Dirt Rider Post Torture Evaluation:****This is the Best Bike Because: It works fantastic on the track or on the trail. All of the parts work in harmony, and it feels as light as a moto bike.This is not the Best Bike Because: The perfect control feel and detailing comes at a price, and we mean that literally.Dirt Rider Says:
Out of the 21 test bikes the Dirt Rider Torture Test started with, two were Yamaha WR450Fs, so it made sense that the same test group would compare them. It was hard to believe the difference between the two. Two companies started in the same place with supposedly identical goals to reach, but they arrived at very different places. Actually, what really happened was that one company - Am-Pro/FMF/Yamaha/Tucker Rocky - already had a race bike developed over several years with the help of extremely talented test riders and dedicated aftermarket companies. The goal for that race bike was very close to the goals we set for the Torture Test. GNCC races are no longer an endurance event with a sprint at the end. They are three-hour bar-banging sprints the whole way. As a result, engine and suspension tuning has morphed from the cushy ride of the Scott Summers era to the current level of near motocross suspension settings. Actually, the Am-Pro bike featured a more supple suspension action than we expected, but it still allowed Thad Duvall to throw down a blistering moto-test lap and crush the other bikes in the cross-country/terrain test.Obviously this is a capable off-road racer, but it was equally at home on trails when we hit some longer desert and mountain loops. The power is pretty boost-laden, yet is still smooth enough for slippery rocks and roots. As the rpm build the boost builds in concert, but in the upper middle rpm the engine switches to light speed. If you have never ridden a GNCC race, the course runs through tight and technical tree sections where passing is extremely difficult and left mostly to line choice and mistakes. But when the trail opens up for a brief stretch, you need to be able to pull the trigger and make passes happen.The Am-Pro engine is perfect for that. It doesn't beat you up in the dodgy bits, but has a whale of a passing gear. It should generate significant boost judging by the engine price tag and the pedigree of the parts. It uses the same GYT-R CNC-modded head that James Stewart runs. The good news is that you can buy the same head. The bad news is you can buy the head or a used bike or truck. The feel of the clutch action and engagement is as perfect as the power delivery, and simply silky in feel compared to the stocker. Thanks goes to more big-ticket GYT-R items inside the clutch case, a GYT-R perch and a Motion Pro Terminator clutch cable.Testing is what makes this bike great. It has been finessed until it fits the rider perfectly rather than being a mismatched collection of aftermarket parts. No wonder this bike is a champion's choice.Opinions
The engine on this bike really wants to run. It is smooth down low then rips in the mid-range and up top. The other WR was just more comfortable for me.
Don Kelley 5'11"/195 lb./B riderThe Am-Pro WR450F is a great all-around set up, whether it's racing through tree's or pounding whoops on a track, and that made it my favorite of the six bikes I rode. The power the WR puts out suits me best because it has a lot of power, but doesn't feel like it. I was able to cruise through the single-track sections comfortably at a consistent speed without the bike bogging down or uncontrollably accelerating, which gave me confidence to pick up the pace. The handling is what separated this bike from the Niks WR. The Factory Connection suspension was perfect for my weight and style, both on the trails and on the motocross track. The suspension was very plush and kept under my control at all times, which sold me on choosing this bike as my favorite.
Chris Dvoracek 6'/170 lb./ExpertThis WR seemed to do everything well, and yet there was no wow factor with this one. While the lack or wow may not seem like the best for an mx mount, it can be a great thing for a long off-road race or even a lengthy trail ride. This is just a really good all-around off-roader.
Dana BergAm-Pro's Yamaha WR450F is an excellent trail machine: very nimble, with smooth, quiet power. Loved this bike in the tight stuff, probably more than the KTM, but it was slightly under-sprung for my girth on the moto track. With some minimal suspension fiddling (i.e. stiffer springs), this would probably be my first choice (okay - maybe tied for first).
Nate Evans: 6'1"/215 lb./Vet AThis bike had great, smooth roll-on power with a big hefty mid-range pull to it. Its suspension felt balanced to me, and bike could get into corners very well. You can feel the weight of the bike in the tighter stuff which caused me to be slower in corners, but this was still one of the fastest bikes for me. The clutch got hot real quick and faded in the 4:30-minute loop we were doing.
Kris KeeferIf you weren't paying attention, this bike could slip right past you. It simply does everything so competently and effortlessly, you might think it is just plain cheap vanilla. Pay attention, though, and you realize the bike is extremely well-rounded, and it has something for every riding situation - sort of like a banana split. But like a banana split, this is a high-end dessert with a serious price tag that knocks it right out of contention for me.
Karel Kramer: 6'1"/225 lb./ B rider