Originally Posted by tkent02
Smaller is always better when it gets rough.
Additionally, big is relative, to some degree.
When I bought the DR in January 2010 and rode the CDT later that year, I had ridden only on pavement for the previous 15 years -- all on 500+ lb. road bikes.
And for the five years immediately before that I had ridden Gold Wings. My GL1500 easily weighed over 1,000 lbs with my gear and me on board.
So then I buy a DR650 and take it on a shakedown ride. When I got home that day I felt like I could throw it over my shoulder tote it in the house with me.
Then I met a guy locally who regularly rode the forest service trails and fire roads on an R1150 GS.
The same year I met him he rode that bike on the CDT. I thought he was crazy because riding the CDT on the DR650 I thought several times, "a DR350, or perhaps even a WR250, would be a better choice for the terrain I am riding."
But the fact his riding skills were light years ahead of mine. He could ride circles around me on any day of the week on any kind of bike.
So there's a lot more to it than simply a bigger or smaller bike.