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Old 11-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
robert110411 OP
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Which budget DS Bike?

My garage already has a KX 125, V-Strom 1000, Electra-Glide and my kid's CR 125 and V-Star Custom.

What I'm looking for is to get rid if the pure dirt bikes and replace them with something that can be used for Trail Rides, D/s Rides and a few of the easier enduros.

I'm in Pennsylvania and would be riding in PA, NJ, NY and maybe north.

Of these, which would you choose and why:

CRF250L
KLX250S
WR250R
DR650
XR650L
DRZ400

5' 10" 200 pounds and a C rider. Not opposed to making modifications (bars, skid plate, pipe, FI Re-map ect.ect) but I'd really rather not spend thousands on suspension and engine upgrades. Once it get's into KTM or Husky territory I may as well just completely empty the college funds and corvette fund and go all the way.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
cjbiker
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KLX250S or WR250R. Both are cheap, reliable and low maintenance. The WR is a little more expensive, but is allegedly higher performance. Both need suspension work, but not thousands of dollars worth. The KLX needs stiffer fork springs and RaceTech gold valves don't hurt. Go-Race suspension can re spring and valve the WR fork and shock for $800 (maybe more for the springs). The KLX needs some uncorking (airbox, jetting, exhaust) and the WR may need some fiddling with the fuel injection.

Just my $0.02. I don't have personal experience with any of the other bikes. Of course, if I had a Corvette fund, I'd spend it on a KTM instead
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #3
Bultaco206
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The DR-Z will give you the most bang for the buck of those bikes listed in stock form. Aftermarket support is huge. And while it's far from a racebike, you stand the best chance of compromising with it, versus the others on your list, should you choose to compete on it.

And no, I don't own one.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert110411 View Post
My garage already has a KX 125, V-Strom 1000, Electra-Glide and my kid's CR 125 and V-Star Custom.

What I'm looking for is to get rid if the pure dirt bikes and replace them with something that can be used for Trail Rides, D/s Rides and a few of the easier enduros.

I'm in Pennsylvania and would be riding in PA, NJ, NY and maybe north.

Of these, which would you choose and why:

CRF250L
KLX250S
WR250R
DR650
XR650L
DRZ400

5' 10" 200 pounds and a C rider. Not opposed to making modifications (bars, skid plate, pipe, FI Re-map ect.ect) but I'd really rather not spend thousands on suspension and engine upgrades. Once it get's into KTM or Husky territory I may as well just completely empty the college funds and corvette fund and go all the way.
If you're not hauling big luggage ever, KLX250S. It's a bit lighter than the WRR. Power can be easily upgraded with an uncorking and a flat-slide pumper carb, or go all-out with a big-bore. Torquier down low. No fuelpump to sweat. Easy swap of tanks. Available pretty cheap.

If you want a sturdier subframe for luggage, WRR...or bend/weld a beefier one for the KLX.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #5
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You don't need a corvette fund to get into Euro/KTM territory. 3-4k can get you a well-sorted 03-07 KTM RFS bike, which is perfect for the snotty NorthEast trails.

Any of those other bikes you listed are going to be too heavy or require too much work to be practical. Spend 800 dollars on suspension?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
jon_l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
If you're not hauling big luggage ever, KLX250S. It's a bit lighter than the WRR.
Technically this is true, but .3 lbs isn't noticeable nor statistically significant.

WRR = 298 http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/pr...5/1/specs.aspx

KLX250S - 297.7 lbs http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/pro...id=698&scid=14

I have ridden both, and both are good bikes, but I chose the blue one.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
cjbiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
You don't need a corvette fund to get into Euro/KTM territory. 3-4k can get you a well-sorted 03-07 KTM RFS bike, which is perfect for the snotty NorthEast trails.

Any of those other bikes you listed are going to be too heavy or require too much work to be practical. Spend 800 dollars on suspension?
What does it cost to get a KTM or Husky suspension set up for your weight and riding style? At 200lbs, the OP would benefit from that on whatever bike he chooses.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cjbiker View Post
What does it cost to get a KTM or Husky suspension set up for your weight and riding style? At 200lbs, the OP would benefit from that on whatever bike he chooses.
On a KTM, Husky or Euro bike? 200 bucks for springs.

On a Japanese bike? 1k for re-valve, Race Tech Gold service, Ohlins or similar.

Suspension that comes stock on Japanese bikes are a disposable item.

Have any of you guys ridden Enduros in the snotty, tight, sugar-sand and wet NorthEast? No?

I have.

An XRL and DR650 is WAY too heavy for that terrain, no matter what mods you do.

A DRZ is passable with a lot of mods, but still suffers from being top-heavy and having shitty suspension like all other Japanese Bikes.

Regarding the 250s.....a 300lb, 250 4-stroke is not going to have the balls to blow through a foot of Jersey Sugar sand or climb the rocky, rooty off-camber climbs of PA.

There is a reason why so many guys in the NorthEast ride KTMs.

OP, attend an enduro or DS ride BEFORE buying and ask around THERE. DONT ask here, on ADV. Ask people who RIDE THE TERRAIN.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
robert110411 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
On a KTM, Husky or Euro bike? 200 bucks for springs.

On a Japanese bike? 1k for re-valve, Race Tech Gold service, Ohlins or similar.

Suspension that comes stock on Japanese bikes are a disposable item.

Have any of you guys ridden Enduros in the snotty, tight, sugar-sand and wet NorthEast? No?

I have.

An XRL and DR650 is WAY too heavy for that terrain, no matter what mods you do.

A DRZ is passable with a lot of mods, but still suffers from being top-heavy and having shitty suspension like all other Japanese Bikes.

Regarding the 250s.....a 300lb, 250 4-stroke is not going to have the balls to blow through a foot of Jersey Sugar sand or climb the rocky, rooty off-camber climbs of PA.

There is a reason why so many guys in the NorthEast ride KTMs.

OP, attend an enduro or DS ride BEFORE buying and ask around THERE. DONT ask here, on ADV. Ask people who RIDE THE TERRAIN.

I've already ridden those areas on various different bikes, including the KX. In fact I had already considered ridding some of the closed course, start-control formats on the KX as well.

I would go for the smaller Husky or KTM two strokes but I'm also looking for something that requires little care and can be ridden on the street.

I'm looking hard at dumping both dirt bikes and getting TWO new D/S. That's why the price point is kind of an issue. If it was just one I'd go Husky.

Most of my ridding is about spending time with my kid to make up for all the time I missed because of this shitty job. Not so much about being fast. I was fast 25 years ago.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert110411 View Post
I've already ridden those areas on various different bikes, including the KX. In fact I had already considered ridding some of the closed course, start-control formats on the KX as well.

I would go for the smaller Husky or KTM two strokes but I'm also looking for something that requires little care and can be ridden on the street.

I'm looking hard at dumping both dirt bikes and getting TWO new D/S. That's why the price point is kind of an issue. If it was just one I'd go Husky.

Most of my ridding is about spending time with my kid to make up for all the time I missed because of this shitty job. Not so much about being fast. I was fast 25 years ago.

I hear ya about going fast. I ride a hair above granny speed. But I'd rather spend 1k more up front and get a KTM that needs the exact same maintenance as a Japanese bike but is 100x the bike, much lighter, more power on demand, 100x the suspension, etc etc.

Again, don't take my word for it. You ride the NorthEast. What do you see people riding? Because every ride I went on when I lived in the Northeast was 50-70% KTM.....for a reason.

Japanese bikes are good, but they need to be built to a price point, and the the things they skimp on are critical parts like brakes, suspension, wheels, components like bars/pegs, etc. Most people dump thousands into their Japanese bikes to upgrade performance.

Additionally, there isn't a bike made that you can just ride and put away. Any bike will need attention....air filter change, chain lube, basic checks, etc. A KTM or Husky will need more valve checks, yes, but the same amt of oil changes if ridden in the same terrain. I don't believe for a second that Japanese bikes are built better or more reliable than Euro bikes. In fact, my direct experience is the exact opposite. Your mileage may vary.

Pretty small price to pay.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
I'd rather spend 1k more up front and get a KTM that needs the exact same maintenance as a Japanese bike but is 100x the bike, much lighter, more power on demand, 100x the suspension, etc etc.

Again, don't take my word for it. You ride the NorthEast. What do you see people riding? Because every ride I went on when I lived in the Northeast was 50-70% KTM.....for a reason.
The only guys in the Northeast that I know that own KTMs are hardcore RACERS.

I've owned an LC4, an RFS 525; 2 DRZ400Ss, an XR650L, KX250 and RM250.

I disagree that a KTM is 100x the bike of the Japanese bikes. In fact my 2006 RM250 is every bit as good as a KTM and maybe even has BETTER suspension (Showa vs linkageless WP) definitely a way better dirt bike than my 525 MXC ever was. The LC4 was a big heavy pig that vibrated so bad it was literally painful to ride on the street.

An RFS 400/450/525 is a better performing bike in the woods than a DRZ400S for sure. But the DRZ is a Dualsport that needs a couple little fixes and uncorking to make it a bombproof bike. The RFS needs a little more TLC and is still a race bike first (albeit one that makes a good Dual Sport); personally I'd rather have an RFS than a DRZ but I don't mind the extra maintenance. I'm not sure if it's even possible to find a plated one in the North East.

When it comes to tight woods riding, I want to be on the smallest lightest bike that's practical. If I were back living in the Northeast it'd be one of the 250s for me from the OP's list.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:54 AM   #12
Jake Mountain
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The DRZ-400 weighs the same as the 250's and is a 400 with a lot of stuff in the aftermarket. That's my pick of the bikes listed. It is small and nimble compared to a DR 650 or KLR 650 for more technical off road use and good used ones are everywhere
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 AM   #13
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My KLX did everything it needed to do this past summer in UT. I wanted light weight, but didn't want to spend too much. KTM and WRR were my first thoughts. I do need more fuel though! I just ordered a Koplin 1.5 gal. In the city, i'm really loving the light weight and nimbleness.

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Old 11-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #14
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You could add a late model DR350SE (1998-99) to that list and that would be my choice. I have previously owned two DR350SEs ('97 & '99) and currently own a DR650SE.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:09 AM   #15
nigelcorn
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I've owned a well set up DRZ and currently own a very well set up KLX 331. Of those two I would go with the KLX. They both felt about the same to me on the highway, but the KLX feels much better offroad. With the 331 kit the power feels the same to me as the DRZ, but (subjectively) the KLX feels lighter than the DRZ did.

In your place, I'd go with the KLX.
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