Originally Posted by steveb126
Soooo, the scooter experiment recently came to a close with a full refund via the Ohio Lemon Law. Dealer had the scoot for a month before they even tore it apart for inspection. It's a shame they didn't hustle and get me back on the road, although I would have forever had mixed feelings on reliability. I was really digging it and had put 986 miles on it in 28 days. It broke down September 14th on the way home from a tag. I had decided on a scooter partly because I live in town. It was working out perfect for little errands and occasional hour long Fredericksburg, Overton or Shreve swamp loop rides.
I've been looking exhaustively at CL, E Bay and Dealers for a DS instead of another scooter. Not a woods rider at my age because of physical/medical (and probable mental)
issues. All Seasons has a new CRF250L that is tempting me. Used XT250, XT225 and KLX250 are interesting me. The more I look at DRZ400S, thinking it may be my ticket. Same approximate weight as the new CRF with more power. Found a used 01 for $2300 in Canal Fulton on CL. A used bike in the $1.5-2.5k range would be more practical for me. WR 's seem to be priced quite a bit more although I noticed Alan just found a good deal for one. Definitely not looking at KLR650 or DR650. Recommendations from the local inmates here ?
Any of the Jap 250s (or the DRZ) would be decent.
I think the real choice comes down to riding style and cost. If you are going to be on nothing rougher than gravel, weight isn't a big factor. Any differences in suspension will likely be a non issue too. I think you should choose based on comfort, engine power, and cost.
I have been a bit of an enduro bike whore and have owned a lot of them, some multiple times. Having owned 1 DRZ, 2 KLX250s, 2 WRRs, and 1 KLR250 (never had a XT250 nor a CRF250 - though I had a plated CRF230 but I don't think that counts), and currently owning a WRR, my list from top to bottom would be:
The WRR is truthfully the best of the bunch and would be my pick, as it does everything well. Rallycarjon and I did a 2 day street trip to PA and back a few months ago and the WRR was perfect on every surface, was comfortable, and carried everything I needed. It also has the best suspension, brakes, and build quality of the "cheaper" enduros. It's FI, which I used to think was an issue but really it isn't. The aftermarket has caught up with it so there's tons of stuff available. Known issues are few and far between, and even then mainly on 2008 models. It's engine power blows away other 250s and really rivals the DRZ400. I tried the others and came back to a WRR to stay.
DRZ is good, old tech, but solid and reliable. The only real downsides I can come up with on the DRZ are the 5 speed tranny and the oil in frame, which is annoying to change. For higher speed riding the 5 speed is buzzy and feels geared too low. The seat is pretty awful, too, come to think of it. On the upside there's tons of aftermarket parts for it. Issues are the cam chain tensioner and paper thin engine cases. Don't drop it on a pointy rock.
Honda, I have not ridden, but it looks and feels solid and has been getting good reviews. The price point is fucking incredible.
KLX250 is a bit more shoddy than the others in the QC department but still decent. It's fun and does great on backroads and off road jaunts but is wheezy and underpowered for 55+. It sounds and feels like a toy. You rev the throttle and it's like there's no response. Suspension is good, brakes are good. If I had one of these I really think I'd have to go with a 331 kit to make it on par with the WRR stock.
XT250 and 225 I have never owned, though Meredith was looking at a 225 for a while so I did some research and took some test rides. They are definetely old tech but are typical Yamaha quality, and solid. I think they give up a bit of the off road "prowess" (if you can call it that) that the WRR, DRZ, even KLX offer. They are more gravel roads bikes or econ / gas savers.
If you can find a WRR in your price range that would be my first recommendation. I think you'd be very pleased with it. I do think any of the above would be fun and definetely a better choice than a scooter for backroad and trail exploring.