2003 YZF450 Potential Purchase

Looking at possibly picking up a used YZF450, $3600 is the asking price. The bike is a ex race bike and has been taken care of by a factory dealership. The bike looks well maintained. I have approximatelely 17+ years of riding experience on the street but have not been off road for quite some time. I was thinking of easing back into this with a 230 or a 250 but I stumbled onto this 450. I am 6' 4 and weigh 200 pounds. All I was searching for was a bike to plug along the trails with my kids on. Will this be the wrong bike to do this with? I understand that I will have a blast and be able to pull some torque wheelies with this bike, which I remember the good old days were like on a friends early YZ400. I loved that bike. I had posted in previous forums asking about the 230's and 250's, some said go for a bigger bike. But should I be going this big?

Lastly, is there anything that I should be looking for on this bike in terms of wear being an ex race bike? Like I said, it looks pretty solid and complete, just want to make sure I'm not missing something. I was also looking for something with electric start being that I was going to be riding the trails with the kids, but the trade off of power will be worth it. Are the 450's a mule to start? Any information on this would be helpful.


If I were you, I would go with a 250F. I raced an 03 250F when I lived in Texas and I was about 6'0 230lbs and that bike ripped. I put on a Factory 4 pipe which added some over-rev and like I said, the bike just plain ripped! I honestly think a 450 might be a little much if all you want to do is putt around with your kids. :)

The 'O3 450 is not really a good candidate for trail plonking -- it's got almost no flywheel effect, and has an abrupt power delivery right off the bottom. It is a blast to ride, in its element. Awesome power & excellent hookup. It's not at all difficult to kick start though. A 250F will move you, but they prefer to be wound out to make power. The 250Fs just don't have the snap to loft the front end at will like the 450F can. At your size, I'd stay with a 450 for casual riding. You'll also want to plan on making changes to the control layout/pegs/seat for your height. These bikes are kinda cramped. E-start does make things a lot easier at times, especially if you frequently stop for the kids. And, the WRs still have plenty of snappy, fun power.

Thanks for the information, I figured that I would not be using this bike for what it was truly intended but wanted to get my best bang for the buck so to speak. I also want to be able to get some of the conveniences for the type of riding that I am going to be doing, well at least the majority of it.

I'm going to look into the Wr's a little closer before making a decision, thanks again!

The bike is easy to start but I would not even think about following your kids around on it.

I have kids on a a KLX110 and CRF50 and tried following them around on my old YZ426. No way does that work. The 426 overheated in about 10 minutes of plopping along, starting and stopping. The 450 is a 4 speed compared to my 426's 5 speed, so first gear will be even taller. These MX bikes and definitely the 450 are just not suited to that at all.

I'm buying a CRF150 for dinking around with the kiddies and leaving the MX bike for the tracks.

If you want a bigger bike to plonk around with, consider a used two-stroke. They go for nothing these days and can trail along just fine. If you really want a 4 stroke look for something other than that 450! Maybe a WR, DRZ, or CRF-X...

My 'O2 YZ250 was not a bike that liked to putt along. The CRF250X I have now can do that much better. I ride along with the daughter on her XR80 just fine with it, but I need to open up the cockpit -- any extened time in the saddle and the bike gets to feeling very cramped. I do miss the power of the YZ, and the WR426F I once owned.

How fast are your kids? and how into the sport are they? Do they enjoy it enough where they will be pushing to get faster? I'm 6'5" at 240lb and I know there are some kids out there that are fast, and the only way for me to keep up would be on a 450. I think the power on the 450 is real controllable and I like to get out on the trails as much as the track.


I have an 03 yz450 and I ride with my son on his ttr 125, I also found a good deal on this bike after many years on the street (zx11). You may regret not having an electric start and a kick stand. I cant count the number of times that I had to stop, prop my bike up against a tree and help my son through rough trails. The kicking gets old quick,especialy when you first start and have not figured out how your new 4 stroke fires up. Dont think I am trying to talk you out of a great bike. I love my 450. Just be aware that you will have to raise your idle speed so the bike doent die on slow trails and that a kickstand mod would be a great idea. I dont know about your on or off road experience, but in my situation the transition from a street to dirt went very well.

I hope this helps, since I was in this situation just a few months ago Id be glad to help out in any way I can.

I love my -03 YZ450F but would not go near a trail with it. Why not just get the Honda? They are a billion times easier to ride slow than the -03 Yamaha(the meanest of them).

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