2006 450 Enduro Shootout, AUS Dirt Bike

For Info: Interested Parties

February Issue of Australasian Dirt Bike Magazine contained a test of eight 450s:

The WR450F, KTM 450EXC, CRF450X, Gas Gas 450 FSE, TM EN 450es, Husky TE 450, Husaberg FE450 and Sherco 4.5i.

The scores were close with the bikes rating between 76.3 and 83.4. The WR came in 6th with 77.4 with the KTM taking honours.

Being an Aussie Model, I presume the testers had not done the grey wire mod (I believe the throttle stop is predone by Yamaha Australia) and the pipe was standard. Some quotes included: "just get on and hit the button..again and again..extremely trail bike orientated...very resilient, rock solid and wisper quiet.."

Just thought you'd be interested...

(amended 14/01 due factual error : WR came 6th, CRF was a 05 model, rest were 06)

Mate you are dead right. Yamaha here in Australia delivered my WR450 with the shorter throttle stop screw, and had taken the small restrictor out of the end of the muffler before i recieved it. That was all they had done. After having a worked WR426 with ALL the mods I was very disappointed till I bought this one up to scratch. Even the Std needle in the 450 only had one notch for the clip to sit in!! (not like the usual 7 or 8) A JD Kit and power now along with a Yoshimura Tri Oval exhaust soon got it hummin, It now rips...

Glad I did not get a test ride on it or it might have had me thinking, why get rid of the 426!!


Having bought ADB for years, I was reading the october 30th aniversary i issue and felt that there was an almost anti yamaha bias.

only hours later my wife ( not a dirt bike magazine readrer) said, " gee it's almost like they dont like yamahas in here" ( i had said nothing about it) and was quickly able to refer to a couple of statements within the magazine that supported this theory .

eg description of new yz 85 " 'just slapped'new graphics and called it an 06"

the 450 shootout at the time

'Yamaha Australia declined our offer to include the 2005 wr450 in this comparo'

and for a market with sales dominated by yamahas there seemed surprisingly less blue pictures than in most other dirt based motorcycle publications.

my suspicion is that maybe these sort of publications get a little power and recognition and possibly start to push their weight around and get a little demanding and given that it is 'just ' a magazine, yamaha may have decided not to have terms dictated to them and that, therefore can effect results to be published. I may be wrong, but it didnt take a lot of reading between the lines to create that assumption. again it may be wrong.

I now only read Dirt Action and Australian Trailrider. how dare anyone say that the wr isnt gods gift to trail riding.

YES i accept i may have a pro Yamaha bias, but i try to remain objective.

i accept that the 2 or so year old crf design is in some aspects better that a nearly nine year old wr design. like a comparo between a Wr and an Xr, just not nearly so big a gap.

oh and glossy magazine pages are no good to wipe your butt with, even if it feels good if it has a picture of a crf on it.

You have a wife with great insight - mine doesn't even know the different models let alone read the mags. As an infrequent reader I hadn't seen any bias in that Aussie Mag but I would not be surprised if what you say is true.

Long live the WR.

Interesting that in the previous months edition, the new for 2006 YZ450 was just pipped into 2nd place by the KX...sort of adds to your theory!


The scores were close with the bikes rating between 76.3 and 83.4. The WR came in 7th with 77.4 with the KTM taking honours.
I haven't read it but no doubt the WR lost points for a "top heavy" cumbersome feel and was compared to a 650 instead of 450's...as all the testors like to point out. I can't wait until the most durable and reliable motor in the class gets the all new chasis it deserves!

I haven't got that issue yet, still waiting........

I think everyone is right about yamaha getting the wrong end of the stick.

KTM always wins - it should, it is a great bike.

Australian mags seem to spank over Honda - every second page there is a honda advertisement, so what's up there?

I don't care where the bikes come now days, as you can see, it is pick a colour, any colour and you have a great bike (as long as it is not red! :applause:).

I have also read the comparison between these 8 bikes. Having ridden the KTM, Husqvarna, Yamaha and Husaberg i can understand how the KTM was pretty much the pick-of-the-bunch. I also think that the philosophy behind these bikes and their manufacturers is what gives them their unique character and they're different bikes for different folks and purposes. At the end of the day it's all about personal choice and my personal choice was (and is) my '05WR450F. For the price, set-up options, dealer network and proven track record of these engines, I'm pretty happy with my decision - live and let live - but get a second opinion before believing a (possibly biased) mag.

"top heavy" cumbersome feel...

"Top Heavy" were two words NOT used in the (brief) test report - I thought they fixed this from 05 on?

I can PDF the page on the WR to anyone via e-mail if keen.

The Final words in the test were:

"..engineered the WRF into a rock solid trail bike. It's wisper quiet, loves to be ridden on the open trails and is very resilient in extreme riding conditions. For racing, the WRF needs to go under the spanners and be granted a few trick bits."


I don't even bother to buy these two aussie mags anymore, for the exact reasons as pointed out above. One mag I do buy here is Trailbike Adventure Mag as it has more about what I like to do with my bike. Getting out into the big vast areas for adventure riding and in my opinion they cover it well, some times giving away GPS co-ordinates to good areas, as well as showing some teriffic trails to explore.

I also ride with mates who payout on the Yamahas now they think they have something worthy of to compare (with their Hondas), RELIABILTY is the key little word that keeps floating around in my head, I don't give it back but they will get theirs. Yamaha seem to me to have that no question..


yeah Trailbaike Adventure is one of my favourites too, i just couldnt find one at the time as my boys 'acquire' them and then there gone.

I am a little surpised at the response to this topic re ADB, that is why i took care to say I may be wrong.

its dissapointing given that the WR is the first bike in australian bike sales history to sell more bikes than the government ( Aust Post) issue postie bike and that the YZ 250 is the most popular mx bike ever.

i suppose money can buy opinion.

its dissapointing given that the WR is the first bike in australian bike sales history to sell more bikes than the government ( Aust Post) issue postie bike and that the YZ 250 is the most popular mx bike ever.

i suppose money can buy opinion.

That is the biggest point of all for the Australian market. For all you American's out there, that is an insane number of bikes!

Looks like the public is well educated and know a great bike when they see it. I know my mates are scared off the honda's and it is all blue here. Everyone here has a bike too, but all yamaha 4 strokes! I think there is 2 KTM's in town as well.

As for anti yamaha mags, I don't know about that, but I know "dirt action" is definately a honda mag. The YZ450's got great reviews in both aussie mags, the '06 wr450 is old design, it may work, but it is old. People are getting tired of it. the '07 model will sell the most bikes out of any year here in Aust.

I myself wanted something a little more exotic like a TM530 or a Husaberg 650 but it is the reliability that I got the 2 Yamaha's for. When you live 1000kms away from a bike shop, I want to be out riding my bike with the missus and mates, not waiting for parts.

What gets me though is these mags do comparo's on models like the WR and CRF/X but don't mention the fact that they go like Poo when std.!! Lets face it we all know KTM's come pretty well uncorked out of the box, but WE DO

know and accept we have to do mods to the jap bikes to get them going, or their would be no need for a site like this one.

In the mags they talk like their test bikes have mods done too, or how else would they be able to be doing mono's down the beach/trails, or power slide the rear end ect.. Mine wouldn't even put the front wheel off the ground std let alone have enough power to keep it there. Are their so called STD off the showroom floor test bikes std?? This is where the test comparo's get a little clouded I think. are we really getting the true story, I think not.

(My 2c Worth)


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