I should have clarified - second bike - Tw isn't being sold, I love it!
So I have a 2015 Tdub, and love it, but I've been looking at getting a slightly larger more highway capable (120km/h) bike, I've been looking at the Honda cb500x, or the dr650. Buying new, or used model less than 5yrs old.
Here's the criteria - my Tdub is set up for street use, the new bike will also be mostly street, but needs to be more off-road capable than the Tw - my offloading consists of dirt farm/bush trails (can be muddy sometimes) and long stretches of loose gravel roads. My Tw does not like either of these situations as much since I set it up with street tires, but I enjoy it on the street and won't be switching it back - I'm okay with that.
What I'm wondering is, have any of you had experience with either/both of these bikes? I know both will hold the speed I want quite well, and I also know both are decent on fuel - the cb500x is rated much higher tho - the same as the Tw from what I understand. What I'm mainly wondering is if the cb in stock form can handle the off-road I described - I realise I may need DS tires but that's ok. If not, is the CB that much better on the highway that I would be disappointed with a Dr for highway use?
Also any ideas on longevity of the Dr and CB before needing an engine rebuild? (roughly obviously - as a mechanic I realise driving and maintenance habits greatly affect this)....... On that note what is Tw life expectancy as well?
I should have clarified - second bike - Tw isn't being sold, I love it!
Hmm, the stock rear TW tire with an improved front tire like the Shinko 241 are great street tires that are also great on gravel and in most off-road situations. I understand the desire for a second bike that is more highway capable. I've set up my TW as a trail bike with 13-54 gearing, so nothing more than short highway runs to get to dirt or gravel for it. I also gave it a 2013 Honda CB500F as a stablemate. When I got it, its purpose was street use. Are you familiar with Rally-Raid Products Ltd? They engineered products to improve the CB500X to make it a legit middle-weight ADV bike. Two levels of kits are offered. Level 1, keeps the stock suspension travel, approx. seat height, and 17" wheels. Level 2 increased the ground clearance, suspension travel and seat height 2", allowing for a larger 19" wheel to be put on the front. Both levels use suspension components from Tractive. I'll add some informative videos below.
Anyway, I love the Honda 500 series. and I've often advised that it pairs wonderfully with the TW. If you can find a used X with a Rally Raid kit already fitted, that would be ideal. Many love the DR too, I'm sure, but I prefer the new tech and the twin over the old tech vibey single.
Something that I've had in the works for a long time has been transforming my bike, giving it some ADV capabilities, and the RR Level 1 kit also fits the 500F. I'm finally finished and ready for the Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree in Oregon next week. Here is my "Halfrica Twin" CB500F fitted with the Rally Raid Level 1 suspension kit, 17" spoked wheels (with a tubeless treatment done by Bartubeless and fitted with TKC80 tires) bash plate, footpegs, and rear brake reservoir protector. I've also added an R&G radiator protector, Tusk handguards, TW200 bars, Ken Sean dual sport folding mirrors, Shock Sox fork seal protectors, a Puig screen, Two Bros. exhaust with spark arrestor, and a Dowco FasttraX tank bag. With the extra wheel set, I can keep the knobbies on spokes and some sport tires on the OEM cast aluminum, and switch back and forth as desired.
Here is a great off-road review of a stock 500X with a link to a follow up review they did on a Rally Raid CB500X Adventure...
Here is a video where Juan Brown, blancolirio on YouTube, compares the Level 1 and Level 2 kit options. Juan's channel has a lot of Rally Raid CB500X information, and adventure videos, and it is a fantastic resource...
- Leisure Time Larry -
2004 TW200, 13-55 gearing, Shinko 241, Race Tech Emulators, Procycle front springs, Works Performance rear shock, Emgo handguards, Luckybike mirror risers, Ken Sean DS foldable mirrors, 30mm Tusk bar risers, Seat Concepts, Kick Starter kit, Plasti-dip camo coat, Cycle Pumps, Ricochet Skid Plate, flood and spot LED pod lights, Sena, Garmin etrex 20 GPS, IMS 313114 folding shifter
Just get the DR650 and ride the tires off it. No need to modify it. Rock solid reliability, stump pulling torque monster. Far more off road capable then the CB, stock. Suzuki has been building this bike for decades, kind of like a TW.
We rode West Virginia in a dual sport event. The DR650 that was with us was doing it all very well, very impressed with that bike.
Husqvarna TE300i Fuel Injected 2-Stroke 2019
Yamaha XT225 - 1999 Serow
Yamaha TW200Z - 2010
Yamaha BW200 Electric Start! - 1986
Yamaha TTR225R - 2003
Husqvarna 701 Enduro - 2017
Kawasaki Prairie 650 - 2002
Seems like the KLR650 should be on your list, too.
TWy to make a TWip to the TWails to make some TWacks.
I've been on three group TW rides where we were accompanied by a 2017 CB500X with various RallyRaid goodies.
Two trail attempts were cut short when the Honda just couldn't make it on intermediate TW terrain featuring some rocks and loose dirt so we all turned around. It also collected some cosmetic damage in one tip over.
It and rider did make it through a rocky ledge section but it took TW riders to help push. It also did OK on two steep but firm fairly smooth roads to hilltop transmission stations, the sort of road one could just negotiate with a 2-wheel drive pick-up or carefully piloted sedan. That was impressive but had a simple eroded, rutted or rocky section been encountered I think it would have stopped the Honda or a sedan. It did do wonderfully on marginally maintained dirt roads
So I think it is the sort of bike one points in a different direction than what one would take on a TrailWay. Different strengths and weaknesses. It is a different tool for a different job. It does do that different job rather well.
I would be extremely hesitant to take one solo on anything more challenging than a graded fire road much less a single track trail unless it was something like a smooth wide open cow path.
It is a beautiful and impressive bike that should excel in it's intended application.
As to the DR, I've never seen one off-road.
Last edited by Fred; 06-03-2018 at 07:46 AM.
Last edited by scotti158; 06-03-2018 at 08:16 AM.
2013 Yamaha TW200
1996 Yamaha TW200
1995 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Yamaha RoadStar 1600 with sidecar
Or the new CR450L or any KTM EXC?
The DR will be more dirt friendly, but will be buzzy for long stretches of pavement. I do a fair bit of FSR travel on my VStrom 650. Like the CB it does not have the suspension to handle the real rough stuff. My Skidplate takes a beating some days. Doing 120 kmph for any length of time, I find tiring even on the VStrom. A guy I ride with went from the CB500 X and a XT250 to an African twin. The new BMW 310 GS looks like it my do better. Many of the guys who had KLRs I know have gone to the WR250r. The bike can do Hwy speeds, but is much more capable off road. And as Fred suggested wait for the new Honda 450.
2001 TW200 sporting a MT43 up front. Duro has gone to a good home. 2015 VStrom XT, 1996 DT 200, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY. 2009 WR250r now shared with my son.