05 WR450 is good...what about 04, 03,......

recent dirtrider (I think) magazine did a shoot out with 450's out there (KTM, Honda, Husky, Husaberg...)

the 05 WR450 scored well, not as high as the KTM ...but with its price it sure seems you get a lot of bang for your buck.

I'm 45, started dirt bike riding at age 5...been riding sportbikes only last 8-years...but I need to get back to the dirt! All my dirt bikes were 2-strokes.

So I'm thinking of shopping around for (most likely) a used dirt bike....I know the 05 WR450 rates well.....what about the 04 or 03's?

Any issues I should know about...being in Calif I do want a green-sticker bike..for trail riding...I won't be doing any MX, would like to get back into enduro-shape...but to be honest I don't need the fastest bike out there....more concerned with something fun and reliable....but with some pop to it.

I appreciate your input......thanks

The '03 and '04's were NOT green stickered, so you may want to stick with the '05 for riding in the People's Republic of California. However, I believe the 426's were green. The '03 had a problem with the woodruff key shearing off and grenading the engine a bit, but was fixed in '04 and a recall was offered for the '03's. A friend of mine just bought an '05 in Quincy, CA for $6100 OTD, but didn't have to pay tax as we're in Nevada. I think you'd be well-served by a well-cared-for 426 if you didn't want to buy a new '05...SC

buy an 05!!!!!!!

ANY bike 02 or older is Green Sticker in Ca. After that you have to choose wisely if you want to go green.

I love my 04 - it's a straight out death machine!

For California, it is simple, either an '05 or a '98 to '02. You need a green sticker or you will be sidelined for half the year.

The 03 didn't really have a woodruff key problem it was a improperly tightened nut/bolt on the flywheel which was causing the key the sheer off. Yamaha blamed it on a kinked airline. The vin will have a punch mark right above it if the recall has been preformed. Mine had the recall done before the bike was ever started. If you ride in a all year round red sticker area the 03 and 04 are fine but many areas only allow red sticker 3 to 5 months out of the year.

Keep in mind any WR older then '03 is NOT e-start if that is a concern. So if you want an e-start, green sticker, WR450 then currently your ONLY choice is a '05.

Hope that helps in your decision.

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