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Dual Sport Anarchy


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#1 frank7004

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:39 PM

I just bought a KTM 2013 500 EXC.  What a bike!  I'm still breaking it in, so I haven't been able to really let it breath yet.  I live in an area with a million miles of forest service roads and single track right out my back door, so this is the perfect bike for around here.  Anyone else ride a dual sport?  I would like to hear some of the upgrades anyone has done to their bike.  I've already upgraded the hand guards, radiator guards, and put a skid plate on.



#2 czo79

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 05:36 PM

Nice, I'm hopefully in the market for Kawasaki KLR650 in a month or so... very excited!



#3 frank7004

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:05 PM

My buddy ran down and bought a Susuki DRZ 400 after I got mine.  It is a nice bike, but the KLR is better.  The 650 is a monster of an engine.



#4 mikewof

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

I've had the Yamaha DT-175 (2 stroke, so pokey until it finds the power band, then it runs like a raped ape), also a chicken fighter of CX-185, but a 200, that one was a solid bike, even torque curve, easy to fix with things I find on the tatrail or road. I had a bigger 750, but those big dual sports aren't really useable for much more than fire roads unless you're a great big guy.

Next bike is probably going to be the used KTM with a Baja kit, the KTM has a lot of performance for the size and a really "throwable" dirt bike can't go much bigger than 250 or so for my size. I finally live in a state that allows Baja Kits to make street legal enduros so I want to do that once I can get an old ktm.

As for dual-sports in general, I rode street bikes for about 15 years before finding the gospel of enduro/dual sport. I'll never go back to street, it just bores me now, just an open air version of driving a car in comparison.

One thing I liked on the Chicken Fighter was the kick and electric start. On the trail (especially in the rocks) the button start made all the difference because I couldn't always get one-footed ground to kick it over after a dump. But the kick was welcome for when I trashed the battery. It seems that newer dual-sports are shitcanning the kick to save weight.

It also seems that there are two kinds of dual sports, the street bikes that can handle fire trails like the BMW, KLR650. And there are dirt bike made street legal. I like those kind better.

#5 frank7004

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:48 PM

I've had the Yamaha DT-175 (2 stroke, so pokey until it finds the power band, then it runs like a raped ape), also a chicken fighter of CX-185, but a 200, that one was a solid bike, even torque curve, easy to fix with things I find on the tatrail or road. I had a bigger 750, but those big dual sports aren't really useable for much more than fire roads unless you're a great big guy.

Next bike is probably going to be the used KTM with a Baja kit, the KTM has a lot of performance for the size and a really "throwable" dirt bike can't go much bigger than 250 or so for my size. I finally live in a state that allows Baja Kits to make street legal enduros so I want to do that once I can get an old ktm.

As for dual-sports in general, I rode street bikes for about 15 years before finding the gospel of enduro/dual sport. I'll never go back to street, it just bores me now, just an open air version of driving a car in comparison.

One thing I liked on the Chicken Fighter was the kick and electric start. On the trail (especially in the rocks) the button start made all the difference because I couldn't always get one-footed ground to kick it over after a dump. But the kick was welcome for when I trashed the battery. It seems that newer dual-sports are shitcanning the kick to save weight.

It also seems that there are two kinds of dual sports, the street bikes that can handle fire trails like the BMW, KLR650. And there are dirt bike made street legal. I like those kind better.

Yes, the KTM is a real dirt bike that just happens to have a license plate.  It still has the kick starter too and weighs 100+ pounds less than other brands.  But, you have to pay a lot more than other brands = worth every penny.  I won't out grow this thing anytime soon.



#6 mikewof

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

The KTM is an insanely capable bike. My typical experience back when was riding with folks and the one guy with the KTM seemed to be able to handle conditions with less stress than everyone around him, it's that rare thing that seems to actually make a better rider.

The only thing I would suggest with any liquid cooled dirt bike is that those little ABS radiator guards aren't good enough, most decent branches will punch right through those. A decent aluminum guard is only a little bit more.

http://www.slavensra...designs-for-ktm

Also, from what I've seen, if you ride hard and plan to keep your bike, a KTM is a less expensive bike than the Japanese bikes. You'll put that bike into rocks and wood that will break some expensive parts on the Japanese bikes but the KTM just shrugs it off. Those Japanese parts are more expensive than Austrian parts, but non-professional KTM riders can go years without buying any parts at all.

#7 mikewof

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

one more ...

Yes, they look stupid,, but the front hub guard will eventually save your rotor

http://shop.ktm.com/...sc-guard-1.html

http://www.powerspor...htm?Click=35177

I used the rotor guard for a year and never needed it so I finally took it off. The next time I rode I banged up the disc with a rock. From then on I could feel the divot.

#8 mikewof

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:38 PM

External front bar emergency tank ...

http://justgastanks....roducts_id=3650

That thing would have saved me a couple times back in Alabama when I went in too far and didn't have enough fuel to get back out. It's easy to go through a whole tank of fuel in the back country. Pushing a bike even a few miles though the same trail you rode in on is existential agony, but swapping a stock tank for one of those giant KLR Tupperware tanks is an indignity that a KTM doesn't deserve.

#9 bmiller

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:26 PM

I would love to get a KTM EXC 350, but that $9K is a bit much right now.

 

So in the meantime my little Suzuki DR200 will have to do.

 

IMG_3469-XL.jpg



#10 mikewof

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:35 PM

I would love to get a KTM EXC 350, but that $9K is a bit much right now.
 
So in the meantime my little Suzuki DR200 will have to do.
 
IMG_3469-XL.jpg


Do you have many technical trails near you to ride that?

Back in Alabama I could pretty much ride anywhere I had the nuts to ride. But here in Colorado it seems so much rideable land is designated open space, Forest Service, National Park, private, cycle only, horse only, etc..

#11 bmiller

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:53 PM

Depends what you deem technical. We do have some very technical routes by anybodies standard though. I stick to relatively mild routes.



#12 Matno Beatno

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

Damn.

 

I thought this was a thread about people who sail and golf.

 

I stink appropriately at both but was looking for people in the same....boat.

 

 



#13 LakeBoy

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:19 AM

sailing and golf?

 

I figured it was about hookers AND blow!



#14 jocal505

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

I started with a DT175, then an RM250, then a KLR 650, and became concerned about getting a hernia while frequently lifting it off the ground.  I found that it dropped to the inside a lot, tank down and top-heavy, on switchback corners.  Operator error, sure, but...

 

It would lumber >100mph on pavement but much too heavy for trails IMO.

It  threw the timing chain twice (a failed tensioner) and bent some internals--not typical for the engine.

 

This was back when most trail riders were riding two-stroke supercross-inspired rides.  Go Ricky Johnson.

Uh, many pros (and my group of hackers) found that the little bikes are faster (on both tracks and trails) and jump much farther due to weight/power ratio.

The keeper: for years I kept a CR125cc dirt bike and riding gear in my work van.  (Bike mIrrors, if any, need to come off )

 

The range on these bikes was only about 35 miles or so.  As it developed I would ride a huge circuit, could stash gas cans driving in, and pick up the empties driving out.  

 

Like sailing, I found it irresistible to go out alone, and got away from the sport for that reason.  But for a sure-thing dose of endorphines, the thrill was more consistent than both sailing and skiing (the latter because dirtbikes are more fun going uphill than any lift ride).

 

 

Around here the logging roads are perfectly graded, but the beauty of being street-legal is that it allows legal access to all forest service roads.  GPS gotta be a big plus these days, because of the regular disorientation

in the back country.

 

To conclude, seriously, I might prefer bmiller's setup, a delighful little 200cc (max 350cc) four-stroke dual purpose. 



#15 mikewof

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:50 PM

Joe, this post ^^^ is bloody glorious. Practically brought a tear to my eye. I also had a DT175, I'll try to post a photo.

You nailed the appeal of dual-sport, it's pure thrill and emotional satisfaction. You pick a trail or point on the horizon and then just fly there. It's a magic carpet with a throttle.

#16 bmiller

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:42 PM

Paddling and riding? That's dual sport.

 

IMG_3743-XL.jpg

 

IMG_3741-XL.jpg

 

Doing the car shuttle on a river trip can be pain. This will make it easier. We plan on floating the Yampa in a couple weeks.



#17 mikewof

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

Paddling and riding? That's dual sport.

 

IMG_3743-XL.jpg

 

IMG_3741-XL.jpg

 

Doing the car shuttle on a river trip can be pain. This will make it easier. We plan on floating the Yampa in a couple weeks.

 

How far North do you start? Moffat County is my favorite stomping ground. Lot of portages?

 

I don't quite get how you do this though ... you unload at the headwater, then drive the truck down to the takeout, leave it there, take the bike back up to your put-in, and then what? Do you leave the bike there unattended the whole trip and then pick it up later?



#18 bmiller

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:35 AM


 

I don't quite get how you do this though ... you unload at the headwater, then drive the truck down to the takeout, leave it there, take the bike back up to your put-in, and then what? Do you leave the bike there unattended the whole trip and then pick it up later?

Yep that's pretty much it. The bike is on the way home and it's not really a very remote location. No sense worrying about it.



#19 bmiller

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:21 AM

IMG_3484-X2.jpg



#20 JMD

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:40 AM

Nice. Where's that?

#21 bmiller

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:56 AM

South of Winfield CO, on the way to Collegiate Wilderness and Lake Ann. Three mile hike gaining 1,200 feet. Got up there and the lake was still iced over. Fished the beaver ponds down low instead. Awesome day all around.

 

IMG_3491-X2.jpg



#22 czo79

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:38 AM

KLR 650
 
Just got my first bike on tuesday!  2009 Kawasaki KLR 650.  Went with the newer bike because they are better on road and touring, and if I really want to do serious trail riding I got a dirt bike I can ride.  Anyways, wicked excited, just want for my first real decent ride today.  I just got my license two weeks ago, learned to ride the last couple months on a friends BMW g450x and a suzuki dr200 they set me up on for the MSF safety class.
- Czo

 



#23 mikewof

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:32 AM




 
Just got my first bike on tuesday!  2009 Kawasaki KLR 650.  Went with the newer bike because they are better on road and touring, and if I really want to do serious trail riding I got a dirt bike I can ride.  Anyways, wicked excited, just want for my first real decent ride today.  I just got my license two weeks ago, learned to ride the last couple months on a friends BMW g450x and a suzuki dr200 they set me up on for the MSF safety class.
- Czo
 

Congratulations, that's a trail-tested long-haul adventure bike, my boss got one of those as his first bike and loves it.

Check out this guy's ride from Canada though to South America, http://tripdown.regioncoding.com/

I once was in some dirt-shit town in Nevada eating at some dirt-shit bar in the dirt-shit town, I rode in on an old Honda 450 T, riding from Cali to NYC, and some guy pulled up on a KLR, loaded heavy with saddle bags, rack box, the extended range tank, tank bag, the map pouch on that, with rider and bike loaded with dust and body armor in that heat ... he didn't even take off his helmet, just looked around for a few seconds then took off on the long lonely road to Tonopah.

They call that bike the "Globe Killer"!

#24 czo79

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:33 PM

I'm pretty thrilled about it, I'll have to check out that website later.  A couple similar sites are what led me to get my heart set on a KLR.  I have some friends who ride big BMW GSs, but I like the price and simplicity of the KLR. 

Here's a pretty awesome video of a guy who went all over on his KLR, from the arctic circle to tierra del fuego.

https://www.youtube....e&v=85VErvTqgWc

 






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