WR450 - what should I expect in comparison?

Hey all,

I'm pretty new to riding (started 2 years ago), and I have a chance to pick up an '03 WR450 from a friend. He's hauling it up from TX to let me ride it this weekend in the NC mountains. I ride mostly in the tight NC Pinewoods.

My primary bike is an '00 KTM 200MXC (2T), and I love the handling, suspension, weight, etc. of it. Performance wise, the KTM has its issues and I'm frustrated trying to chase them all down. The fact the the KTM is 212 lbs is one of the issues I may be dealing with if I decide to get this WR450 - I can basically throw the KTM around as I ride the tight stuff.

I'm also not a small guy (I'm no spring chicken either), but I feel that a bigger 4-stroke would suit me a bit better. I really don't know why I feel that way, but I'm looking for some feedback about what kind of differences I should expect between these two and what I should expect maintenance/upkeep on the WR...I don't know which mods have been done on this WR, but I rode it 2 years ago in TX, and it had plenty of power.

Sorry for such an ambiguous question. I know these two bikes are night/day, but that shouldn't be a show stopper for someone new to riding.

Thanks,

Steve

well.. i had a 06 wr450 and a gas gas 300 2 stroke at the same time, so i will give you my thoughts.. i liked the wr for the e start, smooth power, i had the suspension re done which really helped it, they are pretty soft factory.. the wr is way heavier than the ktm you have now.. you will probably do more oil changes on the wr, depending on how often you change the ktm.. it is not hard to take care of the yamaha.. I will tell you, going from the 2st to the 4st, i stalled it alot..you are on a 2oo, so you are probably better on the clutch than me.. the 300 makes you way lazy... takes some time to get used to.. ended up in a place financially where i could not keep both and the WR was newer and worth more, so i sold it and still ride the gg.. spend some time on it, ride it where you normally ride the ktm.. if i had the cash, i would still have both...

Steve,

I was a like time 2T rider and after a long break (8 years) I got a WR450F as a "first" bike. The weight is dreadful when going slow, but the bike just won't die. You can put around in second gear going real slow and still not be far from the powerband.

the biggest thing you may notice is compression braking. If you snap the throttle closed you better be in braking position (heels a little low, weight to the rear of the bike for me). My bike slows down fast when it's in gear and I'm not twisting the fun grip. I also weigh 155 lbs... so the thing isn't carrying much more than it's own weight.

Let us know how you like it! You'll appreciate the linear power delivery for sure.

Thanks for the replies, guys. Very much appreciated.

The only time I was ever on a WR450, it was more like ATV trails - more wide open and hilly compared to the pinewoods where you have to be a bit nimble. As as example, here's a recent clip of me on my KDX220 (I bring a backup because the KTM is problematic) where I like to ride. I come off at the end of the clip, but that's not unusual either.

I figure the WR450 will be fun to ride in the woods here.

Steve,

I did the opposite to you. I have a WR450 and rode it in tight single track a few times, then went out and bought a 2002 KTM 200 EXC!

I can tell you in the really tight area that I have been riding, the WR450 was a tank. I tried to tell myself it wasnt, but it was just too damn heavy for very slow tight stuff. I have a rekluse in it which helps a butt tonne, but it was still giving me a hard time, with plenty of get offs. (I am 5'10 190 pounds) Just as well it has an e-start!

I bought the 200 and instantly felt the difference. Hardly any get offs and I was much quicker over the same tight terrain.

Now when the trail opens, the WR450 streets the KTM in speed and stability. Its much more of a pleasure to ride when the trail opens.

So my comprimise is to own both, avoid the 2t vs 4t debate and enjoy what each of the bikes was specifically designed for.

I've owned both, but not at the same time. I really liked the little 200! It was just soooo much fun to throw around! But having grown up on Yamaha's, I never could get used to the handleing difference. I tried for two years, doing everything imaginable to try and get some front end feedback like I get from my Yamaha's, to no avail, so I got rid of it. Now fast forward a few years, and I moved from the tight woods of Upstate N.Y., to the wide open spaces of Montana, and I'm back on a WR450. This thing is perfect for more open terrain!!! I think it's gonna be a handfull in the tight stuff, but it's super dependable. So I guess your gonna have to tell us what you think of it!!! Maniac

I hope Im wrong but you are going to be wishing for your 200 back

The KTM200 is a great bike

Well, I'm back from Brushy Mountain after testing out the '03 WR450.

Day 1 on the mountain was fairly dry (the usual water breaks and deep turns have water - they always do). I fired up the WR and fuel was pouring out of somewhere on the carb - I'm guessing the float was stuck - but I never stopped to address it. Power-wise, the WR has a real smooth power delivery, which is a radical change from the 2T's I usually ride. This bike is heavy, but I liked the feel of it under me. It grunts nicely in 2nd & 3rd gear up the mountain. I had a blast on it - I felt like I needed to run an outside line with it. Getting back on the power was also a distinct change. I probably only lost the rear end 2-3 times and I was trying to go as fast I felt comfortable. Like I said, the bike was a blast - until I got to the single-track...This is a big bike, and I'm too inexperienced to be on their single-track with that monster.

Day2: It poured overnight. Quite a muddy/wet clay mess up near the top. The bike is great through most of the mud. Where I failed was a very sharp uphill left-hander. The inside line was a mess and there was no holding it - the right side groove was knee deep in slick-as-snot wetness. I tried 4 times to make it up there. 1 guy (the first guy) made it up there after 2 attempts. It wouldn't have mattered what I was riding.

Overall, I really like the bike. It's not as comfortable, nimble or setup like my KTM, but I ran the trails faster on the WR than I ever have on my 200MXC. However, it wouldn't even be a fair comparison for the woods. The KTM (and my KDX220 for that matter) are just superior woods bikes for the tight pinewoods where I ride.

I didn't understand until today why everyone raves about e-start.

The WR does look nice sitting in my garage. It could use a new set of skins (I'll listen to recommendations), and I need to start researching fuel overflow issues. I hope it's just a stuck float or something like that.

I'm heading back up to the mountain this upcoming weekend to give it another run. I also need to start reading up on jetting.

Anyway...great bike. Fun to ride - gobs of power.

Thanks for the help.

Steve

Pull your carb and spray carb cleaner into the float pin seat. Also make sur eyour float pin isn't worn. That is probably your gremlin.

Well, I'm back from Brushy Mountain after testing out the '03 WR450.

Day 1 on the mountain was fairly dry (the usual water breaks and deep turns have water - they always do). I fired up the WR and fuel was pouring out of somewhere on the carb - I'm guessing the float was stuck - but I never stopped to address it. Power-wise, the WR has a real smooth power delivery, which is a radical change from the 2T's I usually ride. This bike is heavy, but I liked the feel of it under me. It grunts nicely in 2nd & 3rd gear up the mountain. I had a blast on it - I felt like I needed to run an outside line with it. Getting back on the power was also a distinct change. I probably only lost the rear end 2-3 times and I was trying to go as fast I felt comfortable. Like I said, the bike was a blast - until I got to the single-track...This is a big bike, and I'm too inexperienced to be on their single-track with that monster.

Day2: It poured overnight. Quite a muddy/wet clay mess up near the top. The bike is great through most of the mud. Where I failed was a very sharp uphill left-hander. The inside line was a mess and there was no holding it - the right side groove was knee deep in slick-as-snot wetness. I tried 4 times to make it up there. 1 guy (the first guy) made it up there after 2 attempts. It wouldn't have mattered what I was riding.

Overall, I really like the bike. It's not as comfortable, nimble or setup like my KTM, but I ran the trails faster on the WR than I ever have on my 200MXC. However, it wouldn't even be a fair comparison for the woods. The KTM (and my KDX220 for that matter) are just superior woods bikes for the tight pinewoods where I ride.

I didn't understand until today why everyone raves about e-start.

The WR does look nice sitting in my garage. It could use a new set of skins (I'll listen to recommendations), and I need to start researching fuel overflow issues. I hope it's just a stuck float or something like that.

I'm heading back up to the mountain this upcoming weekend to give it another run. I also need to start reading up on jetting.

Anyway...great bike. Fun to ride - gobs of power.

Thanks for the help.

Steve

I have an 05 and I love it! Now, at various times I always have a fun bike and a race bike. In no way shape or form is the steel framed wr's suited for racing. Too heavy, tranny too gappy.

Its all about tradeoffs. Its really easy to ride and is less tireing. Gear it at about 14/50, put it in 3rd and leave it there all day. If you really want to make it even easier to ride, put a rekluse on it. If you do, you'll have that wr for the rest of your life!

Have fun!

If you really want to make it even easier to ride, put a rekluse on it. If you do, you'll have that wr for the rest of your life!

Turned my bike into a traction monster!

I didn't understand until today why everyone raves about e-start.

Steve

Even though the newer bikes are easier to kickstart, the button is heaven when your heart rate is at 180 after lifting the thing up after a get off!

mauricedorris is right, its all about trade offs. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to both bikes!

I'm DEFINITELY keeping a 2T Woods bike along with the WR450. I'll use the WR at places like Brushy Mountain and the more open places, and whichever 2T I keep I'll use in the pinewoods.

My dilemma is that I have to choose between the ultra-reliable, fun to ride KDX220 or a problematic 200MXC with all the bells & whistles (Rekluse, WER Damper, TrailTamer front forks, etc.). To make the decision harder, I love the KTM - problem is that it hates me.

I have a feeling that both the bottom and top-end need to be re-done before it starts to behave itself.

I putting on a set of Dunlop MX51's F/R on the WR - I'll see how they go this weekend. Tomorrow is carb time - I need to find why the fuel overflows, but I got some good tips here, thanks. I hope it's the float mechanism.

I'm DEFINITELY keeping a 2T Woods bike along with the WR450. I'll use the WR at places like Brushy Mountain and the more open places, and whichever 2T I keep I'll use in the pinewoods.

My dilemma is that I have to choose between the ultra-reliable, fun to ride KDX220 or a problematic 200MXC with all the bells & whistles (Rekluse, WER Damper, TrailTamer front forks, etc.). To make the decision harder, I love the KTM - problem is that it hates me.

I have a feeling that both the bottom and top-end need to be re-done before it starts to behave itself.

I putting on a set of Dunlop MX51's F/R on the WR - I'll see how they go this weekend. Tomorrow is carb time - I need to find why the fuel overflows, but I got some good tips here, thanks. I hope it's the float mechanism.

the MX51 on the rear of a wr won't last too long. I personally ride the mx71 on the rear. However, you may have better longevity in the woods than I do in the desert.

The carb leaks because the float needle needs to be replaced. Order a new one. Problem will go away. It happened to me just a couple of months ago.

i'm getting decent wear out of the mx-51's in the red clay/sand we ride around here. I'm not overly abusive with the throttle. I love the traction I get front and rear from the mx-51's, a big upgrade from stock.

the wr450f was the first dirtbike i ever owned (rode street for a LONG time) and it has been challenging to learn on. I have gotten to the point where I can whip it around in tight stuff but I can tell my biddies that ride 250f models are not working near as much. would really like to get a ktm exc smoker for the tight woods and keep the wr for the more open stuff.

the wr450 has proven itself to me to be a great all around bike - and the thing will flat fly on the open trails

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