"Best" Trail Bike- WR450 vs What ?

15 replies to this topic
  • GlennR

Posted August 27, 2012 - 07:47 AM


As with most bikers, I am always wondering what bike might be "better" for the riding I do.

I got back into dual sports a couple of years ago with a DRZ400S & an XT225 for the wife (wife still hasn't ridden it, but I do a lot). Within a year I realized that the Suzuki was too heavy for the steep trails here in the mountains, so I sold it and began looking for something better....I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I'd gotten $3000 for the DRZ and figured I'd see what I could find for around $4000.

I'd heard that the KTM 300 2-stroke was very light & powerful, many seemed to consider it perfect for the woods, and it has a 6 speed and can be plated. (A plate is a requirement, not an option here.) Visited a KTM dealer, to take a look and ask some questions and told the owner what I thought I needed/wanted and he recommended against the 2-stroke, that to look for an 06' or newer 4-stroke. So, I looked and found that most of them were too expensive for me. Then I heard about Husabergs, about the lightest 4-strokes around, even their mighty FE570 was under 250 lbs. Plus, they also have FI and a 6-speed. Sounded great, but the prices were still a little steep for my budget, I saw one for $4500 and a couple for $5000, but while I was trying to decide if I wanted to spent that much they got sold, it was also a long drive to see them. "Snooze you loose!"

Then I saw the 08' WR450 plated for $4000, just 2 hours away in Charlotte (and I needed to go down there anyway). The price was the best on CL nationwide at the time, plus the bike had a billet rack & 3.3 Acerbis tank & the stocker. It looked almost new and the power was amazing, compared to the DRZ. Within 10 minutes I decided it was "mine"!! :ride:

It is an awesome bike and I like it as much as my buddy's brand new FE570. Except for the TPS stutter, which I found the DynaTek ignition will cure. And a 6th gear would be nice.

But, my eyes are begining to wander again.... I really "like" the little XT225, but I could probably talk myself into letting it go, to try out a lighter, more powerful plated woods bike.

I'm wondering what a 225 lb bike feels like. The KTM 300 is back in my sights, 227 lbs, 6 speed, & E-start. Then the Honda CRF250X is about the same weight, maybe a few lbs less. Less HP, but probably still plenty. Plus, it gets 70 mpg!

Anybody here have any experience on either of these bikes? What else would be in this weight class for the woods?

What's the WR250F weigh? I'm sure folks plate them too.

  • scottiesbe

Posted August 27, 2012 - 07:51 AM


why would the dealer advise against 2 strokes? no stock?

  • GlennR

Posted August 27, 2012 - 08:43 AM


why would the dealer advise against 2 strokes? no stock?

No, he had them. But I wasn't planning to buy new anyway. He said that the 4-strokes were better on the road and were smoother or torqueier (I don't recall his exact words) for climbing the big hills in the woods.

I've heard the guys who ride them call them "3 strokes" because they are really torquey and can crawl up hills.

  • RasmusDK

Posted August 27, 2012 - 11:24 AM


Find a 300 you can try, go for a 08+, my 300 has more, not a lot, but more low end then my old yz400 with a 09 carb. And its like bicycle to handle..
There is almost no maintainance on that big a 2 stroke, oil every 20 hours, and piston every 100 hours. Exhaust pipes dent easy, and it eats a lot of gas thats the down sides..

  • n16ht5

Posted August 27, 2012 - 11:35 AM


I have rode my friends Husky WR300 (competitor to the KTM300) and it was really nice and light, but my friend would still smoke me even on my old XR250 when I rode his bike.. it's 98% rider, 2% bike. If I were to get another bike it would be a Montessa trials bike. The only other bike that is a leap and bound better than the WR would be the Christini AWD 300 or 450 Chonda (chineese honda .. wouldn't buy). Over here you are more limited to your ball size of how nasty a switchback you are willing to try and get up or down.. which is where a 150lb trials bike gets to be super nice.

seriously just ride your WR. I have not found a trail I could not go up yet. It might be a bit heavy, but if you use the torque to your advantage it will make up for it most of the time.

I don't think the terrain gets much more steep and mountainous than in Washington, BC, and Alaska.
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  • MANIAC998

Posted August 27, 2012 - 03:35 PM



I thought I'd moved to heaven when I moved to Montana, and then I see your pics!!! :thumbsup:

Glenn, Do you really want to know the secret to finding the perfect bike?

It's a garage full of every bike out there!!! You will never find one bike that's perfect for everything!
If your wife will let you own every bike made, then I am one jealous sum-bitch!!! :jawdrop:

Every bike has it's plus's & minus's, some will just fit you & your terrain better than the others. The beauty is in finding out which one!!!


  • GlennR

Posted August 27, 2012 - 04:09 PM



That is pretty riding, but I'm wondering if one of the 225 lb bikes would be easier to go up & down the really hard stuff. In the picture you're riding a switchback, which tames the hill enough to ride up. Sometimes I find trails that I can't imagine riding back up. That happened when I had the DRZ400, so I traded it for the WR450, and now I can ride up those trails. I've gone down a narrow trail that took all the skills & energy that I had just to ride down. It was between a 1/2 mile to 1 mile long, and I stopped to rest & cuss about 4 times before getting through it. Now I'm wondering if I could possibly climb it on a lighter bike, with super low gearing. Probably not, but it's a challenge that is there....so I'm wondering about it. Maybe I'll haul my 4 wheeler over there and see if it has a chance.

I like those trials bikes, but I need a seat ! :rolleyes:

I need to try lowering my gearing & my air pressure too. I'll do that before getting another bike.

Edited by GlennR, August 27, 2012 - 04:12 PM.

  • MaxPower

Posted August 27, 2012 - 05:29 PM


My next dirtbike will most likely be a Ktm or Gas Gas 200. I tell myself that the weight of my WR didn't bother me until I ride someone else bike. Any off road my WR is going to do is with 17 inch rims on it from now on

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  • miweber929

Posted August 28, 2012 - 04:07 AM


Before I had my WR I had an 00 CR250R that was completely setup for woods riding: all guards, flywheel weight, spark arrestor, etc. and it was a hoot to ride off road and weighed probably 220lbs or so. I probably had $1500 total into that bike and if I had any brains would still have it as a second dirt bike.

If you are thinking about something different but only have a limited experience don't go full bore into it without trying. I rode a couple newer KTM 250's (an EXC and EXC-W) before selling my CR and buying the WR and I'm glad I did as did not like powerband or feel and far preferred my modded CR. An "older" 2 stroke 'crosser can be had around $1k, spend $200 on a top end, $200 on guards and $100 on a flywheel weight and see of you like it; if not sell it for $1,800 and keep what you got.

  • n16ht5

Posted August 28, 2012 - 10:10 AM


try out a KTM 200 2t. those things are like billy goats

  • Rocky739

Posted August 28, 2012 - 01:59 PM


Damn I thought I was the only one with such a wondering eye!

It sounds like we both ended up on WR's the same way, best value on a trail worthy do all machine.
I had mostly KTM's up until this bike and it was quite a eye opener getting a bike that needs a lot of work to perform at it's full potental and no dealer support for parts or service, (at least in my area). Thank god for TT and online parts ordering or I'd still be scratching my head..

KTM and the other euro's typically have better dealer support because they race and ride what they sell, the Yamaha dealers around me are mostly street.. Strike one Yamaha.

Parts prices and the amount of good aftermarket parts for the Yamaha is second to none. Home run for the Yammy!

Yamaha must fill the frame with lead on the WR, come on this thing isn't an estart offroad YZ by any amount of imagination, euros do a good job of making their offroad bikes to the same standard as their moto ones, KTM 450 XC-W is 15ish lbs lighter. Strike two Yamaha!

Durability and cost of repairs compaired to euro fourstrokes is in favor of the Yamaha, lets call that a decent hit and second base. I know this is case sentitive and make model dependent but I know KTM has had some lemons over the years in their 4t models. The trusty old 5 valve Yamaha has been proven over and over.

Fit and finish on the Yamaha is pretty good, I'd call it a tie between KTM and the WR? (2012 vs.2012 on showroom floor). Both come with good bars etc, the computer on the Yamaha is supercool.. Times have changed since Jap bikes came with steel bars, shame they sill put a crappy steel sprocket on the WR and whats up with the exuast?

So thats where I'm stuck, kinda a tie game for me. I only want a 4t so I can ride around metro Indy without rasing any eyebrows. I really do think the only answer is two bikes, 300 2t for racing, tight trails and a 450 4t for trail riding, dual sport.. come on lucky lotto ticket!

For now I'm enjoying the WR

  • L. Euler

Posted August 28, 2012 - 04:23 PM


[color=#282828]I really do think the only answer is two bikes,[/color]

[color=#282828]Yep, two is the way to go. Except in my case both are for the trails. I meant to sell the WR when I got it running, but just couldn't part with it.[/color]

Edited by GammaFunction, August 28, 2012 - 04:24 PM.

  • mikeylikesit

Posted August 30, 2012 - 06:19 PM


Funny, I'm in this forum thinking of getting something better(on the street) than my YZ250 and smaller than my KLR650.
I've also thought of the crf250x but the DRY weight is 225, so wets more like 240. You have to go full MX 250( 2 or 4 stroke) to get 230 wet.
Except for the KTM 200xcw.
If I was rich I would snag up a new one, electric start, lights, and a supposed 209 dry weight. $7500 is too much for me to throw down- and it probably would still suck on the street like my YZ 2 stroke.

  • Leardriver

Posted September 01, 2012 - 08:59 AM


You have the right bike now. You don't want a two stroke. There's a reason for the four stroke's popularity, and it's not that two strokes aren't fun.
The Honda CRF 450X is fantastic, but between that and the WR450, you have the best do-it-all bike made.

  • highmarker

Posted September 01, 2012 - 10:04 AM


My friends 200exc weigh as much as my 250x when they have their bigger tank full needed to go as far the stock tank can on the x. The 300's with big tanks and fuel load weigh even more, I agree though, 200's are great bikes.

Funny, I'm in this forum thinking of getting something better(on the street) than my YZ250 and smaller than my KLR650.
I've also thought of the crf250x but the DRY weight is 225, so wets more like 240. You have to go full MX 250( 2 or 4 stroke) to get 230 wet.
Except for the KTM 200xcw.
If I was rich I would snag up a new one, electric start, lights, and a supposed 209 dry weight. $7500 is too much for me to throw down- and it probably would still suck on the street like my YZ 2 stroke.

  • Rocky739

Posted September 01, 2012 - 11:46 AM


I think one of the best moves KTM made was to reintroduce the 200cc size again back in the late 90's. It's the best bike for most people who are looking for a fun easy to ride bike but still want a competitive small bore that doesn't cost a fortune to maintain..

It really is a do all size for a 2t, small enough to be easy to ride but with more punch of a 250 plus engine. Japan made some great 200 cc bikes back in the day, PE's, KDX's, and IT's introduced a lot of people, including myself to offroad riding. It's a shame they have abandon this market, I think a ten year old technology 200cc enduro style bike (think a 200cc engine in a 2005 125cc motocross chassis) at a good price would sell like crazy.

Maybe I will hold out for them to bring back the 175!!


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