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womans dualsports

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I am a new rider as of last year. I have an '05 hond crf230f that I put a street kit on so I could ride it to the trails.

The street side - is less then desirable. I would like something big enough to get on the highway safely - doesn't have to be a speed demon - my 230 wouldn't be safe.

I like the bike for the trails because it seems to be a good size for me and I can pick it up. I feel comfotable on it.

I am 5'7" 140 lbs and 34" inseam.

I am only interested in trails no motocross for me.

I am curious what other women are riding for dualsports? Can you pick them up when you drop them?

Maybe I just need to learn technique for picking up a heavier bike?

I have ridden a friends DR650 - I liked it but didn't ask him if he minded if I drop it to see if I could pick it up....

Thanks for your thoughts

Terry

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I have a TTR 250. It's not something I'd ride on the expressway, but I have ridden the 55mph roads with no real problems (though extended speeds of 55 feel like you're about to kill the poor beast... but it CAN do it... have ridden long stretches in a pinch). I have it lowered. I also have a DR650. It is my road/back road/two track bike. I do NOT wish to take it out on the trail because it is WAY heavier than my TTR. Yamaha has one heck of a nice XT250... low seat height and road ready out of the box. It's the same motor as my TTR... possibly taller gearing for higher road speeds (not sure).

You can make a lot of bikes dual purpose by doing what you did w/your CRF230F... so you are not limited at all by what is already dual purpose. I just mentioned the XT because it is a pretty nice looking bike, and has a lower seat height (which, as a beginner rider, you will surely appreciate). But, most every bike out there can also be lowered.

I guess the questions we need to ask you are if you like the type of power your 230 has (do you want a lot more motor or do you just want to be able to go highway speeds)... do you want to get fast on the trails (do you need the better suspension)?

You can save a lot of dough if you want basically what you have now with more motor for traveling road speeds. If you want to conquer hard trails and become a lot better and faster rider on those trails, you'll want to plan to spend a bit more money for the better motor (water cooled) and suspension (USD forks, etc.).

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Thanks YamaMama

I guess the questions we need to ask you are if you like the type of power your 230 has (do you want a lot more motor or do you just want to be able to go highway speeds)... do you want to get fast on the trails (do you need the better suspension)?

I like my bike on the trails speed - power for now it suits me.

I would like to think I will get better/faster - hope so.

I was told I could change the gearing? to make it better for the road but then I would lose on the trail - no - don't want that.

Want to be able to ride safely on the highway and ride on the trails too.

Terry

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OK... sounds like you need to get out to dealerships and look at some bikes, sit on some bikes... lean them over and feel the weight (you don't need to drop them to gage if you'll be able to pick it up).

A couple more thoughts... if you want to focus on trail riding and you are just using the street legal part to get to the trail, you may really want to consider the water cooled 250's. Yamaha has the WR, Honda the CRF250X, etc. It's all in how much you want to spend (there are some mighty fancy 250's out there). A 250 would be fine... even my air cooled can get me down the highway.

Are you really truly thinking about actual dual sport riding? Getting a GPS, and cruising along some back roads, two tracks and the occasional trail is really a lot of fun. You would be amazed at how much riding is out there for a dual sport rider who doesn't mind a bit of pavement now and again to get to the good stuff. If you aren't looking to become strictly a trail rider who is merely using road to get to the trail, the bikes like an XT250 would be great. That type of riding tends to have you sitting down a whole lot more. The wide, cushy seats are great for that. Since trail is few and far between, the lack of suspension really isn't an issue.

I know, I have probably given you even more to think about here. :) But I know it helps to have everything on the table that may crop up to think about. Putting all the factors in the equation will get you on the road to the right bike. I haven't found THE perfect bike... that's why I have four. lol I really don't need my street bike since I got the DR650... but hubby says NO to selling it (and I don't really want to get rid of it anyway). :D

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I'm a new rider as of this year. My hub got me a TTR125L. He figured it would be a great learner bike that I could get the feet down fast and pick it up. He was right I can do both. I have had to pick it up a few times. I'm around 5'8" and a buck 30. My legs are long. I want a bigger bike. We put a riser on, maybe and inch. It helped, but I still can't stand like I want. We ride mountain trails. I have no interest in the track either. Next year I'm looking into a TTR230 or the CRF230. I don't need a lot of power for the trails we ride. Even the 125 is fine, I just want to stand on the steep up hills and squat/stand on the loose, rockie down hills. I don't know of any techniques for lifting a heavy bike other than "HONEY.....HELP!!!!!" I haven't had my bike on the pavement, so I don't know if I want a faster more powerful bike. I'm happy for now and just consentrating on my line pickin skills. Good luck, seems to me there are so many options for the perfect bike set up.

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Thanks again YamaMama - good thoughts.

I like the WR250R - concerns - seat height, weight, more power than I can handle.

I like the KLX250 - concerns - same as above plus can it handle the highway.

My office is 75 miles away - one way. I drive my yamaha FZ6 - rain or shine - even damn cold.

I only have to go in one day a week but it would be nice to be able to drive a dualsport to work - and on an occasional long lunch - maybe some trails! or on the ride home for sure!

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I ride a dual sport 03 CRF230F... I can hit about 70mph on the highway. I wish it were faster but whatever, I really don't do alot of highway riding because keeping the throttle on full blast for extended periods of time isn't good for the engine, plus its not good for the tires... its great for riding on regular roads, and its a great machine on the trails... maybe eventually I will get a bigger bike, but I really like my 230, bigger means faster and more dangerous, and I need more riding time before I advance to bigger/faster.

I am the same build as you... Yes, I can pick up my bike when I drop it... although, I work out alot, so its probably easier for me than most people who don't lift weights or do cardio. When I first got the bike, I didn't lift weights and it was tough picking up my bike when it dropped, but now, its really easy... guys look at me and are like, wait... you don't need help picking up your bike... hahahaha...

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Thanks again YamaMama - good thoughts.

I like the WR250R - concerns - seat height, weight, more power than I can handle.

I like the KLX250 - concerns - same as above plus can it handle the highway.

My office is 75 miles away - one way. I drive my yamaha FZ6 - rain or shine - even damn cold.

I only have to go in one day a week but it would be nice to be able to drive a dualsport to work - and on an occasional long lunch - maybe some trails! or on the ride home for sure!

Your butt won't be thanking you at all for 75 road miles on those seats! With the types of riding you are talking about, you are going to be compromising somewhere. Also, are you talking highway as in 4 lanes going 70mph or a two lane 55mph? Just curious as that changes things quite a bit. Especially with a 75 mile commute! I don't think you are going to find something that is truly trail worthy that you will be at all comfortable riding to work. Just my .02 on that!

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The problem with any 250 is that it will be anemic on the highway. You really need to be looking at a 400 – 450 if you want to comfortably do 65 – 75. If you also want a bike that you can trail ride on and not be overwhelmed by the weight if you get stuck in a tight area, that may be another story and therein lies the conundrum for some of us girls. Although, the more high end 400’s 450’s don’t weigh much more, if any more than some of the 250’s. I have a plated TE250 and I can run 50 – 55mph on it without ringing it’s neck. I could put taller gearing on it, but then I’m compromised for trail riding if I need to use a low gear, as first on this bike is pretty tall as it is and going through more technical slower areas I wouldn’t want it any higher than it is. I’ve ridden my husband’s DRZ400E which is also plated, and I do okay with it on the trails, but it’s a slower and more methodical pace that I must keep, because it’s top heavy.

If you’re doing easy trail riding, with your height, I would think you could handle a 400 – 450 with no problem. KTM is now offering the 400 again and it’s a nice mellow bike, or at least it was. How hard is it to get a dirt bike plated in your state? If it’s a hassle, KTM and Husqvarna make street legal bikes that come with a title. There maybe others, but those are the only two I’m aware of.

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I ride a dual sport 03 CRF230F... I can hit about 70mph on the highway. I wish it were faster but whatever, I really don't do alot of highway riding because keeping the throttle on full blast for extended periods of time isn't good for the engine, plus its not good for the tires... its great for riding on regular roads, and its a great machine on the trails... maybe eventually I will get a bigger bike, but I really like my 230, bigger means faster and more dangerous, and I need more riding time before I advance to bigger/faster.

I am the same build as you... Yes, I can pick up my bike when I drop it... although, I work out alot, so its probably easier for me than most people who don't lift weights or do cardio. When I first got the bike, I didn't lift weights and it was tough picking up my bike when it dropped, but now, its really easy... guys look at me and are like, wait... you don't need help picking up your bike... hahahaha...

thanks tangerinesarah2008

Curious - do you have a lot of vibration in the handle bars?

Just can't picture doing my commute on the 230.

I can pick the 230 up myself - that's one of the reasons why I like it - I ride alone so I have to.

Thanks for everyones thoughts,

Terry

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Thanks again YamaMama - good thoughts.

I like the WR250R - concerns - seat height, weight, more power than I can handle.

I like the KLX250 - concerns - same as above plus can it handle the highway.

My office is 75 miles away - one way. I drive my yamaha FZ6 - rain or shine - even damn cold.

I only have to go in one day a week but it would be nice to be able to drive a dualsport to work - and on an occasional long lunch - maybe some trails! or on the ride home for sure!

The WR250f is corked and quite anemic off the showroom floor...

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maybe you could get a 250 something(wr, wr...:)) and dual sport it. I plan on dsing my wr someday--all those gravel roads in Alaska are calling to me, and the Al-Can highway...(did I call it the right thing?) some girl put pix of her trip here and I was hoping to see some more and hear more story and I'm sorry I didn't write down who you were so I could find it...

I would consider what percentage of trail/road you would be riding, and decide between dual sporting a trail bike(if riding more trail), or buying a dual sport(more road).

the new wr250r looks way cool, if I had extra money I'd get one!

Flying Ant dual sported her ktm250, maybe she can comment how she likes riding it on the road?

(ps, I would ride my own bike on back roads, gravel roads, middle of nowhere roads, and stay off the big hyper highways)

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My ktm250 is still basically a trail bike with turn signals, it's not very comfy on the highway for a long time - I'd never consider going 75 street miles on it....wear out the knobbies in no time.

A true dual sport is a compromise, and imo will get you by on either mild trails or smaller roads, but won't be great on either. When we did the Black Dog Dual Sport ride here in Oregon, they had different options for the different bikes, and the bigger road worthy (KLMs, BMWs, KTM Adventures) were having troubles on even the milder trails, they do dirt roads as long as they're not slimy.

I wish there WERE a bike that'd do it all!

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Your butt won't be thanking you at all for 75 road miles on those seats!

I'll tough it out.

With the types of riding you are talking about, you are going to be compromising somewhere. Also, are you talking highway as in 4 lanes going 70mph or a two lane 55mph? Just curious as that changes things quite a bit. Especially with a 75 mile commute! I don't think you are going to find something that is truly trail worthy that you will be at all comfortable riding to work. Just my .02 on that!

yup 4 lane 65-70 mph

wasn't sure that's why I am asking.... maybe what I have is as good as it gets for me

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The WR250f is corked and quite anemic off the showroom floor...

I haven't ridden the WR, but it can't be worse than the KLX. Fortunately the KLX responds well to being uncorked. In stock form the power delivery is pathetic.

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thanks tangerinesarah2008

Curious - do you have a lot of vibration in the handle bars?

Just can't picture doing my commute on the 230.

I can pick the 230 up myself - that's one of the reasons why I like it - I ride alone so I have to.

Thanks for everyones thoughts,

Terry

Nope, no vibration in the handle bars... she rides like a dream...

I guess it depends on your commute... mine is 5-10 minutes... I wouldn't want to ride on a bike for over an hour. We usually ride into the mtns from my house, takes about 20 minutes, but its fun... I don't use my bike to commute. Maine hey, got to take in as much sun and summer as you can, winters are very long there... I am originally from Connecticut... moved to California over 3 years ago because I love the sun, summer, and sunny skies. I didn't own a dirt bike or dual sport while I lived in New England cause people drive really dangerous out there... and long winters... here in California, we ride in the snow on the mtns, its really fun! and its still in the 60s outside during the winter =) ride alone?! oh man... that stinks... I am sure there are other Maine people on thumpertalk... well, if I lived on the east coast, I would ride with ya... I love finding new riding friends...

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ill chime in as a wr250x owner. i have done the yamaha lowering to mine as i only have a 28" inseam and i have the yamalink on order and weigh 235lb. in stock form i could barely tippy-toe it at the stoplights, with the lowering avail stock i am down on the front balls of my feet. i commute 35km 1 way of mixed highway and city stop and go. hwy i usually travel at 60mph and the bike still has lots left in stock form. i have seen as high as 125kph but i am still breaking mine in so there have been no extended wot runs. seat is comfortable if you slide back on it on the highway and the narrow part is great for in town maneuvering. i find the power peaky compared to my xt350 but it pulls just as strong stock for stock. the wrx loves the rpms so my highway style suits it as i am always in the upper rpms. the only downfall i see so far with this bike is the fuel tank could be a little larger as the fuel light came on at 120km for me on the 1st tank of gas, going to fill it up for the 3rd time tomorrow but it only takes $8.00 of 91 octane to fill it and the fuel milage is compareable to the xt225 i had so all is good.

basically a lot of ppl will tell you for your commute you should be looking at the 350-450cc bikes. any bike will do the commute but they all have their flaws. go sit on a bunch of them or test ride them if you can and pick the one that suits you. i would suggest the wrr/x or a noncurrent xt225 as they are both 6 speeds with a good top end speed and a low enough 1st gear to play in the woods as needed. buy the bike you like not the one you are pressured into and you will have more fun when you take it out.

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hvec,

As others have stated, it is technique. I believe the current issue of Hot Pipes mag has a feature on women picking up heavier bikes.

The Yamaha WR250R and WR250X are great dualsport bikes. The R is a bit more dirt oriented and the X is motard with smaller wheels and slick tires. Both are super tall and both are about 290 pounds full of gas, give or take.

And like maim posted, there are pros and cons to each. Larger cc bikes will obviously have more oomph but they'll be heavy and a bit more difficult to handle in tight traffic. Smaller cc bikes are the opposite. I'm overstating the obvious, but with time you'll find one that fits your commute and riding ability.

I'd also throw the DRZ400 into the mix. A great dualsport with a lot of motor, but it's tall and heavier, too. Seems to be a theme for dualsports, huh. :)

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maim,

You should have received an email or two from the postal service and us, but in case you didn't, your package left shortly after placing the order on August 12 for Canada via global priority mail.

ill chime in as a wr250x owner. i have done the yamaha lowering to mine as i only have a 28" inseam and i have the yamalink on order and weigh 235lb. in stock form i could barely tippy-toe it at the stoplights, with the lowering avail stock i am down on the front balls of my feet. i commute 35km 1 way of mixed highway and city stop and go. hwy i usually travel at 60mph and the bike still has lots left in stock form. i have seen as high as 125kph but i am still breaking mine in so there have been no extended wot runs. seat is comfortable if you slide back on it on the highway and the narrow part is great for in town maneuvering. i find the power peaky compared to my xt350 but it pulls just as strong stock for stock. the wrx loves the rpms so my highway style suits it as i am always in the upper rpms. the only downfall i see so far with this bike is the fuel tank could be a little larger as the fuel light came on at 120km for me on the 1st tank of gas, going to fill it up for the 3rd time tomorrow but it only takes $8.00 of 91 octane to fill it and the fuel milage is compareable to the xt225 i had so all is good.

basically a lot of ppl will tell you for your commute you should be looking at the 350-450cc bikes. any bike will do the commute but they all have their flaws. go sit on a bunch of them or test ride them if you can and pick the one that suits you. i would suggest the wrr/x or a noncurrent xt225 as they are both 6 speeds with a good top end speed and a low enough 1st gear to play in the woods as needed. buy the bike you like not the one you are pressured into and you will have more fun when you take it out.

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Thanks so much - all of you - for your thoughts, opinions, and experince - greatly appreciated! It appears I DO have options!

Terry

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