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DeetsMan
12-15-2004, 10:36
Here is my dilemma, I am just getting into motorcycles. My plan is to get into the woods on back roads. I was told in order to ride on many of the forest service roads my bike must be street legal. I donít want to do much street riding and will be taking my family along. My wife and I have looked at Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. The only bike we have ridden was the Yamaha TW200 My wife likes this one the best. This bike seems questionable to me, I would like to see her on more of a dirt bike like the Kawasaki KLR250 but the Yamaha salesman told us if we will be mainly on dirt roads the Yamaha TW200 would be the best bike for her.
I also think that the KLR 250 would be the best dual sport bike for me. However 4 of my hard core dirt bike friends say in less than a year I wonít be happy with a 250 and that I will want more power and that a 400 should be the smallest bike I should consider. They all say the DRZ-400 would be the perfect bike for me. I tell them these 48 year old bones would do just fine on a 250, but its hard to argue against 100+ combined years of dirt bike experience. So I think why not get what I need the first time instead of going through three bikes before I find the one thatís right for me.
Very confused at this point.
Any opinions would appreciated. Does anyone know of a better site to address this question to?
Thanks

vafish
12-15-2004, 14:44
You got me by about 8 years in age.

When I lived in Austalia I had a Honda XR250 (dual sport over there). I've ridden the DRZ400, XR400, XR600 and KLR650's. A 250 was fine for me (but that DRZ400 was really nice).

DRZ400 was my favorite and what I would buy now if I were looking for a dual sport. The XR400 was a close second. The 650's were to big and heavy for serious dirt use.

As for the wife, she tried a TW200 and liked it, BUY IT FOR HER and thank the lord that she will ride with you. No she won't keep up with you blasting around on a DRZ400, but even if she had a DRZ400 she probably wouldn't keep up with you and she'd learn to hate the bike because you didn't get her what she wanted.

TheSniper
12-15-2004, 19:54
DRZ-400 would be perfect for you IMO,any 250 4-stroke would be too small,you'd eventually hate the lack of power. Better to have some to spare than not enough.

I personally like a bigger bike,and I'm not that big. 5'8" & 180lbs.;f ;c

TreeTrooper
12-16-2004, 07:14
I am riding a KDX250 2-stroke (1991). I can wheelie all over the place, reach ridiculous altitudes on jumps, etc. I am 6-3 and 210, and can scare the heck out of myself on a 250. Of course, it is a two-stroke :D

d0truji
12-16-2004, 09:42
I have an 02 KLR 250 and love it. Never had a lack of power. The design is old but proven. The bike is bullet proof reliable. Fun little bike. I would suggest it.

USMC79to83
12-16-2004, 12:52
I agree with Vafish... If your wife is comfortable on the Yamaha, then by all means, that's the one for her.

If you're in CA, then the dealer is correct. Many areas are closed to all but "Green Sticker" and street-legal OHV's. Having a license plate will make your life SOOOO MUCH easier, but insurance is a pain.

A good resource for you may be: http://www.thumpertalk.com

Have fun!

sublime
12-16-2004, 13:41
I just picked up this 2001 XR650R for $2800, added a Baja Designs dual sport kit and I'm ready to go. Yes the XR650 is too heavy for serious, tight trail riding, but I bought it mostly for dirt roads and more open areas. And on the road it has plenty of power. Seat height can be an issue with any of these bikes, but I'm 6'4" and totally comfortable with mine.

TheSniper
12-16-2004, 18:42
Originally posted by sublime
I just picked up this 2001 XR650R for $2800, added a Baja Designs dual sport kit and I'm ready to go. Yes the XR650 is too heavy for serious, tight trail riding, but I bought it mostly for dirt roads and more open areas. And on the road it has plenty of power. Seat height can be an issue with any of these bikes, but I'm 6'4" and totally comfortable with mine.

Nice BRP!;f ;c

Rinspeed
12-17-2004, 08:10
I have had a lot of bikes by all the major players. The XR/XL bikes are very hard to beat. My kid has an XR that is 15 years old. It will start in two or three kicks after sitting for months. I don't think we have ever even changed the plug in it. Here is a pic of one of my more fun toys.

Rinspeed

DeetsMan
12-17-2004, 09:59
A funny thing happened in the process of trying to figure out which bike to get.
I was debating whether to get a 250 or 400 and thought I would check my local paper for something used. The add read 2005 XR650L must sell $5000 firm. I loved the "must sell" part. I offered the guy $4500 and he took it. The bike has 378 miles on it. He even threw in a helmet, gloves, and a very nice Honda riding jacket. The best part is all the stuff fits me. So the 650 is WAY too much bike for me but it will fun learning to get used to it. So if you can't decide between 250 or 400 get the 650, makes sence to me. Every time I walk through the garage I just stand there, look at the bike, and smile. Merry Christmas To Me!
I have to agree with those that said if the wife likes the Yamaha TW200 just buy it. OK thatís easy. I will start to look for a used one, or if I canít find a good used one I will buy a new one.
Thanks for all the help.

sublime
12-17-2004, 14:58
Originally posted by DeetsMan
A funny thing happened in the process of trying to figure out which bike to get.
I was debating whether to get a 250 or 400 and thought I would check my local paper for something used. The add read 2005 XR650L must sell $5000 firm. I loved the "must sell" part. I offered the guy $4500 and he took it. The bike has 378 miles on it. He even threw in a helmet, gloves, and a very nice Honda riding jacket. The best part is all the stuff fits me. So the 650 is WAY too much bike for me but it will fun learning to get used to it. So if you can't decide between 250 or 400 get the 650, makes sence to me. Every time I walk through the garage I just stand there, look at the bike, and smile. Merry Christmas To Me!
I have to agree with those that said if the wife likes the Yamaha TW200 just buy it. OK thatís easy. I will start to look for a used one, or if I canít find a good used one I will buy a new one.
Thanks for all the help.

You done good. Just take it slow and easy. Remember any motorcycle only goes as fast as you want it to.

45acp4me
12-18-2004, 09:55
Originally posted by DeetsMan
A funny thing happened in the process of trying to figure out which bike to get.
I was debating whether to get a 250 or 400 and thought I would check my local paper for something used. The add read 2005 XR650L must sell $5000 firm. I loved the "must sell" part. I offered the guy $4500 and he took it. The bike has 378 miles on it. He even threw in a helmet, gloves, and a very nice Honda riding jacket. The best part is all the stuff fits me. So the 650 is WAY too much bike for me but it will fun learning to get used to it. So if you can't decide between 250 or 400 get the 650, makes sence to me. Every time I walk through the garage I just stand there, look at the bike, and smile. Merry Christmas To Me!
I have to agree with those that said if the wife likes the Yamaha TW200 just buy it. OK thatís easy. I will start to look for a used one, or if I canít find a good used one I will buy a new one.
Thanks for all the help.

Nice deal on the bike!

Have you and the wife taken any safety classes?

Regards,
Glen

DeetsMan
12-18-2004, 18:09
We have not taken a safety class yet but we are planning on taking one soon. The wife says we must, so we must.
I go for my first dirt ride tomorrow!
Can't wait.

Rexzilla
12-18-2004, 20:31
Man I must be old before my time. You are 48 and getting into dirt riding. I use to race motorcross back in the day...I am 49 now. I wince now at any serious dirt riding...me bones can't take it. I would have thought you would have gone "cruiser" by now....lol!

sublime
12-19-2004, 07:36
Originally posted by Rexzilla
Man I must be old before my time. You are 48 and getting into dirt riding. I use to race motorcross back in the day...I am 49 now. I wince now at any serious dirt riding...me bones can't take it. I would have thought you would have gone "cruiser" by now....lol!

No, your not old before your time. I'm 41 and even riding at speed down an east Texas logging road makes my tailbone hurt. I catch myself riding with one butt cheek on the seat and one off. ;f

Rexzilla
12-19-2004, 12:24
I wonder if Corbin makes a seat with a little inflatable ring in the middle for us..."age challenged" riders....lol!

DeetsMan
12-20-2004, 10:28
You guys must have worn yourselfs out when you were young!
These bones have lots of life left in them. No cruiser for this "kid".
Went on my first ride yesterday. About 16 miles on forest service roads. Well I guess I was just cruisin, but on the dirt. SOOOOOO much fun, I am hooked. Thanks for keeping this secret from me for all these years.
Well all my money must now be diverted from the new gun fund to the bike fund.
Donations are being accepted.

45acp4me
12-20-2004, 10:34
Originally posted by DeetsMan
You guys must have worn yourselfs out when you were young!
These bones have lots of life left in them. No cruiser for this "kid".
Went on my first ride yesterday. About 16 miles on forest service roads. Well I guess I was just cruisin, but on the dirt. SOOOOOO much fun, I am hooked. Thanks for keeping this secret from me for all these years.
Well all my money must now be diverted from the new gun fund to the bike fund.
Donations are being accepted.

How well are you setup for gear? Drop by www.newenough.com and get some additional protection, a helmet and gloves won't be enough if you dump it.

Glad you are having fun!
Glen

HKMark23
12-20-2004, 15:31
It sounds like you dont want something to do super-moto, but more just for crusing around the back woods.
My vote would be for a KLR-650, its widely considered to be the "Jeep" of the dual sport world. Cheap, easy to maintain, lots of parts & service, great balance of milage, power, weight, etc.

Also, no matter what you get, check out: www.advrider.com
Great dual sport site where my alter-ego lives!
You can get lots of good info there.

dk6
01-07-2005, 20:45
Very interesting. I to got the dirt bike bug last year at the age of 54. Having never owned a motorcycle before I was a little worried about buying something too hot for a rookie. I looked at a few bikes and bought the Yamaha TW 200. For what I want to do it is perfect. Riding on old logging roads and wide bike trails is all I want out of a bike at this time. I am having a carrier welded to the rear of my trailer allowing me to take it camping. If at some future date I decide to upgrade to a more powerful bike I will still keep the TW as a neat little camping toy.
BTW, the local Honda dealer here has a few new 2003 650 dual sports he is selling for $5000. I've looked at these but I don't think I'm ready to step up yet.

MatGlock
01-08-2005, 07:00
The TW200 is a great beginner bike. We use them in MSF classes. IMHO out of all the small displacement bikes we have it is the easiest one to learn on and navigate at slow speeds if the rider is tall enough. I have never taken one off road (outside of jumping curbs), but I imagine it would be great as long as you do not jump it too much or want to blast across the desert at 80. Fire roads, ect it will do great.

Buy the bike for her. They are also VERY reliable. The ones we have get abused on a regular basis and have had no problems outside of a rotted exaust and failed neutral indicator.

DaisyCutter
01-08-2005, 20:46
IMO, the bigger the bike the easier it is to ride.

Years ago, (about 14 years ago) I was 13yo and looked at a KLR250. By my estimation it was a real slow bike.

Getting a bike with more capability will make it easier to ride.

DeetsMan
01-11-2005, 09:30
Thanks for all the advice!
After a lot of shopping and looking for a used dual sport for the wife, we ended up buying her a new Yamaha XT 225.
I found a few used bikes but they seemed to be beat up too much and people wanted too much for them. Everybody was above Kelly Blue Book price and did not want to deal. Now we have a new bike with a one year warranty that should last my wife forever.
Hey dk6, I see you are in California, maybe our old rookie bones will bump into one another on some old logging roads.
Now it just has to stop raining long enough for a quick ride.

dk6
01-11-2005, 09:58
Deets, what part of the Gold Country do you live in?
I'm in the Visalia area. I plan to do some riding in the Shaver Lake area after the snow melts.

fnfalman
01-11-2005, 10:40
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers excellent riding courses. I'd highly suggest the MSF Basic Rider's Course for basic bike handling and basic street riding AND the Basic Dirtbiker's Course for basic dirtbiking techniques and skills.

After you get more experience, you can go back to the MSF for the Experienced Rider's Course.

That's money well spent right there!

DeetsMan
01-11-2005, 16:38
dk6
I live in Tuolumne County and we ride all over the foothills and mountains around highway 108.
My Grandfather had a cabin at Huntington Lake so I know that area well although its a bit far for a ride.
After the snow melts????????? Whens that September?


fnfalman
Yes my wife and I plan on taking the MSF Basic Rider's Course at our local J.C.
Did not know they have an experienced rider's course. We will take that too in time.

dk6
01-11-2005, 20:28
Deets, you may not be far off with the September date but I plan to give it heck when I can.

fnfalman
01-12-2005, 14:55
Experienced Rider's Course
http://www.msf-usa.org/index_new.cfm?pagename=RiderCourse%20Info&content=46838086-A0CC-53D5-64FEBDC6C7B0B42F&referer=MSF%20RiderCourses

MSF Dirtbike Course
http://www.dirtbikeschool.com/index_1.html

p5pilot
01-19-2005, 18:35
Originally posted by fnfalman
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers excellent riding courses. I'd highly suggest the MSF Basic Rider's Course for basic bike handling and basic street riding AND the Basic Dirtbiker's Course for basic dirtbiking techniques and skills.

After you get more experience, you can go back to the MSF for the Experienced Rider's Course.

That's money well spent right there!

I have to agree here. I rode dirt bikes for about 6-7 years, just a little on the street. So, when I got my dualsport, I took the MSF basic course, it helped a TON!!!!
I then had my 15 year old daughter take it...well, she passed, so I hadda buy her a bike!!! LOL LOL

Both dual sports, and Dad is armed and dangerous on board! ;)