LIVING WITH THE WR450

Update: For a number of reasons (most of which we’re not privy to) F2 Racing closed its doors. The good news is that F2 products are available from Raw Naked Power. Their phone number is (714) 616-0793. RNP is in the process of building a speed shop array of products and services and you’ll see and hear more about them in the near future.
 Focused mods can keep your ’07 WR450 just as competitive as the 2009

There’s a really good chance that you’re not going to witness big changes to any of the new 2009 dirt bike models. Honda with their CRF450R and Kawasaki with their fuel-injected 450 are the odd men out, but Yamaha, Suzuki, and all of the off-road models from the big 4 plus KTM are limiting updates to minor surgery. Why? The economy sucks, money is hard to come by and incredibly, the equipment out on the dealer showroom is quite wonderful in its current state of tune. Recently we traveled up to Flagstaff, Arizona for Yamaha’s intro of the ’09 WR450. While it remains virtually unchanged, our test was in the brutal mountains of Flagstaff that tested both the versatility of the machine, but also its grit. And luckily for us, Dave Simons from F2 Racing lives in Flag, borrowed a buddies 2007 Yamaha WR450 and through a few basic mods proved that an old dog can stay competitive with the new generation of equipment.
     

THE ENGINE

F2 Racing really likes the Quiet Factor on the WR and other than a slight mod to the muffler leaves it heavily stifled. Their focus is on jetting and their Powerback kit, which relieves the machine of its EPA paraphernalia. The 7,000 feet starting points makes this a critical part of the equation. They fit their clutch cover and F2 Magnetizers onto the steed to collect metal debris in the motor and everything else is stone stock.
     
SUSPENSION

This is a big area where F2 is focusing considerable effort. First, they changed the oil, refurbish bearings and seals and if deemed mandatory, re-valve and spring the suspenders to fit the riders needs. Both suspension ends get fit with the Unshock (their bearing system that relieves spring bind) and then it gets bolted back together. Because Flagstaff is very rocky, setting the suspension up properly is the key to a palatable ride. For the two-year-old WR, the oil change was key, the Unshock smoothed the ride and new valving kept it soft enough to absorb uglies, but resist the smasher. This is critical on a 280 plus pound machine!

DO DADS

Here, in a totally random order are the other key mods the two-year-old wagon.
• Lightspeed carbon fiber fork guards are “Must haves” for rock roost and tip-overs.
• Cycra’s new full wrap hand guard is superb offering great mobility, excellent ease of mounting and killer protection.
• Scotts Damper-Must for rocks.
• Works Connection AOF clutch perch: dramatically improves clutch pull and has easier access to the hot start and on the trail adjustments.
• Guts saddle: Critical for taller riders. We’re fortunate that the machine came equipped with good guts.
Flatline Racing radiator guards: We performed two really good flips that totally raped the right side of the machine. We crushed the Flatline guard, but the radiator stayed tidy.
• IMS tank: hold nearly a gallon more of fuel and is just as slim.
Captions:


Tom Webb piloted the modded old dog and felt that it was totally competitive with the 09 model Yamaha.


We stuck on some new Dunlop rubber, futzed with the suspension and jetting and then bolted on a few key goodies that really helped elevate the two-year-old steed.


Where does the F2 modded bike work the best, how about rocks? Between the Scotts damper and really good suspension the girthy machine ate rocks for dessert.


The engine got the Magnetizers and Power Back it from F2. The Power Back really helped in the thin air in Flagstaff.


The shock required no valving changes since the oil change and the Unshock got the action targeted for the rider.


We constantly give major lip service about the Scotts damper, but in the Flagstaff rocks its crucial to fast riding.


Good clean power combined with proper valving make for a hoot in the off-road world.

Comments are closed.

edit