WR450F or ???????

About 2 months ago I busted up my ankle (not riding). I am now out of my cast and figure I should be riding again in about 6 months. I want to take enough time for it to really heal as this is the 3rd time in a cast for me with this leg (gotta love football). Last week I sold my Honda XR400R that I liked quite a lot. I just couldn't stand seeing it sit so I sold it thinking that it would give me an opportunity to heal and decide if I wanted to try a different bike. I figure I could always buy another XR400 at any time. The only thing about it was that it always felt kind of heavy. It was dialed in pretty good as far as power.

I figured that I am down to 3 bikes. Another XR400R, a 2004 DRZ400e, or the one that I am most interested but know the least about is the 2004 WR450F since it will be a year or more for the CRF450X. I have ridden a WR426 but never a WR450F. I am more of a trail and fire road rider in the desert and some single track not a track rider.

Can you guys please shead some light on this subject to help broaden my knowledge of this bike as the next bike I buy will need to be around for a long time. I know the E starter problems with the 2003's but it seems that this has been addressed in the 2004's. Any other concerns or problems? Is this a bike that can handle alot of miles and years? As far as size, I am 6"01" and 250lbs.

I appreciate any assistance. BTW any AZ riders out there with them?

Thanks again,


Basicaly, if you have ridden a 426, the 2004 450 is surprisingly more powerful and much more refined. The power delivery has been smoothed to the point of simply rolling the throttle on with almost no hits (even small). The bike is tuned for off-road, but is far closer to an MX set up then either the XR or DRZ. However, if you want to take it to the track, or do very hard offroading, with your weight, you will almost deffinitly need heavier springs. But pretty much, after riding the 426, you can imagine the 450, just faster and smoother. Hope this helps a bit :)

The 450 is a tank compared to an mx bike but,it is very fast and smooth.Perfect for fire roads and wide open spaces.

However,I will never buy another Yamaha. Never. After all the woodruff key issues,Yamaha has not stepped up to the plate to resolve the problems.I've sent my letter to them but I'm not holding my breath.

My '03 450 is going up for sale soon.I can't trust it.

I appreciate your honesty. This is what I am looking for. Since you feel jaded by Yamaha and are going to sell your 450. What will you feel inclined to replace it with? Again, I would not even consider buying a 2003 but am considering a new 2004........Thanks again guys.

I read the posts of all the problems with the keys and I guess its in the back of mind while riding but my 03 WR450 has never let me down dependability wise. I live in AZ and the bike has been perfect for me. Stable on fast fire roads,handles great, LOTS of power for hill climbs. Is a little tall for tight technical, but its never broken on the trail. Only have about 2000 miles on mine but I use the e-start whenever I want and, traction permiting, walk away from XR600s. I've riden almost every other big 4-stroke except the CRF and the Yammie does it for me out here in the des!

The 450 is a tank compared to an mx bike but,it is very fast and smooth.Perfect for fire roads and wide open spaces.

However,I will never buy another Yamaha. Never. After all the woodruff key issues,Yamaha has not stepped up to the plate to resolve the problems.I've sent my letter to them but I'm not holding my breath.

My '03 450 is going up for sale soon.I can't trust it.

I'm sorry to hear Yamaha isn't taking care of it's customers, people drop 6-8K and they should get factory fluk-ups fixed for free and without declaring war. My friend however, was lucky enough to have been taken care of, when his went in his 450, he took it to the dealer, they called Yamaha and the guys at the factory shipped him out the new parts quickly and for free, and he didn't even have to fight for it, the dealer simply told them what happened and they shipped the parts out the next day. That's the service people should be getting :)

My WR has never let me down yet, I always use the E-starter and you will love the engine! It is so smooth, you always have plenty power but you always have a very good control over it. It just does what you whant, get to try the WR before you will take it out of the list, you won't regret it.

I own a '03 WR450 and I couldn't be happier. My only gripe was that the bike wass set-up for lighter riders and I had to replace springs. Other than that the bike is awesome! :)

AZGlock21, I probably will buy a Honda 450.Yes,I've heard and read about the valve problems but the rest is pretty good.I fit and ride better on Hondas anyway.I want a lighter bike,I never ride in the dark,don't need estart and I will never use the 90mph top speed of my WR(it is fast).

I will miss the wide ratio trans though.....

Got a WR450 in July, it's a great desert bike....works pretty good in the mountains too!

I'm in Tucson.... :)

Thanks for all the input guys, I appreciate it. Any more thoughts? It looks as though I am going to need to find someone in the valley that has one that they would let me ride around the block as I doubt I will make it waiting for the CRF450X

If I was buying a new bike for all around riding and no track riding, I would pick a KTM exc 400. I've ridden a few 450s and, IMO, they have too much power. I ride my yz250f in the woods about 99% of the time and it's great. I would suggest a wr250f too but you have to realize that they need quite a few mods to be on par with a yzf. Also, a wrf with the mods done (pipe, free up air box and free mods) will have more power than your xr400 did and will be about 25 lbs lighter.

KTM EXC 400?

The WR450 will make you a great bike. with the 04 model I don't think you will have any problems like some people have had with the 03. Get one do the mods and you will have a nice bike.

Buy another Honda; Yamaha doesn't support the WR450 and teaches dealers to ignore and lie about problems with their bikes.

Flame away, but its the truth....

AZGlock, have you seen any WR's at the local dealers? I'm also in Arizona and considering a WR. I was at Champion last night and they had a 250 and two YZF's, but no WR's.

I'm considering NA Motorcycle Brokers, but I don't know how big the hassle will be to make it street legal.


I'll cast a second vote for trying the KTM. I think all of the new bikes are very good at what they're designed for. All of them have had technical problems, too (Red, Blue and Orange): comes from being cutting edge.

I tried both available (450cc) high-tech enduros when I was in the market: WR450 and 450EXC. They are both great, but different: KTM suited me best (got a great deal on a year-old 400). Try both: pick your favorite.

Good luck!

Hi Jim,

They have 2 or more of them at AZ powersports on Scottsdale Road just above McDowell in Scottsdale. They had 03's and 04's. You could tell the 04 by the Gold forks. Go buy one and let me ride it hahahahaha.........Kurt

Thanks again to all for the responses!

Thanks for the tip Kurt. I'll let you know if I get one, maybe we can arrange a test ride for you once I've scratched it up.


I personally feel that it's the DEALER involved that makes the difference between Yamaha support or not. To my experience, Yamaha supports it's dealers well if the DEALER decides the parts are defective. I have owned at least 12 Yamaha bikes, and one waverunner. And I have never had a problem with Yamaha refusing to replace or repair a problem part that broke that was not my fault, even after the warranty expired.

Pick your dealers wisely, get to be good friends with the service rep involved. It will pay off in the long run.

Just my two cents.

DD :)

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