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WR 4 banger or KTM 2 banger

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G’day all.

I’m in the proces of buying a new (secondhand) bike. I’m thinking of either a 2001 KTM 250EXC or a Yami. 2001 WR400. I have experience with 250cc MX bikes but have never owned or riden a big bore four stroke for any great period of time. I have considered the WR250F but I think the power drop from a 250 MXer and for a bloke my size would be bit of a dissapoinment.

I’m an average rider (ie. C grade), I am 185cm (6”) tall and weigth about 92kg (210 pounds). My riding terrain consists of about 50% tight sigle track with snotty steep hils and 50% open fire trails etc. with the ocasioal spin about the loal mx track for a bit of fun.

The way I see it the KTM is the lighter and more nimble bike. I hear that the power is very smooth and tractable.

I have never ridden a WR400 so I don’t have any real idea what the power is like (I’ve read the 2001 is relatively smooth). I hear that they make heps of it in the mid to top but don’t like to “chug” at lo RPM. The main thing that concenrs me with the WR is the weight – how does it tackle snotty steep tight terrain? Does the weight make the bike hard to handle in the bush etc?

My other question concerns maintance on the WR. I imagine the KTM would be similar to any other 2 stroke I have owned but have no idead what the WR would be like? Apprt for normal maintinace do they require re-bilds often etc?

And just incase you a re still reading one more question. Are there any mechanical worries I should look for when buying a WR secondhand?

So people tell me why I should buy a WR over the KTM!

Thanks for your help people.

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I have an 01 wz426 and it was tiring at first to keep up with 250s in the tight stuff. You adapt quickly, but the extra weight never goes away. As soon as the trail opens up or gets too nasty for the 2 smokes to keep their speed up the WR really starts to shine. Steep is no problem.

MX is same story. Set up like a YZ426 it is quite capable but a little portly. Again, you adapt quickly, or you just suck like me.

Mine is very good at "chugging" and rips everywhere else :D. Thanks JD :D. EKP-3/48pj/1turn with idle turned up a bit.

Maintenance seems easier on this bike because it is so damn cool. Working on it isn't a chore for me. Two strokes can be a pain in the ass when they need a top end or something and you just don't feel like doing it. My snowmobiles need to be summerized and my thunderace carbs need to be synched and the EXUP adjusted, but I end up riding and working on my WZ instead-it'll wait I guess. While I'm thinking about it I should probably get another 48 pj to replace the one I borrowed out of my snowmobile after ordering the wrong part. Damn yamaha parts guy :). Anyone need a #45 or #48 starter jet?

There are some posts about engine problems but Yamaha sells a lot of these things and they are generally bulletproof. Mine has been solid so far. Just did my first valve check- it was very easy to do. 4 were right in the middle and one exhaust valve is on the loose end of the acceptable range.

Any bike will do, buy what turns you on.

[This message has been edited by matt peterson (edited 07-24-2001).]

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I have both a '00250EXC and a '00WR400.

The 250 is light and nimble in tight trails and coming into corners or on steep downhills can stop quicker, very flickable. It makes excellent power and in the worst conditions (mud/slime/dragging a bike over stuff/...) the bike shines. It starts quick and easy too.

The WR has the best power and torque over a broad range with a fun factor that no 2-stroke can match, great engine braking for example. The suspension is a little better on the Yamaha (for me). The bike feels much heavier. Starting is slow but reliable because of the drill.

So for tight woods I choose the 250EXC and for more open riding and higher speeds the WR400.

Hope this helps.


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For what its worth, I just traded a KTM 300 EXC straight across for a WR400F. Why? I loved the Katoom's power. (You would find the 300's power to be much more linear than that of a 250.) Nevertheless, I found myself running out of gas all the time. The average trailriding loops we take run about 85 miles, and the stock 3.2 gallon KTM tank was good for only 65 miles. My WR is good for over 100. In a drag race, no contest, the WR wins handily. In really tight woods, or really technical terrain the KTM has the edge do to its light weight.

It goes back to an earlier post...blondes or brunettes?

Good luck, you'll enjoy either one.


'00 WR400F, WB headpipe/E series w/ 12 disks, airbox lid off and stock jetting

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