WR450F or DRZ400....for everything

21 replies to this topic
  • Simple_One

Posted May 04, 2011 - 10:28 PM


Hi All,

I'm looking at getting my first road registered bike, the trick is I'm looking for something with versatility. At the moment I'm looking hard at WR450F or a DRZ-400E/S/SM.

The purpose of the bike is for short adventure rides (maximum six days, most would be 3 or so), which will entail some freeway getting there (a few hours at 100-120kph), but as much offroad as possible. I realise either of these bikes is a big compromise on comfort, cargo capacity and mileage, but for me I feel it will be worthwhile for the added offroad ability and reduced weight.

My main concern at the moment is:
1. lack of a substantial rear subframe.
2. Servicing intervals.

I won't be flogging the bike on my weekends away or taking massive loads with me (I plan to get a larger, plumper adventure bike in the near future for that purpose) but I'm concerned about small oil capacity and long highway rides buggering the engine, or overloading a bike with no real support at the back. Can you help me with what options would exist for alleviating these problems on the WR450F or DRZ 400's?

I'm thinking here about:
1. Gearing changes
2. Oil system improvements (larger aftermarket sumps, oil coolers etc).
3. Cargo carrying options or rear subframe reinforcement.

At the moment I can get the following for similar money ($5k to $5k):

1. 06 WR450F with 20,000km on it and a supermoto conversion $5,000.
2. 09/10 DRZ-400E with no SM conversion, but only 300km's to 1,500km's on it; or
3. 08 DRZ-400SM with ~10,000km on it and a few basic mods.

Any thoughts on where the money might be best spent?

  • miweber929

Posted May 05, 2011 - 04:18 AM


If you're looking to ride "as much off road as possible", then why are you focusing on Supermoto's? Those small wheel suck off road. Big time.

Not sure how the motors differ US to you guys but a WR is lighter (here), more performance but needs more attention do to a 1 quart oil system. My dad has an 06 DRz S and while it's heavier, not as snappy and not as well suspended as my 04 WR, it has a much bigger oil sump and requires less maint that way.

From your description of riding, especially at the speeds your talking I'd vote DRz. If you can lower your expected speeds a bit (again, comparing US model to US) and do more frequent oil changes, WR is a nice bike.

I don't know anything about you personally, so don't take this wrong but from my past experiences take a hard, honest look at what you are ACTUALLY going to do when it comes to buying a dual sport. I have bought and sold several "wrong" bikes at various times because:

1. the Alaska trip I wanted to do never happened
2. I rode WAY more street than dirt
3. I rode way more dirt than street
4. I rarely actually rode street
5. I rarely actually rode dirt

Had XLs, KLRs, KLX's, XRs and a converted CR all at different times and none were really right at the time I owned them (do to the reasons above) but I bought what I wanted to do, not what I actually did for riding.

HONESTLY look at what WILL happen, not MAY. And a DRZ with dirt sized wheels will be a better fit based on your description above.


Edited by miweber929, May 05, 2011 - 10:10 AM.

  • travertt

Posted May 05, 2011 - 06:25 AM


I owned an 03 DRZ 400 S/SE for one year (bought it used in 08). I took it mostly in the dirt (tough gnarly trails) but had to ride it about 10-15 miles to the trails and from the trails at highway speeds each time we went out.

The next year I aquired a street legal (but 100% dirt oriented) 04 WR450 for exactly the some purposes as described above.

Based on your description of how you plan to ride, I would highly recommend you go for the DRZ.

It may be only 400CC put that engine is tough as nails and a real workhorse. As the previous responder indicated it also carries plenty of oil in frame for low maintenance and overall had a more "heavy duty/robust" general build with a more substantial subframe and forks and a steel gas tank with larger fuel capacity and a lockable gas cap. I would also suggest that instrumentation on the DRZ would be superior to the WR for your puposes. No doubt all these things are why it weighs about 40-50 pounds more than the WR and why the WR is a far superior machine for the dirt.

This is not to put the WR450 down, it is arguably one of the toughest beasts out there and its relaibility is legendary...but it is a far more "purpose built" machine (in my opinion) and that purpose is dirt!

I LOVE my WR and would never go back to a DRZ...but I ride dirt...I hate riding it on the highway and the WR is really not meant for it. The engine is not intended to run at sustained high RPMs in a narrow range.

I would suggest one thing for the DRZ....get yourself a more comfortable after market seat!! Maybe the later models you are looking at have a better butt sling than my 03...but I can tell you that you will very likely be miserable in any extended riding situation if you don't upgrade the seat to something with significantly more padding.

My two cents.

  • SoCA_DRZ

Posted May 05, 2011 - 06:55 AM


I agree with the 2 posters above. As you can see from my username, I've owned a DRZ before, but have a plated WR now. For your intended purpose, the DRZ will be the better bike. Won't be as much fun in the dirt, but a lot more manageable on the pavement.

  • GuyGraham

Posted May 05, 2011 - 12:00 PM


I've currently got both (WR450 2008 & DRZ400) and I'd say go for the WR

  • homer2000

Posted May 05, 2011 - 04:09 PM


I've just recently got my license, and setting mine up for the road, outing super motard wheels on it, and went in the the local dealer, and was talking to them about it, and they said riding it on the road at high revs for long periods isn't good, like along highways, they said because of the small amount of oil, and if your going to your looking at a top end every year, bout 600 for a top end Depends what needed replacing.
And got to do oil changes really frequent ,
But they said for just kicking round the city, which is what I'm going to be doing, is fine, because your on and off the throttle all the time
This may help you, helped me anyways

  • Simple_One

Posted May 05, 2011 - 04:40 PM


Great info gents, thanks.

I'm going to go have a look at the WR this arvo, and a DRZ SM tomorrow. I really wasn't considering the WR, until this one popped up at what seems like a very good price.

I'll have a good look at it and see if I could 'live' with it, if it seems like it's too specialised then I'll give it a miss.

From what your all saying, it seems like there is not a lot in the way of gearing options or aftermarket enhancements to help the WR survive the highway sections at all, is that correct?

  • shrubitup

Posted May 05, 2011 - 04:59 PM


DR650 is tough to beat.

  • wrwest

Posted May 05, 2011 - 10:47 PM


What you need is a XR 650 R - gives you all the options.

  • Simple_One

Posted May 06, 2011 - 12:09 AM


Yep, the Yamaha guys I spoke to today thought I was made to think about trying to adapt the WR to an adventure bike... :thumbsup:

The XR650R had crossed my mind, alas they're hard to find...

I'll look at the WR as a toy only, if it's really good value I'll consider it for that purpose only, otherwise it's out unfortunately.

The Yamaha guys were trying to flog me a Tenere or XT660X, any experience with them?

From the limited test ride I had (casual road riding only), it felt like it would be a great cruiser, but a little lack luster and heavy for spirited trail riding...

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  • mikewrf18

Posted May 06, 2011 - 12:10 AM


I recommend the DRZ if you are going to be on the street alot. I have an 07 WR, and there is no way I'd be taking it out on the highway. My friend has a 02 DRZ400E, and after riding that bike around on occasion I would say it is better suited to your on and offroad needs. Good Luck

  • MANIAC998

Posted May 06, 2011 - 04:04 AM


As you can see on my avatar, I've owned a DRZ. It's a sweet bike and can do anything, with some choice mods! But I've also went and bought an '06 WR for my racing exploits. I suggest the DRZ for you. They might be heavy, but they are a true dependable workhorse. Maniac

  • Simple_One

Posted May 06, 2011 - 04:17 AM


Cheers all, seems like a bit of an agreement.

  • Flagstaff

Posted May 06, 2011 - 09:03 PM


A 450 won't do extended highway rides.

  • MaxPower

Posted May 06, 2011 - 11:24 PM


I ride a 04 Wr
Its tough to imagine a heavier bike than that thing

  • mikewrf18

Posted May 06, 2011 - 11:42 PM


I ride a 04 Wr
Its tough to imagine a heavier bike than that thing

My 07'WR feels light and nimble compared to my friends DRZ.

  • Simple_One

Posted May 07, 2011 - 03:48 AM


Rode two bikes today, one of which was the WR. It has a lot of punch and felt pretty nimble for a reasonably large capacity dirt bike (by my standard of dirt bikes anyway :confused:), but it was pretty 'no frills' and has absolutely no rear subframe or cargo carrying capability worthy of the name. So whilst it's a tempting option just for the fun, I'm going to give it a miss.

The other bike I rode was a modded DRZ (jets, big bore, MRD etc), and it didn't give up that much to the WR at all, at least not as a 'fun road bike' which is the role it will be filling a lot of the time. It might be different on the track, or else I'm just to inexperienced to feel the differences, but the added weight didn't seem very noticeable nor the power particularly lacking on the DRZ. The other obvious upside is that the DRZ is probably going to be a little cheaper and easier to maintain, and it has some sort of luggage carrying capability. All in all, it made a good a case for itself. I won't get dirt wheels with the DRZ, but it shouldn't be that hard to find some either.

Thanks again for the advice guys. :thumbsup:

  • mikewrf18

Posted May 07, 2011 - 04:12 AM


Good choice, You'll definately be much happier with the DRZ for your riding conditions. Might consider reading the DRZ FAQ section in the DRZ forum. Lots of good info there if you haven't read it already.

  • Derwud

Posted May 07, 2011 - 06:23 AM


I have a 2007 WR450F and 2007 DRZ400S, and for my 3 mile trips to work and connecting single tracks with a little blacktop, WR. 10 mile plus all blacktop with a little fire roading here and there, DR. If I were you I would invest in seat and suspension for the DR.

  • ZRT800guy

Posted May 07, 2011 - 08:47 AM


ok so im looking at a 2000 WR 400 as a street bike... i would say i would be riding it a solid 50% street like around town, and 50% dirt, i would gear it to do better on the expressway since there will the the rare occasion i would have to take it down there and would like to be able to do the odd hour plus ride to say the beach.... The money is right and it was just rebuilt top to bottom and i need an honest opinion good or bad on if this bike will be able to handle it, and when you say oil chnages more often? how much more often ?


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