New 2003 WR450F...seems to be very tall

After buying a YZ450F and finding out the hard way it is terrible for slow trail riding, I bought a 2003 WR450F. When I checked it out, it felt a little tall for me, but the area was not flat so I didn't think much of it.

I am 5'11" and weight 290.

I got these measurements for the bike.

Static seat height for the WR from ground to lowest point on seat=38.5"...the manual says the stock seat height is 39.3"

My 2005 YZ450F's manual says the seat height should be 39.3"...but it is measuring a much more comfortable 36.5"...and does not appear to have a lowering link.

SAG Measurements:

Unloded Measurment 24.5"

Loaded Measurement 18.25"


It looks like there is plenty of room for adjustment either way with the spanner nuts.

My problem is that while I can sit on the bike comforably (not flat footed, but on the ball of my feet), when I have to put one foot down on a trail (to regain my balance) usually with the bike leaning one way or the other, the bike's suspension extends so much so that it can knock me off balance. When I was riding the YZ, is didn't act like this. How would I adjust the bike so that is doesnt try to push me over like this?

Thank you for your suggestions...please no fat jokes :thumbsup:

The 03 is just a tall bike. Your problem is that you need a stiffer spring, but it's not really going to help your issue much. What's happening is that the bike is lifting up 6.25" when you un-weight it. Your sag should be 4" so when you un-weight it it only raises up 4" instead of 6.25". But then you won't be able to touch the ground when it is weighted. See if you can adjust your style so when you need to put a foot down you slide your butt off the seat and keep your opposite leg on the seat.

I don't have an answer for you, but I sympathize with you. It is much easier to ride a lower bike. I also have an XT225 and in many situations it is much easier to ride than the WR450 is. Of course there are a lot of situations where the WR's power is necessary, but I don't usually feel the need for so much clearance on the trails & FS roads that I ride.

Maybe you can find a lowering link and/or a lower seat. If you can lower it an 1-1.5" with a link kit, and maybe 1" with a lower seat, that should make a huge difference. Also, maybe you can lower the forks some too.

I'm 5' 11" also, but only 185lbs, and I don't have any issues. Perhaps it just takes a little while to get used too?


I don't feel a lowering link is best solution to drop the seat height where shock performance really matters. On a KLR650 or a DR650 where you may not be hammering whoops as you would on the WR I'm thinking a shortened shock would be a better fix.

The 426 shock is something like 3/8 shorter. I have not tried to fit one in a 450 but that would lower the seat about an inch.

Yes the 03 WR (my ride too) is a tall bike but only by an inch or two compared to other off road bikes. I'm 5'10" with a 30" inseam and I have no disillusions of being able to touch the ground with both feet. I simply one foot it when stopped sitting half saddle, stop lights are the only time I feel awkward for some reason. On the trail it isn't even noticed, usually your in a rut or on a side slope anyways. If you are using your feet as outriggers then a technique change may be in order.

Bikes can be lowered two ways, either a lowering link, this tends to screw up handling as the forks remain the same so you now have a chopper. Second a good suspension shop can shorten the shock and fork to keep it somewhat balanced but you lose a lot of performance and ground clearance. I wouldn't recommend either unless your under 5' 3" ish or don't plan on riding in tough areas with logs, rocks etc..

Instead find a good suspension shop to rebuild your forks and shock and if you still have the OE rear spring you will need a stiffer one (I'm 185lbs and have a 5.8 rear spring which is still plenty cushy and stock fork springs which oddly seem OK). Set the sag correctly (3.5"- 4" rider sag, measure bike fully unloaded i.e. on a stand then with you in gear including camelbak in a neutral seat position on the ground) get a buddy to help.

My guess is with a fresh overhaul (shocks need a yearly service anyways) sag set correctly and resetting the rebound and compression settings to the manuals recommendations (that's where mine are and it seems pretty good) you will instantly have a completely different machine.

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