Downsizing to 250-400cc. Which one?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Nomad Rider, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    After 12 years commuting and long-distance riding on a V-strom 650, it's time to downsize. I hate to let the beast go, but I now travel around the country with a truck and travel trailer, and I can't load/unload it in the pickup bed anymore. It's too freakin' heavy.

    Until a year ago I had a DR350 which was nimble, light, easy to load/unload and a real delight. Unable to deal with two bikes, and sick of dealing with the PIA carburetor, it's circulating around somewhere.

    Now I'm considering letting go of my trusty horse and looking into a smaller, lighter pony machine. Maybe y'all can provide some suggestions. My riding focus has changed; it's now 70% street/30% gravel/dirt. Getting too old for gnarly stuff.

    Here's the criteria:
    1. Light. The DR was sweet at 286 lbs. The Strom is an elephant at 485 lbs (mine's heavier with all the mods). I'd like to stay around 300-320 lb max.
    2. Fuel injection: I am sick of carburetors. Don't want to dink around with them anymore. I'd rather spend that time riding than practicing my expletives.
    3. Seat height: I'm vertically challenged (29") and have lowered all my bikes. Carved the seats down (front-mid) on the Strom and the DR. Given that, there's some lee-way there. But 36" is too dang high.
    4. Prefer 6-speed. So I don't get '6-speed toe'.
    5. Opportunities to customize. I will still commute on it and bike camping, so will need to add rear rack and, hopefully, some side bags.
    6. Has some get-up-and-go. Not planning on 75-80mph Texas highways, but 60-62mph would be nice.
    Options? Suggestions?
    #1
  2. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    EXC/TE350/500/501 would impress ya, the WRR might dew, the CRF250L/Rally is cheaper, heavier, slower.

    If ya can bear it, the XT250 might be worth looking at and might be OK stock as far as seat height.

    Then there are the few tiny twins, and any bike can do gravel roads if your dirt rides are limited to dirt roads.
    #2
  3. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    Any thoughts on the upcoming KLX 250 with FI?
    #3
  4. S10gto

    S10gto Been here awhile

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    Well although not a powerhouse the new 2018 Klx250s will do what you need. I love my 14 (carb) . Plenty of options and as far as i know the Klx engine in unchanged. Kawi only added injection so the big bore 330 and 351 kits should fit. Just may need to wait for a fuel controller to come out.

    I did a 330 big bore and it's awesome! I have a Yz , Kdx , even a 15 Fe350s and I keep finding myself on the Klx.

    Attached Files:

    #4
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  5. Adanac rider

    Adanac rider Where to today

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    How about the Verses 300 , it has a nice seat height , good cruising , a little porky but better than the Wee storm.
    #5
  6. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    Just read a 2012 review of the KTM 350 EXF and drooled. But 37" seat height seems like it was built for giants.

    I had a KLR 250 for awhile, about the same height as the XT 250. I only weigh 140 and was still bottoming it out too much, which is one reason I went to the DR350. On that, I felt like I was on a pogo stick even after lowering it and loved it (a lot of maniacal smiling).
    #6
  7. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    I looked into that. Too heavy: 386 lb.
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  8. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    Didn't know that was an option! How much did the 330 bore improve power? And how much $$?
    #8
  9. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    A properly lowered EXC can be run very, very hard. Ive had a few SM variations and they cam have 8" of travel and be smoking fast on a MX track. It is all about set up. The KTM needs about 4-4.25" of race sag too, and you can run more. Money no object, a 350/500 with a 2-3" drop revalved for you, well, you wont find much better out there IM
    O.
    #9
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  10. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    I've got 3 friends with XT250's. They are very capable bikes. They are 5 speed but the ratios are nicely spread and nobody seems to complain about them. One rode the COBDR on his, no problems.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One was for sale, but I'd have to check to see if he's still got it. He wants a jet ski.
    #10
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  11. S10gto

    S10gto Been here awhile

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    #11
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  12. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    I haven't discounted the XT250 yet.

    Nice looking DR ;)
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  13. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    #13
  14. Nomad Rider

    Nomad Rider Where the wind takes us

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    But......... $10,000 is a lot of money I don't have. :)
    #14
  15. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    The DR was mine. He's now riding it. Not all KTM's are $10k. I paid $4500 for this "13 450xcw about 2 years ago, with 286 miles on it. Got less than $5k in it now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    CRF250L abs
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  17. jcshew

    jcshew Adventurer

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    Check out any BETA RR-S model. There's 4 different engine sizes to choose from and the ergonomics are perfect for your size.
    #17
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  18. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2013 DR650

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    Interesting.

    If the Versys X 300 is too heavy, then the 374lb G310GS would be off the table.

    Next is the Rally ABS from Honda at 344lbs. 70% street is a great ratio.
    The Suspension sag is a bunch so your inseam is fine.

    After that is the CRF250L at 320lbs or so.


    After that is the KLX250, which is just over 300lbs.

    Last the XT250. 31.9" seat height. 291lbs

    I recommend the Rally ABS, based on the 70% street. The Rally loves the street.
    The XT has a 53.5" wheel base.:photog That's not 70% street.
    You want 57" + for the street. The Rally is 57.3"



    So, basically the KLX 250 or the Rally. Either or.
    KLX is 56.3" wheel base. Seat height is 35".

    Good luck.
    #18
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  19. metalbuggy

    metalbuggy Been here awhile

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    Are all these bikes sohc, 2-valve?
    Too bad Kawasaki doesn't fuel inject, and re-realease the Sherpa 250 engine in something.
    4-valve, dohc...
    #19
  20. KDiqq

    KDiqq Been here awhile

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    The KLX250S is now an EFI bike. Already had 4 valves, DOHC. WR250R is exactly the same. CRF250L as well. XT250 is the only bike thats SOHC. Pretty sure it's 2 valve as well.
    #20