Learning to ride on a WR450?

Hello all. Like the title insinuates, I'm new to dirtbiking. But I can get dealer pricing on a new Yamaha bike. The problem is I cant decide if I should go with the WR250 or the 450. I've heard great things about the WR's and I really like the looks of them. I've only ever ridden a dirtbike twice. A 2-stroke 250 and a 4-stroke 250. I loved it! Half my buddies tell me to get the 250, and the other half tell me to get the 450 :thumbsup:

I'm just looking for something to have fun on, but something I wont outgrow. It would be ridden on mixed terrain...sand, hard dirt, loose dirt, gravel, hills, creeks, etc. Basically, an offroad trail bike. If its of any importance, I'm 25years old, 6'4" 220lbs.

What do you guys think? Is the WR450 too much for a beginner?



Get the 450 so you wont out grow it like you say. Ride it in it's stock configuration till you get more confident on the bike. As that happens you can start doing the free mods to really open up the power hidden inside.

An uncorked 450 is a monster! As it comes out of the box it's got some mild maners.

I was in the a similar situation a few months ago whereas I was getting back into dirtbiking after 15 years. I got a great deal on a 450 and went for it. I am only 5'8" and sure I struggle a bit in the tight stuff but I would probably struggle with a 250 too. I just need to get better.

In my opinion you should get the 450 but do the free mods such as grey wire and exhaust baffle as your skills increase. You are a big guy and the 250 will have to endure more punishment which most likely translate into more maintenance costs over the long term. Just take it easy on the throttle. Sure the 250 will be a bit more manueverable in the tight technical stuff but you are tall enough to handle the 450.

Either way you face a win/win situation. Enjoy the ride!!!

At your size "Get the 450"

The engine will last longer and at your size the weight will not be much of a problem

I would also agree on the 450. I started dirtbiking when I was 28 years old, and I learned on my 01WR426, which was my first, only and current dirtbike. I'm only 5'9" and 175ish pounds, but very athletic, and pretty strong for my size. I fell over a lot since I can barely touch the ground, but now finding the high spot on the trail is second nature.

The 250 seat height was no difference and the weights are less than 10 pounds difference. The true difference is that the 450 has more rotating mass in the engine, which makes it more difficult to switch directons while the engine is spinning.

There was a steep learning curve to the bike, probably ANY bike really, but now that I'm used to it, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I doubt that I could ever "out-ride" what a 250 can do, but when things get nasty, I just twist the throttle, and the bike powers through, even at low RPM, the torque is great. I've rarely ever wished I had more horsepower, (although sometimes I wished I had less).

Michigan is very sandy and the extra power of the 426 makes it much better since I don't have to stir the gearbox as much. I can probably lug the engine a bit lower than a 250 so I don't have to shift so much.

A final thing to consider is maintenance. Folks here have said that because the 450 has more power, you will need to rev it less for a given situation. That translates such that it is easier on the motor, thus less maintenance and more reliability and longevity for a 450 motor.

Like folks before said, do the free performance mods one at a time as your skills increase. I did that and I am certain that it kept me from injury. If I were to jump on my bike now to learn, vs the "out of the box" performance, I would likely hurt myself.

450, no question!

As already stated get the 450.

Ride it in stock form then when you get comfortable uncork it and blast away.

You can always use less power than you have but never more.

5'8" 155 lbs, I ride a 450 and I echo what everybody else has said.

I tend to agree with everyone else about getting the 450, however, it depends on your personality. If you are the kind of guy that likes to get better at something, likes to improve and gain speed and confidence, get the 450. If you are happy just getting down the trail and have no expectations of working on improving, then get a 250, it will scare you far less than the 450.

BTW, I'm 6' and 230 and love my '07 WR450, just had it resprung.

Absolutely 450, if you leave it stock with the throttle stop and other stuff on it, it will be as tame as ***** cat, you won't even be able to use more than half throttle. It will be perfect for learning. the 250 will not hoof you big ass around especially since you won't know how to keep it in the power. The 250's require much more shifting when you start to go faster. It would be a better bike to putt and learn on but only for about the first 8 rides... after that you will be ready for more, so get the 450 and be done with it.

What do you guys think? Is the WR450 too much for a beginner?



AK-Bandit - two years ago, I bought a 2005 wr450 as my very first dirt bike. I have ridden street bikes forever. I know bikes, but I didn't know dirt, which is entirely different. I can speak from experience here. Here's a long response.

A fully uncorked wr450 is way too much for a beginner. Its a lethal weapon. I had a broken arm, broken left foot, severely sprained right ankle all in the first year of riding the wr450. With an uncorked 450, your mistakes are magnified and it can be very painful. But I stuck with it and learned what NOT TO DO.

I had to tame the beast so I wouldn't be scared of getting hurt again. You cannot ride safely with that fear. So the key will be to develop skills and experience without the bike launching you over a hill or a cliff, or the rear wheel breaking loose on your turns or having the front wheel climbing towards the sky whenever you blip the throttle.

The wr450 is a perfect bike for you if you tame it. Here's what I did and may what you might try.

1.) I would uncork it some. Do the throttle stop, cut the grey wire. Do not change pipes though. Just pull the plug out of the stock pipe. This will give you a little adrenaline rush, but not make it wild like the high performance pipe would. You'll save $1000 also.

2) Get your jetting right, that goes without saying

3) Get sticky tires. You want to keep as much traction as you can. I used a dunlop 756 on the front and and IRC trials tire on the rear. Its almost too much traction, which will serve you well at your stage. You don't want that rear tire breaking loose and loosing traction unexpectedly. If you stick with a knobbie, then get a big one (130) so it puts more rubber on the ground. for me, the trials tire was a big confidence builder.

4) get your suspension set correctly. The abolute minimum is new springs front and rear ($200). Without proper springs and sag setting, the wr450 will not turn. Once you do it, it will be great.

5) learn to ride standing up. You'll have much better control over the bike. When the terrain gets rough, stand up.

6) when you ride, never, ever look at the front tire. Its fine and its not going anywhere. Where you look is where you go. Force yourself to look way ahead so you can make decisions.

7) have some guts and be agressive. 3 our of 4 times, you'll get yourself out of trouble using the throttle instead of the brake.

8) ride at your own pace. It doesn't matter who you are ridng with or how fast they are. Stay within your own comfort zone. Other guys will get way ahead of you, but they won't mind waiting further up the trail. They ride their ride, you ride yours.

So get the wr450, but do not do any high performance modifications for at least the first 1000 miles. You'll have more experience then.

Personally, I am doing desert races and enduros now. I don't need any more power, I just need to learn to efficiently use the power that I have.

I am also at 'Newbie status' as I started riding after a 30 year break. I was concerned that the WR450 was too much bike, but the post from mauricedorris is right on the money! Start slow and dont get pushed beyond your ability. When your at the bottom of a rough hill, you will be glad you have the 450- the power is there. I installed the lowering link and a 13 tooth sprocket and love it.

I wouldnt do the throttle stop first, I was in the same boat and rode it bone stock for awhile, then installed the PMB exhast insert, it made more power but was still very tame, after that I did the GYTR kit and holy cow!!!!, the stock throttle stop for a newbie kept me out of a lot of trouble, IMHO its a good learning tool, but hey, differnt strokes...........

i agree...get the 450...you won't be dissapointed

450 all the way. remember the 250 is probably made for riders weighing 175lbs or less. then once you put all your gear on. you wont be dissapointed with the 450.

you mentioned "sand" so automatically the answer is 450!

I agree with all these guys, the 450 is tame stock, so won't say anything else, but...how the HELL do you get dealer pricing??? haha, that's awesome, I envy you!

You only rode 2 x you better go with a TTR-250 to start with.Your third being on a WR450 might be your last.

MY first bike I had three years ago was an old 1980 IT 250 with probably 15 Hp.I safely went from this bike to an 03'WR 450 by riding it stock for a while then gradually doing the free mods you can learn about here on TT.You will be fine so long as you ride your own pace.You'll be on a 2 stroke in no time!HAHA!

Get the 450 and PM me if you are in the Anchorage area. My buddy and I both have 450's and love them. We ride all most every weekend, but hurray there is only a couplr months left untill winter.

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