WR versus KDX220R

15 replies to this topic
  • oticoyote

Posted September 20, 2003 - 04:16 AM


I am planning to buy an off-road bike for aggressive trail riding. I would consider myself an intermediate-level rider. The territory I ride in is rocky and speeds vary from 1st gear rock beds to fire roads. I want a bike that can take what I can dish out. Should I buy a KDX220R or a WR250/450 (I would lean toward the 450 if I buy the Yamaha)? Also, I can get a great deal on a 2003 KX250 but I think that it might be a bit much for the slow sections. Thoughts? :)

  • chicken

Posted September 20, 2003 - 05:29 AM


I have a '03 WR250 and it works great in tight stuff to fast fireroads. I had to spend a few $$$ to open it up but in the end I am stoked with the bike. I considered the KDX and the WR too.The WR was the best choice for me and the most expensive. The 450 was a little much in the tight stuff. I found the 250 to be the best of all worlds. A few simple mods, most free made all of the difference. The money I put into the bike was the YZF cam, GYRT insert, and throttle limiter screw. I race hare scrambles and enduros and the bike rocks. It is my first Yamaha and I am very impressed. Good luck with your search.

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted September 20, 2003 - 07:33 PM


The KDX will do better in the tight nasty stuff without question. The WR 450 shines more in the open and is very fast. As for the 250 they are more nimble than the 450 but the power is high in the RPMs. Where the KDX signs off the WR starts to shine. If you go with th KDX the 200 is a better ride and has more top end than the 220. The WR's are a bit fragile. Many I know including me have dented their pipe and bent/opend seams in radiator, divets in swingarm... Plan on lots of aftermarket protection with a WR. My TT shows less wear after 18 years. Might want to check out a KTM 200.

  • Optik

Posted September 20, 2003 - 08:24 PM


Personally, I don't think the kdx will do better anywhere. I used to have one and my 2001 yz250f is so much better it's unreal. The ONLY place the kdx is better is on trails where you're having to stop constantly to wiggle your bars through the trees because it's so tight. The suspension on the Yamahas is in another league compared to the kdx, same with the egronomics and handling. If you think the 450 is too much, get a 250 then put a pipe and yz cam on it. You won't be disappointed with it, trust me. Even the 250 has more power than the KDX everywhere.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted September 21, 2003 - 02:09 PM


KTM makes a great 200cc trail machine.. The KTM200EXC. If I were to ride tight trails I would get the bike myself.. I've heard they handle great on trails and have enough power when the trail opens up. I would never consider riding one for open desert situations (where I live) but from what you've described I would take a look at the little KTM.. I have friends that have them and they love em'.

Good luck.. :)

  • Jetster220

Posted September 21, 2003 - 03:53 PM


I would say get the WR250f or a KTM200 or maybe even a GasGas200. The KDX is a great bike but they just dont like to be pushed to much.

  • Bamster

Posted September 21, 2003 - 04:01 PM


I have a WR 400 that I wish was a WR 250 or KTM 200.
I ride a lot of tight single track and the big 400 beats me up.

  • Math

Posted September 22, 2003 - 12:04 PM


I sold my kdx200 last year and bought my 426.

To me, a kdx is a good old thing from the past like air-cooled XRs are. They are bullet proof, easy to ride and it is true that a KDX is wonderfull in really thight woods or technical hill climbing.

That said, I will never buy one of these machines again. The reason is simple. You will easily find bikes that have better suspension, better ergos, better power, et cetera.

I think that you should remove the KDX from your options. If you want a two stroker that holds goog tight stuff: get the KTM 200 EXC. The more this bike finds owners, the more it becomes a reference.

If you get a WR, whatever it is a 250 or a 4xx, prepare yourself to ride aggresively. The bike does not allow you to easy go when difficulties come. My WR does not like me when I take the time to check if the drop is too low or if that dead three is too high or if that bump is too hard or if that mud hole is too deep. With a WR you have to calculate that the bike will reward you if you take the risk and ride aggressively: it is a totally different ride with a KDX. With the WR, you face a drop: jump into it! You face a dead three: pump a wheelie! You see a bump: jump over it! Mud hole: Gas!. That is a bike on which I learn to become more aggresive at riding and makes me become faster.

You will improve much more on a WR than on a KDX.

Hope that helps.

Give us some news when you have your new bike :)

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  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted September 22, 2003 - 01:29 PM


You dont want the KX 250, not for what you are doing. I bought a brand new KDX 220 on 01 and I now own a 2001 WR 426, the KDX 220 is a better tight woods trail bike. Its got good low end tourque just like a thumper, easier to start, in fact, I've even started it with my hand, but the new WR's are estart too. But I do love the WR 426, its a powerhouse. I'm between intermediate and pro racer, basically, better than intermidiate, but now way a racer. Some will tell you the KDX 200 has more power, its a little higher strung, needs some more RPM's, the KDX 220 was designed specificaly for low end, low speed trails, but in the open, it did OK. The carb is smaller (33mm for 220 while the 200 has 35MM) I think you should try each, I know the KDX 220 will be easier to ride, but you may want the WR 450 also for the gobs of power. KDX was also light, ie 223 lbs dry. I think my WR is about 249 or something close. This is a tough call, I know, I have owned both! :)

  • oldbones

Posted September 22, 2003 - 01:38 PM


OK, percentage wise, how much time will you spend on trails vs. fire roads? If it's more than 60-70% trails, buy the WR 250, you won't regret it. If it's more like 50% or more fire roads, then you want the 450 (or a used 426), the extra power is too much fun WHEN you can open it up. I think the 250 is quicker in the woods.

  • mikeolichney

Posted September 22, 2003 - 03:33 PM


When you say intermediate trail rider, I think B enduro rider (AA=pro, A=expert, B=intermediate, C=novice, D=beginner). If so, you don't want a KDX unless money is a big issue or unless you are very short.

I have a 01WR250F, 01YZ250F and a KDX200. Under race (HS) conditions, pitting the KDX against a WR or YZ is no contest. The KDX needs a pipe to wake it up (mine has an FMF) but it still only has one eye open compared to the WR (with the free mods and 03 YZcam). The suspension on the KDX is out of the stone age. With the stock suspension, it will endo on the first set of sand whoops you hit at speed. The KDX ergos are horrible (well to be fair my WR has YZ style seat and tank, stock 01-02 WR ergos are also bad).

The KDX is a great trail bike for beginners, or as a buddy bike, and are good for the inseam challenged. They are really reliable, very forgiving, and inexpensive. But they are not performance machines with the latest technology like the YZ/WRs. The KDX hasn't changed since 1996!

I have a friend who trail rides his KDX very fast, but he lusts after a WR (too broke to upgrade). I know some people like Jeff Fredette make racers out of them, but after you fork over the thousands of dollars it takes to do that, you might as well have bought a WR (or 200EXC, if you like small bore 2 strokes).

Both my YZ and WR have to be out of commission before I even think of riding the KDX. Which is what may happen to me this weekend, if my parts don't get here in the mail. Its an ugly prospect for me.

  • oticoyote

Posted September 22, 2003 - 03:41 PM


Thanks for all of the advice. Sounds like I should look for the best price on a WR.(No KTM dealer in my area). Anybody have any comments on the KLX300? :)

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted September 22, 2003 - 04:21 PM


KLX 300 is an underpowered pig! If you want a KLX, then get the KLX 400/DRZ 400, better bike! :)

  • Optik

Posted September 22, 2003 - 05:09 PM


When you say intermediate trail rider, I think B enduro rider (AA=pro, A=expert, B=intermediate, C=novice, D=beginner). If so, you don't want a KDX unless money is a big issue or unless you are very short.

I agree, big difference between a B-intermediate and someone who rode a few years ago and is getting back into it. When I got back into riding (I stopped for about 5 years), I figured "I know how to ride okay, I'm no beginner". BIG mistake. I entered a race in the C class and finished second last. It's taken me two years since that and I still probably wouldn't place in the C class although I would do a lot better.

  • ^SQUID^_Thumper

Posted September 22, 2003 - 09:50 PM


I always get a chuckle whenever I hear rider's bad mouthing the venerable KDX 220. Personally, I don't care much for 2 strokes. But, for the money, the KDX 220 has to be one of the best bargains/bang for your buck dirt bike on the market today. They may not be very trendy or glamorous, but what a great trail bike. Plush suspension, nice soft seat, nimble handling and bullet proof reliablility. I have a riding buddy that has one. He has 25 years of riding experience, and is wicked fast on his completely stock KDX.

  • WR450

Posted September 22, 2003 - 10:40 PM


There is no comparison between the WR and KDX
The KDX is 10year old technology (if not older)the front suspension is non existent.
The KDX is a great bike for first time riders.

And I have owned both

Good Luck


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