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first bike = dual purpose :)

This is a discussion on first bike = dual purpose :) within the Dual Purpose forums, part of the Types of Bikes category; i'm a new rider getting prepared for a larger adventure sometime next year in australia and the amount of off-road ...


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Old 03-28-2006   #1
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

i'm a new rider getting prepared for a larger adventure sometime next year in australia and the amount of off-road will depend greatly on my skill by the time the tour starts and as skills improve, more off road might happen.
having said that, MOST of this tour will happen on pavement and a bit on dirt roads. i'm so not going to be ready for anything harder than that.

so, i'd like to get a dual-purpose bike (hate being limited) and as a new rider (or L and P rider here in oz) i am limited to 650cc or less.

the bike needs to be dual purpose and must be able to have panniers attached to it. preferably the aluminum ones.

after a whole day on the net i've narrowed my list to these bikes...and please, feel free to cross bikes off the list (as i'm new to this and have only half a clue ), add new ones or make any comments on each one to help me narrow down my choice

BMW
F650GS
F650GS DAKAR

Kawasaki
KLR650
KLE650 Versys

Suzuki
DR650SE
DRZ400SM
DL650 Vstrom

Yamaha
XT600E

Honda
NX650 dominator
XL650 transalp

any other bikes to consider or stay away from???

and could someone PLEASE tell me what the letters in each bike mean??? S SM E GS CS and so on, i have NO CLUE...
fallen one is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2006   #2
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

Rider just named the Versys bike of the year.
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Old 03-29-2006   #3
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

If money is no option, then the Dakar is my #1 choice! Otherwise the KLR 650. The Versys is not really a dual purpose bike, and is overpriced. Suzuki's DR650 is "ok" but has a smaller fuel capacity and is air cooled (same for Yamaha's XT),and the 400s aren't really big enough for longer trips.(More geared towards dirt riding) The V-strom also isn't really a "dual purpose". Honda is always a good choice, but I have ZERO experience with either of the models you listed. The transalps v-twin motor does seem like it would be kinda heavy for off roading though. Good Luck!!!!!!
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Old 03-30-2006   #4
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

My buddy at work rides a KLR 650 and loves it, he used to ride a harley and went to the klr....
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Old 03-30-2006   #5
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

I had a KLR and yes they are great bikes and I regret getting rid of mine, for dirt roads it is great but is on the heavy side for rougher off road riding.
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Old 03-31-2006   #6
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

If money is no option, then the Dakar is my #1 choice! Otherwise the KLR 650. The Versys is not really a dual purpose bike, and is overpriced. Suzuki's DR650 is "ok" but has a smaller fuel capacity and is air cooled (same for Yamaha's XT),and the 400s aren't really big enough for longer trips.(More geared towards dirt riding) The V-strom also isn't really a "dual purpose". Honda is always a good choice, but I have ZERO experience with either of the models you listed. The transalps v-twin motor does seem like it would be kinda heavy for off roading though. Good Luck!!!!!!

thanks for the input!!

yeah, the DAKAR is also my first choice but they are quite expensive here in australia (well, everything is really :( ) but i'm also seriously looking at the kawasaki KLR650 as it seems to have no poor reviews and is much cheaper :)
is this bike really as bullet proof as a few say?

i really like the look of the suzuki DRZ400SM but it seems like a pure street legal off road bike. does anyone think it could work touring? i know the 10 l petrol tank is a bit of a bummer :(

will look into the HONDAS a bit more too!!
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Old 03-31-2006   #7
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

The BMW F650GS actually has an 800cc engine in it, so you might want to take that off your list.
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Old 04-01-2006   #8
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

thanks for the input!!

yeah, the DAKAR is also my first choice but they are quite expensive here in australia (well, everything is really :( ) but i'm also seriously looking at the kawasaki KLR650 as it seems to have no poor reviews and is much cheaper :)
is this bike really as bullet proof as a few say?

i really like the look of the suzuki DRZ400SM but it seems like a pure street legal off road bike. does anyone think it could work touring? i know the 10 l petrol tank is a bit of a bummer :(

will look into the HONDAS a bit more too!!
The "sm" stands for super moto. And while it is made for on/off road, I myself would never try to tour with one. First, the 400cc motor is great for short trips but probably won't last long if held at highway speed rpm's for long periods of time. second, as far as I know there are no kits avail for puting luggage/bags on them. Lastly, I don't know if it matters in australia, and I don't know what exact bike you are looking at, but many of the Suzuki DRs don't come with the often required turn signals/horn. And The kits to add them can be expensive and some knowledge (or $$$) is required to install the switches and wiring.
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Old 04-02-2006   #9
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

The BMW F650GS actually has an 800cc engine in it, so you might want to take that off your list.

i am referring to pre-2008 GS models :)



AND after a month of research / searching for the right bike with price bracket in mind, i've decided to go with the suzuki DR650SE as my beast of choice to tackle australia!!

thanks for everyone for all your help, it has been much appreciated!!
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Old 04-02-2006   #10
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Default first bike = dual purpose :)

Actually...come to think of it the twin can be had cheaper than recent Dakar's in many cases. If you had chosen the Dakar I probably would have suggested the new twin.

And the KLR has issues. So does everything else. Personally I'm a fan of them even if I do like BMW's better. I'd call the KLR 2/3rds of the bike for half the money if you asked me. But it's not as good as the BMW and I wouldn't expect it to be.

Anyway, sounds like you've made your choice, so how about some pics when you get your new beast?
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