so it took me about 6 months off and on to get my 250 running well. It actually runs pretty good now, and I put over 100 miles on it in one day while on the Moose Run, more than half of that single track. I then rode Marco's 525 about 50 miles the next day, taking it over even more single track, even more challenging features than the day before. At the end of that day I decided the 525 was more my riding style and that's the bike I want.
I think back and admit I was a little intimidated by the larger displacement of the 525, figured I'd be less prone to hurt myself starting out on a smaller bike. I have since learned that it's actually the opposite- riding the 250 is way more intense and aggressive, a lot more physical. the 525 is more of a low lugger, where you just point & idle up stuff. Perhaps that's more my style... Like wheeling a Tacoma, there are some things you just have to experience before you decide if it's for you.
So I drug this home tonight: 2005 525exc, 103 hours, 1950 miles.. owned by a guy in his 60's who bought it new. Doesn't have a whole lot in the way of mods, other than a full Hitchcock suspension that's set up for a 260 pound dude
, new front tire, chain, sprockets, and the bigger tank. I found a service record from 2007 where it had an oil change with about 50 hours... so yeah that's 50 more hours in 5 years, about 10/year? that's the score I was hoping for- starts right up and shifts like butter.
So now I need to swap over my steering stabilizer, then clean up the 250 and get it sold, then pay myself back on the loan. From there I'm not sure what I'll do other than change the oil & ride it like I stole it, as it kinda feels like I did.