2009 Wr450f

I am considering purchasing a new WR but would like to know what work it needs before being ridden (mods. suspension, etc.) I weigh 190-195 ride fairly agressive but not crazy, mostly So. Cal. desert with some single track stuff thrown in. How does this bike stack up against the KTM 450 XC-W which is the other bike I am considering.

I liked the older KTMs a LOT and have tested ridden them several times thanks to some generous friends. There is a good chance that if they still produced the threaded/tappet valve adjustment engine I would have bought one. As it was I went to the KTM dealer with my checkbook in hand (well pocket) and talked to them about the 450XC-W. They had one on the floor ready to go but once I sat on it, played with it a bit and talked to the salesman, I decided it was not for me. I drove down the street and purchased an 09 WR for about $3000 less.

I am very happy with my choice. The KTM did not feel right. The dealer admitted that the maint on the KTM would not be much less or easier than that on the WR and their were a couple of things I did not like about it. Black rims look cool when new but soon look like crap with chips and scratches. The hand guards were attached with zip ties. There were a number of other minor things that just didn't sit well with me and the dealer is quite a bit farther from my house.

The WR felt better. It has a very solid history of reliability and I knew from this board what it needed to run right. I rode it stock once and then installed the Yamaha race kit with new jets, throttle stop, open exhaust and no grey wire. The suspension is soft but I like soft. You will probably want to have it re-done. Most hard core riders have their suspension re-done for their weight and speed anyway.

I really have nothing negative to say about KTM. I think they are good bikes and I have really enjoyed the ones I have ridden. However, they are not worth the extra $$$ to me and I have read too many posts from too many very happy WR owners. Now I am one of them.

what work it needs before being ridden (mods. suspension, etc.)

I'm on my 2nd month of 09 WR450 ownership.

Current mods

1. Jetting (dealer did it and it works pretty well, no bog or pinging)

2. Handle bar riser ( I used a scotts sub mount)

3. Rad Guards (Bullet Proof Design, supper easy install made the extra $ worth it)

4. Dyantec CDI unit (cleared up a studder cond)

5. YZ450 exh header/muff (still working on making that quite) This mod saved the day, didn't have the balls everyone was talking about before the switch and lost roughly 2.5lbs. Funny how more power make you forget about other complaints.

6. Suspension is next up srpings and magic snake oil (Smart Performance).

7. Rekluse Pro (3rd bike now, I guess i don't know how to ride without em anymore) 8. Turntech battery (next 30days)

Compared to my 08 Husky te450 and 05 KTM 450exc, this bike is way lighter.

It slings shots off jumps vs. hit and run.

What have you guys been paying OTD for your WR? What dealers?

If you're driving in the sand I woulld strongly suggest to put frontfork neoprene sleeves on the UPSD.

It protects the seals and saves a lot of time in maintenance

Jet your bike to the same carb specs that came in the 2004 WR450F, (45 Pilot Jet, 165 Main Jet, OBDWR Needle, clip in 4th position and leave all of the other jets alone). Buy and install an adjustable Fuel/Air Screw. The bike will run just fine in the So CAl desert and up to 5,000+ ft with this jetting. You might have to go to a 48 Pilot Jet, but that is just a maybe.

Stock suspension should be about right for the desert for your weight. If you are REALLY aggressive, stiffen things up a couple of clicks. Don't waste your money on an after market pipe. It is all hype for the most part and makes jetting your bike a nightmare.

Remove the AIS, if you don't ride in California ORV parks or put a ball bearing in the hose to block off the AIS if you do ride in the ORV parks. I made the diamond shaped blank off plate found in the Yamaha AIS removal kit out of a piece of scrap aluminum, went to the auto parts store for the vacuum fitting caps and bought the 2004 WR needle, Pilot Jet and Main Jet from the dealer. Perform all of the free mods identified in the AIS removal kit (i.e., open up air box, open up muffler, and install YZ throttle stop (actually not free) or cut WR throttle stop to YZ length (free).

LA Yamaha $6,799 out the door (OTD) http://www.otdcyclesports.com/?bikes/view&bik_id:445. If you live in the Peoples Republic of Northern California, OTD Cyclesports Burlingame or Auburn $6,699 OTD. Burlingame and Auburn have 2008 Yamaha WR450F's for $6,299 OTD. I paid $6,052 OTD in Sep. 2008 for a 2008 WR450F from Hollywood Yamaha in Hollywood, CA. Obviously there is some room to negotiate for a 2008. The only identifiable difference between a 2008 and a 2009 WR450F is BNG.

I've owned a 2003, 2006 and currently own a 2008 WR450F. I ride from below sea level, Ocotillo Wells to 5,000+ ft in Baja, Tecate and south.

Buy the Clarke 3.4 gallon tank for lengthy desert rides. The Acerbis tank for the aluminum framed Yamaha is ugly and ungainly. I'm not against Acerbis, I buy a lot of things from them and I had their 3.4 gallon tank on my 2003 and my 2006 steel framed Yamahas and thought the fit, finish and functionality where the best on the market. Current tank-- I bought Clarke.

Buy a Yamaha-- ride it and you will love it.

Just adding to the great input from others, stock suspension is too soft for your weight and how you described your riding style/aggression. And when you start adding gear, hydration pack, etc., it'll be way too soft.

I have limited time on the KTM 450XC-W but I liked the Yamaha's gearbox a lot better for my terrain and riding style.

Too bad the CRF450X is not on your list/the valves are something to be considered. It's a very good bike, but if you're a fan of Yamaha it's not a major diff in any area to make the brand switch.

Well here's a little different point of view for ya. I'm a hard KTM fan and have owned several, the latest being an 09 450XCW. I would own it still but for having lost my job shortly after buying it, so I sold it and waited till I had another job to buy again. So, why did I go with Yamaha, simple $$$. After going through the job loss and all that goes with it I was to spooked to spend that kind of money again. However if money were not a factor, I would have bought that bike again in a heart beat. I looked and looked for a super clean KTM in the price range I had in mind and it could just not be done. So, I opted for this 07 WR450. Off the bat, the motors are about 6's however the KTM is way easier to work on. The suspension is hands down 10times better on the KTM, in fact the WR is so bad stock that I had no choice but to revalve it, I do springs as well but don't count that b/c I have to do that on all bikes. The tranny is also better on the KTM (IMO), having that 6spd allows them to space gears better. I find the jump from 1st - 2nd on the WR to be very wide and I don't care for it. Quality between the 2 bikes is pretty close but I still think the fit and finish on the KTM is a little better. I dunno, it just seems like these jap bikes are so "cookie cutter" and it feels like more Q/A is done on the KTM's. The down side to the KTM is the price tag and right now more so than ever. It seems like you can pick up new '07-'09 WR's for real cheap where as KTM dealers are still holding prices on the high side. I think the WR is more than good enough but I would never say they are equal to or better than the KTM. So, if money is little or no issue get the KTM, if it is an issue there is no reason to pass by the WR, it is still an awesome machine.

After doing all the mods a slip-on on my 06 was the best mod I did,(Dr.d) I gained IMO 10HP. It made the bike drag my brotherinlaw's 06crf450r side by side, and became a traction thing? next was up grading the suspension with stiffer springs and a heavier fork oil(7.5wt.). On the 09 you will need a full exhaust system dr.d or fmf4.1 or a yzf header or other. @ a savings of 3g's compared to a KTM,thats alot of aftermarket mod's.

Quick question for the 08/09 WR450 owners, does your MSO say "for offroad use only" on it? I've heard rumors that the wording has been removed.

I want an 09 WR but I also need a bike I can get a street plate for.


Quick question for the 08/09 WR450 owners, does your MSO say "for offroad use only" on it? I've heard rumors that the wording has been removed.

I want an 09 WR but I also need a bike I can get a street plate for.


Recently at the dealer I asked this question and looked at the MSO and it did indeed say that; Here in Illinois you can add the appropriate equipment, have the bike inspected by the state police (inpsector) and then go to the DMV and get a "corrected" title and a plate.

I purchased mine last year from Ohio, over the phone and email, had them install a Baja kit(had it mailed to them), dot tires, front springs with 7.5wt oil, a back spring( I installed ), mirror and a key switch. 950(parts-labor) + 500 for the Baja kit. Being a dealer they registered it with a temporary Ohio road permit. It was worth a tank of gas and a days travel to go pick it up. How much is a plate worth in shipping charges?


Last year, when I was shopping for a new 450 it came down to a choice between the KTM and Yamaha.

I ended up going with the Yamaha because I didn't like the look of the KTM. Simple as that.

Out on the trails there is nothing that my KTM riding mates do any easier than I do. We all get over/stuck on the same obstacles and are equally as tired at the end of a ride.

Horses for courses.

I have never looked back, I love my WR450F.


I have a 09 and trust me I am in love...

Before bike was XR 600 R, and reliability was very important for me.

Took the right decision :busted:




I have an 08 wr450. it did say "off road only" on the mso. it depends on the state and who you deal with on that particular day. i went on the last day of the month and flirted with the lady at the desk. walked out with a plate. no inspection needed, didn't even have my bike with me. after that, i added a brake light, high beam and mirror to partially pass an inspection. it all comes down to who you deal with on that very important day!

just did all the free mods on my 09 wr450f, plus put in the shorter yz throttle stop. I have the ais removal kit ordered but was not planning on using the jets or rejetting at all. is this bad? I ride in montana at 3000 to 5000ft. thought i read that dirtbike mag. tested this set up and liked it, saying it had smoother power w/o the jetting. any thoughts? did anyone else read this?

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