I decided to spend this weekend putting the black rear fender on the Yamaha WR450. I've been putting it off because I knew the fender wasn't going to fit right because it was made for a Yamaha YZ450 and I knew there was going to be some modifications that would have to be made to make it work.
I wish I could've found a black rear fender that would bolt right on but I didn't have any luck locating one. So I'm going to spend about 2 days off and on putting on a rear fender that could probably be done in less than an hour if it were made for my bike.
The first thing I had to do was find a way to put the taillight on the YZ fender. And that's not hard to do but it's kind of hard to make it pretty when you're done. The WR fender has plastic bosses the taillight screws go into, the YZ fender doesn't so the bolts have to go through the fender itself.
The taillight is sitting on the black fender. The blue fender has a place to mount it the black one doesn't
Another problem is the little plastic fender extension mounting holes don't match up, the fix for that was fairly easy I just use one original hole and drilled a new hole for a small nut and bolt to hold the fender extension.
The black fenders mounting holes for the extension are too close together
A more difficult problem has been that there is a metal plate bolted to the WR fender that holds the battery and some electronic gadgets. I guess the YZ does not have this plate because the four mounting holes in the WR fender are missing on the YZ fender. But worse is the YZ fender is a completely different shape where that plate is supposed to bolt in so making it work involves more than just drilling four new holes.
The lithium iron battery is the latest and greatest technology
While I had the bike apart I took the opportunity to install a Shorai lithium iron battery. This battery has almost twice the power of the original battery, is almost half the size, and saves a lot of weight. I weighed both batteries on my digital postal scales and the factory battery weighed 4 lbs. 8 oz. while the Shorai battery weighed 1 lb. 9 oz. I've been told that the lithium iron batteries don't catch fire and explode like the older lithium ion batteries and I sure hope they're right because I'm going to be sitting on it.
If everything works out tomorrow and I'm able to find the metric bolts that I need to finish the job I will post some pictures showing what it all looks like.
Matt Fetty did a great job on the Yamaha WR 450 motorcycle rack
My motorcycle carrier rack was finished today and Matt Fetty of Fetty Automotive in Pueblo CO. did a great job on it. It looks like the trailer came with it installed. I still need to spray paint some of the welded parts so they won't rust and I need to move my trailer tag and taillights to the back of the carry rack. You can see the tag and the lights through the motorcycle but I'm going to put a cover over the motorcycle when I travel and that blocks off the taillights and the tag.
You may notice that now the Yamaha WR 450 is mostly black and the only thing left to change from blue is the rear fender. I haven't put the rear fender on yet because it's going to require some minor modifications to make it fit and I wanted to wait until I was in a cooler working environment.
Cutting out the brackets to weld to the Arctic Fox frame
Matt made the rack really strong and welded it to the frame using three receiver hitches. I was never sure how high the rack should be from the ground, I just knew that I needed it to be low enough so I could easily and safely get the Yamaha WR450 on the rack. So it turned out the motorcycle is easy to get on the rack, I have no trouble pushing it on it all, and as for the height of the rack, I guess only time and off-road driving will tell how that works out.
The motorcycle rack is almost finished
The Yamaha WR 450 is almost all black except for the rear fender.
I've been busy doing things to the Yamaha. I ordered black body panels from Rockymountainatvmc so I can get rid of the blue and white color that I never really liked. So far I got everything changed except the rear fender which is supposed to be in Wednesday, and the white plastic thing that surrounds the headlight.
I couldn't find a black rear fender for a WR450 and I looked all over the Internet. So I ended up ordering a black rear fender for the YZ450. It looks like it will fit just fine but it doesn't have a taillight like the WR 450 has. So I'm hoping I can put my taillight on the YZ fender and everything will work out okay.
The white plastic thing that surrounds the headlight has been a problem and I can't find one anywhere. So I did something I was hoping I wouldn't have to do which was paint it black, hey I just had a flashback to the Rolling Stones singing Paint it Black..... Okay I'm back now, I've never had much luck with rattle cans but that seemed like my only choice at the moment so I bought some Krylon SuperMaxx gloss black and sprayed that puppy. It was a hot windy day today and definitely not a good day for painting outside but I just wanted to get it done. It didn't turn out terrible but I certainly won't be pointing it out and bragging on it.
My other project for the day was putting on a ignition switch to turn the motorcycle on. Being a dirt bike it didn't come with an ignition switch it just has a button you push and it cranks right up, so its not a good idea to leave it sitting in front of Walmart. I got the switch wired up so all I have to do now is find a convenient place to mount it . I could've finished it but every afternoon thunderstorms blow across the RV Park so I had to call it a day.
The WR450 comes from the factory choked up and with very little power so that it's almost an embarrassment to ride. And why would the factory do that you may ask ? And the answer is..... California.
In order to sell a Yamaha WR 450 in California it has to pass very strict tests for pollution control and noise reduction so Yamaha does things to the engine so that it will pass these very strict tests and they can sell the motorcycle in California. California is a very big market so the politicians there can get businesses to do just about anything they want, whether it's good or bad or right or wrong doesn't matter.
But Yamaha is smart enough to know that nobody in their right mind would buy a 450 cc motorcycle that runs like a 250 cc motorcycle so they make these changes to the engine reversible. One of the things Yamaha does is put a screw in the throttle cable mechanism that only allows the throttle to open up about halfway. A simple way to envision this is if you put a small block of wood under the gas pedal of your car so that instead of the gas pedal going all the way to the floor it would only go down about an inch. if You did that your car would get better gas mileage, it would pollute the air a lot less, it wouldn't make as much noise, the state of California would love you, but it would only go 35 miles an hour, and take a looong time to get to that speed. So today I took that accursed screw out of the Yamaha and threw it as far as I could.
Another thing Yamaha did to make California happy was to partially block up the exhaust pipe. They do this so the engine can't breathe properly and therefore the engine produces less power, less power equals less noise. This was a little more difficult to fix but it still only took half an hour.
The tiny little pipe in the middle is nicknamed the "pea shooter"and it's only job is to make the Yamaha WR450 run worse.
I took the cap off of the muffler and pulled out this part that has the pea shooter riveted into it
I drilled out the aluminum pop rivet
The black thing on the left is the "pea shooter"after you drill out the rivet you can easily pull it out.
No more choked up exhaust pipe.
There's still a couple more things I'd like to do to turn it into a normal motorcycle but the two things I did today are biggies and make the WR450 run a lot better.