New to WR450


23 replies to this topic
  • 600ish

Posted December 05, 2004 - 07:59 AM

#1

I'm visiting from the XR600 forum and wanted to ask you WR guys your opinion on the WR450 versus the KTM's as far as reliabilty,maintenance, power etc. I have ridden an XR600 for years and I'm looking for a new off-road bike. I am looking at the soon to be released CRF450X and the KTM450EXC. I have alway ridden Honda, but I am looking for the best 450 I can get whether it be Blue, red ,or Orange. I am not real up on the new bikes and the problems with them, so any input would be appreciated. I ride 90% Southeast woods trails,fireroads etc and 10% riding a little MX, and I stay close to the ground for the most part. No big doubles and triples these days. I also do some Hare Scrambles. Thanks, Walt

  • huskyrider

Posted December 05, 2004 - 01:36 PM

#2

IMO, nowhere near the top end speed as the XR650, a lot less weight and handles much better. This is a bike you can take to the track.
I'm sure that the Honda and KTM's are great bikes but I'd take the Yamaha over either of them.
Just my .02

See Ya,
Kelly

  • YamahaWR450FMike

Posted December 05, 2004 - 05:40 PM

#3

what is the top end speed on a XR650, I bet I've already beat that on my WR450

  • ETP

Posted December 05, 2004 - 06:02 PM

#4

I rode an XR600 for years and went to a 99 YZ400, then a 03 WR450.
The XR is a workhorse, but heavy.
The Yamahas are much more fun to ride. They handle so much better than the XR and have improved my ability and confidence in tough technical trail situations.
I do miss the cushy XR seat.
The new WR's electric start has spoiled me. As for the red and orange counterparts; I have ridden both and thought they were awesome fun bikes to ride. They both had a different feel, but solid and able. The big difference is turning out to be reliability based on what I've read and seen. Besides a starter issue on the 03, these Yamaha's are proving to be the most reliable. The red and orange machines have some issues.
Bottom line, I miss the workhorse XR and would own another as a second bike for certain dual sport rides, but so far, this WR450 is the best bike I've owned and the most fun to ride.

  • simica

Posted December 05, 2004 - 07:06 PM

#5

I use to own 1987 and 1991 xr600's and thought they were great bikes for trail riding and an occasional desert race. I was actually disappointed when they came out with the 650's, too heavy. I then became a two stroke owner in 1994, and have been for the last ten years, although I've been able to ride all types of four strokes because all of my friends have switched to thumpers. I am now a proud owner of an 05 WR450 and although I've only ridden it once I love the way it handles, turns, ergonomics fit my style, the new suspension is great, and I love that E button.

As far as Honda, I was recently a team member for the 24 hours of Glen Helen and our primary bike was an 03 CRF450. I have heard rumors of piston and valve problems, but our bike ran strong the entire race. Ergonomics are also good. I've heard that the CRF450X will be ten pounds heavier than the WR. The one bike that I noticed breaking down alot at the 24hr. was the KTM. Now I have five friends that ride orange and for the last two years, they have been unable to convert me to KTM. I've ridden all of their bikes and there is just something about the ergos of that brand that I am not confortable with. All I can say is ride one first before you spend that much money. My best advice is the Yamaha. Good Luck.

  • YamahaWR450FMike

Posted December 05, 2004 - 09:54 PM

#6

I've owned yamaha's all my life and honda's too. Always had problems with my old hondas. Will always be a Yamaha believer and only Yamaha. Just my o2

  • jhteneyck

Posted December 06, 2004 - 04:55 PM

#7

kTM= WRENCHING. They are nice rides but tend to be a bit on the finicky side for my tastes. The red machine is supposed to be a goodie but my buddies with them have been doing valves more than riding. I have an 04 WR450 and the thing has been AWESOME!! No problems at all and I was coming from the relable world of XR's as well. If I were to buy a new bike today it would be a WR 450. I had the KTM MXC 450 and it just was not for me...lots of funny vibrations and too much work. Go blue

  • 600ish

Posted December 06, 2004 - 06:10 PM

#8

I appreciate everybodys input and It looks like the '05 WR450 for me. I just can't trust the new CRF450X especially being a first year bike and the 250X has its issues from what I hear. I hear good things about the KTM's, but I've also heard some bad things. I guess we're all looking for that elusive "Perfect Bike". What kind of maintenance are you guys doing over the course of a year on the WR450? I have been spoiled by my '94 XR600. All I've done in the last year is change the oil, adjust the valves once, they didn't need it the second time and add gas. And I did turn the idle up about 6 months ago. I know I'm not going to have it that easy with a new modern 4 stroke, but I'm not into tearing the engine apart twice a year either and the cost that goes with it. I've ridden at least one long day a week for over a year, so the XR has been great and reliable as can be, but HEAVY and outdated, I'm ready to step it up 10 years. I've always been a Honda guy since I was a kid, but I'm looking for the best bike I can get, regardless of what color it is. Thanks again, Walt

  • Indy_WR450

Posted December 06, 2004 - 06:38 PM

#9

I challenge you to find a more reliable 4 stroke motor than the WR450!
How does 3,000 miles sound between valve adjustments.
How does 12,000 miles sound before rebuilding the top end, crank & clutch.
Hands down awesome trail reliability! :cry:

  • Atlasrider

Posted December 06, 2004 - 06:55 PM

#10

I also was a red rider for most of my life, the big 4 strokes 600 and 400. Then I went to a CR500 for desert and trail riding. I now have an 04 WR450 with a little over 500 miles on it. It is by far the best "do it all" bike I've ever owned!
It handles so good the power and brakes are so smooth. Top end speed is as fast as the CR500 was. And all that torque for slow riding and climbing. And lets not forget the electric start!!! So far maintenance has been simple, the main thing to keep an eye on is chain tension. If it gets loose the bike gets a bad rattle sound going. It will sound like valves tapping.
I too was surprised Honda didn't come up with their version of the CRF450X sooner. I might have bought one. Plus you can't beat the Yamaha financing.The 3.9% and $39.00 per month if thats what you want to do. KTM's are sweet, but I'm not sure they are worth the extra $1200.00. The 2 that I rode had the hardest seats I've ever been on. I landed a double at a local track on a Buddy's KTM and when I came down on the seat it was like getting kicked in the jewels, it almost knocked the wind out of me. Other than that it was nice.

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  • yater

Posted December 06, 2004 - 07:00 PM

#11

I'm starting to think I should consider the 450 too. All that power sounds like a BLAST

  • 600ish

Posted December 06, 2004 - 07:39 PM

#12

These sure are better responses than I expected. To be honest with you guys, I never gave Yamaha, Suzuki, or Kawasaki a serious look., It was almost expected that I would buy what Honda puts out in the off-road world and a week ago I was buying a CRF450X in Feb. when it comes out. Then I was on the XR600/650 forum and there is a thread titled "bad talk about the XR650R" and the 5th post by Mikekay got me thinking since Mike is a very serious, knowledgeable desert racer. He pointed out that Honda is serious about MX and MOTO GP, but they have abandoned the off road world, and the 450x is largely unproven and I don't want to spend $7000 on a first year lemon. KTM and Yamaha are supporting all kinds of off road racing in a big way. The XR650 has seen no changes but seat patterns and graphics from 2000 to 2005. By the time Honda catches up KTM and Yamaha will have fuel injection and 2 wheel drive. I remember watching last year on SPEED channel The Yamaha 2-wheel drive 450 won the 450 class and even a stage at the 2004 Dakar Rally. 450's aren't supposed to beat 660's & 950's. That 2-wheel drive looked pretty good!! It will be a few months, but it looks like I'm turning blue. I just sent an e-mail to a buddy who works for Yamaha in the corporate offices north of Atlanta because I know he buys all kinds of musical and boat equipment at huge discounts for himself and friends and who knows maybe I can save a few bucks through him.

  • 600ish

Posted December 06, 2004 - 07:41 PM

#13

Yater, what are you riding now? Walt

  • Khari

Posted December 06, 2004 - 08:33 PM

#14

I have had my WR450 now for 5 months. I couldn't be happier. Other than the free mods, all I have had to do was change the oil and tighten the chain. I could not justify spending the extra money for a KTM. I would be very surprised if Honda didn't correct for '05 the valve issues the CRF450R had. Just the same, I would rather they work out the first year bugs before considering buying one.

  • yater

Posted December 06, 2004 - 09:15 PM

#15

Walt, I've been through LOTS of bikes in the past 2 years looking for the right one. I have a dr350 and dr650 right now because I thought laid back trail riding would do it for me....it doesn't. I sold a kdx a few months ago and it was the closest to the capable play/trail bike that I'm looking for (probably should have kept it). I just sold the dr350 today :cry: and I'm looking hard at the wr250, wr450, and drz400. I really like the idea of a light/nimble/precise handling bike and want to rule out the drz because of it's weight. I'd also race the bike (casual c class)

  • nicko450

Posted December 06, 2004 - 10:14 PM

#16

Just sold my xr650 for a wr 450 and love it .. sounds like we ride the same sort of stuff. wr great for the fire trails good top end for the open and still handles great around the tight tracks. only problem seats not the best if your going to sit on it all day.

  • nicko450

Posted December 06, 2004 - 10:20 PM

#17

wr250 are good , but the power difference is huge. 250 are good for the little blokes, i'm a big bugger so i need the power.

  • Indy_WR450

Posted December 07, 2004 - 05:27 AM

#18

AtlasRider, dont forget to put a 1/2" of silicone rubber under the chain slider. Let it dry overnight and bolt the slider back down with longer bolts. Protects the swingarm from wear and reduces chain slap so you can run your chain more on the loose side. :cry:
I agree with the WR450 being the best all around do everything bike! :cry:

  • 52wheelz

Posted December 08, 2004 - 12:30 PM

#19

KTM: Great bike if you meticulously maintain it and check everything after every ride. Problems with brakes locking up, head bolts blowing, hydrolic clutch cable leaking, overheating at high altitude. I have eight friends that ride KTM and these are the problems they have had.

XR650R: Just sold my 2004. Great bike for going over 100mph on dirt roads and dry lake beds. Reliable and stable but too heavy for trail riding.

WR450: Had a '99 WR400 and '02 YZ426 and just bought an '05WR450 which I like best of the three. Great reliability, suspension and power and the elec start spoils you. A no problem bike that can do it all.

CRF450X: 12 lbs heavier than the WR450. My '04 CRF250X feels heavier than my '05 WR450. The CRF450R, CRF250R, CRF250X and probably the CRF450X all have two oil rings on the piston compared to the three oil rings of the Yamahas. All these Honda burn oil. I rode my '04 CRF250X for 70 miles on a dirt road at the desert and burned 300mm of oil. My friends with the same bike took them to Baja and used up a full quart of oil in about 450 miles. Honda says you should replace the piston and rings after 18-20 hours of riding. Everyone I know with a CRF450R or CRF250R or X burns oil. Even the Honda reps have told me this is normal. When you ride behind a CRF you can smell the burning oil coming out of the exhaust. But these bike do handle well and make good power. The burning oil doesn't seem to create any performance problems or reliability problems. It is just irritating.

  • CISCO

Posted December 08, 2004 - 05:14 PM

#20

hehehe...oh the KTM maintenance vodoo chant. I really get a luagh out of it. Its part true, part hype. They are reliable.

Any way, Ive ridden both, and really think that you need to ride both to make a decision. Ask here and you get blue answers, ask there you get Orange answers.
I may end up getting an 05 WR450 soon, (NOT replacing the KTM) we shall see. They are great reliable bikes. The 05 is a step above the 04 and older. Very stable, good power and suspension but rather loud when you uncork them. (FMF Q is a good option). You need more set up on the WR than a KTM. KTM's need more frequent valve adjustments, and the top end should be gone through at about half the time as a WR.....but I like the RFS power delivery better. Its a more potent motor IMO. KTM's come with much better componantry.

I own all colors and really was impressed with the 05WR450. It sucks having to buy a pipe for a brand new bike to run right though.... :cry:

Whatever you choose, it will toast the XR600 hands down. :cry:

KTM: Great bike if you meticulously maintain it and check everything after every ride. Problems with brakes locking up, head bolts blowing, hydrolic clutch cable leaking, overheating at high altitude. I have eight friends that ride KTM and these are the problems they have had.

XR650R: Just sold my 2004. Great bike for going over 100mph on dirt roads and dry lake beds. Reliable and stable but too heavy for trail riding.

WR450: Had a '99 WR400 and '02 YZ426 and just bought an '05WR450 which I like best of the three. Great reliability, suspension and power and the elec start spoils you. A no problem bike that can do it all.

CRF450X: 12 lbs heavier than the WR450. My '04 CRF250X feels heavier than my '05 WR450. The CRF450R, CRF250R, CRF250X and probably the CRF450X all have two oil rings on the piston compared to the three oil rings of the Yamahas. All these Honda burn oil. I rode my '04 CRF250X for 70 miles on a dirt road at the desert and burned 300mm of oil. My friends with the same bike took them to Baja and used up a full quart of oil in about 450 miles. Honda says you should replace the piston and rings after 18-20 hours of riding. Everyone I know with a CRF450R or CRF250R or X burns oil. Even the Honda reps have told me this is normal. When you ride behind a CRF you can smell the burning oil coming out of the exhaust. But these bike do handle well and make good power. The burning oil doesn't seem to create any performance problems or reliability problems. It is just irritating.






 
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