WR 450 or XR650R


13 replies to this topic
  • panaceabeachbum

Posted June 05, 2005 - 05:41 AM

#1

Hi all, posted this on the xr forum also in hope of getting both sides. I am currently riding a new xr650L, perfect dual sport for my needs. I am using a tired old klx250r as my woods bike and just tired of the 30 min hot starts(also a little weak. Wife has OK'D purchase :) of a new woods/fire road machine. Anyone here own an xr650r and a wr426/450 ? :) ? Pick one over the other? Why? not interested in which one is more powerful, faster etc. but very interested in reliabilty and handling issues. If you were taking off on the transameritrail which one would you take and why?Any of you wr guys racked up big miles yet, 20k+ ? Any big reliabilty probs with the wr platform?
Thanks for any input, I just want to make the right decision as wife rarely gets on board with $6k play toys and I will have to live with my decision for the next 3 years or so. Thanks

  • stonewall

Posted June 05, 2005 - 06:01 AM

#2

For fire roads and transameritrail type stuff the 650R is hard to beat. It does have some well known issues you have to work out but most bikes do. She's a big girl and requires a certain riding style to make it work in the tight stuff but the BRP can do just about anything without breaking a sweat. I have a bunch of trouble free miles on one and have even won tight eastern hare scrambles on it. It's also more comfortable if you're spending entire days in the saddle. :)
That said, the '05 WR450 is better nearly everywhere else but in the most wide open stuff and the electric starter is just icing on the cake. It's lighter than the big XR and in really tight stuff it feels MUCH lighter. As far as I can tell the WR reliability is excellent but then again I only have 1,100 miles on it so far.
Just be honest with yourself about how you'll be using the bike and make the decision. Don't let someone else pick your bike for you. They're all good, all you have to do is pick the one that fits your needs. :)

  • wrkaholic

Posted June 05, 2005 - 04:37 PM

#3

I was in the same situation as you a few years ago. I owned a XR650L and was deciding between an XR650R or a WR426. I live in California and most of the riding is more open and sandy than the rest of the country. I chose the WR426 because I wanted something more nimble, MX heritage, inverted forks. I love the bike. After 2 years, I have no desire to get another bike. I will try to give you some pros and cons:

1. 426 has way better forks, no comparison to the 650L and probably better than the 650R. I always consider inverted forks better.

2. The 426 is way faster than the L. Way more power, way more reving capability, night and day. With an open pipe, yz timing and proper jetting, ie. YZ needle, the bike screams. I would bet you that up to 85 mph, a properly tuned Wr426 would either beat or be even with an XR650R. After 85 mph, the 650R would probably pull away. But, my point is, don't just buy the 650R because of the motor size, The yamaha motor is an unreal technical achievement and during trail riding, you can roost 650Rs with it all day long.

3. the 426 feels pretty light, much lighter than the L.

When I bought mine, I figured it this way. The 650R is the next generation L, much better than the L, but, along the same philosophy. the Wr426 or Wr450 is a totally different bike, more high tech, light, titanium valves, more of an MX heritage instead of an XR heritage. Plus, I wanted inverted forks, that was a big deal to me.
good luck with your decision, both are great bikes, but, I am partial to the Yamaha. Personally, I would look at the KTM 525 before the XR650R, but, hey, you can't go wrong with any of the 3 bikes. :)

  • slotracer577

Posted June 05, 2005 - 04:47 PM

#4

Hi all, posted this on the xr forum also in hope of getting both sides. :) of a new woods/fire road machine. Anyone here own an xr650r and a wr426/450 ? :) ? Pick one over the other? Why? not interested in which one is more powerful, faster etc. but very interested in reliabilty and handling issues. If you were taking off on the transameritrail which one would you take and why?Any of you wr guys racked up big miles yet, 20k+ ? Any big reliabilty probs with the wr platform?
Thanks


In my opinion it depends what you ride, if it is fast open suff and lots of road with an occasional single track the XR is the way to go. It was designed to win baja. If you are going to ride enduro, single track and other tight stuff with an occasional road trip, go for the WR.
I have an 03 wr and it doesnt really like the road, it will do it, but the XR is a better choice. On the tight stuff the WR works so good and can still go fast in the open stuff.

John

  • stoo

Posted June 05, 2005 - 04:59 PM

#5

I've got a '03 WR450F and a '00 XR650R, both in road legal supermoto trim at the minute.

The XR has put up with a lot of abuse and hasn't really missed a beat - although I did manage to kill top gear on it, but that's down to one too many dodgy clutchless changes on tarmac with no cush drive.

Kick start is no bother, but restarting after a fall can be a massive pain. Good technique makes things easier, as do a properly jetted carb. I replaced the standard carb on mine with a Mikuni TM40 and it still takes a bit of messing about to get going again after a tumble, but never more than a minute or two.

There is an electric start kit for them now, but it's silly expensive. http://www.joeracerp....com/estart.htm

Oh, and XRs tend to be quite loud, even with quiet pipes on. :D

The WR is an awesome bit of kit. Comes with a decent carb to start with, although it'll probably need a bit of attention to the jetting before the throttle works "just right". E-start, and a bar-mounted hot start lever make getting it going nice and easy.

I get much better tank range than the XR as its nowhere near as thirsty, but wouldn't spend as long on it as I would the XR. The seat's not a major problem, but the vibrations are noticably more, and I find it messes with my hands after too long.

The WR turns in much faster - which is taking a bit of getting used to on the road, as is the lack of weight. I found the bulk of the XR gave it a certain stability that I've got used to, and am finding it a little hard to readjust.

The WR definitely handles better everywhere, I just need to catch up with it. :D

Oh yeah - the WR's frame is painted steel - which chips easily, and mine has started to rust. No big deal, but it's yet another thing to maintain. The XR's ally frame is a winner on that front. :)

Oil changes are easier on the WR - the bright spark that designed the XR decided to have the main oil drain on the engine right above a frame spar, so it's almost impossible to drain the oil neatly without filling the sumpguard with oil. :)

I'll probably think of something else later on too.....

  • MotoGoalie

Posted June 06, 2005 - 07:34 AM

#6

Hi all, posted this on the xr forum also in hope of getting both sides. I am currently riding a new xr650L, perfect dual sport for my needs. I am using a tired old klx250r as my woods bike and just tired of the 30 min hot starts(also a little weak. Wife has OK'D purchase :) of a new woods/fire road machine. Anyone here own an xr650r and a wr426/450 ? :) ? Pick one over the other? Why? not interested in which one is more powerful, faster etc. but very interested in reliabilty and handling issues. If you were taking off on the transameritrail which one would you take and why?Any of you wr guys racked up big miles yet, 20k+ ? Any big reliabilty probs with the wr platform?
Thanks for any input, I just want to make the right decision as wife rarely gets on board with $6k play toys and I will have to live with my decision for the next 3 years or so. Thanks


Well, It's not exactly what you are looking for but the bikes in my sig are cousins of the two you are comparing.

Fun factor....the YZF hands down.

Ameritrail reliability the XR hands down.

If I had to own only one bike. I guess it would be the XR600, but the YZf is so much fun. As I would assume the WR is too. But that is if I had to choose between my sig bikes...>I think the choice changes radically with your bikes that you are looking at.

Now, translating that into your bike choices. I like my XR because its AIR cooled and impossible to break radiators. Both of your bikes have radiators so that's a wash.

Weight. the 650 is the BRP plus some. It's too heavy for me. You are talking way over 300 lbs full of gas. The WR isn't light by any means but its a good deal lighter than the BRP. The WRs are very reliable by all accounts. And may be as reliable as the newer BRP.

If I was going to throw benjamins down on those two bikes I prolly would get the WR as a starting platform.

  • JTWR450

Posted June 06, 2005 - 08:25 AM

#7

I have the 04 WR450 and recently sold an XR400 to buy the WR. The XR560 I have ridden but never owned. What I can tell you is that it likes wide open spaces with few twisties. The XR650 is a beast when things get tight and for that reason I would lean away from it. Granted it is a bullet proof design that has proved itself in the Baja and elsewhere but is is a boat...plain and simple. My experience in the woods with the 650 is not one I would want to relive where as my WR is awesome everywhere but the highway. Other than that I would by the WR again.

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  • stoo

Posted June 06, 2005 - 02:37 PM

#8

Just a bit of a thought here - If you're planning to do a trans america trip - why pick an enduro bike to do it on? Both the XR and WR need oil changes at 600 miles absolute MAXIMUM, and I do both of mine as soon after 300 as I can.

Presumably the 650L is going to have more reasonable service intervals, and I suspect would be a better choice for the trip than either of the 650R or WR450....


And, if you take the 650L, that'd free up your spending money for a nice WR450 to use exclusively as a hooligan tool. :) :)

  • freestyle250

Posted June 06, 2005 - 05:37 PM

#9

I have an '05 WR, and I have ridden alot of bikes in the past. An IT 175, a TT 225 An IT 490, and a YZ 250. My WR clearly blows them all away, the center of gravity is much lower, and with the smaller rear tire, the bike handles like a dream. She gets up and goes like nothing I've ever ridden before. I've done some riding on fire roads and ATV trails, and the bike hooks up with no problem. I love this bike, and dont plan on getting a new one anytime soon.

  • qadsan

Posted June 06, 2005 - 08:46 PM

#10

Try to get some time on both bikes and see what you prefer. I have several 650R's, two WR426F's and a bunch of other bikes. For tight single track, I prefer the WR426F over the XR650R, but I really prefer an XR280R over both those for tight single track when riding on canted / steep goat trails with blind switch backs and a shear cliff on one side. For most of my desert riding I prefer the 650r, especially in the high speed sections and I prefer my 650R's suspension at higher speeds, especially in the whoops or rough. For desert trails I sometimes prefer the 650r and sometimes the WR426F. They both have different personalities and different types of fun factors. The WR426F will feel more crisp & responsive everywhere and its much easier on your body when jumping. I feel the WR426F also corners better than the 650R in the faster tight stuff. Acceleration is excellent on both bikes, but you'll 'feel' faster on the WR426F. Either bike will get you to eye watering speeds in a hurry, but my 650R's really start to pull away from our WR426F's at ~60+ MPH. I always feel like I'm faster on one of our WR426F's in the desert, but I'm often faster on my 650r when I'm timing myself, but I think I'd give the fun factor nod to our WR426F in terms of being a funner play bike simply because its very responsive and it accelerates harder from slower speeds such as when carving through tighter twisty desert trails where you're off the gas and jamming on the brakes, then back to WOT, then full brakes, then WOT, etc. For MX type stuff, I definitely prefer our WR426F over the 650R. For dual sport riding, I prefer our 650r's. I haven't yet ridden an '05 WR450F, but it carries its weight lower than our WR426F's, has e-start, etc, and should be a lot of fun. The WRF's and 650R are both very reliable bikes, but maintenance is slightly simpler on the 650r and that's not really a big deal because they're both pretty easy to maintain. Both bikes have all kinds of aftermarket parts available for them and there's tons of good tech info on both bikes if you search TT and other web sites. Both bikes will be corked up if you get them new, but the 650r is severely corked up from the factory and in stock form it's almost pathetic, but once you properly uncork it, tune it and revalve your suspension, the bike becomes a real competitor in the desert.

Hook up with another TT'r and get some time in on both bikes and one of them may feel more right to you than the other for what you want to do.

Or...just buy a bunch of different bikes for everyone in your family so you can enjoy them all. I love riding both the WR426F's & the 650R's, but I also enjoy our XR280R in the national forests and even enjoy our modified TR200 FatCat in the sand washes or in the dunes. With the way my right knee is right now, I wish I had an 05' WR450F and we may very well have one in our garage within a year.

  • huntmaster

Posted June 08, 2005 - 01:49 PM

#11

I've spent a lot of time on both bikes over the years and have the WR on my short list for a new bike next year ...particularly if a next-generation aluminum framed design rears it's head! The XR is an awsome bike, but also a five year old design and starting to show it's age. It is still unchanged while the WR has migrated from the kick start 400, to the 426 and now the nicely updated '05 450. In 2000 I picked the XR over the WR. The Honda had way more steam...particularly torque, started better and FELT no heavier then the 400. Despite being heavier on paper, as noted by many it just didn't FEEL it... probably the old "high C of G" thing Yamaha has been trying to address.

In 2005 the Honda is the same bike, while the WR is much different animal; closer in power, lighter (and more importantly FEELS lighter now) and of course has the magic button! The only place the Honda might have the advantage is in open terrain, general comfort and dualsport mode. To be fair to both bikes, they really aren't direct competitors (with the Honda 450X now out) and are different classes of bike. Your type of riding and terrain should make the choice pretty clear.

  • moach1

Posted June 08, 2005 - 04:42 PM

#12

the e start is what sold me on the yammi. i do love the xr. they are both awesome bikes!

  • Triumphs

Posted June 10, 2005 - 06:10 AM

#13

...and have the WR on my short list for a new bike next year ...particularly if a next-generation aluminum framed design rears it's head!


Same here. I don't know if it will be next year or not but possibly. The MX thumpers have been announced with the update so it's just a matter of time.
Seeing how the 05 just received a makeover it might be another year or so...but we'll see!

  • GlocksRock

Posted June 11, 2005 - 04:05 AM

#14

I own them both and if forced to keep only one I would be in a quandry because I couldn't decide. I think they are pretty similar to each other, actually. I would like to eventually sell one and get something more contrasting, like a ktm 300exc.




 
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