WR450F vs KDX220r

I'm planning on buying a WR450 and am wondering on how it will compare to my brother's KDX220R two stroke.

It's been a while since I was into dirt bikes but back then if you doubled the cc's of a two stroke you would have similar speed out of the four stroke. Is that still true?

I'm concerned because I don't want my little brother roosting all over me :)

I've already got a weight disadvantage (he's about 160lbs vs my 275)...

you will run sircles around him with the power of the wr450

Porsche vs. Pinto.

Any questions? :)

The 450 will be better overall. But keep in mind that the KDX is a wood bike that is very nimble in tight section. Also the power delivery is mellow compared to the 450. May be more manageable. But when the trail clears up :D, or playing on the MX track :D :D, the 450 will please you the most.

At 275, the first concern will be to tune your suspension for your weight : :D, and the second concern will be to get in shape to be able to hang to the bike :).

Good luck

What is this some sort of propaganda post for the blue side??? :D

MAN its like a troll....but the good troll of the East! :)

I've just compared my 426 to a 220r recently and having both bikes side by side is revealing. At the first look you can easily remark the difference in the size of the frame, swingarm, fork tubes diameter etc... which make the KDX look much more like a playbike whereas the WR looks as a serious comp bike. The WR450 is 262pounds with all fluids (no gaz) according to Dan Lorenze on this forum and I know that the KDX is something like 230 or 235 dry. So the difference in weight (once ready to go) is neglictable.

The KDX gives about 35 hp + or - 3 or 4 hp and the new 450f is about to send almost 55 hp to the wheel.

The WR has better suspension

The only situation where I may miss my old KDX is at severe mountain climbing between the trees. When stalled at low speed, the kdx was easy to start on one foot or even with an arm which is not the case of my 426. But this problem won't be yoursas you will purchase one of those wonderfull 450f equiped with a magic e-button :D

Don't get me wrong, I still simply love to ride those KDX (two of my friends have 220r) but the bike is technically no match for the big Yammies :D:).

"At 275, the first concern will be to tune your suspension for your weight"

yeah, I assume that I need to change the springs front and rear...

"the second concern will be to get in shape to be able to hang to the bike ."

don't worry, just cause I'm 275 doesn't mean I'm a tub o'lard :) I'm 6'5" and working out again. Using the bike to help get into better shape. I'll be a solid 250 in prime shape...read that as I'm no weealing...

I own and ride an '02 WR426 (450 cam), an '03 YZ250f and a KDX220. Each has benefits and downfalls depending on how you want to ride and where you ride. Right now I'm riding the KDX because it is easier to ride when I'm injured (as I now am). It will not tire you out in really tight stuff and if I had to pick a survival bike out of the bunch it would be the KDX. The downfall of the KDX is obvious in western conditions where the trails are more wide open - it has too short of a wheelbase. You must constantly be correcting for minor swaps and over-reaction to bumps and such at higher speeds - and the front suspension (even modified like mine with heavier springs and gold valves) is flexy and scary on high speed whoops and front-landing jumps. The KDX forks also have conventional fork downtube overhang that can be a problem in ruts and roots. The yamaha front suspensions are rock solid in those conditions. Both the KDX and YZ250f will run circles around the big WR's on single-line tight stuff - the big bikes are a bitch to ride over logs and rock piles and just carry too much momentum to gas and brake quickly in tight twisty conditions (all other things being equal) as a matter of fact I am thinking of getting an oversized rotor for the WR to help single-finger braking which is no sweat for the smaller bikes. I would not hesitate to recommend any one of those bikes to anyone, but the KDX stands out as an economical, bullet-proof do-it-all bike for any kind of trail riding including hard-core, once you rework the forks - and it costs about $1200-1800 dollars less than the other machines. If you are an experienced rider who likes to race or stays with mostly open trails, go with the yamahas. :)

OUPS !!!

Sorry for the bad perception about your heaviness

Stay cool :)

No offense taken....

I have limited time on the newer KDX bikes and I was thinking about getting one before I got my WR 400. The KDX price new is very nice off the dealer floor. But I did ride an IT 250 for like 5 years wich is very comparable to the KDX. I have had my WR 400 for 3 years now and just started riding very tight eastern single track (Paragon Pa) that is as tight snoty and rocky as it gets. The WR blows away the older bikes once you learn how to ride it in the thight stuff. If you try to ride it like your KDX youll be pooped in 20 minutes.

Im 6-2 and 205Lbs and the big WR is much better suited for taller and more heavy riders than the KDX.

Here are my tips.

Bike setup:

Forks riasied in the tripple clamp to lower the front of the bike and shorten the wheel base. If you plan to ride tight woods alot, make the rear axle as close to the front as possible.

Set the suspension soft. If you feel the bike bottom in the tarils your to soft :). Some mild bottoming on bad jump landings is fine for trail riding.

Gear the front sprocket down, I like to gear the bike so most trail riding can be done in 2nd gear and I like the 13 and 14 tooth, the 15 is way to tall for trial riding because the gap between 1st and 2nd on the WR is to big, the 2nd to 3rd gears are much more usable.

Riding tips:

Keep you feet up! this was the hardest thing for me to learn, keep your feet on the pegs and trust the great suspension to handel the rough stuff and eat up big rocks and roots while turning, once you put your foot down, the bike looses traction on the front tire and you end up holding the bike up and trying to push a very tall bike around,, not good.

Sit down! Stay in the seat as much as you can in the tight trails and use your upper body to to keep the front of the bike pointed the way you want standing up only when the back of the bike goes over large obsticales like large fallen trees or big rocks. Sitting down helps you save your energy and helps you learn to stear the bike with the power not try to throw it around with your body.

Try to find a comfortable gear and ride the whole section in that gear, the WR can lug to almost a stand still in second gear depending on your gearing and can rev to the moon, better to rev in the tight stuff than shift, shifing takes time and leads to arm pump, plus youll want the engine brake for the next twisty section. When you get in the WR groove you will barley need to touch the clutch or the brakes in tight woods, just lug and gas, rev then engine brake.

Once I figured out these WR woods basics Im now much faster and can ride faster longer on the big WR than I ever could on the lighter bikes with older suspension. Use the WR lugging power, superior suspension and the engine brake power to your advantage and youll find the WR is very nimble and the extra wight actually helps the bike buck less when soaking up the big terain and keeping the rider well rested in the saddel to keep your mind on riding the trail and not gasping for air to relive your arm pump :D.

Just for you guys who might be lulled into thinking an old Yamaha IT 250 is comparable to a KDX 220 by the previous poster...

The 220 has much more low end torque and peak HP

The 220 has a modern perimeter frame

The 220 has cartridge forks

The 220 has KIPS dual power valves

The 220 has front and rear disc brakes

The 220 is lighter and has a lower CG

KDX's are still competitive when slightly modified (pipe and heavier fork springs) and used for woods or play conditions. I am an A level rider and choose not to ride some of my more radical trail loops on the WR426 - too much work and pain and suffering around wet roots, rock barriers, etc. - and I love my WR!

Don't underestimate a compact bike - you will not tire more on a KDX in seriously tight conditions that do not have a lot of straight sections - you will tire less if the course or trail requires lots of braking and turning - a big bike is still governed by the laws of newtonian physics - momentum... p=mv

I do agree that larger folks will not fit a KDX - I'm 5'10' and I barely make it.

I think there are many great machines out there that will work for different types of riders in different conditions, horsepower is over rated in tight riding areas, skill isn't.


Maybe the difference of opinions here regarding tight conditions is a different perception as to what constitutes "tight" - in my tight conditions, shifting, braking, clutching, can't be replaced by sitting and lugging...on any bike. :D

I think you'd be better off comparing the WR250F to the KDX220. The bigger WR's are completely different.

Seeing as you as such a big guy at 6'5", you may want to consider an XR650R as well. You can get them cheaper than the WR and they haul, even with someone your size.


I liked what you wrote about the set up of a big wr for tight stuff. I'll do some ajustment as soon as I can. The idea of cutting a few teeth on the front sprocket crossed my mind. But I read somewhere that it was better to modify the rear sprocket, it seems that the smaller curve of a small front sprocket can damage the chain :D. When I rode my old Huskys 360 and 390 wr at the start of the 80's, I used to have 4 counter sprockets to adjust to the terrain. Are the new thumpers harder on the chains ?

Anyway, I'll stop at my friendly Yamaha dealer and buy a front 13 teeth sprocket and give a try ?

My only real concern will be to adjust the o-ring chain. It's the first time that I have an o-ring chain on a bike. Is there a special way to cut it ? Can I put a master link or do I have to rivet the chain ?

Thanks again for the great posts from all of you guys. :)

I think they always want you to use those rivits with new chains but I use master links. I think the WR has a stock o ring cahin? I never liked o ring chains on dirtbikes becuase they were to wide, other guys spare master links would not work in a jam, and they wore out just as fast as other chains in the coal dust and grit.

My WR chains have lasted very well and so have the sprockets, I usally replace the chain and sprockets togeter. Yeah, its a bit better to replace the rear sprocket but its also a big pain in the butt. The front sprocket can be changed with few tools in little time in the parking area and the front sprockets are cheap and easy to carry different sizes. I have herd there is a custom 12 Tooth sprocket available for the WR but I dont have one, the 13 is fine for the most narly of goat trails for me.

Mr Sputter, I do not deny that the KDX, even older ones are very good woods bikes, but the origianl question was not wich bike is better, the poster wanted to know how his bike would stack up to a KDX. The WR will blow the stickers of the KDX in anything but the tight woods, thats why I concentrated on the bike setup and riding tidbits I use in the tight rocky East Pa single track, no disrespect to the KDX. And you might not disrespect my IT if you rode with me when I had it. The IT was boared out, Boysen Reed valves, aftermarket pipe, WB rear shock, Race teck cartridge valves, YZ forks with YZ disc brake on the front. It was a great bike with lots of mods that did not cost much but no where near the WR 400 all around.

Great suspension has a way of cashing the checks that your skills might other wise bounce. :D:)


No disrespect intended! Sometimes these discussions are visited by people who might be thinking about different bikes to buy, and I was just trying to point out that a KDX is a great bike for certain situations, including price - to give that bike its due and not really trying to respond to the original post. For the benefit of those who might be interested, over the years I've seen so many beginner riders choose big bore bikes to start with (cause they're cool, I guess) and I've watch them struggle to do anything other than ride in a staight line. Small bore bikes like the KDX and many others, are a better choice for most average play riders because they allow a person to build skill while having some real fun without fighting a big bore's horsepower and weight - before they are ready for it. :)

For its time, the IT was also a great bike - and handled better than the KDX's at higher speeds. I know, I rode both in hare scrambles during the late '80's. No sweat, eh? :D

I rode with a friend who has a KDX220 last week and I had no problem keeping up even though he is a much better rider. The WR should have plenty of power for you to keep up. The only advantage I saw to the KDX was that it was a lot lighter then the WR when we had to lift it out of holes.


As one who bought a new 01 KDX-220 and still owns it, I can tell you its a perfect trail bike, it was built for trail and has good low rpm grunt. IMHO, its a great trail bike, real light and "flickable". As for trails, I can run with the rest of the big thumpers, but in the straight aways, they can pull me, but not just "walk away" if thats what your thinking. I'm looking to get a WR, probably a used 426 and I know I'll miss my KDX if I sell it. Both are great trail bikes, but the 450 will have lots of low end grunt and with the mods to make it "YZish" will pull in the straights too. 4 strokes have disadvantages, harder starting, especially after a spill and lots of engine braking. I know a KDX, you can tap the brake in low gears on tight slow turns, it stalls, will fire right up when you lett off the brake, the big thumpers can stall on a hard brake, then releasing it, it just skids. So a little more clutch is needed. Also after going over a jump, the nose tends to go down if your off the throttle because of good engine braking.

If you can swing keeping the KDX and the WR you would be a happy man!!

"If you can swing keeping the KDX and the WR you would be a happy man!!"


I like to plan on keeping my old bikes for spare bikes or loaner bikes. But then again I usally keep a bike so long its not worth much by the time Im ready to get a new ride. I only sold my IT 250 when it was backup to my 90 YZ 250 and I was ready to buy the WR 400. I kept the YZ 250 untill someone I loaned it to on a ride insisted on buying it for $800 and I had not needed a spare bike since I bought the WR :D.

I still would not be opposed to picking up a used KDX if the price was right, you may very well want to hang on to the KDX, They are great bikes and they are nice and cheap, but because of that and the fact that the new ones have very little upgrades from year to year, the re sale on them even with lots of parts and tricks is fairly low, at least from what I have seen.

did they make any KDX's that were white and blue? (like the KLR kinda) I cant stand the green :D:)

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