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Old 11-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
outdoornate65 OP
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Short/fat guy seeks advice on smaller all-around DS bike.

So I was all ready to pull the trigger on a new 2012 KLR 650 and got cold feet thinking the bike was too much for this short newbie to handle.

Background: novice rider, 47 year-old, 5'-9", 225#. Looking for a bike for my 15 mile no-highway commute that I can also use for backroads exploring here in CO. Would probably trailer the bike to Moab a couple times a year and take it along on camping trips up in the mountains. Not interested in trail riding but still would like to be able to pick the bike up after the eventual "naps".

Currently looking at KLX250, late-model DR350, Super Sherpa. I'm not opposed to a little older bike as long as there is decent aftermarket support for parts/gear.

DRZ400 is way tall....

So what other reliable, fun, small DS bikes would you guys have me looking for? I'm in Denver so there is a pretty active used bike market.

Flip side: Do I get the KLR650 or maybe a DR650 and "grow into" the bike?

Thanks for your help....

Nate
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
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I was at the Honda dealer the other day and saw a brand new CRF250L factory dual sport. I can't help but think that this would be a perfect entry level dual sport. I didn't bother to check the seat height but the bike looked very cool.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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DR650's have a lowering feature.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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How fast do you need to go? If "not very" or "under 60" are part of your answer then I suggest the Yamaha TW200. It is a smaller bike, but lots of fun. It has fat tires that give you a lot of stability. The center of gravity is lower than a typical dirt bike which also contributes to stability. Plus you can flat foot it at the stops.

The only real downsides to the TW200 is lack of high speed power and lower ground clearance when compared to a real dirt bike. So if you don't ride on the freeway, and don't boulder hop, they are perfect! At least that is my opinion.

They will run 55 all day long and are great for forest service roads and medium-bad trails. At least a couple of people have done long road trips on them, including one from Utah to Alaska. Not the strong suit for this bike. I also know a guy who did an iron butt (1000 miles in 24 hours) on one, but he is hard core.

For what I think you are looking for, a bike that you can ride to the trails and on them, and a bike that is pretty easy to trailer to a campground for riding, the TW200 may be perfect.

My second choice would be a Honda 230L. This is the dual sport version of a great dirt bike that isn't so tall as a lot of the newer designs. Very reliable as well. My third choice would be the XT250 or a XT225 (used market) for the same reasons. not too tall, reliable and in the sweet spot for what you are looking to do.

Bullspit screwed with this post 11-05-2012 at 10:31 AM Reason: Adding options.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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I think you would be fine on a KLR, and would indeed grow into it...based on your first post.

More specifically...get the KLR that you can ride all the time, with luggage, commute, explore, get experienced...see where you end up. If you find that you're wanting to go down the tighter/gnarlier trail(s) more often, and wish your bike were smaller/lighter, either sell it for something smaller...or (my choice) buy a smaller/lighter bike to go along with the KLR
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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Xt225, don't underestimate the lite bugger. I know people who weigh a tad mor than you and were quite surprised.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
mach1charlie
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klr

Start out on 200-250 cc machine, so you can learn to fall off. Im 5'11 and my KLR 650 is tall and heavy for me. Every one should have a 250 in the shed
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Have a read through the 'Shortypants' thread. Lots of good ideas there.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669666
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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I downsized from a KTM 950 to a Yamaha wr250r. I lowered it with a Yamalink and cut the side stand to match. I'm about 190 and 5'9. It was so good I bought a KTM 690R too. About same size but a lot more powerful.

I do long trips with the Yamaha and my riding buddy rides a 2010 KLR650. He's about your size too. We both seem to run out of throttle at the same time. He keeps his under 70, which is perfect for my 250 to tag along.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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>"Xt225, don't underestimate the lite bugger. I know people who weigh a tad mor than you and were quite surprised. "

Cheap to buy, cheap to own and a pretty good dirtbike for beginners.
Need to move up... then just sell it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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I'm 5'6", 190 with a 28" inseam, I have no problem with my DR650, factory lowered rear with the forks slid up 3/4"... My son is 5'4", rides the same set up.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
Habibi Rocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoornate65 View Post
" got cold feet thinking the bike was too much for this short newbie to handle "


Nate
Hi, very good thinking . To how to you say?? not to get in over your head . Do they still have the Suzuki TS 185
where you live ??????? Suzuki TS or TC 185 was an excellent machine for what you explain. Maybe you can find
a nice 1977,78,79,80 model for cheap. Like some of the other post say the Yamaha TW200 is a low seat height.

Hope you find the bike that suits your needs.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
Navin
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I'm not understanding your use of the bike. no trails but Moab? All paved? Dirt roads? Why a DS bike?
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #14
outdoornate65 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
I'm not understanding your use of the bike. no trails but Moab? All paved? Dirt roads? Why a DS bike?
Commuting (pavement)

Exploring backcountry roads in CO/Moab (dirt)

Not interested in tight singletrack trails or difficult offroad trails that are beyond my "noob" skills....

Am I still eligible for a DS bike?
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #15
itrack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoornate65 View Post
Commuting (pavement)

Exploring backcountry roads in CO/Moab (dirt)

Not interested in tight singletrack trails or difficult offroad trails that are beyond my "noob" skills....

Am I still eligible for a DS bike?
Yeah, that will last all of 2 weeks. If your into exploring the best way is single track. I also think a TW200 is right up your alley. If you want more "performance/suspension" look into lowering a WR250R, TE250, CRF250L, KLX250S, etc.

Are you in Colorado?

http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/mcy/3355942599.html]

http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/mcy/3307843253.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3367548091.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3282748236.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/3328646611.html
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