Newbie and a 05 WR450F as a daily driver build.

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

  1. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    I trimmed the rubber hand grip immediately after that photo, I was just admiring the new handlebars before riding lol. I've already got the adjustable fuel screw, but still haven't found a setting I'm happy with (in tropical/hot north Australia). I need to play about with the fuel screw some more. I've noticed excessive vibration from the rear end now, when I push the bike (push by hand, when engine is off) it seems like the rear is bouncing a little bit and I can feel it up through the handlebars. Shock doesn't look like it's blown though, any ideas on how the shocks should be set up?
    #21
  2. 'Bob'

    'Bob' Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nice bike Chris. If you're commuting at night with the OEM stator and ORV brakes I'd recommend upgrading both so you can upgrade you lighting to see and avoid hitting those big furry critters. Also any overheating issues with that larger tank?
    I had a 2005 WR450F which I made street legal with a Baja Designs kit, a Ricky stator and upgraded regulator/rectifier. I also did the mods you mentioned in your introductory post except a 3.3 gal instead of the 6.6 gal Acerbis tank.
    Did your bike come with a reliable service history? If not be sure to check your valve clearances, inspect cam lobes, readjust cam chain and change or repack your wheel bearings and swingarm bearings.
    WRT rear suspension, no idea why your bike would make a grinding noise when pushing it in neutral... hopefully something simple like rear wheel bearings? Or chain wearbar worn through? Sprocket misalignment?
    WRT the suspension settings I just went on line (no owners manual) and I set the rear suspension at the recommended 4" of sag and whatever the clicks were recommended on the forks for off road riding. If your bike has the original plastics on the rear fender have a look up under it to see if there's tire skid marks there.. if there's not it may not have been jumped too hard so your rear shock might be ok unless it's leaking badly and bottoming out. If you're looking at the suspension just as well to change the front fork oil if you haven't already.
    I didn't commute with my WR, I just needed it street legal to ride the highway between trail heads so maybe 20 minutes or so on the highway. Because of that I didn't bother with a cush hub or upgraded front brake due to the extra expense. I found it a bit twitchy above 100kph/60mph on pavement but super smooth at those speeds on dirt.
    Speaking of exploring, I didn't see you mention the 'snorkel mod' or 'T mod' which joins and routes your carb hoses above your airbox to prevent water ingress. This rerouting helps keep the bike from drowning in longer slow water rides when water gets level with your carb.
    Also, you don't want anything getting past your air filter so it's worth keeping a spare oiled one in a zip lock bag under your seat along with a spare plug, gas filters etc. I also used a stainless steel oil filter and put quick disconnects in the fuel lines. This allows you to quickly rinse your oil filter with gas when you're doing oil changes on the road. You can clean your air filter like this in a pinch too but it takes a bit more gas and a chopped down windshield washer fluid or similar disposable container to wash it in.
    I found the 3.3 gal gas tank helped a bit as a radiator guard in tipovers but if I still had that bike I think I'd also add aluminum rad guards and a fan or two which a stator upgrade could handle. I know this bike also deserves a full aftermarket exhaust system from the headers on back but I couldn't justify the money at the time.
    I like those frame guards you have and liked the steel frame on the 2005 as it was easier to repair than the 2006 and later aluminum frames. You're probably aware but there's a wealth of technical info on the WR450F over on thumpertalk, southbayriders etc. The upgrades you can do and the money you can spend on the WR are significant. I'll 'watch' your thread for a bit to see how you get on with this bike. Hopefully you'll stay safe and enjoy your ride. Good luck.
    #22
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  3. massholejim

    massholejim Been here awhile

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    I put a Cush drive on my 03 wr 450 with recluse clutch and shifting on the road seems much smoother.Also I run 15 48 gearing for all my riding.
    #23
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  4. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    Thank you for the kind words and informative post! I haven't done the snorkel/T mod you talk about, so I will look that up tomorrow and see about that. I just put the 50T steel rear sprocket on today after the alloy 48T sprocket blew the rivets out (cheap crap). Got some new tyres (tires?) on today, Dunlop D605s front and rear (supporting fellow Irish businesses haha). Currently looking at adapting a KTM 640 Adventure LC4 fairing to fit over the Acerbis tank. As much as I like the Harley Daymaker headlight, I still want a rally fairing and some custom graphics. When wet season comes this year I will rebuild the engine and put in a new clutch, then probably paint the wheels gloss black (or get new ones). My friend is a welder fabricator and he's gonna take up the task of welding a new rear rack, but he's waiting for me to take some measurements first lol.
    #24
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  5. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    Can you elaborate a little more on how you're pushing the bike and what you're feeling etc? A lot is going on in chassis dynamics and drivetrain stresses through a chassis. I could write a small novel about symptoms and diagnostics that may or may not help you in any way unless I fully understand what you're experiencing. (it could be as simple as your tire wearing in and vibrating things, or your chain having a few tight links, it could be a loose subframe bolt that's making everything shake due to vibration resonance even)

    On your fuel screw. In general terms the FCR carbs prefer a fuel screw setting close to 2 turns out from seated. If you're at 3+ turns out from seated you need a richer(larger) pilot jet and less than 1.3 turns out, a leaner(smaller) pilot jet. Once your jetting is right you'll very rarely need to adjust the fuel and idle screws more than half a turn to accommodate "normal" weather patterns or your standard elevation level (ie 37c degree temp swing or 3000+ft/1000m elevation change would require a change in jetting or just live with it while in those conditions).
    #25
  6. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    I brought the bike in today to a bike mechanic and within a couple of minutes he had figured out 2 things, my rear shock is blown and my rear tyre was badly worn and out of balance, this was causing the vibration, which was amplified by the worn shock. I'm gonna drop the shock in for a rebuild, but unfortunately they told me it would be 3-4 days, and considering wet season is maybe a month away, I'm making the most of the beach weather before rain and jellyfish set in lol. I have my fuel screw at a happy setting now, less spluttering at idle, more responsive on the throttle, and generally sounding nicer.
    #26
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  7. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    Little update. Within the next few weeks the rear shock will be pulled to be rebuilt, might even go for a stiffer spring. I'm 6'1" and around 85/86kg in the mornings. With full gear on I'm well over 90kg, definately more than the Yamaha engineers set the bike up for. Got some Dunlop D605's on yesterday, put around 60km on them today to wear off the factory silicone wax.

    Below is at my preferred local bike shop, Bits for Bikes in Cairns (Queensland, Australia). In response to earlier comments, stator has been upgraded for a Trailtech, and the LED lights are much much brighter than stock.

    IMG20201006154920.jpg
    #27
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  8. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    I have the trailtech stator and r/r on my bike plus a lithium battery,this helps the battery recharge quicker after multiple restarts.Make sure you have both chain rollers on the subframe and that the swingarm slider has plenty of meat on it,the chain can destroy your swingarm and saw through your airbox.I couldn't get radiator braces on with the big tank so may as well save your money.As above,grease the rear linkage and shock mounts,swingarm shaft too.
    #28
  9. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Chain slack 16020871307014108015611850935699.jpg
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  10. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Suspension spec 16020872082775837592104780940821.jpg
    #30
  11. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Note.the above spec is for '04 forks which are 46mm.your '05 probably has the 48mm forks.
    #31
  12. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    I'm 84kg I fitted this spring,it holds the rear end up for much better handling 16020874709799133026480553624058.jpg
    #32
  13. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Yamaha 01 fork oil is 5w I used 10w and lowered the level to minimum,this seems to smooth out the fork action and slows down the rebound action on Rocky ground.
    #33
  14. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    Setting the chain slack I have a 50mm peice of wood that rests on the top,rear slider bolt,makes setting the chain quick,easy and consistent 20201007_170932.jpg
    #34
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  15. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

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    Although you took care of your plastics issues, in the future.. you can heat up the Yami plastics with a heat gun and they'll turn blue again. Do it from a little distance and work slow. The second it gets blue.. STOP & DON'T TOUCH IT. One or two seconds after that and it makes burn marks. Ya, a little tricky at first but not that bad.
    #35
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  16. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    FYI the latest results on the suspension re work on the 2005 WR450 I've done a lot of work on for a friend (I've officially retired so no longer do modification work for hire). Now it's just for shits and giggles.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/race...al-valving-brilliance-yz450f-example.1465169/

    We used a Race Tech 6.0 kg/mm rear spring with the rider at 230 pounds (105 kg). That's a significantly stiffer spring than the stock 5.2. The particular 2005 has a lowering link, however, which begs for a stiffer spring. We had SO much preload on the stock spring it was ridiculous. Not much preload was needed on the stiffer spring (3mm I think).

    The lowering link reduces the too-tall feeling in the seat and it creates super stable handling. This particular lowered 2005 is the most 'on a rail' handling bike I've ever experienced, yet oddly it still turns well.
    #36
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  17. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    Some great great information here! Having a look at springs right now. It's such a fun bike, I love riding it. I think my chain slack is currently good but I will measure tomorrow. The specifications you sent were fantastic though!
    #37
  18. GuyM76

    GuyM76 Adventurer

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    I hope it's all still going well with the WR Chris. Lots of useful info on your thread.

    I've just bought a 2005 which I collect next weekend. It's recently had quite a bit of work. It rides nicely so I am looking forward to getting on the lanes in the UK and getting used to it. I will undoubtedly be doing a fair few miles on road between trails so watching your mods with interest.
    Cheers.
    #38
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  19. UselessOnABike

    UselessOnABike Chris McCartney

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    Hi GuyM76, glad to hear this thread has been useful. For me I've been riding this thing heavily and did my first off-roading last weekend including one little crash and some scratches to the tank. Haha me and the bike were fine, can't say the same about the mirror though lol. Would love to see some pics of your bike when you collect it! My rear shock goes off tomorrow for a rebuild. Almost pulled the trigger on a KTM 640 Adventure LC4 fairing, really want to adapt one to fit the bike and get a rally theme going on....I'm blaming Lyndon Poskitt for putting that idea in my head!
    #39
  20. GuyM76

    GuyM76 Adventurer

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    Glad you/it took a crash well! Mine doesn't have any mirrors so they can't get broken...

    I like the idea of a rally fairing/nav tower. It will go well with the long-range tank to make a hard-core dual-sport. I will stay standard until I get to know the bike better and see what my actual use is rather than what I think it will be. By which I mean for trails in Wales and the west country I will probably tow it on a trailer to get there rather than ride. If I ever get down to France, Spain and Portugal on the TET then the long-range modifications will be necessary
    #40
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