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xr650l or wr250r

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sooo...I'm very new to DS and want some help on my next bike. I started off with a KLR650 but I want something a little more dirt worthy, nimble, lighter, etc. and I have two options.

#1: 2005 XR650l with 18,000 miles for $2800. Plenty of cool stuff and a solid bike.

#2: 2008 WR250R with 3,500 miles for $3100. Again with all kinds of cool stuff with the bike.

So I'm 6'2" 190 and I am looking for a taller bike. I know the both are pretty tall, the XR will most likely be better on the road, the WR has 6 speed transmission and fuel injection (is that better?).

Looking for your wisdom.
Thanks in advance,
combsie
 
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Kinda depends on what you mean by "more dirt worthy". If you are talking mostly gravel roads, fire roads, and some single track, I would prefer the 650L. If you are talking a good bit of single track (especially tight woods), the 250 would better suit you. The 650L is called a Big Red Pig for a reason.
 
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The 650L is called a Big Red Pig for a reason.

Hey Combsie
I just got back from Mexico and a very "dirt worthy" trip through all kinds of mountainous terrain. I rode an 09 XR650L, Stalefish rode a wr250 decked out for ADV. He chose that bike to ride around the world starting in two months. Just my observations as a new ADV rider, the only advantage my XR had on any of the other bikes was a little more speed on roadway & improved dirt roads. The height was NOT an advantage. Most of the other guys who chose 250 to 400 bikes had a more managed ride. Read also what most of the more traveled ADV riders ride, JT, Tricep, etc. They choose a bike that they can easily reach the ground and can handle more surely in tough terrain. Some of those guys will leave you in the dust with a xl400.
Love my XR, but it is a tall pig in the backcountry and rarely shows an advantage for your new choice of riding style.
Good Luck & GO !!! :scott:
 
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I've owned four KLR 650's over the past 12 years and for me it was always the bike of choice. For my riding style, it worked fine for me, but my riding these days (age 70) is not what it used to be. The things I like about my WR is it's light weigh (300 lbs.), fuel injected, can be lowered for a more comfortable ride height, better off road handling and ride, and can cruse the highways at 65 all day and for me that's about my top speed these days anyway. The group of guys that I ride with 75% are riding the WR250R or the KTM 690 Enduro, the other 25% are riding other dual sport bikes of their choice. We have ridden the Continental Divide, Trans American Trial, Forever West, etc. and the WR is probably the most trouble free bike of all. Personally I would go with the WR, for $3100 if you don't like it you can get your money back faster then just about any dual sport bike out there. Up here in the DFW area a 2008 WR250R would bring $3495 easy in nice condition any day.

John
 

KenH

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XR650L is just a little more dirtworthy, with a little less roadworthy. WR250 is a lot more dirtyworthy, but can be modded to be almost as roadworthy as the XR650. There is a reason the more experienced adventure riders are going to 250-400cc bikes with shorter suspensions and fatter tires. The gain in dirt friendly cruising way more than offsets the loss off highway and high speed offroad capability. It really is tough to play Racer Rick on a bike with a 36-inch seat height when the bike is loaded with camp gear.

Of course, nothing can beat a TW200 with enough mods to buy both the bikes you're looking at, lots of farkles, and have gas money left over, but she's not for sale.
 

philipbarrett

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Feel free to check out my little DS comparo spreadsheet;

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OI95BYgsUl9z89SaFrQxyF7OM57fU4AHDA3qDZU-mX8/edit?usp=sharing

That power to weight ratio is the key. Lightweight makes for a much easier day in the seat.

I traded down from a KLR to an XR400R which I believe (with the right mods) to be a lovely light & simple trail bike. Once you get the kick start technique it's an easy process hot or cold. Prices are generally good enough that you can afford to put some $$ into them. Power & torque are very forgiving for the less talented like myself.

Now if I had the cojones and the cash I might be swayed by the KTM 690. I've ridden one and it's an amazing bike with probably the best compromise between dirt & road available. The fact they can bring all that in at just over 300lbs is amazing to me.
 
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I started off with a KLR650 but I want something a little more dirt worthy, nimble, lighter, etc...So I'm 6'2" 190 and I am looking for a taller bike. I know the both are pretty tall, the XR will most likely be better on the road, the WR has 6 speed transmission and fuel injection (is that better?).

It really depends on your personal preferences - neither bike is a bad choice.

The WR is about 50 lbs lighter than the XRL, making it a better dirt bike (actual off-road riding, versus dirt road riding). The wide ratio 6 speed transmission makes it more versatile than bikes with narrow ratio 5 speed transmission (like the DRZ). Fuel injection means better fuel economy and no issues with jetting when riding at varying altitudes. By all accounts, the little WR is a fantastic bike, punching well above its weight. The perceived disadvantage for many is the moderate torque and horsepower compared to 400 - 650cc thumpers. The WR is not fast or powerful. I understand it can cruise 65 mph all day. But it will be challenged to maintain velocity when powering up hills, fighting head winds, loaded down with gear, or other situations that require a bit more torque and power than the WR has. If that isn't an issue for you, then the WR would be a good choice.

The XRL's one major advantage over the WR is probably torque/horsepower. And if a stock XRL doesn't have enough power, you can get more as the XRL responds readily to performance mods. For me the XRL is a better choice for street riding than the WR due to the extra power (the hooligan in me prefers the extra power, but your mileage may vary).

Where are you going to ride the bike? If you are primarily going to ride it in Texas then consider the fact there is very little public land in Texas, so actual off-road riding is limited to the Sam Houston forest, pay to ride off-road parks, or private land. If you are going to ride lots of off-road, get the WR.

Conversely, Texas has lots of dirt county roads. If you are going to mostly ride public roads (both paved and dirt), then either bike is easily capable of handling any public dirt road in Texas. If this is the case, pick the bike you like best.

And, finally, I suggest it doesn't really matter which bike you chose. You aren't marrying the bike, so if in 6 months or a year you find you want to try something different, it's no big deal to sell your bike and get another. As you get into the dual sport world a bit more you will quickly discover that most dual sport riders have owned multiple different dual sport bikes and changing bikes is fairly routine (for example, I've been through 7 dual sport bikes in 10 years).
 
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philipbarrett

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As you get into the dual sport world a bit more you will quickly discover that most dual sport riders have owned multiple different dual sport bikes and changing bikes is fairly routine

My name is Philip and I have an addiction...

:giveup:
 
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I would pick the XR if I have long enough legs. I'm looking for a nice used one myself. XR has an illustrious history, especically in racing. It's called the King of Baja Racing. Maybe it's sentimentalism, but riding motorcycle is about inspiration, not about practicality or comfortable cruising speed or MPG or techno gadgets.
 
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I have CRS does that count for anything :rofl:.....wait a sec....What where we talking about, oh yeah ,I would go for the Sik-Fiddy.:rider:
 
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As someone else said, you might look at a DRZ400 as a 3rd option. It basically splits the difference between the WR and the XR.

I have a very nice 2005 DRZ400e that I'll be listing for sale soon in case you're interested. Plated and street legal.
 
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Wow, thanks everyone for the input. This DRZ has me curious. The WR deal fell through and I'm looking at available DRZs.

Why should I get the SM verison vs the E or S?

I heard the E has more power but the SM has better suspension...any insight?
 
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to make things more complicated, what about the WR450? How does that work for a dual sport bikek?
 
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The WR450 works somewhat as a dual sport, but the transmission is geared for racing and not highway speeds, plus figure about spending around $1000 to get it in somewhat ready as a dual sport bike, personally a waste of time and money. After owing three DRZ 400's, 2 "S" and 1 "E", I really liked the "E" for power over the "S" model. The "E" stopped production in 2007, little harder to find in nice condition. Once again you fall into the group of old style bikes, KLR, DR, DRZ, XR, 5-speed, carburetor. The carburetors on the DRZ 400's are really hard to get to and get off the bike to clean and it will need cleaning to stop it from popping when running. Once again all these bike will do the job better then the KLR's for off road riding, all dependable, all pretty much bullet proof. You waited too long on the WR250R didn't you, remember, "Think Long, Think Wrong".

John
 
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Tourmeister

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And, finally, I suggest it doesn't really matter which bike you chose. You aren't marrying the bike, so if in 6 months or a year you find you want to try something different, it's no big deal to sell your bike and get another.

:tab Sadly, I think far too many people today feel about marriage the way you feel about the bikes..., if they even bother with marriage at all... :doh:

:tab I like my KTM 530 EXC as a more dirt worth dual sport :-P However, I would not want to include a LOT of long distance paved riding on any dual sport trips I might do with that bike. It has be fun to ride/camp off of it in a particular area for a week at a time though.

:tab I think if I were going to compromise, the KTM 690 would be HIGH on my list. The BIG drawback for that bike though is the limited range. They got the weight down by giving it a tiny gas tank... :roll:
 
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I will give my worthless opinion LOL i just got a 2013 drz 400 that little bike is a hoot to ride and i have a 300 and 250 f had many other 450s .my dualsport buddy has 500 exc after riding my 400 he said he could have saved a lot of money by riding the 400 before he bought the 500 .so too each his own but again the drz is more fun than i thought it would be :rider:
 
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I say take a swag, buy it right and ride the tires off it, then come back in 6 months and see us. My first was a klx 250s and it lasted me about a year before I was panting for more power. Now I have MBD as well; weestrom for street and dirt roads, drz400e for true dual sport- trails and street, cr125 for serious trail and pure offroad. plus some other kids bikes to spread the disease. Even with this spread there is no perfect bike, although I do want to ride a kdx and the ktm 2strokes, and the BMWs and a Ducati and...

get the picture? Good luck and have fun!
 
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