A bit of bling here and a bit of bling there has the WR450F growling and howling
STORY DAMIEN ASHENHURST
PHOTOGRAPHY DAMIEN ASHENHURST
We’ve made a few changes to the WR450F in the past month and taken the clock well over the 1000km range.
The bike received a bit of a spruce-up with a carer package from GYTR that included a slip-on pipe, a bashplate, a sexy clutch cover and an air filter. I also got a bunch of Yamalube products, from engine oil to degreaser, and an excellent oil-change kit that makes life easy when it’s time to swing off the oil nut and get messy.
BITS THAT BITE
I’ve continued learning a heap about this bike and it’s been one of the most interesting bikes I’ve ever spent a good amount of time on.
Firstly, the business I complained about where the WRF wouldn’t start in gear was purely my fault. When I fitted the Ballard’s Easy Pull clutch lever I disconnected a line back to the bike’s loom that I shouldn’t have. I just plugged it back in and tied it down and Bob’s your mother’s brother. The WRF now starts in gear, no problems. So remember, if you swap out the clutch lever, don’t toss out the line that goes back to the loom.
The suspension on the WRF is one of the best trail packages on the market and I’ve found a sweet spot that I’ll sit on for a while and maybe fool around with stiffening it up a little later on. The engine is brilliant, too, and the addition of the GYTR parts has brought to life a monster.
The pipe and air filter alone have made a big difference to the power of the WRF. It’s more explosive and the response is a little quicker from all points, particularly from the mid to top. I pulled out the Power Tuner and punched in a motocross-type setting and, man, the bike turned on me big time. This thing has way more power than a muppet like me needs, so I plugged in the Tuner again and threw in a map that settled the big unit down.
So, with this extra punch from the GYTR parts I can get around my test loops faster but the one problem is noise. The GYTR pipe is way louder than the stocker and I think it’s too loud for general trail use. For a racer, it’s a no-brainer — it makes your bike faster (although, interestingly it’s not all that much lighter). The GYTR pipe is a killer for closed-course riding but, for the average trailrider, we just have to be aware that excessive noise is not our friend.
The GYTR air filter looks like the stocker after a six-month stint at Jenny Craig. It’s much smaller, far less choking and an easy way to pull more performance from your bike without getting too in depth.
STOP ... BRAKING TIME
I’m going to take the solid rear disc off and put the stock wave disc back on because I reckon there’s bugger-all feel from the solid unit. Getting braking right on the WRF is what I’ve found to be next most important step.
The extra weight it carries really doesn’t bother me all that much until I hit a heavy braking area and the type of tight tracks I ride have me constantly pulling up hard and gassing it back on again, over and over. The WRF tends to need a little more time and track space to set up for braking hard. This is also in part why I’m thinking I might stiffen the front a little, so I can improve braking performance by decreasing less front-end dive.
There’s plenty more riding to come over the next few months and I’ve got a big trail ride lined up that I’m keen to hit. For this month, I’ve got to say the hero has been the Power Tuner. Some things that took me just 40 seconds to do completely changed the way the bike had to be ridden as well as what you get out of it. It’s stunning that we have this power at our hands nowadays and it’s brilliant to experiment with.
The DIRT ACTION project WR450F uses Pirelli Scorpion Mid-Soft tyres. www.linkint.com.au