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

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

  1. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    I almost fell into the downsizing trap after getting beat up from riding mostly tough single track for a couple of years on an XL600R and then my 640E. Thank God I didn't. I just had a great weekend of dual sporting on winding mountain pavement, forest service roads, two track dirt roads and a few trails that reminded me again of how much more fun I have with big power on any kind of road whether it is paved or not.

    The small bikes were always right there on trails and not working as hard. But that was really the only place they did better. Everywhere else we had to wait for them to catch up at every stop. We are all pretty good riders and do not ride at a relaxed pace. We turn it up when the pavement ends. The smaller bikes just didn't have the power to hang with a continuous 75 to 80 mph pace or hard acceleration out of every turn and curve.

    So, except for trails, the 250's were basically WFO for that whole ride from trying to keep pace with much more powerful bikes. Granted there was one trail I didn't even try despite having ridden it many times on my smaller bikes. I watched my bro-in-law crash a 350 trying it and just didn't want to wrestle with my 640 on that trail even though I would not have even hesitated on my MXC200 or even the TTR250 in our group.

    I know my 640E is a handful on tough single track from its physical size, high power and tall gearing even though it isn't really much heavier than Japanese 250's. I have crashed it enough on goat trails to have no illusions about that. But I have owned large and small bikes and, to me, big bikes more than make up for the trail handicap whenever I get to twist the right drip. I just can't imagine giving up the big power.

    Which is why I got the MXC200 for whenever I get the urge to play GNCC rider. Owning two bikes is the only real answer to the dual sport size delimma.
    #81
  2. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    My KLX is not capable of those speeds. It's pretty much done around 70mph on flat ground (true speed, not indicated speed). It does feel smoother than the KLR at top speed, though. Less vibration and no buffeting. I find that it is very squirrelly feeling at higher speeds, too. It takes some getting used to. That's the price you pay for better handling in the woods.
    #82
  3. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    cjbiker...how is your klx geared? What year? Mine is a 06 pretty much stock with a 13t front sprocket it will cruise an indicated 65 to 70 without a problem. That has been the pleasant surprise of this bike. I expected a much harder time on the highway.
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    Indicated vs actual speed is a good point. I am talking indicated speeds and more importantly, keeping up with traffic speed. I will put the gps on it for my next ride and see how far off the speedo is. But so far, keeping up with traffic on 4 lane highways in PA hasn't been a problem, although you do have to plan your passes more carefully. On the 650, I just stay in the left lane and go for the most part. I have to say that my 98 klr650 would wiggle a lot more at speed than the 06 klx.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I think the bike you pick has a lot to do with your geographic location/mindset while riding. I don't push hard on the road. I don't want to have something bad happen at 75 mph. I also don't mind shifting the 250 to stay on top of it, it's just part of the trade off in my mind. I'm also not a big guy (around 175lbs with gear) so that is also a factor. Another 6 or 7 hp (for riding loaded up) and the klx would probably be close to dual sport nirvana.....for me.<o:p></o:p>
    #83
  4. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    I'm geared 14/42 with knobbies and 15/42 when I put the supermoto wheels on. Seventy-something is about the most I can do on the GPS full throttle in 6th gear on the flat with no head/tail wind. It might pull more in 5th, but it's screaming. Stock speedo is way off, about 12% IIRC. Oddly, the odometer is perfect.

    I've only pushed it up that far a few times, just to see what it would do. I'm much happier to run prudent speeds.
    #84
  5. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    A big single is perfect for AK. I did the 2006 and 2010 Alcan5000 TSD rally on a KTM950. I am entered in the 2014 version aboard a Yam WR250R, but I may ride my 690 instead. The Great White North has a lot of open space. Hours on end on lonely roads of all kinds of surfaces. Not really technical riding unless you are in mud. Your DR is perfect for it.



    #85
  6. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

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    I recently downsized from a Husky SM610 to a Yamaha WR250X. When I had the Husky, I also had a KLX351. When I first got the KLX, I got to thinking that maybe it could be my do it all bike. That's when I bought a big bore kit and started outfitting it for traveling. But I decided not to sell the Husky right away. Over the course of a year I started taking the KLX on short trips, really just overnighters, instead of the Husky. I still used the Husky for longer trips. I enjoyed traveling on the KLX, but it just wasn't as good as the Husky.

    Over time I decided that the KLX wasn't going to replace the Husky, yet I still had the urge to downsize. But here's where I probably differ from most of you. I'm short and very light, and with the Husky weighing in at quite a bit over 3X my weight, and having a tall seat height with a fairly high center of gravity, I always felt like it was a bit much bike for me. I only liked to ride it if my husband was riding with me. If I went alone, I rode the KLX. I just felt more confident on it. So finally a nearly new 2011 Yamaha WR250X became available locally. I had been researching the WR's since they first came out, and had always thought the 250X might eventually replace my Husky.

    I bought the 250X, and I did almost reget it. I was like, what was I thinking?!!! The power seemed so anemic compared to the 610. I even thought about just turning the 250 into a dirt machine, keeping the Husky, and then selling the KLX instead. At one point my husband said I could just keep all three. That's probably because I was literally :cry over the Husky being for sale.

    But then a buyer came along, and I decided to go forward with the sale of the Husky. Now that I've had some time on the 250X and done an overnight trial run, I feel that the bike is going to work out great for me. We only do trips up to a week in length, don't ride over 300 miles a day, and we only cruise around 60 most of the time, so the 250 will be more than enough. I'm enjoying the lighter weight, and I've found that I had just had to learn to ride it different to get the power out of it. Rev it up and it does pretty darn good for a 250. It will never be a 610, but I can always ride my better half's BMW 650 if I feel the need for more power. He like the 250X, and will happily switch with me when I want. He's even thinking of downsizing now.

    So...I thought I might have major regrets, but in the end it worked out great downsizing from a 610 to a 250.

    And since everyone like pics, and I like to post them...:D

    The Husky on it's final trip with me:

    [​IMG]

    The KLX:

    [​IMG]

    The WR on it's first trip:

    [​IMG]
    #86
  7. Davidc83

    Davidc83 Been here awhile

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    My 2009 klx250sf, stock, will run between 70-75 mph (gps) for many, many miles. Top end is about 80mph.
    It runs smoother than my g650gs.
    #87
  8. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    If someone is saying the KLX will do it, I'm calling BS. Same goes with the WRR. I had a WRR with the common mods, and while it would run run 75+, the throttle was on the stops and that was all it had. Some folks may not mind riding like that, but I found it extremely tiring. Don't get me wrong, I think the KLX and WRR are fabulous bike for back roads, commuting, etc...but they are no where near as good as a 650 for gobbling up miles on the slab.
    #88
  9. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Yeah. Again, its really hard to know what tool is good for the job when you dont know the job- Ive never been to Colorado or up north, so I am literally flying by what I see in ride reports. I guess the main reason I started thinking I should get a 250 is for the tight technical stuff in colorado and some places out west, but a lot of DR owners have mentioned since then that it should be fine if taking it slow. I love the DR- at this point im not really sure I could give up the nice chunk of torque. Also, I can imagine long roads in the west would be better on a big thumper- carry a 15 and 14 tooth sprocket and youve got dirt explorer or highway cruiser in 15 minutes.

    I do think I will pick up a 250 for closer rides after my trip- this seems to be something a lot of people like to do.
    #89
  10. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    Rufjeep,
    If I was on the slab for hours on end, then a bigger bike would be better but I (and probably most people) have a lot of great riding areas close to home where slab time is minimal. The furthest I typically travel on the road is 1.5 hours away, the 250 has no problems with it. I am keeping the dr because it is a great bike, I don't have a lot of money in it and because I sometimes ride 2 up. That said, if I had to choose just one, I would make do with the 250 for occasional camping trip and accept the fact that I can't ride it 2 up. I'm surprised you didn't like the wrr on the road, some guy (Mark at bigdogadventures) even took his to Alaska!

    GSF1200S,
    You shouldn't have any issues with the DR in Colorado. A hard trail is a hard trail, if anything, I thought riding out west was a little easier because it was typically dry and rocky vs muddy with rocks and tree roots everywhere like we have on the east coast. The Dr's power will also be welcome if you are riding on the roads over any passes, people do drive faster out there.
    #90
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Umm...aren't you at a bit of altitude, in a hilly part of the country?

    It also depends on WHICH bikes you're comparing. I wouldn't want to ride an oil-burning KLR or a paint-shaker 640 on a long slab trip either. A WRR on relatively-flat ground at low altitude might be perfectly fine slabbing-wise for many people.
    #91
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    The WRR is great below 5k feet, but it ain't bad in the high places. Mine runs out of throttle on high grades like in the Rockies, but I just go to 5th gear and she comes right back. If she runs out of the throttle in 5th, I go to 4th to maintain my slab speed (65 or so). I like to go to a gear that allows the throttle to be off the stop.
    #92
  13. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Im really not sure I would enjoy this on a bike, especially once you load it down with gear and add a headwind. Ever since I have started riding every bike Ive had has had more than enough power to blow away 95% of traffic in nearly all situations.

    That said, Im amazed a 250 can even do 65 at altitude, let alone up a hill. 15 cubic inches.. I will have one when I get back from my trip :evil
    #93
  14. mashrider

    mashrider Adventurer

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    I have a KLX 250 SF, and enjoy the heck out of it, If I had to chose between my XR 1200 and the Kawi, the KLX would win, Its my go to bike tons of fun, it will go 75 easy but the seat is a pain
    #94
  15. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    I went from a KLR to a DL1000, fun bike I even took it off road in Baja, then wanted smaller and got a TW200, what a POS, 70 MPH WOT and scary, now I have a DR650 great compromise, much lighter that the KLR, and plenty of power to cruise at 75 all day long and still pass. I just did a 3 day ride with all my camping and cooking gear, this is just the right size.
    #95
  16. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    If the long trip was 70/30 in favor of the street, and it involved roads that required speeds of >65 mph for long periods of time, I would absolutely choose the KLR, DR650, or the LC4 over a 250. Let me be clear, I like the KLX and the WRR, but think they are a litttle over-hyped in their abilities to comfortably maintain slab speeds (at least anywhere there is an appreciable climbing involved).

    As far as adventure riding goes (and let me loosely define that by a bike that carry plenty of gear, cover alot of miles, and let you do it in some semblence of comfort), I am just not a fan of the smaller bikes. I'd choose the KLR, 650 Dakar, or plenty of other bikes with roomier cockpits, better luggage capacity, some wind protection.

    The OP asked if ayone had went from a 650 to a 250 and regreted it. Well, I did, I'm not knocking anyone else's choice in bikes, it just wasn't for me.
    #96
  17. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    Set up as is, all I need is larger tank and a camelback on the rear rack/seat in the spring for an overnighter.

    [​IMG]

    I put the gps on it for a short ride today and the speedo is off about 6 mph at an indicated 70. It isn't pinned at that speed but it may not be enough for some superslab although for me, it is working out great so far.
    #97
  18. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

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    I've had 2 KLR's, and just picked this up today. I rode it home about 150 miles on the freeway. It isn't as good on the freeway, I don't know what others are talking about. It vibrates more, even though it has vibrinators in it. But, that being said, it did 150 miles just fine. I put the speedo on 70, it didn't slow down at all going up hills, and it had enough room left that I didn't worry at all if I needed to pass someone. This does have the 331cc kit in it, so not sure how much of a difference that makes.

    So, the KLRs (at least the ones I've had) were better on the freeway, but this is light enough and powerful enough that it feels like it will be better pretty much everywhere else. With my style of riding, I didn't end up taking the KLR's on long freeway trips, so it didn't make too much since to have one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #98
  19. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Steep stuff.............yea,my tw200 does that easy. I went from a 650L to the TW....no regret!.:D
    #99
  20. Llamaha

    Llamaha Been here awhile

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    The WR250R is the best do it all bike available. I used to ride mine 60km to work and back every day then on the weekend take long 300km trips into the forest then return to start riding to work again with just an airfilter clean.

    It's not a slow bike either:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1t72um71WsA#t=210s

    I did find it very weak in the sand but riding in sand is shit anyway. Used to ride in the mountains with Husky 610's, KTM640s, XR650R's then in the forest with 2 strokes, whatever it could do it all. The 610 gave it a bit of a run for it's money but then the engine blew up?! Is that what you call an adventure? I just see a big credit card bill. See it happen with KTM's all the time too. If you're not racing and you just like to explore off-road then there's no doubt in my mind which bike you should purchase. You don't even have to open the engine until 42,000kms should this be overlooked? By the time your friends are done servicing their bikes you'll be at your destination already. Also you don't need to buy a 4WD with a trailer to take it everywhere which is a HUGE timesaver, unlike the 450s where you have to rebuild the engine every however many hours making it a bad idea to run up those hours getting to the trails. Wake up at 8am, be in the forest by 10am. It used to take me 2 hours just to prepare my fuel, tools etc and load my old RM250 onto the trailer but with the WR250R sometimes I'd be on my way home already.

    Oh and you'll burn half the fuel the other bikes do too. And never have I ever had any problems at all getting up hills... not sure why people assume this before riding it. It's designed with this in mind by having the 2 first gears very short so it can go up anything...

    There are other vids on youtube with people doing huge jumps on them on the MX track (not really my thing but if it floats your boat...)

    Again if you're racing or want to beat your chest as you gain a 10 second lead on your mate then there are much better bikes you can buy, but if you're looking to explore then get the WR250R.