WR 450F........One stop - "Do it all" machine ?

Ive just today sold my XR400 which i bought late 2012 to try some off-roading (Green laning) here in the UK.

I absolutely loved it, and being quite competative, i now really fancy entering a few Hare and Hounds / Enduros events, and have a go at 'competing' before im even more 'over the hill'. Whilst the XR was great for poodling around on, this time id like something a little faster, a little more modern and something with a magic button to start it with ! Essential late on, in a long race, when your tired and laying on the ground. Again....... :-)

So: I need something road-legal (No problem with this in the UK regarding these bikes ), something that will grow with me as i hopefully progress, something that doesnt have the service intervals / costs of a highly strung race machine like some KTM's (?) - but something i could also dual-sport the 8 miles to work on once in a while if i fancied it.

Im a big chap, and immensley strong with 20 years motorbike experience - but not much of that has been off-road.

Does it sound like the WR 450F is this "Do it all" machine for me, or do i need to look elswhere ?

All advice both good and bad greatly appreciated.

Edited by sevenfourate

I think you are dead on. A WR450 is a great do it all machine as long as the "all" doesn't include MX which, in your case, sounds like it doesn't.

Compared to the XR, they are all higher strung race machines that require more service intervals. That said, the service required isn't as bad as what is posted most the time. KTM's have their little issue's here and there but remember for every issue you read in a post there are thousands that don't have problems at all and that goes for all the manufactures. Yamaha has been running pretty much this same motor for over 12 years and it is well known for reliability. KTM up through 07' had a very good, reliable motor if your looking to buy used.

Never buy a used KTM, unless you are a KTM expert.

I know a hare and hound is an off road event. Is it comparable to hare scrambles here where the event is a two hour mx through the woods rather than a time keeping event like an enduro? What is the cost of a new WR in the UK?

You're going to be close as a do-it-all machine, about as close as you can come but I think to make it streetable still you will compromise the off road machine it is for racing. As a temp thing, yeah, you'll be ok.

I tried to have my 04 be a one and only bike and it lasted all of 2 months. But I ride more than to the store on the street and commuting to work (38 miles) was an exercise in sore asses and hands that vibrated themselves to sleep. And worn out back tires, wheelies and other fun but to make it more comfy street would have compromised off road. I still DS mine, but use it to connect trails or shorter off road treks.


What are the requirements to make road legal where you live? The WR comes with a headlight and a tail light that just glows (no brake light)

In the US, there is a wide variation as to what is needed to make road legal

I lax states like NH and Maine, this will do.

In some states like CT and Mass, you need brake lights, horn, a key switch a kick stand.....a whole bunch of stuff.

Baja Designs makes a well supported Kit that you can install, but its notcheap$450 or so

I went from an XR to a WR. You won't be disapointed. You will have to change the oil more, but otherwise they are pretty bulletproof for a race bike.

If you run the street much make sure you get a cush hub.

Hi sevenfourate

You sound in exact same position as I was back in 2009

I did my first 2 H&H (well AMCA motoduro's) on a DRZ400 in 2009 at the age of 39 after 22 years of road / trackday riding

I too soon discovered that something more powerful and lighter was required if I was to be anything more than a backmarker

I went for a 2008 WR450 with 238miles on it (previous owner hurt his back, and had to give up on doctors orders)

It now has 5500 miles (90% race/practice track, the rest riding it on the road getting to and from the practice track) on it and has been absolutely 100% reliable

I am absolutely sure you will love the 450, and yes its the bike for all occasions

I change to the oil (1L) every 10-15hours of use

I change the oil filter (use hi-flo, as gen Yam filters are something stupid like £15 each!) every other oil change

Use a quality fully synthetic ester based oil - I like Motul 300v in 15w-15

I clean the air filter as and when needed either after every race or up to 3 races depending upon dust levels)

Nothing much else is required - check the valves once a year

Motor is bullet proof

I have had 1 valve move 0.01mm (I know htis as I checked the valves as soon as I got it at 238miles)

Usual stuff like pads C&S get changed as and when needed

The bike in your ebay link is not a 2007 model - it is a 2006 or earlier

I'd get a true 2007 or later model (Aluminium frame) as they are a good step up from the steel framed bikes in terms of handling

Only 'issue' with 2007-2011 bikes is the forks (don't know if the 2006 and earlier are the same)

They are unique in their base (compression) valve

They mange to be harsh over tree roots yet bottom out really easy at the same time

have a read of this http://www.thumperta...50-fork-valves/

Don't let this put you off - they are easily sorted with Race Tech Gold Valves

where bouts in the UK are you?

you can enter a H&H just about every weekend in the midlands (where I am), so 8 events is being conservative!

Edited by GuyGraham

Really, I would just change the oil after every race or every 10 hours, clean the air filter more often than you think you need to. I have raced mine, and it likes a wide open course. The weight and power are a disadvantage when things get tight. I have taken it out on an MX track, and it worked ok. Grease the suspension when you get it, and the lower links halfway through the season. The lowest bearings get the most contamination.

Consider a rekluse clutch, they are really helpful in technical and steep terrain.

A 12T front sprocket is a must if you start doing woods riding, as a 13T is a bit too high for walking pace and you'll be slipping the clutch all the time (cheaper than a £500 Rekluse clutch) and after a 2hrs of racing its tiring, as the bike tends to run away with you in first - best £10 you'll spend. I kept stalling mine on the tight stuff until I put the 12T on and it was like a different bike then - wish I'd done as soon as I'd got it instead of waiting 2 yrs

uncorked the beast (airbox box snorkel, restricted tailpipe in the silencer, throttle stop screw) and it'll murder an XR400. they grunt out of corners and pick the front wheel up really easy

I put a clarke 14L tank on mine, coz as it says above the mile range of the stocker is crap - makes it a bit top heavy when fully laden with fuel, but its managable)

the very bike in action

Edited by GuyGraham

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