WR Reliability: a Data Point. What's Your Story?


23 replies to this topic
  • mjslim

Posted April 24, 2012 - 03:53 PM

#1

Bought an '03 WR450 new 9 years ago. Aside from the free mods, rejetting, starter gear fix, and decompression plug, left the motor stock and just did normal maintenance. This bike has been flogged for 7400 miles off-road and has been absolutely bullet proof. I have smashed the left radiator (still didn't leak), bent the choke knob from impact (still ran, but with vacuum leak), cracked the clutch cover (slight oil weeping, but rideable), dinged up the pipe, ripped off shrouds, flattened a foot peg, and bent the shift shaft 20 degrees - all on different occasions - and still rode out every time without fail. The only maintenance issues that were not caused by yours truly were a leaking water pump seal and a stuck carb float valve. And actually, the float valve was my fault for being lazy and not draining the float bowl between rides. Just checked the valves the other day and they are still in spec, have yet to be adjusted since new. Had one intake go from .005" to .004"+ clearance, the others have not changed at all in 7400 miles. Unbelievable.

  • Baja trail Rider

Posted April 24, 2012 - 05:31 PM

#2

I have a 07 wr450 ride it every week in Baja.It looks beat to hell,valves still in spec.Best water cooled bike,I every had.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted April 24, 2012 - 07:18 PM

#3

I have an 05 that I bought in 2005 with just a few hours on it. SInce I've had it, I've ridden it often and hard, raced it, dual sported with it, loaned it to friends, crashed and smashed it, ran it with no water, low oil, etc...I estimate over 500 hrs and over 8000 miles (don't know since I've smashed numerous odometers).

A year ago, I lost the water pump seal, had to run it dry for about 10 miles to get to where I could get some help. I was overheating badly. I finally got it home, replace the water pump seal and a malfunctioning ignition coil and have been riding it for the past year. Unknown to me, I have been riding it the past year with a blown head gasket and a rusty piston. Go figure...

I took the head to the shop to get checked out, only the two exhaust valves needed to be replaced because of pitting. I also had the seats recut and new springs to the tune of $350. Not bad.

In all these years, hours and miles, I am about to put in the second piston. That's amazing.

I am currently doing a frame up restoration on another thread. I like the bike that much where I would bother to do that. The next bike I buy to replace my play bike has some really, really, really big shoes to fill.

Edited by mauricedorris, April 24, 2012 - 07:32 PM.


  • mjslim

Posted April 24, 2012 - 08:43 PM

#4

It is amazing how much abuse these bikes can withstand. When I incurred the vacuum leak, my buddies bike happened to blow a clutch and we had to leave it on the side of a mountain. We rode out double up a steep trail, with my WR boiling coolant every 5 minutes. We would stop, let it cool, then go another 5 minutes. Thought I might have damaged the head, but it was fine.

  • Rot Box

Posted April 24, 2012 - 09:19 PM

#5

I love threads like this :thumbsup: I picked up my 02 426 around this time last year for a deal I couldn't pass up and I've put a fair amount of miles on it up to this point. Mileage was unknown and it had been ridden on the street a lot. It has an FMF header bomb, re-valved and re-sprung shock and forks from PRS (awesome!), a Baja designs enduro kit, TY davis/IMS desert tank and thats about it in the way of upgrades.

Overall I've been very happy with it. I've seen and experienced some problems but most of it has been neglect from the previous owners:

-Jetting was very lean top and bottom and I have a feeling it had been ridden like this since new.
-I noticed the drain plug was stripped and replaced with a heli-coil at some point in time.
-Lower allen bolt on oil filter cover was pulling threads and added a few extra shavings to the oil filter (yikes) because of it.
-Chrome on lower fork tubes lasted about two rides. I think its a poor plating job on KYB's part personally. I replaced it with another used set from Ebay and so far so good.
-I just re-shimmed the exhaust valves (took out the factory shims) because they were .001 too tight but intakes were still in spec lol.
-Recently started burning a bit of oil after a cold start. But clears up completely when warm Hmmm......

Great bike that for sure. I would recommend one to anyone :banghead:

Edited by Rot Box, April 24, 2012 - 09:24 PM.


  • Stealth13

Posted April 25, 2012 - 06:23 AM

#6

Good to hear! Bought mine with 700km now she's at 3000 in a few months. Hoping to have over 7000 by the end of the year

  • E4x4Eric

Posted April 25, 2012 - 09:32 AM

#7

My 03 wr450 rides better than my 03 Harley 883

  • shrubitup

Posted April 25, 2012 - 09:50 AM

#8

Better watch out! These new gen F1 type four strokes aren't as reliable as the old XRs DRs and XTs. :banghead:

  • Stealth13

Posted April 25, 2012 - 10:26 AM

#9

Haha my 96 xt225 has 15000km on it and idles/runs nicer than my wr

  • n16ht5

Posted April 25, 2012 - 11:29 AM

#10

Haha my 96 xt225 has 15000km on it and idles/runs nicer than my wr


rejet your wr... my wr starts up easier and runs better than any of my XRs did

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  • Stealth13

Posted April 25, 2012 - 11:35 AM

#11

Only jet I can change is my main jet

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted April 25, 2012 - 02:03 PM

#12

Only jet I can change is my main jet


Why, the pilot is right next to the main jet and is even easier to get to.

Oh... change out the leak jet too.

  • nnamssorxela

Posted April 25, 2012 - 03:06 PM

#13

I've had trouble since the day I bought mine used probably 5 years ago. It was my first bike and I babied it, yet somehow brainwashed myself into thinking all these problems were normal. I've put only a handful of hours on it the last 5 years (I estimate 10-15 hours or so) because it's normally broken down and I'm stuck waiting on parts, then sending them back when I get the wrong parts for my obscure '98 model.

I'm currently waiting on my cylinder to be replated since the new valves, head work, tensioner, cam chain, and guides never fixed my issues. If the new cylinder, piston, rings, etc don't solve the problem, time for a part out.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted April 25, 2012 - 07:25 PM

#14

I've had trouble since the day I bought mine used probably 5 years ago. It was my first bike and I babied it, yet somehow brainwashed myself into thinking all these problems were normal. I've put only a handful of hours on it the last 5 years (I estimate 10-15 hours or so) because it's normally broken down and I'm stuck waiting on parts, then sending them back when I get the wrong parts for my obscure '98 model.

I'm currently waiting on my cylinder to be replated since the new valves, head work, tensioner, cam chain, and guides never fixed my issues. If the new cylinder, piston, rings, etc don't solve the problem, time for a part out.


5 years ago you bought a then 9 year old dirt bike. I am assuming you paid very little for it, right?

Even the 98's I hear are pretty good. You must be doing something that the rest of us are not doing.

  • kawi380

Posted April 27, 2012 - 05:52 AM

#15

I have an 08 with around 5000 miles and have not had to adjust the valves once. My list:

1. replace full exhaust when I pancaked the stock head pipe
2. replaced clutch cover when the stock one met a rock going way fast
3. replaced the tires once every couple months
4. smashed the bracket that mounts the front brake and had to replace that
5. lots of oils changes along the way
6. rebuilt and revalved the suspension when I blew the rear shock seal, stock stuff lasted about 3 years
7. new battery after about 2 years
8. I have a bent and cracked foot peg so I bought set of fastaways and have yet to do the switch. I like the stock pegs. :thumbsup:
9. replaced the fork guards after a few years as the plastic around the screws gave way
10. I have a bent radiator but it doesn't leak so I am not going to mess with it
11. bent the rear brake rotor

The only thing I can think of that I had to fix that wasn't my fault was the rear shock seal. The wr is a rock solid bike :banghead:

  • mjslim

Posted April 27, 2012 - 08:26 AM

#16

10. I have a bent radiator but it doesn't leak so I am not going to mess with it


Send that puppy over to Myler's in UT they will fix it for cheap

http://www.motorcycl...rs.com/newshop/

Mine was accordianed pretty bad and they fixed it for $35. Turn around was fast too.

  • Navaho6

Posted April 27, 2012 - 08:31 AM

#17

2006 with about 4000 miles of hard single track use. Experience has been the same as initial post. No valve adjustments yet. No piston. Replace first water pump seals 3 months ago. I kickstart mine when cold. Always starts within three kicks and often on the first one. Checked the clutch plates last weekend. Not even 1/3 worn in 6 years. This is why I just bought another WR, '09 model.

  • kawi380

Posted April 27, 2012 - 08:32 AM

#18

Send that puppy over to Myler's in UT they will fix it for cheap

http://www.motorcycl...rs.com/newshop/

Mine was accordianed pretty bad and they fixed it for $35. Turn around was fast too.


I used to live right there and have used them a lot. Mine isn't bad enough to need that yet. Just a minor tweek. :banghead:

  • Summit

Posted April 27, 2012 - 11:24 AM

#19

I bought my 05 new. I'm 57 and may never be able to use the excuse that my bike is wore out in order to get a new one.

  • mjslim

Posted April 27, 2012 - 03:08 PM

#20

I bought my 05 new. I'm 57 and may never be able to use the excuse that my bike is wore out in order to get a new one.


Even durability has a downside, I suppose. Probably why Honda killed the XR line.




 
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