Best Bike for Me #420

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by UtahFox, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    Currently riding (selling) my 2012 Tiger 800XC, an amazing hooliganesqe bike but too heavy and big for what I want to do. I'm sure I'm no different than everyone here in thinking I wish I could have 5 bikes, pretty sure that'd cover it. Yep, 6 bikes would be all anyone would ever need, though lots of people think 7 is a lucky number, but I digress.

    Currently the bike that is filling the top spot for "best bike for Dave" is the WR250R. I really like the looks of some of the lower displacement bikes from Husaberg & Husqvarna, but there's not a lot of info about their longevity or maintenance while on a LONG trip.

    OK - so that's where I'm at now. So I'm seeking some input, maybe I've missed something in the 100s of threads & reviews I've read and someone here can clue me in.

    What I want is a bike that will spend a lot of time on:

    * Rocky Mountain back roads generally and Utah ones specifically. For this I don't need a desert screamer, I want a bike that will get me there and back safely, is reasonably light-weight, and I'll be able to manage 99% of any field repair necessary. This riding will probably be a large majority of what the bike will encounter; slab for 4 hours to the Henry Mountains then off to the Southern Notom road for some exploration, desert and alpine.

    * Cross country rides. One thing I've been wanting to do is head South, then East along the coast eventually getting to the Keys. While I'm out that way, I might as well come back via the TAT. Long distance, fire roads, and trails camping as much as possible. This riding would probably be next in time spent; say 2 long rides a year, could be Baja, could be Newfoundland.

    * Lastly would be a LONG trip, say All the Way Down. I should be able to pull off Central America at least next fall.

    I realize no bike is perfect for all of these things, but there has to be a pretty short list of bikes that are close. I really can't afford more than one, so I want one that will do most of it very well. I'd say my Tiger would be excellent for options 2 & 3, but for me not option one. Right now the WR250 has a LOT of this covered, plus its inexpensive to get into, and there is SO much technical info and bolt-ons, it is the odds on favorite.

    Thanks for looking.

    P.S. I'm really liking the 2009 BMW G650 X-Country for this also, as it's only 30 pounds heavier than the WR250 its my 2nd choice. Though I'm not sure if I'd like it on trails around here.
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  2. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    Why not the new Husky Rotax powered 650?
    It fits in the weight range, and the price seems reasonable at $5999 I think it was.
    #2
  3. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    I have one. Went from an XR650l.... The WRr is the best bike I have ever had. I commute, run single track, fire roads and even had it on a supercross track. 7000 miles during my first season of ownership. that equals the last 3 seasons combined for my farkled XRL.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    Good point. I guess I'm dismissing them because it doesn't seem much different than my Tiger. If I got the WR250, there's a really really good chance that I'm going to be lowering it. I want to be able to bomb through anything and be able to get my feet down if I have to. Nice thing about the WRR in this case is if I become a lot more accomplished in dirt, I can always get rid of the link and go back to stock height.

    So I guess in answer I'd say, how tall is it / how tall does it feel (looks like a BIG bike to me, I already have a big bike), and how heavy is it? Can it be lowered?
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  5. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    I'm 90% there with you - the only thing that is making me think is the weight, it's only 30 pounds lighter than 3 of the bikes on the Sibersky Extreme Russian trip. The X-Country looks really capable on dirt, and would out do the WRR on pavement - I think :)
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  6. rickcj7

    rickcj7 Been here awhile

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    If you weigh 420 a 250 won't be enough power, get 1 of the 650s.
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  7. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"The WRr is the best bike I have ever had. I commute, run single track, fire roads and even had it on a supercross track. 7000 miles during my first season of ownership."

    "The WR250R is the best bike I have ever had" I agree.

    I have put on 12,000 miles in first year. I have 6 other bikes (!), but if I had to have just 1 bike, it would be the WR250R. Yamaha has the handling right on this bike... kind of like a KTM but without the maintenance.

    I have really short legs (28"). You can lower the back of the bike 1" (with factory suspension), lower the forks about 1/2" in the triple clamps, and get a seat concepts low-rise seat. You should touch just fine then, unless you're really small.

    >"would out do the WRR on pavement - I think :)"

    The 250 doesn't blow by people on uphills, but if you time your passing runs right, you can leave most cars in the dust on Hwy 299 and 36.

    IMHO: It is more fun to ride a 250 fast than a big bike slow.
    #7
  8. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    It sounds like for the needs you've listed, your WR250R would be best. No joke...6 speed, bulletproof 100k mile motor, relatively modern suspension, comfortable for a thumper...you already have the bike you need.

    It sounds like since you're planning on selling the Tiger, you just WANT a new bike to replace it. How about you take the sale profit and use that to save up for your longer trips and/or farkle the WR to your hearts desire (touring seat, big gas tank, GPS, etc.)? Or better yet in my opinion, keep the Tiger! I'd be afraid that if you sold the Tiger and ended up buying another single-cylinder dual sport, you'd realize how similar your WR and that other bike are. They'd both be more similar than different even if your new bike was a modern big bore thumper like a Husky Terra, 690R Enduro, etc. You may gain some comfort and will definitely gain some power with anything bigger and/or Euro. That'll be about it...but if it breaks down badly and you need a dealership, good luck with Euro service departments (particular BMW).

    The Tiger is a totally different bike than your WR...if you plan accordingly you can have great rides that will bring out the best in both bikes and minimize the times you find you and your chosen steed out of place. If you get another bike similar enough to your WR, you may end up realizing that you could take either bike on any of your rides and that it's kind of pointless (expensive) to have both bikes. Sure the bigger dual sport thumper will be better on the highway and maybe more comfortable than your WR, but it will be worse on the tighter stuff. The opposite is true of your WR...so in the end both bikes are have some disadvantages that you can't avoid at times but are more or less the same bike relatively speaking. At least a bigger dual sport would make up for it's offroad disadvantages by being much more comfortable and road worthy than any smaller dual sport.

    If I were you and had to sell the Tiger but didn't want a different multi-cylinder dual sport, I'd get a dedicated but soulful and fun street bike (990 SMT, Street Triple, Hypermotard, etc.). The thing about your WR250R and Tiger is that between the two you can pretty much tackle ANY offroad adventure...of course you could do it ALL on your WR but the Tiger obviously shines at high-speed, long-distance, and comfort with great offroad ability for a such a street capable bike which is why I'd keep it along with the WR. Also the new Tigers seem to be spiting their European origins by proving to be reliable, durable, and easy to maintain machines for a modern multi-cylinder bike.
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  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Are YOU 420#, or are you looking for a bike lighter than 420#? If YOU are 420#, I'd think you'd want a bike with some torque. If this is the case, the WR250R aint it.

    If you're fairly strong and 200lb or more, but don't have a long inseam (32"+), the DR650SE fits what you describe pretty well. It's simpler than a WR250R or G650. It's inexpensive. It's pretty reliable if you do the simple fixes. The aftermarket is great. It responds well to intelligent mods. It's an agricultural packmule, with a budding hint of hooligan.
    #9
  10. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother

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    I'm betting he is making a joke , "thread #420 about which bike is best for...."
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  11. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    I came to this conclusion as well after my immediate reaction to the number 420 which made no sense in this context.
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  12. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    Oh, is that why he rides to CO so much...? ��
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  13. kateean2

    kateean2 Adventurer

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    It sounds like for the needs you've listed, your WR250R would be best.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    I'm 5'9" and weigh a buck fifty, so a smaller bike is definitely in the mix.
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  15. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    Sorry, yes I was trying to be clever about being the 420th person with this dam subject again.
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  16. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    You speak wisely here. I think part of selling the Tiger is simply the fun of getting a new bike and setting it up. Part of it is getting a little money back out that I can apply to whatever adventure I go on. I do definitely need a dual sport, I mean, Moab is 4 hours from here with mix of freeway and highway and my bike is my daily driver as well (not actually driving it much these days :cry ). Didn't mention that in my OP but I can't just trailer/truck a bike down there for the weekend, I have to drive it, so a street bike is out.

    Last Summer I did the American Supercamp over in Fort Collins. It was fun riding a small bike that I was pushing into corners, and kind of bending it to my will. It was definitely more active & physical than riding the Tiger. The Tiger experience is more like I'm a jockey on a quarter horse, and just not applicable to riding a trail - for me - at my skill level.

    Another reason that I decided to go with a smaller bike is that trip report where some guy went around the Darien Gap via island hopping on the Caribbean side. I've been dreaming of round the world trips long before I started motorcycling, and have always thought that way around would be a lot of fun. But looking at them getting the bike (DR650?) on and off these little boats kinda sealed the deal for me, and that's when the first thought of selling the Tiger entered my mind.

    I appreciate the thoughful responses, but I'm still probably a few weeks from having to make a decision. I'd really love to hear from someone who has owned one of the BMW G650X bikes and how they handle in the desert VS the WR. Or whether a bike like a Husaberg 570 or a Husqvarna TE-310 would be up for some serious miles like a Long Way Down.
    #16
  17. UtahFox

    UtahFox Been here awhile

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    Yes I was thinking of that too when using 420 :1drink
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  18. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    Now that I've thought about it more, it seems something like a KTM 690R Enduro is different enough from your WR that it'd have a clear spot in your stable. Double to triple the horsepower of your WR with just a little extra weight...definitely makes it better on the street I'd think at least as far as the power goes (since I've read that the WR handles the street very well beyond the lackluster power and is also very comfortable, cruising easily at 75 MPH even with a passenger with that nice 6th gear, I can't assume the 690R would be much better beyond the power advantage). I imagine though all that power makes the 690R a little much on some of the tighter trails and I've heard that the WR also feels lighter than it is so it'd still be your tougher trail dual sport whereas the 690R would be more of your long-distance dual sport/ADV bike. I've also read that the 690R has a poor turning radius even with steering stops adjusted out to the max, so that'd hurt it on the tight trails. I think something like a TE-311 or a Husaberg 570 would be too similar to your WR as far as offroad ability go (withholding "speedability") and aren't suited for long distance trips. They are more or less race bikes and from what I've read are not happy at all or comfortable on the street and long distances especially compared to your WR.

    That being said, I wouldn't try a Long Way Round trip on any of these European bike and most definitely not any Husaberg or TE, but that's just me. Many people have massive component failure on whatever bike they take on continent crossing trips which means finding the nearest dealer to see if the bike can be saved. When on these longer trips especially out of country, your chance of finding a nearby dealer and decent mechanic to repair your Euro bike (and in relatively timely manner) seems much, much less likely than doing the same with a Jap bike. And what about parts availability much less their cost? Also, if you can't save your cheaper-than-dirt Jap bike, oh well you're out a few thousand dollars. But I'd have a much harder time abandoning a pricier bike like a KTM or a Husky especially if it was new when you got it. This repairability aspect is not even taking into consideration the can of worms that is Euro bike reliability. You should research that yourself and come to your own conclusions.
    #18