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

Why do you keep throwing out YZ info? And the sell job you are doing is impressive. I have ridden a newer WR, while different, can't say there all THAT much different. I will say one of the biggest improvements I did on my bike was going with the YZ closed cartridge forks though. Much more confident when coming up to the "oops" factors at speed in the desert.

It's stories like this that keep me from buying new ktm's - http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1092647-new-500-blown-motor/

 

Plus I have seen new ktm's grenade in person.  I have an older rfs KTM and a 950 that I bought used because I knew those models were proven to be durable.

 

WR450 is heavier than ever and you can feel it.  Sold my '13 after riding a YZ.  Huge difference in weight and handling.  If you're not riding hard, the WR is ok but in the rough stuff, it feels like there is a midget riding on back.  I took 12 lbs of my '13 and it still felt very heavy.  I ride woods, so any bike I have is going to get about 7 lbs of protection.  The result is my '13 weighed 270 wet in enduro trim.   The suspension is better than older WR's I have owned but still not up to the task of holding up a 270 lb bike and 160 lb rider through the whoops.  I would not buy another WR because of the weight.  It's YZ's for me.

Edited by Navaho6

Just like a German car, parts availibility, price of the parts, lead time, and premium cost on service (if you send it to a shop)

.....Is all that really worth 20 lbs?

I can think of so many ways of dumping 10 lbs off that thing in a minute

In fact, i think there was a link here where a guy was working on just that

I have also wanted to try a KTM

But I cant find a compelling reason other than as a status symbol

Lots of guys out east here in New Hampshire ride them

Ive ridden a few of them and I dont get it

I have also wanted to try a KTM

But I cant find a compelling reason other than as a status symbol

 

A lot of it is that but I do know a couple of Yamaha guys that like the 350XC, with linkage.  My '07 RFS is a turd compared to the other Yamaha WR's I've owned.  However, it makes a really good dual sport, having a soft hit and 6-speed tranny.   Front end is dangerous without a steering damper, and recent articles on the new xcw point to this still being an issue for some. 

 

So the engine and drivetrain are sweet, but we had issues with the handling. Most testers were happy with the suspension performance on bump absorption, but the PDS (no-link) chassis doesn’t feel at home on high-speed desert terrain. KTM uses a chromoly chassis and it feels more flexible than the aluminum frames of the competitors. When picking through the dry waterfall, the KTM’s 261 pounds (lightest by 10 pounds), reactive front end and smooth suspension work wonders. But, when the rocks are loose it feels jittery. It fishtails in sand or on dusty hardpack and won’t settle into turns. The front tire wants to push and then grab suddenly and tuck in. A couple of our testers commented that the suspension only feels like it’s working fully when the engine is at low rpm. Revving the bike loads the shock and causes it to lose traction, especially when accelerating across short, hard rain ruts or stutter bumps. "

 

I would be more interested in trying the new white KTM's (2014 Husky).  Enduro models have linkage.

Edited by Navaho6

Just like a German car, parts availibility, price of the parts, lead time, and premium cost on service (if you send it to a shop)

.....Is all that really worth 20 lbs?

 

Yes, it would be worth it if the overall package was better.  15 lbs is the actual weight difference between the 450XC-W (245) and the WR450 (260) if you believe the published specs.  If Yamaha would trim 15 lbs off the WR (while retaining the e-start), I'd have no problem paying a much higher price.

Edited by Navaho6

My preference is a 07-11 WR450's it's a little lighter than the new ones. If using a IMS larger tank it sits lower than the new WR. Put well tuned YZ forks on and many mods can be done easily, especially with the money you saved from the other bikes. It should be a large upgrade from a 05' WR450.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1408115209.342733.jpg

Man, you guys have such a hard on for the WR, makes me think I should be able to get a truck load for my CA plated bike. My '14 EXC 350 is sooo much easier to ride on the body. I am keeping them both as I need 2 plated bikes but with all this foaming at the mouth, I may be rethinking it....sell the WR and get an XT for the wife....

 

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. 

 

Yes, it is true. It's simple physics and you can't escape it. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a fact: a bigger motor with more reciprocating mass will ALWAYS feel heavier, even in identical weight bikes. Unless you're going to tell us Sir Isaac Newton was wrong and you're right.

 

A flywheel spinning is not the same thing nor does it affect the bike the way that big ol piston going up and down does, and the crank with it.

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

 

Say what??? The biggest KTM hater on the planet is considering... *gasp* another KTM?!?!? It's not April 1st, what's the deal?

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.

 

To answer your questions, yes absolutely. Yes it's still a heavy bike, and on paper within a pound or so of your 05 WR, but that's where the similarities end. My buddy has an 03 he's ridden for years and just picked up a barely used 2012 a few months ago, and loves it. Says it feels 30+ lbs lighter when riding. The suspension is night and day better. And it's more compact. It's a 250F frame with a 450 motor stuffed in it, and that's exactly what it feels like. Very nimble for a big bike, until you get into really tight technical terrain, then the weight rears it's ugly head. But even then, it's still better than the old bike as the suspension is better and motor with FI is just fantastic.

 

Coming off an older WR, no way will you be disappointed with a new one. It's a better bike all the way around.

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.

 

 

No it's not, and never will be. You're just fooling yourself. You could make your WR on par with a KTM 450, but not a 350 in terms of light handling feel, never going to happen, physically impossible.

 

And the rider makes way, way more difference than the bike. If you're keeping up with your buddies, it's because YOU are getting faster, not your bike. A better rider on 125 2T with clapped out suspension would still smoke all of you... it's not the bike, it's the rider. IMO as a newer rider, you'd be much better off focusing on improving your skills than trying to get more performance out of your bike that many would consider too much for a new rider in the first place. It won't make you any faster, if anything it will just slow you down. I'd bet my left nut you'd be faster on a 250F set up for your weight etc. than your WR, pretty much everyone is, short of pro caliber riders.

I'm not gonna lie, If I wasn't 6'3 and 220 pounds I don't think I would be able to toss my 2012 WR around. After 80km in a cross country race the bike feels like it gains another 50 pounds, the last 20km are usually miserable.

 

BUT I love the sh*t out of the bike. Power is awesome, its reliable, and looks better then anything KTM has built. A little suspension work goes a long way with these bikes.

 

I have only ridden a 2013 KTM450XC once and I noticed some similarities pretty quick, the KTM ran out of power up top but down low felt the same, my biggest complaint was how wide the KTM felt with the gas tank, that took some getting used to. I jumped on it felt surprisingly comfortable though, like I got on an older WR lol.

The real issue/question is... does the new wr, with all its extra weight, still feel great to ride? Simple answer, yes. It feels smaller, (feels) lighter although the same and turns better than the earlier model. The bike feels a lot better in the tighter stuff compared to the older model and although stock suspension is on the soft side, it still handles good.

Does it require a whole lot less energy than the 05 I am used to? IMO, no. That said, my 07 yz450 and my 300 wore me out quicker than this bike.

Fighting the engine braking on deceleration is also a bit exhausting. Is this improved on the new one? No, same engine, not much has changed that would make a noticeable difference.

Does the seat of the pants ride of the wr feel better than the specs look? IMO, yes. The older model felt like a heavier version of the yz. The newer model for some reason is just easy to ride and feels smooth.

Has anyone gotten either the Ktm or the wr and wished they'd gotten the other one instead? I don't think you can go wrong with either. They are both going to perform great out of the box and be every bit as equal if  up for racing. I rode my friends 13' 500exc for a bit and the biggest difference was the Wr felt better planted the more I pushed it.

These are the types of things going through my mind.

Even though I didn't like the weight of my '13 WR, it was the best turning bikes I've owned but I just wouldn't use the word "nimble" by comparison to what I have now. 

No it's not, and never will be. You're just fooling yourself. You could make your WR on par with a KTM 450, but not a 350 in terms of light handling feel, never going to happen, physically impossible.

And the rider makes way, way more difference than the bike. If you're keeping up with your buddies, it's because YOU are getting faster, not your bike. A better rider on 125 2T with clapped out suspension would still smoke all of you... it's not the bike, it's the rider. IMO as a newer rider, you'd be much better off focusing on improving your skills than trying to get more performance out of your bike that many would consider too much for a new rider in the first place. It won't make you any faster, if anything it will just slow you down. I'd bet my left nut you'd be faster on a 250F set up for your weight etc. than your WR, pretty much everyone is, short of pro caliber riders.

I agree for the most part. I have become a much better rider over the last year but am instantly faster on a lighter bike (not talking top speed). My experience with this is with both my '11 WR450F and '11 YZ250 two stroke (that I've only had running right for a couple weeks but have been riding as much as possible) -- close to the two opposite ends of the spectrum for dirtbike weight, handling, and feel. I was instantly faster on the YZ. Motorcycle-USA.com says the WR is 267 lbs dry vs. 227 lbs dry for the YZ. Peak power is similar, while power/torque curves are obviously drastically different. Both bikes have Cycra ProBends, rad guards, and skid plates, and both have SSS forks (for whatever that contributes here). I've sprung both bikes for me, but the YZ suspension has been re-valved, which is a noticeable advantage. I desert race the WR and so far only play ride the YZ.

From the first time I rode the YZ, and especially now that I'm comfortable on it, I noticed that it handles way better (MUCH more confidence in the front end and more predictable overall) and doesn't beat me up nearly as much. On a three mile whooped sand track I have near me that I ride a lot, I keep track of my times and I'm about 30 seconds faster around on the YZ but the biggest thing is that I can do more laps on the YZ before I get exhausted. It is easier to hang onto (key point) and I can carry more speed through turns. Suspension is a big part of that, but the lower weight offers a significant advantage in my opinion.

I'm a fairly strong dude and with the WR, especially racing for over 2 hours in the desert, I sort of pride myself in just dealing with the heavy weight and being able to muscle it around (and yes, we do see some tight technical sections on the courses) and I pay for it by getting exhausted and not being able to run as fast (although my lap times are usually very consistent). But that 40 lbs makes a world of difference both as soon as you jump on the bike and even more so when you're getting tired.

I can stay faster longer by exerting less energy on the lighter bike with good suspension.

All of this said I've only ridden a 450 MX bike a handful of times and have no experience on a lightened WR, so I can't really make that comparison with the YZ 2T.

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

Say it ain't so! My .02. I've owned every generation WR from 1999 to 2008. I recently jumped ship to a 350EXC and after riding it now for 6 months I ain't never looking back. I loved the WR's reliability but the bottom line is that they handle very heavy for the kind of riding that I do. No matter how much money you throw at it you just can't change that. If you jump to a 350 just be aware it is not a torque monster and never will be. It's a finesse machine. I'm not so sure it's the bike for a guy your size Krannie. If you are looking for a bike with 450 torque the 350 is not it.

Edited by PBDBLUE

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

What about a smoker? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I love four strokes too but if looking for a specific purpose bike it's hard to eliminate the smoker in this category. IMO. :blah:

What about a smoker?

Don't get me wrong, I love four strokes too but if looking for a specific purpose bike it's hard to eliminate the smoker in this category. IMO. :blah:

+1

I would love a 300 XC as a second bike. Best of both worlds with my WR.

 

The real issue/question is... does the new wr, with all its extra weight, still feel great to ride? Simple answer, yes. It feels smaller, (feels) lighter although the same and turns better than the earlier model. The bike feels a lot better in the tighter stuff compared to the older model and although stock suspension is on the soft side, it still handles good.

Does it require a whole lot less energy than the 05 I am used to? IMO, no. That said, my 07 yz450 and my 300 wore me out quicker than this bike.

Fighting the engine braking on deceleration is also a bit exhausting. Is this improved on the new one? No, same engine, not much has changed that would make a noticeable difference.

Does the seat of the pants ride of the wr feel better than the specs look? IMO, yes. The older model felt like a heavier version of the yz. The newer model for some reason is just easy to ride and feels smooth.

Has anyone gotten either the Ktm or the wr and wished they'd gotten the other one instead? I don't think you can go wrong with either. They are both going to perform great out of the box and be every bit as equal if  up for racing. I rode my friends 13' 500exc for a bit and the biggest difference was the Wr felt better planted the more I pushed it.

These are the types of things going through my mind.

 

Excellent responses   :thumbsup:

 

I rode the 05 wr450 for 7 years.  It was big, it was heavy, but it was easy to ride.   It sucked trying to race it.  But... my days of banging bars and pretending to be a racer  (even a bad one) are over.  I wasn't any damn good anyways.  I mainly want to do trail rides with the occasional "spirited" ride with my buddies.        

 

I do love a planted feeling bike.  Even on my 300, I tend to back off just a little when it starts dancing.    That's just how my mind works  (or fails to work).

 

I especially like when you say I can't go wrong with either.   One thing that I have noticed is that there are never any ktm 450xcw used bikes for sale.  There are also very few wr450's  (2012 and up) that are for sale used.   When they are for sale, they go quickly and for just a little less than the original price. This too says a lot because Yamaha is selling a whole lot more of them.

 

I've got two daughters in college right now, so I am planning to make this purchase around November.   But when I do, I'll look for either one and know that I would have absolutely no problem selling either one if I didn't like it.

 

+1

I would love a 300 XC as a second bike. Best of both worlds with my WR.

I still have my 300 xcw, which is a great motor in a great bike.  When I get another 450, I'll change that 300xcw to a 300xc because I would like to have something a little racier for the occasional enduro that I like to ride.

 

That way I'll have a 450 and a 300 smoker.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now