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 What brought you too the WR...

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Jerry S




PostSubject: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:58 pm

I have been riding a KTM 990 Adventure for the last 6 years, super fun bike. On a recent trip, I just about found how far my abilities will take me on a big bike in the backcountry. For the last two years, my wife has been telling me to pick up a smaller bike for harder riding so that I would stop beating the hell out the 990.

Long story short, I thought I wanted a Husqvarna 701. However, when I looked at what It would cost to set the bike up with some parts to get it bulletproof I realized that I could buy a WR for less than just the parts needed.

The WR has to be one of the best-kept secrets out there, some tires and a gear swap and I've been hitting all kinds of places.

What's everyone else been riding?

Jerry

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DPete

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:38 pm

Out of my 3 dual sports I have a 02'XR400 that has been dual sported, it's the most fun to ride and has the most off road ability but lacks highway gearing, wr250r comes next, it's more suited to pavement but doesn't really have a serious off road power band IMO, I had the suspension done and installed a 3 gal tank & bars otherwise stock, fun but I like the bottom end of the XR engine, next is a 87'XL 600R equally fun but heavy, dual carbs in those years, fast but power comes on at higher RPM, good street gearing. Dual sports have to balance street and dirt, I don't think you can have the best of both worlds under $10K
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TwelveGaugeSage




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:53 pm

I like the 701, but it just didn't seem worth the extra weight and slightly more maintenance despite the added power. Power is great, but low maintenance and low weight were what I wanted in a go anywhere bike. The WRR also has better fuel economy and a little better aftermarket.

If you don't mind doing a lot more maintenance than either of these two bikes, the Beta line-up is really nice too. Light WITH power.
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:43 pm

TwelveGaugeSage wrote:
I like the 701, but it just didn't seem worth the extra weight and slightly more maintenance despite the added power.  Power is great, but low maintenance and low weight were what I wanted in a go anywhere bike.  The WRR also has better fuel economy and a little better aftermarket.  

If you don't mind doing a lot more maintenance than either of these two bikes, the Beta line-up is really nice too.  Light WITH power.

I've really liked the Beta 300s, but living in California you can't plate anything these days.

The Xtrainer looks like the coolest bike ever.
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:50 pm

DPete wrote:
Out of my 3 dual sports I have a 02'XR400 that has been dual sported, it's the most fun to ride and has the most off road ability but lacks highway gearing, wr250r comes next, it's more suited to pavement but doesn't really have a serious off road power band IMO, I had the suspension done and installed a 3 gal tank & bars otherwise stock, fun but I like the bottom end of the XR engine, next is a 87'XL 600R equally fun but heavy, dual carbs in those years, fast but power comes on at higher RPM, good street gearing. Dual sports have to balance street and dirt, I don't think you can have the best of both worlds under $10K

See that's what gets me, $10K for a bike and then you have to throw down another $5K+ to get it up to speed.

KTM's especially have the highest price point but the worst suspension in the class.
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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:47 am

I think it comes down to what you are wanting to do with the bike.

If you are talking about loading it up and heading out for a few weeks riding and camping then the WRR will be hard to beat mainly because of the long service intervals and steel subframe. I've done some pretty decent rides on mine ~ 2000 miles and didn't have to worry about servicing the bike during the ride.

One thing if you are really going to be hitting the non-pavement pretty hard on your rides you should look at getting the suspension done. Getting the right springs and valving for your weight and ability will make the ride so much more enjoyable.

Now if you are mainly going to be doing a Basecamp type trip where you trailer out to a campsite and ride for a few days and then pack up and move to another site for a few more days then I would be probably looking at a different bike. My old KTM 450 EXC was fun bike in those scenarios and not too hard to work on.. which was good because the maintenance intervals were a bit shorter than what you see on the WRR.
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:45 pm

I agree the suspension is one of the first things I do to any bike. Primarily, it seems like the majority of new bikes are sprung for a rider that is 6' 4" and 160lbs.

But interestingly enough, I'm finding that a lot of the bikes that are being produced have evolved to suit a rider who is super aggressive. Aggressive trail riding, dual sport riding for longer trips in the 150+ mile per day zone just doesn't suit me.


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dhally

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PostSubject: What brought me   Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:46 am

I always used to only ride dirt. I was riding an xr400 and got the dual sport bug so I tried the xr. After going through some other bikes I was riding a KTM 640. What brought me to the wr250 was a desire to not wrench so much, less vibration, and less chance of getting crushed or stranded with a remote crash.

The wrr has the best combination of wide ratios, weight, smoothness, and fuel range of any street type dual sport. I don't miss the KTM.
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:14 am

I've had my xt600 for 10 years. A couple of people I knew (not really friends at that time) bought wr250r, and used them for enduro.
I took my Xt all sorts of places where it didnt belong, and lusted for the Wr. But we have a 180% tax on bikes/cars, so buying new wasnt an option for me.

I read the big thread on advrider, years before I bought one, and I just new that it was the bike for me.
Over time I got closer with the Wr guys, and one of them had to sell (well both actually). I picked one up right away, and started to make it mine.

I love it for what it is.
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DPete

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:16 pm

Jens Eskildsen wrote:
. But we have a 180% tax on bikes/cars, so buying new wasnt an option for me.
.
Are you kidding me? What country gets by with that?
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:39 pm

One with a free education and welfare system I guess thumb Very happy
Denmark

A Gs1200 adventure is around 37.000us $ It kinda makes sence that if you can afford that, youre basically helping to pay for the education of others that dont :)

Didnt mean for this to get political, just trying to explain it. It seems taxes are dropping slowly though, so people can afford better/newer cars, and we stille end up bringing in the same money in tax.
My choice was to buy a new cheap car with great fueleconomy and low running costs, and then to have 4 used dualsports, the wr250r beeing one of them.
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:43 pm

Sadly nothing is free.
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:02 am

Agree, but I think its a good solution, where people who have the most, helps to pay for the healtcare and education for the less fortunate. thumb
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VW_Lee

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:11 pm

You guys got me to start reading about why the Danes don't seem to mind paying such a high tax rate, and it seems to me the reason is the majority of the people get a good return on that money in the way of services provided (healthcare, education, employment placement assistance). I have no idea if something like that would work in the United States, but it's an interesting concept. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-01-20/why-danes-happily-pay-high-rates-of-taxes

At any rate, the thing that brought me to the WR was when a friend of mine bought a TW200 from another friend of mine who had too many of them (long story). I had been riding dirt bikes for a while, and the thought of a plated bike sounded good. I live in Southern California, and while the west still has what can be described as a utopia of public land riding opportunities, the amount of available land shrinks every year. Having a street legal bike opened up a whole new world of opportunities. I was hooked.

I did the normal thing of researching the three main bikes which were considered the best dual sports for the money, the Honda CRF250L, the Kawasaki KLX250S, and the Yamaha WR250R. The Yamaha seemed to have the best suspension of the three, so I worked the local dealers over until I got a reasonably good deal on a brand new 2013. Then I got my M1 and hit the road + trails.

The bike was a substantial improvement over the '05 Honda XR250R I had been riding. Granted, the Honda's engine had more low end grunt, but I quickly discovered that the WR was a much better bike once you geared it way down (13/48 with a larger 120/90-18 rear tire). Oh yeah, had to get rid of those Death Wing tires too. I found that the bike did everything I asked it to do, and did it reasonably well. One exception was the high desert, especially sand. The bike is too heavy, under powered, and under suspended for serious desert work. Sure, it will go pretty much everywhere you want it to, but you will really have to work at it.

I started a new job in 2016, so I went for it and bought a KTM 500 EXC. Everything they say about the 500 EXC being a dirt bike with lights is true. It is a dream in the desert. I still prefer my WR for street rides and forest fire roads. I took the WR along when we did our eclipse trip to Idaho in August of this year, and we did some dual sporting in Idaho and Wyoming. The WR makes an excellent traveling companion. I feel that I can pack the miles on that thing all I want, and it will never complain. I'm sure glad I kept it. That fun little bike continues to carry me to some cool and interesting places.



Lee
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:49 am

@VW_Lee

That's interesting about the XR250R, that's one of the coolest 250's out there. I still think about picking one up if I see the right one for sale.

I'm seriously considering picking up a second WR for my wife, but it is on the heavier side.
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VW_Lee

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:03 pm

Jerry,

Back in 2013, my friend Robert and I took the WR and the XR out to the desert for a little head to head comparison. We both agreed that the XR's engine had way more grunt off idle, but the WR was a lot of fun when you could rev it. We also got a fast lesson on how terrible the stock tires were on the WR, as it was all over the place in the sand washes. A set of Pirelli MT21 tires eventually solved that issue. The stupid high stock gearing of the WR was also very evident. We also noticed that the suspension on the WR was much better, especially the steering. The XR had what could almost be described as a death wobble when going all out across the lakebed. The forks had been gone through by a shop, so I don't think anything was wrong with the bike, but I could be wrong. In any case, the WR just cruised along and tracked perfectly along those same stretches.

While I've always been a fan of the XR Hondas, the license plate and magic button on the Yamaha ultimately prompted me to part with it. I still kind of miss it from time to time, but my garage simply isn't big enough.



Lee
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:48 pm

I completely agree about the WR, in the last month I've ridden about 400+ miles of single track and deep sand in the area and it's been so much fun. The electric start has become a necessity for me. The thought of trying to kick-start a tall bike on the side of a mountain on some off camber trail sounds terrible. Most of the guys I've been riding with ride 450s and 500 KTM/Husqvarna's and they just blast through the sand. With 13/48 gearing I have to cruise between 2 and 3rd but can't really pull 4th. It's all good though, I'm a pretty causal rider.

Thanks for the insight on the XR, hearing from a guy that has had both really clears up the unknown. Any thoughts on the XL250s as a wife/girlfriend bike?

Jerry
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VW_Lee

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:23 pm

Hi Jerry,

Glad I could offer some info on the XR/WR comparison. It really was crazy how much better the WR felt, except for those awful stock tires.

I don't know much about the XL250 bikes, but the XL250S looks like a good machine if you can find one. Parts availability would be a concern for sure, and the more modern bikes would likely be more fun to ride. My buddy has a '71 Yamaha 175 CT1, and the only place we can find some of the parts for it is eBay.

A couple of good options for shorter riders are the Yamaha XT250 or Honda CRF250L. I think the Honda might be better in the dirt. The new KLX250 looks pretty awesome in the camo colors too.

Lee

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johnkol




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:56 pm

VW_Lee wrote:
The XR had what could almost be described as a death wobble when going all out across the lakebed. The forks had been gone through by a shop, so I don't think anything was wrong with the bike, but I could be wrong.

There was nothing wrong with the bike; this was a design feature of the entire XR line: a flexible but critically damped frame. The frame was actually so flexible that the two wheels were never tracking along the same path. This feature made the XRs very forgiving on gnarly terrain, and if things ever got out of hand, all the rider had to do was close the throttle -- and suddenly everything went quiet as the frame damped oscillations the way it was designed to do.

This feature was very useful to new riders that were prone to making mistakes, but once you got past that stage, the flexible frame became a liability, not allowing the rider to progress.

The XR650R was the first XR to break with that tradition and use a very rigid (aluminium) frame.
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VW_Lee

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PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:23 pm

Johnkol,

Thanks for the excellent explanation. I do remember liking how forgiving the XR was, but like you said, once I started pushing it harder, things got interesting!

Lee
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johnkol




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:02 am

Funny thing is that despite the huge limitations of the XR, the bikes were raced at the highest level back in the '80s, even at the ISDE, and it was not unusual to see them win their class.

When was the last time you saw someone racing the WRR at that level?
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Jerry S




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:44 pm

I was told that the flex was one the reasons that it was so successful in the Baja 1000. The frame and suspension flex allowed the bike to absorb highspeed desert better.

The XR650R and 400s are still alive and well in So Cal, I ride with a guy that's all about them.
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:59 pm

XR's are "racier" than our WR, just look at the maintenance-scheduels.

I've seens 2 wr250r in enduro races in this country... I own one of them now. I use it as a track marshall for the same races it used to compete in, so it goes anywhere the A-riders go.
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johnkol




PostSubject: Re: What brought you too the WR...   Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:48 am

I believe that for a race like Baja, it was the reliability of the XR that must have appealed to most people; it is the reason that so many ISDE racers were choosing the XR over the KTMs of the day.

The XR650R was a radical departure from the XR legacy, with an unshakeable frame and massive power. If that bike had been released around 1990, it would have been a revelation; by the time it was released in 2000, two years after the revolutionary 520 EXC and WR400F, it was simply  an overweight, under-performing dinosaur.

I had a plated one that I used for adventure riding for a couple of years, but it wore me out; I sold it and got a WR450F, and that bike was everything the XR650R had ever wanted to be.
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