help grampa buy another thumper!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by metlcutr55, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. metlcutr55

    metlcutr55 LongGoneDaddy

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    sold my klr650 5 years ago. she had taken me to all the new England states, NY and PA and to Cromag and to Barrage Gouin in Canada with 20 or so of the crazy fuckers that inhabit this forum. some of my favorite mc experiences ever. sold her because she was tired, and im now shorter and rounder. also sold my Valkyrie IS because I could no longer pick her up if she went over onto the crash bars. got a 1300 vstar, 250 lb lighter, 27" seat height, am riding along happily.

    I miss the dirt roads, woods roads, even the mild single track. so I been looking for something that will do that, yet let me go on an ADV ride that might require a 300 mile day.

    found a 650 strom with full Trax & Givi baggage. problem solved. nope. kept her just 250 miles, lovely bike. too tall (28" inseam). dropped her 2" with links. too fat. rear tire rubbed. didn't want to invest in fancy shox, I found her too heavy too. a great deal from an inmate here, I passed her on to another and I hope they're happy.

    looking for a CRF250L found a 2018 KLX250, tested her. too tall. loved the suspension even tho im 240#, but the xtra weight (me) made the 33 hp feel like 22. and also was not fond of a 5 speed in a 250. and it needed to be 2" lower for me to be happy.

    will ride a friends Duc 900 Scrambler soon. always been Duc curious. And I also have a line on a 1978 Suz TS 250 barn bike. 35 years sitting, still looks great. had a TS 125 in 72. and a DT 250 in that same era.

    loved both the 125, the 250, and another DT 125 I had for a while. considering most anything, including sinking a couple grand into the 250 if I can find an indie mechanic near me (SW NH) that doesn't charge shop rates. I can deal with 5" of suspension and 8" of ground clearance. I could also deal with a sub 370 lb modern bike that I could touch the ground on. strongly prefer Japanese.

    please comment. be nice, this is not "Jo Momma"

    thanks, Ken
    #1
  2. usedtobefast

    usedtobefast Been here awhile

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    Have you considered a Royal Enfield Himalayan? Already lower than the Japanese 250s. Lower than a DRZ400. While maybe not Japanese reliable, you can buy a new one.
    #2
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  3. oldoval

    oldoval Energy Vampire

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    You're going to have to compromise somewhere. Light, low seat height, able to do a 300 mile day, powerful enough to over come your weight, etc.

    Pick a few of those. The perfect bike doesn't exist. Be honest about what MOST of your riding will be.

    As usual, a DR650 is a good compromise.

    .
    #3
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  4. metlcutr55

    metlcutr55 LongGoneDaddy

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    thanks guys, was also thinking of the drz, esp a motard, with 50/50 tires. the dr 650 is a bike ive admired, never thrown a leg across. maybe a 19" or 18" front wheel would help some, did that on my klr with cast wheels I modded myself.

    klrtard.jpg

    the Enfield well, ive had issues with machine shop stuff built in India. but it never hurts to ride one, ill look around.

    a friend is going to let me put some miles on his gs310.

    KEEP those ideas coming and thanks.
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  5. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    You need the bike I want that they don’t make. A SR400 motor in an alloy frame & swingarm with big TW200 tires and 4 gal. of fuel in the tank.

    But, the Hima is close just not Yamaha quality. Time will tell how close they are.
    #5
  6. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    DRZ SM400. Gear it to suit your needs. It sounds like you arent going hard core in any direction anyway and it doesnt either. If necessary have the suspension dropped a couple inches but the 17” wheels might be enough.
    #6
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  7. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    DR650 in the factory low position?
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  8. pjensen641

    pjensen641 Long timer

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    Street scrambler with knobbies?

    I think your range of missions is too wide. Single track to 300 mile days? Im 40, reasonably fit with a couple inches more inseam, and have a DR650 that I do just about that on it. Single track is an absolute chore on the thing though. I can do it if the conditions are right and still have some fun, but if it turned rutty and muddy....the fun disappears very quickly. I'll be going with a 250 next if I want to continue doing single track, or I'll haul my KDX.

    At any rate, I think you need to settle for the limited power of a 250 if you want to do single track, or go for the expensive orange coolaide and get a KTM350 and forget about 300 mile days. Or go the other way and get a nice low scrambler or lowered DR650 that can do reasonably well groomed dual track up to 300 mile days and forget the single track. Just have to be honest with yourself and capabilities and be realistic with what you see yourself doing on the thing.

    A modern 400 dual sport with an XT250 seat height just doesn't exist, that's really what you are asking for.
    #8
  9. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    If GPX / @Pitster brings their possible retro enduro 400cc with f.i. and a low seat it would fit the bill 110%.
    #9
  10. Pete Behn

    Pete Behn Adventurer

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    Not modern, but Honda XR650L can be lowered with a link and Seat Concepts Seat. I put a Kouba link on mine and got it down to flat footing. I have a 32" inseam. Seat can lower it 2" I believe. Just a thought.
    #10
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  11. justinope

    justinope Long timer

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    FWIW the Himalayan has no real what I'd call "widespread" issues, especially if you mean any that will leave you stranded. Any issues it does have are well known and simple hour long max fixes if you end up unlucky. People have ridden LOTS of miles on them with minimal issues just doing regular maintenance (Itchy Boots for example, although she rides it softly admittedly).. and IMO its possibly a great fit for your riding style after reading your brief above. It does anything under 65mph well including mild singletrack as you said. I took it on a kind of MX-styled dirt track the other day and was pretty surprised. I went slow but it didn't feel out of its depth either. That being said its not a bike that can pound through whoops, or ride at super quick paces on rutty rocky off road, you'll deflect off any 1-2" boulders almost certainly. Its also not a bike you want to take on a paved road with higher than a 60-65mph speed limit. Everywhere else it works really well for me, super composed even on technical terrain at the lower speeds it excels at, climbs up hills like those mules at the Grand Canyon.. I've been very impressed!

    China (GPX Moto) and India (RE) together are fixing to absolutely RUN the budget dirt / DS / ADV game if you ask me. I can't even see the appeal of owning any Japanese dinosaur bike right now. My Pitster Pro LXR 250F (now GPX Moto FSE250R) was by almost all measures a better version of the WR250R for me after owning 4 of them over the years, and the new GPX FSE models are even better equipped components-wise than the LXR I had. It's hard for me to believe they aren't more popular. Their new 450 is especially exciting to me, and my dark horse pick for the dual sport but dirt focused rider- like a longer maintenance interval, easier to work on and live with CRF450L for almost half the money.. we'll see in a few months if I'm right. Anyway, I got off track- I've been loving my Himalayan for what it is and definitely recommend anyone curious to check one out. It has its caveats but if you go into ownership full-knowing that and happy to concede those points I mentioned above, I think you'll be surprised!
    #11
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  12. enduro16

    enduro16 Been here awhile

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    If is a big two lettered word... If only everybody could find their own unicorn!
    #12
  13. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    How fast do you want to go? Can you put up with a top speed of 65 mph on the road, or less if there's a hill involved? That is to say do you need a powerful motor? If not, and you want to cruise trails and such and have had fun on 125cc bikes in the past, may I suggest the street legal Beta 125 RR-S?
    #13
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  14. ts01

    ts01 Adventurer

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    Versus 300?
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  15. scrambler66

    scrambler66 Been here awhile

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    #15
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  16. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I can edit it to read “when” but they (GPX) still need to decide if its a bike that will sell. I think its a slam dunk but we all know how it really is. Lots say they want XYZ and then its delivered and the excuses start.
    #16
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  17. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I think the key to the whole issue is the suspension. As the OP stated, he could live with 5" rear 8" front. Any bike with rebuildable shocks can have the suspension cut down internally to keep wheels from rubbing and having proper spring rates. Figure maybe $600 for suspension work. If you cut suspension on a bike like the DRz400 or KLX250 or many others, you drop the seat by 3-5" easily. Quit thinking links and sliding forks down, do what the flat trackers do, have the travel of the shock and forks shortened to the point where the travel is 6-8" - the bike is dropping under 30" seat height.

    Suspension would be lower cost than doing wheels. Lacing up 17s is not cheap. Suspension work is also very effective in tailoring the ride to the rider plus it can be put back the way it was. Still have the benefit of the standard dual sport wheel sizes and tire costs while having the lower seat height.

    I'd tell the OP to pick a bike he likes, then see how much work/cost it is to shorten the suspension for him. Get a better ride with lower seat and work that can be undone.
    #17
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  18. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I agree but there is a factory DRZ SM thats out there used all over the place. I doubt he “needs” 21/18.

    And it seems like most are unwilling to actually make the bike fit their need with suspension mods. Why IDK. Its the biggest thing you can do besides maybe tires.
    #18
  19. motorat

    motorat Is it raining

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    how about a crf230l.....they are lower than the 250l
    #19
  20. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    ya... Versys 300. 380 with 4.5 gallons of fuel on board. thats with ABS too. I sat on one and the seat is terrible. I have the 650 version & love it... 100 pounds lighter than my GS(s). also have a KLX 250 (to replace my KLR). there are simple things you can do to make better power on that bike. there is also a well proven 351 kit by Billy Blue. there is a post here in Thumpers.
    #20