Newbie and a 05 WR450F as a daily driver build.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by UselessOnABike, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Queensland (Australia)
    Hey guys,

    Been following the forum for a very long time and finally got myself a license.
    I'm Chris, I'm 32, from Northern Ireland, and currently living in the magical city of Cairns, in far north Queensland, Australia. I bought this bike last year and started learning to ride, which got put on hold due to Coronavirus restrictions putting me out of work for a few months. We reopened and I got my license last month....so now I present to you 'Sully' (Monsters Inc), my little blue Yamaha WR450F.

    The bike is an 05, has the grey wire mod (YZ450F timing), derestricted exhaust, derestricted airbox, throttle stop removed, Acerbis 6.6 gallon/25 litre tank, Jeep/4x4 LED headlight (this has saved my life many times and helped me spot Kangaroos on my way home from work), 48 tooth rear/16 tooth front sprocket swap (absolutely amazing on the WR450F for highway riding), LED indicators and relay, few shiny annodized bits, and some new plastics and decals. Here's some pics from the past year. I love the forum, and have used this site many many times for inspiration and advice.

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    The day I brought her home, with expired registration and no roadworthy (safety inspection) certificate.

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    Tried out some new decals, but after some major frustration wetsanding and trying to make the fuel tank blue again, I gave up and thought long distance practicality, and put an order in for the HUGE Acerbis 6.6 gallon (25 litre) tank.

    IMG20200716144010.jpg

    Swapped the faded blue Barkbusters handguards for some newer Barkbusters VPS handguards in white. Metal bracket is the same, so it's only a case of buying the plastic bits only (half the cost). Few stickers on there from different stores, some nice polished alloy frame guards, and a newer front fender.

    IMG20200716144721.jpg

    Got my restricted license (660cc maximum for first 2 years), and got using this thing as my daily (maybe 6 weeks ago) and riding to my bar job in Palm Cove (30 minutes North of Cairns, before Port Douglas). Got to see just how dangerous/pitiful the original headlight is. After 2 x nights at work and riding past multiple kangaroos and wallabies, I swapped to an LED bulb, which was much brighter, but still was blocked by the front fender and made night driving much more dangerous.

    IMG20200901073628.jpg

    I put this rather odd looking (but extremely practical) 7" LED headlight (cheap aftermarket one for Jeep/Land Rover use), raised it as high as possible on the forks, and added a cafe racer fly screen wrapped in white vinyl (to match the white handguards), along with a Dakar touareg decal. I have a windscreen (windshield?) to go on there too, but currently dealing with an issue of the flyscreen pivoting back at 80km/h (50mph?), so the mini-screen will need to be reinforced somehow to prevent it swinging back at highway speeds.

    IMG20200920142330.jpg

    Here it is with my housemate's 2020 Royal Enfield Himalayan. My LED headlight is currently a temporary solution until I build/adapt a rally fairing and get some decals made up. My friend works in the mines up north in Weipa (near the top of Australia) and has a fabricating business (he works 3 weeks in the mines, and 3 weeks in Cairns with his business) and will be bending/welding steel racks for the side for panniers, and I will be adding Pelican cases (already purchased). I plan to ride to Cape York next year (northern tip of Australia), and I've heard it's a playground for dirt roads, uninhabited beaches, and unusual wildlife!

    Let me know what you think guys, the bike is currently being used daily and regeared for my 30 minute work commute in the evenings (48 tooth rear, 16 tooth front sprockets - much much better for highway).

    Below is a few pics of nearby beauty.

    IMG20200818120516.jpg IMG20200818125023.jpg IMG20200627113654.jpg
    #1
  2. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Queensland (Australia)
    Hmmm spotted a bit of light seeping from the head gasket after some hard riding on Monday, I think when wet/monsoon season comes this year I will do a big bore kit. Anybody have any experience with big bore kits, do they need new carb jetting to suit, or are they a bolt on and ride thing?

    IMG20200928182400.jpg

    New red Renthal 7/8" bar and O'Neal MX grips. Was tired of the faded gold (now beige) Pro Taper Contour. Also wanted a 7/8" bar for the extra mounting area for goodies...

    IMG20200928182415.jpg

    Bit of an ugly mess behind that screen. Needs a cover to hide all the mess of wiring/hoses/cables...

    IMG20200929173015.jpg

    Having a beer while tightening the bolts up...

    IMG20200929175952.jpg

    All done for the day, and fixed my annoying flapping windscreen issue....tightened the bolts a bit tighter and seems to have worked so far...
    #2
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  3. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    20200621_164925.jpg
    My '04 set up quite similar.
    #3
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  4. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    I actually have that photo of your bike saved for inspiration! I searched for months for pictures with the blue Acerbis tank and found very few pictures online. Thinking of going for the black rims myself. My front rim is a bit beat up and I need a new rear tyre pretty soon....the Pirelli Scorpion MX doesn't like highway driving at 70mph!
    #4
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  5. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    The mitas are pretty good on the road,I didn't know a 16 tooth front sprocket would fit,I'm running 14/48 but thinking of going to a 15 front.
    #5
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  6. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    16 tooth sprocket required trimming on the swingarm plastic/rubber chain protector, and trimming the front sprocket cover, but both were easy. Made the bike feel completely different on the road. I plan to swap to 50/50 tyres (Dunlop D605), black rims, and possibly tubeless. I also want to have my wheels aligned. My ride to work and back is 30 minutes each way in clear traffic, sometimes longer with roadworks and heavy traffic. That's 5 hours of riding each week just for work, it's wearing the Pirelli Scorpion MX incredibly fast at the rear. Probably lost over half the tread in 2 months!
    #6
  7. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    All knobbly tyres will wear quickly on the road because of the spacing of the blocks,especially on a 450 enduro bike that accelerates quickly and tears at the edges of the knobs.Your tyre wear seems about normal,it's just a case of finding a compromise of grip and longevity that suits your riding and budget.A tkc80 front will last well but the grip isn't as good off road as a full knobbly tyres,tkc80 rear however won't last you two months.
    #7
  8. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    I you are commuting on it you should get a second rear wheel and put street rubber on it, swap out to your knobby wheel for weekends.

    Buying a wheel costs money but you'll get most of it back when you sell. Whereas all those worn out knobbies are worth $0.
    #8
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  9. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    I had a KLX for a while as a Detroit commuter. Geared up and with street tires. It was an absolute blast. I felt like a fly zipping around between clumsy elephants.

    I have now quite a bit of experience working on a 2005 WR and have been impressed with it. Slim, great handling, quiet and very nice power.
    #9
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  10. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Thank you for all the responses guys, and I'm definately considering a second rear wheel. Anybody here have any experience with Cush-drive hubs? Are they worth the extra few hundred $? Would I notice the difference in highway riding, or is it mainly to increase the life span of the drivetrain components?
    #10
  11. SRG

    SRG Long timer

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    Step one in doing treating the drivetrain well (esp. countershaft splines) - make absolutely, positively sure that your chain is adjusted properly.

    It shoud never, ever be too tight.

    Then consider a cush hub.
    #11
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  12. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    My chain may be too tight. It was too loose but I tightened it myself and possibly went too tight, it never crossed my mind. I'll have a look before work tonight.
    #12
  13. SRG

    SRG Long timer

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    A little loose is way better than a little tight.

    General rule of thumb for a modern dirtbike/enduro -

    With the bike in netural and on the sidestand, if you push up on the bottom of the chain, just behind the plastic slider, you should be able to make the chain almost touch (1/4" or so gap) the swingarm.
    #13
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  14. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    Good deal on the bike and license! Good looking, and FUN bike to start out on!

    Years ago when I was working in a custom engine/suspension shop after getting burned out of being a dealer tech for years, I built an 04 450WR into an awesome dual sport for a buddy so I'll share what I did/learned with his, that's now given him 7 trouble free years of riding. (Heck I borrowed it last month get myself back and forth from the repair shop my truck was in for a day)

    But first, some notes from your pictures. Your front brake line banjo needs to sit between the two forward facing pegs or it can get knocked loose and you will find yourself without front brakes very quickly. Also, you really need to trim your throttle grip so it doesn't drag on the barkbuster. Just use a little piece of safety wire to pinch it to the throttle tube if you're worried about the glue releasing and do the 5 minute maintenance every now and then if you're worried about dirt/contamination. if you're using that as a makeshift cruise control, stop it. There's a cheap, easy product for that purpose that doesn't have the permanent drawbacks. Check out the Go Cruise The throttle should snap back closed immediately if you take your hand from the throttle.

    Do the 480cc kit when its time for a top end. And get a YZ450F exhaust cam while you're at it. It will really wake the bike up. (my buddies old WR still runs with or outruns most newer ktm450/500 dualsport bikes that are many years newer!)

    Jetting wasn't hard on the bike, I think we used the big bore companies recommendations, then adjusted from that a bit for max performance with the setup that's on the bike and our environment. He also has a full exhaust system mounted so as to really utilize the more open airbox and big bore.

    An externally adjustable fuel screw is a completely worthwhile addition as a tweak with the fuel screw and idle are needed occasionally due to season and elevation changes. https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/parts/r-&-d-racing-flex-jet-(remote-fuel-screw)-p

    I don't feel a cush drive hub is super necessary for general dual sporting and single track riding. The stock clutch basket is damped and is enough IMO. BUT for extended road riding, especially if using a sticky street tire, i'd consider it. If I remember right, the YFZ450 (atv) clutch basket has a more durable damping system than the motorcycles and is a direct swap.

    I installed a now discontinued TrailTech dual HID headlight as anything in the stock housing is pretty awful on the road which you've found out. You went massive with the 7" round it sounds like.

    A BRP (or any other manufacturer's) rubber mounted bar upper triple clamp is great for taming some vibration. https://www.shopbrp.com/yamaha/product/463-brp-triple-clamp-scotts-98-20-wr-250-450-tca-92-s-w.html

    If you want more braking power up front, skip all the band-aids of a larger rotor or steel braided lines (which I don't like personally because the lack of hose expansion makes the brakes more on/off feeling) and go right to the source. Put a YFZ450 (atv) front brake master cylinder on. It has the brake light switch on it already and a larger piston (12mm vs stock 9mm) which gives you A LOT more stopping power. Best part is you can find one on eBay for less than $50 usually. Part number - 5TG-2583T-11-00 .

    Now go put some miles on that thing!
    #14
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  15. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    My experience with the 450F is that you don't need a cush-drive hub on the rear wheel (though I've not done a lot of highway on a 450F).

    I have a Beta 390 RR-S that would benefit from a cush hub because when you go from dirt to pavement you can definitely feel the engine pulse increase under hard acceleration. The Beta's clutch hub is one piece machined steel, primary gear to plate tangs... solid with no resilient components. Hearing the WR has a cushion clutch hub makes sense from what I have felt.

    I always have grease on all my front sprocket splines, so I'm not going to initiate the cascade of degradation from corrosion-percussion that some KTMs and Betas get (both use the same front sprockets and splines design and lack the big torqued nut of older designs. KTM and Beta use Belleville washer and smaller bolt). A cush hub would impart a bit of smoothness to a KTM or Beta under the near absolute traction of pavement. Off road tire slip is the 'cushion hub.'

    The Beta and the one WR I've worked on both have very good dynamic balance, so there isn't an engine vibration problem with either. The 2005 Yamaha feels more mellow and less 'thoroughbred' in how it transmits power to the ground. It's a touch quieter than the Beta, so there's that, but I think that cushion clutch hub is doing its job to ameliorate the directness of power pulses in high-traction situations.

    Regarding chain tightness, being to tight is a problem with high normal force on the transmission shaft. Being too loose, especially with a worn chain, is what can really hammer the final drive as the chain will resonate with the engine pulses at certain rpms and power level being transmitted, resulting is chain whip.

    There was ample evidence on my friend's WR of the chain being clapped out and run way too slack. The subframe had lost quite a lot of material on the inside because the sider of the chain was hitting it under heavy chain whip.

    We found the WR design can run a little tighter chain than some other bikes. We fit a new chain and sprockets then checked tightness directly by compressing the suspension with ratchet straps to the point of where the rear axle, swing arm pivot, and countershaft all line up. This is the swing arm angle of maximum tightness with the chain loosening on either side of that angle. Running some slack at that point (but not loose), gives you the most room for the chain wear with a single adjustment without getting more loose than is ideal for the bike. Once that more ideal resting slack amount is determined, you can then adjust the chain on your particular bike indirectly with rules or a tool. A rule like a thumb of gap between chain and swing arm, or a tool such as one can buy for the Betas, a machined plastic part that you stick between the bottom run of the chain and a feature on the swing arm then run up the adjusters to kiss lay the chain up against it.
    IMG_20201002_081605~3.jpg
    #15
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  16. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    The YFZ450's has a spring dampened clutch, where the Wr uses rubber inserts. The YFZ for sure feels like it dampens more.



    I have a cush rear on mine, it feels smoother for sure. I also believe the chain/sprockets will last longer, as the chain slap reduced alot aswell.
    Just search for "wr450 transmission" theres a lot of stories of 3rd and 5th gears beeing hammered to death.
    #16
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  17. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Hmm. Rubber inserts. Yamaha version:
    H1.JPG

    Hinson setup:
    H.JPG
    #17
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  18. Bitingdog

    Bitingdog That's not my dog

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  19. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    Yes the motorcycle clutch basket has rubber dampers. The atv engine has metal spring dampers. Most all the manufacturers have been doing the rubber damper thing for years and years.
    #19
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  20. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Cush hub smooths things out a lot on the road and should protect the motor to some degree.
    #20
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