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Greg@RME

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About Greg@RME

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    Colorado

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  1. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Thanks for the kind words everyone! I have thought about showing the previous owner the 'new' bike, but I think he might be a bit bitter about selling it for so cheap, after seeing it less than 2 weeks later. Well, I took the bike out for it's first ride yesterday, other than the scary test ride I took less than 2 weeks ago. First thing I did was ride it around my neighborhood and see if there were any bugs that needed to be addressed.... I'm sure my neighbors loved that, the WR is loud and I was playing with the throttle more than I should have. The test ride went well, I've got some small coolant leaks, but nothing to be worried about. I'm going to pull the tank off later and check all the coolant hoses, make sure the clamps are tight. I decided to go ahead and load up the bike for a real ride... I headed out to Rabbit Valley 15 minutes away, on the Utah/Colorado border. Rabbit Valley is great, there's plenty of varying types of desert riding, sandy washes, fast dirt roads, dirt singletrack, technical rocky singletrack, etc. It's one of my favorite places to ride! Moment of truth! Unloading the bike... I hopped on the ATV trail, rather than the dirt road, and headed into the desert... there's plenty of whoops and jump and the WR wanted to spend more time in the air than on the ground. It really likes the front wheel off the ground, seems like you just have to think about it, and you're pulling the front end up! What's real funny is that I geared the front sprocket up 1 tooth, from a 14 to a 15, thinking that would tame the bike down a little... I don't think it did anything to slow it down, but it feels like a good gear ratio for desert riding. I forgot how nasty these big WR's are, compared to what I've been riding for the last several years, this thing is just EVIL to ride. It scares the hell out of me, but also puts a huge grin on my stupid face. I love the thing! I do wish I were in better shape, this bike wears me out... fast. I need to work on that, start riding my mountain bike again and get back into the gym. I couldn't believe how fast I was getting worn down. I'm slow, old and fat... and the WR450 is kind enough to remind me when I try to ride fast. I blasted around Rabbit Valley, getting used to the light, narrow and fast WR450 until I reached the trailhead for the Rim Trail and the great view of the Colorado River and the railroad track below. Again, I was reminded that I'm not that great of a rider... I killed the bike climbing up this double ledge. I could blame it on the higher gear ratio, but it was all me. I wrapped up the Rim Trail and headed for some more smooth, fast singletrack. This trail is a BLAST, it climbs and drops up and down some steep hills, into washes and tosses in a few ledges and whoops to keep you on your toes. And that was it! The bike ran great, I have a few minor tweaks I want to do, but was more than impressed with this machine. It ran flawlessly and performed very well. I know a lot of people are curious about the seat, so I'll address that... the modified seat is amazing. Like I mentioned, I'm out of shape and fat, so when I get tired and can't stand anymore, I need a decent seat to put my fat ass on. The addition of the 1" foam made a huge difference, it's night and day. I rode for a few hours on Sunday and my backside didn't feel bad at all afterwards. I think the seat change was a huge upgrade in the comfort department. The downside is that it adds 1" of height to an already tall WR, but if you have the inseam to spare, I'd highly recommend it. I have a 34" inseam and standing over the bike is still comfortable, but the height is noticeable. It's not enough for me to worry about lowering the bike any. So there it is! I'm happy as could be with the bike... I have some other additions coming up in the near future, which I'll be sure to add to this thread. Thanks to everyone that provided encouragement, kind comments and most importantly, parts!!
  2. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Yes, it was a lot of work. I really went out of my way to clean up and fix the stuff I could, rather than replacing it. Obviously the plastics needed to go, but the new plastics really made the bike. I put in a lot of time cleaning, scrubbing and grinding... in the end, all the hand work paid off. At this point, I probably have over 4 full days of labor into this thing! I'm happy though, working on projects like this keep me busy and out of trouble and it's fun to learn what you're capable of. I learned quite a bit, so that in itself is invaluable!
  3. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    I'll look into it, thanks! Gotcha, that makes sense... thank for the info. I'll see what I can do, I think I can make it work for me. So you guys ready for this? I'm blown away with how great this beater now looks! Hopefully it runs and rides just as good. My Acerbis 3.3 gallon tank arrived today, I bought it from a guy that purchased it new, pulled it out of the packing and decided he liked the smaller, stock tank. The price was right, well under retail for the same thing. I bolted up the fairings and decided I really liked the Acerbis tank! I just hope that the tank gets me close to being able to ride the 150 miles of the Kokopelli trail without extra gas. Probably not, seems the WR's don't get the best fuel mileage. I wanted a more comfy seat, I'd like to be able to spend long days in the saddle and the stock seat left a lot to be desired. Hopefully my quick fix will be a valuable change, I HATED the seat on my old WR250F and WR400F. The seat on this WR450 was just like those other 2 bikes... thin foam. I have never done this before, but was excited to give it a go. I headed to the upholstery store and picked up some 1" thick dual density seat foam for $15 and foam glue at $5, then hit up Harbor Freight for a $15 electric staple gun, then WalMart for a $10 Black & Decker electric meat carver. Let the fun begin! And the trimming and shaving began! My goal was to leave the front of the seat narrow and add a little width to the middle and rear. I used the meat trimmer to get the general shape I wanted, then used the grinder with a used flapper disc to shape and smooth. Test fitting the seat and cover. - At this point the stapling began... I bought some 1/4" staples, as I thought that smaller would be better. I didn't take any pics of the process... just the final product. And the final product! I'm still waiting the Highway Dirt Bike hand guards that I ordered only yesterday, and have some minor things that I will button up tonight, but it looks like the bike is ready to ride!! And a before photo, just for comparison. -
  4. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    No worries, I'm not sure how often I'll be riding this thing in the dark. Plus, with some rigging, I swapped the bulb that was in the Polisport headlight for the WR bulb (H4, IIRC) and it's very bright. I haven't had a chance to see what the pattern looks like, but I think for my intended purpose, it will work. If you'd like to expound on why you didn't like the Polisport light, I'm all ears. Looks great! I'll keep the Duplicolor idea in mind, I would love to repaint the parts of the frame that have worn down to the metal too, then add come covers. The Duplicolor idea would finish it off perfectly.
  5. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Thanks Mikey, a little work and a bunch of new part and it's a different bike! I'm very happy with how its coming together. I haven't added up all the part yet, but I'm HOPING I can keep the grand total under $1400.
  6. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Thanks! I agree with you, the WR is a great bike... no need for one to be beaten and neglected! The progress is really moving along now, here's an update from the last couple days. I've been waiting on the parts fairy and she showed up the other day, while I was at work! I came home to a large pile of boxes and a new rear tire. Time for some real work! I cleaned out the air box and installed the new Twin Air filter- Polisport headlight and fairing.- New grips and some Misfits grip donuts- New sprockets and chain, and rear wheel with new Maxxis IT desert tire. Rear fender with LED tail light and plate mount.- I decided to thread the ProTaper EVO bars for a pair of killer Highway Dirt Bikes hand guards... working on ordering the hand guards now. I have a pair of them on my DR650 and they're hands down the best hand guard option out there! Went ahead and replaced the valve cover gasket and checked the valves... they're within spec! New seat cover, I want to add some foam and then I'll put the new cover on.- The previous, PREVIOUS owner has a piece of Scotchbrite over the air box holes, I liked the idea so I got a new one, trimmed it to fit, then placed it under some washers.- I took a wire wheel to the Flatlands racing skidplate, pounded out some dents and cleaned it up. - Took a few pics of it a it now sits... much better!!! I'm still waiting on some other parts, including the Acerbis 3.3 gallon tank. Hopefully I will have another update in the next few days, with a pretty much finished bike!
  7. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    No worries, we'll get together eventually! I really would like to head up your way once it gets hot, it would be nice to cool down with some Northern UT single track. It's amazing what I little elbow grease can do! And some money doesn't hurt... Yep, that's the plan! Thanks Chris!
  8. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Actually, it wasn't that bad! It was dirty, but you could light thru the oil as it poured out, so it had been somewhat freshly changed. From what I could tell, the PO was intelligent enough to clean the air filter and change the oil. It's the rest that he didn't do.
  9. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Thanks guys, the encouragement helps! This weekend was a bit overwhelming, seems like every corner I turned I found somewhere else that I needed to spend more money. On Saturday I picked up a few replacement spokes for the rear wheel, also picked up a magnetic oil drain plug. I dismounted the tire, straightened out the rim and installed the new spokes and tightened up the loose ones. I went to mount up the rear Pirelli tire and looked inside first... only to find the cords showing, in a bad way. The PO rode on a flat/low tire quite a bit, destroying a nice tire that still had 90% tread. So I ended up ordering a Maxxis tire from RMATV. After that frustrating deal, I moved onto the front wheel. Pressed out the seals and shot bearings, installed new ones, then went about straightening out the front rim. It was BEAT UP, I didn't realize how many times it had been hit. At least 7-8 dents... I almost ordered a new rim, but decided to try running this one for now. I mounted up the tire that was on the bike and installed the HD tube. The front end is now back together. I also changed the oil & filter, dropped in a new spark plug and started working on the oil leaks. I got one taken care of, still waiting on the replacement valve cover gasket, which will take care of the main leak. No new pictures this time around, hopefully I'll have some worth adding in the next few days! Andrew(Rot Box)! You're a forum whore... I do hope we can get together and ride one of these days, the Swell would be great.
  10. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    Gotta strip it down before I can put it back together! I had some used Protaper EVO big bars and a pair of bar risers sitting around, so I put them to use on the WR.- About then, my order from RockyMountainATV showed up! I bolted on the new rear sprocket, dismounted the rear tire and tried to get the rear rim kind of straight by bending out the dents and tightened the loose spokes. I decided that I wanted to wrap this up, so after getting my order from RMATV, I put in a 2nd order. Plastics, chain sliders and a handful of other parts I didn't get the first time. It would be great to go out riding on the WR next weekend!
  11. Greg@RME

    Beater/Project WR450f

    So I didn't need this, especially as much of a project as it was... I almost passed on it... it was THAT BAD. On top of that, I messed up my right wrist last year and I've been trying to convince myself that I could live without a dedicated dirt bike. See how long that lasted? This bike came up on the local Craigslist and it peaked my curiosity. I emailed him and set up a time to see the bike. The guy selling it was pretty questionable, I'm pretty sure money from selling the bike was going to fund his drug habit for the next while. Even then, the paperwork and other info about the bike seemed on the up & up. Anyway... the bike... It's a '04 Yamaha WR450... and has been severely neglected and beat-up. Honestly, I was scared to ride the bike, considering that 2 teeth next to each other were totally missing from the front sprocket. I put on my gear and rode it up and down the street... and that was enough! The bad? Oil leaking from the valve cover, both sprockets and the chain are SHOT, 2 flat tires, front wheel bearings are shot, most of the bike was spray bombed flat black, bent brake levers, scratched headlight fairing, duct tape on the seat, a few broken/missing spokes on the rear wheel, front wheel bent in 2 places, etc, etc, etc. The good part? It fires right up, runs great and is silly fast. Other than all the neglect, the engine seems to have been taken care of, no valve train noise, clean air filter, etc. Also, the bike is titled (clear title), which means I could plate it tomorrow at the DMV, if I wanted to. Pretty big deal here in Colorado. The guy was asking $1000 and I honestly told him it wasn't worth that to me. I had cash and asked for his bottom line.... we settled on a price that we both were happy with, did the paperwork and loaded up the bike! I have a used set of big bars from my DR and a handful of other small spare part kicking around. Those will help me get a jump on fixing this bike up for the Summer! And so the project started.... brace yourselves, it's scary! How I got it... I pulled off the seat and side panels, sprayed on a LOT of degreaser, then took it to the pressure washer. The previous owner didn't even have the decency to wash the mud/dirt off, from his last ride. Then I ran down to the ACE hardware and picked up some paint stripper, to try undo the black rattle can paint job... it cleaned up well! I was concerned the factory frame paint would come up with the stripper, but it didn't! I tested the rear fender to see how well the stripper would work with the plastic and it seems OK. I'm not TOO worried about it though, since I'll be replacing it all anyhow. The other good things are... both tires look pretty good (Pirelli's) and it seems to have new brake pads front and rear. After I washed it I fired it up using the kickstart and it started on the 3rd kick, pretty good for a beat looking, cold 4 stroke! Again, it seems to run great. I was able to heat up the bent front brake lever with a small propane torch and bend it back into a normal looking shape. The battery wasn't holding a charge either, so I plugged in the mig welder and zapped the battery, put the battery on the charger and it seems to be holding a charge now! I ordered a bunch of maintenance parts, oil filters, spark plug, new heavy duty tubes, front wheel bearing, valve cover gasket and a new chain & sprocket kit. New plastics will come after I catch up on the mechanical stuff... but in the meantime, I did find a new/used Acerbis 3.3 gallon tank for the bike for $170! I'd like to find a new/used headlight fairing too.
  12. Greg@RME

    Plastics interchange between '04 & '05?

    Gotcha, I'm set now! Thanks for helping the WR newb.
  13. Greg@RME

    Plastics interchange between '04 & '05?

    Yep, thanks for the info. Looks like I'm buying a set of YZ shrouds now.
  14. Greg@RME

    Plastics interchange between '04 & '05?

    You might be right, but already ordered my plastics kit. We will see, if I have to order a 2nd set of shrouds for an '03/04 if I have to. Since I'm asking... Anyone know if the newer headlight from an '07-09 bike will bolt onto an '04? Headlight plug the same too?
  15. Greg@RME

    Plastics interchange between '04 & '05?

    Awesome, thanks much for the quick answer! Off to order plastic!
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