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Long Distance 250

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Kezza, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Hey everyone I've just moved to Byron and want a bike to commute between here and home (Toowoomba) which is about a 3hr drive each way every few weekends. As I am new to road bikes I will be riding a 250 and would like to know first what type of bike would suit my situation.

    I require some direction as I am tossing up between a cruiser, trail bike, and a sports bike. The main thing I want in the bike is comfort and economy. Being a bigger build (6ft5 110kg) I am a bit worried about some of the smaller sports bikes being an issue with comfort.

    So far I would think (correct me if I am wrong) a cruiser would have the best fuel economy due to the other two being tuned for high performance applications. As far as my research goes though i would be spending around $5-6k on a v25 custom that I would probably get bored of as soon as I get my opens.

    A trail bike (like a wr250f) I am thinking wouldn't be too bad on long distance runs having the ability to sit or stand and move around on the bike a bit. However how does the fuel consumption compare to cruisers and sports bikes? The main think I like about purchasing a dirt bike is obviously I would be able to do some off-road and that I would probably keep it after obtaining my opens.

    As for a sports bike I've sat on a couple of my mates bikes and they were relatively small (couldn't remember what they were). Are their any bigger 250s that might suit me?

    Anyway I'm sorta just throwing out some ideas at the moment, if any of you have feedback I would greatly appreciate it. I'll keep looking around in the meantime.

  2. what about a naked, not a cruiser like the virago but more like an upright seating positioned sports bike with no fairings.

    something like a honda hornet 250.
  3. i'd look at a suzuki across, or the cruisers.. fuel economy is very similar. i dont think i'd want to do 3 hrs on a dirt bike, but you're right it would be good for off-road
  4. If you're 6'5" I'm guessing 250 cruisers won't be very comfy. If you're looking at road bikes, the Kawasaki ZZR or Hyosung GT250 (/R) are worth looking at - both have relatively high seats for road 250's and the kwaka at least is good on fuel, both being twins they'll not be too bad for long ditsance work either.
  5. Mate, have a look further down the discussion page at the Yamaha V-Star topics; especially Tims comments. They are the longest, comfiest, and best endurance reputation cruisers i've found.
  6. Only one bike will do: the Honda Hornet 250.

    You're a big bloke; you'll have to get off a carry a 250 crusier up some of the hills!!!

    The Hornet is a full-sized motorcycle, with a willing 250cc 4 cylinder and quality running gear, and the 16 litre tank will give you good opportunity to stop and stretch your long legs!!!
  7. yep the naked recommendations sound good so in that category you've got

    honda hornet 250 : quiet rare and expensive
    Kawasaki balius (ZR250) : quiet rare and expensive
    suzuki bandit 250 : quiet rare and expensive

    have a seat on these if you can find any examples, in terms of power, weight and handling they will be practically the same so just depends what you go for personally and what is available to you

    ** Note the bandit could be a grey import the new oz models i think are called gsf250?
  8. 6'2" 85kg here. I get 400 - 430km out of GT250 before going to a servo.

    Those CBR250R/RRs have roughly 210km range and are small for you. Cruisers are not terribly good at filtering through traffic IMO.

    If size is really an issue, try road-tuned trail bikes w/ road tires. They are not bad even though they usually have tiny petrol tanks. Did my L and P on dual purpose trail bikes...they are heaps more fun to ride than boring CB250s.
  9. sending u a pm - give me a sec
  10. thanks for the feedback, I have plenty of things to look into now. I am favouring the look of the hornet, however the dirt bike seems a possibility although curious - how far would a wr250f tank (say 8L) take me on the highway? Is it similar in consumption to sports bikes and cruisers?
  11. 250cc trail bikes are poor at distances, if you're running it on the freeway. Comfort is bad in the wind. Also the gearing is shorter than any road bike, so you'll be running at vibratory high rev's, and have correspondingly poor fuel consumption.

    As you live in NSW and you're a big guy, there's no reason you should get a 250. Why not get a bigger learner bike? Z650, XJ650, CB400, XJR400, GS500, ER5, R60, R65 are all easy to ride, comfortable, and cheap learner legal bikes. They'll take you a lot further in comfort than a 250, and can keep you satisfied after your restrictions expire.

    The BMW R60/R65 in particular are sweet bikes is you want to ride a couple of hours in peace, and the engines last forever.
  12. Your in NSW and a big guy, take advantage of LAMs and dont get a 250
    None are big enough for you.

    If your interested in cruisers then theres some nice 600's or 400's
    Look at GS500 for more sports (not really sports)

    These are low powered bikes, about half that of sports 600's like CBR, ZXR
    So are fine for learners.

    Fuel consumption is about the same for most bikes, the real influence is how you work the throttle.
    I get 4L/100km from the ZX6R when commuting on the highway, which is the same as I got from the ZZR250.
    The little 250's have to rev too high so at speeds over 80km the economy is pretty crap.
    And Ive been on a spirited ride on the ZZR with a mate on a ZX10, we were supprised when we fueled 250km later that we both took exactly the same fuel.

    On sportsbikes the costs of tyres and services is more than fuel though :(
  13. Kezza, welcome to the forums mate.

    My personal opinion is the same as some of the other guys, I think you're too big for a 250, any 250.

    For trail bikes at a resonable price I would look at used XT 600 Yamahas, Honda 650 Dominators (few and far between for a good one) and Kawasaki are now selling the KLE 500 Twin trail bike again, great bike but unlikely you will find a cheap used one, might have to look at new. You might also look at used BMW 650 single cylinder trail bikes.
    Honda make a good all roads tourer, the 600 Transalp. Some used ones around.

    For the on road only, the BMW R650 twin cylinder Boxers, last model made here was 1996. But easy to get parts and bulletproof motors. Expect high kilometers on these. They seem heavy at first, but you will get used to that after a few hours.
    Yamaha V-star 650 cruisers, many used ones around. Old models are called Drag Stars.
    Suzuki GS 500's, many used ones around, perhaps a tad too small for you.

    Good luck mate.
    Cheers: Jaq.
  14. ive got a 250 virago atm, i get 200km's per tank (roughly 8litres no more). its okay for me on the free way 20mins too and from work, but i couldnt imagine doing 3hours on it.

    my previous bike was a two stroke sports 250 which was quite uncomfortable when i rode to warnambool, the first hour and a half was alright but the last leg took it out of me.
  15. Definately make sure you go and have a sit and if possible a ride of anything before you buy it.

    I am about 6'2" and wanted a naked sports 250. The bandit, hornet, spada were all way too small for me. I settled on a VTR and have been loving it. (get a sore arse if riding for more than 1 hr without a sheep skin on the seat though).
    I haven't riden a cruiser but I reckon they look comfy for bigger people, but I think the tanks are smaller so lack range.

    But if you're not restricted to 250, definatly go bigger. No question.
  16. I agree with what others have said re LAMS. If you have a QLD licence, it won't matter either if you do that Q ride thing.
    A 250 with a bigger guy like you on it will definitely struggle around the north east of NSW/ SE QLD, plenty of long big hills around there, especially heading up to Toowoomba.
    Kol set you on the right path, I'd be looking at a 650 cc bike that's a few years old. If new is in your budget, your call.
    I personally, bought a Z 650 for my learner's bike, and it dragged me (6ft 120kgs or so) around without even breaking a sweat. What you are buying with the bigger engines is torque, not horsepower, and torque is what you need.
    Don't be suckered into the arguments that older bikes are not reliable, PLENTY of people here have lots of issues with low km bikes. If the bike runs well and is generally in good condition, it wil be a good bike, regardless of age. If an old bike makes it this far, surely it's reliable enough? My 77 Z650 never left me stranded, and I commuted on it for 7 months in all weather.

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. The laws in NSW are interesting for bikes... I would definitely consider a bigger size bike (greater than 250) but I would probably have to change my current qld provisional driver's license over to NSW in order to get my NSW bike license (something I will look into). I have a big thing against P plates on cars (and the other rules associated to P drivers) - especially wearing them on my valiant. :( I'll still do a fair bit of cruising in the old girl when I get my bike.

    I think from the sounds of things a road tuned WR250 (or even a KTM250EXC) may not be the best of ideas. Being a lighter bike and more reactive to wind will most likely make the long journeys a bit more (much?) heavy on the fuel consumption. (I kinda favour the dirt bike for practicality and size reasons, but running costs and fuel are the main issues here). Would anyone know roughly how far an 8L tank on one of these suckers would get me on the highway?

    As for on road only, I will size up some of the 250s mentioned (I could look into performance mods also if they lack in that area) and see if any suit me.
  18. Don't know those bikes specifically, but few bikes make less than 5l/100km. You'll definetly be looking at a range of around 150km or less with an 8L tank. By contrast, you'll get between 300-400 on most road bikes.

    Small traillies are definetly great in an urban environment, but not built for distance.
  19. You're against P plates on cars and bikes?

    Hell I'm not, it lets me know the person in front of me is not an experienced driver or rider...so I stay well away from them.

    The P plates aren't for your benefit Kezza, they're for my benefit.
    I'm not saying you're a crap driver or rider, but plenty of P platers are, especially young men with more tetosterone than sense.
  20. Kezza, I just bought a wr250f today, with an eye to long distance touring, in short spurts, with the added kickarse fun factor of a ropey 250.
    I know the maintenance will be more than a xr250 or similar, but I can live and learn.
    After looking at about 5 bikes that were road legal trail bikes I got toey and bit the bullet, at 6'2 ish and 70-80 kilos of prime k-grade offcut, the bike seems to fit me fine, flatfoot and no cramped feeling. I've been told a change in handle bars can fix most position problems if needed.
    If you're seriously considering the dirt, i don't see why you wouldn't go road/trail, unless you wanna be a badass crusier/trail rider like some haularse rockenroller with a dirt fetish. I dont picture a sports bike or crusier rider up on the pegs flying like a banshee through the paperbark swamp in third on one wheel. Maybe have a sit on a the wr250 and see what it's like. And a ttr, xr, drz all those. See how they feel.

    I'm with the road/trail idea, rather than just a road. Think of the mud.