We have a CRF250L (my wife's) and a WR250R (mine) also, but I don't think the difference is quite what ggamster is posting and like everything it really comes down to personal opinion. Honestly, I think the engine on the CRF is sweet and Honda did a great job with that motor making it so smooth and quiet. It's got a nice broad power band where the WRR seems to be more focused in the upper rev range. Now the WRR, does pull better on the top end, but the CRF definitely has the edge on the lower grunt and a broader power band.
I'm curious ggamster, but do you think the fact you lowered the CRF so much is leading to the poor handling? I'd have to go back and re-read what you did, but I remember you dropping the rear pretty significantly so your wife could touch? My wife is 5'4"/115lbs so she wasn't squatting the bike much on the stock suspension. She tried riding it stock with just the low SC seat, but she was still to high on her toes to feel comfortable. I was very hesitant about doing the lowering link or re-drilling the shock mount as both appeared to drop the rear of the bike much more then you could ever drop the front to compensate so you would end up with a very poor handling bike with a raked out front end. We dropped the rear preload down so it started to squat for her and then dropped the forks so that the bottom triple clamp was even right where the fork starts to get smaller in diameter. This is basically about as far as you can drop the front forks safely. IMOP, this almost seems like the front still isn't low enough and all we did was the lower the preload so I couldn't imagine actually dropping the rear a good 1 3/4 or even more. There's just no way you can drop the front to match that. According to my wife, the bike is handling great and she's very happy with it. She's starting to get comfortable with the extra height and weight over the XT, so that's good too, but she's really loving the extra power of the CRF and how she can roll on and have power there and roll off and have some good engine breaking.
Now for me at 6'4"/250lbs, and a more aggressive rider, the WRR is the bike for me. It's obviously much taller, so it fits me better, but besides that the more aggressive motor fits my riding style better. I don't think the CRF is a bad bike, but the seat to foot peg height is very short for a tall rider and I do think the WRR comes away way better suspended. I still think the CRF motor is a little gem though that Honda did a wonderful job with. Its kind of minor, but the gauge cluster design on the CRF is way nicer and the overall more "modern" look of the CRF is better. However, the CRF parts are definitely cheaper made and its proven that it tends to break stuff when my wife falls over on it. Good thing, replacement parts have turned out to be pretty cheap too.
BTW, my wife has actually rode my WRR too. She can dab a toe on one side with the way its setup, but even riding my bike, she still prefers the CRF overall for herself. She loves the motor on her CRF and in the short time she's been riding it, I've seen her skills increase quite a bit from her XT225. IMOP, the CRF just doesn't lead its self to be a well handling bike when its lowered, especially with the lowering link or the re-drilling of the shock mount. There just is no way to compensate for the front end to get it low enough. I think we have ours okay with the lower preload on the rear and the front dopped a bit, but it looks like if you really want a properly lowered CRF, you need to modify the internals of the suspension and end up with a bike setup for your weight with an even ride height front to rear. If my wife continues to grow on this bike and enjoy it, that's probably what we'll do to her's so she has a CRF that fits her and handles as well as it can.
BlueLghtning screwed with this post 04-23-2013 at 10:10 AM