WR450 Reviews -- "East Coast" Riding


12 replies to this topic
  • MOHAWK

Posted October 23, 2005 - 07:27 AM

#1

I'm looking at getting a new bike next spring and I'm strongly considering the 2006 Yamaha WR450F. The bike seems to get great reviews (both here and in magazines).

However, I see more of these bikes being ridden in a West Coast setting. I understand that the bigger bikes are more suitable for open trail/desert. How do these bikes do in more of a East Coast setting?

I would like to hear from folks who ride East of the Mississippi. How does your WR treat you? What does it do well and what are it's weak spots?

FYI...I'm 35 (ridding for 8 years). 6'1" and 210lbs. Riding in and around Missouri offers a wide variety of trails (open, tight, muddy, dusty, hilly, rocky, etc).

Many thanks!!!

  • minion

Posted October 23, 2005 - 08:29 AM

#2

I would like to hear from folks who ride East of the Mississippi. How does your WR treat you? What does it do well and what are it's weak spots?

FYI...I'm 35 (ridding for 8 years). 6'1" and 210lbs. Riding in and around Missouri offers a wide variety of trails (open, tight, muddy, dusty, hilly, rocky, etc).

Many thanks!!!


I love my WR. Its an awesome bike, lots of power, its center of gravity is low, so it handles good in the tight trails.

My only complaint is the thing is tall. I'm 5'11, 190, and on an open field, the height is good, but in the woods, climbing hills, its height can be a downer. When its as tall as it is, and you're going uphill, you can't touch the ground if you need to - so over you go. The bike isn't an MX bike, like the YZ - its a woods bike, and doesn't need a foot of suspension travel to handle the woods. I've never needed that much travel in the woods.

Thats my only gripe. Unfortunately, the only options you have for a shorter bike by Yamaha are the TTR series, which are significantly different in design. KTM's 450 is 2 inches shorter, but pop over to the KTM forum and listen to those guys complain about valve problems, expensive parts, and the availability of parts. The Yamaha will still sound better. :banghead:

BTW: at 210lbs, you'll probably need a different spring on any bike you choose.

M.

  • old man dan

Posted October 23, 2005 - 09:46 AM

#3

I live on the west coast (vancouver island) but don't let that fool you. The riding here is as much like the east as it gets (I grew up in the east). I ride single track through the rain forest; rocks, roots, tight trees and the bike is pretty good. It tends to run hot if the going gets really slow but it's never been a big problem. The height is a bit of an issue but I'm 6'4" so I'm ok with it. I've ridden two strokes for years and this is my first modern four stroke (had a few XR's way back when) and I have to say that I'm very happy with the machine. I think the only time the two stroke would be a big advantage is if you were racing in a really snotty, slow, muddy event and you were having to manhandle the bike out of holes and picking it up a lot. I can ride it for hours without getting tired but when you do get tired it is a beast to drag around. The weight difference is more than they make it out to be. That said I still don't think i'll go back to a two stroke any time soon. Buy the bike and do the free mods and the JD jetting kit (I'll assume the 06 still needs the same things as the 05) and you'll be amazed at what the bike can do. It's better at rocky hill climbs than my last cr250 and most of the time it tires you out less because it just churns out power rather than having a big "hit" in the powerband. I'm sure something like a KTM 300 EXC would be similar. When the trails open up and you can get into fourth and fifth gears you will love the bike. if it's jetted right the response is so crisp you can lift the front end at will and you can run with anything else out there. If you race enduro type events I would get e few more local opinions but if you trail ride or race hare scrambles I would go for it. Is there someone you know that has one you could try? I was lucky enough to be able to test ride a WR 250 and 450 before I bought.

  • Farmer Hank

Posted October 23, 2005 - 04:30 PM

#4

Just getting a 05 WR450 dialed in. The sweet spot of the bike is 3rd and 4th gears on trails open enough to use some POWAHHHH. The bike definitely rewards more aggressive riding. If you take time to uncork and rejet the engine, it does become quite versatile with abundant power mid to top and no nasty surprises at low rpm. Back off the compression damping unless you really like getting hammered. In really tight situations, I'd say it's adequate, but height, weight, agressive engine tuning, lack of flywheel weight, and lack of steering lock all remind you that it's not a trials bike. The more I get it dialed, the more I like it. Unless you're riding really snotty enduros I'd really recommend it highly.

  • SJMC_DON

Posted October 23, 2005 - 07:46 PM

#5

I'm looking at getting a new bike next spring and I'm strongly considering the 2006 Yamaha WR450F. The bike seems to get great reviews (both here and in magazines).

However, I see more of these bikes being ridden in a West Coast setting. I understand that the bigger bikes are more suitable for open trail/desert. How do these bikes do in more of a East Coast setting?

I would like to hear from folks who ride East of the Mississippi. How does your WR treat you? What does it do well and what are it's weak spots?

FYI...I'm 35 (ridding for 8 years). 6'1" and 210lbs. Riding in and around Missouri offers a wide variety of trails (open, tight, muddy, dusty, hilly, rocky, etc).

Many thanks!!!


I'm 6'3" / 220 and live in Western Washington. First let me say that I find myself laughing when the mags are comparing East Coast to West Coast. For whatever reason, everyone thinks that the majority of the west coast resides in Nevada or something :lol:

Anyway, like my fellow Pac Norwestern there from Vancouver Island, I ride what is considered some of the most technical, nasty, rocky, rooty single track around.......... (Reiter, Gold Bar WA), and my 04' performs great. Now having said that, I do know that a lower center of gravity than what my 04' offers would be nice :banghead: I'll ride an EXC every once in a while and I can tell the diffrence but it really is not enough to make me want to give up my WR. You say that you are looking at an 06' and I know that Yamaha lowered the C of G in 05' so I'd say go for it! Believe me......... when you out run and out climb all of those Orange bikes you'll know you made the right choice :banghead:

Good Luck! :busted:

  • Punisher660

Posted October 23, 2005 - 10:18 PM

#6

The bike isn't an MX bike, like the YZ - its a woods bike, and doesn't need a foot of suspension travel to handle the woods. I've never needed that much travel in the woods.

M.



There is a difference of opinion on this. I am a big guy, 6'3 and I weigh a lot more than you guys. I use to race motocross ack in the day before growing the marrage belly. I bought my WR a few weeks ago and have ridden all kinds of terrain with it. This weekend I hit a motocross track, I thought I was going to miss my CR500, but all I can tell you is WOW! I do plan on getting the suspension done (I did bottom off of a 45' table, but considering how much I weigh and the fact it was stock suspension with the clickers turned all the way in, I was impressed) I was hanging with the guys on the KX250s, CRF450s and all the bikes I was expecing to smoke me. It does feel a little heavier ( but really no worse than my CR500 did). The power is impressive. My bike had all the free mods done when I bought it, but is still running a stock pipe and has extra weight with all the guards on it. People say this isn't a MX bike, but it easily could be made into one. Strip all but the necissities and you could competitively race it. (unless you are trying for pro - semi pro stuff, then get a MX bike) I had it at the dunes on one occation, but I did not have a paddle on it and the sand was extremely soft. In this situation the bike felt heavy and difficult to manuever, but I have been spending a lot of time on it and I think with a paddle it would be a blast. (It would not hang with my CR500 on the dunes though). On the single track, the low end grunt is amazing and I had no problems negotiating the tight trees or wheeling up large boulder sections. You do not notice the added weight of the battery/starter once you are riding though. I was still able to pull whips (not totally flat, but that is the rider not the bike) and with a suspension upgrade, I feel confident that I will soon be hitting the triples at the local track again (if my skills allow :banghead: ) - overall, I have owned several bikes and quads (currently have a YFZ450) and the WR is the most well rounded machine I have ever owned! It will not be perfect in every aspect, but it is damn close :banghead: Personally I would recommend you get a CRFX or something else, but thats only because I don't want any real competition :lol:
Any how, thats my $.02 - sory for the long post

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  • MOHAWK

Posted October 24, 2005 - 05:56 AM

#7

Thanks for all the replys!

I should have known better...not including the "West Coast" guys that ride the tight nasty stuff was a mistake. I appreciate your comments...my bad.

:banghead:

  • morkys

Posted October 24, 2005 - 08:24 AM

#8

You do not notice the added weight of the battery/starter once you are riding though. I was still able to pull whips (not totally flat, but that is the rider not the bike) and with a suspension upgrade, I feel confident that I will soon be hitting the triples at the local track again (if my skills allow :banghead: )


I'm so not into the jargon...what does pulling whips mean? ..lol..

:banghead:

  • Punisher660

Posted October 24, 2005 - 11:18 AM

#9

A "whip" is a MX manuver where you "whip" the back end of the bike to one side or the other. It is a useful technique when used properly for setting up a turn that immediately follows a jump. It can also be used for "scrubbing" or reducing speed off of a jump (this is also termed a "Bubba Scrub" after James Stewart). I'm sure you have seen it many time, it is used for showing off mostly. If you learn to weight the bike as you leave the face of the jump, you can lay it flat into a "tabletop". I'm still working on that one though.....tougher than it sounds.
These moves are much easier to do on a lightweight MX bike, thats why I was so impressed at how easy it was on the WR.

  • ttrGirlrider

Posted October 24, 2005 - 12:07 PM

#10

Hey there great thread... My hubby is considering getting the WR450f also. (He was impressed with my yamaha). ANYWAY, he is about 6'1 or so also. He is thinking it will be great for the "Northeast" riding we do. His one bitch is.. registration! If he gets the 450 it will be harder, if he gets the 250 there is some loop hole that if the bike is under a certain cc's you get the title which means you can get it registered but can't get it legally inspected. He is a total adrenaline junky so I told him to stick with the 450! I guess what Im saying is that if you are an adrenaline junky like my husband and don't care about registration... get the 450!!!! Sorry for the ramble!

  • morkys

Posted October 24, 2005 - 01:50 PM

#11

Ok, gotcha. I am familiar with lots of the old jargon like cross-up and table top. Heck, I used to bmx and skate-board and have snowboarded and so there was plenty of "manouver" jargon to go around. I am sure I have "whipped" on my mountain bike before. Thing is with a whip or table top, what in the heck do you do if you can't bring the bike back around straight enough when you're landing. Yikes! Of course, it takes practice. :banghead:

  • Punisher660

Posted October 24, 2005 - 04:02 PM

#12

If you are pulling big air and can't get the whip (tabletop or whatever else you want to call it) to come back, you tuck your head down as far as you can, and lift either leg as high as you can. From here (it should resemble a heel clicker) and you should kiss you A$$ goodbye because its going to hurt :banghead:

Other than that, do the opposite of what you did to get the bike in the position to begin with. I.E. - if you pulled the bar up on the right, then push down on the right - start small and practice. :lol:

Easiest way to get the hang of it without getting hurt is:
use a bicycle (I used my kids BMX)
face a wall, and place the front wheel firmly up against the wall
push hard enough against the wall so that the back wheel is off the ground
with the back wheel off of the ground, apply a slight downward force to the left grip (also letting up slightly on the right grip) you will see that the back wheel begins to move to one side (it should be moving to your right I think)
Now do the opposite (push down on the right and let up on the left grips and the back wheel will move the opposite direction.

This is what it feels like to whip the WR and thats how you bring it back - add body english and different jump approach for varied effects. (Sorry to be off topic) :banghead:

  • morkys

Posted October 24, 2005 - 04:33 PM

#13

Wow. I think I'll start with jumping straight up and down, going a little farther each time, maybe throw in a cross-up somewhere for that rush of risk. Thanx for the advice though. It may come in handy.

:banghead:




 
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