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

Sadly, once again..... I would absolutely love to be able to say I have some sort of connection with Canada, but no. I'm just a simple core blimey guv'nor up the apples and pears Londoner... :D:D

I had my first ride on my 300 EXC yesterday and I can say for sure that it rides a lot lighter than my WR426. Riding it through the single track was like riding a mt. bike compared to the 426. I could just flick it anywhere I wanted it. The power is different but it didn't take too long to get used to the hit. It definetly could benefit from a Rekluse or I could learn to use the clutch better (nah).

Sometimes its better to stop trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. If the bike is too big then get one that isn't. Your experience my vary.

I know all about the dropping part. Blaster21996 drops his all the time. He has 40 inch biceps and it still happens around corners. I think it is not the rider at all. I am putting my dough on the bike being top heavy.

I have the same problem...5'9" w/29" inseam. I have a WR426, which is even a bit worse than the four-fiddies. So far, an IMS tank and YZ seat has helped a bunch. Carrying the fuel lower makes a difference. A bud has his 450 lowered by a suspension shop 2 inches (yes, you do lose ground clearance), and has not been happy with the action. He loves the reduced ride height, tho. My next stab is to carve the seat. It can't be much worse on your butt than the YZ seat as delivered, and it may gain an inch and a half or so. I'll post the results...anyone else have any experience here?

I know all about the dropping part. Blaster21996 drops his all the time. He has 40 inch biceps and it still happens around corners. I think it is not the rider at all. I am putting my dough on the bike being top heavy.

This guy has an 04, witch is a inch, or more taller then my 05'.

As far as a KTM comparison, there is no question the WR is more top heavy then the KTM 450exc. There is also no question the WR will out power the KTM 450 either.

ps. thats 42" bc :D .....

Hey man try a KTM EXC 200, super light, very fast for a 200, great handling and much easier to toss around! Plus its got a simple easy to fix engine. My friend is 5'6" and he loves his. He only weighs 150 lbs so it works for him

I'd look at the lowering link as suggested and pull the forks up in the clamps 10mm. It makes a big difference. I'd also soften the suspension up some as well. I've got to assume you ride a lot of rocks being in Utah. As long as I could stay moving, I was fine on my WR. As soon as it got really tight or I had to stop in a really rocky section behing someone, I was in trouble.

I had mine YZ timed and it just took a little time to get used to the power delivery. If I get another one, that would be the very first thing I'd do to it for riding in Colorado/Utah. It's just way more fun having that extra midrange and top end especially at altitude.

The 300 EXC has a different power delivery but it is not less powerful and it weighs considerably less. There is just no getting around the fact that carrying around 40 lbs. less weight makes a huge difference at the end of the day.

Seat carving works well on big plush seats- not optimistic about WR if yours is anything like my fairly thin seat 05. :D

I'm 5"7 and had the same height dramas when I first picked up my WR426(02).

As mentioned YZ seat and tank helped a heap. Not only do both sit lower, the YZ seat is a bit narrower, which while a little bit more uncomfortable does help as your legs don't have to go "out" as far before going down, if you know what i'm trying to say.

I've actually noticed this to be an improvement height-wise compared to a mate's '03 which has a lower, flatter sitting tank standard than the 02.

Apart from that, I just noticed the more I rode it the more accustomed I became and the problem doesn't seem as bad.

While I haven't tried it myself, I know some racers actually cut a bit out of the rear subframe to lower the rear end, but its getting a bit full on.

I'm 5"7 and had the same height dramas when I first picked up my WR426(02).

:D man, you are short!!!

you short guys should buy a ttr 125 and put the 450 motor in that,hang on though....

:D man, you are short!!!

The trick is to have trees or poles nearby when I need to stop. Or the ute.

It can also be a problem with dead engine starts in enduros, as I either need a rock or the stand down to get a good kick.

But unless its real slow, rocky or root invested terrain, i don't seem to have too many dramas.

5'9", 30" inseam at best, 165lbs. Consider looking into trimming your seat down. It will do two things: Let you touch the ground easier; and when you are sitting, the heaviest moveable part of the package, you, will be lower thereby lowering the combined center of gravity. Even though my current bike is low, I've ridden a 2005 wr450 and it seems too tall for me. I feel it would be akward in some tight places.

I've also ridden a 2005 450exc and it is tall also, maybe a little taller than the 2005 wr450. Sorry I didn't read all the posts before replying to cut your seat - I saw you've already done that. I'm not sure what to suggest. Just be aware that most other bikes are tall like your wr, before commiting to buy anything. Also, I would think that your trimmed-seat 2004 would still sit lower than a stock 2005.

This may seem stupid, but.....I read somewhere about someone adding an extra sole to their boots and it helped the ground-reaching problem for them. A lot cheaper than modding the bike also.

Hi all, I'm hoping for a bit of advice here, and I realize that this is the WR forums, but a lot of guys here ride other makes too. I'm terribly frustrated at the moment, and I could really use some help.

First, a bit of background...I do a lot of mixed riding; dunes several times a year, moab a few times a year, some singletrack, some light trail/fireroad. I need a bike with a bit of power for sand/etc, but that will be ok in other areas too. I'm 5'8" with a 29" inseam.

I though I had found the perfect bike in the WR; YZ cam modded, grey wire, JD kit, Scotts stabilizer, protapers, opened up airbox, Q2 w/ powerbomb, etc.

But I'm having a few significant problems with this bike.

First; I drop it; ALL the damn time! In moab several times I put my foot down in nothing but air and ended up dropping it. It's 1/2 because the bike is so top heavy, and 1/2 because it's so tall. If it gets beyond a certain angle (which happens at times because my legs are so short) it's going down, no questions asked. And if it stalls, there really isn't much selection in where I'm going to plant my foot.

Monday at American Fork canyon we were doing a tight singletrack, and I literally had to ask for my buddies help getting the bike out of a few sections because I couldn't get back on the bike to ride it out. :D And another time, I damn near dropped the bike off the edge of a 200' cliff because I couldn't touch the ground anywhere, and it stalled. REALLY scared me.

Second; it just feels really heavy and tall to me (which it is). I'm not a big guy, but I feel like a kid riding his daddie's bike sometimes. On the real steep sections of the singletrack saturday, there was no option but to ride it (wasn't even near walkable). By the end of a section I'd be hanging on for dear life by the handlebars, feet dangling in the air. Uuuugh. And thank Yamaha for the estart! There is NO way I could have gotten on it and kickstarted it in many of those sections.

So; I guess the problem is that the bike is big, and I am not. It's tall and top heavy.

So, do I deal with it? Sag is set correctly and the suspension is probably not perfect, but shouldn't be too far off. Can't really make it lighter; it's a pig, and that's what the bike is. Can't lower it without totally screwing up the geometry of the suspensions.

Or, do 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.

Sigh. I dunno; can anyone give me their opinions?

sell the WR, keep the jets, buy a CR500 and shave the seat foam. More power, 30 pounnds less weight ( it weighs 2 pounds more than a gen III aluminum framed CR250 2002-2005) and it will handle better than your WR.

Just my advice.

sell the WR, keep the jets, buy a CR500 and shave the seat foam. More power, 30 pounnds less weight ( it weighs 2 pounds more than a gen III aluminum framed CR250 2002-2005) and it will handle better than your WR.

Just my advice.

I got a CR500AF project underway! :D

My $.02, send the suspension to a shop that does lowering. You would be suprised how much easier it would be to ride with in even 1" lower. I have used Durrelle racing but there are others out there.

On my wifes KDX we had is made 1" shorter and it was much easier to ride with no loss of suspension that I could tell. Best $350 I even spent and it is removable if needed.


I love my WR and change my style of riding for what bike I ride, if you want a bike that is awsome for all types of riding and like unlimited power delivery try a 100th anniversary TE 450 husky awsome all down the line !!!

Thanks for all of your advice to date! I really appreciate it.

As some have said, the problem doesn't arise when I'm moving; only when I have to stop... I simply can't touch the ground!

As of right now, I'm looking for either a 2005 WR450 (1.5" shorter than the 2004), or a 300exc (much lighter).

If I stay w/ the WR, I get to keep all my spare parts, spare wheels, etc; and I get the benefit of better mileage, etc. My plan if I find a 2005 WR is to get a recluse and keep the WR cam (although the YZ cam is a blast, I just don't think it lends itself to slow speed riding); and hopefully have someone tweak the suspension without lowering it (don't want to lose the ground clearance). If none of that works, I'll either lower it or get a KTM 2 stroke!

Anyone know of any 2005 WR450's for sale? :D

This posts just festers some of the problems I've had with the transition from a KTM300EXC to a WR426.

I'm 6'-3" and 230lbs. Riding the WR426 made me feel like I just got weak overnight (and I would not be considered weak). The WR is so freaking top heavy and tall, compared to the KTM. It's been a huge adjustment. I hit a tight downhill off camber switch back and I can't help but fall over or not make the turn. It's also a bear in the narrow steep rocky stuff (like Moab). I don't know how many times I just hit the throttle and prayed I would make it up sections in Pritchet Canyon. Of course, I would have to ride my buddies WR250F up the same section (it would be easy) and realized the WR426 is a different animal. I've ridden another friends 2005 WR250F and now think that is the bike to have. It reminded me of my old KTM300EXC, except it was better more controlled. I hated mixing the oil and gas, and I constantly had major maintenance issues with my KTM (Main bearing went out, bad electrical). Personally, if I had to do it over again, I would get a 2005+ WR250F. Of course, the trails are very technical and tight here in North Idaho and gives you little chance to open up the big boy 426.

How about checking out a quality Upolstery Shop and have your seat foam shaved an inch a or 1 1/2 inches and then re-install you seat cover? Damn, that sounds so good I might do it as well...5'9'' 30 in inseam Let me know if you have it done.

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