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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.
My son (9 years old) got into dirt bikes and kinda got me into it to. I’ve decided I like it enough that I want to ride one daily.

Went to the MSF course, got my endorsement, and now I’m looking for a bike.

Whatever I get will have to be rural-capable: I take a state highway to work but to get there I have to travel quite a few gravel and dirt roads. Out here in west Oklahoma half the roads are gravel or dirt wherever you go lol.

Thus far I’ve been thinking DR650, but I really like the SV.

So would the SV work for this sort of thing or would the DR really be that much better suited? I already have a 250 for dirt, so I’m wondering if a naked like the SV wouldn’t be a better choice-assuming it wouldn’t get beaten to death on gravel.

thanks!
 

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I'd say a V-Strom might be better suited for the task.
 
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'08 SV650AK8 E-03, '00 SV650Y E-03
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I'm with you on which bike is preferred between the SV and DL. I've never warmed up to ADV looks and I think my '08 SV-N in Thunder Gray Metallic is quite attractive and much fun. :) It is my commuter bike. I do ride it occasionally on the relatively well prepared gravel roads in Central Texas and it does get a bit hairy at speed (>60mph), wandering, sliding and generally steering poorly. I attribute it mostly to sport touring tires - i.e. not meant for dirt at all. I've had some exciting moments.

Gravel roads require longish travel suspension and appropriate wheels and tires (and protection for the hard parts). Both the DL's and SV's suspensions are bargain basement units and pretty crappy. The SV's travel is less than five inches where the DL's is greater than six inches. The DL has a nineteen inch front wheel which of course is better in the dirt. Shinko 705 tires are a good, inexpensive choice for some gravel and mostly road. You could put 705s on an SV, but would you? Maybe. I think they manufacture SV sizes. Might be an interesting exercise.

Here's a good discussion on optimizing the DL suspension.

I regret to have to say this but I also recommend a DL.
 
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There's dirt roads, and then there's dirt roads... there's riding, then there's riding. I've taken my Gen 1 off road a number of times, and provided that the dips/holes are not too extreme, and that I manage the speed relative to the limited suspension and exposed header pipe, it'll do just fine. But for me, if I had to do that over time it would drive me batty. I'd much rather take a DR on pavement than an SV on dirt on a consistent basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
there's no reason it couldn't. unless your roads are absolutely destroyed with big whoops in them at which point it could hi-center.

Rad lol.
No the funny part is that the gravel roads are smoother than some of the paved. Our rural roads are generally pretty good and graded fairly frequently. Sometimes that get washed out but in that sort of weather I’ll either be in my truck or just staying home.

I understand that the V storm may be better suited…but it’s so god awful ugly lol. I hate that front fairing/windshield.
The V looks like a KLR clone to me, but I don’t really know much about it. Off to YouTube…
 

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'07 SV650S, '05 Ninja 250
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I have nothing to say to change your mind, but if you're determined to take a street bike offroad, go for lightweight. SVs are over 400lbs and that feels like 800lbs off the pavement. At least look at a CB300 or something tiny that may be easy to pick up. Think of it like this: would you rather drive a Buick LeSabre down a rocky streambed or a Geo Metro?

btw, I tried to come up with obscure vehicular comparisons. I haven't seen a LeSabre in a minute :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have nothing to say to change your mind, but if you're determined to take a street bike offroad, go for lightweight. SVs are over 400lbs and that feels like 800lbs off the pavement. At least look at a CB300 or something tiny that may be easy to pick up. Think of it like this: would you rather drive a Buick LeSabre down a rocky streambed or a Geo Metro?

btw, I tried to come up with obscure vehicular comparisons. I haven't seen a LeSabre in a minute :p
I haven’t seen a leSabre that I can recall since, my God, the late 90’s? It was faded, sunburnt gold, the headliner was coming out, and it smelled of bong water-just like it’s driver.
shudder
Nah if the SV won’t hack it, I know the DR will.
 

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Comparo doesn’t work. The LeSabre would be so much more comfortable, along with predictable with RWD… But I know what you’re getting at. 😉

I like the looks of my father’s ‘12 VStrom better than the new ones, but I don’t HATE the looks of adventure bikes. The SV is stable. But definitely twitchier on loose stuff than the VStrom. Not enough that I’d choose the latter if your ride on those surfaces didn’t last long, but it would also be a bit comfier and upright, and gives you a windscreen and comfier seat for your highway ride. The SV isn‘t a superbike, so doesn’t lose it entirely over loose surfaces, though.

Grab a used one of either. If you don’t like it, sell it and buy the other to see if it’s any better. Can’t see you losing money in the transaction.
 

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I ride ,"Goat Tracks" and some rough roads over here in the UK. Some are gravel/dirt etc and my old 99 eats them for breakfast. The Sit-Up-and-Beg style rather than the sportier ,"S" types are much better suited for this kind of all-round style of riding.

I've ridden much rougher roads than in this video. About 6 mins in the video quality does not do justice to the condition of these small rural roads which are pretty rough in places.

 

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Your 9 year old son is getting into dirt bikes, if you want to be able to ride with your son in the next couple of years, get the DR. Or if you get the SV you will need to get yourself another dirt bike to go riding with your son.

I'd recommend the DRZ400 over the 650.
 

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He said he already has a 250 dirt bike.

Yes he did. I somehow missed that.

So I have to change my recommendation then.

It's still going to be a dual sport bike or an adventure bike though, I just think in the long run using an SV650 on that much gravel and dirt roads will beat it to death. Get a bike that is made for that type of road. The DR650 or even better a KLR650 would be my choice over an SV650.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Your 9 year old son is getting into dirt bikes, if you want to be able to ride with your son in the next couple of years, get the DR. Or if you get the SV you will need to get yourself another dirt bike to go riding with your son.

I'd recommend the DRZ400 over the 650.
I go back and forth but the 650 will be better getting me to and from work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My SV does a good job beating ME to death on local paved roads! 😄
Lol see this is the sort of inside knowledge I came here for!
Yeah being an incorrigible ruralite I think the DR is going to be the better pick. I might get an SV one of these days, but it’s obvious now that while the SV might work for my needs, the DR will work and do well at it.
 
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