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Discussion Starter #1
So I am definitely keeping my TW -forever-. A great machine for dual sport and I love the bias towards trails. It works great for it's intended purpose.

But I have a keen interest in a full tilt enduro machine, 4 stroke , "street legal" (lights etc), looking for sub 250 pounds, likely 350cc or less. NOT RACING, but taking this machine to places that require power, light weight, and some real suspension chops. Primarily woods trails and rocky terrain, no sand dunes. Thinking high mountain passes, forests style riding , not even high speed, but an emphasis on technical capability on rough terrain.

Setting aside any consideration of COST and BRAND at first. Don't really care. Used or new, whichever. Don't want a 2 stroke, the noise would be too much for me.

What Make-Model-Size bike could be "conceivably" be lowered to get near a 32-33 inch saddle height, but still retain MOST of it's travel and clearance without sacrificing safety?

Lowering the fork in triple clamp, fork suspension modifications, rear shock linkage changes, shock rebuilds, seat changes, everything is on the table to get the bike lowered without giving up safety.

I'm not looking for fantasy suggestions, but any knowledge or sightings of bikes that have been lowered from their stock saddle heights (38"-35") for the real world shorter riders.

I know, people say "You can get used to riding a tall bike, many people do it because they want to ride off road". But I feel that if I MUST STOP on a steep ascent technical hill I will need to get a foot down or be able to get to the ground with the least amount of drama, and a 28 inch inseam and a 37 inch saddle are not compatible combined with nearly 50 year old legs and spine. I can wear safety gear, but I would rather be able to get a foot down easily when needed.
 

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I don’t know of any current motorcycles that come anywhere close to satisfying all those conflicting requirements.Compromises will likely be necessary. For example you will likely have to sacrifice some suspension to get low setting height as well as power,displacement and/or street legality to get under 250lbs, etc,etc,etc...
I would suggest researching lowering kits for all street legal dual sport bikes under 250 lbs, there aren’t that many. If Connecticut has liberal licensing perhaps an older enduro could be made street legal but it will be hard to keep weight below the 250lb benchmark. Good luck.
 

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Well said, Fred. John, I have to agree with Fred that it may be extremely difficult to find a current model that will suit your particular needs very well. It's pretty tough to find bikes that check all those boxes. I totally get it, though; I'm in the same boat - I have a list of check boxes...all of which no single bike can check. The kick is that it's not like it would be at all impossible: all of my boxes definitely COULD be checked in the same bike!

IMO a lot of the lowering options often really aren't that great: I'd say they are probably worse than other compromises (getting something heavier, for example - or dealing with a higher seat than you ideally want).


One possible consideration:

WR250R with the 250X setup but with dirt tires, and a seat concepts low seat. That would get you to about 34", although the slightly wider seat will likely negate the real benefit of it being lower, at least to some extent. Combine this with the factory lowering option for the rear shock, and sliding the forks up 15 mm in the clamps; this gets you to roughly 33.5 inches...but you'd have to live with 17" wheels with dirt tires.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9f/c6/7f/9fc67f4153ba352528410ad9ecd7d45b.jpg


Another possibility is an XT 250 with a big bore and stroker kit (320 cc) + fuel programmer, with Racetech stiffer fork springs and mods for the stock suspension (providing better performance and adjustable suspension). With this one, you're looking at still 11" of ground clearance, with more power and torque than a stock WR250R, and you have a 31" seat height. Of course this means all the fuss of installing the engine mods, and having to deal with the aftermarket parts and likely at least some decrease in reliability/durability.


Another option could be a new Beta 390 RR-S with a factory Beta lowering kit:
-this would meet your weight and power needs, but seat height would be 34.8" .
-this is not the best if you need exceptional long term durability...you'll be looking at a top end after probably 300 hours.
 

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If purchase and maintenance costs are acceptable the 2017 Beta RR390R might come close. Checks most of the boxes, more of a trail than competition machine.

This has been my dream machine and perhaps with Beta’s BuildYourOwnBike program the 390 long stroke motor and a license plate could be a doable combination.
 

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390 RR-S | Beta USA Give them a call, they might build the bike you want. Starts out @ 36.8 seat height and 244 lbs dry. Website claims BYOB not available at this time for the 390 and 350cc RR-S models. Maybe next year...
 

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KTM 350exc is light weight, not sure on lowering it, light weight and comes with a 4 year warranty.

I am looking at getting a Scorpa T ride - 204 lbs dry. It is a 2 stroke, but quiet and if you go to the right insurance agent here they can be insured for the street (the dual sport stuff is stripped off them when they get to the dealer) . The older ones came with the Yamaha WR250f motor.
This is a great trail bike and has more suspension than the TW, but it is not a full enduro.
 

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Fun exercise, not sure it exists. KDX 200 probaly could be built for about $3k that hits most of your specs including a dual sport kit (at 230 lbs or so with DS kit). There is no 4 stroke, non race bike that will get close that I have seen. WR250R is 295lbs., would take probably $1k to get the weight and seat hight combo close to your specs.
 

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I would have suggested the KDX had not 2-strokes been ruled out. I had mine plated in Washington and it was the sweetest trail bike imaginable. Light and flickable, wonderful handling, crisp responsive motor. On any given day I could just as easily be seen doing a faux-trials ride over boulders, slaloming through some tight woods, sliding the rear out on fire road corners, making 170 degree wheelie-turns on mountainous horsetail switchbacks or just maybe earning a day’s pay collecting rock and stream sediment samples for work.
 

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Even a CR450x wont meet the weight spec. CR250F would, but would need a lot of mods to meet the seat height (or close to it) and would be very high maintenence compared to its two stroke counterpart. It would be a pretty fun bike I am sure!
 

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I have a 30" inseam, so I totally understand the seat height issue. My DR350 is not bad height wise (35"), weighs about 260. I could not keep up with any of the modern enduro bikes from KTM, Yamaha, Honda, but it is a lot closer on the trails than the TW!
 

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How could I forget the DR 350 lol. The XT 350 is also an option. The 94+ DR350's are known for occasional exploding motors (pretty rare, but something I'd hate to have to live with the thought of). Other than that, it's a pretty nice bike and gets somewhat close to your requirements (284 pound wet weight, 34" seat height). The DR is the better-performing of the two, but neither is going to perform anywhere near the level of a modern 450-class enduro weapon (it doesn't sound like that's what you're after, though).
 

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I had an XT350 and loved it, but it wasn't close to the 98 DR I have now. The suspension was horrible, tires choices limited by the rear swing arm and rhe very good YDIS is a nightmare now as the bikes age if you habe a carb boot or sync issue. It was a great bike and gave me lots of enjoyable and trouble free miles!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you guys! All excellent starting points for me. Two strokes are OUT.. I am willing to compromise on suspension travel. I want that super low weight!! Yes, I could probably lose the belly (20-25 pounds) and do some more stretching exercises so I can get a leg over a 34-35 inch saddle, but that would be some hard work!! I don't know if I can give up steak and cheese grinders...

I have already tried to get a leg over someones KTM EXC (can't recall the exact model) with a 37 inch saddle and it is exceptionally -stoopid- . There's NO WAY for me to safely ride that giraffe. LOL!! If I got rolling I would be on the ground as soon as I stopped.

That's why I wonder about which ones can be lowered (suspension, saddles, links, etc). Some can't, some can only be lowered an inch or two. It's all compromise. And I don't want a new one either. $8K-$10K for a new bike is too much. I do buy quality, I don't want to wrench all the time, even though I am capable. I like the TW200 for it's reliability. Engines that require a rebuild every XXX hours are a no go. I don't want a race engine. I just looking for longer legs on road, but no hard compromises in the trail because of it.
 

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Engines that require a rebuild every XXX hours are a no go. I don't want a race engine. I just looking for longer legs on road, but no hard compromises in the trail because of it.
Technically your statement excludes motors that will last 1,000 hours, but I agree with what I presume to be your intended point, lol. I really don't like the constant rebuild thing, either. It's just not worth it for the marginal performance gains. Better to pay half as much and have a motor that easily goes twice as long without a rebuild - technically then you're only spending 1/4 as much money :)
 

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There are a few to be found, here are a few west coast listings. ( I know, Arizona isn’t on the coast but they do have the most registered number of boats for any state)

DescriptionPriceYearLocationStateListedSource
TTR 250$1,7002003GilbertAZ05/16/17 8:45 pm (1 day ago)Craigslist
1999 Yamaha TTR 250$1,8001999ModestoCA05/18/17 2:11 am (18 hours ago)Craigslist
2005 Yamaha TTR-250$2,5002005SacramentoCA05/14/17 4:09 pm (4 days ago)Craigslist
2005 Yamaha TT-R 250 L$3,0002005YucaipaCA05/12/17 12:00 am (6 days ago)Cycle Trader
2006 Yamaha TTR 250$3,5002006Santa MonicaCA05/17/17 4:19 pm (1 day ago)Craigslist
 

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I just went in looked at those too. Does this motor fit in a TW?
 

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Has anybody tried? I know Ronnydog has a modded TW250 with 6 sp and raptor carb trying to make a straight forward conversion.
 

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Try a Yamaha Serow/XT225. It may be a chore to find one that's not beat to snot, but it should be about what you are looking for.

serow.jpg

Spec sheet:
1996 Yamaha XT 225 Serow specifications and pictures

Weighs in at 266, so a little over but not much. Seat height 32", about 11" ground clearance.
Mr Hide has a 30" inseam and flat foots one with room to spare.
 

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I consider 250s either to peaky, 2strokes, for the road or not able to really be ridden like a street bike can be. I know many that ride them between trails, on the freeway, etc, but they never would keep up with most of the traffic I ride in.
I don't have experience with a modern 300-390 enduro but I doubt they'd be able to also. I have an xr650r that can be ridden on road but it's not really fun. Because it's not meant to be.
I would like a sub 250lbs. 50hp street legal dirt bike that will traverse from Los Angeles to Reno. But not cost $10k+. Plus be comfortable enough to ride for 5 straight days. I don't need it to be low. Just fit my other requirements. It doesn't exist for a reason.
I think you need to readjust one or two of your requirements to find or build what you want.
You don't say you need e-start so that will save a bit of weight and keep costs lower.
How do you want to ride on the roads? Side streets between trails? Running around town? Or longer distances and higher speeds?
I think the crf450 or wr450 are where you need to start. Modern, nice suspensions, EFI good aftermarket. Take off, or replace, whatyou don't need. Find lighter alternative parts.
 
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