WR250F or WR450F or XR400 for Enduro's

I am so tired of waiting for the WR450 that I went to a Honda dealer and got credit approved, and was about to buy a XR400... when I stopped myself. Convince me it's worth the wait... I will ride Enduros in the Southeast.. What is the better bike for tight woods Enduros? WR250F, XR400R, WR450F ?

Whew! that was close, What have you been smoke'n, you actually considered a XR400 over a WR450, which will be the most technologically advanced off road bike ever built. As compared to the XR which is the only bike left that is still aircooled and has'nt been changed since 96, trust me it will be worth the wait. 450 or 250? I think a lot depends on your size, if your a little smaller and weigh less than 160 maybe the 250 will be better, but the 450 is probably the best all around.

Dear Bama, wait for the Yamaha. I ride SETRA Enduros and HS's; have an aquaintance (big guy 6'3" 220+, Master :) that moved to a WR250 from a WR400; was FASTER on the 250 in the woods. Said you have to ride like you stole it though. Same feedback from an "A" class rider who moved to a 250 from a 400. I recently sold my 00WR400 (race a KTM 2-stroke though); personally, probalby prefer the extra cc, especially if occassionally trial riding. Big Blue should be out soon......

After owning all three (96XR/99WR400/01WR250) and logging heavy miles I can safely say remove the XR from condsideration. Its a fun trail bike but not in the same league as a Yamaha.

Next try to ride the WRs and see which one suits your riding style. When you ride both bikes back to back they tend to accentuate the others faults.Is a little extra weight an issue? How about high reving or a lot of engine/ tranny management while riding? They are both great bikes, with great suspension, handling, and reliability. But they are differant.

In the mean time have fun deciding. :)

That came close !!

You are making a decision on two different type of machine. The XR is a fine machine, but I don't think it can compare to a WR. There are a lot of differences between the two bikes. It depends of what you want to do. Be a serious trail rider or racer :). And that goes for the 250 as well as the 450 WR.

If you choose the XR because you are tired of the wait, it is not a good decision . But if it's because you want it, then go for it :D.

Merry Christmas

In tight woods???

Go WR250F with e-button!

if you get a chance ride wr then ride xr ... The xr cant get out of its own way compared to wr plus xr is same money for OLD TECHNOLOGY!

Look's like it''s gonna be a WR (or VOR 450EN). I test rode a VOR which was very impressive.. The question is which WR? I am 6'1", 205lb's and a 245 lb bike would be a lightweight for me. I have taken my XR650L on dual sport rides in Desoto National Forest. Everyone seems to be saying the WR250 turns alot better than the bigger WR. Is this so? I will ride Southeastern Enduro's in the over 40 class. I want to be quick, but not too dangerous, and I luv low end torque... P.S. Yea, that was close ...

last WR250f i rode turned real tight, i felt you had to be in the right rev's to make it do what you want it to do, the wr426 is too top heavy for real tight stuff ( although after an XR it'll feel good ) i beleive the WR450 will be the go after seeing the tank and seat changes it wont be so top heavy.

You say

I will ride Southeastern Enduro's in the over 40 class. I want to be quick, but not too dangerous, and I luv low end torque... P.S. Yea, that was close ...

It seems to me a 426 is what the doctor is ordering ! I'm 44 nearing 45 myself and at 6'2" and 220 lbs, this bike really rocks. :D Like I've said before, when I'm on it I feel like seventeen again :D. I love low end torque :D

There are really good deals around for the 2002 model. A 2002 wr 426 at a good price offers a lot of machine for the money. :D It must be the same way for the 250. Either way you can't go wrong :).

But I'd go for the big boy..... :D :D


At 6'1" you won't have trouble touching the ground. I am 5'11 and went from a WR426 to a 03 YZ450 and dont' have trouble touching. I weigh 200lbs. You can quicken the steering if you need to by lowering the forks in the triple clamps. If you need more, you can adjust the rear as well. Search TT for steering mods. I saw this topic a few days ago.

If you want power and torque and a lively bike, go Blue 426 or 450. The XR is bulletproof and well-proven, but it will get smoked by riders of equal ability on the WR's or YZ's in the faster tests of the enduro.

Just my 2 cents :)

You must live in Mobile, close to Jack S., your friendly, talkative VOR dealer. You don't know Mark H. do you (he has a '00 VOR)? The WR250 turns easier for several reasons; such as less rotating engine mass and lighter weight. The new WR450 will have the magic button, eliminating one strike against racing one, have a better seating/tank set up (than previous models), and maybe lighter (in spite of the e -start). You would be faster in the real tight stuff on a WR250, but you will have to constantly peg the throttle to do it. The 250 would not be as fun play-riding, but easier to pull out of a mudhole, and less tiring to race though those Maplesville AL goat trails (If you race SERA, you will race there). The 450 would be superior when things opened up though. You do have another option you know; a 450 EXC. Have fun choosing; hope to see you at an enduro or HS (I'm 46, so I might be in the same class!).

Drop the XR from the list. That would be a mistake for your purposes.

I have ridden both a 2001 WR250F and my '00 WR400F, both YZ timed. Both are a blast in the desert or the mountains here in Ca. 250 is easier to flick around in tight stuff, but the 400 (and especially the 450) has much better low end. You gotta ride the 250 like a 125.

Your choice is between better low end and more weight, or light weight and high revs.

Tough choice for woods racing.


Now Alabama, you should have known if you went to the Yamaha site what you would hear. Go to the KTM site and you will hear more of the same but with an ORANGE tint. You had already asked all the questions about the XR on the XR site. I think for tight woods the XR is the best choice. When was last time you saw an overheated, radiator spewing XR ? The Yamahas are nice but are short stroke ( less lower end and not as smooth on power ). If Yamaha had more like a 70mm + stroke I would probably considered one myself. But so far I haven't had trouble out running YZFs or KTMs on my XR440. But it is a personal preference thing. I like simplicity and lots of low end. The new WR450 I hope is much better than Yamaha's previous efforts. But no one can tell you it is better as nobody has ridden one yet. I asked the question about PowRoll stroker cranks but no one I guess has tried one on a Yamaha. I would think the Yamaha would lend itself to a stroker very well. It would make it less revvy. See you at the Tri Sactioned H/S Shootout at Maplesville, AL , Jan 12th.



So its impossible to overheat an air cooled engine?

Boiled the oil in the frame many times in the tight woods.

This about the time the valves start chattering and have to be adjusted before the next ride. And have you ever tried to start an XR after one of these episodes? Hope you have and extra half hour.Not to mention it smokes like a 2stroke everytime you cold start it because the seals are shot.

Sorry but I will take liquid cooled any day. Thats why you have coolant to remove the heat. With the over flow bottle just keep riding...no harm no foul. :)

No, I didn't say you couldn't overheat an aircooled engine. But one never left me stranded seized or with dry radiators. Lets see you knock a radiator off a aircooled machine. If you had been running SYNTHETIC MOTORCYCLE oil in your bike it probably wouldn't have boiled the oil in the frame. It is known to happen running cheap oils. No, I haven't had any problems restarting my XR's in 17 years of riding them. If you take the time to learn how to use the compression release. My XR's start so easy why would I even want an E-Starters weight. Watercooling is great in ideal situations but since when has offroad riding had ideal situations. Mud clogged radiators can't disperse heat. If air isn't moving through the radiators they can get rid of engine heat. That is why they have so much problems when in ultra tight woods. Yes, Hondas valves are a bit soft. I adjust mine every oil change. About 300 miles. Now lets see you adjust your valves on a DOHC engine with shim buckets , next to your truck before a ride. The Yamaha engines need adjustment far more than they get. Most riders wait till they tighten up so much they can't get the bike to start. Sorry. I will keep my XR for now. Too bad Yamaha didn't put the TT500 engine in a WR426 frame. I am keeping an eye on the progress of the Yamaha WRs but so far they don't seem to have a clue to the needs of a woods rider. Randy Hawkins can't seem to keep a clutch in his and has numerous problems with cranks , etc. back in 1978 I was a factory Yamaha rider on a IT175. I also started my racing carreer on Yamaha's. So I don't have a problem with Yamaha's in general. When Honda goes to the CRFX engined bikes I might just get a Yamaha 450WR and put in a stroker crank to move the usable power down to where you can use it. If I wanted a 2 stroke I would buy one. I want a tractor. By the way ? Where are there tight woods in New Mexico ?


Dwight :)

Dwight I don't know where to start. Sorry didn't mean to offend you.

It is fairly obvious that our philosophy and experiences are completely opposite. And thats ok. Please enjoy your Honda. Its all about the fun.

Rather than debate this with you I will rest my case on the fact that 99% of the engines used in motorsport competition have a liquid cooled power plant for performance,reliability and cost efficiency.Welcome to the 21st century.

And I won't offend you with a geography lesson, but please anytime you are in the area of our great "Desert Southwest" I would be happy to show you where you can put bars on wood with the best of them. :)

Peace out.

You can tell that the difference in riding experience and expertise makes a big difference on the perception of what constitutes a great bike. Most really experienced riders tend to do well with more kinds of brands/types than the less experienced - they're better at setting them up for one thing. For what it's worth one of my riding buddies is an agressive A level enduro/cross-country guy - who loves the tightest knarliest stuff he can find. He did very well on his XR400 and said people could not believe it when he passed them in races...but his next bike was an '01 WR426 - and he loves it even better. My brother-in-law rode his XR400 for four years or so and his son raced it once and got a 1st 4/stk B class win on his way to expert. But my brother-in-law says his new KTM525 is the best bike he's ever straddled. I think the deal is that the bike you own and ride is best, regardless of brand - especially if you set them up right. Gotta love 'em all. :)

The deal with water cooling is more of a marketing stand point than actually needed. Yes you can more highly tune an engine with watercooling granted. But do you need it ? We seem to get a lot out of these OLD FASHIONED aircooled machines reliably. I don't doubt that you read the stuff in the Magazines and believe them. Take anything you read in a magazine with a grain of salt. They are out to Sell you something. Marketing. Honda, Yamaha , KTM , Kawasaki, they all buy ads in these rags. Most of the magazine writers are no more experianced riders than you are. Exceptions are Jimmy Lewis and the Wolfman . I would rather have an aircooled machine but I will probably have to go to a watercooled machine in next year or two. Because there will be no more raceable aircooled machines once the XRs are gone. AND I WILL NOT BE CAUGHT DEAD ON AN ALUMINUM PERIMETER FRAMED PIECE OF CRAP . So I a watching Yamaha's progress carefully. I helped Al Baker's XRs Only develop mods for the XRs and also THUMPER RACING. I am developing ideas of what I would consider doing to the bike to make it a better woods machine. Not nessesarily faster. I think the Yamaha needs to be soothed out ,not made to faster, just easier to go fast on.



With all due respect, I was raised on air-cooled and I too felt that water cooling was a marketing ploy. Until I bought one. Then I noticed that the jetting didn't change when the engines got hotter in the tight stuff or hill climbing, etc. (remember the surging?) , and I loved the quieter running, and I really loved the extended piston, ring and cylinder life. I've only busted one radiator in the last 15 years, five of which included much racing and riding in tight manzanita trails- "iron wood" to some. Air cooled yamahas and suzukis were my bread and butter - open bikes all - and they used to get really crappy when hot. You just don't see that happening anymore. Maybe the XR's are built to handle the air cooling better, but the 2-strokes I rode sure didn't.

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