Modify a new '13 YZF450 or look for a WR450?

Bought a '04 KTM450EXC and wasn't all that impressed with the power. Seemed like I was always shifting trying to keep the revs up.  I'm now looking at a host of bikes from a used '13 KTM500 for $7K (perfect condition) to a left over '13 YZ450F for $4.5K that I could spend the cold winter turning it into a street capable weapon.  My question is... is it worth it?  Or do I look for a WR?  My concern is that the WR will be relatively close to the KTM's power delivery whereas the YZ will be nasty to the bone.  There will be no WOT situations to worry about as most of the time will be spent on single track,dirt roads and windy back country roads.  Are there parts and pieces available to convert the YZ... road legality is my main concern... and that it not look like some POS when I'm done.

4.5k where you located at? From a dealer, brand new?? Damm that makes me feel like I dint get that great of a deal.... : (

Edited by Dexter42

Lots of questions

Not sure how to answer all those conflicting questions with so little info about what you want the bike to do.

I dunno, reading fire roads and street, I'd recommend the WR.

Nothing similar between the WR and KTM...

The 6spd alone on the KTM is worth the price....

Sounds like you want to build a dual sport and still ride offroad a bunch. Between the YZ and WR, setting up the bike for DS use will be much easier and cheaper with the WR. Already has lights, that's huge, and the e-start, Speedo/trip computer and stock kickstand make life easier. Wiring up the other DS lights and switches is easy. A wide ratio trans is preferable in my opinion for any road use, and it's not difficult to gear for good 1st/2nd gear tight trail capability as well as a comfortable 70 mph or more on top. I don't have experience with the FI WRs, but it sounds like they can be made nasty or tame in seconds with a tuner, as can the YZ or KTM. Unless you find a WR already dual sported out, it'll cost you $100-250+ to set it up depending on if you go with a full kit or individual components or whatever. A KTM 500 EXC is already outfitted for DS from the factory and all you'd have to do is register the thing and go ride. They generally cost more, but if you have a line on a nice one in your budget, it's probably a great option. For the most part though, the WR would fit the bill for what it sounds like you're trying to do - it'll just take a little extra work. But with the WR you get great Yamaha reliability, some of the best suspension out there, and generally lower pricing. And handsome styling. Win, win, and win.

Edited by RockerYZWR

My question is, how could anyone justify spending $7k on a used bike? I have never even spent that much on a new bike.


$4.5k on a new leftover yz450 sounds like a smoking deal, but at the same time, it doesnt really sound like the bike to suit your needs with its MX trans, high strung power, no existing lighting system, etc. Though, it would be easy to remidy that and much more with the $2.5k price difference.

I think you can run a headlight off the stock stator on the fuel injected YZs.  That might not be that big of a deal.  If you're sticking to back roads, the close ratio gears might not be too bad.

I went to (3) dealerships in search of answers and I'm more confused than ever.  One sold Yamaha and Honda and said that the YZF and CRF are simply not made to be reved to the moon for long periods of time.  But if geared properly I don't see it being a problem.  The WR is nice but they really expensive, but they said if you retime the WR and put a flow through exhaust, you can get close to the YZF power.  Went t a huge multi-OEM dealer who sells everything and they kept coming back to KTM... but they sooo expensive.  The cat's ass is a street converted 500WX-W wide ration that comes less smog restrictions.

I looked at a '09 KTM450EXC with 400 dirt road miles on it for $5,200... it looks brand new.  The '13 KTM500EXC for $7K has never been in the dirt with 4,000 road miles.  A new 500 is $9,500 plus tax.  There's a 2005 CRF-450X with both dirt and tard set up for $5,500 that's super clean as well but I'm worried if it's been beat on.

I keep going back to the YZF and modifying it... but can it be done for $700 which at that point I could but the 2009 KTM 450 and be done with it.  One thing is for sure... the KTMs are put together REALLY well!

My wish is that the WR parts would bolt onto the YZF... but I'm told they don't.

The RPM range isn't an issue, and whoever told you that was far more a salesman that a technician.  Lots of YZ450's survive season after season of desert racing without a problem, running well up in the revs most of the time.


The downside of the YZ as any kind of a street bike is that the bike has a close ratio transmission, and that he electrical system has no provision for running lights.  Both these are correctable, but at some price.  The transmission can either be modified by the installation of the 4th and fifth gears from an '07+ WR450 (requires 5th and 5th pinion and wheel gears, as well as the WR output shaft), or by replacing the entire pair of shaft assemblies to get the whole WR wider ratio set.  The first option creates what is essentially the '03-'05 4 speed YZ box with the WR 5th added. 


The electrical system on the EFI YZF's can be adapted, as the stator has plenty of spare power once the bike is running, and the system is all DC, so it can charge batteries, etc.


The flip side is that there isn't anything about the WR engine that will prevent it from producing YZ450 power if you want to pursue that route instead.

Get that low mile 500exc.

If you are planning on riding roads any, get the ktm.  I've had all the bikes your looking at.  I would never dual sport a wr or yz.  the yz however is my first choice for pure offroad.

And I believe you will find the 500exc power won't bore you.

I wouldn't dual sport a YZ due to the close ratio trans. But I think the WR makes a reliable dual sport that holds up spectacular. The come street legal in other countries.

I wouldn't dual sport a YZ due to the close ratio trans. But I think the WR makes a reliable dual sport that holds up spectacular. The come street legal in other countries.

Agreed, mine has held up great. Though I don't do much street other then the occasional lap around Big Bear Lake.

My DS'd WR with the YZ parts on it is so reliable I've worn the motor completely out....nothing broke.


New crank-y and bearings everywhere

Where are you OP? Down here in Texas you can find a new WR450F for less than some of those bikes you listed. I got mine with a plate for $6,500 OTD.

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