quality bike for Cent/South America...

Discussion in 'Americas' started by redelvis, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Damn you're making me want one now. :freaky
    #41
  2. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I wouldnt either. If you dont mind a little lack of power and ride accordingly, you will be quite happy with it for a distance machine IMO.

    The 250's are great, very economical bikes for Latin America travel. 70+ mpg will really save money big time since on a larger bike, your main expense tends to be fuel.

    They are also easier to deal with than a larger bike. First off because its only a 250, you carry less crap that you don't use or need. Secondly, you will be pushing the bike in and out of hotels just about every day, up stairs, ramps etc. Much nicer to do that with a sub 300 lbs bike.

    Youre not going to be burning it up on the super highways with a 250, but youre not going to see much of that anyway unless you choose it.

    There are a lot of great 250's out there. WRR, XT, CR, KLX, KLR, etc. The performer of the group is definitely the WRR and would be my choice over the others for the high elevations that you will encounter in Peru, Bolivia, and far northern Argentina.

    I absolutely love my WR 250R. I'm coming off a KTM 990, so that's really saying something. Its a much better bike than my DRZ ever was, and only a little less power, but revs better and is actually smoother than the DRZ at highway speeds. Suspension and geometry is worlds better than the DRZ. FIrst valve check at 26,000 miles! It is EFI, but just stash a spare pump and filter in your kit, takes up hardly any space, and you're ready for anything, no re-jetting or carb tuning required when you hit higher elevations.

    I have yet to see much over 65 mpg on the WR, but I wring the hell out of it. Rev'ed up at 70 mph+ it comes down to around 55 mpg, but youre not going to be doing much of that either. If I took it a little easier 70+ mpg is the norm. A 4.7 gal IMS tank can get you 300+ miles of range if youre not too hard on it, great for the big lonely off pavement routes in the Cono Sur.

    Alternatively, a 3 gal IMS and 1.7 gal rotopax on the side rack is a nice option as well, as you'll rarely need over a 150 mile range. Wolfman makes great racks and soft bags for it as well. Its a solid world travel platform IMO.

    Lightly used ones can be found for around 4K, just another option to muddy the waters. :lol3
    #42
  3. redelvis

    redelvis Adventurer

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    Glad to see the positive remarks on the DR650... cause I bought one today! Stoke level is really high for me right now. It's a 2008 with 1,600 miles for $3,600. I think I got a pretty good deal. I will post some picture soon so all can share in on my good fortune :)
    #43
  4. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Come see us in Tejas on the way down.:freaky
    #44
  5. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    That is a great deal for sure. I bought a 2008 about a year ago for 3400 with 6700 miles on it. Ive put 23000 miles on it now (so about 29000 miles total) having ridden to Alaska and then to Boston (started in Pensacola) and all ive replaced is the wheel bearings.

    Some suggestions:
    1) Do the NSU fix. Costs you a tube of loctite (blue) and a gasket for the clutch cover
    2) Make sure to blue loctite the Primary Nut while in there
    3) Suspension mods will make it awesome for gnarly stuff
    4) WHEEL BEARINGS AND CUSH BEARING- replace them before your trip with bearings from a bearing supplier. The key is to get double sealed bearings. I destroyed the front and rear wheel bearings despite being OEM NEW when I left. I did many water crossings and that is likely why. The cush bearing likely went out for the water crossings too, but I admittedly failed to replace it before I left.

    None of these things stuck me- 1-3 were done before I left, and I caught the bearings before they stuck me. It has been a very good bike so far and I enjoy riding it.

    You have entered a whole new world- your new bike with farkles will play a dirtbike as long as you dont aim to be fast. Congrats!
    #45
  6. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    GSF, what was your normal highway cruising speed, how comfortable is the stock seat, and how are the vibes on the highway?
    Thanks
    #46
  7. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I stayed off the freeway as much as I could. I would say my comfortable speed was 65 actual mph (75 indicated). This is with stock gearing. That said in a few cases I ran 75 actual for hours so I wouldn't get murdered by idiots and the bike never complained. I have run lower gearing for stuff in moab and can answer any questions you might have about gearing options. Kommando is a good person to PM about gearing too. Comfortable cruising speed is very subjective. I like the motor to loaf along- others will run it for hours at 6000 and not care. I prefer mid 4k to 5k max.

    The stock seat is terrible and I could not ride on it for 5 minutes without starting to get monkey butt. I put on a Sargent and the bike was much better. 300 mile days are nothing, 400 is getting bad, and 500 is brutal but doable (only did a few days like that though). It fits my type of travel as I don't plan much and like to take it all in.

    Vibes are not a problem at all on this bike at least for me. This is coming from someone who would get headaches on an older sportster and is even mildly annoyed by the vibration from his Bandit at times... a 4 banger. The vibes get LESS as you get your speed up. Be sure to check out the DR650 thread too if you have any questions. There are a lot of DR wizards on that thread that can answer your questions.
    #47
  8. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Thanks, GSF.
    Some good info there for me, I appreciate it.
    #48
  9. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    No problem. Enjoy the machine!
    #49
  10. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    With stock gearing the DR650 cruises nicely at 70 to 75 mph indicated. If riding into a strong head wind ... you will feel it. And once the front sprocket gets worn a bit (at around 5 to 7K miles depending on use/abuse) The bike will feel "rough". Also, with worn Cush Drive Rubber bumpers it can also feel
    rough under power.

    As mentioned by everyone ... stock seat is unacceptable. Some young and very tough DR riders go with it .... but for any serious riding days, stock seat is a NO GO ... IMHO.

    The Vibes are not really bad at all on the DR is the drive line is fresh and set up correctly. (as mentioned above)
    #50
  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Do you think my AirHawk will work on it as well as it has on my F650GS torture rack called a seat?
    I am becoming more and more convinced this is the bike I need and I have to sell the BMW. Now that they are sold and supported in Mexico, it makes things much easier and there is a new Suzuki dealer who has opened here.
    I've always been impressed with Suzuki quality, friends have owned Suzuki products and they performed as they had pretty good luck with them.
    What I am concerned about is losing my 140kmh cruising speed, meaning I will be leaving a half hour before everyone else, and having to actually work at fixing a flat instead of plugging and airing up and calling it good.
    I am not concerned about never having to darken the door of the local shitty BMW dealer every again.:deal That alone makes things sweeter!
    #51
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Wise endorsement of the 250 class ... and the WR250R specifically! :clap
    As mentioned ... traveling light is key to success on a 250 ... not that easy to do. Not sure you could carry camping gear AND all the stuff you'd want for an extended Latin America ride. Hotels/Hostels are the way on such a small bike.

    Once you are on Latin Time, a 250 makes more sense. Pace on back roads is mellow, off road, even more so. No big HP needed. Modern, fast highways? 'nother story.

    But unless you intend to really explore seriously off road back country options, then the DR650 is not bad either. Mud is it's enemy.

    MPG is awesome on the 250, big plus and money saver on such a long ride. A good running DR650 only gets 50 MPG, compared to the WR at 60 to 70 MPG. But trying to make time, in high mountains riding into a strong head wind, you will really appreciate the DR650 ... but it will cost you more in fuel.

    The DR650 can be packed up heavy and carry everything (including the kitchen sink) ... but in this state it losses some of it's off road ability and becomes a handful on technical tracks at slow speeds. Go light!

    So even with the roomy DR650, pack as light as you can. Push the limits, go as minimal as you can. You can ALWAYS buy things you need on the road ... and give away things you don't need.

    Good luck with the new bike ....
    #52
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Mike,
    Thanks for the information on Suzuki now bringing in the DR650 into Mexico. I had no idea! Great news! :clap I've mostly seen Suzuki outboard motors in Mexico, not many Suzuki bike dealers outside D.F. Hope that changes.

    If the Air Hawk works on your F650 ... should be OK on the DR650. But I like my BIG Corbin because it's just roomier, allows back and forth movement.

    On a few long rides I've cruised at 80 mph indicated on my DR650. Many many 400 mile days, back to back. Once the bike is set up for comfort it's pretty smooth at speed on the road. Panniers hurt fuel economy some at high speeds. Once on the road, and you toughen up to riding long days, day after day, nearly any bike will get you through, but the DR is really quite good ... it will surprise you. It's about 60 lbs. lighter weight than your F650.
    #53
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Grift, thanks for the input. Yes, I am looking forward to the 60lbs lighter and if I can use my trusted AirHawk, that's a bonus.
    The trick here, with any new bike, is keeping it out of the hands of what usually passes for a mechanic here, especially at BMW dealers.
    On my Honda XR's, the dealership was casual, I used to be able to stand beside the mechanic and watch them. Always at Rafael Lagos' shop here you are most welcome to observe him, like he says, he has nothing to worry about and knows his stuff.
    The problem is that, in Mexico, the warranty is only valid if the dealer does the servicing during the period of the warranty. A scam that BMW really enjoys and maximizes to their profit.
    I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but I can tell you, I am glad the OP got this bike and this thread came along! I was thinking about a KLR but it is not that far off the price of a Wee-Strom with ABS, a Wee with ABS means I am back in the injected and computerized boat. I want the other boat, the old school one. With the 17% IVA tax, a new DR650 runs just under $100,000 pesos. About a $750 mark up over the US prices when all is done.
    #54
  15. redelvis

    redelvis Adventurer

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    Sorry I haven't got a picture to post yet, I'm a working machine trying to save up for my trip.

    My impressions so far after some interstate and city riding.... It's so nimble! Not sure if it's because I'm coming from an EX500 or because I don't have any real experience with dirt oriented bikes, but I feel like it just zips through traffic and intersections. A pleasant surprise for sure! On the interstate it felt much more stable at 70-75 mph than I would have ever imagined, although I don't ride those speeds often it's nice to know that when I do I won't be gripped. On a side note, is the speedometer really that far off? GSF1200 posted above that it is 10 mph off?

    As far as seat height goes (and I was really worried about this) I don't think it will be much of an issue for road travel as the suspension squashes down enough even with my light 150ish pounds. I'm nowhere near flat footed and only get my toes and just the slightest front of the balls of my feet down, but I feel MUCH more confident than expected with my minimal ground contact. I may still do the factory lowering option though, we'll see.

    Gotta admit that during the 200 miles or so that I've ridden my new bike I've had the thought of "this is definitely the right bike" more than a couple times. That, my friends, is a wonderful feeling. Expect a pic sometime in the near future!
    #55
  16. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Kiko, they had them for $92,900MN IVA included in DF at one point. Now, price is around $99,000MN.
    Way cheaper than the overpriced KLR's.
    #56
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Kiko, ultima vez que yo vi un "tranny imploded" fue en los portales aqui en Veracruz! LOL!:eek1 Hubo varios!:eek1
    #57
  18. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Hey Elvis,
    Good to hear first impressions of the DR are positive! :thumb At 150 lbs. you are within the target weight for stock suspension rates. Even so, it's a bit soft.

    But for travel I'd consider heavier springs front and rear. Why? Once loaded for the long haul the stock DR can wallow a bit, perhaps flex at slow speeds and may have a bit of a weave at higher speeds through corners. Firmer springs take some of this away, add stability and control both ON and OFF road. All Good!

    For now, ride the bike and learn it's ways. As predicted, you are already adjusting to the height. Time and miles make this even easier. Once loaded up the side stand may stand the bike up too straight ... making parking a challenge. Always park so the bike leans over to the left a bit once on the side stand.

    After some shorter trial shake down rides I'm sure ideas will come to you for what your bike needs to be the perfect travel bike. There is lots to do ... some truly useful and practical, some more superfluous bling.

    The DR makes a great travel bike because once it's properly set up and prepped it requires very little attention once out on the road in a foreign country. Many ADV'ers on "other" brands end up spending WAY TOO MUCH time doing constant repairs and maintenance on their bikes. This gets old and distracts from your trip and enjoyment of local cultures abroad.
    Have fun!
    #58
  19. redelvis

    redelvis Adventurer

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    The light was bad and there was a bit of wildfire smoke in the area, but here is the picture I promised...

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    From that photo it looks like you scored and got one driven by the little old lady from Pasedena, and only to church on alternate sundays. Nice find! :freaky

    I was going to suggest to you a very lightly used and extremely well maintained KTM 990 that I have. Adult owned and only ridden on one trip. :lol3 Naw, actually, I dont think I could ever bring myself to sell that bike.

    Congrats on the new ride amigo. :1drink
    #60