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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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  #1  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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What are short people riding?

Am 5ft 4in so like seat height about 27inches - want to ride south from Minnesota on/off pavement. What bike are shorter people riding? Tried Ural Patrol but am not good enough mechanic or patient enough. Appreciate input from this inspiring community.
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  #2  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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How about the F650GS. Has a very low seat height and relatively low weight. It also has the potential for un-made roads.
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  #3  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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I think the GPZ500 will be fine, too.
So should any Custom model.
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  #4  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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Oops...guilty of not reading your post in detail. Customs are not so good off-road!

Depends how much you are going off-road, really. The GPZ is light - and I did actually get stuck on an awful rocky road in California on a VT500C....the bike made it, as it did when I got lost on a 'road' which turned out to be the actual coast. Sand of every type - the shaft drive just laughed at it. ( I was totally exhausted, though!!)

Take a good look at how much you will need the off-road abilities.
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  #5  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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Try a smaller capacity Trailie like an XT250, serow, or an old twin shock XT500, they are not so tall as the newer bikes, but will probably be shagged. Lighter bikes are easier to handle off road as well.
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  #6  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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I have heard the xt225 is a good choice. Here is a link to someone that went from canada to SA on one

http://www.b13media.com/lois/

Here is the link to yahama.

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/products...aha_xt225.aspx

Hope this helps.

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  #7  
Old 15 Sep 2004
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Suzi DR 650 SE.

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  #8  
Old 16 Sep 2004
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Thank you for your responses. Am new to the site and find it an energizing experience - Grant & Susan Johnson and all have created exactly (and more than)what I've been looking for. Looking at a F650GS next week.
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  #9  
Old 26 Sep 2004
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Hi all,
I think everyone has different ideas or priorities, so will choose different bikes. We have just finished riding around Australia, 20000km, on an F650GS and a Dakar. Both bikes were fairly new with less than 10,000km on them. We wanted reliability and reasonably comfortable bike with the option of some dirt road capability. The GS has a very low seat height which was ideal for my partner.Comfort is something that is quite often overlooked, but I think people who have travelled long distances do not take it for granted. We have no regrets, and will head off to Asia on the same bikes.

All the best in your search!!

Andrew and Wendy



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  #10  
Old 27 Oct 2004
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Folks,

I'm in the process of deciding whick DP bike I am going to buy. I have pretty well narrowed it down to the DR650 Suzuki and the KLR 650. I just had a couple of questions.

First, I have been riding for 40 years so I would consider myself fairly experienced. I have ridden dirt bikes, sport bikes, cruisers, classics and so on but my current bikes are a 2000 Buell, a Royal Enfield and a frankenstien bike dirt bike with a 250 Bultaco motor. Through the years I have done a lot of touring in the Ozarks and I honestly use the Enfield for most of those chores, it handles gravel roads, old logging roads and the blacktop stuff OK as long as I don't get in any kind of a hurry. Mostly it winds up being blacktop about 60% and gravel about 30% with about 10% of the work on what we call cow paths in this area. No jumps or excessive speeds.

The concern with the Enfield is one of longevity. It does fine but it does require quite a bit of TLC. Not bad on weekend jaunts but would tend to become problematic on longer trips.

My issue is one of height. I have a 29" inseam and the KLR and the DR are both too tall in stock trim. I know the DR will lower to 33 inches, which I can handle. That is about the same height as the Buell and it is substantially narrower, allowing me to comfortably plant feet. However, I think I prefer the KLR because of the larger tank, the better supply of aftermarket parts and the w/c engine. As the old song goes, "How low can you go?" I know they make a lowering link, sacrificing a bit of ground clearance and shock travel. I figure some liberal carving of the seat foam would gain another couple of inches. I am wondering if anyone out there has had experience in doing something similar. I sat on a KLR with a scooped seat with stock suspension height and it was manageable but would feel better with something a little lower.

Before ya'll write back and tell me that your feet touching the ground is over rated, let me say that I tend to agree that it doesn't really matter when you are moving. However, when you stop, the foot has to touch the ground sometime. Before the knee surgery, it wasn't an issue because the leg could support it. The left knee is to unstable to support weight and, since we have to live by the laws of physics, as the bike leans further over, more weight is placed on the third point, my leg. The Buell was actually dropped in a parking lot when I stopped bridging a two inch depression and when the left foot hit the ground, the leg folded and the bike fell. Mostly, my pride was hurt because the parking lot was occupied.

Anyway, if anyone has done anything to lower a KLR, please let me know what it consisted of and how it worked.

By the way, the Beemer would work but is more than I want to spend. Also, experience taught me that the Buell does not work in the DP role. Does great on the blacktops but it doesn't do very well at all going a half mile down a dry river bed.

Thanks,

Mike
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  #11  
Old 28 Oct 2004
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Acerbis make a 25l tank for the old model DR, which can be adapted to the SE. We get about 500 km out of it before switching to reserve. On tar only, that is.

But: beware of the engine grenade. See the Suzi forum here on HUBB.

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  #12  
Old 29 Oct 2004
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Mike, I have a 27 1/2 inch inseam (at least that's my usual trouser leg length), and ride a KLR 650. The only thing I did was have foam removed from the seat, which lowered the seat about 1 - 1 1/2 inches, and also narrowed the front part of the seat makiing it easier to reach the ground. I could now touch with both toes, almost both balls of my feet. The good amount of sag in the stock suspenion helps. However, I wasn't happy with the comfort of the stock seat so I had one made by Mr. Ed's Moto in Albany, Oregon, asking him to make it as low as possible. It's very slightly lower than the cut down stock seat had been.

I considered lowering links but had problems with them on a F650 GS when it was loaded with luggage. Over bumps the rear tire would strike the underside of the rear fender (these were 2 inch links). So, I've found the current seat height acceptable - not optimum, but manageable.

Norm Kouba, who makes Kouba Links, will ship a set to you to try, and if you don't like them they can be returned, even in used condition. If you try the links I would suggest trying 1 inch ones first.

I hope this is of some help, even though I can't suggest anything you haven't already thought of.

Mike
Idaho

[This message has been edited by liketoride2 (edited 29 October 2004).]
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  #13  
Old 29 Oct 2004
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Thanks for your help. I am leaning towards the KLR. I will begin with scooping the seat since I have a friend that does upholstery. If that doesn't get me down to a comfort level, I will begin using the links. Not sure how much I would bottom out but it is always a concern. Being able to get the feet down is only a concern for me when I am on a loaded bike in parking lots or city situations but I am almost paranoid about since dropping the Buell. I cannot recall how many times I have crashed and it never bothered me psychologically but that incident sure did. Maybe because it doesn't make as good a story as "...and I was cooking it a little too hot when I came around the corner and saw the fresh, road kill groundhog right in the line I had picked and ..."

I was wondering about the sag that would develop. The bikes I have set on have all been new or almost new and still somewhat stiff. My experience has shown that seat height tends to decrease over time.

Thanks for the help.

Mike
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  #14  
Old 29 Oct 2004
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In addition to the F650 GS with the low seat, you can also get the factory lowered F650 (called the GSL, or, to confuse things and you get ABS with that, it turns into a F650 GSAL).
My girfriend is on one and we have been dragging its belly all over south america for 5 months now. Engine gaurds are a must, as the ground clearance isn't much.
I don't have the standover heights with me,
but one interesting bit of info is that my girlfriend (5' 3") says if she had more riding experience when she bought the bike, she may have opted for the slightly higher, regular GS with a low seat and cope with only having her tippy toes on the pavement at stops.
Have fun!
rene
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  #15  
Old 29 Nov 2004
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BMW R1150 Adventure,KTM 640 Ad.
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