KX500 or WR450 for an MX and trail/desert riding combo bike


24 replies to this topic
  • jcm3

Posted October 31, 2014 - 01:48 PM

#1

I was going to muck up another thread with this question, so thought I'd start my own.  :ride:

 

I currently have a 2000 KX500 that I never would have bought if I knew it was going to grenade the top end on the first riding trip.  It took the bottom end with it, so I had to have the motor completely rebuilt.  I had it done by Tom Morgan, Jeff Ward's old factory mechanic, and along with the top end, bottom end and clutch, it needed new cases and also had six gears that were wearing.  So, I basically have a brand new engine which I also had him do his cylinder, head, power valve and slide mods on.  It runs great, has tons of power, and also has Pro Circuit suspension work done on it.  While it was down, I also replaced the chain and sprockets, every bearing on the bike other than the steering stem bearing (greased it), had the shock rebuilt by RG3, changed my fork oil, and replaced a few odds and ends.  It's basically like a new, old bike.

 

It's been a great combo track/trail/desert bike, but the new WR450's look so nice!  Unfortunately I spent as much on the engine rebuild as I did on the bike, so let's just say I've spent what I could have for a new WR450, which sucks.  Im definitely way upside down on it.

 

Since I'm about 70/30 MX to trail/desert, would I be better off keeping this bike or getting a newer WR450 and having the suspension revalved to more MX specs?  I know that there are trade offs either way. 

 

WR

Pro's

Newer look, technology, handling, braking

E-start

Fuel Injection

 

Con's

Weight (about 50 pounds heavier)

Cost (will probably cost me about $4k out of pocket after selling my current bike, including suspension work, skid plate, etc.)

 

KX500

Pro's

Fast as hell.  With Tom Morgan mods, I can lug it around in 3rd gear like a four stroke but hit the clutch and it rips

Much lighter (50+ pounds)

Suspension redone (Pro Circuit KYB Works Kit up front, Pro Circuit work out back, but probably still not as good as WR stuff with a revalve)

Maintenance

No added cost

 

Con's

Pre-mix

Old technology

Gas mileage

 

Being a track guy, I love the look of the WR450's that have the headlight removed (even if only for track duty) and MX graphics.  It seems like either is a trade off, just curious if anyone has done something similar.  One of the reasons I'm even asking about this is, of course, California's green sticker BS.  :facepalm:  I'd likely get a newer motocrosser if I could ride it all year.

 

Here's the old battle ax.  Sorry for the washed out picture, I guess I had my camera settings off that day.  I used the updated rear fender, so it goes from looking like a 25 year old bike to about a 20 year old bike. Also, a rock took out my sweet oversized rotor on my recent desert trip, so the stock rotor is back on it now.  :(

 

IMG_1301_zpsb34e22c1.jpg


Edited by jcm3, October 31, 2014 - 01:55 PM.


  • shrubitup

Posted October 31, 2014 - 02:10 PM

#2

I dunno, I'd put the old fender back on and ride the battle axe bike.

I would go WR if I was starting and stopping several times per day over and over (trail riding with buddies).

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted October 31, 2014 - 02:45 PM

#3

Well, those old KX forks suck, as does the shock, so if you are dead set on keeping that bike, I would ABSOLUTELY upgrade the suspension.

2007/8 KX450 stuff will fit

 

I can't STAND old two-strokes. Way too much vibration, slow turning, open bath suspension with no high-speed popoff valves, pegs too far back, bars too close......

 

I would get a 2013 YZ450F. They sell brand new around the country for $6000 otd, and can be made as good as a 2014 for about $300. 

Get the head ported and polished and put on a ProCircuit map, and it will be much easier to ride fast than the KX and nearly as fast.



  • yz133rider

Posted October 31, 2014 - 02:49 PM

#4

That kx is very nice. No reason to up(down?)grade.

  • offrd beatr

Posted October 31, 2014 - 07:31 PM

#5

I had a 95 CR500 that I rode for 8 years. Tore it down and ported the cylinder, put a bunch of new parts in it. Fast as hell is an understatement. Pure brutality. The WR (or any four stroke) cannot match the speed and power of the open class smokers. The new bikes just plain work better everywhere that absolute power isn't king. The frame/suspension on my 2014 WR are worth the roughly 20 horsepower I lost when I changed bikes. The WR needs another gear and a bigger tank stock but those points aren't deal breakers. It took around 300 miles on the WR to really start to like it.

  • letitsnow

Posted November 01, 2014 - 04:08 AM

#6

If you don't mind kick starting the KX, I'd keep it.  That is a nice bike!  



  • beezer

Posted November 01, 2014 - 05:03 AM

#7

I'd wait for the new YZ450FX to come out.



  • stevethe

Posted November 01, 2014 - 06:04 AM

#8

I had a 95 CR500 that I rode for 8 years. Tore it down and ported the cylinder, put a bunch of new parts in it. Fast as hell is an understatement. Pure brutality. The WR (or any four stroke) cannot match the speed and power of the open class smokers. The new bikes just plain work better everywhere that absolute power isn't king. The frame/suspension on my 2014 WR are worth the roughly 20 horsepower I lost when I changed bikes. The WR needs another gear and a bigger tank stock but those points aren't deal breakers. It took around 300 miles on the WR to really start to like it.

 

Humph I had a ported piped CR500 also. However I said whenever the 07' YZ'd WR450 out powered the CR I would get rid of it. The CR is long gone.



  • beezer

Posted November 01, 2014 - 06:27 AM

#9

I really don't think the old 2 strokes were faster.

 

They may have just felt that way.

 

On the ice where horsepower is king no one rides them anymore.

 

">http://p2090020.jpg



  • offrd beatr

Posted November 01, 2014 - 07:30 AM

#10

Uphill sand drags. My CR was laying waste to a huge range of bikes. The newest KX 450 is widely regarded as a very strong bike and it was the closest several times out of the twenty plus pulls we made but was still three bike lengths back. All of us were on knobbies. It's funny to hear people say they weren't really that fast. It would do triple digits, 15 more than the "wide ratio" WR, had a lower first gear, and was significantly lighter with 50% more power. They really are dinosaurs and are not easy or forgiving to ride, the suspension blows and they steer from the wrong end.

Not widely used in any form of racing anymore because the new stuff is everywhere and quite frankly far easier to ride. Flat track is worlds different from most any other kind of racing.
That's a sweet pic!!

Edited by offrd beatr, November 01, 2014 - 07:31 AM.


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  • jcm3

Posted November 01, 2014 - 07:36 AM

#11

If you don't mind kick starting the KX, I'd keep it.  That is a nice bike!  

 

It's a one kick starter, so no biggie there.  I think I'm going to eventually go the way of the WR450, just have to find the cash.  They look like great bikes, and I've always been a Yamaha guy at heart.  I think I've had seven myself, no including my wife's old TTR230 or my son's PW50.  :thumbsup:

 

 

I would get a 2013 YZ450F. They sell brand new around the country for $6000 otd, and can be made as good as a 2014 for about $300. 

Get the head ported and polished and put on a ProCircuit map, and it will be much easier to ride fast than the KX and nearly as fast.

 

It's a green sticker thing.  I'm not really married to the power, that's not the priority to me although it is fun.  I know the new bikes are pretty fast, I just want something that can do both decently.  I don't think I could ride tracks well with the stock suspension.  The vibration doesn't bother me at all.

 

Great input and answers, thanks to everyone who has posted their thoughts and opinions.



  • jcm3

Posted November 01, 2014 - 07:42 AM

#12

Uphill sand drags. My CR was laying waste to a huge range of bikes. The newest KX 450 is widely regarded as a very strong bike and it was the closest several times out of the twenty plus pulls we made but was still three bike lengths back. All of us were on knobbies. It's funny to hear people say they weren't really that fast. It would do triple digits, 15 more than the "wide ratio" WR, had a lower first gear, and was significantly lighter with 50% more power. They really are dinosaurs and are not easy or forgiving to ride, the suspension blows and they steer from the wrong end.

Not widely used in any form of racing anymore because the new stuff is everywhere and quite frankly far easier to ride. Flat track is worlds different from most any other kind of racing.
That's a sweet pic!!

 

I would agree.  It's not the horsepower that is really that much more, I think Tom Morgan said mine probably made 62-65.  The new 450's make 55-58 in most cases, which is getting there.  I think it's the torque.  He said mine was in the 43-45 range, which is a good 10 more than the newer 450's.  That's a HUGE difference with a 225 pound bike.  Huge.  The downside is that it gets me into trouble more quickly, is hard hitting, and not easy to ride.  It's like an old muscle car.  It's not sophisticated, but is like driving around an old Hemi Cuda.  lol

 

I think I have WR-envy.  lol  I'll likely eventually do when I can afford it.



  • offrd beatr

Posted November 01, 2014 - 07:49 AM

#13

I would agree. It's not the horsepower that is really that much more, I think Tom Morgan said mine probably made 62-65. The new 450's make 55-58 in most cases, which is getting there. I think it's the torque. He said mine was in the 43-45 range, which is a good 10 more than the newer 450's. That's a HUGE difference with a 225 pound bike. Huge. The downside is that it gets me into trouble more quickly, is hard hitting, and not easy to ride. It's like an old muscle car. It's not sophisticated, but is like driving around an old Hemi Cuda. lol

I think I have WR-envy. lol I'll likely eventually do when I can afford it.


Dead on correct. I'm way faster for longer on the WR if the riding requires more than throttle and giant balls.

  • beezer

Posted November 01, 2014 - 08:56 AM

#14

Yamaha just came out with a YZ250FX that looks like it may be a YZ250F with e-start, 6 speed trans,18" rear wheel, and a kick stand.

 

I bet in 2016 Yamaha makes a YZ450FX.

 

Check the YZ250FX on Yamaha's website.



  • shrubitup

Posted November 01, 2014 - 10:19 AM

#15

Well, those old KX forks suck, as does the shock, so if you are dead set on keeping that bike, I would ABSOLUTELY upgrade the suspension.

2007/8 KX450 stuff will fit

 

 

Life extension program for the battle axe. :ride:



  • jcm3

Posted November 01, 2014 - 10:36 AM

#16

Yamaha just came out with a YZ250FX that looks like it may be a YZ250F with e-start, 6 speed trans,18" rear wheel, and a kick stand.

 

I bet in 2016 Yamaha makes a YZ450FX.

 

Check the YZ250FX on Yamaha's website.

 

Very interesting.  My suspicion is that the YZ250FX will be red sticker, when the Communist Republic of Kalifornia EPA Nazis get involved.  :banghead:



  • jcm3

Posted November 01, 2014 - 10:40 AM

#17

That kx is very nice. No reason to up(down?)grade.

 

If you don't mind kick starting the KX, I'd keep it.  That is a nice bike!  

 

And thank you, guys.  The tough part about getting rid of it is that the complete engine and trans is new (anything that needed to be replaced in the trans, anyway), bearings, suspension (at least circa 2000 - lol), etc. 

 

I'd probably be better off getting the WR and keeping this for a spare bike.  I'd lose my shorts if I tried to sell it.



  • yz133rider

Posted November 01, 2014 - 11:27 AM

#18

Just keep dialing it in for your riding, maybe take a couple riding classes, and trips more seat time and coaching will help more than the new bike! My opinion anyway!!!

  • RC81

Posted November 02, 2014 - 12:09 AM

#19

And thank you, guys.  The tough part about getting rid of it is that the complete engine and trans is new (anything that needed to be replaced in the trans, anyway), bearings, suspension (at least circa 2000 - lol), etc. 

 

I'd probably be better off getting the WR and keeping this for a spare bike.  I'd lose my shorts if I tried to sell it.

Thats exactly what Id do. After what you have in it plus its all new you should keep it and get a WR if you can. You might regret it later if its gone.Ya wouldnt get rid of a Hemi Cuda if ya had one either but it wouldnt be your daily driver!



  • vlxjim

Posted November 02, 2014 - 08:16 AM

#20

There might be a few out that would pay top dollar for a clean 500. They are the two wheel kings at the dunes. I'd keep it and get a WR.






 
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