inspecting a 2004 model WR450F before buying


19 replies to this topic
  • Macca Wr250f

Posted April 14, 2008 - 06:44 PM

#1

hi i am looking at a wr450f for sale by a private owner. It is a 2004 model. What sort of things should i be looking at and is this a good bike?
cheers SAM

  • dazzabb

Posted April 14, 2008 - 06:55 PM

#2

IMHO a pretty good indication of the previous owners attitude toward care of the bike can be found by checking the oil level after 3 mins idling and the condition of the air filter.

A clean well oiled filter is often a good indication that the bike has been cared for.

I'm not sure if there is anything specific to the 04 to check but the usual list of ease of starting, bearings etc.

Steering bearings - can the forks be rocked back and forth with the front wheel suspended - if so you'll need to adjust or replace the stem bearings

Any side to side wheel movt means new wheel bearings req'd

Motor wise - these are pretty noisy engines - especially with a big sump guard which tend to reflect the noise and make it sound worse than it actually is and unless there is any obvious tapping or such like you should be OK.

If you do buy it - rebuild the swingarm / pivot / shock linkage - chances are these will be bone dry unless the owner has greased in recent months.

  • Macca Wr250f

Posted April 16, 2008 - 02:11 PM

#3

ok thanks

  • dugabrams

Posted April 16, 2008 - 02:38 PM

#4

There are no big issues with this model year, it is a very good bike. Even if it has been somewhat neglected, you are unlikely to find big unforeseeable problems later.

  • Macca Wr250f

Posted April 17, 2008 - 03:43 PM

#5

sounds good

  • SJMC_DON

Posted April 17, 2008 - 05:17 PM

#6

There are no big issues with this model year, it is a very good bike. Even if it has been somewhat neglected, you are unlikely to find big unforeseeable problems later.


+1

I sold my 04' last year after two seasons racing off road with it and I would not call myself anal but I maintained it well, it was still a very solid, reliable FAST bike..

I will always ask what their maintenance schedule was and what it involved, unless they answer quickly and informed they are probably lying.

Go to the house of the seller, look at his house, garage, other bikes or toys in the garage.... Are they maintained, clean? This will usually indicate what kind of person your are buying from.

Look closely at the radiators... new plastics are cheap, radiators aren't... if they are bent, twisted, caved in, etc... thats usually a tell tale sign of what the bikes life was like, especially on WR's.

Good Luck :thumbsup:

  • anathema

Posted April 18, 2008 - 06:56 AM

#7

+1

I sold my 04' last year after two seasons racing off road with it and I would not call myself anal but I maintained it well, it was still a very solid, reliable FAST bike..

I will always ask what their maintenance schedule was and what it involved, unless they answer quickly and informed they are probably lying.

Go to the house of the seller, look at his house, garage, other bikes or toys in the garage.... Are they maintained, clean? This will usually indicate what kind of person your are buying from.

Look closely at the radiators... new plastics are cheap, radiators aren't... if they are bent, twisted, caved in, etc... thats usually a tell tale sign of what the bikes life was like, especially on WR's.

Good Luck :thumbsup:

I agree with this to a point, but keep in mind even a very gentle tip over where a mound or rock is higher than the bars will squish the rad. They are retardedly delicate and while some people go a long time without crushing one, it only takes the right set of circumstances. What I mean is it doesnt take much of a violent crash, just luck. Running a water cooled bike without a rad guard is pretty much suicide for your rads if you do any kind of real dirt biking.

My buddy just bought a new to him WR450F and to look at it both rads looked good but when we tried to put on rad guards we realized one rad was tweaked by about half an inch. This was a bike ridden by a 50 year old guy on fire roads only. Well maintained.

We use some leverage and pulled the rad somewhat straight again (small bar with hole on one end, flat on the other, braced against the frame. uses a screwdriver in the bar hole and then thru the rad hole, leveraged to pull the rad outwards.

  • SJMC_DON

Posted April 18, 2008 - 07:28 AM

#8

I agree with this to a point, but keep in mind even a very gentle tip over where a mound or rock is higher than the bars will squish the rad. They are retardedly delicate and while some people go a long time without crushing one, it only takes the right set of circumstances. What I mean is it doesnt take much of a violent crash, just luck. Running a water cooled bike without a rad guard is pretty much suicide for your rads if you do any kind of real dirt biking.

My buddy just bought a new to him WR450F and to look at it both rads looked good but when we tried to put on rad guards we realized one rad was tweaked by about half an inch. This was a bike ridden by a 50 year old guy on fire roads only. Well maintained.

We use some leverage and pulled the rad somewhat straight again (small bar with hole on one end, flat on the other, braced against the frame. uses a screwdriver in the bar hole and then thru the rad hole, leveraged to pull the rad outwards.


Agree 100%... my 04' was sold with a set of Fluidynes on it :thumbsup:

  • William1

Posted April 18, 2008 - 07:56 AM

#9

Any time I look at a used machine, I look at the bolts. Are they in perfect condition? Are they factory or high quality replacements (complete, not just a bolt here and there)? This is a often a give away to the quality of work done on the bike.

I never go by an owner stating it was 'well maintained' unless I see both his shop and him working in it. I also want to see proof the work was done. A log book, reciepts for parts/oil.

  • anathema

Posted April 18, 2008 - 09:46 AM

#10

Any time I look at a used machine, I look at the bolts. Are they in perfect condition? Are they factory or high quality replacements (complete, not just a bolt here and there)? This is a often a give away to the quality of work done on the bike.

I never go by an owner stating it was 'well maintained' unless I see both his shop and him working in it. I also want to see proof the work was done. A log book, reciepts for parts/oil.

Wow you must have a tough time buying a used bike! I've never met or spoke to anyone who has met someone who is that meticulous about record keeping about his bike maintenance.

When I wrench on the bike I just wrench. I change the oil every few rides, but don't keep my Walmart receipt.

And keeping factory bolts is bad? Then every bike I've owned is poorly maintained i guess :thumbsup:

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  • martin450

Posted April 18, 2008 - 12:08 PM

#11

I've just been ripped off a treat ! buying a 2003 wr 450 ,
one tip let it run for 4-5 mins , see if there are any leaks from the rads then when you turn it off , leave it for 1 min then check the oil , if it pisses out of the dipstick hole , forget the bike .
mine did it, was because he put loads of oil in it to stop the knocking due to oil pressure .
I didn't check till I bought the bike then found out i gotta give it a complete rebuild.
live and learn , i knew nothing about these 4 strokers .
I wish i asked the same question as you on thumper talk before i bought it !!!
I will get a thread going about my bike soon but please be so carefull, if you got no paperwork to prove anything tell em to shove thier bike up there arse!!!!.
just speaking from personal experience !
Thumper talk rocks !!!! I've learnt so much , unfortunatly to late , take ya time and buy a nice one .
Best of luck friend :thumbsup:


Martin

  • William1

Posted April 18, 2008 - 12:15 PM

#12

Wow you must have a tough time buying a used bike! I've never met or spoke to anyone who has met someone who is that meticulous about record keeping about his bike maintenance.

When I wrench on the bike I just wrench. I change the oil every few rides, but don't keep my Walmart receipt.

And keeping factory bolts is bad? Then every bike I've owned is poorly maintained i guess :thumbsup:


What I often see are mangled bolt heads. Or a bolt goes missing and it is replaced with a cheapo from Lowes/HD. I have even seen UNC inch pitch bolts used and other hack 'repairs'. I replace most of the bolts on my bikes with Stainkless Steel button or Allen head bolts the day I get the bike. I also delace the wheels, lube all the spokes, relace and torque them. I go over the entire bike, short of an engine tear down. I have bikes over 20 years old that are in perfect condition.

Keeping good records helps both you and resale (if you ever sell). The records can provide insight into internal conditions of the engine. If you ever have a part failure that appears to be a manufacturing defect and you have these records, you'd be surprised at how often a manufacturer will provide some goodwill.

  • WGP

Posted April 18, 2008 - 12:23 PM

#13

I always check the expensive parts...

Wheels....make sure there straight and spokes are tight

Radiators...not bent or leaking

Engine......clean oil, clean air filter, and doesn't blow smoke when you rip the throttle

Good Luck:thumbsup:

  • martin450

Posted April 18, 2008 - 01:16 PM

#14

Actually I think a good bit of advice is to scrutinise the bike for ages until you have checked everything, absolutely everything if you know where to look (which this thread will tell ya ! )
Also check the ride , does it feel ok, does it go throgh the gears ok?
mine didn't ! the cost of a new 3rd and4th gear and other things I'm to embarressed to mention right now, I will start a thread of how i got ripped off soon as to help other people, cos this is a great forum and I'd lke to help.
You may look an arse but it is worth thousands of $ or £ for half hour of scrutinising the bike ,
I'm now looking an arse and paying out my arse and I just think it advice worth taking, believe my hindsight !!!
I f'ked up, hope you dont mate
I wish i started this thread 4 wks ago!!!!!

best of luck dude

  • anathema

Posted April 18, 2008 - 03:44 PM

#15

I see what you mean about bolts! I always replace mine if needed with stainless bolts from the dirtbike shop.

Also see what you mean about keeping records and I think it is a good idea, I just cant imagine almost anyone does it which is why it would seem that you personally would have a hard time finding a used bike if you require that.

If i sounded like I did not agree with your advice in any way then that totally came across wrong :thumbsup:

What I often see are mangled bolt heads. Or a bolt goes missing and it is replaced with a cheapo from Lowes/HD. I have even seen UNC inch pitch bolts used and other hack 'repairs'. I replace most of the bolts on my bikes with Stainkless Steel button or Allen head bolts the day I get the bike. I also delace the wheels, lube all the spokes, relace and torque them. I go over the entire bike, short of an engine tear down. I have bikes over 20 years old that are in perfect condition.

Keeping good records helps both you and resale (if you ever sell). The records can provide insight into internal conditions of the engine. If you ever have a part failure that appears to be a manufacturing defect and you have these records, you'd be surprised at how often a manufacturer will provide some goodwill.



  • Macca Wr250f

Posted April 19, 2008 - 12:13 AM

#16

im having a look at the bike tomorrow, ill try to rememba everything to look at.
Cheers for your help

  • William1

Posted April 19, 2008 - 02:46 AM

#17

I see what you mean about bolts! I always replace mine if needed with stainless bolts from the dirtbike shop.

Also see what you mean about keeping records and I think it is a good idea, I just cant imagine almost anyone does it which is why it would seem that you personally would have a hard time finding a used bike if you require that.

If i sounded like I did not agree with your advice in any way then that totally came across wrong :ride:


Not a problem. :thumbsup: If the owner has the records, you can often be comfortable you are buying a gem.

Being the spoiled brat that I am, I nearly never buy anything used. But I never have a problem selling stuff.

  • Macca Wr250f

Posted April 20, 2008 - 01:28 AM

#18

[quote name='martin450']I've just been ripped off a treat ! buying a 2003 wr 450 ,
one tip let it run for 4-5 mins , see if there are any leaks from the rads then when you turn it off , leave it for 1 min then check the oil , if it pisses out of the dipstick hole , forget the bike .
mine did it, was because he put loads of oil in it to stop the knocking due to oil pressure .
I didn't check till I bought the bike then found out i gotta give it a complete rebuild.
live and learn , i knew nothing about these 4 strokers .
I wish i asked the same question as you on thumper talk before i bought it !!!
I will get a thread going about my bike soon but please be so carefull, if you got no paperwork to prove anything tell em to shove thier bike up there arse!!!!.
just speaking from personal experience !
Thumper talk rocks !!!! I've learnt so much , unfortunatly to late , take ya time and buy a nice one .
Best of luck friend :thumbsup:


**** it pisses me off when people dont tell you the truth about there bikes, might look nice on the outside but then dodgey on the inside.
Thanks for the advise mate

  • neevothespaniel

Posted April 20, 2008 - 02:57 AM

#19

I always keep a spreadsheet of the maintenance on my bikes. Not only does it help you to keep track of everything but when it comes to selling the bike (like I did this weekend), it puts the buyers mind at rest. I managed to sell the bike to the first person that looked at it :thumbsup:

Having said that I am one of those anal retentive people that goes over the top with looking after the bike... but when it comes down to it, wouldn't you rather buy off someone like that?

eg:

Posted Image

  • kreativecid

Posted April 23, 2008 - 01:53 PM

#20

I always inspect the air filter. Most sellers know this.

Then I check the footpegs. Lots of slop means the bike was ridden harder than, well, you know.




 
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