HEADS UP!!!

Site upgrade in progress... Core site functions are working, but some non-critical features/functions will be temporarily unavailable while we work to restore them over the next couple of weeks.

Please post any bugs you encounter, but before you do, check to see if it's already listed.

Thanks for your patience while we work to improve the community.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Yzfracer

Steel versus Aluminum 450?

11 posts in this topic

Is there a noticeable difference in handling between the two frames? I've read some Dirt Rider articles that say the steel frame still fells top heavy? Is this noticeable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a noticable difference between the two. The AL frame seems more planted and nimble than the steel frame. It is harder to work on, but I like the feel. I appreciate the clean look of the AL also, vs. the rubbed frame.

The steel made me feel like I could ride as hard as possible and not break or bend the frame, but I felt the hits and flexes too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, the aluminium framed version feels much lighter and easy to handle (I went from an 02 426 to an 08 450), but I reckon it's more to do with geometry than the material.

For a rider of my ability (C-grade enduro) I don't think I'd notice the difference in frame material, but the layout is heaps better. Motor is massively different as well between the aluminium and steel framed models, especially the earlier steel frame models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think the weight is a non issue in regards to steel frame vs ali frame, maybe even steel is lighter, i did say maybe

i think i read it here in the suzuki forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Motor is massively different as well between the aluminium and steel framed models, especially the earlier steel frame models.

being new to yamaha 's and dirtbikes in general I am surprised by this, from my reading here over the last month I thought the engines remained pretty unchanged from 2003 until now? Have there been performance upgrades? Reliability upgrades?

Just curious, always like tinkering with my bikes and on my v-rod I have many of the new factory "upgrades" in my engine/clutch/transmission from the newer year models in my '05 and it has helped tremendously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefered the engine in my 04 but my 07 handled better. As others have said I doubt the material change was the reason for better handling, it was the geometry changes. Personally a steel frame one with newer geometry would be my ideal WR. I wont buy another WR unless the frame design changes, the 07 was so annying to work on it was a big factor in why I only kept the bike 6 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
being new to yamaha 's and dirtbikes in general I am surprised by this, from my reading here over the last month I thought the engines remained pretty unchanged from 2003 until now? Have there been performance upgrades? Reliability upgrades?

Just curious, always like tinkering with my bikes and on my v-rod I have many of the new factory "upgrades" in my engine/clutch/transmission from the newer year models in my '05 and it has helped tremendously.

I believe he was comparing the 426 steel framed bikes (which he was coming off of) to the 450 steel frame bikes. And yes, the characteristics of the 03-11 450 motors are essentially the same - low end torque, baby!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be far, one should compare the 06 steel to the 07+ aluminum frame :excuseme:

Having owned and done just that, IMHO there is no difference aside from looks and one being harder to work on.

Ive ridden, raced, dual sported both set up the same and if I couldnt "see" which bike I was on, I'd never know the difference :busted:

06

P9060002.jpg?t=1294242498

08

P1010014.jpg?t=1294242984

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a local riding buddy who insists on riding steel frame Yamahas. He has the funds to buy whatever he wants, but each year he seeks out like-new steel frame Yamahas and then mods then specifically to his needs. The guy is a AA offroad racer and can hang with the best local intermediate and experts on a mx track. All on a steel frame.

And, yes, he still wears purple and pink riding gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on Steel frames. The newer bikes feel lighter to throw around because of the smaller gas tanks (less weight up high). The older bikes like my 2002wr426 have larger tanks (that I want) and more oil capacity (that I want). Its up to YOU personally what you want in the bike. All are great, just prefer the longevity of steel and the ease to work on. And on my bike, I do not want the electric start with the battery. That is why I purchased what I have and love the bike! Would not swap for a newer model. Just my choice and my opinion of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both an 06 wr450 and a 08 wr450. both with over sized tanks. I think there is a huge difference in handling between the two frames. On the scale there is not much difference, but to me the aluminum frame feels and handles so much lighter and quicker than the steel you'd swear it was 15lbs. less. It's a pleasure to ride and wears me out less. Much more noticable in single track than open riding. I also feel less vibration. It's more of a pain to work on but for me it's worth it. The 06 has more of a surge in power in the midrange than the smoother power delivery of the 08 cam profile, but you can swap cams to tune to your likes and riding style. I'd get 05, or 06, if you want steel frame they handle better than previous models. Any year aluminum will make you grin...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0