Why did Yamaha have to mess with a good thing?

I'm not complaining that Yamaha is going in the wrong direction with the new 450s, but I am kind of disappointed. I have never even been on a track, so I am after an offroad bike. However, I really don't want to buy a WR450 that weighs the same as my 426 does now when the YZ is so much lighter! The problem is that I want the wide ratio five speed, not a four speed! I realize that the four speed is great on a track, but not on the trails I ride. Is anyone else in this situation?

P.S. I like the idea of electric start, but I really don't think I need it or want the extra weight. I have never had my 426 take more than a few kicks, and it usually is a one kick deal!

Don't post this in the YZ group, boy those guys are opinionated about this. Some of them just don't get that some like the performance of a MX bike in an off road situation.

the kind of riding you do you probably wouldn't notice the extra weight. as for the gearing look at the final ratios and compare to see if it has what you need.

Consider this:

Take off the starter(2lbs), headlight(1), taillight(1), kickstand(1), and battery(4), then get a lighter silencer(3-5), bars(?), and rear sprocket(?) to reduce the weight by about 15lbs.

The end results are going to be lighter and more powerful than the WR426. I think Yamaha has made the right move, giving you all the possible options.

These are easy mods and some are free. It's much easier than starting with the YZ.


I am not so sure about that battery, I talked to my dealer about the changes to the bike and he mentioned that instead of a battery, yamaha engineers are using a capacitor. This of course means that the electric start would only be a back up. I have yet to see one so I can't say for sure though. This would let you get electric start for less weight however, so it may in fact be true.



Next WR has five speed. 4 Speed is YZ only.

New WR has 5 speed and e-button but almost same weight as your WR426.

Go new blue !!

Before I became a gimp I raced and loved Yamaha.It

seems fair to say none of you guys are happy about this 4 speed B.S. So do not buy one single solitary one of em' get Wr's put the YZ timing on them and have fun. Leave the YZs sitting in the showrooms till hell freezes over. You'll get your point across. oldasdirt :D:):D

PS. You can always pull off the e-start and put a kicker on from a Yz or Wr 426. Sure would make them think.

[ July 04, 2002: Message edited by: oldasdirt ]

For my 2 cents, I agree with James Dean. Add to that the fact that the capacitor will likely outlast 10 batteries, and you have quite a scoot. If you can't win on that, you probably can't win on a YZ either.


Unless there is some new magic it would take a capacitor as large as a car to start a bike.

What if it were a Flux Capacitor? :D:)

According to the (probably unreliable) information I've seen so far I would guess that:

The WR 450 is one or two pounds lighter than the WR 426.

The YZ 450 is 15 pounds lighter than the YZ 426.

So the WR 450 is about 30 pounds heavier than the YZ 450.

I wonder if it will have the catch bottle and steel subframe? The latter will be costly to replace but should account for a few more pounds. Here's to guessing (hoping??) the WR has an AL subframe.

Add to that the fact that the WR will get here at least 3 or 4 months after the YZ, and the choice becomes harder still.

If I knew I could get the transmission parts before I could get the WR (not likely but possible, the gearsets may be unchanged from '02, but what about the shift drum etc.?) I'd happily buy a YZ and split the cases to put (WR) fifth gear in.

We shall see.

[ July 05, 2002: Message edited by: Hick ]

Since the YZ is now a 4 speed, I wouldn't assume you can just exchange gearsets as before. Probably a different transmission altogether. Bottom line is, what type of riding do you do? If it's strictly moto, then buy the 4 speed YZ. If you do anything else in addition to moto, or instead of moto, you probably need a WR. You could moto a WR with some minor changes, but in the desert where I ride most often, I wouldn't want to ride a 4 speed. I had enough of that on old Husqvarnas and CZ's.

The changes for '03 seem to make both bikes more suited to their intended purpose, but not as good for the cross-discipline thing.


That is the thing Dan with the new 4 speed, it won't be as good for cross over types. I like doing MX and off road, but I have to tell ya my race bike is a YZ250, 2 smoke. There are somethings for racing that I just like an MX bike for, I do enduros with a few MX's thrown in. Yamaha will make the MX crowd very happy with the YZ450 and the woods only crowd very happy with the WR450 but the rest of us that want a do it all bike will be a little out in the cold.

Yes, yes I think you are on to something! The flux capacitator could work!

"Sometimes less is more… instead of 5 gears the YZ 450 F needs only four gears, because of its wide useable power band. The advantage of this unusual “diet” becomes obvious when riding the bike fast on the track. Riders discover a better smoother traction due to the wide gear ratio and spend less time on shifting. Lap times become faster!"-Yamaha

I bet this will be the case and if you like the YZ426 you'll love the new 450. I have to believe that they want a better machine than the previous models...


What are the chances that the 450WR will be a green sticker bike.I like dualsport bikes but only if they are converted dirtbikes via Baja kit.Dualsports off the floor really suck.

If the 4 ratios of the YZ450 cover about the same total range as the 5 speed YZ426, then this could actually be better for both MX and woods riders. Wider power = longer pull in each gear = much less shifting when your final drive is right. If you can stay in one or two gears, and still pull hard, you have a distinct advantage. Dan, did I just say the same thing you did, LOL?


PS: I still find my WR400F with the 5 speed works great in the desert. I do need 5 or more wide ratio gears to go from super-tight technical stuff to high speed washes and roads all in the same event. :)

The ratios do not cover the same ratios as the 5 spd. fourth is not as high and first is not as low.

I was thinking the same thing about a wide ratio 4 spd being perfect, but maybe next year. Mike

There was a recent article out of Ca that stated that the WR and YZ were to be RED Sticker bikes.

Bonzai :)

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