Should I dump my YZF for an 05 WR?

I'm currently riding an 02 426, which I've added a 12 oz. flywheel and two teeth on the rear sproket to as I ride mostly fast trails. My bike is a blast to ride, in particular I love the motor--big power and very tractable--but even with the lower gearing there are times I wish I had a lower first gear and even though I've got the starting drill down, e-start would be really cool. I'm pretty interested in the 05 WR450 but I'm curious if anybody out there has made the switch from a YZ 426. How do they compare? Do you notice the weight difference? How different is the gearing? Any input would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

I have riden my buddies 4oo quite a bit. I can tell you that the 450 feels about the same weight because it is. BUT, if you pull all of the WR stuff off, it is quite a bit lighter than the older wr's. The 450 pulls harder and is snapier, and feels a bit nimbler because of the changed geometry. The estart is nice but I'm pulling mine off my 450, to save weight cause the bike kick starts so effortlessly. The estart is nice if you are just lazy or stall in a precarious position, but not worth all the extra weight in my opinion. All in all I would have a hard time riding a 400 or 426 now that i'm used to the 450. It is just a better bike.

But I'm not sure if it is worth $3000 more to get a new 450 over your 426. If money is not an issue, then hell yes you should do it. you'll be glad you did. Or if you can get a used 04 for a good deal I would do it. Also if you are a taller rider I would get a used 04 cause they made the 05 smaller. If you are a smaller rider than an 05 is great. But the 426 is still a great bike and maybe there is no reason to dump it if you really like it.

See if you can find someone near you that has put a Rekluse or similar auto clutch in their YZ. You won't need e-start and it will make it a lot easier to ride in the nasty stuff since you can't stall the bike.

Get the WR450 it has a great granny gear and will save your clutch with or without the rekluse! :thumbsup:

The rekluse sounds cool. However,with a 13 t front sprocket adn 52 t rear, I almost never stall. You can rock crawl with this gearing. And I can still go 70 + mph

Get the WR450 it has a great granny gear and will save your clutch with or without the rekluse! :thumbsup:

:D I bought my 450 back in february. I now have 3000 miles on it. :devil::awww::lol: I pulled the clutch to look at it and it looks like there is not too much wear on it.

I had a YZ426 and have a YZ450 and a WR450. The WR450 is a nice bike and will be even nicer in 05. Its supposed to be lighter and over an inch lower. I really like the e-start. The bike is much more tractable than the 426. It is a pretty strong running bike. The 426 was a snotty bustard in the woods. The WR is much more pleasant to ride.

Hey beezer, do you ride motorcross? If so how does the WR tranny feel to you for track riding?

I have had it on a mx track. The trans felt fine. The bike is heavy for MX and the suspension is to soft.

It was still fun though.


I saw the truth this weekend!

We were out on a PNW "TT" ride, and we had 4 different bikes show with auto-clutches.

The first one I rode was a KTM EXC300 (2 smoke) and it made the bike a trials bike. It was impossible to stall, and made "technical" stuff laughable!

Next I rode a KTM EXC 250, then the 200. They only reaffirmed what I found with the 300. The power was there, right off idle, and it made the most difficult stuff easy. You simply CANNOT stall the bike!

I then rode a WR426 with auto-clutch, and the 4 stroke power was HEAVEN! Such a broad band, coupled with "fanning the clutch" I could never acheive!

I think that mating an auto-clutch with the de-compression cam is the ticket. You start it once, easily, and have fun the rest of the day.

It was as easy as e-start, without the weight.

I have an '01 426 that I got last week, and it will be auto-clutched and de-compression cam'ed in the VERY NEAR future.


I have had it on a mx track. The trans felt fine. The bike is heavy for MX and the suspension is to soft.

It was still fun though.

Sweet! thats what I wanted to hear. I'm going to try to drop about 30 lbs weight off my WR 450. I have already lost 18 lbs so far and jumping it is WAY better. If I can get it close to the weight of the yz 450 then I'll be set. I haven't ridden any real tracks yet, but have gotten pretty good at jumping natural jumps and want to get into motorcross a little. Not too serious, just some light competion, more for fun. I want to be somewhat competitive though. I was worried the wide ratio tranny would suck for motocross, and you would always feel like you were in the wrong gear, and have to shift like hell.The only reason I don't get a yz 450 is cause i do mostly trail, dez, and moab type riding where the 4 speed would not cut it. Thanks

Thanks for the replies guys! Brandon, let me know how your little project progresses, as I most likely won't make a move for a few months. Although I won't do any organized racing, I do fool around on the track occasionally and I know--from personal experience riding with my brother and his smelly old DR-350--that nothing is more embarrassing than being passed going into a corner and seeing the brake light on the rear fender glowing.

A question I have about the auto-clutch is flywheel effect. I like the massive engine braking I get on knarly downhills with the 12 oz. flywheel I have. Does the auto-clutch kick in on downhills if the throttle closed?

Although $3k-$3.5k is a pretty big difference in cash for what might not be a huge difference in bike, I've rarely been accused of having more sense than money.

I haven't ridden a 4-stroke with the auto clutch, just my 300 but you'd never know it's in there except for the fact that you can't push start the bike anymore.

Had I known this mod would have such a dramatic effect on the bike, I'd have probably bought a CRF450 and put one in instead of the KTM 300 EXC. I don't even think you'd need the heavy flywheel weight for bottom end. The 4-speed on the YZF450 just won't hack it for me.

Oldenphatt, if you've got more money than sense ,In that case definately get the 450. although......I'll get flammed hardcore for this, but supposedly Honda is coming out with it's version of the WR 450. I'm sure suzuki is not far behind. I love yamaha but I want the best. If some one makes somthing better than the WR with the same value, Thats what I'll be riding, regardless of brand. My point is

you might want to hold off a while and see what the near future holds! :thumbsup:

They are all playing catch up to Yamaha! The WR450 is by far the best offering from the Big Four. KTM 525EXC would be my next choice. :thumbsup:

Dan, have you ridden a 2004 KTM 450 EXC? My buddies feels a lot lighter than the WR's.

Yes I have ridden the 04's, but not the 05's. They are right all the bikes feel lighter than the Yamaha because the Yamaha carries its weight up higher and has slower steering geometry. In the non racing world that I live and ride in weight just doesnt matter to me. My bike is probably the heaviest WR450 on this forum! Not to mention my back pack weighs about 40 Lbs and I am no light weight! :thumbsup:

They are right all the bikes feel lighter than the Yamaha because the Yamaha carries its weight up higher and has slower steering geometry.

The high up thing was my biggest issue with the WR426. The KTM 450's probably feel lighter to me since their weight is down lower. Being as short as I am, this caused me a lot of problems in the tight, slow stuff. It also seemed to magnify my high speed crashes as I'd get catapulted even farther than I'm used to. :thumbsup:

This is the main reason I wish you could get these bikes with or without the e-start. I don't need it as much as I need the 10+ lb. weight reduction.

Hey John, You got the best bike for power and weight in your KTM300! That is an awesome weapon! Any issues with jetting for high altitude on the 2 smoke? :thumbsup:

The guy had 375 miles on it and it's been ported and the head has been milled to raise the compression to compensate a little for the altitude. The slide was also machined. I rode it at 12800+ feet and had no issues at all. 4th gear wheelies are easy. :thumbsup:

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