DRZ400E vs. WR450F

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Zapp22, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    Ok, if you had to pick one of these, and you intended to tag it for 10% street use [mostly to/from interesting riding], which one and why?

    Also, if any of you have ridden one of these [or both] AND have experience with an XR650R.... could you compare? that gives me something I can understand since I have a brp but can't find either of the 4xx's to ride

    thx
    z
    p.s. i mean E-button WR....
    #1
  2. Motor

    Motor Poet Lariat

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    Since none of the three bikes you mention are street legal, at least in most states, whats the point?
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  3. ekaphoto

    ekaphoto Been here awhile

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    I have the DR-Z S version, and I hear the WR is a compleatly diffrent bike than the DR-Z. The DR-Z is a great sinhle track, hill climb bike. The WR is a great wide open mx/desert bike. I guess it depends on yur style. I know the DR-Z is a great bike with very little upkeep.
    #3
  4. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    hey eka
    i read your sig: what highrise bars did you put on and do you like 'em?
    need for XR650R....
    z
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  5. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Um, that in his state any of the them are just as easy (or difficult) to covert to street legal, so since they are equal in that regard. that factor is not a consideration?
    #5
  6. ekaphoto

    ekaphoto Been here awhile

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    (I put on Moose hi rise bars, and yes I like them. According to the folks at the dealership expensive bars and bigger bars are not necaeesry unless you are racing etc. Good price, and I have had a couple of low speed get off in the dirt with them, no problems. They shoiuld fit your XR fine, there are7/8" and 1 1/8" diameter. The 7/8 " are stock.
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  7. 4Rider

    4Rider Dedicated Lurker

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    Wow, those are 3 very different bikes. I've ridden the DRZs a lot, and the yamahopper and the XR a number of times. The DRZ is the most nimble, but needs a lot to be a good machine, particularly in the suspension department. Good friendly power with a wide power band. Endless supply of aftermarket goodies available.

    The Yamaha is more motocross-like. Bigger "hit", and it definitely feels a lot bigger. There isn't really much weight difference, but it just feels bigger. Maybe it a C.G. thing. The WRFs don't feel as quick turning or as precise in loose terrain as the DRZs to me. The stock suspension is better than the DRZ, but will probably need tuning.

    The XR650R is most at home on wide-open terrain. Think Baja, sweepers and lots of miles of nothing. It is the least nimble of the 3, but by far the most stable at speed. It is not much of a single track bike. The bottom end grunt is tractor-like. The XRs really benefit from improved breathing. As with the DRZ, there is virtually an endless supply of aftermarket parts available. The Precision Concepts people are a good source of info about the XRs as they race prep them for quite a few of the Baja Winners. Baja Designs makes a electric starting system for the XR, but it is pricey.

    You didn't say what kind of dirt you intend to ride, but maybe the above will help.
    #7
  8. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    4R

    thanks for a thoughtful and 'informed' response. you know your stuff. this is what I'm looking for.

    I'm hoping against hope that for the second D/S project I can find a bike that is a clear alternative to the aggressive XR650R.... lighter, tighter, but still capable of D/S stretch runs when necessary. I'm not, so far, convinced that it exists @300 lbs or lighter. 250 & less would be MAGIC

    Your comments about "bigger" are interesting as a contradiction of firsthand report I got from a rider here. this guy is about 5'10" and a motocross veteran: he was saying "suzuki bikes are SOOOOO TAAAALLLLLLL, but he WR's are OK Dokey for his purposes. go figure. my only taste from a sit test just tells me the Yamaha is a rail..... from neck to tail its one straight, level line... no pocket to sit in whatsoever.

    several knocks against the DRZ400E I have heard:
    - bad cam timing chains... need replacing or maintaining or both
    - buzzy at speed: to put it short, not pleasant running down 2-lane pavement for very long, trying to get to some interesting stuff
    - not as broad an aftermarket as the XR650R, [which is HUGE, and growing]

    We are certainly not professionals. Just trying to get great bikes that make up for our amateur skills, but can go anywhere in Texas, new Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, you name it.
    #8
  9. DRZ400SK4

    DRZ400SK4 Long timer

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    The WR is too race-focused, the XR is too heavy and under-powered, but the DRZ is right between the two.

    As Goldielocks said...

    "Just right!"

    :thumb

    Here's a shot of m DRZ 'S' model, and my riding buddy's KLX400R (also known as the 'Green DRZ'). These bikes really are the 'do it all' machines, compared to the WRs and XRs of the world...

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

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    The DRZ cam chains are fine.....its the automatic tensioner that sucks.

    I never thought mine was that buzzy. Most of the road vibes were from the knobbies.

    Didn't look much into the aftermarket stuff.

    Jon
    #10
  11. arroyoshark

    arroyoshark Needing some space

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    If anybody can ride a DRZ long enough down a two-lane paved road to be uncomfortable due to "buzziness", then they do not have a stock seat!

    I often ride 30 -50 miles to get to some good forest or trail roads to ride on my DRZ. I have never thought of the DRZ as having a buzzy motor, vibration wise. Suzuki did a good job on this engine in that regard. Like all off-road bikes,it is high, and certainly the DRZ is not rock steady at high speeds on the road, like a gold wing, but it gets er done.

    I like to explore back roads, pick my way through stuff kinda slowly sometimes and the DRZ lets me do that. I can't think of a better current model bike for general purpose riding than a DRZ. I am planning to replace the stock rear sprocket with a 47 tooth to gear it slightly lower for low speed climbing.
    #11
  12. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    is yours the "S" or "E" model?

    some supposed experts are telling me go for the E model, then put the lights on it.

    why is a wr450F "too race-focused" ?? what does that mean in practical D/S terminology?
    z

    p.s and 'ahem...' to whoever knocked XR's.... XR400's may be slumpy, but the XR650R is a racehorse. show me another 650 that has the light weight, agility, power, options/aftermarket..........
    yes, it COULD use elec start... but for 800 bucks, I don't mind my single-kick start
    #12
  13. Dysco

    Dysco Diaper slinger

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    The WR is only comfortable when leaned over, wide open and in the bumps. It's the absolute perfect bike for all occasions if you just don't care if you're comfortable or not. That's what a race bike is. If that's what you want (like I did) then it's the ideal bike to take on any terrain. If you care that it hurts to sit down for dinner or that your hands are shaking so bad from vibration that you miss your mouth with a fork, then it's not the bike for you.

    This weekend I did 310 miles on my '04 WR. The first day was a DS (mostly paved) route with the Chaingolians and the second was 40 miles of hardcore mountain trails with steep, loose climbs, bermed turns through trees and climbs through monster rock fields. The bike was flawless the whole time and made up for my inadequacies as a rider. On a DR-Z I could have done both things and been more comfortable the first day and absolutely lacking in suspension and quickness the second.
    #13
  14. snoid

    snoid 100% Okie

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    i'll show you a half dozen 400-450's that are much lighter and crank out more ponies and have electric starts.

    race-focused means with a wr450 yer essentially dealing with a yzf titanium 5-valve racing thumper that is detuned ever-so slightly but still raps out like crazy(gray wire). which in turn means you'd better service it often. oil change after every ride, check the valve lash it every 1000 miles, top end every 5000 miles.

    e model drz is the way to go if your state allows you to plate a bike designated 'offroad.' adding lights might not be enough. for example my state requires, two mirrors, horn, tailight/brakelight, lic. plate light, ODO, speedo, hi-low beam headlamp(daytime). turn sigs are optional.
    #14
  15. 4Rider

    4Rider Dedicated Lurker

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    Zapp22-

    I have three riding buddies that have DRZs. I agree with whoever said to go with the E (off-road version) if possible. If you get the street model, you will probably spend some money converting it into a near-E. Once converted, the street model works well.

    I have never noticed any buzzy-ness from the DRZ. None of the guys I ride with ever complain about vibration, in fact they all feel that the motor is very smooth. Again, I agree with whoever suggested that knobby tires may the cause of perceived buzzy vibrations. I know that Pirelli's on my 640 instantly create vibration, especially on the freeway.

    As far as my perception of the WR feeling big, it is not a height issue. I am a little over 6'2" seat height isn't usually a concern. The WR felt, well, big. I rode a WR right after getting off a CRF450R. The Honda just felt smaller. Again, maybe it was just the C/G was different, or maybe I was a little tired. I also felt like the honda beat the crap out of me as well. After about 15 miles in the sand washes in Ocotillo I couldn't wait to get off the thing.

    I am definitely not a motocrosser, never have been and have no desire to ever be. I find that the better the motocrosser, the more difference in opinions between what I like and what he likes is the case. Sometimes I think hardcore motocrossers won't be satisfied until someone builds a bike that will turn sharp enough to touch the front tire to the rear fender. Nice to see guys like Dysco qualifying their opinion based on what they are looking for in a bike. I want to be able to ride mine reasonably well in any terrain, and to put a couple of hundred miles a day in without feeling thrashed.

    As far as aftermarket parts, I think anything you could want for the DRZ is available. Yoshi makes a killer Ti exhaust (they designed the engine!), as do Big Gun, FMF and everybody else. Baja Designs has all the engine and frame protection you could want. IMS and White both make desert tanks. Everyone makes seats. BD and UFO make fender and light sets, everyone makes steering stabilizers and everyone makes suspension mods. I don't know what else you could want. If you have problems finding mod parts, PM me and I'll get you come contacts.

    I agree with Dysco. The DRZ suspension is absolutely lacking in stock trim, especially on the E model. I just took 2 DRZs to precision concepts for a couple of guys who work for me. What a difference. Both guys agreed that the suspension work was the best money they ever spent on a bike. I helped them both change the countershaft sproket to reduce the gearing, which also makes a big difference (E= too tall 1st with stock sprokets)

    On the XR650, it is important to seperate the R model from the L model. The L is a pig, and a terminal pig at that (appologies to any L owners I've offended). The R is totally different from the L in most every regard.

    I forgot if it has been mentioned, but the one absolute must-do DRZ mod is to add case protectors to both sides. The stock covers are soft, fragile magnesium and will fail on impact with practically anything.
    #15
  16. arroyoshark

    arroyoshark Needing some space

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    Zapp, I'm far from being an expert. While I have a KTM 950, the DRZ is the first real light dirt bike I've ever owned...with the possible exception of a HD Aeromacchi Sprint 250 SS back in the '60s. Mine is a DRZ-S model, and all I can say is that I was too lazy to go through the labor and expense of converting an E model. The S model really works just fine. I see lots of 'em roaming around Colorado when I'm up there and about all they do is trim the rear light & fender extension, add knobbies and change the sprockets to gear them just a bit lower for climbing at altitude. The S model matches my skill level better right now, I don't notice the 9 h.p. difference, and it really does work quite well with the stock suspension, at least as long as you are not trying to grab big air.

    Good luck with our decision
    #16
  17. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    OK, this thread finally gathered the momentum I was hoping for

    Your insights are very very helpful.

    hey, 4Rider, when you speak of Precision concepts, did you completely R&R the front tubes and the rear spring/shock? or what? rough cost?

    snoid, I think you may be confusing the L vs R as someone iterated. Show me your list of "much lighter" and "more HP" than the 295lb 50+hp 650R ? I been looking for them!

    I think i finally get the point about the WRxxxF's. I do wonder if any sort of customizing could be done to the seat to alleviate some of the fatigue that straight 'bench' feel injects, but perhaps the frame is just too close there at the top
    z
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  18. snoid

    snoid 100% Okie

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    the xr650r in stock trim might get 38 or if by some miracle 40 horsepower. you hear lots of outrageous claims of the horsepower gains of the tamer mods(which realistically might yield 5hp) but the only dyno stuff i'd trust are actual charts from pro-tuners. the truth is probably somewhat closer to this...

    [​IMG]

    39hp with hrc mods.

    and an overbored xr(685cc) with a perfectly-tuned 40mm fcr tops out at 58hp. that's not to say it can't go higher but we're talking about some serious cashola to get it in the 60hp range.


    so... nearly all the 400 and 450 four stroke thumpers put out the same hp numbers(some put out more, lots more) at a substantial savings in weight. xr650r is a rock-solid bike, no doubts there, but no more reliable than the drz. oh sure, the xr is a 6-speed and that counts for everything in the wide-open desert.

    you a desert racer?

    me
    #18
  19. DRZ400SK4

    DRZ400SK4 Long timer

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    The DRZ400E gets higher compression than the 'S' model, a slightly wilder cam, a better carb, and it comes with the 14/47 gearing you'll need to ride the 'S' on technical single track trails, anyhow.

    My riding buddy found a leftover KLX400R (Green DRZ) and bought the thing for below cost. That's the way to go if you can pull it off!

    The WR is fine if you don't mind having to baby the thing with racebike-maintenance (did that and got the T-shirt with my CR250 and YZ125). I'd rather ride than wrench.

    Buy the 'E' model DRZ400, or the 'R' model KLX400 if you can find one, dualsport it yourself, and be happy!

    It's a great bike.


    :thumb


    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. 4Rider

    4Rider Dedicated Lurker

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    Both of the DRZs I took in ended up with total rebuilds. The riders are about 185# and 195# plus riding gear. From memory, the work included new IBach fork springs, seals, complete dampening rebuild (revalve), seal-savers etc. The rears got new IBach springs with work to the dampening system as well. I don't have the receipts so I may have missed something. The total cost out the door was about $595 each. I took in 5 bikes at once and made a lump-sum payment, and negotiated a quantity discount.

    I rode one of the bikes before and after. It was totally stock before the rebuild. The difference was tremendous. One of the guys was looking for a desert bike before the work as he felt the DRZ was too unstable at speed and in long whoop sections. Now he ordered a desert tank for the DRZ and stopped looking for another bike.

    I forgot if I mentioned it before, but both of the above bikes are street models (S?), not converted enduros.
    #20