How does it ride
That is the big question and a question we were given every opportunity to answer. Before I go to far I will remind everyone that this was my first organised trail ride, I have spent a bit of time riding in the bush with a few off road races in SA, but trail riding is something that is new to me.
The new WR450 to sit on felt larger than the bikes I am used to though I do spend most of my time riding motocross bikes. It had a wide feeling through the front, not uncomfortably wide, but wide enough to be noticeable. In stationary mode you could feel the weight of the bike, not excessively heavy in the set up we were running them in, which was with the full competition mode with the competition kit added and all extra ADR compliant parts taken off that were not needed for the ride.
The overall feel was quite comfortable, the lowered ride height had me sitting on the bike with both feet able to touch the ground which gave me a sense of comfort and would come in handy over the two days riding.
Taking off we spent the first part of the ride on slightly winding roads on our trip to the real riding which lied ahead. The bike was smooth and comfortable to ride on the road. I could actually envisage myself riding one of these to work everyday, well could at that stage, work now is a walk down a hallway, I doubt the wife would be happy with me making that trip each day on a WR450!
Hitting the bush for the first time I was a little nervous, not only was I contending with a new bike and a new type of riding but there was also something called the "corner man system" that I had to get my head around! Thankfully Boris and the guys from Detour were true professionals and had me covered and confident with the duty within a few minutes into the trail.
The bike was really was pleasant to ride in the bush, weather it be wide open trails, tight single trail, slippery wet clay, rocky washed out hill climbs or nasty looking water crossing the WR pulled this rookie trail rider though everything, with the only mishap being a get off up a hill climb that was probably a little out of my league, though with the help and advice from Ikapture (Greg Smith) and Adam Reimann I was able to remount and make it to the top on my second attempt.