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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 2 Dec 2012
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Keep the little DR or move on up?

After 10 years or so of not riding at all, I decided for my 30th Birthday present to myself that i was going to do something about it.

Picked up what appears to have been a bit of a bargain 2000 DR 125, went and did CBT again, did the theory test and last weekend passed Mod 1 DAS and hopefully getting around to Mod 2 shortly.

In the past I'd always had two strokes, mostly competetion bikes (CR's mainly) but I did have a KMX 125 on the road while I was 17.

The little DR runs fairly well (just need to have a play with gearing and maybe the jetting a bit yet) and is fairly tidy but I know they're not the most desirable of bikes as they are fairly sluggish (in comparison to say the XLR 125) and I like the fact that off road it seems to be able to surprise those on more conventional bikes so I'm getting kind of attached to it.

I'd liken it to a Serow in terms of physical size but with a bit less go - but it does still make me smile.

I'm a bit torn as which direction to go really; I'm looking to end up with a bit of an all rounder at the moment, something that I can get away for some short trips on, maybe take in a few lanes on a weekend and an odd bit of commuting.

But, I've always had a hankering for an XR 250/400 or a DR 350. I know deep down the XR or DR would probably be the more sensible choice but for what the little DR stands me at, am I daft for thinking about maybe doing a few subtle mods and hanging on to it?

There's very little info online that I can find on the DR 125 but from I can gather I should be able to drop in a set of earlier RM 80 big wheel forks for an extra inch or so travel on the front - not got very far on the rear yet.
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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There's nothing wrong with small engined bikes, but if you're just after an 'all-rounder', you'd surely be better off with the mid-engined trailie. Almost as nimble at slow speed or when man-handling it, but loads more go and happier cruising at speed. Being able to lift up your front wheel easily is a massive advantage on the trails.

Finding a good DR350 is hard these days, and they all die the same way - top end wear - so fixing up a duff one isn't too easy. I've fancied an XR400 for quite some time, as an alternative low-tech mid-sized trailbike, though I've always been a bit worried by the 5 speed gearbox.

The thing I always liked about 125s was how physically small they are/can be. The last cg125 I had ended up styled as a 1960s trial bike rat, and I could pick the thing up off the ground entirely (despite being very scrawny). If your dr125 is sized up more like a bigger trailie (I've never seen one), then it seems to me you're missing one of the biggest reasons for having a 125.
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Cheers for the reply,

Physically it is quite a small bike, about 7 inch or so of travel at each end and fairly short wheelbase - we had a bit of a play round in an old gravel pit a few weeks ago and most guys were on trials bikes but there was a DR 250 and a DR 350 along too. Everyone was fairly surprised at what my little DR would do, what it lacks in power it makes up for in agility. I ut some wider and slightly taller bars on t to make it less cramped and that's helped make it more comfortable and also makes ridign stood up easier now too. I'm not what you'd call lanky but not really a big lad either at 6ft and 13st.

I did get a go on the 250 and the 350 - despite them sharing loads of bits they rode totally different, the 250 was quite revvy but almost a bit more awkward (jap import trail version with various oddities like auto height adjust suspension) whereas the 350 was just ace (why oh why did I not swap from two strokes when racing).

Finding any DR350 seems to be getting harder from what I've seen - there's a few of the steel tank trail versions appear from time to time on ebay but not many of the kick start, plastic tank ones.

How do/did you find your 350 on longer road days?

One thing I really like about the Xr's is the agricultural nature of them - they sort of remind me of a landrover in many ways in that you could pretty much carry a big hammer, an adjustabe spanner and a big screwdriver to fix them with
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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DRZ400S.... Good greenlaner and takes very little to turn it into a competent travel bike. If a little slow on the highways.
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
DRZ400S.... Good greenlaner and takes very little to turn it into a competent travel bike. If a little slow on the highways.
It's one I've looked at but at the moment I don't think I can stretch my budget to a DRZ for a bit.

Do the DRZ have any weak points to look out for when looking for one though?
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Might have done something a bit daft, just bought a mostly complete older DR 125 on ebay for £70 - figured it's worth that for a spare set of (ali) wheels and tyres, engine and brake parts, so it might be staying a bit longer
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