Why such big bikes on gravel/ dirt routes?

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

  1. James Cook

    James Cook O.H.M.S

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    I think I have come to the same conclusion.
    #61
  2. hubb255

    hubb255 Adventurer

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    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.

    Just can't imagine a loaded small thumper keeping up. On single track? Sure, but I thought we were taking about dirt roads, steep ones at that? There are smaller light bikes that definatly will but they are high performance bikes that get away from what I consider a dual sport. They are more like plated racers not able to with stand long pavement . Ive only heard comparison to the DR 650. Not many higher end bikes. ( Husky, Ktm, Husaburg.....) Ive ridden and ridden with small thumpers and on twisty single they left me, but on steep rough or dirt road? If you cant maintain at least 60 on pavment I doubt you will on dirt.
    #62
  3. Crazy_Dave

    Crazy_Dave Back'in it in

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    I just put the IMS 3.0gal tank on and notice no difference from stock off road. With the stock tank my gas light would come on around 60-68 miles. With the IMS I get around 150miles now. Also you reuse the stock radiator shrouds w/ the 3 gal IMS. You don’t with the 4. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have no experience with the larger 4+ gal tanks. But I’ve read that they add quite a bit off weight that’s felt off road and that they are noticeably wider. Some people like um, some don’t.<o:p></o:p>
    #63
  4. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    Living in DFW it's a couple hours in any direction to get to good roads. I ain't spending 3 hours vibrating my nuts for gravel roads on a 250. And I'm not wasting good knobs on the 525 for shitty 2-lane, it goes in the truck with a riding partner and we roll in comfort.

    Plus, if you can't run 80 round here, you'll get run over by the school busses.
    #64
  5. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

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    :rofl
    #65
  6. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    My WR250r can keep 60mph pretty easily on gravel. Granted my old XR650L was better, torque does account for difference. This and deep sand, my XR could really hammer through the deep sand, so long as it was two track or better. Off the road, the xr's suspension was just as good as the WR, but the weight and how the xr carried it was very tiring on anything resembling single track.
    #66
  7. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    I can't think of any. The seat starts to get to me after about 300 miles, but that's about it.

    I had to replace my stock fuel pump at 13,800 miles. Second one is still going good at 20k miles.

    It has much better suspension than the 230, and more power. I don't think you'll find anywhere that the 230 would be better than the WRR as was eluded to in the first post. It'll do tight stuff very well and is one of the easiest bikes to ride I've ever thrown a leg over. 70 mph all day long on the highway.
    #67
  8. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I just came up on 9k miles on my 2008 model. I bought it to ride the CDR solo. I left it in AZ.

    Last month I flew to Phoenix to grab the bike and meet a friend in Echo Park CO. We planned to ride a dirt track to Nevada. The trip went OK, but missed the first half because my fuel pump wouldn't work. I ordered a new one but it didn't come in. I managed to get the old one working, but lost 3.5 days so we met in Salt Lake instead and rode the Pny Xpress trail west. Now I have a spare fuel pump at a cost of $403!

    Only other problem is my chainset is shot already. I must've abused it somehow.

    Mine is equipped for travel:
    [​IMG]

    No problem with the large tank. I get about 220 miles range out of it. The gas doesn't slosh around or anything and it's under 4 gallons anyway.

    I think the rear shock is a little harsh as the spring and stroke is pretty short. Top speed is about 90mph at sea level, but I generally cruise in the 60's. The seat is comfy for me with a sheepskin on it.

    The best improvement for me was using T63 Michelins. I have been able to tackle sand washes and mud a lot easier then the stock b'stones (not that I am an aggressive rider. I am actually quite timid).

    My KTM is a lot faster, but the Yam is very smooth. Not a tingle anywhere. It just takes awhile to get used to the power delivery. But the reason I bought it was to have a touring bike I could pick up out of the mud or rock gardens by myself. I have a few times. It's still a bit of a struggle, but I can do it easily enough if I'm thoughtful about it, even if it's laying bars low.


    #68
  9. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

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    Between the better half and myself, we currently own a CRF230L, WR250X, KLX351, and BMW G650X-country. We just sold my Husky SM610. I have to agree with you that the 230L is super easy to ride on difficult trails, and that can be a big benefit. It's light weight, and low stature make is easy to handle, and it requires almost no maintenance and is super dependable. But for us, that's pretty much where the advantage stops. Neither of us particularly likes the bike. But my husband keeps it, because as a novice trail rider, it inspires confidence. Yet he complains almost every time he rides it! :D When he rides the 230L, I ride my KLX. The KLX goes over washboard, ruts, and washouts in luxury, while the little Honda bottoms out and rattles your teeth out. The KLX is pretty smooth, while the 230L vibrates you to death.

    Then there's the WR. It runs smoother than the KLX, but for me the powerband of the KLX is better for the way I ride off-road than the WR. You have to keep the rev's up on the WR, but the KLX can be lugged and not complain. The WR suspension is stiffer. I'm super light, so I find the KLX works better for me suspension-wise off-road, but the WR would be better for heavier and more aggressive riders. The WR seems to be higher quality than the KLX overall, and if I ever get down to one bike, it will be the one. But for now I like it for pavement and fire roads, while the KLX is my off-road choice. We prefer the bigger bikes (although my 610 is now gone) for pavement and the occasional smooth fire road. They're too heavy to be fun off-road.

    Powerwise, any of the bikes I've mentioned will blow away the 230L. A WR would be a nice step up for you, but the KLX is worth considering too, although I definitely recommend the 351 kit if you get it.
    #69
  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Until you bury your 1800 GoldWing trying to cross an eastern Ohio mud bog on a trail ride....

    Doesn't make much sense to use an 8 lb sledge when you need to loosen a 10 mm bolt. Now whether you use a box end, open end, ratchet and socket, or crescent wrench is another story..

    The motorcycle may just be tools, but it takes close to the right type of tool for the job

    Of course that is up to the rider... who may be a tool! :lol3
    #70
  11. hubb255

    hubb255 Adventurer

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    I've come to the conclusion that we are all going to stick by our bikes whether it's the riders size, strength or skill level. We all like our own thing and maybe busting a little chops.:evil The great thing is we would all ride together with no problem. I'm clear over on the east coast so me and O'l Silver will make it to the rockies some day. Maybe we can all ride the CD together then sit around a campfire and drink a beer and bust each others chops!:freaky
    #71
  12. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Thanks, good info! Lots of good comments, and thanks everyone for the 250R comments.
    #72
  13. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Thanks, really, for the details from your extensive experience. Very valid points.

    Some further clarification of my unclear perhaps unusual approach to this...

    Big power is not important for my purpose. Big suspension is not important for my purpose.

    I remain undecided whether I will get the WR250R for traveling CDR etc. My 230L Adventure would do the job, 73 MPG, so easy, I do not drop it when riding, ever, in 6k+ miles. Perhaps this will be controversial, but I see my 230L and the XT225 as the only viable true dualsport motorcycles with dry weight under 250lbs.

    I am not really excited about maintenance and modifications...just what I need to do is enough. I just want it to work right for my purposes. I am more interested in light weight < 300lbs or less for singletrack, dependability, low maintenance, MPG, reasonable/ adequate performance.

    Yes, if I was looking for power, I would not have the 230L. If I was looking for a lot of comfort I would drive my Chevy Impala on highway or my Jeep on the dirt...Yes, I know the 230L is a 'dog', knew it when I bought it, not a real problem except on highway a little annoying sometimes. As much as I admire the WR250R. I admire the power characteristics of the 230L probably more for my purposes.I can tell you that in tight rough riding the 230L has real advantages, even over the 250R except I can flatfoot the 250R and it would be easy to ride. But the short wheelbase of the 230L, rake, seat height, power characteristics offer attributes unmatched even by the 250R.

    As far as suspension, I do not mind using the 230L on gravel/ dirt and singletrack. If I stand on my nice XRs Only footpegs with the 1 7/8 handlebar risers, the loaded bike handles well and is comfortable with what I have encountered on the WABDR, Naches Pass jeep trail, singletrack based camping, etc. The singletrack that I ride is not fast, usually leans technical, narrow, no big opportunity to use a lot of suspension and HP. The 230L covers a lot of steep tight terrain with little or no wheelspin where other nice dirtbikes are roosting their way up or through.

    I had a Husky CR360GP that was quite quick, as well as the IT490, fast and great suspension. As well, I rode my two-stroke GT750 in 44 states, to AK on the mostly gravel AK Hwy, and down into Baja. So I understand power, those two-strokes would probably be hard to match with modern bikes, possible, but difficult to match.

    Truth is, if my 230L was a 300L <300 lbs, and still got 73MPG on dirt like the 230, that would be the absolute ultimate in my view!

    My CRF230L Adventure-
    [​IMG]

    is this motorcycle my next?-
    [​IMG]
    #73
  14. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER

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    My XL600 is a pig when I fall.. and some people take those v-twins through some shit! I'll stick with the ole' thumper. fall over, cuss a couple times about a broke/bent lever, pick it up(by myself) and ride away..... If it starts :lol3
    #74
  15. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

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    Nice travel rig! Good info. Thanks!
    #75
  16. BJZ

    BJZ Been here awhile

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    Ride a hopped up KTM 690. A good ride is paved, dirt and trail.
    The 690 is fast enough on the pavement and easy for most trails. The variety
    Is the great.
    #76
  17. DirtDancer

    DirtDancer Slidin' Downhill

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    You having fun on it? Ride it some more then..
    #77
  18. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    For what it's worth I agree with you, OP may have you on ignore since you aren't reaffirming his opinion.

    Why I didnt buy a little bike when I shifted away from pavement. Because regardless of where I choose to go I have between 500 to 1,400 miles of pavement to ride to get there. I dont do the haul it there thing unless I just have to. It aint adventure touring to me if I have to haul it there to have an adventure, the adventure starts the second I walk out of my house.

    Like aces said, if I'm hauling I'd have a light weight, probably a plated 2 stroke or maybe a funky little TW 200. But with Texas speed limits of 75 to 80 for most of the state and 85 in a couple of areas and a wind that gust constantly, I'll suffer thru the handicap of a big bike on gravel to have the ability to maintain 70+ for hours on end with my full load. It's a long fuckin day from Dallas to El Paso.
    #78
  19. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

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    I think that whatever turns a riders screws is the bike he should own....what he tries to do with it tho is another thing (Goldwing+Ohio mud bog? :eek1 ). I've known guys who ride old school dual shock 6 inch travel dual sports in the dirt and love them, along with the cutting edge dual sport riders, converted mx bikes (which I've done), little bikes like the op, and big ole adventure bikes in places I thought they should never go. They all seem to have the same amount of fun with the tools they're using :D

    I prefer a dirt-oriented 400 to 650 dual-sport with e-start, more so the 650 nowadays because my bikes never get hauled, and since I live in the middle of a huge amount of off-road riding, I like the 650's smooth easy highway nature to go 5 minutes or 5 days from home, and still be dirt-worthy fun for my 6'3" frame. I would never fit on a 230, but a 230 rider would prolly never fit on my 37 inch high 650 either. Thats why there's a bike out there for everyone :thumbup

    I long ago quit questioning why folks didn't ride like me......I'm just glad they ride, and glad to ride with them and have a ball :clap
    #79
  20. acesandeights

    acesandeights Noob

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    I don't see that your question was properly addressed, so YES. You must spend at least $8k on a bike to do the CDR. You must also ride a bike that is large enough, but not too large, probably something in the 1200cc range. Hope that helps. Have a great trip! :norton
    #80