WR426 Handling (how is it?)Overall Grade



1 reply to this topic
  • SoderholmD

Posted February 25, 2002 - 07:19 AM

#1

Thinking about getting a Wr426 for enduro/harescrambles work. All i read on this bike is this
1. Really rippin motor
2. Great suspension
3. Handles like a pig in tighter conditions
4. Solid as an anvil.
District 23 is a mix of tight woods work (not hawkins ranch tight) with farm field courses conecting the woods. For those of you that have this bike, Is the handling for tighter work really that bad and is it reaaly topheavy? Give your impressions with an overall evaluation. Thanks a bunch!!The alternative I'm looking at is a KTM 300. :)

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  • mcarp

Posted February 25, 2002 - 09:23 AM

#2

All the items you mentioned are true.

Stock out of crate , the WR is a bit topheavy.
Stock tires are terrible for mud/snow/sand/loose terrain. A lot of weight is up high-stock boat anchor exhaust, huge tank, coolant overflow bottle, etc. Also it's designed for fast riding, therefore it's very stable at the cost of quick handling. Contrast with 2 smokes that are usually quick handling, yet get a little twitchy and unstable at high speeds. There's a tradeoff no matter what.

However like any bike, they can be modified to suite slightly different purposes.

Think of the WR as a desert bike! Very stable, willing to go very fast and take abuse. By making a few changes, some free, some not you can introduce the term "tight handling" on a WR.

IMHO, the things you can do improve handling, in order or priority.

1.) Tires. Match tires to your terrain. I love the Michilin S12's for mud/clay, yet they are a little squirly on hardpack. The stock tires would wash out at the forecast of rain...creating a frustrating and dangerous condition.

2.) Suspension setup. Adjust sag, respring for yor weight, and revalve for riding conditions(revalving optional)

3.) YZ/seat tank. Allows you to ride more forward getting more weight on the front for turns. Only use enough fuel to get you home, don't overfill the tank (excessive weight up high)

4.) Push forks up in the triple clamps between 7-13mm. The more you push them up, the quicker it will steer, at the expense of stability for higher speeds runs. I run a Scotts damper which controls the instability at high speeds, so I can run my forks up pretty high in the clamps for the quickest handling.

5.) Remove a link from the chain or use a 52 rear sprocket. This will push the rear wheel forward slightly, creating a shorter wheelbase. The 52 rear will give you added crawling ability and more torque, too!

6.) New handlebar with a bend that suites you best. This is usually a personal thing. A straighter bar allows your wrists to be fairly straight and will keep your elbows up where they should be. A narrow bar will be harder to turn s there's less leverage, yet will snake though trees better. I use a tall, flat, wide bar (Tag X5 Cr-double high bend) and run alum handguards.

7.) Remove overflow tank, use aftermarket (quiet!) pipe, change to YZ rear fender/front plate. This will reduce some weight up high. I marked this last, others may have ranked this higher.

After these items which will transform the handling considerably, ergonomic changes will help you control the beast further in any condition. If you are tall, tall bars/bar risers will be something you'll want to look into. Maybe even a tall seat foam with the new YZ seat? A lot of people have bought aftermarket top triple clamps which allow you to position the bar further forward, too. You have to be comfortable on the bike to ride it to it's potential.

Stock the bike was the limiting factor, now I am the limiting factor!

Even after all this, you may borrow a ride on a stock CR250 or KTM and think "How, that handles tight!".

So if you aren't willing to spend a little $ and time on the above, I wouldn't get the WR for single track/tight woods.

I ride Southern Ohio woods, normally either quad type trails or single track. I have no complaints, but only because of the mods. Stock I was dissappointed!




 
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