08 yzf450 or wr450 for desert racing

i was wondering what would be a better out of the box bike to race desert i wanna keep it mostly stock but maybe pipe stabilizer and desert tank so if someone could help me pick out of two i would appericiate it bc i like the wr but i dont see spending 1000 more for just lights and electric start i wanna bike that can be raced in desert

If I were building a desert racer and I could start with either bike, the key question would be whether lights were important. If yes, then I'd go with the '07 or '08 WR.

It would get a set of YZ cams, an exhaust system, de-smogged, have the air box modified, and extensive suspension work, probably including a set of '06 or later YZ450 forks.

If lights aren't required, and you could be happy without the wide ratio trans, you could go either way. The YZ starts with much better suspension, more power, and is considerably lighter.

yeah lights arnt a big deal i could get a stator and some lights for the yz but im looking for just better suspension and handling out of the box because i dont have alot of money for suspension work i can right now only aford the bike and some desert parts like tank stabilizer and thats pretty much it for what i can aford but yeah im leaning tords the yz because its out of the box performance

yeah lights arnt a big deal i could get a stator and some lights for the yz ...
Don't say that lightly. The best aftermarket stators produce no more than 55w, and a conversion to the WR stuff will run $700 because you have to swap the cranks to make it work.

yeah, but im buying the bike to race lights dont worry me im just trying to find the best out of the box suspension and all around performance wise bike so if you think the yz would be a better performing bike stock thats what ill get because like i said i dont have alot of money to spend on suspension and motor work

For either bike to work really well in the desert you will need suspension work. That said, depending on your ability level, the yz suspension would work better stock than the wr. With a revalve I think the wr is really good what sold me on the wr was the wide range tranny. Power wise, the wr is great with the free mods.

For either bike to work really well in the desert you will need suspension work. ... With a revalve I think the wr is really good what sold me on the wr was the wide range tranny.
Mine still has stock suspension, and it will be a long time before I change that. I had the '04 fork on my '03, so I'm familiar with it, and IMO, you can spend $1500 on a WR suspension and still not have something that works as well as a stock '06 YZ450.

The WR trans, OTOH, makes a great desert mod for the YZ, and if you're talking about an '06 or later model, you can swap in the wide ratio for around $500.

Unless you're giong to have some serious track time go with the WR. Just make sure you uncork it as soon as you can. :applause::):cry:

I've had both and unless you need lights, the YZ will be a much better race bike out of the box than the WR will. The wide ratio tranny is nice, but not that critical as you can "mostly" compensate with a change in sprockets.

With the WR you will need some modifications to help the power (pipe=$500) and you will also need a lot of suspension help ($500-$800) and when you are finished spending the money on the suspension and the pipe you will have almost as much power as a stock YZ and the suspension will be almost as good as the stock YZ and you will still have a bike that is 30 lbs. heavier.

With either bike you are going to need a bigger tank, hand guards, rad guards, skid plate, and possibly a stabilizer so those items are a wash.

With the YZ you need nothing to have a competitive race bike other than possibly re-springing the bike for your weight and the above mentioned items.

I ride desert almost exclusively and you couldn't give me WR now that I have tasted the sweet goodness of the YZ (well, you could probably give me one).

Hope it helps,


I live in Alabama. As you might guess we don't have alot of desert but I did race my 06 yz450 in the Baja 500 last year. I am going back this year and it was time for a new bike so I just went through the process of deciding on a 08 yz or wr. I got the yz but it was close. The deciding factor for me was that if you want a no compromise race bike sarting with a yz and making it off road worthy will be cheaper then starting with a wr and I think you will have a better bike. Get a yz, ims tank, stabilizer, 0 ring chain, 15 tooth counter shaft sprocket and you are good to go.

But, if you really want to trail ride go with the wr.



I know you are doing this as a race bike but in Cali, when just riding and you get pulled over by Ranger Dickhead, they are checking for AIS removal now and you NEED to have that on to keep legal.

All the WR guys are in an uproar in that forum because of this. Apparently they are checking guys pretty closely in NoCal.

You dont really need to remove the AIS anyhow to improve power, it just gets rid of a LOT of the popping one notices.

ima get the yz just because the lighter weight i do everytype of riding dunes, trail, desert, track and the only thing the wr has the yz dont is lights and electric start witch dont matter to me all i want is a bike to race lights will be simple rewind the stator get a regulator to drop it down to keep a charge on a battery and run a single HID light of the battery im in the electronics bisness so wiring a stator to a battery then powering the lights is nuthing just commen sence anyone could do it but yeah i think for what im doing the 08 yz will eat up that wr

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