What to buy?

I've been reading the posts for a few weeks and need help. My family owned a Yamaha dealership for 25 years and soldout in 91, Grew up wrenching and racing but stop 10 years ago, Bought my son a 4 wheeler for x-mas this year, two weeks later bought myself one (Honda 300EX) and now I eat, sleep and drink getting back on 2 wheels.

Need to know, for my size ( 5' 6" 158lbs)should I go for the WR OR THE 300 Kaw? I realy want the WR, would send in the sus for lowering, seat, tank, etc. What I keep seeing is the high weight distribution in tight trails. With the right setup will it handle like a Kaw or better.

Mabey, is Yamaha's 2001 lineup to have a 300?

Its great to be back.


00 TRX250 (son)

00 300EX (me)

71 XS650 (1700 miles)Just for lookin at, parked in my office at work.

[This message has been edited by jdiamond (edited 05-25-2000).]


You are pretty short. I am 5'10" and occasionally find myself with nowhere to put my feet, usually on an incline, with me trying to find footing on the WRONG side. This results in me falling (professionally and elegantly) over. Clark had Scott's Scooter Service shorten his suspension.

I have sat on the Kawasaki 300. For the reputation it has on being short, it was taller than I expected. You still may vertically challenged on the Kaw, which puts you back in having your suspension shortened. The 300 may have you looking for some horsepower and torque...???



99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat.

I guess it comes down to the following;

1. Riding ability

2. Tight and Twisty? Or Wide Open? or both

3. Personal preference

At 5'6", I think any bike will be a problem. Thus, the solution comes down to your riding ability. if you have fairly good balance and are one of those riders that tackles things standing up, as well all should, i dont think you will have any problems.

If you shorten the suspension 2", then make sure it is revalved to operate well in the shortened range. Personally, I would not loower the suspension. my wife is 5'5" and she sits on my bike with her tipi toes. Now, add additional weight and boots and I think you may me OK.

If it comes to stopping, then just readjust your butt so the crack of your butt sits on the side that you want to put the leg down on . All of a sudden, you will have a few extra inches.

Try sitting on the bike, try taking one for a spin and see how it feels. Another alternative isw the DRZ. It is lower and slimmer, which means you will be able to touch the ground a little better.

All in all, try all three bikes for yourself. Sit on them, bounce on them, and if you can, ride them. That will be the only real way of finding out. And, if you dont buy the YZ/WR, we will still luv ya.

Good luck


Kevin and Mitch have definitly addressed the issues. At 5'11" I too have suffered from the "fallovers". The majority of my falls hve been at walking speed. There have also been several postings here on this subject.

Then a couple of days ago I visited the YZ side of this web site and saw a post from a 5'4" gal in California who rides a 426..... I guess it's time to suck it up.

Good luck


Being 5'9", 140 lbs., I was following the same path as you about 6 months ago. I searched long and hard for a KLX300, something lighter and smaller than my previous XR400. When I finally found one for sale nearby, I rushed over to the guy's house with cash in hand. When I sat on it, it was taller than my XR4 (which had the DeVol 3/4" lowering link). And then I took it for a spin. BIG bummer, no low end power at all, just top end, but not that much either. I moped around for about a month, and finally found a good deal on a '99 WR. My first ride out, I knew I'd made the right choice! Awesome, snappy power across the whole powerband, and the most precise handling I've ever felt. Also, prior to buying the WR, DeVol said they can lower the front & rear by up to 2", requires re-valving the shock. I've done a couple of slow speed high-sides due to the seat height, but I've learned to keep it moving and stay on the pegs, so I'm not going the lowering route since the stock suspension works so well for me. Hope this helps... :)


I started on the KLX 300 then switched last year to the WR. Reason POWER!!!!. I am 5 10" and the WR is a little tall, the KLX was perfect. If you go with the KLX you have to get rid of the CV carb immediately then the head pipe, then the exhaust, then, then, then, In other words I tried, tried and tried to get more out of it and couldn't. It is a great trail bike, climbs hills well and turns great, it just lacks power. If you are into cruising then it is a great bike. You will still want to change the CV carb. That is the biggest change you can make. If you do this then take the lid off the air box. It will want to breath, otherwise , gasp, choke, gasp. Good luck.



98WR White Bros E Series stock head pipe, IMS Tank/seat Pro Tapers Works Connection guards. Stock timing


I'm 5'-8" (+/- a 1/4", usually -)and have taken my 00' WR riding four times. It's been a real learning experience. But each ride gets better. After my first few rides I thought I was going to have to buy a case of clutch & brake levers. My last ride, yesterday @ Clear creek, Ca., I had no falls. By the way Clear creek is an excellent place to ride. It's got 60,00 acres of BLM land open to OHV's. You just have to know what your limitations are at that point and time (I think we all try to continually improve our riding abilities). For instance, there were a couple of times when we hit dead end trails. Now my friend Howard (6'-4", YZ400) can spin his bike around like nobody's business. I on the other hand just got off my bike and turned it around. Slow speed riding is definetly the toughest part. I just got back into riding after 20 years away. I'm 37 now. Just consider the size of the bike as another obstacle that can be overcome with practice and determination.

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