Need a dualsport for the dempster...
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Thread: Need a dualsport for the dempster...

  1. #1
    Registered User Array Jimmbo's Avatar
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    Need a dualsport for the dempster...

    OK so Iíve been invited by my old man and a few of his cronies to accompany him on the dempster to Inuvik this summer. Im pretty sure my R6 is not the ideal machine for this one so that means a cheap alternative must be found.

    Basic research has led me to the KLR 650 as the likely steed.
    -Im looking for some general advise on what to look for and what to avoid on the KLR.

    My budget is around $4,000.
    -Iím guessing this is the low end of what one should spend on a worthy machine that has to travel 7,600 km in 2 weeks.

    Im starting to look now so if anyone has a line on a decent KLR feel free to let me know.

    Also if people can recommend an alternative bike (Suzuki DRZ 650??) at a similar price point that would be great.

    Considering a few people have done this trip already (greenboy) any general trip advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Jamie.

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  3. #2
    Stargaze Array Stargaze's Avatar
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    last i checked 5th Gear had a couple of Suzuki DRZ's for sale.. used...

    they would do the job good too...
    Nick

  4. #3
    Ride the winds of change Array scooter's Avatar
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    Just for all the Hwy miles to be traveled I would not go smaller then a DR650.

  5. #4
    Ridin hard n dirty Array Mr.Sushi ya ha's Avatar
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    The KLR and DRZ are both great bikes...also the KLX....in the 650cc...dont forget the honda xl650....I ride with the dualsport bc group and that seems to be the bikes of choice...I ride a 650 R converted...but have seriously looking at the 250f in Yamaha and Kawi...for gravel road and jeep trails they are great!!! no prob doing hwy speeds for days on end...BUT when we get stupid which is often the 650's are a handfull...stupid being taking them where I would still hesitate taking my KTM300...but we all know how to ride and can make it...for myself being a shorty...5'10....the Honda 650 has only been trouble a few times..(not being able to get a foot down)...My ride mates are all 6'+...except for the squid...but we have trials skills so balance is our ace...

    The main thing you need beyond brand is range....its huge!! if you cant get 300 km you cant play...even with that range we carry extra fuel...An example of our rides is leaving Van...up Harrison...Lunch and fuel Boston bar...Merrit then Kamloops...thats easy 10-12 hours...then head back home Via Lilloet, Spences, lyton, hope. You get the idea....

    Visit the dualsport.com site..lots of good stuff there...but all the bikes are pretty good...good idea is to hook up with some of the folks and get some miles in first so you know your bike....

    And find out what route your dad is taking...if its mainly miles on roads get the big bore....get good tires.....my only go 1000 k if i do lots of roads....front i run a knobby and its gone in about 800...I burn 3 - 4 sets per summer...
    Remembering Bill Mclean.
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  6. #5
    Got Hammer? Array gixxstar's Avatar
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    I personally have the DR650, and would recommend any of the XR650L's, KLR650 sort of bikes. I'd say the Honda is the best off road bike, followed by the Suzuki, then the Kawasaki. A big fuel tank is handy on all of them as well as some sort of luggage rack system. They don't have enough range stock to play up north IMO, especially the Honda and Suzuki. It's the opposite of the dirt capabilities. The Honda is the worst, Suzuki middle, and the Kawi is best. You'll appreciate a way to mount your luggage to the bike. I've done big trips with a backpack and it takes its toll. I believe the Suzuki has the shortest seat height if that's an issue. I think the standard skid plate/aftermarket bars/handgaurds are a must for preventing problems on a bike you'll be tempted to test off road.

    They all have long enough legs to drone on the highway for days and love gravel roads. Mild to moderate trails are a piece of cake for any of them but they'll show their clumsy nature in greasy clay, loose gravel, roads deactivated to the point that they more resemble MX tracks. I'd suggest a few detours to keep it interesting. V-Strom is also a neat choice but I don't know where it fits in the budget and is not so much of a dual sport.

    If you run into trouble in the Houston area, I have a shop and a tire machine handy.

  7. #6
    Registered User Array Jimmbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Sushi ya ha View Post
    The KLR and DRZ are both great bikes...also the KLX....in the 650cc...dont forget the honda xl650....I ride with the dualsport bc group and that seems to be the bikes of choice...I ride a 650 R converted...but have seriously looking at the 250f in Yamaha and Kawi...for gravel road and jeep trails they are great!!! no prob doing hwy speeds for days on end...BUT when we get stupid which is often the 650's are a handfull...stupid being taking them where I would still hesitate taking my KTM300...but we all know how to ride and can make it...for myself being a shorty...5'10....the Honda 650 has only been trouble a few times..(not being able to get a foot down)...My ride mates are all 6'+...except for the squid...but we have trials skills so balance is our ace...

    The main thing you need beyond brand is range....its huge!! if you cant get 300 km you cant play...even with that range we carry extra fuel...An example of our rides is leaving Van...up Harrison...Lunch and fuel Boston bar...Merrit then Kamloops...thats easy 10-12 hours...then head back home Via Lilloet, Spences, lyton, hope. You get the idea....

    Visit the dualsport.com site..lots of good stuff there...but all the bikes are pretty good...good idea is to hook up with some of the folks and get some miles in first so you know your bike....

    And find out what route your dad is taking...if its mainly miles on roads get the big bore....get good tires.....my only go 1000 k if i do lots of roads....front i run a knobby and its gone in about 800...I burn 3 - 4 sets per summer...

    Thanks for the input, we are likely taking Hwy 97/ Alaska Hwy up and the Cassiar on the way back down. I think a lot of this is on pavement so i don't think i want anything less than a 650.

  8. #7
    Registered User Array rgm's Avatar
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  9. #8
    Registered User Array Commuter Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmbo View Post
    Thanks for the input, we are likely taking Hwy 97/ Alaska Hwy up and the Cassiar on the way back down. I think a lot of this is on pavement so i don't think i want anything less than a 650.
    I'd do it the other way, the Cassiar up and the Alcan down. You can make way better time on the Alcan if you're running behind, and you'll be fresher for the Cassiar that way. It's much more remote, rougher, and a narrower twistier road.

    I did that loop 3 times last summer, I would recommend a 650 for the highway stretches. A lightweight twin like a Kawi Versus with DS tires would be even better.

  10. #9
    Registered User Array Jimmbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commuter Boy View Post
    I'd do it the other way, the Cassiar up and the Alcan down. You can make way better time on the Alcan if you're running behind, and you'll be fresher for the Cassiar that way. It's much more remote, rougher, and a narrower twistier road.

    I did that loop 3 times last summer, I would recommend a 650 for the highway stretches. A lightweight twin like a Kawi Versus with DS tires would be even better.
    I see... I think my dad's reasoning for this was that someone had mentioned that the view on the cassiar was better headin south? (better view of the interior coastal mountains ).

    But i'll pass this on, thanks.

    Also some people have mentioned the KLX as a viable alternative, but I think it would be too limited for fuel range no?

  11. #10
    ɹǝsn pǝɹǝʇsıƃǝᴚ Array pinefresh's Avatar
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    Klr 650

    If you're interested I have a 2003 KLR 650. It's been down once and currently has a crack in the right rear signal and a quarter sized dent in the tank. Engine still runs like new. I was planning to fix those and put it on craigslist for 3500 in the summer, but if you're interested I would sell for 3100 now as is. It would be a nice bike for touring, suspension is nice and soft, and I get about 300km to a tank for mixed highway/city riding.
    Last edited by pinefresh; 01-31-2009 at 05:48 PM.

  12. #11
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    The last guy who owned my KLR was getting 450km out of a tank.....22 liters stock....37hp......sounds about right. This is highway cruising Im guessing.

    If you find a decent KLR....makes sure the Big Service was done....Valves, Cam Balancer was adjusted (most are replaced - Doohicky), has decent rubber on it.

    You'll find most used ones should come with an Aluminum skid plate, bark busters, some stupidly tall windscreen....maybe even hard bags. Lots around.

    Good luck and ride safe.

    This is my Pig

  13. #12
    Poser Emeritus Array bill's Avatar
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    Hi Jamie,

    Three of us rode to Inuvik last summer BMW 650 GS, KTM 990 and BMW 1150GS. All had aux fuel and we rode the Campbell, Dempster, & Cassier with a tire change in Whitehorse.

    We ran TKC's on all 3 bikes and decided to err on the side of caution and put on fresh tires at 4,000 kms.

    Take bug hats for roadside tire repairs Lots of LKR's on the road and they seem to be a good choice.

    Great trip, have fun
    BCSB had mountains of experience with a lot of things. #1 on that list is pouring out bullshit to dumb questions by the Gigabyte. (TripleTime, 12-10-2014 03:19 PM)

  14. #13
    Registered User Array Commuter Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmbo View Post
    I see... I think my dad's reasoning for this was that someone had mentioned that the view on the cassiar was better headin south? (better view of the interior coastal mountains ).

    Also some people have mentioned the KLX as a viable alternative, but I think it would be too limited for fuel range no?
    It never hurts to bring a spare gas can with you. I had a 4l one strapped onto the top of my Givi bag but the Bandit didn't need it on the Cassiar.

    I've done the road both ways, it's spectacular whatever way you go. Make sure you take the time to go down to Hyder, that's an amazing little detour.

    And I would highly recommend taking a quick run down to Telegraph from the turnoff at Dease Lake. Great road, good fishing, wonderful views of Mount Edziza and the Stikine Canyon and the Stikine Riversong has some great little cabins with showers in Telegraph. Really off the beaten track, and if you're particularly adventuresome you can continue down the road to the abandoned mining settlement at Glenora.

  15. #14
    Moderator Array jeckyll's Avatar
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    There are a lot of good dual sport bikes out there.

    If you're set on the KLR though there are a few sites specific to the KLR the biggest being klr650.net.

    Things to look for on a pre-2008:
    Updated pegs (and shifter depending on peg position)
    Better seat (it's damn soft & uncomfortable for serious rides)
    Real bash plate
    Progressive springs (it'll feel like a whole new bike)
    Different wind shield (the stocker doesn't keep much off you)
    Upgrades rear subframe bolts (the stockers may snap if the bike's loaded down)
    The stock brakes are weak for the road, but find when offroading
    And yes, the doohicky, though that only matters when the cam chain tentioner is actually being adjusted. Actually the spring is the most likely thing to break.

    Have a great time this summer.

  16. #15
    Registered User Array Jimmbo's Avatar
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    Thanks to the responses thus far. I appreciate all the maintenance tips and route suggestions- definitely food for thought for the next few weeks when looking for a suitable ride!

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