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It would seem to be a common goal to get the bike as light as possible. I suppose power would be enhanced. I can tell the difference in power between a knobby and a trials tire on my pet bike and the weight is not that much different, but different. I suppose, lighter, relative to it's weight now would lift easier. I suppose a lighter front end would come up easier. And I suppose all these things would work exponentially. I can see how it would benefit... relative to the bike in it's stock form. However, I would like to hear more opinion, to ponder over, as to less weight being an advantage. It very well could be my present skill level, but I currently have a bike that weights 202lbs, and the "Flickability" word  that I have always heard associated with light bikes does not seem to apply. It would seem that the word flickability would only be applicable if both tires were off the ground. Otherwise, it's "steer ability". I would like to hear opinions of this from those more advanced than me and get opinions on whether light weight plays a role in handling. My 230 felt "planted", which I consider  a good thing. I can see the advantage of lighter weight in a trials like setting. But for normal trail riding and enduro with the exception of pushing the bike to help get up a hill, I wonder if it has a handling value???? I hope to stir some good conversation, LOL, because I am stuck at home, injured, can't ride, bored, tired of only eating and sleeping.... I don't have a gear for this

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I have a friend who has a lightened XR218 and a BBR/XR200, which is a bit lighter but I don't think it is under 200lbs. So I guess the two bikes are within about 10 lbs of each other and they do handle differently but since they both have mini bike forks and the same tires the cause isn't weight or traction. 

The BBR has a more planted feel than the XR218 but the steering is slower because it has more rake than the 218. The XR has 26 degrees of steering rake, and looking at the BBR beside other bikes  it seems to be at least 27.5 degrees.  Have said that he does get the BBR thru the tight woods and I like riding it.
I have a CRF250X (27.5 degrees of rake) that I often try to ride in the tight stuff and I find the weight and steering effort tiring, and when I go back to my XR I over correct the steering until I adjust to the the lighter and quicker steering.  I can ride both on gnarly ST that is so slow I'm always using the clutch, but I get thru. 

I run radial ply Competition Trials tires on the rear and they are larger than a knobby and change gearing about the equivalent of adding 1/2 of a counter shaft sprocket tooth, that is enough to feel as a lose of power. They also provide more traction which can also confuse what you feel.

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For me , less bike inertia has always been better....a lot better..

Inertia/momentum always resist a change in direction.... And less is much more manuverable in all instances I have encountered

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Yes I think "Flickability" refers to how easy the bike changes direction side to side/front to back. A lighter bike stops and accelerates faster. I have noticed a change for the better with every pound I have lost. Or worse when adding weight with brush guards. I have never weighed my bike but I will tonight just out of curiosity. It still makes me chuckle that after 35 years of riding and racing at the professional level this bike gives me the BIGGEST smiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure I can go much faster on a bigger/modurn bike but NO smiles then just Ricky Racer mode ;) P.S. you will never make a 230 to light hahaha I think 210lb would be a good target for this bike.

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2 minutes ago, ricky racer said:

Yes I think "Flickability" refers to how easy the bike changes direction side to side/front to back. A lighter bike stops and accelerates faster. I have noticed a change for the better with every pound I have lost. Or worse when adding weight with brush guards. I have never weighed my bike but I will tonight just out of curiosity. It still makes me chuckle that after 35 years of riding and racing at the professional level this bike gives me the BIGGEST smiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure I can go much faster on a bigger/modurn bike but NO smiles then just Ricky Racer mode ;) P.S. you will never make a 230 to light hahaha I think 210lb would be a good target for this bike.

That's every pound the bike and I have lost. I'm one of the biggest 230 riders I'm sure. Was 270lbs and I'm 6'1" haha 235 and dropping back to (race) weight!

Edited by ricky racer
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35 minutes ago, ricky racer said:

That's every pound the bike and I have lost. I'm one of the biggest 230 riders I'm sure. Was 270lbs and I'm 6'1" haha 235 and dropping back to (race) weight!

got me by a couple of pounds, but im only 5'9" so I have a lower center of gravity...! LOL.

funny but I think my XR650R and all its girth makes it so much plusher than my 230...!

but just don't drop it !!!

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3 hours ago, 1gr8bldr said:

But for normal trail riding and enduro with the exception of pushing the bike to help get up a hill, I wonder if it has a handling value???? 

That's a very good question that I've thought some about, too.

Granted, the suspension on my XR4 is significantly better than my 230, but the XR (at a solid 30 pounds heavier) will stay straight and hold a line on a bumpy trail significantly better than the 230.  It is a night and day difference.  I don't think I've ever ridden a bike that feels more "planted" than my 400.  Think of those long, baby-head rocky climbs on 9c that we've ridden.  The XR will go straight as an arrow up that stuff, while the 230 is getting bounced all over everywhere.  Some of that is surely the suspension, but as long as both tires are on the ground and the bike is moving, I can't help but think the added weight on the 400 actually helps and makes it easier to ride.  

I should add:  this additional weight doesn't seem to negatively affect the bikes ability to steer or turn as long as the wheels are on the ground.  It definitely corners better than the 230, albeit maybe not able to change directions quite as quickly (re: "flickable").  Rarely do I need to change directions quickly, so I don't consider that an issue.

That said, when having to pick the bike up off the ground, or push it up a hill / over a rock, or maneuver through an endurocross track when both tires aren't on the ground / the bike isn't moving, the negative effect of that additional weight is at least 2-fold over the advantages of what I mentioned above.

I suppose that it would depend on the nature of the terrain that someone rides to which way they prefer, but for the stuff that me and you typically ride, I'll take the reduced weight all day long.  I'd rather pick that 230 up from the side of mountain 5 times than pick up the XR once.  And considering how many times I come off the bike on a typical day (what was it, like 8 or 10 last time we rode? lol), that makes a pretty big difference.  :lol:

 

1 hour ago, mixxer said:

Inertia/momentum always resist a change in direction.... 

If you're trying to change direction, this is a good thing.  If you want to keep the line you're on, this can be a bad thing.

Edited by sneaky98gt

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36 minutes ago, sneaky98gt said:

 

 

If you're trying to change direction, this is a good thing.  If you want to keep the line you're on, this can be a bad thing.

Aye, there's the rub....

My rides always have a lot of direction changes....  

Personal experience for me has been that money well spent on compliant suspension is the biggest anti defection help...

Deceleration / acceleration , and turning have always been better with less weight... Markedly so.... 

So I'm more in favor of a few choice dollars spent on suspension... And as light as possible...

Personal preference

Edited by mixxer
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56 minutes ago, mixxer said:

So I'm more in favor of a few choice dollars spent on suspension... And as light as possible...

Overall, 100% agree.

Less weight also means less work the suspension has to do.  So it can afford to be more compliant, while still retaining the same bottoming resistance.

Edited by sneaky98gt
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LOL, I have been pondering what effect filling the wheels with water might have on hill climbing. I expect negative effects across the board, but hill climbing.... I expect it would be awesome

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8 hours ago, 1gr8bldr said:

LOL, I have been pondering what effect filling the wheels with water might have on hill climbing. I expect negative effects across the board, but hill climbing.... I expect it would be awesome

You go first.... 😉

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