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woz

2007 YZ-450 vs. WR-450 for desert racing?

12 posts in this topic

I'm in the shopping phase for a new bike to replace a well-used and loved DR-400. I'm also contemplating doing some desert racing. (I do a lot of riding there already). Along with other clowning around in the woods and dunes.

I started with a bias towards getting a MX-er, probably because I'm tired of all the compromises and weight associated with my DR-Z. But as I've looked at it the WR looks like it may be more suitable. Obviously a high top speed is important in the desert compared to either MX or woods riding. Strangely though the recent (Feb.07) dirt bike shows the YZ as doing 85 stock on the dyno.

Either way I figure I'll need a bigger tank some sprocket changes, and maybe even a second back wheel. So those advantages of the WR over YZ are not as important.

Does anyone have a comparo of the internal or effective final gear ratios of the two bikes? (It's on the site for the 250 4strokes, but not the big guys.)

Personally I haven't had great luck w/ e-start on the DRz (battery death all too common regardless of charging technique) so the button isn't a huge issue (though I haven't ever had a kicker only big 4 stroke)..should it be.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, which way to go and why.

(Yes, I did read FAQs and use search, but didn't see this Q. answered)

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I desert raced an 03 YZ450 and would recommend it over the WR simply becasue of the weight and HP difference.

Stock gearing was 14/48 and I swapped that out for 15/40 and the bike absolutely ripped. Powered the front end up in top gear (4th) at 80mph like it was nothing and would run to a top speed of 107 with my fat arse on it.

I just bought an 07 (strictly for MX) and the motor feels substantially softer than my 03. While this will be good for MX it might be a little weak for desert racing.

Good luck with your decision.

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If we are talking about an '07 WR, I'd seriously consider it over the YZ as a pure desert bike. It's easier and cheaper to repair the power deficit on a WR than to add a wide ratio box and more electrical power (if that's an issue) to the YZ. The '07 has the aluminum frame and new forks, and is much more agile than the older WR, which was already lighter on its feet than the DR-Z. You could easily pull the lights and e-starter system to loose some weight, also.

If the bike is to be used for more MX-like recreation or racing, then you'd probably want the YZ.

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Anyone have the gear ratio differences?

The Yamaha web site has the YZ gear info. Interestingly the 250-2s and 450-4s share identical gearing. That would make it really fun to run them out on a dry lake bed, it would be all about the engines.

The YZ-450 is geared like this:

Anyone have the WR-spec.

Strangely the site doesn't have the sprocket sizes front and rear, of course that's easy to change.

Primary Reduction Ratio 61/23 (2.652)

Secondary Reduction Ratio 49/13 (3.769)

Gear Ratio - 1st Gear 27/14 (1.929)

Gear Ratio - 2nd Gear 23/15 (1.533)

Gear Ratio - 3rd Gear 23/18 (1.278)

Gear Ratio - 4th Gear 24/22 (1.091)

Gear Ratio - 5th Gear 20/21 (0.952)

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I had a 04 yz450 that I raced desert on and the four speed wasn't that big of a deal, and I seriously considered the 06 yz450 but ended up with the KTM 450xc.

I think that both are good i.e. yz & wr, you just have to decide if the button out weighs the kick. I race dictrict-37 and I like the versatility of the 6 speed tanny because we have so much technical in our races. My suggestion would be, buy the yz, up the counter one tooth and put a Rekluse pro autoclutch in it and go tear it up. Of course the same could be said for the WR.

BTW...I hear the 08 WR's will be getting the YZ forks.

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No one runs the Dakar on a YZ....so there you have the answer. The WR 450 is precisely built for that purpose.

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No one runs the Dakar on a YZ....so there you have the answer. The WR 450 is precisely built for that purpose.

I can't belive others don't see it that way. That is the reason Yamaha made the WR, and the wide ratio transmission would be so much better for any wide open environment.

As far as "upping the counter and adding a rekluse " that would just be extra money NOT well spent for a desert racer.

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A picture of the Africa Rally kit as sold by Yamaha France.

vue_cote1.jpg

This is a pretty different race from a BITD. But you are correct these are based on the WR-450. Nice to see Yamaha back in the 'raid'. In the 1990s they had the Tenere bikes, big twins & singles, that they ran against the BMWs that dominated at the time.

Here is a 1996 660 Tenere:

http://www.bikez.com/pictures/yamaha/1996/1358_0_1_2_xtz%20660%20tenere_Image%20credits%20-%20Pele%20Lidby.jpg

And here is the big 750 twin:

11810_0_1_2_xtz%20750%20super%20tenere_Image%20credits%20-%20Brent%20Horne.jpg

Somehow I just don't associate this class with what we ride out west.

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I can't belive others don't see it that way. That is the reason Yamaha made the WR, and the wide ratio transmission would be so much better for any wide open environment.

Tell that to Russ Pearson who rips on a yz. I would not argue with you regarding the wr, but the yz is much lighter, and therefore less tiring in the technical. I never liked the gear ratios of the older WR's, I understand they changed them for 07. I will look hard at the WR in 08 as well as the KTM.

As far as "upping the counter and adding a rekluse " that would just be extra money NOT well spent for a desert racer.

I had a Rekluse in my 04 yz450 with tall gearing and it worked great for desert racing, I could go up waterfalls and nasty rock sections like I was cheating. I still had the stock clutch after two years of abuse. It lets you relax more when your tired on the second loop. I ordered the pro version for my KTM after racing this bike for almost one year now. There are a lot of guys in District using them now, they see the benefits of them. I think the new Rekluse Pro will be the ticket.

BTW...the bike choice ultimately depends on which format of desert racing your interested in i.e., BITD, Score, District 37 etc.

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BTW...the bike choice ultimately depends on which format of desert racing your interested in i.e., BITD, Score, District 37 etc.

Mostly interested in BITD. The recluse information was interesting, thanks.

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