Originally Posted by MeefZah
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.
Thanks Meef, I value your thorough feedback. The new Honda does seem like a great deal. I've been following the CRF250L owners thread and see they're coming up with a lot of new aftermarket stuff. I keep leaning towards a DRZ maybe because I seem to see more of them reasonably priced (cheap?). The 01 I seen on CL appears to have a big tank, newer tires and less than 6k miles.
Originally Posted by bikeridermark
You'll get more tags on a scooter than a drz!!
BTW, you coming to lunch tomorrow?
I got a few tags on the scooter before it blew up. Eventually I'll probvably come across a used chinese or preferably Helix /Reflex that I won't be able to pass up. I've got plans tomorrow so no ADV lunch for me.
Originally Posted by alansz400
Sounds like the X I bought for Kyle would have been perfect for you. You can test ride it and my WR this spring if you want to compare the two. For being the same bike they sure dont handle the same.
Looks like I am out for lunch tmw. My wife has to work (no babysitter) and I have therapy at 1:30.
Thanks Alan, I may take you up on it if I don't find a winter priced bargain basement deal I can't pass up. I have looked at SM versions of the DRZ and WRR and would consider one of those as well.
Somehow I lost bikeneil's quote, we had exchanged messages after I contacted you asking how you liked your XT. I dig the packer and would definitely consider copying that on whatever I buy... seriously. Somehow I have it in my mind that liquid cooled = better longevity than an air cooled bike.
It may just come down to what I think is the best value price wise and what pops up. WRR seems to be priced a little high and rightfully so for bike/$ value. DRZ and XT are are strong possibilities. There is something nostalgic about the XT's that sort of remind me of the old Honda SL and it seems to be a bit tamer than a WRR or DRZ and that is acceptable to me.