Looking for a bike recommendation

thzp

New member
Hi, new here.

Looking to get a dual sport.

Here is my selection criteria in order of importance:

1. 25 years plus for collector plate eligibility
2. Reliability
3. Fuel efficiency
4. Off road capability

Tried to keep it simple, but I am just interested to hear of any recommendations the community may have.

I am currently looking at older DR650's...
 

bkoz

Member
A '96/97 DR650 would be a great choice. It meets your requirements and is still in production so parts are easy to get. And there is a huge aftermarket following.

I would avoid the '95 and older DR's as parts are no longer available.

A '97 and older KLR650 would also be a good choice for many of the same reasons as the DR. Not as good in the dirt.

DR350's were good bikes. I think e-start was available beginning in '96. I am not sure on parts availability but they are getting old.

If you want to maximize points 3 and 4 a Yamaha XT225 might be a good choice. It would limit your highway options.

There is also the 93 to 97 Honda XR650L. Huge seat height and and uncomfortable riding compartment IMO. They engine is not as tough as the DR or the KLR's but they are still good bikes.
 

DR_Ben

New member
How big are you?
I am 5'11" and I wouldn't want to be much shorter while riding my DR650 off-road. That said... the DR650 is awesome :)
 

thzp

New member
I am almost 6’4”… now looking at WR250R and Husqvarna… seems too difficult to find a decent dual sport that is collector plate ready. I haven’t found much

I found a couple mid 80s Honda XL, 350 and 600 I believe. Those look pretty nice any thoughts on those?
 

DR_Ben

New member
I had an '86 XL250, which was OK. But it leaked oil and the suspension sucked off-road, it was ok on-road. Since they are old-bikes, they have more maintenence to do, but it is easy work. They are a budget option, and the small ones aren't good for Hwy.
I don't think they had E-start, so kicking the 600 might be annoying, the 250 was easy to kick-start.
The 250 might be too small for you at 6'4. Do you have experience on motorbikes?

"collector plate ready" will also mean "no visual mods" as you need to submit pics to ICBC for that, right? It will be very tough to find a bike "ready" in that sense, i would think...?
 

thzp

New member
Yes it means no mods, basically factory fresh as if it just rolled off the showroom floor. I have experience but only with 250cc dirt bikes, no road going bikes. I think maybe it is too ambitious to expect taking a collector bike off-road unless I can find a mid 90s Suzuki DR
 

DR_Ben

New member
I agree that it is ambitious, not sure how much effort you are looking to expend. Could be a more work than a relatively modern bike, for sure.

At 6'4 and experienced on 250 dirt-bikes, you will find older sub-600cc dual-sports to be pretty slow/unimpressive. The XL600 or the DR650 could be purchased as old (model year) bikes, but the work to make it "factory fresh" would be easier as they are the same bike today (current model year). They are also not super-slow, but they are heavy as sin compared to a 250 dirt-bike.

I assume you want to have it "collector" status for the cheap insurance? If that is the case, maybe consider a DRZ400, won't be collector but it is the max size of engine for the cheaper (under 400cc) class of insurance. It is not as cheap as collector, but cheaper than my DR650, despite the (liquid cooled) DRZ having about the same power figures as the DR.
 

thzp

New member
I agree that it is ambitious, not sure how much effort you are looking to expend. Could be a more work than a relatively modern bike, for sure.

At 6'4 and experienced on 250 dirt-bikes, you will find older sub-600cc dual-sports to be pretty slow/unimpressive. The XL600 or the DR650 could be purchased as old (model year) bikes, but the work to make it "factory fresh" would be easier as they are the same bike today (current model year). They are also not super-slow, but they are heavy as sin compared to a 250 dirt-bike.

I assume you want to have it "collector" status for the cheap insurance? If that is the case, maybe consider a DRZ400, won't be collector but it is the max size of engine for the cheaper (under 400cc) class of insurance. It is not as cheap as collector, but cheaper than my DR650, despite the (liquid cooled) DRZ having about the same power figures as the DR.
I think I may have found a unicorn alternative… 1989-96 Yamaha DT200R? Thoughts?

What about an XT225/250 from the 90s?

Otherwise I might just get the WR250R and forget about collector.
 

DR_Ben

New member
The WR250R is way more bike than those older options.
The DT and XT will have way less power then the WR. They are good cheap bikes for slower (non-highway) stuff. Light, so relatively decent off-road. But the DT/XT don't have real dirt-bike suspension like the WR. The DT/XT are much better for shorter/smaller riders.

The WR250R is great according to reviews... I have never ridden one.
 

thzp

New member
is there an alternative to the WR250R, basically a 250cc non high maintenance road motor with dirt bike level suspension, but without electronic fuel injection?

I really like the wr250r but wish it was carbureted. I might still go with the regardless.

Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it.
 

DR_Ben

New member
The WR250R doesn't have any(?) direct competition... maybe the DRZ400 would be close to what you describe.
The DRZ is carb'd, but also 5 speed trans, not 6 and the suspension is better than a lot of dual-sport, but not nearly as good as the WR or real dirt-bikes. But the DRZ is infinitely upgrade-able... it has been around forever, so you can fix any shortcomings. Or try to find a used DRZ that has all the mods you want already done.
 

thzp

New member
DRZ seems to tick all the boxes no wonder it’s so popular. I saw a TW200 yesterday and fell in love, am I too giant for that bike?
 

Fishnbiker

Member
A '96/97 DR650 would be a great choice. It meets your requirements and is still in production so parts are easy to get. And there is a huge aftermarket following.

I would avoid the '95 and older DR's as parts are no longer available.

A '97 and older KLR650 would also be a good choice for many of the same reasons as the DR. Not as good in the dirt.

DR350's were good bikes. I think e-start was available beginning in '96. I am not sure on parts availability but they are getting old.

If you want to maximize points 3 and 4 a Yamaha XT225 might be a good choice. It would limit your highway options.

There is also the 93 to 97 Honda XR650L. Huge seat height and and uncomfortable riding compartment IMO. They engine is not as tough as the DR or the KLR's but they are still good bikes.
I have an ‘08 DR650 & can confirm its dirt worthiness. I also have a ‘97 DR350 which would qualify for collector plate if the OEM parts were re-installed. This model is still a strong runner & some 60+ lbs lighter than most 650s. It may be a bit small with dirt gearing on highway cruising, but changing the front sprocket a tooth or 2 takes less than 10 minutes. Numerous parts are the same number as the current DR650. Be sure that any bike for purchase has available all or most OEM parts. Even if broken, they can be rebuilt.
 

DR_Ben

New member
DRZ seems to tick all the boxes no wonder it’s so popular. I saw a TW200 yesterday and fell in love, am I too giant for that bike?
What is the verdict thzp, are you gonna pull the trigger on a bike?

What are you looking at now? link?
Where in BC are you located?
 

Pokitren

New member
Hi. I found several references to human height in this thread. Can you please tell me how much does a person's height affect the choice of the right model to ride in? Can't I make the seat height I want on any model? I am a beginner. I only ride a bicycle.
 

DR_Ben

New member
Hi. I found several references to human height in this thread. Can you please tell me how much does a person's height affect the choice of the right model to ride in? Can't I make the seat height I want on any model? I am a beginner. I only ride a bicycle.
No, you can't change a motorcycle's seat-hight to whatever you want.
There are ways to adjust the seat-hight, but that involves things like; a new seat, new suspension-linkage, etc.

This is rarely cheap and easy, and only results in small changes. Though sliding the forks up/down is cheap/easy, it only effects the front and not the seat-hight very much.

If you are short and new to riding you will be more comfortable on a different bike than someone who is tall and new to riding.
 

Shuswap

Member
No, you can't change a motorcycle's seat-hight to whatever you want.
There are ways to adjust the seat-hight, but that involves things like; a new seat, new suspension-linkage, etc.

This is rarely cheap and easy, and only results in small changes. Though sliding the forks up/down is cheap/easy, it only effects the front and not the seat-hight very much.

If you are short and new to riding you will be more comfortable on a different bike than someone who is tall and new to riding.
Reported seat height only tells part of the story. The width of the seat, side panel angles, etc tell more of the story. I've shaved the seats on all my wife's bikes, gaining her about 3/4" average. Takes an hour or so each time, trying to find the right spot for her, usuing a palm sander and electric turkey cutting knife(Value Village) I've also lowered the suspension, both with home brewed methods of squatting the suspension and professional lowering. Either works to some degree. She's 62YO/5-3, rides her BMW and her 350EXC-F... I'm 5-9, 66 YO and ride a very tall DRZ and it does challenge me with toe-down at some times. I live with it....simply love the bike and where it has taken me.
 
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