'09 yz450 vs. '09 wr450

ok. i have been eyeballing this new left over 2009 wr450 at the local shop for a while now. stopped by this morning to see if they still have it, and to my suprise, there is now a new left over '09 yz450 sitting right next to it. they are both the exact same price. well, the yz is $11 dollars more. they are both the factory blue and are brand new. i am sure you know the question that is coming next...which bike to go with? i am 6' 3", 200lbs and 28 years old. i will be riding alot of trails. desert, mountain, and some dunes. there is alot of wet rocks/roots/mud here. will be some smaller jumping mixed in as well. maybe, and i do mean maybe, hit the track once a year or so too.

my prior experience is with a cr 250 2t, and i did race mx for a few years.

i like the idea of having a headlight, though am more than willing to add that aftermarket if it can be done.

i will have a little one riding with me in a couple years as well.

so, what will suit me better? i love mx bikes, but i am done with racing mx. i love that the yz is lighter, but i like that the wr has electric start. i have always kinda thought the wr to be an old guys bike, no offense, but i am becoming that guy i think. would i be happier with the suspension of one bike compared to the other? what about availability of larger gas tanks? please help an older confused mxer!

the wr is a lot heavier! Imo the suspension is mushy, I can almost bottom my dads wr out by bouncing my hand on the seat. I wouldnt bother with it on the teack. It also comes very choked up from the factory which means taking off all the epa garbage.

As far as I know there are no lighting kits for 06-09 yz 450's. The suspension of the yz is amazing for a stock bike, it works well no matter where you go imo. You don't have to take anything off or replace on the yz save for the exhaust if you want more low end. The yz is also much easier to do maintenance on without all the epa stuff and tubes in the way.

personally id get the yz unless you need a green sticker.

honestly from the sounds of it, the wr is more up your ally. I wish i had a cross between the two. we hit the mx track maybe 3 times a year and a ton of trails in between! How nice e start would be and a built in light. although my two maglights duct taped to the front fender does worth rather well.....if yamaha would put lights and estart on the yz it would be amazing.

i like the idea of having a headlight, though am more than willing to add that aftermarket if it can be done.

From a practical standpoint, it can't. The best bet is a battery only setup. There's a race grade unit available for around $800, or you can cob something together on your own.

You might want to review this:


I have an 06 YZ that has seen a track... once I think. It's a woods bike, and a pretty decent one with a few mods. I don't care about e-start or a headlight, and I figured it would be easier to make a good woods bike out of a YZ than to de-choke the WR. Skid plate, hand guards, flywheel weight, lower gearing, oversize tank, radiator cages, spark arrestor at a minimum.

For oversized tanks there are 2 Clarke options, and 1 IMS option. I have the IMS, not completely thrilled with it but it gets the job done.

I have an 07 YZ450F and my friend has an almost new 09 WR450. My YZF is stock except for a pipe and silencer. Last weekend we switched bikes for a while in the desert. There is a big difference in the feel of the bikes. The WR feels much heavier (which it is) and has power that is much mellower. The suspension is also not nearly as good as the YZF. My friend actually feels he made a mistake in buying the WR after riding my bike. I will need to try the WR in the woods and see how it performs there. The estart is nice but we both felt my YZF was much more fun to ride and not any harder to manage with the additional power. I'm an old guy (51) and really like the YZF overall. I thought about the same decision you are and am glad I bought the YZF.

I think it really depends on the type of riding you will be doing.

I say go for the WR. I had a YZ450 for trail duty a few years ago and made the switch to the WR450 and never looked back. The main advantage to the WR is the wide ratio trans IMO. The YZ struggled in the really tight gnarly stuff as first was too tall and in more open riding it would top out before I wanted it to. Also, the power made it difficult to find traction at times, but that could have been fixed with a heavier FWW. The WR does take a bit of uncorking to get some performance out of it but that is all free or really cheap. I also run an HID headlight, the stock bike computer and heated hand grips for those really cold rides. The YZ could never do that without some serious electrical upgrades. It all comes down to what you want to do with it, and sounds to me like the WR fits your needs better.

I have owned an 07 wr an now an 09 yz. The deal breaker for me was the wr feels like it is 50lbs heavier and flat wears you out. It is a huge difference! Can't stress this enough. I have always owned wr's for the electric start, softer suspension and gearing. The yz is magical everywhere. The tall first gear is eliminated with a Rekluse Pro and the electric start is not missed partially due to the Rekluse and the yz starts first or second kick.

I feel my yz is perfect for me with the addition of a Dr D pipe, 06 cdi and a Rekluse Pro.

I also have a Scotts stabilizer, hand guards, tubliss tubes and an oring chain.

Get the yz and do a few mods and you will be very happy.

it sounds to me like the wr is more suited to the riding you intend to do. and will require fewer changes. yes, it's heaver, but because it has more equipment on it (e-start, battery, lights, coolant expansion tank, etc.). Those things are all great to have in the woods. The suspension is not as "good" as the yz suspension, but it is a great all around suspension that handles a lot of terrain well. it can soak up the huge rocks, blast down a dirt road at 80mph, hit small jumps, etc.

it's not quite as strung out, which is both good and bad. less maintenance on the valvetrain and enough power to wheelie in 3rd. the wide ration gearbox is sweet. and opening up the bike to have close to yz power cost absolutely no money, just a couple hours of time removing restrictive equipment.

really, you're not going to go wrong with either.

I'm lucky enough to own both bikes. 07 WR450(same as the 09), and 08 yz450(almost identical to 09). Unfortunately, the bikes are as different as they are alike. Both bikes will require some mods/upgrades for woods riding, uncorking/protection for the wR, and spark arrestor/protection for the yz. Those are pretty much the bare minimum things that have to be done to each bike. The WR is very convenient because of the e-start and wide ratio transmission, as well as the lights if you happen to need them. The downside of the WR is the crap suspension that comes with it and the "mellow" characteristics it has stock. The "mellow" aspect of the WR can be modified greatly, but unless you're spending lots of $$$ it still won't "feel" like the yz power-wise. The YZ's advantages are the great suspension out of the box, lighter weight, all-out performance out of the box, and the super snappy response from the engine. The downsides are no e-start, no lights, no kickstand(easy fix), and taller gearing for tight slow riding.

At 28 you're younger than me, so definitely not getting too old for the yz. Because of your prior MX experience, I think you'd be happier with the YZ, unless you mod the hell out of the WR, you'll probably be very disappointed with it. I see your location is WA state, no issues there with the green/red sticker. If I had to do it all over again and didn't have the stupid sticker rules to deal with, I'd only have the yz. Don't get me wrong, I love my WR and I think it's an awesome bike. But if I could ONLY have one bike, it would be the yz, I could live without the WR. The yz is just too much fun to ride with its beastly characteristics and lighter weight. By the way, I have modded my WR with a yz suspension swap, yz camshafts, and yz exhaust.

The WR stock is almost unrideable. You'll have to de-smog it and buy a pipe.

I put cams in mine and it really barks but the e-start doesn't like the cams.

I like the WR cause I'm old and fat.

You could prolly ride the YZ with just a skidplate and a bigger tank.

I've seen new 09 YZ's go for 4K on eBay.

You're not going to lose either way, they're both great bikes. I have an '08 WR450 and find myself longing a bit for something lighter. Properly set up, the WR has plenty of power. I do 50% of my riding at night and the YZ will not be a deal breaker for me. As mentioned above, you can easily do this via a battery pack system and can do it cheaper than you would think. I would prefer the lighter weight over the e-start as I think the WR is a pretty easy starting bike anyway. And if you ever looked at all the wiring on the WR you would be horrified. I find that I have to add almost all the same mods to the WR that I would to the YZ (big tank, hand guards, exhaust (but can use the modded stocker), suspension revalve, taller bars (the YZ has better clamps to expand the cockpit), etc). The one thing really nice about the WR is the tranny and I'm not sure you can fix that with sprockets on the YZ. The computer on the WR is really handy and a very good one as well. The YZ will definitely need a skid plate of some kind as well as (in my opinion) a swap to an 18" rear wheel for off road.

Either way, you're going to be able to reap the rewards of the reliability on either of these bikes.

thanks everyone for the replies. now i am even more confused though. seems to be about a fifty\fifty on the preference of the yz or the wr. does anyone have any more insight? would it benefit me to post this in the wr sub forum as well, or do alot of people there, venture into this sub forum?

can you get a rather large (3+) gallon tank for the yz just like the wr? and what is the benefit to the 18" rear wheel over the 19" on the yz?

18" lets you use a larger tire that is less prone to pinch flats, it also much heavier than a 19" wheel hence 19" for mx, 18 for off road. As far as I know you should be able to get large sized tanks for the yz

All the aftermarket gas tanks for the WR450 are made for YZ450's but fit the WR as well. With the IMS tank you have to buy YZ shrouds.

If your last experience riding was with a 250 2 stroke you are gonna find the WR crazy heavy.

I chose the WR over the YZ for the ability to plate it. But if I was going to buy a strictly offroad bike I would probably get the YZ and heavily mod it for woods.

how is fuel mileage between the two bikes? will one bike suck the fuel more than the other bike? and how about reliability? will i have more issues with the yz over the wr reliability wise?

reliability is probably equal, however maintenance is much easier on the yz

Large fuel tanks:

IMS- - -3.1 gal fits both bikes, need YZ shrouds or just don't use the bolt

mount under the seat for the back part of the shroud.

Acerbis- - -3.3 gal fits both bikes, shrouds hold gas.

Clarke- - -3.6 gal for the WR and I believe 2.6 for the YZ. Is there any

reason the 3.6 won't work on the YZ? I doubt it. May just have to

use WR shrouds.

Safari/Aqualine- - -4.1 gal for the WR. Shrouds hold gas. May have to

contact them to see if it will fit the YZ. Again, I see no

reason it shouldn't. Very Pricey though ($400+).

I've gotten about 90 miles on my 3.1 IMS on the WR and have since switched to the 3.6 Clarke. The Clarke was for baja. I have never needed more than the 3.1 for local desert. Remember, for really long rides on the YZ you can add the Acerbis front tank. Not the best looking unit, but beats wearing it in your backpack (.8 or 1.3 gal).

how is fuel mileage between the two bikes? will one bike suck the fuel more than the other bike? and how about reliability? will i have more issues with the yz over the wr reliability wise?
The WR is quite likely to get better fuel economy due to the less aggressive valve timing and higher available gear ratios.

If you maintain them well, both bikes are as reliable as manhole covers.

If you are going to trail ride only get the WR. If you are ever going to enter and Hare scrambles, enduro or MX you will wish you had bought the yz.

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