WR 450 vs. EXC 450?


43 replies to this topic
  • sarek

Posted November 06, 2010 - 05:32 PM

#1

Am looking to upgrade from an 01 XR 400. Had a blast on an 06' EXC, but have also heard great things about the 05-06 WR 450's (no overheating, etc.).
Any thoughts?

  • L. Euler

Posted November 06, 2010 - 07:31 PM

#2

I have a 03 WR450 and a 10 450 XCW and I love both of them. The Yamaha is a bit heavier, but it has more low end punch than the KTM. My WR has had a lot of work done it besides the freebies though. The KTM runs like a sewing machine on steady cruise, but just explodes when you twist the throttle.

  • YamaLink

Posted November 07, 2010 - 05:05 AM

#3

That is a great analogy! I have a 2010 KTM 400XCW, and the motor is so friendly all the time but can light it up when needed.

The KTM runs like a sewing machine on steady cruise, but just explodes when you twist the throttle.



  • mongial

Posted November 07, 2010 - 05:45 AM

#4

Either will give you a big ol:D

  • sarek

Posted November 07, 2010 - 07:18 AM

#5

Yeah, have read similar stuff in other places. Thanks.

  • 1talbotj

Posted November 11, 2010 - 04:49 PM

#6

i own a 2005 wr450 and 2007 wr250, i love both bikes, i made mods to the 450 thats makes me have bladder control problems when i crack the throttle...i have never seen a 450 pull weelies in 5th gear like this one...my friends are afraid of the power...

  • Navaho6

Posted November 12, 2010 - 10:50 AM

#7

i own a 2005 wr450 and 2007 wr250, i love both bikes, i made mods to the 450 thats makes me have bladder control problems when i crack the throttle...i have never seen a 450 pull weelies in 5th gear like this one...my friends are afraid of the power...


Is the 250 a lot more nimble?



I saw that the KTM is listed at 270 lb with fluids. I weighed my '06 WR450 last month with fuel - 270 lbs with, barkbusters, steering stabilzer and skidplate. Therefore a totally stock '06 WR450 should weigh less than the '08 450 EXC. The '09 WR is listed as 272 wet. Bottom line is that both bikes are equal in the weight dept. http://www.dirtrider...erformance.html.

The KTM is a fine bike. "Ready to race" is true. http://www.dirtrider...0_xc/index.html


The WR takes some set up to get it ready. However, with the cost savings on a WR, you can have the suspension professionally tuned to be even better that the KTM and have $ left over. The WR suspension is the only weakness, and a revalve totally transforms it from trail bike to race machine.

WR450's are known for outstanding reliability. Some newer KTM's are questionable. Time will tell. http://www.enduro360...diaries-part-1/

Edited by Navaho6, November 12, 2010 - 12:15 PM.


  • SJMC_DON

Posted November 12, 2010 - 12:39 PM

#8

If you want to maintain the relaibility you had with the XR.... buy the Yamaha.

Either bike is more than capable of doing what you want, it's 95% rider ability when you compare the performance of the two anyway....

I have ridden and raced (hard) WR's for years, I am currently riding the 5th WR4xx that I have owned. I have a big circle of riding and racing buddies inwhich KTM and Husqavarna are the majority and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Yamahas have been far more reliable and bullet proof at all levels.... you can discuss performance all you want but they are too close to argue if you are competent rider you will make the bike perform the way it should. WR's stock suspension is the only black mark on it's resume... a small price to pay to upgrade and have a less expensive bike that is simply a tougher and more reliable bike...

I am a little biased:busted:

  • 123BigcoopDawg576

Posted November 12, 2010 - 02:24 PM

#9

I am a little biased:busted:


No, I fill the same way :p

  • rkwfxd1

Posted November 13, 2010 - 07:16 PM

#10

Sarek,

I looked at both bikes about a year ago. Let me start by saying I am a big fan of KTM. I have ridden KTMs and enjoyed them enough to recommend them to my friends. I WAS also afraid of the horror stories I heard about how hard it is to work on WRs. Anyway, I went to the KTM dealer with check book in hand and took a good hard look at the NEW KTMs with the new engine which uses shims to adjust the valves. After talking to the salesman and kicking tires for a while I found it very easy to just walk away. A few hours later I had an new 09 WR450 in my truck. I rode it stock once and then did the free mods. I absolutely love this bike. Additionally, it turns out that for me at least, working on it is not all that difficult. Yes some things are a tight fit but for the most part by taking my time and reading up on some helpful tips here on ThumperTalk before I start a major project like valve adjustment or carb removal I have been able to keep the profanity to a minimum.

I am completely happy with my WR, BUT if the older KTM530 with the threaded tappet valves were available at the time I would be riding one of those.

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  • 1talbotj

Posted November 15, 2010 - 05:42 AM

#11

i bought a wr 450 in 2005, it had the power of a 250cc, i never was really happy with it...i brought it to 3 different yamaha dealers to get the bike faster with GYTR parts and got jerked around...and last year i was ready to go to back to KTM myself....until i ran across a factory trained tech that does work out of his garage, between Thumper talk tips and his skills i am extremely happy with my 450 rocket now...this thing is a rocket on wheels now...happy riding...

  • 1talbotj

Posted November 15, 2010 - 05:48 AM

#12

as i stand next to both bikes and give them the side to side shake test to check for top heavy feel, the 250 does feel lighter...and yes it is a little easier to run through the wood trails...

  • cardoc

Posted November 19, 2010 - 08:35 AM

#13

I also have had plenty of KTMs and Yamahas. I have both right now as well. I weight about 220. I put a heavier spring in the rear of my 07 WR and I think it has some of the best suspension I have ever ridden - bone stock. Maybe not for hard core racing but, damn, if you riding rocks, roots, step ups, gnarly rock washes etc... the thing kind of floats over the terrain. Also I geared it up and it makes a fantastic dual sport bike and has a great stock headlight. Last thing - if you go to Baja and see a guided tour with 15 bikes - they are all WR450s because they don't want to have any reliabitlity issues down there. I don't care about adjusting the valves because on the Yamaha, I'll never have to.

  • Navaho6

Posted November 19, 2010 - 01:04 PM

#14

I put a heavier spring in the rear of my 07 WR and I think it has some of the best suspension I have ever ridden - bone stock. Maybe not for hard core racing but, damn, if you riding rocks, roots, step ups, gnarly rock washes etc... the thing kind of floats over the terrain.


I loved that initial softness of the WR but had too many problems in the whoops and log crossings because the front was bottoming. So I sent it to Race Tech. They did a wonderful job of maintaining that initial plushness but with more compression damping at midstroke.

Even with the revalve, I really prefer 10wt oil in the forks vs. 5 wt. I like the firmer action in the whoops, and with the compression a few clicks softer, the 10wt does not cause any bothersome harshness. Fork oil height is set at 95mm which helps on bottoming resistance.

  • MaxPower

Posted November 20, 2010 - 07:20 PM

#15

[COLOR="Green"]I hate how tall and heavy my WR450 is
I dont care how fast or how well the suspension is. You cant get away from its weight
[/COLOR]

  • cardoc

Posted November 21, 2010 - 02:19 PM

#16

I agree on the weight thing. It's too bad the Japs have to load so much junk on their off road bikes. On the other hand, a 450 XC-W without lights weighs in at 255. The WR is about 263 depending on what you read. If you add lights to the KTM, they are pretty close. I would really love to see a 240 lb electric start off road bike. Oh wait, the 450/505 XC-F weighs 238 stock.

  • projected

Posted November 22, 2010 - 10:02 AM

#17

No one seems to know, care, or understand that KTM weighs their bikes DRY. As of 2009 all Japanese bikes are weighed WET, as in ready to ride with a full tank of gas. According to Yamaha the 09 weighed 272 wet ready to ride, somehow the 2011 model dropped 5 lbs and weighs 267 now (I'm not aware of any changes).

Any 450 with lights is going to be in the 265 to 275 range, KTM is not any lighter than the Japanese bikes. People commonly compare KTM DRY weights with no lights to the Japanese bikes with lights and then proclaim that KTM is the lightest bike and the Japanese bikes are pigs. In reality all 450 enduro bikes are pigs and they are all within 2-10 lbs of each other.

I had a 2007 450EXC and it too was a heavy pig. IMO the RFS motor was great (when it wasn't leaking oil out of the counter shaft, shift shaft, or kick starter), Oil changes were an absolute nightmare (I somehow got used to them but always dreaded oil change time). I also didn't care for the Brembo clutch, I didn't like it's modulation, it was either on or off.

The geometry/handling of 07 and prior KTMs is just terrible IMO (it's only marginally better on 08+ bikes, still not in the ballpark for me though). I hated the front end, I tried to force myself to come to terms with the steering by riding it for 80 hours one summer, it didn't work.... I can get on a red, yellow, green, or blue bike and feel fairly at home in a few minutes, but I could never feel at home on the KTM. Besides the geometry, the suspension is terrible as well, and I'm sure plays a part in the handling issues I experienced. Initial plushness was ok but the mid stroke was extremely harsh, my wrists would ache in record time riding rocks or anything hacky. Even with the harshness the rear shock would blow through it's travel and bottom way to easily (I weigh 165 in street clothes and ride at an A level).

I read on KTM talk that I needed to spend $1000-$1200 on the suspension and then change triple clamps for another $400-500 in hopes of getting the bike to possibly steer better. Although plenty of people went this route and still weren't happy. In the end I fixed all of the handling, suspension, and oil leak issues of my EXC by getting rid of it and buying a 2007 WR450.

The WR is definitely not great out of the box but is easy to get right in a hurry once you do the free mods and set up the suspension to your riding/ability. I had a WR250 in the past and even after revalving the suspension I was never happy with the fork. This time I bought a like new YZ450 fork off ebay (In rocks the WR fork is ok but in the whoops it is a bottoming nightmare) for $350 and revalved the front and rear to match for another $300. For $650 I have a bike that is super plush in the rocks and capable of running really well in desert whoops all by using the clickers.

My stock battery was dead when I bought my bike so I replaced it with a turntech and saved about 3.5 lbs of highly placed weight. I also found a YZ450 titanium spring on craigslist that was the correct spring rate for $45 and saved about 1.3 lbs. A titanium Q4 saved me about 1.2 lbs. Not a ton of weight but affordable and easy to drop.

Of course all of the above is just my opinion. KTM riders seem to all have strong opinions so why can't a guy on a blue bike? :p

If I were you I would just get a 2 stroke :mad: :thumbsup:

  • cardoc

Posted November 22, 2010 - 10:25 AM

#18

Your last sentence is funny. While reading your post, I was going to ask you about 2 strokes. Do you feel the same way (handling and suspension) about KTM 2 strokes? Also, I think KTM can claim to be somewhat lighter (all other things being equal) because the lack of linkage is said to save about 5 + pounds. Also, the frame is said to be a pound or two lighter. Of course I weight 220 w/o gear, so a burrito or two less would do more than a few grand in mods.

  • 1talbotj

Posted November 23, 2010 - 05:28 AM

#19

i weigh 240...i recently had my 2005 wr450 race tuned with new cams, dropped 2 teeth on the front cog, pipes, suspension stiffened for my weight, free mods and a jd carb kit...i have about $1800 invested in the upgrades for parts and labor, i have been riding this bike hard to ensure its ready for 2011 enduro racing...the bike doesnt leak oil, doesnt missfire, easy to start, easy to wheelie out of corners, the only problem i see is i burn through the rear tire too fast from the power going to the rear wheel.
i understand some guys like blonds and some guys like brunettes but after i performed the mods my Honda, KTM, Suzuki friends really have nothing bad to say about the power, weight, reliability or driveability of the bike...i will say before the mods i wasnt happy and wanted to trade it in for a KTM 530, but now i am really happy to ride this thing again...and being its not an aluminum frame its really easy to get to the carburator...try that with the newer frames...you need to take off the rear end of the frame...
i am so happy with the mods so far i was thinking of pushing the bike just for fun with a big bore kit...after next summers racing of course...i know its a bad investment if i want to sell the bike but what the heck...its nice to be the only guy in my neihborhood to have a 2005 wr500...he he he..

  • WideRatio

Posted November 24, 2010 - 02:25 PM

#20

as i stand next to both bikes and give them the side to side shake test to check for top heavy feel, the 250 does feel lighter...and yes it is a little easier to run through the wood trails...


I started on a 04wr250f, then upgraded to a 07wr450f. The 250 was more more nimble on tight trails. Love how it pulls the front wheel up in the turns. It was better on single track. But, the 450 is soooo much more fun. Worth the weight hands down. Love it!! They say that adding the electronic battery helps with the heavy feel. Havent tried it yet.




 
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