Honda XR vs Yamaha XT vs ???

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#1
Which is the best bike of the 4 stroke. I am looking for yera 1983-1988. Probably a 250 or 350. I was thinking of the Honda XR250 or the '85 XR350. Anyway I came across a Yamaha XT250L. How does this compare. Also what are you opinions on the best older 4 stroke in the 250-400 range. I want something that will get me up and down trails/hills, basically just to tool around on. I will try to make it street legal as well to take it the 3 miles I have to drive to work. I plan on spending between $900-$1300 (I know I'm a tight a$$, I just haven't ridden for about 5 years and want to get back into it before I turn a quarter-century old) Suggestions?
 
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#2
Hey,
I'm not sure, but I think the XT250L is more of a street legal bike. However, Honda also made a street legal from the factory XL250. The XR's would be much better in the woods though. Very reliable, durable, with alot of smooth low end torque to get you anywhere you want. I would go with an XR250, or a real nice 350 if I could find one. Good luck.
 
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#3
Look at the XR250R or XR350R, if you can get the 350, get it, the more power is nice. It would be better to get the R version and get a street legal kit, but the XLs or XRLs are good too. Happy searching.
 
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#4
You need to really consider if you plan on road riding more than you think you will initially . If you think you might, you need to get at least a 400. I was in the same position a couple years ago. I road some early 90's xr 250's, xt350's and a couple others. I ended up buying an 86 TT350, basically a dirt version XT., larger suspension, lower gearing, plastic tank etc. I have done a street conversion including 17/44 sprockets because I enjoy riding it on the road more than I realized I might when I was looking. Great bike. And I have around $1000 in it. Of the bikes you mentioned, any of the 250's will probably get boring to you if you have any dirt riding experience. If you think you might end up road riding skip the 250-400cc and look at 600-650. Good luck.
 
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#5
XR and TT are comparable

So the Yamaha XT wouldn't be the same as the Honda XR? It is the Yamaha TT that is closer in style to the XR? Thanks for all your reponses thus far.
 
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#6
That is correct. A TT will have knobbies trail head\tail light (not DOT), larger front forks than XT, lower gearing etc. Motor is the same in XT\TT 350, solid. TT is more dirt worthy but if you must ride to get to your trails go with XT, will save you the hassle of dualsport converting , which I guess is real headache in CA?? Mid 80's- early 90's model XT's are plentiful on the market and finding parts should not be a problem as the 350's are still being made (just not marketed to USA). You should be able to find an XT in good shape for what you said you are willing to spend. I can't offer any advice on XR although I think Honda might have made a 400 street legal model???
 
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#7
Nope, Honda never did a street/trail 400cc dualsport.
(not in the U.S. anyways) :(
The closest they came was the mid eighties XL350R and the mid seventies CL450K series.
Also, the XL series was just a slightly detuned, slightly heavier lighter suspended XR. (those problems can be easily remedied by the way).
What it's goint to come down too (when picking out your bike) is:
Do you want light weight (flickability) and mediocre power? (250cc)
Or do you want tons of tourque and some extra weight to throw around? (400+ccs)
When i got back into the sport (aftera 10 year absence) i was looking for a 250 / 350cc machine to use in the tight Pa. woods.
I found a 500cc thumper that was too good of a deal to pass by. (XL500R)
So i snatched it up.
Did i regret it? Not one bit! In fact i still have it, and ride it almost every weekend.
Ive bought and sold quite a few bikes since then (2 and 4 stroke) but the 500 is definatly a keeper.
:D
In the end though, it all comes down to user prefference.
Some preffer light weight.
Some (like me) are tourque junkies.
I think Carrol Shelby put it into perspective when he built the legendary 427 Cobra:
"Too much horsepower still just isn't enough."
Just MHO.
:p :p

PS: dirtbikeoh, 17 / 44 gearing??? yeesh! and i thought my 500 was geared high!! (14 / 43)