Your opinion requested

Hi, this is my first post here although I have been lurking around for awhile.

I am 44 yrs old, got my 1st bike in '72, currently ride about 12K miles a year on the street (current bike is an '02 Honda Interceptor). I sold my last dirt bike in 1980, and it was a Husqvarna, still made in Sweden at that time. The point is I really, really want another dirt bike.

I am looking at (3) used bikes now trying to decide on which one to get. The first is an '03 WR450, looks to be in good condition. Pros: Motor; suspension; relatively lightweight. Cons: not street legal; premium gas?; maybe not the best bike to ride with my 6 year old son when I teach him to ride an xr50 next yr. The second bike is an '04 DRZ400S, and the pros are: street legal (can ride in nearby Blackwater St. Park); can use cheaper gas; better for riding with son. Cons: really soft suspension; heavier than WR450. Bike #3 is an '04 KX250F, which I am only including because it is lighter and maybe easier to ride in Hare Scrambles (which I haven't done in a long time and want to do soon). I have ridden drz400S & E models, a YZ400 but not the Wr450, and no modern 250 thumpers. Obviously I am posting in the Blue forum, so you can see how I'm leaning.

What do you think?

the 03 is a good bike , but the wr has come a long way in a few years. how old is your son ? I bought mine a ttr 125 and we hang good together...until my buddies show up :banghead: do you have to buy used??? :applause:

I'd say get the DRZ because it would be good for riding with your kid and it's street legal. But since you mentioned hare scrambles, I'd get the WR.

oops, sorry . I see your son is 6.. :lol: until he gets older I dont know if any of those bike would be wont get out of first gear...well maybe...I have four of the crf 50s and the wife and I ride them with the kids alot... :banghead: get a couple 50s and the dirt bike of your dreams.... :applause:

The DRZ400S seems pretty tame as stock, so it might be the best for riding with my son. It feels as if it would bottom out pretty badly with me if I jumped it. I would probably enjoy the wr450 more, but I called the DMV in Pensacola and they said that a dual sport conversion is out of the question here. Does the Wr come with excel rims stock ('03)? The one I am looking at has them.

Tomsey, yes the WR450 comes stock with Excel rims (silver color).

The WR is by far the best off road bike on your list ( or any other list for that matter). Why dont you get the WR and just keep riding your Interceptor on the street. If your are going to off road much, it wont take long to want more if you go with the DRZ or the 250. Go Yamaha :banghead:

Of those bikes, I'd say the drz. But for hard core off-roading I'd get the wr. The drz is also a great all around bike though. The reason I didn't just say wr right off of the bat is because of that old woodruff key issue. I'd look for a 426 or an 04 or 05 450 instead. :banghead:

Is there a 'woodruff key issue' I should be aware of? Thanks to all for your input.

I know they are not on your list but the wr400 and 426 are great bikes also and you might even find one someone has dual sported :banghead:

Is there a 'woodruff key issue' I should be aware of? Thanks to all for your input.

I have not had a problem with my woodruff key, but I did the 04 starter upgrade as a preventative measure anyway. If it hasn't happened yet, or it hasn't already been corrected, it probably won't happen. The problem is that the 03 starter clutch will not freewheel backward in the case of a backfire while starting. This breaks the woodruff key and throws the timing off. The 04 upgrade allows for the backward freewheeling, which should eliminate the chances of shearing the key.

Having owned a 2000 DR-Z400S, and changed to a 2002 WR426F, i'd suggest the WR for the simple reason that it's lighter.

Off road, weight is everything, the difference after you've picked it off the floor for the tenth time that day, or dragged it out of a mud-hole, will more than make up for the extra maintainance you'll do.

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