Information Needed, Please Help



18 replies to this topic
  • JCT

Posted February 07, 2002 - 04:35 PM

#1

Hi everyone. Am new to this board but like all the posts so far...very informative.

I've been riding street bikes for over 10 years and want to try dirt biking. Not interested in mx, just simple trail riding in Northern Michigan.

I'm 32, 6'3" tall and weigh 230lbs. Would like a dual sport since I'll probably be riding 70% street and 30% trails, however, I want a bike that is competent off road and am willing to sacrifice on-road comfort etc. Not looking to do long highway stints, just buzzing around town for fun.

I've looked at the DRZ-400S and like all the features, however, the bike seems a bit too small for me. My problem is that I'm not sure how it should fit since I've never ridden a dirt bike before. The XR-650L fits great, however, I'm concerned with the weight and the fact that I'm inexperienced off road. I belive since I'm a newbie that until I learn how to ride off road my inexperience will be my greatest handicap not necessarily the bike. Kinda like giving a 5 year old kid a Stratavarious Violin...it doesn't matter how good the violin is, he's still gonna suck at at playing it :)

Should I go lighter and more forgiving and possibly ride a bike that's too small or go big and deal with the weight on the trails.

I've also considered dual-sporting the XR-400. That bike seems bullet proof from a design standpoint, but I'm not sure how it will fit me.

Any and all comments welcome.

Thanks...JCT

  • mntnmissle

Posted February 08, 2002 - 07:30 AM

#2

Hows your health insurance?
You might want to buy an older bike and thrash it a bit before you jump into a 650.

  • Dutch

Posted February 08, 2002 - 10:03 PM

#3

Hello JCT - I'm also from Michigan,(Northern), and a dual sport fan. I have legalized a 650R and have to admit it works well for me. One thing I've learned about dirt bikes is you have to fit them to you. At 6'1" the BRP was cramped for me - a new top tree with taller bars made it perfect.
That is going to be your problem no matter what bike you choose. Don't worry about size,(that Suzuki 400 is a great bike).

  • needsprayer

Posted February 08, 2002 - 12:26 PM

#4

JCT,

If you were doing more off road I would say dual sport a XR650R. I've done that in Arizona and love getting to more dirt (90% dirt 10% road).

However, if you want a real dual sport bike that's more road oriented (70% road)then take a look at the KLR650 (Kawasaki).

The KLR650 is tamer than the XR650R, has electric start, extremely dependable and would fit you better.

  • JCT

Posted February 08, 2002 - 02:12 PM

#5

Mntnmissle, you're right on target with the older bike thing. As far as my health insurance goes, good thing I have excellent coverage. I am leaning towards buying a used bike anyway and was just looking at the 650's because they seem to fit better. I haven't been able to try out a XR400 yet but I am looking forward to it.

Needsprayer, I thought about the KLR650, however, I really want something more dirt worthy. I know I said that my riding would be 70% road - 30% dirt, but I would rather have a better dirt bike than a street bike.

What do y'all think about a WR426? Too much bike for a newbie? Any other suggestions?

Dutch, I grew up in Petoskey, are you a native Northern Michigander?

  • Terrain Rider 4z

Posted February 08, 2002 - 03:14 PM

#6

The 426 is a lot of power for anyone. The bike rocks and is a blast to ride, but not a beginner bike. An XR400 would be a much better bike to learn on in my opinion. :)

  • Dutch

Posted February 08, 2002 - 03:29 PM

#7

I live about 30 minutes south east of Petoskey,(been here 19 years). The last two dual sports before the BRP were WR400's. They are great bikes, very reliable, and RIP!!. The big Honda makes a better dual sport for me though,(and it will spank a 426 on the road).
We should get together next season and share some trails.

  • needsprayer

Posted February 08, 2002 - 03:47 PM

#8

JCT,

I rode some when I was younger. Stopped for a long time. Recently, my wife wanted a green dirt bike so I bought her a KX100. I had so much fun playing on it that I decided to get another dirt bike for myself. Went from a KX100 to an XR650R (Big Red Pig). :D

I respect the BRP and have been developing my skills through practice. I am almost good on this bike. :D

What I am trying to say is that you can learn on the BRP if you respect its power and grow into it. I wouldn't do it differently as I look back on my learning experience. :D

I do all the work on the bikes. I learned through various groups what I needed to do to setup the BRP to suit me. The service manual is now a well used book. :)

  • JCT

Posted February 09, 2002 - 05:13 AM

#9

OK, the 426 is too much bike right now from what I gather. So, I think my choices have been whittled down to 650R, 650L and 400. I best get to a bike shop and see if the XR400 will fit and if it does I have to make a decision.

I like that 650L but darn if it wouldn't be a burden for a newbie on the trail. From a financial standpoint I hope the XR400 fits because I see a lot of them for sale.

Dutch, I will look you up this summer after I get my bike. I now live in Farmington Hills but still have family in the area.

More comments or advice...write 'em down.

thanks...JCT

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  • joao_pedro

Posted February 09, 2002 - 08:07 AM

#10

[QUOTE]Originally posted by mntnmissle:
dear friend,
I really think you should learn on a bike like the 400 XR, is a really forgiving bike! I think the 650 maybe a little too much virile for a beginner! but the choice is yours...
also the kind of trails you ride would be important: if you ride twitchy hard mountain and forest trails the 400 is perfest (I own a 600 XR and ride in this trails but I ride offroad eleven years now!)if you ride on never ending baja or pikes peak beaten soil trails ...also the 400! because maybe the 650 will be just a little too much for a beginner!
ah! a free advice: don't buy a dual sports, usually dual means no good for one neither the other option! buy an enduro one !
I think like Pirelli tires commercial says: "power is nothing without control"
greetings
JP :)

  • JCT

Posted February 09, 2002 - 10:26 PM

#11

JP,

Thanks for your advice and comments. I agree with you re: the XR400. They say discretion is the better part of valor and in this case I'm not about try and prove otherwise.

Went to a bike shop today and tried out the XR400. I think this is the bike for me, although I will buy used not new. No need trashing a new bike just so I can learn.

So...the XR400 is it... Next question...any specific model year I should look for or maybe more importantly shy away from? What type of price range should I be looking at used? Any good online sites selling bikes other than cycletrader.com?

Thanks again everyone for all your help.

JCT

  • cyclebob25168

Posted February 09, 2002 - 03:36 PM

#12

You are a big guy???Dont buy the 400,,Its a little short on power

Buy the 650r and put the Baja designs light kit on it.

This bike RIPS and is easy to ride.

  • Dutch

Posted February 09, 2002 - 04:48 PM

#13

JCT - The 400 is a great choice. A friend,(who lives on Thumb Lake Rd.), just bought a new 2002 from Stevens in Bay city, for $4600 otd. Anything decent used is gonna be easy $3500. New is the way to go,(easy for me to say eh?).

  • katoooooom

Posted February 09, 2002 - 08:26 PM

#14

IF I WERE YOU I'D STAY AWAY FROM ANY HONDA-ESPECIALLY THE 650-TOO MANY PROBLEMS.I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND EITHER THE KTM 400EXC OR THE 520EXC,BOTH ARE VERY DEPENDABLE,LIGHT WEIGHT,EASY TO RIDE,FUN,QUALITY,ELECTRIC STARTING MACHINES.
HOPE THIS HELPS...................

  • carpeDRZ

Posted February 09, 2002 - 10:04 PM

#15

Katoooooom,

What are you talking about? Stay away from ANY Honda? Unless you've ridden every Honda motorcycle ever produced, STAY AWAY from blanket generalizations.

KTM is not the only manufacturer making DEPENDABLE, FUN, EASY TO RIDE, QUALITY machines.
I left out LIGHTWEIGHT because my bike and the BRP are kind of heavy. :)

  • needsprayer

Posted February 10, 2002 - 05:07 AM

#16

carpeDRZ,

Katooooooooooooooooooooooooooom had a run of bad luck with the original countershaft seal (91205-MBN-671)on his XR650R. This seal has now been made replaced by a stronger seal(91205-MBN-672) by Honda (thank you Honda).

From SRC,Inc:

All Owners of Honda XR-650R need to be aware of the frequent failure of the Original countersahft seal on this model. We now stock the revised part. If you have not replaced this seal with the new part, You are advised to buy one and keep it with you whenever you ride. The Honda Part # is 91205-MBN-672. This seal can be replaced with very little effort and expense.


While the original seal may have failed on some XR650Rs it did not fail very often across the board. A poll on the Yahoo XR650R group showed that it did happen, but the precentage rate was very low (less than 1%). This is still too high for Honda and Honda did something about.

Katooooooooooom has claimed that he has an easy fix but has never shared it with anyone, not quite as nice as Honda I would surmise.

  • Dutch

Posted February 10, 2002 - 11:51 AM

#17

KTM stands for -- Kost Too Much -- Keep The Manual

  • JCT

Posted February 10, 2002 - 01:08 PM

#18

I like the 650R, no doubt about it, but 2 factors may prohibit me from buying it...at least for my first dirt bike.

1) I want a used bike and really don't want to pay over $3-grand.

2) I am a beginning dirt rider and dont want too much bike.

I know, I know, you are probably saying "he's a big guy and he'll wish he bought the 650 once he learns how to ride the 400" and you are probably right. I have a lot to think about. Anyone got a used 650R in excellent condition they want to sell me for $3000? :) .

Thanks again for all your input. If only te 650L was 50 pounds lighter.

JCT

  • katoooooom

Posted February 11, 2002 - 03:39 PM

#19

"NEED-SPRAYER" THE NEW SEAL IS BETTER BUT I BLEW OUT THREE OF THOSE TOO-IT'S NOT A FIX ALL- I ALREADY LISTED THAT IN ONE OF MY FIRST POSTS,ALONG WITH ALL THE PART#'S,AND YOU STILL DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE STILL YET "NEWER" SEAL THAT ALSO FAILED.
YOUR *&%^%(&(% "YAHOOOOO" GROUP LISTED LESS THAN 1%????? HOW MANY POSTED NO? -ALSO LESS THAN 1%......





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