Anyone go from a Big 650 dualsport to a 250 and regret it?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ntm1973, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Showed this setup ..saves tires, better than a van for comfort and u gtvto ride a lite bike. Maybe just the ticket for Alaska
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    Lite bikes definitely rule. Had a lot of fun this summer with this ..totally unexpected. Bought it for my kid who scoffed and wanted something electric start. It's plated. Found it almost effortless off road. Only thing I had issues with is steep sand hills especially at altitude. I feel a 280 kit, xr400 oil cooler and maybe xr400 forx would make this about perfect . .also go up one on the counter sprocket.

    [​IMG]
    #61
  2. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    You can do Alaska on a Harley D. It is a road/gravel road trip per most ride reports (not personal experience).

    Your DR650 should be just fine.
    #62
  3. dirtyron

    dirtyron never grew up

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    i 've had an xt600,xr650r,xr 400 and am most happy overall with my dr350 se, its smooth at 65 mph, trail worthy. gets 70 mpg and has the happy button.reliable as an anvil.relatively low seat height for off road, and they are cheap to buy, for me there is no better dualsport
    #63
  4. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Horses for courses. Where do YOUR preferences lie?

    The big DR would be my bike of choice for riding to AK, riding around AK, and riding home. It's better on the slab than most thumpers, and can be generally easier to fix/maintain in the middle of nowhere with limited tools/parts/support than the few thumpers that ARE (allegedly) better on the slab. A 250 may be enough on the road, but factor in luggage weight, luggage aerodynamics, hills, and altitude...You'd better have one strong 250 if you want to burn some miles on hilly slab to make time, and the heavier bikes tend to get blown around a bit less. You can also set up your DR for 400 miles of fuel-range, from the main tank alone. (Carry a spare bottle or 2 though).

    Having a light bike is nice offroad, but it had also better have some torque if you're climbing long sandy/muddy hills with ruts/rocks. Even around flat FL, I'd rather have the torque of at least a DR-Z for our deep sand. A WR250R isn't much lighter. The low-rev torque of a geared-down DR with a pumper carb is almost silly, by comparison.

    Ride Ocala NF, Eglin, Croom, and/or Black Water quite a bit before you go. If you can handle the DR in silt/sand and the mud around here without issue, you won't have much issue with gravel/chipseal roads out west. I'd prepare yourself more (mentally and gear-wise) for being out in the middle of nowhere with no quick-N-easy medical/mechanical support, being in grizzly/elk/moose country, fending off AK mosquitoes and flies, and being cold/wet like you don't get in FL. It's still surprising to me how easily long-time Floridians get chilled, especially once they get wet. High-altitude summer nights out west are often colder than Jan/Feb lows in FL, so prepare accordingly.
    #64
  5. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    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 :lol3
    #65
  6. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    No kidding.:D 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.:rofl

    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.
    #66
  7. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    From reading the threads in my area, most of the guys around here either have Beemers, DRs, or KTMs. I am not going anywhere near a KTM. I dont want to know how awesome it is :lol3
    Im about 5' 11" (6' in mx boots), but im more torso than leg- 31" inseam (32" in mx boots). 165lbs. I can hold the bike up and pick it up without issue. I have very strong legs, but my upper body is currently a work in progress (pretty thin, so been hitting the gym). On the plus side, coming from streetbikes the DR is the lightest bike ive ever ridden- it feels like a mountain bike compared to my Bandit. Throwing a set of D606s on it in a few days, and ive already removed about 15 pounds of weight from the bike. I will be experimenting with everything you mentioned save lowering the pegs.

    Yeah, rollin solo. I keep trying to get my friend up in Mass. to give it a thought since weve ridden streetbikes a while, but hes pretty strapped $ wise. I too am reaching this point- i need to save for the trip, and buying an IMS tank, sargeant seat, suspension and pumper carb kind of commits me on the DR for the trip. So, im kind of stuck with a 3/4 farkled bike (got the handgaurds, rack, skidplate, covers, nsu done, etc etc) that I can either finish now and use on the trip, or hold off on and farkle a WR for the trip. Then, Id use the DR for South America later :evil

    Im bringing a PLB and possibly a satellite phone, though I do want to keep some adventure in the mix. Ill also likely hook up with local riders via this forum from time to time- colorado especially if I can manage it.

    I dont want it to seem like Im intending to be looking for trials type single track everywhere- I like the wide open desert, I like the dirt paths that are flat and wide open snaking through the mountains, and I even like a good 50 mile stretch of pavement where I can put more attention on whats around me instead of constantly scanning terrain for wash outs, ruts, soft sand, etc. I like it all. I think if I had more experience, the DR would be perfect for me which is why I plan to keep it.
    #67
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Keep an eye on the classifieds here and on other sites...ThumperTalk.com, DRRiders.com, etc. You might pick up a tank, seat, carb, and up-rated springs for pretty cheap. If you have to buy new though, I'd suggest the $160 Seat Concepts kit instead of a $300+ Sargent, and hold off on the $$ pumper carb...just tune the stock BST40 for now. I prefer the quiet stock exhaust for long trips too. If you can't find good deals, you might even be able to borrow a few things, like a big fueltank.

    'SPOT and a cellphone should cover your communications and keep things simple. Just be sure to keep them accessible on your person, and not on the bike.
    #68
  9. Erod

    Erod Adventurer

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    I have both the KLR 650 and a Super Sherpa. Love both the same. I do like the Super Sherpa for the town and everyday use around the game lands. Also it is very easy to load on the RV.
    #69
  10. Tammy

    Tammy Team 2nd Wind

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    Had a klr650 loved it, wr250r fun bike but it was missing something so now i have a g650x and a WR250f and ill be happy once i fix the BMW :rofl you need lots of bikes 10 or more...
    #70
  11. Tammy

    Tammy Team 2nd Wind

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    not rubbing it in but i got 38" inseam 39 with my boots on lol sorry
    #71
  12. Davidc83

    Davidc83 Been here awhile

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    I have a 800c twin cruiser, a bmw g650gs thumper and I store a klx250sf in florida in storage when I go to florida for vacation. I miss and love riding that little klx250sf and I have a blast on it when I go to florida. I have all the bases covered, cruiser, big thumper and little thumper :clap
    #72
  13. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I picked up a 2006 klx250s cheap to see if I would miss the 650's power and I have to say that I don't miss the power all that much. I've had the klx on some super slab and it had no problem keeping up with traffic but passing is an issue. I imagine that it would have been worst if I was loaded down but as it stands, 1.5 hr on the highway is not a problem for the bike. In fact, it was pretty smooth. A little more horsepower would make the bike just about perfect, maybe I'll do an overbore when the 250 wears out but I can't really complain how it rides now.

    The bike is head and shoulders better offroad than the klr650 or dr650. It's almost like riding a mtn bike offroad. I'm sure the better suspension helps alot.

    I think when we (or at least I) buy a dual sport for the first time, there is an expectation of doing long epic travels. The reality for me is that I am lucky to do 1 or 2 multiday trips a year between family and work obligations. Most of my "adventures" are close to home and the 250 is a great fit. All I need is a bigger tank so I'm not stopping for gas a couple of times a ride!

    I don't have enough experience to give anyone advice but I will say this to anyone contemplating a smaller bike: Give a lot of thought to how many long trips you really need a packmule of a bike for. Chances are you will be happier loading up your lighter more responsive bike for couple of trips and traveling at a more relaxed pace than wrestling a heavier bike on your day to day "adventures."
    #73
  14. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    I'm going to print this out and stick it on the fridge. :deal
    #74
  15. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    :bluduh

    :cry
    #75
  16. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    You guys need to stop talking about all your good experiences with these 250s. Every single time I get to feeling content with my 650 someone comes along and reminds me that im just fooling myself.

    :lol3
    #76
  17. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Meh, it's all in perspective...maybe the 250 guys are the ones fooling themselves:wink:
    #77
  18. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    ah-ha! Noted :deal
    #78
  19. Fishenough

    Fishenough Team Lurker

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    Very interesting, a commonly repeated statement is that the KLX is smoother on highway than the KLR. That's a nail in the coffin for buying a new KLR early next year.

    Previously in coastal BC had ridden nothing but DR and XR 650's for a dozen plus years, but in the last 4 years put 85,000 km's on a KLX250sm and it was grrrreat. But as it's often said, it's where you ride and how you ride; and it doesn't help if like me you change your bike choice every other day. It's more of problem when I intend to have only one bike, yet 4 or so would fit all the riding I wanna do.

    Anyone in Northern BC selling a Versys?

    :freaky
    #79
  20. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    Seriously? My KLR is pretty much commited to 70-72 mph, even with a 16 toother anything over that and it plays hide the oil. It does have power to pass at those speeds but I never do because I get out in the fast lane and can't really run over there. You telling me a KLX will cruise comfortably (at least more so than a KLR) at those speeds? I'd love to have less of a pig bike, it would inspire me to do some trails that I don't do now because I don't feel like dropping my KLR 87 times. And I'm pretty much a diehard Kawi fan so the KLX is about the only other bike I'd consider.
    #80