Originally Posted by strongbad
The folks who have ridden both machines seem to favor the CRF250L over the KLX, specifically because of the suspension and lower ride height. So far, the most detailed comparison of the two machines on the web is on rideasia.net:
So it seems that many others have a differing opionion. I agree with you about the foolishness of splittling this thread. The other thread had lots of useful information. Now folks interested in the CRF250L have to track two threads. Hopefully the moderators will merge the two.
Yeah, I've seen that "test"...interesting but not really on par with a more objective magazine test. And remember, I'm talking more about potential on these DS bikes. More serious riders...or incessant tinkerers
...rarely leave any bike in stock trim, much less OEM condition DS style bikes. I think I've already stated in other posts that the Honda will be more than adequate for most people who buy any bikes like the Honda, WRR, or KLX. But there is a decently large number of folks buying true DS bikes...not plated race models...who want to stretch these DS bikes to cover a wider variety of riding...even extending to some decently gnarly conditions. Even then, I haven't said you can't ride some decently gnarly terrain on the Honda, but I think from a truly analytical perspective it gives the suspension components on the WRR and KLX that edge I refer to. And to those willing to tweak what comes on these bikes, the WRR and KLX can be revalved to truly deliver some high quality suspension performance. They have cartridge forks and piggyback shocks that are rebuildable, tunable, and capable of on-the-fly adjustments. I'm under the impression that the Honda fork is a ported orifice damper and not cartridge...but that might be clarified later. The Honda's suspension components don't appear to have the delivered performance and certainly not the potential of the two other bikes.
I also have to admit I might have more a skewed result of suspension performance on my KLX because the '06/'07 models were 11". Still, the '09 and later models were just reduced in travel to lower seat height and didn't changed the suspension components in terms of the quality level...same KYB components as before with travel reduction.
What would be mouth-watering for me would be to see the Honda with a 10'-11' Showa or KYB fork and a Showa or KYB piggyback shock to match. While that may sound too far for some, the pages of ADV are full of similarly modded bikes of various kinds with many/most of them being DS style bikes. Just for example, there are quite a few KLX's running around with older KX forks attached...not a hard transition at all. But like I've said several times already, most people who buy any of these DS bikes won't head down a path anywhere close to what I'm describing and will therefore have no issue with any of these bikes or be disappointed. I find it interesting that a small few here would get their shorts in a wad by someone suggesting the "ultimate potential" of the Honda is a little less than the WRR and KLX because of the factors I've laid out here, but I realize opinion covers a great deal of perspective.