So in the middle of my review my computer shuts off and I loose my whole review of last nights rides. Now I have to do it all over again.
I rode both bikes now. I have 125 miles on the WR and 39 miles on the Honda. I took both bikes out back to back over the same little trial coarse I have at the house. This consist of a field with 3" chunks of hard clay. It is one of the roughest things I have ridden. It also includes a large creek crossing, double track, black top, and gravel. The landscape is rolling hills.
I will brake down the positives and negatives of each bike thus far then give my conclusions on the bikes as of now.
Both engines are unique. The WR feels more like a woods bike dirt bike engine but tuned down. You have a lower RPM performance and an upper RPM performance. As the RPMs the power of the engine ramps up. The Honda is different. It sounds like an electric motor and runs like one as well. This is the quietest engine of this displacement I have aaaaahhhh not heard? The power delivery is much more linear. I would call it user friendly. It isn't my style but it will be great for a beginner that could get a bit intimidated by ramping engine out put. The WR feels tough and the Honda feels civil. You can basically not give the Honda any gas and just dump the clutch and the bike will start to go where as the WR will just shut off. At higher speeds the WR's engine is much better. It feels more alive. The Honda has some torque but I just don't feel the horsepower. I will say the Honda seems to pull better at slower speed but I think if ridden hard the WR will walk away, not run but walk away.
Both bikes shift incredibly well. I have no complaints about ether one once underway. However I have noticed almost every stop I came to and put the bike in neutral. When I wanted to go again and tried to put the bike in first, I would have to let the clutch out, pull it back in, then push it down into first. I couldn't ever just pull the clutch in and down shift.
Again there is a big difference in the feel. The Yamaha feels stronger/more subsatantal, like it is tough. The Honda feels "nice". On the clay balls at slow speeds the front of the honda was so smooth. On the road at all speeds the honda was so smooth. Through the creek at slow speeds the honda was so smooth. On the clay slow speeds the Yamaha was a bit ruff. On the road at all speeds the Yamaha was a bit rougher. Through the creek at slow speeds the Yamaha was a bit ruff. Up the speeds a bit and things change. The Yamaha when attacking the terrain is smoother and just feels more planted and ready for more. The Honda kind of felt like "thanks, that was fun, but can we be done with this".
Now much to say here. On road the rear suspension of the honda just rides much smoother. Off-road the rear suspension just...well...SUCKS! The Yamaha is rougher on the small bumps but on anything big is is much nicer. Don't jump the CRF please!
Yamaha brakes worked great when I left the dealership and always perform perfect. The brakes on the Honda when I first took it out for the ride just didn't work. As I have been riding it and working them over they have gotten a little better. I still can't lock up the rear on gravel but it is getting stronger. I don't think they will ever compare however.
No contest. The Honda has this all the way. The display is larger and easier to read. There is a fuel gauge. It look more expensive overall and I just like it better. With that said neither bike has a tach and that drives me nuts. No gear indicator ether. When you are at speed over fifty and you can't hear the engine, you don't have a tach, you don't have a gear indicator, it gets frustrating trying to remember/count your gears all the time. That is going to be on of the things I get for both bikes
This will be somewhat subjective due to size. I am 6'1" and 190lbs so that is what I have to go by. The Honda is much more cramped. I feel all bottled up on the bike. I am sure it would be great for someone a bit shorter just for my long arms and 35" inseam I feel like I am riding a kids bike. My feet are much further forward on the Honda. The seat is much more comfy on the Honda but that stupid strap going over the seat in right on my butt bones. I will be cutting it off but it has horrible placement. I love how the bars are higher in relation to the seat on the Honda. I am always putting risers on my dirt bikes and I don't think I would on the Honda. The Honda overall feels like you are setting in a chair where as the Yamaha feel like you are on a comfortable dirt bike. The Yamaha is in an attack position where as the Honda is in a nice position.
I can't tell much difference. The ergonomics is what I notice much more than the weight. I would like to note that the exhaust can on the Honda is huge. It looks like it weighs 8 lbs more than that of the Yamaha. Also the Honda carries an extra .5 quart of oil. The tail section of the Honda is a monster. If you were to switch out the cans and do a fender eliminator I think the weights would be within five lbs. Even if you don't I don't think you can tell much difference.
I notice the WR feels more planted. It 60mph the Honda has the "Dumb and Dumber" wiggle if you rock side to side shifting your weight or anything. I think lowering the bike of the bike will help this but it can be a bit unnerving.
The Honda is a "nice" bike. Kind of like a pinky up type of lets go ride Margo type of bike. It will get you there. It will be comfy. It will get there cheaply. The WR wants to be ridden more aggressively. If you are a smaller rider and most of what you ride will be street, gravel, fire roads and mild double track. The Honda is your go to bike. If you are tall, conversation is over. You have to get the WR. If you ride hard and are not sure of what you will encounter you have to get the WR. If you want to attack you have to get the WR.