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DRX350

Looking at a WR450, need opinions.

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I've been really drooling over the '09 WR450 lately as an addition to my stable. I currently ride a VERY highly modded DR350 and I need something lighter.

For info purposes, I am 'bout 6'4'', 240lbs (w/gear) and my riding ability is probably a mid-pack to fast intermediate (on the DR). My plans are to start racing hare scrambles and grand prixs in D37.

I have ridden a KTM 450 EXC at length, and I really like it, but the price tag is just too dang high. I know there are inherant drawbacks to the WR vs YZ, but the wide ratio trans sells me (lights are good too).

Basically, would it be worthwhile to get a new WR450, or get an older KTM or YZ.

Thanks,

Bob

PS: No need for honda to be mentioned here...

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I know there are inherant drawbacks to the WR vs YZ, but the wide ratio trans sells me (lights are good too)

You are asking hard questions :lol: :lol:

If you tend to do more trail/desert racing then get the WR (skip the expensive KTM)

You said you would like to add lights...the YZ is not light friendly. The suspension on the WR can be valved and sprung to work extremely well.

If you need more power, you can always pipe, cam whatever the WR just like the YZ.

For me the e-start on long rides and the tranny are the two biggest things for me (oh and the green sticker).

The ONLY warning about the WR or any Yamaha for that matter is, be prepared to do MORE riding then wrenching...you will find that all you will have to do on a regular basis is change the oil/clean the air filter :thumbsup:

Here is my WR that I trail ride, Baja ride, single track ride and desert race:

PB090040.jpg

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Great looking bike.

You touched on something else I am big on; reliability, I know the 5 valve well as being a super reliable plant.

Half the reason I've stuck with the DR sooo long is that it has a E-start, lights, and a 6 speed and it's about as reliable as it gets (950 hours on original top end)...

As for power, is all about momentum with me.

Thanks

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Half the reason I've stuck with the DR sooo long is that it has a E-start, lights, and a 6 speed and it's about as reliable as it gets

I see a pattern! I think the WR will fit the bill just right for you :thumbsup:

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My plans are to start racing hare scrambles and grand prixs in D37.

I have ridden a KTM 450 EXC at length, and I really like it, but the price tag is just too dang high. I know there are inherant drawbacks to the WR vs YZ, but the wide ratio trans sells me (lights are good too).

Basically, would it be worthwhile to get a new WR450, or get an older KTM or YZ.

Thanks,

Bob

PS: No need for honda to be mentioned here...

Tough call. I like new when it comes to dirt bikes, but that's just me. The fact that you want something "lighter" and to race D37 tells me the YZ is the best bet depending on how much you plan to race as compared to just trail riding. Forget about your concern for lights, you can do it with the YZ as well using pure battery power from a lightweight Lithium battery and get more run time than you'd want to ride at night anyway. Either bike, if you really want to ride at night you'll be upgrading to HID anyway as the stock lights are garbage on all the enduros. However, being 6'4" the KTM would give you more room from the get go. Not that you can't adjust the WR/YZ with taller bars/risers, seat etc, just that the KTM's are just overall larger bikes to start with. Not too long ago there were new '08 YZ450s going for $5000 out the door. I don't see those anymore and the '09's seem to be around $5600-$5700 OTD now in So Cal. Still pretty tempting compared to new pumpkins.

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Fwiw, I own an '09 WR450F and love it. My primary issue is the open-chamber forks ("What the #$%* was Yamaha thinking" comes to mind, not because they're open-chamber, but because they're horribly tuned). Anyway, resprung and revalved and they work great for anything I've been able to throw at it, but I wouldn't use it for SX (get a YZ for that).

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I've been really drooling over the '09 WR450 lately as an addition to my stable. I currently ride a VERY highly modded DR350 and I need something lighter.

For info purposes, I am 'bout 6'4'', 240lbs (w/gear) and my riding ability is probably a mid-pack to fast intermediate (on the DR). My plans are to start racing hare scrambles and grand prixs in D37.

I have ridden a KTM 450 EXC at length, and I really like it, but the price tag is just too dang high. I know there are inherant drawbacks to the WR vs YZ, but the wide ratio trans sells me (lights are good too).

Basically, would it be worthwhile to get a new WR450, or get an older KTM or YZ.

Thanks,

Bob

PS: No need for honda to be mentioned here...

Bob, I have a wr450 (05) and I raced it in D37 for the first three years. You'll love it. But you really got to get the suspension done.

However, two years ago, I decided that I wanted a lighter bike for racing purposes. So now I race a yz250. The WR was/is a very reliable race bike, but it gets heavy. For any type of racing, I think a lighter bike is better.

If you only plan to have one bike, then get the wr450. If you plan to keep the DR350 as a trail bike, then I would get a yz and pimp it out for racing. Its a lot lighter. I'd even consider a 2 stroke, but probably a ktm300 for a bigger guy like you.

There's nothing wrong with the ktm's though. They are great bikes and are very, very popular in D37 racing.

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I've strongly considered wing dingers (especially the KTM 300), but with a bad right wrist, a 2st would not be good. Plus, after riding my 270lb DR, I pretty sure I'm strong enough for a WR.

On the YZ, can you tone down the suspension to make it more friendly towards the nastier, rockier type terrain? ie: stoddard wells or JV, and the such.

Thanks for your comments, they're much appreciated!

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I've strongly considered wing dingers (especially the KTM 300), but with a bad right wrist, a 2st would not be good. Plus, after riding my 270lb DR, I pretty sure I'm strong enough for a WR.

On the YZ, can you tone down the suspension to make it more friendly towards the nastier, rockier type terrain? ie: stoddard wells or JV, and the such.

Thanks for your comments, they're much appreciated!

Not sure what a wrist has to do with the smokers, unless its the vibration that would bother you. But it sounds like you've at least given it some thought, which is all that matters.

I too love the rocky, nasty stuff. But you and I both know that the desert has everything, which is why we like it. You can have anything you want done to your suspension. It will be just fine in the rocks. You just need to find a good suspension tuner. Who setup the boingers on your DR?

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So funny, I have a DR350SE that I use for commuting after been riding it for years on the trails and went with a YZ426 for the woods.

I have been also drooling over a WR450 and finally got one last year and love it to death.

Sold the YZ426 and kept the DR350 for gas mileage.

Here in New England we have half rocky and the other half is roots and dirt. I did the Factory Connection suspension and it rides so nice and tunable to my liking.

Suspension and other things on the WR are rider preferences. I did all the mods and it is a blast.

Good luck and have fun WHEN you get that WR...he he he.

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On my DR, I set up the rear, not very well either, I played with different viscosities of oil, and varying pressures of nitrogen as well as spring rates. The forks are CR500 forks that were set up for my weight by CRU??? out of costa mesa (I forgot the name).

It works well-ish, but I have it scheduled to be tinkered on next month.

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