Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

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OathOfStone
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Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by OathOfStone » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:19 pm

Looking to buy a bike and maybe take on a new project.

I'd like to pick up a dual-purpose bike for commuting around town and short trips to a cabin.
I've owned Motocross bikes and a Ninja in my earlier years but never owned a dual-purpose.

I was looking at a Honda 250, 450 or maybe a Kawasaki 650.

Is a 250cc going to be really under powered? (I'm 190lbs). I'm not looking or to hammer out 1000km trips or large highway driving.

Part of the appeal of the 250 is an idea to mount a rack on the back of a 4Runner for a trip to a cabin an hour or so away (if I decide not to drive the bike there).

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:18 pm

What are your looking to do with this dual sport once you get to the cabin? What kind of off road riding are you planning on?

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by OathOfStone » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:28 am

Very light trail riding. Nothing too deep in the woods.

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by Dabster » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:43 am

If you're not going on a highway, riding all day or over 300 lbs, then a 250 should be fine. I've always owned 650s (A Kawasaki KLR0650 and a Suzuki DL650) but I got my training and passed the test on a Kawasaki 250. The 250 wasn't as cool but it was disproportionately lighter, it felt like it could go anywhere and if I couldn't ride it someplace, I could probably drag it there.

YMMV,
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by OathOfStone » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:55 am

Thanks for the insight.


I can get a 2020 Honda CRF 250 for the same price I can get a 2018 Kawasaki KLR 650. Touch decision.

One's light and can access places easier (and maybe even mount on a vehicle) but the 650 would have better range and driving comfort.

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by XaqFixx » Sat May 23, 2020 12:26 pm

For several years my '09 KLX250SF was my only transportation (I could occasionally borrow my wife's Outback) and got along fine. The maintenance cycle on the Yamaha WR250R, KLX250S/SF and Honda CRF250L is so much more forgiving than any of the 2-strokes or tuned euro bikes. They are slower and heavier but can do 80mph with a little effort. It isn't fun or comfortable to do so though.
The Honda was the heaviest, the Kawasaki the slowest, and the Yamaha the most powerful AND lightest but also the most expensive.
To improve commuting, and longer rides, I added handgaurds, PMR Enduro racks, a removable TCI windscreen, a wider/lower SeatConcepts saddle, taller handlebars, a locking storage license plate holder with a small toolkit and my insurance info, and brighter LEDs all around. You CAN re-gear for better high performance, but you sacrifice low-end torque, and I like to play in the dirt on weekends.
To improve Go I removed the snorkel, switched to a Uni filter, replaced the headers and exhaust with a lighter, more free-flowing, better sounding system (but kept the spark arrestor and inserts to not piss off my neighbors), re-jetted the carbs, and swapped in a Lithium battery for cold starts, and cut weight.
The engine needs to be rebuilt after a bad top-end job by a local dealership - IF I can get it back on the road I would really like to install a big bore kit - bringing it up to 351cc, and a larger aftermarket tank. I get range anxiety as the stock tank only gives you about 70 miles if you ride aggressively.
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TL;DR - a 250cc Dual Sport is quick and light enough to be fun and easier to maintain than a dirt bike.
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 23, 2020 3:30 pm

Not all 250s can do 80MPH or even 70MPH, especially if wind and weight are issues or the bike is an older model. A 250 is a nice light trail rider or town/ city commuter that can be very handy. Pressing it in to service to do more than it is designed for will likely not yield great results. If you are looking at highway driving for any length of time and trail riding I'd trend more towards 450.

Trail riding will favor a smaller engine/ bike vs highway riding which favors the larger engine/ bike. A lot of people like the KLR 650 because it provides solid highway performance even at long distances. But it does cost you off road performance.
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by PistolPete » Wed May 27, 2020 3:51 pm

I'm about your weight and have a fair bit of saddle time on a KLR-650, a Africa Twin, a R1200GS and a TTR-230, which is pretty similar to the 250 Yammie dual sport of years past. I've also ridden a bit on a TTR-125 that I keep around for kids. If you aren't doing 70 mph riding, I would go with a 250, hands down. You will appreciate lightness more on trails than you will appreciate comfort on the road, so long as your ride and trail use is split evenly.

To be honest, I was pretty meh about the KLR-650. Now, if it had twice the brakes and 3x the power and better suspension, it would have been the perfect bike. But it sucks at 70 and it's a heavy pig off road. If I want highway comfort and acceptable piggy-ness offroad then I'd pick the Africa Twin over the KLR, hands down. If your budget allows, fuel injection is the best. I feel like I always have a bike that is having carb issues, which may speak to having too many bikes, lol.

Good luck!
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by XaqFixx » Thu May 28, 2020 1:45 pm

PistolPete wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:51 pm
If your budget allows, fuel injection is the best. I feel like I always have a bike that is having carb issues, which may speak to having too many bikes, lol.
Man, I'd love an EFI bike. Improved efficiency, easier tunes, works well regardless of the altitude, aren't carbs, what's not to love? I've been given bikes for free simply because they needed carb work, and I can do it, just don't like it.
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by OathOfStone » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:55 pm

Went with the KLR. Got a great deal on a new one.

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Added:
-custom corbin seat
-Zero gravity double bubble windshield
-SW-Motech Crash bars
-Ram x gps mount and cell phone mount
-KLR lower dash
-NOCO genius battery charger/maintainer
-Msr 33oz emergency gas canister to rear rack.
-Not pictures tool kit reattaching to engine guard

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:47 pm

Excellent choice! Do the dohickey.

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by PistolPete » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:36 am

Excellent choice. All ZS'ers should own a KLR at least once.
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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:43 pm

OathOfStone wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:55 pm
Went with the KLR. Got a great deal on a new one.
And just to make you feel even more terrific about your choice, an article about the M103M1, the militarized diesel version of the KLR.

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/auto ... ASAKI.html

My favorite line from the article:
Shifting through the five-speed gearbox gets the M103M1 past 90 miles an hour, a speed it will hold, apparently, until the end of time.

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Re: Need help with Dual Purpose bikes.

Post by tony d tiger » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:31 pm

OathOfStone wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:55 pm
Went with the KLR. Got a great deal on a new one.

Added:
-custom corbin seat
-Zero gravity double bubble windshield
-SW-Motech Crash bars
-Ram x gps mount and cell phone mount
-KLR lower dash
-NOCO genius battery charger/maintainer
-Msr 33oz emergency gas canister to rear rack.
-Not pictures tool kit reattaching to engine guard
What color milk crate did you go with? :crazy:
Tony D Tiger

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