Should I buy a WR400 or CR500

Ok gentlemen, I'm new to your forum. Great info here. I've mostly road cr250's. Was looking at a cr500. I spend alot of time rec. riding In the sand dunes w/ my son. Cr500 is the perfect match for me. A friend of mine has me talked into a 98 wr400. Any opinions appreciated. Will the 400 support a paddle? Is it more reliable? I'm looking for a take it anywhere type bike and I'm a power nut. Will the wr400 satisfy me? This 1 has all of the YZ mods.

Bigbry, one of my sons has either a 98 or 99 YZ400 that he rides in Glamus. It will take a paddle. So will the WR. Everyone here is pretty biased towards BLUE and 4 strokes. I'd say take it for a test and judge for yourself. My experience with the WR400 is that it is reliable. If you do more reading on this site especially the archives you will find information about bugs that different folks have encounted with the bike. It is pretty much a go anywhere bike. So far, I have not had any problems with my 00WR400. Good luck! :)

two different birds. The Cr500 is alot more violent. The Wr400 Is far more tractable and has far better track and trail manners. A very heavy flywheel will tone down the Cr pretty well, but it still has no where near the hook up.

I bought a 2001 Wr 426. It has the new Titanium valves with lighter springs. It makes right about 50 Hp with the Throttle stop and Airbox lid removed. With some minor exhaust changes, you can bring it close to 54 Hp. The Stock 2001 CR500 Makes 56 HP!(im sure your old one is close to that) AND its Far easier to ride, and Every bit as powerful, but it does it like a Very Muscle bound Gentleman. Not like a crazy lunatic. Hook up is VASTLY better on the WR. And.. the Suspension is also FAR superior. It doesnt beat you senseless on the trail like the Cr, Nor do you have to worry about "fouling the plug"..and additionaly..More range on a tank of gas.

The Wr 400, though a bit lower in the Hp department, (about 46 Hp with thottle stop removed and Airbox lid with the "YZ" mods (ignition and exhaust timing changed) isnt by any means a "wimpy bike". Its just more friendly. :) (compared to the Wr426).

I would look into buying it. Im sure its not as much money to get a hold of as I got tempted into spending.

Believe me, I for the first time in my life, was happy spending 6500.00 for such a wonderful bike as this 426 is.

Id say go for it.. Sounds like a good deal.


Good luck.

[This message has been edited by Jemtec (edited 04-11-2001).]

I think the only place the CR500 is comfortable is the track or dunes. Get on any trails and you'll suffer.

The WR is happy about anywhere.

You want an unbiased opinion, I've had both bikes.

The CR500 is lighter, more powerful, simpler, easy to maintain, and very reliable. But it's a 12+ year old design, the motor is basically the same as a 1987 CR500.

The WR400 has a more appealing sound, a better feel to it's power, doesn't detonate, never needs the premix, doesn't smoke and drool oil, and is simply more fun to ride.


Ditto James Dean - except I have a '99 WR400 & a '90 KX500. Let's just say the KX hasn't been ridden in 2 years.


Seems like a loaded question in this forum. :)


It's your world, I just play in it!

'00WR, WB E-Series S-Bend w/7 discs, Stock header, throttle stop trimmed, airbox cover removed. Stock jetting. 4500ft.

I have owned both bikes as well. I grew up racing hill climbs (Widowmaker)

Then I got older, lost some hill climbing nerve, got married, had kids, and dropped the hill climbing. Still rode my 'punched up' CR 500 on trails and play riding. It really is a violent bike. However, if you need quick instant power that will not quit, the CR is a great bike.

A few years back I started riding trails in the mountains in Utah. I was constantly in the clutch on the CR. I was seduced by the 4 strokes and bought an XR400. It was an ok bike, but even that outshined the CR for trail riding. Later sold the XR and the CR.

Now I have a '01 WR426 and feel this is the best of both worlds. Once you get the motor rev'ved up, it acts like a 2-stroke powerband. I have taken it on a few of my old hill climb hills and it does quite well. I do need a bit longer run at some hills (20 feet or so..), whereas the CR you just dab the clutch with the throttle pinned and your off...

I would really consider the WR or the YZF. You will not be disappointed. You will be able to handle any type of riding.

For what its worth...


Bulldog - I'm pretty impressed with the objectivity of some of the responses.

I'm going to ride my a KX a couple of times & then decide what to do with it. Unfortunately, it may be worth more to me as a spare than it would be to someone else as a primary bike.



I had 2 KX500's also, '89 & '91. They were great drag racing in the sand dunes. I used a 6 paddle. Both had FMF pipes to give better top end with no loss down low. I found the KX500 to have more low end than the CR500, probably because of the power valve on the KX but not on a CR500. They sell so cheap its an inexpensive second ride with the power for an adrenaline rush. For max power to weight ratio the KX500 and CR500 are hard to beat.


I'll probably keep it since it is green stickered and it looks like the going price is ~$1700. The main reason to sell it will be to open up a space in the garage for a VFR750 - I can pretty much guarantee that the wife will say the KX has to go before a VFR can take up residence :)

I haven't tried the 1369NS needle yet - gotta get the WR running properly first.


I've also had both bikes, my CR500 was an '87. But my opinions are less relevant due to the type of riding you are doing - I've never ridden dunes/desert where the CR500 is probably well suited.

I can give you my impressions of the two, but everybody here has already covered it! The big difference is in power delivery. While the WR has the horses, its delivery is smooooth....especially compared to the snap of the CR.

I called my CR500 'Christine', possessed in the Stephen King fashion. I once tapped the throttle off of a small lip, and was on my back watching Christine still rolling about 20 ft in front of me! It was over before I knew it. That had only happened to me once before, 25 years ago as a rookie on a YZ125!

Christine required delicate wrist action to say the least. Given the mostly tight, turny, loose traction single track we ride up here....she wasn't the right bike. I mean, you could do it but it was too much work for my liking!

Another point: of the bikes I've ridden, the CR500 handles (steering, feel) the most like my WR400. As I recall, the CR has a lot of rake(?), similar to the WR weakness in the tight stuff.

Anybody else have a 'possessed' Christine?? :)

I sold my '92 KX500 in order to buy the YZ426. In my opinion it was a good move, I agree that the handleing was similar on both bikes but the layout is completely different the YZ feels like a new generation of bikes the KX feels like something out of the eighties. Being a adrenaline junkie though that 500 was wicked fast, a real monster, but I ride motocross and being fast on the straights doesn't win races. Try the WR and see what you think, I guarantee you will like it, but as far as power goes it will never out run a 500.

If you could get it to hook up well, a 500 would be fast. But, After riding a Wr426..I have to say..Its not pipey..and it gets all the power to the ground. In a road race, I still think they would run neck and neck, till the Wr out did it in top speed.


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