Which budget DS Bike?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by robert110411, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. robert110411

    robert110411 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    My garage already has a KX 125, V-Strom 1000, Electra-Glide and my kid's CR 125 and V-Star Custom.

    What I'm looking for is to get rid if the pure dirt bikes and replace them with something that can be used for Trail Rides, D/s Rides and a few of the easier enduros.

    I'm in Pennsylvania and would be riding in PA, NJ, NY and maybe north.

    Of these, which would you choose and why:

    CRF250L
    KLX250S
    WR250R
    DR650
    XR650L
    DRZ400

    5' 10" 200 pounds and a C rider. Not opposed to making modifications (bars, skid plate, pipe, FI Re-map ect.ect) but I'd really rather not spend thousands on suspension and engine upgrades. Once it get's into KTM or Husky territory I may as well just completely empty the college funds and corvette fund and go all the way.
    #1
  2. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,957
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    KLX250S or WR250R. Both are cheap, reliable and low maintenance. The WR is a little more expensive, but is allegedly higher performance. Both need suspension work, but not thousands of dollars worth. The KLX needs stiffer fork springs and RaceTech gold valves don't hurt. Go-Race suspension can re spring and valve the WR fork and shock for $800 (maybe more for the springs). The KLX needs some uncorking (airbox, jetting, exhaust) and the WR may need some fiddling with the fuel injection.

    Just my $0.02. I don't have personal experience with any of the other bikes. Of course, if I had a Corvette fund, I'd spend it on a KTM instead :evil
    #2
  3. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,670
    Location:
    Mineral Point, WI
    The DR-Z will give you the most bang for the buck of those bikes listed in stock form. Aftermarket support is huge. And while it's far from a racebike, you stand the best chance of compromising with it, versus the others on your list, should you choose to compete on it.

    And no, I don't own one.
    #3
  4. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,403
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    If you're not hauling big luggage ever, KLX250S. It's a bit lighter than the WRR. Power can be easily upgraded with an uncorking and a flat-slide pumper carb, or go all-out with a big-bore. Torquier down low. No fuelpump to sweat. Easy swap of tanks. Available pretty cheap.

    If you want a sturdier subframe for luggage, WRR...or bend/weld a beefier one for the KLX.
    #4
  5. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,623
    Location:
    That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.
    You don't need a corvette fund to get into Euro/KTM territory. 3-4k can get you a well-sorted 03-07 KTM RFS bike, which is perfect for the snotty NorthEast trails.

    Any of those other bikes you listed are going to be too heavy or require too much work to be practical. Spend 800 dollars on suspension? :lol3
    #5
  6. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,957
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    What does it cost to get a KTM or Husky suspension set up for your weight and riding style? At 200lbs, the OP would benefit from that on whatever bike he chooses.
    #6
  7. Jake Mountain

    Jake Mountain Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    NC
    The DRZ-400 weighs the same as the 250's and is a 400 with a lot of stuff in the aftermarket. That's my pick of the bikes listed. It is small and nimble compared to a DR 650 or KLR 650 for more technical off road use and good used ones are everywhere
    #7
  8. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,184
    Location:
    seal beach, ca.
    My KLX did everything it needed to do this past summer in UT. I wanted light weight, but didn't want to spend too much. KTM and WRR were my first thoughts. I do need more fuel though! I just ordered a Koplin 1.5 gal. In the city, i'm really loving the light weight and nimbleness.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    I've owned a well set up DRZ and currently own a very well set up KLX 331. Of those two I would go with the KLX. They both felt about the same to me on the highway, but the KLX feels much better offroad. With the 331 kit the power feels the same to me as the DRZ, but (subjectively) the KLX feels lighter than the DRZ did.

    In your place, I'd go with the KLX.
    #9
  10. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,237
    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    You could add a late model DR350SE (1998-99) to that list and that would be my choice. I have previously owned two DR350SEs ('97 & '99) and currently own a DR650SE.
    #10
  11. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,129
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    The new CRF250l is looking very promising... The aftermarket is adding new stuff almost everyday. Some people are decrying the weight and power, however the owners are VERY happy with the bike so far according to this site and others. $4500 price is excellent and so is the Fuel Injection. Some may prefer a carb, but after switching to FI when I bought my WRr I would have a hard time going back to a carb.

    WRr's are fantastic, and I love mine, best out of the bunch stock in my opinion, but they are much more expensive new (I bought mine used for a great price). Realistically the only thing that needs to be changed is the stock gearing, but isn't that true of nearly every Dual Sport? I run 14/49 now, works on single track and can cruise 70mph on the highway all day long.

    The other bikes listed are great too, but in my opinion the new FI 6spd bikes are the smoothest and the most flexible for daily use. I put 7000+ miles on mine in the first season of ownership. Mostly commuting 80 miles round trip, but also rode atv trails, a supercross track, and of course single track. The bike did it all, and did it pretty damn good! (especially after the re-gearing)
    #11
  12. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,129
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    I switched from a XR650L to the WRr... The WRr is overall a far better bike. Much more comfortable and smooth on and off road. I can trail ride it all day and not feel completely shot at the end of the day, the same could not be said for the XR... The XR had a mountain of torque though, that is the ONLY thing that I kind of miss.
    #12
  13. byron555

    byron555 Lame Duck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,129
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    here's a pic
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9,877
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    The multi-state DS rides have me thinking of the 650 Honda, but the enduro racing points to the 250's. The 400 might be the compromise you need. If you plan to truck the bike to your various DS rides, the KLX would be my pick.

    I am roughly the same height/weight as you, and use an XL600 as my trail/DS bike. It feels light compared to my Dorsoduro (which I also ride off road), but I don't think I would be remotely cometitive in an enduro race with a bike that big.
    #14
  15. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,623
    Location:
    That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.
    On a KTM, Husky or Euro bike? 200 bucks for springs.

    On a Japanese bike? 1k for re-valve, Race Tech Gold service, Ohlins or similar.

    Suspension that comes stock on Japanese bikes are a disposable item.

    Have any of you guys ridden Enduros in the snotty, tight, sugar-sand and wet NorthEast? No?

    I have.

    An XRL and DR650 is WAY too heavy for that terrain, no matter what mods you do.

    A DRZ is passable with a lot of mods, but still suffers from being top-heavy and having shitty suspension like all other Japanese Bikes.

    Regarding the 250s.....a 300lb, 250 4-stroke is not going to have the balls to blow through a foot of Jersey Sugar sand or climb the rocky, rooty off-camber climbs of PA.

    There is a reason why so many guys in the NorthEast ride KTMs.

    OP, attend an enduro or DS ride BEFORE buying and ask around THERE. DONT ask here, on ADV. Ask people who RIDE THE TERRAIN.
    #15
  16. ADVNCW

    ADVNCW Banned

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Leavenworth, WA- in the mountains!
    WR250R was my recent choice :clap.
    [​IMG]
    There are volumes of information as to why here. These two great guys' webpages offer plenty of information and inspiration-
    http://www.rickramsey.net/WR250Rmods.htm http://www.bigdogadventures.com/WR250R.htm

    What as I see as WR250R positives are the dualsport and adv travel characteristics of the WRR. The bike is smooth, dead reliable (except the fuel pump) and low-maintenance. I prefer to spend more of my free time riding instead of wrenching- I did ride 7k miles this past season, mostly dirt road and singletrack, four adventure trips across WA from May to Nov:D - on a Japanese dead-reliable dualsport- CRF230L! I got the WRR to have a smooth ride capable of long days on highway-speeds, specifically for the CDR next year!.:clap

    The dirt-riding is individual. Most of it depends on the rider, I have lived that on my little red bike leaving others behind that are much more acclaimed motos. I have in the past ridden eastern woods clay-mud and Piedmont sand, seems like different requirements. Small bikes have the rep and by my experience are great for the tight woods. Low end torque beats HP in the real tight and tricky steep stuff- have lived that.WRR lacks the low-end in the torque v HP relationship. It will be interesting next summer to try my WR250R on the climbs that I rode on my CRF230L where a WRR did not make it. The powerband will require a different riding approach, will be fun to see how I do with it.

    Lots of good reasons to pick a WR250R! :clap
    #16
  17. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    #17
  18. robert110411

    robert110411 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA

    I've already ridden those areas on various different bikes, including the KX. In fact I had already considered ridding some of the closed course, start-control formats on the KX as well.

    I would go for the smaller Husky or KTM two strokes but I'm also looking for something that requires little care and can be ridden on the street.

    I'm looking hard at dumping both dirt bikes and getting TWO new D/S. That's why the price point is kind of an issue. If it was just one I'd go Husky.

    Most of my ridding is about spending time with my kid to make up for all the time I missed because of this shitty job. Not so much about being fast. I was fast 25 years ago.
    #18
  19. Off the grid

    Off the grid Seeker of the Unf

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,623
    Location:
    That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.

    I hear ya about going fast. I ride a hair above granny speed. But I'd rather spend 1k more up front and get a KTM that needs the exact same maintenance as a Japanese bike but is 100x the bike, much lighter, more power on demand, 100x the suspension, etc etc.

    Again, don't take my word for it. You ride the NorthEast. What do you see people riding? Because every ride I went on when I lived in the Northeast was 50-70% KTM.....for a reason.

    Japanese bikes are good, but they need to be built to a price point, and the the things they skimp on are critical parts like brakes, suspension, wheels, components like bars/pegs, etc. Most people dump thousands into their Japanese bikes to upgrade performance.

    Additionally, there isn't a bike made that you can just ride and put away. Any bike will need attention....air filter change, chain lube, basic checks, etc. A KTM or Husky will need more valve checks, yes, but the same amt of oil changes if ridden in the same terrain. I don't believe for a second that Japanese bikes are built better or more reliable than Euro bikes. In fact, my direct experience is the exact opposite. Your mileage may vary.

    Pretty small price to pay.
    #19
  20. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,488
    Location:
    Valencia, ca
    im almost your height at 5'9'', i weigh less then you tho at around 150, i had a 250 dual sport, switched to a DRZ400, and will probably never go back to a 250 again, the DRZ has more power on the bottom and will get up in the higher 90's with stock gearing, its a great bike, not to mention theres tons of used ones for sale on cl, so a good deal is easy to find, good luck.
    #20