2013 250 Dual Sport Motorcycle Shootout Conclusion

MotorcycleUSA Staff | March 18, 2013

Adam Waheed – 33-years-old – 6’0” – 180 pounds: Yamaha WR250R

For me it’s an obvious choice. I would buy the Yamaha. Even though it’s literally thousands more than the Honda or Kawasaki, it’s well worth the extra cost. The WR does everything I need it to. It does wheelies in second gear, you can jump it, and it goes dang near 100 mph yet still delivers over 50 mpg. To me it’s a no brainer. Still I do appreciate what Kawasaki and Honda bring to the table and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending either to other riders. The KLX is a good all-around bike, and if you’re less concerned with outright performance, it is a solid bet. The Honda is definitely more street oriented and smaller rider-friendly. It can handle some off-roading but not to the same level of the others. Still it’s a quality machine and if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a bike then it’s the bike for you.

Ray Gauger – 28-years-old – 6’5” – 180 pounds: Yamaha WR250R

All three of these bikes would make a great commuting and moderate trail machines. But if I had to choose one, it would be the WR250R. It’s the most expensive, but as a taller rider, it’s the only bike in this test that really seems to fit. I’m not much of a tinkerer, so I like the fact that the WR comes pretty well sorted right out of the box. To me, it handles the most like an enduro bike. Any time the trail got gnarly or the speeds increased, the Yamaha felt the most at home. With some bolt-on mods, the Honda and Kawasaki could no doubt be brought up to the blue machine’s pace, but with all things equal, I’d pick the WR250R.

The KLX was comfortable to ride on the street. Its overall ride characteristics are a good balance between the street and dirt.
Versatility and overall rider friendliness played a big part in why Joseph Agustin chose the KLX250S as the dual sport he would choose to buy.

Joseph Agustin – 28-years-old – 6’1” – 170 pounds: Kawasaki KLX250S

Having had barely any experience on the dirt I gravitated toward the Honda due to its lower seat height. Right off the bat I liked it. The motor was smooth, and I felt really confident on it. Then I rode the Kawasaki. It did everything that the Honda did, only better. I still prefer the way the Honda looks, but being a taller guy I just fit better on the Kawasaki. Since it’s only a few hundred dollars more expensive, it’s still affordable. The Yamaha was a little too aggressive for my liking, and I never felt as comfortable on it compared to the Kawi. It’s also way out of my price range.

MotorcycleUSA Staff