Differences between wr 426 and xr650 ???

40 replies to this topic
  • jwriott

Posted July 09, 2003 - 05:32 AM


JR650, sorry if I'm coming off the wrong way and I hope I didn't piss you off. I've seen the dyno sheets like the one's from FMF many times and both these bikes have roughly the same power. The XR650R has way more torque. The WR's are very fast and are a lot different than the YZ's.

Sorry you've had a bad experience with the KTM's. I have quite a few buddies that have them and have no more problems than any other bikes, my friends XR650 included.

Like you, I have very strong feelings about which brand bike to buy. I'm die hard Honda and this WR was a very difficult choice for me but it has been an awesome bike and very reliable. I had an XR400 before that and it's worlds better. I'm still waiting for the CRF450 or CRF250 and I'll sell the WR at that time.

OldOutdoorsMan, to address your issue of me never having ridden an XR650R, here goes. I bought an XR400 after 20+ years of riding 2-stroke 250's and 500's. Had it a year and was riding with my friend with the XR650R and decided I needed something with more suspension, power, etc. I rode his bike extensively in many situations. Tight gnarly single track trails, wide open fireroads, 13,000+ feet trails, Moab type slick rock and wide open sand washes in Moab. I almost bought this bike. It was just too much weight for me over a long day. We both like to ride very aggressively all day and I just notice that I get a lot more tired on the big XR.

Even out in the open where the XR650R shines, I still like the WR better because there is less weight and better suspension. For ME this is a better bike. Outdoorsman, have you ridden a WR?

Carlisle, one other thing to consider is that the WR will have many interchangeable parts with your 250.

I just noticed that you are in Fort Collins, we should get together before you buy a new bike and you can ride both of them. That should give you the best info. :)

  • oldoutdoorsman

Posted July 09, 2003 - 07:33 AM


Post deleted by oldoutdoorsman

  • sunnymex

Posted July 09, 2003 - 07:50 AM


boat-anchor KRL650's

Give the KLR a little respect. I rode one from San Francisco all the way to the tip of South America without a single problem. It is a solid bike.

So I feel compelled to chime in on this pissing contest. I have several thousand miles on my 650 and can't say enough great things about it. I just lost my engine, true, but that was not the bikes fault. I have also ridden a WR426 quite a bit, a few local races and also just around the block.

As you can tell by the myriad of bikes that I own, that I am sworn to fun and loyal to none. I think that I can hopefully give a non-biased opinion on both bikes.

From what I gathered about both of these bikes is the following:
WR- Is much lighter in the front end than the xr, which allows it to handle a little better in soft stuff.
XR- Much more solid ride. Bike feels much safer and smooth at higher speeds.
XR- The bike will go just about anywhere you can get the front tire to go.
WR- This bike is also a flat tracking machine. It does not mind the slick corners, but rather devours them.
WR- Can be used on a motocross track without a problem and actually do pretty well.
XR- Can be used on a motocross track with appropriate suspensions mods and a good rider and do alright. Another plus is that it draws a lot more attention when racing on a motocross track.
XR- I have taken the bike on some really techical trails and done just fine. It is heavier, but really quite a nimble bike as long as you know how to work it right. If you get tired riding it, then you should go to the gym more often or at least work on your cardio a little. You'll be surprised at how much of a better rider you will be.
XR- Can't be beat in the desert.
WR- Geared properly can keep up with just about any bike and sometimes even faster than some.
XR- Geared properly it cannot be beat.
XR- Properly maintained, you cannot break it.
XR- Maintenance is pretty easy, with exeption of the plugs, which are out of sight.
WR- Need tools to clean filter. :)
XR- Softer seat.

Anyhow, these are just my two cents worth. Feel free to add on if you like. I am sure that there are more advantages and disadvantages for both.

  • Orange520

Posted July 09, 2003 - 09:19 AM


Sorry, my adjectives get the best of me.

Let's face it. they are heavy. But I've seen big guys ride them and make them look like 125's. They are also an excellent DP mount.


  • BrandonW

Posted July 09, 2003 - 09:48 AM


I've never ridden the XR650R so I have no experience with one. I have heard that they are blistering fast on the straight but they're difficult to "throw around" on the tight and twisty stuff...

I'd say no. Last year, I had opportunity to race one, and when you give it gas, that bike rears up and dances much easier and nimbly than it gets credit for. I really fell in love with it for wide open spaces; Those obstacles that you don't dance around can be mowed right over.

A very nice balance if you ask me, and not a pig like we all like to call it.

Here was our race bike for Baja1000, 2002.

Posted Image

This Campbell dude had one too, and they wanted me to pop some wheelies on it to make sure that it was set-up right, but I was pretty busy for that.

Posted Image

Then that Campbell guy started buddy-punching all his friends, asking them "Is that that Brandon Whallon guy?" Next thing I know, he is asking if he can have his picture with me? Gotta keep it real with the fans...

Posted Image

And here is me hopping on the pig! Got a little dust on the lens, but I did have a huge grin on my face!

Posted Image

We took 7th in the Sportsman class!


  • jwriott

Posted July 09, 2003 - 10:12 AM


Oldoutdoorsman, you have contributed nothing to this post. On top of that, your last rant directed responses to me for things I didn't even post. Others posted the dyno charts and pointed out your lack of reading comprehension. I just responded to your "he doesn't claim to have ridden the XR650" comment and didn't rip on you, I'm just explaining my experience.

The reason people are adding some woods comments in relates to the fact that in the original post, Carlisle states "Would keep my wr250 for tight stuff and xr650 for dessert and open but maybee if its great everywhere just using the xr." Because of this statement, people are letting him know that it can be a handfull to ride this bike in tight woods. If he is considering this bike for all of his riding, the woods opinions are very relavent.

In addition to having experience on both bikes, I also live in the same town as he does and more than likely ride very similar terrain if not the same trails.

Carlisle, the offer is still open to try and get together so you can ride both bikes since we are all in Fort Fun. I'll be out of town soon for a week so we'll just need to work out the details. I'm sure my buddy won't mind if you take a spin on his XR650R. If you are interested, PM me sometime.

  • sunnymex

Posted July 09, 2003 - 10:21 AM


Those are some sweet pics. Are you guys going to race the 1000 again this year? Should be good this year. What other Baja races have you raced? 500?

  • BrandonW

Posted July 09, 2003 - 10:28 AM


Are you guys going to race the 1000 again this year?

I sure hope so! My girlfriend speaks fluent Espanole, but she did not get to go because she had other obligations. She is hounding me to go again!

What other Baja races have you raced?

Nada. When I hopped on that bike, I had a total of 1 race under my belt, and it was a DNF! :D

I now am a seasoned racer (6 races, I think :) ) and looking for more!

  • oldoutdoorsman

Posted July 09, 2003 - 10:40 AM


Post deleted by oldoutdoorsman

  • Freakboy

Posted July 09, 2003 - 11:24 AM


How do the pictures explain the differences between a 650 and a 426?

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  • scorch

Posted July 09, 2003 - 01:37 PM


This bitch pulls HARD! :)

It sure does.. Don't you love it? I thought I was going to be dissapointed after I sold my cr500 for the xr, but the xr is an amazing bike. I like to scare myself with it.

  • smashinz2002

Posted July 09, 2003 - 05:59 PM


Hahahah hell yeah bro! I still have my '97CR500, and it's still fun to play with, when I want to "really" scare my self, but for general everyday "scaring of myself" (and others), I do prefer my 650R!! And it's street legal too! Even more fun ripping up the pavement!
I really liked my YZ426, but since it didn't have a lighting coil, I finally got bored just riding it "off road only". Sure, you can pay a small fortune for a lighting coil, but when someone says, hey man, I have a '00 650R for sale for 3700 with only a hundred miles on it, then yeah, I'm gonna buy that. Also, it works great in the mountains.
One last thought; Is that Old man confused or something? This post has been a lot of fun and why is he trying to grade everyone's replies ? That seems odd.
L.L. :)

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted July 11, 2003 - 09:51 AM


Let me start by saying that I have never ridden an XR but I have lots of respect for them and think they are most likely better than my WR450 in 2 ways.

The WR's low end is not smooth and the bike is easy to stall in technical spots. This is due to the advanced timing and lighter rotating mass in the new 4-stroke engines. I think that this is a big reason the auto clutches are getting so popular.

The second is durability. The engines have been solid on all my yamahas but the light weight pieces on the bike are fragile and I have added every protection devise known to man. I am sure my bike now weighs almost as much as a DRZe now.

Oh yeah an XR 650 is probably the best D/S candidate on the planet.

  • Carlisle1972

Posted July 17, 2003 - 10:18 AM


You guys are brutal, but I love it. Thanks everyone for all the info. Yesterday I spent about 4 hours on my new wr250 just trying to keep it started for more than 10 seconds. I had day dreams of backing my truck about 35mph's with the tailgate down and slamming on the binders in front of the Yamaha shop. :D I took it in. The first time in my career that I couldn't fix it myself. I seriously think after I fix it I will buy a 650, I have in the past three weeks passed up two rides with my buddies due to my $4000.00 pretty non moving blue bike. In the last year I have spent 2000.00 in repairs and sat out of 4 months of ridding time due to Yamahas. ( Im not looking for a fight I think they are great bikes just not for me.) To the guy in Fort Collins I just moved to Thornton Co. for work but would love to ride with you sometime Oh S### we can't make any plans I don't have a bike that runs. I have learned from riding my coutch for four months that the important thing is being able to enjoy the sport that we all love no matter what bike you are ridding. :)

  • JR650

Posted July 17, 2003 - 02:02 PM


I can pretty much guarantee that after you uncork it, the ole BRP will never let you down, yamahas just need the odd kick in the A$$ to let them know who is boss. if you dont mind me asking, what screwed up? i havent ever had or have friends that had a yamaha that needed more than the odd part every few years (like kickstarters), and usual wear items.

As for backin into the yamaha dealer, Go to proline motorsports in saskatoon, saskatchewan and back into the front window, make sure you dont hit the binders until you are in the showroom though, wouldnt want them to have to come out and get the bike from the parking lot :), they really enjoy screwing their customers.

  • smashinz2002

Posted July 17, 2003 - 06:04 PM


Well, JR650, if you haven't heard of a Yamaha falling apart, now you shall! haha. A good friend of mine also purchased a brand new YZ426 back in Dec.'99. In June of '00, the rear hub disintegrated under acceleration, causing the rear wheel and chain to become useless. The end result of course was a crash, a bent and chewed up swingarm, a ruined excel rim (they came with those), a ruined hub of course, ruined spokes, and crash damage.
My bike never broke the hub, but it did have an oil leak as a result of faulty casting of the crankcase. I sold the bike immediately. Then, I found an '83 DR500 for $400 bucks, and rode that until I could find an XR650R or an XR600. I found a 650R, and I'm glad I did. I've been riding it now for almost two years, and it's been very reliable, and just as powerful as the YZ was. Plus now it's a dual sport, and it's great! The old DR sits in my garage as a second bike for any friends who want to ride but :) can't handle "real" power like the 650R.

  • Carlisle1972

Posted July 18, 2003 - 07:58 AM


The first was my 01 yzf 426 large pieces of the clutch basket chipped off and ran all through engine, damageing the oil pump clutch piston and rings, then same bike after fixing that in middle of the utah desert blew new camchain which caused the valves to slam into the head and explode everything in the top end, valves, head, piston you name it it was broken, fixed it then sold it to a shop and bought a NEW 01 wr250. Had about 750 miles on it and now something else :D it's in the shop. (I do not trash bikes I keep them in perfect shape and do the required maintance) My buddies say that Im way too hard on bikes but I know that a large portion of riders are as well. Thats why Im going to a XR650R or as I have recently learned "BRP". I remember when I used to ride XR'S and the piece of mind was priceless. You knew the ride was going to be great and you would for sure make it back now on Yamahas you need to bring only one tool... a tow rope because if something does happen it major no small problems for me just major ones. So as soon as I get it back from the shop its for sale so I will be looking for a BRP in the Colorado area so if you know of one new, or even very good shape used get back to me and Im looking forward to thanking you all for the good info on the XR 650 :)

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted July 19, 2003 - 08:52 PM


I've have ridden many XR650's in the past, I have about 10 friends that ride them. My opinion is that they are really good, reliable bikes. They are big.. I'm not saying they're heavy or fat but they're just big motorcycles. The power is all down low with tons of low end torque. I personaly don't fit the profile to ride one at 5'8 and 170lbs. I don't think they make great trail bikes either. When Campbell has to race a tight course like Laughlin he'll bring his CRF (and win) :).

The WR426 is a lighter and quicker handling bike that might not be as stable as the XR but I feel it's more suitable for more types of terrain. The WR in my opinion is a jack of all trades kind of bike. The WR doesn't weigh 245lbs either, it's more like 265 trust me I've had three of these bikes and I have a really accurate scale... And I want to say that the XR is pushing 300lbs.
As far as speed goes, my WR426 out-ran every one of my friends XR's with power up mods when it came to top-end, the WR450 goes even faster. Both bikes will do just fine, but I can't imagine ever buying a new 4 stroke without an electric starter. KTM had it right from the get go...


  • Carlisle1972

Posted July 20, 2003 - 06:57 AM


I do see your point however I have had 2 KTM's, 2 Yamahas and between my self and my Dad who rips for 63 yrs old, we have had 10 XR's. I have broke down in the middle of no where on a large trips 4 times once on a KTM 400 and three times on Yamahas. Never once have I or my father or any of his buddies which would bring the grand total of XR's to about 25 give or take, ever been left while ridding a XR. Sure we have had chains break, pertches break things like that, they always started and never left us. The percentage is much much better on a XR. If you like to ride alot I believe that XR's are the way to go and Im soory that I ever ventured elsewhere. If you go back to the posts on the Yamaha side a lot of people have large problems with their Yam's here on the XR side for the most part people have jetting questions suspension questions little stuff. Yes the WR's are lighter better for woods in some ways but If I am riding one Im consistantly thinking of my bike breaking and things not to hit, and ridding it too hard because I seem to break them. My whole point is I like to ride a lot I dont like sitting in the desert for three days waiting to drive by buddies home when the trip is done because my Yam broke AGAIN. I dont race much so it's not as important to me to have the fastest bike always. Plus I think any good rider can go fast on any bike even XR200's (ok no desert stuff but trail riding you can learn the bike and work it to the bikes advantages.) Just my two cents worth

  • Racin Jason

Posted June 18, 2005 - 01:23 AM


426 Hmmm well im a yamaha guy and i wont own a 426 somthing about them make them harder to start . Way fasy and handle great but my yz426 would have me tired befor even riding it . I raced the baja 500 on a 05 wr450 It worked great more power than you can use and its light had a great time . 15-45 steel sprockets worked for baja .

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