From WR450 to YZ450 for off road?


17 replies to this topic
  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted September 01, 2009 - 09:23 AM

#1

I have a long history of big bore 2-strokes in my past followed by a pair of 650 4-strokes, all of which were purely for off road use trails/desert. Back in the day the combination of power and light weight on the 500 2-strokes was unbeatable, but now I love the spread of 4-stroke power. Current bike is an '08WR450 and it's a great bike and a step in the right direction from the XR650R that I recently had. The power is solid and even in the desert it is not really lacking. The biggest plus has been the drop in weight and the result in improved handling.

With that said, it makes me wonder how much a further drop in weight (approx 30 lbs) and slight increase in power would be in swapping from a WR to a YZ. Absolute top speed and loss of e-start would not be an issue as I don't often top out in 5th and the WR is criminally easy to kick over (and virtually required on cold starts anyway). The downside for me would be the loss of the charging system for night riding, but I would just swap over to Li battery packs and call it good. Although the YZ suspension would likely be a bit more harsh off road, from what I have heard it is the best out there and probably would work well with a revalve. The YZ also seems to be the most stable of the MX bikes.

Any thoughts on this from anyone that may have made the swap either from WR to YZ or the other way around?

  • Wiz636

Posted September 01, 2009 - 09:32 AM

#2

I have not owned a WR but my YZ is all set up for offroad and I love it.

  • erickdj

Posted September 01, 2009 - 11:14 AM

#3

well, there's no easy answer to this. I happen to own both bikes (07 wr450 & 08 yz450), so I know the difference betwen the two. Most of my riding is also off road, little to no mx for me. This is a tough call because both bikes are so good but different at the same time. The power difference and suspension on the WR can be easily fixed and brought up to awesome levels. You've already mentioned the plusses and minuses of each bike, e-start, lights, gearing, etc. The newer WR generation carries its weight really good, so the 30lbs difference is not so exaggerated when riding, I'd say it doesn't feel like 30lbs, it does feel heavier, but not like a top heavy pig. Would you keep the wr and buy a yz? or would you sell the wr to get a yz? I'd be concerned about maybe losing money by selling the wr, it's almost a new bike, so you'd take a hit from the purchase price. The yz suspension is stiffer, but not harsh by any means, I happen to love the stock yz suspension for off road. I recall the 08 yz suspension being called the best production suspension to date, and I'm sure the 09 is just as good or better. Really difficult to lean one way or the other, I'd say find someone that would let you try their yz and see for yourself. Too close to call.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 01, 2009 - 11:31 AM

#4

If lights are important, stay with the WR. There's no easy solution for that with the YZ.

The other thing you might miss is the wide ratio trans, which in the WR, gives you both a higher top gear, and a much lower low. The top speed thing might not bother you much, but you'll need to do much more clutch work in the tight stuff than with the WR.

  • erickdj

Posted September 01, 2009 - 12:37 PM

#5

you'll need to do much more clutch work in the tight stuff than with the WR.


I forgot to mention that, the yz requires quite a bit of clutch use, even with a 51t rear sprocket.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 01, 2009 - 12:45 PM

#6

I forgot to mention that, the yz requires quite a bit of clutch use, even with a 51t rear sprocket.

Indeed. More discussion on that point in this thread:
http://www.thumperta...607#post8468607

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted September 01, 2009 - 01:39 PM

#7

well, there's no easy answer to this. I happen to own both bikes (07 wr450 & 08 yz450), so I know the difference betwen the two. Most of my riding is also off road, little to no mx for me. This is a tough call because both bikes are so good but different at the same time. The power difference and suspension on the WR can be easily fixed and brought up to awesome levels. You've already mentioned the plusses and minuses of each bike, e-start, lights, gearing, etc. The newer WR generation carries its weight really good, so the 30lbs difference is not so exaggerated when riding, I'd say it doesn't feel like 30lbs, it does feel heavier, but not like a top heavy pig. Would you keep the wr and buy a yz? or would you sell the wr to get a yz? I'd be concerned about maybe losing money by selling the wr, it's almost a new bike, so you'd take a hit from the purchase price. The yz suspension is stiffer, but not harsh by any means, I happen to love the stock yz suspension for off road. I recall the 08 yz suspension being called the best production suspension to date, and I'm sure the 09 is just as good or better. Really difficult to lean one way or the other, I'd say find someone that would let you try their yz and see for yourself. Too close to call.


All good feedback, thank you. :ride: The WR likely would be kept, at least for the foreseable future. It does have it's strengths in the really slow going and also on long destination rides such as in Baja. I imagine that the two engines would be very similar in maintenance, correct? Sounds though that the difference you can feel in weight while riding is not that great between the two bikes. I had heard this was true of the KLX and KXF, but had not heard the same between the YZ and WR.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 01, 2009 - 02:06 PM

#8

Sounds though that the difference you can feel in weight while riding is not that great between the two bikes. I had heard this was true of the KLX and KXF, but had not heard the same between the YZ and WR.

That tends to be somewhat subjective.

Maintenance on the two is fundamentally identical.

  • erickdj

Posted September 01, 2009 - 02:40 PM

#9

Sounds though that the difference you can feel in weight while riding is not that great between the two bikes. I had heard this was true of the KLX and KXF, but had not heard the same between the YZ and WR.



Yes, the weight is not dramatic at all, definitely not something that would "break the deal" about riding a WR. What I've found is that the better I get at riding, the less I feel the wr's weight. I guess it's because I spend less energy fighting the bike and more time "guiding" it where it needs to go. Just like they say, these bikes are "point and shoot".

Well, if you do plan on keeping the wr for now and have the money to spare for the yz, then go for it. After I bought the yz I discovered that the perfect balance is to have both, if one's finances allow for it. As good as these bikes are, there's no right or wrong way to go. Either bike is great, and even better when owned together.

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  • hillclimbguy

Posted September 01, 2009 - 08:07 PM

#10

I have mine set up for trails. But I run a 53 rear sprocket, but hardly ever do fire roads. I just ordered a GYTR fly wheel weight. Its the lighter one. But am looking forward to running it. I'm also putting in a new cam chain.
Lights I run my MTB lights. But only in a pinch. Not much of a night rider on the motorcycle.
I've had both the YZ and the WR. Good points to both. E-start is good but bike is heavy. I just love the power on the YZ, hard to beat. i prefer the YZ.

  • Family Man

Posted September 01, 2009 - 09:43 PM

#11

The yz is a great off road bike, stock. Yeah lighting a yz is said to be a pain in the #ss. But most people Ive talked to prefere a high quality Head lamp style set up anyways, if they had to choose. You will use a lot of clutch but thats fun.

  • rufusz

Posted September 02, 2009 - 12:28 AM

#12

If I know correctly the earlier WR's front fork was much worse then the one on the YZ ?! Is this true also for the newer ( >07 ) generation WR's?

  • Summit

Posted September 02, 2009 - 05:20 AM

#13

I currently ride an 05 WR and it's been a great bike but I also am looking for a lighter more nimble off road bike too. I've settled on getting a yz 450. I'll definetly keep the WR as it's street legal. I don't care about the lights at all. However I love the elec. start...oh well. I'll install the heavy flywheel weight, 18" rear wheel, gear down, and hand guards.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 02, 2009 - 07:10 AM

#14

If I know correctly the earlier WR's front fork was much worse then the one on the YZ ?! Is this true also for the newer ( >07 ) generation WR's?

The '04 WR had the '03 YZF fork on it. Likewise, the '05 got the '04 YZF fork. The WR continues to use that same 48mm open bath (single chamber) design today, although the fork is internally different that the '04 YZF.

The bike is sprung and otherwise set up for semi-serious off road riding. As issued, they weren't wonderful. It takes some work to get them set up for competition, but it can be done. Dave Johnson at SMART Performance can either rework the suspension, or sell you a DIY kit that will give the WR suspension on a par with almost anything.

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted September 02, 2009 - 11:03 AM

#15

I currently ride an 05 WR and it's been a great bike but I also am looking for a lighter more nimble off road bike too. I've settled on getting a yz 450. I'll definetly keep the WR as it's street legal. I don't care about the lights at all. However I love the elec. start...oh well. I'll install the heavy flywheel weight, 18" rear wheel, gear down, and hand guards.


This is pretty much along the lines I'm thinking, but maybe with a rekluse. Heck the YZ250 2-stroke is a good option as well. The 450 can be had for a great price, even better than the 2-stroke though. I have to be able to run lights, but it's a non issue. I can get 8 hours of burn time off a 3 lb Li battery for hid lighting and only carry it when I need it w/o all the usual stator/reg/rectifier issues.

  • erickdj

Posted September 02, 2009 - 12:22 PM

#16

This is pretty much along the lines I'm thinking, but maybe with a rekluse. Heck the YZ250 2-stroke is a good option as well. The 450 can be had for a great price, even better than the 2-stroke though. I have to be able to run lights, but it's a non issue. I can get 8 hours of burn time off a 3 lb Li battery for hid lighting and only carry it when I need it w/o all the usual stator/reg/rectifier issues.


Wow! I think you just hit the nail right on the head... The yz250 would actually be a VERY good choice for you. Lightweight, powerful, awesome suspension, flickable, etc...

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted September 02, 2009 - 01:45 PM

#17

Wow! I think you just hit the nail right on the head... The yz250 would actually be a VERY good choice for you. Lightweight, powerful, awesome suspension, flickable, etc...


....easy to work on, cheap to rebuild, painless oil changes :ride:

Nothing at all wrong with that bike and maybe a good choice. Funny though, after years of riding 4-strokes I got to the point where I kind of hated the ringy sound of 2-strokes. Still a good option, but they are definitely getting scarce for all the wrong reasons. I'm still trying to come to grips with why it is that a new age, high tech 450 can sell for less than a 2-stroke from the same company that has not had any significant new R & D put into it for what 4-5 years? Sounds like production on one was way over or the other held in limited supply. The production cost of the 450 has to be significantly more. Or do they feel that they'll just get it all back in parts and service when these things grenade in 3 years (well, not YZF's and WR's cause they won't).

  • erickdj

Posted September 02, 2009 - 02:38 PM

#18

I'm still trying to come to grips with why it is that a new age, high tech 450 can sell for less than a 2-stroke from the same company that has not had any significant new R & D put into it for what 4-5 years? Sounds like production on one was way over or the other held in limited supply.


You got that right. Supply and demand. They make lots of 4-strokes, but not many 2-strokes at all lately. For the few yz250 that they still make, there's gotta be plenty of potential buyers. I myself seriously considered buying a new or nearly new yz250, but I had to set my feet on the ground and realize that it wasn't a smart financial decision for me. I already have 4 bikes handy in the garage, two of them have been bought brand new in the last two years. It was simply more of a "want" and not a "need". I shouldn't have bought the yz450 to begin with, but what's done is done.





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