Originally Posted by markjenn
While the 250cc singles are a hoot, they're really not set up for touring very well, especially comfort and seating. I'd love to take a slower-speed backroads tour on something like a CB175 or perhaps an upright version of the small Ninja. Something reasonable comfortable, but nimble, preferably a small/smooth twin rather than a buzzy single.
These days, when I tour on my DL650, I constantly shake my head and wonder why I need more. But I haven't sold my FJR.
Mark, I have kept my K bike too but it's days are numbered, see below. I do find my DR200SE comfortable for touring. Buzziness, occurs when an engine has to run a high revs. Properly setup as I have done with my 200 the engine just hums along at 4500-4800 with enough power to get the job done. It certainly does not cruise at 80 or even 60 but this type of touring does not race the clock. If the clock is your master you need a bigger bike.
Talking about setup; the trans is everything. The 200 comes up short because it is only a 5spd. I've learned to live with it's 5spd by changing the final. For a 250 Minimalist Touring (MT) rig you really need that 6th. Then, like pilots and marine guys (gals too) do, you find the rpm where the engine has it's sweet spot (with your touring load) and that's what you cruise at. The engine should run easy. Headwinds will require more rpm, you don't want to lug engine (rpm too low for conditions). If you want to adjust you can change your final drive ratio within common sense limits.
Also, if you are running at anything over 35mph check to see if your wheels are balanced, many from the factory are not.
I highly recommend the 250 Ninja for those that find it's 28 hp acceptable. Put on bar risers, change the final to a 15:41, and a reconfigured seat on that machine and it can do anything on surfaced roads.
I'm in your Dad's situation; the new bikes are fantastic, so much better than in the past and are great for competition and woods blasting but the utility factor is well ... lacking. I'm interested in the (furure?)Aprilia Rally but know it won't work for me being too tall.
Smaller bikes are NOT about nostalgia for me, it's about real world practicality defined by me and not a marketing dept. Mine has been set by a 300lb bike weight limit, a tech level I can manage, and a seat height that is practical.
I'm sure you all have already been there but check out www.horizonsunlimited.com
. While there check out Nigel Marx's (NZ) writings in the Suzuki section regarding the TS185 bike as a touring mount.