little help for a newbie

my dad is thinking of buying an new wr450. since i really dont know anything about this bike and ride 2 strokes i thought id ask you guys. is it a low maintenance bike like the invincible xr or is it a high maintenance bike like a race bike?

im sure this question has been asked before but what is the maintenance for this bike. he will do woods riding and the bike will not be riden hard (no high reving, no jumping...) and also, what is stock weight setting for the suspension?

sorry if this has been posted before and thanks for your help


I remember back 10 years ago... almost everybody except the crew at Yamaha would have tell you that the maintenance on the YZ400 and WR400 would be much heavier than those good ol XR because they were revving so much more and because they would yield so much better performance... I think history now prooves we were all worng because these bikes have been very reliable. Their reliability is even more impressive considering the performance level they provide.

It is tricky to compare the "new" four strokes to the "old ones" because they have different vocations. It is true that if a YZ 400 is raced, then it's gonna need more maintenance than a XR400 that is just used to do some trail riding... but this is not the bike... it's just the use you make of the bike. A trail ridden YZ400 is pretty reliable! And I suspect that if you would have put XRs in a the same race context YZ400fs have been through, they would have asked just as much maintenance and even more.

The thruth is that everything becomes better and better with the years. YZf and WRf are made to be raced. So when a low talented rider like me or a weekend trail rider like your father jumps on such a bike, it takes a long time before he can injure such a tough built bike. Of course, if the fun of the rider is to beat the crap out of the bike by hitting the rev limiter on neutral every single time he starts the bike, then damage can be caused. Recent four strokes are "to-the-point" engine technology so one's got to remain clever when enjoying it...

To summarize, frequent oil changes every two-three rides, clean air filter (have your father to buy a spair one so there's always a clean air filter waiting in the garage), keeping the valves in the specs, good jetting (prevents the engine to overheat) and watching the piston and rings at the end of the season will make these machines soooo reliable... This is just good practice.

I own a 01 426 that I ride in trails and on mx tracks and I never had to repair anything except bent handle bars or levers. But, oil is always clean, air filter is always clean, bearings are always greased, so are levers and cables, new fluids every year all over. I also have rad guards installed and a good skid plate... this helps quite a lot.

Have the suspension dialed properly by consulting the tech articles on this forum. You'll find plenty of info. I weight 175 pounds out of the shower and I had to stiffen my 426 quite a bit for my riding...

Hope this help

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