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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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  #1  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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Which dual purpose bike?

I am looking for a dual purpose bike. I need it to first of all be an enduro,
but that it can also travel efficiently on the motorway for long days. On
the motorway I don’t care about asphalt capabilities, just that the bike
can keep a high march speed for hours and a full day and get me from
point A to B. I will be using the bike in two environments – enduro and
motorway. Enduro capabilities are important, asphalt are not.

I am a farmer. I use the bike on the job. I cross a bumpy field, I go in
between my trees all over the properties to see how dry the soil is and
to check the pasture or the weeds. Some times I chase escaped horses
in the river land going over fields of pebbles and going into the river
spinning and dancing a bit over the river rocks and getting the wheels
decorated with algaes and mud all over the bike.

In the weekends I go on desert roads. They curve so nicely that I cannot
help but putting the hind wheel a little bit ”out” in some curves. Some
times I get into sand but it is not much. The Honda XR 250 (year 2000)
handles it without problems. Some times I climb a hill too on a narrow
burro path in between cactuses to get on top and get a great view. That
is the most challenging thing I do and the 250 is not good enough always
(or rather it is just me) because I get off the path many times and maim
cactuses.

Then there are some times when I need to travel far. Like 1500 km in just
some days on the motorway. This is why my 250 needs an upgrade.

My Honda is perfect for all the work and weekend use. I don’t use it to it’s
full capabilites. I don't take it to it's limits. Therefore I have never fallen
with it while doing enduro for example (just fell once on the gasoline station
when starting up the engine...). I don’t do jumps or pull it on the hind wheel.
Don’t know how to do any of those things. I just use it to get from point A
to B and get the job done. It is a working horse to me.

For my next motorcycle I would like something that can do the enduro
things that I usually do. And in addition to that I would like the higher
motorway march speed.

Since I do not use the 250 to it’s full enduro capabilities then a 650 will probably
be good enough for me. I saw this video here YouTube - How To Ride A KLR650
That would be all I ask from a bike’s enduro capabilites.
I do not use my 250’s enduro capabilites as much as this.

That was Kawasaki KLR 650. I like it.

I would also consider Yamaha XT 660
Yamaha XT 660 Tenere

Honda 650 is not for sale in Chile.

The Suzuki 650 lacks water cooling. I think that is not good but I am not an expert.

Then there is BMW 800 GS. It is almost too pretty to use for me but I guess
I can get used to seeing it very dirty.

Does the Tenere have a weak fork? It just looks so long to me. Maybe the
other bikes have equally long forks just that they look different because of
the way the rest of the bikes are built.

I am inclined towards the BMW 800 GS because it should manage to keep a
march speed of 150 on the motorway. The 650s would do less.

I am inclined towards the Kawasaki KLR 650 because it is said to be an
easy fix it yourself. And it seems to be a prefered bike by many.

I am inclined towards the Tenere because it has an attractive look.

Any opinions?
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  #2  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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If I had the choice I would get the Tenere XT660Z; the KLR''s have a bad rap for reliability, as the the F800GS.
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  #3  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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Tenere! I so envy anyone that has access to them. I have 2 08 KLR's and both have been very reliable, but would trade them for a Tenere in a NY minute.
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  #4  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horses View Post
I am looking for a dual purpose bike. I need it to first of all be an enduro,
but that it can also travel efficiently on the motorway for long days. On
the motorway I don’t care about asphalt capabilities, just that the bike
can keep a high march speed for hours and a full day and get me from
point A to B. I will be using the bike in two environments – enduro and
motorway. Enduro capabilities are important, asphalt are not.
<SNIP>

My Honda is perfect for all the work and weekend use. I don’t use it to it’s
full capabilites. I don't take it to it's limits. Therefore I have never fallen
with it while doing enduro for example (just fell once on the gasoline station
when starting up the engine...). I don’t do jumps or pull it on the hind wheel.
Don’t know how to do any of those things. I just use it to get from point A
to B and get the job done. It is a working horse to me.

<SNIP>
Any opinions?

Since the Honda 250 works for you...keep it and use it for the field work.

For those times you need to go long distances on the road...use a bike like the Suzuki V-Strom...it can handle a bit of off-road but it does very well on the road.

There is no bike that does both dirt and street well. Don't believe the hype. You need two bikes...and that's ok.
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  #5  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
There is no bike that does both dirt and street well. Don't believe the hype. You need two bikes...and that's ok.
I thought about having two also but it seemed like an excess.

I do realise that the optimal thing would be to have two bikes.
I would still like to try and end up with just one though.

I guess I should try the others and see how they handle themselves for me.
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  #6  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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The KLR/800GS and yes, even the Tenere are all big heavy bikes in comparison to your 250, both in weight and overall physical size...

Something like the DR650 or an XR650L would feel more like a 'heavy duty' version of what you already have - a big dirt-bike, rather than a lightweight all-road tourer...

Either will cruise well on the highway (comfortably 120kmh all day) if not quite as fast as the F800GS of course - and air-cooled engines are not a problem at all, in fact being simpler, there is far less to go wrong in the first place!

I imagine you can buy the DR650 and XR650L new in South America still? Alternatively if you are looking for a secondhand machine or more budget alternative, a lot of people love their Honda XR600s - kickstart only, but a bullet proof machine on or off-road?

xxx
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Old 19 Aug 2009
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I saw the BMW 650 yesterday which is like the 800. It seemed like
an unmanouverable monster compared to what I’m used to with my
250 enduro. Didn’t seem right for my job at first sight but I guess it
is about getting used to. I will keep it in mind and try it some day.

I saw the Suzuki DR-650SE some time ago. It was small enough.
Since the air cooled ones are ok then I am condsidering this one too.
It has a small gas tank but I could buy one extra large to put on
for longer treks, and I can put on a windscreen.

Honda 650 I cannot get my hands on from the store in Chile. I checked
a website for used motorcycles and could find just one Honda 600
that was very beaten. It seems there are not a lot of Hondas of
the type that I would need here in Chile.

I will keep looking, checking and trying out different models until
one day I make my decision.
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Old 19 Aug 2009
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You want what we all want. Unfortunately most manufacturers mount the 650 size motors in more road biased rigs than enduro. Exept KTM off course. In which case the 690 Enduro would suit your dirt biased. People are converting them into adventure models out of frustration of KTM not doing so.

If you want even more dirt biased, look at the Suzi DRZ400E. Very smooth and is up to riding highway speeds. Have a look on ADVrider for some converter adventure models. The E model is the goer.
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Old 21 Aug 2009
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You say I want what you all want. I see. So this is about to become my eternal quest? Like being infected by a virus?

The Suzuki DRZ 400 E is not for sale in Chile.

I really liked the KTM Enduro 690 R. It is powerful enough with it's 650 and it weighs only 138,5 kg without fuel. Not bad.

I checked the BMW 650 similar model and it was heavier.

I checked the ADVrider forum but I have a problem orienting myself there.

Right now the KTM is the one I am holding on. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 21 Aug 2009
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You said that you didn't think the Suzuki would do because it is not liquid cooled-liquid cooling is good for hot environments, but air cooling is fine if it is not overly warm, and that is one less thing to worry about mechanically. I am not biased towards the Suzuki, but it is good to have another choice, and if you are not in an extremely hot place, you probably don't need it.

The KLR's are a good bike, too, but this is advice from someone in the US, and there are plenty of Kawi dealers here to service and fix them. I don't think they are unreliable, but probably not as reliable as the comparable Suzuki 650, but that is IMO from people I know who have owned both.

Yamaha, at least here in the US, tend to be a little bit pricier, and we don't have the bigger dual sport Yamahas here, but as it is available to you in Chile, it would be in the same league as the Honda 650 (you stated not available to you ), the Suzuki DR650, and the KLR 650, but then again maybe a step above the Suzuki and the Kawi.

It is easy for us to pick a bike for you, but it really comes down to how each one fits you, rides for you, and costs you, as well as what you are willing to pay. Have fun!!
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  #11  
Old 21 Aug 2009
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Thank you.

Well, my place is rather cool for being in Chile, usually not higher than 25
degrees celcius and never exceeding 30 degrees celcius during summer. But
in other places in Chile which I thought to travel to it can get 40 degrees
celcius warm on the worst days and 30-35 is common. But I have no idea if
that requires water cooling. Would it?

Suzukis are indeed reliable. I had one as my first bike and it worked flawlessly
for all the years we had it.

I am still liking very much the KTM, even though it is probably more
expensive.

Next step will actually be trying all the models as you say. Suzuki, Yamaha,
Kawasaki and KTM. We shall see. I am going go have to find the occations
with time.
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