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gmoss357

YZ450F for woods racing? too much?

27 posts in this topic

As you can see, I am on a WR250 now. Will the 450 be too much bike for hare scrambles? My thinking is this: more power, lighter, and put a rekluse in it so it won't stall. Mainly wanted some opinions from owners. Looking at the same year model used. Will the suspensions swap since I have mine the way I like it, resprung and revalved? Any thoughts? :applause:

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I bought a 2004 Yz 450f back in April from a kid who only rode on his parent's 40 acres (i.e. never raced) that only had about 50 hours on it. I just turned 41 years old, and I hadn't ridden dirt in about 18 years or so, (although I had street bikes in that interim period) Anyway, I was wondering if this bike was gonna be too much, but it has turned out to be a great bike for all kinds of riding. I mainly ride off trail through the woods, on typical hardpack, some slight mud/standing puddles, some rocky areas, and I also joined a local Motocross track that I have hit about 3 times so far. I had never been on a Motocross track in my life before this summer, and I wasn't used to jumping but I've gotten pretty good in a short amount of time.

To answer your question.....it's all about throttle management. If you jump on the bike and just let it rip, you'll find that you have quite an untamed beast between your legs (especially the 2003 model or the 2004 model) If you judiciously use the throttle intelligently, you'll find the bike is very reliable, trustworthy, stable, and the gobs of torque can get you outta trouble. I have kept everything stock, but if you're going to ride strictly woods, you may want to change the sprocket(s) and/or add flywheel weight (to make stalling less of an issue) After putting on a good number of hours, I am very happy with my decision, and I think it's a great overall bike. At first I was intimidated by it, and I would stall it out several times a day on the really tight trails, but now that'a a rarity. Another thing is these 4 strokes are very reliable. I hope this helps. Don

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It does help. I feel like I am outgrowing the 250 and am going to have to do something like putting a set of Hotcams in it to stay satisfied. I also have ridden a buddies KTM 450 and liked the torque to get over anything that came my way. Anyone been on both or made the transfer. I want to know if it will make a formidable woods weapon? Anyone else have any suggestions, opinions, or experiences? :applause:

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I have a 450 that I ride at the MX track and trail ride here in Nevada. My last bike was a YZ 250 and the biggest difference I noticed was the weight and engine braking. I was much quicker on tight twisty trails on the 2 stroke and I didn't get worn out as fast. The 450 is heavier, (you'll really notice it about 20 miles into your ride), and the engine braking makes you feel like your riding a hobby horse. When the trails open up a little bit my 450 flat ROCKS!

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As flintlock28 wrote, it's all about throttle management with the yz450. The light flywheel and four speed gearbox can make it a chore in the tight stuff. Although, once you get the hang of it, there is enough power in that bike to keep you satisfied in most all conditions. Also, the yz's suspension is for motocross and is pretty stiff for most trails. I rode single track for about five hours Saturday and I'M SORE! That being said, you can always make modifications and adjustments if needed. I own an '04 yz450 and am very happy with the bike in all conditions. You give a little in certain circumstances that you gain in others. I do all types of riding and would certainly be dissapointed heading to the track with a wr. The ultimate tool would be a yz with some mods done to make it more trail friendly. Hope this helps :applause:

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As flintlock28 wrote, it's all about throttle management with the yz450. The light flywheel and four speed gearbox can make it a chore in the tight stuff. Although, once you get the hang of it, there is enough power in that bike to keep you satisfied in most all conditions. Also, the yz's suspension is for motocross and is pretty stiff for most trails. I rode single track for about five hours Saturday and I'M SORE! That being said, you can always make modifications and adjustments if needed. I own an '04 yz450 and am very happy with the bike in all conditions. You give a little in certain circumstances that you gain in others. I do all types of riding and would certainly be dissapointed heading to the track with a wr. The ultimate tool would be a yz with some mods done to make it more trail friendly. Hope this helps :applause:

Don't get me wrong, I am fairly fast on the WR. Just after getting on a bike with more power, mine now feels a little short, wanting more burst out of a corner. I don't ride MX, unless I have too in a race. If I do this, I am going to get the same year model and switch the susp so I will have it set up for the woods. Is the bike still luggable in the tight stuff?

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Is the bike still luggable in the tight stuff?

Luggable makes it sound like quite a burly beast! I think it may be quite a bit more agile than you may think. It definetly gets through tight and technical. It just may require a bit more control and be more of a work out than a wr. The wr is plush and soaks up alot of the trail. I have ridden a '01 wr for reference. I'm unsure of the changes made from '01 to '03 but the wr keeps right up until you hit a section where you can really get on it. Then, the 450 is gone! In the tight stuff you can only go so fast. The wr goes just as fast through that type of terrain and is much easier on your body promoting endurance.

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I agree with xt2yz....I've ridden with a guy on a Honda cr 125 in some really tight areas, and I had to work to keep up with him (he is still a more experienced rider than me). However, when we hit some open areas (like fire-roads), or wider trail ; it's no contest, the yz 450f just flat out blows past him like he's not moving. It is a decently agile bike, but it still can give you a workout after trail ridng tight stuff for several hours. Just like everything in life, there are comprimises, pro's and con's. A coworker friend of mine bought the same bike (his is 2003 model), and he says nothing compares to the torque/power compared to the 125's 250's and old 400's that he grew up on.

Like he said, "Once you ride this much power, you don't want to ever go back".

Don

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You might want to make sure the suspension is interchangable. I know the '04 WR forks are smaller than the '04 YZ forks.

Jerry

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If I get one, I am going to get the same year model. Hopefully the suspension components will interchange. That way I will have a WR suspended YZ450F. I'm just trying to achieve more power with equivalent handling without spending a lot of money. Sound like a plan? :applause:

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Probably the most bothersome elements of riding a YZ450 as a woods/hare scrambles bike are the engine's very low rotating mass and the close ratio 4 speed.

The first is pretty easily overcome, at least to a degree. I would say use a Dr.D 6 or 8oz flywheel (probably the 8), or the GYT-R offroad flywheel (GYT-5TA97-50-50, not the lighter GYT-5TA97-50-00). Otherwise, managing the snappy throttle response is tricky, and it's a challenge to avoid stalling at low speeds. The good part about going with Dr.D is that you can return a flywheel for one of a different weight at any time and pay only for the freight.

The second part is not so simple. The trans was intended for, and is very good at, MX. It has a fairly tall first gear, and only four total. The spacing is wider than that of a YZ426 5spd, though, and if the two bikes are geared so that they have the same overall ratio in first, there's only a 3 mph difference in the top speeds between them. You can install a WR transmission, though, but you have to change out the entire transmission to do this (about $700. Not all that bad, considering). You then have a lower first, the same 2, 3, & 4, and a 5th on top.

Another thing some like to do is to switch to a Rekluse auto clutch.

Or, you might just want to look into a WR with a YZ exhaust cam and take some of the extra stuff off. :applause:

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I think that the 450 is not a great choice for woods racing.(too heavy and terrible in the tight tight stuff)......now a 250 2 smoke with a flywheel weight or a ktm 300ex??, is a great choice.....

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I think that the 450 is not a great choice for woods racing.(too heavy and terrible in the tight tight stuff)......now a 250 2 smoke with a flywheel weight or a ktm 300ex??, is a great choice.....

I've got a 300 exc and don't have the money to make good for the woods. The yzf is lighter than my WR. Don't like the smokers when it gets rooty, rocky and hilly. The 4 strokes just plain tract better. My thoughts were that I could get the same year bike and swap some components - suspension, since I have already had mine done. Appreciated the info though. :applause:

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gmoss,

It sounds to me like you already have your mind made up to buy a 450 which is OK, you can do what ever you want. But I'll tell you after having (6) yes "SIX" KTM 300's (3- EXC's and 3- MXC's) that if you expect to ride the 450 faster through woods than a 300 EXC....it ain't gonna happen! The 450 may have more grunt through the gnarly stuff as you refer to it, but handling that grunt will cost you time in the woods and tight trails.

I have lost time on the tight trails but have increased my fun factor greatly. It is a trade off I'm willing to make.

I'm just trying to make sense of your comments. The money you say you don't have to make an already excellent woods machine (300 EXC) better, you now have to buy a 450 and tame it down even more?

It's your call, but I don't think you are grasping what we are trying to tell you here.

Ride a 450 through some tight woods you are familiar with for a couple of hours, then hop on your 300 for a couple and you'll see what we are saying.

Good Luck!

ripntear

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gmoss,

It sounds to me like you already have your mind made up to buy a 450 which is OK, you can do what ever you want. But I'll tell you after having (6) yes "SIX" KTM 300's (3- EXC's and 3- MXC's) that if you expect to ride the 450 faster through woods than a 300 EXC....it ain't gonna happen! The 450 may have more grunt through the gnarly stuff as you refer to it, but handling that grunt will cost you time in the woods and tight trails.

I have lost time on the tight trails but have increased my fun factor greatly. It is a trade off I'm willing to make.

I'm just trying to make sense of your comments. The money you say you don't have to make an already excellent woods machine (300 EXC) better, you now have to buy a 450 and tame it down even more?

It's your call, but I don't think you are grasping what we are trying to tell you here.

Ride a 450 through some tight woods you are familiar with for a couple of hours, then hop on your 300 for a couple and you'll see what we are saying.

Good Luck!

ripntear

Agree whole heartedly!!! :applause:

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gmoss,

It sounds to me like you already have your mind made up to buy a 450 which is OK, you can do what ever you want. But I'll tell you after having (6) yes "SIX" KTM 300's (3- EXC's and 3- MXC's) that if you expect to ride the 450 faster through woods than a 300 EXC....it ain't gonna happen! The 450 may have more grunt through the gnarly stuff as you refer to it, but handling that grunt will cost you time in the woods and tight trails.

I have lost time on the tight trails but have increased my fun factor greatly. It is a trade off I'm willing to make.

I'm just trying to make sense of your comments. The money you say you don't have to make an already excellent woods machine (300 EXC) better, you now have to buy a 450 and tame it down even more?

It's your call, but I don't think you are grasping what we are trying to tell you here.

Ride a 450 through some tight woods you are familiar with for a couple of hours, then hop on your 300 for a couple and you'll see what we are saying.

Good Luck!

ripntear

I appreciate your thoughts, but I have never been on a 2 stroke before this bike. I now have 2 bikes and like riding/racing my WR 10 times more than the terrible handling KTM. To get the KTM even close to the handling of the Yamaha it needs a stabilizer , rekluse , and suspension work. I have talked to the local susp guru and set the clickers like he said and it still dances around like crazy. I simply don't like the unpredictable characteristics of the engine and suspension of the KTM. I am way faster on my WR right now and don't want to go thru a whole new learning curve for this bike. I raced it at my last hare scramble and quit after 2 laps because it vibrated my hands numb and handled like crap. That has never happened to me before. It wouldn't steer and I was not confident with the supension, which affects my speed greatly. Say what you may, but I will keep my comfy WR before I sink $1500 into that bike. Don't get wrong though, it is fun to play on, but I am not going to race it. I will stick with Yamaha one way or the other. :applause:

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gmoss,while reading thru this i saw you want to change over your suspension components to the 450,and seeing as your considering my 04 wr your forks will bolt right up(46mm) and you may consider leaving the shock thats on it now,its awesome. the bikes set up with a +8 steahly flywheel with 13/51 gearing and is dang near unstopable(if thats a word) i've got the weight down to 244 wet w/out gas(which is about what the actual weight of the 04 yz is) thats over 20lbs less than a stock 04 wr450(its even a few lbs less than your 03 wr250,i know because we weighed my buddies on the same double beam scale and his weighed 250) this bike is set up for HS :applause: and for you folks that say the 300 is definately faster well maybe against a stock 450 but one set up for the woods,i don't believe it. my buddy that had the 03 wr250 fell into the pumkin' hype and bought a new 05 300 exc. he says oh i'm sooo much faster on my new pumkin' well i rode it and it just feels faster because its such a handful to ride! and guess what, i've been waiting longer for him to catch up too.

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mtnman,

:applause: Hopefully I can move this KTM before you sell the bike, I would like to ride it and see if suits me. You will be the first to know when it goes.

See ya.

:eek:

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I'm not trying to keep you from buying Yamahas at all. I have one. If anything, I encourage people to go 4 stroke. You will have a blast on a 450 and I'm sure you will learn to ride it well. I fully understand the power and handling you are speaking of about the 300.

I have never ridden a YZ250F, but can imagine that it could be much more mellow than a KTM 300EXC.

I hope the deal that you and ncmountainman works out. It sounds like he has one sweet bike!

ripntear

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Yeah, I am more than familiar with the Yamaha. I have had my WR250F since it was new in 03. I just feel like I am outgrowing the bike power wise. I still haven't made up my mind whether I am going to go 450 or not, I jumped into the KTM deal before thought it through. That's why I rode a buddies 450 to see if that was a possibility, and it is. Just got to sell the orange bike first.

Who knows, I may just put a set of hotcams in my WR and be done. :applause:

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