Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SIKLR250, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    I forgot to say, the baby Ninja is a good machine, but it is absolutely outshadowed by the Hyosung Comet GT250. The fit and finish on the Hyosung seems to be superior, and the engine is even more impressive. The engine runs like sewing machine and really has good perceived power. You find yourself asking, "Is this really a 250?" I had the pleasure of test riding one last summer.

    You can get a new one for around $2000 if you can find an unsold 2005 or 2006. I saw a brand new one on ebay last week in Pennsylvania that sold for around $1500. But then of course you'd have to contend with the almost non-existant dealer network once you got the machine. Still, the machine amazed me when I test rode it. (maybe Hyosung was able to do well with it because they are involved in producing SV650's)
    #41
  2. vintagecycle

    vintagecycle Adventurer

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    I think long distance touring on a Ninja 250 would be great.

    For several years now, I've also had this strange fantasy to find a clean KE100 and do a cross country trip on secondary roads (as this is the only place the little KE could do posted speed limits...)
    Now that I've been living in Kalifornia for the last three or so years, finding a good, clean (and legal) KE100 will be impossible...
    #42
  3. lagcam

    lagcam Been here awhile

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    I didn't know Hyosung made a 250. I've seen a 650, and was pretty impressed as I had pre-conceived notions of it being a complete POS. Thanks for the idea, I'll have to look into it. :clap
    #43
  4. dminded

    dminded Been here awhile

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    250 ninja. run about 100 mph 3200 u.s. out the door and I believe 1 placed 12th in the ironbutt rally last year. Oh did I mention it gets around 70mpg.
    Yes you can tour anywhere on a 250 or smaller. As soon as the wife leaves me alone for a week she'll come back and find one of these in the garage next to the klr.:evil
    #44
  5. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    +1 :thumb
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  6. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    I've been tossing around the idea of selling my 2000 KLR250 and looking for a good used Ninja 250 for Sunday rides and track days (keeping the 2004 KLR for daily commuting and touring). Interestingly, the insurance (through Progressive) is twice that for the KLR250.

    Hmmm....
    #46
  7. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Hmm. :wink: I examined the Hyosung GT250R extensively last fall. It looks very impressive for such a low price point. However, looks aren't the whole story. The forks contain damper rods, not cartridges - the USD forks are just for looks - and are preload-only adjustable. They are very similar to those on the Ninja, but are larger in diameter. The brakes are an old design, and the dual disks up front just add unsprung mass. The frame is all steel and identical to that of the GT650R (to handle the power and torque of the 650 V-2), but with a 250cc V-2 motor. The result is a 410 lb. DRY weight. That's 102 lbs. heavier :eek1 than the Ninja 250, with about the same level of technology.

    The GT-R does have more torque than the Ninja, but the peak HP is about the same. The riding position is more upright on the Ninja, which I prefer for touring. Also for touring, the fuel economy of the GT-R won't match the Ninja's.

    The Hyosung is a great town bike, and a great looker, but to my mind in no way comes close to competing with the Ninja 250 in useful flexibility. They are in completely different classes. If you are interested, the folks at ninja250.com had some interesting discussions last year when the GT250R was first released in the U.S.

    Also, regarding the Ninjette, there is a terrific touring rack that supports a tail trunk and panniers made by one of the ninja250.com members. It's also reversable to keep the load over the passenger seat when you're not riding tandem. The Ninja 250 is, in fact, one of the best owner/community-supported bikes available.:1drink

    By the way, I'm not down on Hyosung. :ear I'm expecting great things from them in the future when they have boot-strapped their way up to more current technology. With their growing economy, and great attention to the automotive and motorcycle industries, the Chinese will become a force to be respected in the very near future.:D

    Cycle World printed a comparison test in August 2006 called "Six in the City" (pg. 62). They compared the Ducati Monster 695, the Honda 599, the Ninja 650R, the SV650, and the FZ6, together with the Hyosung GT650R. Since the GT650R and the GT250R are almost identical except for displacement, you might be interested in the comparison. The GT650R didn't "win", but it did much better than anyone expected!:evil

    Cheers!
    #47
  8. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    I'm basing my opinion purely on my riding impressions. The GT250 uses the frame from the original GT650 that Hyosung was developing. Then Hyosung decided to build a new frame for the GT650. They used the original frame for their GT250. So the frame is not the same for the 250 and 650. :deal The frame looks very much like the frame on a GS500 Suzuki...a little cheap-looking, but very effective. It's the only part about the bike that looks a little "cobby."

    It makes sense that the GT250 weighs quite a bit more than the Ninja 250...it's more of a full-sized bike with a frame originally intended for a 650. It's one of the reasons the GT250 feels so surprisingly "big-bike" for a 250, along with the added torque.

    The fellow who is riding the GT250 here in Minnesota is getting 70 miles to the gallon, I believe he said. He's also had it up to 90 miles per hour. Quite a performer.

    I rode both bikes more or less back-to-back. The Ninja felt like a cheap toy bike with a bouncy toy suspension (maybe it wasn't adjusted well) and the GT250 felt plush and controlled, inferior suspension technology notwithstanding. The Ninja was a thrill to wind up to 14,000 rpm. But the GT250 has such a smooth and torquey motor...an extremely quiet sewing machine kind of feel...an intangible quality but definitely real and pleasing.

    I can see riding the GT250 on an iron butt ride.......but I'm crazy for small bikes and could see using a Ninja 250 or even a smaller displacement scooter on an ironbutt ride, too.

    Test ride the bikes back to back and see what they feel like. Hmm, the GT250 felt like a better long-distance highway bike to me. More room, and a more relaxed torquey motor. Also the ergonomics felt more upright than the Ninja. :scratch Maybe that's just me. Anybody else ridden both the GT250 and the Ninja 250 back-to back?:D

    By the way, Hyosung is a South Korean company, not a Chinese company. They actually have built Suzuki's for years, so there's a good chance that if you have a Suzuki, there's Hyosung involved. Maybe that's why the engine seems so refined.
    #48
  9. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    By the way, Hyosung is claiming a dry weight for their GT250 Comet as 341 pounds.

    Gryphon12, I know the source for that 441 pound weight error...the LA Times ran an article last fall about small bikes which contained a typo...they said the GT250 had a 441 pound dry weight. It was a misprint, and they later printed a correction.

    So you can see that the GT250 is only moderately heavier than a Ninja 250. The GT250 is simply a bigger bike with a bigger frame...it works better for average size (200 pound) people like me. The little Ninja, which was hellaciously fun, by the way, was bottoming it's fork springs very severely on braking...really needed help.

    Also, the Comet GT250 does not have dual disc brakes. It's a single disc. :deal The GT650 has dual discs.

    So with the male-slider inverted forlk and the single disc, the GT250 should have less unsprung weight on the front. No wonder it feels more advanced.

    I don't own either of these bikes, so I don't have any loyalty to either....and I like them both a lot.

    But take them for a ride back-to-back, you'll see. It's obvious the GT250 is in a class above the Ninja 250. It feels like comparing 1980's technology with post-2000 technology.
    #49
  10. fendermon

    fendermon Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    Yum!
    #50
  11. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Klay,

    Thanks for the update. We might also be talking a bit at cross purposes. :deal The Comet is an upright naked while the GT250R is a race-replica. Think (literally) SV-650 vs SV650S. The GT250R is definitely a lower riding position than the Ninja. I've riden it locally (Seattle), and it does have dual disks. I've also seen the shop manual. It is the same frame as the GT650R (also a race-replica, with the precursor of the current Suzuki SV motor). They both must have the new frame that you were talking about.

    I got the dry weight from the Hyosung brochure for the 2006 GT250R, and it is claimed at 408 lbs. With the heavier frame, dual disks, and bodywork, that might make sense in comparison to the naked Comet at 341 lbs. On the other hand, the dry weight of the GT650R is 463 lbs (where the current SV-650S is claimed at 372 lbs.). Of course, some discrepancies will exist with / without the battery, etc.

    I agree that the GT250R feels more like a "full sized" machine. The Ninja 250 runs on 16" wheels, and standard 17" wheels and a 650 class frame make a huge difference.

    To me, the Ninja 250 is 1988 technology with minor updates, while the GT250R is 1998 technology (without the 1998-vintage GSXR brakes and suspension). Still, it is a really good effort at a terrific price point. I just can't see myself buying a GT250-R that weighs more than the current SV-650S (which itself also lacks a modern suspension and brakes). The Comet doesn't ring my bell. What to do? I guess I just really like the Ninja 250 riding community, too!

    I'm glad that you really like the Hyosung. I believe that they will be successful and have only one way to go - UP!

    I don't know where I got the "Chinese" bit. I knew that they co-developed the early Suzuki SV motor. My brain needs a reset.:rofl

    Cheers!
    #51
  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Gryphon12,

    Okay, that explains it, no wonder, we're not talking about the same bike. I wasn't aware the GT250R was in the states. The naked version, the GT250 Comet, would be the one to go with...lighter than the GT250R, only 30 or so pounds heavier than the Ninja 250, with only a single disc up front. I can sense the SV650 DNA in it.

    Here, the GT650 has the twin tubular spar frame...looks pretty cool. The GT250 Comet has the frame that looks like a GS500 frame. And it has a single disc on the front. We never got the GT650 with that frame here.

    The Ninja 250 is great, too it has a jewel of a motor.
    #52
  13. BikerDave

    BikerDave Greybeard Rider

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    Has anyone bought or ridden any of those 200cc Chinese dual-sports that are all over Ebay etc lately?? I'd like a small/med. dual sport to plug around on, something lighter than my KLR650 and easier to throw around on the fireroad trails up here in the mountains. Most of them look like they run XL200 engines in them so they should be pretty tough in that respect and I'm not looking to run motocross with it......so are they any good or no??
    #53
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  14. fendermon

    fendermon Been here awhile

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  15. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    Google up China Riders, or try Chinariders.net (wag)
    #55
  16. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Adventurer

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    I would love to see Hyosung build a 250 version of the DL650.
    That would be a nice MiniTouring bike.:evil
    If they ever do, I think I would have to try one.
    BeSafe.
    #56
  17. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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  18. lagcam

    lagcam Been here awhile

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    I like the looks of that! The air cooled V-twin just looks cool.
    Check out how they left the caliper mount lower on the right fork leg. Things like that are what make a bike less expensive. Think the Japanese could stand leaving that mount on there with no caliper?
    #58
  19. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    Had a good laugh on that one.:rofl :rofl :rofl A rival company (Peak Bars) to Powerbar advertises that their bars don't taste like construction adhesive.


    Puddlejumper;

    Good idea on the stove, would be great survival kit item. For me I use a Coleman Peak system that uses a remote type fuel bottle. My reason is that it uses the same fuel as my bike and is kept filled to serve as an emergency reserve. That pint bottle's worth of fuel could give me 10-15 miles worth in a pinch.

    Looking at it from another angle; if the weather locked me down for several days (figure cold/wet) I could use fuel from the bike's tank to keep the stove going thus keeping me supplied with warm food and drinks.


    SIKLR250;

    Did my first trackweekend on my 250 Ninja, bike did fine but I soon jumped ship and went to a 250 2 stroke. On another note, had the same issue regarding the insurance on the baby Ninja but in my case it's premium beat out another bike I had that had 3X the hp of the 250's (28).


    :ricky
    #59
  20. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    I guess the average Ninja 250 rider presents more of a risk than the rest of us. I would pay about the same premium if I replaced one of my KLRs with a Honda CB750 (just an additional $5 - go figure).

    I also have an interest in 2 strokes, particularly the RD250. Always keeping an eye out for a Bantam as well.
    #60