Off-Road motorcycles/dual sport conversions

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12/29/2018 1:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/30/2018 5:25 AM

Im looking to do some mountain road/off road/adventure riding but i dont necessarily want a dirtbike like the KLR650 or the DR650, and I'm on a budget so the fancy BMW dual sports are out of the question. Does anyone have experience with motorcycles converted from primarily street to off road that can handle this sort of thing? For example, I've seen some ninja 650s turned into off road bikes and currently in looking at a triumph speed triple that's setup for off road riding.
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12/29/2018 1:41 AM

Really depends on how extreme you're looking to go offroad. A DR650 is going to be alot more capable offroad than the bikes you mentioned. What about a Tenere 660? You can generally pick them up pretty cheap. Or a KTM 690 if you're willing to spend a tad more, but not as much as a BMW or another high end KTM model

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12/29/2018 5:03 AM

PhotoThis is my 2017 KTM 500exc-f and it’s street legal. This is definitely on the high end for pricing but you can find one a couple years older that aren’t crazy. KTM, Husky and now the new Honda 450L are the only options that are dual sports that aren’t heavy lead sleds with technology from the 90’s! Although if you can’t get one of those the only other bike that can run with those is the 03-08 Honda CRF450X’s and actually see them on Facebook market place with barely any hours on them for less than $5k. I think the 09 is the same as the 08 CRF450X but not positive. They everything you could want in a dual sport that can do some laps or haul ass in the woods, just heavier than the KTM or Husky. They also don’t have 6 speed trannys either.
I always wanted a bike I could ride to a motocross track, jump all the jumps and ride home. I rode to Central Cycle Club which is over a hour in a car from my place and took all backroads, cleared every jump on the track and rode it home! I was completely and totally spent riding home but mission accomplished!
Also, I raced the AMA Grand National Hillclimb Championships over the summer too and almost won the whole dam thing. (Basically Loretta’s for hillclimb.) Six tenths of a second cost me the win and I didn’t have a extended swing arm either! I absolutely love my bike more than any bike, I’ve ever owned but wish it had the XCF forks on it. That’s the only weak link on my bike.
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12/29/2018 5:10 AM

Sorry to get off topic a little, but that’s awesome Chris! I’ve been watching hill climb videos and wondering if all that horsepower and strange chassis set up has gone too far. It started looking to me, like a good rider who could find traction rather than spinning wildly, might just get to the top first. And you just proved what I’d been thinking. Nice job. Nice bike too!

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12/29/2018 6:51 AM

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Older and YZer!!!

12/29/2018 6:55 AM

Easy conversion for my old bikes. I don't dual sport anymore, it just sat for 3 years Traded on another new 450 Yamaha about a month ago.

I would rather moto.................

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Older and YZer!!!

12/29/2018 10:13 AM

Arvindmundhe wrote:

Im looking to do some mountain road/off road/adventure riding but i dont necessarily want a dirtbike like the KLR650 or the ...more

Whats your budget and what are you trying to accomplish? What do you consider offroad? Whats your experience level? Why dont you want a DR650 or KLR650?

I ask, because frankly, those are the two single best "light" adventure bikes for those on a tight budget. Very few street bikes can or have been converted to be ridden offroad, at least any that are any good at it. The Honda CB500X twin adventure conversion is one folks talk about. Or some of the vintage Yamaha twins like the XS. But honestly, to convert a bike properly will cost you more than buying a used version of a proper adventure bike. And adventure bikes are not dirt bikes... so back to what are your expectations.

I've got a very skilled buddy who took his Honda 954 with adventure knobbies to Hollister Hills in NorCal for a day just to say he could do it. He would never consider taking it down to Baja on one of my trips, even if he stuck to easy routes. That Speed Triple would be no different. The geometry, weight, power deliver blah blah blah is all wrong. Try posting over on ADV rider for more input.

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12/29/2018 10:28 AM

Chris O'Neal wrote: PhotoThis is my 2017 KTM 500exc-f and it’s street legal. This is definitely on the high end for pricing but you can find one a ...more

Dude you're a freaking savage haha those are some badass pics! Rookstool did something back in the day where he bought a brand new, off the lot 500 EXC and then won the AA Pro race local harescramble up in Oregon.

Your bike looks dope!

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If it can't be fixed with a hammer, it's an electrical problem.

12/29/2018 11:15 AM

Chris O'Neal wrote: PhotoThis is my 2017 KTM 500exc-f and it’s street legal. This is definitely on the high end for pricing but you can find one a ...more
SeaClassExpert wrote:

Dude you're a freaking savage haha those are some badass pics! Rookstool did something back in the day where he bought a brand ...more

Agreed. That bike is awesome!

Hoping to pick one up myself this Spring.

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12/30/2018 10:48 AM

Not sure your objective, but a used street legal dual sport would be the cheapest best performing way. If you are looking for a Frankenbike to build (why) I'd go for a twin cylinder like a Versys as a starting point, but it will be a pig.

Dirt Bike mag. just named Beta the best, but endorsing that makes me have to endorse the other crap they spew.

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12/30/2018 12:07 PM

Probably the Kawasaki Versys 300. 2 cylinder engine so its better on the freeway than a dirtbike with lights. Half the cost of the exotic duallies.
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12/30/2018 12:09 PM

hellion wrote:

Sorry to get off topic a little, but that’s awesome Chris! I’ve been watching hill climb videos and wondering if all that ...more

Thanks, I had never done a hillclimb in my life and struggled with setup bad plus made a lot of mistakes. Everyone that said they were going to help me, flaked out on me and didn’t show up so I did it by myself. I’m a mechanic so that wasn’t the part I needed help with, it was actually just holding my bike while waiting for my turn so I could eye up the hill and memorize what rocks were there at the time. So basically when it was my turn I had about a minute to choose a rut to start in, fill it in and pack it, then look up the hill and scan for rocks. My set up was way to soft in the beginning and I never felt comfortable until my last two runs which at that point it was too late cause not one person improved in time on the second day.
The place where I raced was Monson, Mass and it was basically a massive rock pile with sand on top of it. The locals had a huge advantage and won more than 50% of the classes on their first runs. Once the sand pushed off the top it actually became very dangerous with rocks. Millions of rocks!! I actually crashed on the verticross event which is one on one races. First one to the top wins and double elimination. I had huge leads and blew it cause of rocks I couldn’t see. I have tons of video from my helmet cam and mom filming. I will upload them now. The helmet cam footage cam out good. Photo
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12/30/2018 1:36 PM

SeaClassExpert wrote:

Dude you're a freaking savage haha those are some badass pics! Rookstool did something back in the day where he bought a brand ...more

Lol thanks I’ve put a lot into my bike and love it. Here’s some video from the hillclimb event. Video doesn’t really show how steep it was especially at the last two steps! When I first looked at it I didn’t even know if it was possible! I also didn’t know until the finish line was the white line and not the top of the hill. On my last run in the video, I dragged my rear brake up the face of the hill to slow down and still hit the face of the next one. If I had just pinned it and landed on the line with or without the bike, I would have had the fastest run all day or very close to it. I ended up getting 2nd on one of my slowest runs of the day but the other ones I messed up or were in the races that weren’t timed. I had a hard time with getting my gearing right to pull hard up the hill after the jump. I tried ever size sprocket and finally went back to what I run all the time and at that point it was too late. I had a very hard keeping my front end down! I had a plan from the beginning with my form and hitting the back brake on the step up but once I went it all went out the window! Next year I will be prepared!

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12/30/2018 1:39 PM

Whoops here’s the link!
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3/10/2021 12:54 AM

Hi,


I had a decent number of hours on my KLR650 in the hills. Later I set up my versys for off-road work.



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Author: Bob Whitby https://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/proof-you-dont-need-an-adventure-bike-to-ride-the-world http://customwritingcompany.com

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3/10/2021 12:55 AM

Here's my Versys Photo

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