Ugggh, I give up - help!!!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Akhenaten, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia Tamer

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    WR250 all the way. I've ridden with a guy that would do 200 interstate miles on one loaded with camping gear, do single track all weekend, then ride it back.

    Absolutely scratch the KLR and GS off your list. Massive pigs. The KLR suspension is horrible, I know cause I currently ride one.
    #21
  2. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    At age 67 I have had all the bikes that you listed except for the TE310. I have a riding buddy that has one and he loves it, he also spend about $1000 on it to make it fit his personal taste. One thing that you mentioned was that you are not too mechanical and that's ok you can learn as you go. One thing that I have learned over the years is bike dependability and I would say that the DR, KLR, DRZ, and the BMW are all very good bikes that you listed. Now let's take my riding group of guys and one lady who rides with us (she rides a BMW Sertao, but no single track on this bike), we are what I would call better then average riders and all have been riding for 30-50 years or so. We ride dual sport bikes of all sizes just because we ride the bike that fits the ride, yes we have more then one bike, but remember we have been at this for a long time. Now lets talk about what we are riding today and what works for us, mainly bike weight, dependability, and repair cost. We are riding Yamaha WR250R's and the new Honda 2013 CRF250L's, what a great bike Honda has come up with. I just purchased the Honda CRF250L and I love it, it's not quite the bike that the WR is, but it's only one step behind it, it power and suspension are a little better, but I doubt that you will notice the difference for your riding needs at this time. Also the Honda is $4499 list and the Yamaha is $6690, big difference in price. What great about these two bikes is the fact that they are both fuel injected and run perfect all the time, no more carburetors to clean, and they start in an instant when cold and ready to go. I didn't mention the KLX250 Kawasaki as they are not FI and some are hard to start, I only know of this from what I read on ADV, but none of the riders I ride with have gone to this bike. Let me say here that if you think a 250 is too small of a bike then you need to check out BigDogAdventures and see where he ride his WR and he ain't no little boy either, plus my riding buddies have done the TAT and the Continental Divide ride on WR's and the new CFR250L Honda's and glad they were on then. Last thing, today's gas sucks so bad, that FI is the only way to go, just read about these two FI bikes, I think you will like what you read. Good Luck, remember to ride several bikes before you buy.

    John
    #22
  3. Akhenaten

    Akhenaten "I wanna go fast!"

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    Thanks so much for your input!! You guys have given me a lot to think about and research. The WR250 really stood out in many posts, so I'll take a look at that (and others that were mentioned) and I'm definitely gonna get used vs. new.

    I was just always under the impression that 250's were underpowered for the highway, but I don't know why I thought that. That's why I was looking at 400cc and above.
    #23
  4. focallength

    focallength Long timer

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    I would go with the drz400. Its capable off road in stock form, with minor tweaks you can ride anything. Highway is no problem just gear it right. If you buy a z get a set of 14/47 gears for off road use. This alone will drastically change the bike, then switch out to highway gearing for your commuting. If you want for about $1500 you can turn the z into a 50 h.p. Monster. I only say this because the drz has a ton of aftermarket parts. you can get anything for it. Lots of people do long highway rides on them, geared right itll pull 100 mph and cruise at 85 all day/night.

    Before you start moding any bike do research and ask questions in the bike specific threads, learn from others mistakes.
    whatever you choose, have fun and might I add take a msf dirt bike course.
    #24
  5. Altego

    Altego Been here awhile

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    You may be over thinking this, as most bikes will be a compromise in some way. Go buy a used KLR and put some miles on it. It is a simple and forgiving ride and it will help you discover how you want to ride. You can almost always sell a good used one for what you paid.

    I put 20k miles on a 2007 before moving on to a 990 and there are times when I still miss that bike.

    Cheers!
    #25
  6. pnw

    pnw Been here awhile

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    If you are in the market now check out the '12 WR250R in Amboy on CL. $4,999, less than 2K mi. At least you might be able to give it a test ride. Lighter than the Honda. I have a DR350 and I think it is heavy, the Honda is even heavier.
    #26
  7. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    One last thing I want you to think about, you need a bike that you can flatfoot off road. You can lower most bikes, but there is a point where you can't anymore. The WR250 seat is 36.5" tall, pretty tall for most ladies, but can be lowered some. The other thing is, weight, KLR 650 type bikes are great, but once again heavy, all in the 425lb. range, and no you can't pick it up on the trail with your leg pinned under it. Yes you will fall, it's not if, but when. If you can't flatfoot the bike and handle the weight you are going to be very unhappy, trust me.

    John

    New comparison of the three 250's, http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=20620546&postcount=1627
    #27
  8. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I ride both the KLR and the DRZ. I honestly couldn't recommend either as a first dirt bike because of the weight, although the DRZ is significantly lighter than the KLR. If I had to choose between the two, I'd recommend the DRZ with a low seat.

    A female friend and inmate here who's about your size started riding an XT225 that we picked up used this summer. She's an experienced road rider.

    Now, wait a minute. It's no fire-breathing monster. Far from it. However, what it does with it's horsepower is pretty amazing. I've ridden it, although at my size, I look like a trained bear on it.

    The XT has a really nice transmission. It has the lowest first gear in the industry, and a sixth gear that rips pretty well on the highway. It's light, non-complicated, and relatively cheap. It gets about 72 mpg.

    It would be my choice as a great learner bike, and one that you'd likely keep even when you stepped up. There's nothing wrong with cheap, light, and friendly.
    #28
  9. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"WR250R or CRF250L"

    Yup. Start small.
    #29
  10. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Why do you need to flatfoot a bike off road? Very few of the best off road riders can flatfoot while straddling their bikes and many can only touch the toes on one foot down ... The low seat is great for beginners, but most often the 200-250cc small bike is short lived as a stepping stone... If you can get past the low seat thing and learn on a tall bike in the beginning then you've skipped a step and maybe saved some cash by having a more all around capable bike right from the get go... The OP sounds like she is fit and that is already a step in the right direction for coaxing a bike around off road... When I saw the list of bikes presented as I have ridden most on it{except the 310} I thought about which one gave the smoothest power, was easiest to maneuver in tight, highway capable and was relatively light... The DR 400 was the first to come to mind as very good all around platform for a 40/60% on/off road slant...
    #30
  11. wsmc831

    wsmc831 Been here awhile

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    Ktm 350 exc.
    #31
  12. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    Because she's is new to off road and you need to learn, that's why flatfooting is important. Some of the bikes that posters here have mentioned here will just get her hurt, or she will have a fear of riding off road. Like one person said, the Yamaha XT225 would be a better choice for a new rider over the CRF250L or the Yamaha WR250R and those 650's are totally out of the question. For us guys that have been riding for a time that's one thing, but don't put new riders on bikes they can't handle, until they learn and get some seat time.

    John
    #32
  13. ccooper

    ccooper Adventurer

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    Look at the new Honda CRF250L. Nothing special, but for $4500 msrp new, I think it's a great value for someone smaller wanting to get started. If my wife would ride it much, I'd think about one for her. If you wanna step up from there, look at the Yamaha WR250R. Lighter, more power, more technology, but about 2 grand higher. Then your back to the DRZ400 and above. Good luck.
    #33
  14. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    She said shes 5 foot 8.Shes probably taller than half of the guys on here.:rofl
    #34
  15. Nesbocaj

    Nesbocaj Politicians suck

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    Another vote for the Honda CRF250L, FI, six speed gear box, couple gallons of gas, about 320 pounds 34.7" seat height.
    HP is 'upgradeable' when you get ready to do so.
    #35
  16. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    I don't think going from a Harly Sportster to a DRZ would be that much of a transition as the actual riding fundamentals are already there ... With a gradual introduction to off road there wouldn't be a problem...
    #36
  17. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    Haha!^^

    Yup, a Drz 400/wr250 or similar tank of a bike, then a year later a KTM 350/450 and you're set.
    #37
  18. rusty44

    rusty44 Been here awhile

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    Hate to be a wet blanket, but your math is waay off!! you plan to ride approx.120 mi. each week to ,work(taking into account bad weather days),then ride 100 mi each way to the dirt(200 mi. total).If you use a 40/60 ratio you would be riding in the dirt approx.360 mi. a week!You would need tires that really aren't suited for someone new.

    I would suggest a 80/20 ratio.You could then use a tire better suited for you.Single track should be a year away,however, there are plenty of dirt/gravel/poorly paved roads to keep you busy untill then.Get on the country roads and go riding when you see a dirt road: take it!!


    My wife is 5'9" and she 49 Y.O. She got a DR 650 and we did just as I have outlined and she has become a good rider.

    She was exactly like you,(wanting to run before she walked)Hell, we ALL are like that or we would be driving cars!!.

    After her DR650 took a couple "dirt naps" she realized there might be a little more to riding dirt than she thought.She had been riding for 5 years(Gpz550,Vulcan,1975 goldwing,etc.All bikes I had sitting around) before this.

    The DR 650 has a Factory built in rear shock lowering system and you can lower the forks a little in the triple tree.It's simple to work on and you can't kill it.

    If speed is a concern, a friend took my wife's DR650 out for a spin after we had done some work on it and came back with a GPS reading of 105 MPH and he weighs 145 lbs. :D

    As far as being able to put you feet on the ground,take the bike and put the front wheel on the curb(like you might find it on rock while single tracking and then decide how much of your foot needs to be on the ground).


    I'll post a pic of one of her "dirt naps" later.

    Sorry for being so long winded,but,I want to enjoy riding and slow is fast ...
    Al
    #38
  19. achile

    achile Been here awhile

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    You should get something that fits the folowing criteria:
    - light
    - dirt-oriented suspension
    - low maintanace
    - road worthy
    - smooth power delivery

    I'd go for the xr400 or the dr 350 for starters. They're cheap, air cooled and fun. You'll get bored of them in a year or two and find out what you really like: adventure riding or single track.

    If you find yourself thirsty for power and fast fire roads...500cc+, otherwise, 250. Hope to have been of use. :D


    p.s: I have a friend riding in the romanian national enduro championship; she started up her competitional life with a wr-f 250 and she loved it(she also had a SUMO setup for it); her current bike is a 250 KTM exc 2 stroke.
    #39
  20. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    go find somebody w/a 650 anything, and get them to lay it down on the lawn.... and then pick it up, when you have all your gear on.... and then do it again in about 15 minutes.... and then put it on a hill and stick it on a tree, and do it again....

    less is more.... picking up my 250 lb. KTM sux, and i don't even wanna think about anything over 300 lbs.... and when you pick it up, 'yer gonna be tired from riding in the dirt.... just doing dirt roads ain't gonna be so bad, but if 'yer gonna do some enduro stuff, 'yer gonna want light....
    #40