BTD
BTD Reader
5/25/17 10:26 a.m.

I've been doing a fair bit of searching (there's even a KLR thread on the first page!) on this subject but haven't been able to find a ton regarding bikes for us tall folk.

Basically, I'm considering my first bike. I've taken a motorcycle safety course, and want something to ride with my father (who rides a Harley) but also want something that I can take up a forest service road or similar, given that I live in CO. Because of who I'll be riding with (my father), I'm going to estimate that ~80-85% of the time I'll be on pavement. Mostly in town and side roads, with as little highway as possible to get to where we're going. The other 15-20% will be maintained dirt roads or fire roads, no single track and no hardcore offroad.

First issue: I'm 6'5" with a 34" inseam. I weigh 235lbs. Most cheap bikes I'm finding seem very small. That's what led me to something like a KLR, it has a nice tall seat height and is dead simple. I prefer the upright seating position to a sportbike.

The other desire for me is something robust and low maintenance. I have the capacity, space, and tools to do all my own work, but I don't particularly enjoy working on things all the time. Whatever I buy will be taken care of, I just want to have to take care of it less than it's peers.

I'm also wondering how much mileage is too much mileage. I see bikes for sale with 9k miles and bikes for sale with 50k miles. How much is too much?

Budget is ~$2500, I'd prefer to be closer to $2000 to give myself some room to update my riding gear and maintenance. Are there any options out there in my price range other than a KLR?

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
5/25/17 10:53 a.m.

Look at a V-Strom 650 (wee strom) and it's competitors for a more road friendly experience than a KLR if you are sure about that 80% number. KLRs are cheap, simple, tough and competent but as a pavement machine they are also a torture device.

Most bikes labeled as dual sport or "Adventure" will be tall with upright seating so that is your market. $2k is doable for many of the older contenders in the segment if you aren't choosy about dents and scrapes. Since you have no experience at all - plan to just get something and get something else not too far down the road when you have learned to ride and better understand your wants. So, basically... don't wring hands over what to buy or if it's perfect for you. It won't be until you know what kind of rider you are. Get the most mechanically sound machine you can find and go ride it.

Cheers and good luck!

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/25/17 10:54 a.m.

KLR is the easy button. For your type of offroading, I would say a SV650 with dirt tires would be only slightly worse offroad (wider front tire) and WAY better on road. This would also work with a Ninja 500 or any non sport bike non cruiser with 500 to 700ccs. It will depend a lot on what you can find in your area for $2k. Budget $300 for tires, oil, chain maintenance etc... If you need new sprockets or chain, add $150.

Edit: the lighter the bike the better. Most fairingless bikes will work good enough as the main issue is ground clearance.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/25/17 10:54 a.m.

DRZ400.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/25/17 10:57 a.m.

These look good for your needs. Avon Trailrider

BTD
BTD Reader
5/25/17 11:10 a.m.
singleslammer wrote: KLR is the easy button. For your type of offroading, I would say a SV650 with dirt tires would be only slightly worse offroad (wider front tire) and WAY better on road. This would also work with a Ninja 500 or any non sport bike non cruiser with 500 to 700ccs. It will depend a lot on what you can find in your area for $2k. Budget $300 for tires, oil, chain maintenance etc... If you need new sprockets or chain, add $150. Edit: the lighter the bike the better. Most fairingless bikes will work good enough as the main issue is ground clearance.

I feel like a lot of sport style bikes (SV650, Ninja, etc) or older enduros are too small for someone of my size. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to the position, and granted I've only ever sat on one or two, but I felt cramped.

DR's are on the list. I'll ahve to see if I can find a V-Strom in my price range. Any opinions on older BMW dual sports (F650 I think)? They seem to crop up inexpensively from time to time.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
5/25/17 11:16 a.m.

I've read that the average man around the world is 5'9" tall. That's who they build bikes for. Anything you buy you're going to have to make fit you. Taller seat, lower pegs and taller handlebars at a minimum.

SEADave
SEADave HalfDork
5/25/17 11:24 a.m.

The Kawasaki Versys sounds like a good fit for you, but not sure you are going to find any in your price range. I don't know much about the F650's except that at least the early bikes were made by Aprilia in Italy.

Shopping for motorcycles in the $2-2,500 range is really a matter of being open to whatever comes up. In my area everyone with a V-strom thinks they are $4500 bikes unless they are beat to death. Maybe it is different where you live.

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/25/17 1:28 p.m.

I think any of the old big 650's would work with some ergo changes, the others being the Suzuki DR650 and the Honda XR650L. You'll want taller bars for sure, possibly with a riser, and most likely a taller seat to give you more legroom. I prefer the other bikes to the KLR personally, but they're all proven and capable.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle Dork
5/25/17 8:24 p.m.

We're the same height, so I can definitely sympathize. Have you seen this site:

http://cycle-ergo.com

PerniciousLies
PerniciousLies New Reader
5/28/17 2:51 p.m.

You might be able to find a Triumph Tiger 955 in that price range. I'd say that would be perfect.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
5/28/17 3:13 p.m.
Woody wrote: DRZ400.

Beat me to it.

Cheap, reliable, HUGE aftermarket, and tall. Most of the street bikes mentioned are short enough that I'm comfy on them.

oldtin
oldtin PowerDork
5/28/17 3:30 p.m.

Came to say Suzuki 650, but Triumph tiger came to mind as well. - too tall for me. I'm 5'10" can't reach the ground on a tiger. Most have had their fuel lines fixed by now. Lots of torque and will fit you. Perhaps a little powerful for a new rider though.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/28/17 4:38 p.m.

In reply to PerniciousLies:

I got the best deal ($3k) I have seen on a tiger. I imagine one for $2k is going to need some work. Great bike though.

PerniciousLies
PerniciousLies New Reader
5/28/17 8:33 p.m.
singleslammer wrote: In reply to PerniciousLies: I got the best deal ($3k) I have seen on a tiger. I imagine one for $2k is going to need some work. Great bike though.

I found this one near me, so I imagine it's possible with some negotiation. It does have higher miles, but personally I'd be comfortable with that but YMMV

Tiger

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
5/28/17 8:41 p.m.

In reply to PerniciousLies:

I have nothing to add except that your username makes me happy. nohomo.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
5/28/17 8:48 p.m.

Triumph tiger. I'm 6' and only come close to flat footing the tiger. Ergos are made to fit taller riders.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
5/29/17 10:59 a.m.
Woody wrote: DRZ400.

+1

DRZ400 super moto would be my choice as well. Little powerful if you are just getting on a bike for the first time. But if you are older and can keep the speed in check this will do everything you want

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/29/17 11:37 a.m.

On thing to keep in mind about 955 Tigers, especially for someone who's not that much of an experienced rider yet, is that those bikes are both tall and pretty top heavy. Plus you really want to buy a good 'un as they're not that cheap to fix, so I also think they're slightly outside the OP's budget.

Still great bikes and if I had found a good 'un within my budget before buying my 800 Tiger, I'd be rocking one right now.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/29/17 5:16 p.m.

I, sadly, can attest to how top heavy they are...

That is a great deal on that 05 though.

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