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Old 09-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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Question Best thumper for dirt trail exploring?

I have a GSA for long-distance tarmac touring mixed with fire roads and mild dirt. Now I want a light little bike for real trail exploring in the woods. It should be road-legal just in case, but I'll mainly be carrying it by van out to where the trails are. Any suggestions as to what a good bike of this kind would be?

Difficulty factors:

(1) I have a 29" inseam. (That said, I manage just fine on a stock GSA.)

(2) Must be road-legal

(3) I'd like to be able to carry some sort of small luggage on it, whether a tailbag/topcase, Giant Loop, or panniers, in case I'm camping out on the trail somewhere. Or maybe a backpack would be better in that situation?

(4) Main objective is that it be fun as heck for crazy trail exploring.

So... whaddya reckon?
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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Yamaha WR250 ?

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Old 09-08-2011, 05:37 PM   #3
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I love my KLR 250, I'm 195 pounds and have a 30" inseam, it carries me fine, it is my daily ride as well, I ride it through town, woods and random 100 mile trips, even on roads with 60 MPH speed limits, the only minus is it's kickstart only but it fires up with one to two kicks.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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I just noticed you're in Japan, you'll have a larger selection of smaller DS's there ...
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
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1st choice - Yamaha XT250

2nd choice - Suzuki DR200
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #6
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how much performance do you want? husky TE250.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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+1 on wr250 or previous model klx250s.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:55 PM   #8
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I forgot about the KLX.

He mentioned a 29" inseam -- a dilemma I share, which makes the tallish WR a bit of a jump to mount or stop with.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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I plan on looking for a good used Yamaha tw200.
I am tired of getting busted up on tall heavy dual sports with narrow tires in the sand.

It should be light so you can pull it out of a swamp when you are tired.
It should have the gearing and traction to get up hills.
It should be reliable and unbreakable.

Younger guys love raw power and the suspension to use it.
They don't break so easy as older guys...
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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I've spent the last few weeks looking at every dual sport out there. This is my conclusion to OP's question:

No highway use + hauled to trails + street legal + reliability for multi-day off road camping excursions + 29" inseam = KLX250s.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm liking the looks of the KLX250 the most so far at this point...
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drilldogger View Post
+1 on wr250 or previous model klx250s.

the wr250 is a sweet little bike.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
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the wr250 is a sweet little bike.
Maybe... but the seat is almost 4 inches higher than the KLX! 35" vs. 38.6". Seems a little too high for me.

The KLX is the same seat height as my GSA, and with a narrower body, I should be able to get even more of my feet on the ground.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
Maybe... but the seat is almost 4 inches higher than the KLX! 35" vs. 38.6". Seems a little too high for me.

The KLX is the same seat height as my GSA, and with a narrower body, I should be able to get even more of my feet on the ground.
The DS version of the WR, AKA the WR250R, has a 36.6" seat height, the dedicated dirt model features the higher seat, the KLX250S = 35", KLR 250 = 33.8" or so ... Also, I'd recommend checking out an XT250, I rode one for my MSF course and LOVED it.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:45 AM   #15
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Kawasaki Super Sherpa, under $2000. Dual disc brakes, 6 speed wide gear ratio, low seat height, lightweight, and nice low end torque.

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