Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)

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

  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Bart,
    Those saddlebags are cortech throwovers. They have quick release buckles to attach to the footpeg brackets and rear rack. I couldn't find a decent rear rack for the XR250L so made one out of aluminum diamondplate that a fellow ADV rider had in his machine shop. Bent it into a U shape and relocated the rear turnsignals to the back of the rack to make room for bags. No sideframes, although the bags rub on the sidecovers as is, but I don't really care, since I bought this bike to ride to South America next winter and will sell or leave there when through riding. To keep the right side bag off the exhaust, I just went to Goodwill and bought a small silver serving tray for 2 bucks and bolted it to the back of the saddlebag. I've only ridden it 1000 miles since I got it last month, but so far so good.
    more pics at:
    http://johndowns.smugmug.com/gallery/2967100#160465202-L-LB

    Best,
    John
  2. rockt

    rockt Long timer

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    There's some true penny-tech/minimalist spirit! Good job.

    Hey, all you XR250L owners, how's yours' start? Mine's a little reluctant at times. Sometimes it's a 1 or 2 kick affair, but sometimes it takes about 15.
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi rockt,

    I haven't had a kick start bike since the 70's, so felt like a total idiot trying to kickstart my XR last month when I bought it. It had been sitting in the back of someones garage for a few years and needed to be brought back from the dead. After reading up all the advice on thumpertalk XR forum, I checked my carb and found the pilot (slow) jet was completely crudded up, so replaced it and cleaned the carb. This helped a lot. Along with adjusting the valves, since tight valves can make a bike hard to kickstart. (Don't ask me why).
    Anyway, after replacing the spark plug, adjusting the valves, and cleaning the carb, the bike is easy to start now. Still not 1 kick when cold though. And still seems to need some choke if sitting longer than an hour and cooling off.
    Oh yes, I also replaced the air mixture screw with a new one that didn't have the limiter cap and backed it out 2 and a half turns from lightly seated. Then backed it out another eighth to quarter turn on final adjustment if I remember right. Also, the nice man at the parts counter has an XR250L and suggested the adjustable needle from Moose is an excellent replacement for the fixed needle in the stock carb. This doesn't help starting but makes the bike run better in the midrange. Moose performance part #MQ1143.001. Unfortunately only available in their jet kit.
    Anyway, whatever I did, the bike starts and runs nicely now.

    Best luck,
    John
  4. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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    The bag was only $14.88 at my Wally World:clap It came with 4 plastic tackle organizers. I took the lid off of one(it snaps right off) It fit the bottom of the bag perfectly. I drilled two holes through the bottom. I had a couple of wavy metal brackets left from a Givi mount that I used as washers under the bike luggage rack. A couple of 1/4" x 1.5" bolts and nuts and whammo, it was mounted. I like it. If I want to put something that won't fit IN the bag on the back of the bike I can just collapse the bag and bungie over the top of it. I put onr on my Husky SM610. Need to get one for my DR350 IMGP0447s.JPG
  5. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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  6. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

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    Thanks for the info on the bags John, definitely some creative work there. I'm planning to adapt a pair of old backpacks to saddlebags. The silver platter wouldn't work for me because it would rub through my ghetto fabulous black rattle can paint job too fast. I read somewhere about someone sewing a welding blanket to the back of a bag to keep it from melting, I'll probably try that.

    Rockt, my XR250L will usually start first or second kick. I've rejetted a few times playing around with different exhaust configurations, but my understanding is that the hard cold starting comes from being jetted lean from the factory. Replace the mixture screw (or do like I did and just grind off the limiter with a Dremel) and get that adjusted first, then if it is still starting hard think about going up a step or two on the pilot jet. I didn't know about the Moose adjustable needle (great info!), but I have heard of people taking the slide assembly out of an R carb and installing it in the L. It accomplishes the same thing, gives you an adjustable needle.
  7. rockt

    rockt Long timer

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    Thanks JDowns and Bart. I was thinking I should pull the carb off and do some cleaning, but I think now I'll just order a size up pilot jet and see how that works out. I'll do the air mixture thing, too.

    Thanks again.
  8. yater

    yater Long timer

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    I think the dr350 should count as "minimalist". I've owned several of them as well as a super sherpa and xr250....and the dr350 isn't any more capable at highway speeds than the sherpa was (comfortable at ~55 or 60mph but buzzy at higher speeds). This was a trip during the summer of '05 across New Mexico and into Colorado on my dr350 dirt model. It was a last minute decision and I strapped my backpack to the fender and took off...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...rossing+mexico
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Yater,

    Nice ride report. I somehow missed it a couple years ago. Thanks for the link. Looks like you had fun. And yes it looks like minimalist touring at its finest to me. At least until you hooked up with your friend on that honkin' loaded down 650. (just kidding).

    Best,
    John
  10. rockt

    rockt Long timer

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    Does anyone know where I can get black fork boots to replace the blue ones on my XR250L? Tried eBay, but couldn't find the right ones. I'm thinking the ones for a later model XR250 should fit, but can't seem to find them either.

    I'm going to change the look a bit, so if I ever get it done I'll post pictures.
  11. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Dennis Kirk, Chaperell, Kevins Cycle Racing or most any other off road supply place will carry aftermarket fork boots in about any color you could want.

    IIRC the XR250 has 41mm forks - you may need that info to order:)

    good luck
  12. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I agree that the DR350 is minimalist in nature - but buzzy at 60mph? Was it geared way down or something? My DR250SE is quite smooth at 65 and only very slightly buzzy at 70mph (stock save a 16T front sprocket). Just noted it was a dirt model - they had much lower gearing than the street models, at least in stock form - if you do much street riding you might find taller gearing quite nice.
  13. yater

    yater Long timer

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    No, it was not buzzy at 55-60mph....there is a distinct sweet spot right there...but both of my dr350s were buzzy at about 65+

    I've had one of each and had them set up with the same gearing. Both were buzzy at 65-70mph. IIRC, I had 15T countershaft sprockets on both of them.
  14. iWander

    iWander Adventure Geek

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  15. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    hmm, I'll have to see when I get my 350 toghether - I'd hoped it would cruise at least as fast as my 250. Are yours dirt models? what size rear sprocket? I've currently got a 42T rear sprocket (stock) and a 16T front (+2) on my DR250SE and its really smooth to 70mph (which is just over 6k rpm). After that its still smooth, but it doesn't pull real well. More a lack of power than smoothness. When I was running lower gearing it pulled slightly better, but was turning 7k rpm and that was a little buzzy, but still not really objectionable. I think the 250 also has a lower primary gear ratio so will turn more rpm for a given final drive setup than the 350. Do you think taller gearing would have helped the 350's or was that about all they really wanted to go?

    I'm asking all these questions as I'm making a commuter out of one of my DR's and have been debating which one to use.

    Poke here if ya have time
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235099

    thanks,

    Josh
  16. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

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    For some reason I want to say mine came from Rocky Mountain ATV, but I wouldn't swear to it. They're generic, you just need to know the tube diameter (which you do now!). I wanted to change the look of mine a bit too.

    [​IMG]
  17. yater

    yater Long timer

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    I'm sure it will cruise like your 250 with a little more pull up top. I just didn't like the feel of that thing wound out at 65+ for very long. I've owned a '97 se and a '98 dirt model. IIRC, I swapped between a 14 and 15T sprockets on both bikes...rear sprockets were stock. I'm not saying the bike won't hold 70mph all day long....but it's much happier at 55-60
  18. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    The OEM seats on both KLR's leave much to be desired. Long range rides are best tolerated with epidural anethesia.... I solved the problem on the 650 with $400 to Russell Seats, but for the 250 I decided to give it a go myself. A quick browse of eBay and $10 later I had a slightly beat seat from an 87. A trip to Home Depot yeilded medium stiff kneeling pads from the garden dept. Out come the sharp instruments and contact cement and away we go. I cut the center section of the seat foam away and laminated up the 3/4" foam pads; much wider than the stock seat.
    [​IMG]

    I cut the basic shape with a serrated kitchen knife and finished with an electric plane (wood plane: goes thru the foam lilke poop thru a goose...)
    For the compound curvature "butt bucket" I used a sriff wire brush wheel in my electric drill. If you control the speed carefully it didn't dig-in and was quite easy to do.
    [​IMG]

    Finally there were a few voids where my glu-ing technique was bad, and caused inclusions. Back to Home Depot for a can of flexible foam insulation. The stuff works great to fine tune little mistakes and adheres well to the base foam.
    [​IMG]

    I rode it a little to fine tune the profile. Small changes make a big difference comfort wise. Next step is to cover the whole seating area with 1/4" soft Sunmate foam and take to the upholstery shop,

    "Film at Eleven..."
  19. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    Oh no.....:kboom I quoted myself.





    Sorry, but I think the 350's are a quantum leap up from a minimalist rig. There's no challenge to touring on a DR350SE that would be any different than touring on a 650 thumper.



    My DR350SE can meet or exceed nearly everything my 650 can do. As a matter of fact several of the 250 bikes discussed here are nearly as capable as the 350 but we had to draw the line somewhere and displacement was it.


    Originally our goal (among others) was to present and discuss touring problems and solutions for bikes 250cc and under. Each bike model has it's own strengths and limitations.



    What does everyone else think?



    Another great ride ...:ricky ... tell us about yours.
  20. RLK

    RLK 4,949

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    I did took a trip over the weekend. Not a tour at all but the funnest little weekend trip ever. I admit, I took too much junk. Why bring a towel if you know there will be no running water? I brought a lot of stuff to share with the group. I could get by with a much smaller load if I was only packing for me. My strategy is to just get there and unload. Then PLAY!!

    Getting there. Not much seat to sit on. :augie
    [​IMG]

    After dumping the bulky Mermite can and tent/sleeping bag at camp, its Playtime!
    [​IMG]
    On the trail rides I kept the crate I am borrowing from Coca-Cola to hold a toolbag with 2 tubes, tools and a 12V air pump, and the 2.5 gallon gas can. The only thing in my backpack is my water bladder and the Colo. detailed map book.

    After the weekend I packed a little better. On the back of the seat is a platform I made from scrap lumber. The Mermite rests on that and is strapped down. Tent is between the Mermite and my bum. The Coca-Cola crate sits perpindicular on that and is also strapped down as far back as possible. Sleep roll sits on top of the tent and Mermite. Tool bag and gas can fit in the crate. Backpack is tied and bungeed on top.
    [​IMG]

    I use the sprocket ratio that Mr. Honda sold the bike with, 14/47. Mr. Honda knew what he was doing in 1982. I don't try to outsmart him.