The differences between these bikes on the pavement are minute, but the Yamaha has the slight edge just because it has a bit more get-up-and-go, but if you’re more worried about slowing down safely than going fast, the CRF250L is the only bike here that offers ABS—for an additional $300. I don't want to hog your question over there. A few similarities (and differences) between the bikes will be noted, but this isn't a full-on KLX300R vs. CRF250F vs. WR250F article. It’s now $5,149. I have been posting a lot on this topic lately on various forums.
The 2020 KLX300R is being marketed as a bike that bridges the gap between a weekend play bike and a full-on race bike and that's a good description. The WR250F has the high speed damping adjustment, I wonder if any of those damping kits will fit a KLX so it would have that too. The number-one reason being suspension. This bike had a lot going for it. They could easily take out 8 pounds if they tried. The KLX300R is the largest adult-size beginner dirt bike and has some features that the other beginner bikes don't have. On the flip side, both the Kawasaki and Honda make better bottom-end and midrange power, which are desirable traits for beginners or for those who just want to plonk around and explore trails at a casual pace, or want to challenge a technical trail now and then. I don't do mx, just trails. There are a lot of variables. It also has petal-style disc brakes, generous 11.2 inches of ground clearance, sturdy engine guards, a large and informative meter and a claimed ready-to-ride weight of 298 pounds. None of them, however, are rocket ships, that’s pretty much a given with these bikes, but the Yamaha moves along pretty good for what it is. The KLX300R has the largest engine (292cc) in the beginner bike class and is the only bike that has a DOHC engine. Has anyone had the fortune to ride both the klx300 and yz250f? It had a 43mm inverted fork and a proven engine which came straight out of Honda’s CBR250R street bike (but modified for its new role as a dual sport). People also swap out the CV carb on the KLX so it will be more snappy, I never tried that either but I bet it works.
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. All three bikes, especially the Yamaha, would be better off with lower final drive gearing for riding on dirt. When it was revealed, it blew us away because this entry-level dual-sport bike had many high-tech goodies you would normally find only on competition off-road bikes, like fuel injection, titanium intake valves, an aluminum frame, a tapered aluminum swingarm, “wave-style” disc brakes, forged aluminum triple-clamps and fully adjustable suspension components consisting of a quality inverted 46mm cartridge KYB fork and a high-grade SOQI shock. The 2018 Yamaha WR250R returns much like it was 10 years ago but with an inflated price tag of $6699.
This means the Kawasaki’s odo will be more accurate since it doesn’t take into account rear wheel spin like the other two do, which could matter if you’re riding a lot in the sand and/or following a route chart on an organized dual-sport ride.
Honda also started offering ABS as an option with the ’17 model. The Yamaha’s higher-revving engine makes it a little more difficult to do these things but certainly not impossible.
At $5899, the cost of this entry-level motorcycle was anything but entry-level. However, a true beginner or first-time rider won’t complain at all but will instead enjoy the Honda’s ultra-cushy ride and low seat height, by far the lowest of the three. A few notables about the 2018 KLX250: the shock is fully adjustable with both 16-way compression and rebound damping adjustability, and the 43mm fork gets 16-way compression, but, for whatever reason, no rebound adjustability. But for taller riders, of course, that might not be an issue. The rear travel on the CRF250F is 9" and the WR250F rear travel is 12.5", so the 300R once again falls (roughly) midway between the two bikes. All rights reserved. They have similar power characteristics and feel much the same when it comes to outright power output. Fun is also a big factor, and keeping up is part of the fun too, but I think the KLX suits me better.
KLX300R features: The KLX300R is the largest adult-size beginner dirt bike and has some features that the other beginner bikes don't have. Personally I like the motor on the KLX better.
The Honda lags a bit in the suspension department, but that is only a concern for the more experienced rider who will complain that the CRF’s fork and shock are way too soft and bottom easily; it has the least amount of front-wheel travel of the three bikes and just slightly more rear-wheel travel than the Kawasaki.
Gary Johnson Joins RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki Team for 2018 TT Campaign. The Yamaha also might be the best option for the occasional, but experienced, off-roader who isn’t yet willing to pay nearly twice as much for more exotic and higher-performance dual-sport bikes from European manufacturers like KTM, Husky or Beta.
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