considering a WR

as a 2nd dirt bike. Should I stay away from the wr400 or the 426 Are they 6sp or 5speed When did yamaha put starters on them

To me, the 2002 WR426 is the best of them all. 2003 bike got the starter as well as a boost in dis. up to 450. Personally, I like the steel frames, do not want electric start (batt. plus starter = more weight and more problems). I like simplicity. Made mine street legal and would not trade for another. Just what I want in a bike. A lot of miles on the bike and the engine runs like new. Starts first kick hot or cold and the valves have never needed to be adjusted. (I check them twice a year). They all are 5 speed.

Edited by jcbikes

does it use a battery?

No expert, but i dont know how any electric start could NOT use a battery, as without the engine rotating, it has no means of creating current.

Edited by J_WR2fitty

Of course it needs a battery for electric start

MY mistake what I meant was did the early models have a battery. To turn the lights on before you kick start it

I know on my 01 WR250F, its all ran off the stator/lighting my wr doesnt have e-start. Prior to the bike running, the lights dont work whatsoever.

MY mistake what I meant was did the early models have a battery. To turn the lights on before you kick start it

The estart didn't happen til 2003

the lights are AC and run off the lighting coil. So they don't turn on until the bike is running and turn off when the bike shuts off.

I have the 05 with estart and its rather convenient. It also starts just fine with the kick starter. The starters and the estart mechanisms are very reliable.

The WR's are not light, regardless of the estart or non estart model. What that bike needs is a little more power, or at a minimum, a shorter throw throttle tube.

So maybe 280 to 290 full of gas I used to have a DRZ400 That thing was heavy I was running about 320lbs with a full tank

The wr bikes 2002 and earlier that do not have an electric start, have no batt. which means the engine has to be running to power the lights. My 2002 wr426 that has the 3.2 gallon stock tank weighs, has a larger engine oil capacity (than later bikes), is right at 280 lbs. with a full tank and some other add-ons that have added a few lbs. Still way lighter than a drz400 and a lot more power. Its all personal preference on what you want in a bike and how you will be using it.

I had a DRZ will shed about 45 pounds off your stated DRZ weight of 320 if you switch to a WR. You will love the difference.

I now have an 04 WR450...e start, steel frame...great machine.

Do not get an 03...first year with estart and they had some serious problems (see stickies) that were all solved in the 04 model.

You will find the estart extremely helpful...especially if you do some tough woods riding and find yourself with a stalled engine on a muddy hill of stuck in some bog or any number of tough situations....or if your just plain tired...Its a godsend.

Extremely reliable and tough engine and 04, 05, 06 (before aluminium frame) can be had for a good price.

Wouldn' be surprised if it became you first dirt bike.

Interesting info about the starter on the 03 model, I was looking at one today. I think I'll look for something newer now.

Do some searching about the 03 starters: most we're fixed already and once they are "updated" with 04 parts they are as reliable as the 04+ bikes. it's easy to see as well, something about the starter gear cover having a bulge in it if it's been done; flat if not.

Not trying to sway you one way or another, just trying to give you the facts. If you find an 03 that hasn't been updated, you should be able to get it cheap.


The only problem is here in california 03 04 models are seasonal use only I guess the bike was non compliant.

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