The Torture Test - Niks Industries Yamaha WR450F - Dirt Rider Magazine

Niks went outside its doors for a few parts, but mostly, this WR is a one-shop product, with more motor than any stock WR.

About the bike:
We at Niks Industries felt the Yamaha WR450F was very close to being an all-around dirt bike right off the showroom floor. Although considered a "big pig" by the common motohead, we looked past its shortcomings at what we could do to shape and trim this Ding Dongs-donut-eating-princess and turn her into the captain of the cheer squad and certified prom queen!We started by getting her some inner confidence to boost her ego by adding a set of Hot Cams; this allowed her to keep up with the thinner girls. Next we added an R&D; float bowl to give her a more precise on-call throttle without hesitation, as well as an Applied Racing emissions block-off kit. In order to prevent our big lady from slipping in her high heels, we installed a Hinson clutch kit. Wossner pistons helped by giving our big beauty a new heartbeat while Dubach Racing gave her a new horn to toot!Now that we have increased our Yamaha WR450's internal self esteem, we wanted to make sure she stayed cool under pressure by providing her with CV4 high temperature radiator hoses. Then it was time to accessorize!Have you ever seen a diesel truck lose its brakes on the freeway? Well, now that we've increased her speed in the motor department, we've got to be able to slow this big girl down. Therefore, we've put together the ultimate braking package for our Niks Industries WR450. We bolted on an oversized QTM front brake rotor with a set of AP Racing's ORR compound brake pads. This overall brake package provides superb braking power with linear feel. Next, we added some of AP Racing's famous PRF 608 brake fluid which has the highest boiling point on the market. Therefore, even after hours upon hours of riding a Niks WR450, brake fade will be non existent. In conclusion, our lots-to-love WR450 will stop on a dime every time.We at Niks Industries also knew that by going to the Dirt Rider Torture Test Dance, Miss Niks Industries WR450 would be confronted by thinner, good looking, and more popular light-weight bikes throwing rocks at our Niks Industries WR450. In order to protect her, we installed hand guards by Cycra, Works Connection skid plate to protect her motor and Works Connection radiator braces to keep our Niks Industries WR450 radiator from being crushed. She'll be safe from any Dirt Rider test riders accidently falling over!We also decided to give our Niks Industries WR450 girl a remote RTT stabilizer in order to keep her steady. We wanted to prevent any sort of head shake that may be prevalent at high speeds. By giving her the RTT stabilizer, we consider this to have provided her with more stability at intense speeds and convenience since it can be adjusted at any time. In addition, just like any good fitness instructor having a heart rate monitor, we installed a DR. D hour meter to keep track of its running time.Big girls need jewelry too, so we added Zip-Ty Racing's chain adjuster block kit for anyone who wants hassle-free chain adjustment and tire removal/installation. The blocks are carved from billet aluminum and laser etched so that you can actually "see" your adjustment. They stay in position when you remove the wheel. We also added Zip-Ty Racing's front axle quick pull handles in order to make front wheel removal/installation a lot faster, and much easier. No more trying to get a grip on the axle to pull it out, just grab the handle and pull! They take seconds to mount. Other notables were a magnetic drain bolt and front and rear wheel spacers.As the finishing touch for our ravishing big beauty's attire, her shoes chosen for ultimate traction and control were Dunlop tires, And we can't forget to mention the company that made the pretty dress for our prom Queen: Powersport grafx.Yes we know that our prom queen did not lose any weight and therefore is not the lightest motocross track bike, however, your motocross or trail buddies will be blown away on the next trail ride. Our Niks WR450, due to the enhancing effects of Hot Cams, the Dubach Racing exhaust pipe, Wossner piston, and R&D; bowl, will leave your trail riding buddies in the dust because of its harder responsive hit that sustains through the mid to the top of the power curve. Caution, for this will result in a collection of bewildered facial expressions from your buddies taken aback by this sudden change in your bike's character, just as our prom queen will leave lasting impressions at the Dirt Rider Magazine Torture Test.

There was no mystery to the Niks WR performance: cams, carb, piston and pipe to bump power and Dunlops to handle it.

Parts and modifications:
The following are available through Niks Distributing
Hot Cams: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098

Exhaust cam $189.95
R&D;: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Powerbowl $249.95
Wossner Pistons: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Wossner WR450 piston: $184.95
Dubach Racing: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Hour meter with bracket $49.99
Stainless exhaust $549.00
Hot-start lever $48.95
Radiator lowering kit $49.99
Brake clamp $29.99
QTM: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Brembo 270mm oversized front rotor w/bracket $299.00
AP Racing: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
390ORR rear brake pads $35.99
440ORR front brake pads $35.99
PRF Hi-temp. brake fluid $34.00
RTT Motorsports: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Triple-clamp stabilizer MX version $589.00
Zip-Ty Racing: www.niksdistributing.com; 562-945-1098
Case saver $28.95
Chain block $98.95
Front axle pull handle $21.95
Magnetic drain bolt $19.95
Front wheel spacers $34.95
Rear wheel spacers $34.95
Works Connection: www.worksconnection.com; 530-642-9488
Skid plate $139.97
Radiator cages $64.97
Elite clutch perch with hot-start $116.95
Aluminum throttle tube $ 32.50
Cycra Racing: www.cycra.com; 740-929-0188
Pro Bend racer pack w/standard U-clamp $ 109.95
Hinson: www.hinsonracing.com; 909-946-2942
Billet Proof cover $159.99
Billet Proof basket w/cushions $274.99
Billet Proof 6-spring inner hub & pressure plate w/high-temp. springs $569.99
CV4 Products: www.cv4.net; 888-835-3322
Radiator hose $175.62
Applied Racing: www.appliedrace.com; 951-694-3267
WR smog emissions block-off kit $39.95
Dunlop Tires: www.dunloptire.com; 800-845-8378****Powersport Grafx: www.ridepg.com; 800-903-6764
Graphics kit $199.99Dirt Rider Post Torture Evaluation****Editor's Note
This year's Dirt Rider Torture Test was set it up like a screening for a reality TV show: Bring what you have and prepare for whatever happens. The idea was to show up at the Torture Test with the best all-around, one-bike-does-it-all off-road dirt bike, with no guidelines or requirements from our side. It was wide open, but everyone knew going in that it would be tough to make the cut to get into the final group of bikes you see in the magazine. Of course, they didn't all make it to the pages of Dirt Rider. Some missed out ever so slightly, some by a longer ways. This is a full test of one of the bikes that missed the final cut. The competition was tough but lurking in this field of bikes you can likely find an example of the perfect bike that fits your needs, or learn what other riders or people in the industry think is the best bike in the whole world. For the people and companies that built each of these bikes, it was the best bike they could deliver.-Jimmy Lewis, Editor Dirt Rider Magazine

In the tight, technical and slippery parts of the test loop the Niks bike was a bit stiff, on the loud side and featured power a little more abrupt than conditions called for.

The best all-around bike because:
You have the trail-oriented character of the Yamaha WR450F with a nastier and racier demeanor.Not the best all-around bike because:
What could be a great bike is held back by a feeling like all the parts are not in perfect harmony.Dirt Rider says:
Niks Industries avoided the pitfalls of some companies that build modified test bikes. They didn't throw a catalog at the machine and give a thumb's-up to whatever stuck.A series of careful and time-proven cam, pipe and piston changes were employed to up the somewhat pedestrian urge of the stock WR450F. They called on Hinson - another proven move - to beef up the clutch for the task. They took pains to make it stop better, survive trail trash and connect to Terra Firma. They made the wheels quick to change, and they made it look trick. That is a very powerful equation. Unfortunately, the other WR in the contest brought modded suspension and two years of race-testing to their package, and that nudged the Niks bike out of the top six. Really, suspension, a different damper or damper setting and a quieter pipe would have put this baby squarely in the hunt.Honestly, I can see the reasoning in choosing stock WR suspension. It is proven, and generally pretty darn good in many situations. If we built a bike without time to test and second-guess the suspension, we would make the same choice. As far as the exhaust goes, we didn't specify a number for the bikes to be under, but many other bikes chose a quieter route knowing DR's support of subdued sound and our sport's need for more responsible sound levels. Our riders weren't specifically tasked with rating sound, either, but when riding back to back with quieter machinery, the Niks bike drew fire for the sound.While the sound may be in question, the performance of the engine is not in doubt. It is different from a stocker or the other WR in the test. The power has meat earlier in the rpm range, and the acceleration has some rowdiness and playfulness in contrast to the all-business Am-Pro bike. Neither direction is wrong, but a reaction to different preferences. For sand and loam the Niks bike rocked, and it was strong on the MX track as well. For low-traction, slippery riding or the extreme test with its jumbled rocks, something smoother might satisfy a bit more.There are a lot of riders who would like a bit more WR-boost, and they can go towards Niks with confidence. There is definitely performance here. It isn't as unmannered as a full-on motocrosser, so off-road remains the strength of the machine, but this WR doesn't take roost, it delivers it.
--Karel KramerI was able to ride both of the modified WR450Fs back-to-back, and they were both good bikes. The Niks model turned well and seemed planted, but the suspension felt stiff - for sure stiffer than the other bikes I rode. This bike hit pretty hard from right down low, and more so than the other bikes, but it was still smooth enough to be easy to ride. I was one of the few who liked this WR better than the Am-Pro one. It just worked better when the terrain opened up, and in the quick-transition turns.
Don Kelley 5'11"/195 lb./B riderAlthough both the Am-Pro WR450 and the Niks WR450 were the same model, they felt like completely different bikes. The horsepower on this 450 was comparable, I was able to control the bike and use the power and response to my advantage. The handling caught me by surprise because it was completely different. The steering damper on the bike threw off the front end like I've never felt before. Not only did it feel like it added 10 pounds to the front end, it also affected the handling. The bike was a piece of work maneuvering through the single track and put up a difficult challenge to not push through each corner. Although the front end was difficult to ride with, the rear end continued doing a great job handling through whoops and square edges. Lastly, this bike has some great style points.
Chris Dvoracek 6'/170 lb./ExpertThis WR450F is a great bike, though very loud. It handled well, but steered pretty heavy with the RTT damper. I liked this bike, and with a simple quiet core and a different damper I'd be pretty happy with it. I had fun riding it, and it was nimble enough (with the exception of the heavy steering) that I asked if it was a big-bore 250F. Nice ride.
Nate Evans: 6'1"/215 lb./Vet AThe Niks WR450F is pretty potent. I like the WR very well stock, and this one has a bunch more boost than a stock one. In spite of the added urge, the power was usable on the trail. The thing is; the normally plush WR wasn't. I didn't see any stickers on the suspension, so I can only assume the legs are stock or perhaps have stiffer springs. Plus, this bike was very loud, and the quiet of the stock bike is one of my favorite things, and I missed it.
Karel Kramer: 6'1"/225 lb./B rider

Niks made sure its WR was pumped up, protected and ready to drag anchor when needed.
There were no suspension mods on the parts list, but the Niks bike performed well on moto-style obstacles.
Niks made sure its WR was pumped up, protected and ready to drag anchor when needed.
There were no suspension mods on the parts list, but the Niks bike performed well on moto-style obstacles.
Niks made sure its WR was pumped up, protected and ready to drag anchor when needed.
There were no suspension mods on the parts list, but the Niks bike performed well on moto-style obstacles.