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chip0704

WR450 vs XR400

43 posts in this topic

I was all set to buy a 2004 Honda XR400 when the seller ran into title problems. So I'm looking around a little and was wondering how the Yamaha WR450 compares to the XR.

My son has a TTR-125 so it would be great to stay in the Yamaha family if it makes sense.

Any thoughts on the WR450 for a first dirt bike?

35, 6'4", 225 pounds. Lots of street experience but new to dirt. Looking to do trail riding, some with my son who is also new to dirt.

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I've got an XR and a WR. They're both great bikes, but the XR doesn't get out much these days. The WR is just more fun. A WR 250 might be a better first bike though.

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you are a big dude

you can handle the WR

Its a little bit more race tuned than a XR

For your first dirt bike the XR400 is a great choice.

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A not so old XR may be the better choice. I'm sold on the WR, It will out preform the XR any which way but....for the price, The WR will be double out of pocket. Both are bomb proof with the WR being a little more costly when it comes to maintenance. Button start is something to think about also.

Find a 99-02 XR and make it yours.

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I was in the same situation 3 years ago - 35, street riding experience, new to dirt, looking to ride with my kid.

Ended up with a WR because it looked like a bit more serious offroad bike than XRs, DRZ's - Inverted forks and, well the inverted forks mostly.

Get the WR. There will be times when you want to run with the big boys and you'll be glad you have it the first time you're looking up a steep sandy or muddy hill - just stay on the bike and it'll get you anywhere. Like any machine, ride smart and within your limits regardless of the machine's capabilities. I rode the same forest roads for 2 years before I ever tapped out 5th gear.

What else could I say? This is WR land!

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Get the WR. There will be times when you want to run with the big boys and you'll be glad you have it the first time you're looking up a steep sandy or muddy hill - just stay on the bike and it'll get you anywhere. Like any machine, ride smart and within your limits regardless of the machine's capabilities. I rode the same forest roads for 2 years before I ever tapped out 5th gear.

What else could I say? This is WR land!

very well said. the wr and xr are not even in the same league, get the wr if you can buy it, you'll be happier with it down the road, specially once you start to get good at riding in the dirt.

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I think very highly of the XR 400. Its the first full size bike I rode as an adult and I came pretty close to buying one in '04 when I started riding. HOWEVER, the deal killer was kick starting it. The XR4 I rented took forever to start first thing in the morning (bad jetting). At the time I thought that was just a characteristic of the bike so I didn't want to deal with it every ride.

WR advantages:

-Handles better

-Has an ass load more power.

-Lighter/less fatigue

-Lower center of gravity (XR4's are tall...taller than an XR 650R I believe)

-Better suspension

-the "button"

-Less stubborn starter via kickstart (assuming both are jetted correctly)

XR advantages:

-You can get away with a less stringient maintenence schedule

-Noob friendly power

-Better gas mileage.

-Easier to go slow on (don't mean that in a bad way, the XR4 just chugs better than a WR 450f)

Bottom line, someone your size with prior bike experience and good throttle control will do well on a WR 450f as their first dirt scooter. A total noob to bikes about your size would be better served on an XR 400 or DR-Z 400E

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My roomate has a WR426 and I have an XR400. His bike definitely has more top end power, but mine will tractor up any hill without being wound to the sky.

If you want reliability, predictibility, comfort, and ease of use (low maint) I'd say get the XR.

If you're worried about e-start, power, and wheelies, get the WR.

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I'm in agreement with the XR voters.

You say both you and your son are new to dirt, then I would think there would be a fair amount of slow riding involved in which case the XR would suit you more, its more chuaggable, harder to stall and its got a comfortable seat!

The WR will be a lot more prone to stalling and if your riding with a TTR 125, the WR will hardly be stretching its legs.

I love my WR but I'm glad it wasn't my first dirt bike.

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I have both bikes. Here is my spin. To me the XR4 is better in the tight woods and is more comfortable to ride over long periods. The WR's seat is terrible and will cause you pain over a day long 50+ mile ride. I think the fork rake angle has more to do with this (stability) than anything. The WR's is less vertical than the XR's.The WR has better high speed stability and not as good in the tight stuff. The WR is also more tiresome to ride due to shifting. The XR...pick a gear and go. Reliability has been a toss up. The WR has a better stock suspension. Power is where the WR dominates the XR4. The XR4 has power but is mostly on the bottom end (which is good).

The WR is a "woods" version of a motorcross bike. Hard hitting powerband keeps the back wheel hopping in the slippery stuff (good). The XR4 is a 1980's tech hopped up trail bike in my humble opinion. Trackable power that chugs and chugs along without stalling of bogging. Both very good, cool bikes and that's why I have both. If you cannot have two then your riding duration and type should guide you to the right bike. I agree with above with keeping up with others. The WR makes that possible when they have 450X's and such. It is costly and difficult to make the XR run like a WR. KJR

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Wow, lots of response to this question and its all good.

Here is my 2 cents worth.

I have and had WRs (400, 250, 426) it seems like that I am coming back to it for some reason, It is a very good all around bike, but most of all modern technology. You are a big boy so stay away from the 250cc WR.

My recommendation would be to ride both first; borrow one if you can.

Here is why: I ride with a guy who has an XR and he hates the WRs because of the radiator and radiator shroud makes it feel like riding a cow, too wide. He is used to the slim gas tank of the XR and likes it. Also the seat is much more plush on the XR, on a long day ride you will appreciate it. He wore out his XR, he was ready to buy an other bike, I told him to get something modern this time, but he ended up buying an other XR(newer). Ergonomics also make a big difference, you need to try it and see how it feels when you ride it in the twisties.

When the weather is cold he has a heck of time getting it started, old carb technology, no pumper carb to shoot a bit of extra gas into the cylinder.

E button is a plus on the WR, but you should not have problem kick starting the bike at the beginning of the ride. I am not a lazy rider, I don't mind giving it a good kick when needed.

Bottom line: you have to try it and see which feel, rides better for your riding style, body composition such as short leg, long arm or wise versa.

Both are great bikes....just go GIT it, get one.

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I was in your shoes not too long ago :prof: And we're about the same size. I'm 26 years old and 6'4" 220lbs.

I however have NO biking experience...street or dirt. I've been 4wheeling all my life. I rode a buddy's old Yamaha 250 four stroke on a 10 mile trip years ago, but that's it.

That said, I decided to go with the WR450 even though I knew it would be a steeper learning curve. I'm still getting used to it's power, but I dont regret getting this bike one bit. I've done all the free mods and I'm about 90% fine tuned on the jetting. The WR has a really good reputation of being reliable, and that's what I was mainly looking for.

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I'm probably beating this topic to death but I have the WR and my buddy has the XR. The XR as mentioned is way more comfortable and riding single track we're pretty even. When we hit the fire roads though I will walk away from him, he can also chug through about any mudhole he wants with little clutch work. I can hop logs and take uneven terrain/ washes and jumps better. The WR is way easier to start. You take a dive ont he Big Red Pig and your leg will get tired quick. I love my WR but ffor your kind of riding I think the XR will be the way to go. Oil it and just ride it for about the next 20 years.

Oh, and an XR 400 can def. rip wheelies.

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Wow, great stuff guys! Appreciate the opinions. I've ridden the XR and it's very smooth and comfy. Used WRs seem hard to find near me so I haven't ridden one yet. But just saw one on craig's list for a steal ('03 for $2K in real good shape) so that peeked my interest, and was the reason for my post. Seems like I can't go wrong with either one.

Thanks again.

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Im 5'6" and went from cr 500 to a 2004 xr 400 to a 2007 wr 450, I would personally buy the wr. I felt much more confident riding fast on the wr. suspension way way better, power much funner but still controlable. Looks better. Better in every way.

tha xr is a great trail bike, excellent slow speed hill climbing machine, But i got bored with it very quickly.

Good luck on whatever you purchase.

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Let me tip the scales for you...XR's hold value big time. Even if you buy a nice XR, keep it in nice condition and you can book out of it easy. Perhaps make money if you buy right. Although, WR's are super bikes with great reliability too. They do not hold the value. The WR is a nastier machine that is a niche bike. XR4's are for a broader rider group. Either way you win. KJR

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I've had a stock XR400 and an XR440, currently riding an '00 WR400. The XR and WR are both great bikes and each has its' niche. I like the XR for long multi-day rides mainly because it is more comfortable to ride, especially when you are in hang-on mode and will tractor through most anything. If I am feeling really good, the WR is the choice because it is more race oriented than the XR, but wears me out more quickly since it wants to be ridden more aggressively. I agree with riding both before you make up your mind, good luck with your choice.

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I sold an XR 400 to buy a WR 450. I rode the XR for 2 years. The XR does not, I repeat does not even come close to comparing to the WR in any way shape or form. Riding is much more enjoyable on the WR than it was for me on the XR. Suspension, E-start, more power.... I ride nasty tight steep terrain and the XR doesn't hold a candle to the WR. If you want a slow easy to ride tractor add the Rekluse clutch...

Chris

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I sold an XR 400 to buy a WR 450. I rode the XR for 2 years. The XR does not, I repeat does not even come close to comparing to the WR in any way shape or form. Riding is much more enjoyable on the WR than it was for me on the XR. Suspension, E-start, more power.... I ride nasty tight steep terrain and the XR doesn't hold a candle to the WR. If you want a slow easy to ride tractor add the Rekluse clutch...

Chris

+2 for me personally, but you said you are gonna be riding with your son on a little ttr125. You are where I was at 5 years ago when my son was 12(although I had a fair amount of off-road exp.) He had an xr 100 and I chose a DRZ400S. Looking back, I could see where a XR4 would be a good bike for you if you are gonna mostly ride with junior. Ultimately, my kid got older, and I got him a WR250 and all of a sudden, the DRZ was not cutting it. Today I have to hammer the throttle on my WR450 to keep junior in the roost. My advice, until your kid gets a bigger bike(like a 250f), most anything will work.

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