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dominic888

2006 WR450 compared to HONDA XR400

17 posts in this topic

My XR400 is getting heavier and heavier feel on single track trails. I will be in the market for a new bike that has a lighter handling and reliable bike. How does WR450 compare to XR400.

1. Handling (lighter feel)

2. Reliability

3. How much maintenance do I have to do?

4. Torque in hill climbs

5. What is the maximum horsepower?

6. Valve issues? or any other issues?

7. How is the 1st and 2nd gear? Is it snappy?

8. How is the bike on tight cliff side single track trails?

I would appreciate all your opinions.

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I've had a XR 400 for 3 years just before i've switched for a WR 250 then rode the WR250 for 1 month and then i bought my wr450 2003 2 months ago. i've ridden the wr450 3 times from the day i bought it. I've been into some jetting problem i could'nt ride the thing. It was my TPS....another story.

Handling: Feel lighter, not much though, but lighter. I can now move on the bike, riding position is much better.

Reliability: Cant talk. I feel like it'll be like my XR.

Maintenance: Cleaned the air filter, changed the oil. Changing the oil is easy and cheap. You put only 1 liter in the motor without oil filter change.

Torque: Same torque monster as the XR but it goes faster and more power for sure.

i think all gears are pretty smooth, the bike is not going to jump by itself. i have to be carefull because when i am in 5th gear full throttle and hit a little bump, the front want to get up. It can be vicious at time. But no problem if you keep the stock pipe and jetting.

You didn't ask but the suspension is the greatest change! i still can't believe it!

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My XR400 is getting heavier and heavier feel on single track trails. I will be in the market for a new bike that has a lighter handling and reliable bike. How does WR450 compare to XR400.

1. Handling (lighter feel)

2. Reliability

3. How much maintenance do I have to do?

4. Torque in hill climbs

5. What is the maximum horsepower?

6. Valve issues? or any other issues?

7. How is the 1st and 2nd gear? Is it snappy?

8. How is the bike on tight cliff side single track trails?

I would appreciate all your opinions.

Of all my older bikes, my 96 XR400 is the only one I've kept. Why? I don't really know. Guess deep down I kinda like that old pos. Anyway, heres how I compare them.

1. Same, but much better suspension

2. Don't know yet - the XR has 2 bores, 2 valve jobs and 2 valve seal replacements after many hard miles in Baja. As far as engine wear goes, I think the WR will be more reliable because of water cooling.

3. Same as the XR. Oil, filter and valve adjustment.

4. WR wins

5. Way more than the XR. My unplugged WR is as fast as the unplugged XR650R that it replaced. In a 1/2 mile beach drag race, the 650 only won by 2 bike lengths.

6. Don't know yet, but nothing after 2100 miles

7. Yep!

8. IMO, not good. Doesn't feel right. Compared to my EXC300, it feels like a tank. But then again, compared to the power and weight of a KTM300, almost everything feels like a tank. Both of my KTMs are easier and less tiring to ride in the tights.

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I owned my XR400 for six years and the WR feels like my XR on steroids. The WR is an improvement in all areas, and my WR has been as reliable as my XR was so far. Yes there is more maintenance to do on the WR with valve checking and adjustments, but the benefits of the bike outweigh the hassle. I checked my valves after break in and they were within spec and I am going to check them again soon. I have not had any hard starting issues so I would be surprised if they need to be adjusted. The 450 can be a hand full sometimes on really tight stuff, but I have been able to crawl without stalling and chug up hills like I did on the XR. If you do go the WR route buy yourself some Unabiker radiator guards, because if you are an XR rider the whole concept of radiators is new and bending one can be a drag. Do the free mods and enjoy the power. :thumbsup:

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You didn't ask but the suspension is the greatest change! i still can't believe it!

Definately! But it can still be improved to a whole new level you never knew existed.

The wr450 is a good step up from the XR400, if you still want a "trail" type of bike. I don't know if the WR is at the top of the heap, if it isn't, it is very close.

Reliability is on par with the XR, it just takes more maintenance.

Take a look through the forums and you will see that the WR has got no inherent problems, other than people bitching about weight.

As for maximum horsepower , throw on a MX muffler and you will get ~50hp.

Maximum HP is not the biggest benefit from a MX muffler, it is the big gains in the whole rev range. The stock muffler is really restricted to keep it quiet. If you choose your pipe wisely, you can have a pipe that can be altered to suit your situation. Cork it where you have restrictions.

When comparing the XR400 to the WR450, think of it like evolution.

The line would go like this. XR400 - DR-Z400 - WR450. Each bike is better than the previous, each a little more modern. With the WR450 being derived from the YZ450's, it is much more of a racebike, so that means better handling and suspension, and a lot more power.

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How about the 2007 WR450 aluminum frame, will they give a lighter handling feel on tight single track trails? I like Yamaha for the afford-ability and the lesser cost after purchase maintain versus KTM. KTM is well known for it's light handling but it cost more to buy and cost more to maintain.

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How about the 2007 WR450 aluminum frame, will they give a lighter handling feel on tight single track trails? .

That is the $64,000 question.

If it is anything like the 2005 vs. 2006 YZ450, the difference is quite substantial. The 2005 YZ450 was no sluch, but the 2006 made it feel like a tank.

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I made the same transition from an '02 xr400 to an '05 wr450. All of the guys above nailed it in all categories. The only thing they forgot to mention, hoping that they will agree, is that the wr 5 valve engine in a little more fussy with bad gas. I know that for a fact. It just won't run right. I didn't really seem to have that problem with the xr.

That's my 2 cents.

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I think a huge difference is the electric start. I remember dropping my XR400 on a hillclimb and flooding it. It can take a few (too many) kicks to get going and tire you out. WR450 just push the button and go.

Stalling on a hill sucks if you only have a kick start. You end up having to go back down and try it again. With the electric start I can often start the bike mid-hill and tractor up it.

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KTM is well known for it's light handling but it cost more to buy
If you're going to ride tight technicals, the KTM is worth the extra money.
and cost more to maintain.
I have owned many KTMs and I find that not to be true.

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Great topic and great advice! I'm glad I found this one. I am selling off my '02 XR400 for an '07 WR450.

My decision is already made, as I am sure it will be an improvement, but this is good info. :thumbsup:

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Great topic and great advice! I'm glad I found this one. I am selling off my '02 XR400 for an '07 WR450.
Well, no one can give you any first hand opinion on the new 07 WR's but they do look very promising.

I think the new 450 is going to be the one to finally make me update too! :thumbsup:

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Yeah, I figure my '02 XR was '96 technology, so updating by 10/11 years should be a nice change. I am a little bummed that the weight difference is only 10 lbs, but the XR didn't have the magic button.

I rode a '98 YZ400 back in '04 and I didn't want to get back on my XR. Lots more power down low. I would have had to fight to keep the front wheel on the ground if I didn't enjoy lifting it so much!

I simply cannot wait to get on the new WR! :thumbsup:

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I am a little bummed that the weight difference is only 10 lbs, but the XR didn't have the magic button.
Don't focus too much on small diferrences in weight on paper until you actual ride the bikes. How they carry the weight is half the battle. Despite similar weights our early (kickstart) WR's were often critized for feeling a bit tankish compared to the even earlier XR400 design...and in some cases even to the 650! The 05 WR450 update was very usefull but I think the 07 could be awesome. If it's anything like the YZ450 transformation this year it won't be about how much weight is dropped but how much lighter is "feels". We'll see! :thumbsup:

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Good point. I looked up the specs on that '98 YZ400F, and from what I gather, the bike weighed 260 lbs. That is three lbs. heavier than a stock XR400 and probably 10lbs heaver than my bike was at the time. Yet it felt lighter and much more rigid (sp?)

So once under way, I bet the new WR feels pretty light.

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It's fairly interesting the read about how many people switched from the XR to the WR450. I did the same thing a few months ago. My buddie has a DRZ400 and I have rode it a couple times in San Felipe. The bike is a step up from the XR and I also rode a friends 04 WR450. I felt it was a step up from the DRZ. The WR450 is a great bike. Much better in every category except maintenance. But it's really not much more work. The XR is just so dang easy to work on it's silly, so comparing almost anything to it is worthless in that regard. If you really wanted to, you could ride the WR in 3rd gear on many single tracks all day long. It just pulls and pulls. I love the bike. And yes, I'm very interested in the '07... haha.

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