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Old 10-13-2010, 07:06 AM   #16
rmax
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My experience is from a KLR650 to a WR250R and will confirm that less weight and better suspension made a huge difference. I also bought the most aggressive DOT knobbies I could find (Mitas C-16 / C17).

I am faster and more comfident off-road now. I can ride over and through stuff that would have had me slowing down. While more speed also means that the inevitable crash is at higher speed; this bike (about the same weight as the KLX250) is easy to pick up (again compared to the KLR650 - light as a feather) and the additional investment in protective gear was needed anyway.


Go with the lighter bike and have more fun with less work!
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCubanaso
I have a 2009 DR650SE. I like the on-road capabilities of the DR just fine. I've also been offroad with it somewhat, but to be honest, I feel like I have a very hard time controlling the bike offroad. The following sums up my problems with it:
  • I can barely flat-foot the DR650 in the std height configuration
  • The stock Trailwings feel horrible on gravel (like riding on marbles) and light mud.
  • The gearing seems a bit tall.....gotta pull in the clutch often during technical stuff or when I need to creep along slowly
I just recently (yesterday) replaced the Trailwings with MEFO Explorers. We'll see if those help.

My main question is this: Would I feel tremendous benefits/differences from going with a lighter bike for offroad use? I'm still talking dual-sport (need plates for some areas I can get to). Also, no crazy MX type stuff like catching air or anything like that (too old for that).

I'm considering the KLX250s primarily because it is lighter, and still has a reasonable seat height. I would primarily throw the KLX on the back of my pickup truck and drive it to trails.

Would the KLX250 be much better than the DR650 offroad, or should I just concentrate on improving my offroad skills with the DR650?
Well ... first of all ... virtually any bike feels like riding on marbles on gravel
... same with mud ... but full knobbies (and/or a lighter bike) ... will make that situation feel much better ... but then the knobs will wear fast on pave.

... and ... putting one tooth smaller F sprocket on the DR is pretty common - for the same reasons you mention

So ... full knobs and 1 tooth smaller sprkt and slip the lowering bolt to the 'lowered' position ... and you may find the DR acceptable ?

I'd do that (cheap/easy) ... then decide if you need "more"?

The Mefo's may not be "enough better" ?
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:58 AM   #18
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I would say yes. I had a DR650 and now have a DR350. I would love both but the 350 is a huge improvement off road. If you can keep the DR650 I would also look at WR250, might be a bit overkill but they dont need any upgrades, except maybe lowering.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:25 AM   #19
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The WR250R has a great motor, and is a short stroke, high revving item compared to the KLX's longer stroke design. The biggest issue I have with the WR250R is the super tall seat height, like a DRZ400 (which I recently sold). The KLX is much friendlier in tight trails (for me) because of the lower seat height and the gruntier power delivery.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:33 PM   #20
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Sounds like I'll be in the market for a lighter bike to add to the stable

Based on everyone's feedback (thank you), looks like I'll be keeping my eye out for a good deal on a light, 250 for more technical trail terrain.

I mentioned the KLX250s because the research I've done to date suggests that it would best suit my needs. Here is the lineup of potential bikes and why I think the KLX is my first choice. Let me know if the thinking seems right.

KLX250s - average seat height, better suspension than most other 250's (except the Yammi WR250), good engine/power, a bit heavier than I'd like, water cooled
CRF230L - very low ground clearance, seriously undersprung suspension, underpowered engine (although well-geared for creeping along technical terrain), low seat height.
XT225/XT250 - decent power, low seat height, seriously undersprung suspension
WR250 - best engine/power on a 250, great suspension, too tall seat height (for me), best dirt bike of the dual sport 250's, pricey $$$$.

Did I miss any of them worth considering?

Whichever one I end up with, I will outfit it with a total dirt bias....full knobbies, lowered gearing, etc.

Ed
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:46 PM   #21
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I have an 07klx250s and I love it! Commute to work 40 mins each way, longer on the way home when I'm riding the trails. I've ridden with faster riders on faster bikes (katooms in single track), and I can keep up, I just have to work a lot harder.
Now I want to sell my street bike and buy a 650D/S probably japanese. I plan on keeping both D/S s the little one with knobbies and the bigger one with 50/50s on it.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCubanaso
KLX250s - average seat height, better suspension than most other 250's (except the Yammi WR250), good engine/power, a bit heavier than I'd like, water cooled
CRF230L - very low ground clearance, seriously undersprung suspension, underpowered engine (although well-geared for creeping along technical terrain), low seat height.
XT225/XT250 - decent power, low seat height, seriously undersprung suspension
WR250 - best engine/power on a 250, great suspension, too tall seat height (for me), best dirt bike of the dual sport 250's, pricey $$$$.

Did I miss any of them worth considering?
Your summation looks about right. I'm not sure the WR250R is that much better a dirt bike than the KLX250S but it is a better all around bike for a higher price. The WRR weighs about the same as the KLX and the suspension quality is similar. The engine is better in every way.

Here is another take. I know you like to put both feet on the ground. It is a common desire. Since you are hauling, not riding slab, to the off-road area you might at least think about a KTM 450 or 525/30 EXC. Yes, the seat it higher BUT they are much lighter and the suspension is much better. As a result, you won't need to use your feet as often as you will on a DR, KLX, or WRR. Your rides will be more enjoyable and less tiring because of the lower weight and better control. You will become a more skilled rider sooner because the bikes work for you instead of against.

The KLX and WRR are only a little lighter than my beefy KTM 640 LC4E. A DR650 weighs 360 pounds, my LC4E 340 pounds, a KTM 690 310 pounds, the KLX and WRR are 300 pounds, the 450 & 525/530 EXCs 250 pounds, and the TE 310/250 235 pounds. 50 pounds difference in weight off-road is huge.

I have a riding buddy with a KLX and I'm not sure it is any easier to ride on technical off-road trails than my LC4E. It is a little lighter but the engine is less tractable. A 250 should be light (and the 2011 Husky TE 310/250 are and street legal) but the KLX and WRR are no feather weights. A 250 takes more revs to make the same power so you end up with a lighter bike that is in some ways is not that easy to ride on the trail. At the same power output a 450 or 525 is chugging along where the 250 is reving with a more peaky power curve.

The penalty with a 450/525/530 EXC or TE 310/250 is more frequent oil changes and valve checks but both are quick tasks. Just because a bike is designed to race doesn't mean it is difficult to ride casually. The EXCs excel at both and are very durable and reliable when ridden at less than race pace. The price could be comparible if you are considering both used and new bikes.

Sparrowhawk screwed with this post 10-13-2010 at 10:29 PM
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCubanaso
Let me know if the thinking seems right.

KLX250s - average seat height, better suspension than most other 250's (except the Yammi WR250), good engine/power, a bit heavier than I'd like, water cooled
CRF230L - very low ground clearance, seriously undersprung suspension, underpowered engine (although well-geared for creeping along technical terrain), low seat height.
XT225/XT250 - decent power, low seat height, seriously undersprung suspension
WR250 - best engine/power on a 250, great suspension, too tall seat height (for me), best dirt bike of the dual sport 250's, pricey $$$$.

Did I miss any of them worth considering?
I wouldn't even consider any of them except the KLX and WR.

A distant 3rd might be a DR-Z400S ( I had one). The 5 speed sucks and even though it's not that much heavier than the KLX/WR it *felt* a lot heavier than my KLX. Seat height probably similar to the WR too.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCubanaso
I won't miss the power of the DR because its not going anywhere. Basically, I want to keep the DR for adventure riding. I love the DR.


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Old 04-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #25
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Update

Thought I'd provide an update to all those that provided feedback.

In January of this year, I purchased a left-over 2009 KLX250S.

Boy am I glad!!!!!!!

I have to say, those of you that said I would definitely notice a difference moving to a 250 from the 650 were absolutely correct.

This past weekend I took the KLX on one of the trails that I had ridden on the DR650. Let me tell you, WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.

Not only am I in much more control of the motorcycle, but I have to work much less to get through technical rocky sections and rough stuff.

On the street/road, the KLX obviously gives up significant power compared to the DR650. Specifically, I have to make better use of downshifting when approaching steep hills. However, having said that, the KLX250 still has enough power to haul my 250lb butt to 80MPH (speedo) on Route 23. Bike still had some left in her, but I didn't think that kinda speed on a little 250 was a good idea.

Additionally, the seat on the KLX250 seems a little more comfortable than the seat on the DR650.

Finally, since I'm sure one of you will post the obligatory "this thread is useless without pictures........."

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Old 04-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #26
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KLX250 hands down

Had DR650 and DRZ400
No comparison for what you want to do.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:48 PM   #27
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Still lovin the KLX

Everytime I get into some good offroad areas, I remember how much I hated this type of terrain on the DR650. No doubt, the DR can take it......but I didn't like it.

The KLX is so good offroad, that the DR has been relegated to more of an adventure touring bike (like it should be).

Its really hard to describe, but I feel tremendously more comfortable handling the KLX on technical trails. The KLX feels like a mountain bike compared to the DR.

Here is a pic or two from today's action.



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Old 03-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #28
ohenry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
Your summation looks about right. I'm not sure the WR250R is that much better a dirt bike than the KLX250S but it is a better all around bike for a higher price. The WRR weighs about the same as the KLX and the suspension quality is similar. The engine is better in every way.

Here is another take. I know you like to put both feet on the ground. It is a common desire. Since you are hauling, not riding slab, to the off-road area you might at least think about a KTM 450 or 525/30 EXC. Yes, the seat it higher BUT they are much lighter and the suspension is much better. As a result, you won't need to use your feet as often as you will on a DR, KLX, or WRR. Your rides will be more enjoyable and less tiring because of the lower weight and better control. You will become a more skilled rider sooner because the bikes work for you instead of against.

The KLX and WRR are only a little lighter than my beefy KTM 640 LC4E. A DR650 weighs 360 pounds, my LC4E 340 pounds, a KTM 690 310 pounds, the KLX and WRR are 300 pounds, the 450 & 525/530 EXCs 250 pounds, and the TE 310/250 235 pounds. 50 pounds difference in weight off-road is huge.

I have a riding buddy with a KLX and I'm not sure it is any easier to ride on technical off-road trails than my LC4E. It is a little lighter but the engine is less tractable. A 250 should be light (and the 2011 Husky TE 310/250 are and street legal) but the KLX and WRR are no feather weights. A 250 takes more revs to make the same power so you end up with a lighter bike that is in some ways is not that easy to ride on the trail. At the same power output a 450 or 525 is chugging along where the 250 is reving with a more peaky power curve.

The penalty with a 450/525/530 EXC or TE 310/250 is more frequent oil changes and valve checks but both are quick tasks. Just because a bike is designed to race doesn't mean it is difficult to ride casually. The EXCs excel at both and are very durable and reliable when ridden at less than race pace. The price could be comparible if you are considering both used and new bikes.

The race KTM's and Husky's are great off road but suck in comparison to the WR250r and KLX250s as a dual sport on the street. I have owned an 02 400 exc and an 04 450exc and my buddy has the 2013 500exc and after riding them back to back with my 09 KLX250s the KLX is smooth as silk on the street. I had an 01 640e. The LC4 640 is 50lbs heavier than the WR and KLX and the vibes will rattle you to death oh and where is the 6th gear? I also have owned an 08 TE250 and again great off road bad on the street. I had an 08 WR250r and I did not like the rear of the bike being too tall and I am 6 feet tall on hills or even at a stop light it was up my bum. I also felt the motor had a bunch of vibrations way more than the KLX and I find the KLX has better suspension overall. The new KLX's have the best speedos!





My twin brother has a DR650 and I test rode it and had a blast. Torque for days! Off road it did well on grass and curbs super soft and comfy.

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #29
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KLX250s to KTM/Husky

I had the same experience when I added a KLX250 to the stable for offroad use. I have a KLR and found the KLX250 is a huge difference for offroad. I modded the KLX to be dirt biased (i.e. geared down and knobbies). I found it to be a great addition. Both bikes are fun for the right purpose.

Since adding to the KLX was such good move (for me), of course, I want more. Now I am wondering if I take it the next level by going to a KTM or Husky 250 will that be a similiar improvement. It will be more power with less weight. Has anybody that made the jump from the Japanese 250 dual sports to the dualsport race bikes? Can you comment on the how much easier/more fun offroad it is.

I don't really want to race or jump. I just want to be able to get through gnarly trails or hills with less of a struggle.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:21 AM   #30
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A KLX would be smaller then a DR,and somewhat lighter,but dont they still weigh over 300lbs? You would have two heavy cheaply built dualsport bikes.
Both with wobbly cheap suspension.

Just for laughs,find a dirtbike,plated or not and ride a light bike just once,the lack of weight will be a revelation,excess weight is what turns a save into a crash.
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