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Dual-purpose/Enduro Recommendations...

figured tapping into the wealth of experience, knowledge, and opinions here would be rather fruitful...so:

i am looking for a bike to add to the stable that will enable me to do some legitimate off-road riding. it must be STREET LEGAL from the dealer as it will be plated...necessary for riding the bike on the roads to get to areas to ride. with that said, KTMs and Huskys seem to fit the bill nicely. It also seems to mean the first compromise is for a 510, 525, or 610 options for a motor that won't go bang from the road riding and of course with that means some extra weight versus the 450 options. I am ok with that as I am not the best dir trider anyways and the tires i will be using would be a compromise to boot.

so that leaves the KTM 525 EXC, Husky 510, and Husky TE610. I have ridden a Husky SM610 and liked it a lot. will be getting some saddle time on a KTM 525 within a week or so.





some things i would look to add, oil cooler for better cooling and added oil capacity, as well as, a fan for the radiator. the other thing would be a cush-drive option. not sure if that is something i can drop in or have to have a different rear wheel.

at first i was leaning towards KTM, not Husky (they are a bit less expensive and i lhave always liked the way the huskys look)

any and all input is much appreciated.

thanks in advance.

repoe3

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Old 05-24-2007, 04:45 AM
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I like the thought of a SM610 with an extra set of wheels/tires. My thinking is that it is better to get a SM, even though the suspension is geared toward the street. Plus it is easier/cheaper to find suitable off-road wheels/tires. The bottom line for me is that I just like the SM approach.
Old 05-24-2007, 05:40 AM
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Hey repoe I'm going to try my new BMW 650GS in the company of many other dual sport bikes this Sunday near Plymouth, Mass.

Maybe you can find a similar event in your area. See how the vstrom and GSs do in comparison to husky, KTM, and Jap woods bikes.

I think like most motorcycle riding its very subjective depending on rider's expectations and the rider's abilitities as they mesh with his/her's acceptance of risk.

My tires and my lack of dirt experience may be my limiting factors. But I do accept limits of traction and will play/get stung by that.

If ytou elucidate your thoughts on dirt and trails it could help those with enduro experince to advise you.

M. Glasser
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:21 AM
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Repoe,

Do you have any friends you could go do some dirt riding with?
I'd recommend rounding a couple up, ideally, one with a lighter bike (250-450) and one with a bigger one, and see if you really truly like the bigger one in the dirt.

the other problem with dual sports is the tires. If it works well on the street, in wanks in the dirt, and visa versa. Just have to figure out which is more important.


Eventually, most folks end up with a purpose built dirtbike and a truck to avoid the compromise

Still, I'd like to have a dual purpose again myself. Miss mine.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:32 AM
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It really is going to depend on how much street is in that equation. If you are riding an hour plus to good dual sport riding, then you may want to look at the TE610 or the BMW G650XCh. If you are trucking it and only using pavement as a means of connecting the dots, then the 525 wins my heart. I find the 525 to be great in single track and while I might be better on a smaller bike specifically set up for single track, the versatility of the 525 is sweet. I would run an hard terrain knobbie and just deal with replacing it every couple hundred miles. I like the Karoos, they will last 1000 miles or so and are great on the street IMHO, however they do suffer in nasty offroad conditions. There are alot of variables. On the 525 even with oil cooler and fan you are looking at changing the oil after a long weekend. And then there is the valve adjustments, which are easy enough but tedious to do regularly if youre using the bike on the street. Dave Hopkins here on PPBB can set you up right with a good set of aftermarket valves and head work to make valve adjustments less frequent and probably double to triple the longevity of the valve train.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:26 AM
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Good luck getting a 510 Husky!

The Ktm 525 is a sweet heart of a motor and is one of the few that is not sprung for supercross.I find the motor easier to use than the 450.The 525 is great in rocky crap and high speed wailing.

I'm a big husky fan and love the 510, same as a KTM 525 with more oomph up top, both bikes slighlty top heavy but jeesh they are good!!

I broke down last year and bought the WR125 for pure enduro work,it never ceases to amaze me.Everytime I look back I see a whole bunch of 525's behind me
Old 05-24-2007, 09:22 AM
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i forgot to mention i was getting a ducati hypermotard next summer...so the strictly street side of things is squared away.

firebolter has a couple trials bikes, a KTM 200 or 230 two-stroke, a KTM 525 and the Husky SM610 (which i have ridden)....hope to try out the two KTM's next weekend or so.

sounds like i am wanting a bit too much cake and eating it too.

repoe3
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:42 AM
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I don't know what your experience level is, but when you start saying you think you need extra oil capacity and a radiator fan, then red flags go up with bikes like the one's you're considering. They're basically barely street-legal dirt racing bikes with plates with very high maintenance requirements. Great for connecting trails, but not all-arounders and pretty much lousy on the street.

Unless you're already an accomplished dirt rider, I'd start out with a Kawasaki KLX250S or a DRZ400S. Both are great trail bikes, cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, ultra-reliable, and are decent street bikes. They already have the extra oil capacity, radiator fan, and rear cush drive. Starting off with a KTM 525EXC as a first dirt bike to cut your teeth on makes as much sense as a R1200S as a first street bike.

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Old 05-24-2007, 09:49 AM
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Good point Mark.

Although not as fast as the old 500 smokers these bikes are fast and don't reward you when you make a mistake.

I'm faster on my 125 because I've eliminated the dumb right hand factor.
Old 05-24-2007, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markjenn
I don't know what your experience level is, but when you start saying you think you need extra oil capacity and a radiator fan, then red flags go up with bikes like the one's you're considering. They're basically barely street-legal dirt racing bikes with plates with very high maintenance requirements. Great for connecting trails, but not all-arounders and pretty much lousy on the street.

Unless you're already an accomplished dirt rider, I'd start out with a Kawasaki KLX250S or a DRZ400S. Both are great trail bikes, cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, ultra-reliable, and are decent street bikes. They already have the extra oil capacity, radiator fan, and rear cush drive. Starting off with a KTM 525EXC as a first dirt bike to cut your teeth on makes as much sense as a R1200S as a first street bike.

- Mark
did i mention my first motorcycle, ever, was a Ducati 916

like i said, i fell like i might be wanting my cake and eating it too. worth asking for the discussion sake and see what makes sense. that said, firebolter has been using his Husky SM610 doing a similar commute with no worries. on his KTM 525 he added the oil cooler and fan, races it as well. so i am basing some ideas on stuff i have seen, not just grasping at ideas.

i am not looking to do serious off-roading. just want the option of hitting some trails, fire roads, etc. i can see myself going across baja more than i can see myself climbing a mountain goat trail...make sense?

repoe3
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:25 AM
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'with very high maintenance requirements'

that's a fact, jack. especially with these units. an oil change every other ride is a distinct possibility....that's what my 525-riding buddy does.
Even my KTM 380 2-stroke requires a diciplined, rigorous manitenance routine for me to trust it every time it gets started up. These are RACE bikes with license plates.
add that up with little offroad experience and I think the equasion calls for a DRZ400.
remember, WHEN you biff it in the dirt, those spendy husky parts are more $ and hardeer to come by.
good luck.
dirt riding will definitely make you a better road rider.
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:28 AM
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Yes Mark hit the nail right on the head. Those KTM's are not for the faint of heart , they are a race bike They have a lot of performance, but it takes a lot to get the potential out of them. I'm sure the Husky's are very similar.The DRZ 400e plated would be a good call. I have some riding budds that just love them.

DO IT IN THE DIRT!!
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by repoe3
did i mention my first motorcycle, ever, was a Ducati 916

like i said, i fell like i might be wanting my cake and eating it too. worth asking for the discussion sake and see what makes sense. that said, firebolter has been using his Husky SM610 doing a similar commute with no worries. on his KTM 525 he added the oil cooler and fan, races it as well. so i am basing some ideas on stuff i have seen, not just grasping at ideas.

i am not looking to do serious off-roading. just want the option of hitting some trails, fire roads, etc. i can see myself going across baja more than i can see myself climbing a mountain goat trail...make sense?

repoe3
If you're commited to this plan of use, then the G650XChallenge is honestly a very very good contender, it will do tight single track at a reduced pace just fine and is uber comfy when on or off the road for a true capable dual sport. It's twice the money of the Dr or KL's but same weight and fuel injected. The new G450X will be a heck of an offering as it's service intervals should not be as demanding as the KTM's, will be lighter and hopefully pack all of the punch of any of the enduro 450 singles while being fuel injected. That's however at least a year away.
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:31 AM
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Repoe,
Do you intend to chase after Firebolter at some of the enduros?

Since you get very little in the way of excersize, Some hard core off road trail riding would be just the thing to prolong your life through some physical fitness.
If you just want to dual sport, then anything with high fenders and a license plate will work.

You really need to refine your thinking about want you want to do before settling for a dual sport. I will tell you this, blasting through the woods on tight single track, will do wonders for your reflexes. It is way cool fun, and burns off more body fat than most any other hobby. While it is true that most old enduro guys may limp a little, most are in great physical shape past 60 years of age.

Of course you are welcome to come by and get my 450 EXC anytime and ride it. Based on your limited off road experience a 450 would be better than a 525 for trails.

KTM maintenance is quite easy don't be scared off by the naysayers (and you know who you are JONYRRRRR...RRR
Valve adjust takes less than 15 minutes once you learn the tricks, and oil changes are also quite simple with everything easily accessible. I know of several guys in our dirt club that have over 10K enduro racing miles on their ktm's that have never had the motors apart, just basic maintenance.


BTW Jony's DRZ400 recommendations is spot on, if you want the best spread for on road, and off road capabilities... It will do highway miles reasonably well, and I have seen a few of them win at hare scrambles and enduro events piloted by skilled riders. Lots of good used ones available to minimize your lo$$e$ after you lose interest in this activity....
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Last edited by wswartzwel; 05-24-2007 at 10:59 AM..
Old 05-24-2007, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by repoe3
i am not looking to do serious off-roading. just want the option of hitting some trails, fire roads, etc. i can see myself going across baja more than i can see myself climbing a mountain goat trail...make sense?

repoe3
You bet. But if you go down to Baja and venture into the back country, you don't see very many folks on exotics like KTM 450/525's or Huskys. Instead, you see people riding simple, robust, easily-fixable, low-maintenance, reliable-as-anvil, run on crap-gas bikes like plated XR400's, DRZ's, and Suzuki DR's, with gallon milk jugs strapped to the sides holding extra gas.

- Mark
Old 05-24-2007, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markjenn
You bet. But if you go down to Baja and venture into the back country, you don't see very many folks on exotics like KTM 450/525's or Huskys. Instead, you see people riding simple, robust, easily-fixable, low-maintenance, reliable-as-anvil, run on crap-gas bikes like plated XR400's, DRZ's, and Suzuki DR's, with gallon milk jugs strapped to the sides holding extra gas.

- Mark




Sage advice Repoe!!


But I have learned that repoe likes exotic stuff I doubt he could be seen on a XR..
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:02 AM
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I'd agree with Bill about considering a 450 instead of a 525. They both weigh the same and are only $300 apart, but the 450 is less apt to bite an inexperienced rider. I just got a 450, and the owner of the dealership (who is a top-notch guy), said it'll turn quicker, be a little smoother, and the power will come on a little slower to allow you time to compensate. I haven't ridden dirt since I was in high school, so I didn't want more than I can handle. The 525 does make more sense if your highway use is more significant. The oil change intervals are about every 300 miles, the valve adjustments every 10 hours, and are both easily mastered. There's a KTM CD you can get to show you the process. After the first two valve adjustments, I'm told they take a good set. From everything I've heard, the KTMs are just as reliable as the Japanese offerings. Don't know about the Huskies, but for me KTMs dealers were more available. If you did dip your toe in the water with a used DR-Z400S, I can't see that being a bad thing.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMW Atlanta
If you're commited to this plan of use, then the G650XChallenge is honestly a very very good contender, it will do tight single track at a reduced pace just fine and is uber comfy when on or off the road for a true capable dual sport. It's twice the money of the Dr or KL's but same weight and fuel injected. The new G450X will be a heck of an offering as it's service intervals should not be as demanding as the KTM's, will be lighter and hopefully pack all of the punch of any of the enduro 450 singles while being fuel injected. That's however at least a year away.
at first i dismissed the idea of one of these new beemers. though, admittedly, i do like the G650X Challenge. maybe a trip to a local shop to try one out is in order. though, i would like to know more about the bike with respect to servicing it myself. whats the valvetrain like in these bikes, adjustment interval, can you adjust things on your own without a computer?

the one thing i dont like is the non-adjustability of the forks. can you adjust the air shock?

repoe3
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:34 AM
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Wow,
Disagree, 525 has a way smoother powerband, the 450 has more of a hit.JMHO
Old 05-24-2007, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markjenn
You bet. But if you go down to Baja and venture into the back country, you don't see very many folks on exotics like KTM 450/525's or Huskys. Instead, you see people riding simple, robust, easily-fixable, low-maintenance, reliable-as-anvil, run on crap-gas bikes like plated XR400's, DRZ's, and Suzuki DR's, with gallon milk jugs strapped to the sides holding extra gas.

- Mark
hmm..in town around cabo san lucas and the baja california sur, there was a guy running around on an HP2, an R1150GS, and another on F650GS Dakar. figured i would be taking it easy with my selections.

thankfully, i dont have money burning a hole in my pocket and i do have chances to ride a few of the offerings in the dirt to get a feel for what i am comfortable with. without a doubt, more than just the occasional "connect-the-dots" asphault riding would be required. i wouldnt plan on doing 100 miles to get to off-road stuff, but 25 miles of street/highway would be very likely.

definitely some good points to ponder.

repoe3

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Old 05-24-2007, 11:45 AM
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