Dual Sport Advice Needed

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John F
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Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by John F » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:01 am

I recently got back into dirt riding, and got a 2015 KTM 300XC. Amazing bike. I just sold my street bike (Sportster) to make room for a DS bike. I hardly ever ride on the street for longer than 30 minutes each way, and usually used the street bike for runs up to the store or stuff like that. I'd like to replace the street bike with a plated DS. The DS would be used now and then for quick trips around here to the store, so it has to be able to cruise for short distances at 60 mph or so. The DS would primarily get thrown in the back of my truck and taken to one of these DS places that you all ride that required a plated bike. I guess I'd also like to have something I can ride around here (Eastern Shore) and explore some dirt roads and places that look dual sportable. I'm keeping the 300 XC for dirt only stuff, and that'd be it--two bikes Whatever I get, it has to be light and fun. And I'd give serious thought to getting 2 sets of wheels/tires--one set of barely legal knobbies, and another set of trail-like/enduro/maybe SM tires, that can be balanced and would be safe on the street.

I'd like to keep the cost under $8K or so, and preferably around $5K. I've narrowed the list down to a Suzuki DRZ 400 or a WR250, or KTM 250/350/500exc-f. If I go the Suzuki/Yamaha route, the bike should be less expensive or newer than the KTM route. I've found a number of KTMs that'd work in my price range that look good. I'm not that concerned about the maintenance costs, as I only put about 20 hours on the Harley last year. Anybody street ride a KTM? Any good? Compared to a DRZ on the street? How about the DRZ? Heavy? WR?

Thoughts?

Thanks-

John

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BigBird
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by BigBird » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:02 pm

IMO - The WR250R is a better DS bike than the DRZ400 - ~ 15 lbs lighter and a WIDE ratio 6 speed.
IF you spend $ to get the suspension modded it can be VERY good.
Sam Jones - Frederick MD
GL1800A - KTM 525 EXC - KTM 200 XCW - KTM Freeride 250
Beta Evo 200 - Yamaha WR250R
Polaris RZR 800
Lots of Off-road & Road Tandem & Single Bicycles

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Bucho
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by Bucho » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:28 pm

I think personal preference play a HUGE part here. Some guys after riding a higher HP, higher performance bike just can't step back to a more purpose built factory dualsport like a DRZ or a WR250R.
If you are a power monger, go get a KTM 450/500.

That said, I honestly prefer the Jap dualsport bikes for dualsporting when there will be actual road use.
The DRZ is a great bike, they sell really well as a relatively cheap dualsport, they have a ginormous aftermarket to make the bike into whatever you want. I've thrown a leg over one a few times but dont have much ride time on one.
I actually really like the "little" Yamaha WR250R. I've spent several entire afternoons on Sam's old WR250R. I thought it was a really good bike. If my old DR650 ever totally dies, I would strongly consider replacing it with a WR250r.
Its obviously a smaller displacement motor, but it revs up nice. Sam has followed my around doing 70+ on paved sections and he kept up no problem.

I would tell you to go for the Jap bike. You can find good deals. And if you decide you don't want it, they are just as easy to sell to someone else in 6 months.

Goodluck w/ whatever you get.
Suzuki DR650
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Laoch
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by Laoch » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:52 am

Any of those bikes will work. Personal preference and riding style/ability play a factor. Drz is awesome DS bike, heavy and only 5 speed. WR is good, a bit tall. Ktm always good, more $ and more of a dirt bike.



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BigBird
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by BigBird » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:48 am

Although few people know it - the WR250R has an adjustment on the shock link that allow it to be lowered for $0 and makes it quite low.
Sam Jones - Frederick MD
GL1800A - KTM 525 EXC - KTM 200 XCW - KTM Freeride 250
Beta Evo 200 - Yamaha WR250R
Polaris RZR 800
Lots of Off-road & Road Tandem & Single Bicycles

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juddspaintballs
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by juddspaintballs » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:06 pm

I recently rode a 200 mile day of dual sporting with a guy on a WR250R. I was impressed with how well it kept up on the street and it's plenty capable off-road as well.
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beejaytee
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Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by beejaytee » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:40 pm

I’ll throw in since I’m one of the few running a ktm for dual sport use. I’ve had a 525 exc which is a great bike all around. You can definitely find them in decent condition for under 5k. The down side to those RFS motors is they don’t rev great and they are heafty, granted they are lighter than any of the jap bikes. I am now on a 350 which hauls the mail if your willing to rev it and can handle chugging in the tight stuff. I’ve run at 60-65 for a good bit with 14-50 gearing; it’s comfortable if the wheels are balance and will do well over 100 pretty easily. (I definitely have not done that myself on public roads Bucho.)


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Bucho
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by Bucho » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:23 pm

beejaytee wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:40 pm
will do well over 100 pretty easily. (I definitely have not done that myself on public roads Bucho.)Image


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juddspaintballs
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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by juddspaintballs » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:23 pm

beejaytee wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:40 pm
I’ll throw in since I’m one of the few running a ktm for dual sport use.
Does my 450 not count as a KTM for dual sport use?

I was just saying I was impressed with the WR250R on the street. I do like dual sporting my RFS and I'd get one of those over a WR250R any day.
Jed Gregory
KTM 450 EXC

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Re: Dual Sport Advice Needed

Post by smdub » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:51 pm

My coworker Greg and I rode both of my dual sports in the Shenandoah 500 last weekend. The KTM had no problem doing 60mph on the road stages w/ tractor 13/45 gearing (15/45 stock). Greg said my DRZ running nearly stock 15/45 was really winding it out up there and he didn't want to go faster. I haven't ridden the DRZ on the road yet to know how it really compares. There were a lot of WR250Rs there in the sea of mostly orange. Greg has owned a DRZ before and is looking for a used WRR (plus he's a die hard Yamaha fan.) The WRR beats the DRZ in just about every category except raw power. Better susp, EFI, ~30# lighter, 6th gear, insane valve maint intervals, etc.

We did the advanced ATV loop first day (didn't stick to the planned route at all), and I dropped the KTM 3 times on the steep climb out. Started instantly each time (heck, and kept running one time it fell over.) Greg dropped the DRZ a couple times and it flooded nearly every time. He killed the battery cranking on the big hill. We were about to give up and after a 20-30 min rest gave it one last try and got it to cough to life. My Ducati is also EFI. It starts first time, every time even after LONG periods of sitting. I love EFI. It simply works (until it doesn't.) The DRZ fell in my lap as a smoking deal or I prob wouldn't have bought it. I hate carbs;) I have converted my old cars to EFI:) For similar money, I'd pick a WRR over a DRZ unless you REALLY needed the power (and then a lighter KTM is prob a better choice.)

So down to the KTM vs DRZ. I don't have a ton of time on either but I can tell you, the KTM is a *LOT* easier to pickup than the DRZ. The 50+# difference is almost completely off the top. Just lifting the KTM off the kickstand it feels half the weight of the DRZ. The KTM has much better suspension, but stiffer. The DRZ is a Cadillac in comparison. I'm going to rebuild/revalve(racetech) the rear shock soon and see if we can make it a bit better.

FWIW, Im no expert so you probably shouldn't pay any attention to what I said above;) I bought both very recently and am new to dirt bikes. Got both plated so I can ride in nat forests. Been riding street since college and have built and road raced a number of cars so understand my way around that stuff. I'm just wishing the bikes had a LHRB like my mtbs:) Not sure at my old age of 46 I can train my right foot in an insanely stiff boot to work a rear brake w/ any precision. Already looking at a Clake for the ktm...
'08 Monster S2R1000 / '02 DRZ400S / '12 KTM 500 EXC / '05/'06 Beta Rev3 270

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