Newbie WR450 or DRZ400(KLX400)

I'm entering the game after 25 plus years of street riding and an MSF instructor.My off-road experience is limited but I've handled bikes that could do 200 mph so handling power is not a problem but I realize dirt is a different game. I had narrowed it down to the WR450 but due to all the Woodruff key problems I'm also considering the DRZ400 or its twin the KLX400, My first choice is the WR but I don't want to purchase something that has problems before it spins a wheel. Could I get some input as to the advantages and disadvantages of both bikes. My riding will be logging roads, ATV trails and some single track through the woods no deserts here. Also is the Yamaha fix for the woodruff key a proper fix that sits well with WR450 owners? OK guys direct me to the proper bike. Oh I'm 6' 200lbs. so either bike should have lots of power and suspension for me. :)

George, look on page 6 or 7. There is a thread on this topic.

I would buy a newer used WR426f until they get the 450 worked out.

Well guys I'm starting to lean towards a KLX400 because of all the threads of woodruff key failures leaving bikes stranded. My riding is going to be strictly trail no racing and I'm going to be well off the beaten path 30-40 miles off. I need something reliable. I don't feel like pushing for 30 miles. I realize the DRZ/KLX 400 gives up a bit to the WR and adds 15 lbs. But it appears to be more reliable and that to me is a very important point. Unless someone can point out another option I might have to grudgeingly give up on the WR.

I'd look at the KTM 450 before making a decision. In fact, if I have any more problems with the Yamaha, I'm going to sell it and buy one. Weight is about the same but I don't like the suspension but I like the hardware they come with (good handle bars, chains, etc.) Getting a little tired of being towed out by KTM's.


I see your point on the WR450 reliability issues. I'm happy with my WR426, but if I were looking to buy a "brand new" bike I would either go with a KLX 400 or a Honda XR 400. When you talk about reliability, the Hondas are hard to beat. Although the performance isn't at the top of the heap, it is sure a capable and proven trail bike. If you can, try to test ride each.

There are still some barely used 426s around too if you want a blue screamer. They should save you some $$ too as I think they have been selling around $4000.00.

Happy trails!

I agree go with Honda for the best reliability at 200lbs might want to look at the XR650R nothing beats it for power or reliability. Did I mention I have one for sale.....

I knew about the woodruff key issue before I purchased. But I bought my bike as a race machine primarily. My dealer was aware of the problem and retorqued the rotor nut before delivery. So far no problems. If I wanted a trail/dp bike I would have gotten the DRZ or an XR. But I wanted a motard/hare scramble bike with electric start. I'm very happy with it. Pulls almost as hard as the FZ (just not for as long).

I called Yamaha Canada today regarding the woodruff key issue, initially they weren't going to let me talk with the Person thats in charge of YZ/WR for Canada until I told them I wasn't going to purchase one unless I spoke with him. Initially he stated there was no problem that changed to its an American problem and when I advised him that There were failures in Alberta he finally acknowledged there is a problem and advised it was taken care of. Well it very well may be taken care of, but I don't appreciate a company official B.S. ing me. Yamaha Canada sure does not inspire confidence in purchasing their products, Oh Kawasaki how much is that KLX!

A WR is for the guy that knows what he's doing. Setup is important for longterm happiness.

XRs and DRs are for people that want a friendly little foofoo bike.

If your not willing to get your hands dirty or don't know much about jetting. You should buy the XR/DR.

Or to compare with streetbikes. A WR is like an R1. The XR would be like a NightHawk, and the DR would be like an Intruder with a chrome sissybar.LOL. :):D :D

To GeorgeS:

Buy an XR you will love it. Bulletproof reliability and they are at the end of it's refinement & engineering. Honda parts and service has a good reputation. Leave the WR's to the experts that are prepared to modify their machines. The stock WR set up is terrible.

I am selling my 2002 wr426 with only 325 miles on it. I hate to admit it but after a long layoff I need to get back in the game with a smaller bike. It is in great shape and has been totally reliable. It is Arizona street registered and has been meticulously maintained. $4400. If you are interested give me a call at 602-770-9934. Thanks, Mark

A WR is like an R1. The XR would be like a NightHawk, and the DR would be like an Intruder with a chrome sissybar.LOL.

:D :D Oh if you only knew HOW COOL chrome sissy bars are. Clueless man your clueless....

My DR is FAST and handles great...but look at the mod list.

If I had to do it again. Id get a 450 or 525 EXC KTM, bite the reliability factor and the $25.00 oil changes. They ROCK out of the box as long as you dont sit on the seat. They are basically a 4x4 with a vynil wrap.

WR450? You'd have to pay me to ride it and make me grow a mullet. :) ...

People who think a WR is an R1 have never ridden the YZ.

Ok, your probubly right. The Wr would be closer to the FZ-1. The YZ would be like the special edition Jamie James R1. :)

'My DR is FAST and handles great...but look at the mod list.'

Throw enough money at an Intruder and it would be FAST too.LOL. :)

Sorry guys I just put a deposit on a KLX400, The WR was my first choice but I need something reliable, Thanks for the input I might look at a 2004 WR hopefully they get the bugs worked out. After all it really doesn't matter what you ride as long as you ride. "Keep the rubber side down and the right hand cranked" :)

You said it George!

Enjoy your new bike.

Good luck with the new ride. I like the green better too. :)

I am taking my MSF Instructor classes this month. I can't wait to pass and start teaching. I Love Motorcycling!!!!!!!

Ooops, almost forgot. Get the 02' WR426FP. Less problems. :)

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