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Old 02-27-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
kawabama OP
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Ninja 250 dual sport (not what you think)

I've lurked around here for years envying y'alls fnacy dual purpose machines. I have a Ninja 250 that's been my commuter bike since 2007. Now i've moved to a rural area and would like a dual sport machine for tackling the gravel and fire trail roads around here. In the world of adventure bikes, what is a good equivalent to the ninjette?

I will have to sell/trade the Ninja, so this will become the everyday bike. I need low initial cost, easy to self maintain, good aftermarket support for storage options, windscreens, etc. What are my options? I'm not looking for extreme performance, just a good all around bike for 50 mile or less one up trips.

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
cody94dr350
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honda crf250L is a great option for a new bike. ive had several suzuki dr's. one 250 and 2 350's awesome bikes easy to work on and reliable
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:48 PM   #3
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^^^^^^^^^

What he said +1
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:06 PM   #4
sh0rtlife
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i do about 15mile round trips on the gravel all the time on my zr-7 lol

i stand with what they said tho....get a crf..a 250 should feel just as spunky as the ninja just "lighter" and easier to toss around..but it wont be as "fast"...if you need more speed your going to need to go bigger...say maybe a 400?
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:56 PM   #5
OBIWAN
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The CRF is a good bike. I like Honda’s. My main question would be how tall are you. That Ninja you’ve been riding has a 31.5 inch height. The CRF is 34.7 and the Yamaha XT 250 is 31.9 which is closer to what you’ve been use to. The CRF cost less and has 2 inches more rear suspension travel so if the seat height doesn’t cause a problem then I would agree that the CRF is a good pick. As far as ease of maintenance goes the XT’s valves can be adjust fairly easy because it has screw adjusters but needs them checked every 3,000 mile. The CFR valves need it about every 16,000 mile. I don’t really know what method the CRF uses to make the adjustment but I would suspect it is with shims. A little harder to do but you will do the XT 5 times for every 1 time of the CRF.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:26 AM   #6
kawabama OP
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Rider Height

I'm 6'4" and about 185 with gear. Kinda look folded up like one of those "Life's Good" stick figures on the ninja. My daily commute is about 23 miles. Some county road (paved, barely), a little town, and a little US highway. 55MPH is the highest speed limit I see. Longest trip would be 48 miles to the "big city".

I guess my concern is highway feel on a dual sport. In my mind, I'm wondering is it going to feel like trying to drive a jeep on twisty roads? I actually have a fairly curvy road on my commute. It's fun to hit it on the ninja. But the ninja looks sadly at the gravel pits and fire roads like one of those big eyed dogs on the humane center commercials. Wishing it could zip down them sure footed as a mountain goat.

Alas, my poor ninja friend. You don't have on the right shoes, and you might fall down and hurt yourself, or someone you love.... Namely ME!
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
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Buy a nice used DRZ400. Has huge aftermarket support. Lots of used ones on the market. And you are a tall guy so you really need a full sized bike.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:22 AM   #8
kawabama OP
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Fantasy Island

In my dreams, I have a decked out Wee Strom, a KLR 650, or some such thing. When I park at work, all the men drop their heads and reconsider thir manhood. The women bite their bottom lip and fantasize about straddling my big bike...... Wait. WTH??

Seriously, I've never been a poser. The big adventure bikes allure me because I think the experience would be awesome, but I have concerns about learning off road riding on such a heavy bike. How much does the extra 100ish pounds complicate off road riding for a learner? I'd rather be the funny looking dude on the small bike that can shred, than the poser on the awesome bike that dumps it every time he rides.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:29 AM   #9
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If you don't care about going fast or appearances, get a KLR650.



Seriously, I don't think you can go wrong with the KLR or the DRZ400. Both are equally well suited for some road here and there, while having better manners on a gravel road than your Ninja.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:05 AM   #10
GlennR
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How much $$ do you want to spend. How much off road do you think you'll really ride?

The KLR650 is too heavy for much beyond gravel roads. If you find trails you'll be SOL on a 400+ lb bike.

At 6'4" you'll want a taller bike. I really like my XT225, but I'm almost too big for it and I'm only 6'0".

If you want a cheap bike maybe a DR350 would be a good bike to start with, they're about $1200-1500. I'm buying one in a few days. Very simple, low tech, dependable bike. Air cooled with a carb. You can always resale a bike in this price range for what you paid, for as long as it's running. If you like it that's great, but if you realize you need something else (bigger, faster, lighter, etc.) you'll have a good idea what to look for after riding it around for a while.

You'll be able to ride it places that an adventure bike would never be able to go, but still have enough bike to travel a bit on. The DR350 has a 6th gear, which is a big advantage for a "true" dual sport.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
BobbyLee666
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I don't think you said were you were. If you do that, you might be able to link up with someone local and be able to try out their bike.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtlife View Post
i do about 15mile round trips on the gravel all the time on my zr-7 lol

i stand with what they said tho....get a crf..a 250 should feel just as spunky as the ninja just "lighter" and easier to toss around.
You need a better scale.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:31 AM   #13
tokyoklahoma
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Talking Choices

I am familiar with is market, because I have been researching it for my wife and I.

I see the choices as:
Honda CRF250l: the new kid on the block, EFI typical Honda.

Kawasaki KLX250: older, proven, carburated, good suspension. AND upgradable to a 351cc when you want, reliably.

Yamaha WR250R: probably the most well rounded, EFI, needs to be revved to get the best out of the engine.

Suzuki DRZ400: Another older proven design, a bit more HP than the others (except the KLX351), quite a few complaints about the 5 speed trans needing one more gear for the highway.

If you think you want more the 650s are a fairly large step up, but should have the same reliability with the same low maintenance.

If you want to spend more time with maintenance, and willing to trade reliability(maybe, depends on who you ask) the European brands offer more performance off road, possibly at the expence of on road manners.

I am going with the KLX250, you make your choices and you spend your monies, and you take your chances.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:12 PM   #14
sh0rtlife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJay112 View Post
You need a better scale.

that 250ninja i just unmothballed for soneone sure felt ALOT heavier than even my xl600r


anyway with that low of hwy speeds youll be good on just about anything really..
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
AJay112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtlife View Post
that 250ninja i just unmothballed for soneone sure felt ALOT heavier than even my xl600r


anyway with that low of hwy speeds youll be good on just about anything really..
Yeah... Ninjette, 250DS, not going to find anything much lighter that's road worthy.

I weighed my SV and the wife's Ninjette one night prior to going to the track. The 25O was 307lbs (or .6 KLR's)
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