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    Sold the dr650 for the commute.  The AT is a mile muncher.  Will review more in depth in dirt when warm again.
    michaelg131
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    michaelg131
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    Recently I sold my CRF250L due to taking a new job with a 104 mile daily commute. I again almost purchased the WR250 but I decided if highway comfort, simplicity, and displacement were my prime concerns that the WR would still not fit my needs. Out of the shop I noticed that it was idling too low and stalling quite a bit. The bike easily reached 80mph for my ride home even though at this speed the vibrations were killer. I rode on it untouched for about 2 weeks and practically paid for expedited shipping from seat concepts. My other first impression of the bike was wondering where they had time to go to home depot and replace the seat with a 4x4 post. The other complaints were the rubber mounted stock pegs that made you feel like you would slip off standing up and the cramped peg location in relation to the seat and the bars. I mean it is cramped for me at 5' 8" 29 inch inseam. Where my last bike became far more fun in the woods the DR felt... a bit much to handle. The stock tires earned their reputation of the name of deathwings being far less capable than the GP22's that came stock on the 250L, yes I missed the GP22's. The rear suspension was thankfully significantly better and only required some dampening adjustment. The front suspension comparatively to the 250L was far far far worse. If you were to mix the rear stock suspension of the 250L with the front of the 650 you would have created the most poorly suspended bike conceived by man. After going from my Racetech setup on the 250L back to whatever Suzuki calls suspension I felt a bit cheated. Now here came the real test was a 329 mile back roads ride from Austin to DFW and back. (my preferred motorcycle proving ground) The average speed limit was still 75 posted and same as last time I was glad I invested in my seat concepts low seat. The bike easily plodded along at 70 - 90 mph with little complaint or trouble minus a bit of excess arm pump and vibration in my right hand. In strong cross winds the DR650 was a bit better planted but the front end due I guess to its horrifically poorly designed nature introduced more wobble than the 250L and with tucking down in wind made the ride a bit harrowing. This go around I was shy on cash and spent my first $270 on bars, grips, seat, and peg lowering kit from JNS engineering. (I also sprung for a 16T front sprocket to mitigate vibration at high speed) I could not repeat could not have made any trip over 50 miles on the stock garbage seat without reconstructive surgery on my rear. The massive upside to this bike is the ease of work on it. A valve job for instance is 4 tools and about 3 hours of work and the best part is no shims just an old fashioned tappet adjuster. The other real test was arriving at my old stomping grounds in Decatur TX at rocky ridge. This is where the 650 showed me all of it's additional weight feeling nearly unwieldy with the exception of its lower reach to the ground. My lap times which were 28 minutes modded 32 ish minutes stock on the 250L climbed up to 36 minutes on the 650 with the mixture of nearly unusable front suspension and god awful tires. At the minimum before another dirt trip this bike will have new tires and front springs. Stock for stock on the Street/ Highway the DR650 substantially outperforms the 250L but in the dirt the 250L is a good bit better for the job. As far as modding goes however I think I can achieve near if not better performance from the 650 with less money. Right off the bat for instance front and rear suspension will run about 600 to 700 less than a Racetech setup for the 250L so time will tell if this review flips. I had about $2400 into the 250L and as of this week about $307 into the 650, even if I go all out with suspension, pipe, and pumper carb I would only be out $1300. Food for thought.
    michaelg131
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    michaelg131
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    Having not hit the trails or an enduro for the better part of 14 years I decided to pull the trigger on a 2015 CRF250L, I almost purchased the WR250 but the price and my credit kind of pushed it out of the running, not to mention that I tend to be a bit short 5' 8" and the WR felt like I was climbing a minor mountian. To preface the last time I rode 2 strokes were legal, and a fuel injected bike didn't exist. At any rate having recently gotten my 93 DR350 running but lacking a title to go street legal I opted for the CRF. Out of the shop I noticed that it was for lack of a better term kinda nutless. Here in Texas many of the backroads are 75 mph so it is somewhat harrowing to push the bike that hard. <br /><br /> <br /><br />I rode on it untouched for a month, I did like my commute gas bill going from $44 a week in my truck to $5.44 every 2 weeks on the Honda. Where the bike was a pure joy to ride was the woods. No you won't be climbing mountians on it but it is so nimble in the woods vs the old DR. The suspension and stock tires are a bit hard to deal with but honestly who in their right mind buys a dual purpose with the intent of nailing doubles at the local MX track. I have kind of gotten a bit out of shape and still the stock suspension suits my needs. To be honest I like how it dives a bit in the turns. The real test was a 329 mile back roads ride from Austin to DFW and back. The average speed limit was 75 posted I was having trouble holding 70 and about 100 miles in thanked god I changed the seat. In strong cross winds the higher center of gravity is a bit harder to deal with. I also noticed it seems to run a bit hot especially on your left knee as the fan kicks on. I was a bit afraid of overheating but Captian Slow plodded along. (yeah I named the bike after James May on top gear UK) If you are shy on cash and you have $300 to pick any mods I would stress the 13t sprocket, seat, and handgrips. You will thank yourself so will your rear and hands. After it's paid off I plan to go full on modding.<br /><br /> <br /><br />I finally dropped a bit of money into it (not the warranty voiding variety)<br /><br />I went to a 13T front sprocket (made all of the gears useable with the 14T i considered 4th gear an option and nigh useless)<br /><br />got a seat concepts low profile seat (yeah I am short 5'8" and 210 lbs...)<br /><br />Tusk Fat bar with adapter<br /><br />Holeshot pad for a gps / smart phone<br /><br />Tusk hand guards<br /><br />Protaper Pillow grips<br /><br /> <br /><br />This notched the comfort level up a good bit, I wanted new suspension and the FMF but I like my warranty and after a full bottom and top end rebuild on the DR I don't feel like turning a wrench on my commuter.<br /><br /> <br /><br />Pros:<br /><br />It is cheaper than the competition.<br /><br />5 year warranty for $400, yeah that is nice.<br /><br />Gas mileage is not the 73 it claims it is closer to about 56 - 60 but still...<br /><br />The Service intervals, it is a cheap ride if you take care of it.<br /><br />It is a good bike if you trend shorter<br /><br />Nimble in the woods<br /><br />It runs well on 87 octane actually mine seems to prefer 87...<br /><br />Brakes are pretty darn good.<br /><br />I have to say it but it is a good looking machine stock.<br /><br />The clutch has a 1 finger pull, easiest I have ever had.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br />Cons:<br /><br />It's power is underwhealming even vs a 22 year old air cooled 4 stroke.<br /><br />The stock seat is like having a 2x4 wedged up your crack<br /><br />The stock bars and grips transfer excessive vibration and cause a good deal of arm pump.<br /><br />The stock 14t front sproket makes the bike run a bit jerky especially in lower gears.<br /><br />Since it has a fuel pump and fuel injector I fear running gas out on it will end up torching the fuel system.<br /><br />The low fuel indicator comes on at half a gallon left and is very touchy with slopes.<br /><br />I think the idle is set too low from the factory and it likes to stall.<br /><br />The clutch feels like it does not fully engage ever.<br /><br /> <br /><br />Conclusion:<br /><br />If I could go back in time and pick a different bike as a dual sport I would petition Honda to make a 450L, none of the other offerings are in my price range or near as a complete package as a 250L. The WR is nicer off the floor but for the price the performance isn't a lot better (got to try a friends) The Suzuki was almost my choice but it had a bulkiness to it I didn't quite like and was too tall. Anything 650? No thanks. I would still walk off the showroom floor with the same 250L.

    Update: Stage 1 mods, very fun I can now accelerate in a headwind. Decided to go back to stock gearing since it is my commuter and the stage one gave it some balls. Saving up for a racetech or YSS rear Racetech front suspension rebuild. If the tax return is big enough this year maybe I can pay it off and 305 it as well. Man I don't think I could like this bike more except I got to try a road legal 2015 WR450L that well makes me kind of wander, then again even with all the mods the CRF250L still comes out $700 cheaper also the seat height on the WR would make me have to carry phone books in my riding pack.
    michaelg131
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    michaelg131
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    My wifes wee bike I am rebuilding.
    michaelg131
    Vehicle owned by
    michaelg131