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red7

WR250 or WR450, which would be best for my scenario?

18 posts in this topic

I'm glad I stumbled across this forum as there's so much great info. I have been riding street bikes (roadstar) for a while but want to get a dirt bike for trails and exploring the beaches. I'm 33 years old, 6' tall and 185 lbs. My wife and I are retiring and moving to Mazatlan, Mexico later this year so I'm selling my show bike Roadstar and am wanting to get a dirt bike.

Most of the year I'll be cruising around the beaches or back roads exploring new surf spots but we'll be back during the hot summers so I'll be riding in the mountains around Mammoth and Lake Tahoe, CA. I'll probably also be buzzing around the streets in Mazatlan quite a bit which is a lot of stop and go traffic during tourist season.

I have very little experience on dirt bikes and am wondering if the 250 would be my best bet but I'd like to get some feedback from you guys. I'll also post this in the 450 forum to see what they have to say.

Thanks in advance!

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you are gonna get different answers from different people...but my personal opinion on the matter...having owned BOTH a 2004 wr250, AND a 2004 wr450 is...

im a much better rider on the 450. I feel like it does everything better...i spent a ton of money trying to get the power i needed out of the 250, and finally just sold it, and got the 450...FINALLY, the power i had been looking for all along.

One of the things that finally pushed me over the edge, was a mountain ride in utah...start at 5000 feet, end up at 10,000 feet...the 250 is SAPPED for power...when the air gets thin, and the 250 has half the power...it can get you into trouble..as it did me.

all of my friends with 4XX bikes still had plenty of power...and had no problems...

after that trip, i had made up my mind, that i needed a big bore bike. Ive never looked back...even after hopping back on my 250...its a great bike, no doubt...but REALLY felt anemic in comparison.

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It's sounds like your riding is going to be wide open spaces and the 450 is your only choice. The only place the 250 out shines the 450 is in technical single track where weight and horse power is a hindrance.

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I'm the same sixe and wt, IMO you'll quickly out ride the 250. The 450 is what you want.

But neither come fitted with buddy pegs. If you plan to tool around with you wife this may not be the bike even if it does have more hp than other similar dual sports.

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It sounds like the 450 is the way to go. I was worried that it would be too much bike for given that I don't have much experience on the dirt or sand.

I'm going to get my wife a quad so I don't have to worry about her riding on back.

With the off-road tires, how will this bike do cruising around town. I ask because I had thought about getting a scooter for putting around on but I'd rather save my money (and space in my garage) if this will do fine on pavement. Some of the roads down there are like being offroad with their A-frame speed bumps. I don't mind if I have to replace the tires every so often I just don't want the knobbys to be too sketchy on the street. Would there be a compromise tire that would be better on the beach (really fine, hard packed sand) and also better on the street but that would still hold it's own on the trails. It will be mostly streets and beaches with just occasional dirt riding for now.

Does it sound like the WR450f is still the bike for me or is there something better suited for my scenario? During the summers I'll bring the bike back to the states where I'll be doing some trail riding.

Also, are these street legal out of the box? What do I have to do to make them street legal? The laws are way more relaxed South of the border.

Thanks!

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I don't know if they are street legal in Mexico. They are not in the US. To do so you need to install a dual sport kit and hope your state permits it.

If you can street ride it its still the bike you want...... The stock tires are non DOT for the states.

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What does a dual sport kit consist of, what does it cost and how much weight would it add? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need it in Mexico as I'll see a family of 5 cruising down the street on an old enduro and tourists driving through town on quads.

Since there is tons of salt in the air, I'm considering buying a used one knowing that whatever I get will age faster than if I wasn't living right on the beach. How much of a crap shoot is it to buy a used one of these? What should I be looking for in a used one? I imagine one that is totally modified and beefed up for racing will be an obvious sign that it's been used agressively but I see a lot of them for sale that are stock and the seller says it's just been lightly used by an older guy. What should I look for to try and find out if they are telling the truth? Or, are these not built to last that long and am I foolish for considering buying a second hand bike?

Thanks, you guys are awesome!

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no way...the wr's on the second hand market have a TON of life left in them.

assuming they have had decent upkeep, they more or less wear like iron.

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What does a dual sport kit consist of, what does it cost and how much weight would it add? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need it in Mexico as I'll see a family of 5 cruising down the street on an old enduro and tourists driving through town on quads.

Since there is tons of salt in the air, I'm considering buying a used one knowing that whatever I get will age faster than if I wasn't living right on the beach. How much of a crap shoot is it to buy a used one of these? What should I be looking for in a used one? I imagine one that is totally modified and beefed up for racing will be an obvious sign that it's been used agressively but I see a lot of them for sale that are stock and the seller says it's just been lightly used by an older guy. What should I look for to try and find out if they are telling the truth? Or, are these not built to last that long and am I foolish for considering buying a second hand bike?

Thanks, you guys are awesome!

These guys have the best DS kits IMO http://trickdualsport.com Give them a call. I know the laws are VERY lax in AZ, I don't think you even need blinkers.

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I know these things get upgraded each year....what's the oldest I should look at. For instance, is a 2006 way better than an 2004 or 2002? What are the real benefits and how much could I modify an older one without spending a ton so that it has the bells and whistles of the new ones. Only the real pertinent upgrades apply if there are any.

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03/04 got all the major upgrades...the 05/06 bikes did not (in my opinion) get any major upgrades.

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I know these things get upgraded each year....what's the oldest I should look at. For instance, is a 2006 way better than an 2004 or 2002? What are the real benefits and how much could I modify an older one without spending a ton so that it has the bells and whistles of the new ones. Only the real pertinent upgrades apply if there are any.

There are guys who ride a wr400 a love them and yes in 03 they picked up some upgrades (which include electric start) but IMO the 02 wr426 was one of the best models built to date for the type of riding you plan on doing.

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How many miles is a lot of mile on these bikes. Is there kind of an average time when the engines need to be overhauled? How much does that cost by the way? I found a 2004 that has 1100 miles and is going for $3000. The guy says it's in great condition but it's tough to tell from a photo. It's street legal with blinkers which is cool.

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Yeah, I thought so too. Probably why it was gone when I called the guy. Oh well, I've still got a lot more reading to do on this forum to educate myself so I have a little idea what I'm looking for.

Where can I find out about other tire options for this bike. I've been told the stock tires wouldn't be that great in the sand and I know I'll be driving it a lot on the streets so I'd like to find something a little better for my situation.

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Yeah, I thought so too. Probably why it was gone when I called the guy. Oh well, I've still got a lot more reading to do on this forum to educate myself so I have a little idea what I'm looking for.

Where can I find out about other tire options for this bike. I've been told the stock tires wouldn't be that great in the sand and I know I'll be driving it a lot on the streets so I'd like to find something a little better for my situation.

Just get some DOT approved offroad tires, and be done with it.

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If the dealer installs the kit to make it legal they submit it to the DMV and you got a Plated 450 in California, you can do it yourself but will have to jump through hoops

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If the bike is registered in Arizona but I take it over to California, will they hassle me if things aren't up to Cali codes or do they give you a break if you're visiting?

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