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Old 06-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #16
TNC
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I gotta agree with most of the comments here about 250's not being the best candidate for the OP's list of needs/preferences. I'm a strong proponent of the WR250R and KLX250 for some applications, but they're wrung out way too much for any decent highway use. Since it appears that the OP won't be pursuing any rough off road, there's absolutely no reason to capitalize on the 250's lower weight at the expense of comfortable and more powerful highway cruising. I'd look at nothing less than a 650. In fact with just dirt roads listed as the roughest arena the OP will be riding in, I'd even look at a 650 Strom.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #17
bogie52
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which size ds?

I would say the ideal for both would be the KTM 690 endure from 08 up.I have one. It has lower weight and more power than any BM single and very minimal vibration. The price is probably too high but what a ride! To compare 250s with 650s, a really major difference is in the torque. You need to scream the 250 to make power that the larger engine just thumps thru in fact its probably wrong to call a 250 a thumper! The little Nip 250s feel like you could rev them forever so that is not a very big problem, but if hills or deep sand or goo is part of the ride more torque will be the charm. Highway stability will depend a lot on tires, their pressure, load mounting etc. but in general a longer wheelbase with more weight will be more straight line stable but less turnable on tight trails. Pick your priorities!
A fun way to build a bike could be to start with a BMW airhead twin from the '70s or '80s and make your own R80GS. There were about 25 years of parts interchangeability and plenty of aftermarket parts. The american
R80GS was about 400 lbs. although they claimed it was 380 . We got them with kick and e-start and so the extra 20 lbs over the basic euro model.
Some longer travel rear shocks might be the first step, an acerbis tank, high pipes, a half seat, strip off the headlight and ears-use off road plastics, lace up a 21 " front and you are on the way, Some have stretched the swing arm and driveshaft for more wheel travel but having owned both the r 80 and r100 gs-s I think the shorter wheelbase is better unless the conditions are very rough. The early forks had about 8' travel on street or the GS model. Modern forks could be a later upgrade,
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #18
kubiak
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one other important thing to me when choosing a bike is durability. like how long can the motor go before a rebuild. i know the f650gs can go and go and go. i heard some guys with a couple of hundred thousand miles and still running strong with no engine work.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:23 AM   #19
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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 :)
The WR does decent up to 70, but you're really ringing it's neck to do it. It will do 80 or a little more but above 70 you're at the mercy of headwind and hills.

I recently rode mine for the last hour home on slab loaded down with camping gear doing 70-80. I'm glad there wasn't much traffic becasue the bike simply doesn't have the power to ride like I'd normally ride in traffic at those speeds.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:26 AM   #20
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BMW 650s and 2nd gen KLR would be best
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:37 AM   #21
guavadude
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I have an '09 G650gs and its been perfect for this kind of riding. One major advantage is the gas tank under the seat giving it a very low COG. On farm roads it feels like it's on rails.
With a better windshield and winglets it's a quiet ride that can eat miles.
But I still avoid the major highways mostly because they aren't any fun.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #22
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Can you get a BMW in good shape for $5000.00?
The original poster had that amount, and was NOT going to be slabbing 1200 miles to places. 1 or 2 hours on the slab was quoted.

Can a WR250 do that? I think so, and lighter is always better in the dirt, and it hurts a lot less when it falls on you, or gets stuck in a mud hole.

A DR650 might be cheaper then the WR, more common to find used anyway.

If someone needs to hit the slab for an hour or two, do they really need a 690, or a GS to do that?

Reading the wr250 thread, people seem to be riding those bikes all over the place, and they seem very happy doing it.

And reading the face plant thread, the list of broken bones and hospital visits seems to be mostly people on big bikes (lots of BMW's).
I do not remember anyone on a WR250 being in the hospital...
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:52 PM   #23
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Yeah, a used one for that much...not a Dakar but an '09 G650 for sure.
He also mentioned smooth and comfortable on road and I think the tank under the seat and overall relative smoothness of the BMW makes the twisty roads just as much fun as the dirt.
It all depends on what you're doing. I don't do 1200 mile days. I take all day to ride 300 miles by staying on farm and gravel roads. Then I ride more gravel roads and two track for a few days in AR or similar and then work my way home to the concrete jungle.
Plus I don't know anyone who says they are only going to ride a few hours of pavement that at some point doesn't start riding to farther destinations.

The OP just needs to go ride a bunch of bikes and try to guess how he's going to use it. That's what I did and luckily the BMW fits exactly how I'm using it with some headroom left for both road and dirt.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
Can you get a BMW in good shape for $5000.00?
Absolutely. Lots of 5-10 year old F650's in great condition in that price range. You can pick up very nice Funduros (carbs, pre-GS) for half that amount. Having owned two F650GS models, I personally prefer the carb versions...built by Aprilia before BMW took the 650 in-house.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #25
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I agree with most of the above.

want to mention something the KLR stability at hiway speed though.... if yours is wobbly above 65 it can be several things... the forks arn't serviced correctly, the tires are worn or out of balance, the sag isn't set right, stem bearings are loose.... stuff like that, mine is fine at 70 (GPS) mph.... a bit viby by 80, but still stable. I run 65-70 all the time, no problem
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #26
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I'm happy with the performance of my dr650. It is effortless on the highway, and unaffected by headwinds and hills.

My previous bike was a crf230L, and it ran wide open at 70-75. Add an incline or a headwind, and I could expect a 15 mph drop from that top speed.

The CRF would give my around 80 mpg around town, and low 50s MPG on the highway.

The DR is low 50s MPG no matter what I do.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I agree with most of the above.

want to mention something the KLR stability at hiway speed though.... if yours is wobbly above 65 it can be several things... the forks arn't serviced correctly, the tires are worn or out of balance, the sag isn't set right, stem bearings are loose.... stuff like that, mine is fine at 70 (GPS) mph.... a bit viby by 80, but still stable. I run 65-70 all the time, no problem

With no wind, or head/tail wind my 06 is pretty stable. Add 30 mph quartering wind gust while riding at 75 mph and it will switch lanes if you arent on top of it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:22 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexBiker View Post
Absolutely. Lots of 5-10 year old F650's in great condition in that price range. You can pick up very nice Funduros (carbs, pre-GS) for half that amount. Having owned two F650GS models, I personally prefer the carb versions...built by Aprilia before BMW took the 650 in-house.

Mine:


Hers:

That black one is sweet
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #29
plugeye
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best?
the one strapped down in the pickup bed.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:53 PM   #30
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best?
the one strapped down in the pickup bed.

Fuck that
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