Hard seat & fast motor - questions for WR450 owners

I put 1.3 hours on the WR for Mother's Day (wife thinks I visited with my Mom), changed oil, and gave it a bath. Yesterday, I went on a AMA D-23 sanctioned trial ride in the bluffs of Southern Minnesota. These are my thoughts on the WR450:

* Hard seat - will look at options for multi-day rides.

* Great motor - after I got out of the single track, I discovered another layer of power on top of the rev range. This bike keeps you on your toes, especially in tight woods.

* With 4.3 hours on the bike, I have a leaking fork seal on the left leg. Anyone else?

* Shifter is sticking down. I talked to another 450 owner who said his quit sticking at 120 miles. Anyone else?

* Rear brake is very sensitive - anyone try another pad compound yet?

* Bog off idle when grabbing a handful. Never noticed it riding, only when f-ing around in the parking lot.

* Jetting is remarkably close - thanks to TT member's posts.

* I will be sliding the forks up - it definitely needs more weight on the front wheel.

This is a great bike and I will need to be more efficient on it. I am expending lots of energy just holding on! It requires me to think about my riding style and ultimately, my speed will increase accordingly. Just what I wanted.

Ride fast - take chances.


I can only comment to your fork seal leak. I don't own a 450, just ride with one once in a while. Last weekend his 450 started leaking fork oil from both sides. Less than 200 mile. Really muddy sandy conditions and I doubt he's done any cleaning on them.

Fork seal on left side leaking normally just needs to to cleaned, check your owners manual, has a detailed fork seal and dust seal cleaning section.

I haven't had any brake, shifter or oil leak problems that you mentioned. Will be watching for them. I have noticed the hard seat and hesitation with hard accel. I just got my WR450 about 2 weeks ago. First couple of rides were afterwork quickies, trying to break engine in. We have had lots of rain here in central Indiana and my riding woods are too sloppy. Took it out road riding today and noticed it misfires quite a bit when running a steady speed and any gear. The miss goes away when accelerating and I get some backfiring with enging decel. I changed plugs w/o any change in the bike. Also noticed the pipe got really hot, it was popping and cracking when I shut it down. I've not made any performance modes yet, waiting to get a couple of more rides in. I'm not sure if I want to take it back and let the dealer mess with it or start making the mods and work out the misfires myself. I think it's probably running lean.

2 points, Point 1, I also had to change my riding style (from XR400), I appear to do better if I run a gear higher than on the XR 400. Point 2, you should definately change the jetting, it appears most bikes come lean from the factory.

I have 187 miles with no troubles. My dealer is waiting for a woodruff key which is on backorder to do the TSB. I have a 155 main and put on my 92 Yz 250f exhaust pipe with PMB end cap. This bike is fast and very easy to ride, this pipe set up is 3 lbs lighter and makes better power everywhere! My bike came with a blue mark across the flywheel nut and crankshaft. I check it to see if the nut loosens, does anyone else have this? Cant complain about turning as I ride the tank by habit. So far so good!

What's up with all this hard seat business? My 450's seat feels soft to me. Compared to the 400/426 it feels like a La-Z-Boy. The 400 just about raped me after a few hours. I saw some tall? soft seats for the 450 here>>> www.gutsracing.com I haven't had good luck finding any other brands or suppliers that carry anything for 450's yet. Too new???? :)

The 450 seat is too soft, jumping and landing on the seat means you meet the subframe with your arse...... not pretty.

Fast motor... yes its like riding a 60hp eletric motor, I can't tell you what a USA bike is like but the AUS model fly's. That is after the throttle stop is fixed, the airbox is well.....fixed and hopefully after this week I fit an aftermarket pipe. This bike is unfair, I thought the brakes were suspect...until I realised I was arriving at corners 20kmh faster than I thought. Now I am in love. If the 2004 is lighter I will preorder at the dealer no questions asked. If Honda have a crf450xe or whatever they choose to call it I could defect even though my blood is blue. The current 450 is not perfect but it sure as hell will do untill the perfect bike comes along. From here on in its about the weight. More power is not required (in modified form)(why is the standard muffler and airbox so far removed from what is required????????) I have ridden a 450exc and it feels lighter, doesn't require airbox or muffler mods yet I believe in slightly moded form the wr is king. Airbox, muffler and front and rear springs and the wrf rules. I hope they don't continue to soften the wrs, the success comes from the fact they are yz's for the bush. Soft springs and extra lard won't cut it. People don't spend their time and cash making the 2003 wrs more [@#$%&*!] arsed, they make them more YZ.....Learn Yamaha before the red mist arrives.

As has been said, clean your fork seals to do away with the leaking, sounds like dirt. I use to replace fork seals everytime they started leaking, now I clean them and have not replaced one is several years, its usually just he dirt.

In addition to sliding your fork tubes, don't forget to set the sag, makes a huge difference in the handling if it's set correctly.

Thanks for the feedback. I pulled back the wipers and looked for dirt. The seals were clean and free of debris. I checked the service manual before I posted the questions. The bike is now at the dealer for a warranty seal replacement.

As for sag, already done before I left the garage.

Have a good day.


In regards to the shifter sticking,i had that problem and just had it fixed, my mechanic said it was the shifter plates and they had burrs on them he took them out and cleaned them up and its fine now. He also said that just riding it would have fixed it over time.

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