KTM450 vs Yamaha 450F 2004

Dear Blue Thunder Friends, I am probably the single biggest fan of the Yamaha 4-stroke in my country. I own a WR426 and am ready for a newer bike, OBVIOUSLY the WR450F 2004 comes to mind as a very happy owner. WERE IT NOT, that yesterday I went to a motorcycle show and saw the new KTM450 2004. What a neat beauty, and it sems taller than the yamaha which for me @ 6-feet tall is something intersting. I noticed the finish of the KTM also,...(its hard to say as a YAMAHA lover) but its beautiful at the KTM. Its here in Brazil it's about a US$1.500 more expensive but I am seriously considering that it is worth it. I would like to hear opinions from my fellow blue riders as why I should not do this. I realize this may come with some "blue-emotions" which I respect, but appreciate your honesty also... Greetings Robert


I have been a Yamaha fan for many years and recently when I was ready to upgrade to a 2004 450 I was perplexed as to what to do. Many of my riding buddies ride KTM so I was able to get lots of input as to the pro's and con's. As well, I have many buddies that ride Yamaha. The bottom line for me was that the KTM 450 EXC was ready to race/ride right off the showroom floor. Unlike the Yamaha WR450F I would had needed to do many costly mod's to get the bike where I felt it needed to be performance wise. Also, the power of the KTM 450 EXC is very smooth unlike the Yamaha being very explosive. So realisticaly, the two bikes are close to the same cost taking in account the costly upgrades the Yamaha would require to get it race ready. The KTM for me is by far the best bike I have ever riden and I havent had any blue feelings for jumping ship. Dont get me wrong, Yamaha builds a great machine but for me, KTM was the choice for 2004.

Ride safe!

Michael :)

A WR450 does not have explosive power.

All I did to mine were the free mods and a ProMoto Billet baffle.

The only thing I don't like about the WR is the woodruff key issue. Other than that its a great bike.

Magura clutch.

I'm kinda in the same boat as you. I have owned Yamaha's my entire life and I don't think you'll find another person who'll defend or fight for the brand more than me. But this B.S. with the starter and woodruff key have me seriously thinking of going in another direction. In my eyes these problems are more than just a minor inconvenience, they are a deal breaker. I'm not the most patient person in the world so having to deal with a dealer or manufacturer that won't acknowledge a very obvious and serious problem is not something I wan't to do.

Just my .02

BOY, look at these posts Yamaha!!!! Come on, get your heads out of your asses...I LOVE the Yamaha, would I get another right now?????NO!!!!!!!!! :):D

I kind of agree with the explosive power. Im coming form a XR650r and that is completely tame compared to the wr450. I love it htough. It has tons of torque and an incredible mid-top end. This is what makes me love the bike along with the great handling and everything else. This is my first Yamaha and so far I love it even as it is in the shop being fixed for a blown water pump seal. The thing flat out rips. I love it.

For your information, I have had some problems with the waterpump O-ring. I found out that the tap water in my region is rather "hard" in terms of PH. When I stopped using tapwater and used distilled water instead problems were over. PS Note that you might have to sandpaper the axis a bit because it may contain erosion. Good luck@!

I had a KTM once!! You'll be waiting for parts, because they never stock them!! Not only does it cost more, but so do the parts!! Also at the time they had Marzocchi forks and always had blown seals! Yamaha or Honda both are great bikes!

Wait and see what hondas offroader will be like!!!

I'd just a soon volunteer for a labodamy(sp?) before I'd buy a Honda? I know they build a great bike but with the amount of smack I've talked about them over the years there's no way I'd be able to buy one, my friends are pretty ruthless.

If they made a better bike I would just smile sheepishly and tell the if you can't beat them join them.

I have had KTM200,KTM520 and KTM 450 and Suzuki drz400 Now I have Yamaha wr450 and I like it a lot better than any of the KTM´s.

1 I like the engine better. Smoother but plenty power when you need it.

2. Much better suspension.

3. Less maintainance.

4. Cheaper spairparts.

5. Sidestand that dosn´t brake off

6. etc,etc,etc

Well just my honest opinion.

I have an 02 WR426 (YZ450 cam) that pulled an 03 KTM450 on a straight - by a lot. I can't imagine a properly set-up WR450 not doing the same thing. The WR suspensions are very tunable and just about everyone says the WR rear suspensions are superior to the KTM's in every way - at least up to the 03's.

Lets face it that ALL the manufacturer's have issues some years with some models. I can list issues with Honda's and KTM's that are as long or longer than I can list on the Yamaha's. In a nut shell get the bike you like by test riding it and consider the following:

KTM's have expensive parts! They are no more reliable than Honda or Yamaha. Historically less but very good as of late.

Honda's have the best parts support and aftermarket parts.

Honda is slow to redesign flaws in models.

Yamaha has a unique ride that is different than the Honda and KTM. More of a desert set up.

Once you get through the issues on your new bike and set it up the way you like it. You can be happy on either of the three.

I love my Yamaha. I am going to ride this thing past 20,000. miles and get the 2006 fuel injected WR450!

I hope we have land left to ride on. Forget all this law suit stuff I keep hearing on this forum and lets defend our rights to ride on public lands!


Indy hit it on the head pretty well, I would add on one thing. Your local dealer, if there is a good one for either brand then that should also carry a little wieght in your decision.

Forget all this law suit stuff I keep hearing on this forum and lets defend our rights to ride on public lands!


Maybe you have an endless supply of money? I don't

Nobody really wants a lawsuit, just Yamaha to own up.

And frankly, all the land in the world doesn't matter to me if I don't have a bike.

RE: KTM parts prices. KTM parts are in the same price range as comparable Yamaha parts. All parts are readily available. Check out the KTM Talk forum for discounts and availability of parts. www.ktmtalk.com Also, the KTM is a green sticker bike which makes it easier to street license (at least in CA).

Well I've raised my share of Hell about this problem with the 450wr and I think I've had some pretty darned good reasons.. I think they will fix it and i think one of the reason they will fix it is because of this forum.. It's really hard to divide and conquer when you have people communicating like this, They can't give you the old "we've never seen this before" line. BUT, I have ridden and don't want an orange bike, there is no other bike that fills this spot the WR450 "owns" I have been upset and will do whatever is necessary to obtain justice but I love this motorcycle, nothing else I've been on even comes close. The 04 has some changes that should stop the problem so it's not a horrible choice at all and don't evenb think the Kawasaki isn't going to have some problems with a new model.

Big Jim

There is no doubt about it, engineering wise the Yammis motor is far superior to any dirt bike, bullet proof and you can change the motors performance to suit you riding style easily, be it cam swaps (YZ/WR) or what ever, doesn't matter what happens, the Yammie CC wise will always be more powerfull and fuel efficient, My $20.00


the original post was from brazil, i don't think the green sticker thing means much to him. they are both great bikes. as was posted before, the quality of the dealer may end up being the most important thing in your decision. :)

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