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My 2013 TW is my first motorcycle, and I've loved owning it. During my relationship with the TW I've also owned an R1, a Ninja 1000, and now currently own a KLR650 for the longer adventures. In the past year I've invested more into my TW making it more dirt worthy, which helped me discover my passion for off road riding. As we all know, even though the TW can tractor through atv kind of obstacles, it is limited off road.
So I figure you guys would best know my starting point, and some may have experience of what would be a good next step for me.

Since I'm in Arkansas I won't be riding wide open fast desert trails, rather I'll be weaving through trees and riding forest roads. I love riding technical trails in the woods, single track, small jumps, and hill climbs. So I'm wanting a dual sport with more power(not too much like 450), same reliability(not dirtbike kind of service intervals), and similar weight(or at least feels similar weight)

Bikes I'm researching:

-Yamaha WR250R - adjustable suspension, many say heavy and under powered... are they comparing that to true off road bikes? how would it compare to my TW?

-Kawasaki KLX250 - less power than WR, power is a little bit lower in RPM, similar weight as WR

-Honda CRF250L - least power, least suspension travel, lowest seat height

-Suzuki DR-Z400 - most power, heaviest, has torque at low RPM

I appreciate any tips and advice

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The Dr. Zed is the way to go.

I know some people love and swear by the Honda 250L, but those people are wrong. That bike is a pile of hot garbage. That bike is no better in any way than the TW and would not be an "upgrade". It may look better on paper, but in the real world a TW is way better.
 

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I don't one but the WR250R would be what I would get. I have talked to several folks who own the WR. Extremely reliable. Not killer power but enough. One of the most bulletproof engines ever made. If you are going dirt only and no legal roads, I would get the WR250F. Very good suspension and power.

I have ridden the DRZ400. Heavy. Suspension just ok. Heavy. Power was good. but low-end didn't hit when I wanted. And It was top heavy.
 

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I'm voting for the DRZ. Motors last a long time with proper oil changes and they need few valve adjustments. Also there is a ton of aftermarket parts for them so making it into "Your" bike is easy.
 

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I road a Honda CRF250L while I was in Colorado on rocky mountain trails for about 6hrs straight. The one I was riding was not entirely stock, but not too far off. I did NOT hate it. I actually thought the power was pretty decent—it is noticeably more powerful than the TW in my opinion, and having fuel injection was quite nice.

With that said, for what you're looking to do, I'm not sure it's that much more capable overall than the TW. I don't have any experience with the other bikes on your list, and I'd normally steer towards Yamaha because I'm a YamaFanBoy. With that said, I've had the DRZ400 in mind for my next bike for a little more power for longer adventures (400 should be plenty for me). I've heard a lot of great things about them, so I guess ultimately that would be my choice. Good luck.

... are you keeping the TW, or getting rid of it to make room for the new bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
... are you keeping the TW, or getting rid of it to make room for the new bike?
I'd like to be able to keep it, it's been great to teach new riders on. I've taught 5 already, and 3 ended up getting their own bikes. But I'll probably need to sell it for the garage space and extra funds for the new bike. I'm not sure how much I could get for it because about 2,000 miles ago I low sided it on some wet pavement pretty fast and it slid into the tire of an SUV, now the rear sub frame looks a little off. I'll be sure to post it up here once I do make the decision.
 

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The WR250r is tall so if you are under 6' you would need a lowering link. I am 6'2" and with the stock seat I could just touch. I put a Corbin seat on it and could then stand flat footed.
The stock final drive on the WR is useless. Check out the WR250r Forum for what others think and you will find many say a 45 or 46 is needed to get to the power out of the WR.
I ran 12,13 and 14 up front with a 48 on the rear for years and then went to a 50 on the rear. At Moab this year I used 13 - 50 gearing and rode a fair bit of hard stuff (Metal Masher) and was still able to get up to over 70 mph on the rood back to camp.
When I owned it, I rode tight, steep rooty single track with it so I needed it to be low geared. You can get all 3 front sprockets to work with one chain. When I wanted to ride with the big bike I put the 14 on. When camping and exploring I used the 13 and the 12 was for playing at Blue Mountain (aka McNutt) in Maple Ridge. Check out YouTube for videos on the area and you will appreciate what the WR can do.
The bike will keep up with any DRZ 400 and bigger bikes on FSRs. If you gear a DRZ for more off road capability, you will loose out on the HWY.
Currently I am using a DT200 as my TW replacement and I am considering a Scorpa T-ride (same as the Sherco X-ride) as my next tow as they are light and I like single track.

Mine is the one in front. The one in the back belong to a friend who also owned a KTM 300 2 smoke. He keeps both bike as he likes the WR for exploring (His has a 52 on the rear)


TW and WR at Moab
 

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I'd suggest a DR650. Then you can get down to just one bike that does it all and sell the KLR also.

Just sold a 2015 KLR and went to a 2013 DR 650 this spring. The difference is night and day. Lighter weight, more power, better handling and better road cruising. Was almost like riding the TW in the woods just tons more power. Sadly I had to sell in an emergency but another is on the list. Go Take one for a test ride.
 

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The CRF250L & the Kawasaki KLX250 are some of the best values for the money if you are buying new. While I have not ridden a new CRF I do ride a somewhat vintage XR250L and it will keep up with the best Huskys and KTMs. Beside, it's a Honda so it'll always kept it's value if you move up and bullet-proof.

Same goes for the KLX, a real workhouse.

The other two while more sophisticated are also more spendy. Kinda unfair comparison because the WR is like a super bike compared. Anything KLR or DR650 do nothing for me for woods, dirt and sand riding, too frikken heavy. That's based on picking up my bike a lot which weighs 230lbs. Light-weight with decent power is what attracts me. But I certainly have the same type of taste of where you are going. Good Luck with your search.
 

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My two cents is to do the ATV tire mods front and rear tri z forks and banshee shock and keep the tw. See my build thread. I say this objectively. I have no moto skills but ive ridden with real motocrosss guys and tge he as ive built it is a superior bime and ive left guys with mad motocross skillzzz at the bottom of the hill. More hp and whatnot will get you nowhere. If you want another bike buy a honda fatcat tr 200 or a Yamaha bw 350. The stock tw is not that great off-road so I understandbyour wandering eyes. But it is a superior platform to build a really great offroad bike. Ive put thousands of miles behind me on trails in alaska and ridden lots of other bikes. U wont do better if you build it right.


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Prior to my TW I owned a WR250R. It's a badass little dual sport. Minimal maintenance, can handle long hauls on the road pretty well (I road one from Denver to Phoenix and back on state highways). The suspension is pretty decent (better than the TW, but not KTM level). I took it on a lot of single track, and rough, rocky jeep trails and never found it lacking. Fuel injection is nice to have. In my opinion the WR250R is the best low maintenance dirt bike available. I honestly think a KTM 250 or 350 EXC-F would suit you better, but they need a little more regular maintenance. If I could go buy any bike right now for myself to replace the TW200 it would be a KTM 350 or 500 EXC-F.
 

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Just a question, have you already run the tw on your new trails? If you haven't, I'd definitely try it and see how it does for your purposes.
 

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I'd suggest a DR650. Then you can get down to just one bike that does it all and sell the KLR also.

Just sold a 2015 KLR and went to a 2013 DR 650 this spring. The difference is night and day. Lighter weight, more power, better handling and better road cruising. Was almost like riding the TW in the woods just tons more power. Sadly I had to sell in an emergency but another is on the list. Go Take one for a test ride.
The DR., KLR, VSTROM all are not in same class as TW. I have had all of them. THEY FAR OUTWEIGH the little TW's and can not do the same things. You need to decide what you want. Fun little off road bike or HEAVY dual sport.
Perhaps the CB500X would be a closer competitor, not as heavy as the other bikes listed.
 

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Such a difficult question to answer for yourself. Trying to answer that for someone else is impossible.Like me telling my wife which of the 5000 pairs of shoes she says she doesn't have to wear.
Only you know your needs. I say get a CRF450L if I were to take a stab in the dark
 

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I have a stock 2014 DR650 and a somewhat modified 2006 TW200. I do like the DR650 but if I am being honest, I find myself hopping on the little TW200 quite a bit more.
Mine has a jetted carb, oversized high compression piston, and a webcam cam shaft. The gearing is 15/50. It pulls a lot harder than stock and maintains speed easier. With that said,
the DR650 kills it for torque and power yet I still prefer my T-dub. It is very light in comparison with enough power for its size and purpose. The purpose being in my case, to haul my noob
butt into and out of places i probably have no business being at my skill level and it does this exceptionally! My short answer is as long as you aren't looking to ride aggressively, the TW200
is hard to beat.
 
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