Handling: Fantastic (keep it light).
Power: OK, for me. I'm not heavy, and my gear isn't heavy. In the mountians and the high desert, you can feel the power drop, for sure going uphill. Just ride it a gear lower than you normally would in these situation to compensate for power loss.
For me, this bike is fantastic for a trip like this. Its fuel efficient, civil, quiet, powerful relative to its class. Maintenance is a walk in the park.
The word that I alway use to describe the WRR is CIVIL and OBEDIENT. It doesn't ever annoy you with it vibrations, its exhaust note (very nice sound even with the stock exhast), its power delivery. It's obedient in that if you wanted to ride it more aggressively, it'll alllow you to do that. Treat it like a 2 stroke and ride it higher in the powerband.
Like a 2 stroke, you'll be shifting it alot more than a big thumper but that just makes you a better rider. Once you get use to it, your wrist muscles will be ripped and then its ok.
I used to have a KTM 690 enduro and that bike would've been fun on the TAT. Tapped out on that bike in the forest highways of the Ozark or the straightaways in Oklahoma would've been fun, and maybe a bit scary since the front end on that bike is twitchy (before steering damper) than the WRR, but that's a risk I'm not willing to take being on my own. I'm sure that bike would make it as well. And the 525 chain on the 690 would probably last longer than the 520 on the WRR (I did around 11.5K, to and fro). I remember my KTM 990 having 14,000 miles on it's chain before I totaled it.
Originally Posted by rpet
Thanks for the great report and the gear rundown afterwards.
Would love your thoughts (including criticisms) of the WRR for this trip. Looks like you got through with minimal mechanicals, but am interested in comments on handling, power, overall suitability of the machine, etc.