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YZ - WR Gearbox mod

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Hi there everybody,

I know this is possibly the most asked question from all Yamaha YZ trail riders, but please indulge me.

I've been riding motocross for a couple of years now and am gradually swinging over to trails and harescrambles etc.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that my bike's gearing isn't quite suited for slower technical stuff (of which there's a lot here). Now, I'd like to know if it's really worth it changing the stock YZ450F gearing to WR450F gearing, is it like a day/night difference. Did your riding abilities increase to the extent that it significantly outweighs the cost.

See, here in South Africa it works out to be quite expensive +/- ZAR 7000 ($900). I don't want to go through this kind of expense and only realise a small difference.

Opinions are quite varied here, some guys tell me to common plain just sell my bike and by a WR or KTM, others tell me to simply change sprockets and determine which ratio works best.

Only a few of our top riders (those that ride Yamaha) do these gearbox mods, that in itself tells me something but I don't know any of them personally to ask what I'm asking this forum. Any opinions would be really appreciated.

Thanks and regards from South Africa

Ray Carberry

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I suggest borrowing a WR and see if you like the wider spacing and ability to have a higher top speed. You are the best judge of what you would like.

Final drive ratio really depends on the types of riding you will be doing. Slow real tight technical stuff or blasts across open plains. Cheap way to get an idea is to buy a couple of counter shaft strockets and try them.

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Thanks for the reply William, the problem here is that the WR isn't that popular and I don't know the guys well enough who do own them. KTM however is extremely popular, I've ridden a couple of new 250 and 300 XC-W's and they are brilliant.

Problems with buying one of them is that my bike is now 8 months old and I cant afford to buy an entirely new bike just for the sake of gearing.

In saying that, I've just answered my own question, I would have to do this mod to experience it.

The only question I have now is, are there people reading this postwho have NOT been pleased after the mod.

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For starters, buy 3 or 4 counter shaft sprockets. See if the gearing suits you at all, keeping mind the main difference between a WR box and a YZ box is ratio spread. I have a pal with a YZ. We put a heavier flywheel on and reduced the countershaft sproket by a tooth. It has made it much more woods friendly. The only down sides are on the open areas, he tops out at about 65 and I can hit 80 and he has to shift more often on average.

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Have you considered an auto clutch? I have an auto clutched stock geared 06 YZ250F and it will go in any tight spot that I have any business being in.

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I changed my YZ250 2-stroke 3rd 4th & 5th over to the WR grears and love it for the woods and scrambles. Plenty of low end but lots of MPH for the streight sections. Well worth the cost. . . . . . . . Other very worthwhile mods have been a Rekluse Pro, R/B Designs head mod, FMF Gnarly pipe & final gearing of 15/50. I love this bike, pulls like a tractor with the fun of a two stroke!!

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I have both a stock '06 YZ, and an '04 YZ that originally had the 4 speed, and thus the change of gearbox for a WR gearbox in the '04. I have found, if I had it to do over again, I would not change the 4 speed gearbox on my '04 for a WR. I have since found a ReKluse clutch with the 4 speed would have worked just as well. I also installed a Rekluse in my '06, and have found it works perfectly, no need for the wide ratio WR....it will plonk around and jump logs/rocks all day long, and yet still have the top speed of any stock YZ. When I ride the '04 with the WR tranny, and the ReKluse, I find low gear almost always too low, and end up using 2nd gear for most every situation. The best thing about the WR tranny is the tall 5th gear...It will run 85-90 down the road. In the best of all worlds, the YZ 1234 gears, a WR 5th, and of course, the Rekluse. The closeness of the YZ tranny really is an asset, particularly if you're racing.

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I changed my YZ250 2-stroke 3rd 4th & 5th over to the WR grears and love it for the woods and scrambles. Plenty of low end but lots of MPH for the streight sections. Well worth the cost. . . . . . . . Other very worthwhile mods have been a Rekluse Pro, R/B Designs head mod, FMF Gnarly pipe & final gearing of 15/50. I love this bike, pulls like a tractor with the fun of a two stroke!!

Oh and almost forgot . . . the single biggest improvment came with the revalving and proper setup of the suspension for the woods. HUGE differance in how the bike handled in the woods. (Thanks Doug Harvey Racing)

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I rode an rm250 in open trails and was always looking for a 6th gear. If I had a yz250 the WR gear box mod would have been one of the first mods for me.

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