06 WR 450...my first impression

Well I finally got my new mount out this morning for about 25-30 miles of mixed terrain...some single track, some woods, hill climbs, GNCC type stuff.

I was sure I would miss my 05 KTM 525, but I was pleasantly surprised. My 06 has the FMF with power bomb, gray wire, airbox mods, throttle stop removed, stock suspension, and just about perfect jetting.

I was a little bothered by the first gear. I know it is designed for crawling and tractoring over rough terrain, but it drove me nuts. I found myself shifting all the time to get into 2nd and 3rd so that I could actually get moving! In fact, about half way through the ride, I began to start in second gear. This is my first WR transmission, so I am sure I will learn to like this.

I was amazed the seat didnt feel as hard as I had feared. I even thought while riding that the seat was relatively comfortable(especially compared to the KTM). The stock suspension(I am 210 wihtout gear) was almost perfect. I added about 5cc of fork oil to each tube and adjusted my clickers to my liking and I am done with the front; no bottoming (even over a couple doubles) and very responsive/forgiving. The rear is a little soft; not as bad as I had feared however. I will respring this week and that will be it.

The motor is amazing. Seamless power, very little wheelspin in the first 2-3 gears which made controlling this beast very easy. I havent worked so little on a ride in a long time! Afterwards, I even remarked to my buddies how easy the ride was. The bike feels small and nimble, unlike my KTM. I have heard poeple mention the WR felt "top heavy" but I would definitely disagree. The stock Dunlop 756 actually held up! usually it was 2 rides on the KTM and they were history. My tires look almost new!

The front brakes are a joke on this bike..probably the worst I have ever experienced; no bite and little feel. I am hoping some steel lines and a pad swap will fix this! This is my only real complaint, which should be easy to fix.

So in conclusion, I love it! Not quite the fit and finish on my KTM but an easier bike to ride most definitely. Once you get into the gear box this thing flat out hauls ass! I would strongly recommend this bike. Hope this is some what helpful.


and to think, one of my friends recently "upgraded" from a wr to a ktm 525.

I think the wr's are the finest off road bikes made.

Posner, very nice write up. :banghead: Let us know which front brake solution works out best.



that's odd about the front brake.my buddy has an 05 yz450 and it's super strong.almost too much for my liking.

I agree with 90% of your review... Though my rear shock is perfect for me, make sure your sag is set up properly.. The spongy front brake on my 04 KTM was no match for the front brake on my WR... In 05 the Honda patent ran out on the front brake line route and the WRs front brake was vastly improved with the change, I'm really surprised you don't like it.... Something tells me it has something to do with the extra oil in your forks and your settings, maybe to rigid, too much or not enough rebound.. :banghead: I wished I had your forks... I've heard they're the best so far....

Congrats......... Let's get that jetting perfect.... :banghead:

I have 3 rides on my '06 WR-450F. I am coming off a KTM too, but a 2002 400EXC. I am 5'10" and about 215. Here's my observations so far.

The WR did seem a bit top heavy and I couldn't get it to turn on the first two rides. What I found out is that the 739 front tire is crap in Ohio in the fall. I swapped the 773 from the KTM to the WR and that helped the bite. I then moved the forks down in the triple clamps to the first marker and wala, she turns even better than the EXC.

The seat is way better on the WR than the three different ones I had on the KTM. The KTM totally messed up my tail bone. I get no tail bone issues with the WR and hopefully this will give it a chance to heal.

The EXC was really ready to ride out of the box. I had to do the snorkle mod, gray wire, baffle, and throttle stop to get the WR to produce the kind of power I was looking for. Several hours of work that was not necessary on the EXC.

Speaking of power, the WR is amazing! I had to use the clutch on the EXC to get over logs. The WR has so much more power everywhere than the EXC. Amazing considering how quiet the WR is compared to the EXC.

The hardware on the WR is not nearly as good as the KTM. For example, I've already stripped one of the screws on the bottom of the carb on the WR. KTM's are fine 4 years later. There are also a bunch of different types of fasteners used on the WR. You can do just about everything on the KTM with a 8mm and 10mm socket and a couple of allen wrenches.

Changing oil on the WR is messed up. It took an hour and a half to do it! I never could get to the one bolt near the regular drain bolt. Seems way more difficult than it needs to be.

I really miss the hydraulic clutch on the WR. The adjustment seems to move around a lot. I changed the oil and put Mobil1 15W-50 in it and it was alot better on the last ride.

Overall, I am very pleased with the WR and I expect it to get even better as I get the suspension dialed in.

I would agree with the comment on the YZ 450 front brake. I have an 04 YZ 450 and the front brake is amazing. Still, nothing is like the stock Brembo brakes on the KTM. As I mentioned the WR brakes are crap. Again this should be easily remedied.


Hi, I recently bought a stock standard WR 450 2005 model and although i enjoy it it just seems very lazy. I went from a CR 250 to the 4 stroke bike but am worried about a few things.

1. The standard pipe is terrible and have heard that that is the first thing you throw away. does not sound like a serious 4 stroke currently.

2. Changing the main jet to a 168 is what i hear is the right thing to do.

3. Drilling holes in the air box.

4. Bike is not responsive to turning sharp corners and seems very loose in rocky terrain.

5. Back suspension is a bit soft.

I would appreciate some advice getting my bike up to race spec as i am riding my first hare scramble on my new bike this weekend and seem to be off the pace.


For starters, go ahead and drill out the rivets holding the stock exhaust baffle in; The bike will sound like it is actually a gasoline powered engine rather than battery powered. Take out the snorkel and do the rest of the airbox mods. While your at it, swap install the 48 pilot and the 168 main for starters. Pull your gray wire, and remove the throttle stop in the carb. Should take about 2 solid hours(depending on your pace). This will dramatically wake up your bike I promise. Otherwise the stock bike is a choked up turd.


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