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Old 03-28-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
jmbueller OP
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Long Range on a New Street Legal Dirt Bike?

If this is covered elsewhere, my apologies. I'm currently the owner of a Yamaha WR250R with various tweaks including a 4.7 gallon IMS fuel tank. This is a great bike with lots of advantages like a good suspension, long range, a great electrical system, long maintenance intervals, and a real rear subframe that allows you to carry stuff. It's a really good mini adventure bike.

However, I find myself more and more drawn to increasingly technical off road riding where lighter weight would be nice. Even when I keep the fuel load light, the WR (while lighter than something like a KLR or DR) is still a fair bit heavier than the new European dual sports.

I sat on a new KTM 350 EXC-F at the dealer the other day and was impressed. I thought this would be awesome for my shorter dual sport rides, and with a Giant Loop for baggage,extra fuel, and maybe a seat mod from someone like Seat Concepts it would be great for longer treks as well.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has gone long distances on one of these new Euro dual sports. I'd like to get the range up to about 240 miles (doing the T1 Tour of Idaho this summer). Carrying extra fuel and transfering is an option if I could figure out how to do it on a bike with no rear sub-frame.

Any ideas or thoughts on the feasability of using something like a KTM EXC for longer range off-roady trips would be appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #2
jon_l
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not new 350s, but some info in these threads should also apply:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=753507

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=474124

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=746534

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=495980
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
jmbueller OP
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Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
crazybrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbueller View Post
I'd like to hear from anyone who has gone long distances on one of these new Euro dual sports. I'd like to get the range up to about 240 miles (doing the T1 Tour of Idaho this summer). Carrying extra fuel and transfering is an option if I could figure out how to do it on a bike with no rear sub-frame.
Heh. We were thinking of doing the Tour of Idaho this summer also. I did the TAT (Denver to Portland) last fall on my 07 450 EXC. Used a Giant Loop Coyote. Had an oil cooler and changed every 800 miles. I did an oil analysis when I got home which showed possible wear components in oil but since I'd not done one before it wasn't of major value. I had the 6.6g Acerbis tank so fuel was an non-issue.

All this said, I'm not really sure why you couldn't just ride the WR250. The Tour of Idaho is only about 5% single track, no?
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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All this said, I'm not really sure why you couldn't just ride the WR250. The Tour of Idaho is only about 5% single track, no?
I could easily do it on the WR250, however if I get a KTM I would be trading in my WR. It sounds like doing it on a KTM would be no problem, since I'd probably get the KTM 21.5 liter tank and use the Giant Loop like you.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jmbueller View Post
I could easily do it on the WR250, however if I get a KTM I would be trading in my WR.
Ah. That obviously makes a difference. I think the oil changes are going to be your biggest issue. On the 350/500 I'd maybe try for a change every ~400 miles (day and a half). A lot of the towns are pretty small and often you leave at 9am and arrive after 5pm. On the TAT sometimes I'd snag a couple bottles of Mobil 1 15w-50 silver cap when we passed a NAPA and carry it on the bike for a few days as I knew there was going to be nothing between then and the next scheduled oil change.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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You got to change the oil every day and a half of riding. WOW.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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You went with too big of a tank. Drop back to a 3.1 and you will be really happy.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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I have a wr250r. A few weeks ago I was riding it in the mountains around Phoenix. Couple of locals took me down some freakin' creekbed for miles and miles. 9 water crossings. Giant boulders to roll over. Lots of clutching and creeping. Steep down into the creek and steep up the other side. I was shocked what a modern motorcycle will roll over. Those boys kicked my ass, but I made it. I was geared a little tall, but I had new T63 tires and all was well.

My son just bought a '12 350 EXC-F. He's racing it in the Mexican 1000 next month. He put a 4 gal tank on it and hired a fueling crew (MAG7). He's been practicing in the New England woods and rode an enduro recently for more training. He said it was a great bike with a friendly motor, but it would have been a lot easier on a KTM 200 two stroke... His EXC-F is only about 50lbs less than my Yam. The 200 is about 40 lbs lighter yet!

You should check the maintenance intervals of the EXC-F. I think it is still a race bike and all the service such a macine requires. I rode the CDR last fall on my wr. That trip brought me up to 5k miles and two oil changes. The EXC-F would probably require two top end jobs by then!

I think the new 350 is a street legal enduro, and only offered because most enduro competitions require the racebike to be plated. I'll tell you, though. It is the prettiest little package I've ever seen. Fit and finish right up there with a Honda motocrosser. Maybe better.

Darn shame to scuff her up.

I think you should just try more single track and see how the WR goes for you. You won't be doing anything more than a trailer and ride with the 350.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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You went with too big of a tank. Drop back to a 3.1 and you will be really happy.
I disagree. I have 4.7 gallons capacity, but I don't carry that much unless I need it. If I carry a gallon or two for a shorter, more technical ride it actually results in a lower cg than the smaller tanks. It also halps protect the radiator.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #11
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I think you should just try more single track and see how the WR goes for you. You won't be doing anything more than a trailer and ride with the 350.

I've been doing some pretty technical stuff, and the WR can get it done. However, the guys on lighter bikes are not working quite as hard. I agree that the maintenance schedule for the KTM may be the biggest issue for long trips.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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Buy It!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbueller View Post
I've been doing some pretty technical stuff, and the WR can get it done. However, the guys on lighter bikes are not working quite as hard. I agree that the maintenance schedule for the KTM may be the biggest issue for long trips.
Well, you are old enough to know what you want, and probably wealthy enough to pursue a few passions guilt free. That new EXC-F is so pretty, I want one too. But since the appropriate usage of such a great machine is over my head, I decided to indulge myself and buy a 2012 690R with all the fixin's. I'll probably be into it about $13k when I'm done, and no tears. I am excited!

Since I am normally such a cheap bastard, this 690 is a big step for me. But that WR250R taught me what I wanted in a motorcycle for my twilight years. My old 950 isn't it because a) I have the big miles on it, and b) I have a hard time picking it up when I drop it. Can't have that solo in remote places. I mean the deal for me is the trip!

The WR is awesome that way, so I will keep it out west to visit desert winters. In two weeks I'll be replacing my old 950 with the little 690. 315lbs and 66hp is more than enough for the travels I enjoy. Those are coast/coast trips with shorter explorations in between. Many nay sayers about that bike for my purposes, but I liked Looong trips on both my WR and 950. I know how to make myself comfortable on those things. The smaller bike is about making me more capable in remote locations with no help at the ready. I want the confidence to try...

Bottom line? I say buy your 350 and make the very most of it for all of us. At worst, it'll make you happy until it doesn't any longer. That ain't such a bad thing. If it doesn't work out, so what? It's only money and we've all blown plenty of that for foolish things. It's not such a big commitment in the scheme of things anyways.
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Pantah screwed with this post 03-28-2012 at 04:44 PM
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #13
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The best mod for tight woods and technical riding is a Rekluse autoclutch. I am not sure if there is one yet for the WRR but most Orange bikes have them and make riding soooo much easier.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
jmbueller OP
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Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Bottom line? I say buy your 350 and make the very most of it for all of us. At worst, it'll make you happy until it doesn't any longer. That ain't such a bad thing. If it doesn't work out, so what? It's only money and we've all blown plenty of that for foolish things. It's not such a big commitment in the scheme of things anyways.
That's pretty much what my wife says. I'm thinking...we'll see.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #15
Hodakaguy
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The KTM will work great for distance travel....My 530 has logged thousands of miles worth of travel without any problems. The factory recommended service intervals are for racing...real world ADV riding will be a lot easier on the bike and require a lot less maint.

Check out the links in my signature line for some of my ride reports using my KTM.

My Setup: LINK

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