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Discussion Starter #1
I know this isn't exactly the right forum, but I am looking for a dual sport to ride seeing as how over half the roads in my state(WY) are dirt. I don't care about jumping stuff, or any of the "dirt bike" stuff, I just want a bike that handles nice on dirt roads so I can go play in the mountians. Does anyone have a recommendation, or know of a good forum for dual sport rideer where I can find out some good tips? Right now I am looking at the Honda and Suzuki 650's, but would consider something else, as long as the price is within reason.

Thanks,
George
 

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Dual sports... Suzuki 650...
Good question. I bought a Suzuki 650 dual 2 bikes back, thinking it would be the best of both worlds.
It has enough power to do highway speeds, but is not comfortable there. The engine and drivetrain was rough, noisy, and lots of vibrations. Although the bike handles good and steers fine, there wasn't enough weight to keep me in a lane at highway speeds while passing semis with a cross wind. Yes I could slow down, but it is supposed to work. All in all, around town, it worked. Highways or trips over 50 miles, no.
Off-road, it didn't work for me either. The gearing was to high to slow down, and the ground grip comprimised by the street tires. Would not want to face any serious mud with the bike.
In short, put 6000 miles on it and traded it for a Valkryie.
Rich s.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Trouble for the great review of the 650. I am mostly wanting the bike for dirt road use as over half the roads around here are dirt, including the ones to my favorite fishing spots. I won't be out on the interstate, but would like be be able to drive 65 down the two lanes on my way to the river. If you wre using this bike for %75 dirt road use, would you recommend it?

Thanks,
George
 

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I would take a hard look at the ktm and the suzuki vstrom, I have been looking at both bikes for the same reason. So when I am not on the x and feel like going on some decent dirt roads they would both fit the bill!!
 

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Ever heard of the Suzuki V-strom? It has either the 650 or 1000 motor. The thing is in the 11's in quarter mile. It's made for dirt and gravel roads that you speak of. It has that sport-touring look. It's on my wish list.
 

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gstanfield said:
Thanks Trouble for the great review of the 650. I am mostly wanting the bike for dirt road use as over half the roads around here are dirt, including the ones to my favorite fishing spots. I won't be out on the interstate, but would like be be able to drive 65 down the two lanes on my way to the river. If you wre using this bike for %75 dirt road use, would you recommend it?
About a year ago, I bought a '82 Yamaha 600 single 4stroke dirt bike in great condition for $600. It was a lot of fun and made me realize what a true dirt bike will do.
I found out I was not honest to myself about what I expected, wanted, or would settle for on a motorcycle. If I said 75% dirt road use, and then wanted to follow a trail, it wouldn't work. If I realy kept on a dirt road that was almost alwas (sp?) dry and hard packed, why not ride my 1800 C VTX there?
See if you can test ride the bike, and then deceide if you think you would be happy with the big compromises.
Rich S.
 

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I'm looking at the Susuki vstrom 1000 right now. It has that bulletproof tl1000 v-twin in it. It sits really high, it is a big bike. No way I'd trade the X for it but it would make a great second bike. See I've about got myself talked into it,.... now comes the wife!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies, I'll check into the Vstrom 650, but I want to keep my spending as close to $5k as possible, so I guess the used market will have to come into play here. As to taking my X down the dirt roads, for those who have not spent much time in the back country of WY, the dirt roads are nice, I can drive 65mph in my truck all day long on them, the problem is they are all over and very long. there are some of the short cuts I use when going across country here where I will be driving on 80-100 miles of dirt in one stretch. One of my favorite places to go is 85 miles from my house, and the pavement ends at 21 miles, so as you see, that is a long way to travel on dirt, on a VTX. The sport/touring bikes look to be more of what I'm after than are the dirt bikes with a tag, mirrors, and lights.

thanks again,
George
 

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I currently have a Yamaha XT600, but had a KLR 650, awesome bike. Like the liquid cooling, handled great (better suspension than my Yamaha). I saw somewhere they are even making a KLR with a Desiel engine for NATO and military operations. They had a news thing on motorcyclecruiser.com.
 

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DR650

...figured I might add my two cents...I have owned one of the DR650 Suzukis and have had friends with Honda and Kawasaki bikes, I have ridden them all. The Kawi is a great bike, but quite a bit heavier than the Honda or Suzi,,,but a bit more stable on the highway, harder to handle in the dirt..it is more of road suspension than the others. The Honda is the most dirt capable (stock) than the other two but is realy bad on the highway. I chose the DR . I modified the suspension with Progressives all the way around, re-jetted the carb, modifed the air box and filter, changed to a Supertrapp ISDE2 pipe and dropped the front cog one tooth. I swicthed the tires later to Kendas (one size larger both front and rear) changed out the brake lines to braided and went later with a gel seat (one that customizing bug bites......) ANYWAY, what I ended up with was a very fast Dual Sport thatwas quite capable in the dirt and much better on the highway (top speed was about 70-75) and a bike that was extremely reliable....and comfortable to ride most of the day (Dual Sport, remeber?)
 
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