WR very hard work for Enduro


50 replies to this topic
  • dazzabb

Posted June 15, 2008 - 12:35 AM

#1

After 2 years of ownership - and 6 years total riding- and plenty of km's I tried a couple of Enduro's recently on my 2005 WR (I never bought it with the intention of racing) that have soured my opinion of the bike!

To be fair it was a pretty tight course and not the WR's best habitat but even so, I was dissapointed.

I have plenty of mods done including Pro-action fork rebuild, the rekluse axle (set for max offset) and forks slide 10mm up the clamps for better turning along with a new Bridgestone 401 front tyre, but even then I was really struggling in the tighter stuff to get it to turn quickly - forget about trying to ride smoothly, I was having to throw it round while the other bikes - mainly 250's -were cruising away from me.

No matter how many mods or money is thrown at it I'm now of the opinion its not really possible to get it to turn quickly enough to compete with smaller bikes on tight courses.

Just for comparison I rode my mates KTM250exc just afterward, I was shocked at how well this thing handles!

Any comments?
All you WR diehards don't get too excited!

  • Demo_Slug

Posted June 15, 2008 - 01:23 AM

#2

Any comments?
All you WR diehards don't get too excited!

maybe a wr250 would be better for you??:thumbsup:

  • tribalbc

Posted June 15, 2008 - 06:59 AM

#3

I race a 07 in hare scrambles. And our scrambles in BC are tight. Pretty much all first, second gear. I agree with you, on the really tight stuff the Wr's a brute side to side. It's also not a very good front wheel turner. I've found it's best to try and steer with the rear ( sliding ) in the tight stuff.
It wouldn't be my first choice for this type of riding - Gas Gas 300 wins hands down - but I can only afford 1 bike. And as an all round bike it kicks ass. I have it plated, ride some dual sport, putt around with the kid and race HS's on weekends :busted:
Once you get this bike moving it actually feals remarkably light. Second gear up terrain this bike feels planted, stable and nimble for a big 450 :thumbsup:

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted June 15, 2008 - 03:01 PM

#4

I have had three very frustrating years on my wr450 riding enduro's an desert scrambles. It just doesn't turn as sharp as I would like and I have spend thousands in dollars and time trying to get it right (including a professionally done suspension)

A few months ago, I got a yz250 to race on (fed up with the wr). Its so light and flickable and turns on a dime. After riding it, I then set out to make the wr handle more like the yz. I dropped the forks in the clamps already but that didn't help. I though the problem was the forks, but it is really in the rear shock. Its too soft and too bouncy. Nice for play rides, but bad for turning at speed. So I decided to set my sag from 100 to 90 and go two clicks stiffer on the rear compression dampening.

Now my wr turns really, really well. Even a couple of my riding buddies noticed a difference. I will probably go to to 95 on the sag for comparison purposes. The point is... I think that everyone has a different riding style and your bike needs to be setup in a way that works for you. The book is a good starting point only.


I do get some very slight headshake at about 60mph, but I rarely if ever go that fast. I just crank up my steering dampner a little.

Good luck.


Bingo... It was a lot better.

  • SID013

Posted June 15, 2008 - 03:42 PM

#5

I have to agree with you on this front. I too recently participated in an "Adventure Rally" here & the track was tight & twisty with lots of 1st & 2nd gear terrain. It was really hard work & made up of 2 60km loops & after the 1st loop I seriously considered not doing the 2nd one but persisted. I too have spent several thousand on professional suspension setup front & rear, dropped the forks, pipe, Vortex, etc but it was just too heavy in the top area to flick around in the tight stuff. Wish I could have 2 bikes, maybe a KTM 300EXC?

  • dazzabb

Posted June 15, 2008 - 04:15 PM

#6

Maurice - I have my race sag set at 100mm, but I'll try adjusting that to see if improves the handling any, I must admit I had not really considered that the rear might be as much a problem as the front - good advice thanks.

Peter - it's funny you mention KTM 300, thats the bike I'm gonna get in the next few months.

I thought Enduro's would bore the Mrs and the boy shitless, but luckily for me they both enjoy going away for the weekend to different places so I'm gonna try and take it more seriously and with that in mind I want a more serious race bike for these conditions.

The WR is strange in some respects, I rode an old Honda CRM250 2T for 5 years at 127kg!!
But going to the WR it didn't feel much lighter even though it is 14kg lighter.

But then going from the WR to the KTM250exc, a reduction of about 12kg feels like a night and day difference. I guess it all weight distribution....

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted June 15, 2008 - 07:17 PM

#7

Good luck. I am really still trying to get mine dialled in. I bought the yz250 because I was (am still) sick of the wr450. My yz250 has a wide ratio tranny and its a different kind of ride. Its actually more work to ride that bike because you must be in the right gear at all times. The wr is a good bike that will never turn as sharp as a mx bike, but it should be more than capable of turning.

My personal opinion on the 05 wr450 is that its got a real stiff fork and a real soft shock in the rear. Be carefull of that front end washing out on you. Thats why I think it doesn't turn as well. It feels like a chopper in the turns, which is aproblem. Get a real sticky front tire so you can plant it and turn the beast. Be smooth , flowing and consistent on the 450, don't try to be fast. (easy to say)

  • YamaLink

Posted June 15, 2008 - 07:38 PM

#8

It's just the weight wears on you after a few hours. Granted, I've been totally beaten soundly by better riders on WR450s, but all things being equal, it's difficult getting a 260 pound+ bike (full of gas) to carve like a KTM250 or smaller bike. Some bikes ride "lighter" than they really are; I've found bikes like the WR with a really low first gear accentuate the mass in tight riding.

But for loooong rides where plush suspension, durability and a good motor are required, it's tough to beat a WR450F.

  • swede426

Posted June 15, 2008 - 08:15 PM

#9

Some people never learn to handle the heavier bikes, maybe your riding fits a smaller bike better.

  • STECKNINE

Posted June 15, 2008 - 08:55 PM

#10

Some people never learn to handle the heavier bikes, maybe your riding fits a smaller bike better.

Yep, I have had a hard time adjusting to my WR450. I also have a 05 YZ 250! We just rode Idaho City with, super tight tree riding and, I struggled to come to terms with, the Wr both, 8 hour days of riding. I do feel that the YZ is a lot lighter of a bike to ride especially, for that amount of time. Nothing beats the raw power of the WR motor and, the transmission is SICK! So I don't know the WR could be the complete ticket for me but, I need to be in good shape to ride that bad ass bike!:thumbsup:

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  • mikeythefokker

Posted June 16, 2008 - 02:42 AM

#11

There is always a price that has to be paid. The wr450 requires less rider input in many areas than a 2stroke or a 250f, but it's heavy. So it comes down to either putting in the work to learn to ride a 2t, or doing a few pushups to get ready for the wr.

  • Ridon

Posted June 16, 2008 - 03:45 AM

#12

I agree with most of you guys, the WR450 is a difficult bike to ride and you have to be an experienced rider. It has raw power and it also feels heavy but if you practice enough and get used to it, you can do anything you like with the bike and you'll be unstoppable.

  • waterman7474

Posted June 16, 2008 - 08:06 AM

#13

My personal opinion on the 05 wr450 is that its got a real stiff fork and a real soft shock in the rear. Be carefull of that front end washing out on you. Thats why I think it doesn't turn as well. It feels like a chopper in the turns, which is aproblem. Get a real sticky front tire so you can plant it and turn the beast. Be smooth , flowing and consistent on the 450, don't try to be fast. (easy to say)


ok...this is the problem i've been having. i'm pretty sure the guy i bought it from had it set up for desert racing. the forks were way out (to the top of the tubes, scott triple trees) and i put them down to the mark and that helped quite a bit but i'm still having the problems. i'm way up forward like everyone tells me to do, i have a pretty good condition dunlop 739 up front, i think the rear set up right (although it might be oversprung for my weight) and it is still washing out. and the thing is...there is no warning, it just goes.

if i'm off the power, it is ok, not great but it still feels unstable. but everyone keeps telling me to get back on the power, that's when it comes loose. any throttle at all and the front just gets disconnected.

i had a problem with not enough sag and the rear didn't move much at all. so i came off it too much and the front came up on any hill. so i think i got it right now but i have some people saying stiffen it up some and come down on the compression and some say do the opposite, loosen it up and come up on the compression...

i'm really lost...and frustrated.

i know i can ride better than this. i've been on friends bikes that don't feel like this.

  • wartsnuff

Posted June 16, 2008 - 08:31 AM

#14

I agree with most of you guys, the WR450 is a difficult bike to ride and you have to be an experienced rider. It has raw power and it also feels heavy but if you practice enough and get used to it, you can do anything you like with the bike and you'll be unstoppable.


I agree, also mine is a 08, never driven a 05 maybe there is enough difference's ??

i have 1700km's of trail riding on my this summer/spring already :thumbsup:

i find the bike to steer very well and i am using the terrible stock front tire

still :busted: It might not be the best turning bike i have ever ridden. but its a great

riding bike, with the exception of the hard seat :busted:

cheers
Warts

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted June 16, 2008 - 11:07 AM

#15

ok...this is the problem i've been having. i'm pretty sure the guy i bought it from had it set up for desert racing. the forks were way out (to the top of the tubes, scott triple trees) and i put them down to the mark and that helped quite a bit but i'm still having the problems. i'm way up forward like everyone tells me to do, i have a pretty good condition dunlop 739 up front, i think the rear set up right (although it might be oversprung for my weight) and it is still washing out. and the thing is...there is no warning, it just goes.

if i'm off the power, it is ok, not great but it still feels unstable. but everyone keeps telling me to get back on the power, that's when it comes loose. any throttle at all and the front just gets disconnected.

i had a problem with not enough sag and the rear didn't move much at all. so i came off it too much and the front came up on any hill. so i think i got it right now but i have some people saying stiffen it up some and come down on the compression and some say do the opposite, loosen it up and come up on the compression...

i'm really lost...and frustrated.

i know i can ride better than this. i've been on friends bikes that don't feel like this.



I broke my foot when my front end washed out. The problem is the D739. Its a slippery ass tire. You might as well put chicken grease on your tires.

I ride in the desert in Socal. This is what worked better for me.

1. put on a Dunlop 756 on the front, ultra HD tube, run 12 to 13lbs of pressure. The 756 is sticky and will not wash out like the 739. But you hve to change out that 756 long before it looks worn. I get 10 rides out of mine. The rubber will get hard and it will slip and slide.

2. go in a click or two on your fork rebound. You need it to stick and hold and little longer

3. raise those forks in the clamps. For the sake of testing, go to the other end of the spectrum and just see if you can get it to stick. Rasie them 10mm.

4. Set the rear sag to 100 max.

5. add just a little more compression dampening on the rear.

The front end should stick. But you may have a bit of headshake at high speeds. Then back off the settings a little to fine tune it. Go up 1lb of air in the front if you have to.

  • STECKNINE

Posted June 16, 2008 - 11:37 AM

#16

I broke my foot when my front end washed out. The problem is the D739. Its a slippery ass tire. You might as well put chicken grease on your tires.

I ride in the desert in Socal. This is what worked better for me.

1. put on a Dunlop 756 on the front, ultra HD tube, run 12 to 13lbs of pressure. The 756 is sticky and will not wash out like the 739. But you hve to change out that 756 long before it looks worn. I get 10 rides out of mine. The rubber will get hard and it will slip and slide.

2. go in a click or two on your fork rebound. You need it to stick and hold and little longer

3. raise those forks in the clamps. For the sake of testing, go to the other end of the spectrum and just see if you can get it to stick. Rasie them 10mm.

4. Set the rear sag to 100 max.

5. add just a little more compression dampening on the rear.

The front end should stick. But you may have a bit of headshake at high speeds. Then back off the settings a little to fine tune it. Go up 1lb of air in the front if you have to.

If you run 12 or 13 pounds in your front tire then, your asking for a flat! I recommend 17 or 18 psi maybe 16 for hardcore desert riding.

  • Punisher660

Posted June 16, 2008 - 11:50 AM

#17

I ride an 04 WR and an 05 CRF (both 450s). The WR is a tank, but it just takes an aggressive riding style. It might be too much bike for you...I'm a big guy and I have no problem with it. Riding the CRF is like a bicycle compared to the WR, but big blue is awesome in the woods.

Get rid of the Dunlop tires all together. Maxis Desert IT in the rear and Maxis SI in the front :thumbsup:

The front wheel is heavy compared to the other bikes, if you are not on the gas (which lightens up the front) it does have a tendancy to wash out in the slick stuff. As for turning, tap the rear brake to get the back sliding in the right direction. The bike is top heavy for sure, but at speed you don't notice it. If your vertically challanged, the bike is tough to ride. Overall though, its a tough bike to beat. I take mine to the track sometimes, the woods, its street legal, ... its a FUN bike.

Try running with a 1/2 tank for a little while. Thats roughly 4lb right there.... other than that, the only option you have is to "YZ" it. I put the YZ cam in mine and that help rev out a bit better. Look at getting a YZ tank, etc.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted June 16, 2008 - 01:36 PM

#18

If you run 12 or 13 pounds in your front tire then, your asking for a flat! I recommend 17 or 18 psi maybe 16 for hardcore desert riding.



You may be right. I normally run 14 and take my chances. If I start slipping, I go down to 13. No flats yet.

Besides... I am not fast enough to get a pinch flat. I am so slow, that I can go around the things that most people ride over the top of. :thumbsup:

Besides, its just a suggestion as a starting point.

  • SID013

Posted June 16, 2008 - 03:04 PM

#19

ok...this is the problem i've been having. i'm pretty sure the guy i bought it from had it set up for desert racing. the forks were way out (to the top of the tubes, scott triple trees) and i put them down to the mark and that helped quite a bit but i'm still having the problems. i'm way up forward like everyone tells me to do, i have a pretty good condition dunlop 739 up front,


I had similar problems & got rid of the original Dunlop D739 & got the D756 under advice but still found the front washed out for about a metre & then it grabbed. Speaking with others about the D756 they find the same thing happens with them. I have swapped to a Motoz (Australian designed tyre) Tracula mx tyre which fixed the problem full stop. The best money I spent was getting the suspension professionally setup for my weight & type of riding.

Hope this helps

Cheers from Oz.

  • dazzabb

Posted June 16, 2008 - 04:31 PM

#20

I agree, also mine is a 08, never driven a 05 maybe there is enough difference's ??

i have 1700km's of trail riding on my this summer/spring already :thumbsup:

i find the bike to steer very well and i am using the terrible stock front tire

still :p It might not be the best turning bike i have ever ridden. but its a great

riding bike, with the exception of the hard seat :cry:

cheers
Warts



The 08 and 05 are miles apart in the steering / turning capability.

I think I'm right in saying the alloy framed models have less ground clearance and a lower C of G, so turn in feels much better. Not sure if the trail was lessened to speed up the front?




 
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