best dual sport for a short guy

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by quietfighting, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. quietfighting

    quietfighting Adventurer

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    heres the deal:
    im getting married at the end of may and for my honeymoon my wife and i will travel throught the northwest. in doing so we will be carrying a motorcycle on a carrier with us.

    if my wife and i combined are a little less than 300 lbs. what will be powerful enough to carry us?

    this bike will mostly be ridden on the road but with dirt roads and smooth trails to explore, nothing crazy.

    here are my concerns:
    -i am 5'8, she is 5'3; so we need a bike that isnt to high to sit on comfortable. around 33' tops. the xl650l is too high at 37 inches. unless there is a very inexpensive way to lower the seat heighth.
    -i would prefer to spend less than 2000 total (w/adding new tires). is that possible?
    -i obviously want a durable bike that if something happens to go wrong isnt super expensive to work on. i here the hondas are bullet proof, and i am not sure about the others (kawasaki, suzuki, yamaha). considering the price we are looking at bikes made in the 90's probably.

    any suggestion on makes, models and years?

    thanks for the help.
    #1
  2. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    I know the KLR650 is fairly low...not exactly sure ont he seat height though....

    I'm 5'6" and handle My 34.5" seat height on my KLX250S jsut fine..I'm on my tip toes alot....but can flat foot one side at a time.
    #2
  3. Hoagie

    Hoagie Woooooh!

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    Yamaha XT225 will do what you want. Stone simple bike. It will carry 300 pounds no problem. Bike weighs 238 (or so) pounds dry.
    #3
  4. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    I have a 30" inseam
    I can ride everythig stock jeight except an XR
    #4
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    klr is not low for a short guy!
    #5
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    weak rear hub & springs
    #6
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    dr650 with stiffer front & rear spring. height is good (& can be adjusted even lower), 650 motor for power (225 would be a dog 2 up), dead reliable. you'll need a a better seat no matter what you buy. corbin nice a nice one for the dr.
    #7
  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    so do i and i ride my stock xr just fine.
    #8
  9. idahoskiguy

    idahoskiguy Long timer

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    Simple answer: DR650 or KLR650

    Believe lowering links can be fitted to both if stock is too high. But then May is a long ways off ;-)
    #9
  10. N1ckR

    N1ckR Serowist

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    The XT225 was designed in Japan where the average male weighs in at 65kg, 2 up that's 130kg, ~280lb so in theory should be able to you guys 2 up... BUT ...
    I weigh in at ~80kg or ~180lb and the suspension is just enough for me, with pre-load and damping rate at maximum it is OK for me alone off road.

    You will need suspension mods/upgrade on the XT225 to carry you both, bottoming out will be an issue off road and on road you might JUST be OK. Plus I don't think the engine will be too comfortable. IMHO you will need atleast 400cc to have comfortable amounts of power.

    Best bet is to go out and sit on some bikes and start making a list of which ones you both can fit on and the suspension holds up.
    #10
  11. truck6driver

    truck6driver The Fireman

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    Add another vote for the DR650. Good power for the weight you will have riding, reilable and easy to lower. Most dealerships will lower one. You can find good used ones for under $2000. It has better road manners than the XR650L and better off road manners than the KLR650. The DR has a 17" rim vs 18" for the XR&KLR. Thats a reduction right off the bat. Lowering links are common and seats with a lower profile are avaliable too.

    RH
    #11
  12. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    Hey quietfighting, I'm sure you realize you have to take everyone's reply w/ a grain of salt. Some people are mentioning getting aftermarket seats and aftermarket suspension, and may tell you the stock bike is unridable.
    If you and your woman are just riding around a little, the stock seat/suspension or whatever will do fine. Especially when you have buget of $2000.
    Pretty much any of the Jap bikes are fairly reliable.
    Sometimes the beauty of having little experience w/ bikes, is the ability to have fun with some old piece of junk that will do the job.

    If your new bride has agreed to bring a motorcycle along and ride you, I'm sure you will have a great time no matter what.
    #12
  13. gordo5

    gordo5 Roadkill

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    Sounds to me like you might want to consider a dr350 or xt350. Both were made in the 90s and you shouldn't have any trouble finding one for under $2K. I have an xt350 and I'm 5'8" and it's easily flat footed with a bit to spare. Apparently the DR has slightly better suspesion and has a rear disk instead of a drum, but I went with the XT because it's almost 30 pounds lighter. Of course a lot of that weight saving is because the XT doesn't have e-start, but it kicks over very easily.
    #13
  14. quietfighting

    quietfighting Adventurer

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    im going to look at a honda xr650l to check out the seat height.

    its a 95' with 17430 miles. tires at 70% and new rear sprocket

    he wants $1,950.

    what would be a good price?

    my search continues

    i am also looking for the suzuki dr650es, but all ive found is a 93' with 1800 miles and it is kickstart which can be a pain apparently.

    any chance on finding a decent 96' for around $2000.

    thanks for the help
    #14
  15. mewerj

    mewerj Been here awhile

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    truck6driver, the klr has a 17" wheel . . . still doesn't lower as easy as a dr650.
    #15
  16. Dude

    Dude super-retard

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    The DR650 comes from the factory with a fork and shock carrier that can be inverted and a lowers the bike almost 2". I am 5'7" and never had trouble with the stock setting but when I lowered it...it was even better. The DR is also a great all around bike and can be had for good prices (I don't know about 2000$, but 3000$ for sure for a good one). The Honda XR650 can be kinda tall for two up riding for shorter folk. My time on the KLR is limited but I would recomend the DR over it for many reasons.
    #16
  17. Huskyfatman

    Huskyfatman Stinky Wizzleteats

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    That sounds pretty steep. http://www.nada.com/ Like someone posted ealier, check out a DR350s. They had electric start on '94 and up and would be a good choice to start with.
    #17
  18. dr.shift

    dr.shift n00b

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    I'm only 5,4 and this is the bike I ride you can get a lower gel seat from the dealer and you can adjust the rear shock height really easy.
    #18
  19. truck6driver

    truck6driver The Fireman

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    My bad! I have not looked the KLR rear that close. I was told that it was one by a salesman at the dealership. He was most likley just trying to sell me the bike and did not know himself. I have now been schooled and learnded :D .

    RH
    #19
  20. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    You might consider an F-650. A bit pricier used that KLR or DR or XR, but also lower in stock form than any of the others (except for the Dakar).

    Its lower stock seat height has made this bike popular with women riders who, on average, are shorter than men. I think the range of seat height is from around 30" (with "low" scalloped seat) to about 34 for the Dakar model.

    The bike's 50 hp is more than plenty to pull 300 pounds two up and it will be marginally more comfy at cruising speed than the other bikes mentioned. The Rotax powerplant is known as a bulletproof reliable engine.

    I have owned a KLR (07) and now have an 03 Dakar on which I have put over 21K miles during the past year. I much prefer the BMW for both street and off-road. For a good low mileage F-bike you'll pay around what a new KLR or DR would run - in the $5K range.

    Good Luck!
    #20