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Im looking to upgrade to a different bike. my 1973 Suzuki TS185 is just old and underpowered at 17.5hp. plus its a 2-stroke, which arent as reliable and torquey as 4-strokes. Basically i am on a low budget and need a a dual sport or dirt bike with more than 18hp, a low seat height (im only 5'6'' and 120lbs) and extreme duarability. i prefer a bike between the years of 1995-2005 (anything newer would be too expensive). Ive researched the Honda XR250, XR400, Suzuki DRZ400, Kawasaki KLX300 and like those bikes alot but the 400cc machines usually have a 36in. seat height which i feel would be way to tall and klumsy for my smallness. If anyone has or has owned a good reliable 4 stroke dual sport or dirt bike i appreciate any and all information. I would use the bike to tote around the fields, trails, and smooth country roads of eastern indiana at my dads. And when i need a small fix of adrenaline at my cincinnati home. thanks, Wear a helmet
 

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The XR's are great bikes, nearly bulletproof and if my memory serves me correctly they have very low seat heights.
 

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I just got a '85 Yamaha XT 600 and I like the feel of it, didn't ride it but a lot of positive reviews. I second the DR350 as a good bike, according to my friend who used one to commute an hour to work everyday.
 

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Good 4 stroke

I have a 1990 Honda NX250 and find it lower than most newer bikes today.

They are kind of rare but I think for easy off roading trails and gravel roads they perform great.

I get up to 85 mpg in average road driving and around 75 mpg mixed road/trail.

I've had mine since 1993 and outside of a new chain, tires and a CDI module ( 2 years ago ) it's been quite reliable.
 

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Honestly if the 185 engine is in a reasonable condition and state of tune it will probably outrun many of the 250 dual sports. You just have to rev them and keep them in the best part of the power.

But now for the facts. If you have the money get a DRz and get it lowered correctly by having a knowledgable mechanic put in travel limiting spacers in the shock and forks. You can easily drop the bike two to three inches this way, keep the geometry correct, and still have plenty of wheel travel.

I just don't see any of the 250s having all that much more stuff than the 185. After all, in off road racing they run 125 two strokes against 250 four strokes and 250 two strokes against 450 four strokes for a reason.

Of course the suspension alone on about any newer dual sport or off roader will make more difference than anything any engine can do. Even a lowly 150 could probably give an old 250 it's lunch on some rough trails. 8-10" suspension is a serious big deal compared to 4-6". I know, I did the suspension mods on my old TM125 to get more rear travel back in the 70s. It made me able to go one gear higher about everywhere I went.
 

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Honestly if the 185 engine is in a reasonable condition and state of tune it will probably outrun many of the 250 dual sports.
Have you ever ridden a TS185??? :confused:
Even if the engine in the TS185 was new, any of the old/new 250 4-strokes would eat it alive!


Sky...
 

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Have you ever ridden a TS185??? :confused:
Even if the engine in the TS185 was new, any of the old/new 250 4-strokes would eat it alive!


Sky...
Oddly enough, I have and it was pretty much newer at the time, thus my comment on performance based on condition.

Also rode Yamaha AT125, Suzuki TS125 (8 speed), and a few other ancient two stroke dual sports back when they were mostly newer. Not to mention XR/XL 200/250 since I did sell them. I've also ridden some of the new 250 dual sports. We are talking four stroke lean choked down EPA special dual sports here now. Let me include the fact that the ancient Yamaha 90 enduros would probably kick an XR100's butt and I'd put my money on the AT125 over one of the play bike 150s motor to motor. Suspension and chassis is a whole different story.

Like I said, there's a reason they run 125 two strokes against 250 four strokes. The first time I rode a CRF250 I was kind of shocked at how little power it had compared to what I had expected, having sold and test ridden numerous 125-500 MX bikes over the years. Fact is they allow CRF150s to run against the 80s too. If we start talking 250 four stroke MX bikes and how hot they are, why wouldn't they allow them to run heads up against 250 two strokes?

I wouldn't bet on the TS doing that bad if it had decent state of tune, not some worn out cylinder, rings, or poor timing but actual good tuning. Of course it does have to be kept in the powerband.

But believe what you like.

I'd skip the 150 for sure and get a 250-400 and lower it as needed. My personal preference would be toward a lowered DRz400 for sure.
 

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Im looking to upgrade to a different bike. my 1973 Suzuki TS185 is just old and underpowered at 17.5hp. plus its a 2-stroke, which arent as reliable and torquey as 4-strokes. Basically i am on a low budget and need a a dual sport or dirt bike with more than 18hp, a low seat height (im only 5'6'' and 120lbs) and extreme duarability. i prefer a bike between the years of 1995-2005 (anything newer would be too expensive). Ive researched the Honda XR250, XR400, Suzuki DRZ400, Kawasaki KLX300 and like those bikes alot but the 400cc machines usually have a 36in. seat height which i feel would be way to tall and klumsy for my smallness. If anyone has or has owned a good reliable 4 stroke dual sport or dirt bike i appreciate any and all information. I would use the bike to tote around the fields, trails, and smooth country roads of eastern indiana at my dads. And when i need a small fix of adrenaline at my cincinnati home. thanks, Wear a helmet
How old are you? If you are young and still growing, you will grow quickly into a full sized bike. What is your budget? You're going to pay at least $1000 for anything made in the last 15 years.

As for lowering, any of the bikes you mentioned--in fact almost all the modern-ish Japanese bikes--have a linkage suspension, meaning you can buy a lowering link for many models. Between that and taking some foam out of the seat, you can lower it quite a bit without affecting suspension too terribly much. I do notice that bikes with "dogbones" or lowering links do have a softer rear suspension, but if you're not flogging it on a MX track it probably won't matter as much. You can replace it with the stock one someday when you are more comfortable with the height.

The smaller bikes like the TTR and DRZ 125s, the CRF100 and 150 F models (the CRF150R is a whole different beast) are kind of lackluster in performance, both engine and suspension.

The XR250 is a reliable bike with a lot of aftermarket support if you decide you want more out of it someday. The KLX is harder to find parts for but a pretty good bike. One of my friends had one for a long time before she traded it for a CR500.

This is all assuming you are a trail rider ...
 

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I have xr 250 and im only 5'8 160 and it my feet are very close to all the way on the ground.It also is nimble and has some balls to go over any hill
 

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Im looking to upgrade to a different bike. my 1973 Suzuki TS185 is just old and underpowered at 17.5hp. plus its a 2-stroke, which arent as reliable and torquey as 4-strokes. Basically i am on a low budget and need a a dual sport or dirt bike with more than 18hp, a low seat height (im only 5'6'' and 120lbs) and extreme duarability. i prefer a bike between the years of 1995-2005 (anything newer would be too expensive). Ive researched the Honda XR250, XR400, Suzuki DRZ400, Kawasaki KLX300 and like those bikes alot but the 400cc machines usually have a 36in. seat height which i feel would be way to tall and klumsy for my smallness. If anyone has or has owned a good reliable 4 stroke dual sport or dirt bike i appreciate any and all information. I would use the bike to tote around the fields, trails, and smooth country roads of eastern indiana at my dads. And when i need a small fix of adrenaline at my cincinnati home. thanks, Wear a helmet
I bought my wife a TTR230, 2013, i got on it and it GOES, 6 speed w/ a lot of torque. Would fit your size. TTRs are known to be super reliable, I did a lot of research on them before I bought it and it was nothing but great reviews of most years. the Electric start is nice for trail riding too
 

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My dad had a drop kit put on his klr 650 while my sister was learning to ride. She had no trouble mounting and handling the bike after that... she did drop it a couple times but I guess that's to be expected lol
 

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Drz 125 Suzuki has all i need for all around riding . Very low first gear for climbing , but needs higher gear for final drive ( JMO ) . Low seat ride because of 14 " rear wheel . Some models , drz 125 l has larger tire .
 
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