Differences between wr 426 and xr650 ???

Has any one rode bolth bikes, What benifits with the 650. Does the power make it easier to ride? Thinking of buying a 650 what do you guys think? Would keep my wr250 for tight stuff and xr650 for dessert and open but maybee if its great everywhere just using the xr. Miss the reliabilty of the XR.

I used to own a '00 YZ426. I now own a '00 XR650R (uncorked). Honestly, the YZ and XR seem to accelerate about the same, which is to say they both will rip your ass off the seat if you're not careful.

From what I've read, the WR426 is pretty lame, stock. If you upgrade the jetting, gearing, and timing to YZ specs, then the WR is just as fast as a YZ426.

I like the XR650R better than either the YZ or the WR, or any other dirt bike I've owned or ridden. It's a really great do it all bike, for off-road, racing, or dual sport, it can do it all very easily.


ps. !! I forgot to answer one very important question you asked. You asked, does the power make it easier to ride? Answer: NO. The power makes it more FUN to ride, not easier. Honestly, an uncorked 650R is a trigger happy beast, and the slightest flick of the wrist results in brutal acceleration no matter what gear you're in. Ride one and you'll see what I mean. This bitch pulls HARD! :)

Thanks man thats what I wanted to hear if your not having fun your not riding

I saw "WR" so had to come look.

I cannot fathom taking an XR650 on some trails . You would have to be one strong, highly technical and in very good shape of a rider to tackle the nasty stuff. Don't get me wrong, they haul tail but God almighty are they the craps in the nasty stuff. I couldn't imagine taking one up Boardman or Germainia Creek up north... could be done but... geeeeez!

The same guy that was last to arrive up Germainia Creek on his 650 last Sept was ALWAYS first on 50 mile open roads on a ride to NV.



You don't need to YZ time your WR to hang with an XR650. Mine had the exhaust baffle removed, airbox lid off, rejetted and throttle stop cut and it accelerates just as hard as my buddies XR650. He's got the power up kit which removes the baffle, airbox lid and rejets the bike. I'm geared stock and he's one down on the countershaft. When we drag race, over and over, I'm a bike length ahead until I'm topped out. We are roughly the same size, weight, skill level, etc.

The XR is a beast in the woods. If you are in good shape, you'll be fine but for me, it stops being fun after about an hour. The WR also tires you but there are about 30 less lbs. to drag around. The suspension on the WR is way better than the XR which for me adds tons to the fun factor.

I considered the XR but one ride on a WR was all it took to convince me that this was a better bike for my needs.

I dont know about the WR but the yz 426's ive ridden were very similar to my 650R in acceleration, i really cant see a WR being anywhere near as fast with like 15 less hp. My bike eats 250mxers if it gets traction. as for being a handful in tight stuff, nope, im 5'11 and about 165lbs and i have not had a problem to date except when pushing the pig up a hill with gas dripping from airbox, it feels a whole lot lighter than it is as long as you are moving. Nothing that i have ever ridden has anywhere near the low end snap of the 650R either which is a blessing in the woods as far as i am concerned, lofting the tire to clear logs, etc is alot easier. Unless you end up stalled way back in the bush (its a HONDA, you wont) the 650R is very manageable. The 650 is heavy for a reason, it is built like a tank, damn near indestructible. BTW, with the powerup kit i read that the 650R is around 60 flywheel HP. Good luck finding your bike, just dont buy a KTM :).

Having owned an xr250, xr600, yz400, and now wr450, I can say the big difference for me is not the power, but the handling and weight. The yamahas handle well compared to the xrs and "feel" better to me. I do miss the rock solidness of the xrs and the cushy seat. Just my opinion. Rode a new 2003 CRF450 and it was quite sweet too. These bike just keep getting better and better..... :):D

The XR650R hides its weight very well as long as its moving. I use my XR650R for all kinds of riding except MX and it works nicely. I think it mostly depends on the riders ability more than the bike choice as to which is better for certain types of riding, but the XR650R really shines when things open up.

If you like a bike with tons of torque :D, then its worth looking at the XR650R. I doubt the WR426 makes more torque than the CRF450 and the XR650R makes gobs more torque than the CRF450 even when comparing the same power to weight ratio. The XR650R is a great general purpose bike and does lots of things well and some very well, but MX isn't one of them and the WR would be a much better choice if MX is your primary objective. With the stock 14/48 gearing, the XR650R will hit ~97MPH at 8,000 RPM and with 15/42 she’ll do ~119 and still won’t be out of breath if properly setup. Remember, the stock XR650R comes corked up with an EPA rubber intake, very lean jetting, and a very restrictive exhaust tip to comply with certain emission standards unlike the CRF450 or WR426/450 which are born race ready. You can easily uncork an XR650R for $100 or less and it’s quick and simple to do, but like any bike its easy to dump a ton of money into if you like aftermarket goodies.

A stock CRF450 makes ~12 ft/lbs torque at ~4,000 RPM and ~33.5 ft/lbs torque at 7,000 RPM based on a dyno chart that was posted in the CRF450 group a while back. A stock ‘uncorked’ XR650R makes ~37 ft/lbs of torque at ~4,000 RPM and ~43.5 at 6,000 RPM. Add the Honda HRC kit (cam/piston) or something similar, a pipe and a 680 kit and it will be pushing the torque a hair over 50 ft/lbs at 6,000 RPM and about 64 rear wheel HP at 8,000 RPM, which is redline. Even at 277 lbs (Honda’s listed dry weight), the XR650R can reliably & inexpensively deliver an impressive 0.180:1 ratio of torque to bike weight versus 0.148:1 for a stock CRF450 which is supposed to be race ready to begin with and I'm betting the WR426 has a torque to weight ratio that's weaker than the CRF450, especially since its heavier than the CRF450. If the CRF450 maintained that same torque to weight ratio of race ready XR650R, then it would be putting out 40.6 ft/lbs of torque at its current 225lbs of weight, which means the CRF450 would be producing 21.2% more torque than it currently is…way kool :)

The extra weight of the XR650R can also work to one’s advantage in some circumstances, but certainly not for MX type riding. The XR650R loves the dunes, the deserts, makes for a nice dual sport and also makes a great west coast trail bike for many trails (except the slowest type where you're having to crawl), but it’s not for everyone. The XR is super reliable, but I've never had any complaints with the many Yamaha's I've owned years ago and will someday likely own another in due time, especially when I see a 2 wheel drive WR in the showroom :D

No matter which bike you decide on, check into the z-Start auto clutch as an option. It's the koolest thing I've added to a bike in a long time and makes trail riding that much more enjoyable.

Alright JR,

What's your beef with KTM?

I think the most major manufacturers are making pretty awesome bikes - the CR 450F and the WR 450F among them.

KTM's are excellent bikes as well. They come with far better standard equipment than most and are very potent off-road weapons out of the box. (I think that the PDS rear end is a long term achilles for the brand, however. Just ask McGrath.)

The XR is bigger, heavier and brutally effective. But put it in the the woods next to a KTM or WR and you'll feel like your wrestling a fat guy after an hour.

Conversely, in the desert where physics are on its side, you had better have your G-suit on because that XR is nothing short of a low flying cruise missile

Not bad, just different. Like KTM.

Over and out.


P.S. Excellent analysis qadsan!

Excellent analysis qadsan!

Yes, very well done. He makes up pig wrestlers proud. :)

"I dont know about the WR but the yz 426's ive ridden were very similar to my 650R in acceleration, i really cant see a WR being anywhere near as fast with like 15 less hp."

Obviously, you don't know much about the WR's and YZ's. Where are you getting the 15 hp less from the WR engine? Are you thinking of the XR400? The engines are identical with a few changes. The WR has a heavier flywheel, wide ratio tranny and the exhaust cam advanced one tooth to improve low end. It is very fast and because of the pumper carb, the throttle response is much crisper than the XR650. It has ton's of low end snap. I've changed my exhaust cam to YZ timing so I know have a YZ with a wide ratio transmission and a heavier flywheel.

"My bike eats 250mxers if it gets traction."

You are making my point for me. I never said that the WR makes more torque or hp than the XR, it doesn't need to, it weighs less. I'm just telling you that it accelerates very hard and I repeatedly pull my buddies bike. He weighs 155 lbs. I weigh 165 lbs. and we are equal in riding ability. If you can't get traction, you aren't going to out accelerate another bike.

No matter how you look at it, 30 extra lbs. does make a big difference in the woods if you run hard. The faster you go the more it works you. The WR's suspension is set up to ride hard. Try riding something lighter and see if you notice the difference.

You must not have much experience the KTM's either. They fly. Parts are a little pricy but the quality and attention to detail is unreal. My buddy just bought a 2003 KTM 450EXC and it's an incredible bike. I've also ridden the 400EXC and the 520EXC as well as the 300EXC 2-stroke. They are fantastic bikes.

I'm not trying to give you a hard time but you need to ride these bikes to give someone a comparison.


Engine Type 649cc liquid-cooled dry-sump single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore and Stroke 100.0mm x 82.6mm

Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Valve Train SOHC; four-valve

Carburetion Keihin 40mm piston-valve

Ignition Solid-state CD with electronic advance


Transmission Five-speed

Final Drive #520 O-ring-sealed endless chain; 14T/48T


Front Suspension 46mm leading-axle Kayaba cartridge fork with compression- and rebound-damping adjustability; 11.2-inch travel

Rear Suspension Pro-Link Kayaba single-shock with spring-preload, compression- and rebound-damping adjustability; 12.1-inch travel

Front Brake Single 240mm disc with twin-piston caliper

Rear Brake Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper

Front Tire 80/100-21

Rear Tire 110/100-18


Rake 27.8 degrees

Trail 111.0mm (4.3 inches)

Wheelbase 58.3 inches

Seat Height 36.8 inches

Ground Clearance 12.0 inches

Dry Weight 277.0 pounds

Fuel Capacity 2.6 gallons, including 0.5 gallon reserve


Emissions California version differs slightly due to emissions equipment.

Available Colors Red

Model ID XR650R



Type 449cc, liquid-cooled, 5-valve, DOHC, 4-stroke w/titanium valves

Bore x Stroke 95 x 63.4mm

Compression Ratio 12.5:1

Carburetion 39mm Keihin FCR flat-slide w/throttle position sensor

Ignition Digital CDI

Transmission Wide-ratio, 5-speed w/multi-plate wet clutch

Final Drive #520 Chain


Suspension/Front 46mm Kayaba inverted telescopic fork w/adjustable compression and rebound damping; 11.8" travel

Suspension/Rear Kayaba single shock w/adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping & separate hi/lo-speed compression adjuster; 12.4" travel

Brakes/Front 250mm Floating Disc

Brakes/Rear 245mm Disc

Tires/Front 80/100-21 Dunlop

Tires/Rear 110/100-18 Dunlop


Length 85.4"

Width 32.5"

Height 51.2"

Seat Height 39.2"

Wheelbase 58.4"

Ground Clearance 14.6"

Dry Weight 245 Lbs.

Fuel Capacity 2.6 Gallons


Color Team Yamaha Blue/White

Warranty 30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)

To me the difference is approx 30 pounds and 200cc. It really boils down to what bike suits your needs. If ya like big fat red, then go for it. If ya like Sleek Fast and blue go for that. I ride occasionally with big fat and red, and man the trails beat the guy up. That bike is a desert sled. I ride with a 2002 wr426 and wr450, both stock and they hook up and run in the woods, thats what they are built for.As stated in the post above, the red bike will run but it beats you senseless with that extra 30 pounds IMO and what I have witnessed

I own an 01 xr 650L and that thing is a beast. i am 5'8 190lbs. i have only rode it on trails and it actually did pretty good till i climbed a steep hill and got to the top and couldnt touch and lost my balance. so i had to pick the bike up and belive me it sux!!!! Other than that where i ride we have a place called the turnpike and its basically very flat and wide open and i cracked that thing open in 3rd and 4th and its a huge rush. So again it all depends on what your riding style is and what you like in a bike. i would strongly rcommend the xr because of its reliabillity and ergos.


'01 xr650L mods- uncorked, white bros eseries pipe, K&N filter, enduro engineering bark busters, irc knobbies, DG bash plate,clarke tank 5gal, and tons of stickers......

OK, lets get a couple things straight, first, my buddy had a 450MXC KTM, he had nothing but problems, always working on it, first blew fork seals, then header cracked (factory problem apparently) with assorted other miscellaneous bull$&^% in between. I NEVER have an opinion which is not at least partially based on experience.

Second, if i was thinking 400R I would have said 30 less hp (they are like 32 at the flywheel I believe). 15 horsepower with 30 extra pounds is gonna give you a better power to weight ratio, unless you have less than 2:1 power to weight, which would be about 200 hp in a WR with you or me on it (that would be fun). the heavier you are the less the difference in weight matters for the power to weight ratio difference between the bikes. I have seen figures of 40HP at the wheel for an uncorked WR with around 34 stock. As for riding lighter bikes, i have owned an xr200R for about 6 years, rode a 250R extensively as well as a YZ426 and KTM 450MXC and rm125 and none of these were incredibly easier to handle in the woods when moving at speed, yes the BRP is a bigger pain in the ass but not as much as some who have not ridden it much would think, you just need to learn to point and let it do its thing, muscleing it will only get you thrown into a tree. The SLOWER you go, the more you notice the weight. Im not trying to start a fight, this is what i have observed.

I dont like KTM because they do not have a particularly good record for reliability in all the ones ive seen and they take forever to get parts for here. As a pure race machine, KTM 4 strokes probably win my vote, I loved the power of my buddys 450 once you got the revs up, but in my personal opinion they are not reliable enough to be a good offroad bike that i would want to take back into the middle of nowhere with me. I dont just hate KTM, i hate kawasaki too, or at least their non suzuki based 4-strokes, this is from a long history of kawi's I have known that crap out when you need them.

Couldn't copy them large but ALL, WR450, 426 and XR650 (respectively per pictures) are right at 46hp.







The same guy that was last to arrive up Germainia Creek on his 650 last Sept was ALWAYS first on 50 mile open roads on a ride to NV.




Maybe someone (oldoutdoorsman)ought to read more careful. If everone stayed exactly on ttopic for answering questions, half of the posts wouldn't be on this site.


I agree with outdoors.

JR650, no offense intended, my friend. You're right. It's all about experience. I think that low-speed, technical big-bike riding is largely a matter of technique. I've seen guys ride boat-anchor KRL650's like they were a Gas-Gas trial bike. It's a beautiful thing to behold.

Before I wised up, I used to ride a heavily modified XR650L around in the woods. It required a lot of attention and body english, but it could be done.

And for the record, I love the idea of the XR 650R. I saw a tricked-out one at a local dealer and there was a string of drool from my lower lip to the floor by the time the salesman disturbed my lustful trance.

If it were possible to plate 650R in my moto-facist state, there would be one in my garage. The KTM's slide under the Department of Licensing's radar.

I'm sorry you've had bad experiences with KTM, I've owned two and they have been bullet proof.

If you ride. I'm on your side.

All the best.


I'd love to ride a KTM that i could trust, i loved the feel of the 450, i just couldnt trust it. Maybe i just had a chance encounter with a bad one. Oh well its that damn man pms kickin in again, lol. BTW, for pure woods riding i would say buy the WR, it will be easier on you, especially if you are like me and go through the deepest mud just to see if i can make it without getting stuck and usually having to pull my bike out. For the best all round bike my vote still goes to the 650R, i have never owned or ridden a bike that does everything so well (except trials, dont think ill try that one), ive even played on the mx track with it. Good luck, ride everything and decide what YOU like best, afterall, you have to live with it afterwards. JR

Well, yeah,, what you speak of is true. Yep. And very informative, I wasn't really sure which would accelerate quicker, seemed like the YZ was about the same, but slower on top end. But then again, it also seemed like my YZ was a bit snappier, but without the massive low end torque.

Oh and yeah, the YZ/WR suspension was the best I've ever experienced, far better than the XR. . Yep.. you're right.


There are benfits to a heavier bike. I have over 6000 miles on my xrl650, and I find it much easier to ride than an MX bike. I haven't ridden a WR450 but have ridden a yz426, as well as my own CR500 in the woods, and I'd take the XRL before all of them. I feel the XRL is firmly planted over just about anything the woods have to offer. The lighter bikes seem to deflect too much for my taste. I'm sure you won't agree on the weight issue, and that's why there are different bikes out there. Also, whatever bike you do choose, some will think you're stupid, others will think you're smart. Don't worry about them. Remember, you're not racing for money, just riding for fun.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now