Opinions on '03 wr450 needed


19 replies to this topic
  • FatherTime

Posted February 27, 2008 - 07:03 PM

#1

I have a local dealer who has a mint 2003 WR450 which I can pick up for a very fair price. I am however a little worried about the woodruff key issues I have heard about on the '03. The dealer who has the bike is a Honda dealer and I have no way of knowing whether the update was ever done.
Should I pass on the bike? I'm 50 and am looking for a reliable trail bike. I had them searching for a DRZ400 but this one came up and I must say it is in very good condition.

  • graazzy

Posted February 27, 2008 - 08:56 PM

#2

I just got back into dirt bikes myself after many years, and i got an 03 wr450.These bikes are just great ,you can just plod along slowly or hammer it hard.Maintenance is a piece of cake just keep up the oil changes , watch out for a grabby clutch which i fixed myself by filing the clutch basket fingers smooth.The woodruff key issue was a factory fix ,so it should still be covered by the factory.

  • brad the best

Posted February 27, 2008 - 09:43 PM

#3

the starter end cover has a good chamfer on the new ones (around 3/8th") the non fixed ones are fairly flat

  • Alternative

Posted February 28, 2008 - 03:50 AM

#4

The problem of the '03 woodruff key issue was remedied in '04. The '03 would shear woodruff keys if the engine backfired and forced the starter in the wrong direction. This was fixed in the '04 by adding a torque limiter on the starter so if the engine backfired it would allow the starter to turn backwards. If you're concerned about it, you can buy the '04 parts and make sure it won't fail.

  • travisllane

Posted February 28, 2008 - 09:46 AM

#5

If it is a good deal I would buy the bike and the '04 parts to go with it. Or negotiate with the dealer to throw in the '04 parts. The part swap takes just a few minutes. I replaced the parts on my '03 a couple of years ago and have had no problems since.

Also make sure you have it jetted correctly. If the free mods are completed make sure the bike has been rejetted accordingly. When I bought mine, the exhaust baffle had been removed but the bike had not been rejetted. This lead to a backfire that sheared some teeth from my '03 torque limiter requiring the replacement. I upgraded to the '04 parts at that time.

  • byggd

Posted February 28, 2008 - 01:23 PM

#6

Personally I will take a WR450 over a DRZ400 any day of the week. If you want to hit the dealer up for the parts to do the mod here is a link.
http://www.wr450.com...inals/index.htm

  • brad the best

Posted February 28, 2008 - 06:29 PM

#7

if you look on the above picture in the above post , the small cap with the big chamfer is the new part the old ones had a small chamfer almost flat . thats how you tell

  • ETP

Posted February 28, 2008 - 07:27 PM

#8

If you upgrade to the 04 starter parts and the bike has been taken care of, you'll be fine. After the starter upgrade, the 03's are rock solid. A search of this forum should confirm this.

  • dugabrams

Posted February 28, 2008 - 08:08 PM

#9

I came from a DRZ to an '05WR. I wanted something more powerful and nimble and I found it in the Yammi. The DRZ is still the most plush fire road bike I have ridden and is somewhat better on the street. What are they asking for the '03?

  • FatherTime

Posted February 29, 2008 - 05:03 AM

#10

Thanks for the advice guys. I forgot to check this thread yesterday. I am going to see the bike in person tomorrow so I will check out the starter and compare with the pix.
The dealer is asking $3500 CDN for the bike.
Getting the parts thru the dealer with the bike is not an option, as this is a Honda dealer. I will however check with the local Yamaha dealers for info.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • WR250F Captain

Posted February 29, 2008 - 05:15 AM

#11

For speed quickness and manueverablility, nothing beaths a wr450f, well the 2-trac does. they are awesome bikes, my friends was dynoed over 60whp.

on the other hand

great trail bike that is "BULLET PROOF" that I see a bunch of old "best in the west" desert riders riding are the old XR600's air cooled. they make torque and fast, and their suspension is supposidly pretty good. I had my WR250F pinned for 100 miles keeping up with this guy.

I'm about to get my wr dynoed and it should have about 40whp which is good. it even beats some stock crf450x's from time to time. so WR's are great racebikes, but for reliablity and decent-to-great performance, go with the XR. they are even low maintenance and pretty cheap to come buy.

BUT CRF450X weights more, makes less power modded, is uglier, wider, less maneuverable than the WR450F.

so make your choices wisely, because its your crouch these little jap vibrators are going to or not going to turn on.

Feel the rush, feel the power, nothing beats a YAMAHA

did i mention i can do wheelies past crf450x's, got i love my WR

  • matt4x4

Posted February 29, 2008 - 09:05 AM

#12

for 3500 that's a great deal, theres an 01 or 02 wr426 in the trader for 3250, so for the extra 250, the 03 sounds like a good deal especially if it's in good shape.
Where abouts in Ontario are ya father time?

  • 1trackmind

Posted February 29, 2008 - 01:50 PM

#13

Getting the parts thru the dealer with the bike is not an option, as this is a Honda dealer. I will however check with the local Yamaha dealers for info.


I have the 03 WR450...I love it :). I just did the starter mod for less than $200 us. I used my existing left side case, so it saved me a little $. I ordered the parts from TT store, as my local dealer has frustrated :smirk: me several times. I got the part #s from the "WR performance index" at the head of this forum. Just my 2 cents

  • FatherTime

Posted February 29, 2008 - 02:40 PM

#14

for 3500 that's a great deal, theres an 01 or 02 wr426 in the trader for 3250, so for the extra 250, the 03 sounds like a good deal especially if it's in good shape.
Where abouts in Ontario are ya father time?


I'm near Ottawa. The store which has the bike is about 100 kilometres from me. However the same dealer has another store which is very close by. I was going to make the drive to look at it tomorrow however the owner has said they will hold the bike for me for a week and bring it down this week to the local store so I can see it next Saturday. At the same time they will check out my XR400 for trade in value, although we are already pretty much in agreement on the price if I decide to go ahead with this bike. I'll check at the same time and reference the photos here to see if the starter has been upgraded.
The dealer is in no panic as he knows he's going to sell me a bike. We were waiting for a used DRZ400 to come in but in the meantime this WR450 was traded in at the other store last Saturday so they thought they should mention it to me :smirk: .
Also if I sell my XR400 privately I can save a bit of dough so I am in no huge rush myself. It will still be at least two months before we can ride here. That said, this seems like a pretty nice bike at least from what they tell me and the pics they sent me.

  • FatherTime

Posted February 29, 2008 - 02:42 PM

#15

I have the 03 WR450...I love it :). I just did the starter mod for less than $200 us. I used my existing left side case, so it saved me a little $. I ordered the parts from TT store, as my local dealer has frustrated :smirk: me several times. I got the part #s from the "WR performance index" at the head of this forum. Just my 2 cents


Good info. Thanks very much :ride:

  • FatherTime

Posted February 29, 2008 - 02:44 PM

#16

if you look on the above picture in the above post , the small cap with the big chamfer is the new part the old ones had a small chamfer almost flat . thats how you tell


Thanks. I'm going to print out the pic and take it to the dealer when I go to look at the bike next week.

  • nfoley

Posted February 29, 2008 - 07:28 PM

#17

I also bought an 03 WR450. Was initially worried about reliability coming off of XRs. This bike has been absolutely perfect. I highly recommend, they are easy to maintain, and with the woodruff upgraded per this site have been on several long rides and no worries at all. All the power of my XR650 and twice the agility. This was a great trade for me, no regrets whatsoever. I had the XR400 for a while and always wanted more, then with the 650 wanted a lighter feeling and more nimble bike. WR450 was the answer!

  • WR250F Captain

Posted March 02, 2008 - 08:20 PM

#18

450's are great, but are heavy, 250f's are very agily but lack bottom end torque. 250 smokers are agile torque and with a desert tank have good range. I see alot of old guys get hurt on 450's and turn to rhino's and raptors.

my 250f beat a raptor up oldsmobile hill, china wall, and down wash 11.

  • FatherTime

Posted March 05, 2008 - 01:06 PM

#19

I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone for their opinions. After all was said and done another dealer I had talked to took a DRZ400 on trade and offered me a fabulous deal. Essentially I paid less than what I would have paid for the WR, including my XR as trade in. And I still have the XR to sell...
Thanks again for all your help. It is greatly appreciated.

Reid

  • WR250F Captain

Posted March 05, 2008 - 08:30 PM

#20

hey, is that drz400 a dual sport. I think those things are just like the xr400's, supposidly VERY torquey bikes. I rode with one once, seemed to do a good job, everyone was following the ULMIGHTY OFF ROAD LEGEND THAT IS XR600(a WR450F 2Trac would walk all over any bike out there, IMO)




 
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