WR450F, 2005-2009, the good, the bad, the ugly


16 replies to this topic
  • Hendricus

Posted March 11, 2014 - 07:02 AM

#1

Greetings! I would love to learn from you, anything noteworthy regarding the WR450F, for the years 2005 through 2009.

 

I know that the frame went from steel to aluminum in 2007. Personally, I'm fine with a steel frame. Another bike of choice for me over the years has been Husqvarna. Husky has never gone to aluminum frames.

 

Now if the aluminum frame WR handles better because the weight distribution and the geometries are better, I'd love to learn about this.

 

I also read tid-bits about engine and transmission improvements through the years 2005 - 2009, but I can't tell if I'm reading about definite problems and/or improvements, or if I'm reading about one guy having a problem, and now the whole year is tarred.

 

The aluminum frame bikes do look more modern. No argument from me on this. But if the engine and trans are solid in the 2005 2006 years, and the handling is very close to that of the aluminum frame bikes, I will probably buy the earlier bike.

 

Now why I've cut off the bikes earlier than 2005, I have no good reason. One concern I have with going much older than 2005 is that general old age starts to show up. All the plastic and rubber parts are starting to get old.

 

Anyway, I'd love to chat with you all about this. Thanks!



  • jjcoffman

Posted March 11, 2014 - 09:27 AM

#2

I personally have a 2006 and love it. I prefer the steel frame as well. I rode a 2007 and personally couldn't notice a big enough weight difference to offset the benefits of working on a bike that I don't have to maneuver around a big aluminum frame. I can't speak very much to the newer bikes but I do love my bike. No major issues so far, did all the cheap mods (some were done by the previous owner) and it hauls really good.

Edited by jjcoffman, March 11, 2014 - 09:27 AM.


  • woods-rider

Posted March 11, 2014 - 09:53 AM

#3

Weight is nearly identical for all year WR450s and handling is similar between the steel frames and 2007-2011 aluminum frames. The 2012+ WRs handle MUCH better than the previous years and have much better suspension (also fuel injected). Before my current bike (see sig), I had a 2006 WR450 that I bought new in 2006. My dad and a few buddies have the 2007-2011 WR450s, and riding them back-to-back with my 2006 I actually didn't like them as much.


Edited by woods-rider, March 11, 2014 - 09:54 AM.


  • electricme

Posted March 11, 2014 - 09:57 AM

#4

I own the 06 and have friends that have 07 and 09.  THey both preffered the steel frame.  just because of the ease of working and there wasnt that much difference... I believe spec wise dry weight  is higher on the aluminum fame bikes.

 

My bike has every free mod as well as a few add ons (ie., exhaust, jets, filter, etc...)  I believe the suspension may be better on the newer bikes but thats nothing a relatively cheap shot at racetech cant fix.  I think with the years you have listed your best to find what works in your price range.  or finding the best deals.

 

One thing I like on the 07+  is the rear fender but I just changed mine to a UFO which is nice but just not quite what the 07+ is.



  • jjcoffman

Posted March 11, 2014 - 10:52 AM

#5

I own the 06 and have friends that have 07 and 09. THey both preffered the steel frame. just because of the ease of working and there wasnt that much difference... I believe spec wise dry weight is higher on the aluminum fame bikes.

My bike has every free mod as well as a few add ons (ie., exhaust, jets, filter, etc...) I believe the suspension may be better on the newer bikes but thats nothing a relatively cheap shot at racetech cant fix. I think with the years you have listed your best to find what works in your price range. or finding the best deals.

One thing I like on the 07+ is the rear fender but I just changed mine to a UFO which is nice but just not quite what the 07+ is.


Did you look into a yz fender? I think I'm going to spend the 20 or 30 and just try it out. I saw the UFO plastics but I always like the factory plastics better. Is the UFO flimsy? I've heard that before.

  • Hendricus

Posted March 11, 2014 - 11:30 AM

#6

Thank you Gentlemen for the post. I appreciate it. I should find the articles, or threads, I've read that alarm me. I will do this later and see what I can find.

 

Your actual experiences with the various models means a lot to me.

 

So as far you know, there is nothing weak in the engine or transmissions, in any of these years? The 2005 and 2006 being the main ones under the microscope. Again, I think I should go find the alarmist stuff I read.

 

How do you guys feel about the availability of parts, for these years? This is one of the reasons I'm declining on buying an early Husky. My local expert is telling me that getting parts can be a problem. Who needs that! I just want to enjoy some time on a well built, reliable, repairable bike.

 

Thanks again for the responses and for discussing this with me.



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted March 11, 2014 - 12:11 PM

#7

You are over thinking this.

 

The 2007+ models are better in so many ways it's hard to cover them all.

 

Just the motor updates alone are worth every penny.



  • Hendricus

Posted March 11, 2014 - 01:17 PM

#8

Thanks TKAMMS. I appreciate your opinion.

 

I agree in the sense that a later model anything these days, is typically better.

 

I once had an engineering manager tell me, "In God we trust. All others, bring data." I'm curious as to how you arrived at your opinion? Sorry to challenge you, but I'm a detail guy. You nailed it. I tends to over think things. To me, your opinion is the equivalent of saying, "Just trust me."

 

I know these conversations take time, and I don't mean to ask anything of you that you do not care to share. How many times have we seen the response, "Google it!," in a discussion thread, right?

 

You post has raised my curiosity on the motor improvements. So now I wonder:

(1) Have problems been corrected? Henceforth the later bikes have improve reliability and longer engine life?

(2) More HP?

(3) Broader power band?

 

To me, spending an extra $2000 on a used bike to pick up 1 or 2 hp is not worth it.

 

But to have a more reliable piece, it might be. Especially if the earlier engines had a weak point.

 

Understand that I'm chatting in this forum for enjoyment. I love riding bikes. I love the outdoors, and I love talking about bikes and learning about them. I enjoy learning from you too. But again, do not engage me, or this conversation, if you prefer not to.


Edited by Hendricus, March 11, 2014 - 01:18 PM.


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  • electricme

Posted March 12, 2014 - 05:45 AM

#9

reliability wise i think all model years are about the same.  I havent seen any "weak"  points as you call them.  Your concern should be finding a well maintained and cared for machine.  Knowing that it was cared for and maintained properly is what will make all the difference.

 

I personally have an 06  my friends 07, 09 and 12  I havent heard a word about any issues other than how corked they are from the factory. 



  • Hendricus

Posted March 12, 2014 - 06:49 AM

#10

Thanks electricme.

 

I spent some time last night reading different post on TT. What a great site! All my questions have been asked many time over. I feel a little newbish. But oh well, my guess is that most, if not all, of the folks in this community are here for enjoyment. We are, after all, talking about a pretty amazing big boy toy here.

 

The more I read about the WR's the more I like them. I spent the last three months looking for a Husqvarna TE. This is their plated model. I now have a nice drama in my head as to why I'm not going to buy one. For now I'm going to let the dual sport aspect go. I'm mostly going to ride green sticker areas anyway.

 

I have several WR's picked out to go look at over the next week. Wish me luck!



  • Hendricus

Posted March 12, 2014 - 06:57 AM

#11

ElectricMe, as for your comment about uncorking, I'm catching on to what this is all about. I'm learning that there's plenty on this site about how to go about this. Not that I really want for the first thing I do on my new (used) bike is to wrench on it, but the mods all seem pretty straightforward to accomplish.

 

If you know where the best post are on how to go about these mods, I welcome the links, but I also welcome any small comments you have along the way. This is dirt bike chat. It's all good!

 

This sight seems well set up. I just learned about the TT store last night. I've yet to visit there. But having a knowledgeable community and a linked up parts store, seems like a win win for everybody involved.



  • electricme

Posted March 12, 2014 - 10:07 AM

#12

ElectricMe, as for your comment about uncorking, I'm catching on to what this is all about. I'm learning that there's plenty on this site about how to go about this. Not that I really want for the first thing I do on my new (used) bike is to wrench on it, but the mods all seem pretty straightforward to accomplish.

 

If you know where the best post are on how to go about these mods, I welcome the links, but I also welcome any small comments you have along the way. This is dirt bike chat. It's all good!

 

This sight seems well set up. I just learned about the TT store last night. I've yet to visit there. But having a knowledgeable community and a linked up parts store, seems like a win win for everybody involved.

Everything you need is in the pinned posts at the top of the thread list...  it has all of the information about the "free"  mods as well as all of the technical Jargon. Through all of the model years I think the only well known issue is the in the 03 models e start woodruf key sheering off. 

 

The free mods on the Carb bike consist of:

 

AIS removal

Cutting/ hacking the snorkel off of the airbox

Pulling the "cork"   or insert out of the stock muffler

Grey Wire Mod

Throttle stop mod

 

When doing these mods and then changing the jetting properly you have yourself a mean machine.  you can search any of the above terms and you will get a lot of results. 

 

I have all the above including new jets and GYTR exhaust and I can do rolling wheelies through 3rd gear and roll on wheelies in 4th and 5th on a mild incline.


Edited by electricme, March 12, 2014 - 10:12 AM.


  • Navaho6

Posted March 12, 2014 - 10:33 AM

#13

I owned an '06 for 5 years and and '09 for a few months.  I currently have a 2013. 

 

I preferred the '06 over the '09 because I felt that it was more stable than the '09.  '09 was twitchy.  Even changed out the suspension, changed fork position, oil height, oil thickness, sag settings etc.  Never could make that bike handle the way I wanted to but I suspect now that the suspension had some latent issues.  I've ridden another '09 since that handled better but nothing like the 2013. 

 

The reason I got the 2013 was for the improved suspension (and the fuel injection).  The handling of the 2006 was just OK because the suspension (even with Race Tech mods and multiple revalves) was just OK.  Never could get rid of the "bog" on the '06 too, even with adjustable leak jet.  Wasn't too bothersome really, just demanded more attention to throttle control.  The 2013 eliminated those issues. 



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted March 12, 2014 - 01:22 PM

#14

Thanks TKAMMS. I appreciate your opinion.

 

I agree in the sense that a later model anything these days, is typically better.

 

I once had an engineering manager tell me, "In God we trust. All others, bring data." I'm curious as to how you arrived at your opinion? Sorry to challenge you, but I'm a detail guy. You nailed it. I tends to over think things. To me, your opinion is the equivalent of saying, "Just trust me."

 

I know these conversations take time, and I don't mean to ask anything of you that you do not care to share. How many times have we seen the response, "Google it!," in a discussion thread, right?

 

You post has raised my curiosity on the motor improvements. So now I wonder:

(1) Have problems been corrected? Henceforth the later bikes have improve reliability and longer engine life?

(2) More HP?

(3) Broader power band?

 

To me, spending an extra $2000 on a used bike to pick up 1 or 2 hp is not worth it.

 

But to have a more reliable piece, it might be. Especially if the earlier engines had a weak point.

 

Understand that I'm chatting in this forum for enjoyment. I love riding bikes. I love the outdoors, and I love talking about bikes and learning about them. I enjoy learning from you too. But again, do not engage me, or this conversation, if you prefer not to.

 

This subject has been covered hundreds of times since 2007, so I don't feel obligated to do the searching for you.

 

Read the FAQ section first.

 

You should be aware that there is no other off road motorcycle as reliable as the WR, especically 2007 and later. 

 

It's not about 'factory flaws' as much as it is 'proper set up'.

No Japanese off-road dirt bike is good out of the box for your size, weight, and ability; they are all dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

You have to bring it up to the level you are looking for, within your budget.

The Hondas are farther along, and will go farther in tune, but the WR's are more reliable as they sit.


Edited by TheKoolAidMadeMeSick, March 12, 2014 - 01:22 PM.


  • Baja trail Rider

Posted March 18, 2014 - 06:24 PM

#15

There is nothing weak about the Wrs. One thing that is a known fact.Most tour company's in Baja that use Wrs 04-06 the trans last twice as long.On the 07-11 Wrs.Where talking High miles.So far we have not had any trans problems,on our 04s-05s-07s-11s.This is reported from other tour company's.Also I have seen more then a few 04-06 that lost third gear,but I think because the owners.Where beating them on the pavement.BTR



  • Rocky739

Posted March 19, 2014 - 12:48 PM

#16

Here's my 02 cents

 

WR's are good bikes and every year for the most part Yamaha has done something to make a good bike better...

 

What a WR isn't

1:Super light

2:Top level race bike, that doesn't mean 95% of us will be held back by any of it's shortcomings.

3: Easy to plate in many states. Stupid offroad only cert of origion sucks.. Check your local laws

4: Ready to ride out of the box, plan on finding one thats been set up right (good luck) or budget some cash for a few goodies, exhaust would be the most costly item you would truly need.

 

what a WR is

1: Reliable, fun to ride agressive trail bike that can do about anything you want.. Ride an enduro, sure. Dual Sport, perfect. Trial ride, all day. Do laps on a motocross track, why not? Wash it, change the oil and go again, plus parts are cheap and abundant online

2: Aftermaket wonderland, exhausts, tanks, doo-dads... they got em'

 

I have an 03 and although it fit my budget at the time I would like to have found a 04 as it would have saved me a bit of greif retofitting some of the 04 and later changes, saying that I'm sure a 05, 06 etc.. would have been a little better. Your like me with data so do a bit of research and see what years stuff changed for the better and choose wisely but no matter what year you choose it will be a stone reliable bike thats a hoot to ride.

 

My wish list in order of importance

1: KYB SSS fork: Sorry that's not till 2012 but if you can swing one I'd buy it for the fork alone not to mention FI and the 250 YZ frame...

2: Wristpin oil nozzle. It's easy to add to 04 and later models but became std somewhere along the way (my 08 YZ has one).

3:Protaper bars, not sure first year they came std but it would have saved me a swap.

 

Good luck



  • dogerxf

Posted April 02, 2014 - 01:40 PM

#17

I have an 05 that suffered 5th gear selection failure after 12,000km of on and off-road use.  On inspecting the relevant parts it looked to me like the problem was caused by wear on the shift fork over time which reduced the gear movement on engagement resulting in the dogs eventually getting rounded-off.  I am aware that others have had this issue but I haven't been able to determine whether it is specific to a particular model year or years, or whether Yamaha fixed it in a later model year.    






 
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