WR 450F Supermoto?



15 replies to this topic
  • Gadabout

Posted March 26, 2016 - 02:38 PM

#1

I currently have a WR 426 that I ride off road only, but I recently sold my street bike (old BMW) and am looking to get into Supermoto. 

 

Found a nice WR 450 with an Athena big bore kit and nice Excel rims.  Is anyone running this set up?  I mostly want to run the back roads (both paved and gravel).  How would it be for short runs down the highway; vibration wise, rpm wise etc. 

 

I notice my hands and butt get a little buzzy after an hour or so in the dirt on the 426. 

 

The guy is asking $4000.  Is that a reasonable price?  See pics.

 

Gadabout

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  • KazumaRyu

Posted March 26, 2016 - 06:21 PM

#2

I dont know where you're located but in my area a running, street legal supermoto of almost any bike goes for 3500 at a bare minimum (450cc). I have a friend with the exact same set up with about 10k miles with no issue. I personally would offer a little less. But I do not think that 4,000 is a bad deal. It appears to be in decent shape



  • Gadabout

Posted March 27, 2016 - 05:00 AM

#3

Thanks for the feedback.  I'm in the Detroit metro area. 

 

I haven't gotten to ride it yet - the stock battery would not turn it over - is this normal with the Athena kit?  He is getting a better battery and I plan to try again.  I couldn't kick start it either - felt like the Compression Release was not working properly. There was still a lot of compression with the lever pulled in.  I could kick it through, but no dice starting it.  (He just took it out of winter storage.) 

 

I'm no badass, but I start my 426 with no problems.  Is the Athena motor hard to start as a rule? 



  • knuckleduster271

Posted March 27, 2016 - 10:00 AM

#4

Thanks for the feedback. I'm in the Detroit metro area.

I haven't gotten to ride it yet - the stock battery would not turn it over - is this normal with the Athena kit? He is getting a better battery and I plan to try again. I couldn't kick start it either - felt like the Compression Release was not working properly. There was still a lot of compression with the lever pulled in. I could kick it through, but no dice starting it. (He just took it out of winter storage.)

I'm no badass, but I start my 426 with no problems. Is the Athena motor hard to start as a rule?

What year are you looking at?
If you can figure out how to start a 426 then you can start anything lol..
The wr450 doesnt have a compression release lever- it was most likely the hot start you were using.
The 450's have a decompression pin on the camshaft.
Sometimes these motors kinda "lock up" on tdc and you have to put them it gear then rock it fore and aft a bit- its common- nothing to worry about. Ive had two other wr's and both did this- sometimes it will stop the starter from turning.
As for the estart not working- it could be that- or- they crank slow even with a stock set up, id say a big bore would put a little more strain on it. With a fresh battery it should still roll it over though.

Edited by knuckleduster271, March 27, 2016 - 10:03 AM.


  • Gadabout

Posted March 27, 2016 - 01:52 PM

#5

Its a 2006.  The small lever (which I thought was the compression release) was in the same place as the CR on my bike but looked different.  Now that you mention it, I remember they went to the auto CR on the 450's right?

 

I think he just didn't remember to charge the battery - he was just taking it out of winter storage.  He said he was going to put a new lithium battery in it and I could come back and try it. 

 

Apparently the e-start must work normally because he said he broke his ankle once and has never kick started it. 

 

Maybe it wouldn't work because I was trying to use the 426 process on a bike with an automatic CR!  Duh.

 

I'm a little nervous about buying a bike with engine work that wasn't done in a shop with receipts.  Should I be worried or is this motor pretty easy to work on?  If it runs like a bat out of hell and doesn't smoke - should it be good to go?

 

I don't want to buy someone else's problems, especially not for top dollar.



  • ricknaz

Posted March 28, 2016 - 03:38 AM

#6

They're not too bad for short highway runs and there is nothing better on a tight twisty road. It looks like it's already got fairly tall gearing on it.



  • Gadabout

Posted April 07, 2016 - 09:34 AM

#7

And now for the rest of the story.  He got the new battery (Lithium Phosphate) with 300 CCA and the bike started right up and he ran it for about 15 minutes.  Then when he went back to try again, the battery wouldn't crank it over.  He put it on the charger and got a "Battery Fault" reading. 

 

After further discussion, it turns out this happened before, only last time, he got about 15 rides out of it before the battery took a crap. 

 

Any ideas what could be causing the problem?  He's offering it to me for a big discount now.  I can't imagine what kind of electrical system fault would ruin a battery in 15 minutes?  Bad ground?  Voltage regulator shot? 

 

I really like the bike, but I'd like to have some idea of what the problem is before I turn his problems into my problems.



  • toten

Posted April 07, 2016 - 01:43 PM

#8

Yeah, the battery should be able to run the bike a lot longer than that, unless the R/R is somehow killing the battery. Was there any playing with the wiring harness when it was set up as street legal?

 

Mine does ok on the freeway. I paid $3400 for it, CA plated, with Excel/Talon wheels, unused (tits on factory tires) factory wheels and nice brakes (Brembo master/Braking 4pot/Braking 320). It does well enough for short freeway trips, obviously not great but adequate. Gearing matters a lot though. 



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  • Gadabout

Posted April 09, 2016 - 12:30 PM

#9

Yeah, the battery should be able to run the bike a lot longer than that, unless the R/R is somehow killing the battery. Was there any playing with the wiring harness when it was set up as street legal?

 

Mine does ok on the freeway. I paid $3400 for it, CA plated, with Excel/Talon wheels, unused (tits on factory tires) factory wheels and nice brakes (Brembo master/Braking 4pot/Braking 320). It does well enough for short freeway trips, obviously not great but adequate. Gearing matters a lot though. 

The R/R?  Not tracking what that is.

 

He did do some monkeying around trying to hook up turn signals - I guess that might be a good place to start.



  • toten

Posted April 09, 2016 - 01:35 PM

#10

Sorry, Regulator/Rectifier. Turns high voltage AC into 12V AC/DC (although street bikes are typically DC output only). 



  • Gadabout

Posted April 10, 2016 - 08:02 AM

#11

I guess I wasn't quick enough on the draw.  Bike was sold for $3600.  Seems too high for one with issues.

 

I did some research on the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.  Turns out they are very sensitive to overvoltage during charging and also to being discharged past a certain point.  The batteries he was using were custom built by friend, but apparently are not appropriate for this installation.  They are good for automotive applications, but apparently, and this is my conclusion at this point, you also need some control electronics to prevent the two situations mentioned above. My theory is that he had a short which was draining the battery, and with the type he was using - this was fatal.

 

In searching this topic I have seen several references to the AC/DC system on the WR's and I assume we are not talking about an old rock band here.  Is there a pin or definitive thread in the forum that explains this system and how it works?

 

Anyone know of a good Supermoto for sale - Yamaha, KTM, Aprilia, Husky, Other?  I'm in the Detroit area, but will travel for the right deal. 



  • toten

Posted April 10, 2016 - 08:26 AM

#12

I've had a Shorai in my WR for over a year. When I had a halogen headlight and didn't realize it was running off the DC side, I managed to drain the battery to the point that the engine started cutting out. Then, I managed to leave the ignition switch on and drain the battery to the point that it wouldn't even turn on the LED taillight, so I couldn't reasonably bump or kick it (I tried). I jumped it (off my truck, which was off), rode it around with the lights off, and it seems to be working fine again. Some lithium batteries are better than others. 



  • Gadabout

Posted April 11, 2016 - 10:47 AM

#13

Toten,

 

I probably should have highlighted this more in my post...  I was talking about a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery - not to be confused with the much more common (and I'm sure very reliable), Lithium Ion batteries.

 

Again, this guy was running a custom built battery from a friend of his, and I don't think it was compatible with the WR's charging system.  Or he may have had a short or hotel load problem that was draining it past the point of no return, or both.

 

I still don't understand the whole AC/DC thing on the WR.  Back in the day, cars had generators that put out DC (yes, I am old enough to remember this).  Then Alternators came along that put out AC (get it?), and they use diodes to convert the AC to DC, but it sounds like the WR has some kind of hybrid wiring system where part of it is run off the AC and part off the DC. What is what on the WR? 



  • toten

Posted April 11, 2016 - 12:01 PM

#14

I'm pretty sure all lithium batteries used in motor vehicles are lithium iron phosphate. Shorais certainly are. For a couple years I had a battery that sounds about like what you're talking about (cells in a pack, hand assembled) in my SV650 and it worked fine. I've had the Shorai in the WR for over a year without problems related to the battery (although I did have other electrical problems, described below).

 

As they leave the factory, WR450s (at least steel frame ones, I don't know if they ever changed this) pretty much have two independent electrical systems. Power for both comes from the stator (of course), but some of the power is regulated and rectified (into 12V DC, I've been told around 30W) and charges the battery, powers the ECM, etc while the rest is only regulated (into 12V AC) and powers the lights. This means that the lights won't run when the engine is stopped. Many states require lights to be able to operate when the vehicle is off in order to pass inspection. The right way to do that on a WR is to buy a different R/R and convert the entire system to DC (including floating the ground), providing significantly more DC power. On mine, instead of that, the lights were moved to the DC side with no change in the charging setup, so the lights would drain the battery over time, until the ECM didn't have enough power to make a good spark and it would start stumbling (which of course happened on my way across the Bay Bridge at night). When I turned the lights off, it started running fine again. 

 

I bought the parts to convert it to how it should be, but ended up doing the lazy method: use LED lighting that draws little enough power that I won't drain the battery by riding lights on. At some point I'm planning on doing it right, at which point I'll have enough DC wattage to run more lights if I decide that's what I want. http://i2admin05.web...-stator-mod.pdf has some more info about what needs to be done.



  • Gadabout

Posted April 13, 2016 - 09:01 AM

#15

Thanks Toten - I didn't realize the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries were out there commercially.  I wonder if they have protection circuits built into them?

 

Also good discussion on the AC/DC issue.  I bet that was fun riding across the bridge with no lights?

 

How does your WR do for short rides on the highway - is there a lot of buzz in the bars and seat?  I know my 426 is pretty buzzy even on the dirt after an hour or so.  It is dirt only at the moment and I'm looking to buy a 450 with the SM setup already on it vs. converting mine over.   



  • toten

Posted April 13, 2016 - 09:23 AM

#16

I don't know if it has any sort of protection circuit. They've been available for at least a few years, the battery in my WR originally went in my SV1000 in March 2013 (it has a custom subframe so I needed something small). It'll start it no problem, and if there's a bike problem it'll crank for quite a while before slowing down - probably in excess of a minute (I was having trouble figuring out the starting problem, it was a tipover sensor). When I found the WR used the same battery that I chose for the SV1000, I decided the bike that's electric start only with a bigger engine deserved the new battery. 

 

I have an RG3 top clamp on it, with a 4 point rubber mount setup that eliminates the buzz and doesn't let it move around much. 

 

IMG_0322.JPG

 

That shows the one I had with stock forks, I've since upgraded to 05 YZ250F forks/triples, but the concept is the same. If you end up with an 03 WR450 (or anything else that uses the same top clamp, I don't know if there is anything) I'd be happy to get rid of the clamp pictured. I might have a set of wheels available too, or I can point you towards someone else - I know Stainless601 had some nice ones available at one point. 

 

I think the most highway I've done at a time is 35 miles. It certainly isn't the most pleasant bike for that, but it isn't horrible. I'm geared pretty tall, at 14/40. 17s mean that isn't as outrageously tall as the same gearing on stock wheels. I have a 15 front but haven't tried it, it wouldn't be as much fun. The seat isn't horrible, but not great either. 

 

And yeah, not only the bridge but then getting home too... I could run lights occasionally, as it did charge, but didn't run them unless I felt it was very important. Luckily there was a full moon, 10 miles at night with minimal lights isn't fun. 






 
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