xt 250 on the highway?!?!


26 replies to this topic
  • Redram311

Posted June 28, 2008 - 01:07 PM

#1

Well im a newbie and just picked up my 2008 Yamaha xt250 dual sport. I have a question about highway riding, how long am i safe to ride at highway speeds? 15 mins, 30mins, 1 hour, etc? I have heard mixed answers so i just thought id ask and get some more suggestions.

Thanks

  • AZ05CRF450X

Posted June 28, 2008 - 08:14 PM

#2

if you are referring to engine break-in there are a lot of opinions on that. I suggest run it at any speed you want just vary it- don't keep it at any one speed for more than a minute. Roll on the throttle, roll it off, it will help seat the rings. do that for the first few hundred miles, change the oil and you'll be good to go :thumbsup:

  • Redram311

Posted June 28, 2008 - 08:39 PM

#3

no i am not talking about just break in i am talking about through out the life of the bike. How long is it safe for me to ride at highway speeds?
thanks

  • RedNecklawnJob

Posted June 29, 2008 - 05:46 PM

#4

XT250

I got mine in april, and I just rode it! My tire is getting there and I have changed the oil every 4 to 600 miles and hot washed the chain then relubed it with that o ring safe stuff. make sure its at the right tension, smoother on the engine I think. My low beam went out. I have 2100 mi on it.

I say your as safe as you think your maintenance is, and a safe speed.

I have a dirt bike visor on my helmet and went by a log truck on the highway about 60+. UNSAFE I almost got blown off the road. The bike is too light to go 60+ all the time.
And it knocks thats the sound of this engine, esp. under stress. Ive taken that cover off on the right side and checked the valves at 1200mi, they didnt need adjustment. I bet a watercooled engine would be quieter !

Just ride it

  • RedNecklawnJob

Posted June 29, 2008 - 05:51 PM

#5

Keep it a little less than full thottle and the heat from the engine will tell you to stop.

  • myronid

Posted June 30, 2008 - 08:21 AM

#6

I agree with RedNecklawnJob on this one. I use my XT250 to commute to work. Above 50 with Idaho winds is quite tricky. Passing milk trucks (Tankers) and cross winds are a little tricky. I weigh roughly 175 and the bike is under 300. Not a lot of weight on the wheels at high speeds.

  • cixelsyd

Posted June 30, 2008 - 09:59 AM

#7

It's always a good thing to be less than 100% until you need it. If you can drive at 75% on long distances then this is ideal.

  • qwiksilver

Posted June 30, 2008 - 09:04 PM

#8

What about a rider who is a little over a buck and a quarter in weight? I've heard the bike performs beautifully with light riders.

Mine is in break in process so no freeways yet. Just streets. And I'm used to the 55-60 mph thing anyway. If I drive my other vehicle faster than 60 I can watch the gas gauge sprint to E.

  • Jamesbowman

Posted August 11, 2008 - 10:15 PM

#9

Not a Bike for the highway, I bought mine and then drove from the dealer 85 miles partially on a two lane highway. Oncoming semi trucks passing were scary, I had not seriously ridden or owned a bike in 20+ years so I was not thinking. My friend did the same drive with a suzuki motard 400 and he also was white knuckled by the drive. I love this bike in town and on the 18 mile drive to work I think it will be fine but around semi trucks not too good. Find another route or bike for the highway IMHO.

  • DangerousDanM

Posted August 12, 2008 - 07:46 AM

#10

You should think about better tires if you are going to try to do 60-65mph regularly. The stock puppies make things a little hairy at those speeds. I have a set of Avon Distanzias on the way for just the same reason. Also, yes the bike is light and low powered. You are going to find that 65mph is very close to top end for this bike. With a couple mods you can get it to run more comfortably at those speeds. (air box mod, re-jet the carb, get a slip-on exhaust, and better tires) Not much you can do about the weight, just hang on and stay upright....

  • myronid

Posted August 15, 2008 - 09:23 AM

#11

I agree that the tires are the biggest problem at this speed. I have now hit the 1,400 mile mark almost all on back roads between 50 and 55.

With the stock tires I never corner above around 20 because I can feel the knobs rolling and slipping on the road.

Please post when you get your new tires and let us know how you like them.

  • Michael13

Posted August 15, 2008 - 10:08 PM

#12

I live in Washington state and i've had the bike now for 4 months. I've driven from seattle to pullman and back no problem, (about 300 miles, 150 miles is 2 lane, highly traveled by trucks.) Yes the bike is not a harley and you will be blown around. I've just learned to deal with it, when I see a semi truck coming the opposite direction I let off the gas, slow down a little, move over to the far right side of the lane and lean forward to be more aerodynamic, and be more locked into the bike. It's not really a big deal. You just need to be prepared and hold on, as soon as the truck passes, right before the gust hits you, give the bike a little bit of gas to lock in the suspension and "grip" the road, maybe even lean a little bit in the opposite direction of the gust to counter it's attack. It's really not a big deal, what mostly makes it that way is that trucks are intimidating, you weigh less than 500 lbs (rider and bike) and a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighs between 80,000 and 105,500lbs. you're about 5.5ft high and their up to 14. they're 102" wide and you're probably about 25. They're a little under 70ft long and your wheelbase is 53 inches. It's understandable. But if you learn to be confident while they are around you it will be a much less scary ride, you can be prepared and handle it smartly. I travel from tacoma to seattle in rush hour traffic and yes, people don't see you, they merge into you, they pass you in your own lane... etc. But avoiding that stuff is part of the skill of riding a motorcycle. And the fun.

  • Jamesbowman

Posted August 17, 2008 - 07:11 AM

#13

Micheal

I did all the things you mentioned and it helped, the question I think is this going to be what someone wishes to do day in and day out if they frequent the highway ( you seem ok with that). I myself would definitly not enjoy it and I think someone who is asking ahead of time might have the same concerns as well. I realize that you do not mind slowing down hugging the bike and staying far right, but most riders would not want to make that a regular thing and even then its more dangerous than necessary. I think personally I would get a larger more highway worthy bike if I had to commute long interstates around big trucks. For most other types of riding this bike does very well including off road. I might consider a Buell blast about as small as I would consider highway worthy.

  • qwiksilver

Posted August 17, 2008 - 02:43 PM

#14

Ok, finally got the bike up to freeway speeds on a divided 4 lane. Still had some throttle left at 60mph. Got passed by everyone and his cousin, but my Jeep is a snail too, so not a blow to my ego. The only thing I passed was a loaded truck. I didn't pass him very fast. I didn't buy the bike to go fast. I can understand why people buy the WR250, that extra gear is nice at speed. I run out of gears at 35mph. Just like the Jeep.

The tires were not an issue. I must've gotten the only pair of good factory tires. I never experienced a bit of uneasiness. No wander; no wobble.

The vibration of the entire bike made my hands numb and the phantom vibration I felt in my fingers at the grocery store was interesting. But that was after two hours of solid riding.

Speaking of two hours of riding. That seat is not tushy-friendly. Thankfully I can adjust my riding position easily. I can scoot back a bit and lean forward for a while and scoot forward and sit upright for a while. Can't do that on a cruiser or sports bike. Still, I'm getting a pair of bicycle pants with that gel stuff in the butt for rides longer than an hour.

Got hit with rotor-wash of a large helicopter that was landing near the Pacific Coast Highway and got hit by some coastal winds. Not bad. The bike wasn't rock solid, but it wasn't scary either. I'm used to keeping a hold of a tiny scooter during gusty Santa Ana winds. On that thing you feel like Mary Poppins.

Speaking of getting buffeted, a windscreen is a must if you plan on a lot of long distance trips. I got caught in some headwinds and it was fun hanging on tight. My body acted like a sail...and I'm not that big. One spot is like a wind tunnel where the highway goes between a rock and a cliff...yee haw!

My conclusion is this:

The XT250 is not a Harley. If you wanted a Harley ride you would've bought a Harley. The XT250 is a light bike designed to get itself to and from the trail without the need of an expensive, gas guzzling support vehicle. Use it daily as a commuter? Do-able for under an hour. But it takes a mindset that says "I'm in it for the adventure."

What amazes me is that little bikes like this are often packed until they resemble sad, little Mexican donkeys and asked to take someone weighing nearly as much as the bike from one side of a continent to the other...reliably.

That says something about these bikes.

  • DangerousDanM

Posted August 18, 2008 - 03:04 PM

#15

You may want to check your speedo too. I found mine to be off by 6mph. I drove by a police roadside radar station (the your speed is thing..) several times to find out how far off it was. So when you were doin' 60mph and getting past by horse drawn wagons, maybe you were really doing 54mph.... I'm blaming the vibration on the tires. I use my XT about 85% on the road as a daily commuter (The roads I take are 35mph to 50mph, no sweat for this puppy). The more I ride these Chen Shings on the road the more the side knubs are getting into the straight line ride. I didn't have any vibration until I past the 1000 mile mark (approaching 1800mi now). I'm going to put a pair of Avon Distanzia's on and I let you know if my vibration goes away....

  • qwiksilver

Posted August 18, 2008 - 05:36 PM

#16

You may want to check your speedo too. I found mine to be off by 6mph. I drove by a police roadside radar station (the your speed is thing..) several times to find out how far off it was. So when you were doin' 60mph and getting past by horse drawn wagons, maybe you were really doing 54mph.... I'm blaming the vibration on the tires. I use my XT about 85% on the road as a daily commuter (The roads I take are 35mph to 50mph, no sweat for this puppy). The more I ride these Chen Shings on the road the more the side knubs are getting into the straight line ride. I didn't have any vibration until I past the 1000 mile mark (approaching 1800mi now). I'm going to put a pair of Avon Distanzia's on and I let you know if my vibration goes away....


Don't put much faith in those roadside "This is your speed" things. There's one south of Oxnard that clocked everyone at about 20-25mph. My speedo said 55mph and I got clocked at 16mph.

  • Michael13

Posted August 19, 2008 - 09:12 AM

#17

yeah, Idk if i'd want to commute everyday on the freeway. But with gas prices... maybe. My dad's girlfriend's sportster only gets 40 mpg and my xt 250 gets almost 80. Plus if you're commuting to work at normal times (around here at least) there's no way you're going more than 45, even in the carpool lane. (I mean the good to go lane, which sucks because it's just as crowded now, since they sold the carpool lane out) Though I'm young (22), and crazy, and willing to do anything to save a buck. I think if you have a non-highway commute this is a great way to get there.

Disclaimer: All messages posted by this user are only suggestions. Ride at your own risk.

  • rivercreep

Posted August 19, 2008 - 01:24 PM

#18

I think I'd add 1 tooth to the countershaft sprocket if I were going to do highway miles on a reguler basis, as first gear is soooo low, I doubt it'd hurt off road use that much and tone down the screaming a little.
F.W.I.W. I've owned 2 DR650's and both of those were geared down lower for off road use so they also screamed on the highway.
Point = as long as you're keeping things below redline, you aren't going to hurt a thing except your fuel economy.
As for all the concerns regarding getting blown around and not taking a corner fast due to knobby squirm.........
.........no disrespect but, are you guys being serious?
That's just part of riding a D.S. bike I.M.H.O. and it only adds to the excitement. I'd hardly call it unsafe, though! If it's tall and light enough to be capable off-road, that's just going to happen and I'd either learn how to react properly or get a street bike. (I'm sorry if I sound condescending but, I've been riding D.S. bikes for many years and just don't understand this "worry") My little XT does just fine.
Than again, I'm pretty heavy (220lbs) so maybe you'd better start eating at Mc.Donalds more. (insert smiley face here!)

Best!
James

  • DangerousDanM

Posted August 20, 2008 - 04:56 PM

#19

Yea Quik, I know what you mean about the weird "your speed is" readings but I think I found a good one because it was right on the with my truck the day I found it. But in the end you still may be right because while on the bike I have a smaller profile target for the radar to hit. Maybe I'll get the wife to follow me in her car and beep when she hits 50 and see if i'm close....

  • sjhill9859

Posted August 21, 2008 - 01:21 PM

#20

I've just hit 900 miles on my '08 XT. I had to do some airbox mods and a serious exhaust mod (boring out the baffle plate of the inner muffler cylinder) I am still frustrated by random "skipping and missfiring" at higher RPM's. I can barely get 62 MPH (with the 4MPH compensation). I weigh 190 lbs and run the bike at between 6000 and 10000 ft above sea level. It has been rejetted for altitude, but I still can't get everything I know it will produce.




 
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