The Fit and Finish:
My earliest impression began on my roll-around in the garage. The fit and finish is stunning on this bike. The aluminum frame is substantially "beefier" than my WR450F (which is an 03 model). Every bolt and nut has been loctited from factory. Many of the bolts are the same exact matching stainless steel type and size. That sure makes throwing things in a bucket easier.
Something I found really cool is that a lot of the larger bolts have smooth round heads that are flat and flush; meaning nothing bulky sticks out on the bolt head side. Plus there are a lot of permanent nuts, so you only have a bolt to remove/install on one side. You don’t have to fiddle around with loose backup nuts and washers. Best of all, ONE wrench does the job for a lot of things (i.e. no backup wrench).
I don't find that kind of workmanship detail on any of the other stable-mates. The only bike which has as impressive of a frame with superb fit and finish is the KTM 950. But, it can be a pain in the butt to work on. It takes a lot of time and extra steps to unbutton the 950’s clothes for getting down to business.
I do all my own maintenance and modifications. The DR350 and KLX250 are ok to work on. Pretty simple, pretty accessible. The KLR is better. I can really move fast along the KLR pulling maintenance and the like. Everything is quite accessible and well placed. The KLR carb can be a bear to remove, until you figure out a system and get a little rough with it.
However, this WRR has been a dream to wrench on so far, an absolute piece of cake. Minimum number of fasteners with either fixed backups or no backups (i.e. no small nuts on backside to catch and/or lose). I was able to remove both the front and rear wheels and then reinstall very easily. Didn't have to pinch with my knees, prop with my toes, wrestle in spacers and force into the calipers. It just slid out and back in flawlessly. Every detail seems to be well thought through.
That got me kind of excited. The more I dig around, the more impressed I'm becoming. Something I didn't expect at all. Superior ease of maintenance. Now then, there's a lot of well-placed clutter (smog crap) that will soon disappear.
So, fit and finish...superb!Next Up: On the Road