TAT bike WR250R or DR650

Discussion in 'Americas' started by 8gv, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    How low can you go?

    [​IMG]
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  2. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Now, please understand that I'm not getting into a bike-dissing contest here. I really like the DR. If my knee was able to handle the seating position, I'd like to have one.

    It seems that a big advantage of the WR is significantly better fuel economy. Given that you're going to need to carry fuel on certain sections, a bike that gets better fuel economy is a lighter bike.
    #22
  3. Blaise W

    Blaise W Been here awhile

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    Nice plan, but let's see if you can make it work!
    #23
  4. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    I have a WR and a DR.....and have ridden both on the Colorado and Utah portions of the TAT. The good news is, is that both of them will be good for the job. I'm 6' and 200 lbs. and carry about 65lbs of gear (including the weight of the luggage).

    On the road, you can ride either one all day long....day after day. They are both very smooth thumpers.

    My choice for the TAT, CDR, etc. is the WR (with 14/50 gearing and a 13 tooth counter sprocket in my bag). However, my reason for the choosing the WR is mainly because I travel solo, and the WR is much easier to pick up.....and I would have a much better chance of getting out from underneath it if I got pinned. Only once have I found myself wishing I had the DR, and that was on the very high, technical mountain passes in Colorado (think Imogene, Sheep Creek, Black Bear, Mosquito, Marble/Gothic).....the WR had no issues on the TAT Passes (Hancock, Cinnamon, etc.). Having said this, the WR made it....but was lacking power on these high passes. Everywhere else, it's equal or superior to the DR. Overall, I'd choose the WR on a long haul solo ride.

    However, the DR may be better for you, because it has a lower seat height....which may be worth the weight penalty relative to the WR. A DR will rip up any of the TAT passes, including the other Colorado passes I mentioned without issue. If you go with the DR, don't bother messing with re-jetting at altitude. Just ride the damn thing.....when you get to high elevations....somewhere between 10-12k feet, simply remove the airbox door (make sure you remove the captive nuts too, or they will rattle out and you will lose them!). After that, the bike will run strong well over 16k feet. When you drop back down....put the airbox door back on....much easier than re-jetting on the side of the trail.

    Bottom line, both bikes are great, reliable, long haul adventure bikes.....you won't go wrong with either. It just comes down to personal preferences.

    Why oh why won't Yamaha make a WR450R :cry:cry.....now that would be the ultimate adventure bike!
    #24
  5. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    That's a very interesting idea about the air door. If one were to rejet, there would be less fuel to go with the thinner air and as a result, less power. Your solution brings MORE air (albeit thinner air) to the same fuel. It seems like that way most, if not all, of the HP is retained.
    #25
  6. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    Another reference to the mythic WR450R... with a 6 speed, wide-ratio tranny, 4 gallons of fuel, racks and guards...

    We're another year closer to it...

    NFE
    #26
  7. Sliverpicker

    Sliverpicker Been here awhile

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    Take the WR ! Fuel mileage, easy to handle and it will carry the load. I`m #240 and would rather take a WR on a ride like that so I don`t have to wrestle a DR650 in the soft stuff, creeks, steep hills etc.

    Thats just my 2 cents worth.
    #27
  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    NO ... HP is not retained ... but the DR650 motor will run cleaner and use less gas when more air is provided ... or a smaller main jet is installed.

    At altitude ... ALL motors ... lose power, including any F.I. motor. But the F.I. has the ability to "lean out" the mixture, allowing the motor to start, run and idle perfectly even at 20,000 ft. But Power will always be lost the higher one goes.

    If a DR650 is jetted properly (very lean) at sea level it will run fine up to about 12,000 ft. Higher than that and it's best to either go with a smaller Main jet (leaner) or do the simple, quick solution and pull the air box side cover. More Air or Less Fuel ... both accomplish the same goal, but rejetting is the real answer for long term use.
    #28
  9. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Just got back from a long Baja trip, me on my WR250R, son on a lightly used but mostly stock DR650. Both bikes did the job, but my son will be looking for a WR250R the next time :D

    Lower seat height, and 650 cc's are the DR's strong points--no replacement for displacement. That said, the WR's motor and 6 speed transmission didn't slow us down a bit. However, the DR bottomed out a few times on big rocks that the extra height on the WR allowed me to roll over. (We both were carrying roughly the same load.) The WR's stock suspension is much, much better than the DR. The fuel injection worked flawlessly while we had some carb issues with the DR. We both fell numerous times, and the DR was much harder to pick up. The DR's tail light rattled itself to death, the right side body panel melted and somewhere along the line the horn died as well. Worst of all, the clutch disintegrated in the middle of a wet dry lake...

    The only issue I had with the WR was that the chain wore out and wore through the chain guard and slightly into the swingarm, but that was user error--I got complacent after the first 4000 miles and stopped checking the chain slack.

    There's a lot of good things about the DR650--it's definitely fun to ride, but you'd have to spend a good chunk of money and time to get it in the same offroad touring trim as the WR, and it's still going to be heavy and low. I'd pick the WR 10 times out of 10.
    #29
  10. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    With the (uninvited) DRZ400 siphoning a few votes from both.

    There is some pretty strong sentiment here. Maybe it's time to gauge the true loyalty of the WR proponents. Since the WR will cost me significantly more than the DR, how about we rehear the testimony with a $$$ PayPal contribution attached to each post?:lol3

    I suppose it's time to start reading the WR250R thread to get an understanding of how mine would evolve.

    Oh, and maybe I need to mention the pending 6 week absence to wifey.:huh
    #30
  11. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    :rofl

    If you go used, there's not going to be a whole lot of difference price-wise between a DR650 and a WRR. But, in our case, it was a false economy to think we were saving money by going with the less expensive bike. We wound up spending it either to upgrade, or fix stuff that broke when you least want to have stuff break.

    And, without any personal experience on a DRZ400 to back it up, I put it 3rd behind the WRR and the DR650. Less power than a DR and a 5 speed transmission negates any advantage the larger motor has over the WRR, and the WRR is better engineered--FI, suspension, charging system, subframe, etc.

    "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man."
    #31
  12. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    Whatever the machine, bike, car, boat or airplane, the length of time owned and operated without mechanical issues results in a level of trust.

    Riding the better part of 5000 miles on a, never getting another chance to do it, trip requires extreme trust. If I buy new, I can know the bike from day one. I can break it in correctly and become familiar with what is "normal" for the bike.

    But...
    Infant mortality could rear its ugly head!
    To offset that risk, maybe I should buy a new WR now so that it's well seasoned and well known before the trip begins. After all, I wish not to become a snack for buzzards.

    Well that's my spiel for wifey. New bike, right now.

    Do you suppose it'll work?
    #32
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I've read most of the HUGE WR250R thread. Be sure to note the several cases of blown or worn out motors. It's not endemic ... but quite a few more than I expected from the Yamaha. But if you only do the TAT and then a few thousand miles a year, no problem.
    Problem bikes seemed to be higher mileage.

    No question it's Advantage WR in more technical riding. But answer me this:
    How hard of a ride is the TAT? I've not ridden it. Isn't it mostly two track and plain dirt roads? I've done most of the Colo passes on my DR650. No drama with knobbies fitted. Is there lots of steep, knarly single track? If so ... avoid the DR650.

    I can see the WR being a great lesson in packing tight and light. The DR gives you plenty of room to hang luggage and junk on ... maybe too much? The WR is tiny by comparison, but I never rode one more than a simple fire road, and never traveled on one. I'm impressed by owners comments here, especially the Baja report ... as I've ridden my DR650 at least 12,000 miles there ... never ONE PROBLEM. How anyone could burn a clutch on the DR is a mystery to me. I'd guess owner induced. I've ridden the Diablo Dry lake bed since 1992 ... I have seen guys on street bikes hit the mud sections at 100 mph (messy and STUCK) ... but no one ever blew a clutch riding out there! :lol3
    #33
  14. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Shake down rides are always a good idea IMHO. Test out your set up. How is your luggage working? How are things off road? On highway at cruising speed? What is your true Range? Can you manage all your stuff? Can you do 10 hours a day? Does your riding need more work? A shake down will answer most of that.

    But must say ... from the sound of it bub, you won't be going anywhere without "Wifey" ... and probably it will be in a rented Motorhome. But maybe her point is ... you can't afford a new bike? Dunno. If not ... no worries, run what ya brung and be happy.
    #34
  15. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    There is also the "low cost approach". Ride my KLR250 as far into the TAT as possible. If I make it all the way great! If I blow it up at some point I can pull the plate, post a "finders keepers" note, walk to the nearest bike shop and plasticize a new one.:evil

    My negotiating might be somewhat compromised by the obvious predicament.

    And maybe the walking becomes a little extreme.:eek1
    #35
  16. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    :lol3 :lol3 :lol3

    Well, the clutch plates sure didn't disintegrate from the bike just sittin' there! So yeah, I'd have to agree it was owner induced.
    #36
  17. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    I really don't want to fuel a take-down of the DR650. It is a very good large bore dualsport that took us 5000 miles through the middle of winter into places that not many bikes could've survived.

    There are numerous reports here on advrider of riders taking DR's on long rides without a glitch--ADV Grifter for one, I just finished a report from DockingPilot--no problems, and they all love their DR's. Also, we met a couple of Oregon riders in Baja who were heading to South America, both riding DRZ400's and both loving their choice of bikes.

    The problems we had with the DR were frustrating, but in no way does that mean the DR should be considered an unreliable bike. Stuff breaks, bad things happen, even to the best engineered, well maintained, smartly cared for motorcycles. When you're on a long trip you learn to "endeavor to persevere" as Josie Wales puts it, or you go home.

    (I did read Dirt Rider's Bare Bones Adventure Bike story from November 2010 where they took a DR650 on a Death Valley trip to see how low-cost they could compete with the GS/SE crowd, and ironically (or not) they wound up having major clutch problems themselves. Before our trip i figured, ah--just bad luck or they didn't know how to ride, won't happen to us. Now...)

    One other wild card in our experience with the DR is that we did buy it used and have no real knowledge of how it was treated by previous owners. The bike appeared to have been well cared for and it only had 4800 miles on it when my son bought it--a 2007 model. The only modifications were a skid plate and 5 gal IMS tank, both things we wanted anyway, although that could mean it had been used relatively hard offroad. But the plastics weren't scuffed, the stock exhaust was shiny and smooth, it had pavement tires, everything pointed to a garage queen. Who knows?

    Anyway, I think my WRR is hard to beat, but honestly you would have a great time on your KLR250.

    Good luck!
    #37
  18. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Let me hazard a guess here ... did your son start out on small bikes? Like 80 or 125cc two strokes? From day one those kids learn to use the clutch like a throttle. It's good technique on a motocrosser, especially a 80 or 125cc ... you need to constantly "Fan" the clutch to stay in the narrow power band. The DR should NEVER be ridden that way.
    It has TORQUE. Just twist and go ... in nearly any gear.

    Any chance this technique has crossed over to his DR650? I could be totally wrong ... just a guess.

    If you read through the 13 million view/74,000 post BIG DR650 thread ... you may find 3 or 4 cases of blown or burnt clutches. I'd say that's not bad overall. DR's have a few other problems ... but mostly pretty rare too. 3rd gear tends to break on Australian and NZ bikes ... no idea why ... but very few cases on USA bikes.

    If you don't tighten and Loc-Tite the NSU bolts they can fall out and ruin the trans. Beyond that it's mostly basic set up and knowing the bike.
    I'm only 5'6" and have no trouble lifting my loaded DR650 ... and my upper body strength is down 40% from where it was 10 years ago. :cry

    I may go to a 250 in near future ... but I'm waiting for KLX450 now for sale in Asia. It's got F.I. and is street legal. Will it come to USA? Hope so! :clap
    #38
  19. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    If I can find a WR and DR to test ride that would help. The dealers don't allow test rides and I don't want to be unfair to a private seller from whom I don't plan to buy a bike. Regarding the DR that was bought at 4800 miles, it seems that it's hit or miss on used bikes. I might be buying my last bike so maybe I'll buy new this time.
    #39
  20. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    No question if you guys were riding Baja's more technical single track and rough routes then the WRR is the ticket. Down there light is right for sure. That IS weird about your DR though.

    Could it be someone put synthetic oil in it at some point before you owned it? There can be a delayed reaction with this ... even if oil is changed back to NON syn oil, residual effects of syn oil can rear it's ugly head. Once Super HOT, plates begin to slip ... then burn ... as they have been permeated by synthetic oil ... the stuff with friction modifiers. Just another guess of course.
    #40