wr250r or drz400s

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by dazler, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. dazler

    dazler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Tx
    Hi im still looking for my 1st bike. [​IMG]
    I seen a lot of videos of the wr250r and it seem like a real fun bike but then reading more I read that some people want more power. Im pretty sure as a 1st bike the power would be perfect but also some others say you get bored of a 250 fast which I don’t understand seeing some forum members have switched from much bigger bikes to the tiny wr250r and they love it.
    negative - power by some people.

    A coworker suggested me to look into the drz400s and I did concern is the carb are they easy to adjust would I have to be adjusting on the fly as I ride going up hill etc.
    negative - close ratio gearbox, carb old technology.

    I was also looking at the KTM 690 enduro R which seem to be the best of both except when I looked at the maintenance is needed more often but don’t know exactly how much time a valve check takes.
    But it seem it also have some issues like:
    -close ratio gearbox.
    -bad tank bolts.
    -radiator fan shroud and blades wearing into radiator quickly.
    -leaking coolant on metal pump face.
    -stalling at idle at lights,ecu fuel tuning etc.
    -rubber fuel or coolant hose needs to be zip tied to frame to avoid wear.

    I would like some sound advice. I know theres a lot of user here that have tried the bikes in question, would it be better to get the WR250r and later on buy the Athena 290 http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/p.../5/595/2103/17741/2013/1/9181/0/0/detail.aspx or the thumper racing 280 http://thumperracing.net/index.php?route=product/product&path=37_43_106&product_id=97.
    or get the DRZ400s with the ACT wide ratio gears. http://www.advancedclutch.com/100wrh02-4189
    Or the KTM and fix those issues.
    What would the valve check on the wr250r be with the Athena or the thumper kit?
    I know stock is around 26k miles but using the big bore don’t know.

    I want a reliable bike I dont want to go out and worry about how Im going to get back.
    Thanks.
    #1
  2. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,341
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I've had both. WR250R didn't have enough power for me. But it's personal preference.
    Ive owned 2 DRZ400Es, and i find them the best compromise for power, weight, price, and longevity.
    I'd love the 690 but couldn't justify the price. I can thrash my DRZ with peace of mind.
    #2
  3. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704
    You left out some key info which would help with knowing which bike might
    be best suited to you. It would be nice to know how tall you are, what sort
    of riding you intend to do ( will you stay on secondary roads or will you
    sometimes need to ride on a highway) and what other experience you have
    riding two-wheeled devices ( mountain bike experience can be very helpful
    when you are learning to ride a dirt bike ).


    I've ridden all the bikes you mention enough to have familiarity with them.


    I own a KTM 690 Enduro. It's a great bike and it is easily my favorite bike of
    all the bikes I have ever owned or ridden. It is not an enduro race bike nor is
    it a long distance touring bike, but it is more versatile than any bike I know, and
    it can take you nearly anywhere you want to ride IF your skill level is sufficient.
    The problems with the 690 are all easily solved ( most of them are one-time issues
    which once dealt with will not be problems any more ) and I would in no way allow the
    stuff you've read on 690 problems to dissuade you from buying one. However, I'm not
    sure a 690 would be a good choice for a first bike. It's got a fair amount of power ( ok, the
    bike has a LOT of power ) and that could get a beginner into situations which are best
    avoided ( unless you enjoy using crutches etc. ) until riding skills are better developed.
    So unless you are a world-class mountain bike rider or you have competed in other forms
    of motorsport the 690 is probably best left as a bike you buy for your second bike, after
    you've gotten your basic skills and are ready for more power.



    It's hard to beat the overall goodness of a DRZ for an intro-level street legal dirt bike. I suggest
    you buy the nicest DRZ you can afford, and leave the engine stock and invest in the best
    protective gear you can afford. If you must spend money on the bike, spend it on suspension
    rather than power mods. And when you decide you want more power, don't fall into the trap
    of modding the bike, instead just sell it and buy a KTM or a Beta or a Husaberg or whichever
    other bike comes closest to what you want out of the crate, and you will end up with a
    MUCH better overall bike than a DRZ or a WR250R with less time and money wasted on
    mods you will never get paid for by the person who buys your first bike when you decide to
    sell it.


    If you can easily straddle a DRZ ( the saddle height is high ) then that's a great
    choice of bike for you. Its power delivery is mellow and it will have enough power for
    your first bike. The WR250R is a nice bike but at highway speed ( 75mph ) the engine is utterly
    tapped out and has little to no reserve power. I see this as a safety issue which makes the WR250R
    unacceptable to me personally, but if you know you won't ride on highways then the WR250R
    could be enough bike for you. However a used DRZ can be had for significantly less than a
    used WR250R in most cases, and that allows room in the budget for riding gear which will
    make the difference between getting up laughing after a crash and a ride in an ambulance.
    The importance of high quality helmet, boots, pants, armor, etc, cannot be overstated. Also
    you will probably end up wanting other stuff like a hydration pack, maybe a GPS, etc. So
    the price of the bike is just the beginning of the expenses and a realistic budget should
    allow for at least $1500 to be spent on gear unless you buy it all used which is not a bad
    idea if you can find good stuff that fits you.



    .
    #3
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    I'm going to go the other way and say I really like my WR250R. I had a DRZ400E (Tagged) as one of my early dual sports and I enjoyed it, but the very narrow 5 spd transmission drove me nuts. You either geared it high to be comfy on the road or geared it low to have fun in the woods.

    IMOP, the WR250R is a fun and enjoyable bike to ride and it so smooth with a great 6 spd transmission. BTW, I came from a Husky TE610 to the WR250R and I still enjoy the WRR. Now granted, the WRR isn't my only bike, but as a newbie you could really enjoy it. The DRZ isn't a bad bike at all, but I just couldn't get past the transmission.

    BTW, I'm 6'4"/250lbs.
    #4
  5. dazler

    dazler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Tx
    yes I forgot to mention<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    im 28yr 5'9'' inseam about 33” weight hovers between 195-200 lbs

    I don’t have any experience riding motorcycle except taking the MSF course.<o:p></o:p>
    I live in a small city the roads around here range between 30 and 65mph. I don’t have a trailer that equals I will have to drive the bike back to this little city from a mayor city then I would have to ride highway speed 80mph for about 2 hours until I hit the desolate roads to get here.<o:p></o:p>
    I read that they both top at around the same mph. drz - wrr<o:p></o:p>
    #5
  6. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704

    The valve clearance check on a 690 takes maybe 20 minutes unless
    you need to install different shims. Anyone who wants a 690 is unlikely
    to avoid buying one because of the valve adjustment procedure. It's just
    not enough hassle to worry about. And the same goes for most of the "690
    problems" stuff you listed above. I think in reality what keeps most people
    who might want a 690 from buying one is that they are expensive bikes
    which not everyone can comfortably afford to buy.


    The main problem area with the 690 that bothers some owners is the fuel
    injection system. A lack of understanding of the care and feeding of the fuel injection
    system can lead to problems which can be avoided by proper use and maintenance,
    such as making sure dirt doesn't enter the fuel tank, mounting an external fuel filter
    which filters fuel BEFORE the fuel injector, and that sort of thing.


    For a beginner rider, the important thing is that the 690 is most likely to be "too much
    bike" and this can make learning more difficult and dangerous. It's like any other sport -
    you don't start surfing at Pipeline or start skiing on a double-black diamond run. You learn
    and grow into greater levels of challenges, and that's part of the fun of any sport.


    .
    #6
  7. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704


    All three bikes are going to be tall for you in stock form. What I mean is that
    you will probably have to tiptoe to reach the ground. Some riders slide their
    butt off to the side of the seat and that makes it easier for them to reach the ground
    on one side of the bike. I'm several inches taller than you are and I do this
    on several of the bikes I ride ( I could lower the bikes but I don't see the need when
    I am comfortable riding them like they are ).

    It is possible to lower the bike by modding the suspension and that would probably
    be a good idea for you at least in the beginning.

    Now that you've explained your prospective riding routine it seems even more certain
    that a DRZ 400 would be a good choice for your needs for at least the first year of riding.


    The time will come when you will know you are ready to step up to the next level, but
    a used DRZ should do just fine for a start. It is true that the WR250R and DRZ have similar
    top speeds but the added displacement of the DRZ gives it better torque at lower rpms,
    and that makes riding easier in some situations.


    Many folks are waiting for Yamaha to make a 450cc version of the WR250R because the
    250 just doesn't have enough power for some riding situations. Rather than wait for
    that bike which may never be built, some riders buy a 350 / 450 / 525 / 530 KTM EXC or
    a KTM 500 EXC. The preceding bikes are the cream of the crop of light weight 50-state
    street legal dual sport bikes in the world today and they are very sweet indeed, but are
    more bike than a beginner could really make use of, so owning one as a beginner would
    be kind of a waste.


    .
    #7
  8. DefyInertia

    DefyInertia Saratogian

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Don't get a 690 for first bike, just a waste. I vote 250 but 400 is fine. I have a liter bike sport bike and the 250...NEVER get bored.
    #8
  9. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    (And I suggest you take it...would have saved me lots of time and money when younger)

    I owned a Drz for a few years. Nice bike, cheap enough, easy to mod, has all the power you would need for most dirt situations.

    Having said that a 250 be it the klx250, wr250, older xr250 will make you a better dirt rider. Why? The lower power output forces you to exaggerate your dirt bike movements and body language. To get the most out of a 250 you got to lean way forward to get the rear lightened up to turn under power and break traction for example. Hill climbs are more challenging if you pick a poor line on a 250..so you learn to do a better job. The bike is lighter and more maneuverable. Because you can, you throw it around more, learning what is and isn't possible without getting tired. You learn to use finess, technique, body language and ability to solve dirt problems instead of brute power. Throttle mismanagement on an obstacle won't hurt you on a 250 but you accidentlally snap the throttle going over some rocks on a te510 or exc better hold on! Don't get me wrong, power has its place, but sometimes the results are unpredictable. Power is for heavy road use or snotty, sandy or muddy hill climbs, excess sand washes and dez like Baja. Skills learned on the light bike will serve you well.

    Once you get the fundamentals down, then move up. Never buy a nice bike for your first. I recommend an older bike like a klx250 (easy to up to 300) or an xr. Why? Motorcycle riding and maintenance should go hand in hand. Learn what your bike feels and sounds like..it will save you from problems out in the sticks and you will be more confident all way round. I personally wouldn't get a wr250r. Just me, don't like fuel injection on the trail. Seen too many newer trucks and a few bikes broke down, unable to fix and no triple a. Suggest your dirt skills will help on the street.

    Get a plated bike, a rack to haul it on or small trailer for your car. You'll enjoy it more that way than riding 2 hrs out and back to a trail. What happens if you break something out there?



    Cb
    #9
  10. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    +1 Well said. A smaller 250 will definitely make you a better rider and certainly be easier to handle off road.
    #10
  11. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,906
    The motorcycles you named are great, but at your height and riding experience you might want to consider something milder for a very first bike. The new Honda 250 has a smooth fuel injected engine with a nice wide six-speed just like the WRR, and it has the advantage of being lower to the ground and offering a little more power in the lower rev range, which will be a big help as you learn to ride off road. And the Honda is bargain priced.

    I get a kick out of people on this site that think a 250 is something to outgrow. Yeah, a 250 is a small STREET bike, but it's a big off road bike with enough power for you to hurt yourself if you're not careful.

    If fuel injection is important to you, you might also look at the latest model of the XT250. You'll have to adjust valves more often than the WRR but it's very simple and there are half as many, and air cooling means never having to flush your coolant. It's a real step down in power but has a nice low seat height.
    #11
  12. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    We just picked up a used 2013 CRF250L for my wife and the main reason to go with it over another WRR was the seat height. She's on an XT225 so even the CRF is quite a bit bigger for her, but so far she's enjoying it. I've only had a little time on it myself, but my first impressions are pretty good. For a newbie, the CRF is definitely a good choice and it does have better power down low in the rev range.

    It is brand new this year, but I'm seeing used examples come on the market and I think once spring gets here, we'll start seeing more. Honda definitely priced this one right.
    #12
  13. Gundy

    Gundy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    966
    Location:
    Philly 'burbs
    I had both a heavily modded WRR and a lightly modded DRZ. Either one is a great first bike, but I would give the nod to the WRR for its lighter weight and handling. The DRZ is very capable, but it is more top heavy and therefore less forgiving offroad. The power on the other hand is a little more forgiving since it has torque that will get you up hills even if you don't have much skill. I am actually tempted to get one or the other again as they are both a good blend of around-town/moderate offroad/low maintenance. The WRR will be a little better at the extreme ends of things, forcing your way down some nasty singletrack, or buzzing 60 miles home on the freeway. Everything in between the extremes (really where these bikes are meant to be) its more of a toss up, maybe even favoring the power of the DRZ.

    Either bike can handle the highway, but neither bike is much fun above 60mph because of wind blast, so if you plan on spending a lot of time there, I would look for a different bike altogether, like a V-Strom. The WRR 6-speed makes it a little more tolerable, but it doesn't change the experience of riding a high, 300 lb bike on knobbies fast on the tarmac. Below 60mph, again, a toss up.

    I think the DRZ can be modded to an acceptable performance level for a lot less money: basically a jet kit and a 47T rear sprocket. The suspension responds well to adding stiffer springs and does not really need a revalve.

    The WRR needs a pipe, programmer, maybe header too, and gearing to get the power optimized. I found it to be uncomfortable loud set up like this, and the MPG dropped quite a bit. The DRZs stock exhaust was much more reasonable. The WR rear shock really does need a revalving regardless of your weight. I

    Both bikes will need a skidplate, hand guards, and radiator guards if you spend time on rougher trails. The DRZ needs case guards, but they are fairly cheap.

    In either case, try not to go hog wild with performance mods....these two will never be as light and snappy as race bikes, but you also may never need to open up the engine for the entire time you own the bike.

    If I had to buy one of these new, today, I'd probably go with the DRZ, but I am tall enough to deal with the extra top-heaviness. Less setup required to get it where I want it.
    #13
  14. kawagumby

    kawagumby Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,066
    My stock 04 DRZ400S didn't have much more power than my stock 08 WR250R. Neither will wheelie worth a dang without a lot of weight shift. I don't think the power difference is as important to riding fun and effort, both road and dirt, as the 6 speed tranny and the lower CG of the WR250R. I have done dual sport rides with other experienced riders who own modified DRZs's (all bigger guys than me) and I have no problem staying up or even leaving most of them on my WR. It ain't perfect, but it is more fun.
    #14
  15. dazler

    dazler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Tx
    wow all good advice for a new guy like me.
    I think I would leave the ktm out for now it seem that it weight about the same as some 250 with a lot more power but like you guys say I should start small learn get good at it and maybe later consider something bigger.

    I was not considering the litle red honda crf250L due to lower HP than the wrr and about 20lbs more. but it seem that you can easily lose some weight by removing not needed stuff and swapping the exhaust a mod that almost all bikes need, to reduce some pounds.

    But now im considering the CRF250L
    from http://www.rickramsey.net/CRF250Lmods.htm
    no fuel - 280 pounds (FMF muffler and header; removed unwanted parts)
    Just with the BDSB stage 1 and the air box mod = 6 HP that seem like a good deal. http://bestdualsportbikes.com/dual-sport-bikes/2013-honda-crf250l

    most likely I will keep the bike for a real long time that why in my 1st post I mentioned the big bore kit for later down the road, if needed. it seem that they are working on one for the honda too.

    I was not expecting so much love for the DRZ it seem to be a great bike then. I guess I was focusing on the FI vs Carb to much too.
    #15
  16. Dago52

    Dago52 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    58
    I'm in the same boat. I can get a new Honda CRF250L for $5,000 out the door and the Yamaha WR250R is $7,000 out the door. I have been reading Ramsey's page and with the mod's, the Honda may be a good choice. My thinking is i will do mod's to the Yamaha as well anyway. I have no ambition to do any interstate riding as I am looking for more fun on the dirt.

    Its hard to look away from the Honda due to price but a few mods looks like it can make it a sweet bike.
    #16
  17. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,523
    Location:
    North central CT
    Doing the big bore mod on the Honda will take the warranty off the engine. You might want to wait a year for that.
    #17
  18. Dago52

    Dago52 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    58
    I agree, but with a diet, she can lose 20 pounds and the mods moderate mods will only help. Maybe a muffler, air box, and some other tweaks.
    #18
  19. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I'd suggest something like this.
    [​IMG]

    -or-
    a klx250/klx300r. Bout the right power band as well, carb'd, easy to fix, can be had for < 2k. Lot of good learning here, you can sell it for what you are in it at the end, and easy to upgrade. A new bike at $6k will be worth 3 in a couple/few years esp with the miles and scratches. This one's plated. Save your money, spend a couple hundred on another dirt course or two, you will be worlds better off.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,395
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    I have never ridden a WR250R, but I have a buddy who went from a CRF450 and he loves his.

    I had a WRF290 Athena kitted Yamaha and it was a great bike, but not for highway use. At 70mph it was screaming evben though it was pulling higher sprocket ratios. A wonderful dirt bike. Did I get my money back at resale? No; but it was fun owning it.

    I am currently riding a DRZ400E. I have heavier springs and revalved suspesnion ( $1000) twice to get it right, ACT gear box ( $1800), a steering damper, 28L tank, 40 cm windscreen. Yes I like it now, with one exception. It is tall! I am 5' 11'' with 30 inch inseem and I struggle to tippy toe on it. I have recently dropped a DRZ400 2'' by internal mods to the shock and sliding the fork through the clamps. This worked well but now your feet are closer to rocks in rough terrain.

    I am planning to try to cut 1 '' from the seat foam and/or a one inch form the rear shock travel to solve this issue.

    My advice is: check your inseem measurement and if it is less than 30 " go the Yamaha.

    Alternatively for economy first bikes
    1) Suzuki DR650 low seat height, forgiving power, good road tourer
    2) KLX300 cheap to buy and tough.
    #20