Yamaha release details of all new WR450F
When Yamaha launched the world’s first modern era four-stroke enduro bike, few could have predicted the effect it would have on Australian motorcycle riders.
It’s no exaggeration to say that a legend was created back in 1999 with the release of the WR400F. Aussies accepted the new model with open arms and have continued to buy WRF in massive numbers largely due to an enviable reputation for reliability.
The WR450F has remained the bush weapon of choice despite few model changes over the years. Yamaha engineers are not supporters of change for the sake of change, with the model tweaked once for 2003 with a 450cc engine, once in 2005 with a new frame and again in 2007 with a new aluminium frame.
But Yamaha understands that technology does not stand still and WRF riders expect and deserve to be riding on the cutting edge. With this in mind, the 2012 model heralds the biggest change since the introduction of that first WR400F. Yamaha designers, testers and engineers have revisited the drawing board and re-invented the new WR450F from the ground up.
The challenge was how to improve on an already peerless motorcycle. But the team stepped up to the mark and delivered a motorcycle that the whole nation has been hanging out for… a bike that retains the hallmark features of reliability with the versatility to win at the highest level while still providing an easy-to-ride trail weapon.
The target customer is the fast trail rider and expert enduro rider. And the goal is to improve handling in the tight stuff while striving for even more linear and manageable power.
The handling goal has been achieved with the development of a new aluminium bilateral beam frame that is very similar to the much hailed 2012 YZ250F frame that offers scalpel sharp steering and rail-like turns. The WRF version of this frame has enduro specific dimensions and rigidity balance which includes different engine mounts and a new mounting position for the subframe, which itself is comprised of a new aluminium alloy.
The result is blend of strength and rigidity in a compact machine that sets new standards in enduro handling. The new WR450F provides a light feel, amazing front wheel grip, superb rear wheel traction and improved steering designed to light up the singletrack. In short, the next step in off road chassis performance.
To complement the new frame, new YZ inspired twin chamber suspension is fitted front and rear to soak up the harsh terrain that fast trail and competition enduro riders encounter. Once again, the suspension is specially endurotuned by combining the ability to absorb big hits with a softer initial travel to tackle tight turns.
And in order to offer stable engine performance irrespective of fluctuations in air temperature or altitude, a fuel injection system has been adopted. This can easily be adjusted with a hand held, portable Power Tuner device, the same unit that has proven so popular with YZ450F owners.
This pocket-sized Power Tuner is easy to carry around and operation is simple when connected to the new WR450F via an easily located coupler. Setting changes can be New bilateral beam frame provides amazing handling in typically tight Aussie terrain Fuel injection offers seamless fuel supply regardless of elevation or temperature changes made without the need to cart around a laptop in wind, rain and often dusty conditions. The Power Tuner offers riders a huge benefit by allowing customised fuel injection settings to fit their personal preferences.
The 450cc engine has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of the new FI system and chassis changes. It retains its liquid cooled, five titanium valve, single cylinder layout. A special cam profile has been developed to suit enduro RPM use while the five speed gearbox has ratios suitable to cover a wide range of riding environments.
The engine is fitted with an exhaust pipe with a built-in resonator which is designed to improve power output in the low to midspeed range. In addition, the radiator is all new with a wider core, increased reliability and more shock resistance than previously.
There are a host of more minor changes that while small are still important. These include and enduro specific seat with new cover, a slim new plastic resin 7.2 litre fuel tank, a fuel level warning light for peace of mind. And not forgetting a hot new look with black Excel rims, a new headlight cover, side covers and graphics.
The new WRF will go on sale in early 2012 fully equipped to ADR requirement. A competition enduro kit will also be offered for those wishing to indulge in closed course riding or racing.
Full specification and model information release will be made at the Sydney Motorcycle Expo in Darling Harbour Convention Centre starting 25 November 2011. Until then, please bear in mind that the new Australian model differs significantly to the models sold in European and US markets.
Please note that from now until model release in 2012, WRF customers can score a heap of amazing deals on 2011 WRFs with up to $1000 Yamadollars, a free pit tent and jet washer plus massive loan savings thanks to YMF promotional finance rates from 5.99%.
2012 WR450F – with help from an iconic Aussie
Australia and NZ form the major market for WRF models. Which is incredible when you compare the local population with Europe and US.
But thanks to our love of riding in the bush combined riding access and local laws, down under is where most WRF models will be sold. This is great news because it means Aussies get a say in development.
And who better to have that say than enduro legend and WRF racer Geoff Ballard?
GB was invited to Japan to help develop and test the new model. His input has been invaluable to the design team over the years and they once again sat up and took notice when Ballard advised on development direction for 2012.
An intimate knowledge of the type of riders we are combined with first hand experience of local terrain and expert technical skills, Ballard ensured that the WRF ticks all the right boxes:
“The result is a quantum leap forward for the WRF. I am confident in saying that there is nothing on the market that offers such a complete package as the new WR450F, it really is strong in every area and an ideal bike for Aussie conditions,” says the multi-medal winning enduro team manager.