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Old 08-03-2010, 07:10 AM   #61
BHW
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Of the 3 bikes you've narrowed it down to, I'd take the Honda first. Simple, reliable, and easy to find parts for.

But if I were taking a RTW trip...I'd force myself to pony up more money for a better overall bike. The last thing I want to skimp on is the mule you're riding.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #62
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHW
Of the 3 bikes you've narrowed it down to, I'd take the Honda first. Simple, reliable, and easy to find parts for.

But if I were taking a RTW trip...I'd force myself to pony up more money for a better overall bike. The last thing I want to skimp on is the mule you're riding.
When the XR650L first came out ('92 or '93?) lots of my riding buddies bought the bike. We do annual Baja rides and within a few years like a half dozen riders were on XRL's . Then the problems started. Bent, tweaked and broken rear sub frames. I saw this in person. Also, the Battery box's acted up, one broke clean off the bike. I was there. Took the guy two days to wire everything back up and "jerry rig" a fix.

I bought a '94 XR-L but was always careful not to overload it. In the end I hated the handling of this top heavy too tall beast. It vibed on the highway, ran too hot and used oil. Several of our Baja riders ran low on oil on their XR-L's and paid the price with ruined cams/top end, cooked rings.

By the end of the 90's .... just about ALL these guys had unloaded the XR-L's. This bike came and went and Honda never lifted a finger to update it. A real shame. Instead they replaced it with the stunningly good XR650R.
A race bike, not street legal.

On a RTW trip the XR-L sub frame and battery box would have to be dealt with in a serious way or for sure you'd have problems down the road. Its true, Baja is EXTREME torture for any bike ... but just a heads up. If you stay on top of the oil the motor will last ... but you can never, ever let it get low. One time is all it takes.

Handling rough, high speed desert terrain with rocks, sand and god knows what, a stock XR-L will out pace a DR650. But just about everywhere else the DR650 makes a better all round bike .... especially when loaded up for the long road.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo1
The KLR has been suggested and you have concerns over liquid cooling and weight. I think active liquid cooling is much better than passive air cooling and adds to the long term reliability of the bike.
Just something to consider...
Not really more than "thinking" as far as factuality is concerned in regards to long term reliability between these models.
Hands down, in the middle of bum-f'd Egypt, you don't want to risk smashing a radiator and being stranded.
The DR will not overheat despite it's simple design and as far as seat heighth is concerned; Add some foam for heighth and comfort.

Aside from the LC vs. air/oil cooling debate here, most info has been pretty factual and opinion free.
I'm on my third DR (previously a 91 then a 97) It's an 09 and I expect another trouble free ride from this one (for at least up to 50,000 miles) as the other 2 (even the old gen 91) never so much as hiccuped in regards to overheating or anything else.

Vote : DR650 for simple reliability and even on the road valve adjustments without needed parts (like shims) that the other two will need. Do you want to wait for shims IF you need them where you're going? (yes, I'm aware of the WR's lengthy adjustment intervals)
And even if the DR did overheat....park it and let it rest and all is good again.
Boil over a Radiator in the middle of nowhere and loose your coolant = you're screwed.

Edit = I'm not sure of the Hondas valve arrangement. Shim or lock-nut+screws?
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:03 AM   #64
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Don't even waste your time with the WR25R for this purpose! For those who say that the WR cruises on the highway fine has never ridden one, or has never ridden anything else. A stock WR25R at 60 mph is hitting close to 7000 rpm on our dyno. The speedo is way off with stock gearing. Putting a 14 tooth countershaft drops about 700 rpm and helps correct the speedo (will be about 4% off) but you will sacrifice acceleration and loaded down, this would be detrimental.

For your size, stick with the XR or DR. You will appreciate the extra torque, better stock seats, and the ability to get around a semi truck in a timely manner. I'm in the Seattle area and if you want to try the WR and XR out, PM me. I will quickly show you what I mean. We setup two XR650L's last fall and rode from Seattle to SE Alaska (2400 miles roundtrip) and wouldn't even think about doing that ride on a WR25R!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:07 AM   #65
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Uhmmm....

While I don't disagree on using the WR for a round the world trip, I do disagree with your conclusions on the road worthiness of the WRR. I've owned and heavily ridden all three. I would not have another XRL as the frame cracked just above the left footpeg. DR was fine for more road oriented riding but was too heavy in the sand\mud\ice. The WRR is much better in all aspects and will easily handle 60mph cruise with throttle remaining. I live at 6000 feet plus so power is down 15% or so. Speedo is off at least 7% high but I use my GPS on most every ride. Last weekend was 500 plus road and trail combined with 75mph returning on the interstate, I cruised at 72mph GPS indicated with no issues--in the rain and throttle to spare. I also currently have a street legal XR650R which I just rode almost 600 miles this past mon\tue both dirt and street. Is it better on the 70+mph roads--most certainly--a lot (no hands full) of throttle left at 70+mph. Would I do the same ride on the WRR--yep--without question and without concern for highspeed cruise--why did I take the XRR, it has a 6 gal tank and could span the 160 mile fuel range I needed for the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatrick
Don't even waste your time with the WR25R for this purpose! For those who say that the WR cruises on the highway fine has never ridden one, or has never ridden anything else. A stock WR25R at 60 mph is hitting close to 7000 rpm on our dyno. The speedo is way off with stock gearing. Putting a 14 tooth countershaft drops about 700 rpm and helps correct the speedo (will be about 4% off) but you will sacrifice acceleration and loaded down, this would be detrimental.

For your size, stick with the XR or DR. You will appreciate the extra torque, better stock seats, and the ability to get around a semi truck in a timely manner. I'm in the Seattle area and if you want to try the WR and XR out, PM me. I will quickly show you what I mean. We setup two XR650L's last fall and rode from Seattle to SE Alaska (2400 miles roundtrip) and wouldn't even think about doing that ride on a WR25R!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:16 AM   #66
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correction

This is largely correct. A 250 is sensitive to rider size, being a 250. Also, the fuel tank is tiny.

No one cares about the rpm when you're going 70mph (garminGPS), 70mpg (Imperial), with AndyStrapz and a drybag on the back, and still get to 80mph if needed. Be careful though - just because it doesn't apply to a BIG guy (>6'3) doesn't mean it doesn't apply to anyone else (the US average is probably 5'10-ish). You have not said anything that rules out a WR in general - heated gear is easily possible from 350W stator, the seat is fine for 300miles/day, the engine will laugh at 20,000miles and the stock gearing is fine (14tooth not needed - it also reduces case-clearance which (unsubstantiated) may prove costly).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatrick
Don't even waste your time with the WR25R for this purpose! For those who say that the WR cruises on the highway fine has never ridden one, or has never ridden anything else. A stock WR25R at 60 mph is hitting close to 7000 rpm on our dyno. The speedo is way off with stock gearing. Putting a 14 tooth countershaft drops about 700 rpm and helps correct the speedo (will be about 4% off) but you will sacrifice acceleration and loaded down, this would be detrimental.

For your size, stick with the XR or DR. You will appreciate the extra torque, better stock seats, and the ability to get around a semi truck in a timely manner. I'm in the Seattle area and if you want to try the WR and XR out, PM me. I will quickly show you what I mean. We setup two XR650L's last fall and rode from Seattle to SE Alaska (2400 miles roundtrip) and wouldn't even think about doing that ride on a WR25R!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:36 AM   #67
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I did travel with my WR and it handles well on the road. The only problems I can state are the tank size and the size of the bike itself. Not much place for bagages.

I went camping with it for a week and made an average of 500km a day. Most of it on gravel roads, some trail and some paved roads. I had to take care of my butt like I do with any motorcycle.

I also own a DL650. For trips most oriented on paved roads and gravel I take the DL. If the trip includes trails of any sensible lenght the WR fits the bill.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:54 AM   #68
brucifer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
Not really more than "thinking" as far as factuality is concerned in regards to long term reliability between these models.
Hands down, in the middle of bum-f'd Egypt, you don't want to risk smashing a radiator and being stranded.
The DR will not overheat despite it's simple design and as far as seat heighth is concerned; Add some foam for heighth and comfort.

Aside from the LC vs. air/oil cooling debate here, most info has been pretty factual and opinion free.
I'm on my third DR (previously a 91 then a 97) It's an 09 and I expect another trouble free ride from this one (for at least up to 50,000 miles) as the other 2 (even the old gen 91) never so much as hiccuped in regards to overheating or anything else.

Vote : DR650 for simple reliability and even on the road valve adjustments without needed parts (like shims) that the other two will need. Do you want to wait for shims IF you need them where you're going? (yes, I'm aware of the WR's lengthy adjustment intervals)
And even if the DR did overheat....park it and let it rest and all is good again.
Boil over a Radiator in the middle of nowhere and loose your coolant = you're screwed.

Edit = I'm not sure of the Hondas valve arrangement. Shim or lock-nut+screws?
Screw and locknut for the Honda.

Also something I like about the Hondas cam arrangement is it rides in roller bearings.
While there have been incidents where the cam and rockers have eaten themselves, at least the head itself isn't damaged because of that fact.
If the jetting is dialed and the oil checked and changed regularly, there really should be no issues with the cam and rockers in these engines.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:44 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
I'm on my third DR (previously a 91 then a 97) It's an 09 and I expect another trouble free ride from this one (for at least up to 50,000 miles) as the other 2 (even the old gen 91) never so much as hiccuped in regards to overheating or anything else.
On your 3rd bike? Perhaps you should get a LC bike so you won't have to keep replacing them.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:59 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatrick
Don't even waste your time with the WR25R for this purpose! For those who say that the WR cruises on the highway fine has never ridden one, or has never ridden anything else. A stock WR25R at 60 mph is hitting close to 7000 rpm on our dyno. The speedo is way off with stock gearing. Putting a 14 tooth countershaft drops about 700 rpm and helps correct the speedo (will be about 4% off) but you will sacrifice acceleration and loaded down, this would be detrimental.
A WR250R won't cruise down the highway, huh? http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=595729

I've got mine geared down (13/47) and it pulls 6th gear at 70 mph (actual) all day no problem. By "all day", I mean 17 hours and 1,010 miles
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:17 PM   #71
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I don't think I have much to add here. I've not done much in South America, but I have ridden / driven a fair part of southern and eastern Africa, along with a little SE Asian riding.

Unless you are specifically looking for an offroad adventure, I wouldn't worry too much about the offroad capabilities of the bikes. And I don't understand why you would want to make a bike taller (I'm only 6'2), although lower footpegs would be useful.

Riding in SE Asia, a small bike is fine. I've rented XR200s and 125 'offroad' underbones, and both can generally keep up just fine with the traffic. The XR200 in most of the Philippines can stay well ahead of traffic.

Another factor is the cost of fuel. Renting in the Philippines, a typical underbone (17" 'knobby' tires, foot gear/ auto clutch) can carry as much as the average 400cc US bike (think DRZ400), gets around 100 mpg, and gets cruised at 50 - 60 mph, which is about what road conditions allow for.

For just SE Asia, i would have no problem running the typical 125 on a fairly extended tour, as there is no need for spares or even sleeping gear in most areas. Inns and hotels are so cheap that camping is really not much of a saving, even if you can do it safely.
Talk about minimalist touring...

OTOH, you can use about as much power as you can get in many parts of Southern Africa (at least when I lived there). The roads are good, the speed limits relatively high (especially compared to the USA), and enforcement levels are sparse.
However, if you are sticking to the more remote backroads, where there is some really interesting riding and touring, a smaller, easy to handle bike would be good.
Plus, you are likely to see more and experience more at a slower pace.

Having lived / worked in some of these places, I would put the ease of backyard maintenance / fabrication / fixes at a premium. Some countries you can get just about anything you want (BMW is a top seller in South Africa), but travel a thousand miles and that will likely not be the case.


I've seen a lot of research done on the bikes. You may also want to research the countries and routes. As someone who has traveled a few of these places fairly extensively, it would be a shame to go all that way, and then follow the usual tourist tracks.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #72
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Ok, so far so good.

Many thanks to everyone that contributed thus far in helping make a final decision on a bike. Between the three of us, we have decided on the DR650.

Tom and I both happened to find good deals on bikes located in the same place. Boise, Idaho. This weekend, as we are both out of town, my other friend will drive from Seattle to Boise and back (1040 miles round trip) to pick up both bikes in one go. It's going to be awesome.

Here are the details.

Toms Bike, 2008 Suzuki DR650SE 3,200 miles, $3500.

Extras include:
Happy Trails Skid Plate,
Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag,
Wolfman Beta Tail Bag,
Fisher Seat.
Pro Taper Handlebars
Heated Grips.

We figured the accessories to be valued at just under $500.









My (Alex's) bike, 2006 Suzuki DR650SE 4,300 miles, $3300.

Extras include:

4.9 gal IMS tank + OEM tank
Corbin seat + modified OEM seat for dirt & trail
Acerbis Front Fender + OEM Fender
Moose skid plate
Acerbis hand guards
Large rear rack
Large removable rear case, lockable w/break light. (Holds 2 helmets)
Handlebar risers 2"
Lowered foot peg brackets
14 & 15 tooth front sprockets
Wolfman fender bag
Tank bag
PIAA high intensity low watt headlight bulb
Moose air filter
Shinko 244 Dual Sport tires installed last summer
Magnetic drain plug
Wired for battery tender
GSXR 600 muffler (not installed)
Original tool kit
Parts & Service manual
+ extras, oil/air filters ect.
Side stand kill switch removed.

We figured the accessories to be just under $1600.









In the long run, I am happy with the decision that we agreed upon. Personally I think that I got a screaming deal on the bike, as a 2006 model with 4,300 miles, and the current accessories is a good bike for the money. Tom's bike will need a bit more "farkling" to get it up to par, but it's all part of the process that we are excited to start. As for Kristi, the search continues for her bike, but with the winter approaching, I have no doubt that a sweet deal will pop up.

What do you guys think about the prices paid and the accessories included?
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:09 AM   #73
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'Prices seem decent. 'Newer models with pretty low mileage.

Sell the farkles you don't absolutely want. Use the money to get the farkles you DO.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:19 AM   #74
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I think you did real good.

Tom's bike just needs a bigger tank, and both bikes need saddlebags or panniers. I'm a huge fan of soft luggage - hard luggage has some potential advantages but are very expensive and heavy.....not worth it to me at any rate, but your opinions/needs may vary. I'd also remove the side stand kill switch on Tom's bike - an easy mod that costs nothing.

Call and talk to Jesse at Kientech Engineering - he'll walk you through a jetting setup and airbox mod (or cover removal) which will have you covered from sea level to 14,000 feet. I did it to my bike, and the bike ran cooler, got 50+ mpg, had more power, and I needed simply to take off the air box cover above 9,000 feet and the bike never missed a beat. Jesse will explain it all to you - a really great guy, and knows everything there is to know about the DR650. The springs, front and rear, are worth upgrading on your (Alex's) bike since you're a big guy. Kristi will only want the lowering link, and should be just fine with stock suspension. Tom could probably squeak by with no changes or just a heavier rear spring to compensate for the bit of extra weight of himself and his luggage (I believe the bikes come stock with a setup for an approximately 165 pound rider). You're going a LONG way, so I wouldn't just squeak through it - spend the $250 per bike and get them set up just right for your weight and luggage. Talk to Jesse about springs as well. You can change the springs yourself. They come with easy to follow instructions and the procedure isn't very difficult - and it will give you a chance to get to know your machine better as well. The carburetor jetting can be done at the same time.

You should be happy with the Corbin seat. I know nothing of the Fisher seat on Tom's bike, so experiment with both to find out what's comfortable for you - get that sorted, as it's hugely important for your riding comfort!

And absolutely do as Kommando has said - the GSXR muffler in particular I'd sell off.

That's all I can think of! Congratulations and Happy Riding.......



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando
'Prices seem decent. 'Newer models with pretty low mileage.

Sell the farkles you don't absolutely want. Use the money to get the farkles you DO.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:29 AM   #75
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Good for you.

You have 2/3 of the easy part done, now the hard work begins. But, the prep and planning are part of the fun of traveling.
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