What's better in the desert, WR450 or DRZ400E?

I am looking for a comfortable bike to ride around the socal desert. I am 6'3" and about 220 lbs. I think I need the power of a 400-450 to keep up with my friends. There is some sand riding, but much more riding over the bumpy stuff. Since I have a bad back, I want to have the best suspension for this kind of ride, with high reliability and not too much maintenance. Right now I'm looking at a '03 DRZ400E and a 03' WR450. Which of those two bikes do you think would be better suited for my needs, and why? Or is there another bike with Estart (required) that you suggest? Thanks for your opinions.

I still get a kick out of these questions. The answer to this question , regardless of the application, except maybe 50km/hr highway driving LOL, is always WR. More power, better suspension, more reliable. It's that simple

That's kinda like comparing Apples to Oranges.

i dont know anything really bout the drz, but when my dad had a 93 or a 94 dr350, that thing was like a caddilac, i could sit down over n-e thing and just cruise, the power was real mellow, nothing like my wr, which is wicked.

I understand that these may well be apples and oranges. And I'm not trying to offend anyone by comparing the two. I'm just open mindedly looking at the models available that seem to meet my requirements. And it appears that the DRZ400E is a pretty decent candidate. I'm not a racer at all. I'm actually more interested in taking the bumps out of the ride than the actual power or speed. And thats why the WR may get the nod. Because of the suspension. Thanks for your inputs.

They are both great bikes. DRZ has a bit softer suspension, but it's not as nice once the going gets fast. The WR has the nod in the power department. You can't go wrong with either one, and if you pick out a blue Suzuki and take the stickers off, everyone will think it's a Yamaha anyway.

My friend just picked up an 02 DRZE 400 and he likes it a lot. He is about your size. I rode it and found it to have good power, plenty for a guy wanting to cruise around. The suspension is softer than my WR and the seat is a lot softer,, a lot.. Good bike... I wanted kickass though thats why I choose the WR450..

I still get a kick out of these questions. The answer to this question , regardless of the application, except maybe 50km/hr highway driving LOL, is always WR. More power, better suspension, more reliable. It's that simple

That's simply your opinion and isn't "true" for everyone.

Yep, both good bikes, but quite different. I'd compare the DRZ to a powerful more modern XR400: very solid reliable bike with a big torque motor. Downside is weight and (partly as a result or weight) the suspension doesn't handle high speed rough stuff well. DRZ is an excellent trail bike but don't forget to get one with a kick start as a supplement to the e-start if you're WAY off road (that is only an option not standard).

WR has more power and "hit", making it less user-friendly for some beginners, better for those who like power. It also has better suspension for rough off-roading. Better package for aggressive riders. The '03 feels a little top-heavy due to a higher cg than the latest version.

Unless the DRZ was a much better price I'd choose the WR of the two; you might outgrow the thrill on the DRZ.

My research brought me to the same two choices in bikes. I was told that the DRZ was the best dual purpose (street/dirt) bike out there. I wound up with the WR450 because I decided the street was no place for me to be riding (something I still regret, but too many cars, traffic, etc on LI). Plus, as it turns out, I'm a speed freak (another reason I shouldn't be on the street with a bike). So the WR made much better sense for me because it's a better dirt bike. It sounds like your a bit mellow, so the DRZ may be a good choice, plus you can ride it on the street, whereas the WR is more difficult to make street legal. As stated above, definitely get the kick starter along with the E start, you never know.

If you are looking used don't overlook the wr426. You won't get the e-start button but they still have plenty of punch and are VERY dependable :applause:

Get an XR400. The WR needs to be loved. It's a high performance bike and need regular attention (oil, filter changes, suspension bearing & headstem re-greases, rear tire replacement, standing around thinking of how to make it go harder). Besides, it sounds like your a bit mellow and like to take in the Desert air, appreciate the surroundings, smell the flowers, smoke the wacky tabaci. The XR is comfy, can be punted plenty quick, and needs stuff all attention. They go on for ever. There's only one way to ride the WR and that's flat out.

The XR is an interesting choice, but no electric start? Also, I read that the suspension on the DRZ400E is much better.

FWIW, my buddy bought a KLX400 about the same time I bought a WR450 (in 03). He's a bit mellower than I am and likes to cruise the desert while I like to push my own personal envelope as much as possible. Every time we switch bikes, he gets off mine saying he wished he'd bought a WR, and I'm always glad to be back on my WR.

There's only one way to ride the WR and that's flat out.

I disagree with this statement. I have ridden both the 450 and 426 in some tight stuff and they do really well and it's sure nice to have the quick power and handling when climbing and dodging ruts :applause: My 426 has a nice thick seat which makes a little harder to swing my leg over but once I sit down by butt sinks about 3 inches and it's comfy for hours :eek:

I currently own both bikes. I think the best choice for you would be the DRZ. It's a great bike, just not for racing. For just riding it's hard to beat.

Hey byggd, It could be just me, I get on my WR and turn into a monster with big red eyes and big white teeth wanting only to roost my mates before they roost me. I've tried to putt around but for some reason it always ends up being a race. There doesn't seem to be a right gear for sight seeing.

I second that motion :applause:

Nice to see this isn't another DRZ bashing thread. I would have bought a WR in '02

had it had e-start.

The DRZ is very comfy but is spooky at high-speed across the desert. A big-bore,

steering dampner and heavier springs are a must for agressive riders like myself.

If you want to haul-ass right outta the crate, get a WR. If you want to check out

the scenery in comfort, get a DRZ.


my boss has a drz and I find it a very capable bike. It'll go anywhere my WR will go. I'll be considering one for my next ride. I know for a fact that my WR is way better than I'll ever be. If you want to be 'sic' and have the best toys, get the WR. If you are realistic got the DRZ. Have you considered a EXC?

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