Deciding on a new bike...

I was the proud owner of a Ninja 250 until about a week and a half ago when a buddy rode it into a guard rail at 45mph or so. My buddy is alive, the bike not so much, so now I am looking for a replacement.

When I was in the Army, I used to fly down tank trails on Fort Riley in my Focus or Jetta or whatever on my way to and from work, and I would really like a bike that is similarly competent on whatever terrain I throw it at.

So, I have $2200 available, and the most common dual sports in my price range are the KLX 250S, DRZ 400S, and KLR 650. Which should I pick? Does that choice change once I start upgrading components?

I am 6', 260 pounds and live north of Baltimore, MD if that helps.

Thanks!

I was the proud owner of a Ninja 250 until about a week and a half ago when a buddy rode it into a guard rail at 45mph or so. My buddy is alive, the bike not so much, so now I am looking for a replacement.

When I was in the Army, I used to fly down tank trails on Fort Riley in my Focus or Jetta or whatever on my way to and from work, and I would really like a bike that is similarly competent on whatever terrain I throw it at.

So, I have $2200 available, and the most common dual sports in my price range are the KLX 250S, DRZ 400S, and KLR 650. Which should I pick? Does that choice change once I start upgrading components?

I am 6', 260 pounds and live north of Baltimore, MD if that helps.

Thanks!

 

Hey buddy,  Welcome!

 

I too looked at all 3 of those bikes recently.  (and add in the CRF 250L as well...)

 

I do not really like a KLR or DR (650)--weighty and more "road oriented" for my tastes.  Plus I think they ugly...

And the 250's just seemed like everyone wanted more guts or complained about them getting blown around on the highway.  (at your size more bike may be better?!)

So I bought a DRZ400 S last winter.  I am very happy with that bike and have not even taken out my Ducati M620 this year.  It is so much fun, and really easy to handle.  With a few of the right "mods" the bike can really be livened up and feel pretty responsive.  A buddy of mine who owns a Husky Terra 650 recently rode my DRZ and commented how lively and nimble it felt.  (I did not tell him that I hated how his TR650 rode!)

 

I think if cash were not an issue I might have chosen a Yamaha WR....but they cost so much more and rarely come up on the used market.  Some KTM's are really cool too but again they are going to fetch a higher price tag.

 

I live just south of Baltimore, so hit me up when you get something!

 

Good luck!  (can't go wrong on DRZ)

250 is alittle small .. i'd say with the money you have though pick up the nicest looking one you can find whether a drz or 650 ..

Damn! If it's as good in person as in the pics and it's unmolested then that seems like a helluva deal... with some nice extras to boot.

Of those three I'd go for the DRZ! The 250 is probably going to lack grunt, and the 650 is heavier and poorer-handling than the DRZ.

 

If it's the 2001 S model, I believe they have the non-adjustable or less-adjustable old-style damping-rod forks. AFAIK they handle worse too. - I'd tend to avoid those. They can be replaced and may not cost that much to do so? But I'd look for 2002+ :)

 

The tank on that is a plus - but it seems it has quite low bars, and definitely a low seat. At 6' you may find your knees scrunched up a bit (I'm 5'11" and the stock peg-to-seat height ratio on the DRZ is just barely enough for me :) ) Bars and seat can be fixed though!

 

Before a certain year the cam chain tensioner was considered a weak point - that is a simple inexpensive fix though.

Edited by Anthon Berg

Ask yourself If you are going to ride mostly dirt or pavement. If mainly dirt and shorter back road traveling, get a DRZ. More nimble for trails especially if you find an E version as they are lighter and have more power than a stock S. Maybe you can find one that has been plated.

 

Longer road rides and/or just fire roads, I would suggest a DR 650. It will cruise at speed with less effort, but is not as capable for trails or rough fire roads. It's heavier than a DRZ but more stable in the wind and would carry a load better.

 

At your indicated 260 lbs. you will require stiffer springs as you will overwhelm the stock set up.

 

I am 6' @220lbs. and have 2 DRZ's and a DR 650. All 3 have heavier springs

You may not be happy long term with a 250 and I a KLR may not suit you for off road. Many claim to be happy with those though...

+1 on Pumptrack's comment.

 

Mainly road, or a lot of distance on easier off-road adventures, the KLR wins.

Mainly off-road, or shorter "hooliganism" type riding, the DRZ wins.

Thanks for the quick reply guys! Do you know of any problems with the 2001 DRZ 400S? I've got my eye on this one, just need to contact the buyer... http://baltimore.craigslist.org/mcy/5543366217.html

thats a good deal,  nice bike. 

I agree with kev and Cowpie. I had a 250. Bored it out to 351 and a whole bunch. You won't be happy with just a 250. Get a 400 or more

Ask yourself If you are going to ride mostly dirt or pavement.

 

Realistically, I have no idea where trails are around me, and I am more likely to go on the highway than a trail.  That being said, I want a bike that will take me anywhere I want to be, essentially a two-wheeled HMMWV.  That's what caught my attention with the KLR and DRZ; the US military uses the former and the Australian military uses the latter. 

highway isnt the greatest on a small bike, which dual sports generally are .. but not many sub-liter bikes are great on the actual highway where your competing with cars pushing 70+ either .. the drz will get you around though .. i like the one in the ad you listed, tires look right everything .. dont really like the looks of the tank but thats opinion, maybe he has the original to .. i'd get it ..

Gas tank has to go. The seller must be slow, who would post something for sale and not even list parts or any details about the bike or reason for sale. Kinda shady

Realistically, I have no idea where trails are around me, and I am more likely to go on the highway than a trail.  That being said, I want a bike that will take me anywhere I want to be, essentially a two-wheeled HMMWV.  That's what caught my attention with the KLR and DRZ; the US military uses the former and the Australian military uses the latter. 

It's hard to say why a country's military use a certain bike or how the mfg. wins the contract...

 

I was out riding last week and interacted with 3 of the local county sherrifs on KLR's. They had ridden around 45 highway mi. to get to where I saw them. Apparently they used to ride DRZ's. One was complaining on how much of a pig the KLR is off road.

 

Don't rush it if you are unsure. It seems there are always DRZ's for sale.

Unfortunately, that DRZ has already been sold :-(. The only remaining options for the time being are a KLX and a KLR:

http://york.craigslist.org/mcy/5550239507.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/mcy/5550171356.html

They are both about 400 out of my price range considering I want to use the rest of the insurance money to replace gear.

The KLR has a Cogent Moab Shock, which is cool. And I would probably end up putting too much money into the KLX in the long run (like a 351cc big bore) in order to bring it to equal footing with the competition.

Thoughts?

Edited by thewolf252

I was In the same boat except I wanted a dirt capable bike and the 250 shine but can't handle high way. So I wanted a wr which are rear Ktm ,husky and ,husaberg are expensive. So ended up with a Drz. I chase friends on Ktm that race them and are in the top portion in c class. But that's why I chase them. Go with the Drz. If your gonna be on road a lot gear it differently and you'll be good. I just switch my rear sprockets and I'm saving for an am kit. And look around. You'll find a ton of Drz just give it a little.

Don't pigeonhole yourself into buying a bike just because it's the only one left available.

Unfortunately, that DRZ has already been sold :-(. The only remaining options for the time being are a KLX and a KLR:

http://york.craigslist.org/mcy/5550239507.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/mcy/5550171356.html

They are both about 400 out of my price range considering I want to use the rest of the insurance money to replace gear.

The KLR has a Cogent Moab Shock, which is cool. And I would probably end up putting too much money into the KLX in the long run (like a 351cc big bore) in order to bring it to equal footing with the competition.

Thoughts?

 

 

Don't pigeonhole yourself into buying a bike just because it's the only one left available.

For sure,  CL is a waiting game,  you search daily,  ,  use different combinations of the words DRZ400,  when you see a good deal you gotta jump on it,  the DRZ is way different then the KLR and KLX,  i would not get those bikes,  the drz is right in the middle of them. 

2000 and 2001 DRZ can be up graded with later DRZ forks from fleabay.  Everything else that's significant are the same.

 

I take it the Ins Co has the EX250, otherwise you could part out the Ninja.  The racing kart crazies might want that engine.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now