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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't usually ask for input like this, but I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a dual sport and am looking for some opinions from those of you that have ridden one or both of these bikes. I have about 5k disposable that's burning a hole in my pocket and a third bike would complete the stable (YZ450F for obvious reasons, FZ for obvious reasons, and a dual sport for the best of both).

WR250R
+ more power, fuel injection, brand preference
- higher price

KLX 250S
+ cheaper price, friend hookup
- less power, carbureted

Low mile WR250Rs go for about 5-6k around here (year doesn't really seem to effect the price that much). The WR is obviously my preference, however, a friend has a 1000 mile 2014 KLX 250S that she'll sell me for 4k (5100 new). I've ridden the KLX and I couldn't even get the front end up using the clutch...I don't know if I can live with that lol but it is cheaper and I could always use the money saved to put a 351 kit on it. The KLX with a 351 kit should lay down more power than the WR but that still doesn't change the fact that it's carbureted.

What do you guys think?
 

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I owned the WR for a few years and only recently sold it to get a real dirt bike. It's a really great bike, with better quality suspension and more power than the Kawasaki (according to Cycle World, I think). That's because it has a lot higher price when new. In stock form, the fueling is very lean, and it takes a Power Commander to fix it. That costs around $350 as I recall. Over the course of owning the bike, I did just about every possible modification to it, including a 290cc big bore kit, power commander and pipe. Even had a set of supermoto wheels and bigger disc for it. Got to 31 hp on the dyno, up from around 24 in stock form. In the end, I spent way too much money on the bike, but it was a lot of fun. I think you should take a realistic look at what you're willing to spend on the purchase, plus what you'll be willing to spend later on in mods. Maybe that will help guide your decision. A used WR with some of the popular mods might be a good way to go. Let the first owner pay full price for the upgrades and you get them at a discount!
 

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I have a KLX 351, pumper carb, FMF exhaust, etc. 10 lbs lighter than stock, 40 percent more HP and torque. It's a project, but a fun one.
Plus my daughter loves it. Ride 'em all and you'll find the one you like.
 

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I am a Yamaha guy myself but my DS is a Suzuki. The DR's have the most bang for the buck. I wish Yamaha would step up their Dual Sport line. A 250 is just not going to cut it for me.
 

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I have a 2012 WR250R and really like it, it's a great street and off road bike. I originally wanted the Honda but at over 6 ft the WR was really the only choice. If your under 6 ft your hardly gonna be able to touch the ground. The fully adjustable front and rear suspension and almost 11 inches of suspension travel also sold me. It's more dirt bike than all the others.
 

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Just my look at Thumper Dual Sports:

Kawasaki KLR650 - more street oriented dual sport, poor man's adventure bike.
Honda XL650L - more dirt oriented dual sport, that kind of sucks on the highway. (I hate the Honda Powersport Stores)
Suzuki DR650SE - street oriented dual sport, that can be easily mode'd for more offroad use.
Yamaha XT660R - not available in North America, which is too bad.

Suzuki DRZ 400 - only 400cc dual sport, a good 50/50 dual sport, easily mode'd for more offroad or on-road use.

Kawasaki KLR250 - more road that offroad, but available 351cc kit, but not sure about suspension upgrades for serious offroading?
Honda CRF250L - same as KLR250, more road than offroad, big bore kits available, suspension upgrades??? and (I hate the Honda Power Centre Stores)
Suzuki DRZ-250 - not available in North America, which is too bad, only the DR200S but it's too small.
Yamaha WR250 - more offroad capable than all the others in stock format.

If you have your heart set on a WR250, and if all the low milage used ones are going for $5-6k. Maybe it's a good time to see if you can get a good deal on a new old stock 2014, as the dealers start getting in the 2015's?
 
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I bought two WR250R's the moment they came out in 2007, and I can say that they were underwhelming. The fun wore off in a hurry. For the trail they were too heavy for my tastes with not enough power, and on the street, they were just not powerful enough and too rickity. A KTM 350 or a 450 motor would have been much better for dual duty.
CIMG1548.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input everyone.

If I didn't have such a predisposition against KTMs, I would go that route. They make some pretty appealing bikes. At this point I'm leaning towards the KLX 250S and using the money saved to go 351. From the reviews out there, the 351 kit makes for an awesome bike. Only downside is that it's carbureted, but I think I can live with that. Going to think it over for another day or two before making a decision. Any additional input is welcome.

Happy turkey day! Safe travels.
 

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I have a KLX250s. I originally thought I should get a Suzuki DRZ 400, till I straddled one in the showroom. I have a 30" inseam and with the Suzuki's 37" seat height I would be reluctant to ride it even on smooth level ground, let alone off road. I rejected the Yamaha because I heard they got their power at the expense of low end. That kind of motor works well on a motocross track, but is not what I wanted to pick my way up a badly eroded and/or rock strewn slope.
I installed a 331cc kit, pumper carb and FMF exhaust, but kept the stock cams for reliability reasons. It's still no race bike, but has reasonable power and my only gripe with it's suspension is way too much rebound damping (set it to minimum or it will feel like a hard tail over washboards). If I had it to do over I might try going with a 450 Yamaha and getting a street legal kit for it and then modifying the suspension to get the seat low enough for me.
 

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I don't usually ask for input like this, but I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a dual sport and am looking for some opinions from those of you that have ridden one or both of these bikes. I have about 5k disposable that's burning a hole in my pocket and a third bike would complete the stable (YZ450F for obvious reasons, FZ for obvious reasons, and a dual sport for the best of both).

WR250R
+ more power, fuel injection, brand preference
- higher price

KLX 250S
+ cheaper price, friend hookup
- less power, carbureted

Low mile WR250Rs go for about 5-6k around here (year doesn't really seem to effect the price that much). The WR is obviously my preference, however, a friend has a 1000 mile 2014 KLX 250S that she'll sell me for 4k (5100 new). I've ridden the KLX and I couldn't even get the front end up using the clutch...I don't know if I can live with that lol but it is cheaper and I could always use the money saved to put a 351 kit on it. The KLX with a 351 kit should lay down more power than the WR but that still doesn't change the fact that it's carbureted.

What do you guys think?

I've ridden a 2010 WRR about 5,000 miles, mostly off-road over the last few years. I got it because of the reliability, fuel injection, suspension and it is street legal. I put a larger rear sprocket, a larger tank, heated grips, GPS, steering damper and a few other farkles but the most important change was to get the suspension reworked at "Go-Race" in Va. Now it is prime for DS... yes, I'd love to have a 450 engine in there but not the 450's mpg and I've found this one fills the bill 90% of the time.

If you ride mostly off-road, the Yamaha is the one... especially if you ride in the mountians where elevation changes of 5,000 ft or more are routine and you want instant electric starting, regardless of temperature, elevation, bike angle (like after you dump it a few times) and acceptable hiway speed on top of about 65 mpg.

OTOH, if you plan primarily lite riding off-road and mostly ride better roads, it probably doesn't matter, go for the the best deal.
 

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What kind of top speed's are you guys getting out of the 250's?
 

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I put 9,800 miles on my 2008 Yamaha WR250X, since it was the Motard model, 85% of that was on paved roads, the rest on gravel roads.
A friend had his KLX250S along side me, for many of those miles. Sorry, but that is an old school bike, dated in almost every way.

The acceleration contests were a joke, any time, any where, the Yamaha would fly swat the Kawasaki. Kaw had exhaust, and was jetted correctly, too.

With a tail wind, mine would indicate 96-98 MPH.......what it was actually doing, who knows. He also had a 2007 Suzuki DR650E all stock, through the gears, from second through top gear, we were very close, up until 85ish. The Suzuki would indicate 106 MPH consistently flat out. We both weight about 210 in riding gear.

My WR250X, had a slightly opened up stock muffler, that was it, no ECM Tweaking, nothing.
 

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I had a completely stock '08 WR250X. I could do 80 on the highway, no problem. Now with a headwind, it would struggle to get 65.
If you are not riding the highway a lot a 250 is the way to go, but if you will be riding highway speeds with any wind you are going to hate it.

Yes on my DR650SE I can ride 70 to 80 mph all day long, but add in a strong head wind or side wind, the fun factor goes down in a hurry. Now try riding the highway in those winds and passing semi trucks, even on my heavy DR it's not fun. I'd hate to try that on a light 250, it would be down right scary. I know because there are many 250's out there when I am riding my DR, but they seem to disappear when the wind kicks up.

But like I say, if you are not using it for lots of highway runs, then a 250 may be a better fit. Personally, for a lighter dual sport, I would still go with at least a 400cc. The perfect 400cc would be a 2003 XR400R converted with a lighting kit to make it street legal, if that were an option. The main reason isn't just for weight, it's for a bare bones simple design. Some people say it has to be fuel injected, liquid cooled, etc. I disagree, in the past I had an XR350R and a TT350, two simple air cooled carbureted bikes. The bonus was simple, easy to fix and reliable. Which is why I went with my DR650SE, easy to work on and super reliable, and parts are cheap and easy to find.

Plus when I owned the TT350, I bought it used when everyone else had brand new bikes. I paid $1500 for the bike and new riding gear, everyone else spent $6000+ for their new bikes. Yes the old TT350 was old school, but there was not one place the new bikes could go that I couldn't. There where a lot of nasty spots that were easier for me with the low end torque over the high rev'ing 250's Plus it's nice then you can lift the front wheel with just a twist of the throttle.
 
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In stock form the WR250R is better in every way. However there are a host of upgrades available for the KLX that allow you to squeeze MUCH more power out of it.
 

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If you want a monster powerhouse with reliability, check out an XR650R. I change my oil about every 1000 miles, could go longer. I have 3000 miles on it so far with no issues, plus a few thousand miles from the previous owner.
 

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Not meaning to hijack the thread, but how do the dual sports compare in terms of corrosion? There is road salt everywhere here this time of year. Looking to complete the stable with something off-road/winter-able, so watching threads like this with interest.
 
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