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Old 05-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #16
Xtremjeepn
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Laugh

The question is not always "can a bike do the speed" or "does it have enough power to do the speed" but more of "how easily can it do it".

It's often about the power "under the cure". It's much more relaxing to run a bike at say 60% at cruising speeds than at 95% to do the same speeds. The 650s also tend to be slightly heavier and slightly wider which tend to make them a touch more comfortable on the road. The seat on the 650 will be much roomier than on the 250.

No saying it can't be done. Just saying it will extend the pleasure of such riding. We all take the long way home on our bikes So a slightly more rod friendly bike will extend this pleasure.

If your commute were 10-15 miles a day and mostly under 45mph I would say 250 all the way. 50+ miles per day with highway possibly involved, step up to a slightly larger machine.

No matter what you choose, I'm sure you will enjoy it
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sp4Mike View Post
Why do you say that? The buzzing at high rpm thing? I take the freeway now, but with a bike I would take the backroads that average 45mph speedlimit with a few miles at 55mph (and a dirt road detour on the way home). Would that make a difference?
Man, are you serious? Go ride a 250 single on the freeway with a lot of big trucks and with fast cars zipping in between them.
It will be thrilling, to say the least.

Then come back and look for a nice tight 650.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
NJ-Brett
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Its not a dual sport, but I have no problems running my TU250 anyplace, and its a LOT of fun on the interstate.
I have no problem running 75 to 80 mph at all, and its a lot more fun then the 1200 I had, or the new Bonneville.
Guys report the wr250 has no problems on long interstate runs.
The wr250 makes a lot more power then my TU does.

Nothing wrong with a smaller bike, they can be very fun.
People also say its not a good idea to run an 883 sportster on the interstate, and there might be people that think a 1200 is just too under powered to be safe.

Well, I have had a lot of bikes over many years and my little 250 is the most fun bike I ever had.
Every ride can be a race, but without tickets.
I average 75 to 85 mpg (fuel injected).

Not to say a dr650 is not fun, add a pumper carb and its a blast, throttle wheelies any time you want...
I got about 55 mpg on that bike.
They are very smooth at every speed.
About 70 pounds more then the wr250, which is a lot in the dirt.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:43 PM   #19
Xtremjeepn
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Well, let's set a few things straight......you are talking about Harleys which are the lest power per cubic inch on earth and an 883 is dangerous on the highway, and sometimes the 1200 too


Secondly, you are in New Jersey.....sea level! Here in parts of a Colorado a ride on your 250 would be no fun with a 60% power loss at elevation So I suppose knowing where the OP is might help a bit.
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Xtremjeepn screwed with this post 05-04-2012 at 07:57 PM
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #20
Capt. REDBEARD
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go test ride a 250
go test ride a 650

then you will have something more to go on rather then what a bunch of people from the internet suggest
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:23 PM   #21
CAFFO
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choices

the f650 is a way superior bike. should do 65 mpg on a 50 mile run driving sensibly.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #22
Sp4Mike OP
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I'm in Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. I could go test drive a bunch and see what I like, but I don't think any dealer would let me take a bike on a week long test drive. Or talk to me about reliability, real world mileage, and aftermarket goodies. So I'll hang out here and try to narrow it down a bit if that's ok.


I think the original intent of my post has gotten lost. I was simply looking for a list of bikes that met my criteria. Then, as has been suggested, I'll narrow from there based on more specific needs like we did with the WR250X. So to reiterate, what bikes are reliable, get about 70mpg or better, are under $10k, have good aftermarket support, and can maintain 65-70mph occasionally?


So far I have only seen 2 bikes listed that met all the criteria, the BMW G 650gs, and the WR250R. Seems like an awfully large spread for as many makes and models of bikes there are. I even looked at Aprilia, but it doesn't look like their DS is available in the US. Then I got excited as hell when I saw the Ducati Monster Diesel...until I saw it was a diesel in name only. Dual Sport or not, that would be sweet at any price.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #23
Xtremjeepn
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Laugh

The huge spead you are looking at is two fold, most 250s don't do highway speeds (65-80), ever really. Then most 650s don't get 70mpg. Most of those are in the 50s.

That is why it was narrowed down to those two bikes.

As far as reliability, they will all be fine! 95% of the bikes made since the 70s will run forever if taken care of!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sp4Mike View Post
I was simply looking for a list of bikes that met my criteria. So to reiterate, what bikes are reliable, get about 70mpg or better, are under $10k, have good aftermarket support, and can maintain 65-70mph occasionally?
  • BMW G650 (any model) - Meets the criteria but is probably 65+ mpg real world.
  • Yamaha WR250R - Meets the criteria and can maintain 65-70 mph on flat roads without a headwind. Hills and headwinds will slow you for a while.
  • Suzuki DR650SE - Meets most of the criteria but is probably more like 55+ mpg. The savings in MSRP compared to the BMWs will buy a bunch of gas. It might be the lower cost option for the first 10 years.
  • Honda XR650L - Meets most of the criteria but is probably more like 55+ mpg. It is more capable in the dirt than the DR650 but less comfortable on the highway.
  • Kawasaki KLX250S - Like the Yamaha WRR with a little less power and fuel efficiency (carb vs FI) but costs less than the WRR. Also a capable highway bike like the WRR.
  • Suzuki DRZ400S - It would be a great bike if it lost 30 pounds and gained a sixth gear. It's more dirt oriented than the DR650 but offers little over either of the 250s. If the narrow 5-speed tranny is geared for dirt it is buzzy on the highway.
  • KTM 690 Enduro R - This is the performance wonder. 70 HP, 60+ mpg, smooth, and very dirt capable. It has a normal maintenance schedule with race bike performance. Not the best choice for putting around. The cost is a little over your budget and then you will need to buy a few things like tank bolts, seat, and a decent light to make it a daily driver. The 690 will give you oportunities to meet your local law enforcement officers.
  • Kawasaki KLR650 - Budget agricultural transportation. Tough as horseshoes and low cost. It has crappy brakes and suspension, and you will learn what a "doohickey" is, but it will live longer than you and will be happy to take you around the world as many times as you please. You can spend $5K on improvements and still not have a bike like the BMW. You will have to steal a milk crate to mount to the rear rack for luggage.
  • Husqvarna TE630 - Discontinues in North America. Too bad, great bike. BMW owns Husky now and they are planning to come out with two Husky bikes based on BMW's G650 engine. A street oriented Strada this year and a easy dirt oriented Moab next year. They will be BMWs with a cool factor. Google for pictures.
That's about it for thumpers. Going into twins you might check out the Kawasaki 650 Versys, Suzuki 650 V-Strom, and maybe Triumph's Scrambler. They should also be close at meeting what you're looking for.

Real-life 70 mpg expectation is a high bar for any motorcycle used on the highway. The difference over 10,000 miles between 65 mpg and 70 mpg is only 10 gallons (153 gal vs 143 gal). Something to consider.

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #25
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Not True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremjeepn View Post
With a 50 mile daily commute the 250 would get old...FAST!!

The BMW F(G)650GS will be so much nicer to ride every day that I bet it would get riden more often.
Not True..
Well, so long as your 250 is a WR250r with Shinko 705s. My commute 84 miles round trip. My WR, is better than my old XR650L was by a long shot. The 650 vibrated more, had worse ergo's, and got worse gas mileage. I thought I would miss the power of the 650, and was not expecting to commute much on the 250, but I use it to commute 3 times more than the old XR

My commute includes 50% interstate, 35% city, and 15% highway (55mph). I'm sure the beemer is nice, but commuting on the right 250 is not a problem.
MPG xr = 40, wr = 52
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #26
IheartmyNx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremjeepn View Post
The huge spead you are looking at is two fold, most 250s don't do highway speeds (65-80), ever really.

90mph and 70mpg... "Most" is right, but not all...

Don't lump my 250 in with the likes of a CRF230 or similar.


Air cooled and liquid are as different as night and day, but they do share that pesky stereotype of the "250" number...
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bustyrucket View Post
You're right, the X is setup for street and the R is setup for dirt/street.

WR250X



WR250R



The "x" is a Supermoto, not to be confused with Honda's CRF"x"

It will have 17's, shorter suspension travel and be valved for street or track racing...

It will also be light, nimble and telepathic with rider inputs as-in you think it and it's already done it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #28
helotaxi
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Originally Posted by IheartmyNx View Post


The "x" is a Supermoto, not to be confused with Honda's CRF"x"

It will have 17's, shorter suspension travel and be valved for street or track racing...

It will also be light, nimble and telepathic with rider inputs as-in you think it and it's already done it.
They didn't do a thing to the suspension. To low a price point to really mess with it. Just swapped the wheels and changed the factory color. If you check the specs, they're identical between the two bikes. The Suzuki DR-Z400's are a different story.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:48 AM   #29
Sp4Mike OP
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Lot's of great stuff guys. If it means anything, I always get better then EPA fuel mileage in my cars. I get 22mpg in my wrangler (TJ) with a soft top. And 20mpg in my XJ with 6" of lift a bunch of armor and 32" tires. GPS confirmed, averaged over 5 tanks of fuel.

So maybe I misspoke looking for "real world" fuel economy. I don't think I have ever floored my TJ...ever. I spent 3 years in Germany when I was in my early 20's, so I got all that dumb stuff out of my system then with a BMW M3.

You guys are right though, the difference between 50 and 70 mpg is only ~$279 a year just driving to work and back every day. Thanks asshole, now there are more bikes to choose from hehe
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:02 AM   #30
Xtremjeepn
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Wicked

Yeah yeah yeah there is always some guy that is the exception to the rule. That is why I used words like "most" instead of all. Nice for you that your new bike is better than your old one

I've personally never seen a 250 that is as comfortable on the road as an equal 650, and that's over 40ish years on bikes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
Not True..
Well, so long as your 250 is a WR250r with Shinko 705s. My commute 84 miles round trip. My WR, is better than my old XR650L was by a long shot. The 650 vibrated more, had worse ergo's, and got worse gas mileage. I thought I would miss the power of the 650, and was not expecting to commute much on the 250, but I use it to commute 3 times more than the old XR

My commute includes 50% interstate, 35% city, and 15% highway (55mph). I'm sure the beemer is nice, but commuting on the right 250 is not a problem.
MPG xr = 40, wr = 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartmyNx View Post
90mph and 70mpg... "Most" is right, but not all...

Don't lump my 250 in with the likes of a CRF230 or similar.


Air cooled and liquid are as different as night and day, but they do share that pesky stereotype of the "250" number...
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06 KTM 950 Adventure(The Fainting Goat)
02 F650GS DAKAR
2 KLR650s Travel bikes http://coffeemotorcycleswine.blogspot.com/
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