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Bandit9

Top heavy?

20 posts in this topic

I am researching a new bike. I like the way my YZ250F handles in the woods on single track in the south. I want some more bottom and I am tired of kicking, so I am interested in how the 03 and 04 WR450F's handle in the tight stuff. Anyone happen to have owned or rode both enough to compare?

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For really tight stuff I would go with a KTM 200 EXC 2 stoke or a KTM 450 EXC four stroke. Yamaha is too top heavy for real tight trails if that is all you are going to ride.

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Yeah, I kinda agree with what Indy says. I had been riding a 90'CR250 in the 'tight stuff' single track here in So Cal. It got the job done, but my WR450 has much better power delivery, and tracability. It is slightly top heavy compared to my CR, but not as top heavy as a XR400. For a less top heavy feel, Id recomend the KTM's or even... a KDX200 if you are not that agressive. Or even check the reviews on the new CRF250X, that has E-start, doesn't it?

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I have a WR450 and a 250. When the trails get tight I take the 250 and love the thing. Its lots of fun to ride. I have ridden a KTM 200 and like it but I like my WR250 better.

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The reason I ask, is b/c when I was researching buy the 250f, everyone was crying about how "top heavy" it felt. Well, it is compared to a two stroke, but I don't feel like it is holding me back any. Know what I mean? I want a bike that I can run Enduros/HS with and gets good MPG so it will make a decent dual sport. I want to do the "TransAmerica Trail" and do some Baja riding. That pretty much eliminates the poor fuel mileage of any 2 stroke. I know the 300exc would be perfect, but I want to be able to go at least 100 miles on an aftermarket tank. I have looked at and test rode the 450exc, and I think it is a good bike, but I have had such good luck with the 3 Yamahas I have owned since 2000, and my buds with the KTM's haven't enjoyed the reliability that I have. Basically I want a mount that I can go meet up with Indy and DDialouge in Moab and ride with and the next weekend run an Enduro in the tight pine thickets in the south. Ideally, a man should have two bikes, a 2 stroke for racing woods and a 4 stroke for dual sporting. However, I am not rolling around in money, so one will have to do.

Right now, these bikes are on the board:

WR450F

05 GasGas450 (dual sported from the factory!)

KTM 450exc

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This may be way OT but who cares if these bikes are a little "top heavy"? I'm not buying a dirt bike to lay back and just cruise. I want a work out too! Just my .02 worth :cry:

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The WR450 is one of the most versatile motorcycles you could own. It's not that you can't have fun in the tight stuff with it, it's more if you want to win a really tight woods enduro or an enduro-like hare scrambles, then you should pass on the wr450. When I say tight, I mean banging handlebars tree to tree, off camber muddy tight switch backs, vines, low hanging braches, etc. As soon as it opens a little the 450 rocks. It will rip through medium single track like a missile, absorbing massive hits with ease. You can even play on an MX track with it. As you noted, it gets great mileage, and is incredibly reliable. The EXC450 is a better tight woods bike, but everywhere else the WR rules. And you won't be that far behind in tight woods anyway.

I love my WR, as you can tell. Would not trade it for another bike, although I wouldn't mind having a YZ450F as its stable mate.

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I have also been thinking about getting a 450 (have a WR250 now) and had heard that the WR's are top heavy. I wonder if a rider like myself (of OK ability but no hot shot) will really notice the difference between a EXC450 and WR450? The other option is a CRF450R but it has no magic button and I do like not having to kick when balancing half way up a rocky hill having stalled the bike. The CRF450X has the button but is new on the market (not even here yet I think) and reliability has not been proven yet. I suppose we are blessed with choices like these - but once you own a Yamaha and get reliability and fun out of it it becomes hard to choose anything else.

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You cant go wrong with a WR450! Yamaha is way ahead on 4 stroke development for off road bikes. My bike hit 10,000. miles out in Utah this weekend. I wonder how many pistons, rings, valve guides & valves, and timing chains that I would have gone through in the last 500 hours if I were riding a Honda CRF450? :cry:

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You cant go wrong with a WR450! Yamaha is way ahead on 4 stroke development for off road bikes. My bike hit 10,000. miles out in Utah this weekend. I wonder how many pistons, rings, valve guides & valves, and timing chains that I would have gone through in the last 500 hours if I were riding a Honda CRF450? :cry:

Have you had to do any big engine rebuilds on it with that many miles?

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I adjusted the vavles twice and they are due again. About every 3500 miles is what I am seeing. The clutch is starting to drag slightly and will be replaced this winter with new hubs as well. This motor pulls as good today as when I got it. It burns no oil. Countershaft oil seal is starting to leak very slowly (sweating) no dripping. I am debating on rebuilding the engine this winter to get ready for 2 weeks of Baja in late March 2005. I will do a tear down inspection and replace oil seals, cam tensioner block, cam chain, and other wear items. Most likely I will replace valves and valve guides and inspect the piston and rod. :cry:

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WOW! That is GREAT to hear!!!!!!!! :cry:

ditto that! i've been in the mechanical field off and on for 25 years and to listen to this bike run it sounds as though its about to come undone at any moment,but as time goes by it seems to be lessening(either that or i'm getting used to it)and even seems to be running better as it wears in. i've close to 1,000 miles and it's just gettin better.it kinda reminds me of the old LT-1 350's they just kept runnin better as they wore in. what is yamahas reccomended rebuild time? :cry:

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I love mine, but it does feel a bit top heavy in the tight stuff, im 6 feet even, so i can throw it around. but I am not a masochist like the natives up here, theyll ride anything in the woods (washington state). but all the other things your looking for in a single bike would still lead me down the path to the wr

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I run my oldy 400 with big 12l tank mostly in tight stuff, really feels a bit heavy to pick up, but wich bike is perfect? for me the blue is the closest to it in many other aspects

link

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Hey 5Valve, Looks like you need to carry a small husky on your back pack for those trails! :cry: At least you dont have to worry about greenies in your country! :cry:

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I have also been thinking about getting a 450 (have a WR250 now) and had heard that the WR's are top heavy. I wonder if a rider like myself (of OK ability but no hot shot) will really notice the difference between a EXC450 and WR450?

You might want to look at the 2005 WR450. If the initial hubub is right Yamaha has gone to some effort to address this, as eveident even in the photos. We'll see. :cry:

http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/offroad/141_0406_2005wr/

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greenies and hunters are a big pest in my county :cry:

riding in nature is 100% prohibited by law, u can only use macadams or other categorized roads (and 16 feet off of it) :cry:

yet enforcement is very weak :cry:

the biggest pest I have to defend from is kind of orange :cry: :cry:

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I had my 2000 400's suspension lowered 30mm and the difference is really noticable. The bike feels like a 125 now and I blast it through NE woods like a GasGas now.

On the other hand can't blitz the whoops or do the big jumps with the short suspension, but in the woods it rocks.

Meantime, I've read the new 05 WR will be 20mm lower to combat the top heavy feel

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