YZ450f vs WR450f...educated opinions needed...

Thinking of getting a YZ450 and 'converting' it into a WR w/o happy button. We are starting a racing team and need some bikes since we are farily new no one is lineing up to give bikes so we are faced with a dillema of economic proportions: Do we suck it up and buy a WR 450 f or buy a YZ450f which is cheaper, then throw on a stator. Questions:

a)Has anyone ridden both bikes on a desert racing environment (we live in the baja)?

b)The bikes have different gearing, I can't seem to find the gearing ratios for the WR wanywhere on line, do you know if the finel gear ratios are the same?

c)How difficult is it to get a stator on a YZ (need lights for night races on the baja)?

d)Has anyone tried putting 19" tire on the front of this bike to ride better in sand?

e)Other than some of the tunning and the obvious happy button (e-start) is there a large reason why not to do this?

Thanks for your help and tolerance..

Cabo Kid


Why would u get a yz 450f for desert? get the wr, even it will need some work and a few partz.but it is way more capabel for the desert than the yz will be with out spending tuns of cash.

It will be very difficult to get the four speed YZ in the 90mph + neighborhood, and by the time you do get there first gear will be very, very tall.

The WR 450 ratios are the same as the 426, but the primary ratio is one tooth taller (21/62 to 22/62 on the 450s).

I forget the final ratios but they are w/in a tooth or two of each other. The lack of fifth on the YZ, and the super tall fifth on the WR, is a gap you can't bridge with a sprocket change. Fourth gear in the YZ is the same ratio as fourth in the WR, so all else being equal the WR has 20% more top end right there.

Hope this helps.

I dont know the final gear ratios but the wr stock tops out at around 90 mph and the yz maybe around high 70s to low 80s. First gear on the yz is already tall on the wr first is low, so moving up on the countershaft wont affect starts or slow sections as much as on the yz. I like the yz, I wish I would have bought one instead but I live in the mountains and ride tight woods. The 40 lbs that the yz has over the wr is very hard to get back off the wr. Just pulling off all the e-starting components, kickstand, rear fender, odometer, etc. will only lose about 20 lbs. The yz cam is more suited for desert (high rev) then the wr's low end cam. That right there will add $150 or so to the wr. But the 5 speed wide ratio is nice for the riding you will be doing. :)

I believe the radiators on the wr also have one more cooling row per radiator. This might be important when running for longer periods at or close to WOT. As for a 19" front, I think a 20" would be a better choice. You retain close to stock GC and better floatation. Curious as to the 19" choice?

Thanks for your help, you make much sense. Will tell you how it works out with the WR


trying to experiment by running a wider front tire. My dad is an old (not that old) desert racer from back when they used to run Tiumphs on Barstoe to Vegas and we are working on getting the bike riding on fine sand a little better. Ever tried this?

I ride trails in the desert. I had a yz 426 that I tried to make work for this ans I hated it. I now have a wr 450 and I absolutely love it. Get a bike that was DESIGNED for the type of riding that you do. JMO...


Doesn't Ty Davis run a YZ450 in the desert with pretty fair success? I have often wondered about this. :) One of my sons has been running a YZ400 in the desert since 99. When he is on the gas, he can be a bit of a hand full to keep up with much less try to pass with any kind of authority. :D

Doesn't Ty Davis run a YZ450 in the desert with pretty fair success? I have often wondered about this.

He gears it to the moon, like 15/43, and hopes he doesn't fry his clutch and rear brake in the tighter sections.

After he and Pearson did so well at Lucerne I called Zip Ty Racing and asked about the gearing and tranny they used. To my surprise Ty himself got on the phone. As I recall he said they got the YZ to go about 90 w/ that gearing and the stock four speed. I asked him about first gear and he said it was indeed very tall but not a problem.

But then, he is Ty Davis.

I am not so I went with the red five speed. :)

Get the YZ cam & a (Yoshimura)pipe & it will be the same engine wise.

The clutch on the WR is a lot better, you won't experience all the problems & the heavier fly wheel of the WR is excellent & will save you from having to buy weights.

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