Just a quick little background on my riding just in case there is somebody in a similar situation out there who can relate to it. I started out riding mx bikes when I was still just a kid and they will always be my true love as far as motorcycles go, but life gets in the way and I just don't have enough free time to be loading up a MX bike, driving to a riding area, riding for a couple hours, then loading everything back up, driving home, and unloading everything again. I needed a dual sport.

After contemplating exactly how I would be riding, I went with a KLR because I figured even though the woods is where I want to be, it would see commuting duty more than anything else. My options were limited a couple years ago as far as dual sports go and the KLR won out. I will say it makes a great commuter. The problem is that it's a pig in the woods. I make due, but have been constantly looking at other options.

Everybody complains about the weight of the DRZ400S.

The new street legal KTM EXC's aren't really cut out for real street duty due to no cush drive, no radiator fan, short maintenance intervals, etc, etc. They're more like plated dirt bikes.

The KLX250S has 18hp. 'nuff said.

I could plate a regular dirt bike like a WR_F, but you run into the same non-street friendly and maintenance issues you get with the EXC's.

Enter the WR250R. Has some hp on paper, street bike type maintenance schedules, and weighs less than the DRZ. Highfive steps up to the plate, buys one, then calls me to come over and help him test it out. Is it everything we think it should be? Let's find out…

First up is the road test. To be honest, I wasn't expecting all that much as far as handling goes and even less from the "little 250" motor. How wrong I was. I had just climbed off my KLR and onto the WRR, so I will say that contrary to the ~30hp numbers I've heard people getting out of it, it felt slower than the KLR just about everywhere. Now it isn't down by much, but I definitely felt a difference.

The biggest surprise, however, was the handling. Wow Beats the KLR hands down. This little thing just sticks to the road. Formula 1 car type sticks to the road. Completely solid, planted, maneuverable, and brakes that actually work . . . unlike the mushy KLR brakes

HF can attest to my inability to keep a throttle off the stop, but he asked me to keep 'er below 70 on my road test because the bike was still brand new. It took a lot of restraint, but I managed to abide by his "rules" and didn't wind it out completely, but 70 was just as planted and stable as 40 was. It had no problem getting up there, either. I wasn't in any danger of getting my arms ripped off, but it was surprisingly willing to get up to cruising speed. Especially for "just" a 250.

Road test passed. I loved it, but that's only 1/3rd of the equation. MX track fun and single track tests to come…

Next Up: On the Road 2