Anyone go from a Big 650 dualsport to a 250 and regret it?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ntm1973, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. kentnothstine

    kentnothstine Been here awhile

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    +1 :thumbup
    #41
  2. Baggersteve

    Baggersteve Adventurer

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    I guess I'll have to start shopping around for a Sherpa. The Dakar will go up for sale when I finally get the new title back from the state.
    #42
  3. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    That is another thing that scares me off from getting a wr250r, making power at too high a rpm. Most of the trails in this area are straight up and then straight down, often times from a dead stop.

    Does putting a 351 kit on a klx250s give it more torque or at least move the powerband down to where it is on a klr? It is nice to have that tractor power.

    Too bad suzuki doesn't perfect the drz400 and put a 6th speed gearbox in there.
    #43
  4. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Even with just an OEM KLX300 cylinder on the 250S, it climbs like a freakin' cat. I've had many, many off road racing bikes and more play oriented dirt bikes like XR250R's, and I've yet to own a better climber than this bike. This bike doesn't require a screaming approach to a climb or any other unusual methods. The traction quality of the powerband is surprisingly competent without wringing its neck. It was one of the most pleasant surprises about this bike. In its totally stock form it's so choked and plugged up with noise and emission issues...like most true street legal DS bikes...it's pretty gutless and does require you to wring it out. Once you put a pipe, jetting, and simple airbox mods on the bike, it regains noticeable bottomend and torque. And if you open it up just a bit on the displacement, it steps it up to another level. I rode mine for about a year with the stock displacement and mentioned mods, and it was very capable off road and climbed loose stuff quite easily. The 300 jug yielded more performance increase than I would have ever expected with just that much increase.
    #44
  5. Dewtwo

    Dewtwo old trail rider!

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    After 6K miles of d/s ridin my KTM 690E, I sold it to purchase a barely used WRR w/ dirtbags for under $4K.
    Put on a 3gal. tank. Very reliable, very versatile. I've done 6K miles d/s ridin on this bike and it does all I want it to.
    I believe I will keep this bike longer than any I've ever owned (had about 30)
    #45
  6. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    This really comes down to personal preference & riding style. I had and sold a WRR. Just like any other dual sport bike, it was a mix of compromises. For some people, that mix will work, and for others it won't.

    I found the WRR to be down on power for agressive off roading. That's not to say it didn't do well for what it was, but the laque of tourque was tiresome, and I didn't like the bike's inability to get the front end up at speed (like, say, when approaching a log crossing and you don't want to slow down). Don't get me wrong, I could go anywhere I wanted on the bike, but I could never come to grips with the lack of power. That being said, a big 650 like the KLR would have been far worse.

    Contrary to what others seem to thnk, I did not like the WRR on the highway at all. It was a fantastic back roads bike, and was a joy as long as the speeds were >65ish, but maintaining anything above that was a battle if you were going up any kind of grade. Yes, it would run 75, but you had to keep it pinned and shift to keep it there. I did several 100+ mile pavement stints on the bike, and it just wore me out. I would have much prefered a KLR/ DR/ Dakar 650 for that kind of thing.

    I ended up with a KTM 525 for my "daul sport" use, and will eventuall compliment it with something along the lines of a KLR. For me, the KTM works far better. There is no comparison off road, and it handles limited pavement duty about as well (with alot more power on top). It fits my style and needs. BUT, if I rode less aggressively, or was looking for more of an "exploring"/ plodding around/ forest service road type bike, I would have kept the WRR.

    In the end, you almost have to have two bikes. I agree with a previous poster who reccomended keeping the KLR and complimenting it with a low priced, taggable dirt bike.
    #46
  7. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I went from a KTM 950 to a Yamaha WR250R. It took awhile to get used to the lack of power, but I ended up using the WR just like the 950. Mine is lowered with a link, I have a small fly screen plus soft luggage. I like the stock seat with a sheepskin on it. 12 hour days no problem. Performance wise, the Yam 250 will run with my buddy's new KLR on the highway easy. Both cruise best at 65mph or so.

    I liked the WR so much I sold the 950 and replaced it with a KTM 690, which is similar to the WR, but a lot more power. It cruises at 80 or so. :D
    #47
  8. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    Even 100% stock, the KLX is a little tractor. Nice low end torque and super smooth power delivery. One of the motorcycle mags did a 250cc dual sport shootout a couple of years ago. The WRR won every category, with the KLX close behind. However, many of the testers preferred the KLX due to its more friendly power band.
    #48
  9. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Right out-of-the-box, the WRR is faster and has a little more available power due mainly to the FI. The carb on the KLX requires it to be super lean, and Kawasaki equipped it with a really choked down muffler. The price difference between the 2 bikes, however, makes it very easy and logical to mod the exhaust and install a Dynojet kit. This changes the KLX dramatically. Otherwise the 2 bikes are very similar in weight and suspension performance. I wouldn't mind having either bike, but I was able to find a used '06 model KLX for a decent price so it was a moot point.
    #49
  10. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    I like my wr much more.... but I do miss the torque at times. KLX or WRr, or the new crf250l I think any of these would be a good choice
    #50
  11. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    I have a Dakar and a Djebel 250XC. The Djebel is much easier to ride offroad, lets me try things I wouldn't risk doing on the Dakar. But the Dakar hammers it in the comfort stakes for LD riding and is much more fun on twisty back roads. In short, horses for courses...
    #51
  12. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

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    I know this is an older thread but thanks for all the responses guys. I ended up trading my KLR for a dr650 a few months ago and think that I found a nice balance. I still wouldn't mind finding something smaller (dr350 or xt225) but compared to the klr, the dr "feels" much lighter and easier to work in the woods, plus I didn't give up anything on the road. Just to be clear, I don't ride a lot of single track and I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere offroad so that may be a factor for other riders. The dr is still a heavy beast to unstuck from a mud whole alone in the woods but it feels worlds better than the klr which probably has a lot to do with me being short.

    Anyway, just thought I'd give an update in case anyone else is looking to downsize; don't overlook the dr650 if you still have to ride the superslab. It still seems like an xt225 or dr200 would be a good wife bike that I could "borrow" from time to time. :D
    #52
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I had a dr650 with a pumper carb and upgraded suspension, and loved it.
    It was loads of fun right up to the point of the helicopter ride.
    It was not a bad fall, but the weight and height of the bike was too much for my old bones.

    Something to keep in mind when playing in the dirt, the more weight you have, and the higher the bike is, makes for a worse crash.
    After the dr, I got a tw200, at least 50 pounds lighter, lower, and big fat tires, great for the sand, and I went places I never would have gone with a dr650. And it was easy.

    I hear very good things about the wr250, but I think a klx with a pumper carb and maybe a big bore kit would be the way I would go.
    If you are going to do things to a bike, a carb is a good way to go, and a well set up pumper works as well as FI if you are at a stable altitude.

    Lean set vacuum carbs just suck, and really dull the performance of any bike that has one.

    I find it fun to push a bike to my and its limits in the dirt or on the street, and find a smaller bike fun on the street, where you can pin the throttle, work the gears, tuck in and simulate a road race, without getting tickets.

    The dr650 was great fun, but with the ability to get over 100 mph very quickly, the throttle wheelies, tickets were just a matter of time...
    I did not do a lot of street on the dr, I hate the tire wear, wanting good sharp knobs for the dirt/sand/mud, but it was fun on the street.

    In the dirt, I want light weight above everything else.
    2nd comes reliability because I ride alone and hate pushing a bike in sand.
    3rd comes power and throttle response.
    4th comes suspension.

    A friend has a couple of xt225's and they were a lot of fun in the rough stuff, very easy to ride over some very nasty stuff.

    The dirt is very close to my house, so my need to do the street was nil, and a dr350 or some 250 would have been a lot better then a dr650, but other people need to travel to get someplace good to ride, and there a 650 is likely a nicer choice, if their bones are strong....
    Anyone who rides a 650 in the dirt needs very good medical insurance...
    #53
  14. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    I ride a plated honda xr650r.Kind of a wierd cross breed between a baja racer and adventure bike.I have found that at dual sport events that I haul the bike to I word prefer a newer high tech bike like a ktm exc-losing 50 lbs of bike would make the day more fun.But sometimes I ride the xrr 60 miles of highway+60 miles of dirt forest service road+60 miles highway back home.I would miss the 650 on the highway-it has lots of passing power on the highway.A buddy got a beater dr350 and I like it.Low tech air cooled + a good 6 speed trans.
    #54
  15. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    This made me laugh because it is pretty accurate....and I had a WRR and sold it. Mostly because all we have are hills and gnarly rockgardens.:D
    #55
  16. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I moved form DR650SE to a WR250R this June; happy so far. I miss the DR's power a little, but the WRR is better than I expected in that dept, and the weight is wonderful (by comparison).

    I rode a KLX250SF around Vancouver Island for 4 days, and it was a hoot, though I didn't like the sport-bike tires in deep gravel, nor was it ideal the high-speed highway, but we avoided both whenever we could. Fun bike.

    With FI and 100cc more, the KLX250S (KLX350S) would rule the small-displacement Japanese dual-sport market. This would be so easy, since FI is already in world markets, and there are already 300 to 351 top ends proven for this engine.

    When I decided to down-size, I determined that I would buy either a KLX351S or WR250R, whichever turned-up 1st in the condition I wanted (very clean). WR250R was 1st, and having done the factory lowering, and well into the farkling, I am pleased.
    #56
  17. Eflyguy

    Eflyguy Adventurer

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    Here's my perspective: I'm new to DS (DR650) but have liter street bikes (two FZ1s) and a 250cc trail bike (WR250F) - I would not consider using my DR for serious trail/dirt use with friends but would use it, say, if the whole family went on an easy trail ride. On the other hand, my WR feels faster than the DR but obviously could not run 70 on the highway for an hour. I'd love to ride the 250 around town but it's not street legal.

    So, it really depends on how far and fast you need to go on the street, and the capability of the specific 250 you're considering. The WR250R, for example, can run at highway speeds no problem. Ultimately, I think I'd be as happy on that, but I couldn't justify the cost..
    ..a
    #57
  18. esp41

    esp41 Been here awhile

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    My weapon of choice for "subjectively superior" mediocre off/on road performance was an old 2006 TE610. Lightweight (310#ish), many farkles available to tailor the bike. Plenty of torque (576 cc). Will do log road/fire trails all day long and can cruise at 70 as well. It has a carb(repairable in the field). Durable motor. The downside is the inability to find parts in a hurry.

    Dualsport should be listed in the dictionary under compromise, cuz there is no clear weapon of choice.

    Mike
    #58
  19. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    One of the best compromise I found was a 2007 te610. Proverbial drz with a 6th gear. Did a few hauls on interstate 15 and dirt was passable w some suspension mods. Other and best compromise is a xr600. Bout 294 lbs fueled with plenty of spank and reliability. Kick start no biggie nice seat a.d lots of torque. 60-65 mph comfy.

    I'm not a subscriber of the 650 ride to camp, unload gear and explore school. For 1, the tires useful in dirt wear out too fast on road. 2. I'm too f*ckin old to camp in the dirt with an uncomfortable mummy bag and a few granola bars. Rather camp well out of a van as others suggest or my rv and ride out from there.

    Basic issue is:
    What are you? Dirt bike rider or "adventure rider?" If you are a dirt bike rider you have the skills or are working on them to get you thru the unknown unknowns. Best way to do that is on a light bike first. Dirt bike riders tend to be more mechanically in tune with their bikes and capable of more than routine maintenance, keep stuff longer before bored and generally prefer as little pavement as possible. I feel my xr250r is less safe on street so I ride most powerful light bike I can. Xr600.
    #59
  20. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Argh. The back and forth of these threads just has my brain hurting. I did not know about the KLX or the WR when I bought my DR650. I am not a harescrambler but a slow trail explorer who wants to go places. Problem is, I have no experience, and im going to Alaska next May. I have read so many of these threads it makes my head spin.

    Around here, the offroad is nothing like some of the places I will be going. I WILL be woefully unprepared. Im young and strong and all that, but I kind of wish I had gotten a KLX351 or WR- Id prolly be less apt to break something going with a lighter bike.

    Im considering swapping out my DR for something lighter even though the DR will probably be infinitely more fun when im back from the trip. Thing is, I will have to carry lots of crap with me (about 60lbs), and considering im riding at a slow pace, I wonder if a big thumper isnt better for me anyways. My biggest mistake was assuming the 250s wouldnt be enough on the roads..
    #60