Aluminum vs. Steel frame


18 replies to this topic
  • Long_Range

Posted April 30, 2006 - 05:54 PM

#1

What are the pros and cons of an aluminum frame vs. a steel frame.
Steel has more resistance to stress fatigue, is smaller in cross section so there is more room for other bike parts (more compact package), easier to weld if it does crack.
In Honda's case the the CRF450X gained more weight than did the WR450F compared to their motocross brothers even though the WR has a steel frame.
Also, I read about some aluminum frames are too stiff (although I can't imagine how that could be).
Is aluminum better? Or not?

Long Range

  • odonnks

Posted May 01, 2006 - 02:11 AM

#2

Aluminum = Much stiffer. Different suspension is required to get the same feel. The nature of steel permits it to flex repeatedly. IF Aluminum is forced to flex at the same magnitude as steel it'll fatague and break very quickly. Hence the suspension is required to take more.
If you doubt it, hunt down a steel frame mountain bike and a Al frame one, Both with no suspenstion. The Al framed one will about kill you on bumps.

The problem I see with the AL perimeter frames is how tough it'll be to get at the carb for work. Yeah it does permit the tank to go between the frame and lower the center of gravity (CG) but as often as we like to get at the carb...
If they go Al i'll wait for the AL frame w/EFI and just hook the computer up.

  • Matty05

Posted May 01, 2006 - 03:12 AM

#3

If they go Al i'll wait for the AL frame w/EFI and just hook the computer up.

That's my intention! :crazy:

  • odonnks

Posted May 01, 2006 - 07:45 AM

#4

Electronically adjusting the jetting instead of tearing into it will be great !

To be honest there are a good many combinations I'd like to try to get a feel for the differences but when it runs as good as it does now I don't want to take the time.

  • TWILES

Posted May 01, 2006 - 02:33 PM

#5

Not to sound like a kid but My pro's toward alluminum is that it looks COOL, doesn't rust, and doesn't have to be painted. Lets be honest. The WR is a little goofy looking with the head light and tail light. BUT, you put the alluminum YZ looking frame on it and it will look mean. Some guys a bitching because they will have to pull the subframe to get the the carb and that does suck. Surely you will be able to turn the carb enough to get to the bottom. Thats good enough for me. If you look the Yamaha GNCC guys are running YZ's. I look at the the possibility of the WR getting an alluminum frame like MABEY the WR will be Yamaha's new GNCC bike. Mike Lafferty is running the KTM XC 450. A more RACE READY WR would be awsome.

  • bluebike1999

Posted May 01, 2006 - 02:47 PM

#6

market demand,
the, 'they've got it, i want it' factor.

  • Indy_WR450

Posted May 01, 2006 - 03:21 PM

#7

If they go aluminum you better wait for good aftermarket frame guards.
I eat thru my Devol aluminum frame guards and the stock sub frames! My replacement subframe cost over $300. I wonder what a replacement Aluminum main frame would cost! :ride: Aluminum is very difficult to repair and weld compared to our steel frames. :crazy:

  • Seabass

Posted May 01, 2006 - 06:57 PM

#8

Not to sound like a kid but My pro's toward alluminum is that it looks COOL, doesn't rust, and doesn't have to be painted. Lets be honest. The WR is a little goofy looking with the head light and tail light. BUT, you put the alluminum YZ looking frame on it and it will look mean. Some guys a bitching because they will have to pull the subframe to get the the carb and that does suck. Surely you will be able to turn the carb enough to get to the bottom. Thats good enough for me. If you look the Yamaha GNCC guys are running YZ's. I look at the the possibility of the WR getting an alluminum frame like MABEY the WR will be Yamaha's new GNCC bike. Mike Lafferty is running the KTM XC 450. A more RACE READY WR would be awsome.


You're kidding right? Buy a bike because it works, not cuz it looks bitchin'. If ya want a race ready WR buy a YZ!! Don't like headlight and tail lights? Buy A YZ!! Want an aluminum frame? Buy a YZ!! The WR will never be the bike of choice for GNCC racing, they're too heavy and aren't the nimblest of bikes in the woods. Now if ya wanna race desert a WR can be made into a pretty potent race bike. Heck, Ty Davis sent his "B" team to the 24 Hour test on a WR with the electric starter removed. The one "bling" item you don't get on a YZ is a five speed tranny!!!

My personal preference is a steel framed WR with EFI!!! I'd buy that.

  • Matty05

Posted May 01, 2006 - 08:08 PM

#9

You're kidding right? Buy a bike because it works, not cuz it looks bitchin'.

:crazy:
Rule number 1. It has to look bitchin'. You wouldn't buy it if it didn't.
Why did you buy a WR over a DRZ? Because they look better.
Every bike works.............

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  • black_n_blue_thumper

Posted May 02, 2006 - 09:48 AM

#10

The problem I see with the AL perimeter frames is how tough it'll be to get at the carb for work.

It sux to get work on the carb on my YZ. The subframe (air box and all), tank, and shock all have to come out to get the carb out, which is really the only way to work on it. :crazy: :ride: :ride: :lol: :cheers:

  • odonnks

Posted May 02, 2006 - 10:40 AM

#11

It sux to get work on the carb on my YZ. The subframe (air box and all), tank, and shock all have to come out to get the carb out, which is really the only way to work on it. :ride: :ride: :lol: :cheers: :cheers:




That's the biggest reason I'll pass on an AL frame WR untill they come with EFI. Who wants to go thru all that on a woods bike? :crazy:

  • clark4131

Posted May 02, 2006 - 11:08 AM

#12

The one "bling" item you don't get on a YZ is a five speed tranny!!!


The new YZF has a 5-speed now :crazy: ...SC

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted May 02, 2006 - 12:22 PM

#13

A big negative with older bikes is that Steel will rust from the inside in humid climates. I would like to see more frames plated like the Gas Gas bikes. Yamaha should at least powder coat the frames. The blue paint rubbed off after a single ride. Aluminum is easy to chip, grind, wear .... I have had serious gouges taken out of my swing arm by a rock.

  • Seabass

Posted May 02, 2006 - 04:41 PM

#14

:crazy:
Rule number 1. It has to look bitchin'. You wouldn't buy it if it didn't.
Why did you buy a WR over a DRZ? Because they look better.
Every bike works.............


I bought the WR over the DRZ cuz the DRZ is a pile of crap!! I prefer to use the function over form theorem when buying dirt bikes, otherwise I'd ride a VOR!!
I gotta admit that the DRZ is one ugly bike :ride:

  • Seabass

Posted May 02, 2006 - 04:42 PM

#15

The new YZF has a 5-speed now :ride: ...SC

Touche' SC!! I thought they were coming out with a five speed next year :crazy:

  • MountainMax

Posted May 02, 2006 - 05:19 PM

#16

Im not sure either that the small bit of weight savings is worth it, however it does look kewl.

  • TWILES

Posted May 02, 2006 - 05:19 PM

#17

Touche' SC!! I thought they were coming out with a five speed next year :crazy:

they come out this year...........Yamaha guy huh
IF I wanted a 2-stroke I would have bought one. The difference in the 2-stroke and 4-stroke WR is 30lbs. The KTM is actually showing to be a pound more. A YZF is not made for the woods. why would I want one of them? You sound like the type that would have been better off with the DRZ. You obviously think my opinions are stupid. I think your's are too. There is nothing wrong with progress. You can keep your bike and defend it until it rust into. I'm not. I don't get emotionaly attatched to mine. Mabey you should have got a HONDA. :ride:

  • solocojo

Posted May 02, 2006 - 05:46 PM

#18

:crazy:
Rule number 1. It has to look bitchin'. You wouldn't buy it if it didn't.
Why did you buy a WR over a DRZ? Because they look better.
Every bike works.............


&%$#@!? I own an '05 DRZ and an '06 WR450f , yeah maybe every bike works, but some do not work as well. Give me the WR with a plate (working on it) and the DRZ is gone. No comparison in handling or power.

  • MountainMax

Posted May 03, 2006 - 02:48 AM

#19

WHy do people compare our WR's with DRZ's?




 
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