ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Thumpers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-11-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
pnw OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 88
Low seat height dual sport questions

I have searched this topic out as extensively as I could on the internet including ADVrider but want to ask the question before buying. I want to get a low seat height dual purpose bike for my son who has a short inseam. I have a DR350 with a stock seat height of 35Ē that I lowered with a Kouba #1 link on and slid the fork tubes up in the clamps, that is supposed to lower the seat by 1.5Ē but it feels like maybe an inch different. He canít flat foot it and would prefer a lower, lighter bike. He is athletic and weighs about #200 without gear. The bike is for mostly back road camping trips but some stints will be required on highways (not freeways) with fairly prolonged speeds around 60, roads with significant grades at 55 and some trail riding. My old DR350 works great for this.
I donít want to spend too much, likely it will only be ridden for hundreds, not thousands, of miles a year.
I rode a DR200, good size but it seemed way underpowered. From what I have read a Super Sherpa sounds right but they are impossible to find around here, late model XT250s are plentiful but get criticized on boards like this and professional reviews due to lack of a sixth gear. Very limited miles older small 6 speed XT225s and some Honda 230s seem to show up regularly but given my limited experience riding the DR200 I would be concerned about ability to ride 60mph for any amount of time.
So, should I hold out for a Sherpa or would a newer XT250 with the 5 speed do about as well. Would an XT225 be too underpowered to consider? The seat height really limits choices, maybe there isn't a really good fit bike.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
pnw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
dirtyron
never grew up
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: taos new mexico
Oddometer: 257
one option would be an xt350. low seat, 6spd. would work fine as long as he isn't going to try to go fast off road
dirtyron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
sagebrushocean
Harris's hawker
 
sagebrushocean's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: jackrabbit country
Oddometer: 179
You've made a pretty good list of the "lower and lighter." My CFR230M will run 60-65mph on the flat for long periods, but it is spinning pretty fast. Nothing that I would worry about -- it's made to spin fast. Depending on the grade, it may or may not hold 55mph. Top speed will be in 5th, not 6th, when going up hills or into the wind. Very low (32-ish inch seat height) and light (267 pounds full of fuel). My daughter (5'4") learned to ride on it. It MAY do what you require, but it will be a close thing.

You might consider getting a previously-owned example of one of the bikes on your list and letting your son learn to ride, at which point he will probably be comfortable with a taller seat that comes on the higher performance small bores (CRF250L, WR250X or R, etc.).
__________________
2008 DR650SE supermoto
2009 CRF230M
sagebrushocean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
Kommando
Grumpy Young Man
 
Kommando's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
Oddometer: 6,720
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnw View Post
I have searched this topic out as extensively as I could on the internet including ADVrider but want to ask the question before buying. I want to get a low seat height dual purpose bike for my son who has a short inseam. I have a DR350 with a stock seat height of 35Ē that I lowered with a Kouba #1 link on and slid the fork tubes up in the clamps, that is supposed to lower the seat by 1.5Ē but it feels like maybe an inch different. He canít flat foot it and would prefer a lower, lighter bike. He is athletic and weighs about #200 without gear. The bike is for mostly back road camping trips but some stints will be required on highways (not freeways) with fairly prolonged speeds around 60, roads with significant grades at 55 and some trail riding. My old DR350 works great for this.
I donít want to spend too much, likely it will only be ridden for hundreds, not thousands, of miles a year.
I rode a DR200, good size but it seemed way underpowered. From what I have read a Super Sherpa sounds right but they are impossible to find around here, late model XT250s are plentiful but get criticized on boards like this and professional reviews due to lack of a sixth gear. Very limited miles older small 6 speed XT225s and some Honda 230s seem to show up regularly but given my limited experience riding the DR200 I would be concerned about ability to ride 60mph for any amount of time.
So, should I hold out for a Sherpa or would a newer XT250 with the 5 speed do about as well. Would an XT225 be too underpowered to consider? The seat height really limits choices, maybe there isn't a really good fit bike.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
I'm 5'8"/200lb/30"inseam/strong-like-bull. I ride an unlowered DR650SE as my first dirty bike. I got used to it after about a week.

If he'd be fine on the DR350 if it was just lower, you could shave the seat. You could also look at ways of shaving some weight off of it, especially up high (lighter bars, mirrors, headlight, signals, tank, muffler, etc.). You could also have the forks professionally lowered.

Don't sweat the 5spd on the newer XT250. It has quite a bit of overall gearspread. The motor is similar to one used in an ATV that has some aftermarket support, so power can be improved a bit over stock. The newer XT also has discs front and rear.
Kommando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
plugeye
mc caregiver
 
plugeye's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Garland, Texas
Oddometer: 3,361
He canít flat foot it

not really necessary to flat foot a motorcycle, try it and see.
plugeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
pnw OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 88
Thanks.

I thought of the xt350, problem is they are getting pretty old now, like my DR350, seals, rubber and plastics get old and brittle/cracked and I havenĎt seen any really low miles ones for sale. There doesnít seem to be much to be gained by shaving off of a DR350 seat and it is a nice comfortable seat that I really donít want to ruin. I tried the Kouba #1 link mostly as a test without messing with steering geometry much, myself I donĎt notice much difference from stock. I would like to try an xt225 because they are relatively cheap, plentiful and have a 6th gear but fear it will end up being a waste of time if they are as under powered as the DR200.
Iíll probably keep checking for a Sherpa and go for a used xt250 if a reasonable priced Sherpa doesnít show up. Iím tired of checking though.
pnw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
frog13
Beastly Adventurer
 
frog13's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: SW Ohio
Oddometer: 1,263
From what I've read,the 250"s/230 do well on the highway.....considering their smaller displacement.They'd do fine for what your wanting to do. I currently ride a TW200,it will hold 55mph easily on the road....possibly even lower 60ish.The short stroke engine of the TW was designed for the higher rpm's....1st gear is a stump puller. Alot of folks want to change the stock gearing (14/50)but, in doing so.....going to a 47 tooth rear or a 15 tooth front.....you loose torque up top and then you have to down gear on some hills!. If you know the calculation for the piston's,I believe it is Feet Per Minute,you would see the TW's engine is not close to it's designed red line even at 60 mph!.Good luck in your decision.
In regards to the 5 or 6 speed gear box debate.....the 5 speed gear boxes are usually wide ratio and the added 6th doesn't make much,if any difference....again,if you know the calculations for gear ratios,you'll see what I'm refering to.
frog13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
ADVNCW
Banned
 
Joined: May 2012
Location: Leavenworth, WA- in the mountains!
Oddometer: 341
Thumb CRF230L will do it!

The CRF230L will do it! Except on the mountain passes where you will slow to 50MPH on the steeper grades. Otherwise I rode with traffic. It did with my 230lbs loaded with my 40 lbs of gear or not. Since buying it in May I put 7000 miles on my 230L, did the WABDR, twice from east of the mountains to the coast, back and forth over the Naches Pass Jeep Trail- loaded- several times. Ton of fun riding the WA and OR coast beaches, twice! Pulls off the bottom well, unexpected for such an anemic little moto, but it is lightest, lighter than the DR200.

230L is designed for driver + passenger, so the 6 inches of rear travel on the stiffest preload work if one stands to ride over rough when appropriate. You will not get away with being lazy on the seat like having 13 inches travel...But the point is, I am impressed at how the 230L carried me and my load on long trips across WA! Just be ready to pull over especially on mountain passes instead of passing traffic like on bigger bikes... Other than that, FUN and EASY! Fun and easy on dirt!

As shown loaded in the photo, similar weight to the new 250L stock (317 lbs)!






I really like the small size, short wheelbase and low gearing/ low end power for tight and gnarly mountain trails.

For the Continental Divide next year I have decided to ride it instead of hauling the moto, so I will be buying a WR250R for the open-western miles to and from WA to the CDR.

ADVNCW screwed with this post 11-11-2012 at 08:29 PM
ADVNCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
acesandeights
Asperger
 
acesandeights's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: So. Oregon
Oddometer: 3,513
I think I'd consider a used DR650. It has a factory low position that would cost you nothing to do yourself, then you can lower it further the same way you did the DR350 (by dropping it). It'll run as fast as safe on the highway and pull like a tractor anywhere else.
__________________
http://breakingbooks.wordpress.com
http://www.kenmarshallmetalworks.com/
I may not be Rainman, but I'm not stupid eighter. Like Bartek on a taco.

I'll die with this hammer in my hand.
acesandeights is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 08:38 PM   #10
ADVNCW
Banned
 
Joined: May 2012
Location: Leavenworth, WA- in the mountains!
Oddometer: 341
Agree for road performance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acesandeights View Post
I think I'd consider a used DR650. It has a factory low position that would cost you nothing to do yourself, then you can lower it further the same way you did the DR350 (by dropping it). It'll run as fast as safe on the highway and pull like a tractor anywhere else.
If you are talking about highway performance, I totally agree, need something more. 230L is frustrating, it runs 50 to 65, sustained- I have done 70 miles like that-, but it depends on the grade, gutless over 50 MPH. On dirt, sweet, I have run 40 to 50 MPH on flat dirt stretches with that load on the 230L!
ADVNCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #11
warewolf
Tyre critic
 
warewolf's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnw View Post
I donít want to spend too much, likely it will only be ridden for hundreds, not thousands, of miles a year.
I rode a DR200, good size but it seemed way underpowered. From what I have read a Super Sherpa sounds right but they are impossible to find around here, late model XT250s are plentiful but get criticized on boards like this and professional reviews due to lack of a sixth gear. Very limited miles older small 6 speed XT225s and some Honda 230s seem to show up regularly but given my limited experience riding the DR200 I would be concerned about ability to ride 60mph for any amount of time.
So, should I hold out for a Sherpa or would a newer XT250 with the 5 speed do about as well. Would an XT225 be too underpowered to consider? The seat height really limits choices, maybe there isn't a really good fit bike.
For hundreds of miles a year, you can forget worries about ringing the tits off the motor or lack of 6th gear or comfort or anything long-term! You just won't be doing enough miles to worry about any of that stuff.

Small displacement bikes are built to be thrashed mercilessly. I had a DR200SE for a while, it spent hours at 70 mph, that was standard cruising speed. On big hills (NZ isn't flat!) it'd be held at redline/full throttle in the tallest gear it'd pull, for minutes at a time. I'd ride it to weekend adventure & trail rides 3-400km away, loaded up with camping gear. A Honda SL230 or Yamaha XT225 would be a bit gruntier for a bigger bloke, with the extra cubes.
__________________
Cheers,
Colin
KTM LC4 640 Question? Check here first --> KTM LC4 (640) Index Thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McQueen
All racers I know aren't in it for the money. They race because it's something inside of them... They're not courting death. They're courting being alive.
warewolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 12:09 AM   #12
Gryphon12
Beastly Adventurer
 
Gryphon12's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Carnation, WA USA
Oddometer: 1,257
You need to read the "shortypants" thread. It will avoid ALL of this duplication.
__________________
1990 Honda NT-650 Hawk-GT

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Gryphon12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 06:15 AM   #13
pnw OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVNCW View Post
The CRF230L will do it! Except on the mountain passes where you will slow to 50MPH on the steeper grades. Otherwise I rode with traffic. It did with my 230lbs loaded with my 40 lbs of gear or not. Since buying it in May I put 7000 miles on my 230L, did the WABDR, twice from east of the mountains to the coast, back and forth over the Naches Pass Jeep Trail- loaded- several times. Ton of fun riding the WA and OR coast beaches, twice! Pulls off the bottom well, unexpected for such an anemic little moto, but it is lightest, lighter than the DR200.

230L is designed for driver + passenger, so the 6 inches of rear travel on the stiffest preload work if one stands to ride over rough when appropriate. You will not get away with being lazy on the seat like having 13 inches travel...But the point is, I am impressed at how the 230L carried me and my load on long trips across WA! Just be ready to pull over especially on mountain passes instead of passing traffic like on bigger bikes... Other than that, FUN and EASY! Fun and easy on dirt!

As shown loaded in the photo, similar weight to the new 250L stock (317 lbs)!






I really like the small size, short wheelbase and low gearing/ low end power for tight and gnarly mountain trails.

For the Continental Divide next year I have decided to ride it instead of hauling the moto, so I will be buying a WR250R for the open-western miles to and from WA to the CDR.

Very sweet setup! Last I looked there were a couple 230s and an xt225 close enought to consider. It takes some time in the seat to figure it out so thanks for sharing your experience. Gifford Pinchot is in my backyard but a North Cascades ride would be awesome.

The DR350 is about 300# wet and that is as heavy enough, lighter than a DR200 is better.

Thanks to all.
pnw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #14
BillMoore
Gnarly Adventurer
 
BillMoore's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Oddometer: 201
I'm 5'7", 30" inseam and ride a KLX250S with 1.5" lowering links, and bar risers so the front forks could be pushed up about 3/4". The rear suspension has been stiffened up some to counter the softening from the lowering links, so my actual ride height drop with me sitting on the bike is pretty close to right at 1.5". Initially the 1.5" links resulted in an actual ride height drop of 2".

In my riding boots I can almost touch my heels down, but there is no weight on them. Good solid contact with my toes though, and that is all you really need.

My wife is 5'5" and rides a CRF230L. The CRF is about 30 lbs lighter, which is nice offroad, but the KLX is way better on the pavement. The KLX has a top speed of around 84 actual (92 indicated), while the CRF tops out at about 72. The KLX is pretty comfortable up to about 65, while the CRF gets pretty uncomfortable once you get over 55. Neither one has enough power for passing at highway speeds. The CRF is geared a little lower stock, but that is an easy fix on the KLX if you want to go lower.

For what you are planning on doing with your son, sounds like highway usage isn't really in the mix, so the CRF is probably a good choice.
__________________
2012 Suzuki DR650SE
2010 Kawasaki KLX250S
BillMoore is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014