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Old 06-14-2013, 01:55 PM   #31
FlowBee
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My DR650 had no problem with 80 mph for hours across West Texas last fall, or making it from Tucson AZ to Columbus OH in 3 days. Any 650 thumper will do it fine. A windshield, aftermarket seat, and an iron butt helps.

That said, if I'm going to spend the entire trip on the slab I'll take a proper touring bike. Or the car...
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:19 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
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...
He's looking for a gravel and fire road bike, a heavy bike isnt so much of a liability. Not everyone holds the throttle wide open until they hit something or get spit off.

We all just read the part we wanna read, like somene else said, a Strom would probably work great.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:29 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
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.
A 250 Ninja is a streetbike,it follows that it might be better on the street.
Then its a twin that can rev really high all day and is meant to,but doesnt do well on even easy singletrack. And HAS to be revved lots to do most anything.

But then a DR650 has a wide ratio gearbox and doesnt need to turn high revs to go 75 down the hiway,so kinda like comparing things that have no relation to each other. My DR never blurs the mirrors at any speed,doesnt buzz or vibrate enough to be an issue.

But it doesnt go down the road like my 1250 Bandit.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
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
I have owned 2 from your list (DR650SE, WR250R), and ridden a 3rd one on the road (gravel & pave) for 4 consecutive days (KLX250SF supermoto version with sport bike tires). I have not ridden the BMW 650 single.

From what you wrote that you intend to do, I would get one of the 650s. With the right tires and gearing, they'll do all you ask. I think the DR is a great bike, and like the lower weight and simplicity. I would rank them DR, G650, KLR, but none is a lot better than the others unless you intend more off-road, where the DR will shine with less weight. If I could own only 1 bike, the DR would be a serious contender.

The 250 class, with the right gearing and tires can do it, but not as well as the bigger bikes, and nothing in your post mandates <300 lbs, so I'd pass on the 250s.

I like my WR250R very much, but it is geared lower than stock and has D/S semi knobby tires, and I have only been on multi-lane limited access roads with it a few times. Doable, but not my cup of tea.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #35
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It sounds like a Strom or Versys would handle your dirt duties just fine and be far better than a thumper on the highway. But if you really want a street friendly thumper within your budget of $5K + a DR200 ($6500?), I'd suggest:

Husky Strada or Terra (much like a G/F650 but smoother and a bit more powerful). People are finding these for around $6K OTD right now;
BMW X-Country - under $5K used

Pretty much ANY bike will handle fire roads, albeit some better than others. But I think for that type of mild offroad you describe, you will gain a lot more on-road performance than what you will lose offroad if you go with a bigger bike or even a twin.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
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
1. EFI dualspark BMW 650 thumper of some sort. Very smooth, sips gas, has some wind protection, and is powerful enough to cruise illegally fast. Potentially complex to repair/maintain.

2. Husky Rotax 650 of some sort. Smooth, powerful, and sips gas. Potentially complex to repair/maintain, and this bike may be short-lived.

3. DR650SE. Smooth, torquey, has good aftermarket, simple, and inexpensive. This bike can be ridden like a chunky dirtbike offroad, and it doesn't seem to mind higher revs on the slb..
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:19 AM   #37
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_l View Post
I have not ridden the BMW 650 single.

I would rank them DR, G650, KLR, but none is a lot better than the others unless you intend more off-road, where the DR will shine with less weight.

.
Seriously, how can you rank a bike you haven't riden?

I've spent some time on all those bikes and honestly the BMW is a MUCH MUCH different bike than the DR or the KLR. WAY more refined on the road and just as capable off road, if not more in stock form.


We have two KLR650s that we have put thousands of touring and trail miles on, my wife also has an F650 Dakar. Every time I've ridden it I'm surprised how much better of a bike it is over the KLRs. So much smoother than any DR or KLR I've ever been on. Suspension is more refined, COG is lower. Just in a different class. There is a reason people like these bikes.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:56 AM   #38
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Go for the Beemer. I had the 650GS for quite a while and now my only vehicle is a KLX250-fun little bike but a highway machine it is not.
I paid $4k for a 5 year old GS with 12k miles on it for reference.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:10 AM   #39
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I own two thumper dual sports and ride them on the highway. I keep my Yamaha WR250R in Phoenix and use it to explore the west. That means hours and hours super slabbing in between some of the greatest dirt paths I've ever been on. I have a large tank, small windscreen, luggage, heated gear for the long trail. Plus I ride it from sea level to 12k foot passes in the Rockies.

The bike is silky smooth, cruises all day at 70mph, tops out at about 90mph, six speed gearbox, fuel injection and has 25k service interval. My only complaint is that it is short for a dual sport.

When I run out of throttle stop on grades, I downshift to 5th and she come right back to 70mph. If I run out of throttle in 5th and she starts to fall below 70mph, I downshift to 4th and she comes right back. The motor is a revver and is merely a slice off an R1 sportbike.

Off road, while heavy compared to a real dirtbike, she is still remarkably capable. I'm 64 and can roll rock gardens with her no problem.



Meanwhile, here in Boston I keep a KTM 690R. It is equipped almost exactly like the little Yamaha. It's about the same weight but makes almost 70hp instead of 25. It's probably as fast as my old KTM 950 up to about 90mph. Pretty smooth too after she's broken in. Most comfortable cruising is low 70's, but 80mph is not bad either.



The only thing bad about the 690 is that it is very expensive. I'm into mine with all the gear over $13k.

I vote the Yamaha WR250R is the best fit for the OP. 400 pound singles are good on the highway, but pretty hard to pick up out of the mud when you are solo in the wilderness.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:58 AM   #40
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Pantah, where did the "pick the bike up out of the mud" scenario come from for the OP? This fellow is going to be on dirt roads as his biggest challenge. As I said in my earlier post about the WRR and KLX...and I own a modded KLX...they are great bikes...just not the best tool for this OP's needs and preferences. I will admit to seeing some dirt roads that turned into the Blackwater 100 when heavy rain hit, but that's totally avoidable, and that scenario sucks even on a 250 pound competition bike.

Oh...and I once saw a movie about an old man who rode a lawn tractor across 2 or 3 states one time. Yeah...it got the job done, but why suffer if you don't have to?
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:11 AM   #41
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Well, today was a productive day! I found a bike I was really interested in yesterday. I exchanged email with the dealership, they had it on consignment. I got up early and drove about an hour to check it out.

Its no garage queen, but its got character! I took it for a long test drive on a variety of roads, the torque was really fun, and I loved the sound. I was able to negotiate what I think was a good price. It came with full service records from all three of its previous owners, as well as all the original books, bill of sale, etc. Its home now, I need to really clean it up, but here is a picture from the dealer website for now :)

Thanks guys, your advice as always, is priceless!

1997 BMW F650 Funduro w/ 27k miles, stock except for a BMW top case.



If you know anyone interested in a sweet DR200, let me know, I am going to be listing it for sale on the board as soon as I can get some pictures.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #42
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That seems like a great price and is a bike that will certainly do what you're looking for. Congratulations!
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #43
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Nice! That'll get the job done for you.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #44
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Great choice! Now sign up at f650.com to learn everything you ever need to know about these bikes.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perterra View Post
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
My 250 does great on both dirt & road. I've done two 500+ mile days, one of which included 250 miles on the freeway (Panguitch to SLC 75 the whole way). That trip was part of a 1,600 mile one that I also road hundreds of dirt miles in southern Utah and northern Arizona. I bought my bike in Palm Springs at the end of February and rode it home in 2 days - 850 miles.

None of these facts have anything to do with my ego, not even sure what that's all about. Last year I was riding a Tiger 800XC, and while it was amazing on the highway its a pig @ 500 pounds. I'm having a lot more fun on the WR, and have done many things on the WR I would be scared to death on the Tiger. The WR is by FAR the best true dual-sport in my opinion.

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