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

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

  1. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
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    CT exile now in NH
    This question often comes up. "I'm new. I'm not very tall. Is a 650 too much for me?"

    One side says:

    You'll be fine. You'll grow into it. Buy the bike you'll want for the future. The small displacement bikes suck. Blah, blah, blah...

    The other side says:

    Get a light bike to learn on. Your first bike won't be your last anyway. You'll crash a lot so get something light to pick up. Get a smaller bike that wont kill you. Blah, blah, blah...

    Both sides are well represented here on ADV.

    I advocate the second point of view.

    I started on a 250 and will likely stay there. Some folks are setting aside their bigger bikes in favor of smaller ones. If the KLR 650 felt too big or heavy, it's the wrong bike for you at this time. When you have more experience you may come back to it or another larger bike. You're not a kid any more. If you crash, bad enough on the bigger bike, you may be all done.
    #21
  2. outdoornate65

    outdoornate65 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    I want to say thanks to all that have responded to my post.

    I wish I was in a position to have a "stable" of bikes but the reality is that I have to start somewhere with one bike...for now :wink:.

    At this point, I will continue to research the small displacement options out there and plan to start "small".
    There are a ton of nice used bikes out there and I'm excited to find one right for my current needs.

    Thanks again,

    Nate (the noob)
    #22
  3. kewlbyme

    kewlbyme Occasional Partaker

    Joined:
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    Woodstock, GA
    Hi Nate! I had a klr650 and liked it a lot. I took it places I shouldn't have with my lack of off road experience. Had a great time.

    Sold the KLR and bought a WeeStrom. It was an absolutely awesome bike, on the road. I missed the trails.

    In August I found a neglected 2003 xt225 pretty cheap. I am handy, and had confidence that I could straighten her out. I did, and now it is awesome. It does 65 ok. Wind blows me around but it is easy to handle. Regular roads and traffic are no problem. The best part is getting back on the trails and even just through the woods. Like the super Sherpa, it is a true woods bike and climbs like a goat. Seat height is easy as is the weight. Gas mileage is excellent.

    I like it so much, I sold the Wee and bought a 2001 xt. Now I have 2 xt225s for less than one Wee. I hope to get my son in law and a good friend who is a street rider with displacement on the brain to ride with me sometime. If not, I will sell one of them.

    I might get a klx250s or a wrr250r one of these days, but the xt is awesome and will go anywhere, just maybe a little slower, and certainly without drama. The newer xt250 would be an excellent choice, as well. Although, I have mine running pretty dang good. It might surprise a few folks.

    I have no doubt that with how I have these set up, I could sell them at a profit very quickly. So, like others have said, start small and cheap, learn and gain experience and confidence, then you can move up to whatever level you like.

    Oh, I am 57. Never too old to learn and have fun. Especially on bikes.

    Good luck and be safe!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #23
  4. The Cameraman

    The Cameraman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
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    Location:
    Lancashire, England
    Hi Nate,

    just get yourself either an XT225 or it's newer sister the XT250, you can't go wrong with 'em.

    Regards

    Reggie
    #24
  5. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    PA
    Will you be able to resist the call of smaller trails when you start traveling down a dirt road in Colorado or Utah and see something that looks interesting? You have more will power than me if that is the case.

    If you have that kind of will power, then a dr650 would be a great bike. You can ride it pretty much anywhere including some pretty hard singletrack if you are strong/skilled enough. I am shorter and went from a klr650 to a dr650 and it was night and day better....for a shorter rider offroad. I took the klr650 a lot of places but it was way less scary on the dr650.

    Fast forward several months and I find myself on smaller and smaller trails with my dr650. I picked up a klx250s and I think that it is probably enough bike for me 98% of the time. I am around 170lbs before gear and am lucky to camp a couple of times a year. I think rider/gear weight might be a factor when picking a smaller dual sport but there are some pretty cost effective ways to increase displacement if you are handy with a wrench.

    If you can pick up a dr650 used on the cheap, you will be able to do a wide range of riding and find out what you gravitate towards.
    #25
  6. heirhead

    heirhead worlds worst mechanic

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    775
    Location:
    On the water in SoCal
    Hello,

    Were you describing me in your headline? Sounds like it. Read all posts, usually don't. Great info for sure!
    Agree with 8GV though as have been through this many times. Just turned 60 last week and got my first trail 90 at 15.
    then s90 which I rode from Socal, (halfway between lA. and San Diego) to Eugene ORE. and back with 2 friends. I was 15 and 8 mos.going into junior yr of HS. Rode 350 Yamaha 4 corners when I was 17. Trail 90 to Yellowstone and Bozeman Mt. when I was 19. Seattle on 250 Yamaha when I was 21. Then commuted to work and back on Everything from Honda Rebel 250 to 1150 GS BMW for 30 yrs. Many dual sports but no KTM or Husky. 2 summers ago rode xt225 to Boise Id and back, 2500 miles. Last summer rode tw200 from Boise to Yellowstone and Tetons, camping on dirt roads
    for 10 days, 1750 miles. This last summer rode dr650 to Boise ID., flew home and just got bike delivered by friend 5 days ago. Took my xt225, another one and his xt225 up to 5600 ft over Saddleback mountain on dirt roads. Went up many hills 30 miles from there and fell off, rolled down about 25 ft and landed on a catcus. My friend just laughed and said you should fall towards the hill not, away. No kidding. Was picking slivers of cacti out till 2:00am. If I was by myself on the 650 pointed the wrong it would of been a real bitch getting back on and turning the bike around. The xt was ok.
    Do not have 1150gs or any of the 3 r100gs P/Ds anymore as I like to go anywhere off road and those bike are just to big.
    At top of Ortega Hwy, bar, Hells Kitchen, talking to 3 guys on 1200GS ADVs that have been to Alaska 3 times and an 09 with 96,000 miles on it. These were fully loaded. When they were leaving one guy was going over Saddleback on his GS,
    30 miles of dirt road. Not super tech but plenty of rocks and a long way down. Wanted to follow but to late for me.
    To each his own. I now have the dr650, a xt22 , TW200, and a 650 Burgman scooter if I want to lazy boy it and it can cruise all day long at 85 easy. Ride the smaller bikes most by far unless need to ride on SoCal fwys at 80. Scary.
    Get a small bike used,keep it clean and you will not lose any money when you sell it, if you sell it. Talked to SOOOO many folks who did just what I did and wondered why? Unless you need to travel at speed smaller is better!!!
    Good luck with your find. Just have fun and watch out for the bad drivers as they are all around!!

    Wow, no more Mountain Dew late in the day.

    Heirhead
    #26
  7. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
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    I had a 01 Klr 650 lowered put 18,000 miles on it, had a 08 XT 250 put 6,000 on it have a 98 DR350 & 09 Sherpa both w/ around 2,500 miles . I am 5' 5'' so I had to lower the DR & KLR . Like them all dropped the Klr more than a few times being top heavy the xt is a 5 speed vs 6 on the DR & Sherpa . Really not much difference on the road on top speed Dr has more power but heavier. Sherpa seems to have a little better motor & suspension than the XT ,XT has a better seat. If I were picking one for my First bike It would be a tossup between the xt & sherpa. Xt you can do valve adjustments in your sleep both motors are bullet proof. It would come down to price & what fits you the best. Shoot I have a 08 XT sitting in my shop w/ 3666 miles on it for sale :spam :lol3:lol3
    #27
  8. IDRIDR

    IDRIDR Take me to the River

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    Have both the KLX250 since fall 2010 and KLR650 for a year now. The KLX is a pleasure to pick up compared to the KLR. If you're looking for something lighter, reliable, and flickable, give the KLX a look. Check out a used one, and if it doesn't suit you, sell it for what you bought if for or close (as could be said for lots of used models). I like them both, but really prefer to mount the KLX unless I'm putting down some serious miles.
    #28
  9. Off the grid

    Off the grid Unsmooth Operator

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    That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.
    Less money= 97+ DR350
    More money, but good bike=WR250R
    #29