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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this has been asked before, but everyone's situation is different so I'll try it again.

I'm 6'2, 240lb. Currently riding a TW200 with 2" bar risers, 55T rear sprocket, and re-jetted carb for higher elevations (5k-8k feet). I mostly ride single track mountain trails, as well as the occasional 2 track trail, dirt road, and a very small amount of on pavement riding. I use the dual sport features of the bike mostly just for riding to the trail head or between trails. I really enjoy this bike, but it's a tad on the small side for me ergonomically... I could easily handle a taller bike with my physical dimensions. I also find myself wanting for power on some of the steeper hill climbs on the single track trails that I ride in the mountains of Idaho. Even with the adjusted gearing and carb there are some climbs where the TW just runs out of squirt regardless of which gear I'm in or how much throttle I give it. I don't make it a goal to rip up the trails as fast as possible, I just like to ride at a fun and controllable pace, and then when I get to steep parts I like to be able to power up them.

I have no desire (currently) to get into racing/jumping/enduro time trials, etc. I simply am thinking that I might benefit from a bit larger bike with a bit more power when I need it. I know I need something with a good power band, and it can't be a high HP bike that has poor torque, I know I'll need the low end stuff for sure. Most of my trail riding is done in 3rd gear or below on my TW, and that's with it geared down. Along with that, a bit more ground clearance and taller seat height couldn't hurt, especially with ample ability to manage it. So, for those of you that have multiple bikes, or have experience on other bikes, I'm looking for recommendations of things to go look at. Something bigger than a TW in every way, but hopefully rides somewhat like a TW, if that makes any sense. Not interested in MX bikes or things with crazy maintenance requirements, basically just want a bigger version of the TW. Headlight and taillight are pretty much essentials, as I'd be riding this in the dark at times, and blinkers would be a nice bonus as I'll still have it on the road at least occasionally. I'm leaning toward a 4 stroke, but not entirely opposed to 2 stroke based on power they generate out of the smaller motors (like the KDX220R). I'll likely try and buy used to save some $$$, as I don't necessarily plan on selling the TW to help fund this purchase. Keeping it under $5k is the goal, and obviously the cheaper the better while still getting what I'm after.

Bikes that are on my list currently are a TTR250, WR250R, DRZ400 S and E models, CRF250X, KLX250, KLX300R, KDX220R. If you think one of those is a clear winner I'd love to hear it. Also, if there are bikes not on the list that fit the criteria I'd love to know that as well. I'm sure I've missed plenty, but those listed are the ones that seem most abundant in my area while still checking the boxes on my list and not breaking the bank.

Thanks
 

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If you don't need street legal the kdx is wonderful but they're getting old now. The modern replacement is the gpx 200. Price isn't bad and they seem to be well liked. I enjoy my 2002 KTM 200 but it took a lot of work to get it to where it is now.

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I apologize for not having any input, however I'm very interested in hearing what those with experience have to say. The bikes you've listed have always captured my interest, but for a first timer (and in the 150lb range) the TW was an easy choice.
 

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My experience with the Kawasaki klx250s is it has nice suspension for the cost of the bike, but the motor is not much more powerful than the TW. Partly due to the very high gearing. I geared mine down and it would still do 80 plus. The one thing I remember is 1st gear was way faster then what I liked when I took it into tight trails, and to keep it in the power band the rpms had to be up a bit which caused me to have too much speed in first gear. If it was me, I’d look into the 400cc zone. That doesn’t leave a lot of machines to choose from though.
I agree, the TW is underpowered when you need to accelerate up a steep slope with loose soil. But at 6’4 and 250, I just make due.
 

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If you are young and still do not mind grunting around a heavy bike, go with the WR250r. Strip some of the excess weight off of it and re-gear it to 12 or 13 in the front and either 48 or 50 in the rear and you will have a good bike. At 6’2” you will find it tall so you may want to shave the seat. I put a Corbin seat on my old WR250R and could just stand flat footed and I am 6’2” also. My son also 6’2” loves the WR and currently is running 13 / 50 gearing. Where he rides has some nice flow to it like Idaho. The fuel injection will be nice. I like my DT200 (street legal) 2 stroke, but the carburetor sucks at the higher elevations in Idaho.

The Husky 250 te fuel injected and oil injected 2 stroke is what you really want, but it is almost twice your price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My experience with the Kawasaki klx250s is it has nice suspension for the cost of the bike, but the motor is not much more powerful than the TW. Partly due to the very high gearing. I geared mine down and it would still do 80 plus. The one thing I remember is 1st gear was way faster then what I liked when I took it into tight trails, and to keep it in the power band the rpms had to be up a bit which caused me to have too much speed in first gear. If it was me, I’d look into the 400cc zone. That doesn’t leave a lot of machines to choose from though.
I agree, the TW is underpowered when you need to accelerate up a steep slope with loose soil. But at 6’4 and 250, I just make due.
Yeah, I've been making due as well. That's the problem, 95% of the time I can make due without NEEDING anything else. It's just that other 5% where it literally won't finish a climb that really irks me. Having to push bikes up hills really sucks....
I feel like my gut is telling me to go with 400 or bigger as well. I guess I'm hoping that someone will tell me about a 250 or 300 that would meet my criteria, but I also "know" that I'm most likely just slow playing myself into a DRZ 400 or bigger bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
6'2" and 240 pounds?? Sounds like it's time for a XR650L.
Somehow that bike has flown under my radar, thanks for mentioning it! Aside from being heavier than I'd ideally like it looks to check all the other boxes, and seems to be reasonably priced as well. I'll definitely add it to the list. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you are young and still do not mind grunting around a heavy bike, go with the WR250r. Strip some of the excess weight off of it and re-gear it to 12 or 13 in the front and either 48 or 50 in the rear and you will have a good bike. At 6’2” you will find it tall so you may want to shave the seat. I put a Corbin seat on my old WR250R and could just stand flat footed and I am 6’2” also. My son also 6’2” loves the WR and currently is running 13 / 50 gearing. Where he rides has some nice flow to it like Idaho. The fuel injection will be nice. I like my DT200 (street legal) 2 stroke, but the carburetor sucks at the higher elevations in Idaho.

The Husky 250 te fuel injected and oil injected 2 stroke is what you really want, but it is almost twice your price range.
The WR250R gearing has been my biggest red flag from going with that bike so far, although gearing adjustments are easy so it's still very much in play. Good to know that you and your son of similar heights enjoy it.

Man I hear ya... if price wasn't an issue that 250 te or 300 te would likely have already been purchased. There would also be some KTM's on my list if price wasn't a factor, but such is life.
 

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I owned a 2004 XR400 and was disappointed in it. I had to re-gear it to run up at McNutt and found it still did not have the torque I was expecting. The WR250R, I found was a way better bike once re-geared. With 12/48 gearing the bike maxed out at 75 mph. I had the bike at Moab this past spring with the 13/50 gearing and found I could ride most trails including Metal Masher with just a little clutch work and could still squeeze out just over 70 mph on the highway.
I recently rode a friend’s KTM 300 XCW and found it was too twitchy. I think I would want a throttle tamer on it. Lots of torque. I am hoping Scorpa/Sherco fuel inject the T-ride/X-ride.
 

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I wanted a little more than a TW, plus keeping in the dual sport category.
Looked at various models in the 400-650 cc size, they were nice but seemed more than I needed.
Went with an XT 250, it has the desired FI and disc brakes. I am 6-2, but have short legs, seat height
Was just right for me and cockpit fit nicely. Larger units seemed a lot heavier and more cumbersome,
Loosing a lot of the "playfulness" of a TW.
Mostly commute to work, 21 mile RT, about half have on asphalt - balance on dirt and trails depending upon
the route I take. Ride an occasional fire, logging access road and pasture lane or just open field.
Fueled the XT up on the way home last eve, 126 miles on the trip- squeezed in 1.31 gal of gas, very reasonable
Gas consumption. Often ride around 40 mph, don't pay attention to speed on the pastures etc; low gear on the
XT isn't quite as low as the TW was. TW handed pasture cow paths better than XT does, otherwise XT has been
Better off road - might be tire related. Just as TW stock tires were not optimal, have not decided about XT tires.
TW has more "soul" than an XT, or perhaps it is just a soft spot in my mind. XT is overall more versatile.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
martianone,

When you say the XT has been better off road are you referring to mild off road roading or more "intense" stuff like the tight single tracks and good climbing? The reason I ask is because the XT was the first thing I looked at when I went into the dealership, and they told me that the difference between that and TW in regards to offroad performance was minimal and that it probably wouldn't be enough of a jump up for what I was after. They were pushing the WR250R pretty hard, so I think they had some personal investment in getting me to go with something more expensive than the XT.

I wonder if simply adjusting the gearing on the XT to lower it would make it enough of an improvement over the TW, especially with the FI and different tire configs like you mention. It certainly would still feel playful with the low seat heigh and similar weight to the TW.

The yamaha guys told me that the older TTR250's were quite a bit better trail bike than the XT250's, which is why the TTR was on my list and the XT wasn't. But I have no experience with either so I'm at the mercy of other people's opinions. Honestly I just wish Yamaha still made that TTR 250, or at least hadn't stopped so long ago. Kind of a bummer knowing that to get one I'm buying more than a 10 year old bike. They said the closest thing they currently make to the TTR250 while being a dual sport is the WR250, although as has been mentioned it would likely need regearing to add a bit more tractor factor to it. but with 6 gears i'm sure you could still have a 1-3 gear tractor power and 4-6 with enough top end to still hit the paved roads with more than enough ability to hold your own.
 

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Bikes that are on my list currently are a TTR250, WR250R, DRZ400 S and E models, CRF250X, KLX250, KLX300R, KDX220R. If you think one of those is a clear winner I'd love to hear it. Also, if there are bikes not on the list that fit the criteria I'd love to know that as well. I'm sure I've missed plenty, but those listed are the ones that seem most abundant in my area while still checking the boxes on my list and not breaking the bank.

Thanks
I love my DRZ, but 1st is geared pretty high so you'd be needing sprockets/chain right out of the gate to still be running slower most of the time. It is the reason I own one of each now. Plus the TW can just get into so many places the others can't, but the DRZ is great for actual dual sport use with a lot of highway miles while still being very off road capable. One other benefit of the DRZ is the enormous amount of aftermarket everything available for it. You'd probably also be putting much more aggressive tires than the death wings that come on it for off road use. I run Continental Twin Duro's on mine. If you are just going to be off road, get an E model. Most of us with S models immediately do mods to remove the restrictive parts that make it road legal and have it running more like an E, plus the E has more powerful camshaft profiles.
 

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IMO If you want low/easier maintenance I'd go with a air cooled. The liquid cooled maybe out perform but have lower tolerances and require more frequent/skilled servicing. Same goes for suspension. At lower speeds basic suspension is fine and requires less service then cartridge forks. Cartridge ("reverse") forks do help at higher speeds and jumps but have more demanding maintenance schedules.

For these reasons I'd drop the the CRF250X off your list. Plus they are soooo low end torque crazy they break traction too easily making slow and technical difficult.

The KLX140G is on par with the TW200. Similar gearing and speed. Weighs less and has better suspension. So I'd recommend the KLX230R. It has all the low maintenance features and yet clearly out performs the TW.
 
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