I'm on the fence. . .

:) I was going to post this as a question inside a post I read earlier about what you guy's are going to do to your bike when you get it.

I was surprised. I'm just curious and don't want to take the wind out of anybody's sails as I too am looking into the purchase of a WR my self, but why throw down $6800.00 approx. then throw several thousands of dollars in mods into it ? Is it not good enough out of the box ? I too would put guards on it, but some of the lists sounded like they are only buying the bike for the motor and replacing everything else. (exception for super motard guys) I'm on the fence with this delima as it sounds like some of these WR's are CA Green and some are RED Stickered....

Now I'm looking at a Cannondale E440R as a contender. It's about the same ammount of money, with all of the goodies already on it. I love Yamaha as a brand (own one of their fantastic boats), but I come from a DH MTB background so the Cannondale brand intrigues me as well. I live near the beach, but will also be riding alot in Mammoth Lakes area of CA 8,000 ft. I'm not overly mechanically inclined so re-jetting carbs for altitude are a turn off. I could use your guys expertise on this one.

The WR is ready to ride, out of the box. You don't have to add anything to it except gas. I bought my 02 WR specifically for that reason: I wouldn't have to sink another $1,000 into to make it trail worthy. I only added taller bars ('cause I'm 6'2"), bark busters and a beefy skid plate. Total was less than $250. I rode the stock rubber for a while until I could justify/afford better tires. Just because a lot of guys here are spending thousands more in exhaust systems and dual sport kits, etc., etc. doesn't mean you have to. In fact, for most of us the power from the stock setup is more than enough. Just my opinion.

I'm just adding bars, tripleclamp, stabilizer, some suspension work (6-3, 220), guards, YZ throttle stop, YZF rear fender and front number plate, and a desert tank.

Mechanically speaking the bike is ready to race right out of the box. I will strip it down though and actually put some grease on the bearings in the suspension and steering head. They tend to skimp a little during production. No need to wear it out before it breaks in.

all i got was aluminum frame guards, aluminum brush guards,front rotor cover and a trail tech comp. besides gas,oil,and coolant thats all i will be doing to my bike till something breaks

I see this question all the time and also see it as an argument, from the different bike owners.

As stated and I agree the bike comes out of the box ready to ride.

For a pro rider, Yes that person will put more money in to the bike for suspension, engine, lighter parts and so on.

For the Average riding Geek like me and you, Bars, tires when they wear out, trick add-ons that ya really don't need but are cool. Heck a Pipe alone will run 200 - 600 depending on what and whos ya buy.

Any Bike "ANY BIKE" no matter if it is European, Italian or American is ready to ride out of the box.

everyone "EVERYONE" puts at least a grand or more into the bike after they get it. The argument that the Cdale is better or the KTM is better, ya have to put money into a Japanese bike is IMO not an argument at all.

Each bike owner will setup his or hers bike as they like it.

I'm not sure about the 03's but I have to disagree about the older WR's being ready right out of the box. "Right out of the box" it's a joke and nearly unrideable with the exhaust insert, rich jetting, throttle stop and airbox lid. I realize these are free but it still needs modified to run right. Unless you're a pro, the suspension, brakes, etc. will be plenty good enough just the way they come.

My buddies XR650R was neutered as well and without purchasing the Power Up kit from Honda as a minimum, the thing is a big disappointment.

My buddy bought a KTM 520 last year and his is ready just the way it comes.


You make a very good point about the crap that Yamaha puts on the US model WR's. I guess when I meant 'out of the box' I was assuming these basic mods have already been done. The reason I assumed that is because our dealers here make these basic mods for you before you even pick up the new bikes.

The reason we do the free mods is to make the bike run "better". Not that the bike does not run well out of the box, it has been limited in potential in order to meet government restrictions.

The grey wire changes the timing slightly in mid RPM which leads to a rough spot in the engine, to please the government (free).

The throttle stop is in place so it only allows the throttle to open half way so that "at half throttle" (which is now 1/4 throttle) where the testing is done it will please the government ($5).

The exhaust plug is in to keep it quiet enough to pass sound laws. Replace with a quiet, free flow insert like a Vortip ($70 approx).

The airbox mod is nothing but a way to get more air in once the ehxaust is opened up (free).

The light blue wire gives a stronger spark in neutral allowing for easier starts and less plug fouling (free).

Stock tires are supposed to be junk but I'm not a good enough rider yet to justify new tires before they wear out.

Kouba T-handle makes trailside adjustments on fuel screw easy in order to compensate for different temps and elevations (within reason) without re-jetting ($15).

Many people here have bikes set up for riding at elevation and you can emulate their setups and forget it. Changing jets is really easy and if you do some research on who rides at similar elevations with the same level of bike mods you might have to only do this once in your life. It will make your bike run smoother, start easier, foul plugs less and give better performance.

All stock bars are soft. Replace when you bend them.

The necessary add-ons are radiator guards, hand guards and maybe a skid plate of some sort. Cheap insurance.

The bike has lots more to give when opened up but if you are new to motorcycling it will have plenty of punch for you for a while. All in all you can have a modified bike with all the necessary goodies for the cost of one nasty get off and a damaged radiatior. Buy those guards first.

Good luck.

I want to thank you guys for your help. I'm really appreciative for your input. Several more questions if you dont mind. I'm 6'2", 220lb. I noticed some of you with my general size are changing bars, and spring rates. Any suggestions ? Would stock settting be OK, or is it worth the money to make these changes soon after purchase. Money is not the deciding factor, I just want to "do it" right. My last motor bike was an old Honda 250XL and I never really liked it. Good for getting around town (when you could get it started), it was realy wide, like my friends XR600, not to mention my DH Bike has more travel than it did. Thanks Again.


The WR is good out of the box. However you will need to cut the throttle stop down as stock it only allows 1/4 throttle to open. This only involves unscrewing a bolt and cutting it with a hack saw or preferebly a dremel tool. 2nd the stock exhaust baffle hole is only as big as a pencil, its very quiet but needs to be pulled for the engine to run properly, undo one bolt and pull it out. Since you live in CA, a good investment will be to purchase a different baffle like the Vortip from Baja Designs, will keep your exhaust sound level legal. Other things you can do as you go, like the handle bars, stock ones are steel and they will bend after the first crash. $80 will get you some aluminum renthals that can handle most any crash with out bending. Other then that the only items you will need to replace are those that wear out in time, chains, sprockets, tires etc.And as you learn the bike over time you can then decide if you need more power etc.

I am 6'3" and run tall handle bars (Renthal Jimmy Button High Bends) and risers (from Thumper-racing.net) and a taller seat. These are all comfort items, I rode the thing for a year before changing most things, except the Bars which I did right away. The power is plenty for most riding an racing, unless you are a pro.

You may want to change spring rates, but wait till you ride it some. If you bottom it a lot call a suspension specialist, (Pro Action, Factory Connection, Race Tech...). If you only bottom it a few times on large jumps, you may want to keep what you have. It all depends on where you ride and your riding stile. Don't use Race Tech web site, or any other chart, to decide what spring rate you need, just call them and talk person to person. I talk to Steve Ross , (E-mail steve-o@factoryconnection.com) at Factory connection with my questions, and he has done me right in the past. I weight 230# and always have to get front and rear springs when I buy a new bike. I normally don't do the valveing though. I'm sure that would help, but I just don't want to spend that kind of money. If your on the fence trying to decide if you want the springs, try changing the fork oil height first.

At 220# for this bike I would recomend a 0.478 kg/mm fork spring rate and 5.6 kg/mm shock spring for motocross. That is what I had on my 2000 YZ426, and it handled great.

Hope I've helped some.

Pooley, I'm north of you a bit, have been on a WR400 and just purchased a new WR426. I also run the Vortip and the free mods. Are you happy with your signature jetting? How close to dead on do you feel it is? Thanks

I'm pretty happy with the way the bike runs after doing the mods. I used to have a 45 PJ and the clip at #4 and the light blue wire was still connected. I used to foul plugs some. Now the bike starts super easy (I've started it in the back yard with my sandals on) and the plug has yet to foul but has only been 2 rides. I will probably go down to 165 MJ this year to see how that runs. I think that I will not have change it again as it seems to work well in both 40 deg temps and 80 deg temps with minor adjustments to the fuel screw. I'm not a good enough rider to tell if there is more to be gained or not but to me it seems good enough, smooth and predictable.

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