CRF450x vs. WR450f -- Tight Trails Weapon

I sell both and have rode both and the Yamaha seems to perform better in my opinion, but the Honda sells better. The Yamaha hits harder on the bottom and through the mid and weighs less than the Honda and usually sells for less than the Honda. I am riding an 06 Yamaha on the street and with only the "free" mods done and it cruises at 75 MPH and gets there fast. Unless you are looking at the 06 Hondas - you will more than likely deal with valve problems. My thought go with a Yamaha.

Have your heard of a KTM EXC450 ?

I think you may find the KTM EXC models a better tight woods bike. The CRF and WR are great bikes and will carry you through the woods nicely. But, I think they are more designed for more open riding conditions on the west coast.

I went from a WR450 to a EXC450 and the EXC450 is more tractable in tight conditions.

Happy Trails

I agree :applause: The KTM is a better tight woods bike, no, make that exceptional, and, it has a 6 speed trany for the high speed stuff.

However, it's got absolutely nothing on the WR from 0 to 60 in the dirt! NOTHING :banghead: and when you weigh 255 like me, it's nice to smoke the little guys where it counts. :lol:

You should really consider a 2 stroke KTM 300, I am.

Rode one 2 weeks ago and I can tell you it was amazing in the tight stuff.

You should really consider a 2 stroke KTM 300, I am.

Rode one 2 weeks ago and I can tell you it was amazing in the tight stuff.

Then a 125 should be even better! But neither has a happy button.

And what about the "not so tight stuff"? Besides...this forum ain't "2-smoke talk"! he he. :banghead:

There are times I wish the bike had less suspension, because frankly, I don't use it. I'm not jumping tripples with my WR, and there are very few places I've ran into in the woods where i needed that kind of groud clearance too. I think it'd be a great bike if it was 2 inches lower..... And, for the record, the KTM is just about 2 inches lower.

Amen, its about time someone said it! and you don't really need that much suspension for jumping either. You do need it for the nasty MX/SX whoops however! but how often do we encounter those on the trails.

And another thing, If you like your starter, your YZ style seat, the less weight, better handling and more power of the newer WR then Thank ME! Why ME you ask? Because I took the time to fill out the questionaire that Yamaha sends out a few months afer the sale of a bike, and it just so happens that those are all of the boxes that I checked!!! but I suppose that I am not the only one who wanted a better WR:thumbsup:

lastly you can have your suspension lowered! I rode a KX125 that was lowered 2" and loved it.

i'm in the same boat it's a hard decision. I currently own a 02 400mxc, and an 04 crf 450 with xr forks, flywheel weight, auto clutch, etc. and last year I had an 03 450exc and a 04 300exc 2 stroker. For the record i HATE ktm 's rear suspension . To me it feel like the ass is always riding too high and it throws the whole bike off! on ktm's I have tried many valving and spring options and just cannot live with the linkless rear end. in my op. the 04 300exc 2 stroker was by far the best in tight woods speeds 5-15mph with lots of turns. On steep techinal climbs wheelspin can be an issue. My tricked out crf is awsome but it needs the button.

I rode an uncorked 03 wr 450 the other day and loved it! The susp. felt awsome, and the front end felt very planted and stable like it was wired into my brain! I think it would do fine in the tight stuff(by 450 4 stroke standards). So for 06 I gittin a wr 450 and a yz 250(woods mods) for the super tight stuff bye bye ktm and honda I'm going blue.

KTM 400 exc, I wish I had one and from the sounds of things we do the same type of riding. They are reliable also, I read somewhere, I think DirtRider that they had a 400exc with over 20k documented miles on the valve train. From the way you describe your riding I would seriously consider one. :banghead:

big bore that 250 for the best of both worlds! :banghead:

Go with WR

For an aggressive rider, nothing beats a KTM 200 in tight woods IMO. The 300 is the best "do-it-all" 2-stroke, is more like a 4-stroke -- they are 40+ and 30+lbs respectively, lighter than the big 4-strokes you are looking at.


I think I will be updating to the new WR450 myself. After briefly considering a few other options there are really no other bikes that offer so much versitility and performance in a variety of conditions. AND with unsurpassed dependability and durability...but still comparing well in performance to many of the more 'fragile' designs out there! All that and probably the best value out there. Too easy!

Hmm was thinking of getting a CRF450 for a second bike but will have to rethink it after all the stuff on reliability issues and valves. Had my 03 since new with over 5000 trouble free miles on, the only issue I have with it is the bike is a bit top heavy for tight woods riding and steep hills and of course it is heavy anyway if you happen to have to pick it up. I couldnt see myself going to a smaller sized bike again, once you ride a big bore there is no going back, love the power.

...And when we stop to rest, you can just push the magic buttom on the 450x, while the wr are a pain in the ass to start after a while of riding...

Huh :banghead: Maybe the WR spring in the electric starter button is stiffer? Mine is pretty easy to push, have it running within a second of hitting the ebutton on my 04 WR450F, not hard on my thumb or anything? :applause:

Had my 03 Wr450 for the last 2 years, just bought a new 05 CRF450X.

Must say, after my first 80mile ride, I'm wondering if I should not have gone for the 06 WR.

suspension felt harsh - hopefully I can adjust this

Stalls easier in the tight stuff

Wide tank feels worse than my old Acerbis 3.7 gal

Didnt like the handling on steep descents at all, front wheel felt like it wanted to tuck under

Even with fat bar renthals and bar raisers (as used on my old WR), the bars feel too low when standing (I'm 6ft2"), will have to try and raise them further.

Early verdict is not good, mabe with time I will aclimatise

I don't think the phrase "CRF450X vs. WR450f--Tight Trails Weapon" is possible. Neither of these heavy and over powered bikes are close to being a "Tight Trails Weapon". More like a "Tight Trails Handicap". I am not being funny either. If you ride tight technical single track, you will be smoked in the tight sections by a 2 stroke ridden by a rider of equal ability. I know, my previous bike was a 250F and I now have a KX250 2 stroke. There is no comparison in the handling department. End of story.

As far as which out of these two bikes will be better than the other in tight trails? I think with proper motor tuning and a good chassis/suspension setup, either would do ok for just the weekend trail rider. Bone stock and with all the emissions crap removed, the 450X powerband will be easier to manage it the tight stuff and the seat is about 500 times more comfortable for when you are tired and can no longer stand up after wrestling that big heavy pig around for a few hours.

If you are hell bent on a four stroke for tight trails work, then I would recommend the previously mentioned 400exc or a WR250F with some motor work to get the much needed bottom end to be sufficent. All this business about maintenance being an issue, it is all a bunch of poop. Now matter what bike you have, it will never be a "wash it and put it away" deal. If maintained properly, You will be performing maintance just as much on any 2 or 4 stroke. They all have chains, brake pads/fluid, air filters, oil, suspension, fork seals, spokes, wheel bearings, linkage bearings, cables, carbs, and pistons etc...that needs servicing frequently. You just add premix to one and adjust valves on the other. Again, I would know. Been there done that.

For the record, my belief is that the KTM300exc or GasGas 300EC are the best "do it all" bikes out there. Mucho better handling and the tractable power of a 4 stroke and starting is a non issue. They are cheaper too, price out the labor + parts the top end on a 450f valve kit and piston kit vs a 300 2 stroke? Plus, most get two years + on 300 top ends. You will ride faster, longer, and in more control, and most importantly, enjoy your riding more. Which is why you bought the thing in the first place. The only hang up is that the 450's make better dual sports. So take that into consideration as well. If you are not planning on plating your bike, then 300 2 stroke is the way to go in tight trails.

That is just the opinion of someone who has rode a bunch of bikes and ride/race enduros 35 to 40 weekends of of the year. I am not being anti 4 stroke. If I wasn't riding Enduros on tight single track trail, I would be on a 450, they seem to be better in the more open stuff and make great dual sports. Which is what I am aiming for with my next bike purchase. Something that would have the handling good enough for enduro work and perform extra duty as a dual sport. Having just a race bike isn't what I had in mind when I started riding. Having 2 bikes isn't economically practical for me.

Thank you bandit, well said. I only bought my WR because it was easy to plate and affordable at the time. I ride allot of tight stuff and I'm not near as fast as I was on 125 2 stroke but I sure get a great workout when I ride now.

forget that! The WR is way better than the X been there done that! My WR starts just fine everytime!

What Bandit9 said!! I've owned 3 WR's, love them. But, I'm switching to a 300 XC-W next year. I prefer single track, and I'm looking for something more agile for racing.

I just purchased the o6 wr400. I took it on some of the tightest single track I have ever ridden, last Sat. It handled better than I could have imagined. Loving that E start as well. :applause:

I've been riding WRs for years. I bought an 04 KTM300MXC just to mix things up a bit a while ago. I had fun with the bike but felt I rode a fourstroke better. I love to "Chug" up steep hills in 1st or 2nd and not have to work so hard doing it. The 300 had great power, I've always loved twostrokes but really missed riding a fourstroke. My KTM had nothing over the WR in the handling department, the last two model WRs are really great handling bikes. If anything the WR lost it's tall, big suspension feel from previous models, It's now a trail bike and handles like one. My brother in law has a new KTM400exc, man what a nice bike.. He loves the thing and rides it really good. For me it's a little underpowered but the bike has the right power for riding fast through ugly sections, truly a great bike.... He's had no problems with it. Two of my buddies just went out and bought CRF450x's they really like em'. They're big Honda fans and really wouldn't consider anything else. I don't hear much about them though...

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