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Dual Purpose Bikes

This is a discussion on Dual Purpose Bikes within the Motocross forums, part of the Types of Bikes category; Lately I have been looking into motorcycles. I have never personally owned one. But have ridin a decent bit of ...


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Old 02-21-2006   #1
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

Lately I have been looking into motorcycles. I have never personally owned one. But have ridin a decent bit of them through friends. Mainly Dirtbikes and ATVs.

I decided on a Dual Purpose bike because in a sense I am a new rider. That way I can ride on trails to get some more experience. Also I enjoy riding trails. Some friends and I go to various hunting clubs where we have a lot of riding land. Or to Poker Runs in Rural Georgia. So I want to be able to ride on the trails. But I also zip around the Atlanta Suburbs a bit and go to downtown often too. So I would like a bike to cruise around the street. Plus save some Gas.

My main concern isn't necesarily speed or power. I just want it where I can do 65-70mph and not have the motor screaming in top gear.

The main bikes I have looked at is the Honda XR650, Kawasaki DLR650, and the Suzuki DRZ 400s. I believe the Honda was about $6,500, the Kawasaki $5,200, and the DRZ somewhere in the mid to high 5s. I looked at KTM but the 525s come in at just under $8k.

The bike I'm liking the most is the DRL 650. But I love Honda and their Reputation for dependability. However I want to know if the extra cost of the Honda is worth it. Or if the DRZ 400s are powerful enough to keep up with the 650s.

So my question is what information should I know about these bikes? And which ones do you prefer?

I wanted to buy used but it is extremely hard to find Dual Purpose bikes in Atlanta. Also the resale on these bikes is high. I see older KLRs in alright condition going for $4k-4.5k A little more and I can have an 07.
Chaylen K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2006   #2
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

The KLR and XR and DR series has been around for damn near ever and they have proven themselves quite good. The KLR engine has been pretty much unchanged since the mid/late 80's. One thing I do know about the KLR is they are more for the street so I would think of them as a street bike that can go off road. I would say that they all would be a good choice.The Honda and Suzuki seem to be more for off road than the KLR. All of them will do freeway speeds (cruise at 70mph) with ease. If I was to buy one and ride mainly roads with the occasional off road trips but not to serious off road stuff it be the KLR. For the sometimes street riding and mostly off roading it be the Honda XR. If you sit down and really look at them you can tell by looks the KLR is more for street and the XR is more for off road.The DR is kind of in the middle. It looks like it's in between the KLR and XR.

I think the 400 would keep up with the 650's at normal speeds but would get "buzzy" at 70 mph.

One thing you have to remember which it seems you already know is a dual purpose bike is a trade off. You loose some off road ability for acceptable street manners and vice versa. The tires used on dual purpose bikes aren't exactly good for slippy conditions off road. Mostly they tend to be more aplicable for the street but can go off road because the tread spacing is fairly wide, in turn it makes them not grip as well on the street. Don't get me wrong they aren't dangerous but they won't grip the road in the twisties like a full on street tire nor will they get the traction off road like a full knobby. Ask any of us guys who used to ride dirt bikes on the road to get to riding spots how slippy full knobs can be on the street. Also dual purpose bikes tend to be geared somewhat higher than their off road cousins. A sprocket change can fix that but then it be geared a bit low for the highway cruising.

One hint is if you are going to do some woods riding take the mirrors off when you hit the trails and put them in a pack or something. They will get broke easy.
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Old 02-22-2006   #3
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

Conveniently, the March 2007 Rider magazine has a comparison test of the Honda, Kaw and Suz 650s.
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Old 02-22-2006   #4
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

I love my xr650 and i have put it through a bunch of new riders. it has always proven to do more than expected.
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Old 02-23-2006   #5
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

CB's assessment is spot-on, as far as I've seen. I know a few guys with the KLRs and they all say that it's too much of a tank, for trail riding. The XR is heavy too but less bulky. If ridden aggressively, it handles well enough to send the MX guys home cryin'. I got my '08 for $6000, out the door (tax, title & license).
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Old 02-23-2006   #6
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

wow, this was an old thread...
i was wondering, is a dual purpose a good commuting bike? like good to bad weather? i know tires have a lot to do with it too, but where i live there is a lot of debris on the road after a good storm and i always wondered it it would be safer for me to commute on a dual sport or my cruiser...
just curious.
thanks
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Old 02-24-2006   #7
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

In that situation, a dually probably isn't any real advantage.
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Old 02-25-2006   #8
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

so basically, if i have paved road everywhere i want to be, a dualsport makes no sense? i have been wanting a KLR, but if i can't justify it, cause i am never going to offroad on it, then i guess my hopes are dashed. lol.
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Old 02-25-2006   #9
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

As far as I'm concerned, wanting one is the ultimate justification for buying one. If that's what you want, go for it. There may be no specific "advantage" for you to own one but really....who cares?! :D Besides, you may not hear it yet...but the dirt is calling you. :)
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Old 02-26-2006   #10
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Default Dual Purpose Bikes

lol... true true.. my fiancee' and i have talked about taking that dirtbike training class out in montana or finding something similar closer to home. they did a writeup in Rider.. very cool. and you can never stop learning.
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