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This is not the right bike... Reccomendations?

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Hey guys,

So first off, I love my CRF250L. It’s a 2018 I’ve had for about 6 months now. I have about 3k on the bike, and roughly half that mileage is single track. There in lies the issue.

 

The bike does not perform the way I want it to. It’s stock, with a set of Kenya Trakmastera. It’s not very good off road.  No fault of the bike, it’s not designed to do what I’m using it for. I know I can put $1500 into the suspension, $500 into the motor, and have a decent performer, but the problem I can’t overcome is how damn heavy the bike is. 320 lbs wet vs. 230 for the dirt bikes. 

 

I would just go buy a YZ250F or a CRF250R, but the seat height is too tall. I’m 5’9, but with a very short in seam. (Long torso) the 34.4” seat height of the CRF250L is why I bought it, and honestly about as tall as I can go. My feet literally dangle both sides sitting on a 38” seat height bike. 

 

Can i I lower a dirt bike that much? Or is there an enduro that is designed for short people?

 

thanks

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The CRF230F, is about the same seat height wise. The AJP PR3, is about that too.

I had a DRZ400S, I saved the seat as much as possible. Used a 2" lowering link. Got it to around 33.5, from 37 .

I'm now on a GPX TSE250R, removed shock preload, shaved the seat as much as possible. It's about 35.5" from 37. But squishes when sitting on it, down a bit more. It is more manageable than the DRZ. Weight is lower, as it's a 2 stroke. And it weighs less too.

So it's possible if you look for a lighter bike, a little taller than your CRL. It may not need it lowered as much as you'd think.

I had a hard time doing a Uie on the DRZ. I can do them without concern on the TSE.

The Beta XTrainer, and KTM Freeride have somewhat lower seat heights. Suspension can be internally lowered, I've seen it done up to 4". But to pricy for me!

 

 

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How about picking up the motox bike and fitting a much lower seat? 

It's quite a conundrum for you to be honest. The crf250l is never going to compete with those bikes but it does become competent in dirt with decent tyres, gearing, suspension, exhaust and ejk. A clutch upgrade helps a lot also. 

Why not try picking up 2nd hand stuff on eBay and splashing out on the decent suspension? 

It really is a great all rounder when you've done these mods. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Mine gets ridden in pretty gnarly single track and performs well for its weight. 

image1-3.jpeg

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For the single track use the OP mentioned,

a lowered motocross race bike is likely not better suited than his current 250L

 

-narrow/peaky power, rev happy engine, lack of bottom end torque, high maintenance

-close ratio gear box, tall 1st gear too tall for trail crawling, 5th too short for sustained fast cruising

-no provision to power a cooling fan

-limited fuel range

- no e-start / lights

- not street legal if the OP requires it to ride to/from trails

 

If the OP doesn't intend to dual-sport much (road), a lower/lighter Beta XTrainer 300 could be an option. (if road legal in his province)

Otherwise he may require appropriate (internal) lowering of a better suited bike, keeping in mind the weight penalty of

having a 'true' factory dual-sport (headlight, turn signal, horn, emissions stuff etc.) versus a converted enduro bike. (if laws allow)

I'm not a KTM fan but the 350 EXC-F is likely the most off-road capable street legal bike you'll find straight off the showroom floor (Canada)

Edited by mlatour
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- MSRP for the Yamaha WR250R = $6700 versus the Honda CRF250L= $5150 and the difference being $1550.

- WR250R weight = 295 versus the CRF250L = 318.

-WR250R seat height = 36.6 versus the CRF250L = 34.4

That being said, I have owned my 250L for over a year now and I love the bike. I have ridden the WR250R and I think that it is an all around better bike in terms of performance. IF you spend another $1550 on the 250L will it match the WR250R in performance?

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The Beta Xtrainer is a really nice bike, and shorter than most serious dirt bike. Try one. They can be lowered, as can any bike, but you lose ground clearance, and that matters when crossing logs, rocks, etc. They are great in tight woods. They are not so great on fast fireroads. I haven't ridden one out west, but I bet they suck on wide open BLM land.

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Similar situation for me with the WR250R and went to a 300 XCW instead. So much happier with the new bike. I only rode the WR on the road maybe 5 times. Had it in full dirt trim and all the performance mods, but still just too heavy and suspension needed $1000 worth of work to be good. Decided to put that money into a bike meant to do what I wanted to do instead. 

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 My brother had an l. Threw 1500$ of aftermarket on it. It was still heavy and under powered offroad. 

 

 Id take a MX bike over it any day if no highway use is required. My preferred pick would be a wide ratio 2 stroke. Second a WRf. Even a drz might be better?

 

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I forgot to address seat height. Shave the seat and lower. 

 An x trainer is lower than normal. The freeride comes up often. Set up stock they dont have a short seat height. 

 

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Lowering a new husqvarna is a bit easier then the ktm due to linkage.  Get a guts soft seat, that will also gain you an inch, plus huge comfort!.  

The other thing you really should think about is a getting a rekluse auto clutch, it really helps when touching the ground is difficult, especially on tough steep hill climbs.  Just remeber to shut the bike off it take it out of gear when picking it up or the bike can take off when lifting it by the throttle - perfect ghost rider situation!   It's good for a laugh!

 

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Well, if the OP does come back...

I was in the same boat, 2014 250L, full RT front, great Hyperpro rear shock, pipe, muffler, controller, much better Metzler tires and a bunch of "make it look like a dirt bike" goodies. All that made it a decent dual sport but not a great dirt bike. The suspension made it taller, maybe 1 1/2" more than stock. The mods reduced the weight, it's 299lb on my scales with a full tank of gas. But it still isn't great.

Some back ground. I'm 61, 62 in two weeks. Ex motocrosser/ endure/ desert racer as well as a little road racing time. I talked my friends into reliving their childhoods, one is late 40's the other also 61. They both bought DRZ400's and other than good tires and "make it look like dirt bike" bits are stock. But stock for a DRZ is much nicer than mod'ed LRP in the dirt. And the DRZ is lighter than a stock LRP. With mine at 299lb it is a little lighter than the DRZ but still 40% less HP and crap suspension even though it's light years better than stock was.

But I wanted more. I wanted the 450L... But damn, $12k out the door, insurance, and registration AND North Carolina property tax every year!!! No way that was going to happen. I started shopping. I found a lot of older MXer's. I found what appeared to be a good deal on a 08 CRF450R. If everything the previous owner said was true really was it would have been good. But once home and cleaned and disassembled to inspect things it really needs a lot of work and I'm quickly getting it back into shape. I won't go through what it's taking to get it there...

So what am I saying here? There are real dirt bikes that are cheap out there. They are primo dirt bikes and are cheap. They do require a lot of work and maintenance which neither the LRP or DRZ does. Even a R or X can be plated in many states. My 450R will end up being about $3200 and thats with new tires, rims, brake rotors and pads, all new plastic and stickers, and maintenance items. It's maybe another 1 1/2" taller than my 250L and I can tip toe both feet on the ground at 5'8". The biggies... it's a lot more than double the horse power, weighs 236lb with a full tank, 63lb LESS than the 250L, and has an awesome suspension. And no registration and taxes.

Edited by Evan D

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One thing to keep in mind is that the OP is located in Canada so depending on his requirements

(say if he wants a dual-sport / street legal but still dirt capable bike) will put a lot of limitations on what can be plated or not.

Edited by mlatour

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I'm back guys, long day at work.

 

I don't need to plate this bike. I'll keep the CRF for road riding. The issue is seat height. I can't make a 38" seat height (standard for dirt bikes work). I need something that is CRF seat height in a dirt bike.

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CRF230F can be a fun bike if you dump a little cash in the suspension and engine. In really tight nasty fun stuff, I love the CRF230F and it is light and nimble with oodles of grunt (comparatively speaking of course, doesn't hold a candle to the grunt of my 650R).

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7 hours ago, McCarthy said:

CRF230F is the opposite of what I need. 

Well then, I would find a bike opposite of a CRF230F and you will have what you need.

 

You ask for opinions, that is what you will get.

 

 

Edited by 1972RedNeck

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There are more than a few suggestions and I'm sure one of them will work for you. As noted the Beta's are low. So is a DRZ and it's easy to lower it further. A friend with one is about 5'6" and no inseam. He lowered his DRZ and it works. I still say a Honda 250X or R will work for you. Yes the published seat height is tall but it's not really that tall when you get on it since it has more suspension and it sags. Also the seats are narrower so the apparent tallness is less. There are choices out there. But unless you actually try to find one you never will. 

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I'm about the same height (5'8" ish) with a 30" inseam. My yz250 was difficult to kickstart without stopping in a rut and very difficult to dab while riding. I thought about a lowering link but the cheap side of me made me shave the seat first. I only took out about 2.5"of foam at the lowest point and it made a huge difference. I could have done more but wanted to leave a little padding for the odd time I do sit. Depending on the seat shape I would think this is a viable option for any bike in the 37-38" range to get you down to 34-35". I will say though that if your a mostly sit down rider it will not be comfortable. Personally I do my best to stand as much as possible so the comfort loss was worth the confidence gain.

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To the OP, I know your bike is heavy, and I went your route too, buying a dual sport and thinking, damn this thing is heavy. But here is the thing, learning on the your CRF250L will make you a better rider in the long run. I am speaking from experience, I have a XT250 and a KDX 220r which is a really good trail bike, but because I stuck with the XT250 and learned how to ride with that bike, I actually feel more confident on it because the power does feel scary, and if you learn how to use the weight of the bike it can actually be an advantage. I watch many YouTuber's who ride dirt bike and have ridden dirt and dual sports, and the really experienced guys show, it's the rider more so than the bike. So just start off with easier trails and build up your confidence and you will become more capable on your CRF250L. If you drop your bike too many times and you are dead tired, take a break and then head back home. Also make sure you have lots of water. A lighter bike may help, but if you can master your current bike, moving up to a better bike in the future will be a cake walk.

Edited by Joel Hunter
Spelling error.
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