7.20.2009,12:33 PM
Losing a dear friend
The last several trips on the Sherpa caused me to reconsider its capabilities. Planning for a 2+ week trip to Oregon next year and the Trans-America Trail in the future (2011) reaffirmed the realization that I need a bigger bike for riding long distances in the back country. I need a bike that can go for hours on gravel, has more torque for uphill gnarly terrain and creek crossings, and with more suspension travel to handle the extra baggage and fuel weight. But I want to stay as light as possible.

A DR350SE (350cc street model and electric start version of the full-on dirt bike) fits that bill. I know of several that ride them, one (Roger) whom upgraded from a Sherpa. Roger related that the 350 is about equivalent to the Sherpa in ease of handling and maneuverability, but that extra 100cc really increases the comfort going long distances. Another DR350 rider takes his on every conceivable trail and gnarly back road, finding it easy to handle and comfortable to ride, and he has lowered it to fit his shorter legs.

A used DR350SE recently came up for sale in Texas with all the modifications I was considering and would need for long distance back-road riding. All I would have to do is lower the seat height. I went to look at it with a good friend, who test rode it for me since my tippy toes don't even touch the ground while sitting on it. He nodded his approval. So I put money down on it.

Everything comes at a cost. In this case, I have to let go of the Sherpa to pay for the DR. And it pains me to do so. If I could afford to keep them both, I would not hesitate. But I have to sell the Sherpa to buy the DR, so the Sherpa is up for sale. I want to find her a good home. It's like losing my best friend.

With that, I will ask the buyer to give me first option to buy her back if he/she ever decides to sell her. I don't know if the DR can beat the Sherpa for riding trails in the forest. She's like a trust trail horse, gently passing over leaves, holes and through branches and trees at a crawl. And she is a fun Urban Assault Vehicle, turning on a dime and quickly weaving in and out through obstacles. She's wild and spunky, but trusted and gentle. And we've shared so many good times.

We shall see what the DR is like (after I lower it). And hopefully embark on new adventures.


posted by Macrobe
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