Are 01-03 WRs Reliable?


13 replies to this topic
  • trailrider7

Posted April 21, 2004 - 11:45 AM

#1

I know this is like asking a guy if his favorite hunting dog is any good, but seriously, I am looking at buying a 01-03 WR 400 or 426 and my buddies (who all ride XR400s) are telling me to go Honda (more reliable, less maintianence, more comfortable, better power band, etc.) I've ridden their bikes and they are nice but I think I want a little more. How do the WRs compare for reliability, maintanence, etc.? I ride a XR250 now but it is WAY underpowered for me - I ride mostly woods/trails in N. Cal. Thanks for your help.

  • Wrfrk

Posted April 21, 2004 - 11:52 AM

#2

There's no doubt that the WR's require more maintanance than XR's do, but I would not say they are less reliable. However I'm sure that if you slack on your maintanace they will go to hell real quick, as they are not as forgiving in that area as say an XR. You will however be kicking the piss outa those XR's in every and any situation you'll encounter, depending on your skill level of course.

  • ddialogue

Posted April 21, 2004 - 12:31 PM

#3

Yes, they are all very reliable. With the 03's you need to be concerned with the woodruff key issues and getting the starter upgrades done (if you get an 03.) Sure there will be a bit more maintenance than an XR400 but let's face it, you're buddies won't be able to hang with you. :) If you want 80's technology, go with the XR. :D If you want fast, powerful, reliable and well...leading edge than go with a WR.

But then again, I'm biased. :D

  • RCannon

Posted April 21, 2004 - 12:51 PM

#4

I owned an XR 400. I have never owned a WR Yamaha , but have ridden many.

I dont think it is reasonable to compare the two. The XR is a trail bike, the WR is designed and built much more for racing.

I would also say the XR might look more reliable simply because the limits of the bike were so much lower. The XR's started losing trannies when the power was pumped up at all.

Personally, I would go for the Yamaha unless you do all low speed riding. At low trail speeds the Honda was very pleasant and nice.

I am not knocking the Honda. It is a great trail bike and has its purpose, but beating Yamaha's is not one of them.

  • wrkaholic

Posted April 22, 2004 - 07:22 AM

#5

I had a XR650L before buying my WR426. I really do not see much of a maint. difference. I changed the oil in both every 200 miles. The WR has the complexity of being water cooled, but, this is basically maint. free. You may want to flush it every year or so. I am so much faster and ride so much better on the WR426. Don't sweat it, buy, the higher tech. bike, you will enjoy it more and spend less money on mods. I spent a fortune on mods for that XR650L, and was still never happy. Good luck. :)

  • WRSTEVE

Posted April 26, 2004 - 10:31 AM

#6

I know this is like asking a guy if his favorite hunting dog is any good, but seriously, I am looking at buying a 01-03 WR 400 or 426 and my buddies (who all ride XR400s) are telling me to go Honda (more reliable, less maintianence, more comfortable, better power band, etc.) I've ridden their bikes and they are nice but I think I want a little more. How do the WRs compare for reliability, maintanence, etc.? I ride a XR250 now but it is WAY underpowered for me - I ride mostly woods/trails in N. Cal. Thanks for your help.


You will not be disappointed in getting a 02 WR426, Maintenance is maintenance no matter what you buy. I have had mine now for 2yrs and am very happy with it :) I just change the oil every 4-5 rides, wash & lube everything after every ride, still on my stock spark plug :D

I have raced a lot of bikes with my WR, and 1 in paticular was a XR400, as soon as I hit 2nd gear i pulled him with my front tire in the air, as I hit 3rd with wheel still in the air, I began to walk away. Even my 94 CR500 would have a very tough time keeping up with my WR. The Yamaha WR450 is a great bike as well, but racing my buddy on his 04 WR450 and walking him until we hit 5th(he was catching me) still I would lean toward the 02 426 :D

Just my .02 Cents

  • tp3dxf

Posted April 26, 2004 - 11:12 AM

#7

I had this same deliema myself. I went with the 01WR426. Yes it's a very advanced bike and it hauls the bacon like a XR400 wishes it could. The suspesion "Stock" if far better then any XR.

Well after two years and only very regular oil changes the bike is still solid as a rock.

I have over 2700 miles on my bike and never adjusted the valves until I had a Hot Camshafts cam installed. Get this. The Valves were still in spec!

I have overheated the crap out of my bike and it still ran like a champ. Don't be concerned that just because it's such a modern bike that it's not as reliable.

I did manage to bend my header into one of my radiator lines. The header burnt a hole into the line and I was loosing coolant like crazy. But the WR has a over flow tank that got me back to camp. Which was 20 miles away.

Don't be afraid. The WR series has proven itself as a reliable mount since it's introduction. They are the modern day benchmarks that all new 4-stokes are judged against. But I would stay away from the 03 first year electric start model. Starters seemed weak in that year. 04 and better got it right.

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  • FTD

Posted April 26, 2004 - 11:28 AM

#8

I recall in 2000 sitting on a trail on my then XR4, talking to a buddy, on a XR4 and saying, these XR's are the best bike there is. We both bought the WR426 in the spring of '01... rode them together and simply laugh at our thoughts about the XR4. I loved the XR4, perfect bike to tootle.
My WR has given me no (knock, knock,knock) trouble. The suspension it so much superior to the XR4. It flooded starting cold TWICE is all... other wise NO problems. Gets a little hot spring riding in the mountains busting snow drifts, pinned in 3rd going 4mph but any bike will do that. I played with the suspension clickers and got it where it works well. It is a bit heavy... 275#'s with gas. Also, would suggest the Zipty tank to lower the gas weight and flatten out the seat.
Hoss

  • pedman

Posted April 26, 2004 - 11:45 AM

#9

I have had both bikes, and this is a black and white question. My initial thoughts are go for a 02 426 :D. You brought in the 03 and I think from this group you'll hear about some of the problems on the 03 WR450 as DDialogue has mentioned. In comparison to the XR400....the XR400 is very predictable and if you are good to your bike the maintenance is the same. If you like the Bark vs. the purrrrr, then the WR is the bike. But, remember the WR is very user friendly, it just grows as your skills grow, where I believe the XR is what you get.

JMHO :)

  • kevs_wr426

Posted April 26, 2004 - 09:43 PM

#10

Go the 426 Mate,
I've had mine a little over a year now and she still amazes me with the power and sheer grunt. I change oil every 3 tank fulls and a wash and scrub after every ride and she goes great. I remember when I first baught it I thaught how can something have so much grunt and be so highly strung yet be so reliable. Just do them oil changes and a bit of tender loving care and she'll treat u the same. you'll obviously be buying a 2nd hander. Ask about oil changes and if he's like me he may of even kept the old boxes that the filters come in. (good selling point later)
Good luck

  • blue_beast_wins

Posted April 26, 2004 - 10:31 PM

#11

I have an 01 426 and at 13,000 K's i'm still on the original top end (except for the 450 cam mod) and have done the gearbox once, enough said ?

  • cardiffdrz

Posted April 27, 2004 - 02:32 AM

#12

have you looked at a DRZ 400 ? maybe something else to consider :)

  • ETP

Posted April 27, 2004 - 03:36 AM

#13

Ride an XR around a track, then ride a WR.
You will deal with the extra maintenance.....

  • Indy_WR450

Posted April 27, 2004 - 03:59 AM

#14

My 03 WR450 has been stone cold 100% reliable! :D It has been out ridden in every condtion. Western sands and boulders, eastern mud & roots, midwest clay and rocks and this bike has yet to be towed or pushed back! :D I am a very pleased with this bike. The valves stay within spec for very high miles, runs on cheap gas without complaints, tough as nails in crashes. Very little to complain about! :D
Issues that are well known and are a must easy fix from this forums collective genius :D :

04 starter upgrade is required approx $260.
Gray wire & throttle stop.
Air box mod & replace factory exhaust cork with GYTR
Real tires (stock units were dseigned for pavement?)
Real chain and sprockets
Real handlebars ( not stock swizel stick )
Real skid plate (not plastic stock unit)
Real radiator gaurds
JD jetting kit & Zip-Ty adj fuel screw

Once you have done these minor minimum mods you have an extremely reliable machine. :)
And the 03's are a real god buy if you can find one left over at a dealer.




 
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