Well, I took the bike out for it's first ride yesterday, other than the scary test ride I took less than 2 weeks ago. First thing I did was ride it around my neighborhood and see if there were any bugs that needed to be addressed.... I'm sure my neighbors loved that, the WR is loud and I was playing with the throttle more than I should have. The test ride went well, I've got some small coolant leaks, but nothing to be worried about. I'm going to pull the tank off later and check all the coolant hoses, make sure the clamps are tight.
I decided to go ahead and load up the bike for a real ride... I headed out to Rabbit Valley 15 minutes away, on the Utah/Colorado border. Rabbit Valley is great, there's plenty of varying types of desert riding, sandy washes, fast dirt roads, dirt singletrack, technical rocky singletrack, etc. It's one of my favorite places to ride!
Moment of truth! Unloading the bike...
I hopped on the ATV trail, rather than the dirt road, and headed into the desert... there's plenty of whoops and jump and the WR wanted to spend more time in the air than on the ground. It really likes the front wheel off the ground, seems like you just have to think about it, and you're pulling the front end up! What's real funny is that I geared the front sprocket up 1 tooth, from a 14 to a 15, thinking that would tame the bike down a little... I don't think it did anything to slow it down, but it feels like a good gear ratio for desert riding.
I forgot how nasty these big WR's are, compared to what I've been riding for the last several years, this thing is just EVIL to ride. It scares the hell out of me, but also puts a huge grin on my stupid face. I love the thing!
I do wish I were in better shape, this bike wears me out... fast. I need to work on that, start riding my mountain bike again and get back into the gym. I couldn't believe how fast I was getting worn down. I'm slow, old and fat... and the WR450 is kind enough to remind me when I try to ride fast.
I blasted around Rabbit Valley, getting used to the light, narrow and fast WR450 until I reached the trailhead for the Rim Trail and the great view of the Colorado River and the railroad track below.
Again, I was reminded that I'm not that great of a rider... I killed the bike climbing up this double ledge. I could blame it on the higher gear ratio, but it was all me.
I wrapped up the Rim Trail and headed for some more smooth, fast singletrack. This trail is a BLAST, it climbs and drops up and down some steep hills, into washes and tosses in a few ledges and whoops to keep you on your toes.
And that was it! The bike ran great, I have a few minor tweaks I want to do, but was more than impressed with this machine. It ran flawlessly and performed very well.
I know a lot of people are curious about the seat, so I'll address that... the modified seat is amazing. Like I mentioned, I'm out of shape and fat, so when I get tired and can't stand anymore, I need a decent seat to put my fat ass on. The addition of the 1" foam made a huge difference, it's night and day. I rode for a few hours on Sunday and my backside didn't feel bad at all afterwards. I think the seat change was a huge upgrade in the comfort department. The downside is that it adds 1" of height to an already tall WR, but if you have the inseam to spare, I'd highly recommend it. I have a 34" inseam and standing over the bike is still comfortable, but the height is noticeable. It's not enough for me to worry about lowering the bike any.
So there it is! I'm happy as could be with the bike... I have some other additions coming up in the near future, which I'll be sure to add to this thread. Thanks to everyone that provided encouragement, kind comments and most importantly, parts!!
Edited by Greg@RME, March 28, 2011 - 10:41 AM.