WR-450 and Wr-250 Handling Problems

Is any one have problems with the front end not setting into corners at speed. When you correct the front end bites and the bike oversteers. I'm haveing this problem on a WR-450 and WR-250. Any suggestions would be greatly appericated.

I don't have any problems with the way mine steers. In fact, I really like the way it steers in super fast sand washes. It tracks well and goes where I want it to.

Maybe it's a suspension setup issue?

Try 98 or 99 handle crown or change handle postion with adjustable crown.

I'm using 98's.

replace the front tire with a Michelin S12. :)

Replace the stock front tire! I put on a 490 and what a difference! The worst problem I had with the stock front was climbing ruts, which went away with a tire change.

I am running Mich S-12's. I am at a loss. I have the geometery off some where or this is inherent in a Yamaha. I had on problems like this with the CR-250 or KDX.

Tough one. I am running Dunlop 739's and have no ill handling problems. I'm thinking suspension settings may be your problem. Maybe someone here will have the answer for you.

Good luck and let us know if you work it out,


I had the same problem with my wr 450.I droped the tripple grips 10 millimetres on the fork tubes and it made a massive differance.

Hope this helps dave.

set your sag?


I had the same problem.

You didn't just get a new bike from Japan and live above 5000ft did you?

Well I did, and after the front slipped out and I broke my shoulder blade( don't sneeze ), I found out that there was a lot of air pressure in the forks.

Try bleeding the air out of the forks with the screws on the top of the fork. That may help if you haven't done this.

I also set the forks even with the triple clamps.

Also If you have checked the sag in the rear shock and it seems ok, try stiffening the rear shock spring, then re-check the race sag. Mine ( 04 WR 450) seemed to sag at around 4 inches, after tightening the shock spring 1 full turn it didn't change. I had tighten the rear spring more than two full turns before the sag changed.

Between those to things you should get it working. Also check out the DirtRider mag for suspension setting suggestions to get a good starting point. :)

I have the same problem, front washes out in fast turns, worse on gravel roads. :(The front end feels light and seems like I can't keep the tire underneath me. I lean into the turn but the bike wants to run straight.

:thinking:If I was on a street bike I'd say the profile of the front tire was too flattened out and not pulling into the turn as fast as the rear. I just learned not to trust it and my dirt season is short so it's not a big deal. With winter spikes I'm locked in, goes where I point, no troubles. It may be a combination of what the others are saying. A better front tire makes sense, dropping the forks puts more weight on the front-better traction, and also changes the rake angle a bit which means quicker steering. I think I'll try it. :):D :D

I have the same problem, front washes out in fast turns...

I have the same problem. I imagine it's my riding style (or lack thereof), but I've been working on it and have seen no improvement in cornering. I'll try the new front tire. What pressure do you guys run? Any suggestions for suspension tuning?

Had the same problem any time the ground was less than rock solid. Initially thought I was just a really crappy rider. Ended up getting rid of the stock tire (to a Maxxis IT), increased the front rebound by 3 clicks, and lowered the forks by 10mm. If your rear end is set up correctly, this should work. Now I just point the bike into the corners and it rails right through.


I did the same things as Jerry. S-12, drop triple clamp (I went almost 1/2") and softer on the compression, slower on the rebound. Better, but not yet perfect.

Still have the same feeling as the person above who said the front feels light at first, then when you get enough input in to make it bite, it oversteers.

Man, to make this better would make me MUCH faster... :)

Man, to make this better would make me MUCH faster... :)

No joke.

You said you dropped the triple clamp. Jerry said he lowered the forks. Did you guys acutually do different things or did you do the same and we're all just saying/reading it wrong?

My bad. By "lowering the forks", I meant moving the forks higher up relative to the triple clamp. The top of the forks are level with the top of the clamp in the stock position. I moved mine so 10 mm of the forks are above the top of the triple clamp. Which also makes it impossible to access the rebound clickers. And increased headshake at high speeds. Get a stabilizer.

I think we are dealing with the geometry of the bike. The Wr450F is designed for high speed desert style racing and long jumps for motocrossers. The Honda CRF450 simply turns easier, and I believe that is why the CRF has dominated the MX races.... But, we can still do things to improve the turning. I ride tight single track woods and it feels like a tank there. I have raised the forks in the clamps as high as they will go, lowering the front end. Soft suspension settings and Michelins S-12's makes for a big improvement. I went so soft on one ride that when it opened up and I had to break hard I almost went over the bar, so be careful how soft you go.... I have bought a 20 inch front wheel which I will try next..... :)


I think we are dealing with the geometry of the bike.

The WRs are noted quick turners. I have read that the YZs turn quicker than the CRFs. Geometry is an issue if you are using the stock rear spring and are over about 180 lbs. Yamaha put in a rear spring that does not match the front spring rate and is too soft. Look at the Race Tech site and put in 200 lbs for rider weight. Front spring rate will be calculated near stock and rear spring rate will be calculated much higher than stock.

Balance the suspension and put a S12 or Maxxis IT in front and handling will be improved greatly. If you don't have money for a spring right now slide your forks up in the clamps and increase the preload (SET SAG).

That may be the answer. I'm 200 stripped, probably 220 with gear and icicles. The springs the thing.

Thanks Tiger.

:):D :D

I am starting to think the same thing. Measure sag with the stock spring, and it was very close, but after hearing someone else say they put a full turn on the tensioner and it didn't change the sag at all....

Maybe time to revisit that idea... :)

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