt into straightline speed and is about getting corners all nice and spot on :)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Fixed this for you
  10. Perfect.

    Oh and on a motard, every red light means a chance to stop with the rear wheel in the air :)
  11. umm you guys. given that all the bikes i've been looking at for my 'project' are lams legal, and that i've been watching supermoto videos all night, and that i just got my bonus at work (which is already destined for motorbike stuff - tak's helmets being one part!).. maybe i will just trade in the gs500 and get a supermoto LIKE RIGHT NOW.

    oh my god. what have we done here? HOW DO I SLEEP. i am a goddam hooligan!
  12. meant to reply to this ages ago but i was too busy frothing at the mouth.

    i will keep an eye out for the 250 you mentioned. never even thought of that.

    training my ebay alerts on a small handful of super motards, and will begin detailed and intense research anew tomorrow morning.

    thank you, fiends.
  13. I also owned a WR250X

    it was a great bike - a full exhaust and a less restrictive filter will get you some extra hp - also you can get some fuel controllers from fmf that adjust the computer so I think 40 hp is possible from it ( you can check it out on this web forum http://wr250rforum.forumotion.com/)

    what I LOVED about the WR250X is that it has oil change/ serice intervals of something like 8000kms and valve check at 30,000 - its bullet prooof

    the injection makes it easy to start and smooth running
  14. the wr250x - great bike. am loving it.

    do consider though a couple of things.

    - It has been discontinued in 2010 (but really is no big deal)
    - It is more expensive than a DRZSM400. If you want bang for your buck, also check out the DRZ. Having said that, second hand, the WR is more reasonable when compared

    - if you wnat to fiddle with exhausts etc. The DRZ is carb, while the WR is fuel injected. So drz is easy to change fuel/air mix etc while the WR will need a $400 aftermarket ECU to do this (something i haven't gotten yet)

    also when i got my WR. I bought it second hand. I test rode two of them, both with 1500km on the clock both at the same price. first one felt crappy, 'loose' etc. Second one felt fantastic. It was obvious the second one was well looked after. so is worth being picky when buying second hand (of course goes for any bikes i suppose)

    anyway. work time :)

    i just want my knee to get better (trashed it a week ago) enough to get back on the bike. been missing it :(
  15. All the bikes you mentioned are heavy.

    The wr250x is overpriced, we all know this.

    DRZ is a little on the heavy side but not as bad as the others that you mentioned.

    I am having tons of fun on my WR450F and tak seems to be having a ton of fun on the road with it, so I can only guess that I will be as happy as him as well.
  16. As new. Wr250x was extremely overpriced. Then I think because of massive rise in popularity of the drzsm (was super rare when i got mine) leaving soooo many. econd hand ones out there the wr250 second hand price dropped. Mine was an absoute bargain in the end.
  17. oh yeah I love my supermoto wr450 f

    I am already planning to upgrade to a 2012 fuel injected model in the wr4505 or a ktm 450exc

    the wr450 has one of the best heads and valve sets out there and a kick and elec start

    The ktm though has a 6 speed and more after market parts available for them

    There is still a brand new demonstrator wr250x in black available at Joes Motorcycles in Canberra - its been there for a while so most likely you could push a good deal

    I bought my blue wr250x with 2000 kms on it for $4500 2 years ago sold it 6 months later for $6500 with 4000 kms
  18. I think you need to decide what you want from the bike,
    rather than a certain bike
    onroad/offroad etc.

    Just if you don't know, motard wheels are 17"
    and dirtbikes are 18/21"
    so the only difference is really the wheel size and tyres
    Obviously dirtbikes are made for offroad and are very torquey
    they excel under about 140kph, but not much good any faster
    so no sportbike speeds on the highway

    I rode a klx250 for a few years on the road , but they are definitely
    made for OFFROAD performance (or onroad fuel economy)
    the light weight as you mentioned helps in tight situations
    (no way will you get 8000km oil changes on a wr 250)

    then there are the 400-650's
    heaps of DIFFERENT bikes, they may all look the same

    IF you are looking at road work exclusively, i would consider other options
    OR if you do get one, you must take it OFF ROAD to see what it was made for!

    Look at the different bikes and take notice of their
    water or air cooled
    road equipped/or racing model
    high engine compression (racing)
    service intervals

    and you will notice they are all very different bikes.
    Find the difference between the high maintenance purebreed racers/ enduros,
    to the trailbikes and farmbikes
  19. i had a drz400sm, best bang for buck as a stock out of the box
    was a great LAMs bike and as previously mentioned,
    in the hands of the right rider, makes the big sport bikes very angry in the twisties :)
    did need a few upgrades thou, including yoshi pipe, bigger jets, air filter, air box mods etc

    that all said, i would buy another motard any day
    best fun ive had with my pants on!!
  20. Take a look at the KTM Duke 690 as well as the 690 enduro (R) depending on how much you want to spend.

    Also if you want a project, get a 2008 and up (2007 had soft seat valves and the earlier models are RFS motors) KTM 450 EXC and then do the motard conversion your self and have a blast on the 6 speed very moddable power machine :D