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Toothmech

03 WR vs '12 WR450...

26 posts in this topic

Hey guys- don't post here often but wanted to run this past committee. I have an 03 WR450 that has been flawless for me. I don't get a ton of time to ride any more but when I do ride I don't want problems. My 03 has all the mods that give it plenty of power for me (wire, throttle stop, JD kit, etc) considering the type of riding we do (woods/snowmobile trails/fire roads/power lines etc) and I just had the suspension rebuilt and resprung/valved for my weight two years ago. There really is no good reason for me to get a new bike... but that doesn't mean I'm not interested. There are a few '12's around me that are new in the crate for reasonable money right now and I was just wondering if I would see a sizable improvement in ridability, weight and power by moving to the newer bike? Just hoping a few of you might be able to give some firsthand experience regarding the two... Lets hear what you have to say-

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The new wr has the same frame as the 2012 yz250f. It has fuel injection which is awesome. Im not sure motor wise what they have changed for improvements.

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I've had both 2003 and 2013. Very similar engine but super snappy with FI. As mentioned the frame and suspension are completely different. The 12+ bikes are plush. They soak up huge washes and whoops with ease. I jumped on the 13 as it was offered to me with a plate at a discount. Sold the 03 and haven't looked back. Go for it and get a GYTR comp ecu from the start.

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Not a night and day difference.  More like a night and a day a week later difference.  Huge improvement.

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The new wr has the a frame that is partially based on the  2012 yz250f. It has fuel injection which is awesome. Im not sure motor wise what they have changed for improvements.

 

 

FIXED

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I recall last year Dirt Bike magazine did a review where they took an '03 and a '12 and gave them both the same mods.  It was interesting because they actually ended up preferring the 03 for trail riding because it was more stable and predictable in the rough, tight stuff.  They gave the nod to the '12 as was an overall better bike that was very versatile when given the aftermarket treatment.  Stock vs stock the 12 is heads and shoulders above, but if you give them the aftermarket treatment, the gap is less noticable.  Pretty much the reason why I see no need to get a new model WR anytime soon (I have an '06).

 

I was hoping for a reverse engine WR this year to really change the game, but it looks like that is not happening.

Edited by YamaFling

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I agree with YamaFling. I have a 2002 wr426 and have done all the mods to it so its exactly what I want. Yes, the new ones are nice but will it be better for you compared to the the bike you have modded now. You said it "There really is no good reason for me to get a new bike." Only you can make the decision if it is worth spending the money for a new bike and then making the mods to it to make it just like you like it. If money is not a object, buy a new one and keep your "03". I will get a new wr when it gets a 6 speed transmission (mine is street legal), or my trusty 426 blows up and is not repairable.

Edited by jcbikes

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All the opinions are much appreciated. Still haven't made a complete decision but this certainly gives me a ton to think about. Anyone's thoughts on when we will see a WR with the new "mass centralized" engine like the YZ has?

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The 2012+ is more refined in every way over any other  year WR.

It's not just 'new stuff' bolted to the 'old motor'.

The motor went through some refinements that make it smoother, quieter, better placed for mass centralization, and several dozen manufacuring upgrades as well.

People keep calling it a YZ250 frame, which it is not. It uses (2) spars from that frame, and the rest is WR specific

It has a different head angle. a different swing arm location and swing arm, and different trail specs.

It also has KYB 's best suspension, the SSS system, which is a quantum leap over anything else offered by any other manufactuer selling a bike with a head light. It's the best suspension, period.

 

To compare a a 2007 to the 2012 is understandable, as they 'look' similar. They are not. Very few things are the same.

 

Comparing it to the buzzy, noisy, terribly suspended and flexy-framed pre-2007 is luidcris.

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I recall last year Dirt Bike magazine did a review where they took an '03 and a '12 and gave them both the same mods.  It was interesting because they actually ended up preferring the 03 for trail riding because it was more stable and predictable in the rough, tight stuff.  They gave the nod to the '12 as was an overall better bike that was very versatile when given the aftermarket treatment.  Stock vs stock the 12 is heads and shoulders above, but if you give them the aftermarket treatment, the gap is less noticable.  Pretty much the reason why I see no need to get a new model WR anytime soon (I have an '06).

 

I was hoping for a reverse engine WR this year to really change the game, but it looks like that is not happening.

 

I remember that article, and it was frustratingly stupid in that they seemed to go out of their way to make the 12 WR into exactly what they didn't like about it. The bikes are different. Very different. Yet they did the same mods to the new bike as the old one, in some twisted sense of it being even somehow. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the new FI motor is NOT the exact same thing as the old carb'ed motor, and thus does not need nor respond the same to same mods.They &%$#@!ed up the suspension. They &%$#@!ed up the power delivery. Then they complained about it. They should have done NOTHING to the suspension, other than spring for weight and set sag. They should not have touched the motor, other than to uncork it, add a pipe and comp ECU and use the FI tuner to make the power delivery perfect, not overly snappy and abrupt. They sabotaged the 12 bike, plain and simple. It was painful to read. To say the old bike even holds a candle to new one is crazy talk.

 

So no, the gap isn't less noticeable, unless you're an idiot and mod the 12 bike the wrong way.

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Comparing it to the buzzy, noisy, terribly suspended and flexy-framed pre-2007 is luidcris.

 

Fair points, I've made a bunch of engine changes with my 06 and put on some 07 YZ forks that were dramatic improvements.  I would say I prefer the steel frame because it has more open feeling ergos, but I dont have any data to back that up other than my ass on either bike.

 

 

 They sabotaged the 12 bike, plain and simple. It was painful to read. To say the old bike even holds a candle to new one is crazy talk.

As I look at it again they did complain about suspension a lot, which is something easily addressed as you can dial it in however you want..  Maybe they simple wanted to spin it to make it seem like the older bikes still have a chance.

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Fair points, I've made a bunch of engine changes with my 06 and put on some 07 YZ forks that were dramatic improvements.  I would say I prefer the steel frame because it has more open feeling ergos, but I dont have any data to back that up other than my ass on either bike.

 

 

As I look at it again they did complain about suspension a lot, which is something easily addressed as you can dial it in however you want..  Maybe they simple wanted to spin it to make it seem like the older bikes still have a chance.

 

That's what I took out of it... spin it to make the older bike seem better, or the new one worse. I sometimes think those guys are just a bunch of KTM fanbois and hate Yamaha etc. They always whine that the Big 4 don't update (or don't even sell) trail bikes, then when Yamaha massively improves the WR, they're like 'meh, not much better than the old one'. Biased much?

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Some people I know are still talking smack to me about my choice of a new ride. I'm not a brand loyalist. I like all bikes even the Euro bikes. The new WR is a most impressive machine. I'm enjoying mine to the tune of about 250 miles of turtle head pounding every week even in the triple digit heat. The WR never whines or whimpers like I do. :lol:  :ride:

 

I had an '03 YZ 250 which I believe was one of the best, if not the best, pinger motors ever made. Suspension and peripherals sucked.

Edited by cubera

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I sold an '06 and got a '13.  The only thing that bugged me about the '06 was the inadequate suspension (even after full Race Tech tune).  The '13 is just as heavy (maybe a few pounds heavier) but the '13 suspension is a wonderful platform to start with. It still needs work but you can turn it into something that is race worthy.  The '06 suspension is horrible when you get into rough terrain at higher speeds.  The '13 also turns better than the '06 while still remaining stable.  Love the FI too.  No more bog.  

 

If you're just riding trails and not racing or trying to keep up with the racers in your group, keep the '03.   

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Im surprised to hear you are so far that way about the suspension of your 06.

I find my şuspension on my 04 (done by Factory Connection ) is great on rough ground. My issue is it turns like a bus. A big bus. And so heavy I hate it off road.

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I sold an '06 and got a '13.  The only thing that bugged me about the '06 was the inadequate suspension (even after full Race Tech tune).  The '13 is just as heavy (maybe a few pounds heavier) but the '13 suspension is a wonderful platform to start with. It still needs work but you can turn it into something that is race worthy.  The '06 suspension is horrible when you get into rough terrain at higher speeds.  The '13 also turns better than the '06 while still remaining stable.  Love the FI too.  No more bog.  

 

If you're just riding trails and not racing or trying to keep up with the racers in your group, keep the '03.   

 

I know someone who keeps up with the best of them and his bike of choice? A WR400 I'm not even sure what decade they made them. :jawdrop:

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I recall last year Dirt Bike magazine did a review where they took an '03 and a '12 and gave them both the same mods.  It was interesting because they actually ended up preferring the 03 for trail riding because it was more stable and predictable in the rough, tight stuff.  They gave the nod to the '12 as was an overall better bike that was very versatile when given the aftermarket treatment.  Stock vs stock the 12 is heads and shoulders above, but if you give them the aftermarket treatment, the gap is less noticable.  Pretty much the reason why I see no need to get a new model WR anytime soon (I have an '06).

 

I was hoping for a reverse engine WR this year to really change the game, but it looks like that is not happening.

 

I went and re-read the article last night. They put Stage 1 Hot Cams in the 2012 bike, just because that was the hot ticket on the old bike. They installed a comp ECU, but never touched the mapping... DERP. So gee, big effing surprise the bike was too snappy and 'almost too much power'. I didn't like the power delivery on my bike with default map on the comp ECU, and that's without cams! Then they had Race Tech turn the suspension into pretty much an MX bike, so it was overly harsh on trail junk, but felt good in whoops etc. Why why why??

 

So yes, they absolutely went out of their way to  make the 12 bike exactly what they said they didn't like about it. Then to add insult to injury, at the end of article, they said they *could* have tuned the FI to tame the power, and *could* have tuned the suspension to their liking... but didn't. WHY IN THE HELL NOT??? Seriously, they would have been better off leaving the 12 bike absolutely showroom stock except for the throttle stop, and been better off.

 

Yamaha makes the best offroad bike from the Big 4 in years by a country mile, and they manage to make it look like it's hardly better at all vs a 10 year old one. Idiots. Well really, I find it very hard to believe that they're just clueless idiots about setting up bikes, its what they do for crying out loud. So intentionally sabotaging the new bike is about the only thing that makes sense.

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I have an 06 and I have read that article many times. I did not take any of the negatives from it that everyone else did. I took it as under some slower conditions where tractionand forward drive is hard to come by then a well set up 03 can be as good if not better than the new bike. In every other scenario the new bike is better.

The article made me want the new bike but made me feel better about having the old bike.

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I have an 06 and I have read that article many times. I did not take any of the negatives from it that everyone else did. I took it as under some slower conditions where tractionand forward drive is hard to come by then a well set up 03 can be as good if not better than the new bike. In every other scenario the new bike is better.

The article made me want the new bike but made me feel better about having the old bike.

 

 

But that's the problem, the new bike IS better in slower conditions as well, assuming you don't set it up completely wrong, which they did. With the EFI mapping you can make the bike feel almost 250-ish off the bottom, and still have a good midrange and top end. Very controllable and tractable, the complete opposite of what they created.

 

Now please don't take this as me bashing on your bike. The old WRs are still great bikes, but time and technology has moved on, and the newer ones are definitely better. Ride one if you get the chance, and you'll see.

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Really enjoying all the discussion regarding this subject guys... Based on what I'm reading and the fact that I'm not interested in putting a top end or any more money into my 03 at this time- I am definitely going to grab a '12 from my local dealer this next week. I'm doing some research with the search function now- but if anyone can recommend what mods (engine/exhaust wise) that need to be done to open it up like my 03 is. Don't want to touch internals (cams) but remember reading bout a GYTR ecu, throttle stop and taking some plug out of the stock exhaust. .. What if anything else do I need to get from the yami dealer before I leave? Hoping to work some of it into the deal... Appreciate everyone's thoughts!

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