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Thread: Another "big bike" option?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Another "big bike" option?

    As noted in another post...I am selling my DR650 due to mechanical issues.
    My wife and I are both sad to see it go as it was our "go to" bike for 2-up adventures. My 2001 TW served us well, but there's nothing like a BIG thumper to move you around...especially if you have to travel the slab for a portion of your trip!

    I got to thinking about something in the 350-400 class but I'm unsure if Yamaha (NOT getting another Suzuki) has anything in that range as Dual Sport/Enduro.

    SO what are my options?
    As I said, I don't want another Suzuki...but I would do Yamaha, Honda or even Kawasaki (NO KLR's).
    400cc is where the insurance rates change around here....so that is the biggest I would go.
    2008 TW200
    Southwest corner of BC Canada

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Here's what happened to me this year. Started with 2015 new generation KLR which didn't last long. My god what a over weight tank. Sure it was good on the road but seriously not a dirt bike in my 50 years experience.

    Sold the KLR and got 2013 DR650. Boy from the hype online one would figure it to be the best bike on the planet. Well for me it was a big POS. Problem after problem with zero reliability. Sure maybe I got the one and only bad one. But I've owned a couple V-stroms, DRZ 400's and the 650 all got sold in short order. Will NEVER buy another Suzuki. I've learned my lesson finally.

    So I'm back to Honda and a 2017 XR650L. Have owned several over the many years and NONE have given me any issues. Awesome power, great suspension and hammer like reliability. I would highly recommend one. Never made much sense to buy a 400 for the same money and size bike. Cause you can never have enough power, IMHO. Especially if your riding 2 up.
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    2017 XR650l
    2014 NC700X
    2005 ST-1300
    Wanted TW450

  3. #3
    Senior Member TeeDoubleUTwoHundred's Avatar
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    The XR650L has remained unchanged for so long for a reason. Just like the TW, they got it right, from the start. I've seen quite a few commuter XR650L's for sale in the Greater Toronto Area. Good power, capable for highway/offroad, old school suspension that works, air-cooled low maintenance engine, decent fuel mileage, lots of tire choices and available farkles. Only negatives I can think of;

    1) tall seat (37" - but lowering links are available for shorter riders)
    2) small gas tank (2.8 gallon - aftermarket has this covered)
    3) heavy (346lbs wet - but still way lighter than your typical ADV bike)
    4) looks (I personally dig the old school dirt bike/enduro vibe)

    The only unfortunate thing, they stopped selling them in Canada, after the 2017 model year. I'm seriously considering this as my next bike.

    Oh yeah, love the Honda Red too.
    Last edited by TeeDoubleUTwoHundred; 08-26-2019 at 09:39 AM.
    2017 TW200 -> Hand Guards-Chain-Foot Pegs-Skid Plate-Shifter-Grips-Mirrors-Fuel Filter-Fender-Levers

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  5. #4
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    The only issue I have is that around here (in BC) the cutoff size for bikes is 400cc.
    My DR650 is TWICE the cost of insuring any other bike I've had (previous TW, XT225, Sherpa, XT250). That is why I only insured it for 5 to 6 months of the year.
    I want to go down to the 400 class to take advantage of the lower rates...I'm due to retire in another year or two, so I'm looking to minimize the costs of this hobby...farkles are bad enough!
    2008 TW200
    Southwest corner of BC Canada

    YouTube channel: Hidden Content

  6. #5
    Senior Member TeeDoubleUTwoHundred's Avatar
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    Insurance should be according to horsepower, not displacement. That would be a more fair assessment, if you ask me.
    2017 TW200 -> Hand Guards-Chain-Foot Pegs-Skid Plate-Shifter-Grips-Mirrors-Fuel Filter-Fender-Levers

  7. #6
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Here's what happened to me this year. Started with 2015 new generation KLR which didn't last long. My god what a over weight tank. Sure it was good on the road but seriously not a dirt bike in my 50 years experience.

    Sold the KLR and got 2013 DR650. Boy from the hype online one would figure it to be the best bike on the planet. Well for me it was a big POS. Problem after problem with zero reliability. Sure maybe I got the one and only bad one. But I've owned a couple V-stroms, DRZ 400's and the 650 all got sold in short order. Will NEVER buy another Suzuki. I've learned my lesson finally.

    So I'm back to Honda and a 2017 XR650L. Have owned several over the many years and NONE have given me any issues. Awesome power, great suspension and hammer like reliability. I would highly recommend one. Never made much sense to buy a 400 for the same money and size bike. Cause you can never have enough power, IMHO. Especially if your riding 2 up.
    I also looked at the KLR back when I was shopping for a "bigger" bike and heard the same stories regarding weight and off-road "performance".
    Oddly enough, the DR came back with mostly glowing reviews and just a couple of caveats in regards to the NSU and 3rd gear issue.
    It's a classic case of "If I knew THEN what I know now"...I probably would NOT have bought it in the first place.
    One fellow (on another forum) said it best when he said that he would buy a bike with a KNOWN defect (and he listed a few ie: top-end rebuilds, valve jobs etc.) but he hated owning the DR because there were so many random flaws with the model, that would show up out of nowhere....suddenly, everyone was having the same problem!
    If it isn't NSU screws or primary drive nuts that loosen on their own, it's circlips that are made of candy, or chain rollers that rip out part of your frame.

    I was aware of MOST of these flaws at the onset, and I did my best to mitigate...I removed the chain roller, I safety-wired the NSU screws...I even replaced the stock carb with a pumper! But there's nothing you can do about a transmission circlip that decides to fall apart one day, despite your best efforts and fastidious maintenance.
    Don't get me wrong...when she ran well, she was a GREAT bike, but this latest incident has me re-thinking the whole reliability and trustworthiness of this model.
    I too, will never purchase another Suzuki.

    The only issue I would have with the XR400 is the kick start....
    Last edited by TW_in_BC; 08-26-2019 at 09:52 AM.
    2008 TW200
    Southwest corner of BC Canada

    YouTube channel: Hidden Content

  8. #7
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDoubleUTwoHundred View Post
    Insurance should be according to horsepower, not displacement. That would be a more fair assessment, if you ask me.
    Welcome to my world and the nightmare that is ICBC....
    2008 TW200
    Southwest corner of BC Canada

    YouTube channel: Hidden Content

  9. #8
    Senior Member TeeDoubleUTwoHundred's Avatar
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    ICBC is the provincially run government insurance scam, i mean, corporation. Ya, I had to deal with those idiots when I lived in B.C. ~ 20 years ago. It was crazy expensive then (truck insurance), it must be outrageous by now.
    2017 TW200 -> Hand Guards-Chain-Foot Pegs-Skid Plate-Shifter-Grips-Mirrors-Fuel Filter-Fender-Levers

  10. #9
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with ICBC...aside from incompetent drivers and fraudsters, is that every Government has used the PROFITS as their Party's ATM...constantly robbing dividends that should have been returned to the users, in the form of lower rates.
    They are talking about some *serious* rate-changes this year to penalize bad drivers and reward the good ones...we'll see how that plays out. The problem as I see it is that if you make it unaffordable, people won't change their ways and/or ride bicycles to work...they'll just drive without insurance, which means that the rest of us have to pony up (again) for UNDER-INSURED Motorist Protection....

    BASIC insurance for my TW was $272 for 6 months....that doesn't include any collision, theft, fire, vandalism etc...just basic liability.
    Double that for the DR650....for six months...same "coverage".
    Last edited by TW_in_BC; 08-26-2019 at 10:59 AM.
    2008 TW200
    Southwest corner of BC Canada

    YouTube channel: Hidden Content

  11. #10
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Geez that's a rip off for those insurance rates. Mine is only 75 bucks a year for basic liability so I'm road legal. This one time size doesn't matter. I do have full coverage on the ST-1300 and that's only $160 a year.
    2017 XR650l
    2014 NC700X
    2005 ST-1300
    Wanted TW450

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