Short/fat guy seeks advice on smaller all-around DS bike.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by outdoornate65, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. outdoornate65

    outdoornate65 Adventurer

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    So I was all ready to pull the trigger on a new 2012 KLR 650 and got cold feet thinking the bike was too much for this short newbie to handle.

    Background: novice rider, 47 year-old, 5'-9", 225#. Looking for a bike for my 15 mile no-highway commute that I can also use for backroads exploring here in CO. Would probably trailer the bike to Moab a couple times a year and take it along on camping trips up in the mountains. Not interested in trail riding but still would like to be able to pick the bike up after the eventual "naps".

    Currently looking at KLX250, late-model DR350, Super Sherpa. I'm not opposed to a little older bike as long as there is decent aftermarket support for parts/gear.

    DRZ400 is way tall....

    So what other reliable, fun, small DS bikes would you guys have me looking for? I'm in Denver so there is a pretty active used bike market.

    Flip side: Do I get the KLR650 or maybe a DR650 and "grow into" the bike?

    Thanks for your help....

    Nate
    #1
  2. XRider

    XRider Almost Lifelike

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    I was at the Honda dealer the other day and saw a brand new CRF250L factory dual sport. I can't help but think that this would be a perfect entry level dual sport. I didn't bother to check the seat height but the bike looked very cool.
    #2
  3. sandwash

    sandwash Long timer

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    DR650's have a lowering feature.
    #3
  4. Bullspit

    Bullspit Adventurer

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    How fast do you need to go? If "not very" or "under 60" are part of your answer then I suggest the Yamaha TW200. It is a smaller bike, but lots of fun. It has fat tires that give you a lot of stability. The center of gravity is lower than a typical dirt bike which also contributes to stability. Plus you can flat foot it at the stops.

    The only real downsides to the TW200 is lack of high speed power and lower ground clearance when compared to a real dirt bike. So if you don't ride on the freeway, and don't boulder hop, they are perfect! At least that is my opinion.

    They will run 55 all day long and are great for forest service roads and medium-bad trails. At least a couple of people have done long road trips on them, including one from Utah to Alaska. Not the strong suit for this bike. I also know a guy who did an iron butt (1000 miles in 24 hours) on one, but he is hard core.

    For what I think you are looking for, a bike that you can ride to the trails and on them, and a bike that is pretty easy to trailer to a campground for riding, the TW200 may be perfect.

    My second choice would be a Honda 230L. This is the dual sport version of a great dirt bike that isn't so tall as a lot of the newer designs. Very reliable as well. My third choice would be the XT250 or a XT225 (used market) for the same reasons. not too tall, reliable and in the sweet spot for what you are looking to do.
    #4
  5. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    I think you would be fine on a KLR, and would indeed grow into it...based on your first post.

    More specifically...get the KLR that you can ride all the time, with luggage, commute, explore, get experienced...see where you end up. If you find that you're wanting to go down the tighter/gnarlier trail(s) more often, and wish your bike were smaller/lighter, either sell it for something smaller...or (my choice) buy a smaller/lighter bike to go along with the KLR:deal
    #5
  6. devo2002

    devo2002 -Devo

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    Xt225, don't underestimate the lite bugger. I know people who weigh a tad mor than you and were quite surprised.
    #6
  7. mach1charlie

    mach1charlie To old to fall off

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    Start out on 200-250 cc machine, so you can learn to fall off. Im 5'11 and my KLR 650 is tall and heavy for me. Every one should have a 250 in the shed
    #7
  8. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    #8
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I downsized from a KTM 950 to a Yamaha wr250r. I lowered it with a Yamalink and cut the side stand to match. I'm about 190 and 5'9. It was so good I bought a KTM 690R too. About same size but a lot more powerful.

    I do long trips with the Yamaha and my riding buddy rides a 2010 KLR650. He's about your size too. We both seem to run out of throttle at the same time. He keeps his under 70, which is perfect for my 250 to tag along.
    #9
  10. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"Xt225, don't underestimate the lite bugger. I know people who weigh a tad mor than you and were quite surprised. "

    Cheap to buy, cheap to own and a pretty good dirtbike for beginners.
    Need to move up... then just sell it.
    #10
  11. dogjaw

    dogjaw plays well alone

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    I'm 5'6", 190 with a 28" inseam, I have no problem with my DR650, factory lowered rear with the forks slid up 3/4"... My son is 5'4", rides the same set up.
    #11
  12. Habibi Rocks

    Habibi Rocks Banned

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    Hi, very good thinking . To how to you say?? not to get in over your head . Do they still have the Suzuki TS 185
    where you live ??????? Suzuki TS or TC 185 was an excellent machine for what you explain. Maybe you can find
    a nice 1977,78,79,80 model for cheap. Like some of the other post say the Yamaha TW200 is a low seat height.

    Hope you find the bike that suits your needs.
    #12
  13. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I'm not understanding your use of the bike. no trails but Moab? All paved? Dirt roads? Why a DS bike?
    #13
  14. outdoornate65

    outdoornate65 Adventurer

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    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Commuting (pavement)

    Exploring backcountry roads in CO/Moab (dirt)

    Not interested in tight singletrack trails or difficult offroad trails that are beyond my "noob" skills....

    Am I still eligible for a DS bike?
    #14
  15. itrack

    itrack Been here awhile

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    Yeah, that will last all of 2 weeks. If your into exploring the best way is single track. I also think a TW200 is right up your alley. If you want more "performance/suspension" look into lowering a WR250R, TE250, CRF250L, KLX250S, etc.

    Are you in Colorado?

    http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/mcy/3355942599.html]

    http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/mcy/3307843253.html

    http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3367548091.html

    http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3282748236.html

    http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3328646611.html
    #15
  16. plugeye

    plugeye dreamer

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    dr350 is taller than a dr650
    #16
  17. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    i think you would do fine on a 650 (especially DR) if you want to lean heavier on the pavement side, i think a 250 would be the better choice if you really want to be more confident on the dirt and still commute pretty well.
    #17
  18. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Sure! Just wasn't sure why you wanted one. For what you describe buy what you like. Any of the 650s are pretty tame as far as street bikes and you shouldn't have much if any trouble on dirt roads, even on the KLR. You can really ride just about anything on what you describe, you might like a DRZ super moto. same tame power of the DRZ with lower seat. I'd steer you towards any of the 250s though. KLX 250 used, CRF if buying new.

    My buddy is slightly taller than you and started his recent DS experience with an older KTM 250 EXC 2t. We gave it 4.5" of sag and streety tires and he buzzes all over on it. Super light at maybe 240 lbs. Premixing gas and kicking required but he learned that fast.
    #18
  19. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Agree with xt225. I like my 230L Honda:D and it would work well for a shorter person. There is a thread about the 230L and I have talked and posted TRs using the 230L.

    Not high HP- but excellent low rev torque, climbs great, low 1st gear 6 speed with best spread 1-6, but not something for open fast riding and hucking. Good trail bike, works on the highway, lightest real dualsport Japanese bike, low maintenence, dead dependable for 30k or ??k probably.:clap
    #19
  20. greer

    greer Long timer

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    There are lowering links for most of the bikes, so height may not be such an issue. I'm thinking you'll want to pay most attention to weight, since "naps" seem to go hand in hand with exploring, at least for me. The 250's should weigh in from 265 or so to 310 or so, the DR650 somewhere around 360, the KLR a bit over 400 I believe.

    Sarah
    #20