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Old 10-02-2014, 08:00 PM   #1
justinope OP
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A bit intimidated, a bit frustrated and 100% unsure OR which bike thread #1883237

I'm sure I'm not alone in the relatively new adventure rider category when I say that I am a little bit frustrated going along in my decision process with bike choices so far. Its a giant ping pong of thoughts that never seem to make sense or garner any clear winner. I love riding but the lack of innovation in the middleweight segment is absolutely puzzling.

My real true goal is to get 2 of the same bike for me and my girlfriend and do half road half off-road touring from light dirt/fire roads to progressively gnarlier stuff as we gain experience and take classes, etc. I have a 950 Adventure now and while I am having a blast on it most of the time, it feels like I've bitten off way more than I can chew bike-wise. Its really fun but entirely too big for me at the moment IMO. Although I keep looking at its spec sheet going "that power to weight ratio is superb!"

Luckily, we are mostly the same size as much as girl/guy can be at least. I'm 5'10" with a 29" inseam 220lbs and shes 5'8" with a 30" inseam 160lbs.

I'm currently on the path of thought to go with 2x DR650's but a few things intimidate me like the "need" for suspension reworking for example. I have very limited mechanical skill currently with bikes, but I get the feeling from what I've read that this is a great bike to start learning about these things and I am willing to learn

One thing I'd love to have on a bike is fuel injection. Mainly because jetting is a bit frustrating of a topic to research and I love the adaptability to elevation, etc. that EFI offers. Also, I'm a techy at heart and EFI is just cool to me. This is where I start to butt heads with the DR650 and heavily consider a Husky Terra 650 (if I can find 2 ), F650GS Dakar or G650GS Sertao. Am I forgetting any other candidates?

My real goal is to keep the dry weight closer to 300 than 400 if possible (hence leaving out the V-Strom) without completely breaking the bank with something like a KTM 690 Enduro R (I hear these can get mega pricey setting up for touring). In reality I could probably afford a couple used 2012-ish 690's if it was the right bike, but I'm not sure its what I should be looking at being dirt novices and all.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I'm being dramatic about the carb vs FI thing and the suspension reworking the DR "needs." I mean I can follow step by step guides after all and am completely willing to learn. I just have no previous experience whatsoever. I'd love to be able to test ride these bikes but its really difficult here in Tucson in my experience
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:14 PM   #2
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I wish you the best of luck. I have been riding for over 55 years and am still looking for the right bike.

Don't put too much thought into it. most of the carbed bikes have CV carbs that do a very good job of altitude compensation once you get the baseline jetting set. Normally if you get something in the area that you live that has already been done for you.

Suspension can always be improved but unless you are motocrossing or desert running the stock setups are not really that bad and can be ridden with confidence. After all my years I sure can tell a good suspension from a bad one but nothing I have ever had was unridable because of it.

Get a couple of bikes and enjoy them for a while. There is always something else out there to experiment with in the future.

And I just got the last Terra in Colorado so you can't have it.

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Old 10-02-2014, 09:18 PM   #3
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whoa, a brand new thread!
I have been in the DR650 camp for ten years. I'm smaller and i assume older than you, and I am not giving up yet. My spouse is bigger and longer legged, about the size of your date, and she rides a super sherpa so she can flat-foot.

What I can offer: the DR is stupid simple and durable, the last of the air-cooled singles. I lost the stator a hundred miles outside of Salmon Idaho in 2010, and she towed me all the way to town. We are now pretty good at towing.

And two motorcycles for two riders is a pretty good relationship. I towed her down the Waterpocket Fold fifty miles, after she drowned out in Sandy Creek (high water moment!); we hit the ground a couple times in that episode but whatever.

We could afford to abandon either of our bikes, which is a major point in their favor. But we haven't had to...
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #4
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If you want to do knarly stuff get the lightest bike you can.
The WRR and CRF are efi. The klx is a good bike also. Any bike can be lowered.
I just went thru this, started with a dr, too heavy for hard stuff. Got a klx way better offroad but lacking on the road. Tried the WRR, better but still lacking. Now ride a TE630, more power for the road but the extra 30lbs over the 250s make it handful.
As far as road riding, usully dont ride much faster than 55-60 here and the 250s do that fine and smoother. Sometimes wish i still had the klX or wrr!
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:55 PM   #5
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I would say the DR would be good for you and the girl. Carb vs EFI isn't really that big a deal for beginners, same thing with suspension. I would reccomend the XR650L as another dike to look at. It's better in the dirt than the DR but it is taller, a lowering link will help but the DR can go lower. The only other bike besides those two I would look at would be the WR250.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog View Post
whoa, a brand new thread!
I have been in the DR650 camp for ten years. I'm smaller and i assume older than you, and I am not giving up yet. My spouse is bigger and longer legged, about the size of your date, and she rides a super sherpa so she can flat-foot.

What I can offer: the DR is stupid simple and durable, the last of the air-cooled singles. I lost the stator a hundred miles outside of Salmon Idaho in 2010, and she towed me all the way to town. We are now pretty good at towing.

And two motorcycles for two riders is a pretty good relationship. I towed her down the Waterpocket Fold fifty miles, after she drowned out in Sandy Creek (high water moment!); we hit the ground a couple times in that episode but whatever.

We could afford to abandon either of our bikes, which is a major point in their favor. But we haven't had to...
Why does everyone forget the XR650L?
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:26 PM   #6
justinope OP
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hmm, after reading your comments and doing some research I am definitely looking a lot harder at the WR250R now. I dunno how it slipped past my radar but I can see that thing as a very nice ADV touring style bike with a bigger tank, detachable windscreen and some luggage. why isn't it more popular
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinope View Post
hmm, after reading your comments and doing some research I am definitely looking a lot harder at the WR250R now. I dunno how it slipped past my radar but I can see that thing as a very nice ADV touring style bike with a bigger tank, detachable windscreen and some luggage. why isn't it more popular

Reading your first post that's the first and only bike that popped into my mind.
A WR250R would be perfect for you too.

And yeah, don't overthink it.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
justinope OP
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I'll try not to over-think it but man is it hard!

I'm going to try and find somewhere in town that will actually let me test ride a WR and DR and try and figure out what is better that way.

The most concerning thing about the WR would be if it could run on lower octane or not, lots of conflicting reports on that front. I'm just thinking if I can ever make my RTW dreams come true, its something to consider.

The other nagging question I have is whether to buy new or used. I mean obviously if its under 2 or 3,000 miles and a good deal, its a no brainer to snatch that up. But with all these DR650's I'm being offered at closer to 17-20k miles, I'm starting to wonder if I should just eat the new cost so I can start with a clean slate rather than relying on someone else's knowledge of their bike. Either that or wait for a basically new one to pop up in the wild somewhere. Especially since it seems like if I do decide on the WRR that I'm unlikely to find a nice used one at any mileage lol.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:31 AM   #9
dom1104
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Dude, you are making every noob mistake.


Dont buy new.

Dont over think it.

Just get a nice used bike and get on the train of swapping bikes around till you have tried them all.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #10
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Sounds like a WR250r or CRF250l would fit the bill for you. to me the little bikes are often more fun than the big ones.

EFI is very nice if you plan on jumping around alot.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
justinope OP
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yeah, I'm definitely thinking so, especially after reading bigdogadventures ride reports and asking his opinion. He actually prefers his over the KTM 690 he has when I asked him about it all. Which I really wasn't expecting but it makes sense, weight can't be fixed with horsepower

Now, about finding a couple lightly used WR250R's.... an impossible feat I'm sure
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by justinope View Post
yeah, I'm definitely thinking so, especially after reading bigdogadventures ride reports and asking his opinion. He actually prefers his over the KTM 690 he has when I asked him about it all. Which I really wasn't expecting but it makes sense, weight can't be fixed with horsepower

Now, about finding a couple lightly used WR250R's.... an impossible feat I'm sure
+2 on the WR.

I have been riding 30 years and went up and down the displacement ladder. XR600R, XR650L, KTM 525's, Husaberg 570, KTM 625 and 640 and 690 over the years, all great!

My son turned 16 and got his bike license so no need to trailer bikes anymore, so I needed a couple street legal bikes. Sold the Husaberg and bought 2 WR250X for the same money. Threw some knobbies on and until I can afford a couple 350EXC's or 500EXC's (which will give time for the boy to get more experience) these are working nicely. Power is down but price is right.

Lope along at 65 no problem, light enough that tighter stuff is still fine, 60+mpg, cheap to fix and maintain, and if you keep them in good shape can sell them for pretty close to what I bought them for.

A great starter bike for your needs. I wouldn't discount the 17"wheels either. With knobbies (Shinko 244) they handle everything I ride on the dirt fine and are much more stable on gravel and lots more fun on the street carving the corners.

I would also consider the CRF250L and its not EFI but the 6-speed KLX250 and 17" version SF would be good candidates too.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:30 PM   #13
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There is no "right" bike.

I spent many hours reading, researching, test riding all kinds of ds, enduro, off-road, older mx bikes that were converted to street legal before '04 (California problem).

Finally just bought one, or two. Definitely don't buy new. It's best to really nail down what you want to do on the bike and how it will be used.

If you try to get a bike to ride to Alaska, Do long weekend road trips and also hit the local MX track a few times a month. You're going to be really unhappy.

The WR250r/x is a good bike, for most of what you want to do. FI is nice, electric start, decent suspension, good mileage, not bad on the road. But I think you are in AZ, and out here in the west, "loping along at 65 all day" will get you blow off the highway by everything from 40 year old winnebagos to overloaded suv's more intent on checking their facebook pages than paying attention on the open highway.

I found the WR to not be a real open road kind of bike. But that's just my opinon. I have an XR650R which will lope along at 70 all day, of course the noise, wind, and wandering will keep your attention. I think you will find the WR is similar but when you are at 70-80% of your top end it's not much fun when a fast moving F350 comes up behind you.

Also the WR is over 300lbs stock. I'm not sure if you've tried lifting a 300+ lbs motorcycle on a hill after dumping it. It's not that much fun.

I have a VFR750 for the street, A 1200GS which is a wonderful on the road bike but NO dirt bike. The XR for my "dirt" riding, no I'm not trying to MX on it, I'm old. But it is great in the open desert and mountain fireroads and light trails. And an old RM250, which weighs 205lbs. I realized I wasn't going to find the "perfect" motorcycle.

I like the 690r enduro but it's not the perfect bike and I'm not independantly wealthy enough to have a 300lbs dirt bike that can't MX and isn't fantastic on the highway.

This is why I say you really need to nail down what and how you want to ride. Knobbies work on the road, but it's a compromise. And the ds tires are a big compromise in the dirt.

The DR is old school enduro like the XRL which I think is better. As it's better in the dirt and slightly lighter. They are in the same price range but I think the XRL is a just little better everywhere.
But it is tall.
Yes it can be lowered but then you start down the slippery slope of compromise.

I'd really try to get a test ride on the WRR, XRL and DR. All will work, none are great all arounders. There is no such thing. The KLR is there but heavier and not as good offroad.

Everyone has an opinion about these things and these bikes. These are mine.
Good luck, get a test ride and then go with what YOU like best.

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Old 10-04-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinope View Post
My real true goal is to get 2 of the same bike for me and my girlfriend and do half road half off-road touring from light dirt/fire roads to progressively gnarlier stuff
I would avoid the DR650 if you wish to progress to any "gnarly stuff". It takes a really skilled rider to handle a 365 pound motorcycle in serious off road conditions. The DR650 is simple and reliable as a hammer and a great choice for around the world, but too heavy to learn dirt riding.

I get a kick out of all the people who talk about how heavy the Japanese 250s are and then recommend a 335 pound 690. Yes, super power to weight ratio, but if 300 pounds is too much, how is 335 not?
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:07 PM   #15
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I actually rode a used 2013 KTM 690 Enduro R at the dealer today and while I really liked the way the bike fit me and the riding position, I thought the engine was severely lacking. It also vibrated really really bad like a weed eater. I'm not sure what the big deal is with it to be honest. Maybe if you never wanted to get on the road?

I guess on the plus side that makes me think the WR250R is an even better choice than before since the riding position felt similar on the WR250F I sat on to the 690 E R. Luckily I found someone locally that will let me ride his lowered DR650, setup like I want to tomorrow. That should be a great insight into that one but I agree its a bit heavier than I want.
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