I was all set to get a new WR earlier in the year but changed my mind due to due the woodruff issues. I am just an average trail rider and reliabilty and ease of maintenence are important ( no I don't want an XR). Can anyone who has ridden both compare the CRF450 to the WR450 as far as handling and power characteristics? I like the CRF but I have read that they require more attention as far as the valves are concerned ( fact or fiction?)however, I am not a fan of kickstart, even those that are "easy" to kickstart. If the WR has worked out the bugs for 04' that may be the way to go.. if it only had a nice plush seat like the Honda it would be a no brainer especially with the button. I sat on a KTM250SX over the weekend and even the Katooms have nice plush seats now. Anyway, any feedback would be appreciated.

For what its worth I ride a 03 WR450F and before my bike left the shop it was checked twice! 300 miles later no problem! I have never riden a CRF450 but if you are looking for a bike with lights and a e-start then blue is the way to go. Even if you deceided to wait for Honda to add lights and a e-start it might a while before the get around to it. If you read the thread about the woodruff key issue it will spell out that those bikes that were effected had certain vin #'s. From what I'm hearing it has been resolved. Plus, for the kind of rider you are the 450 would be perfect for you.

I got to ride a CRF on Monday and have to say it is a sweet bike. The suspension on the bike was really nice and the power is all right there.

I own a WR450 so on with the comparison. I would have to say that the WR is a little better down low, the CRF is nice all the way through the power band. I liked the CRF suspension better than my WR suspension. The CRF started on the 2nd kick.

So with that all said I have heard about the CRF valve issues and can't really comment on that. The WR woodruff issue is suppose to be fixed for 04. The majority of 03 WR owners havn't had a problem but if your gonna get an 03 it is something that might happen. The E start is a very nice thing that the CRF can't compete with.

Hope this helps.

They are both great bikes.

Advantages of the WR is that it is a true enduro machine.

Riding technical offroad terrain is what it is designed for.

Practical gear ratios, side stand, e-start, light, plush suspension and a decent fuel range.

It makes more than sufficient power.

CRF is a seriously fun bike but not as practical in the bush.

If however you want to ride some MX track then it is clearly the way to go. Having said that it can go anywhere a WR goes. If you dont like kickstarting, then it is not the best option, although it is a 2 kick bike.

Whatever your choice, its a win win. :)

The CRF appears to not be a 2 kick-start bike after the valves have worn. I've got a buddy with a CRF who had some issues starting it after it was about 1 year old. Once the valves were re-adjusted, it now starts much better.

I think the choices here are clear. It is totally dependent on the type of riding you will do. The WR is super sweet. Surely the 04s have the bugs fixed. You can ride this thing anywhere.

The 04 CRF has enormous power and is very nimble. It is awsome on a competitive MX track. For me it has way to much power for tight woods would absolutely wear you out. IMHO.

I just had a friend go to the CRF450 from an XR400 (for woods only). I think he bit off more than he can chew...he he he

Taming the power of the CRF w/ a flywheel weight and quiet exhaust is a fix he should consider.

For my money though the CRF gearbox does not really belong in the trees, especially w/ a back brake that is prone to fading. That WR super-low first is a very nice thing to have it tight stuff, no amount of sprocket changes to the CRF is going to replicate that.

My two cents.

The 04 CRF has enormous power and is very nimble

A buddy of mine that is a very fast rider took a spin on the same CRF I did and he said that he thought the power would get him in trouble in the woods.

Touché....edog! The new CRF is what I would call "froggy" for the woods. Very light (especially in the front) and lots of torque can make it tough to keep it planted on slimy, rocky, rutted, rooted situations. Some people like that though.

I think its a perfect bike for MX though. Perfect power deliver. For the woods I think it needs a smaller rear sprocket, maybe a flywheel weight, and absolutely a steering stabilizer. IMHO

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