250-300 vs 650

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Brosey809, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. Brosey809

    Brosey809 n00b

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    250-300 vs 650 for mostly off-road use? I have a mile muncher for the longer trips but for almost totally off-road and getting to off-road, what are the pros and cons of both the lighter 250ish bikes and the 650 range of bikes? Thanks
    #1
  2. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 motominded

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    HeHe.

    Yes



    the real question is,

    are you Ready To Race?
    #2
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  3. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

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    No good dirt worthy 650 has been made since the XR650R in 2007. FE570 probably the best big bore dirt bike that can trail ride.

    look at the 350 and 500s out there. Beta 390 might check all the boxes.
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  4. Blackshirt

    Blackshirt Long timer

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    Whether you go for a competition bike with lights or something less aggressive, lighter is better off-road. When faced with your situation I put my money down on a ‘21 Honda CRF300L Rally. It’s a huge improvement over the KLR650 and the XL600R from my past. The only real downside is a more limited highway cruising speed, but it will do 70mph pretty comfortably. I did have to swap out the suspension and handlebars (the stockers better suited a much shorter and lighter rider), but it’s really a great complement to my roadburners. The maintenance intervals are wide, fuel mileage is remarkable, and insurance is low, too.
    #4
  5. Cam

    Cam Long timer

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    Weight is the killer offroad so the lighter the bike generally the better it handles. IMO if you have the cash and want to do single track or jump it, buy something sub 300lbs which is a very short list and generally starts with and mostly ends with KTM with a few exceptions. Want something that pulls like tractor and isn't a revvy bike out of the box under 300lbs, pretty much the KTM 500 EXCF is about it.
    #5
  6. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    Depends on what you wish to achieve and what "off-road" means to you. Start out with something old/cheap/light and take it from there...
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  7. MadeItToTheUSA

    MadeItToTheUSA n00b

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    I think your height weight matter too. I am about 170lbs and not the tallest. I went with a WR250R and I love the bike. As a total noob the bike is way more capable than I am which I'm grateful for and I've taken it on some gnarly off road parks. I prefer the yamaha 250 over the 286cc honda motor which I rode quite a bit for while.
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  8. Brosey809

    Brosey809 n00b

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    Thank you all very much. Yeah I’ve had my eye on the crf 300 rally. It’s been between that and an older bike of the same weight class. Then I keep wondering if an old klr650 would be good yadda yadda. Ktm 500 hadn’t crossed my mind yet. Will look into that
    #8
  9. Brosey809

    Brosey809 n00b

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    In your opinion what weight leaves the definition of light?
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  10. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    Way back in the early 70's I remember reading in a Popular Cycling magazine that anything over 300 lbs was too heavy for a dirt bike. It seems that criteria still holds today, though with improvements in suspension, and figuring in being street legal, you can probably add add a few pounds to that. I eventually decided my KLR650 was too heavy, and then I ditched a KLX 250/351 (at right around 300 lbs) for a 250 lb Beta, which I quite like even though it's just a 125. Light is good. Way less fatiguing to ride.
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  11. nacho squatcho

    nacho squatcho Been here awhile Supporter

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    Dirt bikes and plated enduros typically don’t have the tractor factor that big bore thumpers have. I’ve never tried one with a flywheel weight which is supposed to help in that department. In contrast my DR650 is probably the least stall prone bike I’ve owned yet (even with stock gearing). It very much reminds me of a tractor at low speeds and on hill climbs (and weighs as much as a tractor too). :muutt
    #11
  12. Wkoppa

    Wkoppa Adventurer

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    There is an article in this Cycle News that may be helpful. https://magazine.cyclenews.com/i/1388078-cycle-news-2021-issue-26-june-29/0?

    I have a KLX and would suggest that you can have plenty of fun on something like the KLX or CRF without spending the extra money of a race bike with lights.

    These bikes, with the right tires, will take you any place you deserve to go.

    One of the first things I do with a bike going to the woods is lay it over on its side and see how well it picks up.

    Second thing I do is see if I can easily clear the saddle mounting up from the ground or foot peg.

    Third thing I look at is maintenance intervals, KLX needs a valve inspect at 7500 miles, otherwise oil and filter changes, Honda should be similar.

    I like the CRF Rally larger fuel capacity (not the same bike in the article) , hoping someone offers a larger tank for the KLX than the aftermarket 2.9G available.

    Good luck. Go riding.

    Wayne Koppa
    Grayling, MI
    #12
  13. zxrider11

    zxrider11 Been here awhile

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  14. Dno

    Dno Been here awhile

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    Split the difference for the drz.
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  15. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    It really depends on what you intend to do with the bike, the tougher terrain the lighter bike you'll need. And of course it's always easier to lift a light bike, regardless of riding conditions.
    #15
  16. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

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    Fuel injection doesn’t help. My 701 won’t thump down low like the DR or XRR will.
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  17. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

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    Test ride it first they are hot bikes. Maybe not a great first bike. Beta 390 has more graduated power delivery. Get some test rides. You can always buy and sell. KLR 650 will get you off road but making one work well off road has some cost. KLX 250 will get it done.

    get something and get out there. Then see if you want something different.
    #17
  18. 300man

    300man Been here awhile

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    What type of riding are you planning to do exactly...I see your out West so more open terrain. Is it single track that you plan to ride? How far do you plan to ride on tar to get to your riding area? These factors should be considered before making a choice.
    #18