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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering adding an offroad bike to the stable. I haven't ridden dirt since my 100 cc mx days 45 years ago. My buddy's say the 390 adv is too small for the hwy stretches but both of them have to wait for help when they go down on their 600lb behemoths. I'm a fit 62 but short at 5'7" and would rather be confident in the dirt than comfortable on the street(I think) and want some recommendations, not putting anakee's on the sdr:)
 

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I'm 5'10" or thereabouts and 63. I have a 2018 1290 SAR. It is heavy, and I still need to practice picking it up by myself. It's a handful on tight or muddy offroad trails but fine on dirt roads, highways of course and not-too-tight (even rocky) offroad stuff. As long as you don't drop it. I've been considering something lighter but the big issue is that once you've ridden the big ones, the power is a bit addictive. If you're riding mostly offroad, with some highway travel to get to the trail, my recommendation would be to stick to something you can pick up by yourself. Anything offroad capable is going to seem tall for you, but once you're moving, that feeling disappears, and at least if you drop it, you can pick it up. I can still pick up my 1991 Suzuki DR650, and I'm considering getting it ready for riding again, just in case I somehow develop some maturity and decide to sell the 1290.
 

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@steve59 without knowing what your budget is a new 790 or 890 Adventure would handle both highway and dirt really well, but a deal lighter and more manageable than the 1290 SAR. An older 990 Adventure would be a great addition if the budget doesn't stretch to a newie. My .02 fwiw.
 

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I'm considering adding an offroad bike to the stable. I haven't ridden dirt since my 100 cc mx days 45 years ago. My buddy's say the 390 adv is too small for the hwy stretches but both of them have to wait for help when they go down on their 600lb behemoths. I'm a fit 62 but short at 5'7" and would rather be confident in the dirt than comfortable on the street(I think) and want some recommendations, not putting anakee's on the sdr:)
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Exactly what Randy P said. I have a 1290 SAS and its fantastic except when riding more technical stuff when the extra power becomes irrelevant and the extra weight is a huge downer- (unless your initials are CB, in which case its a big dirt bike). Also, when you drop a lighter bike you get up and go again, when you drop an SAS things break and bend because its heavy. I bought a DRZ 400 to ride in woody, more technical stuff and now only use my SAS as big longer distance bike for on road or easy offroad/gravel, sand etc for which it is perfectly suited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what I'm looking for, practical information gleaned(my dads word) from experience. KTM has some MX bikes they strapped lights onto but they're expensive and it all adds up. For a few years we could get really great deals on new leftovers but covid took care of that and now there's not much new inventory anywhere.
 

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The 790 Adv R is heavy, 1290 would be too much for me. My DRZ400 is much easier to ride off-road, but there is no way I would give up my 790R (well maybe for an 890R). The DRZ is a barely legal dirt bike, but no fun on streets or long distance. The 790R is just pure fun everywhere, but you feel the extra weight on slow technical terrain. And the KTM electronics are awesome. I’ve got over 27k miles on my DRZ, and my butt has been sore often, 18k+ on my 790R and very comfortable stock seat. It’s good to have two bikes!
 

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Love my 500 EXC F.

Pretty light. You will get blown around a bit on the freeway, but it has plenty of power for it. Runs out of gears at like 100 mph.

It is very tall, but, if you don’t care about clearance, I believe there are ways to lower these bikes.
 

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I know I'm going to take some flak for this but I'm not sure 62 years old and something as hard-hitting as a 500 EXC F are going to be the best combination. Of course, I don't know you and as far as I'm concerned, 60 is the new 40 but even 'though KTM labels it a dual-sport, I don't see it as something comfortable-enough to be considered a dual-sport. I'd lean towards the KTM 390 Adventure or even a Suzuki DR650 or DRZ400.
 

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Randy, he did state he wasn't concerned about comfort too much. I think the 500 might be overkill for his needs. I'd go with the 390 ADV or a DRZ400.
 

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Randy, he did state he wasn't concerned about comfort too much. I think the 500 might be overkill for his needs. I'd go with the 390 ADV or a DRZ400.
Good point. He did hedge his comment with "(I think)." I guess I'm predicting comfort will be something he'll miss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
so I was leaning towards the 390 adv and my 2 riding buddys said the few of them on the guided ride really struggled to keep up on the street, so much that 1 dropped out. I have ridden my sdr 750 miles in a day, but what I mean about comfort is trading some on road comfort for more off road confidence and I'm not even sure what the trade offs are.
 

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If you are only going to have one bike, get the 790/890 Adv R. It can do everything and the suspension is awesome. It out runs muscle cars at stop lights, keeps up with crotch rockets in twisties, and is fully capable off-road. A 500 exc would be easier to ride in the dirt, but the 790/890 can do everything. Plus with 5.3 gallons of fuel averaging 50 MPG you can go a long ways without worrying about finding gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I appreciate that but I haven't got the will to sell my sdr and the gtl is for taking my wife out so this will be my 3rd bike and that means i'll be buying used also. The 890 appeals to me mainly because the only thing I know about the 2 bikes is KTM addressed the few niggles of the 790 before releasing the 890. I doubt I have the skill to notice a power difference in the muck.
 

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In that case, I‘d look for a used DRZ400 or Yam/Kaw 250.
Agree with you. I have a 2020 SAS that I love riding off road as long as its not too Gnarly. For more technical riding i bought an older, low mileage DRZ 400 and spent some money upgrading it to make it a bit nicer to ride on the road in between off road sections and more comfortable in the messy stuff. I have ridden it for 120 miles on the highway at 70 ish mph with stops every hour or so and it is ok for that. Obviously not anywhere near as comfy as my SAS in that situation but way easier to grapple through the rough stuff. Even with all the upgrades still costs way less than a second KTM and huge fun to ride - A real little tractor and no slouch in the rough stuff.
 

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Your DRZ looks much nicer than my 2005, and mine spends a lot of time in the garage while my 790R gets most of the riding time
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Let me ask this. Will the drz 400 do any better on the road than the 390 adv? I know my op asks for a bike better in the dirt, but it sounds like I need more top end than the 390 for these group rides. Yea that first pic looks like a completely different bike.

I'm heading to CT to check prices on all these machines.
 

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Your DRZ looks much nicer than my 2005, and mine spends a lot of time in the garage while my 790R gets most of the riding time View attachment 103984
Youre right, It doesn't get as much use as I thought it would as my SAS is so much fun to ride, but when I know we are rding a rougher trail, I always pick the DRZ. Its a 2012 that I got in stock form with 4000 miles on it.
 

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Let me ask this. Will the drz 400 do any better on the road than the 390 adv? I know my op asks for a bike better in the dirt, but it sounds like I need more top end than the 390 for these group rides. Yea that first pic looks like a completely different bike.

I'm heading to CT to check prices on all these machines.
Not having ridden a 390 I dont know the answer to that. I'm not gonna lie, the DRZ is not a long distance highway mile muncher by any stretch of the imagination, but depending on how you set up your gearing its adequate for long highway stages. I wouldn't want to ride it it more than 100 miles at a time on the highway. A small change of two teeth on the rear sprocket will give you quite a big difference in highway cruising speed, but will cut down on short sprint pickup that you like to have in the dirt.
 
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