Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

DO EVERYTHING (little) bike

Recommended Posts

I want the utmost contradiction. The smallest lightest dirtbike, that can handle highways all day long.

Here's what I want to do:

* Commute the 10-15 miles each way to work and back a few days a week (some highway, but 65 mph is plenty, not expecting much more than that)

* Do some backroad/'twisty' blasting

* Burn up gravel/dirt roads

* Do some trail/dirt road overnight trips (WV?)

* Start riding with my local Adventure dudes on their weekend dirt/gravel/trail rides

* In the long run, I'd like to be able to do some more distance stuff: the Trans-Lab, Baja, TAT, continental divide trail?, etc. I want a bike that can cross the country one way on dirt (TAT?) and cross the country back on backroads, with nothing more than a tire/oil change.

I was thinking a 400-450cc, but was informed, the DRZ being the exception, most everything in that cc range is made to race, and has something like 10 hour oil change frequency, and holds a quart or less of oil.

That is simply not going to work. I NEED! (REQUIRE! DEMAND!) road bike duration oil changes; 3000 miles at the most.

I was then told that a good 250 will do everything I need. I've been doing serious research, but can't decide if this is accurate or not.

I've more or less narrowed it down to two bikes;

2008+ Yamaha WR250R

2009+ Kawasaki KLX250S

I'm finding extreme contradictions in information (for both bikes);

Some say they will cruise all day long at 70. Others say "I had to go 60 for awhile" like it may have been disastrous on the engine.

Some say 3000 mile oil changes, others brag they change the oil every 500 miles.

Happy trails sells hard pannier kits for each of these, and there is a whole 250cc touring thread on AdvRider... so I begin to lean towards the idea that it's doable. Then I find different information that scares me away.

I figure I'll have an exhaust and rejet on the KLX more or less right away, to bring power up a bit. The long run may bring the 351 kit, but I need it to be capable beforehand. The Yamaha is up in power drastically to begin with, so performance mods will most likely wait.

Before you all say it... I don't want a 650 class bike. Too big, too heavy, not nearly enough fun in the dirt. (exceptions include the TE-610, and 690 Enduro, but their out of my price range)

On a separate note, there seems to be many more accessories for the WRR than the KLX. Anyone care to take a guess if the KLX accessory market may still be growing, or if it's simply that it's not as popular/capable/common as the WRR and will never get the good stuff (Parts in question are Wolfman luggage racks, and >4 gallon gas tank).

So what say you? Have I officially ousted every bike that has ever roamed the Earth with my drastic requests of a small lightweight adventure tourer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just by reading your post, I think a DRZ S is the best bet. it will cruise happily at 65 for days, is a very capable off road bike, still under 300 lbs and it is not as maintenance intense as the 250's/450's.

Its not perfect road bike, not the perfect trail bike but its going to do both very very well. with long cruise distance on an over-sized tank and great reliability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noted! Not sure why I'm not excited about the DRZ, reviews just seem to always say it's decent. You know? I've never read someone who just LOVES there drz400.

I'll start researching it though. There's a 7.4 gallon safari tank available for it and wolfman racks... so the aftermarket is definitely working in my favor.

I did find this KLX Touring thread that is inspiring hope as well: http://www.kawasakiforums.com/forum/klx-250s-71/long-distance-touring-klx250s-29622/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What your looking for doesn't exist without some sort of compromise.

I own and LOVE my drz,simply put its the best performing bike for its maintenance intervals.

Look into the Dr 350's and xr400's their just as reliable, have decent grunt, capable of highway speeds and are either than the drz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can guarantee you will not be happy with a 250 on the road or any long distance. Even the 400 is a little iffy for highway duty. I spent a lot of time on my buddies 400sm and it was an awesome bike!! tons of fun, great handling, light weight and plenty of power for 0-60 and would do 85mph MAX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my answer - too bad they don't make 'em any more... Plated XR400 with two separate wheelsets. Great on back roads, fire roads, no roads ... I ride it to work occasionally, with a mix of freeway and city streets. 50 mpg all day, 85 mph+ with the supermoto gearing. So much fun it shouldn't be legal. No e-start, but if you jet it right, it's never more than 3 kicks hot or cold.

XR400Dual-Sport.jpg

xr400sumolast.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sold my drz400 because it was too fat and slow, that bike bored the hell out of me on the road and off. I myself am looking at the KTM's, Husabergs, etc. they are higher maintenance but to get a lightweight power house that is also street legal narrows your options a bit. I have heard about people adding aftermarket oil coolers to the KTM's to increase oil life, not to 3000 miles though. Those 250's are going to be gutless and would probably be better suited to real technical trails, not baja or especially twisty blasting or in 250 terms, twisty roaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a DRZ400-S and uncork it with an aftermarket exhaust. Throw away the ridiculous CV carburetor and get a Keihin FCR from a modern 4 stroke dirtbike. $50-100 all day long on ebay and James Dean Jetting can sell you a kit for it. THEN you'll be able to gear it taller for highway and it'll actually have decent throttle response for woods riding. They make all the touring parts you need for this bike, large fuel tank, panniers and etc; plus there is actual off-road equipment for it as well in the form of radiator cages and beefy skidplates. A 440 bigbore kit can be fitted as well; having ridden one I can say they kick serious butt over the stock engine.

Personally, I think this is exactly the bike you are describing, my work is done here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

xr400 IMO super reliable air cooled engines. good power (had 400ex). good exhaust/FCR carb brings them up even more. if i got a DS i'd get an xr400.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Noted! Not sure why I'm not excited about the DRZ, reviews just seem to always say it's decent. You know? I've never read someone who just LOVES there drz400.

You must not have seen the DRZ section on this website. It is one of the most active sections on the forum, and the bike has quite a following.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a xr600 good on road and good of road with lots of aftermarket parts to make the bike even better. With a bit of work you could get a cheap xr600 and make it better than any of the new bikes the xr600 will go for days no problem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WR250R

KLX250S

DRZ400

I had a KLX 250S and it was fine for highway duty. It just wasn't "dirt bike" enough for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, if you're riding a motorcycle off-road a lot, even if you're not racing it or even riding at a race-like pace, I'd change the oil way before 3,000 miles.

A WR-250R only holds 1.3 quarts of oil, after all.

Plan on servicing the air filter very often, too, as this is required no matter what motorcycle you ride off-road, and be sure you learn how to do it correctly, as doing it wrong will wreck your engine.

A lot of riders like to point-out that the WR-250R Owner's Manual maintenance schedule chart lists a pretty lax time period between oil changes, air filter servicings, etc., but, I really believe that's based on street cruising.

It also does have written, after all, that these things need to be done more frequently if you ride in "wet or dusty conditions".

Wet and dusty conditions = off-road.

Other than that, I think a WR-250R would suit your requirements just fine as long as you'd be happy with the type and amount of power you get from a 250cc single.

I owned a WR-250R (and it's motard sister bike the WR-250X) and was often amazed at how easily they would keep 65-70 mph speeds.

For some guys trying a bike like this out for the first time, they become worried about the engine turning "all those RPM" for miles at a time.

Some even look to gear an already tall-geared bike even taller to try and calm their nerves.

These are the guys who are really looking for a bike with a bigger engine on the streets.

I also owned a Suzuki DR-Z400SM for a year.

I would rather have one of the Yamahas if I had to have one of those, again.

I feel they were built better and would actually feel more relaxed at highway speeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XR250R. I have rode mine across the state at 60-65mph the whole time. Like a goat offroad. Lightest reliable 250 out there. Stock tank holds 2.5g

Wr250r is reliable but overweight, klx is not very offroad worthy IMO.

If you manage to find a plated wr250f those bikes are great though

IMG_0204.JPG

IMG_0278.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×