WR400 or WR450 for woods

23 replies to this topic
  • firffighter

Posted October 05, 2009 - 10:39 AM


Lurking again.

I currently have a dualsported XR400 that I love for most of the riding I do, but I hate the soft suspension and it wallows through corners and obstables. I love the low end grunt on this bike and taking it down to near idle in 2nd and sometimes 3rd gear without stalling is very nice is wet, tight woods riding.

I have my eye on a couple WR's. I have spent a lot of time on my buddies '03WR250 and love the suspension and cornering habits of the bike. I want a 400 or 450 though.

I also want a bike that can be lugged a bit as well.

I found a local WR400 with 1500 original miles and fully dualsported for a good price, but my fear is it is not going to be a huge improvement in terms of weight and cornering compared to my XR400. I also would be missing E-start which would be nice to have.

I dont have to have a plated bike and so there are several really nice WR450's (05's and 06's) in the same price range as well.

Would a '06 WR450 be a huge improvement over the WR400, or is it worth giving up the e-start to get a dualsported WR400?

Again, handling, suspension and chuggability are key to me.


  • Wrfrk

Posted October 05, 2009 - 10:44 AM


FYI, even the WR400 would be a huge improvement in all aspect vs your current XR. Between the 2 I'd go for the 450 though, not only do they lug better but they also start 100 times easier and that's not considering the estart. The older 400's have a learning curve to them and it's a real PITA even after you get it figured out.

  • jayh300

Posted October 05, 2009 - 11:10 AM


well.... I am currently riding an 06 wr450 and had a 99 yz400f, which I know is not a wr, but....
the 06 is a very cool bike, the e-start is great, to the point where I have stalled it, my fault, pulled the clutch, hit the button on off it will go. Never even put a foot down. I am still kinda learning the wr, I have only rode it three times, so I am still stalling it at times, but I have been on a 300 gasgas for the last 2 years that will not stall out, no matter how low down you lug it.

The suspension to me is very good, hopped right on it and felt I could ride as fast as normal in a very short amount of time. It is a little soft, as I noticed I cleaned the forks off all the way down last weekend... It is also very useable power wise, it will fly on open straights and trail rides great.

My yz400f actually felt heavier riding than the 06 does. I would get the newest, cleanest E start. I have been very happy with my 06 and ride with a buddy that has an 04 that he likes very well to.

I have never spent any time on an xr, so can't compare there...

  • firffighter

Posted October 05, 2009 - 04:28 PM


Thanks for the input. I was thinking the newer bike would be nice. I really dont need a plated bike, but it can be nice in certain situations.

Any advice on mods or tricks to get the WR450 to lug and not stall out, or do you have to just get used to using the clutch and shifting?

  • kjr247

Posted October 05, 2009 - 06:02 PM


The WR400 has a big hit and powerband that really pulls. IMO it too Yamaha a few years to smooth out the 400's powerband. The 450's are more controllable in this respect.

I have a WR400 and love it. E-start would be nice for sure because kicking a WR400 is no joke. I have no issues kicking the beast but it can kickback bigtime. Nothing like kicking an XR400 (have one of those too).

I would go for the 450 just to get the updates/revisions and e-start.

Now I love my WR400...she is a screamer...LOL Any way you win. These are the XR's of modern bikes. Strong and durable. Jump on and these bike go fast compared to the XR. Better suspension too. Happy trails.

  • firffighter

Posted October 05, 2009 - 06:16 PM


You guys are making this too easy!

No one is talking me out of a nicely equipped XR400 over a WR450?:busted:

Now that you all are talking about it I am anxious to make it happen.

  • jayh300

Posted October 05, 2009 - 06:46 PM


Thanks for the input. I was thinking the newer bike would be nice. I really dont need a plated bike, but it can be nice in certain situations.

Any advice on mods or tricks to get the WR450 to lug and not stall out, or do you have to just get used to using the clutch and shifting?

i think it is just seat time and getting used to a different bike. Like i said, that 300gg 2 smoke would never shut off, ever. I think the wr in the correct gear or good clutch usage would be the same. it gets better every time i ride it. Last saturday we rode about 40 miles and only stalled it once. just getting more used to it... It will flat fly. the guy i ride with told me it shot a roost over the top of his head !!!!!!!!:busted:

  • panaman

Posted October 06, 2009 - 04:22 AM


I am a new person to the WR450... i bought a new 2009 model... my last bike was a 1997 XR400.... the WR450 will have a lot more power when you need it and it still luggs up hills like a tractor

I have no regrets selling my XR400... because with the WR450 in the garage.. the XR400 would only collect dust

  • firffighter

Posted October 06, 2009 - 10:13 AM


Yeah, I followed your post on the XR thread. I noticed a couple others choose the WR's to move on to after the XR400.

Would you say you able to lug the bike as well as the XR?

Did you look at any other 450's?

  • SteveWR450F

Posted October 06, 2009 - 10:24 AM


Hey Firfighter,

How are you doing? Do you still have the KDX? Before I got my KDX I had an 04 WR450. Great power but that darn bike would wear me out plus it did not really like to turn too well - very top heavy in my opinion.

But I have rode an 06 WR and that bike turned much better. Seems to carry the weight lower. I also put a rekluse clutch on my bike and that made it impossible to stall.

If your going the 450 used dirt bike thing - the WR is bulletproof. The only other 06 type bike you should consider would be KTM.

If you could spend more for new than all of the colors are available. Suz and Kawi also now make good 450 off road bikes.

Anyway, good luck with the choice. Dont you have a baja trip soon or did you already do that?


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  • firffighter

Posted October 06, 2009 - 01:09 PM


Hey Steve,

I was wondering if you would pipe in.

I am doing the Mexico trip in January and so the WR would be my 1st choice to take down there since others have said it survives much better than the others.

I still have the KDX and I have been letting my cousin ride it lately. I want to save it for my son.

I have heard the newer '06 on up WR's handle better and are easier to lug than the older models.

BTW, you been riding?

  • beezer

Posted October 06, 2009 - 06:03 PM


The 07 and up with the aluminum frames handle much better than the older steel framed bikes.

  • firffighter

Posted October 07, 2009 - 07:33 PM


I would love to get an '07 or '08, but my budget is not going to cover that new of a bike.

What changes from '04-'06?

Would a low hour, nicely equipped '04 be better than a less equipped '06?

  • GreenDRZ

Posted October 10, 2009 - 05:10 PM


I owned a WR400 and will soon be the owner of an '05 450. Having ridden each of these bikes a little (I sold the 400 as soon as I could) I can offer a small comparison. The 400 was top-heavy. It felt more so than the DRZ it replaces. It hit hard, and was not smooth or tractor-like. It handled...weird. The suspension was harsh-ish but compared to a DRZ in rocky-rooty-snotty trails what isn't? Of course, trying to kick-start that thing was not even remotely fun. Not at all. The thing was such a beast that I barely even considered the 450 my brother in law has been selling for the longest time. I finally gave in a test rode it and WOW! What a difference! It turns great, has a low, tractable sort of power that winds out nicely up high. It handles great, takes the snotties almost as well as a DRZ and kick starts easily (but only if you want to: button!!!). 2005 was a major update year, the last until the aluminum frames. I would make that my target year if I were you.

  • firffighter

Posted October 10, 2009 - 08:23 PM


Thanks for the advice. I am looking at a '06 that has about 300 miles on it and looks like new. It has all the free mods, rejetted w/ Boyesen quickshot. It has a nice skidplate, works connection frame guards and rad guards.

After further research, I am sure that I want an '05-'06 because of the smooth tractor power, and great handling.

I'll post pics if I pick it up.

  • chevytrkn1

Posted October 11, 2009 - 07:08 PM


i went from an 04 xr 400 to my current 07 450, i added 2 teeth to the rear sprocket and now its a great woods bike. huge improvement over the xr in every aspect

  • XR500HACK

Posted October 22, 2009 - 09:07 PM


i own a xr 400,500,650. love the "TRACTOR" luggability. The wr 400 or 450 which i own a wr 400f will not lug like the old school 4 strokes. The fly wheel is lighter and thus wont let the engine keep going in a lugging range. But for anything over a lugging rpm say 2000 rpm or over, the wr will put the old tractor to shame. I love my wr and the xr's are collecting dust. Till this winter, when i need a Tractor, i will ride my wr.

  • Parx_400

Posted October 23, 2009 - 06:03 AM


I went from an 85 xr350 to a 2000 WR400. I would take the WR any day over the old xr. Now I have an 05 wr450. Its like the 400 but handles better and has more power.

  • Bushdog

Posted November 25, 2009 - 03:48 AM


The XR 400 and WR 450 are not the same animal! DO NOT BOTHER WITHT THE WR400 - god bike, but why bother when you can get electric start alloy frame 450 - i have an 08 and it is an absolute weapon! it would EASILY have twice the power of an XR400 and would pass a Wr400 on the back wheel. you can use this bike for ANYTHING it will do everything your XR does (in terms of luggability) but will do it twice as good. you only live once - get the best and F$%K the rest!

  • Bushdog

Posted November 25, 2009 - 03:51 AM


By the way i dont understand this Lugging business - i dont know anyone who rides a bike at 2000rpm!!!!! why would you want to do this? Rememebr the wr is 450cc's is will pull/lugg/chug/torque its way out of any Sh!T


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