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 Buying a used bike - is this a good deal?
 Used Dual Sport Bikes
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  11:34 AM Follow poster on Twitter                      Like
Since RayG brought me to this particular part of the forum, I thought I'd put out some feelers...

I'm considering trading my '91 Kawasaki EX500 (Ninja) for a dual-sport. Any particular drawbacks I should be aware of with particular models? I'm leaning towards the KLR650 or Suzuki DR650/DRZ400.

I'm not a big fan of the looks of the V-Strom and KTM & Husqy are pretty much out of my price range.

I'd appreciate any advice for/against particular machines other than "It's a Honda, you can't kill it" or similar...not that I would expect that from the members here.

rkfire
Advanced Member
1713 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  12:39 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
The Japanese singles of all brands have a pretty good reputation, but, if you plan on doing highway miles much, they all can be a little tiring with those big single cylinders thumping away. They really run out of steam at that rpm too.

I think a better choice for all around duty might be a twin. You've got the V-stroms, but Kawasaki Versys which I think is dropped from the lineup now, BMW GS650-800's twins, Triumph has the 800 adventure triple which got to be smooth. Check out used versions.

Naturally, if you plan on more of the actual offroad stuff, the lighter singles are the better choice.

Scott will be here shortly with some first hand observations.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6914 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  2:20 PM
quote:
Originally posted by rkfire

Scott will be here shortly with some first hand observations.

You got that right.

All of the larger Japanese dual sports are good choices. Each particular model has a few known issues and you'll likely need to go to a model-specific forum to find the details though. You can find one for each model at thumpertalk.com.

The DR-Z400S and KLR650 are water cooled - the DR650 and XR650L are air cooled. Theoretically you can get more power from a water pooled motor, but I haven't seen that from the Kawasaki. The DR-Z400S and XR650L are better for dirt riding with more suspension travel and a little bit better weight.

If you plan to stay strictly on pavement, then consider the advice about the twins designed as adventure bikes. If you hope to get off road once in a while, go with the lighter singles.

You should be able to find good used dual sports under $3000 and maybe even under $2000 in some cases. Some bikes haven't changed much over the years - the XR650L in particular is virtually unchanged since 1994 - 20 years.

I've owned two XR650L's and prefer that over the other choices. The only known issues are electrical, with the electronic control module eventually failing due to vibrations making the connections fail. I've also had to replace the Pulse Generator on mine. Other than that, they tend to be dead reliable and easy to work on. There is a thread right now on Thumpertalk "complaining" about the bike never needing to be worked on.
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  2:55 PM
I did a ton of research regarding "Adventure" type bikes when I was shopping for a new bike, and before I made the "mistake" of riding a Triumph Sprint and falling in love.

You have to ask yourself first: "How and where am I going to ride this bike?"

If you are truly going to ride more than 30% off road and by off road I don't mean gravel and dirt roads, I mean off road trails, then one of the Thumpers Scott mentioned would be the ticket, in my opinion. For ME that would be the KLR650, as that just fits me better than the Honda or Suzuki, both ergonomically and I like the looks better.

If you are not going to be doing much off road riding, and given you are coming off a Ninja 500, I think you would be better served by some of the bikes rkfire mentioned. No knowing how much you want to spend it is hard to make a good recommendation. If I were buying an adventure type bike for primary road use right now, I would get a Triumph Tiger 800, mostly because I couldn't justify the money for a Tiger Explorer or a R1200GS. That being said, the other bikes in that list are very good as well. You should be able to find a BMW F650GS Twin (be careful because BMW used some confusing naming of the F/G bikes, but what you would look for is the de-tuned 800cc twin they called a 650)at a reasonable price point. The Kawasaki Versys is also a great bike in this range that never sold very well, so can be found very inexpensive. It, is very street oriented as compared to many of the others.

As I tell anyone who asks my opinion on what bike to consider...Go to dealers and sit on bikes! Take test rides if offered. This is especially true for the KLR / XR / DR 650s as an new one in teh showroom won't be all that different from a used one, except for condition. This is the only real way to find the right bike!

Good luck in your search!

Edited by - kacinpa on 11/11/2013 3:00 PM
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6914 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  4:00 PM
I disagree with the 30% off road number.

I ride my XR650L less than 10% of the time in the dirt, but it's still my top choice of all the bikes listed so far (nobody mentioned KTM Adventure or Multistrada 1200, fortunately). I enjoy riding it on a twisty road even when I won't see any dirt in 100 miles.

In fact, the longer I own the XR650L the more I like the bike. I've sort of "become one with the bike" when I'm on it. Probably more so than any other bike that I've ever owned. I quite like riding it around town for various errands, but I can still take it on the difficult single-track trails up in the hills and not get left too far behind by the guys on the motocross bikes.

What I don't want to do on it, though, is ride 100 miles of freeway to get somewhere like San Francisco. I didn't like doing that on my KTM a few weeks ago either, but it was quite a bit better at that than the XR would have been.

Since the older dual sports tend to hold their value, why not buy one, try it out, and if you don't like it sell it? At least then you'll know what it's like to own one. Just be warned that if you keep it for five years like I have with my Honda, you might never want to sell the thing.
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  6:36 PM Follow poster on Twitter
A little more detail...I'm not looking for a highway cruiser, I've got my Magna for that. I'm looking for a run around town, commute the 15 miles of back roads to work and make the occasional run down the right-of-way when I need to blow off some steam. I'm looking to stay under $3000 or, preferably, find someone willing to do a close to even trade for the EX. I rarely ride it so I won't really miss it. I did find a '96 KLR650 on Craigslist for $1550 but he's not interested in a trade and my better half won't go for having a third bike in the stable.

V-Strom & Versys don't really appeal to me visually and my price point pretty much rules out BMW, KTM & Triumph. Im also not looking to run 75 down the interstate so the high speed twins aren't a necessity either.

I really appreciate all of the input so far. I know I'll get useful information here.
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