WR250F in muddy New England - ride report (long)

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May 4, 2000
New England has different requirements of a motorcycle than most of this country. Power can be your enemy in mud, snow and really tight trails.

The WR250F excelled here! ...even for my 230lb in gear, soaking wet (normal riding condition) body. First let me say that I was coming off of a dual sport DRZ from last year. It was the WR250F's light weight that attracted me to it - and I think they are going to sell a lot of them here.

I spent Friday getting used to the new ride alone then hooked up with the Chicken Wrist Racing crew for a powerline mud blast on Saturday. CWR has gotten a few new bikes this year - they used to all ride KDXs (awesome New England 2-stroke) but now JCV rides a KTM250E/XC and Ratmloud has a fully woods converted KX250. ...I'm no longer the "oddball" in this crowd!

Take a look at JCV's ride report at: http://dirtrider.net/ubb2/Forum28/HTML/001998.html

I spent the day trying to stay with JCV who was leading - I was never able to do this for long before but this time I was finding it much easier! In fact, except for when it opened up, I kept the WR buzzing in his ear most of the day! I know they say it is only 5% bike 95% rider - but I feel like I am riding 100% better already.

Miles ahead of the DRZ! I used to fear puddles that I could not see to the bottom - not anymore! The forks absorbed huge hits and only deflected the bike minimally! I was so impressed and confident that I actually started totally enjoying hitting a big mudpit - I would even hope for a large water crossing as part of it. IT JUMPS TOO!!!!! ...I hit every one I could find.

I got to do the math - but it feels like it has the same power to weight ratio as my DRZ-400S did. I believe there was even more torque available down low (~2000RPM) than the DRZ had. I only stalled it once in 60 miles! It took me a while before I could even find a place to open it up and break the sound barrier ;) Man am I happy with it.

While showing it off, it was 5 or 6 kicks to light it up cold (I had been doing better.) When I would shut it off - then start it hot it was pretty much one kick every time - no hot-start needed. When I stalled it, I had to kick through the big squirt of gas I gave it as it stalled. Then 5 or 6 kicks w/ the hot-start then lit it up. Not optimal, but nowhere near the horror stories I have heard about.

Well, my mid-ride observation summed it up best: Many of the guys were complaining about soreness & fatigue as I had felt on last years first ride - but I felt great! I felt as though I could ride all day and not get sore. This was clearly not true as I was plenty sore the next day - but I was riding faster and feeling less fatigue none-the-less. This surely is a do-everything kind of bike - consider me one happy camper!

- Sean Phillips

(needs a new screenname, and sig...)
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