20 replies to this topic
  • bender647

Posted May 08, 2001 - 10:33 AM


Looks like there's a lot of info in the
archives, but they've been broken for me
for a while...

My wife wants to try her hand at dirtbiking.
She's a very good street rider and has a
long enough inseam to ride my WR400. But
I think it's a bit heavy for a beginner.

Has anyone ridden the WR250? Does it have
enough power to keep someone interested? Is
it light enough to make it worth getting
over a 400? It seems to be priced right
up there.

My other choice is a used KDX200--plenty
abundant, but I don't know if the powerband
is as forgiving.

Any guidance for us?

  • Pete_Z

Posted May 08, 2001 - 11:06 AM


IMO a KDX 200 or 220 would be the way to go.They are truly great trail/beginner bikes with fairly light weight and a tractable, mellow power delivery.In fact they are probably more managable in stock form than the new WR250.Lots of hop-up potential for the developing off-roader too.I have had a couple of these bikes over the years,and they were fun and reliable.Solid value for the dollar,probably the best all-around dirt bike available today.

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 08, 2001 - 12:05 PM


hey, I might disagree, depending on your wifes skill level, ambition and size. I race HS on a YZ426 but have a WR250F for the tight trails and mountain riding in CO. The WR is hands down a higher performance bike than the KDX, but alot more $$. My wife had a KDX 200, now it is my loaner bike to newbie friends. She is a good mountain bike rider but the KDX two stroke powerband was too much for her when she was learning. She now has an XR 200 and is much happier. The engine braking alone on downhills is worth it for a novice. She is 5'8" and the WR is not a problem for her size.

I personally dont like the KDX, although I agree it is a great value. The KDX does not feel any lighter than the WR. The WR in stock form is VERY tame, I think more forgiving than the KDX. As she gets better, you can remove the airbox cover, cut the throttle stop, remove the exhaust baffle and have a bike YOU would love. (On tight trails it is way better than my 426). The KDX will require a new pipe to boost power, and it will never perform like the WR. But the WR is ALOT harder to start, and has a little higher seat height.

If she is athletic, 5'7" or taller, and agressive, buy the WR. If she has any ambition to race, buy the WR. If it is a potential backup bike for you, buy the WR, you will love it. If none of these are true, or if money is tight, buy the KDX.

  • bender647

Posted May 10, 2001 - 05:35 AM


Originally posted by mikeolichney:
But the WR is ALOT harder to start, and has a little higher seat height.

As hard to start as the WR400? She took
my WR400 out yesterday. No way she's
gonna start that, even with the kickstand
down. A bit heavy to pick up after a
spill too. Height is fine though.

I'd really like the WR250F but not being
able to start your own bike is a major
piss-off factor.

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 10, 2001 - 05:38 AM


My dealer in NH has one on the floor if you can't find one.

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 10, 2001 - 08:18 AM


Originally posted by bender647:
As hard to start as the WR400? She took
my WR400 out yesterday. No way she's
gonna start that, even with the kickstand
down. A bit heavy to pick up after a
spill too. Height is fine though.

I'd really like the WR250F but not being
able to start your own bike is a major
piss-off factor.

It is much easier to kick the 250F through the stroke than a 426. But still way harder than a KDX200. I could probably do the KDX with my hand. A girl I know races a YZ250F, and she likes the bike but has a hard time starting it if she is not on a stand. She is short though. If your wife is tall and patient enough to deal with the procedure, she should be okay.

Again, if your wife is just going to plonk around in rocks in first gear, the KDX will be fine. I think its biggest drawback for her is not really the motor (I don't like the motor but I bet I am quite a bit heavier than your wife), but the suspension. It is ridiculously soft, and not very adjustable.

  • Freezer

Posted May 10, 2001 - 09:26 PM



Have you considered the new Suzuki DR-Z250? I'm seriously considering that for my wife (and my 68-year-old Dad).

My wife is 5'10" and athletic. She has no abition to race-in fact she has very little ambition to ride! I firmly believe, though, that with the right bike, she'll love it.

I would much rather buy a bike that she outgrows, than buy one with too much power that scares her or hurts her, because then riding will be over for her for good. Remember: at least for my wife, she does not think about riding the same way we do. I know, sometimes more power is safer than less power in certain circumstances, but if we get in those circumstances, then either she will have progressed beyond the abilities of that bike and shouldn't be there on that bike, or she shouldn't be there in the first place. Keeping it fun for her is the highest priority

I keep going back to the DRZ250 via process of elimination:

* TTR-125L: light(+), but it would be too small and underpowered after first 2 days.

* TTR-225: Electric start(+), but heavy. Heard complaints of others that they are tired of having to pick it up for their wives.

* TTR-250: Blue, but heavier than the DRZ(listed weight).

* WR-250: No e-start. My gut feeling is that it just may be too much bike for her to start on. Might intimidate her, and we need to avoid intimidation at all costs! It seems like the DRZ-250 is closest to the WR250, but tuned down slightly and with that magical, wonderful button.

I am sticking with the thumpers because of the wide power band.

I arrive at the DRZ-250 from the bottom-up, not from our bikes/top-down. Better power to weight, electric start, and adjustable suspension.

All seem to be good bikes; my thoughts are with my wife's parameters in mind. I have found it very difficult picking out the best bike for her.

I don't know if this has helped you, but it has helped me!


  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 10, 2001 - 09:35 PM


I have a 2000 TTR-250 for sale. Good play bike. Mechanically the thing is great. The tight woods weren't so kind to the plastic. No broken plastic, but pretty scratched up. 3,000 with new plastic or 2,800 without new plastic.

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 05-10-2001).]

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 10, 2001 - 07:05 PM


I think Freezer nailed it, I forgot about the new DRZ250 with the button. I'm not a Suzuki lover but like he said - avoid intimidation at all costs...

  • bender647

Posted May 11, 2001 - 03:31 AM


Originally posted by Paul in AZ:
I think Freezer nailed it, I forgot about the new DRZ250 with the button. I'm not a Suzuki lover but like he said - avoid intimidation at all costs...

Is the DRZ-250 street legal? I know
Suzuki makes a pig out of the street
versions. Even puts a CV carb on them,
plus a steel tank sucks for someone who
drops bikes a lot.

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  • Bill

Posted May 11, 2001 - 03:44 AM


My son had a KDX220 and I have spent some time on it. It's great little bike and is very capable. We were at the local track last weekend and it faired very well. Even at my weight of 230. The powerband is very wide, it's light and very easy to start.


97 KDX220, 86 TTR225, 99 WR400f, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. De-octopussed. Works frame guards and Thumper Rad Guards, Scotts steering damper. Odometer and headlight removed. Cycra Pro-Bend hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank, IMS seat and number plate. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA, Happy Ramblers MXC, Rausch Creek MXC, Tower City Trail Riders.

  • Freezer

Posted May 11, 2001 - 08:14 AM



Headlight and taillight included. Are you familiar with the DRZ-400? Looks just like it. Definitely not like the old, heavy, metal-tank DR's. This is set up as a dirt bike.

Take a look at them. You might be surprised. I haven't bought yet, but I might be sold on it, at least for my situation.


  • Bryan Bosch

Posted May 11, 2001 - 08:47 AM


What about a 96 or later XR 250? Great beginner bike that a rider can grow with. Ultra-reliable too. No magic button, however, very easy to start. Not comp lever required. Lots of hop-up parts too.

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 11, 2001 - 12:17 PM


Hey guys, listen to what bender647 is saying. His wife is a very good street rider and she is riding his WR400 around. She is fine height wise to deal with the 400, so ditto to the wr250F. Now she will be able to take advantage of a truly great suspension, unlike the other bikes mentioned. He is worried about weight. That electric start Suzuki is way heavier than a WR250F, maybe even heavier than his 400. I emphasize that the WR is very tame stock, like the others. But it can be modified to run extremely well (for no cost). AND it is a bike he will love, if he rides tight trails he may end up liking the 250F better than his 400.

Just make sure she can start it. Go to a dealer and see if she can kick one through its stroke (careful though, they are notoriously difficult to start when new, try to find a used one).

  • Tim_Heslip

Posted May 11, 2001 - 12:36 PM


To answer another part of your question. I have a 98 YZ timed WR and just raced 2 moto's this week against a guy who has a new WR250. He changed over from a XR400. He loves the bike and had no problem kicking my butt. (I mean keeping up with me, yeah thats it) He had PLENTY of power. Just remember to keep the RPMs up a little higher than the 400&426's.


  • bender647

Posted May 11, 2001 - 03:13 PM


Yes, my wife has street and even a bit
of track experience (latest ride is a
CBR929RR), but no dirt experience. She's
quite smart about keeping the throttle
under control.

I think the WR250F will not be a good
choice because of the potential starting
problem, but also because its weight is
a bit top heavy. The reason she likes
four cylinder street machines is because
her experience with the top-heavy twins
has been that they are tippy. I think
my WR400 brings about this same feeling
in her. Being a tall woman means she can
touch the ground easily, but doesn't give
her the strength to stop the bike from
tipping over.

So, I'm thinking KDX200 or maybe even
KTM200exc. I'd really like that WR250F
in the garage though. :)

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 11, 2001 - 06:23 PM


Still plugging the WR250F for you. I dont think any of these bikes wont feel top heavy to her. Face it, dirt bikes are very tall compared to street bikes, because of the suspension travel and ground clearance. The best you can do is go for light weight. The WR is the lightest, the XR250 is 6 pounds heavier, and the TTR250 and DRZ250 are 24 pounds heavier. All seat heights are over 37". I can guarantee you that the WR will feel the least top heavy. I got these numbers from Dirt Bikes June issue, they compare them all, even a modified KDX, check it out.

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 11, 2001 - 06:34 PM


I looked back at the magazine, the KTM 200 is only 220 pounds, while the KDX is 235. You can lose 5 pounds of high weight with a new exhaust on the KDX.

I think the KTM power will be scary for a beginner. You can make a throttle stop pretty easy on most bikes, I did it for my kids bike.

It you want a bike that does not feel top heavy, go for the TTR125L or XR200. My wifes XR200 is in another league as far as feeling topheavy compared to the WR and KDX (I went down in the basement and checked, the KDX and WR feel about the same, XR200 much lighter). BUt if she is aggressive, she will outgrow the XR200 fairly soon. But resale is great on XRs, especially if you buy a used one.

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted May 17, 2001 - 08:43 AM


Get the WR!!! Hands down, this bike is ten times better. The suspension & ability to rev to 13.5 alone sets it apart. Starting is not a problem if you follow the drill. If she was a beginner w/no experience the xr200 would be a good choice, but having street experience 200cc bikes will not satisfy power cravings for long. Grabbin the WR means you will not have to buy another bike in a year or so as it has power = to a trick 125 2 smoke. Both of you won't be disapointed.

See if you can get a test drive from someone who owns one.

My other choice is a used KDX200--plenty
abundant, but I don't know if the powerband
is as forgiving.

Any guidance for us?[/B][/QUOTE]

  • YamaCazi

Posted May 17, 2001 - 09:03 PM


Forget them both....I bought my wife a 01/Raptor, no problems starting, no problem with seat clearance, and when she doesn't feel like riding and my butt is sore from the WR, I can still smoke folks on the trails.

Happy Motoring.....


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