WR 450 Maintenance

46 replies to this topic
  • clark4131

Posted August 28, 2005 - 02:33 PM


What was this thread about? I can't remember anymore.

And to get back on track...Trading an XR for a WR and the maintenance issues that may arise. Compare and contrast, etc., etc. But wait, I digress :D ...SC

  • item

Posted August 29, 2005 - 04:56 AM


It would be good if we were to get back on track. I am in exactly the same position of looking to buy a wr 450f and was wondering about the maintenance. When people say there is more maintenance involved than an xr, How much more is more? and more importantly, can it be done by the average punter? Sorry if I hijacked the thread. Is this considered poor form. :D

  • mcoulter

Posted August 29, 2005 - 08:25 AM


One irritant I've found in my older WR (2000 400f) is access to the spark plug. Owning only older 2strokes in the past - I took this for granted. I can't say if the newer bikes are easier to get at, but on mine I have to take off the tank to get to the plug AND then use a wobbly socket to access it. Again I know it's a minor thing (mine has yet to fowl a plug) but it's bugs me none-the-less.

  • SPDFRK450

Posted August 30, 2005 - 07:09 AM


My cousin has an XR650R. It has so much torque when I ask him what gear he is in when he takes a section he says "man I just put my bike in drive". I like the XR's for what they are and the 80's are the perfect little bike to pound on, but theres no question I will go blue again.

  • ifitaintbluitspoo

Posted August 31, 2005 - 01:20 AM


It's a shame you don't know what you are talking about. Tranny's going South right and left? Show me a post that substantiates that! We (CRF/X forum) can't find the two people that claimed this happened. No one will post that this really has happened by giving the serial number of the bike and the dealer that is doing the work. I've never understood the "brand loyalty" thing where you have to bash the other brand to sway someone else to buy the same thing you have. It's best for everyone on this forum to present facts and only facts.

Now I heard that all the WR's out there were leaking oil out of the cases because of poor castings. I know it's true 'cause I read it somewhere on the internet!

Just looking through website seems awsome but I have heard the same thing about CRF 450x. transmissions. Side Track magazine (Australian trail bike magazine) went to test two of the bikes both had transmission problems maybe if you wanted to get a copy of the article you could get in contact with Side track.

  • moach1

Posted August 31, 2005 - 09:39 AM


the xr needs to be updated. i was in the same boat, xr650 or wr450. decided to go with new tech. plus all my buddies ride 650s, gotta be different!! both excellent bikes.

  • glasseye

Posted August 31, 2005 - 09:48 AM


It would be good if we were to get back on track. I am in exactly the same position of looking to buy a wr 450f and was wondering about the maintenance. When people say there is more maintenance involved than an xr, How much more is more? and more importantly, can it be done by the average punter? Sorry if I hijacked the thread. Is this considered poor form. :D

Well, my buddy rides an XR. I think he changed the oil... last year once. He might have even cleaned the air filter. Yep, he neglects the hell out of the maintenence, but in all my riding time with him, the XR has NEVER left him stranded!

I was always checking valves, or changing oil, or replacing wheel bearings, or adjusting jetting, or...?????. Made his XR start looking rather desireable!

Never did see him replacing complete top ends (which would probable cost 1/2 as much as a WR), or splitting the case to replace crankshafts.

All in all.... Maybe I just got a lemon!!

  • JTWR450

Posted August 31, 2005 - 09:54 AM


I have owned 4 XR's in the past; a 600, two 250's (one of which I mad into a 280) and a 400. The XR lineup is a sweet machine, no questions. Everyone knows the motor is a bullet proof as it can get but the lack of suspension and outdated technology has made the XR somewhat out dated by today's high performance thumpers. I know the XR will always have a place as a goat trail machine that goes anywhere you want it to and will never leave you stranded 20 miles form nowhere. The truth is that the WR is as bullet proof a machine as they make them by today's standards. I know people that have run the piss out of the WR/YZ and the beast comes back and asks for more. As for maintenance it is damn near the same except more often. Oil changes every 200 miles or so and air cleaners as needed. I have put 1300 miles on my 04 WR450 with no problems at all. The valves are still in spec and the only thing I have done is change oil and put new tires on the bike. I am NO wrench head and moving from the XR to ANYTHING else was scary as I don't like to twist wrenches much. This bike has been nothing but a joy to ride and I would not give it up for anything else out there. Sure, KTM makes a good bike (I had an 03 MXC) but the dealers are a few and far between in my area and the Honda line up has just seen a few to many issues to warrant $7000 bucks on a bike that needs MUCHO wrenching compared to the WR. I would say goodbye to the BRP (big red pig) and come over to the Blue side. You will not regret it in the least.

  • story_rtw

Posted August 31, 2005 - 10:12 AM


I traded up from a '97 XR400 to an '05 WR450 this year. Here's what I found.

I've got about 1200 miles on the WR now. I adjusted one intake valve at about 300 miles. Since then I've checked them twice more but the clearances haven't changed since my first check. The good news is that I'm getting better at checking the valve clearances - takes me about an hour now!

I used to check my Honda valves a couple of times a year. They were so easy to get to and adjust that I just did it as part of regular maintenance, before long rides, etc. One for the XR!

I change the oil on the WR about as frequently as I did on the XR - about every 300 miles. I know some people on this forum change their oil much more frequently but I use high-quality semi-synthetic oil and keep an eye on it and it seems fine. (Here's something that will make some of you cringe - I just rode the Colorado 500 and did not change my oil for almost 700 miles! Foolish? Maybe, but the oil on the dipstick still looks clean. I'll be changing it now that I'm back home of course!)

Oil changes on the WR take a little longer than on the XR because of the numerous (!) drain plugs. Still, an oil change takes only about 20 minutes.

Air filter maintenance is the same on both bikes. Same with tires, chain, etc.

The WR has the extra overhead for coolant, but I haven't had to do anything but add a little water to the overflow tank. My WR has not boiled over yet and we did some pretty slow and tight trails (read Alpine Trail) on the Colorado 500. In fact, several of my friends on KTMs looked like steam clouds on some of the trails (note - I'm not bashing KTM here! :D )

As for performance, the WR walks away from (literally) the XR. There's really no comparison in power, suspension, handling, etc. One for the WR!

But for comfort the WR is way behind the XR. The seat is hard and there is considerably more vibration. I'm willing to sacrifice some comfort for the extra performance, but I find it harder to do the long 200+ mile days that were easy on the XR. And speaking of long days, the XR got better gas mileage than the WR making for fewer gas stops, even with the Acerbis tank on my WR.

We'll see how the WR holds up over time. My XR had zero problems in over 4,000 miles. That's a pretty tough record to beat. From what I hear the WRs are pretty bulletproof too.

So in summary my experience is that the WR is not that much more work/maintenance than the XR. In all it's been a good tradeup to the WR. As usual, your mileage may vary :D


  • TwoBobRob

Posted August 31, 2005 - 11:21 AM


I'm the second owner of my WR450, it has covered about 6000 miles or so. It has been 100% reliable. I change the oil every other ride or 200 miles (whichever comes first) and the filter is changed every other oil swap. I too use a good semi-synth, it takes just over a litre for oil and filter - no expensive at all in the grand scheme of things.

I had a cam chain fitted about 1000 miles ago (for peace of mind) and the clearances checked, everything was within tolerance. I do a fair amount of supermoto (road) work and I think this is the hardest abuse my bike gets - long periods of time at very high RPM. The bike gives me no problems. Ever. :D

I honestly don't think there are any real issues with these bikes; if you fancy one then go get it!! I will say this though... If its an '03 you're thinking of (same as mine) I wouldn't reccommend holding it on the starter for long periods of time - they have been known to grenade - although I personally do not know of one that has done it. My bike starts just fine, always on the button (i've only ever kicked it for fun) just be sure to use short bursts on the button only.

Other than that, it's all good. Enjoy. :D

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  • Joe Reitman

Posted August 31, 2005 - 04:52 PM


"Oil changes on the WR take a little longer than on the XR because of the numerous (!) drain plugs. Still, an oil change takes only about 20 minutes."

I drained it just using frame bolt and bottom engine bolt. Is it recommended to drain every single one?

  • dman450f

Posted August 31, 2005 - 05:08 PM


hey joe,from what I have read and what I do is the same as you,the frame and engine bolt..gets 99 % of the oil out.... :D

  • RC81

Posted August 31, 2005 - 10:42 PM


I was wondering that myself last night when changing oil, why so many drain plugs? As long as your changing regularly I dont think you have to do them all. It looked like most of it came out the bottom plug anyway.

  • flatnacker

Posted August 31, 2005 - 10:45 PM


You would be surprised how much will come out from the the other drain plugs-just see fer ya self!!

  • Joe Reitman

Posted September 01, 2005 - 01:37 PM


You would be surprised how much will come out from the the other drain plugs-just see fer ya self!!

More than .2 ltr? I change oil regularly, but if it is a significant amount, I may rethink my strategy...

  • rtrolli69

Posted September 01, 2005 - 07:45 PM


Damn things can blow up,the forum I mean...Let me say I have rode&raced Hondas for 20 years..in 2003 my brother bought a 03 WR450 because Honda didnt make a Wide Ratio electric start 4stroke he says hes done racing motox.In 05 I decide to buy a bike again and ride with my big bro..For once in my life I could buy what I wanted not ride what I could afford!!I rode my brothers WR & was impressed new tech on 4strokes I said..going from CR250'sbut being a younger sibling & he strayed to YAMAHA I tried to buy a 450X...the local dealer wanted $600 over msrp..The YAMAHA was 1000.00 less.. so being a wrking man you know what I bought.My 1st YAMAHA and I love this thing,IVE bolted on performance,may I say this thing is a sleeper in stock form@!!AS for HONDAS losing their trannys its all on the I-NET..I dont think its wide spread but its in a production run!!!1st time fate was a plus in my life!!Sorry so long,just ease up &ride!!

  • Joe Reitman

Posted September 01, 2005 - 07:54 PM


Got lazy tonight- just did 2 bolts again, at 182 miles, oil looked great. Anyone know how much I am missing not draining other ones?

  • RC81

Posted September 01, 2005 - 10:45 PM


I dont think much. If you do the bottom crankcase bolt first nothing comes out on the upper one on the frame. When I drained the others not enough came out to make it worthwile. There will always be some old oil left no matter what. Next time you drain it using just the two bolts measure how much comes out versus what it takes. That will give you an idea of how much is left inside.

  • poffer

Posted September 13, 2005 - 05:27 AM


Just checked valve clearence, exhaust was ok but all three intake valves was to tight... Bike has 470miles on it.

  • trawl

Posted December 27, 2005 - 01:53 PM


hi am chris from uk, ive got an 05 450 and 4 tight at 300km


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