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Old 07-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
bonnyc OP
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DR650SE vs TU250x

Have tried to search for a comparison and failed to find one. For good reason I am sure, they are different bikes for different purposes.

I am a beginner rider looking for my first bike. Riding will be all street or almost all street in and around NYC, and almost entirely recreational.

What links these two together for me is that (1)they are both inexpensive, low maintenance (2) manageable power (3) upright ergos.

I think the tradeoff is largely the additional power of the DR650se vs. the maintainability of the EFI on the TU250x. Not sure how much of a drawback the read drum brake on the TU250x is worse and other subtleties. And I guess the DR650SE just looks cooler to me. Even though I am unlikely to take it off-road, I kinda always liked the looks of that bike.

The price difference between the two is not big enough for me to be a factor in the decision.

Any thoughts? Comments on the not so obvious differences between the bikes? Comparisons between the two by people who have owned them both?
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
NJ-Brett
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I have had both, and ride a TU for the last 2.5 years.
Much different bikes, the DR is tall and heavy and makes good power.
The suspension will be nice on bad roads.
It also crashes well.

The TU is a comfortable fun bike that does fine 2 up, has nice racks for it to carry stuff, gets about 80 mpg on regular gas, totaly trouble free bike with fuel injection.

Both are good deals used, the dr has the 3rd gear issue, the TU seems to love being abused. Over 18,000 miles on mine with no issues at all.

I think I would pick a lowered dr650 with a pumper carb and street tires for the city, for the suspension and crash ability.
The wheelies are also fun.
Needs a seat concepts upgrade though...

My big problem with the DR650 is its heavy for dirt riding, and falling on one at age 55 ends up with helicopter rides.
Otherwise, they are a hoot.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
jon_l
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You have narrowed it down to 2 fine choices. Either one would make a great urban vehicle, with a slight nod to the DR for more power and the ease with which you could ride it over curbs and potholes.

Lots more DRs will be available used. The 3rd gear issue exists, but so rare, particularly in North America, I wouldn't be concerned about it.

Where I live, the TU would be a lot cheaper to insure.

The new CRF250L would fit with the 2 bikes you mentioned, as would the CBR250R and the 3 new Honda 500 twins. The Honda street models are available with ABS, which would be an asset in urban traffic, especially for a new rider. Hopefully this won't drag the anti-ABS crowd out to sideline your thread.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnyc View Post
Have tried to search for a comparison and failed to find one. For good reason I am sure, they are different bikes for different purposes.

I am a beginner rider looking for my first bike. Riding will be all street or almost all street in and around NYC, and almost entirely recreational.

What links these two together for me is that (1)they are both inexpensive, low maintenance (2) manageable power (3) upright ergos.

I think the tradeoff is largely the additional power of the DR650se vs. the maintainability of the EFI on the TU250x. Not sure how much of a drawback the read drum brake on the TU250x is worse and other subtleties. And I guess the DR650SE just looks cooler to me. Even though I am unlikely to take it off-road, I kinda always liked the looks of that bike.

The price difference between the two is not big enough for me to be a factor in the decision.

Any thoughts? Comments on the not so obvious differences between the bikes? Comparisons between the two by people who have owned them both?
I own a DR650, never ridden a TU. As a NEW rider I'm thinking the TU is the better choice ... at least for your first bike. Once you are more experienced and decide if this Motorcycle business is for you or not. At that point you could move up to bigger bike like the DR650.

The TU is smaller, lighter, less top heavy than the DR650. All this means it's likely to be less intimidating to a new rider. The important thing for you is to HAVE FUN! Take all the rider training courses ... and get out there and practice practice practice. Learn to brake properly, learn to do emergency turns and avoidance. Learn TO LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO ... it works.

Save the DR650 for a year or two down the road. It's a wonderful bike, quite versatile, reliable and nearly no maintenance. The TU will be FUN and easy to start off on. I'd buy a nice 2nd hand one ... as a new rider you will likely drop your bike from time to time. No point beating up a brand new bike. B U Y U S E D!
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
NJ-Brett
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Its a real smart idea to buy any clean lower mile smaller dual sport that turns up. Or, any smaller used street bike that you like.

DR200, xt225, crf230l, dr350, xt250, kl250, etc.
Insure it so if it gets stolen you are not out anything, and might even make money if you get a good deal.

Street bikes include the S40 savage, the TU, cbr250, Rebel, gz250, etc.

If you look, you can often find a screaming deal on a great bike.
I got a 5000 mile dr650 for $1500.00, a 250 mile TW200 for $1100.00 (the asking price was $900.00 but I felt I was robbing the guy), a 5000 mile 2005 Bonneville with extras for $5000.00, a new leftover TU for $3000.00.

There is a 3000 mile dr200 for $1750.00 (asking price) on craigs list 10 miles from my house now...never been in the dirt....
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #6
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnyc View Post
Have tried to search for a comparison and failed to find one. For good reason I am sure, they are different bikes for different purposes.

I am a beginner rider looking for my first bike. Riding will be all street or almost all street in and around NYC, and almost entirely recreational.

What links these two together for me is that (1)they are both inexpensive, low maintenance (2) manageable power (3) upright ergos.

I think the tradeoff is largely the additional power of the DR650se vs. the maintainability of the EFI on the TU250x. Not sure how much of a drawback the read drum brake on the TU250x is worse and other subtleties. And I guess the DR650SE just looks cooler to me. Even though I am unlikely to take it off-road, I kinda always liked the looks of that bike.

The price difference between the two is not big enough for me to be a factor in the decision.

Any thoughts? Comments on the not so obvious differences between the bikes? Comparisons between the two by people who have owned them both?
I'd find a screaming deal on a small used bike. Carry full-coverage and use a Xena lock with a cable to an anchor. Then I'd sell it and get something with decent suspension travel. I've seen the potholes and patches in NYC.

If you're a big strong guy, the DR may not be intimidating, but if you're less than 5'10" and athletic, you're probably better with a shorter and lighter bike that has a mellow power delivery. The CRF230L, KL250 Super Sherpa, or XT225 come to mind.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
JustRon
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A DR650 is probably more likely to get stolen in NYC... dual sports, dirtbikes, and sportbikes are popular with the thieves. Inexpensive, classic-styled bikes... not so much.
If that matters to you.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
psmcd
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Tu

I second everything Adv Grifter said. Last year a friend bought his first bike, a VStrom 650 and found himself uncomfortable and intimidated by it. A couple of mishaps and he sold it and bought a TU250. Rode it for a year and has now returned to a VStrom 650. The DR is a fun bike but the height and weight can make you uncomfortable especially if you are under maybe 5'10".

Even if you have the money for a bigger, more expensive bike, I think any new rider is better off starting with a lower seat height, lower weight and lower horsepower. Consider every athletic endeavor in your experience and how you developed skills. Incremental gains and incremental increases in challenge. Horsepower can lull you into thinking you can blast around an obstacle, fixated on only one aspect of a situation, when speed and maneuvering compound the challenge. The very real difference in riding a motorcycle compared to other athletic skills are the variables introduced by other drivers. They can alter everything you plan or think you can do. Starting small makes you recognize that you are, small.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
bonnyc OP
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for the responses.

Those are some seriously good deals, I think, NJ-Brett. I haven't been able to see used prices that nice on CL in my neighborhood, and I assure you I have been looking. Your name says that you could in fact not be far away.

I have looked into insurance and it is basically comparable and small for both bikes. It is not really an issue.

The bike being stolen is indeed an issue, more so because of the hassle and inconvenience it would be than. I had no idea which one was more likely to be stolen, I certainly did think that sports bikes were more likely but didn't realize that dual-sports are also attractive to thieves.

I am right on the boundary that some of you guys (Kommando, psmd) have listed - I am 5'10, 180lbs and I consider myself to be athletic and reasonably strong. I have sat on a DR650SE at a dealer floor - and at that time I was sitting on generally heavier bikes so I in fact found the DR to be very light and very appealing. The floor model was not quite well put together and the tires were quite a bit under-inflated, and yet it was okay for me to maneuver the bike around. The V-Strom on the other hand was terrorizing even before I started it. I felt like a little guy in a big ship sitting on that bike.

I guess you guys are suggesting the sensible thing to do... I still am tempted by the DR650SE, but I get the feeling that the smaller TUX may be the "right" way to go. Will look for it.

Thank you all for the opinions and advice.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
bonnyc OP
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Also, I didn't think of the DR as a big bike

I didn't really think that the DR650SE was a big bike. It is listed as a "beginner bike" in the thread by that name over at another forum I have been reading, and the opinions have been similar to those of the first few posts on this thread.

The power at the wheel seems to be at max about 35-36HP at the peak output. I agree it is tall and may be a bit unwieldy, especially given that I have only a 30in inseam (at least that is what I buy pants for) and the listed seat height is almost 35in.

I was sort of on the balls of my paws when I was on the DR. Definitely could not flatfoot it without scooting my ass to one side. Is that a big problem?
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
psmcd
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perhaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnyc View Post
I was sort of on the balls of my paws when I was on the DR. Definitely could not flatfoot it without scooting my ass to one side. Is that a big problem?
If you can do that ass scooting as you roll to a stop, finding neutral, jockeying to left or right side of the lane, inching forward etc. then you're good to go. Maybe you've ridden bikes but just haven't owned one? Not to dis my previous recommendation but the DR is very tractable, smooth power delivery and nimble handling for it's weight. If you could rent/test ride one and can comfortably do low speed maneuvers, u turns etc in a parking lot it's a possible choice but I would never call it a beginner's bike.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
bonnyc OP
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Scooters, not bikes

I certainly have ridden scooters (ala vespas etc), tens of thousands of miles, but all about 10 years ago. The only motorcycling experience I have is through the MSF BRC course that I took last year in December. There I got to ride a GZ250, which was very easy to ride.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #13
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If you were very comfortable on a GZ250, what with your scooter experience, and the height doesn't bother you, a stock DR should be a piece of cake if you're keeping to pavement then. The DR will be considerably torquier though. It can be fun for a noob as a dirtbike too, but understand that it's going to be less nimble in most offroad conditions than a lighter bike.

I'd still recommend used, until you're extremely confident in your skills to not dump it on pavement.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #14
psmcd
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sandbagged?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnyc View Post
I certainly have ridden scooters (ala vespas etc), tens of thousands of miles, but all about 10 years ago. The only motorcycling experience I have is through the MSF BRC course that I took last year in December. There I got to ride a GZ250, which was very easy to ride.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiTId2TFPIs

You're sounding more like a DR candidate.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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Watch whatever bike you get up there in NYC, a person i know got a new XT250 and it was stolen right in front of his store.
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