Rethinking my choice in the WR; need a bit of advice please

Ground clearance and suspension travel and geometry shouldn't really be an issue if the bike is so tall you can't ride it safely...

I'd lower the bike if I were you before I sold it for something else that won't work either.

Just how short are you anyway? :D

I have a 426 and am 6'1".

There is still no getting around the fact that it is a top heavy bike. Before you go and spend even more money on fixing it ask around and see if you can try out someones KTM 300EXC. Try asking on ktmtalk if there is a rider who could let you try it out. The 300 is a good option for people who want a lighter bike but still want to be able to lug it some. It will never be a wr450, but what it gives up in the lower powerband it makes up for in flickability.

Just my 1/2 cent worth.

Have it profesionaly lowered and install a Rekluse auto clutch. No more tipping over and no more stalling. I love my auto clutch. Cant imagine riding without it. You would be amazed at how much fun that autoclutch is in stuff like the Moab rocks.

Check out Durelle Racing for suspension mods. Davey (owner) is all of 5'4" and is an expert rider who knows what it takes to make tall trailbikes work for shorter riders.

I think there's a bit of a learning curve getting on a fourstroke from a twostroke. I think any brand of fourstroke is going to "feel" heavier than a 200 pound twostroke. I feel twostrokes have a lot of advantages over the best, lightest fourstroke motorcycle. They're different in many ways. My last bike was an 04 KTM300mxc, and my current bike is an 05 WR450. I can honestly say my KTM had nothing on the WR as far as handling, my WR is a nice, docile bike in the tightest, rocky singletrack. I'm 5'8 and my inseam is 30" and I don't experience any "top heavy" feeling on my bike. I rarely tip my bike over, I crash but it's never because the bike's too damn top heavy. There's a big difference between the 04 and 05 WR's in the handling department, the seat height is lower as it the engine. No doubt the 04 is a tall bike.. Correct suspension setup is also key... I personally would never my lower bike...

... I personally would never my lower bike...

yamaha did it for ya dan! he doesn't state whether or not the bike is a 03-04 or 05, but the 05 was radically lowered. it felt more like my kids crf 230 than my 04 wr450,when i rode the 05. beleive me,the 03-04's are top heavy and i'm 6'4",maybe an 05 might be the ticket,then you can transfer all the go fast goodies :D I sell it and get a KTM of which I know nothing about (2" shorter seat height; 36.4 vs the 38.5 of the 04 WR). And then sell all my extra parts (extra front and rear wheels w/ sand tires), filters, a complete jet kit (dang near EVERY jet for the WR), etc? It'd be a huge hit financially, and I"d have to buy everything again. From what I read the reliablity on the KTM is a question mark and it seems to be better w/ the WR; maintenance seems to be worse on the KTM too.

Don't believe that a KTM will be any lower out of the box, regardless of the published seat height spec.; my KTM 2-strokes are just as tall as my WR. You might try lighter springs, lowering your forks, setting the sag, etc. on the WR.

IMO the WR feels as light as any big-bore 4-stroke. However, if you are focused on a very light bike; the KTM 200 or 300 2-strokes are nice. The 300 is 30lbs lighter, best all around 2-stk, w/big 4-stroke torque. The 200 is 40lbs lighter, turns better than the 300, will walk all over any 250F, nice mid hit, flexible 6-speed, most fun if you ride WFO.


I have already posted my thoughts on the KTM side of things but after reading some of these replies, I think have a few more thoughts. I too had a hell of time adjusting to the WR feel as I was coming off an XR250. Top heavy and tall and I am 5'11" with a 30" inseam. I was about to sell the dam thing when I lowered the sag a bit more and started to grab more throttle ands less brake. I really do like the WR now and find myself riding better now than ever. The WR, like all bikes has a sweet spot and it may just take some time to dial it in for you needs. If you must sell it and go to Orange, the 300 EXC will be a great bike but may not handle the dunes. I say try to dial in the WR... it is a GREAT bike and you have sooooo much cash into it already.

my .02

Rich; that's a good point. Maybe it's the YZ timing that is causing me so many problems. I thought the YZ timing gave me a lot MORE power down low, but it's possible that it's causing me to stall a lot more due to having to feather the throttle a lot more. But MAN it's fun in the sand; that was the one mod that made a LOT of difference. Wish there was a way to go back and forth from it.

I should mention too that I'm 13 tooth on the front already.

Blacknblue; I shaved the seat already (about as much as you) but haven't done anything with the forks due to the things I've read about stability being compromised at high speeds. Have you noticed any of that?

Ovrdrive; good point. I"m 5'8"

Bfly; great avatar BTW. I haven't read any of the 300's in KTM's; I was worried they'd be too hard to drive on the trail w/ that 'hit' but maybe I'm overthinking that...

YZman/Farkawi; good tip on the rekluse. Does it make it easier to ride, or just not to stall? I'm worried about it 'catching' in the wrong spot; is it more linear grabbing than I am thinking? Thanks for the Durelle tip.

Dan; I haven't ever rode a 2 stroke (much anyway), so I don't think it's that. I've just ridden lighter and shorter 4 strokes, mostly air cooled.

NC; that's a great point. It's an 04; so it's definitely taller. The 05 I thought just had a lower seat by only 20mm, which is why I hadn't really thought about it. Is it actually shorter than that? You're correct in that I could keep all my goodies; that might be the ticket if it is actually shorter.

Elton; I wish you were closer! You have dang near every bike I'd like to ride to figure out what I want! Do you think the 300exc is ok in trails, mountains, and slow speed stuff?

JTWR; thanks for the reassurance. I'ts just frustrating beating up your new bike, especially when it's still so new! Only have about 300 miles on it now (had 8 when I bought it), and put probably 500 miles on the 03 I had.

Would buying an aftermarket tank that holds more gas but carries it lower help? You could always just fill it up 2 gallons. I have been thinking about doing this becauseI road one that had a acerbis 3.1 ( I think ) and It felt really good, not sure if it was the tank style or how is carried the gas not sure? Steve.

I actually thought about that too; I wonder if it would help?

I thought about taking off my lights, etc; estart (although that would have REALLY screwed me the other day), and trail bags/tools/ but I really need that stuff!

keep riding dude,dont give up on the wr...

I had the same issue when I bought my son his YZ250F. He went from an XR100 to the YZ. His toes barely touched the ground. To fix the issue, I loosened the rear spring and went overboard on the sag. I got it to the point where he could sit on the bike and he could be flat footed. He rode it like that for about 6 months, then, when he was used to the bike, we started tightening up the sag. It also helped that he grew a few inches, but, that is not going to help you.

For a quick fix, try loosening the crap out of the rear spring and ride it like that a few times until you get used to the bike. Go with about 4 to 5 inches of sag. Then when you feel comfortable on the bike, tighten up the sag again.

loosening up the suspension might not lend itself to riding in sand (wallering comes to mind) as far as removing all the starter and crap,i did that to my 04 wr and it lost over 20lbs,it helped the handling immensly, i ran the rekluse with it and the only time i had to kick it is when i shut it off(you can even wreck and the bike still runs,pick it up and go) pro-tec makes a billet kicker that i put on it also,shorter shaft=easier to get your leg up to and spins the motor faster(takes a little more effort but worth it)the 05 dropped the frame on the steering head,lowered the subframe and a couple other things. it feels 2 inches lower to me. in fact i couldn't ride it comfortably as tall as i am(6'4") i'd try an 05 before ya go to the dark side and buy a punkin'. my buddy ralph just bought a 05 exc 300 and i don't think it holds a candle to the 450's power,and handling(it may steer quicker but thats not always a good thing) hope ya figure it out :D

Thanks for the info NC; I thought the only diff w/ the 05 was the shorter seat by 20mm; if it is that much lower, that may be the way I need to go. That way I could keep all my goodies too! I'll keep my eyes open for someone that might be selling one or a shop that would let me ride one...

There is a reason the WR comes w/different timing and cam than the YZ! So it won't stall! I agree that you should take it to a suspension place that has a good reputation setting up supermoto bikes. Most s/m's are lowered about 2". They are usually much stiffer and have much slower rebound so tell them to set up your valveing for off road.

My friend has an 04 KTM 525 EXC and now he has had the suspension correctly set that thing is definately NOT smaller than my '03 WR450...

Another friend has the Rekluse deal in his 450, I rode it recently and it's a treat. The power delivery is completely unaffected and the 'biting point' is adjustable - he had his just above idle and it was perfect. I reckon it would be my next investment for trailriding :D

So, my advice would be the same as others on here have suggested; have the suspension professionally altered and revert back to WR timing, if funds allow go down the Rekluse route. I reckon if you can remove the stalling problem and make the thing easier to ride, that's well worth an inch or two of suspension travel. Especially if that suspension is properly dialled in....

Obviously I'm biased, but I would think long and hard before changing to KTM :D

i didn't know people "reckoned" in the UK,you from the carolinas?

Ha Ha!! Nah mate, we 'reckon' quite a lot over here.....

As much as I would like to say I live over there, sadly I don't :D

Who knows what the future holds though eh?

Too many laws and not enough open land over here, the 'nanny state' is in full effect; very soon we will only be allowed to

1. Work.

2. Pay taxes.

3. Die.

With very little in between....

He also used eh? Thats a Canadian thing.

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