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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I currently own a CBR900RR for street riding but I think I want to get back to the riding I am used to, on a dirt machine. I've learned to push my CBR pretty hard (.25" chicken strips, too far for street use haha) but I just don't enjoy the bike for a daily rider, nor do I ever use it's engine but for once a month. Otherwise I squeeze out 50 MPG shifting under 4k RPMS during commute.

So I am researching possibilities for a replacement over winter, and I've always been a Yamaha man. I've always eyed the WR450 but it's always been out of my price range ($3,000) but now the first years are popping up in my price range.

Now, I admittedly hesitate from going to a 117.5 WHP SS to a 40-ish HP thumper. The 900RR is 117 WHP @ 69 Tq. and 400 dry, or a P/w of .295 HP per pound. The WR450 is 40-ish WHP @ 35-ish Tq. and 233 lbs, so roughly .171 HP per pound. Another reason I hesitate is I go on monthly rides with sportbikes and I'd like to be able to keep up somewhat on straights.

I'm sure I'd get some supsension goodies, 17" wheels and do cheap flow mods right away. Followed by brakes and more advanced engine work later on.

I guess what this thread is about is pooling the collective experience of the Street Tard section to know if a WR450 will fit my criteria of being a reliable efficient commuter with the ability to keep up with the SS bikes on our group rides?

I aim to get a street tard by next spring, I just need to find the right one. FYI; I already own a 'vintage' tard, an XT550 that weighs in at 320 dry and 38 HP but its 26 years old with terrible suspension and seat but still fun to ride.
 

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I think you need to look at the larger bore Sumo's for Street-tarding duties.....

XR650, DR650, KTM 625SMC/690 SMC

or maybe the WR250x, or DRZ400SM....

The WR's are on the edge of being race machines....sure they can be run on the road and be street legal --- but not a daily driver. (not to be confused with the WR250X which was designed to be a street machine)

Don't get me wrong..... I own a WR426, but I'd never consider taking it on a ride with sportbikes. (unless, of course I lived in the smokey mountains or right near some canyons like in Salt Lake City, Utah) Now, with my KTM 625 SMC --- if I know the riders.....maybe. But, I'd still consider trailering the bike to the twisties and meeting them 'at the trail head'.

The pic below.....is me on my friends WR450 sumo at the Gap ---

The bike below is currently being sold......so he can buy a more street oriented Tard.....

 

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I own 2 R1's and race a 600RR and I leave me R1's at home on all my rides with my buddies. Went on a 5 hr ride today with my friend on his 05 R1. If you can keep your corner speed up there is nothing more fun. Ohh and i ride a Wr250x uncorked.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, I sort of am aiming at having a machine that is light weight, flickable and can withstand a 15 mile a day commute with good MPG. I don't see how a single can consume much gas. Ergo's don't matter because if you have ever taken a 900RR on a trip longer than 100 miles you can handle any seat a dirtbike will throw at you.

Also, I sort of know what to expect from the WR, I used to ride ONLY 2-stroke 125 DP bikes (think Yamaha IT125 and Suzuki DT125 to be exact) and I thoroughly enjoyed every second on them, even got the Yamaha upto 85 MPH...downhill.

The sportbike rides I ride on usually stick to backroads with minimal slabbing, so keeping up for 75% of the ride should be easy since alot of the corners are under 60 MPH even at full boil. I can drop back to the rear with the larger bore touring bikes that don't like to speed if I need to.

I do heed your advice though arctic, I'd absolutely love a 690SMC, but they cost $Texas compared to a WR450, which I've found a local garage kept 450 (04) for only 2500 bucks. Cheapest 690 SMC I've found was $5,400 and I am working at a $3,000 - $3,500 maximum purchase right now.

On your WR426, what is maintenance like? How often do you change oil? How often do you feel oil changes would be needed on a WR450 that only was ever pushed once a month on a 200 mile ride? TT forums say oil change once every 2-3 rides but I don't see that as remotely accurate for light street duties. Maybe severe trail riding for a day. I'd be using Amsoil full Synth assuming I can find the right weight with non-friction modifiers.

EDIT: I'll be keeping the stock rims with knobbies for when the need to trailride does strike me :)
EDIT #2 my reasoning for not getting a larger bore is the anemic feel for bikes such as the KLR650 and DR650 that will need alot more work to feel flickable. I rode my buddies KLR650 and my 27 year old XT550 with terrible suspension felt not only lighter, but faster if not as comfortable. Top speed was the exact same too. WR has much better power to weight numbers and most assuredly better suspension than your larger bore Jap DP bike. Not to say the larger 650's can't be made into great street tards, there are plenty of examples....but they also take a tad more to be as quick/nimble as a lighter 400/450.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well craptastical....I was under the impression that the WR's were street legal machines, and apparently they are not. WTF. It has all the necessities doesn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It does have mounts for mirrors/blinkers though? Horn is stupid easy to tap into system. I can't find good pictures to look at the steering head/ headlight area in detail.

FYI, sorry for the Q's but I'm researching and pricing evrything I'll need before the purchase so I can plow through the mods easily.
 

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It does have mounts for mirrors/blinkers though? Horn is stupid easy to tap into system. I can't find good pictures to look at the steering head/ headlight area in detail.
You can add those things to any bike but that wasn't your question above. You asked why wasn't the wr450 street legal to begin with.

Your state dictates what you will actually need. In some states you don't need things like blinkers or mirrors to be legal, others you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can add those things to any bike but that wasn't your question above. You asked why wasn't the wr450 street legal to begin with.

Your state dictates what you will actually need. In some states you don't need things like blinkers or mirrors to be legal, others you do.
Well, ok you are right. I know in PA I need blinkers, head light, tail light, and a horn. Which leads to my next question; does the frame have mount points and/or wiring for blinkers already from the factory?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Now, I admittedly hesitate from going to a 117.5 WHP SS to a 40-ish HP thumper. The 900RR is 117 WHP @ 69 Tq. and 400 dry, or a P/w of .295 HP per pound. The WR450 is 40-ish WHP @ 35-ish Tq. and 233 lbs, so roughly .171 HP per pound. Another reason I hesitate is I go on monthly rides with sportbikes and I'd like to be able to keep up somewhat on straights.
It's not the size of the motor/hp or top speed that makes you a manly man.

Your friends on big bikes will dust you on the straight roads but on a SM style bike you can return the favor on the twisty roads.

Like aircraft both big hp bikes and smaller SM bikes are fun in different ways.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's not the size of the motor/hp or top speed that makes you a manly man.

Like aircraft both big hp bikes and smaller SM bikes are fun in different ways.



Truf! However, I wanted a bike under 250lbs. dry and above 40 HP. There is no way you CAN'T have fun on a bike with that combo alone, barring the bike doesn't explosively fail every ride you take :laughingr

The stock DR650 for example, has the same HP as the WR, but weighs 100 lbs. more dry. 100 lbs. is a decent chunk of weight in this class, about 30% more to accelerate, brake, and flick. I guess I'm looking for the Honda S2000 of Motards. Not exotic, but lightweight and economical with good performance to boot.
 

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XT, the WR does not come with mounts or wiring for street legal equipment. Furthermore, the head light does not have a hi/low and the tail light is only a running light. Most states require hi/low and brake lights. The easiest thing to do is to buy a dual sport kit from some place, like Baja Designs or Trick Dual Sport.
 

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The bike does not have a hi/lo swtich...... but DOES have a bulb capable of that.

Same with the rear brake light..... it IS capable of putting in a rear brake light switch.


The fix is a $29 Hi/Lo switch from trailtech, an H4 connector from Advance autoparts, and a $15 rear brake light switch.

But again --- if you need blinkers.... you need a new wiring harness and mounting hardware --- and thus a ready-made street legal kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Sweet info guys! Thanks alot! I've done alot of electrical stuff automotively so those hi/lo switch and rear tail light mods should be easy enough. I had to rewire an XT550 because of craptastic wires :)


I'd probably take my chance at a 1k mile interval and see what the oil looks like, maybe even get it tested. If I'm uncomfortable with the results I'll drop the interval accordingly.

I wonder, anyone ever tried swapping XT600 turn signal/horn switches onto the bars? Get a relay, LED turns (low power consumption = less stress on charging system) and wire them into the XT/Switch relay and then run a power wire to the battery. I've run the relays for my XT550 and they worked great even on an aging stator.

ALso Arctic, the 625 SMC is still priced out of my range, that's the LC4 motor right?
 

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Yeah --- its an LC4 and not the RFS engine like the EXC's. I've seen them anywhere from $3500 on up to $6000.

If you plan to ride dirt ---- take the 625 SMC off the list. It can be converted.....but would require a bit of work.

If you like the price of the WR426's...... you also might want to consider the KTM 520 EXC's. (the 525 EXC's will be out of your price range....)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Sicass looks like a good option as far as a lighting setup, still spensive. I pieced together a fully functional E-bayed set for under 200 not including mirrors. XT 225 parts can be had for cheap; such as brake sensors, switches. I'd get an LED relay and 4 LED blinkers.

WR comes with chain guard and sprocket guard or no? Also, to pick your brains further, will YZ rims fit right up to WR?
 

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on my wr i drilled 2 holes in the light assemble and mounted the blinkers and in the back i drilled 2 holes in the fender and mounted them there. looks fine with some small blinkers
 
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