Originally Posted by GSF1200S
The torque is the biggest thing holding me back. The KLXs dont have the subframes for the gear im hauling in the conditions im hauling them in, and short of a 351 kit, i dont think it would have enough power. The WR is a miracle considering all it can do, but you are right- it has very little torque and needs to be spun to make power. Being a noob I can only imagine that would make for very difficult riding in uphill rocks and loose sand, etc.
I do love the DR, and ive been considering financing a WR and keeping both! Of course, one still has to choose which to take on the trip. I have really wanted to take as many dirt roads to Alaska as possible, while still enjoying some slab here and there. I could see some single track from time to time if it got me somewhere I wanted to see, but I see more challenging Colorado stuff as the biggest issue.
Around here, I agree- the DR would be way more fun. Easy to ride on the street, torque for all kinds of things, plenty capable in the offroad available here.
Not moaning here- im lucky to have a great DR and to even be considering a WR. I know a DR would make it- I guess the hardest problem im having is trying to figure out what mix of road/singletrack/dirt id be doing in an area I know nothing about and trying to get the right tool for the job.
At this point, I think the biggest thing that concerns me about the DR is me being inexperienced and having some trip ending injury due to its weight- THAT is cause to look at lighter bikes.
I got a PM from a knowledgeable fellow who gave some wise advice that im trying to follow- "Dont overthink things- take the bike you got, point the front wheel where you want to go, and go there"; its good advice but hard to follow with purdy WRs sitting in local showrooms
The DR-Zs at the dealer are calling to me now that a wide-ratio gearset is available for them. Suzuki has been running a special for 0% APR on several models too...the bastards.
Make no mistake, the 250s can be a lot of fun. A little XT225 or a TW200 feels like a mtn bike in rocks, compared to a big DR. I'd hook up with some local riders and swap bikes around a bit. I'd also try some different configurations with your DR...lower the suspension, shave the seat, try some aggressive knobbies, spring the bike for your weight, raise the bars, lower the pegs, etc. With good tires on my DR, the biggest thing I notice myself having an issue with on rough ground is the height of the weight. I can hold the bike up, and even pick it up without issue...if I can just get my feet down solidly. If I can't get a foot down solidly before it's leaned way over though, it's hard to hold it up and maneuver out of trouble. I'm getting a lower seat sometime soon. I have the same issue with a 300lb WR250R or KLX250, unless it's lowered. On even ground, all of them are easy enough to handle. I just slide off to one side.
Are you planning on riding out west alone? A buddy, or several, could really add to the trip, and relieve a lot of the concern of getting bucked off a heavy bike somewhere remote. A SPOT would be good too.
If you haven't done so already, I'd also suggest reading some of the ride reports on this forum. The Mobius Trip is a good one, to see what you could expect in riding out west on mostly dirt routes towards AK. They're on DR-Zs, but some of the people they've ridden with were on DRs. There was also Phreaky Phil and his wife doing the TAT on his DR...2up! I also saw a report on a couple riding to Tierra del Fuego and back on a DR. I think Phil is the only one that started off as a pretty experienced dirt rider. The others were pretty dirt-inexperienced when they first started out.