Best Duel Purpose Bike??

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Wake_The_Lion, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Wake_The_Lion

    Wake_The_Lion Member

    New member here! I'm taking some time off and will be spending some real time in Indochina. I am curious to what bikes make the best duel purpose bikes. I need something comfortable for long distance, yet still capable of some of the rougher roads I may come across. I don't plan on doing any extreme trail riding, however, I don't want to have to avoid the nasty roads/trails.

    I'm 29 and have been riding since I was 9. I'm still young, however riding has put some damage on my body. Broken back, broken neck, destroyed ankle ect ect. Whatever I find has to be comfortable for long distance. I'm a Harley guy now, and rode sport bikes and dirt bikes when I was younger. But I have no duel purpose experience. I was thinking the BMW 650GS, or the Kawasaki Vrsys. Any input on these bikes or suggestions on other good duel purpose???
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  3. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    I'll pitch in here as I currently am waiting on a Honda AF CRF1000L, and my biggest concern is those nasty roads and trails in remote areas that I will want to explore on it. It's a heavy bike, I've even had a chance to lift one up in the showroom with empty panniers and found that quite easy. But I am concerned about muscling over obstacles those remote locations. I have had a vast number of small motorcycles since my childhood and have the confidence on them.

    The BMW F700 gs has a 19" front wheel well the F800 gs has a 21" wheel, The Versys is 17", don't forget the V-strom with a 19" front wheel. All comfortable bikes, heavy, but I do like how the larger wheels increase comfort over long distance on a rough road. Have you considered the light 250 motorbikes, such as the Honda CRF250l and the Kaw KLX250s? I've beaten my body also when I was young, though to not such the degree of breaks you've listed - ouch, and find the small bikes may not have the comfort, ride, and weight that is so nice over long smoooth distance on the large bikes, BUT the light machine with it's high travel suspension need so much less effort to run over trails with.

    Nobody has an idea of which bike is perfect you, or how much offroad you'll do; you might take your planned tour on a Harley or a used Honda scooter and still have a absolutely fantastic trip. My advice is only different than some riders in that after years in Thailand I kept wanting smaller bikes for the riding, yet now in Northern Canada want larger as distance are vast and even the offroad areas can be well maintained. Even if money wasn't an issue, I would still choose a 250 for exploring Laos; roads are pretty bad often enough, I want to drive slow and savior my surroundings, plenty of things to avoid and sometimes suddenly so, and often awkward areas to ride through or over are just part of your day. I'm comfortably able to ride my 250's up and down stairs, but would consider that too risky on 650 or larger bike for example.

    Have fun with your choice!
    hs0zfe likes this.
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not sure if you're settled in chiang mai yet, but the best thing you can do is rent a few bikes & see how you feel.
    So a 250 trail bike, a Honda 500X, a Kawasaki Versys, a Suzuki VStrom, a BMW 800, a Yamaha MT; then see how you feel.
    There's no perfect bike that does it all.
    At the end of the day it's what you feel most comfortable on + what you enjoy the most.
    Kevin's comments are pretty good + valid.
    You just need to test a few bikes.
    My vote of course would be the VStrom 650 + 250 trail bike.
    But everybody is different.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    KLX 250
    300 CC Big Bore Kit
    Ohlins Suspension
    IMS large fuel tank
    Change the handlebars.. They will bend on your first crash.

    Giant Loop bag much better than strapping a bag on up high on the back.
    Sidi Adventure Boots that allow you to get off and walk around. but still giving you good protection.

    Every time I have gone to Lao on my Versys.. I wished I was on my KLX so I could go up some trail and check it out.
    You just can't do it on the bigger bikes. Plus the roads can be rough and potholed to hell after the rainy season.

    I have not done this.. But if you think you will do long trips on the road.
    Then make your stock seat more comfortable.

    If you are moving here and want the best of both.
    Then get two bikes..

    Touring road centric bike and a dual purpose bike.

  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Agree with all the above.
    But if I had to chose only one bike, it would be a KLX250. Change the seat for something wider and fit Ohlins suspension and the machine will be transformed. Then you can explore almost anywhere. It is a bit heavy, tall and tiring on the mountain trails sometimes. Anything bigger would be too much. But it is just about big enough for long distance touring, one up.
    Bigger bore and tank if you need them.
    Unfortunately, it's just a fact that you will miss a lot of the best parts with a road bike.
  7. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Here is a link which I pretty much agree with..
    With regards to KLX V CRF

    Honda CRF250L Vs Kawasaki KLX250S | Ride Expeditions

    Couple of key points.

    The CRF suspension is crap.. Can't be adjusted.
    At least even if you don't go for the Ohlins.. You can adjust the KLX suspension for extra gear on the back.

    The CRF weight is approx 10 kg heavier. Well.. You may say. that isn't much.
    Until you pick it up a couple of times and struggling at a spot you didn't expect.

    This is personal preference.. But when I sit on the CRF.. I feel like I am on a road bike.
    Perched up high like on the Versys.. On the KLX I feel more at one with the bike..

    On the road the CRF feels better.. to me on the dirt the KLX feel better.

    The engine in the CRF does feel superior.. where as the KLX is older tried and tested.

    So I guess really depends on how much road and dirt you will do.

    A couple of friends that run tour business said to me.. The KLX is a better made bike.
    They buy the CRF because of the price difference.

    Another bummer on the KLX.. Getting spares..
    Seems like you always have to order them and wait.
    For certain things you can carry spares on the trip anyway. But it is a pain some times.

    Fishenough likes this.
  8. Hua Hin

    Hua Hin Ol'Timer

    If your looking at the BMW 650 then consider the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. I've got 32,000km on mine now and love it. It's a bit more top heavy than the BMW 800 but its way more fun to ride and the XCx suspension is a real luxury on Thailand's roads.

  9. mgeepers

    mgeepers Active Member

    get a Honda CRF250L about 135,000 Baht. If you're new to riding in SE Asia and are happy to cruse back roads 90kph is fast enough. Going slowly keeps you alive so my recommendation is this bike it's made in Thailand and can be serviced easily and cheaply just about anywhere.
    Nomade likes this.

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