WR250f vs WR450f

Getting ready to buy a new WR. All things considered-----which one will kick the most butt?

how much do you weigh?

how experienced of a rider are you?

what types of riding will you do? (desert, enduro, trails,etc)

have you ridden a 250cc "competition" four stroke before?

have you ridden a 450cc "competition" four stroke before?

without providing info like this you are just starting another "superman vs batman -- who would win?" discussion.

in short...

if you are riding open desert or big dunes get the 450.

if you are riding tighter woodsy stuff, get the 250.

but lot's of people do it the other way around too.

jim aka the wrooster


are you a pilot? for whom?

I'm asking this question myself. I've asked the same questions as above, but I still can't make the decision. The 450, way more power and it really doesn't weigh that much more. It's just the extra 600 bucks. Then again, Yamaha has the TT250 for 4200, not bad, and I do ride woods and not in the wide open spaces. :) I just don't know.


don't confuse the TTR250 and WR250F -- these are two totally different animals. the WRF is about as close to an all-out "production" race bike as you can get. increased part and production costs went into the WRF -- on the suspension, motor, and also to reduce weight. these are major areas of difference between the TTR and WRF. the TTR is a very capable "price point" bike, but compromises are made on every product -- yamaha's products are no different. there are just fewer compromises on the WRF, hence the much higher price.

also, while the 250 and 450 may weigh "approximately" the same (no one has an '03 WR250F yet [?] so we don't know the true weight) the greater power of the 450 can be a handful in the tight woods. in other words you may end up fighting the extra power, and that will sap your energy just as same as more weight does. if you have ridden a "peaky" 250cc two stroke in the woods you know what a handful that can be. while the 450F four stroke is much more linear of course, you may not be amused when a slight twitch on the throttle propels you headlong into a tree...

so, yes, there are cases where "less is more". especially when there are a lot of trees around. :)

jim aka the wrooster

'01 WR250F


I weigh 180. I'm pretty experienced but have'nt ridden in a few years (no competition riding). My friend just bought a WR250f---I need to beat him. If an XR400 is fast in the woods, then I'll consider it. Otherwise it's the WR450. Let me know what you think. Thnx. PS Used to fly for CAL, but am back on AD with USAF for a while.

If you really want to beat him get the same bike he has. There'd be no competition with the 450. There's nothing like putting the smack down on a friend with the same bike. :)


at 180 lbs? go 250F. i do have something else for you to consider -- how many miles do you expect to do in one ride? will you ride at night?

if you are doing less than 50 miles and won't ride at night, then get a YZ250F. my brother and i have '01 250F's -- he has the YZF and i've got the WRF. he rides a bit less than i do, and does not ride enduros/six days events. so i put the minimal "dual-sport" features of the WRF to good use. but if i didn't need them, well i would just get a YZF.

to make the YZF into a good trails bike, just hop on. to make it a great trails bike, you may want to get a larger rear sprocket and perhaps add a touch of weight to the flywheel. in either case you are going to have to buy a real chain, the stock chain on the YZF is junk. my brother now runs a DID 520VM X-ring, same as stock on my WRF.

so that's something more to think about, eh? :D

you'll note that i have not mentioned E-start. my WRF (and my brother's YZF) are easy starters. so i've not really panted for an E-start. sure, it may be nice for some people, i'm just not one of them. and, by all reports, the '03 YZ250F is an "easy" starter, so then it's even less of an issue. one day i may get around to putting the "automatic decomp" '03 YZF cam on my '01 WRF, but i'm really not in a big hurry.

read here, i did a six days event in Michigan and never wanted for a E-button...


anyway, if you are just going to be carving up trails near home in the daylight, get the YZF. for an intermediate rider the new (bigger) sprocket will probably be all the fixing up you need. the YZF is probably 15-20 lbs lighter than the WRF, and that, to me, is worth 200cc of displacement. also, steve unruh (sunruh), the moderator for the 250F forum, races the TX harescramble series on his YZF. so far i haven't heard him complain about WRF features or the 200cc gap. he does complain about a lot of other stuff though. :D

jim aka the wrooster


my brother-in-law is also AF; up until last year he was flying heavies out of davis-monthan, AZ (EC-130); since then he's been at laughlin (del rio TX, aka "del hell") as an instructor (T37 super tweety). he's sked to be "out" in 6 months or so and is trying to get 737-200 cert right now. unfortunately the commercial market sucks (do i need to tell you that?) and so he's looking at other options as well. i told him to take the DEA airborne interdiction job, could be fun... :)


hopefully your AD status doesn't take you into unfriendly skies. you guys rock.

Simple, if you are just riding for fun, get the more powerful bike(450f), it is a more all rounder bike.

If you are competitive enough to race, get the 250F, you can go as fast or even faster than on the 450F, with your skill, of coz. :)


One last question. How would an XR400 hold up against the WR250f in the woods? (both riders intermediate skill)

I sold my WR250 last summer because I'm buying a WR450. Thought it might be here for fall riding season. :D:) :mad:So I bought a '98 XR400 to hold me over. Surprise,surprise. The XR is a wonderful woods bike. The tighter the trail the better the XR works. I guess thats why Honda introduced the bike to the world, here in Michigan. It really works better than it should. I could go a little faster on the WR but it was more work. With the XR you just put it in second gear and sit and steer.

That said, the XR400 is probubly all the bike I need. Because of my addiction it's for sale. The WR450 is going to be the ultimate woods weapon. I can just feel it... :D

I used to fly the EC-130H Compass Call out at DM. I left active duty after Desert Storm and now fly B-737s at Southwest Airlines. GOD'S SPEED you guys - we'll be praying for you. Mark


never rode a xr400. just an xr250 for a few minutes.

on paper, the wr250f has the roughly the same horsepower as the xr400 but weighs less than the xr250. (!)

in practice my friend with the xr250 swears by his bike -- "we" think that the xr's are better in the really rugged stuff. if you need to crawl along, and pick your routes, the xr's lower seat height and lower compression along with a wide wide wide powerband are a super big help. like someone posted above, pick second gear and you can tractor along. but once the trail straightens out a bit, well say goodbye to the WRF. however, my friend with the xr250 also looks at my stock suspension like you and i look at the cover of sports illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.

don't get me wrong, there is a reason that honda has sold a shi^H^H^Hcrapload of xr's -- they work. like the ford F150, it does what it's supposed to do and people keep buying 'em. but even Honda Inc. has seen the "race-bred off-road bike" light and is stepping into it with the WRF-equivalent crf250x; maybe we'll see that in '04.

in summary, you could say the xr's have "mountain goat" heritage, and the wrf's have "motocross" heritage. just two different approaches. i know that someone is going to mention johnny campbell and his xr400/600/650's but he's a phenom -- it's not the bike people!!!

jim aka the wrooster

Which WR would you guys pick if you were riding it on the street 20% of the time, maybe more? Any feelings on longevity between the 2 when you have droning street miles involved?

i have a WR 400 and I think if I was buying new I would buy the WR 250. And by the way Spiderman would kick both Batman and Supermans butt.


One last question. How would an XR400 hold up against the WR250f in the woods? (both riders intermediate skill)

If you went out into the woods and left an XR400 leaned against a WR250F, the XR would topple the WR because it is heavier. They'd both just lay there, though. :)

Seriously, if you consider you and your buddy to be at the same intermediate skill level, then you are wasting time and money looking to "buy" the bike that will beat him. Skill will win the race every time. Get the bike that works best for you and work on improving your skill.

I ride with a pretty wide assortment of riders on very capable trail/race machines. 2-stroke/4-stroke, small bore/large bore, mx suspension/woods suspension. Everyone seems to have their own particular preferences, but it gets right down to it, rider skill is the determining factor.

I've always felt my WR250F was the ultimate singletrack weapon and when I'm riding it, it is. :D But, I gave up on trying to figure out why a guy on a KX500 or CR500 or even an XR650 can leave me in the dust. And when I blow by someone on a YZ426F, I don't consider that it is because my bike is faster. Also, winning the "race" is cool, but I have found that there is nothing more exhilirating then dicing it up with another rider who is very close to my skill level (no matter what they are riding).

As far as the comparison of the XR400 to the WR250, this is a good example of basically "equal" bikes that address different rider preferences. As has been pointed out, the XR is awesome in the rough stuff and the seat is fairly comfy. It seems to me that the riders that love their XRs tend to sit a lot more even when going very fast. In contrast, when I'm riding hard on my WR, I am always standing in an "attack" position. The XR seems to soak up the smaller hits a lot better, but the WR allows for a more aggressive attack when taking big hits (i.e., whoops, g-outs). There is also a very different feel to the power delivery. Where on the XR I can grab second and climb just about anything, on the WR I have to clutch a little more and be ready to drop into first. But the WR is snappier and responds more quickly when you need to get the front end light.

For me, the WR is the better choice. I have had the suspension revalved to make it even more race worthy and I like the stiffer "sports car" suspension that gives more positive contact and greater stability at speed. I feel very comfortable riding in a standing postion and I like to attack hard. This does tend to work to my disadvantage a little when riding super technical "A" trails. For the times when I am not able to ride fast and attack hard, the XR gets the higher fun factor for being more forgiving (although heavier).

Ultimately, I think the WR is the better racing bike. But at an intermediate riding level, I don't think the difference will be enough to win you any races. And for a beginning rider, the XR is all about just riding and having fun. The WR will make you work a little harder.

Newriver, thanks for the laugh!

wrooster, I do understand the diff between the ttr and wr 250's :) It's just like everyone seems to be stating the more power, especially in the woods, doesn't always mean it's an advantage. That's why the dilemma is between 3 bikes. Weight wise, I'm sure the ttr250 is the heaviest, and least competetive. However, it also is $1500 less than the wr 250, and the wr250 $600 less than the 450. Then there is the power thing. Just a lot of thinking that goes into this. Does the wr250 really offer a $1500 advantage over the ttr250? Especially in the woods? I had an xr200 bored to 210 with a high compression piston, and it really had a sweet hit. It also still had fun/playbike type of power, you just had to know where the hit came on. I just need to know that the wr's will still have the playbike feel, just with a hit that's not over bearing like a two stroke. I actually had two stroke guys who didn't like the feel of my 200. They thought that came on too violently, but what I think they weren't used to was the compression braking when you let off the gas. I'll figure it out.

SBG, the WR250F has a very sweet midrange hit that comes on smoothly and also revs out nicely. I wouldn't describe the overall package as having a "playbike" feel to it, though. The bike sits tall and rides stiffer than a traditional "trail" bike. If you like to ride hard and like getting the front end light, you will definitely like "playing" on this bike. :)

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