2005 WR450 vs. KTM 450exc

16 replies to this topic
  • Beef

Posted December 29, 2004 - 06:33 AM


I'm in the market for a new 4-stroke, and am mostly considering either a YZ or WR 450...but have lately been looking at KTM's too. I have searched and read all previous posts about all three bikes.

That said, does anyone have any PERSONAL experience with the '05 bikes? I do both desert and tight woods riding, with little or no MX. I'm about 6' tall, 160 lbs, and a novice rider.

The things that concern me about the WR are that Yamaha totally screwed up everything to make it green sticker compatable. Why can't they just make a YZ with WR components? From what I've read, the WR is VERY hard to re-jet, not to mention all the other "free" mods that you have to do to it, just to get it to run. I really want electric start and lighting, but from what I've read, I'd rather go with a YZ and a auto-clutch than buy an '05 WR, just because of all the crap that you have to do to the WR to make it run.

What concerns me on the KTM is reliability, support, ease of maintenence, cost, and cost of parts. From looking at the pictures, I can't see where the oil filter is...I've read that it's just a screen that you get to on the bottom of the engine, and it has a history of stripping out.

What about valve adjustments? Do you have to do them more often than the Yammi?

What about replacement parts? Are they as readily available, and do they cost more? Also, how is KTM at customer service? Are they willing to pony-up and fix stuff that is a manufacturing defect, even out of warantee?

Lastly, what do they cost? The KTM website doesn't list prices. From what I've read on this forum, the KTM costs at least $1000 more than yammi.

  • Indy_WR450

Posted December 29, 2004 - 06:57 AM


I would get the KTM 525 EXC if I were in your shoes.
I rode my buddies (DavidM on TT) 2005 KTM 525 EXC and was very impressed!

KTM valves need more attention but are easier to adjust.
KTM is more jetting tolerant than the blue bikes.
Great E-start on the KTM that works even in cold weather
The 525 can be bought for less than a KTM 450 due to demand.
The 525 has very few mods required.
Easier to plate the KTM and Dual sport it.
Just put on bark busters and skid plate and go have fun.

I still prefer the Yamaha WR450 for its overall package but it is more work and money to get it handling the way you want it. :cry:

  • mousemeat

Posted December 29, 2004 - 07:16 AM


If you dont want all the crap associated with the green sticker and free mods, think about getting a canadian spec WR. I know the grey wire and throttle stop are sorted out, but does anyone know if non-US spec WRs have AIS?

Further more i suggest that we rename the 'Air Injection System' (AIS) the 'Auto Ignition (on) Deceleration System', as in: 'Your new '05 WR has AIDS!'

  • mtrablue

Posted December 29, 2004 - 07:42 AM


do you want a blue bike or an orange bike? they're both very good motorcycles. how are your dealers? your worried about setting up the yamaha. i have never seen a new bike come from a dealer that didn't need to be checked out from front to back. tire pressure, air filter, your favorite grips, hand gaurds, and loose nuts and bolts. you spend an afternoon on your new bike and you make it yours.

maintenance? it's a wash. okay, it's more work to adjust the valves in the yamaha. you'll probably do it twice the whole time you own the bike. wait till you change the oil in the ktm. there are two oil filters. the first time you try to get the plug out you'll probably need a torch to get the damn thing to come loose.

the ktm costs about a grand more than the yamaha. a couple hundred bucks and the yamaha is ready to go.

  • Beef

Posted December 29, 2004 - 08:54 AM


I can deal with the grey-wire-mod and removing the baffle (if the baffle really makes any difference...it looks like the tail-pipe is just as restrictive), and even the throttle-stop screw.

Really the only problems I have with the WR is the air injection system and the air cut valve. I've heard that between the two of them, it makes jetting the carb very difficult. Realistically, is it that big of a problem?

Also, how much does the AIS screw up the porting in the exhaust chamber?

From what I've been seeing, and the reason I've been looking elsewhere is because the KTM looks like it's ready to ride, right out of the crate, and doesn't have any of the jetting obsticles that the WR has.

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted December 29, 2004 - 08:58 AM


If you dont want all the crap associated with the green sticker and free mods, think about getting a canadian spec WR. I know the grey wire and throttle stop are sorted out, but does anyone know if non-US spec WRs have AIS?

I was under the impression thwe AIS is only on the Cally models. Is this so :cry:

  • Indy_WR450

Posted December 29, 2004 - 10:29 AM


I believe all 50 states 2005 model WR450 are now green sitcker with AIS. :cry:

  • mark2025

Posted December 29, 2004 - 10:41 AM


Thats correct... all 50 states get the Cali AIS model. I have it on mine here in WA.

I also heard the Candian models have it...but can't confirm that first hand.

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  • correcaminos

Posted December 29, 2004 - 11:03 AM


Here in Spain the 2005 WR has the AIS too

  • Indy_WR450

Posted December 29, 2004 - 11:34 AM


I guess I will have to order an 06 from Bolivia? :cry:
What next? A 55 gallon drum 65 db silencer strapped to the rear subframe! :cry: :cry: :cry:
How about off road street tires to minimize traction induced erosion? :cry:
Vegitable oil for motor protection? :lol: :lol: :D
A 10 mph auto braking engine governor. :D
Automatic transmission with one gear. Slow! :D

Long live the 04's! :D

  • velosapiens

Posted December 29, 2004 - 11:51 AM


wow. creepy. i would consider the wr450 to make a high-performance dualsport bike, but it sounds like yamaha is just too lazy or stupid to make a green-sticker bike work like ktm, husaberg and husky seem to be able to do. i wonder why?

depending on where you live, parts and dealer support shouldn't be too much problem. everyone in the country seems to have a ktm these days, and many parts are interchangeable between models, which is helpful. also, in the comparisons i've seen, it seems like yamaha parts are the most expensive, although each brand seems to have some cheap parts and some outrageous ones, and they're not the same for each brand. ktm OEM pistons are not cheap, but aftermarket ones are the same as the others. most other ktm stuff seems to be pretty reasonable.

oh, i forgot to mention, the wr seems much more ponderous and top-heavy than the 525exc's i have ridden, although both seem pretty ponderous and top-heavy compared to my 2-strokes.

  • Qwrt

Posted December 29, 2004 - 01:01 PM


I spoke to a Candian dealer Today about a new 05 WR 450, and he told me the 05 model in Canada is exactly the same as the ones here in the USA. This was not the case with the 04 model. So be aware, if you buy your bike from Canada, you will still need to do the same free mods that have to be done on bikes bought here in the states.

  • YamahaWR450FMike

Posted December 29, 2004 - 01:30 PM


no way would I ever buy anything other than a Yamaha. Looked at KTM's before buying the WR and just didn't like the look of them

  • Beef

Posted December 29, 2004 - 01:47 PM


If my decision was just down to looks, I'd just buy whichever one was less expensive...

  • velosapiens

Posted December 29, 2004 - 02:22 PM


no way would I ever buy anything other than a Yamaha. Looked at KTM's before buying the WR and just didn't like the look of them

that's a really sensible way to choose a bike. :cry: i'm a little less pig-headed than that. i try to look at everything available with an open mind. all mfrs make really nice bikes right now. it's just a matter of finding one that works for your budget, terrain, riding style, and girly-wussy aesthetic needs.


  • barefootbob

Posted December 29, 2004 - 02:32 PM


dont get me wrong I love my 04 WR450 but if I was doing it all over I would look real hard at the EXC300.I have ran with a few 300 riders now that I have my $6500 starter, ''what a sweet bike''light nimble powerfull easy to kick over.My KX500 was the reason I thought I needed a starter.EXC300 good bike!!

  • ges

Posted December 29, 2004 - 05:02 PM


i've got an wr450f 04 and i really like it.i ride with ktm 520 and 525 and my bike stays with them until they hit 6 gear,but other than that there neck and neck.i found the ktm vibrates.the only thing i found better about the ktm was the low center of gravity,but other than that for suspension and price the yamaha.i also live in british columbia and dont have those f@cked problems cal does.i ride alot of bush and do some hill climbs so i geared it down and it works nice.


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