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 Ex-DRZ owners?

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drifteast




PostSubject: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:06 pm

FWIW, I did some searching on this topic but couldn't find anything; I suspect my searching skills are the problem... Anyway, it's been a while since I was last on here; I had to look at own watched topics to even know how long ago it was. That was back in 2014 when I had a KLR and I was considering a WR; the KLR was just too heavy for what I wanted to do with it and I wanted something more manageable. I eventually settled on a Yamaha XT250 but quickly realized that it was not comfortable to ride; while I'm only 5' 10", it was really cramped. Didn't mind the power as I'm a pretty conservative rider but I'd be in pain after riding it. So I sold the XT, did some more research, and decided that a DRZ400 would be more suitable. Still lighter than the KLR but not overly heavy (relatively speaking) and tons of aftermarket support. Only managed to put 500km on it the first year and didn't get to ride it this year at all 'cause I messed up my back in the early spring.

While lying in bed in pain all riding season, I started to ponder my riding future and started wondering if the DRZ was now going to be too much bike given my back issues (I expect to heal but will need to be more careful in the future). The "maybe I should get something lighter again" thoughts... The first obvious choice was the KLX250; lower than the DRZ, a little lighter and maneuverable, easier to pick up, etc. I initially dismissed the WR because of the seat height (sat on one in a dealership a few years ago and it was a little intimidating) and started to do it again this time. But I know that in terms of value, technology, etc. that the WR is a better bike for the money. Which all comes back to...

Any ex-DRZ owners out there to share their experiences in moving to a WR? The only negative for me is really the seat height; if I can get that down a little lower (the stock seat height change + maybe an aftermarket seat) I think it would be clearer. Is the WR top-heavy like a DRZ? I think the WR subframe is a little stronger than the KLX as well so if I wanted to throw a 1-gallon Rotopax on the back, I'm guessing it would be fine on the WR. Anyway, thanks in advance for opinions. In the meantime, I'll keep reading!
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njbill

njbill


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:32 pm

I had DRZ400S for a couple years. After that, I had a WR250R for seven years. In my opinion, the WRR did everything better than the DRZ. There was a slight power difference, especially in the low end, but the WRR's transmission is light years better than the DRZ.
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:46 pm

njbill wrote:
I had DRZ400S for a couple years. After that, I had a WR250R for seven years. In my opinion, the WRR did everything better than the DRZ. There was a slight power difference, especially in the low end, but the WRR's transmission is light years better than the DRZ.

Thanks for the reply!  Can I ask how tall you are and whether you did anything to lower the WR?
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rsteiger

rsteiger


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:27 am

At the rear shock there is a clevis that will allow you to change the rear ride height a bit. Not sure how much you can get out of it.

You can also slip the forks up in the Triples a bit. Also Seat Concepts makes a Low Seat which puts you an inch closer to the ground.

Just remember being able to touch the ground is over rated... every time I touch the ground when riding bad things happen.
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YZEtc

YZEtc


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:52 am

You're "only" 5' 10" tall?
Well, I'm 5' 5", so you can probably guess what I think whenever I read things like this.

I owned a 2008 WR250R, then a 2009 DR-Z400SM (motard version), and then a 2008 WR250X (motard version).
Once you lower the WR250R ride height adjuster at the bottom shock clevis (I also slid the fork tubes up in the triple clamps about 5 millimeters), the seat heights are similar.
The weights of the bikes on a scale are in the ballpark, but what people won't always mention is that the smaller-displacing bike will feel lighter while in motion due to less engine inertia (gyroscopic mass).

So in my opinion, it comes down to whether you want a 250 or a 400.
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njbill

njbill


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:38 am

drifteast wrote:
njbill wrote:
I had DRZ400S for a couple years. After that, I had a WR250R for seven years. In my opinion, the WRR did everything better than the DRZ. There was a slight power difference, especially in the low end, but the WRR's transmission is light years better than the DRZ.

Thanks for the reply!  Can I ask how tall you are and whether you did anything to lower the WR?

I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam. I did not lower the bike. My riding requires every inch of suspension. I had a YZ125 when I was 15 years old, so I am used to tall bikes. YMMV
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on2wheels52




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am

I had a DRz for 15 years prior to the WR. It was my short range DS bike (had two larger ones with panniers), don't think it hardly left my county :)
I view the WR as an upgrade, feels 20+ lbs lighter and about the same power. Plus better suspension and that extra gear.
But the real treat was mounting a rear case and getting soft bags. Minimalist camping! I could go a couple of weeks on the thing. I just never thought about doing the same with the DRz, just always took a bigger bike.
I'm a 32" inseam, get along fine with the standard setup. I've ridden a WR with a Yamalink but didn't feel the need to get one for myself. Perhaps when I'm older, only 66 now.
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:24 pm

Thanks for all the replies! Very, very helpful. I probably should have used the word "downsize" rather than "downgrade". Like I said, I know the WR is a better bike in the end and I've often thought that if I'd gotten the WR instead of the XT, I likely would have been happy. Re: the comment about my height, the only reason I mentioned it in the way that I did because most people I come across who have WRs are 6' or taller. So, to me, my height almost seemed like a detriment; I'm definitely glad to hear that's not the case.

I know there's way too much emphasis put on being able to flat-foot a bike; I certainly don't think that's a requirement but I think as long as I could get a WR height down an inch or so, I'd be happy. Sounds like it's definitely doable based on the responses. YZEtc makes a good point about a smaller displacement bike feeling lighter too. Since I don't have a WR available around here to test ride, do folks find them generally top heavy? Or somewhat well-balanced? Or is every tall bike going to feel top heavy?
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YZEtc

YZEtc


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:47 pm

I felt my WR250R was a very good-handling and good-feeling motorcycle.
Did not feel top-heavy to me at all.
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johnkol




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:17 am

I never owned a DRZ, but I had ridden a DRZ-E back in the day extensively. The DRZ trounces the WRR in terms of power, something that is especially noticeable on mountain roads; if your primary use is off-road, then the lack of power of the WRR is not an issue.

I found the DRZ to be not just heavy, but top heavy too; the WRR feels 50 pounds lighter by comparison, although the WRR is a bit top heavy too. Suspension-wise both bikes need help (time and money); ergonomics are pretty much the same.

Seat height on the WRR should not be an issue for you: I'm 5'6" and I have not lowered the bike.
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eram310




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:07 pm

I have owned a DRZ from 2008 till 2016 . I do not think the WR250R is a better bike. On the contrary ,in stock form, I think the DRZ is the better bike.
The DRZ stock suspension is better, especially the rear shock that is fully adjustable with high and low speed compression setting. The rear shock rebound is horrible on the WRR and it needs to be re-valved to be compliant . The motor on the DRZ is more powerful, especially at low RPM when it counts. (It’s a 400) As a dual sport, the only advantage I see for the WR is that it’s very smooth, especially running at 6 gear on the Highway at 60 MPH. (DRZ only 5 gears)

If you are only going to ride dual sport (A little pavement, a little gravel, 2 track trails , Jeep trails etc.. and once in a while easy single track trails)I would buy the DRZ. No doubt.
The advantage of the WR250r over the DRZ, is that it can be made to be a better trail bike. I didn’t want to go back to having a 250 dirt bike and a dual sport. I had that in the past and it wasn’t worth it for me to keep them both. (I also own a big ADV bike and a sport bike)
I am not an Enduro racer, but I enjoy at times more aggressive dual sport rides and trail rides. After taking care of the suspension , gearing, removing the emission stuff and installing a fuel programmer, the bike is an average dirt bike but still maintains its dual sport ability.
BTW, If I was only going to ride trails, I would buy a WR250F.
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Cosmic Charlie

Cosmic Charlie


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:20 pm

my wrr with FI & 6 spd is clearly superior tech
I have 30" in seam and the lowering link and OEM lowered front & rear are just right for me
Seat height may be less when you set the shock appropriate sag
wrr feels much more nimble than my drz 400s did
drz did feel better at highway use but I don't ride the highway
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DPete

DPete


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:57 am

I have both, my DRZ400s is an 11' bought with 4000 mi. WR is a 13' bought new. Who ever tuned the 400 knew what they were doing it runs circles around the wr250. The suspension has been done on both bikes, the Suz is superior in that way. I like them both, the WR is more street friendly because of the 6th gear and higher rpm power band. The DRZ is more fun just because it hauls azz. So my answer is "keep both"
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:49 pm

Thanks again for all the replies here, they were super helpful. Having mulled it over during the holidays and then taking another look at a WR at a local dealership last weekend, I've come to the conclusion that the WR is what I want. Now it's just a matter of removing the accessories from the DRZ and prepping it for sale in the spring, deciding on new vs. used, etc. Have never had a bike with USD forks before so I'll have to read up on maintenance and how best to prevent fork seal issues as this is the only thing that freaks me out a bit (probably worrying for nothing). Height-wise, the WR seems about the same as the DRZ so it's all good.

On a different note, I noticed that (at least in Canada) the 2018 models I've seen listed have a suffix of 'JL' (WR250R JL) while the 2019's have a suffix of 'KL' (WR250R KL). Thought I read somewhere that this refers to the manufacturer location but now I can't find it. Anyone know for sure?
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Cosmic Charlie

Cosmic Charlie


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:23 pm


You Be Fine !

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/why-things-are-inverted-forks
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YZEtc

YZEtc


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:46 pm

The J = 2018 model.
The K = 2019 model.
The L = color blue.
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:49 pm

Cosmic Charlie wrote:

You Be Fine !

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/why-things-are-inverted-forks

Nice! Thanks, that's helpful for a USD noob like myself!

YZEtc wrote:
The J = 2018 model.
The K = 2019 model.
The L = color blue.

And thanks for that! Now that I counted from 2008, it makes total sense :)
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DPete

DPete


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:09 am

Do a youtube search on fork seal cleaning, it has worked on 95% of my leaks
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:27 am

DPete wrote:
Do a youtube search on fork seal cleaning, it has worked on 95% of my leaks

Thanks! Now of course my follow-up question is: how common are the leaks? How many would 95% be?
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paulie1960




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:31 am

i have 15000 miles on my wrr and never changed fork or shock seal yet, serviced the forks and shock a dozen time with oil and valving changes but clean fork seals often.
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paulie1960




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:34 am

i know with 15000mi i going to need bushing soon, i am just really waiting for my seal to good bad first.
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:10 pm

paulie1960 wrote:
i have 15000 miles on my wrr and never changed fork or shock seal yet, serviced the forks and shock a dozen time with oil and valving changes but clean fork seals often.

Cool, thanks for the feedback!  Good to know.  Just researching any weak areas on the bike so I can be prepared.  The KLR had its doohickey, the DRZ has the weak side cases, etc.  thumb I at least know the swingarm on the WR can be an issue without proper adjustment but haven't come across much else.
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VW_Lee

VW_Lee


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:27 pm

I've had my 2013 WR since new, and I have over 14,000 pretty hard miles on it. Here's what I know:

- The stock tires suck. I've been running Pirelli MT-21 front and rear and am very happy with the setup for true 50/50 riding.
- The stock gearing also sucks. I'm very happy with the 13 / 48 combination. If I did a lot more highway, I would go to 13 /47.
- The lower portion of the chain slider on the leading edge of the swingarm will get chewed through if the chain is too LOOSE or if the links are kinked (I removed the shock and cycled the swingarm to confirm this). I have no personal experience with a 12T front sprocket, but I can see how this could make it worse. A properly adjusted X-Ring chain solves the issue.
- The stator crapped out in September 2015 / 8,000 miles and left me stranded on a dirt road leading to Big Bear. A recall (which I never got a notice for) took care of this, and the better stator was installed on new bikes going forward.
- I used to carry a one gallon Rotopax gas can and a Peak tail bag on the back until I broke the subframe. If you carry a lot of weight on the bike, install a real luggage rack. My stuff was just on a rear rack with no additional support.
- The cam chain started making noise when the engine was cold in June 2018 / 13,000 miles. Installed new stock tension, which has an updated part number so again, later bikes should be fine.
- Checked the valves since I had half the bike apart for the cam chain tensioner and discovered that 3 of them were tight (Intakes were .06 and .15, exhausts were .20 and .23). Adjusted to .15 and .25. Note that this was only at the halfway point to the fabled 26,600 miles valve check interval.

I think that's about it. Having said all that, I really love the bike, and I actually prefer it over my 500 EXC in a lot of situations. Get one, you won't be disappointed!

Lee
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drifteast




PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:58 pm

VW_Lee wrote:
I've had my 2013 WR since new, and I have over 14,000 pretty hard miles on it. Here's what I know:

- The stock tires suck. I've been running Pirelli MT-21 front and rear and am very happy with the setup for true 50/50 riding.
- The stock gearing also sucks. I'm very happy with the 13 / 48 combination. If I did a lot more highway, I would go to 13 /47.
- The lower portion of the chain slider on the leading edge of the swingarm will get chewed through if the chain is too LOOSE or if the links are kinked (I removed the shock and cycled the swingarm to confirm this). I have no personal experience with a 12T front sprocket, but I can see how this could make it worse. A properly adjusted X-Ring chain solves the issue.
- The stator crapped out in September 2015 / 8,000 miles and left me stranded on a dirt road leading to Big Bear. A recall (which I never got a notice for) took care of this, and the better stator was installed on new bikes going forward.
- I used to carry a one gallon Rotopax gas can and a Peak tail bag on the back until I broke the subframe. If you carry a lot of weight on the bike, install a real luggage rack. My stuff was just on a rear rack with no additional support.
- The cam chain started making noise when the engine was cold in June 2018 / 13,000 miles. Installed new stock tension, which has an updated part number so again, later bikes should be fine.
- Checked the valves since I had half the bike apart for the cam chain tensioner and discovered that 3 of them were tight (Intakes were .06 and .15, exhausts were .20 and .23). Adjusted to .15 and .25. Note that this was only at the halfway point to the fabled 26,600 miles valve check interval.

I think that's about it. Having said all that, I really love the bike, and I actually prefer it over my 500 EXC in a lot of situations. Get one, you won't be disappointed!

Lee

Thanks for all the info, Lee! I've heard 14/49 is a good gearing combo as well. I'd also read that the swingarm chewing can happen if the chain is too tight or too loose so I guess the rule is, adjust it to spec. Yikes eeek on the subframe! I was planning on picking up a Scaggs rear rack for a Wolfman Rolie pack of tools and maybe a Rotopax as well; may have to rethink that one, so thanks for mentioning that!

Anyway, I'll start looking for one soon and I'm already planning out the mods!
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VW_Lee

VW_Lee


PostSubject: Re: Ex-DRZ owners?   Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:05 pm

Right, good drive chain maintenance is critical. I've had the best results with the DID X-Ring chain (520 VX-2). I had a cheap O-Ring chain on there for a while, and the links kinked which GREATLY accelerated the wear on the bottom of the chain slider. The links on the X-Ring chain move much more freely, so this is no longer a problem. Plus, the thing pretty much stays in adjustment until it's time to change everything (the front sprocket stars to "fishhook" before anything else wears out).

The subframe could probably have done better if I hadn't been jumping the bike or going as fast over rough dirt roads. Since I need the extra gallon of gas, I got rid of the Rotopax and opted for the IMS 3 gallon tank. I'm very happy with that setup.

Hope you find a WR soon, and have fun modding it out!

Lee
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