Yamaha WR250R vs. Kawasaki KLX250S vs. Suzuki DRZ400S vs. KTM 350 EXC-F

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by sstrangee, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. sstrangee

    sstrangee Adventurer

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    Hello everyone.

    Currently I have two motorcycles. A BMW G650GS and a Yamaha TT-R230. I love the heck out of both, and both have their purposes. I love the BMW for long trips to do some mostly easy fire roads and 2-track. My TTR is my single track burner and handles them with ease.

    However, I'm in the market to find something that is dual sport, but still has the feel of the TT-R230 (251 lbs., very strong 1st/2nd gear -- which the BMW (430 lbs) does not have).

    The dual sports I'm interested in are the Yamaha WR250R, Kawasaki KLX250S, Suzuki DRZ400, and the KTM 350 EXC-F. I'd like to get an opinion on all of these, but keep in mind the things that I'm really interested in are wet weight, seat height, and torque available in 1st gear (for those long steep inclines). I'm looking for something below the 300 lbs range (but might go alittle higher if the bike feels like it handles lighter), has a seat height of 35"-ish to 36"-ish (I'm 5'9"), and has the ability to make it up those long steep inclines and wheelie above those large rocks and fallen logs at slower speeds.

    I'm heavily interested in the WR250R and the KTM 350 EXC-F, but the only thing keeping me from even getting serious about buying the KTM 350, is the seat height. I've heard the KTMs don't have lower links, so 38" seat height is what I get stuck at and won't even be able to touch the ground with a 30" inseam.

    Anyone give any insight or opinions on these bikes? Appreciate it!
    #1
  2. mr. thumbs

    mr. thumbs Long timer

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    KTM with......

    http://www.shop.synergyseals.com/X-...Husaberg-2009-2014-5104-XB-ZB-PDS-125-560.htm

    and

    http://seatconcepts.com/products#!/~/product/category=1671352&id=33027532

    and you will be a happy camper.
    #2
  3. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    If you posted this in the thumpers section of the forum you'd get more responses.
    #3
  4. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

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    I have a 30" inseam as well and rode my friends 350. It's seat height is tall so I only get one foot down at a time, but man the power and the smoothness of this bike was incredible. Get the KTM and learn to ride with your feet on the pegs all the time and you will not have any issues. :clap
    #4
  5. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Lowering links are not the right way to lower a bike. They change the geometry of the linkage. The proper way to lower it is to add some spacers inside of the shock and fork. This causes you to loose some of your suspension and some ground clearance but being more comfortable on the bike makes up for it.

    I have a 500 EXC so it is not exactly a 350 but the chassis is similar. My bike was too tall for me. I dropped it a bunch of times on our NV trip last summer. I had it lowered 1.5 inches by MotoPro (and also had the suspension resprung and revalved) and it is awesome. I have been riding a lot of single track and it is nice to be able to stand up easier. I feel much more confident.

    I think the only bike worth considering on your list is the KTM. The rest of them are dogs compared to it. Don't let the height stop you.

    Oh yeah, the Seat Concepts seat is nice. :D

    Now I just have to get my kick stand shortened...
    #5
  6. Kiethco

    Kiethco Adventurer

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    The KTM is an entirely different class of bike than any of the one's you listed. It may require a little more maintenance but the trade off is night and day. That ttr is a beater and takes tons of abuse, it also dishes it out on the trail. You'll fall less on the KTM and climb hills effortlessly as well as cruising over whooped out roads. 6 speed and E-start are reason enough. Thumbs has some good mods listed too.
    #6
  7. AZ Desert Dog

    AZ Desert Dog To Ornery To Quit

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    The KLX250 is the closest to the Yamaha you have. About 18HP. I just reasearch the 250 DS market pretty heavily. I actually eneded up with the CRF250L and like it very much. The only issue I heard about the KLX is the starting issue. Easily taken care of with some jetting. The best 250 is the WR250 but the price is not worth the difference IMHO. I don't know about the other choices you listed. Out of morbid curiosity why are you replacing the Yammie 230??

    Good luck. :clap
    #7
  8. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    ktms rule.
    #8
  9. 4play

    4play Next?

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    The KTM350 is hands down the most capable off road bike you listed & easily lowered by a competent shop the right way.

    I have a WR250R & like it a lot for it's ability to do single track & then jump on the Hwy & ride 50 miles home without complaint if I wish.
    They are unchanged since 2008 & a like new one can be had for $3500 if you look around.

    If you don't plan on much pavement get the KTM
    #9
  10. bikeslut

    bikeslut Long timer

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    OK- I'm a DRZ rider; and not because I don't know any better, or have never tried anything else, but because it seems to suit me well...

    BUTT...

    It's a 5 speed; to get a real singletrack first gear, you have to give up freeway speeds, or wind out the engine to stay ahead of volkswagen busses...

    It's not quite as tall as the KTM, but is much heavier and feels it.

    Bulletproof and feels it.

    I have done everything on mine from black diamond singletrack to long mile commutes, but it's old, dated and not ready for primetime

    The KTM in 350 or 500 trim is the answer if your wallet can handle it....there...I said it

    If my DRZ kicks the bucket, a 500 may be the replcement...I hope it can tolerate the abuse as well as the DRZ does
    #10
  11. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    Finally, a DRZ owner admits the DRZ is old and heavy.:lol3 80's technology, underpowered and overweight. Thank you. The 250's on your list have the same problem.
    Buy the KTM.:D
    #11
  12. mr. thumbs

    mr. thumbs Long timer

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    Are you getting the picture....lol
    #12