ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Thumpers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
Dave003 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Issaquah, WA
Oddometer: 23
Looking for a dual sport

So far I have kind of been split between a KTM 350 EXC-F and a Yamaha WR250R, but Id be open to any other options you guys have. Im new to bikes, and this would be my first bike. Use would include driving to work just about every day, and weekend trip up into the mountains, and possibly some long distance rides here and there.

I live in WA, and looked into the laws a little and it seemed a bit confusing. They have everything to turn a dirt only bike into street legal on there dot page, but then I read that WA is one of the few states that you arent allowed to do it and it has to be street legal/meet some federal road standards or something. So if that is the case, Im not looking for a bike I can make street legal, but is street legal out of the factory.

Now onto the bikes specifically. I have read that KTMs require quite a bit of maintenance, and it is a bit of a turn off to me. I dont have any experience working on bikes, so its a bit intimidating, and the thought of extra cost isnt real pleasing. I live in an apartment atm, so preforming maintenance might be an issue since I have no where to do it. Although, I would probably pick up a storage unit if I got a bike and I could do maintenance there. Anyone have experience if the service intervals suggested by KTM are realistic, or way to cautious? Keep in mind I am not racing it, and beating the crap out of it. Iv read that Yamahas usually require a lot less maintenance which is always a big plus. The part where they take a hit in my eyes is weight. I have also heard a couple people mention stuff about faulty FI that has left them stranded. I have also read that the KTM doesnt have a rear subframe, and the Yamaha does. Since Im new to bikes Im not 100% sure what this all means. Does it allow to pack more on the bike without the fear of snapping off the rear fender?

I know the KTM 350 EXC-F and Yamaha WR250R are in pretty much two different price ranges. So if you have any other options I should look into I would be open to them. I probably wouldnt look into anything with a higher price tag than the KTM. Any input you would have would be greatly appreciated.
Dave003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
OrangeYZ
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
Oddometer: 537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave003 View Post
Use would include driving to work just about every day, and weekend trip up into the mountains, and possibly some long distance rides here and there.
The Yamaha. Or a street bike plus the KTM.
OrangeYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
TNC
Candyass Camper
 
TNC's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Tejas
Oddometer: 4,616
KTM...great bikes for off road with a little pavement necessity thrown in. However, the WR250R sounds like the better candidate for you based on...commute everyday...longer distances rides...apparently some pavement priority...long maintenance intervals.

Maybe a good, clean, used KTM690 would work also. I would also throw in the Honda CRF250L, but it's not quite as good off road as the WRR. I think a KLX250S would be good too, but I think its better potential requires some engine/performance modding to achieve some equality with the WRR.
TNC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
Scott_PDX
Leisure Engineer
 
Scott_PDX's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Portland...the newer one on the left side.
Oddometer: 2,947
I got a WR250R and a KTM 450EXC - with your stated requirements I would DEFINATELY go for the WR over the KTM. The KTM would be better once you get to the mountains and want to ride dirt, but the WR is a better commuting bike and lightweight touring bike.

So are you going to be riding trails and hardcore stuff in the woods? If no, or you aren't sure you might consider a 650 instead. They are better on the hwy, can tour on them and explore the woods. They suck on single track though. There isn't one bike that will do it all well, match the bike to what you'll be riding the majority on. If you got deep pockets you might consider a KTM690 - otherwise maybe a DR650 or KLR650 might be better choices to get you started and figure out how you will be riding it.
__________________
2014 KTM 690R, 2009 KLR650, 2004 KTM 450 EXC, 2000 R1150GS

My MotovLog (Youtube Videos): http://www.youtube.com/user/scottb572/videos

Where Am I via SPOT (Code SCT): http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=719703
Scott_PDX is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
jon_l
Beastly Adventurer
 
jon_l's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Collingwood, Ontario
Oddometer: 2,939
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave003 View Post
So far I have kind of been split between a KTM 350 EXC-F and a Yamaha WR250R, but Id be open to any other options you guys have. Im new to bikes, and this would be my first bike. Use would include driving to work just about every day, and weekend trip up into the mountains, and possibly some long distance rides here and there.
Everything you wrote screams WR250R/X over KTM EXC350. From what I read, the EXC350/500s are amazing bikes, but not for your mission profile.

Better yet, get a used WR250R, KLX250, XT250, Super Sherpa or DR-Z400S and use it to figure out what you really want, without the new bike depreciation penalty.

IMO no first bike should be a new bike. Ride it, drop it, sell it, and make a better-focused choice next time around.
__________________
'09 Honda CBF1000
jon_l is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
Shooter1
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Shooter1's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Oddometer: 450
Better yet, get a used WR250R, KLX250, XT250, Super Sherpa or DR-Z400S and use it to figure out what you really want, without the new bike depreciation penalty.

IMO no first bike should be a new bike. Ride it, drop it, sell it, and make a better-focused choice next time around.[/QUOTE]

That pretty much says it all.
__________________
-Harvey
#1017
'00 FXDX SG Sport, '06 300XCW,
'07 EXC450, '01 640 Lc4E
Shooter1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
everetto
Gnarly Adventurer
 
everetto's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Central New Mexico
Oddometer: 325
Sadly the maintenance requirements of my new KTM 350 EXC will likely preclude me driving it to work regularly. Because it only holds 4 drops of oil you have to change the oil every 5 minutes.

OK, it's not that bad, but now that I have the bike and realize the requirements I won't be riding it to work as a daily driver, in fact I am now going to have to get a road bike.
everetto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
Roland44
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Alaska
Oddometer: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeYZ View Post
The Yamaha. Or a street bike plus the KTM.
+1 on the Yamaha..
Roland44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #9
Falcon86
I just work here.
 
Falcon86's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, VA/Slaty Fork, WV
Oddometer: 1,630
Drz400s
Falcon86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
Off the grid
Chaotic Good
 
Off the grid's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: That buzzing in your earhole, NorCal.
Oddometer: 10,296
Buy a cheap, used, 250 Super Sherpa or similar. You will go through 2-3 bikes anyway before you arrive at your ideal one. Starting from the finish line is not a good idea, especially with bikes like you are suggesting.
__________________
Wedding(s) = $30,000
Divorce(s) = $25,000
2007 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS = Priceless
Help my buddy mike fight kidney Cancer. Anything helps!
Off the grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
TNC
Candyass Camper
 
TNC's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Tejas
Oddometer: 4,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off the grid View Post
Buy a cheap, used, 250 Super Sherpa or similar. You will go through 2-3 bikes anyway before you arrive at your ideal one. Starting from the finish line is not a good idea, especially with bikes like you are suggesting.
C'mon, OTG...don't make the poor fellow suffer through a 250 Super S. There's nothing wrong with cheating the school of hard knocks.

But seriously, I can't help but make another plea for the WRR. I see some very experienced riders who have a pure off road bike that still love the flexibility of the WRR in their stable. And, I see some real greenhorns who love the WRR because it treats them nicely as a street bike but doesn't try to stomp them into a mudhole off road. The WRR is a compromise like most every other motorcycle in one arena or another. The WRR just seems to take less of a hit as an all-arounder compared to many bikes. This coming from a very happy KLX owner. I just think you have to tweak the KLX a little more to get stock WRR performance. Mine is tweaked...a lot.
TNC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #12
PatrickM
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2012
Location: Zephyr Cove, NV
Oddometer: 349
The KTM 350XC (four stroke) is a beautiful machine and in comparing against the Yamaha I'd probably just compare the KTM 300 EXC instead (to keep things closer) Regardless...

The maintenance intervals on the KTM are set for the "racer" in mind. The assumption is that you are at the track (dirt or road) and flogging it. 15 hours is the oil/filter change interval and there is a valve check as well. Realistically, we're talking a completely simplistic oil change with the hardest part being removing the skid plate and filter. Everything on the KTM is made easily accessible because if you keep in mind that if the bike breaks down in the middle of a race, you're going to want to try and tear it down quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave003 View Post
So far I have kind of been split between a KTM 350 EXC-F and a Yamaha WR250R, but Id be open to any other options you guys have. Im new to bikes, and this would be my first bike.
Have you taken the MSF course yet? It can likely save your life. Literally. Seriously take it.

Quote:
Use would include driving to work just about every day, and weekend trip up into the mountains, and possibly some long distance rides here and there.
Not the KTM. Not that the KTM can't do it, but it's a plated dirt bike. You don't have a cush hub so there's worry about the wear on the counter sprocket splines. You're not going to be pushing the limits of the KTM. The seat is not comfortable and the vibes can be problematic. If I picked up the KTM I would have to get a different seat, change out the grips, probably put in vibrantors, change out the tires, get a new rear wheel w/ cush hub, etc. And that's for the city riding. Being a new rider I'd be dropping it in the middle of the woods and potentially loop it into the ground. It's simply an great (not quite awesome, but close enough for Gov't work) dirt bike.

Quote:
Now onto the bikes specifically. I have read that KTMs require quite a bit of maintenance, and it is a bit of a turn off to me. I dont have any experience working on bikes, so its a bit intimidating, and the thought of extra cost isnt real pleasing. ... Anyone have experience if the service intervals suggested by KTM are realistic, or way to cautious? Keep in mind I am not racing it, and beating the crap out of it.
What is great about the KTM is that the owners manual shows you how to do most maintenance (and then some) and there's a wealth of information on how to do the rest (ah the internet). Do not fear the maintenance. Change the oil and filter, lube the chain, grease a few bits and ends and you'll be fine. Again the maintenance schedule was set for the racer in mind.

For a minute understand that 15 hours is the recommended oil change interval and if you're doing a mixture of city/highway then you'll average 30-45 miles per hour. So that's ~550 miles before an oil change. Figure out your commute and how far you think you'll be riding and that may help.

Quote:
I live in an apartment atm, so preforming maintenance might be an issue since I have no where to do it. Although, I would probably pick up a storage unit if I got a bike and I could do maintenance there.
Do it in the carport (if you're allowed) or any parking lot. There's really not a lot that needs to be done to a KTM in terms of maintenance that you need a lot of room or have bits flying around. The required tools are few and far in between anyhow (and fit in something smaller than a shoebox).

Quote:
I've read that Yamahas usually require a lot less maintenance which is always a big plus.
Everything seems to require less maintenance than KTM's :)

Quote:
The part where they take a hit in my eyes is weight. I have also heard a couple people mention stuff about faulty FI that has left them stranded. I have also read that the KTM doesnt have a rear subframe, and the Yamaha does. Since Im new to bikes Im not 100% sure what this all means. Does it allow to pack more on the bike without the fear of snapping off the rear fender?
The KTM is a total blast to ride both in the city and on the dirt. However, it can be a handful. What is great about the KTM FI is that you can get a "mild-stock-wild" switch which can help tame things down, and same thing can happen by playing with the front and rear sprockets (gear it for the top end, and not torque-y down low) to adjust to your riding style. Easy to do.

As to the rear-subframe... There's an extension of aluminum from the middle of the bike to the rear which goes under where a passenger would sit. This normally would allow a passenger or additional weight there. Right now (depending on the size of your bubble butt), the frame ends 6-12" with the rest being a plastic fender. According to another post, another rider put a 200lb hiker on the bike of his w/o ill effect, and people frequently put 40-50lbs of stuff back there (camping gear) but it is not something I personally feel comfortable with right now personally.

Remember, it's a bike not a SUV. You're packing for the adventure and not the girlfriend (unless you are the girlfriend).

Quote:
I know the KTM 350 EXC-F and Yamaha WR250R are in pretty much two different price ranges. So if you have any other options I should look into I would be open to them. I probably wouldnt look into anything with a higher price tag than the KTM. Any input you would have would be greatly appreciated.
When I was looking for a light weight dual sport, the Yamaha was high up there on my list (maintenance, wide-ratio, etc.) with the weight being the primary turn off.

The KTM is pricey, you'll find cheaper for your purpose by NOT buying a KTM, even with the 2013 models being discounted.

I would consider stepping up in class (500-650 engine) for a more street oriented ride which will allow you a more comfortable ride at highway speed (e.g. the Husky TR650 Terra/Strada) and allow you a bit of adventure w/o sacrifice.

If you do get more adventurous and desirous of dirt, then a KTM would make more sense.
PatrickM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #13
TexaNate
Gnarly Adventurer
 
TexaNate's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: North Houston
Oddometer: 389
Having owned a KTM 450 EXC, I currently ride a WR250R and occasionally a CRF250L.

The 350 EXC is a fantastic race bike with plates. You need to enjoy working on bikes (preferably with some experience) or you'll just end up frustrated. Frequent oil changes (no big deal), air filter cleanings (no problem) and valve checks (not something you want to do 300 miles into owning your first bike) - and that's just assuming nothing goes wrong.

The WR250R will be more bike than you will need to start out (and this is a good thing). It is an outstanding value used and it will slowly introduce you to motorcycle maintenance. Try to get one with an FMF Power Programmer and an aftermarket exhaust. Those (coupled with some airbox mods - don't worry, we'll walk you through them) turn it into a pretty formidably fast dual-sport.

The CRF250L is shorter, plusher, friendlier and a bit cheaper new than the WR250R - but it's harder to find used ones since it's new for last year and it doesn't have the off-road bite that the WR has. If you're a bit short and you want to put your feet down a lot to stabilize, the CRF might be the better choice.

But for your first bike, just get whatever you can get a good deal on.

Enjoy it!
__________________
2014 690 Enduro R
TexaNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
Adv Grifter
on the road o'dreams
 
Adv Grifter's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
Oddometer: 6,128
For a first bike EVER ... I'd avoid the KTM race bike. You can work up to that. Do you want to go trail riding? Have you ever been trail riding? Sounds like NOT. Baby steps mate.
I'd start out on cheap, low maintenance dual sport bike that is simple, reliable and very easy to work on and easy to ride on highway and off road.
The Suzuki DRZ400S covers all that fairly well for a beginning rider.

Commuting everyday? The WR250R could do it ... but what a waste of a great little bike.

Try an older Suzuki DRZ400S, ride it for a year ... and see where you are then. You can always trade up, sell off and buy another bike. WR250R is expensive. If you ride off road you will fall over. It will get beat up. Also, a 250 may not be the best commuter and commuting you'll rack up HUGE miles. That WR will get USED UP quickly.

Even the suggested DRZ400S is not great as a commuter, if commute is LONG. For me, I'd pick my bike (naturally!) .. a Suzuki DR650. Much better street bike than either WR or KTM. Cheap and cheerful.

Do get some training, especially for ON ROAD. Motorcycle Safety Foundation course ... for sure. Off road training would be good too. You can start on easy Fire Roads /Forest Service roads and work up from there.

The DRZ400S is bullet proof, has long maintenance intervals and pretty easy to work on. OK for short commute, but if more than 30 minutes each way ... then maybe not so great.

Also consider these other USED bikes:
DR650
KLX250S
Kawasaki Super Sherpa

Lots more options ... go ride a few bikes, see which you prefer.
Take your time, learn to ride. Be safe. Motorcycles are Dangerous.
Adv Grifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 10:04 PM   #15
Low Drag
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Colorado
Oddometer: 19
Not on your list or mentioned thus far a KLR650. It's in your price range.

I use it to commute as well as day trips into the Front Range mountains here in Colorado. It's my very first motorcycle ever and I'm having a ball with it.

I've added a crash bar for those 4 wheel drive trails and a set of Wolfman bags to hold all the junk I take for a day trip as well as a few other parts like off road foot pegs.
Low Drag is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014