2003 WR450 VS 01-06 XR 650 for Baja ride?

Looking to ride from Ensenada to Cabo in a few months, 1000ish miles in 10-14 days. I already own a 2003 WR 450 that has about 25 hours on it. I originally purchased the WR to be a donor bike for a Cafe Racer project (was going to do something like this http://thekneeslider...gal-cafe-racer/ ). Now I'm wanting to do this Baja ride and my friends who are doing it have bought XR 650's. I planned on getting an XR 650 until I saw how big it was. I ride a 2007 YZ 450f as my motocross bike and do a lot of desert riding on the YZ as well. I'd like to use th WR for the baja ride but I'm nervous about the long straight sections on the ride and the motor blowing.

Any advice, recommendations on why I should get an XR 650r or use the WR 450? And reason I'd rather ride the WR is it's smaller and lighter, not such a heavy PIG.

I'm 32, 5'10" 165 lbs, pretty aggressive rider (used to hit the doubles and triples at mx track but that was years ago).

And the guys I'm riding with are all expert level District 36/MRANN riders, our "guide" has raced the baja 1000 a few times on a bike years ago.

There is a reason desert racing is filled with Honda 650s and not WRs

Not to say it cant or hasnt been done

The XR is better suited ,Im thinking you know that or you wouldnt have posted this

I wouldnt go buy a XR as long as you have a capable WR .

A big tank, taller gears, a gps a softer seat and you are good to go. Oh, get rid of that horrific stock pipe if you still have it

Get a YZ or after market silencer.

That sounds like fun. I wish I could do a ride like that.

Stick to the WR. As a former 650R owner, the only place the XR is more fun is on the pavement and that's not fun riding no matter what you're on. I'm just 6', but I could never come to grips with the XR ergos. Even taller bars and risers were not much help and resulted in a sore back for me from wearing a back pack in baja. I would only go up one tooth on the countershaft (from stock) and call it good.

Stick to the WR. As a former 650R owner, the only place the XR is more fun is on the pavement and that's not fun riding no matter what you're on. I'm just 6', but I could never come to grips with the XR ergos. Even taller bars and risers were not much help and resulted in a sore back for me from wearing a back pack in baja. I would only go up one tooth on the countershaft (from stock) and call it good.

Thanks for the advice. So as a WR owner (I've never ridden mine as it's a donor bike and i have a yz450) you wouldn't be nervous about riding the WR on paved roads or beach straightaways at 70 mph for up to an hour straight? Last thing I want is a blown motor in the middle of no where in Mexico.

Thanks!

Thanks for the advice. So as a WR owner (I've never ridden mine as it's a donor bike and i have a yz450) you wouldn't be nervous about riding the WR on paved roads or beach straightaways at 70 mph for up to an hour straight? Last thing I want is a blown motor in the middle of no where in Mexico.

Thanks!

I'll put it this way, my bike with stock gearing "cruises" at around 60 on the pavement, if you need 70, it's within your reach. I would have no more trouble doing that on the WR than on the XR, but personally I can't stand to do it on any bike. Beaches are great, but if you are planning to pound an hour or more pavement at a time, I would really recommend you guys research your routes as much as possible to cut down those miles. There is a lot of baja to see and based on your riding experience and what you are used to riding, I just think you are going to be a lot happier on the WR and away from the highway as much as possible. It sounds like a fresh bike (25 hours) and WR's are known for their reliability. Plus you already have it. It is the new XR, the bike that Honda should have built. Not trying to bash the 650R, they are great bikes, but having owned and ridden both in baja, with any kind of fun trails you go on, at the end of a long day you're going to be a lot fresher on the WR than the XR and you guys are doing a very long ride. I don't know much about the '03's, but I believe they have better suspension and the motor has not changed much since. You know the bike inside out by now and it will be a lot smoother transition from the YZ than from the YZ to the XR. Just my .02. Hope you guys have a great trip no matter what you ride. Please post a ride recap in the baja forum when you're done. :bonk:

gear it up and go. 16t cs sprocket will relax the buzziness. I had an xr650, I wouldnt go back anytime soon.

gear it up and go. 16t cs sprocket will relax the buzziness. I had an xr650, I wouldnt go back anytime soon.

Will a 16 even fit without rubbing on the clutch arm boss??? Seems like a Really high gear to me.

If you want to cruise at 70 just put in a 15 front and stock rear and call it a day

Will a 16 even fit without rubbing on the clutch arm boss??? Seems like a Really high gear to me.

with a modified case saver it fits. I wouldnt cruise 70 with any less gearing. 16/48

Or just do 15-45 instead if you don't want to mod it

I chose the big cs sprocket so I can run a 13 or 12 t for about stock gears on trails

Not sure what the stock countershaft is on the '03 as the '07 and up is a 13, but if you plan to just gear it to the moon and go more than one up on the front, I think you'll be pretty miserable in the tight stuff.

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