I promptly give my WRR the "modified" Motoman method for break-in. That means I rode the living snot out of it for the next 20 miles! Of course, I reminded myself this was "only a 250" before I started.
It runs up to about 60 mph easy enough, and then you feel like it’s kind of topping out...like there won't be much more left. Then, you keep rolling on throttle and she just gets out a whole new pair of running shoes. I mean this little blue beauty has LEGS! I've had it up to 85 mph indicated (haven't took along my GPS yet) and she was running fine.
Feels surprisingly solid, planted, and stable at 70+ speeds too. Passing semi rigs blow me around more on my KLR than on the WRR. The suspension is REALLY good and holds its line. I'm not kidding when I tell you there is less vibration thru the entire bike, but specifically the bars, at 70 mph than on my KLR. Same for my KLX and DR. Vibration is about equal to my 950 in 6th gear at 65 - 70 mph....which is really smooth.
Its uncanny. How is this accomplished? I'm clueless, and never expected this kind of road manners. I swear that I can corner this bike at a higher speed thru a pair of rural blacktop hairpins than I am comfortable pushing on my KLR, DR, or KLX. I was comfortable at 65 mph on the WRR and think I could easily do more. The bike holds its line perfectly thru the turn. Doesn't fall in or push out. My KLR falls in. My 950 pushes out, if not careful (so much power). The DR and KLX....forget it. 50mph tops on those two bikes in these turns. And that made me nervous as they shake and vibrate much more, and don't feel nearly as "planted" as the WRR in this condition. They're not made for that. But surprisingly, the WRR feels "made for that."
This bike just loves to fly down the pavement. And, I found the stock Bridgestone tires outstandingly smooth and grippy on the blacktop. Love the feel of these tires on the road. Offroad...is another matter. But, if you're primarily going to ride "the roads" stick with the Bridgestones! They’ll do just fine.
So....each time I return from a FUN, wild, urban assault run, I find myself saying, "remember this thing is just a 250!" Its crazy. So far, so very good. Maybe better than what I've read previously described by others in the forums.
WRR: smooth motor, fuel injection started out smooth off bottom when brand new...became "snatchy" off bottom with a little break-in. Otherwise, very smooth and nice elsewhere thru throttle range. The bike has to really warm-up first, or it hesitates and stutters when getting on the gas hard off bottom. Requires more warm-up than all the others. Once up to temp, she is fine.
Gearbox is tightly spaced 1st - 3rd. You take off on the road and have to be a little patient shifting thru the gears. It has LOTS of engine braking! Maybe a large, heavy flywheel. Haven't peeked behind the case yet. But, this is a nice feeling. Crank the throttle hard and the WRR out runs the KLX250 easily. Pulls harder and faster all the way up to 70mph. It’s very deceptive because it’s so quiet. It almost keeps pace with the DR350.
Everybody says "no low end grunt or torque". Hmmm....I can understand their comments. But, I think it’s a bit deceptive. There is more torque here than I have been led to believe. Especially if I feed it some revs with a slip of the clutch. I'm a Trials rider. I always have a finger on the clutch and brake. Only at very bottom in a creepy crawl, do I wonder if it’s going to flame-out. It hasn't yet, but it feels like it will. So, slip some clutch and rev it a bit. She pulls thru great, though definitely not as "torquey" feeling down low as my KLX.
KLX250: 06 model, bone stock except for a FMF Q2 muffler, skid plate, and Pro Taper Bars. I like the KLX. It has lots of low speed torque in 1st and 2nd gear. My boy likes it much better than the DR350 for that reason alone...well, and the modern suspension and frame (more of a “dirt bike” feel). The KLX is a nice bike for plunking around slow, if you don't want to (or don't know how to) use the clutch...meaning slipping it. The KLX is actually decent on the road at 60 - 65 mph. It will run all day long at 70 mph, but you have to hold it to the throttle stop. And, then its reving about 7,000+ rpm. Lots of vibration in the bars down the highway at top speed. So, it’s more fatiguing than both the WRR and DR for a long slab ride. But, he's young and doesn't mind. Though he often says, "I think I'm going to blow the motor." I keep telling him forget it. You won't. It'll run all day long like that. Now, he can't believe how smooth, quiet, and vibration free the WRR is. He wants to ride it more, but I won't let him. Life's hard!
DR350: 99 model, bone stock motor with skid plate and Pro Taper Bars. I bought this at a flea market last spring when the "antlers" caught my eye as I was driving by on the highway. It only had 1,300 miles on it! Paid $1,700. Great value for the money. Silly thing had barely been broken in. So, no mods, no unplugging. I've put about 600 miles of mostly single track on it. For those of you that know Colorado, I thought I could make this my "Rainbow Trail" bike. (This is an important point to remember.)
Anyway, nice legs on highway, easy to ride slow or fast, nice torque and some decent low-end grunt (after I pulled the snorkel). However, the DR feels heavy compared to the KLX and WRR. It can be a bit sluggish to respond to inputs (peg and bar pressure). Again, it’s not bad....this is a COMPARISON to the KLX and WRR. But here's the most important DR point: I'm not comfortable on the bike after a couple of hours of riding! I'm a medium size guy. It should fit me well. But I feel scrunched down in a pocket. Bar to seat to peg position is quite cramped...especially compared to the KLX and WRR. Fatigue factor has become high. I would have to make some serious changes to use this bike day in day out on a long haul. The motor is great. The suspension is good. I'm just too cramped up while riding it. I'm 5' 9" and 175 lbs. What do big guys do on this bike? Again, it’s all relative. I put long hard hours on my dualsport rides. Just keep that in mind.
Every time I get back on the WRR I feel soooo comfortable. Even more comfortable than my KLR. Not sure why folks are complaining about the seat. It feels quite good to me. I've done 2 hours nonstop on it, but not 6 yet. It needs some break-in. But holy smokes...it’s WAY better than my WR450F. That just has a wood plank wrapped in vinyl. That is what has kept me from converting my WR450F to street legal. I wanted to make it my Rainbow Trail bike. But, held off to see what else might pop-up…like this WRR.
Road Summary: I love my KLR on the road. It’s highly modified; suspension and all. Comfort factor is very high. However, I'm starting to think I like the WRR more. And the WRR handles better than any of them! Shockingly, it might be the best handling motorcycle I've ever ridden on the road...all around, looking at every factor across a broad range. I'm not talking motor here, but handling. I just feel "one" with this bike…and so soon! It just has a great feeling. You don't find yourself wrestling it around or overcompensating for anything on the street. It truly is impressive. Not what I expected.Next Up: Krabill--Road Comparison