Honda XR 650R vs Yamaha WR 450F

Want to buy one of both,but don't now which one? Who has experience with these bikes and can tell me which one is the best in order of long live? and what is the price of these machines? :cry:

My unbiased answer... :cry: HONDA!

Well my un-biased opinion :cry: would be Honda. The XR's are bulletproof (figure of speech). :cry:

I cruise this forum occasionally because I am a former BRP owner and would not hesitate to buy another If a good deal came along and I still own an XR400 for my kids to ride and have owned 6 other XRs and can attest to their bullet proofness BUT. Two years ago I decided to ride an enduro circuit and new the BRP was not the right mount and tried a WR450. After two years on the WR I would not go back to the BRP as my primary bike even though I have pretty much quit racing. The WR has been thrashed about extensively for two years and feels substantially lighter and up to about 65 or 70 will run with the BRP. The 03 WR had electric starter gremlins that have been worked out on previous models. The older model Yamaha WR 426 and WR400 have proven to be quite reliable and the WR450 looks like it is from the same mold basicly. This is a Honda forum so I figure I will get flamed but he asked for opinions from someone who has owned both. NOW if I were going to own ONE bike and it be a TRUE dual sport and see quite a few highway miles the bike would definetly be the BRP.

if you are really fat then get the honda.

if you do some motocross-get the yamaha.

if neither--then we need a lot more info to give you an accurate reply. Both bikes are nice, affordable, efficient, modern motorcycles. Neither has a major design flaw.

(If your really fat get a BRP)..that's funny! I sell yamaha's, but ride a uncorked XR650R and love it. If that tells you anything. I have it dual sported. I ride it to work everyday, so I can take the long way home. Then bam....the weekend comes and it's off to the trails. It's a very capable bike with the right set-up. :cry:

We have failed to mention that the BRP has been the KING of Baja for many years. If you ride a lot of desert the BRP is a winner.

If ya ride pretty mellow but like to know that the power to do anything is between your legs get the XR. If ya like to ride tight stuff fast and are are always in a hurry to get done, then get the WR. The XR will do the tight stuff fast but you really gotta work at it and it will wear ya down. On the other hand if you like to do the tight stuff at a comfortable medium pace in comfort, get the XR. If ya ride wide open in the dunes or desert, get the XR.

I have the Baja Designs E-Button on mine and an Z-Start auto clutch. So the WR does not have an advantage except weight.

I would have no problem adding an WR to my stable but as you can see I have all my bases already covered. :cry:

As the trails get tighter the scales tip twards the WR. Having a BRP "Trail Whale" and a YZ400 I can say if you can ride an ATV on the trail you are fine with the XR. But when the guy who is going to lead the ride and show you some of the "really cool stuff" shows up with a WR250F and 3" cut off of his bars, you know you are in for one serious workout on the XR. (But the trails were REALLY COOL!!!) :cry:

So if you are into tight single track pick the WR, otherwise either one will serve you well, and if you ride the wide open spaces with 5th gear sand washes the XR wins hands down.

Awhile back there was a shootout by one of the magazines. It had four strokes from 250 to 650. The xr650 surprised the testers. I can't remember what magazine did it. The link to the article was posted but I couldn't find it. Maybe somebody else can remember what magazine it was.

Awhile back there was a shootout by one of the magazines. It had four strokes from 250 to 650. The xr650 surprised the testers. I can't remember what magazine did it. The link to the article was posted but I couldn't find it. Maybe somebody else can remember what magazine it was.

Red Rider Magazine ? :cry:

You can't beat the right tool for the job. I rode some very tight single track trails yesterday with my son and I made the mistake of riding his 250 on a loop through one of the nasty sections and man what a difference. Except for the fact that I felt to big for the bike I could ride faster and with less effort than on my pig for sure. If that is all I did I would downsize for sure however once the trails open up a bit then it is in it's element from there to 100mph. In my view the 650R has been the best all around do everything well bike I have been on. I have tried to convince my wife I need two bikes but I think she would rather have me work harder in the tight stuff because she knows I need the exercise :cry:

Awhile back there was a shootout by one of the magazines. It had four strokes from 250 to 650. The xr650 surprised the testers. I can't remember what magazine did it. The link to the article was posted but I couldn't find it. Maybe somebody else can remember what magazine it was.

Red Rider Magazine ?

No, it was Cycle World's enduro shootout. They really liked the BRP and basically said that the WR450 is NOT a light weight alternative to the 650. I like the WR450 but the fact that it is compared to the lone 650 there and not the other 450's for perceived weight is concerning. :cry:

see link.

Both are great and have a purpose.. :cry:

I race with a guy who just parked his 650 for an 05 Wr450. Hes a little guy (5ft 8in, 140lbs WET) he raced the 650 for a couple years in D37 and he said...the only time the 650 is heavy is when you are picking it up after a crash...

and the only disadvantage(other then weight) to the 650 is no button for those crappy crashes on hills.

I used to be Honda all the way. CR 250's & 500's since the eightys. Switched to 4 strokes, 600's & 400's before it was fashionable. Got one of the first 650R's figuring it would be the ultimate do all, trail dual sport etc... Spent more time and money setting that bike up than anything before, just to make it run to it's potential. When you go from a 125 main jet to a 175 just to get it running, that says something. Anyway, finally had it all dialed in then made the mistake of riding my friends WR400F. That bike was almost as fast, and SO much easier to ride fast. It felt 50 pounds lighter. All it gives up is top speed, and I don't want to ride above 90mph anyway. If you ride open desert like Johnny Campbell at 100 mph then get the 650. For ANYTHING else the WR is better. I ended up buying that same WR, and selling the XR. I don't miss the XR at all. The WR has proven to be totally reliable, doesn't overheat like the XR did in the tight slow stuff either. The XR is a better streetbike than the WR- I have since purchased a YZ 426 to go with the WR400, that I use for moto and sand dunes and that bike totally rips. Almost as fast as the CR500 it replaced, and easier to ride. Also, totally reliable. I have heard that the 450's are faster yet, but have never ridden one. So I guess I am Blue thru and thru now, and all I really miss is the great Honda shop I used to do business with. I hope this helps...

Man...Opinionated for a "Newby" aren't you son.

Do a search on the forum b/c the WR has been compaired to the 650R many, many, many times on other post. Some of them were serious other were bums from the Blue side of the tracks trying to stir up trouble before getting shot down! So read selectively with an open mind.

If you want to see 650R in a search and check out...

XR650R in technical woods race, can it win?

Don't forget other than the bike itself its the reliability that has sold so many on XR over WR.

Just some quotes from them...

"This is my third WR but I can't wear out the XR-R",

"But reliability issues came up, as well as that bike being a total pain to adjust the valves, so I sold it and bought a 2000 XR650R. I still have the XR, and it has NEVER given me any type of trouble at all"

"I road the WR before I bought my BRP, it ain't even in the same league. I ride tight twisty woods and love my BRP. Hill climbs...holy smokes, if ya could hang onto it that sucker could climb trees.

"Don't get me wrong I like the WR it's a good bike. But before I'd get it I'd get a CRF450"

Those are just from this recent post;

XR650R Vs. WR450F


XR650R or WR450

My opinion...if its weight that bothers you...get the CRF450X next spring...what ever you do just Ride Red motorcycles, if you want Blue ride 4-wheelers. I've had 3 Yamaha 4-wheelers and my buddy has one that have taken everything we threw at them...but my riding buddy has a 17yo son that has a WR450 and another with a YZ and they are in the shop once a season due to something breaking and they baby those things, I've had to ride the WR up a few hills for the boy when I took them out on the trails and it was struggling while my XR650R sat, idling, in 85F temps for 10-15 min w/out overheating!

Stick with Honda if you know whats good for you!

I gave up my Yamaha Bike years ago (before WR's) but from the others I know I don't trust them anymore...Do yourself a favor and look at the for-sale bike section on this forum...there are more Yamaha's than any other bike for sale! Ask yourself why!


Both are great bikes. I owned a YZ426 which is similar to the WR. I currently own an XR650R, which I've had for 3 years.

I never had any problems with the YZ426, it seemed well built. It was extremely fast, perfect for all kinds of riding, including tight trails. Power was not quite as strong as the XR650R, uncorked of course.

As far as price goes, I'm sure you can find an XR650R for alot cheaper than the WR450. Also keep in mind the XR is not that much heavier than the WR, both are heavy four-strokes.

If you are in shape, you don't need to be a big powerlifter type to handle the XR. I'm 5'11", 180lbs, and I have absolutely no problems handling my bike.

The original post asked which is better for long life and I think the edge would have to go to Honda. They are both GREAT bikes. But they both have idiocycrasys. The main ones to me are

1 Honda tends to overheat easier (never had to change radiator caps or use engine ice in the WR)

2 Yamahas valves are a pain to adjust but hardly ever need to be adjusted. Mine has approx 3500 miles on it and two season and still in spec!!! Try that with the CRF 450!!!

Having owned both recenty I still say there is a percieved substantial weigth difference after 50 miles in an enduro. Get stuck on a side hill with a stalled motor when you are allready worn out and you realize why they call it the Big Red Pig. 03 WR starters were CRAP!!! I know I have one but it kicks like a two stroke and they have fixed the starter for 04. But I am still fond of the old BRP and hope they keep making them and I would not hesitate to buy either WR or BRP used. Like I said they are both great bikes.

Both good bikes. Ride in group with both bikes and get to hear what they say. Have tried them both as well. Yamaha feels lighter everywhere. Honda much more stable on open roads (dirt/street), sandwashes and anywhere you can go in 5th gear tapped out. After cow trailing my old pig in 1st and 2nd gear for the better part of 1/2 day, you ask yourself why did I buy this. With a 4.7 gallon IMS tank full of fuel, no E button and long wheelbase, I wouldn't want to ride it in woods all day or GNCC it. Summers raced an XR 600 (modified). Came back on a CRF 450, not a XR 650. Need I say more?

Both bikes need to be set up out of shop. Neither are perfect, ready to race from show room floor. My honda needed several small things, including a Kawie radiator cap. Also need to swap out right hand peg mount with Percison Concepts before it breaks off while you are riding. Small probalem Honda wont admit to. Cost me 10 months off work when it broke going thru set of whoops in Baja last year with only 2 rides and 600 miles on it. Resulting fall broke wrist. Campbell has had the same problem, but drilled thru his frame to solve it. You do that and it voids the warranty.

For dual sport, nothing beats Honda. For cow trailing, almost anything off road with E button beats it. After falling off slowly several times on a warm day and having to kick and kick the beast to life, you will ask yourself that question we all ask. Why didn't I go with an E button bike. And I'm going home to buy and install an Eldebrook carb.

With regardes to Johhny Campbell and the XR 650 string of wins, his bike and your bike are way different. He gets a new frame every race. He has titanium bolts/nuts everywhere, no kick stand, no recovery bottle, no thermostate, 3.3 gallon IMS tank for 50 mile fillups, everything as lightweight as he can make it. Before Kawie left Baja, they had won for 8 years running, not Honda. In Nevada desert and D-37, Honda doesn't win overall all that much. KTM, Kawie and Yamaha take more wins altogether than Honda.

So to end, decide the riding you want to do. Then pick the bike. Either way, you will be happy. :cry:

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