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Discussion Starter #1
Old road rat here. I've been riding, wrenching and retching since the 70s and have a soft spot for old Yamahas, BMWs and MotoGuzzis. Glad this forum is here... looks like a lot of good info and people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the greetings. I just bought an XVS650 Custom. I've been touring on my DRZ400 for the last couple of years and it's an awesome machine... no problems doing 700 mile days but it just lacks the sound and feel of a good twin that makes the ride so much more enjoyable. And I honestly have to say that mechanically the XVS650 makes more sense to me and feels more like something I rode in my youth. It's fairly light and handles well enough in twisties despite being a low cruiser, has a moderately tuned air-cooled motor that performs well yet returns descent fuel milege, has threaded valve adjusters, has a low maintenance shaft drive and most of all, has character. Basically it's a type of bike that appeals to riders who are also mechanics who love bonding with their bike via basic maintenance rituals. A few pics of my bike are in my StarBikeForum album.
 

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@nurtaeff - how do you like the Avon Cobra on your Stryker? I love the classic Avon AM series so I opted on the Cobra for my XRS650 which I should have mounted by tomorrow.


I like it. I think 240 is the right size for Stryker. Some people on Stryker forum complains about its grip in the rain, but I've never had issues with it when it rains. Also I start cornering more aggressively since it has more round profile because of the narrower rim. And I got a really good deal on it from Jake Wilson. I was choosing between Michelin Commander and Avon and decided on Avon based on reviews.


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Welcome from Houston, Texas. Ride often and safe.
 

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I always love hearing/reading about long time riders who like their V Star. I honestly have limited experience with types of motorcycles, but of the few I've rode, I just know my 950 is enjoyable.

I'm interested in the DRZ400. I am itching to get a dual sport. Either that or just any other nice tall adventure bike. I'm a tall girl, so why not?

Glad you posted in the intro section. Will check out your photo in the gallery.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
YamaMassGirl, the DRZ has been a reliable bike so far but it is supposedly plagued by a few things, none of which I've experienced. If you make the mistake of going to Thumper Talk forums you'll see that people have had issues with the automatic cam chain tensioner on the earlier models and regulator/recitfiers and stators frying for no apparent reason. Mind you it seems that most of the people who own these bikes have the mechanical experience and hooligan traits of a pre-pubescent teen (just go to YouTube, type in 'DRZ400' and see the majority of the videos posted are people flogging their bikes) so I often wonder how often these issues are user related.

As for my experiences with my DRZ, it's a wonderfully light bike with great ergos (I'm 6'3" 200lbs and with a few adjustments it fits well) a revvy motor and flickable super-moto handling. Did I mention it's a revver? The motor is very oversquare with 11.5:1 compression ratio and gearing that will have you looking for a 6th gear at highway speeds if you're not not used to revving a motor... ~6K-7K rpm on the highway.

In general as a street bike it's a compromise, it has the power of it's bigger brother the DR650 but in a lighter package however it doesn't have the simplicity of air-cooling like the 650 and it may seem high-strung for someone not used to that type of motor. I honestly would have been better off with a DR650 or KLR650 but they are pricey around here and the DRZ400 almost fell into my lap so I bought it. But if most of your riding is on fire roads, dirt trails and the like it's a wicked pissah choice ( I grew up around The Cape so I can say that).
 

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Wicked pissah choice 'eh? Haha. Awesome. I want one. I am tempted by bigger adventure bikes too. But think I would have fun on something lightweight that I could wander down some New Hampshire dirt roads on. Found myself wandering, last Fall, down dirt roads just north of me, and thinking, I really should be on a dual sport. Haha.

Thanks for sharing.

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Any kind of dual purpose motorcycle, car, machine or system is going to be a compromise. The general take on dual sport bikes is they dont do anything "well".

I can attest to this from experience. My first MC was an early '70s honda CL175. It was suppose to be a "scrambler", allowing you to ride on the street or off road. The only thing that made it a dual purpose bike is the exhaust goes up and high by the fender, instead of down by the ground. The only thing that really made it rideable off road was that it was only a 175cc bike. I use to ride it out in the everglades in Florida, on trails that were hard packed sand/dirt. I was able to get around and had a lot of fun. But in the mid '70s real dirt bikes were starting to hit their stride. Every once in a while I'd meet up with a couple guys that had real dirt bikes, and when they took off they were GONE! I could never keep up with them, or ride up the hills and trails they took, not even close.

I few years later I got a new 1978 Yamaha IT175 (Wonder Woman's Motorcycle of choice!) There was no comparison - I jumped that bike up 20 foot slopes and sailed 40 feet through the air at 45mph, and could ride like that all day long. I rode it across streams (and down creeks) with the water all the way up to the air intake, through mud, on sand beaches, and never got the bike stuck.

If you really want to go trail riding you need a trail bike. Just puttering down dirt roads is not a great experience. Most of them are gravel, and riding a MC on gravel totally sucks. I would rather be on a dirt trail through the woods anyday than flying down a gravel country road.

The one other bike issue is the tires. Off road tires on dirt bikes are excellent. Dual purpose tires suck on the pavement and they suck in the dirt.

You really need two MCs if you want a great experience in both worlds. And then you need a trailer or van to get the dirt bike to the dirt...

You could rig up a small 175 or 250 bike that would be ok to ride down dirt roads at a slow pace if you just want to putter around, and then putter around on the pavement to get back home. Anything more than that and you will be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
...My first MC was an early '70s honda CL175...
One of the bikes I used to race in the 250GP classes with WERA and AHRMA was the Honda CB/CL175. I know that wonderful little bike intimately.... designed and fabricated a HALL effect electronic ignition and a trochoid oil pump to help deal with the 14,000 rpm motors I was building with modified Hap Jones pistons, Megacycle 122-X9 cams. It did pretty well against the Ducati and Aermacchi 250s.
 
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