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Old 08-11-2018, 12:58 PM   #1
Traxx
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Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

I keep finding myself looking into a lightweight bike for dirt roads and as I learn maybe even trails. She should be able to compliment my TEX. I have my eye on a Husky TE610.
Comments questions and discuss.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Interesting. Jarrett just went through a similar exercise although I think he was more interested in a straight dirt bike.

I've considered the issues too. I bought a KLR for a first dual sport and quickly determined it was to heavy and wound up with a DRZ. I bought it so I could do things I wouldn't consider on a bigger bike. I have taken the DRZ to Mexico twice and ridden roads that I would not have taken a bike like the Tenere on, I have ridden similar roads in Arkansas including some that were at the top of my ability and again in the Big Bend area. There are likely guys out there that could take a bigger bike everywhere I've gone, but they are fewer in number than those that would ride the smaller bikes, and even the best of them would find big bikes to be fatiguing on most trails. Many of the folks you met at ice cream bikes and at the Tuesday dinner have a "big" and a "small" bike. You will often hear us discuss which bike we will take on a given trip. Some trips it's cut and dried and on others not so much.

I personally like the 610 an 630 bikes. the biggest downfall is that they are out of production and the aftermarket isn't as deep as for some other bikes. Silverbullet complements his Tenere with a 630 I believe. If I had to replace my DRZ, a 630 would have been at the top of the list for me (or the SWM clone if it ever gets imported), but I'm now beginning to consider a 701 or KTM500.

Richard Gibbons has considered, bought, modified, ridden and written about most of the bikes in this part of the market and his words are worth reading. He has been very thorough in his examination of the issues. You might dig around here for a bit to see what he has had to say. He also travels a good bit and has helped expand dual sporting in Texas.

As an example, here is a partial list of the small bikes for some of the local folks:
DRZ400 at least 3, WR250R at least 2, Honda 250L 1, Honda 650? at least 1, Husq 701 at least 1. Those are just some of the folks you would run into at Burger Box.
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Last edited by Crew Chief; 08-11-2018 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:48 PM   #3
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

believe me, you don't want a dual sport. you tend to get nasty dirty,sweaty and tired. by the end of the day all you want is a very cold drink(beer) and something to eat. the feeling is awful.
actually most people can't stand the excitement and thrills of riding a motorcycle where you shouldn't be.
Get plenty of insurance!
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Do you want to wheelie? Stay DRZ400 or larger displacement.

Do you want ultimate reliability? Get a fuel injected 250 like a CRF250L or WR250R and hope for wheelies in 2nd gear. (its not about wheelie, just the power to get over obstacles and out of tight spaces. Wheelie-ability is a good gauge)

Do you really want to learn to ride a dirt bike, well? Get a CRF150. Or any small bore medium sized play bike and learn to ride the heck out of it. 150's even in a playland as expansive as Big Bend are super rewarding!
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Duel sports rule.... Husqvara 610 or 630 .... nice bikes but few and far between..... Drz400s are the Awesome value ride or for real $$$$ Ktm Husquvara or new Crf450l.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Another reason to have one...the views. While I have certainly seen some cool scenery from the roads where I ride the bigger bikes, there are even more spectacular views to be had further back in the back country. While I could hike, ride horseback or even bicycle or four wheel into many of these areas, the dual sport motorcycle gives a very good cross section of access, and the ability to cover ground in good time. I've seen things in Mexico that I never dreamt I'd see and been as close to going back to the old west as you are likely to be able to do in this day and age.
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'14 Super Tenere
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'95 Kawasaki Concours
'01 Kawasaki KLR 650
'82 Yamaha XJ650R Seca
'74 Kawasaki H1 500


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Old 08-11-2018, 04:02 PM   #7
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Sweet, so it looks like I will be on the hunt for a new to me bike.
I might even learn to wheelie.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Jarrett just went through a similar exercise although I think he was more interested in a straight dirt bike.
I ended up on a used CRF250L (dual sport) mainly because:

- Wanted street legal from the factory so I could ride it more places than strictly dirt bikes allow
- Longer/street bike service intervals/don't have to work on it every other ride
- Didn't want to mess with carbs and the maintenance that goes with them (EFI)
- Wanted ability to go to the mountains without pulling the carb/rejetting (EFI)
- Wanted it to be able to sit a while and crank the instant I hit the button (EFI)
- Didn't want to spend too much on the first one (its one of the cheaper EFI DS bikes)
- Wanted Honda reliability/familiarity since I had two already
- It's easy for a newbie to ride/my daughter can ride it as well

I was worried the 250 wouldn't have the power for what I needed to do. So far, it has. I'm not doing anything crazy on it, if I was, maybe it wouldn't be enough.

But as it is, it let's me pop wheelies (in 1st at least), spin the back tire, putt around the single track trails at TexPlex and hit 80mph on the highway on the way home. And it's light enough to throw around in the pasture and fits in the back of my truck. Not to mention, its a fun "run to the store" bike when I don't feel like maneuvering the Africa Twin out of the garage.

I know for sure I wouldn't have enjoyed an older, carbed 650 as much as I like this thing, which is about the same price as this bike on the used market. Mainly because of the work entailed to keep older carb'ed bikes running well in all situations and how much lighter/easier/less intimidating this 250 is to ride than the big singles. I'm not scared to put a foot down and spin the back end out on it. Wouldn't do that on a bigger, more powerful bike.

It's a good compliment to my CRF1000L and riding the CRF250L in the dirt has helped improved my big bike riding skills/confidence as well. If it wasn't raining, I'd be on the trails with it right now

I think the Yamaha WR250R (250 EFI dual sport) is considered a better bike across the board from the CRF250L, but they are considerably more expensive used as well. I stuck with Honda and went the less expensive route and I'm content so far with that decision after the fact.

Honda is *supposedly* releasing a CRF450L next month. They say its a much more serious bike than the 250L for going off road. I don't know that I really need anything more serious in reality. If it's like the 250L in terms of service intervals, I might check it out sometime. It will be lighter AND more powerful than the 250L.

Bear in mind, I'm a newbie. This is my first "dirt" bike. These other guys actually know what they are talking about when it comes to what serious off road riders need from a bike.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:48 PM   #9
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Well Jarrett you hit on a good many of the points that I was looking at.
I want to ride the bike not work on it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:38 PM   #10
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

What is a duel sport bike? Is that for knights to joust on?
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:40 PM   #11
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

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Originally Posted by 07_919 View Post
What is a duel sport bike? Is that for knights to joust on?
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:44 PM   #12
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Re: Talk me into or out of a proper duel sport bike

Not exactly knights , but ok.
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