Which Off-Roader To Go With

I realize this might be a biased forum in which to ask this question, but I'll go ahead none the less...

I currently ride an '02 CRF-450, and absolutely love the beast, especially on MX tracks where it's right at home. However, I've raced it a couple of times in Hare Scrambles and have decided it time to get a dedicated off-road bike for my trail riding...especially since I'm moving to Colorado in 2 months and will be doing LOTS of trail riding there.

So my question is which off-roader to go with: the WR-450f, the KTM 400/450 EXC, or the CRF-250x. Being used to the power of my 450, I simply can't imagine down-sizing to a 250, but I want to make sure in the same sense that the WR-450 is geared towards trail riding, and is not going to hit/stall like my CRF can at the most unopportune moment...believe me, I love the 2-stroke style hit of my CRF, but not while trying to finesse my way up a steep slippery hill. :)

Anyway, my instincts say the WR-450 is the way to go for pure trail/off-road riding, but I'd like to hear your inputs as well.

I'm not getting rid of my CRF, just looking for an awesome dedicated trail bike to supplement my garage space :D

Find a Yamaha to test ride, I think you will like it. I like the 03 CRF450 better than the 02 you ride. The 02 steers quicker to me than the 03, so you may like the quicker steering Yamaha as well. Its all of the trail stuff that really makes the Yamaha a great buy. The headlight is awesome! But then again you can add enough extras to your bike and have something like a Scott Summers 450. Check the dealers out in your new home town, they may be real important to your choice. Good luck.

For Colorado the KTM 525 MXC with the 3.6 gallon tank is great for high altitude trail riding. You can get lights put on it and dual sport it in Colorado. My brother in Denver has this set up and it is awesome. You really want the extra power of the 525 at the high altitudes which rob 20% of the bikes HP at sea level. His bike is jetted so well that he can ride from 8,000 feet to 12,000. feet with out issues on the same day. The engine is less sensitive to jetting than the Yamaha's. :)

If it was me, I'd get the WR450, the KTM 520 EXC or wait for the CRF450X which should be here for 05

My suggestion, if your a aggressive rider, is keep the CRF, change the gearing, and be happy. Most of the racers I know love the CRF here in Colorado. The only problem I have heard with the CRF's on the trails here is an overheating issue.

Now if your not real aggressive the WR is a good choice. The WR has a more MX style feel than the KTM's and you sound like you like that. Then they have the Estart, headlight, and kickstand to boot. The WR climbs like a Mtn goat too. But the KTM's all climb well too. Several guys that I have rode with from Texas has said the 525's are to much down there but just right up here.

When you get into the Springs, let me know and we'll take a ride. I'll let you ride my 2004 WR 450. The biggest concern is adjusting the bike to fit your style. The bike is completely adjustable to fit how you ride.

I go riding in places that will blow your mind, not to mention that the guys will have the same effect on your mind.

Let me know. :)

You know, if you want to go for a trail bike, the WR is probably as close as you can get to an mx bike. I think if you try one, you'll love it. I've never met someone who dislikes the WR. Sometimes, people prefer other machines but they are always forced to admit WR are really good.

Some new gearing and an e-line lighting coil (adds flywheel weight and lights) will make the CRF into a great trail bike for much less than a new bike. That being said you may like the feel of the KTM better than the WR because of the WRs top heavy feel. Regardless all of the bikes are good machines and I would not turn down the opportunity to own any of them.

I'd vote for keeping the CRF over a WR. I think the bike will be a blast here and I'd just wait till you move and decide after you go riding a few times.

Once you get the jetting straight on the WR's, altitude isn't an issue. I ride from 5,280 all the way up to 13,000+ feet and the only change I make is the main.

My buddies have KTM 450's and 525's and I'd stick with the 450 if you go that route. The 525's seem to overheat easily here on tight trails without an additional electric fan. The boiling point is lower and there is less airflow.

As Indy said, you are down about 20% on power around Denver, it only gets worse as you go up so the 250F's can seem a little sluggish.

Have the new CRF450s solved the high maintainence top end issue. It has been reported that they were going thru valves pistons and rings quickly? Tim

My buddy has a 2004 and it came with an extra piston and rings as spares ! Hmmm.

He rides it hard (mostly on the street as supermoto) but he needs to add oil after every ride. When he received it there was some ridiculiously low milage recommendation of when to change. He has not that many miles on it

I opened up the top end of my WR400 (1998) for the first time in 3 years and the specs were like it was new. I have not measured piston diameter but ring gaps were were still within new spec. Now I dont ride every weekend but I ride it pretty hard when I do.....

I would steer clear of Hondas CRF450's based on what i have heard about the high maintenance. Also CRF450's have some major shortcomings as enduro machines, except maybe 90% WOT high speed applications. No question on the MX track but inappropriate for woods and technical.

I have ridden the CRF450 on the track and some on non technical trails and like it but the lack of oil and coolant capacity and high maintainence top end are enough to keep me blue for now. Tim

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