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Where are your XT250's...let's see them.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by MEDIC-0372, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. NicKel78

    NicKel78 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2020
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Kerrville, TX
    Quick question for everyone. The beginning of my riding days began in highschool in the mid 90s on a Kawasaki KZ440 LTD. Went to a brand new Super Sherpa in 2000 and had a blast on it. Unexperienced in dirt and took it places I probably had no business going. Should have kept it but anyone who has been in the military knows that's not a good time for material attachments. Bounced back and forth between street bikes and dirts bikes since then. Dirt history since the Sherpa was an '01 TTR225 which I rode for about 10 years then traded up to a CRF250X. Hell of a bike but also way high strung and no where near as good for slow speed technical riding as the TTR was. But it sure would fly!

    As some of you saw from my post above, I just picked up a couple of XTs. My woman has no riding experience so for her this is a fantastic bike and she is doing well. The manners of the bike are very good for her confidence. I however am feeling like I really underbought for myself.

    So the question is...
    Have any of you ridden with others on more "advanced" bikes and felt lacking? Strictly speaking off road.


    I was watching some trail riding videos of groups that had anything from a Himalayan to WR250s to Africa Twins. Watching those, the fancy bike riders were having to frequently work the throttle aggressively and slip the clutch to keep moving and in the back of my mind I am thinking the little XT would make much easier work of that. Even the WRs seemed high strung. But I also haven't gotten out on the technical stuff again yet and might be mis-remembering how easy everything seemed on the TTR.
  2. buckthedog

    buckthedog Eastbound and down

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    South Mississippi
    The powerband is certainly lower down on the XT as compared to the WR250R's, so its more docile.

    To answer your question directly: No. The caveat with that is I'm not all that good off road, so if I rode with others, I'd feel lacking anyway, but I'd feel more confident do so on my XT225 so I'd be faster until my skill developed. It's a different kind of fun is all. Sounds like with the bike hx you have, you've been down this road before.

    If you're riding mostly with your significant other, and youre on a high strung, killer dirtbike, and she's on the xt, you'll have to ride a fast bike slow, and that can be frustrating. If it's riding with your buddies mostly, and her every now and then, you may have underbought. Horses for courses, and all that. Be not unequally yoked.
  3. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Nelson, New Zealand
    The XT is a simple, cheap, softly-suspended dual-purpose bike. So yeah, it's going to lack vs an enduro or motocross race weapon.

    Yes the XT is really easy to ride slowly. You're only going to find it lacking if you want to ride it fast on rough terrain. However I'm not sure what suspension is on the TT-R, particularly if it is more trail-worthy than the XT which does seem likely.

    Bikes like the CRF-X shouldn't have to be ridden slowly. Part of that high-strung nature is what allows it to blitz through the rough stuff. It's what it's built for.
  4. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I would not spend 2 seconds thinking about being better or worse then other riders.
    I have been dirt riding for 45 years and have picked up a few things, but I know others are much better.
    They are in better shape and have trained on real race bikes.
    I am in normal well worn 60 year old shape and always ride crappy dual sports, not race bikes, but I can pass at least half the people on the trail on a TW200, the other half of the people can pass me on almost any bike.

    My idea is to have fun and not end up in the hospital because that means no riding.
    I tend to go as fast as a bike can safely go, so I tend to stay away from really fast bikes.
    I try them, and know it would end badly for me.

    I have never owned a really good dirt bike other then the IT 175 2 smoke many years ago, but I always have fun.

    The XT250 is a fine bike, the only weak point for me was the harsh and somewhat limited suspension.
    It will beat you up on the sharp edge stuff.
    The motor is good, the weight is in the usual 300 pound ball park, seat height is good, it holds enough gas to get back and the quality
    of the bike is high.
    You can fix the forks and maybe get a better shock for a huge improvement in ride quality.

    There ARE plenty of other bikes more able to go really fast in the dirt.
    They tend to be more uncomfortable, more expensive and take more looking after, but they will enable you to go really fast with a lot less work.
    glitch_oz likes this.
  5. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    CT exile now in NH
    Most importantly, ride your ride.

    Whether it's the bike, your body or your skills, riding beyond the limits will bite you.
    buckthedog likes this.
  6. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Northern West Virginia
    The only time I've felt I was holding other riders back has been on highways, where they want to go 75 mph, and I want to go 65 or 70 (I actually intend to go about 60 but tend to go about 70). Then again, my riding with others is usually on fun rides, where nobody is in too big a hurry.

    I once rode for a couple days with a couple where she was riding an XT250 and he had moved up from a KTM650 to an Adventure 1250. I felt that was bad for both of them, because he always wanted to go faster, and she was always feeling "pushed" to go faster than she wanted to.

    My suggestion is to keep the XT for a while. If you aren't riding with other guys (or gals) on faster bikes, then you might be happy, with the possible exception of the suspension. If you decide to upgrade your suspension, I think you should also do your wife's, because it should make the bike more comfortable. If you want her to keep riding with you, be sure to keep her happy, and not feeling like she's holding you back.
    .
    .
    Jolly Roger 250 and randypower like this.
  7. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Western Mass.
    To me it depends on who you ride with, where you ride, and what your expectations are. In New England where the woods are thick and the riding is technical I have no problem plodding along at the same pace as anyone else. When I rode out in the wide open spaces of the West (TX, CO, UT, NM) the XT seemed pretty darn slow when the going was not highly technical. My nephew on his KTM500 (who granted is younger and braver as well) rode circles around me out there. Based on my experience where you are located in TX, where folks go 80mph on the highway and it's very open terrain, I suspect after a while you will find the XT too slow for your liking.
  8. NicKel78

    NicKel78 Been here awhile

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    Hi all. Thanks for some fantastic replies. Some very excellent points made, many of which did cross my mind in the selection process. Number one reason I purchased the XT for myself was so that I would be on a level field with the woman so that we are matched at the same speeds and capabilities so she hopefully doesn’t get frustrated.

    One thing I would like to clarify is when I say “lacking“, my thoughts are not in the speed aspect but the physical ability in the bike to get from point A to point B. I have seen a few things where people talk about the XT not having the power to get over an obstacle, up a hill, etc. I just feel like that isn’t likely very true.
  9. NicKel78

    NicKel78 Been here awhile

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    The TTR was the XT225 sans the DOT bits so very much like the current although I don’t remember it being so harsh suspension wise. Then again that is possibly because I was a bit abusive to its capabilities and had a hard time keeping oil in the forks. ‍♂️

    I hear you on the CRF but often times we were riding in such rough stuff trying to use that speed was merely asking for busted rims which is where I started missing the tractor like qualities of the TTR.
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    With the right gearing and tires, the XT will do fine.
    The transmission is quite a wide ratio, you have good ground clearance and the 2018 XT has a huge torque bump at about 2000 rpm and will
    tractor right up a tree if you can get the traction to do so.
    The only limitation might be the weight, its easier to get a 200 pound bike up something then it is a 300 pound bike.
  11. zetabird

    zetabird Been here awhile

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    Wait the 18 has more torque than the 17.....why? Can i modify my 17
  12. buckthedog

    buckthedog Eastbound and down

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    Not true, based on me, my bike, and the numerous reports I've read here and elsewhere on XT's doing the tat, going to So. America, etc. Everide also has a pretty good review on an XT225 on his youtube channel.
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    No, I had a 2018 (fuel injected) and it had/has a huge torque peak at 1500 or 2000 rpm per the dyno graphs I have seen and my butt on the seat.
    It will almost idle up hills.

    I think all FI bikes would be the same, I am unsure about the carb versions, since the MOTOR is the same, I would think all the bikes would be
    somewhat the same.

  14. buckthedog

    buckthedog Eastbound and down

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    Agreed...never ridden an xt250, but my experience with my 225 is the same as above. It's got really nice torque really down low. Smaller example of a KLR or DR. You don't have to thrash on it to get it up and going. Like others have said, it's slower overall on the top end, but a great, sturdy, dependable, reliable trail bike. There's examples on here with 40K miles or more.
  15. NicKel78

    NicKel78 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the responses. I am feeling better about being on the XT and the Cogent upgrade is well worth the coin. The main reason for the XTs were the woman’s comfort when sitting on them (confidence that she could handle it and easily learn) and the idea we could literally take them on any BDR or the TAT with no issues. There is a lot to be said about the reliability I have experienced with every Yamaha I have ever had as well. I also love the plain simplicity of these bikes. No over abundance of technological BS to break down (not thinking about all the stupid interlock switches on BMWs I see causing problems frequently). But I am sure I am not the only one to see all the videos and post with the bigger bikes and start second guessing myself.
  16. HunterSon

    HunterSon Adventurer

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    NFLD, The Rock.
    I had a WR250X converted to dual purpose. I really liked it and it handled better the faster I went, but it couldn’t tractor along like my XT250. I enjoy the slow exploring on the XT much more now.
    reasonable and randypower like this.
  17. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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  18. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    How big an obstacle do you want to ride over? Technique matters more than horsepower, torque, etc.

    For example, it can be done with 0hp:


    Or with about 25hp:

    NicKel78 and bikemoto like this.
  19. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Well, for adventure riding on anything that constitutes a road or track, no matter how poorly built, that's simply not true. The XT will go anywhere, and in my experience has gone everywhere I've gone with my KTM. It just won't do it as fast. Doesn't mean it's not fun on the XT.

    The only thing that's stopped our XT is steep sand dunes. There you need power to weight. I could see how it might be a challenge on steep muddy AAA enduro sections. We've taken ours on trail rides (like a cross-country race but untimed) and it has been a hoot, but we didn't attempt any of the optional enduro A or AA loops. Several of those rides have been following rain (or snow) so the ground was very wet and muddy in places. Of course we had proper off-road tyres fitted, close-pattern adventure tyres would leave you stranded.
    randypower likes this.
  20. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    With mixed feelings, today we farewelled our faithful XT and began a new chapter.

    Some further casual research led to a few test rides and some serious discussion about what type of riding she wanted to do. Now I'm going to have to eat my words! She has gone for a new KTM 390 Adventure. I have to say, that's a stunning motorcycle, even more so for the price. With the KTM lowering kit, it's only 15 mm taller seat height than the XT. I won't bore you with the details, there are plenty of reviews online if you are interested. Maybe I'll report back in a few months with some real-world comparisons.

    So, in memoriam, a couple of final pics.

    A princess, Princess Stream and Mount Princess:
    [​IMG]

    Over the pass and down at the bottom of the valley, a short sharp 500+ m descent:
    [​IMG]