I'm thinking about coming back... (WR vs KTM)

Two years ago, I sold my fully setup and california plated 05 wr450 for a KTM 450.    I did that for two reasons.   1) the ergos on the KTM are fantastic, they really are; and 2) the wr450 is really very heavy.     I also wanted  to try out the orange bikes.

 

Well, that was two years ago.   Today, I am riding an 06 ktm300, mainly because that's all I could afford after dumping $10K into that KTM (multiple rebuilds with only 80 hrs)  trying to keep it running.  It was VERY frustrating to say the least.   I had heard about problems with that particular KTM, but in my arrogance, I assumed that I would be the exception...  I wasn't.    I ended up cutting my losses and parting it out and buying a two stroke  (which just happened to be a KTM as well).     

 

I like that 300 and will keep it.  Its fun, cheap and reliable.   But its time for me to get another thumper.  I've been looking at my options.

 

KTM seems to have a reliable 450xcw now that gets stupidly good reviews with no reported problems with reliability.

 

KTM also has the 350, which I hear is the perfect size bike.

 

Then there is the wr450.   Its newer, better, and still super reliable  (or so I've read).   

 

Problem is...   the WR is advertised as 20lbs heavier than the KTM bikes.   That is a lot.    But its also about $2K cheaper.

 

Has anyone ridden the wr and the 450xcw and compared them in the real world?     Will I really notice the weight of the WR over the KTM?   I'm mainly concerned about the technical and rocky trails.  At speed, I probably would like the extra weight.

 

Any real world advice is appreciated.

KTM ergos are TERRIBLE

Funny, I agree with the OP... KTM ergos *are* fantastic. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

 

I have my WR's ergos dialed in as well, but the seat/tank relationship on my KTM is just better... I can get more forward on the bike easier on my KTM than my WR. Standing it's a wash, but sitting the KTM ergos are definitely better. YMMV

I've raced both my 500exc and a opened up 12 WR 450. For the $2k savings, I would buy the WR. The WR engine gave up nothing compared to my 500. It didn't feel any heavier weight wise but the WR felt like it had more engine braking and softer fork which made it feel a bit front end heavy. Both those being said, I am faster then the owner and the suspension was perfect all around, just slightly softer.

I don't have any idea about the electric start as it was running when I jumped on it but it never stalled during both 1 hour GP motos...

I would buy the WR...

I don't think the difference in weight is that much. Yamaha list wet weight, not dry. Information I have found shows only 7 or 8 pounds.

Edited by bradgross71

I don't think the difference in weight is that much. Yamaha list wet weight, not dry. Information I have found shows only 7 or 8 pounds.

Where did you get 7 or 8 lb difference from?

 

The KTM lists at about 245 lbs dry

 

The Yamaha is 273 lbs wet.   Take away the 13lbs of gas  (2.1 gallons), and my public school math skills compute 260 lbs

 

That's a 15 lb difference.

Edited by mauricedorris

The KTM is weighed dry

Oil not included

Water not included

Gas not included

 

 

The Yamaha is weighed READY TO RIDE which means

Oil 

Water

Gas

 

That's approximately 19 lbs you can remove from the WR, making it 254........in other words, 9lbs

 

But that's not the issue.

 

The issue is INTERNAL RECIPROCATING MASS and UNSPRUNG WEIGHT. That's what makes it 'feel' heavy.

The WR's R.M. is probably 30% higher, giving it more gyroscopic effect, making it feel much heavier most of the time....especially under hard acceleration.

It also makes it track better, hold a line better, and not 'dance' the fvck all over the place like a mountain bike....and harder to get back on line, if you loose it.

 

The WR's U.W. is known to be nearly 5lbs more (sanctions, hubs, etc). This is hard to compare, as just changing tires can make a bigger change....but stock, the KTM is less.

I just got a 2014 KTM 350 EXC and still have my '07 WR 450. You can compare stat spreadsheets all you want, the WR is a heavy pig compared to my 350. In tight, wooded single track of the Sierra's and KM, for me and my riding style, the KTM is hands down easier on my body to ride. The linear power is much easier to manage and control in the tighter, salomon type of riding of the mountain single track. Caveat being my WR has the YZ cams but I have been riding in KM for years on it so I have the prior base line as well. One mans opinion ;)

I don't think the difference in weight is that much. Yamaha list wet weight, not dry. Information I have found shows only 7 or 8 pounds.

 

Yamaha lists the weight of most of their bikes as "dry".  That means no oil, no fuel and no coolant.

 

With the WR450F, Yamaha lists the weight at 273 pounds, ready to ride, full of fuel.   That puts the "no fuel, ready to ride weight" at 260-260.5 pounds, depending on the grade of fuel used.

 

KTM generally lists their bike weights as "no fuel, ready to ride".  They list the weight of the 2014 450 XCW as 245 poounds here:

 

That makes the WR450F seem pretty beefy.   However, the XCW doesn't have a skidplate, although it does have bark busters.

 

As my thread on WR weight loss shows, its very easy to drop weight from them.

I just got a 2014 KTM 350 EXC and still have my '07 WR 450. You can compare stat spreadsheets all you want, the WR is a heavy pig compared to my 350. In tight, wooded single track of the Sierra's and KM, for me and my riding style, the KTM is hands down easier on my body to ride. The linear power is much easier to manage and control in the tighter, salomon type of riding of the mountain single track. Caveat being my WR has the YZ cams but I have been riding in KM for years on it so I have the prior base line as well. One mans opinion ;)

 

The stock 2012 WR is 260 pounds with no fuel.   The stock 350EXC is 236 pounds.  That is a difference of 24 pounds or about 10%.

 

Everyone raves at how much lighter the 2012+ WRs feel compared to the 2011s, let alone a 2007, mainly due to mass centralization.   Furthermore, there are other reasons why the KTM 350 feels lighter than the WR.   Steering angle is steeper (26.5 degrees versus 27.3 degrees) and less triple clamp offset (22mm versus 25mm). 

 

Its very easy to drop 20 pounds from the 2012+ WR450F.  Mine weighs about 241 pounds without fuel.  I'll be putting a 22mm triple clamp on my bike (cost about $150) and increasing the steepness of the steering angle as well.

 

A lot of people say that the WR450F feels heavy because of increased spinning mass.  That isn't true.  Many KTM450XCF riders find the need to add flywheel weights to the engine to tame it down for tight terrain.  They usually put on a 12 oz flywheel weight.  Almost nobody comments that the KTM bike feels heavier after this addition and furthermore there is no way the WR flywheel is 12oz heavier than the KTM flywheel. 

 

The other aspect is vibration.   Many riders need to run flex bars on the bigger KTMs to deal with hand numbing vibration.   This adds a couple pounds to the bike as high up as it can be.   The WR450F, on the other hand, has almost no vibration and doesn't need flex bars.

 

When all is said and done, it is pretty easy to build a WR450F into a KTM equivalent or even better.

A 350exc is not 236lbs...

I've not ridden my 530XC-W since I brought home the WR. The WR is a superior machine in about every aspect including motor where it makes considerably better power everywhere. I also prefer the 5 speed to the 6 speed KTM. The WR is more nimble, better suspended, has better fit and finish, and is reliable as an anvil. The KTM has an easier to squeeze clutch lever and the clutch has less fade, and the KTM has a slightly better front brake.

A friend went to buy a new 2015 500XC-W and walked away from the deal because the bike had Chinese made bars and rims. I walked away from a 2014 450XC-F because it was $10K and the WR is a better machine for thousands less.

Maurice welcome back!

I just got a 2014 KTM 350 EXC and still have my '07 WR 450. You can compare stat spreadsheets all you want, the WR is a heavy pig compared to my 350. In tight, wooded single track of the Sierra's and KM, for me and my riding style, the KTM is hands down easier on my body to ride. The linear power is much easier to manage and control in the tighter, salomon type of riding of the mountain single track. Caveat being my WR has the YZ cams but I have been riding in KM for years on it so I have the prior base line as well. One womans opinion ;)

 

fixed

I too am thinking about a KTM; a 350 XCF-W. It would be a single track bike, period.

Midlifecrisisguy

You are reaching quite a bit to sell the weight issue. Thanks for the effort. But, it's known by all that the wr is in fact heavier.

I personally don't want to start taking things off the wr. All things wouldn't be equal. I gotta have estart.

but that's not the real issue. The real issue/question is... does the new wr, with all its extra weight, still feel great to ride? Does it require a whole lot less energy than the 05 I am used to? Fighting the engine braking on deceleration is also a bit exhausting. Is this improved on the new one? Does the seat of the pants ride of the wr feel better than the specs look? Has anyone gotten either the Ktm or the wr and wished they'd gotten the other one instead?

These are the types of things going through my mind.

I too am thinking about a KTM; a 350 XCF-W. It would be a single track bike, period.

 

I think my lightened WR450F is getting close to being competitive with the KTM 350s.  Its only a few (4) pounds heavier, its got the SSS fork and the great 450 engine.

 

I've been riding with guys better than me on KTM300s and I'm starting to keep up with them.  My bike can't be far off from theirs in performance.   One KTM300 rider rode my bike up a bad mudderfudder hill and was very impressed.  He was still talking about it after the ride.

 

Want less engine braking ?  YZ cams are your friend.

 

Want less spinning mass on the WR ?  Get rid of the starter clutch on the flywheel.  It makes a big difference.   Put on a Rekluse clutch basket (only) instead of the stocker.  Its lighter too.

 

Want a lighter feeling WR ?  Change the fork offset and steepen the steering angle.    All this stuff is easy to do.

Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy

I went with the Ride Designs offset triple clamps for 2 rides. Took them off and sold them. That's just what happened, all I can say.

I went with the Ride Designs offset triple clamps for 2 rides. Took them off and sold them. That's just what happened, all I can say.

 

 

Your 07 is a much different animal than the 2012+s.  The 2012s are based on the YZ250Fs and many racers run 22mm triple clamps on them.  The 2014 YZ250Fs come with 22mm triple clamps as do the 2010+ YZ450Fs.

 

==================================================================================================

Despite the stiffer frame, the WR doesn’t deliver any extra harshness to the rider. It is more predictable when hitting bumps and it doesn’t wallow like the old WR. Part of the improvement can be found in the fitment of the high-end KYB Speed-Sensitive fork, while the latest YZ-specification shock is fitted out back. The combination does a fantastic job of getting the bike over the rough stuff, of which we got to sample plenty.

To prove its confidence in the new machine, Yamaha arranged for our press-introduction ride to include competing in the first round of the Grand National Cross Country series in River Ranch, Florida! About every type of off-road terrain was represented except for a lack of nasty rock sections, but there were enough tree roots and palm fields to make up for it. The suspension does a great job of staying on top of sand whoops and feels more like a motocrosser than an enduro. A true testament to the suspension’s quality, was that it not only handled the high-speed stuff but it also did a fantastic job of soaking up small chop and gliding over roots and stumps without deflecting or completely unsettling the bike. When pushing at race pace, there is never a feeling that you’re over-riding the bike’s capabilities, which can sometimes be the case with enduro-spec bikes compared to often-used MXers.

Despite all the changes, Yamaha wasn’t able to scrape any weight off the WR, claiming the same figure as the old model (273 pounds wet). It definitely feels lighter when riding it, however, and its ability to change direction is quite impressive and improved. The WR whipped through the twisty, tree-lined course. Less energy is now necessary to control the WR, which should be nice for lengthy off-road races. Its weight is most noticeable when getting going from a dead stop or when trying to get over a downed tree or obstacle, but cornering performance is natural feeling with no fall-in or stand-up mid-turn.

=================================================================================================

 

http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/03/19/2012-yamaha-wr450f-first-ride/

Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy

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