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Discussion Starter #1
I think this is a fun little chart. Just thought I'd share it. I'm hoping to be in the market for a new or used dual sport in a year or two and this kind of consolidated info is nice when you're researching and comparing.



http://rickramsey.net/WR250RvsCRF250L.htm
 

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Nice comparison chart. From my research and what I have heard, the WR250R/X spanks all others in the 250cc category. I do love the Honda because of its seat height and price, but from what I heard, the Yamaha will kill it in performance. I'm not a go fast guy, I just want some suspension.



I like many different kinds of dual sports. All have their unique qualities and draw backs. It boils down to what you can afford and/or find.
 

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I saw a review of the 250s that included a kawa and a suzuki. Kawa was listed as best bang for the buck and the honda was worst over all iirc. The Yamaha was the best performer, but was higher priced like you mentioned
 

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Interesting chart.



The only thing I didn't see mentioned is the price.



The WR is about $2,000 more than the Honda. It should out perform.



When I saw the comparison of the 250cc dual sport bikes in the magazine, I was thinking for a fair comparison, they should have used the XT 250 instead of the WR.



Jb
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The only way the WRR really outperforms the CRFL is in straight line acceleration and speed. It has about 5 more horsepower. You can get 5 more hp out of the Honda with a cool little "power up kit" from bestdualsportbikes.com. That combined with a 13 tooth front sprocket puts it in line with the straight line performance of the WRR, while still coming out well over a thousand dollars cheaper. Then, if you want to get crazy, you can spend another 1400 bucks and have the suspension done by Racetech, making the suspension considerably better than that on the stock Yamaha, and still ending up at about the same price (still with the lower seat height ;D). Plus I'm just personally biased towards Honda lol (I know, I know, I'm on the YAMAHA TW forum lol). I just prefer Hondas over Yamahas in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The guys at bestdualsportbikes.com really got their CRFL dialed in to be a sweet ride. The mods are excellent but simple and easy and could be done by anyone. Oh and they also cut off 20 pounds from the weight and did some other minor mods. In summary, a $4500 stock CRFL, with 2 grand worth of mods, is in my opinion, definitely better than the $6500 stock WRR! Add another thousand dollars worth of mods and you've truly got one of the best dual sport bikes you can get for $7,500 (still around $3,000 cheaper than a stock KTM 350 - which would still be, admittedly, a more capable dirt bike).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I saw a review of the 250s that included a kawa and a suzuki. Kawa was listed as best bang for the buck and the honda was worst over all iirc. The Yamaha was the best performer, but was higher priced like you mentioned


I believe you may be referring to MotoUSA's 2010(?) 250 class dual sport comparison. If so, they had the CRF230L, totally different from the 250L (although IMO that was still a great bike, too).
 

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I believe you may be referring to MotoUSA's 2010(?) 250 class dual sport comparison. If so, they had the CRF230L, totally different from the 250L (although IMO that was still a great bike, too).
No, The comparison was in the latest issue of Motorcycle Consumer News, and another similar one in Rider magazine on the CRF 250 L.



Personally, I would pick the Honda over the WR.



Jb
 

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I think the honda would be a great little bike especially for us vertically challenged people. The wr is a great bike that will go along way. Mark from bigdogadventures.com has over 38,000 miles on his and its still running strong and he runs the snot out of it. I keep hearing how these new 6speed bikes are way lower rpm at highway speed. From the chart at 7,000rpm the wr and cr are 57-58 mph. Isnt the TW 55moh at 7,000rpm. Not that much difference but they might rev higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think the honda would be a great little bike especially for us vertically challenged people. The wr is a great bike that will go along way. Mark from bigdogadventures.com has over 38,000 miles on his and its still running strong and he runs the snot out of it. I keep hearing how these new 6speed bikes are way lower rpm at highway speed. From the chart at 7,000rpm the wr and cr are 57-58 mph. Isnt the TW 55moh at 7,000rpm. Not that much difference but they might rev higher.


The chart to which I provided a link has gearing info for custom (much lower than stock) gearing for both of those bikes. As per my calculations via the "TW speed calculator" (updated to the CRFL's transmission/gearing data), the stock CRF250L is doing 70 mph at 7k RPM in top gear (sixth), whereas the stock TW is doing 55 mph at 7k RPM in top gear (fifth). Also these newer six-speed 250-class bikes tend to run smoother and rev a little higher than older bikes like the TW and DR200 (so 7k RPM is more like 6k). I think if I end up getting the CRFL, I'd go with 13/42 gearing (stock is 14/40) and those power mods, and then cruise highway at 65 mph - 7,500 RPM. That should be equivalent to right about 53 mph on the stock TW - not bad at all.



Oh yes and I also found a seat, from www.seatconcepts.com, which will lower the seat height of the Honda by 1 inch. This brings it's seat height down to 33.4 inches - excellent!
 

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The chart to which I provided a link has gearing info for custom (much lower than stock) gearing for both of those bikes. As per my calculations via the "TW speed calculator" (updated to the CRFL's transmission/gearing data), the stock CRF250L is doing 70 mph at 7k RPM in top gear (sixth), whereas the stock TW is doing 55 mph at 7k RPM in top gear (fifth). Also these newer six-speed 250-class bikes tend to run smoother and rev a little higher than older bikes like the TW and DR200 (so 7k RPM is more like 6k). I think if I end up getting the CRFL, I'd go with 13/42 gearing (stock is 14/40) and those power mods, and then cruise highway at 65 mph - 7,500 RPM. That should be equivalent to right about 53 mph on the stock TW - not bad at all.



Oh yes and I also found a seat, from www.seatconcepts.com, which will lower the seat height of the Honda by 1 inch. This brings it's seat height down to 33.4 inches - excellent!


That's what kicks ass about my 230L - stock gearing cruises 60 @ 5950 and 55 @ 5455. Nice and smooth for a 223cc. The only bad thing is the lack of power compared to the 249cc's....top speed is only 65-70 and that's in the best of conditions. 5th gear is a pretty good backup though in the rougher conditions...it's still fairly tall, but it has a ton of power. - 55 @ about 6400 in 5th.



I took the bike up to the mountains and it was a little lacking on the 55 highways when you encountered any kind of incline - but it was still fun. So agile...it kicked ass on the twisted 20-45 mph sections. Ligher than the TW plus the smaller tires...it just glides through everything! The traction was surprisingly good too, I was leaning the thing just as hard as my CB900 - even with slightly wet roads with no problem at all.



The power of the 250's would be nice... but I think I'll keep my little 230. Such a cool little adventure bike! If we ever see a 300L or 350L though I may change my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know this is an old thread, but, after watching a few more videos and reading even more reviews and comparisons (there are several out there), I feel compelled to add a few comments in support of my decision to pick the Honda as the clear winner (between the Yamaha WR250R, Kawasaki KLX250S, and Honda CRF250L).



What some testers/reviewers don't like about the Honda, and my counter-argument to these dislikes:

* "It doesn't make a lot of power" - First off, power is nearly identical to the KLX250S, although for some reason MotoUSA seems to think the Honda is the weaker of the two; I think this is just because they prefer the somewhat stiffer, adjustable suspension of the KLX, and therefore they come into the power comparison already biased toward the KLX. Oh and if memory serves, the Honda is also geared SLIGHTLY taller than the Kawasaki (I know that at least top gear is slightly taller on the Honda - a good thing if you're going to gear it down for trail riding IMO). I think with a gearing change, the power of even the bone stock Honda would be adequate...enough to get you up virtually anything (although it would probably struggle with some hills), and also enough to cruise steeper mountain roads in sixth gear without bogging down/losing speed. While the Honda does make 5 or 6 fewer horsepower than the Yamaha, this can be "solved" with around $700 (FMF exhaust/megabomb header, fuel programmer). With these power mods, the Honda makes the same top end power as the stock Yamaha, and actually produces considerably more mid range power (from around 5k to 8k rpm).



* "The suspension on the Honda is soft and not adjustable" - It is, and it isn't. However, I'm a 140 pound guy, so I probably wouldn't even WANT stiffer suspension, although I wouldn't mind higher SPEC suspension (better performance throughout the stroke of the shock/forks). In any case, I am certain the suspension is higher spec than that on the TW200 or DR200. And some of the reviews I've read say it is as good or better than that on the KLX. This is a matter of opinion, of course, but I tend to like softer suspensions, which, provided they are not TOO soft, can make for better/easier trail riding, and less fatigue after a long day of riding. In summary, I think I'd be fairly satisfied with the Honda's stock suspension (certainly satisfied enough to not want to spend $1500 upgrading the suspension - Or buying the nearly $2,500 more expensive Yamaha).



* "The ergonomics don't make you feel at home in the dirt as much as you do on the Kawasaki or Yamaha" - This can be "solved", for the most part, with a set of bars and bar-raisers.



* "The Honda is only for beginners" - It's got a much lower seat height than the Yamaha, and even a bit lower than the Kawasaki. To me, this is a good thing. As for the power and ergonomics, a thousand dollars bring those up to par with the STOCK Yamaha (which all the testers rave about...). So...you get a bike with the power and ergonomics (similar) of the stock Yamaha, a MUCH lower seat height than the stock Yamaha (again, something that is a personal preference to me), and the same six speed gearbox, fuel injection, and water cooling of the stock Yamaha, for around $1200 LESS (the Yamaha is out the door for around $7,200). With that $1,200, you can add a skid plate, radiator guards, hand guards, a bigger fuel tank, custom gearing, better off road tires, and STILL end up having spent $400 less than what the stock Yamaha costs. As for the Kawasaki, well, you could do the same sorts of mods to it, to make it on par with the Yamaha's power and such, but it would still lack fuel injection and would still have a slightly taller seat than the Honda, as well as a slightly lower sixth gear than the Honda. Considering all of this, I just can't see anything but the Honda winning this "competition" for me! Oh and plus, on top of all that logical argument, I just like the Honda more than I like the Yamaha - just because, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh yea and the Yamaha motor also drinks 91 proof, the Honda's more of a softy at 87 (which, of course, costs less, and saves you a little money in the long run). Pun intended...
 

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No doubt the Honda is a good bike for the money but the WR is still the better dirt bike. So if you want the best off road bike it is the best one to start with. The Honda weighs 25 more pounds and has roughly one inch less travel. Sure you can drop weight off the Honda but you can also drop weight from the Yamaha. But if the Honda suits someones needs whether it be because of the lower seat height or price that is fine but to say it is an equal off road bike with racetech suspension and modified engine just isn't realistic.
 

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Well, once you're getting to that WR250R price range, you're just a hop skip and a jump away from a KTM 350 or 500, both of which come in around 50lbs lighter than the WR.



If you're going spendy, go spendy!
 

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Well, once you're getting to that WR250R price range, you're just a hop skip and a jump away from a KTM 350 or 500, both of which come in around 50lbs lighter than the WR.



If you're going spendy, go spendy!
Completely agree if you want the best dirt bike that is the best choice if you can afford it. The biggest problem with KTM's is the small dealer network and expensive parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No doubt the Honda is a good bike for the money but the WR is still the better dirt bike. So if you want the best off road bike it is the best one to start with. The Honda weighs 25 more pounds and has roughly one inch less travel. Sure you can drop weight off the Honda but you can also drop weight from the Yamaha. But if the Honda suits someones needs whether it be because of the lower seat height or price that is fine but to say it is an equal off road bike with racetech suspension and modified engine just isn't realistic.


I disagree. Of course, the fact of the matter is that "better" is a word describing an opinion. While you may think a modified CRFL isn't realistically going to be better than a stock WR250R, for me and my needs/wishes, it absolutely IS, and I have described my reasoning to this end in some detail. I'm not here to say that it would necessarily beat the WR on a motocross track or in an enduro race (although I wouldn't be at all surprised if the fully modified Honda did come out on top, even in that venue). But for good old fashioned off road trail riding (NOT racing), I am absolutely 100 percent certain that I would be more capable on the modified Honda than on a stock WRR. Just out of curiosity, what, in your opinion, makes it unrealistic for the modified Honda to outperform the STOCK WRR in trail riding situations (NOT counting the WRR possibly being able to conquer a given section of trail FASTER, which I do not necessarily contend, as that isn't what's important to me in an off road bike)? I say the Honda will be better in the long run especially (considering budget and all) because you will have protected the engine, radiator, and brake and clutch levers from damage, it will have the same top end power and much more mid range power, the weight will have been brought down to the stock WRR weight or lower (of course, you can also lighten up the WRR, but I'm talking about the stock, unmodified, ~$6,800 MSRP WRR), it will have lower gearing than the stock WRR, it will have a bigger fuel tank which means longer range for all day trail rides, etc. Now the Yamaha, with modifications, may be a more capable PLATFORM to start from than the Honda. But I'm emphasizing the price points in my comparison. If you start throwing hundreds of dollars into a WRR, you can just buy a bone stock KTM 350 or Beta 400 and have a MUCH more capable off road bike than even a fully modded WRR. So, if you want stock WRR performance or better in a package that's easier to ride off road and easier to live with on a daily basis (again, this is an opinion...), I say go for the modified Honda for the same price. If you just want the BEST, MOST EXTREME, MOST CAPABLE DIRT bike that is street legal that money can possibly buy you, then spend SEVERAL thousand dollars more and modify the hell out of a Beta 400RS. I would love to do that, but I will also be using my dual sport on the highway a lot for commuting and such, and unfortunately I do NOT have $20,000 to blow on a sweet toy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, once you're getting to that WR250R price range, you're just a hop skip and a jump away from a KTM 350 or 500, both of which come in around 50lbs lighter than the WR.



If you're going spendy, go spendy!


Exactly. I personally prefer the Beta 400RS over the KTM 350, but same idea... Those types of bikes will be much lighter and have WAY more power than a WRR, no matter how much you modify it. I'm on a budget, and I believe that for my proposed budget of around $7,000, nothing currently available really meets MY needs and desires better than the Honda CRF250L with two thousand dollars of mods. This is assuming you're only talking about NEW bikes that are street-legal from the factory (not used dirt bikes with kits). Also, if street capability and manners and long term reliability/parts availability and such aren't really an concern for you, then there's always the Ossa Explorer. If you want to talk about weight then NOTHING out there beats this beast. This bike simply dominates in power to weight and sheer off road capability (not necessarily speed). To call this an opinion (even though it technically is) would even be a stretch.
 
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