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Woodsweapon350

2011 450 woods bike opinions

25 posts in this topic

I'd like some opinions on why or why not a 2011 would or wouldn't be a good replacement for my very well set up yz 250 woods machine ( eg 295, 18" rear, big tank, damper , flexx bars, etc.). The only reason I'm wondering is because I miss the smooth 4 stroke power. I know the 10-13 450s are for the most part solid and reliable but how do they fair as a woods bike? Dead engine starts are very important here.

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I've had my 12 for a while now, I had an 08 before that. Couple of observations, the bike is noticeably wider than most at the shrouds, you'll get used to that but it makes the bike feel big. The stock off idle response and low rpm manners suck. Starting is hit or miss. I did the Injectioneering throttle body mod and it's far better, it runs like it should now. Funny, the FI KXs and RMs I've ridden do not have the same quirky low rpm issues. The chassis takes some setup to get it right. I added a PC link to mine and I find it helped quite a bit. I like the bike just fine in the woods now but it took a fair bit of fiddling.

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I can highly recommend the stealthy 9 ounce fly wheel also. Worth every penny. Much more manageable at low speeds. Got rid of a lot of the jerky throttle response I would consider mandatory on this bike if i got another one especially for woods use. You won't regret it.

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Don't do it.  If you're going 4 stroke go with a leftover 11-13 YZ250F.  I tried to sort out my '11 and '12 450's for 2 years and it is not worth the money and effort.  Sure, I got the bikes to tolerable for woods riding, but the frustration level is still high.  Swallowed my pride and got the 2 stroke for Hare Scrambles and use the 450 for practice and MX.  It is hard to compete off road if everyone is gone and you're still kicking just before the next wave takes off.  In the driveway, one to two kicks tops.  On race day, one to ten.  Whibley's bike starts in one kick every time, but I'm not Paul Whibley and am not spending the money on the Vortex ignition. 

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I have a 2011 I am converting and love it. Not good on tight trails but for more open stuff it's a blast. I am putting a rekluse to help it in the tight single track and an larger tank for more range. My background is motocross and these can be a handful in tight stuff. Rekluse is a game changer on these though. My buddy has one (Rekluse)on his 570 Husaberg and it makes that bike very manageable. I like the centralized mass and air box up top also. They are tough to start but I am getting the hang of it.

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Don't do it. If you're going 4 stroke go with a leftover 11-13 YZ250F. I tried to sort out my '11 and '12 450's for 2 years and it is not worth the money and effort. Sure, I got the bikes to tolerable for woods riding, but the frustration level is still high. Swallowed my pride and got the 2 stroke for Hare Scrambles and use the 450 for practice and MX. It is hard to compete off road if everyone is gone and you're still kicking just before the next wave takes off. In the driveway, one to two kicks tops. On race day, one to ten. Whibley's bike starts in one kick every time, but I'm not Paul Whibley and am not spending the money on the Vortex ignition.

Thank you. That's why I love my yz, first kick every time

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Good call, Woodsweapon 350.  My YZ250 first kick every time as well. Last 2 races didn't know what to do with the good start - it was weird being towards the front entering the trees.  I may have been a little harsh on my 450's, but the truth hurts sometimes.  Had a Rekluse on those as well, the only improvement was on hills.  It does not, however, eliminate the dreaded cough and stall.  I bet it is fine on the Kawasakis, but those bikes have clean FI.

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I've been slowly building my '11 yz450f for woods racing and ran it in the MIchigan D14 harescramble series last year and it does have its ups and downs. Get a GYTR tuner and spend time learning what it can do to mellow the bike out. I have the flywheel weight which mellows the insane jerky power in tight woods. And the Injectioneering mod did help a ton on a freind's bike. As far as starting you need to learn YOUR bike and how to start it. '12 and newer bikes has a little mark on the throttle housing rubber that tell you to open the throttle a crack to start when hot, and it works.  Bottom line for me is that for insane single track tight trails like I ride it is too bulky and fast but for atv sized trails like GNCC stuff the bike will motor past 2-strokes and smaller bikes no problem. 

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I don't really under stand people's issues with starting and I'm 5 10 in average shape. One or two kicks never takes more than 3 I don't consider that hard starting but maybe some bikes are pickier mines a 2012. All I have is a fly wheel and I don't think it's bad in the woods at all but I don't race woods just trail ride and race motocross. I'm not saying there isn't some thing better as far as a purpose built woods bike but I find my bike very manageable even in the tighter sections i think its a nice all around bike. Yea it's got a lot a balls but its a 450 what ya expect. Can ya tell I'm disagreeable today. Lol

Edited by Mtrain730

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Of the kickstart only two strokes I've owned nothing beats a yz250 for dead engine starts. If you want more four stroke type power on the yz250 a rekluse changes power delivery significantly. I like my husky wr300 better ..... When I can start it. :blush:

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I am very happy with my 2011 for tight, technical trail riding. I use the Yamaha "slippery conditions" map, GYTR flywheel, 13/50 gearing and have the suspension revalved for trail abuse.

The transmission is the biggest limitation to me. When it comes time to pull the engine I plan to split the cases and swap in a WR gearset.

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i have an 11 450 i tried to use as a woods bike but i just don't like it. it starts on a couple kicks most times but randomly it seems it will take 10 every now and then. i really hate it at slow speeds, i remapped to a woods map which helped a little but it just seems like you can't lug it all it will just stall, flywheel weight would help this i'm sure but i keep mine set up for motocross. i also really don't like any of the oversize tanks, the air filter tanking up gas tank space makes the oversize ones feel really bulky and they aren't even that big. the bike just feels a little heavy/ bulky to flick around in tight woods. i'm actually planning a 325 yz woods bike then i'll just keep my 450 for the track

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You should try a fly wheel I'm not a expert but trust me. It won't hurt you on the track. There will be no disadvantage having one if you race mx in my opinion. I know all about the jerky feeling It was frustrating and very very annoying. The only thing thing I did is fly wheel and if you want gear down slightly but you don't have too and there all be a huge difference. It will chug a lot better And make it easier for technical riding. I race and trail ride and the bike is night and day better. It's good enough that I don't feel I need too do any thing else as far as power delevery goes too make it fun in the trails and you won't even notice it on the track. Of course it's still a powerful bike but it took the that gerky throttle response away. Obviously it's up too you. But it works great. I also would prefer it if all I did was mx. Sorry for the rant.

Edited by Mtrain730

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So many good comments, but for me it's the consistency of my YZ250's starting. The 450 can be done on 1 kick so often, but like stated it can be a 10 kick deal in 1 race. That's a lot of time and effort training, traveling, gas, etc to have an inconsistent dead engine looming in the background. Like going to a party where you don't want to see an ex/coworker/weird neighbor. More than likely you can make the rounds without crossing paths and have good results (great night of socializing), but that one time you do run into each other I'm like "frick, should've just stayed home, what a waste of a good party. (that one time your 450 doesn't start til everyone is GONE)."

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Sorry - I cannot tolerate this any longer.  I'm in the YamaLink and WoodsWeapon 350 camps.  I am not a hack at all, but a decent rider and am very familiar with the starting drill on the 450.  Like I said, 1-2 kicks in the driveway, MX tracks, and riding parks; no problem.  I even did 15-20 consecutive 1-2 kick starts in my driveway before 2 races.  Guess what? 8-10 both races the next day.  My bike is remapped as well, and once moving, I have no issues with the bike.  Yes, it is a bull in a china shop, but what do you expect?  However, just be aware anyone who is saying it is a great woods bike is embellishing the truth slightly.  It can be made to work, yes, but I just want people to know there are better options for the trade.  Just take a look at some of the past Dirt Bike magazine 450 off-road conversions.  The editors and test riders are more on my side of the argument.  If it doesn't work for a past world champion , that should tell you something. 

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Sorry - I cannot tolerate this any longer. I'm in the YamaLink and WoodsWeapon 350 camps. I am not a hack at all, but a decent rider and am very familiar with the starting drill on the 450. Like I said, 1-2 kicks in the driveway, MX tracks, and riding parks; no problem. I even did 15-20 consecutive 1-2 kick starts in my driveway before 2 races. Guess what? 8-10 both races the next day. My bike is remapped as well, and once moving, I have no issues with the bike. Yes, it is a bull in a china shop, but what do you expect? However, just be aware anyone who is saying it is a great woods bike is embellishing the truth slightly. It can be made to work, yes, but I just want people to know there are better options for the trade. Just take a look at some of the past Dirt Bike magazine 450 off-road conversions. The editors and test riders are more on my side of the argument. If it doesn't work for a past world champion , that should tell you something.

Thanks for the unbiased opinion. I'm going to keep my yz and invest some time in setup and do my best to get accustomed to the power delivery. I miss my efi 350 but the ease of starting and incredibly light feeling of my yz are hard to beat

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This might sound sarcastic but its not. That is wierd I never have too kick my bike ten times I don't race woods just trail ride And just started mx last year though.

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No offense taken, Mtrain730.  I just want everyone to know what they're getting into if they go the 450F route and expect 1-2 kick starts in the heat of battle.  I love my 450 and plan on getting a 2015 when they come out. 

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<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WesYuwu_Pd8?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pOvm9eAFlsg?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Edited by Not2Sure

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