First WR450 win????

21 replies to this topic
  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 04:01 AM


I just won a local desert race here in AZ on my WR450 yesterday. I raced open pro and got second overall behind Destry Abbott who raced in the 30+ pro class. He raced 30+ because his buddy Brian Brunning raced open. I guess they both wanted to win. Brian crashed out and left it open for me.

I got a dead last start and had to charge from the back of the pack (thanks Ben, Azdezrcr). I even left the race course and went cross country back to the pit area to notify the staff about a rider (Scott Davis) who was seriously hurt. Ben stayed with him while I went back. By the time I got back to him I was in dead last again and had to start charging again. I actually was in front of Ben since he stayed with Scott longer. Lucky for me it was a 2 hour race. I just rode smooth and consistent and before I knew it I was in the lead.

It was a 6 mile chopped up silty P.O.S. Gran Prix course. I felt every square edge bump from my toes to the top of my head. The WR supension was excellent, but still a tad on the soft side for a race that rough. There where a couple sand washes that got pretty nasty and whooped out, and some DEEP rutted silt beds. I was very happy to see the checkers. I suffered a mild sprained left knee and left ankle after a stupid mistake in the silt, but it's all good.

The only problem my bike encountered was that the e-start doesn't work any more. It starts perfectly with the kicker and runs great, but it won't crank with the button. I'm sure it's a battery ground, or loose wire or connector. Nothing serious or mechanical. I know this because the little red light on the ignition goes out when I try to crank and the starter isn't getting any voltage. I knew I should of zip tied those connectors better. I'll check it out tonight and see for sure. Don't freak out guys, there is nothing wrong with the WR450 starter set up. Just a loose connection.

  • ddialogue

Posted March 03, 2003 - 04:05 AM


Way to go, Dave!!

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 04:17 AM


Just to clear up one thing. I didn't mean to rag on Ben (azdezrcr). It was a hair ball start, 16 pros all bar to bar in a 30-40 foot wide start into a choppy hair pin right hander. Ben got pushed over by another rider and pushed me out. I had to hit my breaks to avoid a pile up, which left me in the back sucking dust.

It's all good, rubbing is racing. Revenge is a bitch though, :).

  • IceBox

Posted March 03, 2003 - 04:33 AM


Congratulations, sounds like an interesting and challenging race to say the least.


Posted March 03, 2003 - 05:08 AM


Wow! What a great story. Also, a good bike review. Congrats on your win. What mods have you made to your bike if any? Exhaust?

Thanks, Paul

  • WR450

Posted March 03, 2003 - 05:29 AM



I am not surprised I had my first hard ride on my WR this past weekend and it is seriously fast.
I was riding big sandy whoops and it tracks perfectly straight once the suspension has settled more I will adjust to suit but I am very happy with stock for now.

Now I see why the guys are saying this is the best dirt bike they have ridden

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 06:07 AM


YZ rear fender, front number plate, and top triple clamp with Pro Tapers and GPR stabilizer. Stiffer suspension springs, 162 main jet, 48 pilot jet, YZF450 needle in mid position, and fine tuned accelerator pump. The YZ needle really brought out the mid range. I was running my new favorite rear tire, the Michelin S12. It suffered nearly no wear and hooked up everywhere, even the slick hard packed off chamber bluegroove stuff.

I also went out and bought some of those cool 1" dia air box vents, and drilled the holes and popped 6 of them babies in all around the air box. There is not a lot of places for air to enter the air box so the WR450 really starves for air. It helped ALOT. I also cut out the air pocket on the left side number plate like on every other Yamaha made. I had to re-route the overflow hoses and rear tail light wires, but it let some more air in.

I was running 15-50 gearing because I got lazy and didn't order the 46 rear in time. I spent 90% of the race on the rev limiter. I still have the WR exhaust timing and stock silencer so top end power is a little less than desirable. My 98 400 would out run this one once it got on the top end, but it was pretty built up. The 400 doesn't have a chance on the bottom and mid though.

Other than that it's stock. I'm still waiting on my IMS tank, and N-style graphics. I also have a Works Connection sponsorship so I'll be putting their skid plates and frame gaurds on soon. It's probably to late, my frame is cratched and dented to hell already. It's ugly.

  • endurodog

Posted March 03, 2003 - 06:56 AM


David that is great info, and congrats on your finish. Are you going with a bigger tank or smaller?? What would you guess the range is with the stock tank.


  • A_DirtDigger

Posted March 03, 2003 - 07:02 AM


David, Congraulationns and thanks for all the information. I have a couple of follow-up questions if you could please: who makes and/or distributes the airbox vents? I working under the assumption the needle is the stock yz unit? Length of the accelerator pump squirt? Got any bottom-end bog or did the yz needle and pump timing fix all that?

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 08:29 AM


The new IMS WR450 tank that I ordered is a 3.1 gallon. So it isn't much bigger than the stocker. Its clear though, and holds the fuel lower, and I can use my quick dump in it. Of course its still on back order though, the stock works fine for now. I just hate unscrewing my gas cap to pit. I think I figured I used about 3 gallons in a 70 or so mile race. I'm not sure the exact figures, but thats about what it was. I got about 1.5 gallons when I pitted, and I had about half a tank at the end.

A Dirt Digger,
I don't know the brand of the air box vents, I got them through Cycle Gear. There is six in a package. They have a foam vent that you can remove and clean. The needle I put in it was a stock YZF450 needle, and it did take away all the bog. I don't know how you guys time the squirt on the pump. It's impossible to hold the carb, twist the throtle and still be able to tell the difference between a 1/2 a second and a second. Of course I can't walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time either. I think you guys say you can really tell the difference to just sound smart. I just adjusted it so that it was a nice steady stream starting from any throttle position. It was pretty scarce spraying stock. I timed it originally using the manuals instructions, then went from there. Wrong or right, thats my way and it works.

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  • Indy_WR450

Posted March 03, 2003 - 08:56 AM


Congratulations on your win David! I am going to try the YZ450 needle when I put the YZ 450 exhaust cam in. I like your idea on getting more air into the small air box that seems to be starved for air. Thanks for your input. This forum is great thanks to members like yourself!

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 09:14 AM


I've got a friend that took the battery out and cut holes in the top of the airbox for even more air. Thats a little extreme for me, but he claims he saved 17 pounds by removing all the starter stuff. I for one will leave it on. It's just to convienant, and I'm to lazy to kick start anymore. I also love pissing people off on the trail when their old beater won't start, and I just crank her over.

  • A_DirtDigger

Posted March 03, 2003 - 09:38 AM


I have not tried timing the squirt via watching it and have just made minor adjustments from the stock position and ridden the bike to see the impact. I agree with your thoughts, my eyes are not that quick. I'll be heading to cycle gear. Thanks again.

  • neWRiver

Posted March 03, 2003 - 09:43 AM


Wow David, that's awesome. I am stoked for you. Glad the WRF is working out well.

Bad start, stopped to help a downed rider and STILL OVERTOOK THE ENTIRE FIELD??? I could only dream of ever taking an OA finish right behind a legend like Destry. I always knew you were a great racer and one helluva nice guy, but now you are my hero. :D

Seriously, it's awesome to see a guy with such a big heart get the glory. :)

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 03, 2003 - 10:57 AM


Thanks Kevin, that means a lot coming from you. See you on the trails.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted March 03, 2003 - 08:51 PM


David, Congrats on your finish!! That's awesome.. Do you have any news on your starter yet? My starter stopped working a couple of weeks ago, I have a starter on back order from Yamaha, mine just clicks when you push the button, is this happening to you too?

Thanks, Dan :)

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 04, 2003 - 03:32 AM


Nope, the negative cable just came lose on the battery. I pulled the seat off last night and tightened it up and she started first crank.

Would it be a bad idea to lock tight the battery cables? It just doesn't seem right, but then not having a starter is worse.

  • David_Gronlund

Posted March 04, 2003 - 05:12 PM


Here's a picture of me and my baby at the race. This was right in front of my pits. I wasn't hot dogging at all. I honestly couldn't keep the front wheel down out of the turns. I may have to completely change my riding style to suit the new power output. I generally ride back on the seat because of my long legs, but it looks like I need to get up on the tank more now.

I have never rode a bike with this much bottom end before. What a hell of a problem to have, if you want to call it that. I'm not complaining.

Torque Monster

BTW, I just chatted with Scott Davis (downed rider). He's going to be just fine. He wants to hook up and ride this weekend already. There should be a law preventing you from being able to ride less than a week after a whirly bird ride, and a head injury. Scott is truly a tough dude.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted March 04, 2003 - 06:25 PM


Nice photos..........

  • Desracer

Posted March 04, 2003 - 07:53 PM


What tire do you have on the front? I like the S-12 too!


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