WR vs Cannondale Head to Head in Cal city

Just got back in from a ride on Sunday. Cannondale did a very good job at their first attempt in producing a MC (although it has taken a loooonnnnggggg time). We got to compare it Heads up with My WR and a freinds WR.

Right off of the trailer I was not happy with the way the bike felt. The throttle was way to sensitive and the suspension was to stiff for the conditions. The bike wore me out in about ten minutes. We changed the suspension settings and adjusted the throttle cable. The problem was that the fuel injection is so responsive and provides such good power right off of idle, the cable didn't have any slack in it at all and any slight movement on the right hand would surge the bike forward. Very hard to control with no slack. The next ride was 100% better. With a little more time with the bike I'm sure I could have made it perfect for me. Being that I ride more off-Road than MX I can't wait to see the Off-Road version of this bike.

Listed below are my likes and dislikes about the bike.


4 Stroke

Instant throttle response of the Fuel Injection.

Strong off idle power

Seat/Tank junction (flat and smooth Gripper type seat cover and medium/soft foam)

Bike feels light and narrow

Electric start

Positioning of the controls

Color and graphics (simple stuff)


Engine noise (exhaust note is mellow, engine noise is louder)

Oil breather hose to short (dumps oil out in front of your right boot)

As far as the ability to handle terrain it did well. High speed was a little shaky but it turned better than the WR. I feel better on the WR in a sand wash but like I said the MX400 turns better (not a lot though).

The drag race went like this.

My WR 400, YZ timed WB E-series 180 main lost consistanly by about 3 bikes from rolling 2nd gear start to WFO 5th, but would start to catch the MX 400 on the top.

My buddies 98 WR 400 YZ timed FMF Power core 175 main. would beat the MX 400 by several Bikes, and continue to pull away on top.

For comparison we each rode all of the bikes to make sure it wasn't the rider.

We had no Mechanical failures during the day, the bike fired when the green button was pushed and it stopped when the red button was pushed. Although Dennis kept stalling it in the slow stuff, I didn't have that problem.

All in all I would say it is well looking into if you are looking for a new bike. A better bike than WR? Overall I don't think so. But maybe I'm Just partial. I haven't riden the KTM so I can't compare.

[This message has been edited by Pyroted (edited 09-11-2000).]

Man, the one I rode was really slow. In fact, my buddy was riding it most of the day and he got on my bike when I rode the Cannondale and he couldn't believe how much faster mine was. I also had the problem with touchy throttle which I think is due to the fuel injection. The first year the GSXR750 streetbike went to fuel injection it had the same problem. My biggest gripe though was the HUGE flat spot just above idle. This was also the main complaint in Cycle News' test of the bike. You couldn't lug it, you had to rev it past this spot and then slip the clutch. It was so bad that it took everyone who rode it several times to leave a stop without stalling it (good thing it had electric start!) Overall, I have to applaud them, they have really came a long way in a short time, and they are doing high tech stuff that established manufacturers are even risking yet. Even though I think they are doing a great job, that doesn't cut it when it comes time to spend my money!

Also, why so much difference between the two WR's? I see you have a bigger main jet, I know a bigger jet makes my bike feel sluggish, maybe you should try a 172?


The proceeding nonsense brought to you by MotoGreg

On two wheels (or 3) since 1970

'92 GSXR 7/11 (Until I get a shwangy 916)

'99 WR/YZ400F 'Cause thumpers rule and two strokes drool!

Visit my photo album for the bargain price of $75 - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK - EVIL LURKS WITHIN!

Last year out at Cal City I was hitting 92mph on my WZ 400 with a WB e-series 15 disks, 48PJ, 182MJ, DVP #4, 15/50 gearing, Vortex ignition, on dirt roads!! I do not think its the jetting whats the gearing on those WR's???

I was running with a stock geared KX 500 and I was way faster! Again gearing on the KX needed to be upped to be competititve.


[This message has been edited by Clark Mason (edited 09-11-2000).]

Both the WR's have stock 14/50 gearing and I have 15 disk in. Dennis' bike has a head pipe, could be that. I didn't play with any adjustments on my bike because I didn't have my box of goodies with me. I definately need to get that sluggish thing figured out. Maybe throttle stop, maybe the Mech that did my set-up didn't do the timing, could be MJ vs disks, who knows. But when I can get out for a weekend and have plenty of time to tinker, I will.


Oh sure! You come out to my backyard and you don't even call :)

Ready for Oct. rounds of FPMN? :D

Sorry Chris... Wasn't my deal. It was a demo bike on loan from Clawson's Motor Sports in Fresno. Next time I get a chance like that I'll be sure to let you have the Heads up.

I understand, just thought I'd pull your chain :)

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