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Thread: Rider Weight and Bike Selection

  1. #1

    Rider Weight and Bike Selection

    After being out of the saddle for 20 years I'm getting back into riding again. When I rode it was all street. Now I'm 47yr, 240lbs (trying to lose lbs), just passed my MSF course. I've never wrenched on a bike before other than typical maintenance but I'm good with cars. I want a bike for NJ, USA urban commuting, mostly pavement. The 30-minute path to work is about 75% good, 25% bad. The bad consists of a lot of trucks on the roads so that means potholes, cracks, truck ruts, not to mention 3 sets total of train tracks (not all at once). I could go other ways but it would tack on about 10mins more, which might be ok on the bike. On weekends I would probably go for longer rides...1-2 hours one way at most.

    I've been thinking of a DR650, KLR650, or Vstrom. I've sat on all three and they all feel reasonably comfortable to me. I'm wondering what would be the best considering the roads I take and my weight or what would be the easiest to swap suspension parts to get what I'd need. Thank you.
    --
    Splat
    Last edited by Splat; 08-12-2018 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    30 minutes? Maybe look a bit smaller - XT250 works well for what you describe, even with a 245-pound rider like me, but riding for longer means a sore butt. Main issue is what do you need to carry with you - the XT has ZERO storage area (I had add storage to carry the registration and insurance cards).

    Alternatively, larger scooters.

    Longer route=more time riding. Seems like a win-win...
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! liberpolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splat View Post
    The 30-minute path to work is about 75% good, 25% bad. The bad consists of a lot of trucks on the roads so that means potholes, cracks, truck ruts, not to mention 3 sets total of train tracks (not all at once). I could go other ways but it would tack on about 10mins more, which might be ok on the bike. On weekends I would probably go for longer rides...1-2 hours one way at most.
    Hahaha, it will be more, much more. And yes, you will take the longer nicer road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Splat View Post
    I've been thinking of a DR650, KLR650, or Vstrom. I've sat on all three and they all feel reasonably comfortable to me. I'm wondering what would be the best considering the roads I take and my weight or what would be the easiest to swap suspension parts to get what I'd need. Thank you.
    All 3 should suit you with factory suspension, I'd think...
    "The better you're prepared, the luckier you get".

  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    I have never ridden any of the bikes your mention. I have a Versys 650, DRZ400S and KLX250S. I have often thought that the DRZ400S would be a great urban commuter bike for anybody who is comfortable with the height. It gets great gas mileage, can go on the highway, has enough power and is very nimble around town. I have a luggage rack on it and a 47 liter Givi top case I can put on the back. Admittedly it looks pretty funny with the top case, but it seems to be functional.

    I have also put the top case on the KLX250S. It looks really funny on that bike, but it works. My son used it to commute this summer.

    I got the top case for the Versys. It is not as off road oriented as the bikes you mention, but it can handle some bumps.

    My son uses a CB500X at school which is an awesome bike.

  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
    ...CB500X ....

  6. #6
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    LOL at your username. Probably not the best choice for a motorcycling forum. But welcome to our site!!

    I am on my second Strom now. Love the bike. My commute is about 20 miles each way. Most of it is freeway, with some urban sprawl thrown in, also.

    I also have a CBR500R and it's also a great commuter. Stock seat isn't the best for distances, though, but that bike is fun as heck.
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
    PREVIOUS BIKES: 2002 Ninja 500, 2002 Kawi ZR-7S, 2002 Kawi Concours, 2003 Yamaha XT225, 2006 Yamaha FZ6, 2005 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2004 Honda CRF250R, Yamaha TTR250
    Test riding bikes since 2004.
    If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to RIDE that thing will do!

  7. #7
    Thanks guys. LOL! Missy, that's my nickname from years back. Didn't think of it while signing up here. Yesterday I picked up a used DR650 in mint condition.

  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splat View Post
    that's my nickname from years back. Didn't think of it while signing up here.
    I used to go by "Crash" in college, I quickly dumped (pun intended) that moniker when I started riding.

    Yesterday I picked up a used DR650 in mint condition.
    There are rules to any MC forum when it comes to acquiring a motorcycle:

    Sent from your mom's phone
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  9. #9
    Gotta wait for it to stop raining. I got my Dowco cover today but I never thought I'd have such problems putting, what is essentially, a bag over my bike! This way?.....nope.... this way?......nope. LOL!

  10. #10
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Covers? Rain is how motorcycles are washed!
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

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