Originally Posted by mikem9
After posting this as a stand alone thread in Thumpers I saw this thread pop up. Any thoughts?
Has anyone switched from a KTM 400/450/525/530 EXC to a Yamaha WR250r. Or have both? Would you mind sharing your experiences? I hear some folks are increasing power, lowering weight etc. of their WR250r's.
My boys and I share 3 tagged dirt bikes: 04 KTM 450 Exc, an 06 KTM 400 Exc, (plus an 01 WR250f). . Just got back from a trip to Colorado where we trailered our bikes out there.
We love riding the KTM's off-road (singletrack etc they are perfect), but we are getting a little tired of the maintenance intervals and issues. Also, when Dual sporting, they are not very fun on the street. The 5 speed Yamaha WRf is especially not fun on the street.
One of the KTM's, with 5500 miles, couldn't go on the trip because it needed new valves and a top end rebuild at the last minute. The other KTM (4500 miles) had to have it's valves adjusted (will need new valves soon) and new wheel bearings, then on the trip we blew a fork seal, blew a clutch (slave cylinder), and wore out the swing arm and steering head bearings. The frequent oil change intervals, steps you take to change the oil and valve check intervals are getting old.
The old yamaha wr250f only needed an oil change and was bullet proof the entire trip, besides being finicky to start at times. (negatives - 5 speed and no electric start).
Considering trying a WR250r for easier maintenance intervals, better reliability and better street ability. I realize they are not supposed to be near the dirt bike as the KTMs, but the tradeoffs may be worth it?
I have a 530exc and a wr250x. I bought the wr for similar reasons, the riding I was doing on the slab was making me nervous on the KTM (maintenance). I love the 530, its an amazing bike (modded), suspension, brakes and a motor that will let you ride casually or rip your arms off if you want to open it up, to me its almost the perfect motor. Its also massive overkill on singletrack (for me).
The wr I suggest you ride, it takes a while to get use to the lack of torque especially if you've come from big 4strokes. I thought there was something wrong with mine when I first got it.Once you get use to keeping it on the boil its fine. I think its a bike that's exceeded my expectations more than any bike Ive owned. I run the tight canyons with mates on their super bikes and annoy them, then hit the trail, then commute.
Basically as much as it pains me to say this out loud, I'm considering selling the KTM as its being neglected (then I get on it, loft a few 3rd gear clutchles wheelies and...
You will miss the torque (no casual lofting wheels over obstacles on demand), you will have to get back to using the clutch again (not hydraulic and so noticeable when I switch back and forth between bikes). Weight wise I think it carries itself really well, manhandling it doesn't feel too bad at all.
Look the KTM does everything better but my little yamaha I have absolutely caned and basically changed the oil and filter occasionally and it runs great and doesn't concern me beyond that.. I think a good rider could probably run a set up one of these at maybe 90% pace of what he could on an equivalent enduro and that's good enough for me.