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DRZ vs WR: help me choose!

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My current DS ride, a KLR 650, has all the clunky style and old-fashioned panache that I require. However, I'm looking for a woods bike that won't prevent me from turning off those fire roads and hitting the single track. Plus, riding alone as I usually do (yeah, I know!) makes me hesitant to ride the big ol' killer on anything more challenging than forest roads with water bars cut into them.

I'm happy with my street bike for pavement. Now I'm looking for a lighter, more dirt-oriented bike for the trails, and am strongly favoring dual-sported conversions of either a late-model DRZ400E or WR450.

What's your opinion/experience in comparing these? I'm interested in rideability, again with trail riding in mind, not moto-x. Also, my time is precious and I wanna ride, not wrench. I'm 6'-0", 195 lb; I find myself taking the KLR onto trails that really aren't suited to its bulk, but I sure do love its dependable, go-all-day nature.

To sum it up, I value:

-solid engineering & construction, dependability, reliability, ease of maintenance

-a manageable powerband with power & torque suited to the trail

-excellent handling characteristics (including low weight and COG)

After owning the KLR for several years, I'm obviously not too concerned about:

-colors, stickers, and other cosmetic doo-dads and appurtenances

-seat height

-being able to roost my riding companion

So...here's your chance to stand up and speak for your colors! Any and all input sincerely appreciated! 😢

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The new CRF450X may be the ticket you are looking for. Available this spring. Get you money down now if you want to get one. They are pretty much going to be sold out of 2005 models by the spring. The WR450 is an awesome bike but it is top heavy and may not meet your riding criteria. Test ride one from a local TT member or anyone you know that may have one. Other than that one issue the Yamaha excels in all your other criteria. I think it makes a great dual sport mount. 😢

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he said ease of maintences the crf is the opposit of that. Both the wr and the drz are great bikes. The wr is slightly more race oriented while the drz is more reliable trail bike you can't go wrong with either! I love my drz and it rips everything up except big jumps, being how I don't jump much it makes no difference to me.

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How easy is it to plate a dirt bike in your state?

You may want to take that into consideration.

I love my 400, ride more street then dirt on it 80/20,

but I have 21000 miles on it since 9/02.

If you can plate an E go for it, it has a better carb & cams then the S.

Its about 260 vs 290lbs on the S also.

If you want reliability I say the DRZ is a great choice. I cant

comment much on the others, but Ive heard the CRF is high maintenence.

If it was available when I was shopping, the new DRZ supermoto

with the better front susp. & 17 inch rims would be my choice.

Then I would have added a set of dirt rims later & been very happy.

So do you really need a dualsport if your happy with your street

bike for street? If not get a lighter 250 4 stroke, hell you

might even be able to plate one in your state...?

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here's my response from your DRZ forum post, but after reading your info here I vote for the DRZ for you and yes i agree the 450X was not a great suggestion, not with the oil consumption and valve issues the 250X is having....that 450x is a CRF racing motor in a enduro bike with lights...... not the low maintenance formula.

GO DRZ....The R stands for reliability.

my response from the DRZ forum is:

I recently rode a 2004 WR 450F. I have a california S model DRZ with dyno jet/air box mod and a full Yosh pipe. The DRZ E model with the stock FCR carb and an aftermarket pipe is a stronger bike then mine.

Riding the WR was a very interesting. A different bike, but a great bike. The WR is more powerful as it is a 450 not a 400. The WR motor vibrated more in its perch then the DRZ, but it was a tight good feeling vibration like a race horse engine feeling... that did not vibrate the bars or the seat and frame. I would say the DRZ is smoother sweet feeling bike while the WR is more motorcycle quick reaction feeling.....

Both bikes are great rides. I don't say that about all bikes. for example the XR650R is a vibrating bus, and the CRF-250X is a girl bike. The XR400 is a dinosaur relic from yesteryear.

So in my humble view, you are looking at the two best Jap 400 class bikes in the DRZ and WR. 😢

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I just sold my '00 WR400 and I can tell you that those WR's just tear it up on the trail. However I wanted to use my bike as a commuter "true dual-sport" and the WR is just not cut out for that. I can plate an E model here in Idaho very easily so now I am on the prowl for a DRZ. The only draw back I have to the DRZ is that it is yellow and I hate that color but I guess plastic can be changed. It sounds like you are just looking for a trail machine and with that in mind my vote would be for the WR450.

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My problem with Dual Sporting most pure offroad bikes, is Titanium valves, and the WR has them, the DRZ, XR, and KTM-EXC do not. Then there is the lighting issue, I really don't ride at night, I got caught out twice, DRZ-S head light works better then the others.

After riding a WR250F the other day, I believe the weight issue is best left to racers. Because I did not notice a huge weight difference that made me crave a lighter weight bike, and I don't race anymore.

The WR is a great bike, but your coming from a KLR 650, the DRZ will give you the best of both worlds.

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Hey all, I'm grateful for the warm welcome and the wide range of sensible opinions. As for plating the off-road bike, it's currently possible in my state on something like a KTM, but the Japanese bikes clearly state "for off road use only" on the manifest, and our state won't go for the conversion to street legal for a new bike. Therefore I'm looking for a used, late-model bike that's already been converted in another state...this is acceptable at the local licensing office as a simple title transfer.

Halfcab, can you expand on the Ti valve issue?

Yeah, a true off-road machine (rather than a dual sport) might be great, but I really like to explore, poking my head up this trail and up that fire road, with pavement in between. Again, I've got the street bike (I love my Triumph!) for the pavement...the trail bike needs to be "dual sport" only to the extent that I want to ride it to the trail, not trailer it.

Thanks again for the kind support! 😢

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😢 Boy.......I've heard this song before! 😢

Sabre, It all comes down to what you wana do. Buy the bike that meets your needs. Sounds like you got the easy crusing, fireroad blastin, road blazing down, now you want a little something that screams thru the woods? Wanna spend alittle more of your energy blasting thru the tight single track? So..........light, nimble, quick, powerful, low maintenance..........?

😢 So.....My suggestion is not to buy the DRZ, don't buy an XR (it's too much bike for you), buy the WR, or if funds are available, a KTM.

😢 Oh, ever hear the old saying, "it's 90% rider, 10% bike!" With that in mind.........this old dinosaur needs to chew on some fresh DRZ meat! 😢🤣

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the old dinosaur never gets out of the house. 😢.... and when it does that XR probably won't start without a dozen kick overs, while the mighty Black n Blue DRZ is all over the trails. 😢

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Sabre, when I bought my bike I had my choices down to the Honda 400 and the DRZ 400. It just so happens that our Suzuki dealer is also a Yamaha dealer. Needless to say they had me on a WR450 in no time. I was able to test ride both the Honda and the Yamaha, and back and forth I went. In the long run I was more comfortable with the PEOPLE at Yamaha. After having the bike for awhile now, I am damn glad I bought the WR, it eats up most everything on the trail. The seat height is by far the biggest drawback, as I am only 5'9" , and not slim by the way. I would do it just the same again, unless I had the bank to buy a KTM EXC. 😢 :cry:

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Halfcab, can you expand on the Ti valve issue?

Yeah, a true off-road machine (rather than a dual sport) might be great, but I really like to explore, poking my head up this trail and up that fire road, with pavement in between. Again, I've got the street bike (I love my Triumph!) for the pavement...the trail bike needs to be "dual sport" only to the extent that I want to ride it to the trail, not trailer it.

Thanks again for the kind support! 😢

Sabre, check the CRF450 forum, you can get a idea about the Ti valves. Yam does not have as big of a problem with Ti valves as Honda. KTM uses Ti valve but not on there EXC.

If you are not the perfect person for the DRZ, no one is.

I do the same kind of exploring as you and most of the time by myself. I did not get the KTM 450EXC I first wanted, but a DRZ400S because reliability was more important to me, and this state also has the plating problem. I have another set of wheels that I use for pure off roading. It takes me about 20 minutes to change wheels and remove the GPS. Most of my friends ride KTM's, the DRZ can go anyplace that KTM can.

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I like what I'm hearing here, I just bought a DRZ after seriously considering a WR450. I knew the WR would be faster and lighter but I am going to be doing a lot of road riding with this bike so I went with the DRZ. cost was a small factor too.

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I just wanna say that the DRZ is an awesome bike! For being a novice, the weight was a slight issue. In about a 1/2 dozen trips and over 700 miles, I'm now getting air and climbing hills (with loose terrain) with confidence! It's great on the fire roads and trails too. I still have those lousy Trailwings. It's a great street bike too. Every day that goes by that I don't get to ride, makes me very sad! 😢 I love my DRZ! 😢

Dan

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I honestly can't say I've ridden a DRZ or a WR450, but my WR400 is an awesome dual sport animal. It cruises on the road just fine and it is awesome on the trail. Since I got my plate I do a lot of exploring around my area and the WR goes through any of it.

From what I have read on both the bikes, if you want to go faster and ride harder in the trails then get the WR, but what I hear is that the DRZ has a smoother ride because the suspension is more pleasure riding oriented, where as the WR has race supsension. I am a loyal blue rider, but I think from what you are describing you would probably be better with the DRZ. If you go with the WR, you won't be disapointed. 😢

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