When is too slow unsafe?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by dcfield, May 9, 2020.

  1. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Personally I'd want something that can pull away from the traffic at 70. The OP has ridden before, so I doubt it will take too long to knock off the rust. I'd tend to say a 500 minimum. Depending on if there is the plan to ride off road much, I'd be looking at the DR650 or XR650L. If it was maybe some really easy trails then it goes to a 650 V-Strom or maybe one of the scramblers that are showing up. Just no seeing the 250 as an option. I rode a KLX650C for about 25 years as my all around bike. I now have a KLX250 and got a Yamaha XSR700 because even the 650 wasn't quite what I wanted for a street ride and it is losing a rod bearing. I do the 250 for dirt/gravel road riding, rode the 650 for everything, but it was really too heavy off road for me. The 250 is like riding a mountain bike, but just doesn't have the open road chops. So I did the 700. I could do a 500 and be happy, but no one made a 500 like I would want since 1983 when Honda made the VT500F Ascot twin.
    #21
  2. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    I wouldn't be afraid of a 250 dual sport. I rode a Yamaha WR250R all over the west and kept it at my winter place in AZ when I was living in Boston. It has a remarkable motor that is actually one cylinder sliced from a R1 Superbike. That means it revs to the moon and can be run all day long bumping the throttle stops at wide open. Top speed was about 80-85 and I cruised it on the interstates at around 70. When climbing through the Rockies I would run out of throttle on long high altitude climbs and when she dropped to 65, I merely downshifted to 5th gear and she's climb right back. My point is that my WR250R had a sophisticated motor and was no problem cruising I-10 at 70. True, the limit on I-10 is 75 most places and people cruise it at 85, but 70 didn't bother me being too slow. Also my life-long riding buddy rides a newer Kaw KLR650 and his performance was no better than mine on the highway.

    The bike was about 300lbs wet and that is about as heavy as I can handle on rougher trails and dirt roads. You have to be able to pick it up when solo. For travel, that bike had a small fly screen, sheepskin butt pad, large gas tank, and soft saddle bags. I weigh about 200 with gear.

    I replaced that 250 with a KTM 690 Enduro and not sure it is an improvement other than power and speed. I cruise that about 70mph too because it sucks gas too much above that and reduces my range too much. KTM range is about 160 miles, while the Yam with the larger tank was 225.
    [​IMG]
    #22
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  3. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    C'mon over and try out I-70, I-270, and I-71 where 80 is about the going rate a whole lot of the time.

    Like I said, I want something that can pull away from traffic if I'm running places like that. I don't ride my 250 on any freeway if I can have any other way around.
    #23
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  4. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior Supporter

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    Ya'll seem to be ignoring 2 things about Texas, there is almost no public off road riding and the generous speed limits up to 80mph. I have ridden 250's into the ground as commuters and do not recommend them for good reasons.
    #24
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  5. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    OP~
    Since Texas has no off-roading, you might as well focus on a bike that'll be able to keep up with traffic on the street. Running a 250 thumper at 80mph sustained is just flogging it. It won't last 60,000 miles doing 80mph. (unless you gear it for Bonneville.)
    You mention you may need this bike to fill a few roles. (Commuter/shopping mule/high speed operation.)

    If you HAVE to have an adventure bike, I'd recommend a Triumph Tiger 800/900. (NOT the 1200...)

    Yes, they're 470lbs, but they'll also do 80mph, all day, every day, without breaking a sweat. (They can do a buck-thirty when asked.)
    That smoooooth triple is pretty dang nice too.

    If you absolutely MUST go with a lighter weight bike (320#), with the dreams/desires of dirt work, then I'd suggest a Husky 701. (You say you don't want to do wheelies, this may change your mind...)

    Ironically, I have BOTH the Tiger and 701. They both do very well, in their respective disciplines.
    #25
  6. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    THIS!

    I'd say just buy a decent used bike (any of the options smallish/dualsport or dualsportish) and start riding. You will find out very quick if the CRF250L is fine on the road or if you don't like. Or maybe you like the smallish bike and you decided to use your ratty pickup to haul it out into the country to have fun and ride the cool dirt roads.
    Or a big Suzuki WeeStrom is perfect etc...
    #26
  7. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I recently bought a Kymco K-Pipe. I try to stick to roads with 35-40 mph posted limits, I can go 50 ok, but not really faster unless it's downhill or the wind is blowing in the right direction
    #27
  8. dcfield

    dcfield Adventurer

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    Thanks, everyone!

    Although a CRF250L might be enough in town (60 mph+ speeds), I'm now convinced it just won't cut it on even smaller Texas highways (70 mph+). I think it's just safer to be able to at least keep up with the flow of traffic, and preferably have a little more in reserve.

    My previous riding was what would now be call Backroads Discovey Routes. So if there really aren't a lot of off-road trails in Texas, then maybe a Dual Sport isn't what I need after all?

    So I'm probably looking a CB500X. The 2019's have the 19 inch front wheel plus a few other worthwhile tweaks, so getting a new one would probably be the way to go. Have to see if I save up and swing some financing (and what goes on sale during this economic mess).

    But I'll also keep my eyes open for a good deal on a used DR650. Other than the lack of ABS, the DR really appeals to me.
    #28
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  9. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

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    The best way to get three opinions is to ask two riders which is the best bike.:jack

    Seriously interesting differences of opinion. One of them is bound to suit the OP.
    #29
  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Sounds like some good choices.
    #30
  11. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Don’t forget the CSC RX4 as an option for a dirt capable and freeway capable bike.

    Charles.
    #31
  12. texas_aggie

    texas_aggie Been here awhile

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    I’m down in Grapeland and have a crf250l you are welcomed to come and ride if that helps you to decide
    #32
  13. Hot Stuff

    Hot Stuff Road Dragon

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    #33
  14. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I was going to post similar...but you nailed it.

    I, too, had a TW200. That's a fun-loving, hard-working utility ride - functional and fun all at once. I could bounce through city traffic, caring nothing for potholes, with a light, flickable chassis.

    That was in the city. I sold it because...I, too, live on a highway outside of town. The TW didn't do it - it was really, literally dangerous. Fifty-eight mph was not fast enough to be safe where the limit is 65 and traffic moves at 75-plus.

    But I love little bikes, too. Less is more - lower mass is its own reward. I, too, have a Versys X-300. I have three other bikes, but that's my current go-to tool.

    Because I, too, don't need to do wheelies. The Ninja 300 engine is an eager revver, and the bike goes fast enough, quick enough, and with appropriate sound effects, to sate my inner hooligan.

    But the OP does NOT want a bike that cannot keep up with the traffic he expects. He didn't put the VX 300 in his list, but it bears looking at. Otherwise, the Honda 500...or similar, keeping an eye on top speed and cruising abilities for where he'll be riding.
    #34
  15. Olythom

    Olythom Adventurer

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    I might also suggest the Honda NC700x. I rode one for several years and loved it. Commuted at 70mph. Rode forest service roads in Olympic NP. Averaged over 70mpg for the 4+ years that I had it. The “frunk “ is a very useful built-in accessory. ABS. Take a test ride and see.
    >Thom
    #35
  16. dcfield

    dcfield Adventurer

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    Thanks. But I've sat on one at my local dealer (riding position feels great!). Just don't think they have quite enough speed for my roads.
    #36
  17. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    #37
  18. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Used street bikes are so cheap I'd pick one up for road work, and throw a dirt bike in the back of that old truck to hit the trails. Just tires make having fun off road and commuting on the same bike almost impossible.
    #38
  19. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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  20. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    Versys-X 300 has no problems hitting 80mph. Just did a valve check and hardest part was just getting the valve cover out from the bike and back in. Camshaft removal was fine with no issues. First valve check I did on any bike. Intakes were fine, exhast tight near or out of spec when done at 10,000 miles (7,500 check intervals). Set all at far loose end so should not have to do another in 10,000-15,000 miles. Done it all in a carport over 3 afternoons. Took much longer since new at it.
    NC700x (sold @49,000 miles) will work on gravel roads but after a few 1,000 miles, it starts having issues. Broke my rear rack mount 3 times just from the vibrations. Also cast wheels and not steel plus only 17" front which makes pot holes and washboard much harder on the bike. Traded it in for the VX300. last year. VX300 much more fun on pavement and gravel than NC700x and VX300 has lower insurance cost. VX300 can get in the mid 60s mpg ridden easy and low 50s mpg ridden hard. NC700x get low 60s mpg, ridden hard (45mpg on one tank ridden up hill in 30mph head wind trying to keep it at 70mph durning cross country trip) and have gotten in 80s mpg ridden easy.
    #40
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