2010 klx250s or 2009 wr250r?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Shadowist, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    Hey everyone! I'm a college freshman looking to purchase his first dual sport. I haven't been riding very long (well...except doing lots of cycling at high speeds...just means I *was* the engine haha) and have a really good feel for riding.

    I'm basically looking for a bike that would be decent commuter, but then be able to handle some weekend off roading. A lot of my friends here in Daytona have sport bikes, but my heart's off the asphalt. This bike is basically my transportation investment. Here's some of the criteria I'm looking at:

    -A new bike I could spend the time to break in and learn how it works
    -Can be worked on pretty easily
    -Has a decent aftermarket (I'm an Engineering Physics major and love modifying and messing with stuff :D)
    -Can handle the asphalt for getting from point A to point B
    -Can handle some dirt and mud
    -Reliable...
    -Price not too high
    -Did I mention being able to mess with it and mod it?

    After doing some research, I'm pretty locked into the 2010 Kawasaki KLX250S and the 2009 Yamaha WR250R. It's down to these two because the dealer in my home area (NJ) has them on sale for pretty much $5400 each. Here's what I gathered so far.

    *2010 Kawasaki KLX250S $5400 4 year extended warranty (could be less...but some people are saying get it...not sure what to do) with all costs included in that price*
    -Starts underpowered
    -Decent size aftermarket
    -Can be worked on to unlock it's potential
    -Just a hair smaller than the WR250R
    -Heard the thing can handle a beating after beating...
    -Most are set too lean =(

    *2009 Yamaha WR250R $5400 1 year standard warranty*
    -Starts out pretty much ready to go right away
    -More power "out of the box"
    -Fuel injected and some other neat tech on it
    -Handles on and off road really well
    -A little tall =(
    -Not much of an aftermarket compared to the klx?

    I had other thoughts but I have a final I need to go to =(

    I just need some advice on which way should I go. I got to sit on the KLX250S down in Florida and I absolutely love the feel. Kind of felt an adrenaline rush just sitting on it lol! Any rider input on each of these bikes? Anyone have a comparison? Just keep in mind I also plan on tinkering with whatever bike I get while I'm in college =]

    Oh...and yes I realize I'm going to drop it eventually. In fact, the weekend after I get it, I'm going to go play in some NJ mud :D

    *Oh and I'm getting my license in NJ and then taking the train from Virginia to Florida for when I have to come back to college for the Spring semester!*
    #1
  2. GetYourOwn

    GetYourOwn Been here awhile

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    Like you said you are going to drop it so get a used bike ,that way you won't feel so bad when yuo do drop it. You'll probably want/need something different in a few months and you'll lose a lot less money if you buy used.
    #2
  3. Tail Gunner

    Tail Gunner Life is Good !!! Enjoy the Ride

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  4. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    You can lower the WR quite a bit for not much money - adjust down the suspension & hack some foam out of the seat.

    The 'buy used vs new for a 1st bike 'cos you're gunna drop it' argument is not quite so applicable to light dual sports as they crash pretty well. Put on a good set of handguards & it'll take those inevitable low speed falls with hardly a scratch. That said, these are the kinds of bike that many buy & then don't use much so low miles examples can often be found cheap.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #4
  5. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    If it were me I'd go with the WR-R. The KLX was a great bike in the mid 1990s, its somewhat dated now. Still not a bad bike (heck I ride a '94 DR250SE all over DC), but if the prices are the same go with the modern stuff. Plus if you want something to learn, might as well learn on something that's put together in a modern fashion. Getting good at tweaking a carb is a skill that won't be of much use for much longer I think. If you are like me, you'll have a ton of fun building your own fuel and ignition maps and playing with the FI - it really gives a lot of options for modding. It seems there a decent aftermarket for the WR-R and I'm sure it'll grow considerably over the next few years.

    The KLX is a great one to mod as well (and needs it!). Figure on a big bore kit and FCR35 carb to get it running decent.

    I've seen (online) a WR-R with a turbo that looked pretty darn cool. That's taking modding to a whole different level. Apply your physics stuff and figure out how to get a positive displacement supercharger on one :deal

    In the end both will do the job just fine and be huge fun. Be sure not to blow all your $$$ on the bike as you'll need a fair bit for boots, gloves, pants, jacket, helmet and all that stuff. Better to get proper gear and an old bike than a fancy bike and inadequate gear.
    #5
  6. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    Wow you guys replied fast o_O

    I considering buying used...but the problem is that I don't have enough to shell out for a used bike which is pretty hard to find in my area. So for now I'm stuck financing which doesn't leave me a ton of options. Also my dad wants me to build my credit score so he's pushing to get it reasonably financed lol.

    With all that said, I do have about $750 I set aside for any mods I might want to consider while I'm home (I have decent riding gear and everything set with help from my mx and street friends haha). All I need at this point is the bike.

    I already considered a down payment and everything so all I have left is the bike purchase and then any modifications you guys suggest (or perhaps I found out I'd like after riding). I also don't plan on blowing all that planned mod cash too! I'm very careful and thoughtful when it comes to spending money on things. :rofl

    Oh and keep in mind I'm 5' 8" at 130lbs.
    #6
  7. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I also vote for the Yamaha. It is an advanced motorcycle with more capability in every way. Read up on Bigdog's link in the couple posts above. That fellow has had about every dual sport motorcycle they have made. His fav is the wr250r and he takes the big trips to prove it.

    I will be buying one this spring with the plan to ride the Continental Divide route that BigDog mapped out. He claims they cruise the interstate and do single track pretty handily. At 300lbs wet, it also means I can pick it up myself when I've dropped it on some remote path.

    Too bad you can't buy used because you could save some $1500 on a very low mileage bike. But hey, if financing is the only way...

    You are smart to get something like that for commuting to college in a warm climate. Good luck and let us know when you pull the trigger.
    #7
  8. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    Haha gotta say some of the arguments about it being more modern definitely appeals to me a lot more since I'm attracted to shiny technology...and then dismantling and putting it all back together :D

    Everyone rides bikes down here. In fact, my college caters to them with decent parking spots and all. It's just that this bike has to be able to handle some cold too since I go back home to New Jersey for the Winter time (hence I'm purchasing it when I come home later next week!).

    So here's my set of questions for the 2009 wr-r. I did some of the research but I figured I might as well ask.

    How low can this bike go? I know there's adjusting the suspension, shaving some foam off the seat, and some sort of yama-link. Anyone have a clue as to how much this towering monster can be lowered?

    Is there anything that should be done to this bike right off the bat? I know I won't know until after I test it out...but is there anything in particular?

    Also, how is the wr-r in a pretty cold climate?

    Haha you guys are a great help in helping me figure this out. =)
    #8
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    My research says the Yamalik lowering kit drops the back 1 inch. Here is a tutorial: http://www.motorcycleloweringlinks.com/index.php?content=yamaha-lowering-link-wr250xr-stock

    You will also want to slide the forks up an inch in the front to keep the same geometry. There might even be kits that lower even more, but I am your size and would probably go no lower. You'll prolly have to cut the sidestand some. Riding in the cold/wet requires heated grips and large wind deflectors of some sort. Grips cost about $30 and guards cost about $100. You will also want a heated jacket liner ($200). Surprisingly, the little WR has enough electrical output to run it all at once.

    You'll need a tank bag and at least a lockable tail box for hauling your books and such. Maybe even a soft pannier system, but they can be pretty pricey. I wouldn't mess with the exhaust system. Keep the power and sprockets stock if you're primarily a commuter.

    My son took a little bitty Ducati Monster with him to college in AZ. He ended up bringing a dirtbike too his sophomore year. He would have been much better off with a handy little bike like the WR that would do it all. It was a hassle with 2 bikes. He used them both up, though! :lol3
    #9
  10. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    I checked out the potential for a free mod and found that reshaping the seat does a lot. I'll probably do this while I'm home as a little side project for fun =)

    http://wr250rforum.forumotion.com/oh-those-sweet-mods-f5/seat-mods-lower-more-comfy-t1595.htm

    I'd probably do that and do a factory lowering on it myself. As long as I get a foot comfortably on the ground that's all I require for now :D Since I hope to do some weekend dirt riding and traveling, I'd like to keep the ground clearance if I can. I hope to also get a taste for enduro and hare scrambles while I'm at college in Florida. Basically I hope to get whatever bike I'm leaning towards to be literally an all-round bike. Light commuting (would only be 15 minutes to everything I need), off road/playing in the mud, a little touring with friends, and hopefully at least get a small taste of racing in time :)

    This tank bag looks interesting: http://www.nelsonrigg.com/store/product.aspx?pid=464

    Any recommendations on racks? Some people have been saying that the Yamaha rack works pretty well. I was actually considering just using my north face hiking pack. Not much in the way of protection, but it keeps water out of all the compartments which hold my notebooks, laptop, and text books. Just unsure on how it is while riding.

    Hm...I wonder what could I do performance wise too. Haha the more I look into the wr-r the more potential I see for tinkering:rofl
    #10
  11. Buzzbomber

    Buzzbomber Not Dr. Who...

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    As noted, the Yamalink can lower the WR² by 1", and the built-in height adjustment on the shock is good for another 1". If you look for greer's and bonnie abzug's posts in the WR megathread, I think they have the lowest WRs out there, so they might have ideas what you can do. FWIW, I'm 5'9" with a 29" inseam, and I'm fine with the built-in lowering without an additional lowering link. I can comfortably get one foot flat, or both tippy toes down at a stop.

    As for cold weather, if you mean NJ winters, it'll be fine. I know this b/c that's my home:wink:. It was 17°F :vardy the january day I picked up my bike from the dealer, so I learned how it handled cold weather right off the bat. An added bonus is that the alternator can handle plenty of accessories. I have grip heaters and heated gloves on mine so far. Bike never has trouble starting in the cold, and runs great after a minute of warmup time.
    #11
  12. CousinLarry

    CousinLarry Ridin Dirty

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    I've rode both, the WR was OK, but still pretty doggish in stock form. Although I did like the suspension a bit better.

    I would recommend the KLX. Cheaper, more aftermarket, cheaper parts..

    You can do the 351 big bore for $525. The 290 big bore on the WRR is like $800.

    KLX + Big bore + jet kit = awesome bike. And you can use the stock carb with no probs on the 351. I have stock carb and bike runs like a god damned raped ape. Lots of down low torque, and that motor is bullet proof.

    Also keep in mind if you want to do any mods to the WRR you'll need a programmer since it's fuel injected. Can't just swap a jet and be on your way like the KLX.

    New tech = $$$

    KLX parts are cheap. Plus almost all 97+ KLX300 parts are inter-changeable.

    Get the KLX :) Or don't, I don't give a fuck. hahaa
    #12
  13. bash3r

    bash3r I ain't no DingWeed

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    My advice is get the WR250R! It's fuel injected, better suspension, 350watt alternator, and its the go "ANYWHERE" bike, proven by legendary rides. ie. BigDog/Dingweed's Mexico to Canada and then some ride 5,300 miles
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=612543

    Take a look at the WR250R monster thread, I have a lot of info on my website as well. http://www.basherdesigns.com

    You can lower the WR a lot, 1" by lowering the rear and another 1" by adding a Yamalink. There are a few females on the thread that have lowered the bike even more.

    A used WR is well worth it.. check dealers for older year models. Last Sept '09 I bought my '08 for $4600 from a dealer... so the bikes are out there still.

    Get the WR and go....
    [​IMG]

    Forgot to address your cold climate question.. since the WR is fuel injected there is no choke or jetting ..fuel injection means it pretty much does that for you, like a car. I've ridden my WR below freezing.. I turn the key and hit the start button.. bam.. she's running. While my non-fuel injected buds are choking and hitting the throttle to get their bikes to start after a lunch stop. During my Idaho trip, it was in the lows 30s in the morning and heat of the day in the 90s at anywhere from 6,000 ft to 10,000 ft elevations.. bike always ran the same, never an issue. We had 4 WRs on this trip and all ran strong... this is the beauty of a FI bike!!

    Pictured here is in Montana just under 10,000 ft elevation
    [​IMG]



    ~Bash
    #13
  14. bash3r

    bash3r I ain't no DingWeed

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  15. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

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    I really don't know why you would want to buy new. You could easily buy a used street bike and a used dual sport for the same money. It isn't hard to find dual sports which have never seen dirt, and even with a few miles they look like new.

    If/when you decide to sell either of them you can sell them for much closer to what you paid than if you buy new. Just look at the prices of what new cost vs a few years old.

    Heck, you're in FL, right? Forget getting two bikes, just buy 1 dual sport and 2 used jet ski's with a trailer. You can easily come out under the $5400 and have a lot more fun.

    I just bought an 06' Suzuki DR-Z400S for $2550 and you can find a pair of older jet ski's for about the same. Craigslist rocks.

    Btw, a couple of weeks ago I saw an 09 KLX 250S in VA for $1900. I use
    http://www.bikefinds.com/

    and it shows CL listings nationwide. Be patient and you'll be amazed at the deals you'll see. Heck you're in college, make a "Road Trip" out of it! :freaky
    #15
  16. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    I'm buying new because I can't afford a used bike :(

    Basically I'm working out $1000 down payment (lower the monthly payments mainly), got the insurance figured out, and for the extras like a tank bag, lock, and such, I'm looking at a total of around $2200 of actual spending. The rest I'm holding onto is survival money til I get back for the spring semester :D. My parents made drew a very strong line of only giving me enough money to stay in college (fed loans), everything else is at my expense which means I'm paying all of my interest, phone bill, insurance, and payments on whatever I get.

    I'm probably going to go for the WR-R. Since I deal a lot with designing circuit boards and stuff in my major, it'll give me a chance to learn some different skills with the digital display and fuel mapping (once I get the money together for a power commander to mess with).

    @Buzzbomber You wouldn't happen to know of any place that would do a winter basic riders course do you? Right now I only have my motorcycle permit and am trying to find some place that I could get a little bit more experience, lower my insurance, and avoid doing a road test. I know how to ride...just trying to find alternatives :D
    #16
  17. Buzzbomber

    Buzzbomber Not Dr. Who...

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    No, unfortunately, I think all the places offering the BRC are shut down until May here in NJ. You could always take it when you come home in the spring - you'll still get an insurance break and some good practice to build on your experience.
    #17
  18. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    Ah okay then. In that case I'll just take the road test so I can at least get my endorsement and then take the brc when I come back after my spring semester.

    Haha this is definitely exciting. Just have to pull through a few more finals and then I'm home free on making this all happen. :D
    #18
  19. SMcGuire45

    SMcGuire45 Adventurer

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    Did you look at the Yamaha XT250? Just curious...

    I'm trying to decide between the KLX250S, XT250 or the WR250R right now myself. I've been looking at bikes for awhile and I agree that buying used is the way to go. I'm just patiently waiting for the right deal. I understand your predicament of having to finance though. You can always see if you'll qualify for a bank loan? That way you can buy a used bike and still build your credit. That's what I would do, and you'll probably get a lower rate as well.

    By the way...I can tell by your posts that your in school at my alma mater!
    #19
  20. Shadowist

    Shadowist FX Artist

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    Nah. Didn't look at the XT250 at all.

    So just as an update, I found a local family run dealer selling a 2010 WRR and bought it. Got all the paperwork fill out and such (haha...strange feeling buying my first vehicle) and got the bike delivered the next day (no one to pick it up for me).

    First thing I noticed, the bike it a lot taller than I thought. I did sit on it at the dealer, but in person, it just feels like a monster. So I got up and started it and she purred. Well...more like a low roar :D. It's great that she's able to get going in this chilly Jersey weather. Warmed up pretty easily too! I rode her around 1st to get a feel for the 250 engine (mind you I only rode a small dirt bike before) and loved the handling. Tore up some nice dirt. Then I tried to stop...and nearly tipped over.

    A day later I rode some more and got a good feel for her. Dug some more holes in my backyard getting used to the power. Then I decided I just had to lower her. So, I took off the seat and cut roughly 1.5" of foam. Since I made it custom, it was a beautiful fit (comfy too!). I could also reach the ground and felt a lot more stable with both toes or one foot flat.

    Today, I reached into second and got quite a bit more aggressive on my WRR. Played in some soft dirt and sand in my small trail and stalled in ankle deep mud (forgot to pull the clutch when I was braking...remember...I'm kind of new to this!). Got back to my house and had the time of my life.

    Next thing I need to do, borrow my friend's scooter for Wednesday to practice the road test, and then take the road test on Thursday. He says it's a 250 and it's a large one, but I bet it'll feel like a toy compared to my WRR. We'll see what happens.

    Note for future readers: This isn't a great experience to go by when it comes to a purchase. I don't have that much experience riding and this is the first bike I actually owned (just borrowed smaller dirt bikes from friends occasionally). I can't really compare this to any other bike in it's class. I wish I had the opportunity to...but didn't get the chance.

    Oh and to SMcGuire45: You went to Riddle?! Haha when did you attend? I'm really curious since I'm a Freshman and love meeting new people from my college. :D

    Everyone else: Thanks a bunch for helping me out with this decision! Next objective (besides get my motorcycle license...) is to mod a little more. Get some barkbusters, lower the profile on the mirrors (just asking for a tree in the tight Jersey trails to take them out), figure out some bags for school (perhaps small touring/camping), maybe make the lights LED for fun, haha so many things I'd like to do to the bike. Performance wise...that'll come as a ride more. For now, I like the performance the way it is.:lol3
    #20