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Old 04-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #31
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by browneye View Post
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.
The 225 Serow is a Dog ... but quite reliable and tough. Very heavy. The XT250 is a different bike and had a major up grade a few years back. Take a close look. Not the same old XT.
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
I hated the XR400 for the same reason, but people love them things.
I owned a XR400R with Baja kit in 1998.
Not bad, IMO. Not a bad desert bike, not good in tight woods at slow speed. Underpowered for sure by modern standards. Must be good for something or these guys wouldn't pay $3000 for a 5 day Baja tour.
Surly you've run into Haines groups at Mike's Sky Rancho? They are there almost every weekend.

A mix of bikes shown here, Haines Baja tours. CRF450, XR400's mostly. There are about 10 more bikes not shown in pic. Most all XR400's.

The Haines tech guy told me the XR400's make money for them but some guys demand the CRF's ... they carry TWO spare CRF's and parts in their truck. Top ends notorious for exploding.
No spare XR bikes ... just some parts. The Haines guy had raced the 1000 several times. Fast guy and great mechanic.
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
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.
Everyone is different. Doing a year on a 250 is no crime. The OP can always sell off his 250 and upgrade if need be. That's why I agreed with the DRZ400S.

I also have trained several new, young riders. Also older re-entry riders. My nephew was a natural. I started him on an old Honda Reflex Trials bike (200cc). In 3 or 4 weekend rides he made huge strides riding with our group. (all experienced fast guys).

So I got him a KX250 two stroke! It took him 6 months to learn how to ride that KX. It was a Monster. Blew his mind. He also crashed hard a couple times ... and scared himself pretty good. When a Noob crashes it can put them off riding all together. Seen this many times. So smart Noobs start small (250) and work their way up. Confidence is KEY.

Originally Posted by browneye View Post
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.
On the CRF230 I spent exactly $360. $160 for Race Tech kit. $200 for complete Hliebo shock rebuild. I had the jets in my parts kit and pipe was already on the bike. We did install a rear Trials tire. Huge improvement.
All low cost and works good for my 69 year old buddy who is slow as molasses ... and happy as a clam.
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
I didn't realize the CB500X wasn't out yet. Wow, they sure showed it early. You got me there.
Well those 500's are coming. Not sure when. Will be expensive and not really off road capable at all.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #32
rystjohn OP
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Thank you everybody! I've realized I should redirect the conversation a bit. Basically I've come down to two bikes, and I'm getting one of them unless something else shows up unexpectedly.

The two options are:
2009 Kawasaki Super Sherpa with 300 miles.

2008 Yamaha XT250 with 4k miles.

Both are similarly priced and distance away.

At this point I'm trying to decide which will fit my needs best. I want to put emphasis on the fact that I'm not looking for a street-legal dirt bike. I don't plan on riding much trails. I'm thinking 80% road, 20% dirt. I'm sure this could change, but that's the plan at the moment. I will be using this mainly to commute back and forth to work and around town. I live in the mountains and want to get experience and confidence to own a larger machine to do cross-country trips on. I'm not looking at other machines, so I'd prefer if I could just get some opinions on these two bikes.

I've read just about every post on here comparing the two, and I'm 90% set on the Super Sherpa. I have a gut instinct that this is the bike I've been looking for. It seems an all-around great bike for what I need as a new rider of average height and build who wants in-town on-road capability, with the option of some minor off road. But, as a cautious buyer, I want to hear the opinions of the ADV Rider community before I fully commit.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #33
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #34
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If you're gonna ride a super (slow) sherpa you need to be on this thread:

176 pages for your reading pleasure.

My buddy's is in there somewhere but I'd have to dig. He has more than 20 other bikes and about half run. He does like the more obscure stuff.
Chris Brown - "The Browneye"
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:15 PM   #35
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If you're not riding any 60MPH+ highway, and you can get a good price, either the Sherpa or the XT250 would be a good start for a fun and economical explorer/commuter. They'll be easy to handle, pavement or dirt, and will keep up with street traffic fine. If you get a good price and don't trash it, either bike will hold it's resale pretty well if you decide to try something else later.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #36
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They are basically the same bike. The only real difference is the Sherpa has a little bigger tank. If I had to make a decision, I think I'd pick the Sherpa simply based off the tank. Either would be fine. Both bikes are bullet proof.

Not sure about the power, but I think they are pretty much the same. Both bikes will be a lot of fun to ride, just set your expectations properly.

Good luck on getting your bike and be sure to post pictures.

Edit: after looking at the specs a little more, the XT has the tiny bit larger tank. Go with whichever bike makes you smile more when you ride it. Could you test ride both? I might have to flip a coin...
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #37
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My dad has a super sherpa and I've ridden it a fair bit. Among the old school 250cc bikes I've ridden, it is my favorite, but mostly because it has so much character. Its heavy but feels nimble, slow but peppy, it has reasonable top speed, nearly rotten suspension but is still capable. It would be a great town bike. I'd have loved to have one in college. Its the kind of bike you sell for something more capable and wish you had kept.
Plated XR400R
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #38
rystjohn OP
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Well after much deliberation, the decision was made to go with a local 2008 Yamaha XT250 with 8k miles on it. It was at a great price and is immaculate.

I've been riding it for a week or so now an love it. The muffler is a bit loud so I'll probably purchase and aftermarket one, bu other than that its serving its purpose extremely well: getting me to work for cheap and being able to park in tiny spots for free, small adventures around town until I build up confidence for longer ones, and it has handled great at 55mph which is the top speed I've hit so far, but it feels like it still had room to pick up a bit faster if I wanted.

Now it's time to invest in some panniers/luggage that I can use on another bike when/if I upgrade (I'm thinking Giant Loop's Coyote bag) and some small cheap performance tweaks.

Thank you everyone for your help!
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:24 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by rystjohn View Post

  • Honda CRF250L $4500 <--- This is the one I'm leaning towards most in the new
  • Yamaha XT250
  • Kawasaki KLX 250S
  • Suzuki DR200SE

  • Suzuki DR200SE with 3,200 miles $2500
  • 2005 Yamaha XT 225 with a hitch rack, straps, etc to haul the bike. 6800 miles $2800
  • 2009 Kawasaki Super Sherpa with 336 miles $3,400 <--- This is the one I'm leaning towards most of the used, as of today EDITED 23 April 18:27 EST

Thank you to everyone who reads this massive post and responds with their advice and opinions. You're helping cultivate a new rider who wants to become an educated and safe rider in the community.

I know somebody selling a late model XT225 with low miles. I think the asking price is $2K. Lemme check, and I'll get back to you. He is here in Charleston, but his folks live in Asheville.

EDIT: Just got in touch with them...holding off on selling. Succumbed to a fit of reason and decided to put the sale off a few months while he saves money for additional down payment on a Duc.
Txt msg with Dan right after he was paralyzed:
Me: Hey Dan-O. Just wanted to say howdy and Love ya!
Dan: Howdy and Love you too. Doin' good and feeling good.
Me: Give 'em hell, little Bro!
Dan: Roger that.

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