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exaresix

The best factory dual purpose.

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Seems all my friends are going dual purpose recently, and the guys with the most money are buying the KTM 525. I've ridden it, and I like it, but in some ways it is more of a collection of nice parts, some of which are not fully sorted out. It also has a pretty uncomfortable seat. If one decides against the KTM, that leaves the Kawi 650, Suzuki 650, the BMW Funduro, and the venerable Honda xr650L. I would hate to drop the BMW on a trail, looks like expensive plastic parts would be everywhere. It seems odd, but the ancient design, and probably soon to be discontinued Honda may still be the best factory dual-purpose. What are some other opinions?

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Have you considered a Suzuki DRZ400S? I have owned several of the older Honda XL600's and now have the DRZ400SM, (although it's the super moto version), and I am very impressed with it. The DRZ is substantially lighter than the 650L which makes the off roading easier.

Our famed TT jetting expert, Eddie Sisneros has been getting serious horsepower out of the DRZ's. I believe he has a DRZ475 stroker near 60 rear wheel horsepower. I think Eddie indicates the "uncorked" DRZ's are faster than the uncorked 650L's. I don't mean to be one sided but thought you may not know the capability of the DRZ's. Just my 2 cents.

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I'm looking at the same choice. I'm between the XR650L and the Husky TE610. Mostly fire roads, mild off-trail. I'm 39 and mellowing, looking for a good, reliable thumper for the occasional ride. The Husky certainly has a certain flair, the Honda the reliability.

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I guess I really didn't consider the Suz 400, most of what I've read indicates teh Suzuki 650 to be more of a true dual-purpose machine, though I'm not certain what criteria were used. Perhaps the 650 is just a better street bike?

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I looked at the Huskys, they were in the same shop as the KTMs. They were pricey, looked very dirt worthy, and like the KTM, seemed to be made up of a collection of good components.

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exaresix - Of the Japanese bikes, I think most folks consider the Kaw KLR650 the most street oriented, the Suz DR650 a good compromise of street and dirt and the Honda XR650L as the more dirt capable of those three. I think the KTM's and Huskys really excell in the dirt. I'm not too familar with the BMW, so I can't comment on that one

I guess it boils down to what you want the bike to do best. I know I struggled with the Honda XL600's weight off road when the going gets tough. Imagine what or where you want the bike to be the best, roads or dirt and lean towards those that do well there. I tend to follow the lighter the better on dirt rule.

I will tell you that the heavy bikes seem more planted on the road at speeds above 75 mph. That being said I have no problem running 80 mph for extended periods on my DRZ400SM. They're also pretty much bullet-proof except for crashes of course.

Hope you figure it out.

PS- You might want to check out htis thread:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=164028&highlight=xr650l+drz400

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That was an interesting thread comparing the DRZ 400 to the XR650L. It did appear on the DRZ forum, and naturally, there was a lot of support for the Suz. One arguement I did not buy was that the 400 was better because the engine was newer technology, i.e. watercooled. Right or wrong, I consider water cooling to be a liability on the trail. Radiators boil over on a hot day in Arizona, and there are more items to damage in a fall. The other arguement I did not buy was that the Suzuki was better because it could be made to go faster. For me, and I suspect many others, doing dual purpose rides are sort of laid back deals, and whether you can "run circles around the next guy" is of little importance. Quality of workmanship, comfort of suspension and seat, ability to ride the highway without excessive vibrations...these are practical factors that I am considering. I have dirt bikes for pure dirt riding. The dual-purpose is a compromise and I don't want to try and make it more. I do appreciate that the DRZ is lighter and that is a practical plus.

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my 2 cents. i had a dr400s and own a xr650l. the dr is better in the single track/rough stuff and turns better. the seat sucks for long rides and not so good on the highway above 65 mph if you gear down even a little its even worse on the road. the dr's power has more of a midrange hit and is a little faster stock.the xrl is more stable at speed and handles the road/highway much better even if its geared down a little.this is the bike you want if you ride 60 miles each way to the trails.the power comes on really low and it climbs hills better. it has alot of torque and hopping over logs is easy.the xrl handles crashes much better.i dont have a problem in the dirt im ''6ft230''with it and i ride typical east coast trails. im comparing performance based on stock bikes with dot knobbies.both bikes are reliable.the dr is and feels lighter. are you confused yet?

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exaresix - Of the Japanese bikes, I think most folks consider the Kaw KLR650 the most street oriented, the Suz DR650 a good compromise of street and dirt and the Honda XR650L as the more dirt capable of those three. I think the KTM's and Huskys really excell in the dirt. I'm not too familar with the BMW, so I can't comment on that one

I guess it boils down to what you want the bike to do best. I know I struggled with the Honda XL600's weight off road when the going gets tough. Imagine what or where you want the bike to be the best, roads or dirt and lean towards those that do well there. I tend to follow the lighter the better on dirt rule.

I will tell you that the heavy bikes seem more planted on the road at speeds above 75 mph. That being said I have no problem running 80 mph for extended periods on my DRZ400SM. They're also pretty much bullet-proof except for crashes of course.

Hope you figure it out.

PS- You might want to check out htis thread:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=164028&highlight=xr650l+drz400

WOW, now I want a DRZ400S so I can hang out with that lively bunch, what a thread! Anyone want to buy an 04 L with some mods and 11000 miles?

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Don't count on getting that kind of milage from your DRZ!:naughty:

The DRZ400 is still a very nice bike that I took a very long look at when I was in the market!

Why not just make the best DS with an XR650R?:bonk:

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Don't count on getting that kind of milage from your DRZ!:naughty:

The DRZ400 is still a very nice bike that I took a very long look at when I was in the market!

Why not just make the best DS with an XR650R?:bonk:

The great state of Florida no longer allows you to do so Or I would believe that!

And yes the longevity of the DRZ would be my only concern!

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only 248 dry at 46 hp stock i would imagine it would be worth taking a look at

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The great state of Florida no longer allows you to do so Or I would believe that!

And yes the longevity of the DRZ would be my only concern!

In that case, I would look at:

KTM, Husky or the DRZ for more dirt than road, but higher maintenance (DRZ a bit less).

The new KLR looks nice and would be great for more road than trail. Low maintenance.

The trusty XR650L with all the crap taken off is a good 50/50 with low maintenance.

Any of these bikes will be fine, but you need to think where you will be riding the most and what suits you. Remember monky ass is a biotch!:bonk:

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Seems all my friends are going dual purpose recently, and the guys with the most money are buying the KTM 525. I've ridden it, and I like it, but in some ways it is more of a collection of nice parts, some of which are not fully sorted out. It also has a pretty uncomfortable seat. If one decides against the KTM, that leaves the Kawi 650, Suzuki 650, the BMW Funduro, and the venerable Honda xr650L. I would hate to drop the BMW on a trail, looks like expensive plastic parts would be everywhere. It seems odd, but the ancient design, and probably soon to be discontinued Honda may still be the best factory dual-purpose. What are some other opinions?

Every bike has strong points and weak points. It is what you want to do with the bike that makes the difference in which is best for you. Some people use a dual sport to commute 50 or more miles per day and then only go on a dirt road from time to time. Some ride nasty single track, and only go down the pavement for a mile or two between dirt trails. Both might call thier bike a dual sport, but the requirements are very different.

So how do you plan on using your bike?

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exaresix,

Luckily you live in Arizona where you can make nearly anything street legal.

For the best bike, It depends on the riding style you are looking for. The KLR, XRL, BMW, KTM 640 are bikes that feel more comfortable on the street than tight trails. These bikes do good on fire roads and street.

The DRZ400 weighs nearly the same as a XR650R, both of which are porky on tight trails but do better off road than the former bikes listed. These bikes are great for fire roads but can do street well and tight trails ok. Hill climbs are better on these than the heavier bikes.

The KTM525EXC seems to have less power than the XR650R but also has considerably less weight. It is great for tighter trails but a bit twitchy on the road compared to the DRz, XR, KLR, BMW, and Big KTM's. These to the best on tighter trails, hill climbs and are good for fire roads.

Have you looked in the Used market? I'm sure you can look at a few bikes and scam a "test ride" to get a feel for a few.

BTW - a properly tuned XR650R is very easy to kick start. It does not have an electric start like the other bikes.

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