Taming the beast

I have an '04 WR 450 that I bought last year. It's my first bike in about 10 years. I'm a bigger guy (270 lbs) so I went with the bigger bike.

After the first few rides, I uncorked the exhaust and cut the throttle stop screw to YZ length and I've been riding this way ever since and have put about 300 miles on it.

I'm realizing that this bike is a LOT of bike and was considering trading in on an '05 WR 250. After talking to a few dealers, though, it's not a very good thing to do financially (one dealer wanted me to pay $300 more for a '05 250 than I paid for my '04 450 brand new! :) )

Does anyone have any suggestions on making the 450 an easier bike to ride in trails? I'm in WA so I ride mostly woods. Would adding a tooth or two to the rear sprocket be any help? How about a new top triple clamp and bars to change the steering feel? What about suspension setup? Are there any ways to make the bike a little more ridable so I'm not completely beat after an hour long ride? My buddy on his CR250F can ride all day and not feel winded...'course he's in better shape than me and there's no substitute for working out, which I begin again Monday.

hey e dogg im in washington aswell im in auburn give me a pm some time we'll hook up at belfar.... i have a wr400f and have been wanting to do some mods to mine but havnt you can get a bigger rear sprocket it and it will take way the top but make it a little more managable in the lower gears. i havnt changed mine yet but my riding freind did on his drz ... he rides his to work alot and then we ride in woods he swaps to the bigger sprocket for the woods riding and then back to the stock for street. going to belfair in the morning my 3 daughters are taking me out for my B- Day!!!


and she is faster! :)

Stick with it you will be frustrated with a 250 for someone your size.

How tall are you?

Check out the suspension forum to give you some pointers on how to set it up for your weight.

I weigh 120kgs and can ride all day no probs.

A heavier flywheel will make it rev a little slower and make it less beastly.

I'm always down to go ride in Belfair...I really like that place.

I'm 6' tall. When I'm standing, it feels like the bars are pretty low and I have to bend over pretty far to reach them. But when I'm sitting or in "attack position" while riding, they seem to be about the right height.

I'll post in the suspension forum too. Thanks for the tip.

Keep them coming guys!! :)

keeping the throttle stop factory would have helped.

Keep the bike! I'd change sprockets and stuff before trading for anything less.

went to belfair today e dogg it was great..... buddy foulded his plug and my daughter almost ran me over int he woops by the efendale pass staging area .... oh yeh and i broke 2 or 3 teeth of my front sprocket and the rest are flat lol also got a flat! pm me well hook up in a few weeks when i get this thing fixed!

I know what you mean about 'alot' of bike. I had a 2001 426 that was not happy unless it was flat out haulin a$$. I ride mostly mountains with lots of trees and hillcliming. The 426 just seemed like it was too tall and long for my style of riding. I went back to the xr line and bought a 2004 XR400.

However, I miss several things about the 426. Number one is the suspension, the WR was plush in the jumps - I really miss that about the WR. The other thing is the throttle accelerator, you hit the gas and it goes, no studdering!

I have had lots of bikes and that 426 was definately the most performance oriented bike I ever owned.

I think you would be very unhappy with the WR250. I test rode several, it did not have enough GRUNT for me. I am 6'1", 210 lbs. and dealing with a surgically fused back.

You have a wonderfull bike, I think it will just take some getting used to. If your riding style doesn't fit the bike, you might try an XR400.

First: Stock muffler.

Second: Heavier flywheel.

Third: Check the jetting forum and get JD's spreadsheet. Choose needles and jets to keep mixture just above the midline, not too rich and certainly not lean. This will "flatten out" the power a bit. Begin by charting your existing jetting. 10-20% rich jetting really wakes up the power in these beasts. You seem to want it a little mellower.

Fourth: I'd add either taller bars or a kit that raises them 3/4" to 1". It made a big difference for me.

Fifth: Soften your compression damping a little at a time until you begin to bottom, then stiffen it up one click. Get the correct springs, unless you already have them. Springs that are too light will cause you to ride too low in the travel and damping will be too harsh. It will also turn better with correct springs, so you don't have to wrestle with it in turns.

Sixth: if it makes your butt sore, use a SDG soft or medium saddle.

Oh yeah, higher gearing will help, but you can take that too far and wind up not having a first gear any more.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now