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modded WRF250 vs DRZ400.... which one for me?

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I've come down to the big crunch time. Here's the two choices...

In this corner a WRF250, 2001(kick only). Fully modded as a Super Motard with ALL the engine tricks done to it, wider crank bearings, special conrod, Wiseco piston, YZ mods to the head with auto-decomp, upgraded suspension etc, etc. Rode it and it runs REAL nice. Pulls like a little freight train. Already registered to run on the streets. BUT... I would need to get some off road wheels and tires and do a few tidy up mods to the outside parts to clean it up to suit my tastes. He's also got some extra gearing so I can play with it to help set it up to cruise nicely at about 50 mph without screaming but still work down low quite well. The Big Dog muffler is a joke and will require the insert or a replacement to civilize it so that's more money.

And in the opposite corner. A 2002 Suzuki DRZ400. Skidpan, rad guards and Racetech upgraded forks (not sure about the rear). Really nice shape so it shows well. And he has a set of CNC triple clamps and Protaper bar for a small amount extra. But it's the E model and will require some work and bucks to certify it for registering on the streets.

I'll probably be riding mostly fire roads, logging roads, and 4 wheel drive paths with some small amount of single track tossed in. A 400 is considered SMALL by the local dual sport club that I'll mostly be riding with. My heart is really into some tighter trail riding but I know this would be rare to the point of only being about 10 to 15% of the riding. I would be willing to swap the front sprocket on the 250 before a trail ride and back again for a gravel road ride if that helps.

I gather there's also some overnight camping rides where I'd have to carry gear. And on the smoother gravel it's not uncommon to ride at 50'ish mph for longer distances. I'm thinking that some camping gear on the roads would slow down my acceleration but I should still be able to cruise at the 50 mph.

All in all the two options will work out to about the same cost in the end by the time all the stuff is done. So the question's are....

How important IS the electric button?

How much better in the tight stuff IS the WR compared to the DRZ?

The modded WR FEELS as strong as the two 400's (DRZ and XR400) I test rode but am I missing something? The test rides were confined to parking lots and an empty lot so I couldn't reallly open them up.

My riding buddies outside of the club are riding a DR350(but he's a fast ex MX'er), an XR650 and a DR650. Will the modded 250 get left behind THAT badly?

I know this is all very noobie'ish but I'd like to get the better option for my riding. My heart says "250 playbike" but my brain is saying "400 long distance hauler".

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Boy I think that's a pretty loaded question but I honestly believe that as you progress as a rider you will be wanting the power that the 400 delivers. That and the DRZ is way less maintanance intensive. Both are good bikes but I'd go with the 400 in a heartbeat, really not even a question for me but then again I'm also 205lbs so that's a factor to consider.

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The good news is that you really can't loose - they are both great bikes!

I don't have any experience with the WR, but I do have a crf250x, which is at least similar. I have heard, however, that the WR requires a more aggressive riding style.

I bought the 250x for one primary reason - weight. I am getting old and I have lower back problems. The weight of my older xr250L was a problem for me - it was fine while riding, but loading the trailer, or picking it up after a spill was a real strain on my back.

I then got a drz-400e for my son. He is 6'4" and about 230 lbs, so he can handle the bike weight better than me.

The 400 has more low-end torgue, and a cushier ride. But the 250 is just a lot of fun to ride. I do worry about the maintenance issues though - since I am not much of a mechanic.

If the weight doesn't concern you, I would vote for the 400. If you want a lighter bike that is easier to throw around, go with the 250.

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I have a 2001 WR250 and absolutely love it. The bike is dead reliable,never a single problem. I think a WR is more of a serious enduro bike while a DRZ is more of a trail bike. My buddy has a DRZ400 and he finds it heavy but we ride almost all woods. On fast, smooth fireroads you might be better off with a DRZ.

Saying that, I personally wouldn't buy a bike like the WR you mentioned. When buying a used bike I would rather find an original bike, no engine mods, original piston. Super motard bikes are ridden at high RPMs constantly. Regardless of which bike you choose look for something with low hours,original owner, original graphics is a good way to tell how many hours are on the bike. Look at the side engine covers, see how much paint has worn off the covers. Just my opinion

2001 Aprilia Mille R

2002 Ducati 998 Bayliss

2003 Suzuki GSXR1000

2001 Yamaha WR250

2001 Kawasaki KDX220

1974 Suzuki TM400

2003 Suzuki RM100

2001 Yamaha TTR125l, daughters bike

2001 Yamaha Beartracker Quad

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The WR is by no means a light bike. For what you describe, the DRZ would be the best bet for you. It has the low end power that the little 250 is simply not capable of producing. Do you want to have to ride the WR WFO on the pipe most of the time?

After a day of tight stuff, you will come to love the magic button.

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I had a z400 and now have a WR250f. It is a tough call, but as you said, you aren't likely to be riding tight trails all that much. As a little guy, the 400 was a bit much for me (weight), but only in comparison to the WR.

Personally, although my 03 WR is easy to kick, I love the button and just about wouldn't buy a bike without it.

The WR doesn't like to be ridden (in my experience) at a high constant speed, DRZ loves it.

As far as being left in the dust, off the line your WR will keep up no problem, especially with the piston. Only at higher speeds will it fall off.

HMM, tough call, but I'd go for the DRZ. Although heavier, it does handle its weight very nicely - WAY nicer than any 650.

As long as you don't live in CA, you should be able to make the 02 street legal. Ask Cisco, he did a homemade kit for his...~$200? 😢

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Thanks for the inputs so far. It's really helpful and you guys are hitting the key issues that I'm sweating over. In particular those of you with WR's that are saying the DRZ would be better for MY situation and why.

Further details....

I'm 6ft 1 in tall/195 lbs so the weight should not be a BIG problem.

Also I just found out that two of the S model street legal DRZ's have shown up in shops close by. I know they are heavier and the other things but they are both sitting at the same price as the other off road only bikes and would not need any costly mods to certify them for road use. Around here road is a reality to join some of the fire roads together and the more remote gravel roads are still legal roads for access to farms and such so a plate and liability insurance is pretty much a must.

But it IS an extra 30 lbs. But if I get a Clark tank it would replace the metal weight with gas weight that'll come in useful.... I think I'm going to go that way if the bikes check out OK.

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You are a good size for the DRZ. The S has a different subframe that allows for adding a rack for carrying gear easier. Also, top speed will be in your favor. The 2002 S's have the same suspension as the E's, but a different carb. There are a few things you can do to cut some weight, but a new tank isn't a big savings. Exhaust is. Check out the DRZ400 forum for more tuning info.

You will really like the DRZ for those fire roads and on the street compared to the 250. I've gotten comfortable on my DRZ in the woods, but I wouldn't want to ride it on tight stuff all day. It climbs like you wouldn't believe.

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The good news is that you really can't loose - they are both great bikes!

I don't have any experience with the WR, but I do have a crf250x, which is at least similar. I have heard, however, that the WR requires a more aggressive riding style.

I bought the 250x for one primary reason - weight. I am getting old and I have lower back problems. The weight of my older xr250L was a problem for me - it was fine while riding, but loading the trailer, or picking it up after a spill was a real strain on my back.

I then got a drz-400e for my son. He is 6'4" and about 230 lbs, so he can handle the bike weight better than me.

The 400 has more low-end torgue, and a cushier ride. But the 250 is just a lot of fun to ride. I do worry about the maintenance issues though - since I am not much of a mechanic.

If the weight doesn't concern you, I would vote for the 400. If you want a lighter bike that is easier to throw around, go with the 250.

I whole-heartedly Agree!! 😢 :cry:

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I stopped by a local shop on my way home tonight that certifies off roaders for on road use and cast a glance over the used bikes. I sat on a used 1991 DR350 'Zook that was in nice shape and had a very attractive price on the headlight.

I think I now know why I'm gettng so worked up over my choice. It's because I'm not really comfy commiting as much money as it's going to take to get a bike when I'm not that sure what I'll be doing with it and how often.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to get the DR350 and just ride it for now with the minimal outlay that it'll take to get me on .... er.... OFF the road for the first season or two until I find out more about what the local scene is all about. My next post should have pics of the new toy.

Thanks all for the advice. It HAS been helpful but I think this option will suit me best for now until I figure out what direction my riding will take.

Cheers

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Just be happy to be back on a bike...

If you have questions about the DR350 ask DrBillZ. He's not on TT very much now I don't think, but he's done all there is to do to one of those...

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