View Full Version : Thinking about a dual purpose bike
03-28-2006, 03:35 AM
I'm thinking about getting a dual purpose bike to play with- light commuting duties (back and forth to school), running errends and carrying on the back of the truck for goofing off off-road. If anyone has a Suzuki DR350 or similar that they are thinking about getting rid of give me a shout- I'm on a very limited budget for this so BMWs and stuff are out (being back in school stinks).
03-28-2006, 01:45 PM
I like those DR350's. You could get them in a cool OD green as I remember. The gas mileage would be awesome :)
03-29-2006, 11:20 PM
I was just thinking about this last night , I was saving up to mod my blazer , but it isn't a worthy candidate for anything but light offroad -So why not buy a motorcycle ? . Anyways.... I was schedualed to take Motorcycle lesson in the spring of this year , and I was planning on picking up a older 500cc and under sportbike .
Then i found out about dual purpose bikes . Seems like they are much more usefull to me , I can ride them up to my local fishing spots ,aswell as commute in the summer months , best of both worlds for me anyways .
I am having a hard time finding any used ones around here though , And my lack of knowledge of different models is limiting me more so . Does anyone care to enlighten me on some of the most common makes , models and there opinions about reliability concerns too ?
03-30-2006, 02:34 AM
The most popular are probably the Kawasaki KLR 650 and 250s (the 250 has been discontinued in favor of the new KLx250s and the BMW RxxxGS series and F650s. The Suzuki DR650 and DRZ400 series are popular also. Honda has the XR650L and I'm not sure what Yamaha is offering lately. KTM has two offerings although they are a bit hard to find around my area.
There are forums dedicated to most of these bikes as well as adventure riding.
The big issue with me is saddle height; I've got short legs- damn Scottish ancestry- so I'm not comfortable on any of the 650s even with a lowering kit. I've been thinking about the Suzuki DRZs or maybe even a 250 or so.
05-28-2006, 07:29 AM
There are a range of good used low cost dual sport bikes available, but for the OP's stated purposes and budget you just can't beat the Suzuki DRs.
Look for an early decade electric start DRZ400S (street legal model). The original DR350 series was a great bike, but kick starting them gets old, even after you learn how to do it with one kick every time.
If you live in a state where you can street license them and want to do mostly pure dirt work, then consider the DRZ400 off-road dirt model.
The later model DRZS (street legal model) all have the upgraded off-road model forks, etc. and are more capable off-road, but the early decade era bikes will be fine with a cartridge emulator and shock upgrade.
The street models are heavier stock, but by the time you take all the unnecessary stuff off of them the delta is pretty small. Drill a few grease zerks and you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference without disassembling the forks, assuming you don't notice the enduro computer that is stock with the street model.
Put a set of DOT knobbies on it and go have fun.
The 350-400 DR series has a motor that just won't quit. If you change the oil & filter regularly they are pretty much indestructible.
It's a much better all-around (meaning everything short of dirt competition to freeways) dual sport bike than the Suzuki DR650 or the Kawasaki KLR650.
The early 2000s Yamahas were more competition oriented bikes, very fast and capable, but not well suited to the typical owner neglect / long duty cycles of dual sport use. (insert Yamaha fan ALL CAPS flame response here) You could say the same for KTM. (repeat flame insert, change logo to KTM)
For height challenges, drop the triple clamp and change the shock preload. I've also cut down the seat. The ultimate solution is to change the rear shock lever arm. You can do a LOT of height mods to the DR right out of the Suzuki parts bin.
And make SURE you do the carb vent mod on the CV street carb. It solves all of the hard start problems when you dump it with a hot engine.
You can buy an early decade used dual sport bike with a better stock suspension, lighter weight and more off-road race wins than the DRs, but you'll never find one with a more reliable, stump pulling motor and arguably more tolerance for owner neglect and abuse.
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