Interested in a full-on enduro, BUT keeping the TW
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Thread: Interested in a full-on enduro, BUT keeping the TW

  1. #1
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Interested in a full-on enduro, BUT keeping the TW

    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.
    jtomelliott49 likes this.
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Current) - Shinko SR41, Enduro Mirrors, Seat Concepts Foam and Cover, Generic Handguards (GOOFIT) requiring 5+ hours of diddling to install......You've been warned.
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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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.
    kj7687 and jtomelliott49 like this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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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...d9ecd7d45b.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.
    Last edited by kj7687; 05-14-2017 at 12:23 PM.
    jtomelliott49 and Dryden-Tdub like this.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200; 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX 331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by Fred; 05-14-2017 at 01:04 PM.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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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...
    Last edited by Fred; 05-14-2017 at 01:03 PM.
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    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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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.
    2001 TW200, 2015 VStrom XT, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY
    2009 WR250r now with my son

  8. #7
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Scorpa +1! Sweet 10652452-300x400.jpg
    ejfranz likes this.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by Mattwings; 05-14-2017 at 05:51 PM.
    kj7687 likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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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.
    Mattwings, Tweaker and kj7687 like this.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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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!
    2002 TW200
    1998 DR350
    1996 KDX 200
    Riding in and around the great state of Michigan (usually)

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