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Discussion Starter #1
I am flirting with buying another on/off road bike. I am interested in something that will be more comfortable (at 60 mph) on road, but can still ride on Forest Service roads, gravel roads, etc. I still want something fairly easy to manage off-road with about 70% off-road. I have narrowed it down to three bikes (in order of my current preference):

Husqvarna 650 Terra
BMW 650 GS Sertao (love the looks of this bike but not sure how capable it really is off-road)
KTM 690 Enduro R

I appreciate any input or experience on these or any other 500-700cc dual sport bikes.

Thanks again

Explorer
 

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Beta makes some very good dirt oriented dual sport bikes. The Husky and BMW are more Adventure than Dual Sport. It all depends on your intended riding goals and destinations. If you really want good dual sport experiences you might want to avoid all the Adventure Tour bikes.
Maybe to keep weight down I would consider Beta 520RS or KTM 500EXC, both around 260 lbs stock, six speed, about 50 hp and $10,000 for good dual sport candidates.
The 690 is a bit over 300lbs.
The 400+ lb Adventure tourers are cheaper and would make better commuters though.
 

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I recently sold an Aprilia RXV 4.5. That was 268 lbs or so and 50-55 HP in a V-twin. The V really helped smooth it out. If you can find one used, the prices are pretty reasonable and the build quality and component quality are both very high. They don't like to start in cold weather, though. I used 0w-60 oil in the winter and that helped, but the battery is small. Down to freezing or high 20's I could start all right, but colder than that was no go. A bigger/better battery would have done it.

A lot of the parts that someone might want aftermarket parts for are compatible with Honda bikes, so Parts for Hondas drop in (foot pegs, clutch, heads, and I have no idea what else).

Matthew
 

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KTM has a 390 which is made in India, coming late this year to US. While a "naked bike" and produced by the KTM partnership with it's 47% Indian owners, I think this might just be a really viable dual sport with minor mods. I like the 690, but the price is a bit more than I want for just my purposes today and nicely oriented. You could ride it a lot of places however. The 390 weighs only about 50 lbs. more(fully loaded w/fuel) than the TW.
 

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How about a 900 Triple Scrambler?

In laws are visiting and I could not get up and go to the dinner table after seeing this. Google image search for Rosie O'donnell and all is well again:rolleyes:



Tom
 

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KTM has a 390 which is made in India, coming late this year to US. While a "naked bike" and produced by the KTM partnership with it's 47% Indian owners, I think this might just be a really viable dual sport with minor mods. I like the 690, but the price is a bit more than I want for just my purposes today and nicely oriented. You could ride it a lot of places however. The 390 weighs only about 50 lbs. more(fully loaded w/fuel) than the TW.
I would love to own a KLM. If only God would have given me longer legs. 390 would be more then enough on the Black Top IMO
Of course I'm 5'7" 185 lbs. bigger stronger men bigger stronger bikes
 

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Discussion Starter #8
KTM has a 390 which is made in India, coming late this year to US. While a "naked bike" and produced by the KTM partnership with it's 47% Indian owners, I think this might just be a really viable dual sport with minor mods. I like the 690, but the price is a bit more than I want for just my purposes today and nicely oriented. You could ride it a lot of places however. The 390 weighs only about 50 lbs. more(fully loaded w/fuel) than the TW.
Interesting, I will have to dig into the 390. I was not aware of that, so thanks.

I agree with you about the price of the KTM 690 ($10,000+). But I like the 6th gear, 306lbs, 9.8 inches of front & rear travel, and air cooled engine (I plan to ride this in N. AZ, where it can hot). I have not ridden one but think the seat height (36 inches) might be an issue for me. I am a novice rider and like to be able to stabilize myself (and the bike) in loose rock with my feet. I've tried my buddy's Yamaha WR450 and it was a struggle. Maybe I am spoiled with the TUU?
 

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70% off road? KTM 500 EXC, if it's in budget. My second choice wouldn't be close.

If it was 80% on road riding I would be willing to debate and might agree with any of the above.
 

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Also, in regards to the KTM 390: no way. For one, it's not in his size range. For two, it's not going to be worth taking off road. And for three, I never, ever, ever get excited and even think about buying a new machine coming out of a new factory in a developing country. Bugs need to be ironed out and no one can see from Austria to India, so if you think quality control is going to be top notch out of the gate you are far braver (in different ways) than I am. I would give that bike 3 years before laying my own money down. (FYI, this is why I like the TW: it's proven.)
 

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70% off road? KTM 500 EXC, if it's in budget. My second choice wouldn't be close.

If it was 80% on road riding I would be willing to debate and might agree with any of the above.
Bingo! :rolleyes:

 

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Husqvarna TR650 Terra vs. Kawasaki KLR650 vs. KTM 690 Enduro R | Singles Club | Motorcyclist

*The Husqvarna is no longer produced if I'm not mistaken (I could be...).

*The Sertao isn't bad - a decent choice for an adventure bike that will do okay off road - but if you want 70 percent off road and easy handling, it's too heavy, at 432 pounds. Knobby tires we be almost a requirement if you wanted to do any serious off road on it. Good long-term dependability. Close to $10,000 total cost.

*The 690 Enduro is a fun, light (relatively) bike with gobs of horsepower. Taller seat height (but not too bad). I've read about some pretty significant reliability issues with them, though.


Suzuki DR 650: a bit heavier than the KTM but still much lighter than the BMW, lower seat height than the KTM, with several options for further lowering if you feel the need, more off-road capable and easier to ride in the dirt than the BMW, Kawasaki, or Honda, low price, easiest to maintain and most reliable of any motorcycle in its category, lots of aftermarket support.

Honda XR650L: A nice, old school bike. But it's air cooled (which can be an issue if you get into serious, lower speed off road stuff with it, or you ever have to sit in lots of traffic). It doesn't have a cush drive on the rear hub (the DR650 does, which is great for drive-train durability). It's a little top heavy. The only way I'd likely choose one over a DR would be for long-distance, high speed desert racing. And if I were doing that, I'd probably try to get an oil cooler on it (the DR650 has one of those, also...).

Kawasaki KLR 650: I don't dislike it, but it's not really an exciting choice for me personally. Kind of a cross-dressing street bike IMO. Caught in the spectrum somewhere between an adventure motorcycle and an actual dual sport. It's not horrible off road or anything, but to me it seems like there are better adventure bike options, and better dual sport options.

The sub-600 KTM's/Beta's are among the best dirt bikes you can get, but their pavement-pounding super-slabbing road-worthiness is a little iffy. The DRZ400 is a nice middle ground if you did want to think about sub 500's. It's a nice dirt bike, easy to live with, and reliable on the street. It will have no problem at all doing 65 all day every day on the highway. It may not be as smooth/stable for highway cruising as you may want, though, and won't be happy trying to do 80 mph for long stretches (even with stock gearing) if you ever want to do that.
 

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My 2 cents. A good dealer network is the deal breaker for me. If you can't get common parts without a long wait then make another choice. Got the bucks and a good well stocked KTM dealership willing to set the bike up for you? Then go for it. If not stick to the big four and be assured that if you need a new clutch cable it's either in stock or just a overnight order away.
 

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If interested, I have an immaculate 2008 Husqvarna 610TE for sale. 2500 miles on it for $4400. See Craigslist, Western Slope for more info and pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Husqvarna TR650 Terra vs. Kawasaki KLR650 vs. KTM 690 Enduro R | Singles Club | Motorcyclist

*The Husqvarna is no longer produced if I'm not mistaken (I could be...).

*The Sertao isn't bad - a decent choice for an adventure bike that will do okay off road - but if you want 70 percent off road and easy handling, it's too heavy, at 432 pounds. Knobby tires we be almost a requirement if you wanted to do any serious off road on it. Good long-term dependability. Close to $10,000 total cost.

*The 690 Enduro is a fun, light (relatively) bike with gobs of horsepower. Taller seat height (but not too bad). I've read about some pretty significant reliability issues with them, though.


Suzuki DR 650: a bit heavier than the KTM but still much lighter than the BMW, lower seat height than the KTM, with several options for further lowering if you feel the need, more off-road capable and easier to ride in the dirt than the BMW, Kawasaki, or Honda, low price, easiest to maintain and most reliable of any motorcycle in its category, lots of aftermarket support.

Honda XR650L: A nice, old school bike. But it's air cooled (which can be an issue if you get into serious, lower speed off road stuff with it, or you ever have to sit in lots of traffic). It doesn't have a cush drive on the rear hub (the DR650 does, which is great for drive-train durability). It's a little top heavy. The only way I'd likely choose one over a DR would be for long-distance, high speed desert racing. And if I were doing that, I'd probably try to get an oil cooler on it (the DR650 has one of those, also...).

Kawasaki KLR 650: I don't dislike it, but it's not really an exciting choice for me personally. Kind of a cross-dressing street bike IMO. Caught in the spectrum somewhere between an adventure motorcycle and an actual dual sport. It's not horrible off road or anything, but to me it seems like there are better adventure bike options, and better dual sport options.

The sub-600 KTM's/Beta's are among the best dirt bikes you can get, but their pavement-pounding super-slabbing road-worthiness is a little iffy. The DRZ400 is a nice middle ground if you did want to think about sub 500's. It's a nice dirt bike, easy to live with, and reliable on the street. It will have no problem at all doing 65 all day every day on the highway. It may not be as smooth/stable for highway cruising as you may want, though, and won't be happy trying to do 80 mph for long stretches (even with stock gearing) if you ever want to do that.
Thanks KJ. Great info. I also understand that the last year for the Husky 650 was '14 (odd, only in production for 2 years?). My dual-sport requirements are probably a little different than most riders. As my name implies, I like to Explore. I am not a hard core enduro rider. At 50 years of age, I am more concerned with getting home safely (and being able to ride the next day) then set a course record or do tricks. One of my hobbies is AZ archaeology (i.e. cultures of 800 AD to 1400 AD, I've discovered over 20 new ruins to date). So I really just want something that I can ride on the road (sometimes Interstate highways) comfortably (and safely) to a dirt FS road and then on the dirt road for 20-30 miles (no trails). I like to hike so I have no problem, parking the bike and hiking a couple of miles for exploring. Given that I am out in the middle of nowhere by myself (and miles from cell phone reception), reliability is a premium. I have my TUU for the rougher and closer to home stuff.

I rode (only on the road) the Sertao and found it very comfortable and liked the lower seat (33 inches I think) than is common on some of these on-off bikes. My buddy's WR450 at 37 inches feels too high for me. As mentioned, the stock Sertao tires would need to be replaced (not off-road friendly). I watched some U-tube videos and the Sertao seemed to do pretty well. Of course these riders may have been experts and been able to make anything look easy. And as you stated, over 400lbs might be challenging.

I really want to try the KTM Enduro 690 (the 309lbs is attractive) and the Suzuki DR400.

Thanks for all the great input!:D
 

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Be carefull, the grass isn't always better on the other side of the fence. I have had every sort of dual-sport and adventure tourer,and in the final analysis, SMALLER and LIGHTER has always been the most fun for me. Having gone the full circle, I am back to where I was many years ago,"smaller" ....presently a WR250R and a TW200E, are my favorite rides.
 

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No problem, Explorer. Perhaps i misunderstood what you meant by 70/30 off/on road. I took it to mean what I usually do (70 % off road bias as pertaining to the machine's attributes/qualities/capability/"natural environment"). But it seems that you meant more that you want to ideally use it off road 70 % of the time. If you just want to cruise forest service roads, then almost any motorcycle would be okay, to be honest. It's been done even with pure "crotch rockets". I would say that the Sertao will do just fine up to medium-duty off road riding (some big but not-too-technical hill climbs, smaller rocks, dry or mostly dry riverbeds, some not-too-deep sand and mud etc. at slow to moderate speeds). From the type of riding you describe, I can't imagine it ever being a problem. That being said, there's always the possibility of dropping it, and it'll be easier to pick up something that's 60 or more pounds lighter. Again though, in the situations you imagine yourself getting into with the bike, picking it up shouldn't be an issue. When weight REALLY matters is when you're by yourself and your bike ends up off the side of a hill, on an extremely steep slope, and upside-down. Or, you're halfway up a ludicrously steep, rocky hill climb, having just inadvertently wheelied the bike over backwards, and you find yourself pinned under the bike with your legs sticking up toward the top of the hill (under your bike) and your head laying toward the down-side of the hill. Been there, done that lol. It doesn't sound like you'll be getting yourself into binds like that, though. Do be aware of this: G650GS starting issues . Not trying to bash the G650 at all, just pointing out something that could be of concern. I haven't read up on those problems too much; it may not be an issue in the latest model-years, and there may be solutions readily available by now. If you could either avoid those problems in the first place (again, maybe newer models have it solved) or get them sorted out in short order, the G 650 should be a pretty reliable machine. Other than that potential source of trouble, I would say the Sertao fits the bill pretty well for the way you want to use your next bike! Almost every bike has some sort of flaw like that. That's one of the reasons I always lay so much praise on the DR650 - because it pretty much doesn't suffer from any common problems at all. The DRZ has a few but they are well-known, and easy/inexpensive preventative fixes are possible. Come to think of it though, I guess the DRZ wouldn't really work for you, having a 37 inch seat height and a seat which many consider to be not particularly comfortable. Post some pics on here of whatever you get!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No problem, Explorer. Perhaps i misunderstood what you meant by 70/30 off/on road. I took it to mean what I usually do (70 % off road bias as pertaining to the machine's attributes/qualities/capability/"natural environment"). But it seems that you meant more that you want to ideally use it off road 70 % of the time. If you just want to cruise forest service roads, then almost any motorcycle would be okay, to be honest. It's been done even with pure "crotch rockets". I would say that the Sertao will do just fine up to medium-duty off road riding (some big but not-too-technical hill climbs, smaller rocks, dry or mostly dry riverbeds, some not-too-deep sand and mud etc. at slow to moderate speeds). From the type of riding you describe, I can't imagine it ever being a problem. That being said, there's always the possibility of dropping it, and it'll be easier to pick up something that's 60 or more pounds lighter. Again though, in the situations you imagine yourself getting into with the bike, picking it up shouldn't be an issue. When weight REALLY matters is when you're by yourself and your bike ends up off the side of a hill, on an extremely steep slope, and upside-down. Or, you're halfway up a ludicrously steep, rocky hill climb, having just inadvertently wheelied the bike over backwards, and you find yourself pinned under the bike with your legs sticking up toward the top of the hill (under your bike) and your head laying toward the down-side of the hill. Been there, done that lol. It doesn't sound like you'll be getting yourself into binds like that, though. Do be aware of this: G650GS starting issues . Not trying to bash the G650 at all, just pointing out something that could be of concern. I haven't read up on those problems too much; it may not be an issue in the latest model-years, and there may be solutions readily available by now. If you could either avoid those problems in the first place (again, maybe newer models have it solved) or get them sorted out in short order, the G 650 should be a pretty reliable machine. Other than that potential source of trouble, I would say the Sertao fits the bill pretty well for the way you want to use your next bike! Almost every bike has some sort of flaw like that. That's one of the reasons I always lay so much praise on the DR650 - because it pretty much doesn't suffer from any common problems at all. The DRZ has a few but they are well-known, and easy/inexpensive preventative fixes are possible. Come to think of it though, I guess the DRZ wouldn't really work for you, having a 37 inch seat height and a seat which many consider to be not particularly comfortable. Post some pics on here of whatever you get!
Thanks again KJ. I was not very clear on my initial requirements. Based upon my Internet research, the Husky TR650 Terra looks like a nice option. I was mistaken before in that it looks like only they (and their sister bike the Strada) were only made one year (2013). Odd, looked likes a nice option with the improvements to the GS 650 motor. I am weary about a bike that was only made one year (e.g. parts, service, etc.). Given the corporate turmoil within Husky, who knows what they will be doing relative to the KTM affiliation.
 
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