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Thread: Building a wr450 motard, what needs to happen ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Building a wr450 motard, what needs to happen ?

    Hi All,

    I am new the motards but not new to riding or racing. I have several years of racing AFM and a good 30 years of riding motorcycle. I continue to do track days on my 07 R6 track bike. That said, I am new when it come to motards and am willing to learn from these in the know.

    So, I have a 06 WR450 that is new to me. What do I need to make this into a decent street tard but more importantly, one that will not spit me off at Sears Point as I try to do a 1:55 ?

    Suspension:
    I am 170 lbs. completely wet, full leathers, helmet, boots...the whole kit. Is this a good average weight for the wr450 or will the suspension need work ? valving, springs ?

    Height:
    So I am also maybe 5'4" ish on a good day. Can the WR450 be lowered ? Is there a good lowering kit out there for the rear dogbone ? I have been riding bikes my whole life and have had only 1 bike that I could ever touch the ground with both feet, Honda 1989 CB185T TwinStar. Not looking to flat foot, just need to touch the ground with 1 toe.

    Motor:
    Are there any "look out for..." or gotchas with the wr450 motor ? Flywheel comes loose. Falling on the left side will foul the plugs ..... Oil will spill out....get the cover for the ..... etc.

    Wheel/tires:
    Im a Pirelli fan. The older SuperCorse Dragons SC2 are my all time fav. Many a race on the Dragons. Not the best for the motard? If so why?
    Thoughts on wheels ? Talon this Talon that ? Thoughts ? Size of rear wheel, 5 or 4.5 or 4.25 ?

    Brakes:
    Will the stock caliper work or should I get an aftermarket unit ? I know I will need an aftermarket rotor, but is there a preferred setup, Brembo,Galfer,etc. What about the master cylinder, what size unit ?

    Lights & Stuff:
    Since this will be a street tard sometimes, is there a good kit or company that make a nice setup for the wr ? Will need lights, brake light, turn signals and mirrors. Any thoughts ? Baja kit...yea, but not fun there.

    Did I miss anything ?

    Thanks in advance for all the help.
    Cheers
    Vern


    token photo of my R6

  2. #2
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    Default

    if you rebuild the suspension to sm spec it should normally lower the bike a bit. I'm 5ft7 and about the same weight as you in full gear, when I had my suspension worked over it lowered the bike about an inch in seat height. combined with sm wheels that should lower the bike enough for you to be able to touch the ground.

    as far as components go it comes down to budget and your own preference.

    wheels: most go for an excel rim and talon hub combo, it's a prooven combination that's still affordable. I'd go for a 5 inch rear if you're planning on hitting the track, should fit on the wr if I recall correctly.
    brakes: preference, I'm a huge fan of beringer setups. pricey stuff but you can get a complete kit with a matching caliper and MC for your bike in the colour you want.
    motor and lights: I'll leave that to the guys with a little more experience with yammies but you'll have to change your final gearing, using the stock sprockets that were ment for enduro riding won't work all that well.

    as far as the conversion goes you can piece the bike together yourself or just get a complete conversion kit like these: http://www.motostrano.com/sucoki.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NH
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    Default

    you can fit an 5in rear. i like the look of the baja design led light kit. worth the money in my book all plug and play. i run 15 43 gearing and i can hit 100.
    03 yamaha wr450-straight up street
    black excels 5in rear. with 160 tire not recommended
    motomaster 4 pistion caliper with 320mm rotor
    15 43 gearing, custom fan for hot days and airbox modded
    yz exhaust custom, vapor with custom dash

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    finland
    Posts
    879

    Default

    +1 on the beringer brakes. best thing i bought for my sm. hard to say about the tires but generaly what works on streetbikes dont on supermotos. too light for those tires, heat issues and stuff. maybe contiforce sm, or sm slick (grooved). it's not legal here (in finland) but best tire for my riding. sucks on wet thoug.
    2001 ktm 540exc sm/plated
    2006 ktm 250sxs

  5. #5
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    May 2008
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    SLO, CA
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    Default

    Good luck getting it plated in CA.
    2004 625SMC STOLEN 9/18/2009
    00 SV650... not stock

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default

    OK, SO here is what I have done so far. I got myself a 06 wr450 that was green stickered. The bike was in good shape and was pretty easy to work on. The bike came with a stock headlight and taillight and some dirt tires. It is fundamentally a sound platform to start building on.

    Handel Bar Multi-Switch;
    DS Handlebar Switch 06160036 $48.95 From Motostrano
    The switch has horn, blinker, hi-lo-off headlight. Wiring was pretty straight forward. Will write up a diagram if anyone is interested. The horn I sources from my race R6. Don’t need a horn on the track. The blinkers I had from an earlier XR650L project. Some simple MotorBoss something or other.

    So, Horn. Check
    Hi-Lo and a light to let me know that the Hi is on. Check
    Right and left turn signals. Check.

    Kill / Starter switch;
    Yamaha R6 2007 – Cost – a wrecked R6 or 2
    I could have kept the starter and kill switches, but there was a better option and one that looks nicer. In my pile of “race bike spares” I had a kill/starter switch for the R6. Slipping out the mini spade connector for the WR and replacing them with the R6’s ones into the stock harness proved to be too simple. Now I have a kill and starter button on one side. The R6 unit is pretty small and fits nicely in the space of the removed stock kill switch, with room to spare. Looks very custom.
    Note: the kill switch is opposite or what it should be. The R6 kill position is a open circuit. On the WR the kill position closes the circuit…I think, have not investigated it more. So, the switch is in the kill position to run and run position to kill. Have not looked into this more since it works for me and changing a switch to do the opposite is pretty difficult.
    Kill/Starter switch. Check.

    Brake light switch;
    K & S Hydraulic Switch 210369 $19.99 From Dennis Kirk
    That was simple also. Once I decided to leave the main headlight running off the motor, everything else was to be run off the battery. I split the wire off the rear tail light assembly, letting the stock wires after the connector, motor side, just hanging there. I ran a power wire from the main headlight assemble, to the switch on the front master, under the tank, and to the brake light in the back. Split the power to the rear brake switch and joined that to the one from the front.

    Front and rear brake light switches for my brake light. Check.

    Rear License Plate Holder;
    Scott Performance Products 12-1000-WR-*4 $22.00 From Scott
    All this just to get to this point. A license plate holder for my license plate.
    And finally after just some paperwork at the DMV. California license plate for a 2006 WR450F
    License plate and valid title. Check.
    Last edited by vern748; 10-16-2009 at 03:22 PM.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2009
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    Part II
    Wheels and suspension:
    So I purchased some wheel for my WR450 about 6 months prior to finding the bike, thanks blong. He is a SuperMotoJunkie.com regular. The Hubs were good, Talon, but the rims are just ok. I think I know the guy that laced the rims and they were his mid-line stuff, really good spokes. There was a 320mm rotor included in the deal which is the lower end 4mm one from Motostrano. Not a big deal, will upgrade later, if needed. The tires are Maxis slicks, which will be swapped out for Pirelli SuperCorse SC2 that I have extra from another race bike.

    I was able to get a Brembo radial master and radial caliper from my race stock of extra parts. A bit of overkill, but I have the parts.

    Talking to Robert at Evolution Suspension, he recommended that I set the sag at;
    60-70mm front and rear.
    Also, Robert said to drop the forks about 1” -1.5” in the triple clamps. This should help with the steering. Just to be clear, this is not a Go-Cart track supermoto that I am making, but a ThunderHill, Sears Point / Infineon (big tracks) – use on the street, motard. Lightning quick steering is not what I want / need.
    To get there, I need to tighten the back end up a bit, since dirt bikes typically backend steer and you don’t want that on a supermoto. The front is pretty good for my weight and will not need too much adjustment. Once I have it set and done a track day or two, I will take it into Robert for a look see.

    Gearing:
    The stock gearing on the WR450 06 was 14/50. This is great for Stockton mini-camp, but is not going to cut it on the big track or street. I bumped it to 14/40 just to see what the ball park will be. Once again, not intended for goat trails or a Go-Cart track, but the bike tracks at ThunderHill and Sears Point. Thoughts ?

    Additional Stuff – Because I can:
    Once again, I have some extra parts from my race bike. Your don’t need a lock and key set for a race bike. I am in the process of grafting the lock and key onto the WR. Appears pretty simple. There are 4 wires off the On/Off switch on the WR. I just need to figure out what each wire does.

    Yea, I can get a BAJA switch, but where is the fun in that.

    Pictures to follow.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    Default

    im in the same process also

  9. #9
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    May 2007
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    fullerton, ca
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    Enjoy your license plate while it lasts. It is not legal to plate that bike in CA, you slipped through somehow.

  10. #10
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    There is one little step that makes it all legal and the plate will never be pulled. Not going to mention it here, but it does work.

    All you nay sayers spend more time telling people that it will not and yet haven't tried getting one plated yourself.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2009
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    Kill / Starter switch;
    Yamaha R6 2007 – Cost – a wrecked R6 or 2.



    Handel Bar Multi-Switch;
    DS Handlebar Switch 06160036 $48.95 From Motostrano



    I have a 14/40 setup which is pretty good for the freeway, not too buzzy. Might go with a 15/40, but that may take all the joy out of the ride.



    Suspension:
    The bike sits pretty low for a 450, but that is perfect. I had Robert from Evolution Suspension in San Jose setup the front. We put in a 1.5inch spacer to drop the height and added in heavier springs. The forks are at the stock location and it does sit 1.25 inches lower than stock.

    The rear has a lowering link that sets the bike at 1.5 inches lower. It is definitely a more progressive ride with the different link in the back.

    The seat was recovered and an inch of foam removed from the seat. The seat was already firm and it is still firm, but nicely lowered. Might look into a gel seat and do the recovering again, but doing 50 miles today did not result in too bad of a ride.

    Wheels / Tires:
    Tires are race take-offs from my FZR400. 120/17 and 160/17 Pirelli SuperCorsa SC2. The chain runs on the tire slightly, but not anything to be concerned about. Added a Prairie City chain block to prevent it from getting worse.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2010
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    victoria, TEXAS
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    HELL YEAH! Man, I've been on here for awhile, and am looking for a wr450. I JUST started looking around to figure out what I was going to do for the lights and stuff. Front and back. And you nailed everything in one swoop. Thanks dude!
    09 WR250X
    08 SM450R

  13. #13
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    Part numbers and everything...
    09 WR250X
    08 SM450R

  14. #14
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    Feb 2009
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    The WR has been a blast. I often take it to the track. It is my everyday bike and did usually take it to the office 3 times a week....

    until !!!


    O well, its being re-built.

    For the "wait till the license plate gets taken away" crowd. I'm into my 3rd renewal period and not a peep from the DMV. It's plated and street legal !!

    Vern

  15. #15
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    Do you have any info. about that Prarie City chainblock?

  16. #16
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    Way to dig this one out of th closet Steve!!! Great find as I'm in th same boat, about to pull the trigger on a 06 wr450

    Some great info here.
    Have no Heroes, look up to no one, because if someone is always leading the way, the best you’ll ever be is 2nd.

  17. #17
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    Update - 12/2011
    So while the motor is in the basement being redone, I decided to re-do everything.
    The wheels are Galespeed
    The caliper is a Brembo 4 piston - PN#1502X
    The caliper mount is a QTMI
    I did have to make 5mm spacers to get the caliper up enough to prevent fouling of the rotor buttons.
    While I was at it I had the frame powder coated "chrome black" and the parts, "midnight crinkle"

    PSS. Its still plated.



    Someone wanted a photo of the Prairie City chain block. Its crude but effective. Prairie City Supermoto appears to have gone defunct so no part number.


    yea, almost all my bikes are blue with red wheels.
    Last edited by vern748; 12-15-2011 at 11:30 AM.

  18. #18
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    Wow that thing looks awesome, love the color of the wheels! Makes them pop!
    Have no Heroes, look up to no one, because if someone is always leading the way, the best you’ll ever be is 2nd.

  19. #19
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    What bike are those galespeed wheels designed for?

  20. #20
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    galespeed can design wheels for any bike. These are for the YZ, but will also fit the WR. Just let them know what application and they will build you wheels with the correct spacers and your good to go.

  21. #21
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    I absolutely love this entire thread, excellent build thread! Way to prove the nay sayers wrong and get it done!!!

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Well, I sold the bike a few months ago. The most fun you can have with your clothing on.

    It was a great project. Very happy with the final outcome.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vern748 View Post
    Well, I sold the bike a few months ago. The most fun you can have with your clothing on.

    It was a great project. Very happy with the final outcome.
    You gonna replace it with anything? What wheels are those?

  25. #25
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    Those are GaleSpeed wheels made for the Yamaha.

    I have too many toys as it is but am looking at the Ducati HyperStrada.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vern748 View Post
    Those are GaleSpeed wheels made for the Yamaha.

    I have too many toys as it is but am looking at the Ducati HyperStrada.
    Seems like the "too many toys" subject only comes up if you're married

    I recently thinned my herd. Not because of the wife, but due to trying to maintain 6 bikes is time consuming and expensive.
    Last edited by crash279; 02-10-2013 at 09:30 PM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash279 View Post
    Seems like the "too many toys" subject only comes up if you're married

    I recently thinned my herd. Not because of the wife, but due to trying to maintain 6 bikes is time consuming and expensive.
    This guy knows my pain, if only i had known that someone was selling a plated WR450...i would have snagged that in a mad minute!!!!!!!

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