Wrenching on the Yamaha WR450

A noob's guide to getting trail ready

From zero to hero

3 weeks ago I bought a used 2004 Yamaha WR450 for a song, with the idea that it could be an affordable way to get into dual sporting and generally get more technical with my riding. It’s been 3 weeks of the most wrenching I’ve ever done, and the most fun that I’ve had getting my hands dirty in a long time. It’s been a year and a half since getting into motorbikes and also, fixing them. This was by choice. My 2011 Mini Cooper (Marvin, you are missed 😢) was an excellent first car but during my 2 years of ownership I realized that cars are expensive to operate, expensive to work on, and really expensive to race. Ever hear that saying, how do…


Born in a cauldron of Fyre,Skin, scalding and wet from primal birth.The tongs glow red with Rage as I break apart the remnants of the shell, so it can hatch in full view. I see it clearly now-Scales glisten with albumin and liquid light. The room grows darker and I feel a sudden chill, as if the infernal being were absorbing energy from the surrounding hearth. Growing steadily brighter I make out a silvery form, an unmistakable beak, made of metal no man could think to craft. Shrill wails emerge from this terrifying spore. Echoes of pain, of mistakes from past lives described in agonizing detail, in inscrutable language. It’s eyes beady and blacker than the night, seethe, at what I could not tell you.What…

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