I have had a lot of street bikes, however I have had only two dirtbikes. One a Honda XL185S and the other is my XR200R. Are the bigger thumpers easier to climb with? Not including the picking up when falling on hills!:D
I used to climb "mountains" on my '87 XR200! The bigger thumpers will be somewhat easier to get more momentum, but the weight will be an issue. Short, steep hillclimbs are all momentum. Long hillclimbs are all traction. More power, without throttle control, means no traction. Try to pick a good line, and stay smooth and consistent with the throttle. If you let off, you are done. Good luck.
The XR200 is actually a pretty fair hill climber especially if there isn't a lot of room for a run. I've seen my friend's 97 XR 200 climb some hills better than his dad's XR 250. It all depends on the hill. But I haven't found a hill that the 200 couldn't go up.
Actually we had a funny event up in Wyoming with our kids. The girls were using our XR100 to explore trails for potential horse rides...I was trying to impress my middle son by finding tough trails he couldn't keep up with me on....So I was going up a steep, rocky, knarly, single track hill feeling good cause my VOR just was idling up and my kids CR was geared to high so he was fanning the clutch and beating the crap outa that Honda trying to keep up! As we climbed the hill and that CR125 was screaming its guts out and I was feeling pretty proud of myself........we met Jesse, my middle daughter comming DOWN that same hill on the little XR100. Anyone who rides Rocky Mountain single track knows the type of trail I am describing.
Turns out she got ambitious, went all the way UP the mountain..about a 2 mile climb over what looked like a goat trail on the moon scape with trees ...got to the top...realized she was lost and proceeded to RIDE back down that hill. And she found us. I was impressed. You should have seen how fast my middle kid went up that hill second time around! Pride is an amazing thing.
So the moral of the story is that those little 4-strokes geared low enough can climb damn near anything until the traction runs out. :scream:
The bigger one are easier if you have the skills to use them. If you don't they can hurt you.
Little thmpers will go up steep hills extremely well! I own an 2001 xr100r and I went riding with a DRZ400, an XR250, and my dad on his KDX220. I was riding my XR100 and I went up every hill that they went up.
I probably would have got a WR 250 If I did not live and ride in East Pa. Small bikes can climb the rockey stuff very well, but you need HP and good tires to climb the loose Coal silt hills in Pa and the Sand pits in NJ. The big WR 400 is much more forgiving, it allows me to jam into the bottom of the hill, rev up, and if I need to back off the throttle to adjust, I still have the bottom end grunt to work with. If you have to shift your done! You only appreciate the HP when you have to ditch a hill on a bike cause it was in the power band and died out.
If you dont ride BIG sand or coal silt hills, the smaller bikes are great for the rockey stuff. Suspension is the biggist part on the rolling gooners, not power.