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Old 12-20-2014, 08:25 PM   #1
gottaride OP
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Wr250r vs. Ktm 350 exc-f

I''m planning on purchasing a new bike. I know I want a dual sport but I'm having a tough time deciding which bike fits my needs/wants.

A quick history of my bikes: I started out on a Honda 70 3wheeler when I was 8. Went to a XR200 and then a CR250 two stroke. It has been several years since I last owned a bike. I'm excited to get back into riding on a regular basis!!!

I plan on doing both on road and off road riding. The on road riding will not be daily and will most likely be limited to around town and at most 35-40 miles one way on occasion. Most of my off road riding will take place out of town and I will trailer the bike.

My problem is that the bikes have advanced so much since my last that I'm not sure what I need. After much research I think my best options are the WR250R or the KTM 350 EXC-F.

I have not had the chance to ride either bike.

I'm concerned the WR250R does not have the power I'm looking for, especially in the low end. What I do like is that the bike seems to be very low maintenance and very reliable.

With the KTM 350 I know there is plenty of power but I worry about the maintenance and from what I've read it's not the best bike on pavement.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:50 PM   #2
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I think you've characterized the two bikes very accurately.

I owned a WR for a while and liked, but didn't love it. Surprisingly good streetbike, 2 gal tank which could get me 120 miles occasionally if I didn't hammer it. Off road suspension was only OK after I spent lots of time fiddling with ride height and adjusters.

KTM has it all over the Yamaha for power and off-road competency. It's also a lot more expensive and maintenance intense.

Personally, if you plan to spend any time on the street other than connecting trails, I'd do the WR, just less of a headache all-around. If off-road is a big deal to you, then KTM.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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Totally different

Those bikes are very different and while they are both great motorcycles, they serve different purposes.

The KTM is a dirt bike that you can ride on the road. It will be better everywhere offroad but it will require more of you in terms of maintenance. However, if you are riding offroad, it will give more than it takes and you will be hard pressed to find a better dirt bike.

The WR250r is a dual sport that can do big road miles and handle some pretty serious trail duty but it will not perform nearly as well as the KTM in single track or very technical terrain. I have turned around on trails while riding the wr that the ktm handled with no problem.

You're the only one who knows what kind of riding you plan on doing. If your idea of offroad is double track and some easy single track, the wr can do it and handle the road with less maintenance than the KTM. If you plan on riding offroad a lot and don't want to be limited in what kind of trails you tackle, then the KTM is a better choice.

I have plated 250xcfw and a wr250r and while the wr is a great bike, the ktm is so much better offroad that I am happy to deal with the extra maintenance time and expense. There really is no free lunch. Any high performance offroad bike is going to need more maintenance than a comparative dual sport regardless of manufacture. The real question is, what kind of offroad riding will you be doing?
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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I have both bikes. The WR is my adventure that I take on multi day trips and when I rack up miles. The 350 is just for trails that I trailer to reach. I will probably need to change the piston on the 350 before I need to check the valves on the WR.


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Old 12-21-2014, 04:09 AM   #5
gottaride OP
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Thanks for the replies.

What type of modifications can be done to the WR to improve power and torque?
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaride View Post
Thanks for the replies.

What type of modifications can be done to the WR to improve power and torque?
You're buying the wrong bike for you if this is your first question.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:08 AM   #7
gottaride OP
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Again that is my concern with the WRR (not enough power).

My thought process is that I love the fact that the WRR is very low maintenance and if the WRR is lacking slightly on power then I could make a few modifications to get it closer to my liking and still be under the cost of the KTM.

I realize that the WRR will never have the power/torque of the KTM. My only issue with the KTM is the maintenance intervals and cost of maintenance.

I had someone suggest the BETA 450RS. Anyone have any experience with these bikes?
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:41 AM   #8
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What kind of trails will you be riding? The WRR will only suck on the tightest of tight singletrack (arguable) and the fastest of high-speed trails (less arguable). It is about as reliable as a dirt bike gets though.

The KTM and/or any other modern 4-stroke not built for reliability will be much more friendly off-road only. I loved my WRR pretty much for being the bike that shouldn't be able to do what it could do, but I must admit I moved on. Every once in a while I miss that thing.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:02 AM   #9
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Get the KTM for that use. The WRR is fine (I own one), but that's so dirt-biased that it's a no-brainer.

I prefer the KTM 500 for better on-road power and gearing, vs the 350.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:07 AM   #10
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You really need to ride both, that will answer you question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N8 View Post
The KTM and/or any other modern 4-stroke not built for reliability will be much more friendly off-road only. I loved my WRR pretty much for being the bike that shouldn't be able to do what it could do, but I must admit I moved on. Every once in a while I miss that thing.

IRT the KTMs reliability, you'll be hard pressed to find more failures with that machine than the WRR, it's extremely reliable. As for the maint, yeah the oil will require changing more often and the valves seem to go about 100 hrs before requiring any shim changes. Both are more frequent than the WRR but that's the price of the extra performance. If you realistically map that out on a bike that you don't commute with every day, it's not very often. That being said if all you want to do is clean the airfilter and change the oil occasionally, get the WRR. If you want to keep up with your friends and advance your skills get the 350.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaride View Post
Again that is my concern with the WRR (not enough power).

My thought process is that I love the fact that the WRR is very low maintenance and if the WRR is lacking slightly on power then I could make a few modifications to get it closer to my liking and still be under the cost of the KTM.

I realize that the WRR will never have the power/torque of the KTM. My only issue with the KTM is the maintenance intervals and cost of maintenance.

I had someone suggest the BETA 450RS. Anyone have any experience with these bikes?
The wrr has approximately zero low end power. My wife's has different sprockets and it still has no low end. Sure an exhaust, program, etc. might free up a couple horse power, but you are ever closing in on ktm prices the more you do.

I had a KLR and kind of miss it for the reasons you speak of. I could just put fuel in it and go. Change the oil next spring and repeat, but it comes at an off roadability cost.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RideFreak View Post
IRT the KTMs reliability, you'll be hard pressed to find more failures with that machine than the WRR, it's extremely reliable. As for the maint, yeah the oil will require changing more often and the valves seem to go about 100 hrs before requiring any shim changes. Both are more frequent than the WRR but that's the price of the extra performance. If you realistically map that out on a bike that you don't commute with every day, it's not very often. That being said if all you want to do is clean the airfilter and change the oil occasionally, get the WRR. If you want to keep up with your friends and advance your skills get the 350.
Certainly not going to argue with you. The WRR is king when it comes to virtually no service other than air filter / oil changes. For a lazy fk like me, I enjoyed that about it. I felt I was honest with my opinion. You can see by my sig that I ride orange, but my WRX/R still holds a place in my heart, haha.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8 View Post
Certainly not going to argue with you. The WRR is king when it comes to virtually no service other than air filter / oil changes. For a lazy fk like me, I enjoyed that about it. I felt I was honest with my opinion. You can see by my sig that I ride orange, but my WRX/R still holds a place in my heart, haha.

I understand totally. The reliability comments IRT the KTMs seem to be a common theme around here. We ride very remote areas (sometimes punishing) on the bikes and they hold up fine, it's not a concern when planning those rides. The vast majority of reliability issues with modern bikes stem from poor maintenance or neglect.
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