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· Premium Member
6,846 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New bike dilemma...

So I'm thinking about a new bike... unfortunatly it will be at the cost of the Ninja :( Basically looking at a close to near swap.


Body hitting it's limit, not very 2up friendly, wanting to tour a little, wanting to get into proper drag racing on a not street bike later on (can't afford run two bikes).

Things I'm looking for;

Must be able to hit trails, fire roads, tracks etc.
Must be comfortable for 2 with a bit of luggage (overnight).
Must still be fun to ride in the twisties.
Must be able to handle motorways at speed limit 100-110kph (65-70mph)
Most of all reliable and cheap to maintain.
Would prefer not over 200kg... I'd like to be able to pick it up :p
Will be used for some communting for work.

Horses in the race so far;

Yamaha WR250R (New)
Yamaha WR250X (New)
Yamaha XT660R (Used)
Yamaha Tenere XT660Z (V used)

Suzuki V-Strom 650 (New)
Suzuki DR650 SE (New)
Suzuki SR-Z400S (New)
suzuki DR-Z400SM (New)

Kawasaki KLR650 (New)
Kawasaki KLX250S (New)
Kawasaki KLX250SF (New)

BMW G650 GS (Used)
BMW G650 Xcountry (Used)

KTM 690 Supermoto (Used)

Opinions? Options?



· Premium Member
6,846 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Yamaha WR250R (New) - Maybe too small
Yamaha WR250X (New) - Maybe too small
Yamaha XT660R (Used) - Older model for the budget
Yamaha Tenere XT660Z (V used) - Older and high miles for the budget

Suzuki V-Strom 650 (New) - Not dirty enough, heavy
Suzuki DR650 SE (New) - Carbi
Suzuki SR-Z400S (New) - Maybe too small, carbi
suzuki DR-Z400SM (New) -Maybe too small, carbi

Kawasaki KLR650 (New) - Carbi
Kawasaki KLX250S (New) - Maybe too small
Kawasaki KLX250SF (New) - Maybe too small

BMW G650 GS (Used) - Long term costs
BMW G650 Xcountry (Used) - Long term costs

KTM 690 Supermoto (Used) - Long term costs


· Premium Member
6,846 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Yamaha WR250R (New) - Great in the dirt, light, FI
Yamaha WR250X (New) - Great fun, light, FI
Yamaha XT660R (Used) - Many features, ok in dirt
Yamaha Tenere XT660Z (V used) - Many features, good in dirt

Suzuki V-Strom 650 (New) - Comfortable for 2
Suzuki DR650 SE (New) - Good in dirt, road
Suzuki SR-Z400S (New) - More torque than 250, good in dirt
suzuki DR-Z400SM (New) - More torque than 250, good fun on road

Kawasaki KLR650 (New) - Ok in dirt, better on road
Kawasaki KLX250S (New) - Great in dirt, light
Kawasaki KLX250SF (New) - Great fun, light

BMW G650 GS (Used) - Heritage
BMW G650 Xcountry (Used) - Heritage

KTM 690 Supermoto (Used) - Ok in dirt


· Registered
1,438 Posts
I don't go off the paved road for more than just the odd gravel road.

The Versys has lots of grunt and power for city riding and commuting, great lean and flickability for twistys, I heard a rumour it will go over 200kms/hr;) so no probs on the highway or 2 up, and there is an endless supply of of options for luggage from hard cases to soft bags, tail bags, tops cases and racks etc for all budgets.

But, back to the dirty. The Versys has street tires, no doubt. And it has lots of suspension travel and a high riding position. But it also has an exposed belly (rad, horn, filter, headers) and an under slung exhaust - which is great for the track and accomodating luggage, but no good for stump jumping.

LOTS of riders take the Versys off road, but no it is not ideal for that. I'd say 85/15 road/dirt.

Just wanted to add another possible to your list. Plus, I'm a fan:D

My number one pick from your list, if you plan on getting dirty 40% of the time, the KLR 650, hands down.

Good luck working through your picks Felix.

· Registered
3,030 Posts
Horses in the race so far;

Yamaha WR250R (New) - Too small
Yamaha WR250X (New) - too small
Yamaha XT660R (Used) - BALLS (friend has one, i dont really like the ride of it.
Yamaha Tenere XT660Z (V used) - BALLS (old)

Suzuki V-Strom 650 (New) - Not bad bikes, great for doing long distance.
Suzuki DR650 SE (New) - Meh
Suzuki SR-Z400S (New) - Wicked
suzuki DR-Z400SM (New) - BEAUTIFUL

Kawasaki KLR650 (New) - BALLS
Kawasaki KLX250S (New) - BALLS
Kawasaki KLX250SF (New) -BALLS

BMW G650 GS (Used) - Great bikes although higher running costs
BMW G650 Xcountry (Used) - probs the 2nd best bike here apart from the one above

KTM 690 Supermoto (Used)-ORANGE

· Registered
5,699 Posts
erm, for 2 up, I wouldn't go smaller than 450.... In all honesty, you will have to choose between 2up comfort/distance touring, and dirty. No way around it. You wanna do anything more than a fire road, like a proper trail, you probably don't want to go bigger than 450, and specifically dirt oriented, and that sabotages 2 up comfort/distance touring....

If I were you, for the price of that ninja, I'd get an old beat up 250 dirt tracker for you and your mates wanting to bomb around trails, and a used v-strom/versys type thing for you and the missus... I know you said you can't run 2 bikes, but that's because you're a snob who wants new for some silly excuse about reliability/ service, etc.... Just man up, go cheap, and wrench on your own crap.... :p

I also just had an idea: Get an older BMW R bike for road touring (and they handle fire roads - little dirty just fine), and a 250 something for the trails, that would be like $4-5K here, not sure about AU...

· Registered
2,054 Posts
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a SNOB !! :) I prefer to call it elitist.
Spooph is right about the weight thing. If you go dual, then under 650. and TEST ride it with the passenger.

Sounds like you have two applications going,
You can get a dirt bike pretty cheap , Heck TR has that goofy 100 and is keeping up with the big boys on most dirt trails, Cause he has them hands down on technique and level headiness. Something to say about being older and still riding ! He has been having a blast on that thing.

TR will sell you his 650,, too bad you are so far away.:(

The thing weighs so much ugh. But you are a little taller then him if I remember. So might be perfect.
He should be back today and on line so maybe he will comment.

· Premium Member
6,846 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really can't afford to run two bikes, its the rego and insurance. I mean you are looking at $2000+ a year plus servicing.

KLR650 and DR650 are stand outs currently. Price, size, weight, two-upness, dirty ability, highway ability, sensible rubber and I can still play on the twisties.

Weight wise the KLR is heavier than the DR, I had no problems riding TR's KLR, it is quite tall, but I'm taller :D

When looking at JUST one bike, it is about trade offs, no one bike can do EVERYTHING to a great standard. Where you lose points in one area you make them up in another.

The other issue is, any good trails are miles from here, so that would mean road riding a dirt bike, or trailering/trucking it there. I think for now, and the amount and type of trails I'll be looking at going on something like the KLR or DR would be good.

I am a snob, I do like new vehicles, for more than just reliability... Plus I'd be keeping this one for a while I foresee :|

Something that puts me off the KLR compared to this (above) is the plastics, first time it goes down (and it will) that would be cracked plastics :(

This one has a accessory package installed, which is a TwoBrothers exhaust, bashplate, bars, bark busters, rear rack... Only things I would consider doing would be windscreen, luggage and safari fuel tank.



· The Man, The Mystery, The Itch.
4,855 Posts
Bar none, I think this bike is the perfect choice, anything else would have been wrong and somewhat retarded. Not only is this bike perfect, but it exceeds anything I could've, or would have picked out myself.

I for one am stoked to see you grow as a biker, and as a human being. I'm here for you Felix. I'm proud of you, you have my support and my blessings :p

· Registered
254 Posts
Well as i was told to get here and comment i will.

there are only two possible choices and i see you have made the one that suits you from those 2.

Heres a quote from me on another forum.

Well the DR stole me away from the wee strom for a bit but tday i mounted the Forkbrace and had the Up n Backs in place so it was time for a spin.

Wooooooooo hooooooooooooo

Between those 2 mods the bike has changed for the better, i loved this bike before but now its an obsession.

the ride position is much more comfy and that fork brace just holds the front so firm, it added 20kmhr to the corners.

Scary lookin at the clock and its $1.40.

Very happy.
Now i think that the DL is a beast of a machine and it is capable in everything that you wanted on your list,,,,,,,,,,But i feel it is too heavy and has to much plastic to take fully sick in the bush, many do but they have repair money.

The DR well i have done 2 mods (raise needle, grind header weld) and this bike has improved. Next mod is a smaller front sprocket as she is a bit high ratio in the bush. In its stock form DR's are a beast.

The only down side i can see in this bike for me is that the seat is a bit tiny (like a friggin G string). there are other types of seats but i wont bother as i can get on the armchair (DL) for longer rides.

All in all i think the DR650 and you doing some mods would be a great bike for you, it will pick the front wheel ;D.

I am lucky i have the best of both worlds, the hot little chick (DR650) and the ole girl always cosy (DL650)

Well thats my 10 cents worth, im all outa dribble.:eek:

· Registered
157 Posts
Just returned from a desert-based poker run in the eastern part of our state and am happy to report my little KX held it's own against bikes four times it's size in certain sections. Also got to see just about every kind of dirt and dual sport model in action on a 30 mile-plus course. However, not one KLR 650. Any that were there stuck to the dual sport ride and avoided the dirt-only course. That said, there was a brave soul who rode a BMW GS 1200, which considering one downhill in particular, was incredible. Back to your dilemma. I agree with ya, the KLR is too heavy and too much plastic. IF . . . Money were not an object, I might suggest the BMW GS 800 or maybe the new Triumph Tiger 800. But 10 to 12 thousand dollars is a big step. Coming back down to earth, I would go with the DR 400.The 650 might be better for doing the two-up but the 400 can rock off-road ! And there are tons of aftermarket goodies made for it. The 250's make good off-road explorers, but not so good for long highway rides. Around here, KTM 450's and 530's make up the bulk of what people ride. But mostly off-road ( even when street-legal ) and never two-up. And a new one is not cheap. Fortunately you're already aware that you are going in two different directions. With that knowledge you should be able to adapt, no matter what your choice. Good luck !
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