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Define off-road. Here in New Hampshire we have numerous Class 5 and 6 roads that can be ridden on nearly any bike including my SV650. But depending on the time of year and weather, many are impassable with anything short of a true dual-sport (KLR, XR, DR). I have friends with BMW GS and F models who have gotten themselves stuck because they bought the hype about 'adventure touring'. These giant machines are to motorcycles like Lincoln Navigators are to 4-wheelers. Yes, by definition they can go off-road, but do so at your own risk. With the price of real dual-sports being so low and the insurance being equally low, I can't understand why anyone would not own one.



I own a KLR250, SV650, and MAgna 750 and my insurance is <300 a year with full coverage on the SV and Magna.
 

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Take your VFR to Tom Ridyard (see the previous post) and have him build you a hack rig.



Put some knobbies on it, and you'll have a *****in' offroader!
 

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In fifth grade a friend and I learned how to ride a real motorcycle, as opposed to a shiftless mini-bike, on a CB550 Four owned by his older brother. When he was at work we'd drive all through the woods on that thing, having the time of our lives sliding all over the place drunk with power. After getting caught, beaten, and punished, our parents decided we could get dirt bikes. After the power of the 550 (imagine a 65 pound rider!) the YZ80's were a bummer on the street, but holy crap we were blown away at how fast we could go off road.



Off road bikes are limited on the street by their tires and their power.



Street bikes are limited off road by their weight, tires, ground clearence, gearing, suspension travel, unprotected body and trim parts, weight, weight, weight...



If you want the most verstile bike ever made buy a big displacement dual sport.
 

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Any bike can do logging roads as long as you take it easy, If you mean anything more serious than that I'd get a V Strom or KLR650 or something along those lines, I wouldn't try to modify anything else to make it dirt worthy because it's either going to cost a fortune and still not work very well, or cost a fortune and not work at all.

There's plenty of big duel purpose bikes like the afore mentioned V strom and KLR. Plus the Tiger, Capo Nord GS 1000, any of those would be cheaper and work better than trying to turn a VFR, SV650 or Concours into a dirt bike.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Go for a 5. It was such a good post it should be framed. I think it's that time of the month for your buddy. He's been a martyr this week, and is going to spend the rest of the week playing a hero by chasing off Harley riders with a broomstick to practice for his next Sturgis trip.
 

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This is a particular sore point with me. Before I bought my Honda XRL what I really wanted was the analog of, say the old Triumph and BSA street scramblers - basically street bikes but with the capability to be used comfortably on dirt roads and moderate trails. The current crop of dual sport bikes are too tall and uncomfortable to be good street bikes (by which I mean that you could take a trip on it) and the street bikes are too front end heavy and too agressive steering geometry to be comfortable on the dirt. The Beemer things are just dumb - drop that on your leg out in the field and you have a real problem.
 

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I have three motorcycles right now...just sold what was the 4th one (a superclean CBX). I like owning more than one bike, but the practical side of this situation is that it seems like I am always fixing something or at least one of the bikes needs something. Right now the Harley is up on the jack with the rear wheel removed to fix a spoke (one spoke busted; the whole set needs to be replaced; that one spoke is gonna end up costing me over $200). The TL1000S needs a new tire (again!). The Daytona doesn't need anything, but I'm sure that's a transient condition. Funny thing, that CBX was 22 years old and it had the lowest maintenance burden of any of the bikes.

I read the comments on the KLR 650 with interest; I've been thinking about getting one of those for awhile. Are they as cool to own and ride as they look?

Joe Berk

www.joeberkphotography.com (lots of bike pictures!)
 

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I've been on two trips where the pavement has run out and creeped along in the dirt on my Ducati.



I don't think Michelin designed the Pilot Sport for trail riding but I made it through unscathed.



Dollar signs were floating through my head as I thought of the cost of replacing cracked plastic.
 

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Yes. They're lots of fun. I had one for four years, and have always regretted selling it. It's true about there being lots of well-made accessories. You can pretty mich turn it into whatever you want. I actually used mine for long trips [3000 mi. on several occasions], and never had any trouble with it. Geez...now you've got me thinking about getting another one!
 

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you want a ktm adventure 950. it's only expensive to drop if you insist on having it look good. i own one and i could get by with having it as my only bike. i also own a zx7r and a gsxr 600 track bike. i think that is optimum for me. my wife has a monster, an r6, a gsxr 400 and an f650 so i have other choices too.

but if i had to own one, it would be the ktm. i would cry to see the zx leave, but i could do it.

like red green's man's prayer says. "i'm a man, i can change, if i have to, i guess."
 

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The Toad
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Gotta agree with the people advising a KLR or something similar. I've ridden various streetbikes for brief periods on dirt roads. Even the lightest 750, an 81 Ksaki, which weighed in at about 450 lbs handled at tiptoe speeds at best. you can't possibly be serious. Putting dual sport type tires on a Z750 is only asking for trouble on and off road. The handlebars are too narrow, they are waaay to heavy.



Even the 650 class dual-purps are too big and heavy for real off road fun IMHO. I just suck it up and take my dirt bike out to some place nice in my truck. I have to insure the truck anyhow and the dirtbike costs virtually nothing since it doesn't require licensing or insurance. It is a lot easier, and costs hundreds dollars less, to pick up a 250 dirt bike when you drop it than an FZ6. Don't even think about the problems from the non-existent low end torque from the inline-4 600.
 

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A friend of mine's ST4 fell over, slipped off the kick stand, and it cost him over $1,700.00 in repairs.



I could light my Yamaha dual-sport (DT2) on fire, run it over, and beat it with a baseball bat, and not incur such horrible expenses. It might even look better.



 
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