top speed of 200-250cc dual-sports

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by CalebTheBarbarian, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. CalebTheBarbarian

    CalebTheBarbarian Adventurer

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    Just wondering how fast people could go on their 200-250cc bikes... I'm thinking of using one for commuting, but am not sure how suitable they would be.

    I guess more important than absolute top speed would be top speed that people feel comfortable riding them at (engine isn't red-lining, wind isn't throwing them all over, etc)

    Not sure if it matters, but I weigh about 165lbs

    thanks very much!
    caleb
    #1
  2. jj650

    jj650 dual sport junky

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    I just purchased a DR 250 and have logged about 400 miles in a couple weeks, mostly commuting to work (17 miles). with stock gearing it revs about 7200rpm @ 52mph. I take country roads so 50-55 is all the faster I need to ride. I love this bike! it is smooth, not as vibration prone as my KLR 650 at the same speed. however, going from a heavy KLR 650 to this air cooled 250 was a big change in how it rides. wind has more effect, movements are easier but faster, but it rides great at these speeds. I am waiting for my 15 tooth front sprocket to get here to see if I like the rpms a little better. these are made to rev high though. right now, stock I wouldn't feel comfortable going out on the expressway and running 65+ like I could on the KLR. these are two different dual sports though.
    #2
  3. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    I had a Yamaha XT225 that would easily do 70. That said, I didn't want to take it on the Interstate. It was way too light weight.
    #3
  4. T125

    T125 Slightly Overdressed

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    Hi, Caleb:

    I have a Kawi Super Sherpa (250cc) which is an absolutely fantastic commuter. On surface streets it is in its element: It's nimble, more than quick enough, and gets nearly 60mpg in almost pure stop and go traffic.

    There are a few short squirts of highway that I can include or not on my route. I am completely comfortable doing up to 65mph there. The bike will do better but--at least in my experience--above 65 the wind blast starts to get a little "blustery" and the steering starts to lighten. The engine is capable, but the bike has so little mass it starts to feel like its going to get airborne. :lol3 (At 5'8" 165#, I don't help a lot in the mass department!)

    I am running the stock Trailwing DOT knobbies (old pattern) and wonder if a more street oriented tire might help the bike feel more planted at highway speeds. Regardless, when I replace the Wings I'll go with another 50/50 tire because I like having the versatility.

    In short, a 250cc DS thumper is a fantastically versatile bike. As somebody once told me, if they could carry big loads and do highway all day, no one would ride the big pigs!

    Good luck.
    #4
  5. gas_pig70

    gas_pig70 Mmm... mud!

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    Seriously pondering a TW200 just for the fun of it. Heck, my wife could learn on it I suppose (good excuse).
    #5
  6. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    I commute to work on my DR200. Depends on how far you go on your commute. It feels okay running it at 60mph for good distances. It doesn't feel right above that...too much rpm's, although I did ride it about 50 miles down I94 in western North Dakota once at 65-70 mph with no ill effects.
    #6
  7. bullfrog

    bullfrog Dismember

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    my wife LOVES her tw200...it does pretty good under 60mph with stock gearing and is a BLAST in the dirt....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    she won't let me ride it much, though....she says i'm too big and might break something...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. CalebTheBarbarian

    CalebTheBarbarian Adventurer

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    Thanks for the reply's guys... looks like one of these "smaller" bikes may work out pretty well. This would be my first bike, and I'm not really confident about the bigger bores, maybe in a year or two when I get some experience.
    #8
  9. gas_pig70

    gas_pig70 Mmm... mud!

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    I've seen your post before bullfrog. How is the TW200 in advanced/technical single-track (mountains)? I got tired of pushing my DRZ400S up that stuff. Want to get a smaller/goat bike and then perhaps add a KTM 690HE down the road (or cheap out and get a DR650).
    #9
  10. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I've only hit 80 once on my TE-250, and that was on the road. I hadn't run out of RPMs yet. With 15/48 gearing (stock 13/50), it would easily do 100.
    #10
  11. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Here's my favorite 250-class bike right now. The Yamaha XT250.


    [​IMG]



    http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/products.php?model=2379&class=13&group=M|&LANG=en

    Shucks, it looks so good that you might want to keep it as you become more experienced. I know I want one.
    #11
  12. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    My DR200SE seems like it gets a bit buzzy above about 55 or so.
    #12
  13. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    That's booking for a 200, my Buddies WR250F which likely makes comparable power hits a wall about 72-73 on the gps. It might pull gearing to let it hit 80. Are you getting this speed on gps, or using the speedo? At an indicated 80 most dirtbikes are around low 70s with your typical 10% optimism.

    I'd be REAL surprised to see a TE250 hit a 100 on flat ground with no wind.
    #13
  14. SamM

    SamM Jeep Overlander

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    My 2005 Yamaha TT-R250 will easily hit 70 to 75mph on the street but that just an estimate. I've never clocked it with another bike or used the GPS on it. I have a buddy that has a 2006 Lifan GY-5 with a 197cc engine and we have clocked his bike at 72 mph with my KTM 950 along side. The Yamaha is faster than the Lifan so my estimate may be low. The Yamaha also has the stock off-road gearing but it does have a 6-speed transmission. With a smaller 42 tooth sprocket it would probably be close to 100mph. As soon as it's plated I'll pull out the GPS and check it.
    #14
  15. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Cycle World magazine did a fuel economy comparison in the February 2006 issue and included a couple of small dual sports, the Suzuki DR200 and the Yamaha TW200. The Suzuki topped out at 75 and the Yamaha at 71. That's measured, not indicated. Alan Girdler said the Suzuki was comfortable up to about 60. The TW, with its radically low gearing, hits redline at 55.

    I used to do 40 mile stretches of highway on my Honda TL250 trials bike every weekend. I didn't have any trouble keeping up with the traffic (in the days of the 55 mph limit) or find the vibration bothersome. My gearing was radically altered though. The rear sprocket was about the smallest that would still fit the bolt pattern on the hub.
    #15
  16. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    I don't really buy the idea that one needs to start out on a small bike then move to a larger bike. Pick a bike that will do what you want it to do and go for it. Riding any distance at freeway speeds on a 200cc to 250cc dual sport bike is going to be uncomfortable, but it can be done. At slower speeds they're nimble and a joy to ride but if you have to commute on the freeway I'd go for something larger.

    Q
    #16
  17. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    It's all about the right compromise for your priorities. I'd rather drone down the freeway on a 250 than take most of the 650s on a technical trail. To me, the more your ride gets over 300 pounds, the more fun you take out of dirt riding. But to each his own.

    I think what happens to most people is they start to choose their riding according to their motorcycles. The little bikes stay off the freeways and the big ones avoid the really gnarly stuff. There isn't anything that will do it all well (although the latest KTM EXC bikes suggest that for enough money, it would be possible to build such a motorcycle.)
    #17
  18. gordo5

    gordo5 Roadkill

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    I wondered if the EXCs could be "do it all" bikes but the guy at my local ktm shop says they really are race enduros with blinkers. For example, they recommend oil changes after every 10 hours of operation - not a quality I'd be after in a dual sport.
    #18
  19. gas_pig70

    gas_pig70 Mmm... mud!

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    According to misc. specs it will weigh at least 25lbs more than the XT225 and only have a 5spd. The rear disc and +25cc doesn't quite make up for that IMHO. The 'Serrow' is a mountain goat and it's now stepping into burrow territory. Buy me a donut and prove me wrong.
    #19
  20. gas_pig70

    gas_pig70 Mmm... mud!

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    After some hard think'n I'm gonna say screw it and save up some $$$ and purchase a 2008 450EXC or TE-250. You only live once and you're only young for so long. I want to experience a full-on plated dirt/race bike while I can actually use it. After dumping $$$ into my DRZ I realized I had a somewhat fast yet heavy dirtbike and that just didn't do it for me. Crap, I think I might join in some hare scrambles with the new bike... and come in near last, but at least I did it. I'll buy another bike for full-on "dual-sport" duties. So there's my new oath.

    p.s. I might have been drinking tonight.
    #20