WR450 or EXC 450?

19 replies to this topic
  • XtremRider

Posted September 19, 2003 - 03:12 PM


I want to get a 2004 model dezert/enduro bike and i have narrowed it down, to a wr 450 or a ktm450 exc. i want to know if anyone has tried both and has an opinion, and see if the $1000 higher price of the ktm is worth it.

  • lewichris

Posted September 19, 2003 - 03:17 PM


sometimes you may have a hard time finding parts when you need them for the katoom. That is what i have heard. I have not ridden either so i will shut up now.


  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted September 19, 2003 - 05:07 PM


I've read that the KTM450 is the best off-road bike you can buy... The WR is up there... I think the KTM would take a little more care than the Yamaha... Both are great bikes... I've heard nothing but great things about the KTM...Good luck, the choice is yours. Dan

  • Sylvain

Posted September 19, 2003 - 06:15 PM


KTM comes with top of the line components, bars, exhaust, hydraulic clutch etc. :)

The WR may be the best bang for the money :D :D

But then if you add up all the top of the line components, it's a matter of personnal choice. $=$

But the availability of the parts is also very important. :D

Decision...decision...decision... :D

  • ralphfurley

Posted September 20, 2003 - 05:39 AM


I see that your in Calif.
also consider
2003 KTM=Green Sticker
2003 wr450=red sticker

critical if you want to dual sport

  • endurodog

Posted September 20, 2003 - 06:14 AM


Well I was on a week long ride with a bunch of guys last week. My brother has a KTM450 but I didn't ride it, dohhhh!! The guys that rode my bike, then rode his said that the KTM is smaller, a feels a little lighter. The WR has more of a hit on top but they are about the same down low.

I think the difference in price is actually about $800. The KTM comes with and exhust system that is good and good bars, and a few other extras. Some of this stuff your gonna have to add to your WR sooner or later. So that really brings the cost closer to each other.

Hope that helps.

  • jwriott

Posted September 20, 2003 - 06:21 AM


My friend has a 2003 KTM 450 EXC. I'd say that it's a sweet bike. Weight feels about the same as my WR. The suspension is much softer and handles the rocky stuff better.

I think even my WR426 has more punch but his feels smoother. I also really like the 6 speed for higher top end for washes and roads.

He does have to do more maintenance than I do but it's a very nice bike.

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted September 20, 2003 - 07:19 PM


Personally, if I had it to do over again I would get the KTM. The KTM is an enduro bike made for the woods. The WR is a motocrosser adapeted to the woods. I hate to say this because I am a 21 year Yamaha rider.

  • Optik

Posted September 20, 2003 - 08:27 PM


Heh, if all the Yamaha guys are suggesting a ktm then I think it's safe to say that's the way to go.

I've only ridden two ktm's before, a 125 and 450sx and I really liked them. I don't see why everyone says they feel so weird to ride. I really liked the feel. I could get way forward on the bike easily. It did feel a lot different than my Yamaha but so does every bike, even other Yamahas, its all set up IMO. The suspension wasn't as good on the KTM but thats because both were custom valved for 200 pound riders and my Yamaha is sprung perfectly for me at 160.

  • huskyrider

Posted September 21, 2003 - 07:04 AM


I'm not going to knock the KTM's but, a couple of guys I interact with who purchased them a couple of years ago wish they'd of bought WR's like mine due to reliability issues.
For the record, I'm on the second plug in 2 years, the old ones looked fine yet I replaced 'em anyway. Other than oil changes, filter cleaning and greasing I've done nothing else except the free mods and YZ timing and jetting. BTW the needle and jet were very cheap.
Personally I'd get the WR, perform the free mods, change the handlebars and ride.
I have on several occasions wished I had a sixth gear like my WR Husky's. But the WR's don't seem to mind the higher RPM's in fifth. I guess I could go down on the rear sprocket if I wanted to, I'm sure it would help my unusable first gear.

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  • Optik

Posted September 21, 2003 - 01:42 PM


I'm sure it would help my unusable first gear.

Unusable? Is it too slow or something?

  • endurodog

Posted September 21, 2003 - 05:59 PM


I like my WR450 a lot. Why I havn't ridden a KTM450, I have ridden a KTM400. The KTM400 has a smoother power band. I don't like that, some do.

One of the big things to consider is your local dealer for each machine. Both bikes are good machines that fill a little different nich so in the end look at parts and support you will get.

  • simon@vic

Posted September 21, 2003 - 08:27 PM


if you get a ktm then get the 525exc.

  • blireef

Posted September 23, 2003 - 08:28 PM


I think all these posts are pretty good information. My 2 cents is the KTM is a little better in the tight woods and the more open it gets the better the Yamaha is with the Yamaha being quite a bit better in the desert. Parts are an issue but Yamaha parts ain't cheap either.. If I just rode in the woods I'd probably get the KTM but for both desert and woods I'm real happy with the Yamaha..Endurodog.. are you going back to the Colorado 500 next year to try again... I probably will.. Jim :) :D

  • blireef

Posted September 23, 2003 - 08:31 PM


PS where do you get a 2004 wr450 even if you do want one, they are harder to come by than KTM450's..

  • endurodog

Posted September 24, 2003 - 04:43 AM


Yep I'll be back there next year, hoping for much better weather!! It was good to meet you there.

Ken Murphy, who you met on the 500, has a 2004 WR450 on order. None are in the stores yet so no one has ridden one yet.

  • oldbones

Posted September 24, 2003 - 06:58 AM


I have ridden both, both are nice bikes out of the box. Yes, it does take a little to uncork the WR, but once you do, I think the power is considerably better than the KTM, especially on the top end.

I second the opinion above. If you were buying the bike for the woods, you may need to think about it, but you say you are buying the bike for the desert, I say no brainer, GO BLUE! If you really like KTM, and desert is where you are going, look at one of the bigger bikes.

  • Strick

Posted September 24, 2003 - 07:37 AM


I own both color bikes, although not the same as you have listed. I have NOT ridden the WR450, I DO own a completely a WR426 with all the mods including exhaust.

Parts are JUST as easy to get for the KTM as they are the Yamaha, and are sometimes CHEAPER for the same part. Information seems MORE available for the KTM. Quality is better on the KTM. KTM also has a 30 day factory warranty. Also, KTM really seems to stand behind there product, and fix glaring problems at NO charge. Two more words about the KTM: hydraulic clutch -priceless.

KTM is one of the most dependable bikes made, but if the Yamaha is properly set up and maintained, I would say equally dependable.

The suspension on my Yamaha is MUCH better than my KTM. Although, in '04 the KTM is supposed to be much better. The Yamaha definitely has more punch, and turns tighter. The center of gravity is a little higher on my Yamaha, but standing is also more comforatable for me on the Yamaha.

You are in a real dilemma, but if there is a true answer, I think it may lie in resale. Check around, but in Reno Nevada the KTM's bring a higher resale.

Good LucK and either way you go is the right way - there is no poor choice here.


Posted September 24, 2003 - 09:43 PM


I haven't ridden the WR450 yet so can't compare. :) My 520 E/XC has so far been very reliable. Whenever I do need parts I don't seem to have any problem getting them at my local dealer. Doing an oil change is a little more on the KTM as they have two oil filters and two screens filters. However, I only periodically check the screen filters any more since the last few time I checked them there was nothing there to clean. You must get used to keeping the chain on the KTM at what appears to be too loose. A tight chain on a KTM will destroy your rear hub. But, I have never had a problem with the chain or sprokets. The valves are a little easier to adjust since there are no shims under bucket. Just simple rocker arm type. Loosen the nut adjust and re-tighten. Even I can do it in a short amount of time. :D For the most part the maintenance isn't all that much different than my old WR was. I really like the six speed gear box. I can have a little lower gearing and still have decent top end for dual-sport rides, desert, et cetera. I liked the suspension better on my WR than on my stock '02 520. I have since had my suspension completely re-done and it is sweet now. I am not bashing Yamaha as I have ridden them for years and still like blue very much. I just think that right now KTM has an edge over Yamaha. For one thing, the stock exhaust on the KTM is extremely adequate and meets the legal sound limits. Could you get better and lighter system? Maybe, yes. But, if you never touch the stock system the bike still rips. There is no funky throttle stop, no grey wire, no RED sticker, no need to replace handle bars, et cetera. Is there anything you do need to replace or add? Yes! I added a skid/bash plate which doesn't come with the bike. :D Added a Scotts Shark fin,
Applied 18mm off-set triple clamps, Clark tank for more fuel capacity, Gutts seat so my hemroids don't flair up, different tires, Race-Tech suspension setup w/Gold valves and, Scotts damper. Is it possible that I have left something off the list. Probably! :D Would I ever consider getting a WR again? Yes. But, the best feature of the KTM, at least for me, is the CA Green Sticker.

  • WR450

Posted September 26, 2003 - 06:19 AM


Wr450 by far best bike I have ever ridden :)

This is however the Blue part of the world


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