Have I bought the wrong bike for me (WR450)?


24 replies to this topic
  • Snow Drift

Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:05 AM

#1

I bought a 2007 WR450 a couple of years ago and have fitted a JD jetting kit, AIS removal kit, new rear swingarm and linkeage bearings. I was now planning to change the front fork springs and valves and sort the lighting kit. To be honest I haven't really ridden the bike much since owning it and the time I have ridden it it has mostly been around a small field.

 

When I was younger I had a Kawasaki KMX125 and also before that a Suzuki TS250. Three years ago with the idea of getting back into bikes I bought a cheap 1994 YZ125 but was disappointed because there was no power throughout the revs and then all of a sudden at the top end one massive hit. I thought that a four stroke would solve this with more low down power and across the rev range in general so I bought the WR450.

 

The problem is that despite gearing the WR450 down I still find it difficult to ride slow it is just so heavy and so torquey. I compare it to a fight jet, fine when running fast but when it slows it is like a heavy unbalanced weight that does not feel happy. I also find the power delivery especially down low just brutal that I can't imagine myself being able to ride it smoothly and be able to get the front wheel up or manoeuvre slow obstacles. The engine braking alone just shoves me around so much and when I go over a bump I feel myself lifting off but the bike is just planted. 

 

Maybe I was just being far too unrealistic but I thought that I could use this bike as a free ride bike to mess around on and ride slow as well as fast. I didn't expect it to be like a trials bike exactly but I did think that I could ride it in small areas and learn to flick it around a bit. The question that I'm asking myself now is do I bother to spend more money setting up the suspension etc and go from there, or sell it and get a KTM 300EXC or similar two stroke, or sell it and walk away.

 

I now see the smartest thing would have been to buy a trials bike, learn the skills and then get an enduro bike after that. I am thin build and don't have much muscle strength which I know is part of the reason that I don't handle the WR450 as well as I should. I don't have friends with bikes so can't try an enduro two stroke to see if I would be better suited to that. I guess overall I'm just interested in people's opinions on whether I have legitimate concerns about the bike's suitability for me or whether I am just not built and experienced enough to be able to ride the way I expect to.



  • 080

Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:45 AM

#2

My 1st suggestion based on your feedback would be gear the bike up, not down. The bike has a much lower 1st and 2nd gear than a track bike which by gearing down (as you did )is only making the on/off throttle response/engine breaking worse. Try going to a 14 front sprocket, this will allow the gears to pull a little higher before needing to shift.

  • AtomicGeo

Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:54 AM

#3

The WR is an open terrain bike...it's not going to feel light and clickable in slow terrain. The 300 sounds more to your riding style. Both are great bikes in their element.

  • GuyGraham

Posted May 14, 2015 - 09:12 AM

#4

snowdrift, from what you say, you seem to be struggling

a 450 isn't really a good first enduro bike, esp if you haven't ridden enduro or mx for a couple of years to build up your core & arm strength

They are a million miles away from a KMX & TS250 both in terms of weight and power.

 

I had a KMX200 then a DRZ400 and finally the WR450

I'm 6ft 3ins, 200lbs and and it took me a couple of years to adjust from the DRZ (which was actually heavier than the WR, but the WR has more power and so wears you out faster when you try to use its power) to the WR

 

I'd say a WR250F would suit you better. They are lighter, the bottom end torque is less, the engine braking is less but they still have enough power to be fun

I had a go on a WR250 and it was really mellow, but felt faster than the DRZ I was riding at the time

 

125's are special and require a special riding technique (basically thrash the thing within an inch of its life else you aint going nowhere due to no bottom end torque/power) and as you have found have no bottom end and they come in with a bang.

 

300 2 strokes are even more torquey and and powerful - not the best bike to be learning on if a 450 doesn't suit you

 

A WR250F puts out a bout 35-40hp depending upon spec

They feel a lot lighter than the 450 due to not only the lighter weight, but the reduced inertia/rotating mass of the smaller lighter crankshaft and piston (which makes a much bigger difference than you would think - try thinking about spinning a bicycle wheel held out at arms length and how difficult it is to move about!)

 

I'd say go for a WR250F and you will be much happier - the latest reverse cylinder are supposed to be real good, if you can afford one of them


Edited by GuyGraham, May 15, 2015 - 12:19 AM.


  • stevethe

Posted May 14, 2015 - 09:38 AM

#5

It will never be a trails bike or a 250. But if it has stock base valves in the front forks they can feel real bad going slow. The forks sack through the travel and feel real sluggish in the front. That can be fixed. Many times it also takes some seat time to get used to riding if you haven't lately.

You could try a different bike and see if it's fixed.

  • Excitable

Posted May 14, 2015 - 09:41 AM

#6

agree a 250f would be worlds better for you.



  • iden12345

Posted May 14, 2015 - 10:40 AM

#7

Not sure on your budget, but it sounds like you might want to try a ktm free ride. It's perfect for just free riding and has a higher seat and bigger tank than a trials bike from what I've read and heard.

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted May 14, 2015 - 12:25 PM

#8

Keep the bike you have.

 

Put on a G2 " throttle tamer" throttle tube, until your throttle control skills improve.

 

Ride in a higher gear, or gear up, and learn to use the brakes,  feather the clutch, and balance on the PEGS and not the seat!

A Rekluse clutch might help you too.

 

 

If you think your problems (lack of experience) will improve with a KTM 300, boy will you be surprised....that they won't!

 

The KTM will have issues of it's own: stepped power band, far less torque, and virtually no engine breaking, very un-planted feel on rough terrain, etc.

...and  $10,000  bill.



  • stevethe

Posted May 14, 2015 - 01:18 PM

#9

By the way I put WR250 stickers on mine. Not sure it helped anything tho.

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted May 14, 2015 - 02:24 PM

#10

By the way I put WR250 stickers on mine. Not sure it helped anything tho.

 

 I put a KTM sticker on mine, and it exploded.



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  • GuyGraham

Posted May 15, 2015 - 04:40 AM

#11

My 1st suggestion based on your feedback would be gear the bike up, not down. The bike has a much lower 1st and 2nd gear than a track bike which by gearing down (as you did )is only making the on/off throttle response/engine breaking worse. Try going to a 14 front sprocket, this will allow the gears to pull a little higher before needing to shift.

 

It also makes woods riding difficult as 1st becomes way too high for slow speed stuff with the results you are always on the clutch and often stalling it if you don't get the clutch action right

 

I went down to a 12T on the front, and despite some mates saying not too as it would only make first even more fierce, its one of the best things I ever did to it.

 

Everyones different, but for me it turned the bike around from something I couldn't control properly (running away from me in slow corners or stalling it) when I was getting tired as I wasn't getting on the clutch soon even, to something that became as pleasure to ride



  • 080

Posted May 15, 2015 - 09:34 AM

#12

It also makes woods riding difficult as 1st becomes way too high for slow speed stuff with the results you are always on the clutch and often stalling it if you don't get the clutch action right

I went down to a 12T on the front, and despite some mates saying not too as it would only make first even more fierce, its one of the best things I ever did to it.

Everyones different, but for me it turned the bike around from something I couldn't control properly (running away from me in slow corners or stalling it) when I was getting tired as I wasn't getting on the clutch soon even, to something that became as pleasure to ride


Agreed but keep in mind gear selection is based on terrain type, skill level and personal preference. My suggestion was based on beginner level probably not getting on to the A/B type trails. I don't do much woods riding just desert and pine forest but I still prefer spreading 1st/2nd out a bit.

  • GreenHornet450

Posted May 15, 2015 - 10:06 AM

#13

You have to steer with the rear. You can't turn a 450 like a lighter bike. Also get your suspension adjusted properly and get off the seat and stand in the boney stuff when possible. I have am auto clutch in my 450 and it makes the engagement much more pleasant

  • GuyGraham

Posted May 16, 2015 - 01:27 AM

#14

Agreed but keep in mind gear selection is based on terrain type, skill level and personal preference. My suggestion was based on beginner level probably not getting on to the A/B type trails. I don't do much woods riding just desert and pine forest but I still prefer spreading 1st/2nd out a bit.

 

 

whats A/B type trails?

 

Snowdrift and I, are both in the UK, and this means nothing to me or snowdrift probably (its not something that is used in the UK to describe terrain)



  • GreenHornet450

Posted May 16, 2015 - 06:25 AM

#15

A is Expert Trails (Hardestest), B is Intermediate Trails. Like skiing, the Black Diamonds indicate the terrain difficulty

Edited by GreenHornet450, May 16, 2015 - 06:26 AM.


  • KennyMc

Posted May 16, 2015 - 10:09 PM

#16

I put a KTM sticker on mine, and it exploded.

Your WR exploded :D

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted May 17, 2015 - 05:46 AM

#17

Your WR exploded :D

 

Yeah, but that's completely different, because I say so.



  • Snow Drift

Posted July 05, 2015 - 06:46 AM

#18

Many thanks for all your replies I have read them with great interest and respect. Apologies for the long delay in responding I needed some more time to think about it and have found it difficult to respond until now.

 

I think I agree that if I didn't already own a bike and was looking to buy I would be better off getting a WR250 and then going bigger after I am use to that. However, I have spent some time and money on this bike now and the issues associated with buying and selling bikes does make more inclined to hang onto this one. I also do like the massive hit of power when you get the chance to open the throttle on the straights.

 

I think that I was being a bit silly because I was riding bikes years ago then had a 10 year gap and expected to come flying out the gate some kind of pro. I also have been watching many youtube clips of trials and enduro riders and have been disappointed when I haven't been able to throw a bike around like they do.

 

I agree that the bikes I use to have are miles apart from the bike I have now and I am probably going a lot faster than I was years ago. Also at the time of my original post I think I had done less than 100 miles in 21 months of ownership and hadn't been out on it much. I've been out recently and spent some more time going slow, balancing, using the clutch and standing on the pegs. I think that I just need to spend more time riding it and less time thinking about it all.

 

One of the biggest issues though is that I'm not physically strong or fit enough at the moment and so any bike feels heavy and when you open the throttle and you realise the extent of the power that is available it can be a little intimidating. In the end though I think that although other bikes may have slight advantages in terms of handling, weight etc it isn't going to get much better than the bike I have and I just need to progress in learning to ride it.



  • GuyGraham

Posted July 05, 2015 - 08:55 AM

#19

You need to be riding every weekend to help build your strength and skill levels

With just occasional riding, you'll never make progress and you'll just become frustrated and stop riding it



  • Snow Drift

Posted July 05, 2015 - 09:45 AM

#20

I can imagine you are right there. I think when I thought of getting an enduro bike I had images of riding in open spaces and woods like they seem to do in Australia and Canada.

 

Despite living in Dorset in a little village I don't know of many green lanes around where I live. The enduro events and practice grounds up and down the country mean transporting the bike and I haven't got round to sorting that one yet.

 

Where do you tend to ride, only events or green lanes or other places?






 
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