2004 WR450 eval

Ok, I picked up my 04 WR450 on Friday. What follows is my

*very* brief eval. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

If you don't agree, fine.

My previous ride (and I still have it) is an '01 YZ426F. It

will be referred to forthwith as the YZ. The 04 WR450F will

be referred to as the WR.

After trying to start it on Friday night with little luck,

I tried again on Saturday morning. After the all to familiar

pops and sputters, I realized that it likely had a fouled

plug. I attribute this to looky-loo right hands as the bike

sat on the showroom floor for about a week while the previous

potential owner decided if he wanted to buy or not. Anyway,

after installing a fresh plug, it fired up with the use of

the kickstarter. The bike has had the snorkel removed,

grey wire cut and throttle stop fixed.

Yesterday, I took both the WR and the YZ to the local MX

track. After the required breakin time, I took the WR

out to wring it out a little. I have a total of 16 miles

on the bike. Here's what I thought:

1) It's underpowered as is, compared to the YZ. This might

be a blessing for trail work. I think opening up the airbox

with some well placed 1" holes will help. Time will tell.

I don't expect bikes to perform at their optimum out of the

box. I always have the YZ cam option so I'm not worried.

2) It jumps as well as the YZ.

3) The tank/seat junction is FLAT! I jumped forward as far

as I could at one point to make a turn and pounded the boyz

into the gas cap.

4) It seemed to turn just as well as the YZ.

5) The bars seem a little weird to me. I have PT's on the

YZ and that's probably the difference.

6) Shifting and clutch work is a notch above the YZ.

7) The suspension seems to work really well. It's impossible

to tell with this few miles on the bike though. I've been

impressed with other WR's suspension though. I have high

hopes for the future, once it's broken in.

8) It doesn't start worth a crap when cold with the button.

9) The jetting seemed to be close. I don't even know what

jetting is in the bike. I was told it was still stock, but

am not 100% sure. If it is, I'm sure it can be improved

as I live at 6000 feet.

All in all, I think it's going to be a good race bike. I

have to get it dialed in for my riding style. Mods coming

include PT's, setup for my Scott's, handguards, and a

skid plate. Examining the underside of my YZ revealed that

a skid plate is needed.

Could it be jetted wrong? The starting issue is just like my '02 WR426 before I richened it up. It started like a dog when cold but now it starts 1st or 2nd kick, even when about 40 degrees.

Get a JD Jet kit you won't be dissapointed! The carburation is not right. Cold the e-start will not fire the bike every time (50%). 1st start of the day may need a kick or two but after that the e-start should work everytime

i personally think all 98-02 yz/wr's are easy to start i started my friend's dad's for him 1-2nd kick every time, i dont know, anyways after you get the valves done the bike will start a hell of a lot easier with the e button, and after that rejet, you will be impressed, i think the yz cam will be sweet because i cant even tell the difference down low between my wr and my friends yz, i just know i can powerwheelie his yz in 4th and keep it going a long time, where i have to stand up on mine to get it up in 4th :):D

I've had mine just over a month. I can tell you that after you do the mod's the performance will dramatically improve. I just got through putting a YZ cam in. My buddy has an '03 CRF with 14-47 gearing and when we punch out on a dry lake he can barely hang with me. A better exhaust and a little gearing will solve that problem :) BTW - I'm running a yz needle, 45 pilot, 100 paj, and a 168 main. Starts every time. Of course I'm at sea level and it is just a bit warmer out here. I have found that it helps to keep the battery charged up. I don't think there's much extra capacity in it. I bought a Battery Tender Jr. to take care of that. Anyway enjoy...


I just picked my 04 WR450 up two weeks ago. The new manual shows the jetting has changed from the 03's.

We are running a richer jet needle and a larger main (165) in stock form. The pilot is a 45 like you stated.

I have removed the airbox inlet restrictor, throttle stop shortened, pipe butt plug and richened the low speed to 3 turns out from closed. The bike cold cranks right now if I follow a certain procedure. Just pull out the choke, blip the throttle two times, count to 10, then hit the magic button. It starts instantly. The jetting seems to be perfect on low end. I pulled the plug after a fast run and it's a tad on the lean side. I am thinking about lowering the needle clip down one notch and trying that. And possibly going to a larger main, like a 170.

I'm in Florida, close to sealevel. So our jetting should be close if our mods are the same, don't you think? I haven't unplugged the grey wire, for I do a lot of tight stuff and I feel that the powerband is perfect right now.

Just thought I'd say hi. I am new to this forum.


LOL.. .I didn't even know anyone read my original post!

I took it out for a quick 45 miler a couple weeks ago. The

motor broke in a little and woke up somewhat, but it's still

a little tame. I still like the way it turns, handles, and

the suspension seems to be pretty good. I wouldn't/couldn't

stretch it out in the woods as I don't have any handguards

yet. Waiting on the PT's and it's amazing how much you use

the handguards to fend off stuff...

I'm gradually getting it dialed-in. Recieved the WB 1"

air intakes but haven't gotten them installed. The weather

was just too nice to work on bikes so I took the YZ MXing

on Saturday...

To whoever suggested the JD kit... I'll probabl do that!

I met JD this year and he's a really nice guy. I've heard

nothing but good things about his kits too...


Sorry for the delay. I just got back from a week in the desert :D. Anyway the bike ran great. No starting problems whatsoever - nothing but electric start all week. I'm running 14-48 gearing and it won't quite get to the rev limiter unless I'm on a really LONG lakebed. Not sure if that's the nature of the beast but I'm thinking it might be the airbox (snorkle is removed) or I'm still a little lean on the main jet. At any rate it is plenty fast. I went to a 5.6 kg rear spring this trip and for desert riding it is a nice improvement. This is my 3rd WR4xx and it is definitely the best in terms of suspension/handling. Overall :)

Sounds like you had a blast! I don't have any long runs to in my riding areas to really hold her WAO for any lenght of time.

I did order some Works Connection frame guards. And right on the package it says they won't fit 2004 models. Geeezzz!

I guess I'll check them out and see if they can be modified to fit anyway. But if not I'll have some frame guards for sale!

I was looking at the manual last night on changing oil. Wow!

There's like 6 plugs you got to remove, top skid pan, hoses and screens, oh my! LOL! Sure seems like a lot of messing around just to extract a little over a quart of oil!


I wonder why the frame guards won't fit. Maybe due to the kickstand. That's the only difference I can think of. On the oil change I only pull the tank screen once a season if that. Typically I just pull the tank drain bolt, engine drain bolt and change the filter. It's really not as difficult as it seems. Just do it often. I won't even start into the oil I use as there's been way too much discussion on that subject. I'll just say it's synthetic and that's my personal preference.

I'm not sure why the frame guards won't fit. I hate to pull them out of the package just to check them out. But I just might anyway and suffer the price loss. If it's a minor intererence, I might just modify them to fit. I don't think Frame Works has 04's listed yet on their site.

Cleaning the oil line screen every season makes sense.

And yes, oil is a explosive subject for sure! But like you, I believe in synthetic, and have for many years. My ole Chevy pickup has 300,000 miles on her to prove it! Never had the heads, valve covers, or pan removed.

Just need to make sure the additives won't harm the clutch plates.

I'll let you know why the guards don't fit an 04 later.

See ya!


The 03 WR450 frame guards will fit an 04 ok. The right one or kick starter side fits perfectly. The left one (by the kickstand) is the problem. But it's a small one. The edge of the plate has to be trimmed to clear the new sidestand. Yamaha also has moved the Chain roller bolt down just a little bit and has recessed it more. The frame guard tang that bolts to this chain roller bolt needs to be bent in and slotted to fit. I did not go this far, but used just the one sub-frame bolt to attach it. It locks in place so well with just one bolt I decided to leave it like that.

Just thought I'd pass this info. on for you and the other readers.


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