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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #46  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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Bought the Dakar

Thanks everyone (especially Taco) for your input. I decided to sell the DRZ and go with the Dakar, and I'm happy I did. I put about 800 miles on the thing the last two days and I would have been hard-pressed to do that on th DRZ. That's not how I wan to do this trip, but it's nice to be able to :-)

Haven't taken it off road too much yet, but it's obviously bigger and heavier than the DRZ, so I anticipate it being much different. If you're interested, I got an '02, came with BMW cases (POS), and some TT bling. I have done some work on it since I got it. Here's a pic after mods and paint

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  #47  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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Noice......

Amazing how much more clearance that TT centre stand over the SW Motech one. Makes me feel like I've got the wrong one. Than again, it's good at surviving rocks flying at it.
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  #48  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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The stand is almost TOO high, takes quite an effort to get it up on the stand when loaded. But makes working on the bike very easy, so not complaining.

Here's a pic of us getting stranded in a small town in colorado yesterday in a major snowstorm. My bro rode from California on his 800, we met in southern colorado, and 40 miles before Denver (where we were headed) we got absolutely blinded by fog and snow, could barely see my instrument cluster. Was sure we were gonna get run over by a semi, so we got off the highway and found some random small town with ONE pub. They took us in, got us food, and stored our bikes for us til the snow melts (a few days). A friend came and drove us the rest of the way.


The bike handled well in the snow on TKC80's. The BMW cases actually were waterproof, heated grips (wired on Pro taper bars with acerbis guards) were nice. Bike handles nice on highway, and on dirt/gravel roads is a dream. It sits significantly higher than my brother's 800 (with lower seat). And my bike really is buffetted by wind way more than the 800. I'm thinking it's the weight difference.

Here's a 'before' pic. I had a friend paint it in exchange for photography. The skid plate is coated with truck bedliner, and the fairing panels are painted, then sealed with something called 'clear bra' which is supposed to be the most durable stuff out there, no scratching or dinging.

Oh yeah, the bike runs smoother, and shifts smoother running 20W50 oil as opposed to 10w40. No problems starting or anything, even in the cold. I like running heavier oil, makes me feel like I'm protecting the bike better.

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  #49  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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If you have early type of front forks then keep your eye on axle mounts. There have been some cases of mounts breaking off the tubes during riding. See this for more info.
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  #50  
Old 18 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
If you have early type of front forks then keep your eye on axle mounts. There have been some cases of mounts breaking off the tubes during riding. See this for more info.
I have the old style ones, and am aware of the issue, thanks, will inspect there regularly...
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  #51  
Old 19 Apr 2009
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Clean looking Dakar! I rode both bikes: did rtw on the DRZ, and spent a week on the 650. Both are fine machines, and as many pointed out, the 650 is not as off-roadable. The DRZ400 - with aluminum handle bars and a 41T rear sprocket, vibes were a non-issue, could go 70mph all day long, did a few 600 mile days. Having said that, you won't see a whole lot at that pace. If you intend to ride mostly on tarmac, the 650 is better. For anyone using the DRZ for long distance: red Loctite on the countershaft sprocket helps! (don't ask me how I know). Perhaps another advantage of the DRZ is that your tires will last longer, since its a lighter bike (I put 12k on Avon Distanzias and there was still some meat left when I replaced them - they could have lasted probably around 15k). Quite frankly, I think you cannot go wrong with either bike! Have fun!
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  #52  
Old 19 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveldog View Post
For anyone using the DRZ for long distance: red Loctite on the countershaft sprocket helps! (don't ask me how I know).
What exactly happened to your bike? Did you use lock washer there as required (and new one each time you change sprocket, otherwise if may come loose)? I see this loctite fix is common in TT forum but so far I'm not understanding why it is needed unless you have ruined splines of your shaft by using some poorly made out of tolerance sprockets that have too loose fit.
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  #53  
Old 8 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffnova View Post
Thanks for all the responses. Definitely food for thought... I think I'm leaning toward the DRZ at the moment (though I'm going to look at a dakar tomorrow).

The reason is that I already have it, know it, and know how to work on it. Plus, by taking what I have, I can save the money I'd spend on the dakar, and use it for the trip. I've done all the fixes and upgrades to make it adventure-worthy (Loctite Fixes, MCCT, Main Nut Fix, etc.) I've added case protection and bash guards and rad guards.

Really, the only drawback I see is comfort. Ouch. I DO have the corbin saddle, which is more comfortable and wider (and lower) than the stock saddle. Any input from anyone on what specifically makes the bike uncomfortable? I added a windscreen to keep the wind off my chest on road.

I have the FCR carb and FMF full system Q pipe, so going 65/70mph isn't really a problem. I've done 350 mile days, mostly on highway. I could do more, as long as I could take breaks. I also am deciding between the IMS 4 gal (17l) and Clarke 3.9 gal tanks. I think I'm going to go with the IMS because it carries the fuel lower, and provides better radiator protection.

As for WHAT we'll be doing. Well, we say we want to do 'a lot' of 'off road', and those are good observations about what 'off road' is. We are seeking to do as much difficult 4x4 track as we can. Like you showed in the pic. Of course we will be doing highways sometimes, but we are planning our route around smaller roads.

I know the dakar can handle it, i'm just not convinced that the gain in comfort is worth the extra cash, when I could use that cash to travel farther/longer, and possibly buy a new camera :-)

Here's a pic of the bike (before new headpipe and heatshield)
Which front screen do you have on that and how effective is it?
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