I am just about nuts with indecision... HELP!

I am up, down, sideways, and back again with trying to figure out what bike I should buy... XR400, YZ426F, WR426F, KTM520MXC, XR650R, something otherwise... I am just about nuts trying to figure out what's going to give me the versatility I want without the "mess, expense and smell"... I am 6'5", 260 lb.; 25,000+ miles of mixed street/trail riding under my belt with '83 Yam XT550 (sold years ago) and '99 Kaw KLR650 (ride it everywhere; on-off; but it's too BIG for the harder dirt riding that I also want to do now). I own 80 acres of woods with trails right out my back door and there's an active SX-style club track just four miles away... I need a stone-reliable dirt bike that requires little maintenance (because I do NOT dig mechanical stuff -- I'll do basics, but that's it... it just doesn't trip my trigger)... The bike has got to be able to deliver excellent trail performance (XR400), but also I want to learn how to ride that SX track (YX426F)... so, it'd be cool if I am not very interested in racing; just want to get into the dirt glide and the challenge of it without losing my shirt (like the 520MXC price does to you)... I have a Honda/Yam dealer within 5 miles and a Kaw/Yam dealer within ten miles... So, I can get a deal and I can get parts readily, if necessary... OK, what would you recommend? You probably know more about this than I do, but I share your passion for riding, having fun, and a solid challenge. Care to help me out with your opinion?

I would say from your size alone you need the 650. But for shear power and over all rideability, you still need the 650.


You didn't mention dual sporting, so I assume this is not a consideration.

1) 6'5", 260lb Unless you buy a good used bike from someone your size it will require suspsension work.

2)Reliability: High tech vs proven technology

Choose proven technology.

3) Trail performance: Not a bulky bike, although at your size you could handle a heavier bike.

4) SX abiltiy but not real SX competition: Conflicts with reliability and trail performance

5)Not a budget breaker

Recommendation: TT-R250 or XR250R MSR $4,699

XR400R MSR $5,299

No real SX capability in these recommendations. TT-R250 has electric start.

The WR426 is a great bike if you are wanting to do both track and trail. The 650 would be your choice if you were gonna stick with trails alone. The suspension on the 426 is more moto than the 650, though it will need some setup either way at your size. The 650 does have a lot more flywheel weight for the trails, and would probably be the best in the woods at your size. Have you ridden motocross? Borrow a bike and try it once, that will probably change your views.

Get the XR650R, you won't regret it.

Your size and desire for a low maintenance bike make the XR650 your best choice in my opinion. The trade offs are mainly weight and suspension vs. the YZF and KTM. If you were more oriented towards working on the bike I'd say the KTM520 EXC would your best bet (better woods and moto than the 650 - but more like a race bike in terms of maintenance). You'll need to do suspension work (springs at least) on any of the bikes. You'll have fun any way you go. :)

HEy, I just want to thank everybody who's been throwin' in their opinions and suggestions, here...

I am seriously considering a WR426F at this point, because I think the pieces seem to fall into place... it's a mid-range price point, not too finicky on maintenance if you're diligent, generally reliable, it'll do the Eastern woods well, and the suspension package -- according to what I read -- is excellent and will likely handle my local SX-style track well enough... also, from what I read, it's got some zappy power for a 4-banger which is nice to have on this rather tight, SX -style local track... and I've got two Yamaha dealers (for parts, expertise, etc) within a 9-mile radius. I'll tell you honestly that, were I living in San Diego still, I might consider some other bike... e.g. XR650R or maybe, if I could handle more cash outlay and was more of a racer/mechanical devotee, a KTM520MXC... there may be better bikes for various purposes, but this WR thing sounds like my ticket.

And if I had more money (investment money, so to speak) and more entrepreneurial balls, I'd go for a Cannondale... I have to say that I almost feel guilty about passing up the Cannondale opportunity; ironic, perhaps, because (1) I want to see American companies succeed globally; we need to compete well and win, and succeeding with motorsports would be a VERY COOL feather for US; (2) I like techy items, and Cannondale is highly innovative right now, (3) I like the fierce entrpreneurial business side of Cannondale's approach, taking on markets that are crushingly dominated by the excellent Japanese (Hon, Yam, Suz, Kaw) and Euro (esp. KTM) equipment: They have mega balls for doing what they're doing, and I believe they CAN succeed -- if they can PERFORM, get the right BRANDING recognition & loyalty (see my statement in the Cannondale discussion group); and (4) I've had excellent riding experiences with Cannondale bicycles and sold & serviced them.

Anyway, though, right now, I need what I need for this particular situation I've got, and I think the WR is gonna do it for me. Now I'm trying to strategize on how to get the best deal at this point -- I'm asking people over in the Yam/WR discussion group about what they think I should do to get a good deal. If you've got some tactics and techniques, please bring 'em on.

Again, thanks to everyone.

Why do people think KTM's require more maintenance? Yes, changing the oil is more involved, but you're not required to change the oil on a KTM any more often than I change the oil on my XR (every 300 miles). The same goes for the Yamaha 426. It doesn't require any more maintenance than an XR, especially if you race the XR.

[ February 02, 2002: Message edited by: RedThunder ]

Red Thunder... yeah, I don't know but I was reading a discussion over in KTM about oil changes and this whole thing about whether to use syth oil versus semi-synth oil vs. regular oil... and how frequently people do their changes... and not being one who is wise to what many of you guys do so regularly with maintenance, it just seemed like a lot... (e.g. relative to what I hear about working with XRs or my KLR)... and folks who ride racing tools and ride them hard, have to do a fair amount of work on the side to make sure everything's in good order... see, I've never been that kind of rider / mechanic... perhaps then I'm completely mistaken about how much work a KTM needs for maintenance relative to a WR426...I did allude to that point in my earlier statement... Sorry I 'blew smoke'...

And maybe I'm blowin' more smoke here, but I think the fact that I've got four Yamaha dealers within 20 miles versus 1 KTM dealer about 40 miles away plus what I've read about "Euro parts prices" being high for a relatively high price-point product... well, somehow, that all translates to higher maintenance costs in my head... I'm not tryin' to be a wise@$$ with you...

SOmehow, I just have the imporession that I'll do a lot less dicking around and spend a lot less time and money on maintenance/repair with the Yamaha WR versus the KTM520... but again, I'll admit that I'm saying this based on what I read and infer, NOT based on my personal experience...

Straighten me out if I'm goin' squirrelly on the pionts here...

deleted post.

I was reading one thing and thinking another.

[ February 02, 2002: Message edited by: needsprayer ]

Futura.....I didn't really mean to direct my last post at you in particular. I've just hear a lot of people say that KTM's and Yamaha's require a very strict maintenance schedule, and its really not all that true. An XR needs just as much attention when ridden hard. I'm not exactly sure about the replacement parts cost issue, though. However, my friend has raced 3 seasons of hare scrambles on the Yamaha four-stroke. Now he's racing the KTM 400 E/XC, and his maintenance schedule hasn't changed one bit.

Understand that I'm not trying to divert you from getting a Yamaha. They're great bikes, I've ridden quite a bit on the 426. It actually sounds like your best bet, since you want a bike that will do moto and the woods equally well (two types of riding the 650 doesn't excel in). I can appreciate what you're saying about dealership locations, and price on the KTM....they're riduculously expensive!

Good luck on purchasing a new bike, and have fun!

KTM stands for --- Kost Too Much ---- Keep The Manual

Check out one of the latest magazines, I think either "Dirt Bike" or "Motocross Action" as they did a Thumper shoot out, it was great. You can look the sites up on the web. Wish I could have seen an article like this one before I bought my 650R.

Good luck!


WR can trail ride, XR can't SX. WR WR WR WR!!!!!

Buy some thing from a dealer close enough to be able to annoy them in person, at will.

HEY HEY HEY your a big guy??? no replacement for displacement.

Buy a 650r

If you want to ride on the backroads some,get the baja designs light kit.

You can buy this bike for $4,999 :)

[ February 10, 2002: Message edited by: cyclebob25168 ]

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now