WR450 as Enduro bike??

36 replies to this topic
  • Bandit9

Posted April 16, 2006 - 07:37 PM


The vital info:
6'1 200 lb
B level enduro rider, probably point out into A for 2007
Current race bike: KX250 2 stroke with a 310 kit
Previous race bike: YZ250F
Other background info:
First child will be coming this year and will need a bike that I can live with for maybe 3 or 4 years. I need to get the right bike for me, because my lovely wife informed me that I won't be getting another for a while. Since she is cool enough to let me have bought 3 bikes and raced like a freak the last 4 years, I will stick to her wishes. She is keeper. :thumbsup:

The issue:
I will not be racing for points the next few years. Mainly, I want to go and do some select events that I have always wanted to go do, but always had a schedule or budget issue preventing me from doing them. Stuff like the Alligator Enduro, a Hare and Hound or two out west, San Felipe 250, that sort of stuff. I don't really want a 4 stroke to race with, been there, done that. But, the 2 stroke gets poor gas mileage and makes a crappy long distance dual sport. I want to start doing some dual sport riding in Baja and will likely race the Baja 1000 with my next bike. Just to say I did it, not a serious effort. You know, like taking pics and sleeping for an hour at the gas stops. However, the main purpose of the WR450 would be as an Eastern style Enduro race bike. I take enduros more serious and still want to do as well as I can. I have buddies I want to beat. That sort of thing. I am pretty much stuck to having to get a 4 stroke for the dual sport stuff. I can live with that. As long as I have the electric start, I can deal with the extra weight and expense.

Part 2: I didn't have any reliability issues with my YZF and I would buy another over a Honda, Kaw, or Suz. Out of the Jap bikes, only Honda makes what I am looking for and as of right now, and I am not drinking the 450x Kool-aid. I know quite a few owners on the Honda X's who have had problems. The DRZ isn't what I want either. I am familiar with the Yamaha, so now it's out of the WR450f, GasGas 450, Husky TE450, KTM 450EXC. The last 3 are street legal out the box. GasGas doesn't really have their 450 together yet and I am not interested in being a guinea pig. So both the Husky and KTM are about $600 $800 more expensive, but by the time you dual sport the WR and add a Hydaulic clutch and decent chain, to compare apples to apples, they are all close enough that price isn't an issue. I don't really care how the bike will handle out west, I want the best one for tight technical enduro stuff. A 250F won't cut it. Too much damn work to go fast. I am a big boy and the 250F didn't have enough grunt down low for me, so I had to gear it low and ring the crap out of it like a 125 to get it to work. Plus cruising at above 45 mph isn't the 250F's greatest strength. So I am not interested in a 250F even though I know it will handle better in the tight stuff. I don't mind having to deal with the bigger 450. I'm used to dealing with a lot of power in the woods after spending the last two seasons with a 310cc MX 2 stroke in the woods. I am spoiled by the grunt.

So my question is why would I want the WR450 over the Husky or KTM for my needs? I believe the KTM and Yamaha are both proven bikes to me. So far, the Husky seems to be holding up in the same way. So I am not scared to buy any of them. All the dealers here locally suck ass and I will be buying out of state. So, buying the bike from the "best local dealer" doesn't apply here. From what I have read, the KTM seems to be a better choice for the type of riding I will do with it. Not really a KTM kind of guy, plus I look better in blue. :thumbsup: I would rather buy a Yamaha. So I am looking for someone to please prevent me from joining the masses and putting an ugly orange and black Euro bike in the back of my truck.

Thanks for reading,

Chris Blanco

  • freestyle250

Posted April 16, 2006 - 07:50 PM


I would say Yamaha for the simple fact of reliability, and cost of repair. You are going to pay more for KTM parts (im told, not speaking from experience here). Also, street legalizing the WR isnt as bad as some people think. There is a guy on here that sells a "barely street legal" kit that includes a mirror, license plate, horn, and all the necessary wiring to make the rear brake light work when its applied. You dont need a hi-low beam, second mirror, front brake light or blinkers. At least not if it doesnt come off the floor with it. And this kit was only like 90 bucks, and then the licensing and registering fees after that. So you can legalize the WR for fairly cheap, and its a reliable kit, i've ridden hard off road on mine for a year now and its still in great shape. Thats a WR owners opinion. Slightly biased, yes.

  • Indy_WR450

Posted April 16, 2006 - 07:53 PM


You have to consider the husky when you can buy a new one for $4,200. They are a steal right now in the US. Resale on them stinks but you can make the decsion based on how long you intend to keep her. They are very good handling bikes and weigh almost the same as the others. I rode in Moab with a guy who loves his a few weeks ago. He is going to buy another for his son. :thumbsup:

  • Bandit9

Posted April 16, 2006 - 08:12 PM


Indy, I am very much considering the Husky. I want an 07 though. I have been on an 02 and I want to bump up to modern times. The only reason I am leaning KTM is b/c of the very consistent opinion that the KTM handles better in the tight stuff and I am not crazy about the close ratio tranny on the Husky. How does 6th gear cruising at 50mph make the motor feel on the Husky? I know it is allegedly super stable at speed, especially when compared to the skittish KTM, but I want the best bike for tight nasty crap. I willing to give up the high speed long distance handling.

  • dbailey223

Posted April 16, 2006 - 08:24 PM


I've had big Huskies, grew up on Honda XRs, and have a 03 Yamaha WR 450. For stock power and acceleration, it's hard to beat the big Huskies. For stability at speed and in the uck, it's hard to beat the Husky. I have not ridden the 06 Husky TE 450, but I've read extensively on the Husky forum here in TT that it outturns, outhandles, etc. most bikes in the tight stuff.

Parts are a little trickier for the Husky because you don't have a 5 local Husky shops in every city like you do the Jap bikes. But, availability and price are much better than say 5 years ago, with internet and mail ordering being pretty quick now.

For the Baja, the HUsky guys would say go the Husky 510 or 610 because it's better at handling the higher speeds for sustained periods of time. But, if you're doing the Baja not as a Baja monster as it appears from your post, the Husky 450 or WR 450 would probably both do, though I'd go Husky for its stability.

  • dbailey223

Posted April 16, 2006 - 08:31 PM


Indy, where can you find a new Husky for $4200? Is that an 04 leftover still in the crate? Just curious because what I've read in the Husky forum, the Huskies are backordered, etc. for 06 and going for $7k+ ?

  • Bandit9

Posted April 17, 2006 - 05:00 PM


140 views and only 5 replies. Interesting.

Yeah Indy, I assumed you were talking about 04 or 05 TE450's. If you are talking about 06's, then give up the dealer.

  • solocojo

Posted April 17, 2006 - 05:30 PM


The WR450 will take the least work and money out of the box to be a full blown racer. Good luck finding a TE anything as they are mostly sold out for '06. For reliability and longevity with the least maintainance and expense go with the WR450.


  • Bandit9

Posted April 17, 2006 - 06:02 PM


I don't believe that. I think it is pretty even. Your looking at an easy $1000 to get any bike "really" race ready. For example:

Suspension revalve, no matter what bike you buy. $300-$400
Tires, ain't no way I am racing on Dunlop 739's. S-12's $130
Damper mount with ICO mount $70
Bar clamp for Damper $70
bigger fuel tank $170-$225
frame and rotor guards $100
Seat $100
Handguards $90
Auto Clutch isn't %100 necessary, but it is damn close! I have put them on my last two bikes. $500
Boyesen Quick Shot $80
I already have a Scott's damper, so that saves quite a bit.

I could be missing a few essentials, but that is the reality. That list is actually over $1000.
So essentially, the fact that one bike might appear to more "race ready out of the crate", I don't believe that to be the case between the WR, EXC, and TE. Maybe I am wrong, I don't know.

You agree with that accessment?

  • 00YZ426FMRCD

Posted April 17, 2006 - 06:15 PM


So essentially, the fact that one might appear to more "race ready of the crate", I don't believe that to be the case between the WR, EXC, and TE.

From what I have seen & read, the EXC and TE are much more race ready out of the crate than the WR. Just my opinion on 1st hand glance at what people are riding at various races I have participated in and been to...

My order of vote would for an Enduro bike - If I had the money to spend would be: EXC, WR, TE. Only concern with the TE would be parts availability. Why not stick with your modified KX? Many of the guys winning GNCC's and Enduro's still ride 2-Strokes....I honestly think a 300 cc 2-Stroke is the perfect weapon for the woods.

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  • kieethes

Posted April 17, 2006 - 06:17 PM


I hear that the KTM bikes are breaking spokes if you even look at dirt. Even if they fixed the problem, what does that say for the quality and testing done to the bikes before they were shipped.

  • Bandit9

Posted April 17, 2006 - 06:32 PM


The KX is a good woods mount. That is why I got it. But, the KX will suck as a dual sport, even after I dropped the $600 plus into a stator and DS Kit. Gas mileage is bad. Having to haul around pre-mix will be a pain. As would the jetting being more sensitive at higher elevations. Short ratio tranny will not work. If I could have two bikes, for sure a GasGas 300DE would be my weapon of choice. But, two bikes isn't going to fly with my lovely bride. I must use the equity in the KX towards the purchase of the next bike.

Breaking spokes? Never heard of that on any late model bike. Atleast not being a widespead problem. Individual spokes are cheap. No worries.


Posted April 17, 2006 - 08:15 PM


The 06 WR makes a great enduro machine. Id own it over the KTM or other Euro machine (been there...not overly impressed, but not turned off either) :thumbsup:

The WR is:
Easier to maintain
Has a motor that will outlive you...
Equal in handling in the woods to the EXC (I think)
Easier to DS
More stable at speed

The EXC has......6th gear which is about the ONLY benefit I can come up with having put much time on both machines.

But thats my .02 cents. Ridden stricktly Yamis for eons. Owned a Zuk for a bit and dabbled in orange. Now I work for Yami....go figure :thumbsup:

  • tony1970

Posted April 17, 2006 - 08:45 PM


I love my WR. I think for the money you can't beat the overall package of speed, handling, and reliability. Plus in '07 they may come out with the new frame for it. I have ridden the KTM's and they are awesome, but I did not like the rear linkage set up. Made the rear end feel mushy and not connected to the ground to me. A KTM is about as Euro as I would go after hearing a parts counter customer claim that it took him 3 weeks to get a part for his Husky. No thanks. I guess you could not lose with any of the bikes so happy hunting.

  • pkcof

Posted April 18, 2006 - 01:51 AM


is the WR a good enduro bike ? - just ask Stefan Merriman - how mant titles was it again ??

  • Beejay

Posted April 18, 2006 - 04:37 AM


The WR's reputation & your first post says it all.

At the end of the day only you can decide.

  • WR450F_RDR

Posted April 18, 2006 - 05:47 AM


another vote for the WR. It makes a great dual sport bike, but please realize the bike is a pig compared to like a YZ250F or even an 06 YZ450F when it comes to tight technical trails it can be a handful to move around. I would wait to see if they come out with a new aluminum framed WR for 07 myself. This is what I plan to do when it comes time to replace my WR.

  • R_Little

Posted April 18, 2006 - 07:03 AM


another vote for the WR. It makes a great dual sport bike, but please realize the bike is a pig compared to like a YZ250F or even an 06 YZ450F when it comes to tight technical trails it can be a handful to move around. I would wait to see if they come out with a new aluminum framed WR for 07 myself. This is what I plan to do when it comes time to replace my WR.

Yup, the WR will feel like a tank compared to a KX250...but you'll get used to it. I ride a Husky Wr250 and a yamaha Wr444 in enduros. I do better with the Husky in the tight and better with the yamaha in the open stuff. Seem to get a little more tired on the Yamaha.

  • GCannon

Posted April 18, 2006 - 08:09 AM


You forgot to add an exhaust pipe to your list. Lets face it any one of those three bike will get the job done well. You may be splitting hairs. the WR has the most bullet proof engine since you are stuck with it for several years of hard riding. I believe maybe someone could correct em if i am wrong but the Husky comes with a one year warranty. The KTM will be more expensive to operate but handle better in the tight stuff . The husky and wr will be much better in the fast and long range stuff. I hope you are not losing too much sleep over this one


Posted April 18, 2006 - 08:17 AM


As long as you don't mind doing the maintenance on the valves buy the KTM, but if you think spending alot of hours wrenching is going to be a problem go with the yami. My buddy bought a 450 exc about three weeks ago and I bought a wr a couple of months ago. I am still riding while he is trying to figure out how to adjust his valves. I am not saying the exc is unreliable, because only time will tell in our side by side comparison through out this summer, but one thing is for sure his does require more maintenance. Some thing to consider especially for a newly married man. :thumbsup:


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