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Old 06-14-2013, 05:37 AM   #1
BigCanoe OP
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Best thumper, on the highway?

Hey!

I know the highway is NOT the native element for most thumpers, but I am shopping for one and I intend to use it on the highway on occasion.

Are the 250s able to compete with the 650s at all in terms of stability, comfort, and smoothness?

I am all over the map:

KLR650
DR650
WR250
G650 or F650
CRF250L
KLX250

I dont ride anything very technical off road, I just want to be able to enjoy fire roads, gravel while also being able to do a few hours on the highway to get there. Price is a factor as well, I have a budget of $5000 or so, plus trade for my DR200
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
TexBiker
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Hard to beat an F650 (Funduro or GS) for that type of riding. We have a pair of F650's and a pair of KL250 Super Sherpas. The 250's really can't compare to the comfort and stability of the bigger bikes on the highway.

With your budget, it wouldn't be hard to find one of each. We paid less than $3k for our Funduros and less than $2k for our Sherpas.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:55 AM   #3
NJ-Brett
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I hear the wr250 is very smooth and has the power to do the slab.
The DR650 is smooth and has the power also.

The wr has a 70 pound advantage over the DR and better suspension, but the dr has a boat load of torque and more power.

Buy clean used and move it on for no loss if you do not like it.
Buy whatever you can get used for a good price.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
Foot dragger
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People say a 250 has enough HP to cruise hiways,I cant imagine it.

Most any single made can always use more power for passing,pulling headwinds,hauling a load uphill. Any 250 would be revved to the melting point for these sorts of things,some guys like to run high revs all day,its not for me.

My DR650 does pretty well on the road,doesnt vibrate enough to bother me,gets 50 mpg no matter what I do to it,cheap to aquire one and is more then decent on gravel roads and dirt. Very simple bike to keep going.
80mph all day long is no problem,Ive done it more then a few times.

The BMW 650's are good Ive heard,at least for road use,they're heavy enough to be a twin but who's counting?

Some love the KLR's cause they have a windshield and huge seat stock,the ones Ive ridden shake and vibrate pretty good,the newer ones have that huge bloated bodywork thing on the front,more stuff to break and more weight.Pig wallow in the dirt.

Really most any twin is way better,passing power is a safety factor in my eyes,the ability to zip out of the way when needed is a good thing.

My DR will pull off passes at speed but its giving it all its got to do so.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
I hear the wr250 is very smooth and has the power to do the slab.
The DR650 is smooth and has the power also.

The wr has a 70 pound advantage over the DR and better suspension, but the dr has a boat load of torque and more power.

Buy clean used and move it on for no loss if you do not like it.
Buy whatever you can get used for a good price.
Im wondering how you get the 70 lb factor? WR250 is said to weigh a little over 300 dry by Yamaha,a DR650 runs around 335 dry.
One has a teeny piston pushing it,one has a pretty large piston thumping away,both heavy bikes.
I have no idea how the Asian factories can make a 250 weigh that much but they do it time and time again. From a 1972 300+lb XL250 to a 2013 250 dualsport from Japan of any brand,all over 300lbs.

They tend to claim about 50 or 60 lbs less but...............
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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I guess the definition of highway would be the key. If it's 2 lane state highways and farm to market you could get by with anything that would maintain 65 mph well. If your talking west Texas interstates it thins the herd a bit. KLR 650 or DR 650 if your on a budget, but they arent happy for long trips in big winds at 70 mph plus. I have found the stability in cross winds really suck on my KLR.

I (for me) would probably look for an F/G 650 if I had it to do over again. The ones I have followed didnt seem to be fighting the wind like me and they have good horsepower.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #7
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I am talking 70mph speed limit, 2 lanes per direction, interstate. To at least have that option is my plan. Not that it will be my first choice :)
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
perterra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
I am talking 70mph speed limit, 2 lanes per direction, interstate. To at least have that option is my plan. Not that it will be my first choice :)

If your not getting into hard off road I'd look for a BMW and not worry about it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
I am talking 70mph speed limit, 2 lanes per direction, interstate. To at least have that option is my plan. Not that it will be my first choice :)
Yeah, around here all the two and four lane highways are 75mph. Our Sherpas are running WFO at that speed. Not fun. Add a decent hill or headwind and you'll be lucky to hit 65mph...then you risk getting run over by traffic.

The Funduros can cruise all day long at 80mph without breaking a sweat. I did 1058 miles in 17 hours on one of ours to complete a SS1K and kept it between 75mph and 85mph on the interstate all day long. Never missed a beat. I know riders of DR and KLR that do the same sorts of riding, but the BMW is a bit more refined and I like the extra HP from the Rotax motor.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
NJ-Brett
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Wet weights I think are about 290 for the wr and 370 for the DR650.






I decided to weigh my three dual sports this morning.

Procedure:
Tip bike sideways onto side stand (as if oiling the chain).
Slide bathroom scales under front and rear tires (centered correctly, of course).
Stand bike upright.
Record front and rear tire weights.
All fully fueled.

Results:

2008 WR250R (stock)
F 132 lbs / R 158 lbs / total 290 lbs
Book claims 295 wet - An honest weight!

2006 KLX250S (stock)
F 136 lbs / R 161 lbs / Total 297 lbs
Specs say 262 dry
1.9 gal gas = about 15lbs
Maybe a gallon of oil and coolant should be about 8 lbs
Comes to 285 wet - a bit optimistic.

2005 DR650SE (Corbin seat, rear rack, aluminum bark busters)
F 167 lbs / R 199 lbs / Total 366 lbs
Specs say 324 dry
3.4 gal gas = about 25 lbs
10 lbs oil and coolant?
Comes to 359 without the accessories - Quite accurate.
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=433074

The WR has a 6 speed trans and makes very good power for a 250, with more on tap with some easy mods.

My 20 hp TU250 does fine on the interstate up to about 85 mph, and running 70 is no problem.
And both the WR and the TU have no problem running flat out cross country, they do not wear out or melt down, the TU seems to love that sort of stuff.

A lot of people let their ego's get in the way, and buy big heavy pigs with plenty of power that are really not much fun on the slab or in the dirt.
The power makes the slab easy and boring, and the weight sucks in the dirt.

Gee, you might have to think and plan, and learn how to get the most out of a smaller bike, its a lot easier to just twist the throttle and forget about all that skill stuff....

But everyone knows you need a big bike to go places:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...n/P1020964.jpg

I vote for a rocket 3.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
Im wondering how you get the 70 lb factor? WR250 is said to weigh a little over 300 dry by Yamaha,a DR650 runs around 335 dry.
One has a teeny piston pushing it,one has a pretty large piston thumping away,both heavy bikes.
I have no idea how the Asian factories can make a 250 weigh that much but they do it time and time again. From a 1972 300+lb XL250 to a 2013 250 dualsport from Japan of any brand,all over 300lbs.

They tend to claim about 50 or 60 lbs less but...............
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #11
gplassm
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Interestingly enough, I have found that the performance of the big bikes is *not* directly proportional to their displacement advantage. The smaller motors are simply "happier" at higher revs than their big bore brethren are.
My DR650 was no happier on the slab than our little Ninja 250 is (in fact, the little 250 certainly feels more comfortable performing that duty). And I suspect that the same hold true for the WR-R, or perhaps even the new CRF-L. Ergonomics does play a rather large part, when it comes to slabbing, though.
As mentioned above, the BMW 650's are probably the way to go, as I have heard that they run really smoothly - but you will have to put up with all of the nonsense that may or may not come along with owning a BMW.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:14 AM   #12
perterra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post



















http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=433074

The WR has a 6 speed trans and makes very good power for a 250, with more on tap with some easy mods.

My 20 hp TU250 does fine on the interstate up to about 85 mph, and running 70 is no problem.
And both the WR and the TU have no problem running flat out cross country, they do not wear out or melt down, the TU seems to love that sort of stuff.

A lot of people let their ego's get in the way, and buy big heavy pigs with plenty of power that are really not much fun on the slab or in the dirt.
The power makes the slab easy and boring, and the weight sucks in the dirt.

Gee, you might have to think and plan, and learn how to get the most out of a smaller bike, its a lot easier to just twist the throttle and forget about all that skill stuff....

But everyone knows you need a big bike to go places:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...n/P1020964.jpg

I vote for a rocket 3.

Just like some people let their egos get in the way and try to convince everybody that a 250 will do anything thats needed.

Thinking and planning doesnt work as well when you have 10 days off and the place you want to ride is 1,200 miles away. From my front door you can get to Moab on two lane roads, but you wont do it in 2 days on two lane roads. You cant make a blanket statement that a smaller bike will work just fine if you plan. You can do it, but it takes some of the fun out of it
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
My DR650 was no happier on the slab than our little Ninja 250 is (in fact, the little 250 certainly feels more comfortable performing that duty). And I suspect that the same hold true for the WR-R, or perhaps even the new CRF-L.
Well, to be fair, the Ninja is a parallel twin, not a thumper. That makes a rather large difference when it comes to revs and smoothness on the highway. My wife had a Ninja 250 and the redline was ~14k, IIRC. At 70mph, it was pulling about 8k on the tach. A DR650 redlines at 7800RPM and is pulling about 5k at 70mph with stock gearing. That's why the Ninja feels more comfortable on the slab. It's not working nearly as hard.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #14
kubiak
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i would choose the f650gs. great on the freeway and not bad offroad either. cruise 80 mph all day.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:19 AM   #15
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Husky TE 610. I have ridden most of the bikes on your list, the Husky just does it all better. Wish I still had mine.
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