Why such big bikes on gravel/ dirt routes?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ADVNCW, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I have had all sorts of bikes, none of them very good, but only the heavy bike got me a helicopter ride, and it was only a dr650 with no luggage, not even a heavy bike by 650 standards.

    If you took back roads, you can use a smaller bike to get places, or the wr250 will do the interstate, but I always hated wearing out good dirt tires on the street.

    Power is nice to have and fun, low weight makes riding easier and more fun, but unless you go race bike, you don't get both. You can live without power, while a lot of weight can ruin your good time with broken bones, so if I was going to do anything rough and far I would trade power for lightness.

    The new crf250 looks like fun...
    #41
  2. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    WR250R riders- what down side or problems, if any, for traveling with a big gas tank on a WR250R?
    #42
  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    My ex flattracker beat up body wouldnt like picking big bikes up much. My DR650 is as big as I ride in the dirt,it seems very big at times when I try to play too hard with it.
    530 KTM is much easier to bomb around on.
    #43
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I used to slide my 77 GS750 Suzuki around on gravel roads,it wasnt that big a deal and it never fell over. I did run it through some deep water over the alternator case and it never bothered it a bit. Lighter bikes are just safer for any kind of tricky riding.
    #44
  5. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    OP - I am curious why you note a "new" WRR in each post? I assume money is not a significant issue for you, else you might consider used.

    As you know, many used bikes come with expensive accessories (like gas tanks) for very little premium. There are lots of used WRRs out there with very few miles on them. Buy post 2008 if the early model fuel pump causes you concern. I bought my '09 in June with 3,400 km / 2,000 miles.

    I haven't ridden a CRF230L. I have enjoyed a CRF230F, so yours is probably a fun scoot.
    #45
  6. hubb255

    hubb255 Adventurer

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    I do have to say that under powered can get you into trouble. I've had Ol' Silver (KTM 640 E) in situations that needed that extra umph! Say a really steep, really bumpy uphill. On some club rides I have gone past bikes laying over because they didn't have power in this situation. It was so rough that you would have to jamb the gas on and off to keep you going straight, coupled that it was coming up out of a creek and continuing up a steep hill. Im 5'8" with a 28" inseam so stopping in a situation like this is not good. I don't know anything about the CDT but I will sacrifice a couple pounds for the extra power. You don't have to use it all but too many times I have been glad I had it. We're all different.:clap
    #46
  7. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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    Except for the two-up part, this looks like an entry I would write regarding riding my DR.

    Couple of trips back, I was up in the dirt roads of the Olympics with a buddy, he was on a DR650, I was on XT225 and I kept thinking to myself, "Damnit he is slow, why can't he at least try and keep up." My tendency towards impatience was bubbling up.

    Then last week I was up in the same area riding my DR650 loaded with camping gear.

    Damnit I'm slow. :lol3

    Just plodding along every bit as slow as my buddy was before, DOH!
    #47
  8. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    For the same reason Dick Butkus liked playing football in very cold weather :



    "bones break easier"



    You're being smart riding a bike which weighs less, and don't let anyone tell you
    otherwise.

    .
    #48
  9. Beardoge

    Beardoge Been here awhile

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    I have to agree with the Original Poster. After starting with small bikes, and then over the years getting bigger and faster ones. And then trying to ride big bikes off road I've come full circle back to small bikes, I truly forgot how fun small bikes are....:D
    #49
  10. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    I had a Super Sherpa,it hauled my camping gear and me no problems, i did not have to worry about getting a ticket but i could go anywhere i wanted, the little thing was like a billy goat, single track loaded with camping gear no problem, low first gear helped.
    #50
  11. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Thanks. Yea, I could go pay cash for a WR250R.But I am not a kid anymore, will not unless I really need to.

    And -riding my 230L is FUN, from a guy that has had some bigger and faster dirt and street bikes. The WR250R also feels small and easy with some zip- fun!

    So I am trying to decide what I really need.:D
    #51
  12. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Right on, same with my little ride.

    On day in the 1970's I got speeding tickets the same day in three different states:huh! Also, I was pulled over in AZ doing 115 in a 35 zone. Talked it down to 65MPH. So, I admit, I lack self control with the throttle. The little bike probably keeps me out of trouble!

    Once I flipped backwards on my open class Husky off of a jump- 4th gear. Ouch, my first (of three now) fractures to my spinal column! Little bike is probably safer for a fool like that!
    #52
  13. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Again, I guess I don't really understand your question. No reason to have a small bike on a gravel route. What's the point?

    I rented a CRF250X and was completely disappointed by the top end. I had it sideways on a "gravel route" (forest service road) with it wide open. No joke, I wondered why I bothered with a 250 at that point. It was tall enough that it was hard to turn around on single track (for me, although I have a short inseam). My DR650 is no harder to turn around on single track because I can at least touch the ground where needed. I've never wished for more top end off road with 650cc and can seldom use it all (mostly due to the suspension of the DR650; although small 230 - 250 "dual sport" bikes don't have performance suspension either).
    #53
  14. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT wannabe

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    i think you nailed it, the ride they enjoy. we have choices in this great country, some out of need, some desire, some for nothing other than braggin' rights.
    #54
  15. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Yeah, indeed! I was surprised how well my 230L did hauling me on narrow rocky FS mountain trails- eg where a fall off the trail in some places would be the end of that motorcycle. I have no illusions about the performance in the open- I had some real quick motorcycles.

    Thanks!
    #55
  16. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

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    Siza da bike was a real quandry for me when I re-entered this sport some years back. I wanted to have a do-all unit for my part of the world, lots of mountain roads, desert, and 2 lane highway, so ended up buying this thing

    [​IMG]

    Did what I asked of it, feels a bit smallish on long highway runs, just right on fire roads, piggy on single track.

    Soon after buying the DR, Mrs Shady decides to get back into riding too, and we get this

    [​IMG]

    Heck I love the little thing. The smaller the road and trail, the more I like being on it. If I were at Lake Wenatchee and heading up Dirty Face mountain to ride trails all day the XT is the bike. It's just a bit small when I have 90 miles of pavement to head home.

    My rides take me farther and farther these days to explore new areas, so I bought this:

    [​IMG]

    Ah, smooth on the highway, and still does the dirt roads just fine.

    I have all three in the garage right now, and luckily can match the bike to the ride. I take the smallest one that will comfortably perform the task at hand. I do look forward to some superlight camping off the XT which I haven't done yet.

    So in summation, I'd be on the little bike for pretty much any gravel/dirt route, the determining factor is what surface and how far I have to ride to get to the dirt route.
    #56
  17. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Nice quiver!
    #57
  18. tHEtREV

    tHEtREV Captain Awesome... tEAM iDIOT.

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    I started off adv style riding on a KLX250, and thought it was really great at it.

    A bit under powered, but I had a great time traveling on it.

    I killed that and went onto an old DR650rs and loved the extra power on the road and it's ability to cart my crap better.

    But I did still sometimes wish I was on the KLX, the better handling and suspension were the main things I missed.

    After the DR fell apart on me I stumbled on an older KTM 640 Adventure.

    I do not miss anything about any bike I have ever had after riding the 640.

    Being able to do 130 Kph fully loaded up on gravel roads with ease is something I really enjoy these days, and I have found myself wishing I had more speed on some desert roads I have traveled on with it (160 was the best I had seen on a GPS once, but I don't usually look how fast I am going or carry a GPS).

    It has completely changed my style of riding from plodding along just on the speed limit to pretending I'm racing Dakar every time I go on a trip.

    I ended up rebuilding the old KLX with the intention of doing a few trips on it, but after riding it again, I sold it because it was just so boring, a trip on it would be a chore...

    I have nothing against smaller bikes, I used to preach loudly that they were a lot more capable than people give them credit for, but I could not go back to them for gravel road work.
    #58
  19. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Thanks, good information!
    #59
  20. tHEtREV

    tHEtREV Captain Awesome... tEAM iDIOT.

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    Yeah, but then I have to add that everyone is different and we all want different things...

    Your results may vary...:lol3
    #60