Yamaha continues to attack the off-road motorcycle segment with its re-tooled WR450F and a competition-specific YZ450FX woods racer.
Anxious to capitalize on the success of its recently revamped 250F off-road bikes, Yamaha retools the WR450F ($8990) and expands its dirt line-up with the addition of a ‘X’ competition-spec 450F ($8890) for 2016. Both motorcycles are expected to land on U.S. dealership floors in November.
Queued off of Yamaha’s MXGP championship-winning YZ450F, both machines source a identical version of the Tuning Fork brand’s water-cooled 449cc DOHC Single as used in the motocross bike. Inside the cases, wider transmission ratios were fitted as was a heavy-duty clutch pack. A larger AC generator was also installed to accommodate the head, and taillight (WR), as well as electric start.
Chassis-wise, both models borrow the YZ’s bilateral beam frame configuration and fabulous coil spring KYB Speed-Sensitive Suspension. however each model gets custom tuning designed for the rigors of trail/enduro riding (WR) and cross-country, GNCC-style racing (FX). A smaller 18-inch back wheel replaces the motocross bike’s 19-inch rim, and the FX gets a Dunlop AT81 rear knob while the WR sources a Dunlop Geomax MX51 tire. Lastly, each offers the convenience of a aluminum kick stand.
The 2016 Yamaha WR450F also adds a enduro computer, radiator fan and a spark arrestor-equipped muffler. Since the 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX is designed with racing in mind, it shares the same free-flowing exhaust system as the YZ-F moto bike.