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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, first time posting here.

I currently have a 2010 KLR 650. I don't really like it because I find it too big, too high and too heavy. All that for a bike that's not really at ease on the highway (the engine purrs at 70mph but doesn't like much more).

Here are all the motorcycles I had so far (one at a time):

1- 2006 Kawasaki ZZR250
2- 2004 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
3- 2008 Yamaha XT250
4- 2014 Honda CB500X
5- 2010 Kawasaki KLR650

The bike I liked the most, and that I kept the longuest, was the XT250. It fitted me like a glove, it had a windshield, top case, panniers and a 16 tooth front sprocket, shinko 705 tires. I did some camping trips with it and it was awesome. It could hold 62 mph all day even fully loaded.

I sold it because I met my current girlfriend and she wanted to ride with me. It was possible on the XT but a bit cramped.

I then bought the CB500X, a dream come true (or was it?)... it turned out it was the bike I liked the less in the bunch. Very uncomfortable riding position for me, the handlebar was high and wide (and that's what I like), but the footpegs where strangely too far back, with a seat that was too wide. It gave me a lot of pain in the hips. And there was some buffeting (not as much as the vstrom but still annoying).

So I sold it and bought my current ride, the KLR. Based on it's reputation and a short trial ride. It's an ok bike, I really like the torque of the engine and the riding position and general comfort is great. It has a lowered seat but stock suspension. I wouldn't use it on anything gnarlier than a gravel road, it's much too heavy for me and there is a lot of plastic to break. Even when riding in town, it feels less enjoyable and more like a chore. I just did a valve adjustment and it took forever (at least 8 hours). Compared to the valve adjustment I did on the XT (1 hour)

And here I am, trying to choose my next ride. My girlfriend currently has some neck problems, so she rides very rarely and only for short distances.

My criterias are:

1- it must be able to maintain 62mph (100km/h) loaded (with camping gear) in normal weather and on relatively flat surfaces. I know that in heavy front wind it could be less, even the KLR struggles sometimes.
2- easy to maintain (no shims for valve adjustments please!)
3- able to ride 2 up for short distances and low speed (40 mph max)
4- must be possible to add a windshield, top case and hard panniers
5- low seat height (max 32 inches)

What I find interesting about the TW is the comments I read about how it's so easy to handle off road. I would really like to try off road riding, but never got to do it for fear of getting hurt or braking something on the bike. I did try a little with the XT, more like forest roads, and it was ok. But the TW looks like it would be fun.

And maybe that's the keyword here, fun. I don't want performance or looks, I want something easy to ride, that becomes like an extension of myself. Something easy to work on and that I can customize on the cheap. The XT is all that, but is a little squirelly on the rough (from what I read, since I didn't experiment a lot).

One last thing, I compared the TW and the XT on cycle-ergo and I don't know if my eyes are playing with me but it almost looks like there's more space for a passenger on the TW than the XT? If you look closely on the 2 pictures, there's more space between the 2 persons and the passenger's legs look more relaxed (the passenger footpegs looks lower). Is the seat longer on the TW?

TW200.JPG View attachment 192778

Thank you for your help and all the great information and ride reports on this wonderful forum!

And sorry for my poor english, I'm from Quebec ;-)
 

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Sounds like your looking for a DR650. Had the TW, XT and just sold the 2015 KLR. Basically for the same reasons you stated.

The DR I just picked up is by far the best all round bike I've owned. Great power and cruises at 70 all day long. Will cruise 55 in fourth perfectly, bone stock. Nearly 100 pounds lighter then a KLR and not top heavy. Only 50 pounds heavier then a TW from what I read or googled but twice the power and suspension. You'll be really disappointed with the power of a TW or XT if you liked the KLR. I strongly suggest you check one out before settling on a smaller bike.
 

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Hi Krakrak and welsome to the forum from an ex-Montrealer now living in the Hawkesbury area. I too have had many different bikes over the years but 85% were dual sport bikes and now I just have my TW. Above "Chip" mentioned the DR650 which I have never owned or ridden but I did consider it a few years ago. Certainly comparing the DR to a TW is night and day however there is a very large group here that love their TW`s so you know it`s got appeal. There is a weekend event in Lachute starting on May 17th for off-road riding and if you haven`t made a decision by then you could swing by and try my TW if you like? I'll send you a PM as well.
 

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Here's another thread on the XT 250:

https://www.tw200forum.com/forum/other-bikes/34481-why-not-xt250.html

I would have to agree with Chip about the DR650. I had a 2008 DR for several years, which I regrettable sold to get the CSC250.

I had TW200 for 9+ years, and currently have an XT250. For my purposes, I prefer the XT for combined on and off road, mostly because of the better suspension of the XT.

If I could only have one bike for everything, it would be the DR 650.

jb
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks like more room to me. One thing to note is that the TW suspension is probably softer than the XT, but that's fixable. I was hoping you'd comment on the V-Strom.

Welcome to the forum!! :D
Thank you!

The vstrom had a very sweet engine, lots of torque but smoother than a thumper. It was also very top heavy, the seat was too high and the buffeting was intolerable for me. I tried taller, larger and smaller windshields, at different angles, but there was always some conditions where my helmet was litterally shaking. It almost made me sick.

In city traffic it handled like a barge. As soon as it was moving it was light and nimble but since I have to cross Montreal at rush hour to get to work I need something a little easier to handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like your looking for a DR650. Had the TW, XT and just sold the 2015 KLR. Basically for the same reasons you stated.

The DR I just picked up is by far the best all round bike I've owned. Great power and cruises at 70 all day long. Will cruise 55 in fourth perfectly, bone stock. Nearly 100 pounds lighter then a KLR and not top heavy. Only 50 pounds heavier then a TW from what I read or googled but twice the power and suspension. You'll be really disappointed with the power of a TW or XT if you liked the KLR. I strongly suggest you check one out before settling on a smaller bike.
I tried a DR650 when I was shopping to replace the XT and I didn't like it. I don't know if it was that particular bike but I found that it vibrated a lot. Much more than a KLR. It was almost brand new (less than 2000km IIRC). And the seat height is way up there, I would have to drop it 3 inches to be comfortable in slow speed conditions.

Maybe if I had an opportunity to test another one I could see if the one I tried wasn't in a good state.

Thank you for your suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Here's another thread on the XT 250:



I would have to agree with Chip about the DR650. I had a 2008 DR for several years, which I regrettable sold to get the CSC250.

I had TW200 for 9+ years, and currently have an XT250. For my purposes, I prefer the XT for combined on and off road, mostly because of the better suspension of the XT.

If I could only have one bike for everything, it would be the DR 650.

jb
Yes I think that the XT is still the best choice for me, but I'm really intrigued by the TW. It looks like TW owners are much more inclined to customize it than the XT. And it looks so forgiving and easy to ride.

Like I said my main concern would be sustained 62mph riding. I know that the XT can do it for hours. The longuest highway ride I did on my XT was 5 hours (except stopping for gas of course).

Another plus for the XT is fuel injection. I can live with a carbed bike but it's so much easier to start a fuel injected bike, that's always ready to go as soon as it's started. I've heard that the FI on the XT is very good and has smooth throttle control. My XT had a carb but it was very smooth also (as soon as it warmed up).
 

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Cruising at 62 two with gear? Eliminate the TW. Forget any 250 for any comfortable two up. It is a great bike for exploring off road. The DR650 is probably your best choice. Look for one already farkled and possibly lowered. 65-70 two up loaded is fine cruising. I prefer fuel injection also, but alas, the dr will never get that. I also hate the foot peg position of the cb500x. Keeps me from riding it much.It doesn't bother me too much off road but on long paved stretches or putting your feet down a lot in traffic I absolutely hate it. Have you considered a royal enfield Himalaya?????
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cruising at 62 two with gear? Eliminate the TW. Forget any 250 for any comfortable two up. It is a great bike for exploring off road. The DR650 is probably your best choice. Look for one already farkled and possibly lowered. 65-70 two up loaded is fine cruising. I prefer fuel injection also, but alas, the dr will never get that. I also hate the foot peg position of the cb500x. Keeps me from riding it much.It doesn't bother me too much off road but on long paved stretches or putting your feet down a lot in traffic I absolutely hate it. Have you considered a royal enfield Himalaya?????
Hi Juno,

2 up would only be for slow speed short rides, since my girlfriend has neck problems and get sore fast. Loaded up for camping would be only me on the bike.

One thing going for the small displacement bikes here in Quebec is that the registration and insurance is much more expensive for 401cc and more. Currently it costs 660$ (canadian) annually just for the registration (plates?). A 250cc bike costs 478$. A sportbike is 1,534$ annualy.

So the Royal Enfield with it's low output big displacement engine is not very interesting. And I've heard that it struggles to maintain highway speeds?
 

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My wife and I ride two-up on secondary roads. Not fun at speeds above 50. We have a hard case on the rear rack to carry gear and there's plenty of room for both of us. A couple years ago we hauled it to Glacier National Park and it was great riding that area. Great staging out of any campground area for that matter.

874.JPG
 

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I tried a DR650 when I was shopping to replace the XT and I didn't like it...... And the seat height is way up there, I would have to drop it 3 inches to be comfortable in slow speed conditions.......
If you didn't like the DR, that's fine...but....

IMO, The DR650 does vibrate, but not any more than other 650 thumpers.

As far as seat height, Suzuki has a built-in option to lower it by flipping the spacer on the rear shock, and relocating the fork spacers.

In addition, I added a lowering link. The seat height was the same as my TW......with rider sag.

Another plus, imo, is the soft cushy suspension of the DR. It was perfect for an old guy (me) that doesn't care for spine jarring bumps.





jb
 

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Hi Juno,

2 up would only be for slow speed short rides, since my girlfriend has neck problems and get sore fast. Loaded up for camping would be only me on the bike.

One thing going for the small displacement bikes here in Quebec is that the registration and insurance is much more expensive for 401cc and more. Currently it costs 660$ (canadian) annually just for the registration (plates?). A 250cc bike costs 478$. A sportbike is 1,534$ annualy.

So the Royal Enfield with it's low output big displacement engine is not very interesting. And I've heard that it struggles to maintain highway speeds?
The himalaya has twice the hp of the tw and is fuel injected. Just something to consider. Get the bike you want to ride!


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Discussion Starter #15
The himalaya has twice the hp of the tw and is fuel injected. Just something to consider. Get the bike you want to ride!


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Yes but it's also much more expensive (7000 canadian $) and with unknown reliability. If it was the "Yamaha Himalayan" it would be a great buy ;-)

Another problem is that there are only two Royal Enfield dealers in my province, and they're both near Montreal. Good luck finding a part or having some service done outside of this region. There are probably near a hundred Yamaha dealers in my province.

And sadly it is 11cc too big, those 11cc will cost me almost 300$ a year more... almost my budget for one week of solo moto camping.

But I admit that the Himalayan is a sweet looking bike, I hope that japanese bike maker will get some inspiration from it. Stop making big and tall bikes with weak subframes. Give us a low and sturdy bike.
 

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<I also hate the foot peg position of the cb500x. Keeps me from riding it much.It doesn't bother me too much off road but on long paved stretches or putting your feet down a lot in traffic I absolutely hate it. >

There is a footpeg lowering kit available for the CB 500. It moves them down and forward a little bit:

https://motowerk.com/collections/honda-cb500x/products/honda-lowering-foot-pegs-kit-1
I put them in first thing. It helps a little, but not enough. Especially since mine has the full RR kit and off road pegs. They really get in the way on the street.


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Camping off the TW is possible (I have done it) but a very minimalist experience. I didn't bring much more than a hammock, and I still had to decide between my jar of pickled cactus slices and the new camp size bottle of propane I had picked up during the trip when loading up to go home.

The nopales went home with the neighboring group, who thankfully were very friendly about sharing their fire and camp chairs with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well thanks for all this very good information.

I think the only way to choose would be for me to try one. I already know about the XT, so if I try a TW I'll be able to compare the experience.

Regarding camping I did it with the XT and if you pack carefully you can have a very comfortable trip.

See this report I did of one of my camping trip: My 1200km camping trip... | Ride Spaces & Places | XT225+250 Rider's Group
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wish me luck, I'm going to look at one for sale today.

It's a 2017, bought in 2018 so still under warranty, 380 km on the odo, asking 4000 CAD$ (3000 US$).

This bike is literally brand new.

For comparison in dealers close to me a brand new still in stock 2018 sells for about 4800 + 995 preparation + both taxes so around 6500 CAD$ total.

On a used bike sold by an individual we only pay the provincial tax (about 10%), on new bikes or used sold by a dealer we have to pay the federal tax (5%) also.

Here is a pic:
772105141.jpg
 
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