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 own a 2008 WR250X and a recently purchased 2011 KTM530EXC. I initially purchased the WRX for a commuter bike and 3 years later it still does that duty well. I took the WRX on a longish adventure ride after fitting some dirt worthy 17" tires and it did pretty well overall. It did great offroad when speeds were a bit lower but after riding highway for a few hours chasing GS1200's I knew I wanted something with more power. That is my only complaint though. The bike is reliable, comfortable, and fast enough 90% of the time.
I purchased a new 530 EXC and built it into this;
I have been very happy with it so far. It lopes along on the highway at a fairly low rpm, has minimal vibes (comparable to the WRX) and is just as comfortable after an updated seat. For long highway jaunts I prefer this over the WRX. And once offroad it is no contest.
But.......I don't commute on it so I don't rack up a lot of kms. It is new still so I haven't had to do more than oil changes and valve checks but I am amazed at how easy it is to work on though. Valve checks are probably 30 minutes without having to adjust. The only thing left to do is an oil cooler so I can extend oil changes. I would almost rather work on this more often than have to work on the WRX just for that simplicity.
Although that being said there is something comforting about the little blue bike and if I had to choose one bike to do it all it would be a WR450R!
Oh, sorry make that a WR250R. I would build it up just like the KTM. Big tank, Lynx fairing, and some wolfman racks. And I would be more relaxed and happy, but I would still long for the ability to loft my front wheel in the air from time to time.
I think if your riding is more often offroad and short highway or city trips I would stick with the KTM's but if you are putting on a lot of miles the Yamaha would simplify things. Or you can wait and let us all know how the new 350 freeride is!
I would recommend getting rid of the WR250F and looking around for a good used WR250R and then you can compare the bikes yourself and see what fits best.