Can't deside....Buy Both

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ggamster, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    I bought a used WRr this March for a great price. It is hands down the best MC I've ever owned. I can only have one bike due to space and finances. So I need a bike that can commute, and do the trails (5000 miles on the street 750 in the dirt). My commute is 80 miles round trip, so maintenance intervals are important as well. I don't get as much trail time as I would like, but I do get out on them whenever I can, and on longer planned off-road trips I spoon on the Trackmasters. That is my reality, and why it makes a bike like the WRr or CRF250l the best options for me.

    If I were buying new, it would have been the CRF as it would suit my needs as a bike and the price is significantly lower. KTM may make excellent bikes, but they are not in the same category as these bikes. Certainly they are superior off road, and in overall power, but that was not what I was looking for. I got what I was looking for, fuel injection, very low maintenance on a versatile dual sport machine.
    [​IMG]
    Jimmyjojo likes this.
  2. pantera1

    pantera1 Adventurer

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    byron555, what windscreen do you have on the WRR?
  3. Sh0nky

    Sh0nky n00b

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    Thanks for this write up ggamster!

    I'm tossing up between a second hand WR250R and a new CRF250L and have a few questions. I'm 5'10" and 195lb. 32" inseam. I'm guessing from this the WR is probably going to be a better fit, but I could be comfortable enough on both. Would you disagree with this?

    I expect to be doing around 3-4000 miles a season (I'm in central iowa below I80, so I'm thinking march until October/November) and intend to service it once at the start of each year, so I don't think miles between service is going to be a huge issue.

    I intend to commute to work and back when I can, 8miles of paved roads, 3m of that is 55mph. That would make up 2-3000Miles. I'm expecting the gas savings from the commute instead of driving my F150 will pretty much pay for the bike. This makes it easier to convince the wife that I need one. But then I intend to enjoy a variety of level B access roads and gravel the rest of the time.

    How do you find servicing between the two? Is one much easier than the other in terms of access to the engine etc? Are parts roughly the same price?

    I was originally drawn to the CRF, I've owned 3 other Hondas and liked them, but after reading your posts I'm starting to lean more towards a second hand yamaha. It seems that a barely used WR with a full aftermarket exhaust is about the same as a new stock CRF. The adjustable suspension and the history of the Yamaha are also a plus.

    Are there any other factors that I should consider? I'm not going to be pushing this bike hard by any stretch of the imagination. It probably wont go over 65 very often if at all, and this will be my first DS bike (Unless you count a CT110 lol) so I don't think I will be going too hard on the trails.

    Thanks again for the write up, it's been very informative.
  4. Oldbutslow

    Oldbutslow Been here awhile

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    These bikes are so different! The WR is such a fantastic machine, and I totally marvel how some inmates actually tour on theirs! My CRF230L is a girlie machine in contrast. But, I bought the CRF for it's ease of use, i.e. the low seat height and relaxed wheelbase geometry (and I'm a sucker for air-cooled Honda's). I've ridden the Yammie and I can't imagine a better bike that truly deserves the moniker, "dual purpose". And for you orange guys, let's see a pic of your 250 machines after a cross-country trek. Just sayin'..... ,K
  5. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

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    That is an opaque black windscreen for a BMW 650 dakar. It has some custom cuts to fit the WRr better and uses mounts from a memphis shades brand windscreen. Solid and removes in about 1 minute. Works unbelievably well. On the interstate it reduced head shake, increased mpg, and improved power.

    bought it here
    http://www.bikescreen.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BMWGSDakarF650Stock`03
  6. Llamaha

    Llamaha Been here awhile

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    Thank you very much for this comparison, it's assured me that I want to get another WR250R. Selling my last one to go overseas was a big mistake, I really loved it!

    Oh and ignore the trolls, I recall when I was a proud WRR owner that every post I made which recommended the WR250R to people always had the same followers that would pop-up on threads they really had no relevant interest being in (I assume searching for the term 'WR250R') so they can say bad things about it. Personally I think it shows that they are just very insecure about their own purchase and become annoyed to see other people on the forum who know they have made the right choice and are very happy.
  7. OBIWAN

    OBIWAN Been here awhile

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    Yeah, thanks for the comparison.

    I was wondering if you had any experience with the XT250 to compare it to the Honda. Don’t even bother comparing it to the WR250R cause there just wouldn’t be much. Compared to the XT and CRF that WR is stout enough to knock an elephant out. For some folks that seat height of the WR is just too much so if wouldn’t matter how good it is.
  8. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Well, I was on here to do an update finally, but in comparison of the CRF and the XT. Well, although I have not rode the XT I can say that spec to spec there is no comparison. The XT is a 20 plus year old design and the CRF is mostly a 10 year old design. :D. To me you can't beat the CRF for what it is. It is not in the same class as the WR but it is with the XT and the CRF is better in every way that I can think of. To me the XT is obsolete now that the CRF is out. It is kind of like a guy trying to drag race an old CB750. Sure it was a good bike but when compared to a GSXR750 there isn't much of a race.
  9. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Ok, got some miles on the bike and thought I would give you an update.

    The WR is a GREAT bike. I tell people it is the ultimate explorer bike. It isn't the fastest bike I have ridden in the woods, but I have found so many new trails on this bike, and in Southern IL that is hard thing to do. This bike has enough power to go up anything I have tried and I have tried a lot. This weekend I found over 40 miles of new trail. The bike always starts and is ready to ride. I have dropped the bike 30+ times and you can't tell that much other then the bolts on the fork clamps from always taking them loose to straighten the legs. I have been riding it to work and it is doing great. It likes to run at about 72 mph not much more then that without just constantly trying to kill it. I am about through the rear tire at just shy of 2000 miles. I am getting about 60 mpg on the highway and about 30 mpg on the trail. These are just ruff guesstimates. I think my only complaint is that the seat is a little soft after the first 1000 miles or so. I am afraid I will be replacing the foam in another 2K. Other then that and trying to get the suspension and chain tension dialed in. It is perfect.

    As far as the CRF goes. There isn't much to report. It is doing good. It always starts. My wife can leave me out of turns if she tries. It has been dropped at slow speeds only and no more then 5 times. Boy you can sure tell. the plastics don't fit right any more. The radiator shrouds are two pieces and they are poorly made, often splitting at the seam. I gave up trying to keep them together. The back brakes still suck but are better. The seat is so low in relation to the bars you kind of feel like you are driving a tractor. This is good for comfort I guess but for performance riding it is a no go because you can't slide up on the seat. I won't ride it on trails much at all because the bike, well, just sucks for that. It can be done but it isn't any fun compared to any other dirt bike. It is a great beginner/non enthusiast motorcycle. To me it just feels like a kids toy and that is coming from a guy that rides a KX100 a lot of the time. :roflWhat is so nice about it is that with my lowering mod most anyone can touch the ground. We are getting about 75 mpg and that is mostly all highway and fire road riding. My wife loves this bike but is looking to a TTR for the woods. then on to the KX100!:eek1
  10. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    If you are not going off road I would say the CRFL is good. At almost 4" shorter then I you might not feel as cramped as I do. If you are riding off road. You have to get the WR. The top speed is a little better on the WR which I know doesn't matter that much but it is nice to have. The CRF gets better mpg by about 15mpg and runs on 86+ vs 91+. Service is about the same as far as easy to do. The CRF they say requires less oil changes but I don't like to push that. 2K miles is fine for me. You have to service the valves a bit sooner on the CRF. I think 18k vs. 26K. that is off the top of my head however. If you are only riding on road and very light off road the stock suspension on the CRF will be fine. Off Road the bike is a no go. I think the CRF is just a cheaper bike but will be fine if you are just commuting and would like to not bend a rim when you hit the curb. :rofl
  11. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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  12. Sh0nky

    Sh0nky n00b

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    I guess I need to figure what I'm gonna do with it then. Sounds like if I just want it for commuting and light trail I might as well just buy an old honda trail CT70 and put a chinese 140cc engine in it for $1000.

    Maybe I'll do that and when I decide I want a real dirt bike I'll buy a WR250R. :rofl
  13. PhoenixGirl63

    PhoenixGirl63 Adventurer

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    Sounds like Lindsay is having a great time with the bike! :D I'll continue my research over the non-riding season, and see what I come up with. Can't wait to see more of your ride reports!

    BTW, I'm in the NW suburbs of Chicago. According to Google maps, you and Lindsay are about 6.5 hours from me. I've done long trips before (Wisconsin & Michigan), so it's just a day's drive down there...
  14. toypro1

    toypro1 Adventurer

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    thanks for the lengthy and on going comparison of these 2 bikes - I am thinking about going from a DR650 to something lighter and one that has more wattage for electrical goodies - like heated gear. which bike has the lowest geared 1st gear for plodding along?

    thanks again
    Dan
  15. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    I hear this all the time. While I don't disagree with the sentiment, history does not support our memories of how light they were in the good old days.
    Kawasak KLR250, 314 lbs, Cycle, Nov. 1989
    Kawasaki KLR250, 312 lbs, Motorcyclist, Dec. 1990
    Honda XL250K1, 308 lbs, Cycle, July 1974
    Yamaha WR250R, 301 lbs, Motorcyclist, Oct. 2008
    Honda XL250R, 295 lbs, Cycle, April 1983
    Yamaha DT250F, 290 lbs, Cycle, Oct. 1979
    Yamaha DT3-250, 289 lbs, Cycle, Jan. 1973
    Honda NX250, 289 lbs, Cycle, May 1988
    Honda NX250L 289 lbs, Motorcyclist, Dec. 1990
    Suzuki TS250C, 288 lbs, Cycle, May 1978
    Honda XR250L, 288 lbs, Cycle, Jan. 1991, Motorcyclist, Dec. 1990
    Yamaha DT250C, 288 lbs, Motorcyclist, March 1976
    Honda MT250K2, 284 lbs, Motorcyclist, March 1976
    Yamaha DT250D, 283 lbs, Cycle, May 1977
    Kawasaki 250 F11A, 282 lbs, Motorcyclist, March 1976
    Honda MT250, 281 lbs, Cycle, Sept. 1973
    Montesa 250 King Scorpion, 279 lbs, Cycle, Jan. 1974
    Honda XL250S, 278 lbs, Cycle, July 1978
    Harley-Davidson SX250, 275 lbs, Motorcyclist, March 1976
    Hercules 250 Enduro, 271 lbs, Cycle, Feb. 1977
    Can-Am 250 TNT Enduro, 267 lbs, Cycle, Oct. 1974
    Yamaha XT250K, 265 lbs, Cycle, March 1983
    Yamaha XT250G, 265 lbs, Cycle, Aug. 1980
    Can-Am 250 TNT, 264 lbs, Motorcyclist, March 1976
    Penton MC6 250 Enduro, 261 lbs, Cycle, June 1977
    Husqvarna TE250, 260 lbs, Cycle World, April 2004
    Montesa V75 250 Enduro, 259 lbs, Cycle, March 1975
    Bultaco 250 Frontera, 256 lbs, Cycle, May 1977
    Penton 250 Hare Scrambler, 250 lbs, Cycle, April 1974
    Bultaco 250 Alpina, 242 lbs, Cycle, June 1974
    The bottom line is, unless you want to go back to the days of 2-strokes with short travel suspensions, the only way to get down to 270 pounds is to buy an exotic European race bike. Honda's XL250 from 1974 weighed within a gallon of gas of the new CRF250L, and the old bike did not have electric start, liquid cooling, long travel suspension, disk brakes, 12V lights, FI, a high-output alternator, etc. It's a miracle the modern bikes are as light as they are.

    What 450s? That's a market that has gone to the exotics.
    Suzuki DRZ400SM, 322 lbs, Cycle World, June 2005
    KTM 450EXC, 276 lbs, Cycle World, June 2007
    TM EN450F, 275 lbs, Cycle World, Dec. 2007
    BMW G450x, 274lbs, Dirt Rider, April 2009
    Penton Mint 400 Enduro, 265 lbs, Cycle, May 1975
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316846&page=7
  16. Off the grid

    Off the grid Unsmooth Operator

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    KTMs RFS EXC series is far from "exotic". In fact, it's more logical, easy to work on, better engineered and more durable that Japanese bikes.

    The fact that it's so light, has excellent suspension, brakes, transmission and power makes it a head-slapping "why the fuck didn't I do this years ago" moment when people finally buy one. (which is exactly what happened to me and everyone I know)

    But you knew that. I've seen your posts, you're a smart fella. :deal
    snare likes this.
  17. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

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    "I hear this all the time. While I don't disagree with the sentiment, history does not support our memories of how light they were in the good old days.
    Kawasak KLR250, 314 lbs, Cycle, Nov. 1989
    Kawasaki KLR250, 312 lbs, Motorcyclist, Dec. 1990
    Honda XL250K1, 308 lbs, Cycle, July 1974
    Yamaha WR250R, 301 lbs, Motorcyclist, Oct. 2008
    Honda XL250R, 295 lbs, Cycle, April 1983..."

    The above is exactly what I have found. I still have my Honda XL250r purchased new in 1983. I just purchased the 2003 CRF250L. I am looking to purchase a WR250r for my son as we rented one and enjoyed it as described in the following post link.

    http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77424

    The modern CRF250L is a much better ride than my old 250. My old 250 is currently undergoing restoration so it will be interesting to see how they compare after that. One thing is for sure. The new CRF250L is not a pig compared to the old 83 XL250r. It feels lighter and (at least with a 30 year younger engine and fuel injection) feels much faster. Yesterday I was on rocky vegetation covered single track (think unmaintained 30 year old rutted rocky roads plus fallen tree logs). Even though I was taking it a bit easy( as still breaking in) I never felt down on power or over on weight. Plus the fuel injected electric start is sublime! Sometimes my friend on his 450 did have to wait on me just a bit after several "blocks". But that was more a factor of me not wanting to drop it than a lack of power.

    I really can't go wrong with either bike (unlike when I purchased an exotic race bike, see link below). The difference between riding a motorcycle (any motorcycle) is so much more fun than any other vehicle. The difference in these two bikes pales in comparison.

    http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77517
  18. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    When I use the term exotic, I'm referring to initial cost, scarcity of dealers, and the compromises that favor off-road use. For example, the first generation of street legal KTMs didn't have radiator fans, the headlights were mainly for the DOT rather than actually lighting up the road, and the seats were unbearable. For people who want true dual purpose duty out of their dualsports, the KTM wasn't delivering in stock form. Cycle World says the new 500 is the best dualsport ever built, and we'll know in a year or two if the engine is as rugged as the 450 (at least one example of which is reported to have gone over 45,000 miles without replacing any engine parts -- which is much longer than most of us will ever own a motorcycle.).

    A lot of people, especially families that ride together, are just putting around in the dirt. They don't need suspension that can handle high-speed whoops, or double jumps -- in fact, they prefer something soft enough to give them a smooth ride at the slower speeds they enjoy. They also prefer more torque off idle, more flywheel, and stall-free tuning to make learning to ride easier. In the OPs excellent comparison, it's clear that even the WRR is more bike than some people want for exactly those reasons.

    I have nothing against KTM, Husqvarna, Gas Gas, etc. In fact, when I read about people spending thousands of dollars to improve their Japanese bikes I wonder if they wouldn't have been just as happy with a stock European machine. But a lot of us can't stop ourselves from changing everything we own.

    John DeSoto, the flying pineapple, said it best way back in the 70's. The bike that works best for someone else might not be the one that works best for you. You might be faster on a motorcycle that a lot of other people don't like. So ride them all and pick the one that works for you.
  19. joec63

    joec63 Been here awhile

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    Exotic was the correct choice in wording IMO. I think sometimes it's forgotten the audience here is mostly the hardcore enthusiast who make an effort to know all things motorcycle. KTM is still not a household brand when it comes to the unitiated. With what seems like a HON/KAW/SUZ/YAM shop is within a stones throw everywhere.

    Good list, nice to see it in perspective. Now how does that power to weight ratio look :evil j/k
  20. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Without clutching I can run as slow as 6mph on the Honda and 7mph on the WR. The WR has higher Wattage output. Make you decision on your size and off road desires. Which bike is best for which has been covered.