Another 2012 WR450F impression

I love two strokes and currently have a 2007 KTM 200 XC. Last bike was a 2003 WR250F and have a 2012 WR450F for work. I'd say I'm an expert level (but no Pro) rider in the woods and desert. I've ridden several other 2006-2009 YZ/WR 250/450s and here are my thoughts for those who care:


Small chassis: Actually feels like a 450 in a 250 frame. Very tight cockpit, but fits my 5'6" 140lb frame well. Turns really well, and doesn't feel top heavy or crazy heavy in the front end like every other Yamaha (or 450) I've ridden. Super stable too.

Suspension: absolutely amazing. Cant compare it directly to my 200 simply because it is a 30 lb heavier four stroke.

FI: Never stalled out once. Even when I went from 1/2 to closed to wide open throttle on a technical single track uphill in 2nd gear.

Power: I have only removed the throttle stop, removed the inner exhaust baffle, and airbox baffle. Great power for an offroad bike. Definately not as much power as a 450 motocrosser. I don't like 450s, cause they have too much off idle power that makes the rear wheel spin or front end wheelie for the woods I love to ride in. This runs like a KTM 400, which is an awesome engine and makes it easy to go fast. I'm sure a full exhaust and mapping will give it more power, but it's great as is for woods.


Tranny: I have never liked Japanese wide ratio gearboxes. 1st is always short, gap between 2-3 and 4-5 is huge and I'm always in the wrong gear. Changing gearing always makes one or more of the gears too short or too tall. Even with more power it will still be gappy.

Weight: fine when moving, a turd to pick up.

Again, this is my personal preference, not a bash on Yamaha or a praise to my KTM. For plunking around it's a great bike, just not my choice for my style of riding. The FI and electric start makes me consider a KTM 350 SX/XC for my next bike.

Good summary. You pretty much say what all the others say. It sounds like a very good bike. It would probably be good for the part time or occasional racer who also does a fair amount of spirited trail riding.

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