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Old 04-23-2013, 03:26 PM   #16
rystjohn OP
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Excellent, thank you for a breakdown on your opinions. What would you say if I threw into the mix a used 2009 Kawasaki Super Sherpa with 300 miles for $3,400. This is the used bike I'm leaning towards now. Pristine condition.

I keep worrying about the fuel-injection to be honest. I just don't want to be in the middle of nowhere with a wonky fuel injection system.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:26 PM   #17
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I'll give another vote for a WR250F. But the $$$ you r willing to spend (~ $2500 to $3500) I think you can get a nice farkeled DRZ400 that can do it all. Buying the bike is the least of ur worries but maintenance and repairs is what u have to look for. DRZ's are easy to fix (if u ever need to fix them) their engines are bullet proof, parts are available & cheap including tons of after market stuff. The bike is perfect dual sport (50/50) and u can modded to however u decide to ride it. Regarding ur lack of experience in bike motor, maintain these type of machines is almost no brainer, if can read the owner manual your home free. Good luck on ur decision/purchase and ride safe AGATT.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rystjohn View Post
Excellent, thank you for a breakdown on your opinions. What would you say if I threw into the mix a used 2009 Kawasaki Super Sherpa with 300 miles for $3,400. This is the used bike I'm leaning towards now. Pristine condition.

I keep worrying about the fuel-injection to be honest. I just don't want to be in the middle of nowhere with a wonky fuel injection system.

A good friend of mine has one of those. Can you say S L O W?
The Super Sherpa is basically a trials bike with a seat and plate on it. Another bike you'd be satisfied with for about 10 minutes.
BTW, he's closer to 60, 'bout the same as me.
They're all in pristine condition because none of them ever get ridden much. There are fans of the bike, but geez, really?? Reminds me of my 35 year old mercedes diesel - 67hp with a 4 speed. LOL.

All of the modern EFI bikes are extremely reliable. I've gone from flat-slide carbed bikes that I could pretty much disasemble and re-jet or tune with my eyes closed, to two EFI bikes. Wouldn't go back. 2011 Husky TE630 and 2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC. The both run flawlessly from below sea level to over 12K feet in all temps, and I wouldn't hesitate to take them to BFE. In fact, both have been there and back.

A DRZ400 has your name written all over it. Great on the road, will do trails just fine, cheap to buy and run, totally bulletproof. Absolutely fantstic beginner dualsport motorbike. You probly won't get a WRR for your price range, but if you're gonna pop for a CRF250 then I'd hold out for a WRR.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #19
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For a beginner and relatively average height, I would recommend either the XT225/250 or the Sherpa. I ride a XT250 and I'm the same size as you. Reason I went with it was for the ability to flat foot the bike. Trail riding this has helped me tremendously. I have a lot more confidence on this bike due to this and other taller bikes I would have gotten myself into trouble long ago.

Will you outgrow this bike? Very likely, but you'll be able to sell it quickly and probably not lose much. All the while, save your money and buy something that will meet what you're wanting as you'll have a much better understanding of the type of riding you want to do after a season of riding something that won't get you hurt. If I upgrade one day, I plan to do it on a much higher level bike such as a KTM or Husky. But to tell you the truth, I'm having a blast on my little XT and it gets me anywhere I want and when it comes down to it, speed isn't everything.

Good luck with your search.

Edit: One other thing to consider. More modern bikes come with radiators. The old tech XT and Sherpa are air cooled. Your first year or two you are going to be dropping your bike a lot. Radiators aren't the most robust critical system out there.....
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rick's KLR View Post
For a beginner and relatively average height, I would recommend either the XT225/250 or the Sherpa. I ride a XT250 and I'm the same size as you. Reason I went with it was for the ability to flat foot the bike. Trail riding this has helped me tremendously. I have a lot more confidence on this bike due to this and other taller bikes I would have gotten myself into trouble long ago.

Will you outgrow this bike? Very likely, but you'll be able to sell it quickly and probably not lose much. All the while, save your money and buy something that will meet what you're wanting as you'll have a much better understanding of the type of riding you want to do after a season of riding something that won't get you hurt. If I upgrade one day, I plan to do it on a much higher level bike such as a KTM or Husky. But to tell you the truth, I'm having a blast on my little XT and it gets me anywhere I want and when it comes down to it, speed isn't everything.

Good luck with your search.

Edit: One other thing to consider. More modern bikes come with radiators. The old tech XT and Sherpa are air cooled. Your first year or two you are going to be dropping your bike a lot. Radiators aren't the most robust critical system out there.....

Kinda what I've been thinking as well. With all the research I've been doing and from what I've heard, I think the Sherpa is more of what I'm looking for. In all honesty, I'm not wanting a dirtbike that is street-legal. I'm looking for more of a road/adventure bike with off-road capabilities. The CRF seems more like a street-legal dirtbike, as do many of the other ones being recommended. A lot of the bikes that people have been recommending are fantastic in the dirt, from what reviews say, but not amazing on the road. 80-90% of all my riding is going to be short distances in and around town with a few longer distance trips as my skills and confidence increase. I'm not looking to do tons of hard highway speed. Maybe my tune will change, but thats when I just sell this and buy something else.

Does this sound reasonable? Haha.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #21
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Depends on what you can deal with on the highway. I prefer sportbikes. So dirtbikes and wind at highway speed isn't a big deal. But a heavy BMW GS owner or Harley owner with a massive windscreen might not like sitting on a lighter DRZ400 at 70mph. You have to ask yourself how picky you're going to be?

Just about any dual sport bike can eat up 55mph country roads. Just avoid the highway if you get one of the little ones.

And the smaller dual sports are way more fun than a heavy sportbike or large ADV bike in tight little cities and towns.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #22
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Super Sherpa is very similar to the XT 250.

The CRF looks like more of a dirtbike but it's liquid cooled motor delivers a good bit more HP which will make it nice on the road. Similar deal with the WR-R.

My girlfriend started out on a Sherpa & enjoyed the low seat, great for learning, she did lots of miles on it over all sorts of terrain. She now has a WR-R & likes the extra power, decent suspension, nice brakes etc. You're 5" taller than her so you may be able to skip the XT/Sherpa stage & go straight to something with a bit more power for touring plus nicer suspenders.

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick's KLR View Post
>snip
... and when it comes down to it, speed isn't everything.
Ah, but speed IS everything. Otherwise we'd all just ride scooters, or bicycles.

Speed over the ground in any terrain is the allure of faster and more competent motorbikes. A sherpa makes a horrible road bike.

And OP is right, if you want some hiway capability then don't buy small cc's, you need power to keep up on the hiway. Unless you go for a freeway hauling machine they're all good in town, even traibikes and scooters and such.

You might also consider one of the new 500 Hondas. Kind of a pseudo adventure bike based on a road bike. Seem like a really excellent newer rider/smaller bike answer. Not a lot of money, easy financing, no maint.

I had a versys 650 for 3 years and 8K miles and loved it. Not much of a dirtbike though.

Somebody mentioned Sertao, which are kinda piggish and expensive, but the older dakars do come up for sale and they make a really nice dualsport that's road ready for not too much $$, about the same as you might pay for a new CRF250.

More food for thought.

The best advice I saw here is to get something that holds your interest now, and in a year you'll have a lot better idea of what kind of riding you really like, or what buddies you'll meet that you ride with. That's really the key to all this, unless you're just a loner dood.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #24
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Ah, but speed IS everything. Otherwise we'd all just ride scooters, or bicycles.
The problem here is you're speaking for everyone. No, speed isn't everything to everyone. I for one aren't into speed or I wouldn't have bought a XT (Scooter) for riding trails and dirt roads. I also ride bicycles but instead of the fancy carbon fiber wonder bike, I ride a boring steel bike that isn't as fast. To me, I just want a tool that takes me where I want. The XT does that very well. Yep, it won't do highway/freeway well at all. That's fine as I don't care for riding there anyways. I'd rather trailer the bike and ride in comfort. You have to be honest with yourself on what riding you want to do. Maybe it's going balls to the wall fast and that's fine, but not everyone wants to do that. I'm lucky to have a few people to ride with that have the same interest as me in how they ride.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rick's KLR View Post
The problem here is you're speaking for everyone. No, speed isn't everything to everyone. I for one aren't into speed or I wouldn't have bought a XT (Scooter) for riding trails and dirt roads. I also ride bicycles but instead of the fancy carbon fiber wonder bike, I ride a boring steel bike that isn't as fast. To me, I just want a tool that takes me where I want. The XT does that very well. Yep, it won't do highway/freeway well at all. That's fine as I don't care for riding there anyways. I'd rather trailer the bike and ride in comfort. You have to be honest with yourself on what riding you want to do. Maybe it's going balls to the wall fast and that's fine, but not everyone wants to do that. I'm lucky to have a few people to ride with that have the same interest as me in how they ride.

It's good we don't have to ride together.

I bet you drive slow in the fast lane too.


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Old 04-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #26
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It's good we don't have to ride together.

I bet you drive slow in the fast lane too.


Well, we wouldn't ride together long.

No, I'm smart enough to move to the right and let all the speed demons safely pass.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:36 AM   #27
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I'm glad you have a sense of humor Rick.


On to bikes for noob....

I mentioned the CB500X, new out from Honda. I looked at these at the bike show and thought thery were really nice and a lot of bang for the buck. I have a 19 year old son that got his motorcycle endorsement at 16. I don't allow riding on the street yet, but he's one helluva'n offroader. He's going off to college and I think a bike would be great, but still not onboard with him riding the freeways yet.

Anyway, here's the new Honda, and a couple of links of content.
CycleWorld 'First Look': http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/11/12...0x-first-look/
Big thread on it here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=825933
And a decent pic of the bike:






And one of a 650 Dakar. Obviously more offroad ready than the honda.

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Old 04-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #28
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My opinion of the above in orange. If you can swing it get the CRF250. It's gutless too, but it's a nice little bike for a smaller person or a beginner.

For a trailbike on the cheap, see if you can find a KDX 200/220, or even a KLX230 4-stroke. Probably none plated. Or a WR250F. Now there's a real trailbike.

If you want a competent adventure bike the WRR would get a nod, a bit down on power but way popular nonetheless. This is where the CRF250 would land.

Forget the CRF230, too heavy and gutless, crappy suspension.

On the cheap a DRZ400 would be good. Heavy for offroad, but a solid bike.

The suzuki DR200 is what I would call a tiddler. You would be satisfied for about 2 hours of riding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
Ah, but speed IS everything. Otherwise we'd all just ride scooters, or bicycles.

Speed over the ground in any terrain is the allure of faster and more competent motorbikes. A sherpa makes a horrible road bike.

And OP is right, if you want some hiway capability then don't buy small cc's, you need power to keep up on the hiway. Unless you go for a freeway hauling machine they're all good in town, even traibikes and scooters and such.

You might also consider one of the new 500 Hondas. Kind of a pseudo adventure bike based on a road bike. Seem like a really excellent newer rider/smaller bike answer. Not a lot of money, easy financing, no maint.

I had a versys 650 for 3 years and 8K miles and loved it. Not much of a dirtbike though.

Somebody mentioned Sertao, which are kinda piggish and expensive, but the older dakars do come up for sale and they make a really nice dualsport that's road ready for not too much $$, about the same as you might pay for a new CRF250.

More food for thought.

The best advice I saw here is to get something that holds your interest now, and in a year you'll have a lot better idea of what kind of riding you really like, or what buddies you'll meet that you ride with. That's really the key to all this, unless you're just a loner dood.
Some interesting opinions their "Brownie" ... You're doing a great job!
Perhaps you are forgetting the OP is a new rider? So HP isn't everything for someone putting round town.
Bikes you call junk can be useful for Novices for building skills and confidence ... and can even be very good on the road touring. When you get out of SoCal ... you'll figure that out.

I do agree about two of your choices: The DRZ400S or possibly the new 500 Hondas. Although the Honda is not yet for sale ... and is probably out of the OP's price range and look USELESS off road.

But the DRZ400S is a good novice bike that could keep him happy for a while. I owned a DRZ400E in 2001. Good bike in Baja and Desert. But the OP needs the plated S model. I now ride a WR250F. Useless on the road, great on the trails.

But never underestimate what the little 250's mentioned here are capable of. Look at the many ride reports where a 250 is Star of the Show.

Lois Pryce (Lois On The Loose) Author and Adventure rider, did AK to Tierra del Fuego on her worn out XT225 Serow. I met Lois in San Fran on her way South, did a story on her for our local MC paper. That bike was worn out ... and she had a long way to go. But she made it!

Lois on her beat and tired Serow.

Next up for Lois was Africa ... Solo. Again, she choose a Yamaha. This time the upgraded XT250 Yamaha. (not the old tech one you speak of) Junk?
Girls bike? Yep!

Lois rode this little XT solo through Africa ... and wrote another book.
http://www.amazon.com/Tape-White-Knu.../dp/0099513595
She rode this bike which now is Fuel Injected:


Plenty of other World travelers have done well on smaller bikes. Nothing new there. I rode a Honda 50 step through from Guatemala to El Salvador and back in the 70's. No problems at all. Rode through Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia on rented 125's. Lots of muddy back roads zig zagging round. Best rides ever.

Here are a couple of my favorite ride reports of riders riding small bikes:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460631
UK Rider Nathan aboard Postie bike "Dot"
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
John Down's report is a classic. A fun read. All on a Kawi Sherpa. Stone reliable bike.

You were talking about the KDX200 or 220. Did you forget these bikes are OFF ROAD ONLY Two Strokes? A no go in most states. (great bikes)

The WR-R Yamaha is great too ... but have your checked out the prices?

The KLX250S has potential. Big bore kit transforms it. Stock they are gutless, but upgraded, not bad.

I went through and upgraded my buddies Honda CRF230. (off road version) for a few hundred bucks the suspension was transformed. Race Tech up front, Hliebo rebuilt shock. Amazing. Ridden back to back with my WR250F the revised CRF230 did very well. Perfect on knarly trails. (Jetted, pipe, air box) Quite an amazing little bike for the little money put in. Twice as good as stock for not much work.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:01 AM   #29
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Good info there. Lots of stories on smaller bikes.

On the KDX, I did say, "Probably none plated." Sometimes you can find one, or a plated KLX230. I don't recall what state OP is in, some of them have more options for really good bikes that can't be plated here in CA. We were lucky to find a WRF with a plate on a fluke, they are out there.

And I agree on so-cal. If you can't maintain 75-80 on the freeway you get run over.

I have ridden all those bikes and have trained up a number of riders. The XT yamahas are really old tech. The 225 can't even loft the wheel. I hated the XR400 for the same reason, but people love them things. But like you say, a new rider probably isn't looking to do that yet. I just really believe that a young guy getting into it will be bored in a very short time with these bikes. The 250 is heavy and low powered. If I had put my kid on one of those he'd have stood there with that dumbfounded look on his face, like "WTF is this Dad?" We were looking for a KTM200 but the used ones were clapped out and I didn't want to pop seven grand for a new one. Got a WRF instead.

I think girls are different than guys for all of this as well. The guys tend to be more aggressive, and if they have riding buddies they learn real quick that they need something more competent to keep up with the pack. At 15 my son started riding a CRF230 and within 6 months he had out grown it. He was amazingly fast, but very soon was way out-riding the bike. Yeah, you can spend money upgrading suspension, but gee, it's a $1500-$1800 bike you can't plate here, and most suspension upgrades can run half it's value or more. So I tend not to recommend a bike for anyone that's going to need major dollars spent on it to make it just reasonably competent. Like the KLX250S - no matter what you do to that bike it's never going to be a KTM eater.

I didn't realize the CB500X wasn't out yet. Wow, they sure showed it early. You got me there.

Anyhow, hopefully the OP has some good options to choose from.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:27 PM   #30
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Kinda what I've been thinking as well. With all the research I've been doing and from what I've heard, I think the Sherpa is more of what I'm looking for. In all honesty, I'm not wanting a dirtbike that is street-legal. I'm looking for more of a road/adventure bike with off-road capabilities. The CRF seems more like a street-legal dirtbike, as do many of the other ones being recommended. A lot of the bikes that people have been recommending are fantastic in the dirt, from what reviews say, but not amazing on the road. 80-90% of all my riding is going to be short distances in and around town with a few longer distance trips as my skills and confidence increase. I'm not looking to do tons of hard highway speed. Maybe my tune will change, but thats when I just sell this and buy something else.

Does this sound reasonable? Haha.
For your needs, I think the Sherpa will be awesome. If you're wanting to do more single track and hang with the pack, sell it and buy a KTM. Any of the bikes you listed will do this type of riding you're describing just fine, but being able to flat foot the bike will be a nice secure feeling while learning. Once you get your skills down, this won't matter anymore.
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