Originally Posted by acesandeights
Again, I guess I don't really understand your question. No reason to have a small bike on a gravel route. What's the point?
I rented a CRF250X and was completely disappointed by the top end. I had it sideways on a "gravel route" (forest service road) with it wide open. No joke, I wondered why I bothered with a 250 at that point. It was tall enough that it was hard to turn around on single track (for me, although I have a short inseam). My DR650 is no harder to turn around on single track because I can at least touch the ground where needed. I've never wished for more top end off road with 650cc and can seldom use it all (mostly due to the suspension of the DR650; although small 230 - 250 "dual sport" bikes don't have performance suspension either).
For what it's worth I agree with you, OP may have you on ignore since you aren't reaffirming his opinion.
Why I didnt buy a little bike when I shifted away from pavement. Because regardless of where I choose to go I have between 500 to 1,400 miles of pavement to ride to get there. I dont do the haul it there thing unless I just have to. It aint adventure touring to me if I have to haul it there to have an adventure, the adventure starts the second I walk out of my house.
Like aces said, if I'm hauling I'd have a light weight, probably a plated 2 stroke or maybe a funky little TW 200. But with Texas speed limits of 75 to 80 for most of the state and 85 in a couple of areas and a wind that gust constantly, I'll suffer thru the handicap of a big bike on gravel to have the ability to maintain 70+ for hours on end with my full load. It's a long fuckin day from Dallas to El Paso.