WR250R Athena 290 big bore Long term review

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by grinns, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    Going to log my maintenance and issues with the Athena 290 kit for the wr250r here.

    600 miles
    Installed 290 kit

    650 miles
    First oil change after install

    1200 miles
    No problems to date about to change oil again. I feel its pretty broken in at this point.

    1504
    No problems to date. Changed oil, and cleaned k & N filter. I should be on normal intervals now. I have the tuner finally where I want it. Plan to switch to PC V end of summer
    FMF settings 4 6.5 6 4.5 1 1

    1963
    Road about 60 miles today with new suspension. I also put the reflashed FMF controller on set for the 290 kit. It runs great! No off idle hesitation or stalling. Next mod will be gearing.

    2660
    Oil change and re-gear (13-47).

    2700
    Runs great, I have really been putting it through its paces on single track and quad trails. The suspension kicks ass! I geared it down. It is running a 13 47. I do maybe 90% offroad and 10% on road.

    2898
    Still runs great, changed oil. Things I have added are pegs and raised the bars a little bit. It rides pretty awesome. I have had 0 issues with the bike. I also re-greased and re-torqued everything over the winter.
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  2. simonpig

    simonpig droppin' jewels

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    I'm thinking to do this next year, but just am not sure if its worth it. Keep us posted.:thumb
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  3. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    Updated, did a little maintenance at 1504. I had mixed feelings about 250 vs 290 to this point. Once I got tuning where I felt it works good, I like it.

    I found changing the idle/accel map point makes it act very differently off road. This is where I wish I had a PC V and could map the high gears different than the first 4 maybe even 5.

    with the fmf with a 4 for yellow blue its really snappy, but cruising sucks. I tried 5 and didn't like it so i went with 4.5. Most people do 8 from what I've seen. I read one person doing .5 but that is a bad idea because idle will think its in exceleration mode and give it to much fuel.
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  4. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    How is the power?
    I own a WR250F and have seen several big bore options. From past experience I've not really trusted these outfits much.

    Glad to hear your bike is hangin' together, running well.

    My stock WR250F is approaching some maintenance. Was wondering if the power boost is worth the money? (I know, depends who you are, how you ride and all)

    I only want more power after I get off my buddies EXC450 or my other buddies WR450F. Thing is, neither of the bigger bikes give up much in more tight or technical riding. I love the 250 but a bit more boost would be welcome ... but never if it sacrifices long term reliability.
    #4
  5. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    that was the part that made it hard to get a 250. I was looking at 690s. I still plan on getting a 690. I think the 290 kit makes the bike a lot more fun and the power is very usable.

    If the 690 filled the spot the 250 currently does I may get rid of it. But right now it's a blast to ride.

    The only problem I think I may see is rings wearing faster than stock. So for now I plan on doing an ovcasional compression check. I keep all my bikes in top shape.
    #5
  6. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I've ridden the 690 only briefly. Nice bike, ton o' power, bit heavy, smooth on highway. But not really a trail bike and certainly not even close to the abilities of a WR250F or your R on tight, technical, slow going trails.

    So depends what and where you ride!

    The 690 would be great on fast single track, two track and Baja or desert riding. Might even make a decent dual sport/travel ADV bike? But is really apples and oranges away from a WR250R. Different world.

    I took my WR250F out to the Black Rock desert recently and was glad I didn't have a big 600 to horse around ... even the fabulous 690E. I figure if I got beat up some on the WR250F, it would have been TOUGH on a bigger, heavier bike. Power won't save you out there ... technique will.

    But where the WR works superbly around here (Mendocino Nat. Forest) is in tight woods riding. As an X enduro rider, it reminds of my old 2 stroke race bikes. (250's). Just needs a bit more boost and bit more torque for those tough sections where you slip off line, or miss a gear or have to start on a steep, loose hill or come down a loose nightmare downhill. All tough on a 650 class bike.

    [​IMG]
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  7. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Keep in mind folks that the WR250F is a completely, 100% different motor from the WR250R.
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  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    What are the details of the differences? I realize the R has FI, probably lower compression, different valve timing and cams but is not the basic architecture the same? I imagine internal trans gearing is different too?

    What else significant differences are there?

    I've heard great things about the R, mainly that it can maintain good speed on the highway. My F model sucks in this regard. Starts feeling revvy at about 55 mph.
    Could do with a re-gearing but that may ruin it off road. I did a Baja ride and on the highway sections I was screwed. Everyone took off, while I putted at about 50 mph. But a CRF450X and a KTM expired on that ride .... the WR's never missed a beat.
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  9. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    I know the F has 5 valves not 4. It really is a different motor. This is what I heard, but not sure if its true or not. That the dirt engines are designed for all this rpm flux of speeding up and slowing down. If you take them on long highway rides it is very bad for the engine. (maybe gearing?) I would really like a better explanation if someone knows why.

    The R is a lower maintenance type.

    The F is pure dirt, so better suspension, lighter ect...
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  10. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    I don't think the F and the R share a single part. Similar deal as XR650L and XR650R.
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  11. Dysco

    Dysco Diaper slinger

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    I was going to post the specs, but I decided it'd be easier to say that I've ridden both, and there's only one that I'd enjoy riding the 30 miles through town to get to a trailhead. :lol3

    Heck, I logged nearly 100 miles of highway yesterday when linking passes and getting to and from home on my WRr.
    #11
  12. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    I like it, but still need to muck with the suspension. Front is to hard. I can go up rocky narly stuff but when I come down its a nightmare.
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  13. mtntrails

    mtntrails Life is Short...

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    grinns - thanks for your posts on the 290 kit

    How many miles since the Athena kit?

    Are you still running the FMF settings @ 4 6.5 6 4.5 1 1 ?

    What gearing are you running?

    Please elaborate on performance increases and riding impressions.

    At the end of the day, was the 290 kit a worthwhile mod?


    Mine is still in the shop in Las Vegas - should be done this week. It'll be several weeks before I can get out there to ride it. Can't wait!

    I decided to pull the trigger on the Athena kit after a recent 2000 mile ride through Northern AZ and Southern UT. I found myself downshifting to 5th and occasionally even 4th gear to maintain highway speeds on long uphill grades. Granted, the bike is hauling 50-60 lbs of gear plus my big self. The bike is also geared at OEM 13/43 (changing out to 13/45). On one particular stretch of road heading in to Flagstaff, there were constant 40-50 mph headwinds. I could barely maintain 50 mph in 4th gear (speed limit was 70).

    Anyway, it's my hope that the 290 kit and re-gearing will improve the WRR's performance to the point where it will maintain 65-70 mph in 5th gear on those long uphill stretches.


    Some thoughts on the 690...

    Back in December of 2008, I picked up a 2008 690 SMC. The dealer was blowing it out of his inventory and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I had planned to set it up as a dual sport touring bike to eventually keep and ride out west.

    In May of 2009 w/ just 660 miles, a tooth broke off of the 4th gear cog (forging or heat treating issue) wreaking havoc to the rest of the transmission requiring a total engine teardown and rebuild. More than half of all of the transmission parts were damaged including both shafts. Luckily, none of the pieces made their way in to the crankcase. This happened on a 50 mph, multi-lane stretch of road. The rear wheel suddenly (and violently) locked up - clutch locked up too - skidded to a complete stop in heavy traffic - everyone swerving to avoid hitting me including my buddy who was riding behind me. He pulled in to the shopping center that was off to our right and jumped off his bike to help me get the 690 out of the middle of the road. We had to literrally pick up the back end and carry it in to the shopping center parking lot.

    For the record, both KTM and my local dealer were excellent in regards to this incident and the warranty claim. It was at the dealer for three weeks. KTM actually had to pull many of the parts from assembly line bins in Austria and ship them to the dealer.

    Between this incident and all of ricky p.'s bad experiences with with his 690E (see 690 mega thread), I lost confidence in the bike and decided to go in a different direction for a bike to keep & ride out west - the WR250R. I still have the 690 and it has not given me any more problems although I have only ridden it 3000 miles since the incident. It's an amazing bike - a real joy to ride - performance and handling is exhilerating.

    If you look in the 690 mega thread, there are lots of very happy 690 owners who have had no problems. Despite all of the huge issues with ricky p.'s 690E, he is still riding his demonic 690 because he loves the bike's performance and versatility.


    The bottom line for me - particularly for the riding I am doing out west is dependability (subjective, I know). As I am often riding solo in some pretty remote places, I am very confident in and happy with the WRR despite it's mild-mannered power output. I'm hoping the 290 kit and re-gearing will bump the power output enough to make it more entertaining overall and more competent on the highway without compromising too much of the bike's basic good nature. Fingers crossed.
    #13
  14. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    2k is actually getting pretty close. I have been doing a bunch of technical stuff not many forest roads so the miles aren't packing up like before. No heat issues.
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  15. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    1200 miles total on the kit so far. It still feels the same. I want to run a compression check and see how that is.

    Still running the same settings on fmf pp and stock gearing. Plan to do maybe a 45-47. I haven't decided yet. I don't do much freeway on this bike. I am running knobbies so my gearing is all fed up. first is like second was...

    Is it worth it at the end of the day? I agree with you my answer will be when I find I need to re-ring it. It defiantly has more low end torque than with fmf exaust, pp and intake mods. I am dieing to get a PC V, but want to do suspension and steering dampener first.

    Mike
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  16. mtntrails

    mtntrails Life is Short...

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    Thanks grinns

    If you are running D606s or similar tall knobbie, it'll take +2-3 teeth on the rear sprocket to "break even" on your final gear ratio. There was a photo on the WRR/X megathread showing a D606 rear next to an OEM rear - big difference in height.

    Just before this last trip, I switched to TKC-80s. Even that rear tire is a good bit taller than OEM. I'll probably just "break even" with the 13/45 gearing.
    #16
  17. mtntrails

    mtntrails Life is Short...

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    The technician in Las Vegas who is installing the 290 kit had a question for FMF regarding the Power Programmer. FMF referred him to Dobeck Performance in MT - they develop & build the FMF Power Programmers. The Dobeck technician (Matt) told him that the Power Programmer built for the WRR/X is not designed for a bike with the Athena or TR big bore kits - "it'll run too lean". Dobeck just happens to have a customer's WRR (w/ Athena Kit) there in their shop and is working on broadening the adjustability / "bandwidth" of the programmer to properly deal with the additional fuel needed for the big bore kit. The shop is sending my Power Programmer to Dobeck for a "re-flash".

    Here is Dobeck Performance's contact info...

    Dobeck Performance (FMF Programmer)
    Technician - Matt
    157 Progressive Drive
    Belgrade, MT 59714
    1-877-764-3337
    Phone: 1-406-388-2377
    Fax: 1-406-388-2455
    http://www.dobeckperformance.com/dobeckstore.asp


    #17
  18. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    Thanks, that is interesting because you can defiantly make it to rich.

    Mike
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  19. mtntrails

    mtntrails Life is Short...

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    rich on all of the settings?
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  20. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    I don't think all the only prob I have had really is an off idle stall when its cold, but if you read all the forums almost everyone has this problem.

    When its warm there is 0 problems. I think its slightly lean at full if anything, but everywhere else seems ok. I can turn it up and it smells rich according to someone following me, but it doesn't have the black at the end of the pipe which you could dial in prior.
    #20