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Old 02-24-2013, 05:01 AM   #16
nevermind
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Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
WR250R or CRF250L

Good little bikes.
x2

I'm partial right now to the Honda. The CRF250 looks like a fantastic bike and I'm even leaning towards one right now due to the low price and substantial features.

I don't like the GS, DRZ or KLR because of their weight and the KTMs require a touch more maintenance than I'm willing to perform. I want to ride, not wrench.

So, from your list, I'd say none!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:21 AM   #17
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Kawasaki Super Sherpa fits your wants perfectly. Small, lightweight, capable of all the points you asked about, and easy to maintain. I would suggest picking up a used one and learing on it until you feel comfortable with a bigger bike.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:37 AM   #18
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Either a Yamaha WR250R, or a 98-99 Suzuki DR350S will make you happy and do what you're asking for.

My wife loves her DR (441 kit/pumper carb/2" lowered)...it's her second one. She recently bought a 2012 Husky TE250 Low (factory lowered 2") and loves it, but we dual sport locally. There is no way this thing can do the long miles to/from the riding area as you describe...really need a wide ratio transmission for that.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #19
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OK, my 2 cents. Since I currently own a number of dual sport bikes including the Yamaha WR250R and the DRZ400S, the DRZ would be the one. It only weighs about 15# more than the Yamaha and has a lot more usable power. Like others have said, it strikes a good balance between road worthiness and off road capability and fully adjustable suspension. The only caveat is to make sure your inseam is long enough that you can comfortably put your foot down --- especially in traffic. I also have a KLR and a DR650 -- while they have their place, they're between 45 and 75 pounds more than the DRZ. Try picking one up that's full of fuel. You're going to have to do that if you're going to ride in the PNW mud. -- unless you're east of the Cascades.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #20
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I'd go with something low maintenance like a Yam XT225, Kaw Super Sherpa, or the new Honda 250.

They're all relatively light, low seat height, moderate power, and decent on the highway.

Learn to ride one of the them, and then decide how much further you want to go in terms of height, weight, and power.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:15 AM   #21
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WR250 all the way. I've ridden with a guy that would do 200 interstate miles on one loaded with camping gear, do single track all weekend, then ride it back.

Absolutely scratch the KLR and GS off your list. Massive pigs. The KLR suspension is horrible, I know cause I currently ride one.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:47 AM   #22
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At age 67 I have had all the bikes that you listed except for the TE310. I have a riding buddy that has one and he loves it, he also spend about $1000 on it to make it fit his personal taste. One thing that you mentioned was that you are not too mechanical and that's ok you can learn as you go. One thing that I have learned over the years is bike dependability and I would say that the DR, KLR, DRZ, and the BMW are all very good bikes that you listed. Now let's take my riding group of guys and one lady who rides with us (she rides a BMW Sertao, but no single track on this bike), we are what I would call better then average riders and all have been riding for 30-50 years or so. We ride dual sport bikes of all sizes just because we ride the bike that fits the ride, yes we have more then one bike, but remember we have been at this for a long time. Now lets talk about what we are riding today and what works for us, mainly bike weight, dependability, and repair cost. We are riding Yamaha WR250R's and the new Honda 2013 CRF250L's, what a great bike Honda has come up with. I just purchased the Honda CRF250L and I love it, it's not quite the bike that the WR is, but it's only one step behind it, it power and suspension are a little better, but I doubt that you will notice the difference for your riding needs at this time. Also the Honda is $4499 list and the Yamaha is $6690, big difference in price. What great about these two bikes is the fact that they are both fuel injected and run perfect all the time, no more carburetors to clean, and they start in an instant when cold and ready to go. I didn't mention the KLX250 Kawasaki as they are not FI and some are hard to start, I only know of this from what I read on ADV, but none of the riders I ride with have gone to this bike. Let me say here that if you think a 250 is too small of a bike then you need to check out BigDogAdventures and see where he ride his WR and he ain't no little boy either, plus my riding buddies have done the TAT and the Continental Divide ride on WR's and the new CFR250L Honda's and glad they were on then. Last thing, today's gas sucks so bad, that FI is the only way to go, just read about these two FI bikes, I think you will like what you read. Good Luck, remember to ride several bikes before you buy.

John
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:24 AM   #23
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Thanks so much for your input!! You guys have given me a lot to think about and research. The WR250 really stood out in many posts, so I'll take a look at that (and others that were mentioned) and I'm definitely gonna get used vs. new.

I was just always under the impression that 250's were underpowered for the highway, but I don't know why I thought that. That's why I was looking at 400cc and above.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:25 AM   #24
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I would go with the drz400. Its capable off road in stock form, with minor tweaks you can ride anything. Highway is no problem just gear it right. If you buy a z get a set of 14/47 gears for off road use. This alone will drastically change the bike, then switch out to highway gearing for your commuting. If you want for about $1500 you can turn the z into a 50 h.p. Monster. I only say this because the drz has a ton of aftermarket parts. you can get anything for it. Lots of people do long highway rides on them, geared right itll pull 100 mph and cruise at 85 all day/night.

Before you start moding any bike do research and ask questions in the bike specific threads, learn from others mistakes.
whatever you choose, have fun and might I add take a msf dirt bike course.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #25
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You may be over thinking this, as most bikes will be a compromise in some way. Go buy a used KLR and put some miles on it. It is a simple and forgiving ride and it will help you discover how you want to ride. You can almost always sell a good used one for what you paid.

I put 20k miles on a 2007 before moving on to a 990 and there are times when I still miss that bike.

Cheers!
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
Thanks so much for your input!! You guys have given me a lot to think about and research. The WR250 really stood out in many posts, so I'll take a look at that (and others that were mentioned) and I'm definitely gonna get used vs. new.

I was just always under the impression that 250's were underpowered for the highway, but I don't know why I thought that. That's why I was looking at 400cc and above.

If you are in the market now check out the '12 WR250R in Amboy on CL. $4,999, less than 2K mi. At least you might be able to give it a test ride. Lighter than the Honda. I have a DR350 and I think it is heavy, the Honda is even heavier.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #27
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One last thing I want you to think about, you need a bike that you can flatfoot off road. You can lower most bikes, but there is a point where you can't anymore. The WR250 seat is 36.5" tall, pretty tall for most ladies, but can be lowered some. The other thing is, weight, KLR 650 type bikes are great, but once again heavy, all in the 425lb. range, and no you can't pick it up on the trail with your leg pinned under it. Yes you will fall, it's not if, but when. If you can't flatfoot the bike and handle the weight you are going to be very unhappy, trust me.

John

New comparison of the three 250's, http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=1627

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Old 02-24-2013, 09:23 AM   #28
Canuman
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I ride both the KLR and the DRZ. I honestly couldn't recommend either as a first dirt bike because of the weight, although the DRZ is significantly lighter than the KLR. If I had to choose between the two, I'd recommend the DRZ with a low seat.

A female friend and inmate here who's about your size started riding an XT225 that we picked up used this summer. She's an experienced road rider.

Now, wait a minute. It's no fire-breathing monster. Far from it. However, what it does with it's horsepower is pretty amazing. I've ridden it, although at my size, I look like a trained bear on it.

The XT has a really nice transmission. It has the lowest first gear in the industry, and a sixth gear that rips pretty well on the highway. It's light, non-complicated, and relatively cheap. It gets about 72 mpg.

It would be my choice as a great learner bike, and one that you'd likely keep even when you stepped up. There's nothing wrong with cheap, light, and friendly.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:28 AM   #29
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>"WR250R or CRF250L"

Yup. Start small.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
One last thing I want you to think about, you need a bike that you can flatfoot off road. You can lower most bikes, but there is a point where you can't anymore. The WR250 seat is 36.5" tall, pretty tall for most ladies, but can be lowered some. The other thing is, weight, KLR 650 type bikes are great, but once again heavy, all in the 425lb. range, and no you can't pick it up on the trail with your leg pinned under it. Yes you will fall, it's not if, but when. If you can't flatfoot the bike and handle the weigh you are going to be very unhappy, trust me.

John
Why do you need to flatfoot a bike off road? Very few of the best off road riders can flatfoot while straddling their bikes and many can only touch the toes on one foot down ... The low seat is great for beginners, but most often the 200-250cc small bike is short lived as a stepping stone... If you can get past the low seat thing and learn on a tall bike in the beginning then you've skipped a step and maybe saved some cash by having a more all around capable bike right from the get go... The OP sounds like she is fit and that is already a step in the right direction for coaxing a bike around off road... When I saw the list of bikes presented as I have ridden most on it{except the 310} I thought about which one gave the smoothest power, was easiest to maneuver in tight, highway capable and was relatively light... The DR 400 was the first to come to mind as very good all around platform for a 40/60% on/off road slant...
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