Mid-Life Crisis Decision!!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Bridude, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Bridude

    Bridude Adventurer

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    Hi guys, and gals,

    I am brand new here. I am 49 yrs old and a buddy of mine just got a Suzuki dual sport to ride back and forth to work and play on the trails on the weekend. Now, he wants me to get one to trail ride together.

    Since it's been so long since I've ridden and now I am also a little gun shy about having a really powerful bike, I am looking at smaller used bikes to get started with. I have found a 2008 CRF230L with less than 1000 miles for $2500, a 2001 Yamaha T225 with 5200 miles for $1600 and a 2003 Suzuki DRZ400s with 13000 miles for $1750

    I haven't seen the XT225 or the DRZ in person yet, but the owners say they are in good shape and run great.

    Also, I am 6'3" and 230 lbs.

    What bike do you guys recommend for an OLD gun shy dude ???

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Given your height/weight, I would recommend you lean towards the DRZ.

    I had one as my first bike, and they can be ridden mild or wild.
    #2
  3. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    Hi, and welcome to the asylum.
    Given your size (tall dude) the bike may be a bit small, but the displacement is what you are after. Great bike as long as services have been done. You can even offer less (bc of miles) and try to get a set of road wheels/tires for it. Great Enduro but also great road bike if sticky rubber is provided.
    #3
  4. mikeysduck

    mikeysduck Slow Ride to Nowhere

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    The 230 and 225 are fun enough. I think you will really like them the first day you ride them. The issue is once you get your riding legs back under you, these bikes are way under suspended and under powered. More toy like for a guy your size. Expect to have your riding legs back under you in a very short time.

    I had a 230 off road only model. Perfect for taking out new riders and letting them learn.

    I had a DRZ 400 good enough to do what ever you want to do. Great ride to get yourself back into the sport. The DRZ has enough power to not worry so much about cars going so fast you can't get out of their way. The DRZ is not intimidating either.

    I don't know your time table to buy, or your price range. The Yamaha WR250R NOT the 250F, the 250R. Great bikes. First year 2008. These bikes are in a different league than the 225 / 230. Kawasaki also makes a KLX 250, you might like.
    #4
  5. Bridude

    Bridude Adventurer

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    So would you guys worry about a DRZ with 13000 miles??

    There is a local Suzuki daler that will run it through a checklist for $75....and I feel like this guy would sell for $1500....

    Thanks!
    #5
  6. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

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    That's not alot of miles (mine has almost 30,000) for a well kept DRZ and a great price. I'd jump on it if it looks and runs good.
    #6
  7. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    i would recomend the drz too as long as it is in good condition. the local law enforcement uses drz400s and beat them up but never have any problems from what the mechanic says that services them. they run them up to about 40,000 miles and sell them running like new still.
    #7
  8. 73Mustang

    73Mustang Been here awhile

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    You're going to have to define dualsport. Some people's idea of dualsport is very little pavement and a lot of dirt and gnarly single track. Others think it should be 50% highway and 50% easy dirt road.

    In either case, the CRF 230 L and XT 225 are way too small for your size. The DRZ is nice, but my friend who rides one on the trail with me complains it is too heavy and not fun at all. It might be too heavy in the gnarly stuff. But on the other hand, I know a girl who rides a DRZ and never complain.
    #8
  9. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

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    at 200+ lbs you will be bored of the CRF230L quickly, though it is a good price. I cant speak for the 225 as i have never ridden one.

    The DRZ is probably one of the cheapest, most popular dual sports around. Could be hotrodded to make big power if you want to go that route, or just driven reliably for 10's of thousands of miles without crazy maintenance. Aftermarket is plentiful and replacement bikes/motors/wheels are relatively cheap. I say go DRZ
    #9
  10. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    All 3 could work, and the investment is small, but I'd suggest a KLX250S or WR250R. Lighter and less powerful than the DR-Z, but more modern and powerful than the XT225 and CRF230L, better for a guy your size.

    Unless you are a mechanic and enjoy tinkering (and it doesn't sound like it if the "local Suzuki dealer that will run it through a checklist for $75"), I would find something newer that the XT and DR-Z. They're reliable and could last decades, if you get good one, but you're buying it to ride, right?

    Remember, it may be your first for a long while, but that doesn't make it your last. Until you get on and go, you won't know what works for you and what doesn't. Buy used, play with it for a few months or years, sell and move on. It's great fun. I have had 3 dual-sports since Fall 2010, hasn't cost a too much, and I've learned a lot. '99 DR350SE - too old, constantly needed minor repairs (due to previous owners, no fault of Suzuki); '06 DR650SE - great bike, too heavy for my skills off-road, awesome on dirt & gravel roads, decent on road for a dual-sport; '09 WR250R - so far seems like the sweet spot, but I just got it this Summer, so we're still on our honeymoon.
    #10
  11. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    230L guy here...(you can see my other posts for endless bla bla about the 230L)

    Too small for 6' 3 " if you want to ride it longer than 20 minutes. Sit on some bikes with that height. The WR250R may fit, but has a higher rev required for power. The thumper low end power is easiest for you- like the 230L (too small) maybe try the 230F, or XT250. Agree that 250 is a good beginner size, I get what I need from a 230 :D and I have ridden a 750cc two-stroke Suziki in 44 states AK to Baja back a few decades ago...just depends, if you want to wheelie in 4th gear that is something different...:huh
    #11
  12. Pariahtize

    Pariahtize Miscategorized

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    I had the DRZ 400e, and loved the bike for trail riding. Good, strong, reliable plant (I'm 6'2", butonly 175lbs).
    #12
  13. sunset_ryder

    sunset_ryder aka "toots"

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    :wave
    Hi, I'm 5'5, 120 lbs, 51 yrs, SWF. I rode a friends XT225 this year at RMAR. I found it to be overwhelmingly uninspiring! I think you would hate it. It is however extremely unintimadating. Top end on highway a twitchy 60mph. The WRR seem to be well received, 08 or newer for fuel injection recommended.
    #13
  14. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    WRR/WRX have always been FI. 2008 was the first year.
    #14
  15. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    I went for the DRZ400E for dual sporting. The WR250R was very tempting and I tried to convince myself to buy one but the lazy torque of the DRZ won out. The WR250R had the power when you revved the engine but I liked the DRZ lay back lazy approach in my older days, lighten it up top by changing the headlight, pipe, and fender and its a capable trail / short length ADV bike. Just my Aussie opinion

    If that fails maybe you could find one of these

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    If you're in decent shape (decent strength, coordination, and reflexes), a DR-Z400S probably isn't going to be much trouble on easy-to-moderate trails for somebody your size if you're used to 500cc+ multi-cylinder streetbikes in your past. Thumpers don't usually make the same kind of power or weigh nearly as much. Just dial in the suspension for you, and put on appropriate tires. I'm 5'8"/200lb/30"inseam/40yo, and my first dirtybike was a DR650SE that's almost 400lb. I ride it in bottomless sugarsand and even mud. A lighter bike is easier to pick up, but I can heft the big DR by myself repeatedly, without issue. Altitude might make that a bit different though.

    As far as the power, just be careful with giving it the gas until you get the hang of the powerband and the traction. The front ends come up a LOT easier on many dirtybikes than they do on most streetbikes, even if the thumpers typically have less power. The weight is typically biased further rearward on the dirtybikes.
    #16
  17. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    You'd like riding mine

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Another vote for the DRZ :thumb
    #18
  19. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Another vote for the drz, even though I do not like tall water cooled bikes.
    For someone your size and weight, it fits.
    The KLX is also in the running, but down on power, the dr650 is a good bike, but too heavy for older guys in the dirt.
    When you get past 50, bones tend to snap, not bend.

    Owning a dual sport, you should learn how to work on it, not pay someone to check it over, which just involves looking at it, not doing anything to it.
    The drz is a reliable well built bike, but dirt riding anything means you have to look after it.

    The drz's biggest problem is the close ratio transmission, if its geared for the dirt, it tends to scream on the street, and if geared for the street, its too tall for the dirt.
    But there is nothing else in the 350 to 500 cc range except an old dr350.
    There are euro bikes, but they tend to need work more often and cost more.
    #19
  20. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    2008 with 800 miles, $2900. on it for sale in the Flea Market, like new. At 6'3 you can handle it. Too good to pass up.
    #20