FWIW... I am the most-published writer of Dirt Bike Adventure stories in America...
Here's a story I wrote on my 450R... Test: Warp-9 Racing 19" Front Wheel on 450R
With this set-up, 450R IMO "best desert bike on the planet" IF YOU CAN KEEP IT RUNNING :-(
Background: I bought one of the first 450R's available (mistake; bike not properly developed or de-bugged). Bike purchased in UT. "Baja kit" added to get street-legal & plated.
1) Elec system too weak to keep the battery charged (solution = disconnect headlight plug).
2) Any overheat issue solved via Red Line Water Wetter (and I ride in the Mojave)
3) Added full F/R RaceTech suspension $1600 Yes it works. No, not worth the $/effort
4) Re-jetted etc
5) Added Steering damper
The bike NEVER idled properly (stock or jetted; neither did the dealers demo-450R's). Sudco told me the FCR-40 has a Kawa-unique idle circuit, much leaner than "over the counter FCR-40" with *press-fit* idle-circuit jets that cannot be replaced by me.
Bike can really haul-*ass but the lack-of-idle (or 3,000 rpm idle) kills it.
Serious issue (early bikes) is flywheel way-too-light.
I did use the bike in some major-league events...
Death Valley Rally bike test: KLX-450R and KDX-200
Note I used the KDX-200 as 450R "not consistent" in idle/starting. Bummer.
Team Red Line @ Bishop 3-day
Team Red Line @ Sierra Safari 2008
Sierra Safari 2007
Team Red Line on the Moab White Rim Trail
Ideally I'd like to use the bike on the upcoming LAB2V L.A.-Barstow-Vegas. Bike NOT running and won't start. Must be completely taken apart (fuel system & carb) and (whatever it takes) o-hauled. Bummer.
If anybody wants to contact me directly I am Paul P. (age-64, retired) in the Mojave [email protected]
PS>> I have a KDX-200 with every upgrade possible on the bike. AWESOME and stone-reliable. But then again, it's (honest) a $7,000 bike.