Need advice

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Jeepguy2, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Hi, I'm a new member & wanted to see what you guys thought of my dilemma. Background in 05 I bought my first motorcycle a Honda Shadow 600. Then in 06 bought a shadow 1100 spirt & had that for two years. When the economy went to crap I sold it. So I have 3 years experience riding street bikes. I have always liked the idea of trying off some off road stuff, so now I'm looking at 2 different bikes a xt250 or a klr 650. Most of my riding will be pavement, at least 80+ percent but i do want to try some light & medium trails. I'm 5'10" tall with a 32" inseam & weigh between 210-220lbs. I'm stocky as I used to workout a lot but now at 43 I need to drop about 10lbs, which in the summer I normally do. They both seem bullet prof but I worry the xt250's power will bore me on the road, On the other hand I worry the klr since its so heavy will be hard to learn to off road with. As I have limited riding experience in general & zero experience with the off road stuff. The xt is a used 2011 with 2,000 mi. on it while the klr would be new. Sorry this is so long I am hoping that I gave enough background information for you to help me make a wise decision.
    #1
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    You nailed. That's the dilemma.

    You didn't say what type of road riding you plan to do. If you are just doing short sections of highway/back roads to access trails or go to work, the XT would be great. It will be a lot more fun off road, and let you gain confidence quickly.

    If you plan to spend 4 hours on the highway at 70 mph, the XT will be a humbling experience. The KLR can ride all day at those speeds and more, even with a passenger. Off road, however, light and medium trails will probably be the limit. Sure there are some daredevils that can really off road the KLR, but most started on smaller bikes.

    If you are looking at new, have you considered the DR650? It is smaller physically, and easier to man handle. My off road bike is a 1983 XL600R that is roughly the same size as the DR. I am about your size, and find that size bike good for everything. I wouldn't get too extreme, but when I get in a jam, I can drag the bike off the hill if needed. It will also do 70+ all day. 2-up riding is a strain on it, but doable.
    #2
  3. SkiBumBrian

    SkiBumBrian DualSport Crazy !!

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    Like Herb said, the KLR is big, heavy, but will be alot more comfortable on road. I think the XT is a bit small for your size and weight. Too slow on road and maybe a bit underpowered for your size off road. I wouldn't recommend a new KLR to learn off road, even easy fire roads or double track. The plastics wouldn't last long.... Herb may have hit the nail on the head. The DR is physically Smalley and more manageable for learning but will still be capable on the road.
    #3
  4. kid_A

    kid_A who dat ninja

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    +1 on the DR. Disgusting bike.
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  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Also, the DR can be lowered. The Honda XRL650 is similar, but probably too tall.

    Good deals can be found on the older DR650, Yamaha XT600, and XL600. The older you get , the more likely it will be a kick start model. I like that, some don't.
    #5
  6. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Thanks guys I do appreciate the help. After reading your replays & another current thread with someone with a similar dilemma I decided to go with a 250. Leaning toward the xt250 but also kicking around the idea of the Honda crf250l. The xt is a2011 with 2000mi. & they're asking $3200. The Honda would be new as I probably won't be able to find a used one, but it does look like a nice bike.

    For those who asked I will do as little highway riding as possible. I didn't enjoy it on my 1100 shadow, so I really wouldn't like it on a 250 duel sport bike. Again I do thank you guys for your help.
    #6
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Both of those get great reviews around here. The KLX250 is also in that class. Any of them will probably need to have the rear pre-load cranked up for a rider our size.

    After you get used to it, you can uncork it for a significant power improvement.
    #7
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Some other bikes to keep an eye out for...

    KLR250, KL250 Super Sherpa, DR250/350, KLX250S, and WR250R.

    The DR650SE is my choice if a lot of slab or 2up is involved.
    #8
  9. Vankaye

    Vankaye n00b on the move

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    +1 on the DR350. Un un-corked DR350 will fall right in-between those two bikes.:deal
    #9
  10. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Just for an update the xt was sold, went to another dealer & that xt was sold as well. Went to check out some different bikes the other day & now leaning toward the Dr 650. I thought it would be too tall but I could get the balls of my feet on the ground plus their is a lower factory setting that will drop it another 1.5 inches. Should put me right where I need to be. The only mods I plan on doing right off the bat is a better seat because the factory feels like plywood & the other is a rear rack. My 2 friends think as I progres in my off road skills their will be plenty of bike left. While they think I would get bored with a 250 & looking for a more powerful bike in a year. Both these guys have ridden on & off road for years & know me well. The other thing is I can get a new 2012 Dr650 for $4,800 a few hundred more then the xt 250 or the crf250l. Does this sound like a good idea or a bad idea? From what I have learned about the Dr 650 from this sight, it sounds like a great bike & bulletproof.
    #10
  11. greer

    greer Long timer

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    For your size and weight I think the DR is an excellent choice. Be sure to see the big DR thread here, and there's drriders.com, and the DR FAQ on thumpertalk. For vendors that'll cater to you, there's procycle and keintech. I always buy gently used bikes to save money, but I can see why some folks choose to buy new. Isn't Suzuki offering 0% interest on financing right now?

    Sarah
    #11
  12. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    DRZ400?

    It's the bike I recommend to everyone who asks so why not :rofl
    #12
  13. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I usually suggest buying used, but that sounds like a great deal on a new DR if they approve the 0% financing too. Install some armor...aluminum skid, handguards, and sidecase covers.

    Rather than lower the suspension, consider putting a Seat Concepts low kit on a used seatpan. It'll improve butt comfort, as well as allow you to touch the ground more securely, and it won't reduce your ground clearance or suspension travel. The DR already has a lower seat than many 250s. It's a bit heavy, but that can be reduced quite a bit with a '01-'02 GSXR 1000 40F0 titanium muffler, a lithium battery, a modestly-larger plastic tank, better mirrors, aluminum handlebars, a DR250 tail/brake light, an aluminum rear fender eliminator, lighter signals, lighter 520 14/42 sprockets/chain/retainer, and with removal of stuff you're not necessarily using (helmet lock, passenger pegs, bar-end weights, rear grab bars, upper chain-roller, chain guide, airbox lid/top, etc.). The 14/42 sprockets will also make it feel more peppy and nimble than stock.
    #13
  14. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS

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    with anything less than a 650 dual sport within 1-2 years.

    How do i know? You initial post reminds me of someone I know-Myself!

    Fortunately, most 'failed experiments' can be resold with minimum financial penalty.

    Get the bike you want and don't worry about the weight of a 650--practice makes good. NEVER PERFECT.

    Enjoy
    Simba
    #14
  15. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Well I just pulled the trigger on a crf250l. Thank you all for the help, I do appreciate all the advice. Now I need to find a good rack & I believe I'm going to go with the seat concepts seat. This is about as tall of a bike I could go with, without lowering it. I really liked the xt250 & it's simplicity but i felt so cramped on it. I may have a DR650 someday though, maybe in a few years.
    #15
  16. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Congrats, enjoy that bike! You won't go wrong with Seat Concepts. Check the thread in Vendors, I think maybe there's a discount code for forum members.

    Sarah
    #16
  17. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Well I had a chance to ride it yesterday & I didn't like it at all. Wow, I just blew a lot of money. Coming off of cruisers I should have went with the klr650. Oh well such is life, as my dad used to say. The bike ran fine its just not what I like. Im sure its great off road its just 90% or more of my riding will be street. Now I have to see what I can do to get out of it & into something I will actually like to ride. I'm am so not happy with my decision.
    #17
  18. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    I admire your transparency on the deal. Don't beat yourself up, it's a transition that many others have experienced in the same fashion. Interestingly, when I got back into riding in the mid 1990's I started out on a Shadow as well. Don't know what it is about the cruisers but it did not take me long to develop a wandering eye...:lol3

    Reading your posts from the start I think a larger bike will not be a problem for you. And there are plenty of solid, reliable bikes out there in the 650 cc class.

    The season is opening up so the 250 should sell pretty quickly. Then you can snag a garage queen DR or KLR that will fit you better and do more of what you want to do in terms of riding venues.

    I live in a college town and there are a half-dozen young guys on the local campus who ride DR's, KLR's, and other large dual sports as commuters. As a ride of choice, they sit up high (good visibility, and the rider is more easily seen), and they handle the traffic well.

    Naturally, I'm partial to the DR but when I got around to a purchase several years ago it had come down to the DR or a KLR. I chose the DR for the minimal tools needed for maintenance, the lighter weight, and the air/oil cooled factor (i.e., no radiator to worry with). But there are guys locally who ride KLR's and they are good bikes. And I've got to admit, on the occasions I've ridden them the fairing and windshield was nice.

    Good luck in the continued search, and ride safe! :thumb
    #18
  19. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    What exactly about it do you not like? It might be something that is easily addressed by simply bumping up power or changing tires. New tires and new engines often don't feel the best going down the road.

    If you were closer, I'd offer you a chance to take the DR for a spin in the sand and mud. If nothing else, it'd probably help you appreciate a 50lb-lighter bike offroad.

    I wouldn't want less torque or power for hauling a passenger on slab, but a KLR is just too big for my comfort in the sand. The DR is about as heavy as I want to deal with there.
    #19
  20. Jeepguy2

    Jeepguy2 Adventurer

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    Thank you both for advice & if I lived closer I would definitely take you up on that generous offer. It feels to small, but because of the seat height i didn't notice it until I was riding, it is a mx bike with lights. After I was thinking about it again today all I really wanted was a bike I could do some light off roading with. Jeep trails, service roads, maybe novice or intermediate atv trails. About 90%+ of my riding will be street. I went with my head & not my heart & so made a poor decision for me. Especially since I'm going to be off road so little. At least if I picked a bike that sucked off road I could still ride it everywhere else, this thing I don't even want to ride at all.
    #20