WR450 at Long Beach Motorcycle Expo

Yep, there was one bike on display at the Yamaha booth. Absolutely no info about the bike available. The staff on hand did not know if the machine would be CALIFORNIA green sticker legal or not.

What I could see is...

Alum. sub frame.

Yes, the throttle stop is still there.

I didn't have a chance to check the VIN for the dreaded check digit.

Anyone else have more time to fondle the machine than me? It was crowded on Friday afternoon.

Just returned from the Toronto Motorcycle Show. There was a WR 450 there. It feels light -definetly lighter than my 426 by noticably heavier than the YZ 450. The electric starter is tiny. It can't weigh any more than 5 lb.

I am beginning to regret not putting a deposit on one. They look really nice.

Glad to hear your input on the wr450.you regreting to put a deposit on one makes me glad i did. :)

I,m chompin. Three to four weeks before I see mine. And then am expecting to half way dissasemble it to grease and do mods. Torturous. Tim


I saw the WR450 at the Long Beach show today. I'm sorry to report that the 8th digit in the VIN was a "3" making it a RED STICKER bike. Other than that, I liked everything else I saw on this bike. Too bad, the red sticker issue will eventually force me to get a KTM when the supply of clean used 98 & 99 WRs runs out in a few years. I can keep my fingers crossed for a green sticker-able CRF450X if Honda decides to make one. They had a CRF250X prototype on display that looked interesting and the guy claimed it would meet green sticker standards when it goes into production. He could not say for sure that a 450 version was a done deal yet, maybe in 2005. A good boondocker bike is not worth having in the peoples republic of California unless it can be dual sported (in my opinion).


did you happen to ask the yamaha rep. when they would be shipping the already ordered bikes out?

Thanks for the VIN check. I was hoping for Green but expecting Red.

The rumor on the CRF250X is Red sticker. Big Red does not want to come in second place to the WR250F. To make it Green would be to much of handicap to overcome.

As for the CRF450X who knows what will happen. Until the marketing guys at Big Red and Big Blue finally figure out the CA sales they are losing to KTM because of the Green sticker issue I expect all Japan closed course 4 strokes will be Red sticker machines.

Hello Scott,

a question for you, what would represent a green sticker bike i bought a 99 400 frame and have '00 426 motor, does the Ca. DMV check the frame vin or engine # the 8th digit in my frame vin is a C .. here is the whole vin # JYACH03C7XA002047 will i be red or green (even though up here in the bay, it seems to be luck of the draw)



Just a thought. Since the bike at the show in most certainly a pre-production unit......I wouldn't rule anything out at this time. :)

I think the only hope for the left coast, and therefore, eventually, the rest of us, is for manufacturers to realize a significant loss of sales due to "no where to ride" red sticker bikes. It is a political game they are fools to play since the opponent makes and changes the rules at will and the outcome is predetermined. Unless it profits them. And it does. They are not fools. We are.

It would help if more people could send them feedback on "why I bought a different bike or no bike". While the government may ignore us, they cannot afford to. There is no good reason why these bikes, or at least a serious version of them, couldn't and shouldn't come from the factory totally street-legal. The idea of any motorcycle, especially a 4-stroke, being a significant cause of pollution is ridiculous. If everyone rode one, there would be no problem with air quality.

It is far easier to strip the excess off and to retune or "hotrod" for competition use than it is to perform the opposite procedure. They could be "designed" with this in mind. Take their best machine and add stuff purely for the sake of compliance: maybe retard the timing, add an "octopus", a heavy, quiet muffler with catalytic converter, a headlight, taillight, turn signals...wait a minute! That sounds an awful lot like my WR! Oh, I forgot: pay the higher tariff and get it certified. 49 other states would have no problem now (you never know about CA). It is just that doggone digit that pollutes too much or makes it an unsafe vehicle.

The mandatory future of fuel injection should make it even easier to "reprogram" a dog into a wolf. Just give us the suspension and chassis with the correct digit and let the aftermarket and ingenuity do the rest. Just like with cars and trucks. I, for one, will never again purchase a non-streetable bike.

It is quite clear that the whole EPA thing, especially in Kalifornia, is designed to ELIMINATE off-road bikes. Period.

Remember: The political target will always be the easiest one, which is never the actual problem: Can't do anything about illegal drugs? Go after cigarettes. Crime outa hand? Attack lawful, responsible gunowners. Air pollution a problem? Tax the hell out of clean alternate fuels ( propane and natural gas and biodiesel and ethanol ) and go after motorcycles, lawnmowers, and barbeque grills. All you need do to get re-elected (the true goal) is make the Liberals happy by attacking anyone who disagrees with them. Don't even think of actually solving a problem and leaving them without a cause. Liberals' entire philosophy is based upon government being the solution to everything. Government's entire philosophy is based upon taking more of your money to make the government bigger and more intrusive. "Government" has never engineered a single thing that works.

By 2006, the standards will virtually eliminate 2 strokes. Carburetors will be history, even on red-sticker bikes. My hope lies with Cannondale and Euro bikes since the Japanese have such difficulty grasping the concept of do-it-all-bikes for us have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too Americans. They have manipulated the market (you ARE still waiting for "new and better" '03's, aren't you?) for so long that they just don't care about their customers.

We line up like junkies waiting for a fix. Once the high is gone and reality takes over, we have regrets. We regret a stupid digit!?! Meanwhile, none of their profits go towards ensuring a political future. Take the money and run. Hype the next bike. Tease and tantalize. Pretend they can't make enough fast enough. Drive the price up. Repeat every couple years.

I live in a State where there are no public riding areas to speak of. No deserts. No mountain trails. No sand dunes on beaches. We DO have tens of thousands of miles of various degrees of country roads. I will not spend 20% of my annual income for a bike I cannot use at will. I don't want 2 bikes for myself; it is hard enough to keep my ever-growing boys on bikes.

Here in Iowa, and I'll bet in most states, it is perfectly legal to build your own motorcycle with very few restrictions (less than a manufacturer). Just look at all the custom Harleys. Ask Jesse James. If I, or some other enterprising individual or company, were to manufacture aftermarket frames for our bikes, exact replicas in fact, you could bolt every stinkin component from ANY bike onto it along with the required DOT lighting and it would be issued its own VIN and approved for street use wholeheartedly by the same idiots who are trying to take my title back due to the stinkin number on the current "donor" frame!!!

This is by their own admission. By law. My bike is legal now if some bureaucrat would just learn to read with comprehension. But a homemade or aftermarket frame would totally eliminate the computer "flag" and argument and my need to go to court. I am looking for a junk street bike frame with a title and a used WR or YZ frame to be purchased, with a receipt, as "scrap metal". Just cutting the piece off with the frame number and swapping them constitutes a reconstructed vehicle. Perfectly legal. Homemade/custom frame. With an acceptable number for the DOT to cover up with their own VIN. Make sense? Hell NO!! But it is true. Your (my) Government at work...

As the ranking officer for DOT Vehicle Enforcement (who agrees with my position) pointed out: "Even IF I were to physically sieze your title and plate, you could go home and weld up some abomination out of old black gas pipe, put all of your other components on it, and we would be bound by law to inspect and pass it as an entirely new and legal bike." With an Iowa VIN and title that would transfer to any other state. Did y'all catch that?:

You would own a Reconstructed or homebuilt, street-legal vehicle that was NOT a Yamaha. Was exempt from emissions laws (at least here). Had NO red sticker frame number. PERFECTLY LEGAL. Maybe it is time to use their own laws to get what we want. Anyone want to build me a custom aftermarket frame, with a receipt? Use any materials or components you want except for the steering stem (frame number) from an offroad bike. Absolutely legal so long as it is "legally obtained and a receipt for it or the materials provided". This is NOT a loophole. It is Iowa law. Same as for custom Harleys. I'll bet your States are similar.

If I MUST have 2 bikes in order to ride off-road and on, I will purchase a cheap used 2 stroke and a Harley. No money in their pockets if I do that. I can build the loudest, most outrageous, impractical, poorly engineered monster on two wheels and as long as it doesn't have a 3 or an 8 in the wrong place, the DOT is happy. The EPA is powerless. And I now belong to a fraternity that politicians fear to attack. No AMA membership required.

I am seriously considering building aftermarket frames (all that I really need to do is purchase "scrap" frames and "customize" them with new steering stems to comply with the law), doing the conversions from the "old" bike parts I purchase from you guys, then selling the new street-legal machines back to you. Perfectly legal if I limit the number I sell as a private individual to seven per year... I really like the "In your face" approach these days.

Chaindrive remind me to stay on your good side. Although I agree with everything you said. Don't Iowa politics frequently lean to the left? God knows thats why I don't miss South Dakota. Although now I have to explain to my friends why we supported algore down here in the Land of Entrapment. :)

Land of Entrapment


Just tell 'em the dems kept the polls open later than allowed by law, and bused in "voters" from the res, and bribed them with free cigarettes.

I'm not joking, BTW.

Yikes! From Daschle to Gore! Out of the pan and into the fire!

[the following 19 paragraphs have been edited prior to posting 'cause I just got off on another rant. Chaindrive] :)

You would own a Reconstructed or homebuilt, street-legal vehicle that was NOT a Yamaha. Was exempt from emissions laws (at least here). Had NO red sticker frame number. PERFECTLY LEGAL

On my current streetbike I have an engine from one bike in the frame of another bike. I wanted to have the correct engine number on the title so I had it inspected by the CHP and the DMV made me a new title with the correct engine number on the title. Now on my title instead of the make being "Suzuki" it is listed as "SPCN" for "Special Construction" like a kit car would have. All the people building the custom Harleys with aftermarket frame kits and motors have the same thing. These guys build custom bikes with high perfomance motors which obviously don't even come close to meeting the sound and emisions standards that a production bike has to meet.

As far as the VIN goes, KTM has imported 03's with good and bad VIN's. I had a deposit on an EXC 525 in AZ. The VIN on that bike showed up with a 3 in the Eighth digit. I had to get my deposit back. I then purchased the same exact model in CA with a 0 in the VIN. Maybe the WR will be the same way. No way to tell until the first one hits the show room floor.

It would help if more people could send them feedback on "why I bought a different bike or no bike". While the government may ignore us, they cannot afford to.

I wanted the new WR but, I ended up with a KTM for the Green Sticker and Dual Sport mod.

That is exactly the way it is here in Iowa. And I'll wager in many other States as well. Furthermore, NO WHERE in the Iowa Administrative Code does it in any way restrict you on the SOURCE or sources of the components EXCEPT:

1) Must be documented to have been legally obtained

2) Engine MUST be a motorcycle engine ( no more VW trikes or V-8 Harleys )

That's it! We are not required to meet or pass ANY emissions standards.

This means that 1% or 100% of the components may be from a single "donor" vehicle. They do not even have to BE from a vehicle, much less a street-legal one. Old frame numbers (or engine numbers) be damned! There is no restriction in the law. It must simply meet the same standards as any other reconstructed or homebuilt vehicle for street use.

The original inspecting officer knew this and issued a new "Title to Reconstructed Vehicle" to this bike long before I ever bought it. This is a street-legal title. He also applied a new Iowa VIN over the old frame number to certify this. Only once this was done could the owner THEN proceed to obtain a Registration and license plate at the county Treasurer's office.

This is why I continue to retain the title and plate to my "Reconstructed Vehicle" WR despite some moron somewhere in the DOT administration trying to make me surrender it after he/she has misread the part of the IA Administrative Code that says:

"The Department shall not Register an ATV. The Department shall not Register a vehicle manufactured only for off-road use."

Clearly, to me, the DOT officers I have dealt with, and every citizen I have spoken to: THEY DID NOT. They "Registered" a vehicle they had already been Certified as having been legally Reconstructed FOR street use. By Law, it was no longer the Yamaha that donated the frame. Motorcycles are NOT considered ATVs in Iowa, either.

This law was intended to prevent people from getting Registrations and plates for ATVs, lawn mowers, golf carts, etc.; NOT to prevent private citizens from constructing fully compliant, legitimate motorcycles. Yet this unknown moron has caused the RETROACTIVE seizure of every non-Harley type Reconstructed motorcycle title and registration in Iowa EXCEPT MINE (only because I won't surrender)!

Some idiot with enough clout in the DOT administration has decided to cause great harm to many innocent, law-abiding citizens for no reason or purpose. If any of you wanted to bring your (identical to mine) street-legal bikes to Iowa, you could legally ride any public road. So what has this bureau-rat actually accomplished? Nothing. Not even his/her own private agenda.

When the Deputy County Treasurer and the Senior DOT Vehicle Enforcement officer were directed to physically sieze mine should I remain "uncooperative", I found they are my allies and they believe I am right and have refused to proceed against me. They think this action is wrong. Interesting, no?

The AMA is against "dual-sport conversions" and won't even help to win this easy battle. I am being denied the names and/or contact information for my fellow Iowa victims. The lawyer I went to assured me it would cost me more than the $6,000 I have invested in my bike to let him handle it... I don't NEED a lawyer; just my day in court. And the AMA sucks! Cowards and traitors!!!

The problem right now remains my inability to get this thing in a courtroom where I would certainly win. Apparently, you can't sue the State without the State's permission (civil action catch-22) and I have not been accused of breaking any law whatsoever. Therefore, I am denied my day in court... Iowa is part of America, isn't it? Since I love my Country, and used to love my State, I feel compelled to hate and battle corrupt and evil government.

As I have told this tale to friends and fellow riders and fellow citizens, I have been rewarded with many other stories of gross incompetence and injustice. My own friend and brother-in-law, who is one of the State's top-ranking narcotics officials and is therefore very involved in many "seizures" of private property, assured me: "Right or wrong, we do it every day. Make no mistake, the State does not care whether someone is innocent or not. We just take it! Even if we are wrong, it is sold before they ever prove it. No such thing as innocent until proven guilty in that regard. We seize ALL of their assets so they CAN'T defend themselves. That is the whole idea. Never underestimate the brutal greed and egos of your government."

I better understand and sympathize with many so-called "right-wing extremist" groups and individuals these days. They are just people like me. Somewhere, sometime, some stupid government administrator hosed them bad and denied them justice. It happens every single day. It happens because government has made itself so huge and unaccountable and insulated that the law does not matter. There really may be only one solution...


As far as the VIN goes, KTM has imported 03's with good and bad VIN's. I had a deposit on an EXC 525 in AZ. The VIN on that bike showed up with a 3 in the Eighth digit. I had to get my deposit back. I then purchased the same exact model in CA with a 0 in the VIN. Maybe the WR will be the same way. No way to tell until the first one hits the show room floor.

From the story I hear (aren't they all stories until it's you personally?), all '03 KTM's in US have the proper VIN. HOWEVER, a lot of folks are buying non-US bikes and bringing them into the country. I have found a few guys selling '03's on cycle trader and when I checked the VIN they were no good.

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