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Is the WRR worth looking at?

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I currently ride a 2012 WR450 and XR650L dual sport. I really like these little WRR's but, am I going to be disappointed coming from big bores. I will mostly use it for light trail riding up in Big Bear California. How do these W RRs compared to a WRF? Some of you guys know how hard it is to plate dual sport here in California. So easy fix would be to pick up a WRR and just go have fun. I will say that my XR650 is a pig on trails and I'm a little bit tired of it. Once you do the normal mods how do these bikes run? Are they as revy as the off-road only version? Do most of you guys get rid of the exhaust valve? Thanks for your insight.

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Did you like the 250F?  Can you be happy with more comfort and less performance? 


The R really not at all like the F.   I have both, and I've left them stock.    Day trips on dirt trails are for an F.  Miles on roads (dirt or pavement) are for the R.


The F has better low and midrange pull, while the R kicks in at higher RPMs.  One of the mods for the F is to cut away the throttle stop, so that might improve the top end performance of the F.  Fuel programmers, headers, and exhausts improve the low and midrange of the Rs, from what I can gather.  I've heard mods really do make a difference on low and midrange grunt.  However, can mods realistically overcome a 40 lbs weight difference?  I've got to let someone else teach you about that, but, in the end, it is a 250cc bike.  If you need more, I'd recommend that you seriously consider getting a bigger bike. 


Keep in mind that the R is heavier than the WR450F.


If I liked to cover distance on the dirt or if I had to ride "a ways" (you choose how long that is) on the pavement to my riding spot, I'd choose an R.  The suspension soaks up the little bumps and washboard and the seat is much more comfortable for the long haul.  The 6th gear is really nice.  It'll run 70-75 no problem.  In the world of 250s, 70 to 75 is pretty fast.  


If I were going to trailer my bike to the riding spot, I'd grab an F and wouldn't even consider the R.  I like to try to slide the rear wheel around corners, wheelie a little bit, maybe take a jump or two.   You can do that on an R, but you can do it easier on an F.    It's a much rougher ride, but the front end comes up much easier.


The R is geared taller, less buzzy, quieter, more comfy (wider seat, softer suspension), and more reliable/less maintenance that the 250 F.  If you want a rock-solid trail bike that will comfortably get you everywhere you want to go while also being able to do a few miles on blacktop, the R is a good choice.  If you are ok with sacrificing comfort and ease of maintenance for a fairly significant increase in off-road performance, the F might be a better choice.   Either way, they are probably much less powerful than a 450.

Edited by mudmullet

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Certainly worth checking out. I've had mine about 3 weeks and I believe it's almost as good on the road as my KLR650 and almost as good in the dirt as my YZ250 2st. I USED to think if I could only have one bike it would be a DR650 but this bike has changed my mind.


No engine mods, just DOT knobbies a windshield and hand guards.

It has "enough" power. If you prefer an excess of power you'll be disappointed.


Here in Ohio it's super easy to plate any bike but you still can't make just any dirt bike a great road worthy bike or vice versa.

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As usual, that depends on the guy riding the bikes.


A WR-250F from 2007-to-present is heavily based on the 2006 YZ-250F, and has the performance to prove it.

A WR-250R is a dual-purpose bike with the typical weight gain due to ensuring smoothness and long-term reliability in the hands of the average owner who might complain about engine vibration and having to change the engine oil too often.

Just take a look at the recommended maintenance schedule in the Owner's Manual of the WR-250R and you'll see right there how the bike is really intended to be a street bike that is also capable of being ridden off-road.


Also, as with any other Yamaha dual-purpose bike down through the years sold in the USA, the suspension has the optical illusion of being very much like that of a YZ or WR-250F, but the internals are far from it due to cost-cutting.

This is another tip-off that the intended use of the bike is for mainly street riding mixed with recreational off-road riding.


I owned a 2008 WR-250R as well as a 2008 WR-250X, the motard version of the bike.

I felt the bike was good and performed as well as could be expected - it was excellent on the street and good on the trails.

My own view as far as performance of the bike went was that the engine was just fine as far as power output and the type of power it made, but wanted a better suspension.

Again, your own view will depend on your background and what you want and expect.


Comparing the WR-250R with a WR-250F back-to-back is something I have done as I bought a 2009 WR-250F while still owning the 2008 WR-250R.

Basically, there is no comparison other than having similar model designations.

After riding the WR-250R off-road on Connecticut trails for about four months (and enjoying it), the WR-250F instantly felt about 200% better due to a much better-feeling chassis and suspension giving worlds more confidence over rough terrain.

No comparison as far as that goes.

The engine performance between the two was much closer than the chassis and suspension ever could have been.


I do wonder, though, how much better the WR-250R would be with modified/revalved suspension at each end.


Even with these typical shortcomings in off-road performance, I still would MUCH rather ride a WR-250R on trails than any big-bore thumper regularly.

Edited by YZEtc

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Having owned a WR250R for quite a while now, I'd say they are an ideal choice. Unlike their pure off-road cousins, they are not quite as powerful, but much less demanding in reliability related maintenance. Mine gets it's yearly oil change and the filter gets cleaned when dirty. That's basically it. The chain gets cleaned and lubed after washing, or when it needs it, and I put a shot of grease in the zerk of the YamaLink occasionally. That's it.


There's a whole list of mods people do, but probably the first and most important is a really good bashplate. Mine is from Flatland Racing, but there are others. I ride in very rocky terrain and most of my mods reflect that: I have a Flatland/EE rear disk guard, and some other impact-proofing.  The engine and exhaust are stock, as I have enough power for what I'm doing, the mileage (and resultant range) is still good with my lowered gearing and D606 rubber. The stock TW301/302 combo were not usable to me, but they ground off quickly enough, now I run the Dunlops.


It is very easy to live with, requires almost no "must do" maintenance, and I'd buy another one. It isn't a race bike. When the suspension needs internal attention, it will get the full Race Tech treatment, which it truly needs. I'd guess that properly redone suspension will pay more dividends than engine mods/emission removal. Sooner or later, someone will require the emission stuff be on, or you can't ride it on the road. So I've left mine alone, and since I outrun everyone I go riding with (unintentionally, mostly because I have more experience, not skill, plus I have the WRR!), why would I need more? So I can wait longer at trail intersections for them to catch up? It would allow you to ride across the entire country if you were so inclined, something I'd not try on most other small displacement DS bikes. 

Tough, reliable, high quality DS bike that can be altered to suit your needs. If I were limited to only one of my several motorcycles, this would be the one I'd keep.


Greetings YZEtc

Edited by Yamaguy55

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