Best thumper for dirt trail exploring?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Guy Jinbaiquerre, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

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    I have a GSA for long-distance tarmac touring mixed with fire roads and mild dirt. Now I want a light little bike for real trail exploring in the woods. It should be road-legal just in case, but I'll mainly be carrying it by van out to where the trails are. Any suggestions as to what a good bike of this kind would be?

    Difficulty factors:

    (1) I have a 29" inseam. (That said, I manage just fine on a stock GSA.)

    (2) Must be road-legal

    (3) I'd like to be able to carry some sort of small luggage on it, whether a tailbag/topcase, Giant Loop, or panniers, in case I'm camping out on the trail somewhere. Or maybe a backpack would be better in that situation?

    (4) Main objective is that it be fun as heck for crazy trail exploring.

    So... whaddya reckon? :ear
    #1
  2. ADV8

    ADV8 Taumarunui..Darwin..

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    Yamaha WR250 ?

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Nightfall

    Nightfall Disco-Trash

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    I love my KLR 250, I'm 195 pounds and have a 30" inseam, it carries me fine, it is my daily ride as well, I ride it through town, woods and random 100 mile trips, even on roads with 60 MPH speed limits, the only minus is it's kickstart only but it fires up with one to two kicks.
    #3
  4. Nightfall

    Nightfall Disco-Trash

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    I just noticed you're in Japan, you'll have a larger selection of smaller DS's there ...
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  5. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    1st choice - Yamaha XT250

    2nd choice - Suzuki DR200
    #5
  6. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    how much performance do you want? husky TE250.
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  7. Drilldogger

    Drilldogger Been here awhile

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    +1 on wr250 or previous model klx250s.
    #7
  8. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    I forgot about the KLX.

    He mentioned a 29" inseam -- a dilemma I share, which makes the tallish WR a bit of a jump to mount or stop with.
    #8
  9. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I plan on looking for a good used Yamaha tw200.
    I am tired of getting busted up on tall heavy dual sports with narrow tires in the sand.

    It should be light so you can pull it out of a swamp when you are tired.
    It should have the gearing and traction to get up hills.
    It should be reliable and unbreakable.

    Younger guys love raw power and the suspension to use it.
    They don't break so easy as older guys...
    #9
  10. Vapor_Trails

    Vapor_Trails Been here awhile

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    I've spent the last few weeks looking at every dual sport out there. This is my conclusion to OP's question:

    No highway use + hauled to trails + street legal + reliability for multi-day off road camping excursions + 29" inseam = KLX250s.
    #10
  11. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm liking the looks of the KLX250 the most so far at this point...
    #11
  12. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    the wr250 is a sweet little bike.
    #12
  13. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

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    Maybe... but the seat is almost 4 inches higher than the KLX! 35" vs. 38.6". Seems a little too high for me. :eek1

    The KLX is the same seat height as my GSA, and with a narrower body, I should be able to get even more of my feet on the ground.
    #13
  14. Nightfall

    Nightfall Disco-Trash

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    The DS version of the WR, AKA the WR250R, has a 36.6" seat height, the dedicated dirt model features the higher seat, the KLX250S = 35", KLR 250 = 33.8" or so ... Also, I'd recommend checking out an XT250, I rode one for my MSF course and LOVED it.
    #14
  15. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    Kawasaki Super Sherpa, under $2000. Dual disc brakes, 6 speed wide gear ratio, low seat height, lightweight, and nice low end torque.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    My son has a Super Sherpa, and while it's more sophisticated than my XT225, to be honest, the brakes, regardless of rear disc, suck. Really suck badly.

    Vertically challenged, the XT225 is hard to beat, and the 6 speed is great on the road. A lot more of them out there, more aftermarket support too.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the SS, but the brakes scare me.
    #16
  17. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    I have no problem with the brakes on my Sherpa; I have two of them, one or mostly pavement riding, another beater for dirt duties..

    I've ridden multiple XT225s, no significant better braking performance in comparison. how many Sherpa have you ridden? maybe yours is due for brake service?

    Brakes, who needs them? they only slow you down.
    -Snuff Smith
    #17
  18. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

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    Hey everybody,

    Sorry I forgot about this thread; it's been a while. So anyway, here's what I eventually got:

    [​IMG]

    Honda XR 250 Baja (photo not of my actual bike, but it's the same model year and color).

    I get my feet pretty much flat on the ground when then suspension compresses. It's light and fun and I'm liking it a lot. :D

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    #18
  19. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    Don't believe we get that model in the US. The new Honda 250 DS would probably fit the bill, especially as it's FI for only $4500.

    Hope yours is working out for you.
    #19
  20. davidmill

    davidmill Adventurer

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    crf250l
    #20