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Best bike for enduros

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I know this might have been beaten to death but I cannot seem to decide between the 2008 wr 450 or the 2008 wr 250. I know it will be one or the other. I have rode the northwest enduro series from 2000 to 2005 on a 2000 kdx 220 , 2001 ktm 200 exc and currently ride a 2004 ktm 250 exc with the sx mods. I want to ride a four stroke next year. I have ridden a 450 exc a bit and it doesen't seem too much when hard trail riding for awlile but a 3 hour enduro would be a different animal. I don't know anybody with a wr 250 and most of the dealers say I'd be dissapointed with the wr 250 power but sometimes less is more ? But I don't want a 4 stroke that has to be ridden like a 2 stroke to make power. I'd sure like the advice of some of you tight woods guys. By the way I'm 5'7, 185 lbs. Thanks

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well, in all honesty, you may want to ride a wr250 first, most of its power is up top, this is not to say it is a 2stroke, but thats still where most of the power is, no worries though, it climbs to that power quite quickly.

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the wr250f's power is kinda peaky if you make it like that, but if you get a stock bike, do the free mods, get a FMF full system with megabomb it will have good all around power.

yamaha's and KTMs handle WAY differently. so if you are used to racing on a KTM, it might be hard to go to the slow turning, more stable WR.

have you tried out a 400xc-w.

with some work, the WR won't be underpowered. you can also make it a 290 fairly easy to make good inbetween power

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I guess I just assumed the Yamaha would handle better with the new frame. I have sat on the new 450 and it felt pretty good. But I remember riding a buddies yz 426 and thinking it was really big with not as much snap as my 200 on the bottom. I did ride my brothers 2000 400 exc and it was a dog but I know the ktm 4 strokes have come along way in handling. They are just getting too expensive anymore and the yamahas have a really good record for durability. My main concern with the 250 is bottom end snap. Thanks again.

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I guess I just assumed the Yamaha would handle better with the new frame. I have sat on the new 450 and it felt pretty good. But I remember riding a buddies yz 426 and thinking it was really big with not as much snap as my 200 on the bottom. I did ride my brothers 2000 400 exc and it was a dog but I know the ktm 4 strokes have come along way in handling. They are just getting too expensive anymore and the yamahas have a really good record for durability. My main concern with the 250 is bottom end snap. Thanks again.

compared to your bigger bore bikes, it won't have that bottom end. but with a good pipe, jetting, maybe an ignition, it will be there, especially if you go and big bore it to a 290cc. that costs about 450 on ebay http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=yz250f+bore&_sacat=See-All-Categories

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Well, here's $.02 from back east. I've ridden Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. I'm currently riding an '03 yz250f with mods, pipe, 1 tooth more on rear sprocket, tall soft seat, bar risers, and 8 oz flywheel weight to name a few. It works for some tight situations, but not in others. I've got plenty of power and with the flywheel, I've got bottom end and softer hit on top, like controllable but still enough to loft the front. I'm still working with my suspension tuner to get it into the sweet spot for me. I've got two buddies who weight more than me that say its soft for them, but I get a stiff ride. They weigh over 220 and I weigh 175, so I'm still working on it. The sweetest ride was another friends '04 CRF250R with flywheel weight and 250X cam. You can start the thing by hand, it will turn itself around a tree and not feel like its 10 feet long, the suspension has been tuned by my tuner with gold valves and its plush and controlled, but the owner had to put Kibblewhite valves in it to keep it running, but it hits hard like mine. If the trail is tight, he can take me easily since his geometry is a little tighter than mine, but once it opens up a little, I can take him. We both like the quick hit of the MX bikes and the close ratio trannys keep it in the power since we don't go all that fast anyway. Both bikes are way more capable than we are as riders. BTW, we're over 50 and still riding. Some of my other friends have the KTM 200 and 300, and one with the Rekluse on the 200, another with a YZ250 with a Rekluse. I've ridden both the Rekluse bikes and its easier to get over obsticles with them and its much more forgiving on gear selection. The KTMs can stomp me easy at will in the tight stuff. You gotta pick one, and find what works for you, or mod it. The newer cartridge forks are the way to go since they are much easier to tune and get softer. Mine is not as easy. I like the Showa ride better than the Kayaba, much easier on my back. My buddie that rode mine bike has a YZ450F. Its good for flat track and some woods situations where its more open. In tight stuff, its a handful, and he's also got the Rekluse on it. He also has an '06 YZ250F and likes the 250 better than the 450 since its lighter.

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In the last 3 years I have had 4 bikes. 2006 kx 250 two stroke, 2005 Ktm 450xc,2002 gas gas 250ec,and the yamaha wr 250 2007. Not one of them have come close to the Wr. I race enduro/harescramble/cross country(GNCC) with the Wr and I weigh in at 100kg without kit. I have shaved the excess weight off the bike and it has a few extras on it to un-cork it. First of all, there is ample low down power, that is where the Wr is differant to the Yz which makes its power further up. Secondly, with a few changes the bike turns better than most.And regarding the big bore kit, its not neccasary for the application. I am heavy for my bike and I do not need any more than stock bore. If you are riding fast desert type stuff, get a 450, for everything else the 250.

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I am a 210 lb guy and I have an 07 WR250F and it pulls me around great, I ride in the east and we have some pretty monster climbs and it has no issue with any of it, the Yamaha does handle MUCH better with the Aluminium Frame, I had an 02' WR250F before this one and MAN what a difference, I also have several friends with new KTM, 2 and 4 strokes, the Yamaha handles just as well as any of them although the 300 excw feels a little lighter. We ride VERY tight trails out here and the quick easy handling has made me a much faster rider so I would go out of my way to recommend the WR250F to you.

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BTW.....I did all the free mods! Easy to do!!!! I also added the Performance WR Muffler Insert, made a big difference, it cost me $39, 2 minute install and not much noise difference.

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I've got both bikes and for tighter stuff you can't beat a WR250.

A 262 kit, a set of cams and a pipe and you've got a pretty good running bike.

The 450 is a better bike in the faster stuff.

The aluminum bikes are night and day better.

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I've got both bikes and for tighter stuff you can't beat a WR250.

A 262 kit, a set of cams and a pipe and you've got a pretty good running bike.

The 450 is a better bike in the faster stuff.

The aluminum bikes are night and day better.

450's are better just riding around a gear up as well, see a log, no problem popping the front end up.

but with out a doubt, when your riding as hard and as fast as you can, you will be faster on a 250f vs the 450f version of the same bike through tight nasty stuff where power doesn't make much difference.

alloy frame better? I'd have to disagree with that, so much that my 08 bike has a Chromoly Steel frame. you'd probably be feeling the suspension improvements.

steel frames are more comfortable in high speed situations, alloy frames are more planted in tight turning. enduro bikes, imho, NEED to be more stable at high speeds. ducati, bmw, ktm still all use your hated steel frames for there HIGHER performance bikes, ducati uses it in the best handling bike money can buy thats pretty much a street legal moto gp bike.

but thats all opinions and personal preference, imo, its a gimmick and makes it harder to work on your carb, but there is for sure a difference

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450's are better just riding around a gear up as well, see a log, no problem popping the front end up.

but with out a doubt, when your riding as hard and as fast as you can, you will be faster on a 250f vs the 450f version of the same bike through tight nasty stuff where power doesn't make much difference.

alloy frame better? I'd have to disagree with that, so much that my 08 bike has a Chromoly Steel frame. you'd probably be feeling the suspension improvements.

steel frames are more comfortable in high speed situations, alloy frames are more planted in tight turning. enduro bikes, imho, NEED to be more stable at high speeds. ducati, bmw, ktm still all use your hated steel frames for there HIGHER performance bikes, ducati uses it in the best handling bike money can buy thats pretty much a street legal moto gp bike.

but thats all opinions and personal preference, imo, its a gimmick and makes it harder to work on your carb, but there is for sure a difference

I think Yamaha would have egg on thier face if the ally frame is not better than steel. A company as large as them would have done more testing hours on it than we will ride in our lifetime, so yes they are definately better otherwise they would not have taken the decision to change. Sure other brands use steel, there is nothing wrong with it, but just like the linkage system on thier suspension(ktm), its a hard descision to change something so drastic if its working for you. To use something and tell your clients its the best then change is difficult, especially when you have been promoting it as equal to or better than what you change to, its a constant battle between the marketing department and the engineers.......who will win??

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who has more experience making motorcycles? BMW or YAMAHA

BMW correct, been out much longer. they have a 105hp dirt bike.

Ducati is known for handling, they don't use alloy frames on there Desmosedici D16RR which is a moto gp bike with blinkers, even the engines power pulses are designed with cornering in mind.

now think of the alloy frame, oh its cool looking, its bigger, its flashier, and can be made more rigid

rigid works for motocross. i'm not arguing that. but when your hitting whoop after whoop after whoop, do you want a frame that will transmit 90% of those hits through to you(if its going threw the frame is obviously past the suspension), or would you rather have 80%

KTM's linkless rear suspension works great, no need to change it, I actually like it better than linked because its easier to work on, preload is right there and the clickers are in plain sight, and the bike feels like it has better traction(could just be brand related who knows)

alloy frames are not necessary off road, most likely helps on the track, but when you need a more comfortable frame, you don't want the stiffest you can get.

and yes, Yamaha is only interested in selling you a bike and parts for it, so they mass produce these trendy bikes. WR's don't need the alloy frame, If I thought for one second I needed an alloy frame, I would have gotten a bike that was cheaper and had one. Form over Function my friend... form over function

good thing for all of us, that a selling point of Yamaha is reliability. no hard feelings about this frame issue, they each work great for there purpose and few things work great all around

I think Yamaha would have egg on thier face if the ally frame is not better than steel. A company as large as them would have done more testing hours on it than we will ride in our lifetime, so yes they are definately better otherwise they would not have taken the decision to change. Sure other brands use steel, there is nothing wrong with it, but just like the linkage system on thier suspension(ktm), its a hard descision to change something so drastic if its working for you. To use something and tell your clients its the best then change is difficult, especially when you have been promoting it as equal to or better than what you change to, its a constant battle between the marketing department and the engineers.......who will win??

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If the steel frame was better they would still be using it period.

KTM's linkless suspension does work great, when its spot on. If the exact measurements are slightly out the bike is unforgiving. The suspension is much harder to set up than linkage systems and is not as forgiving. KTM will eventually go to a link set up. Stefan Everts threatened to leave KTM in his first year with them if they did not start planning to change to a link system. If it is better than a link system why dont more manufacturers use it? Same as the aluminum frame, the big 4 all use it so it must be good.

Yamaha's are mass produced and so are ktm's

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Stu...

what is Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawaski's main responsibility. is it to you? or there share holders?

the steel frame is... IS... more used in off road racing than the alloy frame.

when you get past the Baja 1000 which is full of Honda's, you see that no alloy framed bike has won the Dakar Rally. KTM has won it 7 years in a row.

linkless makes it easier to adjust, I guess mine is spot on because it is just awesome.

the alloy frame looks cool... cool sells. the alloy frame does have its advantages which are in the MX/SX department, but the Chromoly frames shine in the, go fast in a strait line department.

really, when your going 60mph avg through a 1000 mile race, when are you going to need the extra stiffness over something that leads to less rider fatigue

oh, if everything the manufacturers do is improve improve improve over the years, why is it that ron hamp gets more power out of a F/I RMZ450 when they put a FCR on it and takes off the fuel injection.

you my friend are following the path the companies want you to follow

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So let me get this straight..... ktm's main concern is you and not being profitable ?

And by stating that there are more steel frames in off road racing than ally you mean that ktm sells more bikes than the other companies put together ?

So you think they are brain washing us with thier hype?? Well yamaha dont make the boldest marketing statement of all the manufacturers which is "Race Ready". No bike is race ready off the floor

regarding your beloved linkless suspension......Every test that has been conducted on Ktm's in the Mxa and TWMX magazines have focussed on the single major problem of the bike, can you guess what it was.......

Read the August TWMX race test on Nick Weys Ktm 450SX-F and I quote" While thier bikes are plenty fast and have very unique components, the austrian bike maker hasn't quite measured up to the track prowess of the japanese linkaged based design".

Quote"Out back, the action of the shock was so much improved over stock, that we could swear it was operating on a completely different system. While the stock bike suffers from a dead feel out back, the Wey replica felt lively and quite active".

Motocross action mag july 08 KTM 505 sxf test "The rear of the ktm faces the quandry of how to be supple over small bumps without moving too quickly through big hits(or vica versa). The 6.9 stiffer shock springs help, but set-up is crucial to getting the most out of the rear. To soft and it will wallow,too stiff and it will kick."

So captian, if they struggle to get it right with all thier resources at thier disposal, how is the average joe gonna set it up right?

You my friend are believing the hype that ktm want you to believe.......Race ready

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Hey Guys......I think you both have valid points, but Captain what needs to be pointed out is that EVERY review I have ever seen of the 07' WR250F and up literally raves about it's handling and they attribute the majority of that improvement to the frame. Coming from the Steel frame I can tell you that the bike feels much smaller and that it seems like it has a lower center of gravity, it turns so easily as to almost seem twitchy compared to the Steel frame. In comparison my Steel frame version was crazy stable in the open high speed stuff but man was it slow turning and heavy feeling in the tight stuff. I know suspension can affect this to a small degree but I have not even touched my 07's suspension and it still destroys my 02' in handling and it's suspension has be sriously massaged to get the most out of it.

If you read the other posts related to this, all the owners of these bikes have said the same things.....fact is marketing or not the Aluminum frame significantly improved the handling in the tight, technical sections and made the bike much easier on the rider. And lastly "We love the WR250F. This is one of those magic bikes that make you feel like a better rider. Everything is easier than it should be, from tracking through rocks to snaking through twisty trails." - Dirt Bike, 1/07 ........they sure never said that about the steel frame versions!

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KTM isn't the only company who makes steel framed bikes. even though tons of people who go and run the E2 and other european races, use KTM. there are quite a few that use those 400lbs BMW HP2's. Husaberg still uses chromoly, and there are a few others.

I never said KTM wasn't trying to make money, there chromoly frames looks very cool imo, so they are going with the trend as well, but arn't going for the stiffest bike

most bikes that come off the floor are race ready, as long as it runs, and is reliable for you. I know someone who races GP and he buys his bikes, races them with no modifications, then after that race knows exactly how he wants his bike set up for him.

you can say what you want about the rear suspension, i'm not a magazine person, but I do know that the shock is much easier to get to. you can actually adjust it in seconds.

your getting your upset over no reason. I said OFFROAD, not track. this bike would suck on the track. why are we even discussing KTM. this was about steel frames vs aluminum frames offroad, not on a track.

but you keep posting quotes saying stuff about track, track, track. I remember saying, fast in a strait line.

If all the capabilities you want from your offroad motorcycle are being good at a track and sucking where you have to go above 50mph.

I'm not believing any hype. frankly. I didn't have too, there wasn't a large market of Offroad streetlegal dirtbikes, and since KTM's EXC-R dual sport is the exact same as the XC-W R offroad only, the choice was pretty easy.

I really like how your trying to put track things in an offroad discussion. 👍 and yes, every company is trying to make money, but mass producing bikes shows that you want to make more money than a company who hand builds them.

if your going to try and argue any points, please stay on topic, I don't care about nick wey. he can't curl his bike in his arms like scott summers can

and if KTM's suspension is so bad, how come they win all these offroad races where even 2wd, still very cool, WR450's can't win. Your arguing that an offroad company sucks at track has nothing to do with offroad

So let me get this straight..... ktm's main concern is you and not being profitable ?

And by stating that there are more steel frames in off road racing than ally you mean that ktm sells more bikes than the other companies put together ?

So you think they are brain washing us with thier hype?? Well yamaha dont make the boldest marketing statement of all the manufacturers which is "Race Ready". No bike is race ready off the floor

regarding your beloved linkless suspension......Every test that has been conducted on Ktm's in the Mxa and TWMX magazines have focussed on the single major problem of the bike, can you guess what it was.......

Read the August TWMX race test on Nick Weys Ktm 450SX-F and I quote" While thier bikes are plenty fast and have very unique components, the austrian bike maker hasn't quite measured up to the track prowess of the japanese linkaged based design".

Quote"Out back, the action of the shock was so much improved over stock, that we could swear it was operating on a completely different system. While the stock bike suffers from a dead feel out back, the Wey replica felt lively and quite active".

Motocross action mag july 08 KTM 505 sxf test "The rear of the ktm faces the quandry of how to be supple over small bumps without moving too quickly through big hits(or vica versa). The 6.9 stiffer shock springs help, but set-up is crucial to getting the most out of the rear. To soft and it will wallow,too stiff and it will kick."

So captian, if they struggle to get it right with all thier resources at thier disposal, how is the average joe gonna set it up right?

You my friend are believing the hype that ktm want you to believe.......Race ready

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Twitchy is not something you want going very fast. I've ridden the alloy framed bikes, they do handle better at LOWER speeds, but for tracking across a continent, you would rather have something a little more forgiving and that doesn't make you work hard to go.

please read about track vs. "strait line"

people are mis understanding what I'm saying. they really are

Hey Guys......I think you both have valid points, but Captain what needs to be pointed out is that EVERY review I have ever seen of the 07' WR250F and up literally raves about it's handling and they attribute the majority of that improvement to the frame. Coming from the Steel frame I can tell you that the bike feels much smaller and that it seems like it has a lower center of gravity, it turns so easily as to almost seem twitchy compared to the Steel frame. In comparison my Steel frame version was crazy stable in the open high speed stuff but man was it slow turning and heavy feeling in the tight stuff. I know suspension can affect this to a small degree but I have not even touched my 07's suspension and it still destroys my 02' in handling and it's suspension has be sriously massaged to get the most out of it.

If you read the other posts related to this, all the owners of these bikes have said the same things.....fact is marketing or not the Aluminum frame significantly improved the handling in the tight, technical sections and made the bike much easier on the rider. And lastly "We love the WR250F. This is one of those magic bikes that make you feel like a better rider. Everything is easier than it should be, from tracking through rocks to snaking through twisty trails." - Dirt Bike, 1/07 ........they sure never said that about the steel frame versions!

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I'm really not getting upset Captain........I like 'debating' issues and sharing points of view, and that is what they are here, just points of view.

I just quoted mx's mags as they are the mag's I have at work. I have more articles in enduro mags both locall and international thea comment about the linkless design negatively.

And please remember I have just come off a 2005 ktm 450xc so Its not like I am commenting blindly. I spent a lot of money and time trying to get the katoom to handle well, and got it good. I then got my yamaha and it is far more stable on the fast stuff and turns better.

If a bike handles poorly on a track, because of an inherant flaw which is pointed out by experts, then it goes without saying that it will be flawed everywhere it is used, track or no track. Off road is just a larger 'track'. At least on a closed curcuit you can set the bike up to be good over most of the track. With off road there are far more variables to take into consideration so it will be harder to set up.

Keep in mind that no manufacturer makes a 'bad' bike these days, well at least not Yam,suz,kaw,hon,ktm. They just have differant attribute's. Some have steel frames, some have ally frames, some have linkage, some are linkless. I think that you can get any bike to work for you, and the best bike that you have ever rode is the one in your garage at that moment.

Lets agree to disagree, no hard feelings

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