Do I want a WR?

Hi guys. Looking for your opinions, so hang with me as I try to make a long story short. I've had MX bikes for decades, and on the 4-stroke side I've most recently had an 01 YZ426 and then an 03 CRF450. I sold my CRF about a year ago as they closed the MX track in vegas and when we dune I was the only bike rider. So my thought was I'd get a quad so we'd all be riding with the same equipment. We'll I just sold my quad 2 days ago so that experiment lasted about a year. :applause: We still have a Z400 quad (wifes) and a VW buggy but I REALLY REALLY miss having a bike.

So, my MX days are probably behind me (I'm 36, there's no track in Vegas anymore, and all of my friends quit riding bikes a couple years ago). My bike riding would probably be 90% when we're at the dunes, 8% Utah summer woods riding, and maybe 2% of the occasional wild-hair desert ride.

My thought was to maybe look at a WR as the best thumper I've ever owned was the 426, I loved the motor much more than even the hopped up CRF450 I had. And to be honest if the YZ still had a 5-speed gearbox I'd get one of those as I've always had an MX bike no matter what kind of riding I was doing (I'm pretty aggressive). I've also noticed you can pick up 2 to 3 year old WRs for relatively dirt cheap and since my racing days are probably behind me I really don't NEED a new bike (keep telling myself that).

So what do you guys think? I really like the Yamaha motor design, would I be happy with a WR or would I miss that heli powerfull grunt the YZ version has?

Thanks so much in advance.

I like mine. Its my first bike. I'm 24 and I have had about every sport/race quad made with the exception of the Tecate and LT250R. I took to it quickly. The motor is very easy to ride. I am still having trouble using the clutch on 4-strokes. I want to sell mine and get another 4-wheeler. The 06 TRX450R's are like the 04's should have been. The 2006 YZ's HAVE 5 gears. I would have a YZ if the 05 had 5. I bought it to trail ride and I don't think you could get any better. I'm in Western Kentucky and its wide open or tree's and it does great either way. You are supposed to be able to cut a ground wire and a few other things and have a YZ. It has tons of grunt. I think the 2005 model is the best one though. They are supposed to handle better and have a better motor. Being my first bike, I can't beleive you can have a motor that will pull a stump AND have more than enough top end power at the same time. I love the electric starter. I'f I'd ridden a 06 YZ I could compare. My friend just bought one. He hasen't let me ride it yet. I wish the 2004 TRX450R had this motor. Too bad your in Nevada. I'd sell mine to you.

The 2006 YZ's HAVE 5 gears.

Well, it's about time, they lost so many YZ sales because of the 4-speed looks like they finally bit the bullet and changed back. I let my MXA subscription run out when I sold my last bike, kinda didn't want to be involved with keeping up with bikes as it would be too tempting, but I've missed out on things like the 06's getting back 5th gear. I'm definetly not in the market for a brand new bike though, there's no way I can justify one based on what little seat time I do now.

Oh yeah, you're absolutely right about Honda screwing up royally on the TRX450, I new the 1st weekend we were at Dumont Dunes after they hit the showroom and nobody with a TRX was going near Comp hill (If they were bad azz they'dve been all over rubbing it in the faces of the YFZ guys. I'm convinced someone at Honda got fired over that release.

If you liked the 426, you might want to look for a cherry used WR426, they are out there, I found one on cycle still on the original tires (could see nubs) from the original owner in immaculate condition including 2 FMF pipes, Dr D hot start, new spare filters, spark plugs, shop/owners manual, levers, tail bag, Ca green....etc (the bike had been pampered) for $3400. I sold one pipe for $100, so for out-of-pocket = $3300 I have nearly a new green sticker bike that will last me for a long time (I am maintenance freak myself) that is a blast to ride.

Hey Rich,ive got a 05 WR450,used to race a CR250.I thought I would just ride again after 9years..The WR's are very detuned stock...with just bolt on mods and jetting I love trail riding like ive always done...these bike are so much easier and more powerful so you can get along much smoother..I went and raced a summer night series running the over 30 class and been 2nd to 6th in this class with about the average of 13 to 18 riders..these bikes are very reliable and will haul a_ _ ..if you want to tune it!!!!

Hey Rich, I'm in Vegas with an 03 WR450 and Arin has an 03 or 04 WR450. No complaints from either of us about the WR. If you doing the MX thing, get a YZ. If not, I think the e start-ed WR with free mods and few not so free mods would suit you fine!

Thanks. I guess the overriding concern I have is if the power (tamer), weight(bit heavier), and suspension (bit softer) than I'm used to (with MX bikes) would bother me on the WR. Sounds like most like the WR though, but again my background is on the MX side so I want as much opionion, especially from those that have come off MX bikes to WR-type bikes.


This is my first thumper 2 wheeler ('04 WR450F) got it in Sep of 05, before that:




Old KX 250

quads -

Raptor (sold)

YFZ450 (current dune machine)

As far as a dune bike, I think it is really tough to beat a CR500, that being said -

I have not had much time on the WR in sand. I have hit a few areas with small dunes and once during the summer I took it to Little Sahara, but only had a knobbie tire on the machine. I think its unfair for me to rate this bike on the sand since I have yet to ride it with a paddle tire. The YFZ is a rocket in the sand, and since they have the same motor, I would expect the same type of results.

As for the wight, I think it is noticable, but manageable. I have had my WR at the MX track and been able to keep up with the few guys I raced on a CRF450, KX and RM 250 - It handles like a 500cc 2 stroke IMO. I think a slimmer tank, different exhaust and ditching the OD, Lights, and extra guards I have mounted for offroad would really make it a versatile track bike. The gearing is not ideal for racing, but its do-able.

The e-start really does save a lot of energy on the long rides. As for power, it really has more than a 250cc 2 stroker, and it feels just a little weaker than a 500cc 2 stroke. It really is closer to the feel of a 500 in terms of power from what I can tell. I'm curious if anyone has dyno numbers that support or refute that observation?

The machine is nose heavy in the sand and requires weighting the back though. Pull all the unnecessary guards and accessories for a dune trip and I think it would work great, put it all back on and you have the best woods/desert machine I have ever been on.

Sorry for the long post.


do you like sex?

do you feel better after a bath or a shower?

do you like ice cream or chocolate?

are females in motorcycle magazines attractive to you?

and do you expect that by asking that question in a forum of one eyed crazy wr fans you may be discouraged from buying one?

no seriously, i keep saying over and over versatility is the key. yes there may be some bikes that perform some aspects of trailriding better than a Wr, but it still seems to be the one that has the overall package right PLUS reliability.

In some cases you may not be the first to the finish, but you will be everywhere, happily.

if your best mate is a four stroke mechanic, a CRF can be a good choice.

If you are a mental headed racer, go the husky.

If you are a capitalist elitist, go the kTM.

if you are a very likeable, good looking, smart, sexy, dynamic guy who wants his cake and to eat it too ( like me) get a wr.

as stated in a previous post, look for one that has been bought by someone copying and doing what all their freinds do, who then finds out they should have bought a 250 and sells their (standard/stock) WR becuase its too much of an animal. take your time and you'll find one in good condition, barely used.

I was actually suspicious when i bought my old 400 as it seemed too new for having done 2800ks. but the previous owner sold it as it was too fast and scary.....I love it, and it's not in that great condition anymore.

if you don't plan on registering the bike for riding on the road,

stick to the MX bikes. You will miss the power, handling, hate the weight.

Im kind of in the same boat Rich, Im 30 and had bikes years ago. Had full ACL knee replacementlast year and had an itch to start riding again after surgery but was worried about my knee holding up. I baught a $10,000 1995 yamaha banshee quad and soon realized that I was going to die on it if I didnt sell it. The guy who test drove it to buy it totaled it on the test drive (crazy powerband). He paid me in full before he went to the hospital. No kidding. So I baught my WR400 from the sale and thaught it was a fantastic bike until I did some free mods to it and it came to life like a sleeping dragon. My point is that you can ride the WR as is or slowely do free mods to get it very close to the YZ you had before. So its great. You get the best of both worlds if you want it that way. Anyway, thats my opinion and I will probley never sell this bike I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy and good luck...

and do you expect that by asking that question in a forum of one eyed crazy wr fans you may be discouraged from buying one?

Actually I do (if it wouldn't be right for me)! I know from years of experience on this board (with 2 different makes/forums) and from experience on some ATV and truck boards that you guys over here in the Yamaha corner of TT are some of the coolest, technically inclined and helpful guys anywhere on the net. With that said, I actually had some guys on the V10 side of the FTE board talk me out of buying one after we had a long thread discussion of what I tow, where I tow, and the frequency I tow....very cool.

Anyhow, I appreciate all you guys' feedback so far. The more I think about it the more intrigued I am about going that route. I do think I'd take a stab at going the street legal register route but I haven't researched that in general let alone if it's even doable in Nevada. I think that'd be a plus for Utah riding and a HUGE PLUS for riding in Arizona (strict there on off road stuff).

look at the KTM525 - ask indy450 about it, he has one.

6 speed, reliable, loads of grunt, weighs a lot less than WR, registerable.

My 04 was the 1st dirt bike I have ever owned- and at 45 when I got it I had no idea what I was getting into- I only have one regret- I wished I would have started riding on the dirt 20 years earlier- My road bike time has dropped to 1/2 of what I used to do- (30,000) miles a year!! because of my WR450- It has been --- well interesting to say the least- I can't think of a better bike for the off road riding I am doing.

Do it man, you wont regret it especially if you get it plated. And when you are in the LA area and want to ride look me up on this site, ill take you riding locally and Ill show you some hills only the blue bikes make it up. :applause:)

Thanks Steve, I may do that.

have you looked at the Ktm 525 6 gear wide tranny.

weighs the same as the 450's at 250 pnds dry. with the only difference is its

bored out. also ive beeen hearing wr's are top heavy and lack top speed .

My WR needs a diet plan- Oh it is called YZ.

I'd rather stay with Japanese products. Have a couple friends with KTMs and I've not been impressed to the point I can see paying more than a Japanese equivalent for the bike and then there's the parts expense. Plus, I never had a problem walking off and leaving them on my YZ426.

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